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Carmen Patraccone | Vice President of Sales and Operations | Orbis Mortgage Group

Guiding Excellence: Carmen Patraccone’s Leadership Perspective

At the helm of Orbis Mortgage Group, Carmen Patraccone champions a culture of high-performance teams that impacts strong customer service. Carmen Patraccone is synonymous with high standards. As the Vice President of Sales & Operations, she upholds a commitment to excellence that permeates every aspect of Orbis Mortgage Group. Under Carmen’s leadership, the company has set the bar for exceptional service in the mortgage industry, earning trust and loyalty from clients.

Throughout her career, Carmen has had the privilege of leading and making a significant impact on a high-performing team of mortgage specialists. Prior to this, she held a leadership position at a major national bank overseeing 15 branches with 140-200 employees, demonstrating her prowess in full P&L responsibility. Her deep industry knowledge and banking experience extends to managing expense and employee budgets, showcasing a comprehensive understanding of financial operations.

Carmen’s strengths lie in various facets of the financial industry, including consumer lending, mortgages, retail financial services, investment advice, and insurance. Her exceptional interpersonal skills enable her to develop and foster both internal and external business relationships, contributing to the overall success of her teams.

A guiding motto has been the cornerstone of Carmen’s success: “Do not get derailed.” This philosophy propels her forward, keeping her focus on goals and maintaining discipline in the execution of actions required for any task or situation. Carmen’s unwavering determination has not only resulted in top-ranking financial performance but also in exceptional employee engagement throughout her career.

Early Career in Finance and Mentoring

Carmen’s journey in finance began at the young age of 16, when she had the opportunity to start from the ground up, gaining valuable insights into the banking industry. Recognizing the potential for professional growth in the finance world from the outset, Carmen set her sights on achieving an executive-level position. Throughout the years, she was fortunate to work diligently with exceptional mentors who served as coaches, guiding her towards the attainment of her goals.

Carmen is deeply humbled and honored to be acknowledged as one of the most admired women in the mortgage category. Orbis Mortgage Group boasts a robust senior female-driven leadership team that has developed organically over the years. The recognition in this category is something she will celebrate proudly with her incredibly talented and hard-working peers.

Carmen takes pride in having served as a mentor herself during her tenure at one of Canada’s major banks. Notably, one of her mentees went on to establish Orbis Mortgage Group, now recognized as one of the fastest-growing independent brokerages in Quebec.

Being VP of Sales and Operations

As the Vice President of Sales and Operations at Orbis Mortgage Group, Carmen undertook an initial assessment of the company’s status. Collaborating closely with CEO Teddy Kyres, she delved into his vision and growth ambitions for the organization.

With well-defined objectives in mind, Carmen played a pivotal role in crafting strategic coaching programs for mortgage brokers. She also contributed to the training program of new brokers in the industry and actively participated in the recruitment processes for both mortgage brokers and executive team members. Simultaneously, Carmen dedicated effort to reviewing and refining various departmental structures and processes.

In tandem with the CEO, Carmen witnessed remarkable company growth over the last 30 months, attributed to the implementation of these new systems and strategies.

Evolving with Change

Carmen observes that the mortgage industry is undergoing significant changes across various facets, ranging from the ease of obtaining mortgage approvals through technology to the prevailing rate environment and beyond. The recent fluctuations in the cost of living have had a pronounced impact, prompting many individuals to question their ability to afford their first home or contemplate upgrading from their current residence.

In light of these developments, Carmen emphasizes the crucial role of a mortgage broker. Beyond navigating the evolving landscape, brokers are tasked with offering advice and guidance to their clients, considering the myriad of lender options available to achieve specific home financing goals. Regardless of the industry’s continual evolution, Carmen firmly believes that the enduring responsibility of a broker is to staunchly advocate on behalf of their clients.

Empowering Teams to Achieve Success

Reflecting on her experiences, Carmen highlights the gratification derived from coaching and mentoring numerous employees with untapped potential. Witnessing these individuals elevate their businesses to unforeseen heights has been particularly rewarding for her.

Carmen is a firm believer in the potential of others and actively supports their visions. She takes pride in guiding them toward greater efficiency and a laser-focused approach in expanding their respective businesses.

