Michelle Campbell talks to CMP about the importance of ensuring a proper foundation for every member of her team
CMP: How did you first get into the mortgage industry?
Michelle Campbell: I wasn’t actually looking to get into the mortgage industry; it just fell in my lap. About 20 years ago, I used to work for Re/Max. I started working there for an in-house mortgage broker, and she needed some help and ended up bringing me in part-time and then full-time. From there, I worked for two lenders in downtown Toronto, and then I switched over to the broker side.
CMP: You opened your own brokerage in 2017. How has that been?
MC: The first year was a little challenging because I didn’t realize all the processes that were required to be in place. I have a team of eight individuals. For me, it’s more about quality over quantity.
Once I put some things in place, like time blocking, [conference calls] weren’t eating up all my time because I do all my own business as well. It took me about nine months to figure that out. This year has been so good – and last year was as well. When you’re organized, it’s a little bit easier to get through the tasks that you have to do.
“If I’m going to bring anybody in, I have to be able to give them the full support, training and everything that they need; otherwise, there’s no point in being a broker-owner."
CMP: If you were starting today, is there anything you’d do differently?
MC: Yes – I would have talked to more brokerowners to find out what the process should have been. But I think it was good for me to learn as I went along because I’m a more hands-on type of person. I was happy to go through it and learn by mistakes.
CMP: What sort of people do you look to employ?
MC: It just blows my mind that some brokerowners have a ton of agents but then only have a small percentage who do business. For me, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, so if I’m going to bring anybody in, I have to be able to give them the full support, training and everything that they need; otherwise, there’s no point in being a broker-owner. That’s how I look at it, so we have a lot of stuff in place for the team.
Most of the people who apply or reach out to me are referred by somebody else from the team, so it’s word of mouth. They send me their résumé, and we meet two or three times to make sure that they fit not just with my values, but that they also get along with the rest of the team, which has a very family culture.
CMP: You’ve been named a Woman of Influence by CMP. What does that mean to you?
MC: When I looked at the list of all the women who were named there, I honestly didn’t know I was on the list. I was a little overwhelmed after I saw I was on the list. There are tons of women in this industry who do so much and are genuinely trying to lift others up, trying to help and mentor them – those are the people I have aligned myself with.
It’s important for women to be recognized in this industry, especially because it has been a man’s industry for a long time. Don’t get me wrong: There are tons of wonderful men in this industry who support women. I love this industry to be inclusive of everyone – men and women – but I’m very proud of how far women have come in this industry.
CMP: What do you get up to in your spare time?
MC: I love to travel. I’m already planning my next trip; it’s going to be next spring. We’re going to do a little Caribbean trip this time, but usually I like to travel twice a year, either to Vancouver or to the States. I love to meet other people and feel their culture.