Athena Constantinou

Athena Constantinou

Where: Sherwood Mortgage Group – Mortgage Architects
Years in the business: 15

• Making it to the top 10 of the RBC mortgage specialists (and going to Cabo!).
• Starting Sherwood Mortgage Group in 2009 with nine agents and helping grow it to its current 27.
• Winning brokerage of the year (25+ employees), twice in three years (we have the best team!).

Why are you influential?
I believe I’m influential because of all my personal and professional experiences in life. As a result of times that were wonderful and going smoothly, coupled with the times I was faced with issues and problems, I am viewed as that trusted go-to source where anyone can get advice.

Every scenario from mortgage applications to career directions and life changes comes with decisions and challenges. I truly believe that there is always a solution and, as a result, I have developed a very open mind to problem solving. When you pair that with a great team looking for direction and support, I get the pleasure of helping move someone past a road block. They get the benefit of looking at their tough situation from a different angle.

Who has influenced you?
My first partner at RBC who smiled - all the time. I learned that this put people at ease, even if you are going to deliver bad news. Another positive influence was Eve Lewis at Marketvision who hired me while I was in University and indirectly put me onto my mortgage career path. I was fascinated by the way she navigated her company and balanced her work/family life.

Gary Laughlin -- who used to be in my 24-year-old eyes at that time -- a big scary bank executive, has turned out to be a great influence and leader for me, guiding and helping me now that I’m in a leadership role.

I’m constantly learning from my business partner Anthony Contento who also supports me unconditionally, and I’m very much influenced by my team of agents and my two sons. However, along with all the positive influences, I have also been influenced by seeing others in problems/issues/negative situations. By being exposed to the ‘bad’, I am driven to never get myself into those situations.

What are some of the challenges that face female brokers?
Even though the mortgage brokering industry is male dominated, I think women have come a long way in demonstrating that they’re just as capable as their male counterparts of being successful. I wouldn’t categorize challenges as gender-specific. I believe challenges, if allowed, lie within the individual. By being up-to-date with your lender and product offerings, understanding your clients’ needs, and most of all, by being confident in yourself, any broker -- male or female -- can work to overcome every challenge.

Is a list like this even necessary today?
No. Because every female broker, like every male broker, will face challenges. They both have to have the drive and confidence to surpass these challenges in order to succeed.

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