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2023 Canadian Women in Real Estate Awards


Lisa McFarlane


First National

Considered a 'cornerstone' by colleague

Dedicated to uplifting women in her field

It’s not easy to navigate the ins and outs of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s financing program.

But Lisa McFarlane is considered an expert.

McFarlane is a commercial financing director with First National Financial, one of Canada’s largest non-bank lenders, in Halifax. A colleague who nominated McFarlane considers her a “cornerstone of success” as she balances a thriving career and family life.

“Her proficiency in navigating the complexities of CMHC and managing borrower expectations is second to none,” says the colleague.

McFarlane also earns kudos for helping to empower other women as they seek career advancement.

“One of Lisa’s most significant achievements is her role as a mentor and source of inspiration for aspiring women in the commercial real estate industry,” says the colleague. “She generously dedicates her time and experience to support and uplift other women in the field. Her guidance and insights serve as a beacon for those who aim to follow in her footsteps, fostering diversity and gender equality within the industry.”

In addition to working with First National, McFarlane consults for Balance Business Solutions, a virtual back office that provides financial analysis, mortgage underwriting and support services to the commercial real estate industry. McFarlane entered the commercial real estate lending sector with First National in 2015; however, she has worked in commercial financing since 1997. She previously served as an underwriter with various firms in different Canadian locations, including CIBC Real Estate Group in Calgary.

When she is not helping the industry, McFarlane volunteers in her community. She currently chairs the board of South Shore Waldorf School.


Inside The Story

Lisa McFarlane

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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