REP 4.03

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Three essential factors you can’t afford to overlook


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Experts reveal the strategies that are guaranteed to win clients


Meet 25 women who are blazing new trails in the industry



These 50 young professionals are leading the industry toward a bright new future

ISSUE 4.03

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UPFRONT 02 Editorial

Fasten your seatbelt – a housing crash might be coming





A transaction plagued by a host of financing struggles put agent Caroline Baile’s ingenuity to the test


The secret behind Loretta Phinney’s dominance in the Mississauga market is simple: She works harder than everyone else


06 Statistics

Retiring baby boomers could represent your next wave of clients

08 News analysis

How well is real estate doing in terms of promoting female leadership?

13 Opinion




How will the market fare if proposed US auto tariffs become reality?

If you believe in the wealth-building power of real estate, then why aren’t you investing in it?


Meet 50 up-and-coming superstars who are poised to become the next leaders of Canada’s real estate industry


04 Head to head



KEEP THE LEADS FLOWING Supercharge your prospecting efforts by implementing this foolproof system from real estate coach Craig Proctor

36 Connect with clients in an omnichannel world

What real estate can learn from retail’s adaptation to new customer preferences

42 10 reasons to sell your brokerage

Things to consider before putting your brokerage up for sale

46 Why most real estate teams fail Don’t neglect these three components when building your own team

PEOPLE 48 Agent profile

Mike Radcliffe reveals how he’s navigating a newly hot London market

63 Career path




REP spotlights 25 trailblazing women who are raising the bar on gender diversity in real estate

An unfailing work ethic led Ron Sally to become RE/MAX’s youngest owner

64 Other life

Catching a wave with Realtor and surfer Robin Pacquing





Ready for a car crash?


n June, TD Economics released its analysis of the potential effects proposed US auto tariffs could have on the Canadian economy. The report paints a vivid, brutal picture of what could be in store for the country in general and Ontario in particular. The housing market will not be spared. The US Department of Commerce is currently conducting a Section 232 investigation into whether national security grounds can be used to justify tariffs on vehicles and vehicle parts imported into the country. It’s the same kind of investigation used to justify the Trump administration’s recent tariffs on steel and aluminum. It’s assumed that auto tariffs would consist of a 10% levy on parts and an additional 25% on vehicles. Here’s where things get ugly. TD predicts these tariffs could result in the loss of 160,000 jobs in Canada. Most of these losses would be located in Ontario – the bank estimates one in five manufacturing jobs in Ontario could be at risk,

If you’re a Realtor attempting to build business ... now is the time to start evaluating the strategies that will allow you to survive which would put it on par with the 2008–2010 bloodletting, and that the job losses would be enough to wipe out, entirely, all employment gains the province has enjoyed over the past two years. TD also posited that Canada’s economy could be permanently scarred as companies lose confidence in their ability to turn a profit here and look for more appealing ventures elsewhere. Pessimists have been salivating over the prospect of a housing crash for at least the past five years, but experts have confidently beaten back the ghouls by trumpeting Canada’s strong fundamentals. The one thing that could destabilize the country’s housing market, most economists agree, would be a catastrophic shock that led to massive job losses. Take a moment to imagine the carnage if Ontario lost between 100,000 and 150,000 jobs. How many of the people affected would default on their mortgages? How many would be unable to pay their rent? The dominos would start falling, and they’d each weigh a ton. Admittedly, it’s a point we may never reach. There’s a strong possibility that the first round of painfully unpopular US tariffs will backfire so badly that further trade warmongering will fall by the wayside. But if you’re a Realtor attempting to build a business, or if you deal with investment clients who are already struggling to make their monthly nut, now is the time to start evaluating the strategies that will allow you to survive – because if you thought the last 16 months were slow, just wait until 100,000 people in Ontario have their livelihoods destroyed. FALL 2018 EDITORIAL


Writers Clay Jarvis Joe Rosengarten Libby MacDonald

Vice President, Sales John Mackenzie

Copy Editor Clare Alexander

Project Coordinator Jessica Duce

CONTRIBUTORS Davelle Morrison Janine Garner

ART & PRODUCTION Designers Martin Cosme Marla Morelos Production Manager Alicia Chin Traffic Coordinator Ella Dayandante

National Account Manager Trevor Lambert

CORPORATE President & CEO Tim Duce Office/Traffic Manager Marni Parker Events and Conference Manager Chris Davis Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil



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The Unexpected Decision that Catapulted this Rookie Canadian Real Estate Agent from Zero to the Top 6% of the Industry Real Estate Agent Reveals How She Changed Brokerages Twice Before Finally Finding the System that Has Grown Her Business by 557% in the Last Two Years

Roza Shafabakhsh, (Markham, ON) Royal LePage

“When I started real estate 4 years ago, the idea of a career in sales really scared me. I had worked hard to attain a Master of Arts in English literature. I was certain I would be teaching English as a second language. My other career goal was to become a TV or Radio host

Real success in any business means not only healthy earnings, but also time off to enjoy life. The fact is, however, that most Canadian real estate agents sacrifice their entire lifestyle in pursuit of success and, ironically, instead of gaining more freedom, they become slaves to their real estate business. If you don’t have a real business system, you don’t really have a business at all. What you have instead is a “job”, and for many, it’s a really bad job: one that consumes your time, keeps you away from friends and family, and doesn’t pay enough. Even though you work so hard, it’s just so random. Some days you win. Some days you lose.

this page, and of multiple other agents you can read about at, creating a highly profitable real estate business is certainly possible, regardless of whether you’re a brand new agent or have been in real estate for years, whether you’re a man or a woman, a solo agent or team, whether you live in the U.S. or Canada, and regardless of which franchise you’re with. Each of the agents profiled credits the same real estate system as being responsible for their success: The Ultimate Real Estate Success System pioneered by Canadian Real Estate Coach Craig Proctor.

and hosting events. “I have an education, but despite that the change in career to selling houses was very scary and frustrating for me. I had Not only is Craig Proctor’s real estate zero training in sales and I was competing system responsible for more Millionaire Agents leave our Agents than any other coach or trainer, for business in a market that has “The system changed my mindset. industry in droves, but Proctor was a highly successful not because they’re AGENT himself for more than 20 years 40,000-50,000 agents. It gave me much confidence, not great at working right here in Canada (twice #1 for “The reality is taught me a systematic way to with clients, but RE/MAX Worldwide and top 10 for that I made NO sales in my first year. So, I operate, and gave me an abundance because they don’t RE/MAX International for 15 years.) have enough clients For 6 years straight, no one listed changed brokerages of successful strategies.” to work with. They or sold more homes in the Greater and spent the next don’t have enough Toronto Area than Proctor did. (Source: year making cold calls, knocking on doors, and doing leads, they don’t find enough time to TREB Statistics). No one in Canada everything the brokerage recommended. properly follow up their leads, they has sold more homes than Proctor That year, I successfully did $65,000 in don’t know exactly why they win or has, and by sharing the system he lose a listing. Even though they work used to achieve his own success, he’s commissions. “The next year I changed brokerages very hard, too much is left to chance. been able to help over 30,000 agents once again, but this year I added Trying to “do it all” without a clear worldwide transform their real estate something far more valuable than just a new understanding of what works and what jobs into highly lucrative real estate brokerage. This was the year I came to a doesn’t ultimately sows the seeds of businesses that don’t come at the Craig Proctor event, met and got to know failure for many. expense of high lifestyle costs. Craig and decided to let him train me on A profitable and “real” business MUST If you do not have a clear, detailed how to run a real estate business properly. “Craig changed my mindset. He gave be based on solid systems. In real business system (key word, system) me much confidence, he taught me a estate, that means a system to generate that you are using to move strategically systematic way to operate, and he gave me leads, a system to convert those leads, to your goals, why wouldn’t you examine an abundance of systems and successful and a system to convert qualified Proctor’s Ultimate Real Estate Success strategies. I was thrilled to work with one of prospects into paying clients. Every System for free? Craig’s coaches, Wally Kerr, who held me successful business in the world, from McDonalds to Amazon to FedEx, At his upcoming Free Discovery Day, accountable and also inspired me. “I get to associate with the top agents is based on proven and duplicatable Proctor will share “real Canadian real in the industry in both Canada and the US “systems”, and the agents who achieve estate strategies” that actually work. which has really helped me adjust my think- mega success in our industry have No theory, ideas or motivational hype. done so on the strength of solid, proven, At this 3 hour meeting, you’ll learn ing and my habits. exactly what to do and what it takes “In 2017 I did $212,000 in GCI (over efficient business systems. to be a Super-Successful Real Estate twice what I had been doing) and our forecast for 2018 is to add another $150,000 As revealed in the profile of Markham, agent in Canada. For more information, Ontario agent Roza Shafabakhsh on visit: to that (a projected 70% increase). “Thanks to Craig, his system and his coaching team, I’m now excited to be an active agent.” Responsible for the Biggest Success Stories in the Industry Read More About Successful Canadian Agents Like Roza at Full City Schedule at:




How badly would auto tariffs hurt the housing market?

The latest threat in Trump’s ongoing trade war has sparked fears of a wider economic crisis in Canada

Carmela Zita Kapeleris

Sarita Samaroo-Tsaktsiris

“Trump’s proposed auto tariffs could mean the loss of a significant number of jobs. In Ontario alone, 160,000 people work in the auto industry; that’s just under 1% of the country’s employed people.Losing 1% of the labour force would definitely put downward pressure on housing – unemployment is the greatest single influencer of the housing market. The auto industry workforce is significant enough to put a big dent in the economy as a whole. Tariffs would cause upheaval in the market. The silver lining could be the stabilization of interest rates. But the thing about trade wars is that ultimately, everybody loses.”

“The impact will be felt most sharply by those working in the automotive industry, as the reduced labour market would face the impact of the housing market in the regions where those workers live. The rental market may also be affected, as parents employed in the auto industry who are funding their children’s rent may no longer be able to do so. However, immigration policies tend to play a larger role in the housing market than tariffs, as new immigrants counteract the negative effect of a downturn due to increased demand for property. Regulations imposed on borrowers to meet lending requirements also shield the market from vulnerability.”

Real estate broker RE/MAX Realty Specialists

Principal lawyer SST Law Professional Corporation

Duke Pham Realtor Atria Realty

“I foresee a lot of trouble for our economy. [Tariffs are] predicted to cause up to 100,000 job losses across Canada and a potential hike of $5,000 to $9,000 in car prices. This will be a disaster for markets. When the economy is healthy, people spend more; when jobs are shed and items people need in their everyday lives increase in price, consumers cut back on spending. This will become a domino effect – not only will the housing market be affected, but everything else will follow. We can only hope Canada does not retaliate and do more harm than good for our economy.”

TRUMP, TRUDEAU AND TARIFFS According to an analysis published by the CBC in July, the combination of newly introduced US tariffs on steel and aluminium, coupled with Canada’s retaliatory tariffs, has put 3.2% of all jobs in Canada at risk. But the auto industry has by far the most to lose if a proposed 25% tariff on cars and car parts comes to fruition: In Ontario alone, one in five manufacturing jobs could be at risk. TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto predicted that the auto tariffs would reduce 2019’s growth by half a percentage point “as the economy stagnates for two quarters.”


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The grey wave is coming

British Columbia


A healthy number of retiring baby boomers have a desire to downsize and a hankering to buy ALTHOUGH THEY’RE nearing or have already entered retirement, baby boomers nonetheless remain a significant market force. A generation of property owners, boomers represent 1.4 million potential buyers and sellers. Perhaps most promising for markets characterized by attenuated supply is the fact that 41% of boomers – who are most typically the owners of detached houses – plan to seek


of baby boomers plan to purchase a new home in the next five years


of boomers said they’re open to looking for a new home anywhere

a smaller dwelling, a trend likely to free up plenty of sought-after properties. But where those downsizing boomers will go is another question. More than half (56%) opined that the housing market in their area is unaffordable – in BC and Ontario, this figure jumped to 78% and 63%, respectively – but only 34% said they would be willing to relocate to a more affordable region.



of boomers have $450,000 or less to spend on a new home

of boomers plan to buy a second home in retirement

HOW MANY BOOMERS PLAN TO BUY? Nationwide, 20% of baby boomers said they’re expecting to buy a new home just prior to or during retirement, although certain markets – most notably the Prairies and Maritimes – boast a slightly higher number of retirees eyeing a new property purchase.

Source: Boomer Trends Survey, Royal LePage, August 2018

OVERWHELMINGLY OWNERS Homeownership is by far the most common living situation for Canadian boomers; renting property is a much less popular option for this cohort.

DOWN FOR DOWNSIZING A significant proportion of Canadian baby boomers (41% nationwide) say they’re planning to downsize to a smaller property in their retirement years, which should help to free up additional supply of larger detached homes. PERCENTAGE OF BABY BOOMERS WILLING TO DOWNSIZE

43% 77% 19% 1% 3%

Source: Boomer Trends Survey, Royal LePage, August 2018



Own a home Rent Live with family Other


British Columbia





Saskatchewan/ Manitoba



Atlantic provinces

Source: Boomer Trends Survey, Royal LePage, August 2018


Atlantic provinces









Source: Boomer Trends Survey, Royal LePage, August 2018



Even though many of them plan to move into smaller properties, boomers are largely sticking to their preference for detached homes: Nearly half said they plan to buy another detached property, while only around a third have their hearts set on a condo.

Most boomers have a generous amount of equity built up to help fund a new purchase – but complicating the financial picture is the fact that 47% said they also plan to subsidize their children’s home-buying.


12% Semi-detached/

6% Other

town home


A recreational property


Semi-detached/ town home





21% Condo


Detached home

32% Condo


Detached home Source: Boomer Trends Survey, Royal LePage, August 2018

Boomers who have paid off half of their mortgage

61% Boomers who have paid off 90% of their mortgage Source: Boomer Trends Survey, Royal LePage, August 2018




A seat at the table Many of the industry’s top agents, brokers and owners are women. Yet most Canadian real estate companies’ executive levels still skew male. Is enough being done to encourage women to aim for leadership positions?

