26 June, 1979
Tekamar Mortgages is founded by founder Dick Smith, as an amalgemation of Tekarida Properties Ltd. and Marshal Security Ltd.
Spurred by the birth of his son, Richard begins brokering mortgages on the side with his father, Dick - he was still working as a veternarian at this time.
1 May, 2001
Richard incorporates the mortgage investment company and restructured the portfolio to make Tekamar a brokerage-only firm.
In 2006, Richard completes his buy-out of Tekamar from Dick. At this point, Richard owns both the brokerage and the lending corps. Two businesses, one name.
Between 2014, both Richard Jr (Rich) and Tom Arrowsmith join Tekamar. Rich joins his father, and Tom joins his mother, who was a broker working for Richard.
By 2020, Rich and Tom had taken over the leadership role and begun the buyout process. Spurred by COVID, they continued a heavy investment in tech and client experience.
Today, Tekamar is run by Rich and Tom, and is growing to expand its products and where it can help. Despite the growth, the company still has the same values it did when it was founded.
The mortgage brokerage industry took its first steps in 1972, when British Columbia first introduced legislation governing the industry. This was the start of our industry. It was only seven years later that the story of Tekamar Mortgages starts.
In 1979, Richard “Dick” Smith was looking for better places to invest. At that time, interest rates were high, and the idea of investing in mortgages was attractive. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find anyone trustworthy who could invest his savings into mortgages, so in 1979 Dick decided to do it himself. It was not long before people heard that Tekamar was offering a stable investment in mortgages. Investors came knocking and soon enough, Tekamar was managing a portfolio of mortgages bigger than just its founder’s savings.
Managing mortgages for its investors was a good business and over the next decade, Tekamar’s name became known in the interior as a reliable lender for unique deals. Up to this point, the company was only managing its own mortgages. That all changed when, after 10 years as a veterinarian, Richard Smith (Dick’s son) decided he needed a change. Richard took the mortgage broker course over the winter of 1992 and became licensed quickly. He began brokering mortgages in the evenings, while still working as a veterinarian. What changed with Richard was that he started brokering client mortgages to other lenders besides Tekamar’s investors – and with that, the brokering side of the business was born.
Over the next 10 years, Richard spent less time working as a veterinarian, and more time brokering before eventually taking over the management of the company full time. That resulted in him slowing buying into the business, and eventually fully buying out Dick’s shares by the early 2000s.
When Richard started brokering mortgages to external lenders, there were only a few options available. In the late 1990s, the focus was on finding more lenders who were willing to work with brokers and increasing the number of options for clients. Fortunately, several new lenders entered the market during this time, which resulted in more choices for borrowers. This increase in options led to better and more competitive offers for clients, but it also made the process more complex and stressful.
Fortunately, Tekamar was able to help clients navigate these options by following the principles the company was built on: being patient, explaining everything, and treating each client like a friend or family member. This approach to business was successful, and Tekamar quickly gained a loyal client base through referrals in the Shuswap region.
Over the 2000s, Richard continued to grow both the brokering business as well as the lending business. Tekamar grew by brining on new brokers to the team to offer services in Armstrong and Revelstoke. By 2012, after a sudden departure of one of the Tekamar team members, Richard asked his son, Rich (yes, Richard Smith the third) to get his mortgage broker license to help out just “one” particularly busy summer. At that time, Rich was studying Economics at the university of Calgary, but the offer to return home to the Shuswap for the summer was too tempting to pass up. A year later, in 2013, Rich returned for his second summer and at this time, Tom Arrowsmith, the son of one of the Tekamar team members, joined as a summer student as well. Neither knew at that point that in 6 years, they would be business partners.
By this time, Richard was starting to plan his eventual retirement, and Tom had shown a desire to return to Tekamar as a broker after finishing his final year of schooling. In June 2014 Tom joined Tekamar full time, and began brokering soon after. Tom began the process of streamlining the business to include more technology and make things easier to manage and easier for clients.
After working as a software developer overseas for a few years, Rich eventually returned to Tekamar. In the meantime, Tom had already started the process of buying the company from Richard. However, after a phone call from England, Rich returned to Tekamar and partnered with Tom to buy the business. As of 2020, Richard is no longer actively involved in the brokering side of the business, but he is still involved in the lending side through Tekfund.Today, Tom and Rich run Tekamar, and while the technology and face have changed, the basics have not. Tekamar was founded on the principles of transparency, personalization, and treating clients like friends and family. These values are at the heart of our business and guide everything we do. With six brokers working under our name, Tekamar has grown and evolved over time, always looking for ways to better serve our clients. We are proud of the work we do at Tekamar mortgages.
1. Provide transparency and clarity: Be upfront and honest with clients about all aspects of the services you provide, and make sure they have a clear understanding of what to expect.
2. Offer personalized solutions: Take the time to understand each client's unique needs and goals, and provide customized solutions that are tailored to their specific situation.
3. Treat clients like friends and family: Always be respectful, understanding, and considerate towards clients, and provide them with the same level of care and support that you would give to your own friends and family members.