CMA winners reflect on success

CMA winners reflect on success

CMA winners reflect on success

Photo by Jackie Brown

The 13th annual Canadian Mortgage Awards this past Friday featured a slew of repeat winners as well as first-timers, and what a night it was to remember!

Loewen Group Mortgages took home its fourth-ever CMA, winning the award for Brokerage of the Year (Fewer Than 25 Employees), and according James Loewen, the award is the culmination of teamwork.

“We try to make something that’s kind of dry and frustrating fun,” said Loewen. “We think about the client and user experience, and if you treat people how they want to be treated, the circle continues.”

Another repeat winner, Shawn Allen of Matrix Mortgage Global, picked up a second Canadian Mortgage Award in as many years, which he credits to zeroing in on a niche and working relentlessly.

“I’ve been doing this private mortgage stuff since 2011, and you have to stay consistent and channel your focus on being the best you can be for whatever category or niche you want to carve out for yourself,” he said, adding the firm has global designs, much like its name suggests.

“We’ll be in Australia in a couple of weeks and I just came back from South America. We’re pushing Matrix Mortgage globally.”

Ut Yue of CMLS Financial won The CIMBC Award for Lender BDM of the Year, but not after being nominated twice before. Not to suggest she tapered expectations, but Yue didn’t come with a speech prepared.

“I winged it,” she laughed. “Seeing all my old colleagues and friends in this industry has made this a great night.”

As for her secret to success, Yue said: “Being honest with my brokers, giving them quick responses, being available to them, and knowing my products. Being able to help them put their deals together is what helps.”

Boris Bozic is one of the Canadian mortgage industry’s most recognizable faces, and the veteran deservedly took home The TransUnion Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Mortgage Industry. The Merix Financial founder noted that having the intestinal fortitude to take chances, no matter how seemingly improbably, will deliver one to the Promised Land.

“We took a chance with Merix Financial; it was a piece of paper and we brought it to life, and here we are 15 years later, 400 employees working for our organization with PQ [Paradigm Quest],” said Bozic.

“I used to have a motto—failure is not an option—but I realized mistakes are a must because without mistakes you can’t grow. We had the courage to try and experiment—we were never reckless—but we wanted to be different than the rest. You tweak the model over time and finally get to a place where you say, ‘Okay, now we have something.’”