ANYONE WHO still considers real estate a boys’ club needs to start paying attention. The impact women are having on the industry is undeniable. Some of the highestgrossing agents, most accomplished brokers and most influential managers in Canadian real estate are women; every accolade they receive and every innovation they launch reinforces just how necessary their voices are to the running of a successful, respected modern real estate company. The corporate leadership of the largest Canadian real estate companies, however, suffers from a lingering shortage of female representation. At a time when calls for gender equality are growing louder and more insistent across most of Western society, women are still

screen? Or is selling homes or running a brokerage simply more appealing to women than trying to appease the demands of shareholders, consumers, thousands of agents and the government? Looking at some of the largest real estate companies operating in Canada, it’s difficult to find one where at least half of executive leadership positions are filled by women, but Royal LePage bucks the trend. While the top job is still manned (pun intended) by Phil Soper, three of the remaining five members of the company’s leadership team are women, including its VP of network service, SVP of marketing and communication, and its COO, Carolyn Cheng. “Ever since I joined Royal LePage in 2003,

“Not everyone aspires to be promoted ... You can set your own limits and expectations as an entrepreneur” Elaine Langhout, RE/MAX of Western Canada largely outnumbered by men at the corporate level of Canadian real estate. What accounts for this lack of representation? Is it the result of a centuries-old industry failing to keep pace with a world that demands everything be fixed in the time it takes to tap a


there have always been women on the executive team,” Cheng says, adding that the even male-female split at the top of the company has been roughly the same for as long as she has been there. “Just in terms of modelling and thinking about it and presenting it as achiev-

able, people at Royal LePage always think that it is. I think that’s important.” Cheng believes a company’s culture plays a prominent role in ensuring all voices are heard. “We have a pretty strong culture of collaboration and support,” she says, “and I think that permeates throughout the company.” Taken in that light, a number of other Canadian real estate companies appear to require a slight tweak to their own cultures. At first glance, Century 21, Keller Williams and Sotheby’s all have a glaring lack of women in top positions – each company has only one woman on its respective leadership board – but zooming out a few degrees shows a situation that’s far less dire. Including vicepresident positions, women make up almost half of Century 21’s corporate management; Keller Williams’ executive leadership in the US is 60% female, and Sotheby’s provincial leadership in BC, Alberta and Ontario is almost exclusively carried out by women. One of the most intriguing examples of female leadership at the top of the industry is

THE GENDER BALANCE AT THE TOP Men don’t have a monopoly on power in Canadian real estate, but they still occupy most of the top jobs. Here’s how each company stacks up in terms of its proportion of women at the leadership level, based on REP’s analysis of each company’s published leadership hierarchy. PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES Royal LePage

50% EXIT Realty

40% Keller Williams

33% RE/MAX Western Canada

33% RE/MAX Integra

25% Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

25% RE/MAX Integra’s Pamela Alexander, who has been driving the company to new heights as CEO since 1999. But two decades later, Alexander remains the only woman serving as one of Integra’s C-level decision-makers. RE/MAX of Western Canada appears to be a step or two ahead of its eastern counterpart. While its highest-ranking positions – member services directors and regional vice-president

maintain a strong female presence at the corporate level. “We realize that it’s almost a 50-50 membership that we’re representing, so we want to make sure we’ve got women in executive positions here.” Of all the major Canadian real estate companies, EXIT Realty stands out for having put more women into positions of corporate influence. Its COO and CEO are both women,

“There are many women in leadership. I actually think real estate is typically is more progressive than other industries” Carolyn Cheng, Royal LePage – are all men, its senior controller, manager of corporate affairs and director of advertising are all women. “We’re quite well represented,” says advertising director Elaine Langhout, who adds that internal promotion at the company has helped

as is its president of Canadian operations, Joyce Peron. Including presidents, VPs and directors, 10 out of 17 leadership positions at EXIT are currently filled by women. With encouraging signs like that, the shortage of female representation at the

Century 21

20% Note: For consistency’s sake, director and manager roles below the executive level were omitted

C-suite level doesn’t appear to be the result of systemic prejudice. According to Langhout, it may have more to do with women not wanting to give up the lifestyle and opportunities for personal growth that accompany being a successful agent or broker. “Not everyone aspires to be promoted from within into corporate office management,” she says. “You can set your own limits and expectations as an entrepreneur, as opposed to being a corporate executive.” Based on her own experience, Cheng feels gender parity at all levels of the industry may no longer qualify as an issue that requires attention. “When I go to real estate conferences, there are many women in leadership,” she says. “I actually think real estate is typically is more progressive than other industries.” REP




The deal that wouldn’t die When she agreed to list her clients’ home in Uxbridge, Ontario, in March, Caroline Baile’s only real concern was the appeal of its corner lot. She soon found herself navigating one of the trickiest sales of her career

FOR AGENTS in the GTA, the spring of 2018 brought with it newfound levels of uncertainty. Product was flooding the market, prices were soft, and client expectations, jacked into the stratosphere by two years of hysteric sales activity, were slowly, stubbornly adjusting to what may – or may not – be a new reality. But uncertainty has always been one of real estate’s main ingredients. Even in a predict-


able market, every deal has baked into it a certain level of anxiety: Financing challenges can arise out of thin air; a seller’s reason for moving can change; multiple amendments can add stifling layers of complexity. Sometimes, as Caroline Baile found out during a recent sale, an agent is forced to manage all those variables at the same time. “Every day it was something else,” says Baile, an agent at Royal LePage Your

Community Realty. Now that the keys have changed hands, Baile can look back fondly on the sale, but there wasn’t much to smile about during the four months she and her clients spent enduring an unending supply of curveballs before they were finally able to knock it out of the park.

Business as usual – until it’s not When Baile was approached by her clients,

a married couple she had previously worked with on multiple deals, to sell their home in Uxbridge, Ontario, she had little reason to expect difficulties. The market had softened, but the home in question – sprawling, beautifully maintained and situated on a spacious corner lot – was sure to generate interest. “You could tell there was pride of ownership there,” Baile says. “When we looked at the price, it was definitely fair.” It took only two days before the first offer came in, on March 10, but in a portent of what was to follow, the offer quickly fell through. The self-employed buyer’s inability to get financing was hardly a shock. After granting him a mutual release, Baile continued marketing the home, confident that another offer would soon materialize. And it did, two weeks later, just as the sellers were preparing to take their home off the market. Their desire to sell had been prompted by the wife’s daily commute, a brutal and exhausting slog through the worst Toronto has to offer. But when she

found a new position only five minutes from the couple’s Uxbridge home, selling was no longer a necessity. Still, after receiving the offer, Baile’s clients took a night to think it over. “They got back to me in the morning and said, ‘We talked about it and we want to be fair,’” Baile says. Her clients accepted the buyers’ offer, and a closing date of June 3 was set. By May, Baile’s clients had found and agreed to buy a new home, which they would take possession of on June 1. But the buyers, who needed to sell two properties to purchase Baile’s clients’ house, could not find a buyer for the second. The call came in: They wouldn’t be able to close.

Are we there yet? Baile’s first reaction was to question the buyers’ agent, a fellow Royal LePager, and ensure he was doing everything in his power to move his clients’ second property. Had they fielded any offers? What was he doing

TORONTO WAKES UP It’s been a sluggish year for Toronto real estate, but recent data from the Toronto Real Estate Board appears to show a market slowly coming to life. It’s too soon to tell whether there’s truly a renaissance brewing, but the declines seen for most of the year sharply tapered off in May.

May 2017

May 2018


May 2017

May 2018


Detached sales







Condo sales







Average sale price – detached




$1,055,863 $1,033,574


Average sale price – condo







Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

to facilitate a sale? Satisfied with his efforts and aware of the market’s sluggishness, Baile took his suggestion of a later closing date back to her clients, along with the realization that nullifying the offer could result in them having to carry two million-dollar properties, possibly for months. While disappointed by the inconvenience, her clients readily agreed. The wife, who




works in finance, had intimate knowledge of the market’s current woes and was sensitive to the plight the buyers were facing. “They were very considerate of the buyers,” Baile says. “They were like, ‘Everybody’s stepped up to the plate here. Let’s make it happen.’ They were very different from probably 99% of other sellers.” The gesture was both charitable and costly. With a new closing date of July 1, Baile’s clients were looking at an extra month of owning their Uxbridge home, including the accompanying tax, insurance and maintenance fees – and, with a hole in their bank account where the buyers’ money should have been, they would need to get bridge financing to ensure their own purchase went through. After a week of negotiations, it was agreed that the buyers would pay all carrying costs associated with the property, including bridge financing, and provide a non-refundable $15,000 deposit in case the entire deal flipped over and burst into flames. The contract was amended, and Baile’s clients started looking forward to Canada Day, when there would be plenty to celebrate. Or so they thought. Baile received word from the buyers’ agent that his clients had an offer coming in, but


LOCATION Keller Lane, Uxbridge, Ontario



Four plus bonus room




March 8, 2018

April 6, 2018



Detached two-storey home






closes on that date, we’ll pay this.’” It was determined that the buyers would be able to offload their second home on July 20. The end was in sight.

“Just because something falls through on financing does not mean the deal is done. Let’s look at other ways to make it come together so we’re not all starting from scratch” the closing date was still undetermined. One thing was certain: They wouldn’t be taking possession on July 1. It was time to negotiate another labyrinthine set of amendments. “I honestly can’t even tell you the number of amendments and lawyers and times we went back and forth,” Baile says. “There was this bizarre amendment they sent saying, ‘If it closes on this date, we’ll pay this; if it


But then, on July 18, Baile was told that the buyers’ financing was again in trouble, this time because the 90-day post-appraisal window granted by their lender had expired. Word came in on July 20 that the deal that wouldn’t die had finally closed.

Reaching the finish line Despite the slippery closing date, Baile

never questioned the eventual happy ending, largely due to the patience and level-headedness of her clients. “The saving grace on this one was the people,” she says. “I’ve had sales where it hasn’t necessarily been as complicated a transaction, but it got complicated because the people weren’t as cooperative. A lot of times when it gets challenging, a lot of the stress that comes in is from our clients, but the sellers were so great.” The deal also wouldn’t have succeeded without two agents prepared to wade hip-deep into uncertainty and come back with the best possible outcome for their clients. “Looking back on it, I’m proud that we were able to come up with solutions outside the box,” Baile says. “Just because something falls through on financing does not mean the deal is done. Let’s look at other ways to make it come together so we’re not all starting from scratch.” REP




From agent to investor Why just broker the deals that bring investors cash flow, writes Davelle Morrison, when you could become a real estate investor yourself? DO YOU believe in your own product? If so, do you own an investment property? If the answer is no, that’s understandable if you just got started in the business and haven’t made a lot of money yet. But for the rest of you, I have a few words. Buying real estate is one of the most important investments you can make. And I don’t mean buying a big house and a Muskoka cottage for yourself. You need to buy an investment property (or a few) that generates a monthly profit. Before you put your commissions toward that fancy car, think about an investment property instead. Many years ago, I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. His philosophy is that a house is not an asset if it owns you, because if you have a mortgage on it, you’re paying the bank to live there. He feels that a property is only an asset if it generates positive cash flow and pays you. While I don’t necessarily agree with him in regard to your principal residence, Kiyosaki’s way of thinking did make me rethink my desire to purchase a cottage. Why own something where you have to pay the mortgage and the expenses and don’t have any revenue to show for it? Owning an investment property will also give you real and relatable experiences of working with banks, tradesmen and tenants that you can share with your real estate

investor clients to bolster your credibility. Most importantly, becoming a real estate investor will give you an additional monthly income (assuming your property generates positive cash flow).

at four properties. What I love to see is not only the overall value appreciation of my properties each year, but also the monthly increase in rents as tenants turn over – which has, of late, allowed to me to increase my monthly income substantially. I’ve also recently renting my basement apartment on Airbnb, so I’ve been able to experience another boost to my monthly income. I would encourage everyone to at least own a duplex where they can live in one unit and rent out the other to bolster their income. I’ve also recently purchased two properties in Prince Edward County with friends. One property is a four-plex with longterm tenants, and the other is a six-plex with short-term rentals listed on Airbnb. The returns on both properties have been incredible.

“Partnering with clients, friends or family members is a great way to expand your purchasing power. You can take advantage of their salaried jobs, and they can take advantage of your insider knowledge” As Realtors, our commissions go up and down. Some months you might have a commission cheque, and some months you might not. Wouldn’t it be nice to have another source of income that you can rely on? That’s where an investment property can pay off. As a single woman without a partner to rely on for a second income, my tenants act as my second income. As shifts in the real estate market and technology bring change to our industry, it’s prudent to rely on more than just your real estate commissions to survive. I’ve purchased many investment properties over the years, and I’m currently sitting

Partnering with clients, friends or family members is a great way to expand your purchasing power. You can take advantage of their salaried jobs, and they can take advantage of your insider knowledge and ability to purchase properties without commission. As we all know, the market has its ups and downs. Shoring up your income with a side hustle as a real estate investor will help you through those turbulent times. REP

Davelle Morrison is a sales representative with Bosley Real Estate. She credits her property investments with making her a millionaire.

10-13_Done Deal+Opinion-SUBBED.indd 13


28/08/2018 7:03:57 AM



THE L WORD One of real estate’s elite performers, Royal LePage’s Loretta Phinney has been a titan of the GTA market for more than 30 years. Despite decades of late nights and tough negotiations, her love for the job is as strong as ever

ONE OF Canadian real estate’s true legends, Loretta Phinney is the undisputed queen of Mississauga real estate. Her unpretentious yet discriminating approach to selling has made her wildly popular with clients, allowing her to amass a level of experience that is almost oceanic in its breadth and ability to invigorate. But when Phinney speaks about her illustrious career, one simple idea repeatedly bubbles up from the depths of her considerable wisdom: love. It’s what brought her into the industry and what has kept her at the top of it for the past 33 years. “I love being active,” Phinney says. “I love that every day is different and unique. And I love the people. Every time I list a house, I know the owners of that house are much like the house itself – they’re all unique and none of them are perfect.” Coming from a lesser agent, the use of a loaded and easily abused word like ‘love’ might come off as trite or disingenuous, but the serenity in Phinney’s voice leaves no doubt as to her sincerity. It’s the sound of a woman who has found her calling.

A sense of urgency Phinney didn’t sell her first house until she


was 39 years old. When she was still a stayat-home mother of four, she would often finish her daily tasks by 10 a.m., leaving several hours a day in which she could feed her burgeoning interest in real estate. She was an avid attendee of open houses and had a reputation for following the market closely, and by the time a friend’s

for greatness. She recalls that one of her brothers told her early on that her “sense of urgency” would put her on top, referring to her tendency toward workaholism. “I apologize for that a lot,” Phinney says, “but if you’re going to do anything excessively, it probably should be work. I don’t like to have things weighing on my shoulders that

“I thought, ‘I don’t want to be here five years and have people not know my name, so I’m going to work really hard.’ I knew I had a passion for it, but to find out if I had any talent for it, I had to give it all I had” wife suggested Phinney assist her and her husband in their hunt for a new home, she was already considering a career as an agent. The couple waited until Phinney received her licence and then watched as she effortlessly sold their old home. By the end of the year, Phinney had become the top producer at Kingsway Real Estate. Phinney’s instant success surprised her, but those around her knew she was destined

are unfinished.” However, the true drive behind Phinney’s early accomplishments was that she was determined to prove herself and was willing to put in the long, gruelling hours required to both build her business and determine her true potential. “I thought, ‘I don’t want to be here five years and have people not know my name, so I’m going to work really hard,’” she says.

PROFILE Name: Loretta Phinney Title: Owner and sales representative Company: Royal LePage Real Estate Services Based in: Mississauga, Ontario Years in the industry: 33 Fast fact: Phinney’s Royal LePage team has been the company’s number-one team in Mississauga for 24 years and its top team in Canada eight times




“I knew I had a passion for it, but to find out if I had any talent for it, I had to give it all I had.” Phinney continued to excel at Kingsway, but the boutique outfit was experiencing nominal growth. After nine years at the company, she made the switch to Royal LePage. The fit couldn’t have been better. Phinney has led Royal LePage’s top Mississauga-based team for the past 24 years and has earned recognition as its top team nationwide eight times. “I think their ethics are second to none, and they monitor their brokerages very well,” she says. “I love Royal LePage.”

place that will allow them to provide aroundthe-clock service for their clients. “There’s no such thing as part-time,” she says. “When you have a sign on someone’s lawn, that sign’s up 24 hours a day. You never know when you’re going to get a call. You have to be prepared.” When she was starting out, Phinney handled administrative work while her twoand four-year-olds were at day care and scheduled meetings for evenings and weekends. Finding clients required a herculean effort – it still does – and Phinney wonders if new agents are prepared to make the same commitment to the constant pursuit of

“There’s no such thing as part-time. When you have a sign on someone’s lawn, that sign’s up 24 hours a day. You never know when you’re going to get a call. You have to be prepared” ‘Love’ isn’t a word most people would use when talking about a real estate company, but when Phinney says it, it resonates with a genuine warmth.

