If it ain’t broke…
For nearly seventy years, Wycliffe Homes has maintained a reputation in the GTA as a caring, customer first builder.
It’s a time-honoured approach that shows itself in every aspect of their business – from the quality of their finishes, to their customized purchase process, to the work ethic of their loyal staff.
Even owner Gary Bensky’s office on Doncaster is a throwback to a different time. Amidst the dark leathers and oversized desk is an organized mountain of paper. Every brochure and newspaper article that ever featured the Wycliffe name is faithfully maintained, a tribute to their storied past.
One such article is a Toronto Star piece, written in 1985 by Denis Grayhurst. The article describes Wycliffe’s unmatched commitment to quality over quantity. It’s a commitment that still holds, nearly thirty years later.
“We are not a cast of thousands,” says Bensky. “And we are not doing 750 homes a year. There are thirteen dedicated employees working at Wycliffe. And if we’re building 250 homes in a year, and all of those customers are happy… that’s a good year.”
By that measure, Wycliffe has had a long run of good years. Their luxury home builds win countless awards, including the prestigious City Of Markham Building Excellence Award, and their client’s loyalty transcends generations. Wycliffe goes above and beyond for their clients; so, if your parents purchased a Wycliffe home, it is more than likely that you will as well.
“It’s simple,” explains Bensky. “I’m a man of my word. And like all of the original Wycliffe partners, I believe in a hands-on, personal approach to this business. I am friends with our staff members and clients, and we really do trust one another.”
That trust is well earned. Bensky has been the first guy in and the last guy out of the office since day one on the job. His passion for real estate is infectious, and he came to it early on in life. Bensky’s grandfather was a builder, and on Saturday afternoons, he would visit his grandfather’s construction sites.
“Real estate is in Gary’s blood,” notes Mark Cohen, Managing Partner of the Condo Store. The Condo Store and Wycliffe have worked together on a number of projects over a number of years, and Cohen has seen first hand the distinctiveness of the Wycliffe philosophy. He elaborates:
“Gary worked with the best in those first years at Wycliffe. And that company policy of under promising and over-delivering is certainly a luxury for their clients. But there is an added measure of integrity there… shaped over decades…that sets Gary apart. And he has instilled those very same values into his son, Jared.”
Before joining Wycliffe, Jared Bensky set out to make his mark in business on his own terms. With an executive MBA degree in hand, the younger Bensky found success in a number of fields, including the fresh food processing business, where he and a partner founded a company that grew faster than anyone could have anticipated.
But Jared knew that he was craving the kind of client connection that can be found in real estate. And it wasn’t long before he realized that he shared the very same set of values as his father. So when the opportunity came along to join the team at Wycliffe, he jumped at it.
“It wasn’t just the chance to work with my Dad,” says Jared. “Wycliffe and its partners are like an extended family. We own plazas and do subdivisions with a company called Thornridge Homes. Well, Marlene DiGuiseppe from Thornridge was mentored by my Dad because of his relationship with her father, Peter. And now Marlene and I complement one another, as our two companies forge the next generation of the relationship!”
And though the Benskys swear by the old-school approach to home building, they also make sure that Wycliffe keeps an ear to the ground and is flexible enough to adjust to an evolving real estate industry. They heed the demands of their client base, and as a result, the company is now pursuing a more moderately priced product, while actively building urban towns and a new senior’s residence.
“The Benskys don’t do it for personal credit,” says Mark Cohen. “They actually care. The people they sell to actually matter to them…and that is not typical. If you want to know what makes Wycliffe different, it’s Gary and Jared Bensky.”
And what makes Wycliffe successful is the Bensky’s commitment to those pioneering values of customized care. It was a business philosophy first modelled by their mentors, and it is one they continue to foster in their staff and provide to their thousands of satisfied customers.