Givers Gain: How To Grow Yourself & Your Brokerage By Giving Back (With Michelle Dugan) – Episode 89

Posted October 19, 2021

As Broker/Owner of MS Lending, Michelle Dugan has become a champion for veterans and an advocate for building community. As an active member of VettedVA, a veteran education group, Michelle protects military veterans from predatory business practices and helps them get the home of their dreams. She originates in the same town where she grew up and went to school. That intrinsic knowledge helps set her apart from retail banks and has positioned her as a trusted mortgage advisor. Within the broker channel, she is an active member of multiple wholesale mortgage groups where she shares her knowledge and expertise to help elevate the broker channel. 

Michelle joined the real estate world in 2001 when she worked as a paralegal for a real estate attorney. At the time, she wanted to go to law school and practice real estate law herself. While working as a paralegal, she got her Broker’s license so she could originate on the side. Not long after getting her license, she had her first child and deferred her law school plans. She joined the mortgage industry full-time in 2007 and never looked back. After years of working for Brokers, and a short stint on the retail side, she opened her own brokerage in 2019. 

Starting out in the industry, Michelle only did a few VA loans a year. It wasn’t until she went to a VA loan education session in person that she witnessed the passion that really motivated her to serve those who had served. Not long after, she met Chris Griffith before he started VettedVA. She immediately saw his passion and wanted to join his cause. She told him “Whatever you’re doing, I want to be part of it because I know something good is going to come from it.”

For Michelle, building community is incredibly important. She originates and runs her brokerage in the same town she grew up in. That community knowledge proved to be a major advantage for Michelle since she had built-in clients with friends and family and knew the wants and needs of the community better than retail banks. Michelle has also found and built a community within the broker channel. As an active member of AIME’s Brokers Are Better and Women’s Mortgage Network Facebook Groups, she adopts a “givers gain” mentality where she can share her knowledge with others while also learning from them. “I wouldn’t be as successful as I am in the broker channel without Brokers Are Better,” Michelle said. 

Michelle’s parting advice: Lean into your community. Whether it’s your local community or one you build with others in the industry, you serve to gain so much if you’re actively engaged. Within BAB and WMN, there are so many knowledgeable brokers who are there to share their knowledge and help you succeed. Those groups have been a game-changer for Michelle and she credits them with helping her avoid burnout.


Getting Into Mortgage (1:40)
Serving Veterans (7:42)
Building Community (15:30)
Pipeline Management (28:26)
Michelle’s Parting Advice (39:40)

Sponsored by PRMG

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