Putting in the hours Despite changes to the industry and the increasing cost of child care, Phinney believes mothers with young children can still follow in her footsteps. “It all depends on if they’re willing to work,” she says. “If you’re willing to work the way I worked, you can make money in real estate still. But to make a lot of money in real estate, you have to pretty much do real estate and family. You can’t have any other interests, I find, or it just doesn’t work.” She also stresses that agents with children must ensure they have a support system in


new business. “You have to follow up,” she says. “The fish aren’t going to jump into your boat.” At her Royal LePage brokerage, Phinney has been able to attract agents willing to follow her model of unflagging integrity and tireless effort. By footing the bill for each team member’s marketing costs and establishing a generous sliding-scale commission structure, she has never had a shortage of hungry agents knocking on her door, hoping to learn from the best. And no matter when that knock comes – maybe the sun’s just come up; maybe it’s already dropping out of sight – there’s a good chance Loretta Phinney will be there, loving the life she’s made for herself and demonstrating how this real estate thing should be done. REP



Begins selling real estate for Kingsway Real Estate; within her first year, she becomes the company’s top agent


Joins Royal LePage Real Estate Services and quickly achieves Chairman’s Club status


Welcomes her daughter, Kimberly – one of five family members Phinney works with – to the team


Becomes Royal LePage’s number-one team in Canada for the first time


Is voted Best Realtor in Mississauga for the fourth consecutive year


Opens two new satellite offices, one in Oakville and another in Mississauga


Barcelona, Spain, site of the 2018 LeadingRE Global Symposium



In an industry where relationships make the difference, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a global community beyond compare — where the people behind the world’s top independent real estate firms come together to do business, collaborate on ideas and share opportunities. If you are a leader of an independent residential real estate company, we invite you to learn more. Contact Sheila Barr: +1 312.361.8632 or




Energetic, tech-savvy and hungry, these 50 agents have done more than simply make a name for themselves. Each one is on the path to superstardom


THERE IS no shortage of roadkill on the highway of real estate. Many of those casualties are young agents flattened by a lack of credibility or by grossly underestimating the effort required to survive. But a great many agents learn early on how to keep their engines running, how to navigate the blind curves and how to stay in their lane. REP found 50 of them. This year’s Young Guns are the agents who put in the work, day after day. When they’re not drumming up business, they’re learning something new; when they’re


not ironing out the kinks in their buyer presentation, they’re optimizing systems. These agents, all 35 or younger, know that experience cannot be bought, but by immersing themselves in their work, they have accelerated their development at such an extraordinary clip that they now have as much to offer clients as the agents who have been perfecting their trade for decades. If you’re a traveller on the real estate highway, keep an eye on your side-views. One of these 50 agents will likely be passing you soon.



Barker, Ashley Batoo, Mani Boughner, Travis Brady, Ryan Brown, Brittany Buendia, Nestor-Jan Chaves, Stacey Clark, Trevor Cook, Ashley Curtis-Blair, Jessica Deslippe, Mitchell Dhawan, Amit Donatis, Jake Eivers, Jake Hazzi, Nick Hill, Tim Jeffrey, Vanessa Johal, Tony Kostecki, Peter Kraus, Cody Lam, Jacki Lima, Miguel Longo, Rob Macintosh, Drew Mills, Adam Nadeau, Devin Osborne, Ian Pedlar, Mark Pennington, Jacqueline Pham, Duke Polsinello, Brandon Popowich, Jonathan Rhead, Rob Sally, Ron Scott, Emily Sherbinin, Jake Smith, Jamie Smulders, Tobias Spoelstra, Phil Streeter, Kaleb Tang, Evan Tome, Jason Tripp, Stephanie Trudeau, Shawna van Bodegom, Kris Varing, Joe Vermeire, Stacy Whitcomb, Duncan Yerxa, Jessie Ziegler, Jennifer

RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Sutton Group Heritage Realty RE/MAX Centre City Realty RE/MAX Affiliates Realty RE/MAX Escarpment Realty RE/MAX Twin City Realty RE/MAX Core Realty RE/MAX Avante Sutton Group Right Way Real Estate RE/MAX Preferred Realty Century 21 Atria Realty Royal LePage Lannon Realty Century 21 Professional Group Vantage West Realty RE/MAX Advantage Realty RE/MAX Realtron TPS Realty RE/MAX Inspired Living Realty RE/MAX Twin City Realty Century 21 Erie Shores Realty RE/MAX Hallmark Jacki Lam Group Century 21 Heritage Group Magic Realty RE/MAX Orillia Realty Royal LePage Team Realty Royal LePage Triland Realty RE/MAX Chay Realty RE/MAX Bluewater Realty RE/MAX Rouge River Realty Century 21 Atria Realty RE/MAX Realtron Polsinello Realty RE/MAX iRealty Innovations Multiple Realty RE/MAX Millennium Real Estate RE/MAX Land Exchange Century 21 Mountainview Realty RE/MAX Sackville Realty RE/MAX Escarpment Realty RE/MAX Centre City Phil Spoelstra Realty Royal LePage First Contact Realty RE/MAX Crossroads Realty RE/MAX Escarpment Realty RE/MAX Preferred Realty RE/MAX Hallmark First Group Realty Royal LePage First Contact Realty Homelife Glenayre Realty Company RE/MAX Lakeshore Realty Martek Morgan Finch EXIT Realty Advantage RE/MAX Real Estate Centre


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RE/MAX Sackville Realty Sackville, NB Age: 29

Since 2011, Jamie Smith has ended each year a RE/MAX award winner, racking up five Executive Club and two 100% Club awards along the way. It’s been a terrific start to a career he initially had little interest in. “I was determined not to sell real estate,” says Smith, whose mother has owned Sackville Realty since he was a kid, “but after university, my interest in the business led me to get licensed. I have a real passion for the business and the people. Some days are like an emotional roller-coaster, but it adds to the fun.”

ROB LONGO Magic Realty Sarnia, ON Age: 29

You don’t last eight years in a brutal industry without possessing certain qualities. For Magic Realty’s Rob Longo, the key to survival has been patience. “You cannot have the expectation that you will instantly become a top Realtor overnight,” he says. “It takes consistent effort over many years to achieve the kind of success that we see others in our business achieving.” Since breaking into real estate at 22, Longo has paid close attention to the habits of his more experienced colleagues. He says one common trait they share is a continual search for knowledge. “These people were all choosing to read books and attend training after spending decades at the top of their industry,” he says. “If they’re still willing to learn, then it’s something we should all strive for.”

DUNCAN WHITCOMB Martek Morgan Finch St. John’s, NL Age: 26


RE/MAX Crossroads Realty Markham, ON Age: 31

After Evan Tang’s first 14 months in the industry, he had already become the youngest recipient of RE/MAX’s Hall of Fame Award in RE/MAX Crossroads’ 35-year history. Tang has made his mark with a Mandarin-language blog and a wildly popular Weibo account, which have made him a go-to expert for Chinese buyers looking to crack the GTA market. “Young agents can definitely commit more time to real estate than older ones,” he says. “We are more energetic, which allows us to work longer hours; we’re hungry for new knowledge, and we put in more effort to impress our clients.”


He may be the only commercial agent among this year’s Young Guns, but Duncan Whitcomb’s rapid rise in the St. John’s market has made him a valuable source of knowledge for other young agents. His advice to them? “Don’t focus on trying to do everything or meet everyone at once. Really emphasize doing one aspect of the business well.” Whitcomb has made education a focal point of his professional development, giving him an ever-expanding understanding of the issues facing his clients, including green building, fire codes and the intricacies of taxes. That commitment to his craft resulted in Whitcomb being the second Canadian ever to win the Fiala Fellowship from the International Council of Shopping Centres in 2017.

DUKE PHAM Century 21 Atria Realty Toronto, ON Age: 28

Duke Pham’s decade of retail sales experience has been a major factor in his rise at Century 21 Atria. Pham recently started his own team, The Wolf Pack, which is already 11 agents strong. Halfway through 2018, the team was Century 21’s seventh-ranked team in the country. Already a Centurion Award winner and recent Agent of the Year, Pham says knowing how to sell real estate largely depends on knowing how to sell, period. “Once you jump in, even if you do well, you might interact with about 20 to 30 different clients a year.” But Pham, who dealt with more than 100 different people a day in his previous career, says being exposed to the inevitable rejection has allowed him to stay composed in any situation.


RE/MAX Advantage Realty New Westminster, BC Age: 29

Tim Hill has firmly established himself as one of Vancouver’s elite agents. In 2017, he was RE/MAX Advantage’s top producer and ranked 29th out of more than 14,000 members of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Hill learned early on that in real estate, knowledge is power. “When you begin selling real estate, you have more time on your hands than you know what to do with,” he says. “Start studying the market! Know more than someone will even ask you; when you start answering questions clients didn’t even know they had, you will become their go-to Realtor.” Hill is an active member of the New Westminster community, donating to a variety of local sports programs and charities. In 2017, he helped organize the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Wild Lilies Gala, which raised more than $300,000 in a single night.




Vantage West Realty Kelowna, BC Age: 28

Nick Hazzi was a fresh-faced 20-year old when he started selling homes in Kelowna. He says joining a crew of Realtors with a style and an approach that resonated with him was a crucial factor in positioning himself for a long career in real estate. “Don’t go it alone in the beginning,” he advises other agents. “Harness the energy of collective knowledge and accelerate your learning curve.” A major part of Hazzi’s development has been tracking key performance areas and training in areas where he feels he needs to improve. “Mastery is a journey, not a destination,” he says. “We’re always looking to best our last performance.”


RE/MAX Inspired Living Realty Waterloo, ON Age: 35

Tony Johal has been dominating the Waterloo market for most of his 12 years in the business. As one of RE/MAX’s top brokers nationwide, Johal is living proof that finding the right coach can make all the difference. “Get a coach who resonates with your core values,” he advises. “Don’t just follow what your brokerage recommends. Interview many coaches and see who you feel you best fit with. Professional athletes have a coach. Professional business owners should do the same.” When he was just starting out, Johal knew his lack of experience would make attracting clients a challenge. He combated this perceived disadvantage by educating himself about every aspect of the industry, from finance to home inspections. “What I lacked in experience I made up with in knowledge,” he says. “I also used seasoned agents in my office when I was talking to clients by letting the client know that I had a ‘seasoned vet’ just a call away.”


Royal LePage Team Realty Ottawa, ON Age: 35

When Adam Mills first got his licence, he saw himself as a house-flipper first and a Realtor second. That didn’t last long. “I got so consumed and busy with selling that flipping faded into a distant memory,” he says. “Real estate has far exceed my expectations. It is a business where you truly get out what you put in.” Eight years into his career, Mills is now one of Royal LePage’s most outstanding young agents, running his own Ottawabased team that has already achieved Chairman’s Club status. Mills says his success has been the result of constantly evolving systems and consistent communication with his database. “Without consistency, you will never generate strong results,” he says. “But with the right level of consistency, you stay top of mind, and being top of mind equals referrals.”



Century 21 Professional Group Brantford, ON Age: 31

Jake Eivers has a simple piece of advice for younger agents looking to achieve his level of success: “Prospect. Nothing else is needed. Consistent, relentless prospecting is the key. I shoot for 20 contacts a day.” Eivers adds that maintaining the level of focus and intensity needed to keep a client base growing requires working on more than just your pitch. “I realized early on that the harder I worked on myself, the better I performed in real estate,” he says. “Good habits and routines are what got me to where I am.”

JACQUELINE PENNINGTON RE/MAX Rouge River Realty Cobourg, ON Age: 34

Not all Realtors complete deals while they’re in labour – thank you, DocuSign – but not all agents are Jacqueline Pennington. A former lobbyist used to fighting for her clients’ interests, Pennington brought that same drive and determination to real estate 11 years ago. “I’ve always have said my job isn’t to sell my clients on anything, but to be an advocate for them and ensure their interests are protected,” she says. As a young agent looking to differentiate herself, Pennington became an encyclopedia of market knowledge. Her bottomless expertise has made her a guru for investors in the Durham Region. “When anyone asks me, ‘How’s the market doing?’, I can answer with specific details and facts and not the old, ‘Depends if you’re buying or selling’ shtick,” she says.

AMIT DHAWAN Century 21 Atria Realty

MARK PEDLAR RE/MAX Bluewater Realty Grand Bend, ON Age: 30

Mark Pedlar has been selling the dream of cottage life since 2010, when he started working alongside his father at RE/MAX Bluewater. “I’ve always enjoyed being able to help people find their dream home or cottage and build relationships with clients who have moved to the area or come up on weekends to enjoy the beach life,” he says. Like many of this year’s Young Guns, Pedlar has gained a great deal of insight from more experienced Realtors, but he believes young agents should resist the urge to rely on their mentors for business. “Surround yourself with a good sphere of influence – mortgage agents, home inspectors and other young professionals in different industries – so you can help each other grow your brands together,” he advises. In addition to his responsibilities as a Realtor, Pedlar has been a volunteer firefighter in Grand Bend for five years, dedicating almost 300 hours to the brigade each year.

Toronto, ON Age: 35

To be the best, an agent must make sacrifices. Amit Dhawan admits his desire to excel in the Toronto market has caused him to miss “countless friends’ barbeques, dinner parties and birthdays” to focus on work. But after twice being named Agent of the Year, a President’s Circle Award winner and a Centurion Club member, Dhawan’s persistence has clearly paid off. “I have no regrets,” he says. Dhawan urges Toronto-based agents both young and old to network with agents from outside the city. “It’s an important part of the business,” he says. “A lot of people move to the GTA from other parts of the country and the world. Knowing top agents in other locations helps to build stronger relationships and ultimately grow your business.”


Century 21 Erie Shores Realty Kingsville, ON Age: 25

Cody Kraus couldn’t wait to be his own boss, which explains why he went into real estate at the ripe old age of 18. “What’s kept me in it this long is the people,” he says. “I’ve met a lot of friends through this business and get an absolute thrill finding the right home for people.” Kraus’ Century 21 team was the company’s number-two team in Canada and number 16 globally for units sold in 2017. He says one advantage of being young is a lack of baggage in the form of “no bad habits and an open mind. Younger agents typically embrace and implement new ideas like e-signatures, Facebook/Instagram advertising and drone videos more quickly than an agent who’s been around for a while.”




RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Kitchener, ON Age: 33

The KitchenerWaterloo market has been anywhere from simmering to boiling for the past three years, and Jennifer Ziegler has been bringing the new onslaught of buyers the service and integrity they deserve. A multiple award winner, Ziegler says authenticity continues to be a major component of her success. “Too often we try to replicate others’ success and are upset when it doesn’t work,” she says. “When I committed to always doing things my own way, I found more success than I could have ever imagined.” Ziegler has managed to build a thriving business while experiencing some significant life changes. Last year, she gave birth to her second son and had her best year as an agent. “I want to set an example for my two boys that their mom is a strong, driven businesswoman who works hard to help others,” Ziegler says.


Multiple Realty Vancouver, BC Age: 33

Rob Rhead followed in his father’s footsteps when he became a Realtor two years ago. Although learning from his dad has been rewarding, he’s found that it’s no substitute for firsthand experience. “Having to deal with multiple parties and multiple negotiations can make things very difficult,” Rhead says. “Taking the time to understand everyone’s needs and ensuring a win-win negotiation makes everything worth it at the end of the day.”


BRITTANY BROWN RE/MAX Affiliates Realty Ottawa, ON Age: 30

Growing up with a mother who was a Realtor and a father who worked in new home construction, Brittany Brown was steeped in real estate from an early age. The information she absorbed from her parents, combined with the experience that comes along with eight years in the industry, have positioned her as a go-to expert in the white-hot Ottawa market. In 2017, Brown entered RE/MAX’s Platinum Club for the first time. Brown spent the first few years of her career as part of a team before deciding to branch out and sell as an individual agent. It was a move she takes pride in. “It was an amazing feeling to know that everything my team taught me paid off and I could become successful with the tools they gave me,” she says. “It wasn’t just because I was a part of that team.”



