Dedication and passion are just some of the important traits that make up a positive role model and business leader. As President and CEO of CLV Group Inc., Mike McGahan understands the importance of these characteristics, along with having appreciation for those people who work beside him.

Mike’s altruistic nature was ingrained in him by his late father, Don McGahan, a beloved high school principal who taught students how to develop their leadership skills through philanthropy and other extracurricular activities.

Today, Mike McGahan applies his father’s values to every aspect of running CLV Group and InterRent REIT, where he is also the CEO and Trustee. He has included community involvement as a pillar in the culture of both companies.

CLV Group is a property management company that has one of the largest and most diverse selections of residential rentals in Ontario. To date, the management company has bought, sold, financed and managed more than $3 billion of properties, with the company continuing to impact the rental markets in Ontario and Quebec.

As a result of its success, Mike has earned a reputation as one of the top property managers in Canada. Mike’s leadership style can be described as people-friendly and enjoys getting to know everyone who he works with and frequently asks for his team’s input and ideas.

You’ve been in the industry for over 30 years, having learned what works and what doesn’t as a leader. What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Mike McGahan: My advice would be to lead with integrity and don’t be afraid to do what you expect others to do. If you want your team to work hard and be honest then make sure that you work the hardest. As a leader, your measure of success is reflected by other people and what they do too. Most importantly, always listen to the opinions and advice of those who work alongside you. Make sure your team knows that you respect them as individuals. Sure, a hello in the hallway is nice, but instead of small talk, try to get to know them on a personal level.  People are more loyal and perform better when they feel valued.

Effective leadership goes far beyond understanding an employee based off of their performance review. Lastly, if you don’t hear laughter on a regular basis, something is wrong. Positive employee morale is crucial.

InterRent is known for buying and renovating undervalued properties, typically upgrading the facilities to attract new residents Explain how this business model works.

Mike McGahan: We focus on the upgrades that modern-day residents want. Often these upgrades include eco-friendly enhancements, such as green spaces and energy efficient appliances. InterRent employs an entire energy management department to ensure all properties are as energy friendly as possible. These efforts especially appeal to environmentally-conscious millennials.

We are primarily focused on markets with historically stable occupancy. InterRent’s business model is to buy properties within close proximity to major areas to create efficient property management. This strategy has kept us in line with our core business plan.

What can we expect to see in the near future with respect to bringing new properties in the fold?

Mike McGahan: InterRent recently reached a deal to purchase three high-rise apartment buildings in Montreal. We are excited about the deal because it will increase our portfolio of Montreal properties to 2,700 suites, which is approximately 27% of our total portfolio. Fueled by a recent influx in population, Montreal is expected to continue to grow. The city’s year-over-year population growth rate is actually outpacing the national average for Canada. Montreal has a lot to offer and we look forward to supplying our residents with new housing options.