About me

Broker brings 41 years of experience to table, all at one company; Intimate local knowledge helps find clients homes

 By MEGAN MARTIN, Freelance August 31, 2011

Professional loyalty isn't what it used to be. In fact, finding someone with decades of experience at one company is becoming more of a challenge as the years roll on. But Gordon de Jonge prides himself on his professional longevity. As he should - the real estate broker has worked for the same company since 1970.

Now an independent broker affiliated with Royal LePage Elite in Beaconsfield, De Jonge was previously a branch manager at Royal LePage in Don Mills, Ont., and at the Beaconsfield location.

"The last 41 years have gone by very fast," he said. "I've had a lot of highlights and I've worked with people from all over the world to buy homes here in Montreal. It's been an amazing career to date."

Originally from the Netherlands, De Jonge came to Montreal in 1965 on a youth exchange program.

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"We liked it here so much, so we stayed," he said.

"I had a neighbour in real estate and I was always interested in the industry, so I spoke to him about it one day and he told me to go speak to his boss, so I did, and he hired me."

And it was as simple as that. De Jonge has specialized in West Island residential real estate ever since.

"I lived in Dollard for a bit but I've been in Beaconsfield in the same home for 31 years now," he said.

"I know the West Island so well I could probably get around in some neighbourhoods blindfolded!"

While he mostly sells houses, De Jonge has also worked with other properties in the last few decades.

"I have sold everything from churches to schools, big houses and small ones," he said.

"I've sold to diplomats from other countries and executives working for multinational companies; but whether you're working with a foreign national or a regular buyer looking for a new family home, everyone has different needs that must be addressed."

Paying close attention to those needs is paramount to a successful career in the industry, De Jonge said.

"You definitely have to listen well to cli-ents, and the communication has to be healthy," he said. "Like in a marriage, if you don't communicate exactly what you want and need, it's not going to work out."

Helping someone find their home is a big responsibility, and every sale has to be given the utmost attention, he added.

"There's so much to consider when finding someone a home. You have to think about things like schools in the area if they have kids, and any hobbies they have, like if they want to be near a golf course, for instance," De Jonge said.

"Moreover, when working with people from other countries, you sometimes have such a small window of time to help them find a property and they aren't familiar with the surroundings, so they're totally reliant on you."

Working with clients is what De Jonge loves most about the industry.

"It's really fun, you get to know so many interesting people and make a lot of connections," De Jonge said.

"Also, making a deal with a family gives me a kick; you have a goal, and you attain it, it's nice for everyone involved. Every time I make a successful transaction, I look back with pleasure."

With the exception of working with clients, a lot about the industry has changed over the years, he said.

"When I started, we had one adding machine in the office and it was as big as a toaster," he laughed. "We had no fax, no email or computers, and we had printed listings delivered which we had to physically put in books ourselves. It was very different than it is today. Now if you're not on Facebook, you're cooked!"

But being flexible and adaptable is part of the job, he added.

"You just have to roll with it." And don't expect him to stop rolling any time soon.

"Retire?" he balked at the question. "No thanks, I don't look forward to that at all, I really love what I do."

These days, De Jonge is working with a new type of client: children of clients he worked with years ago.

"It's very neat to be able to do that. It's very rewarding to now be helping a new generation find homes after helping their parents way back," he said.

When he isn't working with clients, De Jonge, a grandfather to six, makes time for his other passion: ballroom dancing.

"I just love it," he said.

"I do it regularly, and once a year I participate in the La Classique du Québec competition."

For more information visit dejonge.ca or call 514-918-9598

© Gordon de Jonge 2013