London, ON Age: 33

Strathroy, ON Age: 34

Royal LePage Triland Realty

As a university student, Devin Nadeau spent his summers working for a large corporation, which was enough to convince him of the need for greater control over where his career was headed. Upon graduating, he made a beeline toward real estate, where he instantly made a name for himself at Royal LePage, winning Rookie of the Year in 2012. Last year, he was number two in a brokerage of more than 250 agents. Nadeau’s business has evolved from working with younger clients to older ones looking to downsize. His expertise is a major factor in attracting business, but so is his unpretentious disposition. “The best advice I can provide is to be yourself,” he says. “Don’t try to mimic what others are doing. Learn from them, but then work to carve out your own niche.”

RE/MAX Centre City Realty

Ryan Brady has put his first five years in the industry to good use. He has taken home RE/MAX Platinum Club honours multiple times and is a member of the company’s Hall of Fame. While the financial rewards have been satisfying, Brady believes young agents need to actively search out positive influences if they’re going to last in the business. “Pursue and surround yourself with positive people in all aspects of your life,” he advises. “Work with clients whose company you enjoy, and in your free time, surround yourself with positive people who are also trying to accomplish more in life.” Brady’s proudest moment as a Realtor came when he and his wife closed on their own house. “I constantly talked about the features that I liked, never thinking that it would become our home,” he says.

TOBIAS SMULDERS RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Hamilton, ON Age: 34

As a real estate investor with a previous career in construction, Tobias Smulders prides himself on his ability to educate his clients on every aspect of their upcoming purchase – including how they can build value and ensure a smooth resale down the road. “I love taking my experience and helping other people invest in real estate to grow their personal net worth,” he says. In his six years as an agent, Smulders has already amassed an impressive collection of hardware from RE/MAX, including Hall of Fame, Chariman’s Club and Top 30 Under 30 honours.



YOUNG GUNS 2018 ASHLEY BARKER RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Tobermory, ON Age: 26

BRANDON POLSINELLO RE/MAX Realtron Polsinello Realty Newmarket, ON Age: 29

In Brandon Polsinello’s relatively short six years in the business, he has already established himself as a major player at a franchise that consistently ranks among RE/MAX’s highest. Polsinello credits his early success to finding the right mentor, and he encourages other young agents to do the same. “That could mean joining a team and learning from a team leader,” he says, “or it could mean connecting with an agent in your office that you think has a strong business you could see yourself emulating, or it could mean getting a real estate coach that will keep you on the right track. Be diligent in your choice.” That said, Polsinello knows that a mentor is not a shortcut to success. He stresses that agents still need to “keep working, keep getting in front of people and showing the value that you provide.”

ASHLEY COOK RE/MAX Avante Moncton, NB Age: 32

There was a time not so long ago when Ashley Cook had plans to become a teacher. But when she realized teaching wasn’t for her, she turned to real estate. Cook is still educating people – quite a few of them, considering her continued success with RE/MAX Avante – but they just happen to be looking for houses. Succeeding in a Moncton market that has been soft for a significant part of her eight-year career requires no shortage of perseverance, and maintaining a positive outlook has been key. “I believe in every situation, you either win or you learn,” Cook says. “There is no such thing as losing. On every sale, house showing and real estate experience, I try my best to look at what I did well and what I can do better next time. I can always be proud that I’ve done my best.”


Working in a beautiful rural area has been one of the highlights of Ashley Barker’s four-year career in real estate. While the lower price points in Tobermory mean she’s had to move more properties to get the same results as some of her big-city counterparts, that just means she gets to do more of what she loves. “I love the area I work in and wouldn’t change a thing,” she says. Barker has accelerated her professional development by engaging in a practice too many Realtors simply don’t make time for. “Take the time to reflect on where you have been, what you can improve on and where you want to be,” she advises. “Self-reflection can be hard, but it’s worth it.”


RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Burlington, ON Age: 28

A former financial advisor, Jason Tome saw in real estate an opportunity to provide homebuyers with the same type of service. “This commitment to guide people to preserve and grow their wealth has made working in the real estate industry incredibly rewarding and fulfilling for me,” he says. One of the highlights of Tome’s first five years as an agent has been helping first-time buyers navigate an increasingly intimidating market. “I take special pride in being able to devise a financial plan that allows these clients to fulfill the dream of homeownership and thus create and preserve wealth,” he says.

NESTOR-JAN BUENDIA RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Hamilton, ON Age: 32

Nestor-Jan Buendia has been helping clients get the most out of their homes for the past seven years, first as a multi-award winner with Keller Williams and now as one of RE/MAX Escarpment’s top producers. Buendia fell in love with real estate as a 16-year-old helping his father renovate the first home they purchased in Canada. When the home sold for the highest price in the neighbourhood, he learned some valuable lessons that he puts to use each day. “We help clients be creative and prepare their homes before we sell, through staging, decluttering and just being hands-on with them,” Buendia says. “Knowing we are truly making a difference in our clients’ lives – be it a financial, security or lifestyle-related one – that’s the most fulfilling part of our jobs.”

STACY VERMEIRE RE/MAX Lakeshore Realty Cobourg, ON Age: 34

KRIS VAN BODEGOM Royal LePage First Contact Realty Barrie, ON Age: 30

Only three years into his life as a Realtor, Kris van Bodegom has been using a potent combination of confidence and market knowledge to make up for his lack of experience. In his short time in the industry, he has made himself an indispensable cog in the unstoppable machine of Royal LePage First Contact Realty, which has been the company’s top team in Canada since 2015. Not content to simply donate commissions to charitable causes, van Bodegom is an active volunteer with a number of organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and his local food bank. “There’s no feeling quite like giving back to your own community,” he says.

Her knack for problem-solving has made real estate the perfect career for Stacy Vermeire, who has spent the past 11 years helping clients achieve their housing and financial goals. “It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” she says. “I have never dreaded the thought of going to work.” By carefully listening to customer feedback, optimizing processes and evolving her business into a team, Vermiere has become an invaluable part of RE/MAX Lakeshore’s success. She has won RE/MAX’s Hall of Fame Award, is a three-time recipient of its 100% Club Award and has been a member of the Platinum Club every year since 2014.

TREVOR CLARK RE/MAX Core Realty Ottawa, ON Age: 29

Trevor Clark has never viewed youth as an obstacle to success. Coming to the industry with the skills older agents enrol in classes to learn, younger agents are the problemsolvers clients are looking for, Clark says. “We grew up in a generation full of instant information where we have become accustomed to learning on the fly,” he says. “Give a young agent a problem, and they’ll know how and where to get the answer in five minutes flat.” Clark’s media savvy, something millennial agents seem to have coded into their DNA, has helped make him a familiar face in an increasingly competitive Ottawa market. “We’re constantly told that people felt comfortable contacting us after watching our videos,” he says. “They felt like they got to know us.”



YOUNG GUNS 2018 VANESSA JEFFERY RE/MAX Realtron TPS Realty Toronto, ON Age: 29

Vanessa Jeffery has made her name by promising and delivering a consistent, disciplined experience for her clients. Jeffery’s approach can be summed up by a transaction she completed for a couple expecting their first child and struggling to qualify for a mortgage. When they reached out to Jeffery, they were discouraged and stressed. “We collaborated with our best strategic partners to not only get them a mortgage, but also find them a beautiful home,” she says. “They were all settled before the baby arrived.”



Century 21 Heritage Group

RE/MAX Hallmark Jacki Lam Group

Hamilton, ON Age: 34

Markham, ON Age: 34

Miguel Lima has built an awardwinning business over the past 15 years by keeping things personal. “I’m proud of the fact that I spend very little on mass media because my business has been built on client experience,” he says. “This has led my clients to continuously refer me.” Lima was first drawn to real estate after watching his immigrant parents struggle to get the help they needed when they sold their home. “Real estate has fed my passion to help people,” he says.

Jacki Lam’s nine years in the business have been a rollicking success. A multiple Chairman’s Club and Titan Club award winner, Lam also owns her own thriving RE/MAX franchise. Lam is known as much for her vitality, persistence and unquenchable passion for real estate as for her willingness to leverage her success to help others. For the past three years, she has been among the top donors to the Children’s Miracle Network, sending a portion of each sale to the organization.

STACEY CHAVES RE/MAX Twin City Realty Cambridge, ON Age: 35

Stacey Chaves can still recall vividly an open house she hosted at the start of her career. “This older couple said to me, ‘We would like to do an offer. Should we contact your parents?’”, she recalls. “I replied, ‘Well, my parents are a couple of hippies. I’m not sure they would be very helpful.’” Clients aren’t asking to see Chaves’ parents these days. Ten years of experience and a host of awards – including Rookie of the Year, Platinum Club, 100% Club and Hall of Fame – have turned her into a sought-after local expert in a Cambridge market still highly attractive to buyers of all stripes. She recently completed her broker’s designation, which will further differentiate her from the competition and set her up for the next phase of a blossoming career.


RE/MAX Centre City Phil Spoelstra Realty London, ON Age: 34

In addition to the autonomy and financial rewards that come along with being an agent, there’s an additional benefit Phil Spoelstra has come to love: competition. “The competition in real estate is stiff and always changing,” he says, “which helps maintain the excitement and keeps you in a slightly uncomfortable state at all times, forcing you to grow and adapt.” Spoelstra’s RE/MAX Centre City franchise, which specializes in selling farm land, was cleverly structured to maximize its potential. By partnering with a Realtor in his 50s, Spoelstra has been able to target the two most significant generations in his marketplace: baby boomers and millennials. “There are a lot of farm operations going through a transition in ownership from one generation to the next,” he says. “We each represent one of these generations, which allows us to better relate to our clients.”


STEPHANIE TRIPP RE/Max Preferred Realty Windsor, ON Age: 27

Stephanie Tripp has only been a Realtor for two years, but she’s already made a big impact on the Windsor market, using her background as a property investor to help scores of clients bolster their own portfolios. It hasn’t been easy, though: Tripp says investment clients, protective of their bottom lines, can be reluctant to deal with a younger agent. “Keeping up-to-date and knowledgeable in my area of expertise has been the most effective way for me to overcome new clients questioning my ability to adequately represent their best interests,” she says. “I ensure that all my clients, many of whom are not very familiar with Windsor, are up-to-date on the most desirable locations to invest and what they can expect from different types of purchases.”



YOUNG GUNS 2018 JONATHAN POPOWICH RE/MAX iRealty Innovations Calgary, AB Age: 35

Jonathan Popowich has never shied away from a challenge. A former firefighter, Popowich has been finding fresh solutions for homebuyers for the past nine years. Despite being known for his innovative approach to real estate, Popowich says his success is rooted in some of the industry’s more traditional practices. “Our goal is to make every one of our clients feel like they are our only client,” he says. “When a client has a baby, we want a baby gift on the doorstep before they get home from the hospital. If you do what you say you’re going to do and you are a nice person, the results come naturally.” Those results speak for themselves: Popowich has won RE/MAX’s Diamond, Titan and Chairman’s Club awards and is currently the company’s number-two agent in all of Alberta.

TRAVIS BOUGHNER Sutton Group Heritage Realty Ajax, ON Age: 32

According to Sutton Group’s Travis Boughner, to be happy, agents must find what it is about real estate that gets their hearts pumping. “Uncover what it is that you love about this business – whether it be door-knocking, cold-calling, open houses or other forms of connecting with people – and exploit it,” he advises. “Exploit what you love about this business because you can’t do everything that everyone tells you to do – nor can you often afford to.” Boughner’s prior experience as an advertising sales consultant has proved invaluable in establishing him as one of Sutton Group’s top agents in the Durham Region. He has won the company’s Elite, Pinnacle and Platinum awards and was named Rookie of the Year in 2015.


Century 21 Mountainview Realty Castlegar, BC Age: 22

One of the youngest of this year’s Young Guns, Jake Sherbinin has already made a splash in the small community of Castlegar, BC. Sherbinin’s early success demonstrates that there are plenty of opportunities for rookie agents willing to work for them. “Put in the hours and hard work, and the business will follow,” he says. “I was once told it’s like rolling a snowball down a hill. At first, it’s pretty slow and tough, but once you get it built up, it starts rolling and building – sometimes more quickly than you can keep up.” Sherbinin believes in the power of adhering to a schedule, which has kept his business growing. “I try to have a solid morning routine,” he says. “I try to get all of the big tasks done before noon, leaving the afternoon for appointments and closing deals.”


PETER KOSTECKI RE/MAX Twin City Realty Kitchener, ON Age: 33

For Peter Kostecki – the number-three agent in an office of 115 – the key to success is delivering white-glove service. From choosing the right clothes to settling on the right offer, Kostecki believes agents who win are the ones who go the extra mile. “There are many great agents out there, but the majority don’t have the right mindset,” he says. “People are paying a ton of money for you to serve them. Earn it!” But Kostecki also warns agents not to get caught up in their own hype and become the arrogant caricature most consumers associate Realtors with. “Diplomacy is key,” he says. “Kill them with kindness. Eventually things will come full circle and you’ll come out on top.”

31 31




Woodbridge, ON Age: 25

Tweed, ON Age: 34

RE/MAX Millennium Real Estate

RE/MAX’s youngest broker/owner, Ron Sally admits that talent isn’t the only quality behind his success at RE/MAX Millennium. “Teach yourself discipline,” he advises other young agents. “The most successful people are the ones with a modest amount of talent and a huge amount of discipline. Explore any means of improving, treat every success as your first and find the best possible chance for winning.” Sally says agents must find a way to stay top of mind with clients if they hope to survive. “I do this by being a confident, friendly voice for real estate,” he says. “But more than anything, I look for ways to bring value to anyone I meet and make sure that at the end of our conversation, I have given them some nugget they can remember me by or learn something from.”


Sutton Group Right Way Real Estate Woodstock, ON Age: 33

A positive experience with her own Realtor when buying her first condo was enough to get Jessica Curtis-Blair interested in being on the other side of a sale. Twelve years later, she’s amassed a collection of Sutton Group’s Diamond and Platinum sales awards and a growing list of satisfied clients. “My best advice would be to get your systems set up right away and keep building and working those systems,” she says. “No one is going to be there to hold you accountable, so set big goals and use them to hold yourself accountable.”


RE/MAX Hallmark First Group Realty

Working a small market hasn’t prevented Shawna Trudeau from putting up big numbers. She’s already taken home RE/ MAX’s Hall of Fame and Platinum Club awards, the latter of which she aims to win every year from now on. Succeeding in a small market depends heavily on positive word of mouth, something Trudeau is well aware of. “If they trust the name and service, that’s where I’ve succeeded,” she says, adding that success hinges on parlaying a positive reputation into a strong brand. “A brand is a strategy. Keep your name out there as much as you can – advertising, signage, whatever you can do – so you’re not forgotten.”



Orillia, ON Age: 30

Fredericton, NB Age: 31

Drew MacIntosh has found that young Realtors dreaming about their future dominance often forget to account for one key side effect: boredom. “Make peace with boredom,” he advises. “Success is ‘boring’ because it’s all about consistent repetition, doing the right things over and over. Too often, we have uphill hopes and dreams with downhill habits.” MacIntosh says the first – and biggest – challenge he had to deal with as a Realtor was self-doubt, which can be paralyzing. “Preparation breeds confidence,” he says, “so know your scripts, be your authentic self, and you will see your business flourish.”

Selling in a less-than-glamourous market like Fredericton, Jessie Yerxa has learned the power of authenticity. “I connect with potential clients through social media by showcasing real-life occurrences in the real estate business and by posting relatable content,” she says. “Doing this creates a following of authentic potential clients and creates a sphere of influence for referrals.” In addition to providing her clients with top-level technology and service, Yerxa also created and trademarked an initiative called Pawsitive Property, through which she donates $100 to a local animal shelter for every home she lists and sells.