Notably, Orbis Mortgage Group’s CEO, Teddy Kyres, was once part of Carmen’s team in her previous business endeavors. During that time, Carmen provided coaching on business structure, processes, and administrative tasks, contributing to Teddy’s success as a top mortgage specialist in Canada.

This collaborative success story laid the foundation for the establishment of Orbis Mortgage Group, an accomplishment that Carmen is immensely proud to be part of. Reuniting with Teddy, Carmen feels privileged to stand by his side once again, playing a role in shaping the future growth of the company, with limitless possibilities on the horizon.

Forming a Supportive Leadership Culture

In her role as a leader, Carmen places utmost importance on demonstrating unwavering support for each member of the team. She believes in creating an environment where team members feel that she stands behind them, both in times of success and adversity. She asserts, “I hope my colleagues view me as a very firm and fair leader; focused, supportive and passionate in my leadership style. I am most proud when I see a team member succeed in their personal growth, as this to me is the ultimate indication of being a successful leader.”

In the face of challenges, Carmen’s leadership approach involves a focus on analyzing the root cause of problems rather than assigning blame. Collaboratively, the team works towards identifying positive solutions. Following such situations, Carmen engages in coaching sessions with employees, encouraging them to reflect on the lessons learned and consider alternative approaches for the future.

This supportive leadership style fosters an atmosphere of open communication, allowing team members to thrive in a positive environment where the management team is perceived as a supportive partner rather than an authoritative figure. Carmen views this approach as a valuable learning and growth experience for all involved.

Impact on Orbis Mortgage Group

Since joining Orbis, Carmen has collaborated with the CEO and various department leaders to assess and enhance the existing technological processes. In response to Orbis’s continuous growth, Carmen has overseen the evolution of various elements, including the training process for new brokers, recruitment efforts for both mortgage brokers and executive team members and the refinement of departmental structures and processes.

In individual coaching and mentoring sessions with brokers, Carmen places a strong emphasis on refining customer service. Acknowledging the self-employed nature of each broker, she guides them in maintaining a focus on obtaining customer satisfaction reviews and implementing various customer appreciation tactics. Additionally, Carmen supports brokers in nurturing relationships with referral sources to foster business growth.

Orbis has a substantial focus on both digital and in-person outreach. Brokers are encouraged to leverage social media channels for business development, attend social events to market their brand and Orbis within the industry, and target specific customer segments. These strategic activities have yielded a tremendously positive impact for Orbis and its team. Notably, the company is regularly approached by industry members seeking to understand its business model and the reasons behind its rapid growth.

The Evolving Landscape

Recognizing the significance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, Carmen emphasizes the importance of taking occasional breaks from work, emphasizing that a rested mind is a sharper mind.

Actively encouraging her team members to utilize their vacation time, Carmen goes a step further by advocating for the integration of health and wellness mechanisms into daily routines. Whether it’s a brisk walk, quality family time, a workout, or simply enjoying music, she encourages brokers to identify techniques that not only enhance their effectiveness but also contribute to long-term well-being and happiness.

Carmen personally adheres to a practice that underscores the importance of disconnecting, as she refrains from bringing her cell phone to bed. She shares this simple yet effective technique with her team, promoting the idea that establishing boundaries with technology can contribute to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

Leadership Advice for Mortgage Leaders

As part of her morning routine, Carmen dedicates time to reading, consistently staying informed about new trends, varying mindsets across generations, and the evolving concepts and tactics of effective leadership in response to the expectations of the current workforce. This commitment ensures that she remains current and can share up-to-date knowledge with her team, contributing to her coaching and leadership capabilities.

For aspiring professionals, particularly women seeking leadership roles in the mortgage industry, Carmen offers valuable advice:

  • Do not be derailed.
  • Don’t ever allow the negativity of others to impact you.
  • Keep your head down and keep grinding, improving your skills, abilities, and work ethic, and growing as an individual. Other people’s negativity is none of your business.
  • Remain disciplined and focused on the execution of your plan to achieve your goals, be passionate and supportive of your peers in every action you take; and remain humble at all times.
  • Remember nothing is perfect in life; to error is human, how we react to our errors is what makes us better and defines us over time.

Carmen’s advice reflects a blend of resilience, focus, and a positive mindset, providing a guiding philosophy for those aspiring to leadership roles in the mortgage industry.

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