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

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The BC Wildfire Service will be partnering with Simpcw First Nation this month in the implementation of a prescribed burn next to their community of Chu Chua. The controlled burn will be highly visible to Highway 5 and all communities in the immediate area. Pictured is a prescribed burn that took place on the Kanaka Bar Reserve last month in partnership with the Kanaka Bar Band and BC Wildfire Service. (BC Wildfire Service Facebook photo)
Simpcw and BC Wildfire Service to hold controlled burn near Barriere

Burn will be highly visible to Chu Chua, Barriere, Darfield, Chinook Cove, Little Fort and Highway 5

Carlos Sigurnjak went missing about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, according to a Facebook post by his family. (Facebook/Carlos Sigurnjak profile)
UPDATE: Clearwater RCMP find missing man from Kelowna

Sigurnjak was found just before 2 p.m. April 8 by a passerby.

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read