Paul Garrett – Centum Mortgage Specialist

The life of Paul Garrett, of Garrett Mortgages, drastically changed after suffering a spinal cord injury.

With uncertainty about whether he would ever walk again, Paul stayed optimistic, learning new skills to help his community. Purchasing a home can be a scary endeavour; that’s why Paul decided to focus on helping others navigate the process. He not only works to secure the best mortgage rates for his clients, but also provides advice for how to make the mortgage — their biggest investment — work in their favour.

How can a mortgage specialist help?

Paul builds meaningful relationships with his clients, and this starts the moment someone reaches out to him for help. He knows that getting to know his clients, to understand their world, is the first step to helping them achieve their goals. 

Paul believes in honesty, reliability, and integrity. For that reason, he happily stakes his name on the business.

Paul always suggests homebuyers pre-qualify for a mortgage before they begin their search, whether they are a first-time homebuyer, or a seasoned vet in the market. This allows his clients to comfortably look for a home within their budget. Paul has assisted many homebuyers to strategically plan their finances so they can be ready for that big purchase sooner than expected.

Paul explains that even clients with good incomes sometimes struggle to secure a favorable mortgage rate because of the way their finances are presented.

As an expert in analyzing income, debt, and other assets, Paul consults with his clients to clearly present the big picture for potential lenders. Paul has the flexibility to shop around for different mortgages with access to over 50 lenders. He works with capital companies, trust companies, credit unions, mortgage investment corporations, banks, and private lenders to secure a custom mortgage that fits the individual needs of each client. 

Paul works closely with his clients to find the right rate, the right price, and the right length of time for their plan. No Plan? No problem! Paul helps his clients curate a plan for the future. He explains, “I basically do a forensic analysis of every aspect of the client’s finances and then discuss what is working and what needs to be improved.” After extensive review and collection of all the pertinent documents, Paul applies for a mortgage on his client’s behalf, a process that can take several days. It’s not unusual for Paul to secure a mortgage that is a full percent lower than the going fixed rate.

To qualify for the optimal mortgage, Paul emphasizes that everyone must pay attention to their credit rating. For those worried that their credit score isn’t high enough, he says, “Fear not.” He has helped many people with damaged credit improve their financial picture so that they can qualify for ‘A’ mortgages. If a client doesn’t meet the requirements to apply for a prime rate mortgage, Paul’s goal is to help set them up for success and build a comprehensive plan for buying a home. He urges that people take a cautious approach when applying for a mortgage, and work with qualified mortgage specialists who could save them thousands of dollars in the long run.

Paul is a big believer in community support, firmly convinced that “we must bring our youth along with us if we are to have a future.” He is also an involved member in many organizations around the city such as Kiwanis Club of Forest City-London, Spinal Cord Injury of Ontario, the London Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and the Forest City Allies. 

Paul’s optimism and positive attitude always shine through when navigating the market with his clients. His sense of humor breaks the ice when he says, “When in doubt, you’d ‘Better call Paul’!”

Biography by Dean Dzoja

David Bruno Century 21 First Canadian Corp.

David vs. The Goliath of Home Ownership

As a role model for his clients David Bruno of Century 21 First Canadian Corp. is a homeowner. He knows firsthand how daunting purchasing a first home can be. David and his wife Renata worked hard to afford the place they call home. He loves his duty as a consultant helping future homeowners navigate the Canadian housing market.

David says his ideal client is someone actively looking to purchase a home or who just wants more education. David loves working with, and coaching clients on how to prioritize for home ownership. If there is a choice, David advocates owning over renting saying: “Property builds wealth and is an asset that can grow a little bit, or a lot”. David is honest and protects his clients from mistakenly purchasing the wrong home for their family needs. His advice goes as follows:

1. Understand what your family needs by discussing what’s important to each family member

2. Create a list of must-haves, such as being near schools, two bathrooms, near parks, etc.

3. Look at the market and what is comfortably affordable

4. Choose a community to grow in. David says London is still affordable

5. Work with a realtor that understands your family’s needs and listens

The Power of a Realtor

David has 10 years of experience as a realtor and feels he was made for the industry. David is great at driving traffic through the door because he is realistic about property value and helps his clients budget for the actual price. His commitment to his clients’ goals and time spent by their side is appreciated by all those who have worked with David. He also maintains that timely communication is the difference a good realtor can make in the lives of his clients. Knowing David is always available helps nervous homebuyers rest assured. David also accommodates his clients the best he can with virtual open houses when they can’t make it in person.

