The industry is gearing up for the 12th annual Canadian Mortgage Awards this Friday, and past winners have shared the impact winning awards has had on their careers.
Especially the newcomers.
McKay Wood won the 2017 award for Best Newcomer, Individual Agent or Broker and says that being an award-winner isn’t lost on his clients. Most of all, it augments his existing qualifications.
“Winning the award was a nice feather in my hat and it gave me a lot of clout in dealing with clients, even though it’s an addition to what I would already tell them in terms of qualifications,” he said. “Sometimes (clients) bring it up and it helps my resume and profile in different avenues where I market. It gives me a little more credence and gives them more clarity that I’m someone who works hard.”
James Loewen won the award for Mortgage Broker of the Year Fewer Than 25 Employees in 2015, and Loewen Group won the Mortgage Brokerage of the Year award in 2016, and the 2017 award for Best Customer Service from an Individual Office.
Lowen says the awards positively impact office morale.
“Those are three of the highest distinctions you can win in the industry,” he said. “The first one was important for myself, but as we grew our team I wanted to see them be recognized. Our focus on the brokerage, teamwork and experience, and client experience led us to want to refine the experience and helped us get the customer service award.
“It’s amazing to be able to bring that back to the office. We have it displayed for each team member to see every day for each of their efforts. It’s nice to have something tangible to show for our work.”
The CMAs might be a night of fun, but it’s also regarded as high time to network because of how seldom industry players from coast to coast are in the same room.
“I find the relationships you build with the lenders at an event like this huge, because you’re meeting higher-ups,” said St. John’s, Newfoundland-based Shane Bruce. “There’s the before dinner and after party, and a lot of people are in the night before too, so there’s usually a get together. With our brokers, whether it’s Dominion or non-Dominion, I met a lot of people there I still keep in contact with today.”
Bernadette Laxamana won the 2017 award for Mortgage Broker of the Year, Fewer than 25 Employees when she was with XEVA Mortgage, but she was heartened to see that the CMAs was a reflection of the industry itself, and in particular, its inclusiveness.
“To see more women being honoured and to see more women being celebrated just makes me more proud and more hopeful,” she said, “because there are a lot of unsung heroes who are women. To see there are more women we can look up to and be inspired by is something that I think gives a lot of other women possibilities for the future.”