RE/MAX Orillia Realty

EXIT Realty Advantage

MITCHELL DESLIPPE RE/MAX Preferred Realty Amherstburg, ON Age: 27

Mitchell Deslippe has seen his sales improve in each of his five years as a Realtor, but it was selling one of Amherstburg’s most famous properties that truly made him known in the community. “I was honoured to be selected as one of the listing Realtors for Duffy’s Tavern,” he says. “It held high significance and had a lot of history in our local area. Selling Duffy’s really helped solidify my reputation as qualified Realtor here.” Like several of his fellow Young Guns, Deslippe benefited from finding the right mentor early on. “Being given proper training and years of industry knowledge right from the start, I was better able to navigate the market and sidestep many rookie mistakes,” he says. “Quality mentorship has definitely set me apart from many of my competitors.”



YOUNG GUNS 2018 EMILY SCOTT RE/MAX Land Exchange Kincardine, ON Age: 22

A RE/MAX Executive Club and 100% Club member, Emily Scott sees honesty as the key to success as a Realtor; growing up in a small Ontario town taught her the value of following through on a promise. “I would advise a new agent to be extremely honest with clients and fellow Realtors,” she says. “It doesn’t go unrecognized.” When she’s not winning over clients with her integrity, Scott can be found donating her time to the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where she mentors a seven-year-old girl named Olivia. “Joining this organization and spending time with Olivia has been one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences,” Scott says.

KALEB STREETER Royal LePage First Contact Realty Orillia, ON Age: 30

While Kaleb Streeter has spent his first three years as a Realtor establishing himself as an integral part of Mark Faris’ monumentally successful Royal LePage team, he encourages young agents struggling through their first year or two not to lose hope. “Don’t worry about not doing a lot of sales right away,” he says. “The first few months are seed-planting. The sales will come. Just continue doing the right things and don’t get discouraged during the dry spells.” Streeter says developing the right mindset is key to surviving in this business. “Mindset is everything – the foundation to build your real estate career around,” he says. “Creating solutions and controlling your outcomes are a result of being in the right mindset.”

IAN OSBORNE RE/MAX Chay Realty Aurora, ON Age: 32

Ian Osborne says one of the advantages of being a young agent is having a naturally deep reserve of energy – but maintaining the level of energy needed to succeed can’t be taken for granted. “I pride myself in working long hours, so diet plays a huge role in increasing my energy,” he says. “That energy allows me to work longer hours and sell more properties.” Osborne’s vitality has allowed him to stand out in a crowded Durham market. He was named to RE/MAX’s 100% Club in 2016 and won the company’s Platinum Club Award in 2017.


JAKE DONATIS Royal LePage Lannon Realty Thunder Bay, ON Age: 33

Jake Donatis, one half of the Donatis Brothers Team with his brother Zac, has already received the Director’s Platinum Award and the Award of Excellence for his work with Royal LePage. Now an established Realtor seven years into his career, Donatis admits that the early days were a grind that required constant perseverance. “Work hard,” he advises new agents. “Learn as much as you can and impress people with the knowledge you have.” For Donatis, social media skills and keeping an eye on the newest technology are essential for all agents, but there’s no substitute for integrity. “Don’t be a highpressure salesman,” he says. “Be ethical and be yourself.”


RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Mississauga, ON Age: 33

While thousands of agents still try to build their brands on image alone, Mani Batoo has built his by interacting with the people whose lives he hopes to improve. “My marketing strategy is largely based on social interaction such as client events, dinners, social outings and sporting events,” he says. “I find having face-to-face time with clients and understanding their needs is the most effective way to generate more business.” Now in his 10th year as an agent, Batoo is just scratching the surface of his success. In 2017, he won RE/MAX’s coveted Diamond Club Award, and he currently sits among the company’s top 100 agents in Canada.


Homelife Glenayre Realty Company Abbotsford, BC Age: 33

Joe Varing has been the number-one Homelife agent in Canada for sales volume since 2014. His massive success has been the result of consistency and a dedicated “relationships first, business second” attitude that clients in Abbotsford have come to depend on. Varing describes himself as a student of real estate with a thirst for knowledge. “I feel that if I stop growing, the business will outgrow me,” he says. “It’s my humble opinion that this is true for life as well.” Tending to a growing number of responsibilities – and clients – demands a great deal of time, but Varing has remained active in his local community. He supports Kids Play, the Abbotsford Food Bank and the Abbotsford Hospital. He has also set up a $2,500 bursary at W.J. Mouat Secondary School. “The teachers at Mouat gave me a great opportunity over the years and encouraged me to pursue what felt right to me,” he says. “I am forever indebted to those wonderful teachers.”




Connect with clients in an omnichannel world

Anthony Hitt, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas, explains how real estate offices can deliver a holistic brand experience in an age of disruption

IT’S REMARKABLE to think that less than two decades ago, the vast majority of consumers had never made an online purchase. By the end of last year, e-commerce retail sales had reached $453.5 billion. Right now, the real estate industry is in the midst of a similarly meteoric disruption, in that technology is changing the way we


interact with clients. As with the upending of the traditional retail industry, there will be winners and losers as the dust settles and the industry continues to evolve. Fortunately, there are lessons we can learn from what has already transpired in retail. Perhaps the most important is that an omni­ channel approach to business will be key for

real estate brands’ survival and growth. Consider Amazon, the global retail behemoth whose founder, Jeff Bezos, recently became the wealthiest man in the world. A pioneer in e-commerce, Amazon later invested in a unique approach to brick-and-mortar (Amazon Books, Amazon Go and last year’s acquisition of Whole Foods), seeing the value of strategic investment in a physical space that communicates brand identity and value, extends consumers’ brand experience to a new channel, and helps tell a more complete brand story. Though it is an oft-repeated mantra for retail brands, we hear less about the omni­ channel approach in real estate. Put simply, this means meeting customers wherever they are – whether that’s online, in-store, via social media, on mobile, etc. – to create a holistic brand experience. As disruptive, digital-first brands enter real estate, many traditional players are scrambling to keep up by redefining themselves and their businesses. And while adaptation is critical to remain competitive, it’s equally important not to lose sight of delivering a distinct brand experience through the creation and fostering of interpersonal relationships. A study published in Harvard Business Review last year found that the strength of a consumer’s loyalty to a brand directly correlates to the number of channels the customer uses to interact and engage with that brand. That means that while real estate professionals should absolutely be investing in technology and reaching their clients through digital channels, they should not overlook the power of one of their biggest existing brand assets: the in-store experience. Buying or selling a home is one of biggest and most emotionally charged decisions in a person’s life. The role of a real estate professional is to serve as an expert advisor to guide and support the client through this process, so shouldn’t your physical location reflect this as well? Here are three ways to leverage the in-store experience as part of a holistic, omnichannel approach to client service:


View space as an extension of your marketing strategy

Just like a website or listing presentation, a brokerage’s physical space is a reflection of its brand identity and values. Every real estate professional needs to consider how the distinctive aspects of their brand can be translated into their physical space. Is signage clear, recognizable and consistent with other marketing materials? Are exceptional listings showcased in a pleasing manner? These are all things to consider before clients or prospects walk through the door. Once they do, is someone there to greet them and offer a beverage? Is there a comfortable, welcoming waiting area? What other brand resources do you have on-hand for them to peruse? Answering these questions will help you begin to define your in-store brand experience.

In a relationship-based business like real estate, every touchpoint that brings people into your shop and face-to-face with agents is critical when it comes time for them to choose a real estate partner. This is why our network doesn’t operate in offices, but shops. When our clients visit an Engel & Völkers location across the globe, we want it to feel like a luxury personal shopping experience, not a harried office visit. This distinction is one that sets us apart.


Get as close to your customers as possible

No one knows better than real estate professionals the importance of location. A brokerage’s physical location should be in the heart of the market it’s serving, in the thick of where clients are, interacting with them every day. While technology can help enhance the

While adaptation is critical to remain competitive, it’s equally important not to lose sight of delivering a distinct brand experience 2

Create community experiences

Good real estate professionals are community and neighbourhood experts, not only in terms of real estate, but also in terms of what’s happening with other local businesses and events, as well as what amenities are available to residents. A simple tactic for connecting with area consumers is to view your physical office space as a community venue and a place for residents to come together. For example, host a wine tasting with a local restaurant or vineyard or an art show featuring local talent. Our network has seen a lot of success hosting Special Olympics fundraising events or simply bringing in Santa or the Easter Bunny so the community can come together to create memories and get family photos taken.


experience, it will never be able to take the place of an agent who understands the difference between two city blocks that are seemingly identical or problems that plague certain buildings but not others. It is this added human value that will continue to reign supreme in our industry. Real estate is evolving at a rapid pace. On one end of the spectrum will be those players who don’t adapt, while on the other will be those who attempt to redefine their business to compete with every new market entrant. I would argue that the most successful real estate companies will be those who embrace an omnichannel approach, viewing every channel in terms of how it can best help deliver a unique, personal brand experience to each client. REP

Since its beginning in 1977 as a specialty boutique providing exclusive, high-end real estate services in Hamburg, Germany, Engel & Völkers has become one of the world’s leading companies specializing in the sale and lease of premium residential and commercial property, yachts, and private aviation. Engel & Völkers currently operates a global network of over 10,000 real estate advisors in more than 30 countries, offering both private and institutional clients a professionally tailored range of luxury services. Committed to exceptional service, Engel & Völkers supports its advisors with an array of premium-quality business services; marketing programs and tools; multiple platforms for mobile, social and web; and access to its global network of real estate professionals, property listings and market data. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated. To learn more about Engel & Völkers and the unmatched support and resources it provides its Realtors, visit




Avoid these marketing mistakes One of North America’s top real estate coaches, Richard Robbins has witnessed his fair share of mistakes. Here, he outlines three marketing missteps agents commonly make and what they should do instead BEFORE YOU go to your next appointment, write another email or send out your next ‘just listed, just sold’ postcard, take a look at these three common marketing mistakes. If one or more of them applies to you, it may be time to plan a detour from your well-worn marketing route.


Talking too much, and mostly about yourself

You’re great. The services you provide are probably great, too, but talking too much about yourself and your services can actually backfire and cause more harm than good.

What to do instead: Shift your focus from telling to showing Whether in person or in print, rather than telling people what you do and risk boring them, shift your focus to show people how well what you do has worked for others. Social proof is an effective marketing tool that cuts through clutter. Incorporate client video testimony, online reviews and dollarized proof of your negotiation skills for the best results.


For print and digital marketing, the same rules apply. Rather than tell them you’re an expert, show them your expertise. Create and deliver content that is relevant, timely and insightful. The most impactful content teaches your audience something they didn’t know. Become an expert at communicating your expertise and watch clients start to actively seek you out for advice.


Sounding exactly the same as everyone else

Many real estate professionals share or post current real estate board stats or news articles, but how many are adding context? Your clients already have information and tools at their disposal 24/7. What they don’t have is the wisdom that comes from your years of experience, your expert knowledge and way of explaining things.

What to do instead: Have an opinion Add your interpretation and advice to the real estate news everyone in your marketplace is hearing about. Break down the broad market

statistics and talk to your clients about what the numbers mean to them. Offer your unique perspective and don’t be afraid to provide an honest opinion. Buying and selling real estate is a big deal. People want a leader who isn’t afraid to tell them the truth.

Spending too much time finding leads and not enough time converting leads


Ironically, one marketing mistake you might be making is spending too much time marketing. Technology and marketing strategies are powerful tools, but they can distract you from the real goal – converting leads into appointments and appointments into contracts. Five hundred likes on your Facebook page is great, but are you selling more houses because of it?

What to do instead: Become relentless at lead follow-up Before starting a new marketing tactic, ask yourself: “Am I trying to stay busy to avoid doing the hard work of setting appointments with the leads I already have?” Most agents could literally double their business just by implementing an effective lead follow-up system. Research shows that the optimal number of attempts to convert a lead is six. How and when you reach out to your leads is equally important as the number of attempts. However, the real secret here is having a system and sticking to it with a relentless commitment. REP

Richard Robbins is the founder and CEO of Richard Robbins International [RRI], a Canada-based organization providing worldclass real estate conferences and business coaching. For more information about upcoming conferences, booking Robbins to speak or coaching programs, visit or call 800-298-9587.

Imagine being able to start dreaming up, building collaboratively and daring to be more than just another broker.

Imagine being part of something different. Some of the best in the business, like you, represent our network and can tell you what it means to be part of

Engel & Völkers Canada 2 Bloor Street West, Suite 700 · Toronto · ON M4W 3RI · Phone +1 416-323-1100 ©2018 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. This advertisement is not an offering of a franchise, and where required by law, an offering can only be made 14 days after delivery of the applicable franchise disclosure document.



How to keep the leads flowing Lead generation is one of the least glamorous and most frustrating aspects of being an agent, but according to Craig Proctor, the Millionaire Agent Maker, it doesn’t have to be this way

generation more than anything. Cold-calling, door-knocking, organizing client parties, bugging your friends and family – these traditional activities can be time-consuming, expensive and downright unpleasant. As a result, lead generation becomes something agents subconsciously avoid, choosing to keep themselves busy on the more enjoyable aspects of the business. In my 22 years in the business, my success came in large part because of the way I approached lead generation. I took the seasonality out of my business because I had an easy system involving ads I placed throughout the year. The cornerstone of this system is what I like to call “reverse prospecting” because qualified prospects contacted me, not the other way around. My pipeline was filled on a consistent basis, which meant I always had enough good customers to work with, no matter what season it was.

WITH SUMMER rapidly fading into memory and the fall selling season about to kick into high gear, it’s time for agents to ramp up their prospecting efforts. For most Realtors, that means repeating the same uninspiring tactics that have occasionally – and unpredictably – worked for them in the past. Craig Proctor, North America’s leading real estate coach, says agents struggling to keep leads in the pipeline need to abandon their dated, ineffective strategies and try a new approach: the same one that transformed him into RE/MAX’s number-one agent in the world.

