McKay Wood on what prepared him for unfamiliar territory

The road isn't easy for those entering the industry for the first time, but McKay Wood shows that it can be done

McKay Wood on what prepared him for unfamiliar territory

With a strong reputation as one of Vancouver’s most sought-after mortgage professionals, McKay Wood, senior mortgage broker and partner at MortgagePal, brings with him a honed sense of steering a venture through a high-volume industry.

Wood’s multi-year streak of success and consistency is in stark contrast with how he got into mortgages to begin with.

“I went through a mid-life crisis,” Wood said. “I was the owner of some tour companies in Vancouver, and I got out of that business. I transitioned to a profession where I could essentially control my own destiny without having the overhead like in the bus companies. I wanted to write my own cheques, so to speak. The more control I have on how I work, the better I do.”

This major shift was particularly challenging for Wood.

“I did not know everything in the beginning, so I ultimately learned through trial and error until I became competent in even the basics. Never giving up and always finding a new angle, a new resource, a new opportunity,” Wood said. “Inevitably, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t when you’re running and owning a business. I came into this business not having any experience in the financing world, although my father was a stock broker so I wasn’t completely in the dark.”

Wood’s extensive non-finance experience had priceless contributions, however.

“The transition from being a business owner solving the issues of unhappy tourists, to being a business owner in the financing industry, [has] a pretty good correlation when it comes to problem solving, customer service, due diligence, good products, and thoroughness,” Wood said. “I think any business owner going from one venture to the next brings inherent value.”

Beyond the particulars of a new industry, Wood said that there was one nagging thought he kept wresting with during those earliest days.

“I think everyone initially has one fear: the fear of being successful, the fear of making it,” Wood said. “Fortunately, I did the right things; I was disciplined, and I worked extra hard.”

This push yielded great dividends: Wood was presented with the “Best Newcomer: Individual Agent/Broker” award during the 2017 edition of the Canadian Mortgage Awards – only two years since he began as a mortgage professional.

“One of the things that I’m most satisfied with is being able to very quickly establish myself as a big producer, as a veritable high-performing mortgage broker,” Wood said.