Building relationships and trust is at the core of what he does. David says his business philosophy is to: “Make a good impression, be a good person, and do good things.” He is recognized by his colleagues as a leader in the field. David was the recipient of the Master Award for level of achievement five times, a Centurion Award Winner, and a Quarterly award winner. He has won the Pace Setter Award every year and can’t keep track of the times he earned the Top 10 of the Month award.

David can be reached on his direct line at (519) 854-3455 or at

David is a family man and knows the importance of finding the right place to live and grow. That’s why he operates with urgency and care to help his clients navigate the Canadian housing market.

Biography by Dean Dzoja

Memories Photography

When given an ultimatum in his high-level management career, Gerry Smith chose love. With his wife Shirley, they created Memories Photography, and the name says it all.  

The couple met 20 years ago when Gerry was an assistant general manager within the auto industry. Shirley was a long-time teacher for the Thames Valley District School Board. Their combined talents and experience built a rare photo studio that has both heart and know-how.

Gerry and Shirley understand that every individual needs a genuine smile, and they will work to get the best picture even if a new shoot is needed. The Smiths quickly develop trust with clients, especially those who don’t enjoy their photos taken. Gerry says that if they can make their clients smile, laugh, and cry when looking back through memories then they have done their job.

Wedding Photography

Gerry’s first wedding shoot was at 17.  Today, capturing couples’ happiest moments is Memories Photography’s domain. Every good angle and each extraordinary moment are preserved in a beautiful leather-bound album. Each album is unique, says Gerry, and he believes families need physical documents of their special day. All photo packages include an engagement shoot and all pictures come on a digital USB. Gerry and Shirley keep backup files for minimum 1 year in case clients need new prints or albums.

Their own wedding experience informs their philosophy. They didn’t have much say in what the photographer was going to do. It was a rigid plan and price. At Memories Photography you are the boss! That’s why every package is only a guideline and can be customized to meet specific needs. Their agreement with clients is to look after them.

The Smith’s deep connections in their community and extensive network have rescued a few big days from disaster. Gerry recalls when the hair and makeup artists didn’t show and the brides maid ripped her dress. Gerry quickly reached out to his contacts to get the hair and dress fixed saving the day. That is the difference between a photographer and someone who just wants to take your photo.

Corporate and real-estate photography

Image is everlasting in a media age. Gerry and Shirley understand that professional photography sets many apart, from realtors to job seekers. Memories Photography works with big and small businesses to build reputation and mark history. McMaster University hired Memories Photography to shoot interior of their then new, Ron Joyce Centre. Gerry and Shirley have also worked with local realtors to attract new families with the charm of a beautifully shot home. An executive headshot from Memories Photography can follow someone through their career and put their best face forward for every achievement. Many Londoners might be familiar with Gerry’s photos, they only need to look up! (at a billboard).

Community Involvement

Gerry and Shirley are involved members of the public and believe that it takes small businesses to raise a community. Gerry, a past president of the Optimist Club of Byron, continues to serve the community on the board of the Byron Sports Complex which facilitates sports for 2,500 kids. Gerry and Shirley have also raised money for children’s charities because they believe all kids need structure in life. The couple say it’s a good feeling when they get to see the community come together.

Gerry and Shirley are more than photographers. They are wedding planners, business people, and involved members of the community. Countless baby shoots to graduation shoots can testify to their deep customer relationships and reputation for the highest quality. Memories Photography will provide a free consultation for any serious inquiries. When looking for a photographer choose Memories Photography because everyone has a story worth remembering.

Biography by Dean Dzoja