Michael Tremblay. Darren Hull photography

Charting The Course

Michel Tremblay navigates work and adventure

  • Mar. 29, 2021 7:30 a.m.

– Story by Toby Tannas Photography by Darren Hull

You don’t have to look far beyond a person’s interests and hobbies to get a true sense of who they are. When I sat down to discuss life and business with Luxury Homes Realty broker/owner Michel Tremblay, my first impression was that he is extremely adaptable. When he shared with me his passion for sailing and the particular kind of boat he fancies, the parallels were as clear as blue Caribbean waters.

The Melges 24 is described as a monohull sportsboat, notable for its ability to plane over water in modest wind. Its design is simple and highly tunable.

Michel has continuously re-tuned his career in the sea of real estate while expertly navigating the storms. He’s called 14 cities home to this point—most of the relocations prompted by a love of travel, curiosity about new places and changing market conditions.

“I was part of the group that opened the first Sotheby’s Realty office in Vancouver,” he says. “That was 2005. We grew it to more than 40 offices across the country before the bottom fell out of the market in early 2008.”

Instead of abandoning ship for other ventures, as many realtors did at the time, Michel saw the crash as an opportunity to temporarily unplug. A time to re-charge with his family somewhere he truly felt at home.

“We headed to South Carolina, picked up a 40-foot sailboat out of the box and hit the open water,” he recalls. “We ended up in the Bahamas and that’s where we stayed for the most part. It’s such a beautiful place.”

The better part of a year at sea in the West Indies was rejuvenating. Michel was ready to jump back into the world of real estate but the Vancouver market was not ready for him.

“It hadn’t recovered, but since I was back my company asked me to take on a huge development project in West Kelowna. I came to the Okanagan, I did my pre-sales in a really tough market. The project was never built but I had fallen in love with Kelowna.”

Within two weeks of arriving, Michel purchased a building lot and convinced his wife, who still lived in Vancouver, that the Okanagan was the place to be.

“From Coal Harbour to Kettle Valley,” he chuckles. “We’ve been here since 2010 and we love it.”

With two adult children, the Tremblays are nearly empty nesters these days. They moved from Kettle Valley to a home they designed in McKinley Beach, where Michel and his team market four projects ranging from waterfront lots to single-family homes and duplexes. He also oversees sales on a fifth project, Kestrel Ridge, in Kelowna’s Upper Mission.

“I work seven days a week; it’s hard for me to take a day off,” he admits. “I think that’s just me. I don’t work 12 hours a day, though: the perfect day would be to work with a few clients and then go skiing.”

Skiing. Another hobby that elicits a comparison to Michel’s work ethic.

“I’ve skied since I was a small boy. I coached skiers for years and I still like to help people improve their skills—people who already ski at a high level.”

Whether on the slopes, on the water or in real estate, Michel enjoys using his experience to mentor others.

“I’ve been at this a while. I’ve hired a lot of people and when I’m interviewing I always ask if they play or take part in some kind of sport. I want to see if there’s a competitive spirit in there,” he explains. “Let’s face it, if they work just for the money that’s disappointing; we work for the win too. It’s important.”

Michel believes worldliness fosters success. He offers this advice to young realtors, especially those who are working where they were born and raised.

“You need to get out of town. You have to live, you have to explore and I’m not talking about a week in Mexico. Immerse yourself in a culture, get out of your comfort zone, [such as] somewhere you can’t speak the language. As insanely beautiful as Kelowna is, you need to experience the outside world—when Dr. Henry says we can, of course.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the wind out of Michel’s travelling sails. He would usually compete in boating races along the US east coast six times a year. He’s also missing Europe, where he once travelled regularly. However, he concedes that if he has to be stuck in one place he’s grateful he chose to drop anchor in the Okanagan.

“My job is to sell the Okanagan lifestyle. When I talk about McKinley Beach, I’m not just a salesperson trying to sell a house. My home is here. I can tell people exactly what it feels like to live at McKinley Beach—I know it’s resort-style living because I live it!”

For now, Michel is content to nest in the valley’s beautiful surroundings. But like his beloved Melges 24, he’s not cut out for life in dry dock. The Okanagan may be home, but Michel Tremblay is already charting the course for his post-pandemic, global adventures.

Find Michel Tremblay at Luxury Homes Realty.

LHRcompany.com

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Business and IndustrialFashionReal estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The CVCDA Accessibility Project is creating safer ramps at the Courtenay facility. Photo supplied
Accessibility project underway at Comox Valley Child Development Association

Over the past month, you may have noticed some construction underway behind… Continue reading

19 Wing Comox’s Wing Auxiliary Security Force (WASF) will be conducting training at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox and the Department of National Defence Seal Bay training area from April 12-16. Black Press file photo
19 Wing training set for April at Seal Bay, CFB Comox

Members of the public may see an increase in activity at locations in the Valley

The Union Bay Improvement District is holding its AGM April 29 as it looks to hand over services to the regional district. Record file photo
Union Bay board hikes water rates due to operating costs

Board also planning for AGM, transition to regional district service

A grad clothing donation program, formerly known as the Cinderella/Prince Charming Project, now has a new name. Photo, Comox Valley Schools
Comox Valley grad garment program gets a re-brand

Program aims to give all students opportunity for graduation gown or suit

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Most Read