Interview with CLV Group’s Mike McGahan: Hamilton Real Estate, Business Leadership, Giving Back

Written by Posted On Thursday, 11 April 2019 13:37

Mike McGahan knows real estate. He is President of CLV Group, one of Ottawa’s largest property management groups, as well as chief executive and trustee at InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). After earning a degree in business from the University of Ottawa, McGahan worked at Regional Realty before establishing his own real estate and management corporation in 1992. Throughout his time in the industry, he has managed properties valued at over $3 billion and with over 10,000 residential units and 500,000 square feet of commercial real estate across Canada in his portfolio, it is safe to say Mike is one of the country’s top property managers.

From your experience in and outside of the real estate industry, what do you think makes a great leader?

Mike McGahan: Building trust. I think it’s important to form relationships with both clients and members of your own company. Making everyone feel welcome, treating people with respect -- that’s what sets you apart as a true leader rather than just a “boss.”

Demonstrating the work ethic you want from your team members is also essential as a leader. You can’t expect people to be motivated to work for you if you aren’t a hard worker yourself. Finally, know when to delegate. I hire smart, qualified, and likeminded individuals who I can trust to get the job done.

Why do you feel it is important to give back to the community?

Mike McGahan: My father touched so many lives with his involvement in the community and it inspired me to do the same. Becoming a part of the communities we operate in means learning about the lifestyle and culture, but it also means trying to be actively a part of the community. As a business, it’s our responsibility to give back to the people in our community -- giving back is also something we happen to enjoy. Building homes through Habitat for Humanity, providing snowsuits to children in need with the Snowsuit Fund, any way that we can better our communities and inspire others to do the same is part of our corporate culture at CLV Group.  

How is managing properties different in the various communities you work in?

Mike McGahan: Every city has its own unique needs, trends, and ways of life, so we have to respond to that with the way we manage the property. For instance, residents in Hamilton may be looking for lake views and access to highways and transportation routes like we offer at Stoney Creek Towers. On the other hand, those who live in Ottawa probably want to be centrally located between downtown for work and other vibrant neighbourhoods, like our LIV Apartments. Listening to what residents want and need in each community is key to managing properties well.

What is one real estate trend that excites you right now?

Mike McGahan: It’s not one thing, but the way that technology is changing how we manage properties is really exciting. The way we communicate with residents and staff, the way residents can research their options, even drawing up sales and leases has all drastically changed in the past decade or so. Technology has made everything so much faster and easier for both my staff and the residents, and I’m looking forward to this trend continuing to develop.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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