It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that Manulife One has saved Leanne Myles from personal, professional and financial catastrophe several times over.
Myles first heard about the flexible mortgage product in 2006 from a colleague while working as a secretary for a paramedic services provider in Timberlea, Nova Scotia. At the time, she and her then-husband were both working full time to support their two children while managing their growing debt, but still found themselves short by about $200 a month.
“I was out in the evenings doing sales to keep us afloat,” said Myles. “I would go work to make the $200, but then we were still flat broke.”
Conquering debt with Manulife One
That all changed after she discovered Manulife One, a flexible mortgage product that allowed Myles to pay down her debts using the equity in her home. Pretty soon she went from being $200 short to putting $2,500 towards paying down her debt every month.
“I was hardly making it from paycheque-to-paycheque, and here I was now killing it on paying down my debt, like how is that possible?” said Myles. “I couldn’t shut up about it—like I even told the cable guy—I just wanted to share the great news with everybody about what it did for my life.”
The financial stability also provided the opportunity to move on from her failing marriage. After her divorce was finalized in 2007, Myles moved to Windsor, Nova Scotia, with her current husband of 12 years and briefly took a job in admin with a tech company.
Unfortunately, the new job quickly proved a poor fit, and soon Myles was back on the job hunt.
“I went online and the first job that came up was in Manulife sales,” she said. “I was a single mom, so a commission job isn’t something I was prepared for, but I knew I loved the product, and I needed a change.”
Myles said she reached out to the woman at Manulife who had sold her her mortgage—and to whom she had since referred about 50 to 70 new clients—to ask for help in landing the job, and was hired as a banking consultant soon after.
“I was there from 2008 until 2013, and I went from a little girl in rural Nova Scotia to number one in the country at the bank, beating out [financial consultants in hot real estate markets like] Vancouver and Toronto,” she said.
Challenges along the way
Myles had effectively turned her financial life around in just a few short years, thanks in no small part to her new mortgage and her new job, but the stability was short lived.
“A mortgage broker friend, when he found out how much business I was doing, said you could totally make way more money as a mortgage broker than you’re making at Manulife,” she said. “The joke was on me for that because that was not the case at all.”
Myles explains that at the time Manulife was not in the broker channel, meaning the product she knew best didn’t drive any commission for her as an independent broker. Instead, her earnings now relied on the sale of mortgage products she was less familiar with.
That same year, in 2013, Myles moved into a new home with her husband—both of whom were managing divorce settlements at the time—when he was diagnosed with heart failure. When his insurance provider cut off his benefits the pair found themselves selling her daughter’s horse, pulling their kids out of extracurricular activities, and doing whatever they could to put food on the table.
“And guess what mortgage I had on my house?” Myles said. “Of course, it was Manulife One, and if I didn’t have that, I would have lost the house in bankruptcy.”
Back on top
After a few rocky months, Myles joined a mortgage brokerage, where she could learn more about other mortgage products, and eventually landed a job with the Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team in 2018. There she recently earned the distinction of being the number eight salesperson in the country per unit among the CENTUM Financial Group’s 208 firms and 2200 mortgage professionals.
Here, too, Myles says she owes her success to Manulife One.
“When you get someone doing well with Manulife One, you get three other people coming in right behind them looking for it,” she said. “They might not be the flagbearer I was sending 50 to 70 deals to, but every person you put in a Manulife One knowing it will work well will become a referral source.”
Myles adds that it’s easy for her to identify those who will do well with the product because they remind her of herself in her earlier stages of life.
“You’ve got to remember that when you’re filing for bankruptcy and trying to figure things out, if you don’t need to worry about your mortgage payments, that’s life changing,” she said. “The product didn’t just change my personal life, it changed my career, and it also saved me in my most dire time of need.”