I’ve spent most of my life on Vancouver’s North Shore, with my early years spent with my mom in Lynn Valley and the last half of my life in West Vancouver with my wife Heather and our two children. Growing up, I had dreams of being both an architect and an Olympic runner. Neither of those things happened for me, but my pursuit of the latter led me to where I am today. Running was my life, my entire life, for so many years. Once I finally accepted that I wasn’t going to become the legendary Olympic runner I dreamt of becoming, I decided to stay involved in the sport by forming an event management company (sounds grand, but it was quite small!) and developing and hosting trail running events, including Seek the Peak for Grouse Mountain. I love the world of outdoor pursuits but it wasn’t a sustainable career. Standing at a career cross-roads with an English Degree and a lifetime of running in hand, I asked 5 people who knew me best what they thought I should do. To my great surprise, four of the five said Real Estate, while the other said Teacher (which I expected to hear!). A sales job? The thought of it didn’t appeal to me one bit at first. Thankfully, one of my oldest friends challenged my assumptions around the job and helped me to see how a career in real estate might actually be the perfect fit for me. Once I wrapped my head around it and convinced my wife that it was actually a great idea, I dove right in…and really struggled the first year, maybe more so than the average new realtor. Why? I was trying too hard. Trying hard to be “a Realtor.” I went and leased a used fancy car. Went down to the outlet mall outside of Seattle to get suited up. Polished the edges of my personality in an effort to appeal to literally everyone. I wasn’t connecting with anyone and I certainly wasn’t selling anything. Thankfully an old roommate from my university days saved me from myself and helped set me on the right path. We hadn’t seen each other in years, so seeing me all dressed up and driving the fancy car through him off. When I was driving him back to the airport he looks over at me and asks “is any of this working? I barely recognize you.” When I told him, no, it’s not working, he said “Just be yourself. That’s the guy that I like.” Those words likely salvaged my career!
Like many new Realtors®, I entered this industry thinking this business is about selling homes. 12 years in, I know now that selling homes isn’t really the business we are in. Sure, the product is part of the process, but this business is really about people, their lives, and the problems that need to be solved.
The human element is what makes my job so interesting and challenging. You can take one home and put a hundred different sellers in it and the outcome will be different every time. The competitive, relentless nature of this business is also something I love. Stressful at times, and not always fun, but it keeps the fire burning!
I am now in my 12th year as a Realtor®. I’ve been fortunate to have sold over 250 homes on the North Shore and have been just as fortunate to have had the crucial learning experiences that come from all the deals that I tried, but failed to put together (probably a lot more than 250!). I know the North Shore like the back of my hand and I know this business inside and out. I am not the right fit for everyone and that’s OK! I learned long ago that being authentic is the only way to be, because when you are your authentic self, there is no competition.