Strong alliances and support networks meant that starting young did not prove to be a barrier for Laura Martin (pictured), chief operating officer at Matrix Mortgage Global.
Diving headlong into mortgages back in 2007 at the age of 20, Martin cited one of her earliest professional partnerships as a crucial component of her formative years in the industry.
“I was with Centum National Mortgage Loans when I first got my license and started working with Shawn Allen,” Martin told MBN. “When [he] went to open Matrix Mortgage Global, I followed and the rest is history.”
Martin stressed that the importance of this collaborative spirit cannot be overstated.
“Before, I had a tendency to ‘lone wolf’ things, thinking it might be easier or faster if I did things myself,” Martin said. “Now I know how powerful network effects are, how much more inspired people are when they work in their own wheelhouses… This allows me to do what I do best, which is innovating and connecting with people to grow the brand and elevate our capabilities.”
Martin noted her parents as a significant influence in her choice to enter the mortgage space.
“I got into mortgages initially because it was adjacent to real estate, and both my parents were real estate agents,” Martin recounted, “It seemed like a natural choice because it involved a lot of problem solving, self-development ,and communication skills. I liked that I was able to work in both real estate and financial services, but didn’t have to leave my desk.”
A further refinement to her knowledge base came in the form of a degree in psychology and cognitive science from the University of Toronto, although Martin admitted that at first she “wondered how [to] marry the two disparate skill sets – psychology/business and mortgage.”
“I was able to pivot in my career by becoming the chief operating officer of Matrix Mortgage Global in 2016 upon my graduation and used my analytical and big-picture thinking skills to work on the business instead of strictly in it,” Martin said. “This was a much different challenge but something that enabled me to grow as an executive.”
With a strong focus on systems and communication, Martin admitted that she has no trouble reimagining the building blocks of a scalable organization: By getting the right people doing the right things, asking the relevant questions, and keeping detailed meeting notes for the team to learn from.
“In this way, we are able to capture information around the different components of the brokerage – lender products, client types, processes, marketing materials, and digital tools," and create systems that any new agent can pick up and build off, Martin said. “This commitment to creating processes, templates, and rigorous training programs sets the tone for a highly energized and collaborative team of over 150 agents. We have an innovative and supportive corporate culture that just can't be replicated.”
And with an eye for details both small and large, Martin’s affinity for thought leadership and education has served the high-level executive particularly well.
“This is a passion of mine – research, communication, inspiring others to take action and giving people a plan for success,” Martin said. “Seeing others succeed is what makes my heart sing, so I work hard to be well informed and make sure that I share the knowledge with as many people as I can. This is the most effective form of marketing, incidentally – people don’t want to be sold, they want to be told.”