As the Cheers song goes, “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” While the iconic TV jingle referred to a tavern, Kay-Kay Realty Corp. was looking for the same thing in a banking partner. This type of individual attention and personal service was exactly what they found at Gateway Bank — and the reason they’re still a customer and avid fan over a decade later.
Bringing banking back home to AZ
When Michael Kotin, Principal at property management firm Kay-Kay Realty Corp., met Gateway President James Christensen in 2006, they hit it off and started talking about the differences between big banks and small banks.
At the time, Kay-Kay was working with numerous banks because their customers — many of whom are in small towns — needed a branch nearby so they could make deposits. Remote deposit was gaining popularity, so Michael began to consider consolidating to one local bank, which would provide his team with better service and his customers with an even more convenient way to make deposits from anywhere.
“Once it became possible for us and our customers to make deposits without going to a bank, it opened up lots of options,” Michael explains. “We like having a personal relationship and supporting community banking. When I met James and saw how he was building a local team who would know you by name and give you individual attention, I was ready to switch.”
12 years of partnership, and still going strong
After opening our doors in 2007, Kay-Kay was one of our first customers and has been with us ever since. Both Michael and his controller, Mitzi Gleekel, are familiar faces and voices to the Gateway team.
“I love working with Gateway because I’ve come to know their people,” Mitzi says. “They take the relationship as seriously as we do and have the best customer service I’ve ever encountered in banking and beyond. When we need something, they’re quick to respond. When there’s a challenge, we put our heads together and solve it.”
With so many properties and customers to manage, Mitzi also appreciates Gateway’s technology. “Their online platform is simple and easy to use, and I’ve heard the same thing from our properties about using Remote Deposit.”
In addition to deposits, Kay-Kay partners with Gateway for lending. Michael says this relationship has saved him months of time. “Getting a loan elsewhere can take longer than having a baby!” he laughs. “That’s why the relationship is very important to us — even more important than [interest] rate. Gateway knows us and knows how to get things done, so we don’t have to jump through hoops or go through a long process every time.”
The power of personal relationships
Both Michael and Mitzi say they realize there is a perceived convenience of working with big banks, but the service simply doesn’t compare. “Different people want different things in a bank. But if you want a personal relationship, a community bank is the way to go,” Michael says.
Mitzi adds, “That’s why I love Gateway. I can make a call, and someone I know actually picks up. Even the bank President is reachable! When we send financial statements or Michael leaves a message for James, he usually replies the same day. That’s rare, and we appreciate it.”
We’re so grateful for Kay-Kay’s partnership and support for 12 years and counting. Gateway Bank may not be Cheers, but we’re proud to know their name, and we’re always glad they came!