If one name is synonymous with mortgages in Halifax, it’s Clinton Wilkins. The Centum Home Lenders Ltd. broker is a regular sight on television and among Atlantic Canada’s real estate community.
Winner of Broker of the Year (Fewer than 25 Employees) in 2018 and 2019 at the Canadian Mortgage Awards, Wilkins is also acclaimed on the national mortgage scene, and a major reason is his impressive number of transaction units and volume relative to where he conducts business.
“In Halifax, the average unit volume is much lower than it is in the rest of the country, and the big challenge in Halifax is that I have to do an extraordinary amount of units to compete on the national level, but, often, over the last 10 years I’ve been named to in the CMP Top 75,” said Wilkins.
“We definitely leveraged the CMA wins to secure those thought leadership opportunities. I’ve become the go-to person for information relating to mortgage lending in the local media. They call me before anyone else, and having the wins really put Atlantic Canada on the map. Everyone knows it’s hard to compete on the national level in Halifax, but it shows the amount of effort we put in here, and we’re getting positive results from those efforts. We’re reaping the benefits of our hard work.”
However, before Wilkins exploded on the scene at the 2018 Canadian Mortgage Awards in Toronto, there were a lean years of business. After funding $62 million over 305 units in 2011, things tapered significantly and Wilkins considered folding his business and moving to either Toronto or Vancouver.
Now, Wilkins, who also authored Confessions of a Halifax Mortgage Broker, is one of Canada’s premier mortgage brokers.
“After 2011, the market was very soft in Halifax and there wasn’t much going on,” said Wilkins. “I wasn’t really pushing myself like I had been, but by 2017 I’d decided that I didn’t want to merely scrape by. I wanted to focus on the thought leadership aspect of my business and became a regular contributor to CTV News, Rogers News Radio and Global News. I wanted to be the go-to person around mortgage lending in Halifax and Atlantic Canada, and last year I wrote a book on mortgage lending for consumers. That’s how much I love this industry, but I certainly needed to recommit myself and I’ve come back stronger and with more motivation than ever. Halifax is home and it’s motivating to see the year-over-year growth in business, as well as being recognized by a group of my peers by winning back-to-back CMAs.”