You have to make lead generation a priority 12 months of the year … If your competitors aren’t putting forth effort during the slow times, that becomes a huge opportunity for you

REP: It seems as if a lot of agents let prospecting slide during the summer and then try to get serious about it again in September. But is real estate really that seasonal a business? Craig Proctor: In most markets, home

has to suffer at any time of year. You have to make lead generation a priority 12 months of the year, regardless of how your market is performing. If your competitors aren’t putting forth effort during the slow times, that becomes a huge opportunity for you.

sales predictably peak at certain times of the year and slow down at others, so during traditionally slower months – like summer – many agents rationalize that there’s little

REP: Then why don’t more agents do that? CP: For starters, most agents dread lead


use in trying to find customers. The result: They all but abandon lead generation until the market picks up, so the notion that it’s harder to find customers at certain times of year becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In reality, there’s no reason your business

REP: What does reverse prospecting generally cost an agent? CP: It’s a strategy you can execute with very little cash through print or online classi-

fied ads. These ads are inexpensive, and the people who generally read real estate classifieds tend to be qualified buyer prospects. Here are five steps to effectively reaching and converting those buyers using my system: 1. Think of advertising in a new way. Even though you’re placing an ad, your goal is not to sell the property – as counterintuitive as that may sound – because it’s virtually impossible to sell a house with a classified ad. When

a potential buyer sees a real estate ad and calls, what happens most often is that as you begin to describe the property, they start to eliminate it as either too big or small, in the wrong area, or too expensive. If you’ve mastered the art of call conversion, you can get the buyer interested in a different listing. Therefore, when you’re writing your classified ads, you shouldn’t be thinking about how to showcase all the wonderful features of a particular home. Instead, think about how you can get the highest rate of response. 2. Make your ads compelling and non-threatening. The most effective and least expensive way to generate leads is to offer prospects something they want and make it very easy for them to get it. No one likes to be ‘sold.’ You’ll get a much greater response if prospects don’t have to speak with a salesperson to get the information they’re after. Don’t focus your limited ad space on identifying how many bedrooms a particular listing has or whether the garage is attached. This will only eliminate great prospects who are looking for something else. Instead, describe

your listings in general terms and prompt the reader to contact you by either visiting your website or listening to a recorded phone message for more information. 3. Prepare for incoming calls and web visits. The whole point of running classified ads is to get motivated buyers to contact you. Your recorded voice message might go something like this: “Hi, this is Bob Smith from XYZ Realty. Thank you for calling to receive information on lovely detached homes with private yards on quiet streets in Newmarket. Please leave your name, price range and mailing address so we can send you a list of homes that match your criteria.” Your website landing page should have a similar message and a form where they can submit their name, price range and contact information. Those who don’t plan to buy right away should go into your drip marketing programs. 4. Fine-tune your follow-up. When you call back prospects, you need a carefully worded script that will help you establish their timing and motivation. The best way to encourage prospects to meet with you

is to make a non-threatening and targeted offer that provides a meaningful benefit. For example, ask buyers: “Would you like to receive a daily list of homes that match your criteria?” If they say yes, respond: “Great, if we can get together for about 15 minutes, I can listen to exactly what you’re looking for so that we don’t miss out on the perfect home. When is a good time to get together – days or evenings?” 5. Track your results and test relentlessly. Consistency throughout the year is your goal. Place ads every single week and run tests to see if different wording will produce better results. By tracking each approach, you can quickly determine the best messages and the best places to run them to get maximum return on your advertising. REP

Craig Proctor has helped create more millionaire Realtors than any other real estate trainer or coach in North America. To find out more about Proctor’s systems, call his office at 800-538-1034 or visit




10 reasons to sell your brokerage Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty, talked to REP about how broker/owners can navigate one of the biggest decisions they will ever make

TODAY’S REAL state market is primed for acquisitions. Many broker/owners of small real estate firms lament their lack of inventory, their relevance in the market and their ability to stay current with technology. Owners of larger operations often share these concerns. In addition, the industry’s population is aging. In the US, the median age of a Realtor is 53; 30% are over the age of 60, and only 4% are under age 30. Many broker/owners do not have a solid exit strategy that adequately prepares them for retirement. Large, publicly traded real estate companies sometimes acquire market share by buying the number one, two or three operation in an area. The larger the brokerage, the more likely the acquisition is to include stock and cash upfront. In other instances, the acquiring company might buy a book of business but offer no upfront money, only payment over time. Some might offer management a contract, employment or a vested interest in the newly merged operation. According to the industry experts at T3 Sixty, $2 billion was invested in the real estate technology space last year. While relationships matter most and it’s important to be high-touch, it’s equally important to be hightech. With many smaller companies afraid of such technology, unable to afford it or


unwilling to take on the responsibility of keeping abreast of the latest innovations, EXIT Realty CEO Tami Bonnell, author of the recent white paper “Mergers & Acquisitions in Real Estate Brokerage,” feels now is the time to make a move.

“In my experience, the majority of the broker/owners facing these issues simply want to retire or shift focus by staying on after their business is acquired and working in a different capacity,” Bonnell says. “They care about their people and want to ensure

“In my experience, the majority of broker/ owners ... simply want to retire or shift focus by staying after their business is acquired and working in a different capacity” “Even with advances in artificial intelligence and artificial valuation models, I believe that most of the business will continue to be transacted by real estate professionals,” Bonnell says. “Technology will not replace real estate agents, but real estate agents who do not use technology effectively will be replaced by those who do.” Other key reasons for wanting to sell an existing brokerage or wanting to merge with another operation include owners’ concerns about hitting financial goals and reduced margins, leadership struggles, teams taking control of the brokerage, and partnership and/or health issues.

their agents and staff will be treated well.” Regardless of the size of the companies involved and whether they are acquiring or being acquired, there are some important considerations for a successful transaction. First, the business philosophies of the leadership on both sides should agree. The merging of companies is similar to the blending of families; it’s important to take the good qualities from both companies so everyone has a sense of belonging. God communication is essential, too. Stay connected and help everyone understand that it will take time to blend. Bonnell’s white paper outlines three case

10 REASONS TO CONSIDER SELLING 1. You’re not making enough money and/or you’re not getting a satisfactory return on your invested time. 2. You want to return to selling. Many people open a real estate brokerage because they thought it was the next logical step in their career, when their true love was listing and selling real estate. A good salesperson isn’t necessarily a good businessperson. 3. You want to start a new career. 4. You’re tired of the managerial hassles. 5. Partnership disputes. 6. You want access to better resources. 7. Personal or legal problems. 8. Loss of agents – you’re sick of the revolving door. studies, including one where an owner of a company of 27 agents wanted the opportunity to retire over three to five years and assumed her son would take over the business. “Over several meetings during which we explored the possibility of acquiring her company, she eventually trusted me enough to reveal that she was conflicted about pursuing our negotiations,” Bonnell says. “She confessed that she had never discussed with her son his stepping into a leadership role, and she felt that by continuing our discussions, she would hurt his feelings, and she was afraid to raise the issue with him.” Bonnell encouraged the brokerage owner to put negotiations on hold until she spoke with her son. “Regardless of whether her company was acquired by us or not, she owed

it to herself and her son to clear the air,” Bonnell says. “She agreed and enjoyed what she later told me was the best conversation she’d ever had with her son. She discovered he had no interest in the real estate industry; he wanted to go to school for something else entirely. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so he had never mentioned it to her. With that weight lifted, she and her agents joined EXIT.” As a 30-plus-year veteran of the real estate industry, Bonnell was instrumental in building three major brands and has successfully negotiated scores of mergers and acquisitions. “If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of selling your brokerage, make it known to your ‘dirty dozen’ – a close sphere of professionals who work in the real estate industry but who are not Realtors, such as appraisers,

9. Burnout – you’re a real estate veteran who has lived through more than one recession and you don’t want to build again. 10. You want to retire.

home inspectors, mortgage professionals, etc.,” she advises. “They may know of brokerages in your community that are primed for growth and may be a good fit with your business and personal philosophies.” REP To download Tami Bonnell‘s full white paper, including the top 10 reasons for acquiring a brokerage and best practices for a successful transition, visit To learn what EXIT Realty can do for your career, visit opportunities.




Pre-listing inspections: a win-win Agents looking to market a property with confidence and integrity should always encourage a pre-listing home inspection. The home inspection experts at Pillar To Post explain why

YOU INVEST a great deal of time, money and energy to market your listings, so it only makes sense that you need to get a good return on that investment. One of the best steps you can take is to have a professional home inspection prior to listing. A pre-listing inspection can uncover previously unknown problems, both major and minor, allowing sellers the opportunity to


make repairs, updates or replacements as needed or as they choose. The inspection report will also provide important information you can use to price the property correctly and maximize its value. A seller who understands the home’s shortcomings will likely be more amenable to your advice on which issues to address and how the results of the inspection may affect – positively

or negatively – the home’s price and marketability. Being aware of issues in advance will also allow for disclosure of problems when selling, which can result in cleaner offers and a smoother transaction for both parties. Make sure that the home inspection offered is comprehensive and that a report will be delivered immediately upon completion of the inspection. This allows your sellers to get the information they need right away so they can quickly decide on their next steps. Photos should always be part of a professional report so that full documentation of conditions is available to both the sellers and potential buyers, should the seller opt to share this information with them. This can be especially important when it comes to identifying issues that will not be addressed or repaired prior to sale. It’s especially beneficial if your sellers attend the inspection so they can get firsthand feedback and ask any questions of the inspector during the process. If the sellers do repair or otherwise address any issues noted in the report, they should keep receipts and any other relevant records to prove the work was done. Buyers are more likely to feel positive about making a strong offer on a home that has had known problems addressed. Additional testing outside the scope of a standard home inspection can also be performed, including radon, mold, wooddestroying organism [WDO] and other specialized inspections, giving your sellers and potential buyers even more information. This will also lessen the chance of more surprises popping up later in the homebuying process. With a professional, comprehensive prelisting inspection in hand, you can market your sellers’ homes with increased confidence and a better outcome for everyone. REP For more information, please visit the nationwide home inspection experts at



Are you ready for GDPR? If you deal with residents in the EU, your business may be affected by the new GDPR data protection guidelines. Jessica Edgerton of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World explains the implications for Canadian agents YOU’VE LIKELY noted an uptick in

and how and when it is disposed of?

website pop-ups and emails announcing privacy and cookie policy updates. These policy changes reflect a widespread response to the European Union’s newly enacted General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]. You might wonder if these requirements impact your business as a real estate professional in Canada. To determine whether GDPR applies to you, answer these questions: • Does your business collect or handle any information that includes any consumer data pertaining to residents of the EU? • Does your website target, market to and/ or track the activity of individuals located within the EU? • Is your business, or any part of your business, located within the EU? If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then GDPR likely applies to you. The following checklist can serve as an initial reference point for information about GDPR compliance.

If you answered no, conduct an internal investigation into how you collect, store and dispose of data in your company’s possession and control. Review (or create, if you don’t have one) a document retention and destruction policy. Implement this policy and ensure that it’s followed and reviewed annually.

Do you know how personal information is collected by your company, how and where it is stored,

Have you recently reviewed and updated your website’s privacy policy, terms of use and cookie policy in light of GDPR? If not, it’s time to do so, ideally with the help of your counsel and/or a data privacy consultant. GDPR includes specific requirements for privacy and cookie policies that should be addressed.

Do you have systems in place to ensure that EU residents provide affirmative consent for your collection of their personal data? Pursuant to GDPR, EU residents must provide affirmative consent to allow an entity to collect their personal information. This consent must happen prior to the collection of

that data, so you must provide appropriate notifications and consent procedures to allow EU residents, including casual website visitors, to opt into any data collection and online tracking mechanisms.

Do you have systems in place to ensure that EU residents can request the removal of their personal data from your systems and that you can do so without undue delay? GDPR provides EU residents with the “right to be forgotten” – meaning that data subjects can request that you erase or remove their personal information from your systems. However, you are not required to erase or destroy personal information that is reasonably required for your business operations or required to be retained by law or public policy.

Have you spoken to your IT vendors to ensure their compliance with GDPR? If your vendors aren’t in compliance with GDPR and are handling EU residents’ personal information in furtherance of your business interests, then your business may be held responsible. If possible, obtain written confirmation from your vendors that they are complying with GDPR, and have them indemnify you for their non-compliance. GDPR’s impact is far-reaching for businesses worldwide. Being proactive in addressing these guidelines will help protect your business as you engage global consumers. REP

Jessica Edgerton is the executive vice-president of operations and corporate counsel for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the home of the world’s market-leading independent residential brokerages in more than 70 countries, producing over 1.1 million transactions valued at $372 billion annually. For more information, please visit




Why most real estate teams fail The success rate for real estate agents trying to build a team is dismal. Kathleen Black, one of North America’s top experts on team-building, explores three mistakes agents commonly make and how to plot a better course

AFTER COACHING hundreds of real estate teams since 2009, I am a believer in the power of team environments. What I mean by that is when a new member joins the team, their success has more to do with the team environment than the member herself. I’ve found three key difficulties facing both team leaders and the team overall: compensation, training and recruitment. Each issue can cause significant pain for an inexperienced team leader, but there’s no reason any of them should derail a team completely. Every problem has a solution.


Compensation structure

After making the transition from salesperson on a top-producing team to elite coach, I was quickly able to pinpoint the first and most prominent mistake made by team leaders: compensation structure. I see a lot of team leaders not setting themselves up to be compensated for their new role. A lack of compensation for that role creates


a broken equation where the team leader returns their focus to sales instead of working to grow their team and nurture the people they’ve hired. I like to emphasize the need for a connection between building the business

that it is always targeted toward the goal of where the team will be in the future, instead of where the team is currently. Ten years down the road, the team will not be composed of the team leader and one team member, so capping at a 50/50 split is extremely restrictive. I always recommend taking into account the long-term vision; if your team will have a lead-conversion partner, a licensed assistant and a manager, prepare for that from the beginning. Also account for a team’s expenses, such as marketing, overhead and any additional costs the team carries. This way the team has the resources to continue its growth. It’s shocking for some to discover that a big team is not necessarily a profitable team. Sometimes the lack of profit surprises even the team leader. Our advice is always to reverse-engineer your economic model. Often team leaders discuss profit margins without considering that they’re counting their full personal gross commission as profit. What you are paid to lead, to manage or to sell is not profit. In fact, the more you personally do in your business, the less the business is worth to sell to anyone else in the future and the harder it will be for you to achieve residual

The reality is that a team without profit isn’t healthy for anyone involved. A healthy business operates to the advantage of all team members and being compensated for the role of team leader. It’s essential for a team leader to see the value in being the leader and to recognize the need to compensate themselves accordingly. In determining what works best for compensation structure, I stand by the idea of compensating for your value and what you bring to your team, as well as considering the future of the team. When coaching clients, we evaluate every influencing factor, but what makes the custom structure so effective is

income. The reality is that a team without profit isn’t healthy for anyone involved. A healthy business operates to the advantage of all team members.



The second difficulty that team leaders face when building a team is training. A top producer doesn’t necessarily make a top trainer. I identified with that personally when I first made the change to being a coach. I

found a way around this particular challenge by implementing multiple training systems and certifications. When training, shadowing is generally the path used to show someone the ropes, but the mistake here is that every person does it differently every single time. This inconsistency doesn’t work to effectively prepare an agent for success when they’re on their own. The team leaders I coach work on the idea of mastery. Everyone follows the same steps, so everyone knows what it takes to be successful. At that point, the agents approach the situations with their own personalities and interpretations, but they have been empowered with a set system that will allow them to be successful. When it comes to enforcing the training, I say, “Know it so well you can’t forget it.” Learning it all with intensive training and weeks dedicated to the art ultimately pays off more than any other implementation of the systems. Learn it properly and you’ll never have to think about it again.


