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

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but doesn’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read