Many people in the Guelph community know Doug Adlam as the face of Champion Mortgage, but fewer know the story of how he got there. That’s why we’ve chosen to highlight Doug as our Ostic Group Local Hero for the month of September—and to share the story of how he built Champion into the business that it is today!
Doug was born in Mississauga and first moved to Guelph for university. He earned both his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degree from the University of Guelph in Marketing Management and Marketing & Consumer Studies respectively. At the time, Doug’s focus was a career in marketing. During university, he working for a number of different agencies in Toronto and started full-time at a marketing research firm after graduation.
From marketing, Doug’s first switch was to teaching. He spent 6 years as a professor at the University of Guelph, although he kept one foot in the business world. His second switch would be into the mortgage brokering business—and this one would stick.
Doug’s parents had started Champion Mortgage in 2001 and he spent years consulting for them before joining the business. At the time, the mortgage brokering industry was in the midst of huge period of growth. More and more homebuyers were electing to use mortgage brokers and the industry was gaining a large percentage of market share—going from 3.5% in the late 90’s to over 40% in the late 2000’s.
Amidst this shift, Doug saw an opportunity to raise the level of service, professionalism and expertise in the mortgage brokering industry. He realized that the mortgage process required a team of people with different areas of expertise: credit specialists, client service specialists and strategists. A mortgage team organized in this way would be able to provide Canadians with far better advice and quicker turnaround time than most companies operating in the marketplace.
In 2007, Doug started working on a new business model based around these principles. In 2008, the new model was launched in Guelph. Champion Mortgage is now entering their 15th year in the business, after being named the #1 Brokerage in Canada for customer service at the Canadian Mortgage Awards—one of the biggest events in the industry.
“It feels very, very rewarding to have met that bar,” Doug tells us.
Fielding a team of experts was the first piece of the puzzle. The second piece would be to provide ongoing care for mortgages throughout their lifetime.
“The mortgage market is like the stock market,” Doug explains. “Mortgage rates change every day. Without monitoring them, how would Canadians know when it makes sense to change or lock-in their mortgage?”
Since 2008, Doug tells me that approximately 43% of his clients renewed early to take advantage of better rates. A big part of this comes from Champion’s lending partnerships. In Canada, individuals have access to over 60 institutions and Champion’s experts make it their job to stay constantly up-to-date on which are offering the best mortgage, with the best features, and the most flexibility to adapt to the unexpected.
“One of the big misconceptions about mortgage brokers is our relationship with banks,” Doug tells us. “Banks are our partners, not our enemies.”
Part of what makes Doug a Local Hero is his desire to form these strong partnerships—such as the one he has built with the Ostic Group. Ostic is one of Champion’s preferred partners, which means that both companies offer VIP service to each other’s clients.
“We like to align ourselves with businesses that can deliver the same experience as us and provide our clients with trusted and true advice,” Doug explains. “Ostic has been an instrumental part of helping us offer an elevated level of customer care.”
Like the Ostic Group, Doug and the team at Champion share a passion for helping out in the community. Doug is an active participant in fundraising events like the Ostic Ball Hockey Tournament and the Rotary Hockey Challenge. He also loves to support local Chamber events and Rotary events, whether through financial or physical resources.
“I just find it fulfilling,” he tells us. “I like being involved in the city. It makes you feel good all around. And I think it is important to support the community that has supported our company and helped us get to where we are today.”
Doug Adlam had a unique vision when building Champion Mortgage. He is also committed to forging strong partnerships and supporting his community. All of these things are part of what makes him an Ostic Group Local Hero!