Recruitment systems

Recruitment, or lack of recruitment systems, is the third major difficulty faced by team leaders. The lack of recruitment systems equates to team leaders not looking into the business they want 10 years down the road and instead recruiting people who don’t complement the direction they want to take their team. One common example of this is taking someone on who is easy and comfortable. There won’t be a push from them to help achieve the levels of success the team leader has envisioned. When looking at recruiting, a team leader isn’t just faced with a few interested candidates; they are responsible for a decision to invest $20,000 to $25,000 worth of training into someone, with no guarantee of a return on investment. There is no perfect equation for selecting ideal future team members, but you can get pretty close if you use the right filters. When our clients look to recruit, we start with a DISC personality profile review

because team leaders need someone who both upholds the team’s standards and values and can contribute to the team’s continued drive to succeed. That is by no means the last step, but with further tests and questionnaires as part of our process, it can be a revealing starting point. Ultimately, I encourage team leaders in any stage of growth to keep in mind compensation structure, know their worth as a team leader, and concentrate on training and recruitment. Know the direction you want to take upfront. Otherwise, the best-laid plans will sabotage your growth in the future. REP Kathleen Black, CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting, is one of North America’s leading real estate coaches. Her expertise in helping real estate teams optimize their profitability is unmatched in the industry. To learn more about her coaching and consulting services, or to sign up for one of her events, visit




The heat is on With the London, Ontario, market running at an all-time high, Mike Radcliffe and his Century 21 team are attempting to fulfill two goals simultaneously: preparing their clients for a newly competitive market and optimizing the systems that keep the team a step ahead

IT’S BEEN quite a while since being an Ontario-based Realtor was looked upon with any sort of envy – but in Lucan, Mike Radcliffe and his fellow Century 21 First Canadian Corp. agents are currently shepherding their clients through a newly awakened, highly competitive market that has been fuelled by intense demand in nearby London. “Our prices have changed drastically over the last two years,” Radcliffe says. “Homeowners see what’s happening in the big cities like Toronto, and they want to replicate that in these small towns, which is unrealistic, obviously. But they are seeing bidding wars and they’re seeing increased prices, so that’s good for the sellers.” Radcliffe says the first step toward succeeding in an intensifying market is establishing realistic client expectations. “That’s our job as Realtors,” he says, “to educate them properly, show them the track record of what’s happened in their exact market and to educate them about what to expect.” But that ability to educate clients relies on experience, which is why Radcliffe often sees younger agents struggling when a market’s temperature starts to rise. “When you’re working for a seller and the market is very hot, I think experience is even more important,” he says. “We have to put in the effort to drum up that multiple-offer situation. We have to do the process properly in


order to get enough people to look at [a property] before we make a decision on a sale.” Radcliffe’s own experience is vast. Now 24 years into a career that has also included stints with RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker, he is no stranger to guiding his clients toward the right decision. As consumers grow savvier and more informed about the home-selling process, Radcliffe says their expectations around how a property should be marketed have ramped up considerably. “There’s more expected of what we’ll do for them behind the scenes,” he says, adding that 3D tours and drone videos are no longer just toys for buyers sniffing around big-city properties. “Back in the early days of my career, you took a quick snapshot of a house and it took about two minutes. Now we’re spending a whole day getting a house ready.” Exceeding client expectations was a determining factor when Radcliffe decided to

form his own team – one of Century 21’s top 10 – six years ago. While he thought he’d be carving out more personal time for himself, Radcliffe found that adding two other licensed agents and improving the service he provides only increased his workload. The Mike Radcliffe Team is now tallying around 200 deals a year. “We’re popping them off pretty good,” Radcliffe says. “I think we’d like to grow a little bit in numbers, but our team philosophy is to grow internally so that the process is more seamless for our clients.” One area Radcliffe would like to improve is the service his team provides buyers who won’t be buying for several months – or even years. “We’re very good with the ‘now’ business, but we aren’t at the top of our game in the ‘future’ business,” he says. “The majority of the people calling in a day are not buying right

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Mike Radcliffe has spent his entire life in Lucan, Ontario, a small bedroom community north of London. “I have a lot of history there,” he says. A close-knit, family-friendly town, Lucan is known for its energy and wide array of community activities, many of which have been sponsored by Radcliffe’s Century 21 team, from minor sports like baseball and hockey to single-day events such as Bacon Fest. As a member of Lucan’s city council, Radcliffe has also been instrumental in providing a new path network for Lucan’s pedestrians and cyclists. “I’m part of this community, so I want to support it,” he says. “They support me; I support them.”


“Homeowners see what’s happening in the big cities like Toronto and they want to replicate that in these small towns, which is unrealistic, obviously”

HOMETOWN Lucan, Ontario


BROKERAGE Mike Radcliffe Team at Century 21 First Canadian Corp.

TERRITORY London and the surrounding area

PROPERTIES SOLD IN 2017 170 now. They’re buying down the road or looking for information, but they obviously are going to be buying. Nurturing that business along, and giving them value from us as well, is what I want to grow with my team.” As Radcliffe continues to optimize his team’s performance, he’s also helping bring to market a new crop of properties for them to sell. For the past 10 years, he’s been investing in and helping to market a new subdivision in Lucan known as Ridge Crossing, which will bring forth another 101 new lots this year. It’s been the ideal project for a Realtor who has always excelled in new construction. “I think that what makes me a good

developer is my experience in real estate,” he says. “I understand what people are really looking for and try to bring that product on.” Radcliffe, who was born and raised in Lucan, takes obvious pride in supplying the homes his neighbours will raise their families in. It’s a fresh variety of satisfaction for him, one he never dreamed of when he first got into the industry almost a quarter century ago, leaving behind the mundanity of life as a bank teller for the freedom and earning potential of real estate. But if London’s market continues its record-breaking tear, there’s no telling what opportunities will present themselves in the future. REP

AWARDS Winner of the Century 21 Double Centurion Award





Meet 25 trailblazers – CEOs, owners, brokers and more – who have established themselves not only as individual success stories, but as role models for the next generation of women waiting to take the industry by storm

THE DAYS of real estate being a boys’ club are over. There is no corner of the industry – from property management to real estate law, from sales coaches to the agents who turn to them for advice – that doesn’t feature women in prominent roles. Every year, more and more women are establishing themselves as top agents and brokers, team leaders, managers and owners; they are becoming the mentors whom young


agents, both female and male, increasingly turn to for wisdom. There is still work to be done – brokerages could do more to support the needs of agents with young children, and most companies are still woefully short of female representation at the corporate level – but women in real estate are no longer fighting for a seat at the table. The table is theirs for the taking.



Alexander, Pamela

RE/MAX Integra


Bain, Debra

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty


Black, Kathleen

Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting


Brindle, Barbara

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty


Casella, Sandy

Sutton Group Quantum Realty


DaCosta, Cindy

RE/MAX Real Estate Centre


Davis, Gizella

Century 21 Bamber Realty


Denniston, Michele

Century 21 Heritage Group


Domingues, Debbie

RE/MAX Ultimate Realty


Evans, Joanne

Century 21 Millennium


Gardin, Tina

Sutton Group Quantum Realty


Gray, Cheryl

QuadReal Property Group


Gucci, Susan

Royal LePage Signature Realty


Heddle, Sue

Century 21 Miller Real Estate


Kapeleris, Carmela

RE/MAX Realty Specialists


Lawlor, Barbara

Baker Real Estate


Lee, Jasmine

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty


Perdue, Sylvia

RE/MAX Realty Specialists


Peron, Joyce

EXIT Realty


Przybyl, Shirley

Century 21 Bachman and Associates


Relkey, Pauline

Realty Executives Diversified Realty


Samaroo-Tsaktsiris, Sarita



Stephens, Louise

RE/MAX Real Estate Centre


Talbot, Kathy

Dan Gemus Real Estate Team


Thornhill, Maggi

Thornhill Real Estate Group




RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Cambridge, ON

Cindy DaCosta has had a long, illustrious career in the Cambridge market. Since 1989, she has not only packed the trophy case with virtually every sales award available, she has also become a trusted mentor to young agents. “It’s important that they always be learning and soaking up every bit of knowledge they can,” she says. “With knowledge comes confidence, and with confidence comes success.” DaCosta sees real estate as a level playing field and argues that women not only have the same opportunities as men, but that they’re at a significant advantage in an industry “where you’re dealing with someone’s whole life, their homes and their family issues.”

CARMELA KAPELERIS RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Mississauga, ON

Currently celebrating her 30th year in the industry, Carmela Kapeleris has made her mark as an agent, a broker, an acclaimed author and as Rogers TV’s resident real estate expert. But Kapeleris is the first to admit that becoming such a trusted source of information isn’t something young agents should expect to happen overnight. “Climb the ladder one step at a time,” she advises. “Do not skip any steps. Each step teaches you how to handle increasing responsibilities and how to hone your skills to perfection.” In addition to earning virtually every award RE/MAX has to offer, Kapeleris has also received Brilliant Minded Women’s Philanthropist of the Year Award for her wide-ranging charity work with the Mississauga Food Bank, World Vision, Adopt-a-Senior, the SFN Scholarship program and a host of other initiatives.

LOUISE STEPHENS RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Kitchener, ON

The managing broker of RE/MAX Real Estate Centre’s bustling Kitchener office and RE/MAX’s 2017 Manager of the Year, Louise Stephens is celebrating three decades in real estate. Known for her hands-on approach to management, Stephens is responsible for the training and accountability programs that have turned her agents into both regional and national superstars. Her 90-day Commit to Success challenge, already completed by 500 of her agents, was directly responsible for RE/MAX Real Estate Centre becoming the company’s number-one brokerage in Canada in 2017 based on completed transactions. “Compassion, patience, understanding and perseverance are required in every position, be it sales or management,” Stephens advises her fellow real estate professionals. “Don’t let others define or describe your career – it is your personal and professional goals that matter.”





Calgary, AB

Regina, SK

Century 21 Bamber Realty

CHERYL GRAY QuadReal Property Group Toronto, ON

In 2017, Cheryl Gray became part of the executive team that launched QuadReal Property Group, which manages 48 million square feet of real estate and $24 billion in assets. QuadReal couldn’t have chosen a better executive VP of enterprise innovation: Gray has been working in commercial real estate for almost 40 years. Gray believes that while commercial firms are trying to promote diversity, there’s still work to be done. “While women are far more prevalent today in commercial real estate than when I first started my career,” she says, “there is still room for improvement, such as creating opportunities for increasing diversity and achieving greater representation in the C-suite and boards of commercial firms.” Gray has a busy few years ahead of her. The first international member to be elected an officer of the Chicago-based Institute of Real Estate Management, she will serve as president elect in 2019 and president in 2020. She’s also been charged with publishing a cybersecurity wellness guide for the commercial real estate industry as part of her duties as co-chair of BOMA Canada’s cybersecurity task force.


Gizella Davis has been shattering client expectations in the Calgary area for more than 40 years. In that time, she has survived more boom-bust cycles than most agents have even heard of. Davis’ attention to detail has earned her numerous awards. While selling for Royal LePage, she became the first woman to earn recognition as the company’s number one agent in Canada and was granted lifetime membership in Royal LePage’s Chairman’s Club for her years of continued excellence. At Century 21, Davis has sold her way into the company’s Million Dollar Club and has earned Double Centurion distinction. But perhaps more importantly, countless clients have adopted Davis as a member of the family.

Realty Executives Diversified Realty

When Pauline Relkey started out in real estate in 1991, she and her husband were raising two young children, one of whom was only four months old. “I heard a male manager say that he was approached by a woman with two kids who wanted to be a Realtor, and his reply was something to the effect of, ‘There’s no way she could do it,’” Relkey says. “Well, I did it! And that so-called manager is back in sales. Your work will prove what you can do.” In addition to winning Regina’s Realtor of the Year and Realty Executives Top Gun awards, Relkey is also known for her work in the community. Through the Diva Night fundraiser she started with colleagues, she has helped raise more than $125,000 for local women’s shelters.


RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Toronto, ON

Debra Bain’s career highlights could fill a book. As the president of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty, Bain oversees one of the largest RE/MAX franchises in the world. She has received some of the company’s highest honours while building Hallmark into a veritable army of 1,400 agents. Bain says her illustrious career was impacted early on by the guidance she received from other successful women in the industry. “Mentorship is so important,” she says. “Young women should reach out to someone they admire and want to emulate and ask to spend some time with them.”

MICHELE DENNISTON Century 21 Heritage Group Richmond Hill, ON

Michelle Denniston brought a strong corporate sales background with her when she started selling real estate 15 years ago. It has helped her build one of Century 21’s most successful teams. In 2017, she received her sixth Grand Centurion award and was ranked number 14 for production among Century 21 agents worldwide. Denniston has also raised money for a wealth of charities, including the Yellow Brick House Women’s Shelter and Senior Centre and Easter Seals.


Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting Oshawa, ON

With a decade of experience in supercharging the performance of both agents and teams, Kathleen Black has established herself as one of Canada’s top real estate coaches, landing on T3 Sixty’s Emerging Leaders list for 2018. But improving a Realtor’s bottom line is only half the story for Black – she also wants to help agents enjoy their lives. “You are not winning if you reach your sales targets but constantly burn out,” she says. “Burning out in order to succeed and be all things to all people – that model has passed its time.” In the coaching industry, the most recognizable thought leaders continue to be men. That has forced Black to be aggressive and refuse to take a back seat when leading her business. “If you have to be 10 times or 200 times better than the competition to get your chance, so be it,” she says. “Get on with being 200% better. You will only benefit in the end.” Black has spent her career doing things her own way, which she believes is the only way to truly succeed. “You cannot take shortcuts to a legacy business,” she says. “Stand up for your principles and your clients, and do what you think is fair and right.”




Sutton Group Quantum Realty Mississauga, ON

Tina Gardin started building her Sutton Group franchise from the ground up 25 years ago. Since then, she has become one of the GTA’s most respected brokers, known for her supportive, hands-on approach to training agents and her deep involvement in organized real estate. To support the hard-working moms at Sutton Group Quantum, Gardin launched a high-quality, flexible daycare option – something she wishes she’d had as a young mother starting her own brokerage. “I relied on my mom and a nanny in my early years as a broker,” she says. “It’s important to keep looking for support systems like this.” Gardin urges female agents to follow her footsteps and get involved in industry organizations. “Women are very well represented in organized real estate,” she says. “That’s where I was mentored by many women and men in my career. It will educate you and help you to effect change.”




Oakville, ON

Toronto, ON

Aurora, ON

Sue Heddle has spent more than a decade with Century 21 Miller Real Estate. In that time, she has come to believe that women have a distinct advantage when it comes to selling real estate. “Women sell houses better than men. I can always tell before I scroll down to see whose name is on the listing that it is a man’s listing by seeing photos of unmade beds, toilet seats left up and remotes all over the coffee table,” says Heddle, who owns her own staging company and offers free home staging to all her sellers. In addition to being one of Oakville’s leading agents, Heddle is a major part of the local community. She founded the Hockey Cares Project, which uses hockey to bring Indigenous and urban youth together. The program has facilitated a cultural exchange between the young residents of Oakville and those of the Attawapiskat First Nation.

“Perseverance is omnipotent,” says Baker Real Estate CEO Barbara Lawlor. “Nobody wins all the time, but continuing to strive and bringing the best version of yourself to the table every day will work wonders.” Lawlor has been embodying that philosophy at Baker since 1993. She has been instrumental in opening some of the company’s most successful offices and was the driving force behind its pre-construction condo marketing initiatives. In 2017, she received the Riley Brethour Award for Leadership. Lawlor believes real estate has always been full of opportunity for women. “The education process is the same for both men and women, as are the networking opportunities,” she says. “Certain pockets of the industry, like commercial and industrial, may still belong to the old boys’ club, but their days are numbered.”

Barbara Brindle has assumed various roles during her 30 years in real estate – from Hall of Fame Realtor to managing partner and VP of career development for RE/MAX Hallmark Realty – and she has excelled in all of them. But while Brindle is one of the most accomplished and respected women working in Canadian real estate today, that respect was not always forthcoming. As a young agent, Brindle found that her older male counterparts rarely took her seriously. “I had to increase my assertiveness to aggression at times to establish that I was a force to be reckoned with and not about to back down to a bully,” she says. Brindle takes pride in the fact that her best year in real estate came when she was a single mother. “I learned the difference between important and urgent during those years,” she says, “which has been invaluable now that I am in a leadership position.”

Century 21 Miller Real Estate


Baker Real Estate

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty


Royal LePage Signature Realty Toronto, ON

An insatiable appetite for learning and a strong will have allowed Susan Gucci to have a long, rewarding career with Royal LePage. One of the leading Realtors in Toronto’s highly competitive East York region, Gucci is a member of Royal LePage’s top 1%, an honour she doesn’t take lightly. “It was a real eye-opener for me,” she says of entering the Chairman’s Club. “For the first time, I could see what was possible. It’s like the curtain opened up, and all these great people appeared who are committed, supportive and the best of the best.” Gucci doesn’t see any barriers to success lying in the way of female Realtors – “If I did, I wouldn’t pay much attention,” she says – but she does see a need for more women in leadership roles at the corporate level. “We need to have more women pursuing those opportunities. The world deserves more of what we have to offer.”





