• This past week I was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for the volume of business during my mortgage career. Although I am grateful for the honour, it is not notariety, hardware or expensive rewards which push my buttons. I must admit, when I was younger these bonuses did push me to higher achievements.

    It is funny how life changes, now that I am older (over 50) making clients happier in their lives and teaching money principles brings me more joy and satisfaction than I ever have experienced. Having low mortgage rates and helping clients has been a great experience, but I thought maybe I will come out with my own awards. I am sure I have missed some great stories, but I quickly thought of some recognition to share. Some of these collections of accolades are funny and some not so much fun. Needless to say, no names unless positively written will be mentioned.

    BEST UNDERWRITER: This recognition is easy for me, Lori Corkill of Effort Trust. She has helped thousands of people who did not have the best credit, or the most income. She gave clients hope and opportunity. Quite simply, she is the “George Bailey of Hamilton”.

    BEST POLICE WORK: We encountered someone who was trying to take the proceeds of one of our clients who was moving to the U.S. after his Canadian home sale. The victim was very grateful.

    MOST MEMORABLE GIFT: We once helped a poor farmer with his finances. What a surprise when he brought my family a dozen fresh country eggs. It has always meant a lot to me.

    GREATEST HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT: We have a client who had a troubled upbringing and basically was on their own. This person never quit fighting and studying and believing. Today this super achiever is a vice president for a large financial organization.

    GREATEST COMEBACK STORY: I first met these clients when they lived in Hamilton near the stadium with a first mortgage of 9% and a second of 16%! I can only offer advice. They listened, they executed, they fought, they persevered. Was it easy? No. Today they have control over their debts and have moved to a new home outside of Hamilton. I am so proud of them.

    BEST REAL ESTATE LAWYER: I am not fond of too many lawyers, but John Millar of Millar Alexander is in my opinion the most thorough and trustworthy.

    LOTTERY MOMENT: This brought great satisfaction. Meeting a really nice, worthy lottery winner and watching them pay off their mortgage. 🙂

    BEST JERRY SPRINGER MOMENT: A mom leaves the family to go live with the daughter’s boyfriend.

    BEST NEIGHBOUR: The best neighbour easily goes to one of our clients’ Italian neighbours. The neighbour after noticing that his neighbour had forgotten to close the garage door took a chair out and sat in front of their garage to ensure nobody would steal anything. How long did he stay out? Until one of the clients came back from work!

    WORST PENALTY FROM A BANK: This year we had our clients get a $20,000 penalty from TD Canada Trust. Banks can say anything they want but they gouge. There is a reason that there is a lack of respect for these major financial banks.

    MY GREATEST MOMENTS: Taking care of first time homebuyers. My clients becoming mortgage-free. Teaching my clients personal finances.


    Robert Floris is a mortgage broker and financial planner serving Hamilton, located on the East Hamilton Mountain, Ontario, and the rest of Canada.

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