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Taking Care of it All


As seniors begin to look forward to a life free of the burdens of maintaining a home, they and their families must deal with one of the realities of moving to a new, smaller space. Downsizing is hard. Where do you begin the process? What are you to do with a lifetime of accumulated belongings, now excess to your needs? When family members are living in locations scattered across the province or the country, who will help? And crucially, who do you trust with all the important decisions regarding moving and estate matters? 


Jim Westlake, MBA’94, knew where to turn when his 94-year-old mother decided to downsize and leave her condo in Kingston for a retirement community. The retired banking executive and Queen’s University alumnus turned to Gordon’s Downsizing & Estate Services, a company that serves families with their real estate and downsizing or estate settlement needs throughout southern Ontario. 


Gordon’s, which has been in business for more than 60 years, provides integrated real-estate services to individuals and families dealing with downsizing or estate settlement. The company is a proven one-stop shop for people transitioning through a difficult time of life. “On a visit to my mother, she told me about a friend who had used the company’s services and was very happy with the results,” says Westlake. “My brother, who is the CEO of a company and lives in Nova Scotia, had also heard about Gordon’s, so we contacted them. “We were impressed right away. They knew the market and every aspect of the services we needed. To have all this available to us with one phone call had a lot of appeal.” 


Gordon’s offers a suite of services that adapt to all manner of downsizing needs. They provide unlimited project management; expertise in real estate sales, move management, downsizing, appraisal, auctioneering and estate settlement; certified executor advisors and more. Some clients require additional services. Does the property require cleaning, painting, or other property repairs? Gordon’s can provide all the necessary work prior to the arms-length real-estate listing and sale, if requested. The company guarantees accountability for end-to-end satisfaction backed by the real-estate commission. “We take pride in offering our clients a seamless package of downsizing and estate services,” says Adam Gordon, President of Gordon’s Downsizing and Estate Services and a proud graduate of Queen’s University. “Our staff are knowledgeable and experienced and provide a predictable experience at a fair cost.” 


Westlake spent almost two decades at RBC in such roles as head of RBC’s Canadian retail, commercial banking, and wealth management businesses. Prior to that, he spent 19 years at MetLife, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Canada. As someone who expects and recognizes top-quality services, he says Gordon’s provided value at every stage of the move and did so with sensitivity and tact.


 “It was clear to me that the team really understood our needs, especially my mother’s, and how to fulfil them. All the people we dealt with were veterans of the company and knew the process in detail. They assigned a coordinator for the job. They had their own real estate agent. They had people who did the packing, and movers. Instead of having to deal with 10 different organizations to get the job done, we had a single point of contact, which was amazing.” 


Westlake doesn’t hesitate when asked if he would recommend Gordon’s to friends preparing to downsize. “Absolutely, I would recommend them,” he says. “It’s a great service. For people like us who were living in other cities, staying in contact primarily over the phone with occasional visits on-site, it was great to have them overseeing every detail. They charged a standard real-estate commission. For the rest, it was a fee-for-service business and there were no surprises. We knew the prices in advance, we felt they were fair, and we firmly believe we got value for our money.

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