RE/MAX Realty Specialists

Royal LePage Your Community Realty

Mississauga, ON

In August, Sylvia Perdue celebrated the 45th anniversary of her first deal, which she closed in her first week as an agent. Over the course of her career, she has established an incredible average of 50 sales a year and was the recipient of RE/MAX’s inaugural Manager of the Year Award for Ontario in 1993. In 2014, she was named Manager of the Year for all of Canada. “I was in the trenches when selling was really hard,” Perdue says. The lessons she learned at a time when service, creativity and industriousness were crucial in getting a home sold have helped her build a training structure that puts her agents on the fast track to success. “I believe I’ve helped create a company culture of fun, success and a no-nonsense approach to dealing with the day-to-day business of real estate,” she says.


RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Toronto, ON

Jasmine Lee has long been among the GTA’s elite agents. She has been recognized no fewer than 30 times for her outstanding sales work over the last 14 years, most recently earning RE/MAX’s coveted Chairman’s Club Award in 2017. A broker and team leader with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty, Lee is using her vast experience to educate the next generation of Realtors. She feels that while there are few barriers to success for women in real estate, there is a noticeable lack of female influence at the higher levels of the industry. “Most of the coaches are men; the managers are men; most team leaders are men,” Lee says. “We as women do business differently. Because women wear more hats, we are used to multi-tasking, paying attention to details, and managing people and organizing our time to make all parts of the puzzle come together.”


Mississauga, ON

The president of EXIT Realty’s Canadian operations, Joyce Peron has played a leading role in establishing the company as one of the most trusted real estate brands in eastern Canada. Peron has received EXIT’s Leader’s Leader Award, among several others, and has been named one of the Swanepoel Report’s 100 most influential women in real estate. Working at a company where the majority executives are women is a point of pride for Peron, who believes that “our resiliency, fortitude and deliberateness of vision have continued to drive us forward through difficult terrain. As a result, today we have incredible female role models who speak the truth of the camaraderie, mentoring, encouragement and support we provide to each other.” Peron encourages female agents to focus on their strengths and surround themselves with talented colleagues who can fill in the gaps. “The approach of trying to do everything well simply waters you down, dulling your brilliance,” she says. “Go out and shine.”


Toronto, ON

Sandy Casella has been going above and beyond for her clients since she became a full-time agent in 1998, but in the last four years, she has truly climbed into the upper echelon of agents in the GTA. Her team has rapidly expanded to eight members, and she’s now sharing her experiences as a valued member of the Craig Proctor coaching team. “I enjoy helping others, and I’m lucky enough to be able to do that,” Casella says. “Feeling like I’ve made a difference in someone’s life is very fulfilling to me.” It’s no surprise, then, that Casella has dedicated a significant amount of time to charitable causes, including providing school supplies to children in need and donating funds from every home sale to research aimed at fighting teen suicide.

MAGGI THORNHILL Thornhill Real Estate Group Whistler, BC

Over the course of her illustrious career, Maggi Thornhill has sold over $800 million worth of real estate, including the highestpriced home in Whistler’s history. For the past decade, she has been the number-one agent in the area. In her 22 years of selling real estate in Whistler, Thornhill has created an unmatched database of local and international clients, who have helped her average more than $100 million in sales in each of the last five years. Even though Thornhill is known for selling luxury properties, she is committed to helping the less fortunate. She is a major contributor to the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, and she donates a portion of each commission to Playground Builders, an organization that build playgrounds for children in war-torn areas.

DEBBIE DOMINGUES RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Toronto, ON

By setting goals and remaining positive, Debbie Domingues has become one of RE/MAX Ultimate Realty’s top agents. As a specialist in the luxury sector, Domingues has become a trusted partner for elite clients looking for exclusive properties. Despite the inroads made over the decades, Domingues believes the real estate industry could still use more diversity. More women in leadership roles, she says, would help young women considering real estate careers realize that “there is no limit on what you can do. It would teach them that they can be anything they want to be if they set their minds to it.”




SHIRLEY PRZYBYL Century 21 Bachman and Associates

Amherstburg, ON

Kathy Talbot might not work in one of Canada’s most glamorous markets, but she has been one of the country’s steadiest, most trusted agents for the past 23 years. For much of that time, she has been completed between 80 and 100 transactions a year – a track record that agents in larger markets would kill for. Talbot has had the opportunity to mentor several young women over the years, helping them succeed in an industry she feels is theirs for the taking. “I meet very successful women every day who are strong, independent leaders in this industry, who have inspired me to grow and think outside the box,” she says. “There are no limits in this industry. It’s exciting and rewarding, and there are always opportunities to keep growing and learning.”

JOANNE EVANS Century 21 Millennium

Winnipeg, MB

Shirley Przybyl was named president of the Manitoba Real Estate Association in February, a fitting position for a woman of her vast experience. In her 25 years in the industry, Przybyl has been a leading agent and a growth-minded broker. In addition to her duties as president of the MREA, she is also the manager of Century 21 Bachman and Associates, one of the company’s top Manitoba franchises. A fixture in organized real estate since 1999, Przybyl has been a driving force for change in the province.

Brampton, ON

As the co-owner and broker of record of one of Ontario’s top-performing Century 21 franchises, Joanne Evans oversees the performance of more than 180 agents spread across four thriving offices. Evans’ commitment to mentoring and coaching her agents has been integral to the franchise’s continued growth. “Coaching my sales team to success, making sure they have the knowledge, skill and support they need to provide truly excellent service and make dreams come true – that’s what really excites me,” she says. Evans’ commitment to her agents and her clients is rivalled only by her commitment to her community. She is active in the Caring for Kids program, which supports families in need in Brampton and the Georgian Triangle, as well as the My Friends’ House women’s shelter. She also helped build a school in Kenya in partnership with Tenderfeet Education Centre.



Toronto, ON

RE/MAX Integra Toronto, ON

Pamela Alexander is one of the most powerful women in Canadian real estate. As CEO and managing director of RE/MAX Integra, Alexander oversees RE/MAX’s largest sub-franchisor and a third of the company’s worldwide workforce. Before taking on her first leadership role as regional director for RE/MAX Ontario–Atlantic Canada in 1995, Alexander had a long run as one of the company’s top brokers. She opened the first RE/MAX franchise in eastern Canada in 1980. Over the course of 15 years, she built RE/MAX Professionals into a three-office, 250-agent juggernaut and earned the company’s awards for Top Transaction and Broker Owner of the Year for Multiple Offices. Alexander’s emphasis on professionalism and training have benefited agents and consumers alike and have helped make RE/MAX one of Canada’s most recognizable brands.


Sarita Samaroo-Tsaktsiris has become one of the most respected real estate lawyers in the GTA, helping countless buyers and sellers navigate the legal minefields hidden in the details of most real estate transactions. Real estate law is still a male-dominated field, and Samaroo-Tsaktsiris says she’s occasionally mistaken for admin staff, but she does see a demographic shift happening. “There are strong, intelligent women making their voices known,” she says. “Women also have an uncanny ability to close deals by being even-tempered and conscientious of ensuring everything goes smoothly.”


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How to build a network that drives your success Assembling everyone from your pit crew to your butt-kickers involves much more than cocktails and canapés, writes speaker and author Janine Garner HOW MANY times have you been told that networking is “essential for your growth and personal success”? And yet when it comes to networking, many of us are overwhelmed by the pressure of where to start, confused by what appears to be an overcomplicated world of opportunities to connect online and offline, and overstretched by the demands on our time. The truth is, the adage “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know” has significantly more weight in this 21st-century world of busyness, in which jobs are filled before they are advertised, previously un-thought-of collaborations appear out of nowhere to create new and competitive markets, forming referral relationships is increasingly hard to do yet is critical to business growth, and everyone seems to be friends with everyone else on social media. A Harvard Business Review article entitled “Managing Yourself: A Smarter Way to Network” found that “the executives who consistently rank in the top 20% of their companies in both performance and wellbeing have diverse but select networks … made up of high-quality relationships with people who come from several different spheres and from up and down the corporate hierarchy.” So, the questions to ask are:


Who is in your network? How much input or influence do they really have on what you’re doing or trying to achieve? How much do they truly know you and your goals? How much can they help you? Effective networking has to be about the genuine – about the interplay of a select group of people who are working closely together, strategically creating plans to succeed. Here are three key tips to building a network that works:

Identify your critical few British anthropologist Robin Dunbar posited that there is a limit to the number of relationships humans can comfortably maintain – 150, to be precise. He suggested this is the number we can manage to maintain stable relationships with – remembering each other’s names, keeping in contact and doing each other favours. Anything more than this, he said, would result in the creation of other subgroups and tribes. Momentum starts with a significantly smaller circle of influence that you are securely

in the centre of, rather than being mixed in somewhere with all the other participants. A small group of people providing quality thinking and behaviours will push you further than you could ever go alone. An effective network bridges a smaller number of more diverse individuals with differing levels of expertise and varying ages, genders and experience. Such networks are cross-functional, cross-hierarchical and cross-industry, delivering balance and diverse thinking. Identify the quality of people you surround yourself with, not the quantity. So, who are the right people to have in your network? Find your personal cheer squad – your promoters. According to research from the Center for Talent Innovation, people with promoters are 23% more likely to move up in their careers than those without sponsors. Your own personal cheerleading squad is key to your success. They are by your side through thick and thin, never giving up on you, always dreaming big with you. Get your support team in place – your pit crew. Your pit crew can make or break a race. They add stamina to help you run the

Successful networking is about under­ standing the connections you should be making, as opposed to those you are making. It’s about asking who you need to surround yourself with to inspire you and help you grow. It’s about being brave enough to seek out and connect with new individuals.

Exchange value

marathon of your dreams, navigate complexities and recover from setbacks. They help you learn from mistakes and keep pushing you on anyway. They celebrate your wins, remind you of your achievements and keep it real. There’s no doubt that climbing the ladder of success can be a lonely task that requires grit, determination and perseverance. Having the right crew to help you overcome any difficulties and challenges, and keep you mentally tough and balanced, is essential. Discover people who make you better every day – your teachers. Harvard professor Linda Hill says, “You can’t think of something new unless you are being pushed to think in new directions, and you can’t do that unless you are engaging with people who have a different viewpoint.” A life of continuous learning is essential to growth. The right teachers teach you mastery, guide and stretch your thinking, challenge your ideas, and encourage you to keep learning, because they know that this constant curiosity creates real opportunity for growth, achievement and success.

Have some accountability buddies – your butt-kickers. Linda Galindo, author of The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success, believes butt-kickers are our secret weapon for success. “Working with a partner prevents the ready-fire-aim approach that a lot of entrepreneurs use,” she says. Love them or hate them, we all need buttkickers – those individuals who help accelerate the journey, pushing you to do more and holding you accountable for your actions. Butt-kickers listen to your dreams and accelerate your goals by making sure you stick to them. They hold you accountable for your actions and decisions and ensure you do what you say you’re going to do – and then some.

Find ways to constantly add value. Ask yourself if you're doing enough with and for your connections. Consider what more you could do to add value to them and their businesses. Model the behaviour you seek in return. Give knowledge unconditionally, open doors willingly, and share insight to drive continued growth and success for others in order to attract them and engage with them. Richard Branson famously said that “nobody can be successful alone,” and in our fast-moving business world, we all need a network that works for us. Take a long, hard look at your network and ask yourself: Who really matters? Who is teaching you mastery and knowledge? Who is the key influencer pushing you to be and do more, holding you accountable to your dreams? Who is promoting you, acting as your personal cheer squad, inspiring you to become more? Who is keeping you balanced and aligned, caring and connecting you with others? Choose your network wisely. Build a circle around you that allows you to transform and become so much more. REP

Be brave and diversify Step out of your comfort zone, strategically expand your circle of influence, diversify your connections, and explore other people, businesses and experiences. Consciously consider who else you need to learn from, add value to, engage and collaborate with.

Janine Garner is an internationally acclaimed Fortune 500 mentor, keynote speaker and author of It’s Who You Know: How a Network of 12 Key People Can Fasttrack Your Success.




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Ron Sally believes that “age is no barrier to ambition” – and as RE/MAX’s youngest-ever owner, he ought to know The son of a prominent mortgage broker who eventually pivoted into real estate, Sally was steeped in both worlds – and got an up-close view of the hard work required to succeed “I realized young that it doesn’t cost anything to smile and say hello. My father taught me to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO – everyone is your client. I didn’t realize I was practicing”



2012 2013

LEARNS THE INS AND OUTS The first real estate deal Sally worked on proved to be a masterclass in what not to do “My first deal was the hardest, even though it was the simplest and the smallest, but the running around I had to do taught me a lot. The client asked me so many questions, and I didn’t know the answers. I drove back and forth from the condo to the office all day – and never made that mistake again”


KNUCKLES DOWN After experiencing heartbreak, Sally refocused his grief by kicking his work ethic into high gear, completing nearly 100 transactions, buying and renovating four properties, and putting in extra time at the gym

“I told myself I would work the fastest, hardest and smartest. I lived by the mantra: ‘Focus on you until the focus is on you.’ If you want to beat me, you have to beat my work ethic” 2018


Having long harboured ambitions to run his own company, Sally took the opportunity to strike out on his own when he couldn’t find a brokerage offering what he wanted “Everyone was doing the same cookie-cutter approach and losing the audience that we need to appeal to. You have to have an understanding of your audience. You have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes – that’s the only way you will build a connection with them – and speak their language”

DABBLES IN MORTGAGES Knowing that his ambitions lay in a financial direction, Sally attained his mortgage licence at age 19 and his real estate licence a year later. Despite jumping in with both feet, he wasn’t immune to struggles in the early days “The financial world did not come easily to me. Mortgages were challenging; they required technical knowledge I did not have. My father would send me to his clients to fill out applications, and I would struggle so much”


ACQUIRES A STATUS SYMBOL After a year of shadowing his father, Sally started doing his own deals, eventually earning enough to purchase a BMW Z4 convertible “I learned the ins and outs of marketing and how to make more sales. I also learned the hard way that blowing it on a car was not the right thing to do. Later, I saved up again and bought my first property”


GETS HIS HANDS DIRTY When a second heartbreak laid Sally flat, he took advantage of the rebound energy to focus on building a custom home, gaining a greater understanding of the construction world “I had the chance to see firsthand how a property is built from scratch: the foundation, the flooring, the windows, the roofing, the landscaping, everything. Over the course of a year and a half, I really learned how everything involved fit together”






When she’s not selling houses, there’s nowhere Robin Pacquing would rather be than riding the waves TORONTO-BASED Realtor Robin Pacquing’s family likes to joke that she’s secretly Californian – and indeed, the Century 21 sales representative was drawn to surfing long before getting on her first board on a family vacation to Hawaii in 2000. “I didn’t pick it up again until I realized people surfed in Canada, on the Great Lakes,” Pacquing says. “I really learned from scratch.”


Number of boards Pacquing owns (four surf and four stand-up paddle)


The price of Pacquing’s first surfboard

Surfing also led Pacquing to her interest in paddleboarding, by way of a horrific accident in 2012. Although she’s unclear on exactly what happened in the Costa Rican waters, “it felt like a board to the face – all I remember is coming up for air and my face was flapping off,” Pacquing recalls. Paddleboarding eased her subsequent loss of confidence. “I liked knowing I was more in control,” she says. “It’s basically surfing


Stitches Pacquing needed on her face after her surfing accident

Pacquing says real estate allows her to “su bsidize this surf lifestyle”


with one extra piece of equipment.” These days, Pacquing’s interests have expanded to include paddle surfing and working toward becoming a paddleboarding instructor – but the common thread running through it all is the sense of calm she finds on the water. “When you’re out there, you forget about the concerns of the day,” she says. “It’s a moment of peace – it’s my zen.”

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