• Top 10 brokerage by volume

In the eight years since Neighbourhood Dominion Lending Centres opened in Newmarket, Ontario, it’s come to be known for its positive environment, team support and commitment to ongoing education. “We realize that we’re here to serve our agents, that they’re mobile assets, and we have to earn that right every day to keep them,” says co-owner Gary Nugent.

Neighbourhood doesn’t take on rookie agents; rather, they work constantly with experienced agents on ways to better serve their target markets. “Our biggest challenge is teaching the public what we actually do and working with our brokers on different ideas and different ways to market to the community so we can generate different ideas,” says co-owner Gary Meger. “We have such a diverse team, from Ottawa and Pedawawa in the east to Thunder Bay in the west, as far down as downtown Toronto, and every one of the communities is different.”

Neighbourhood has held an annual conference for their 62 agents for the past 11 years, in addition to regular sales meetings and events. They have a full-time IT person, and Nugent and Meger help agents keep in touch with clients. Both partners agree that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work to running a team – something a lot of people don’t realize.

“We’re working in a very, very low-margin business,” Nugent says. “You’re not going to get those huge returns on your investment right off the bat; it takes time. And you’ve got to be prepared to reinvest in the business. If you’re not, then you’re fooling yourself.”

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