Branden Kameka is a broker and co-founder of the Realty Shop Inc. in Oakville, Ontario. He is 2017 OREA YPN Leadership Award winner. In an interview with YPN Chair Kim Clouthier, he talks about the role of YPN in his career, how to become more business-savvy, and the biggest mistake inexperienced Realtors make. Read ahead for an excerpt from the interview, or watch the YouTube video.
Kim – I’d like to start off by congratulating you on your 2017 YPN Leadership Award. It’s an incredible accomplishment and we’re really proud to have you as a winner.
Branden – Thank you so much. It really was an honour getting the award for 2017.
Kim – Wonderful. Branden, you’re a past member of OREA’s YPN Committee, currently the chair of your local YPN Committee, and the current president of your local board. Would you say that being involved in YPN has benefited your real estate career, and how?
Branden – Absolutely. Really what it comes down to, is the level of professionalism that you gain from these events is fantastic. YPN in general offers a bunch of like-minded individuals the opportunity to come together. And when that happens you really can develop as a real estate leader, and I totally am an advocate for YPN. And I think that everyone should look into their local boards and see where they can get involved.
Kim – Do you feel like when you’re at these events you feed off of the other Realtors that have similar energy as you do?
Branden – Absolutely. And I think that’s the fun part about it. And I know that YPN’s mandate is really to have fun in the process. And that really is something – that you come to know other individuals who are part of the YPN. And really it’s just that great atmosphere. Energy is there, and it’s just a great event.
Kim – You co-founded your own real estate brokerage, The Realty Shop Inc. Did you always aspire to start your own brokerage, or where was the motivation towards that decision?
Branden – Absolutely. And as you are aware, the real estate industry is so dynamic right now. It’s really looking at ways of developing and learning as much as possible. So one of the moments that I wanted to learn is how to start my own brokerage, and go from there. I’m always looking for opportunities to grow and expand my business. And really it’s just a learning process.
Kim – Many of the new Realtors find starting out in the business challenging, particularly when it comes to mastering the business side of the equation. How do you overcome this hurdle?
Branden – Well, you know, what it comes down to is, I’m really a self motivated individual. So it’s really taking opportunities to learn as much as possible. And there’s often events that you can go to and network and learn how to really approach maybe a current issue a certain way. And I think that’s great.
I really recommend again getting involved in your local organized real estate association. Give back and really get involved. I think what you’ll also learn or what individuals will learn through these processes is really the importance of three things. The first thing is really having a strong internet presence. Two it’s social media marketing, an effective website. And really just being up to date with what’s happening in the market.
And I think that’s the importance of staying connected with your local board. They should have [information about] any upcoming events. Or through training programs at the brokerage – really streamlining that process. So I think it’s just staying connected and really looking for those opportunities.
Kim – Fantastic. What’s the biggest business mistake you see other Realtors making? And what advice would you give them?
Branden – Well, I would say one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is communication, and really the effectiveness of that communication. So if there’s a scenario where you have to follow up with a listing agent or a buyer’s agent for your clients, keeping your clients updated with what it is that you’re doing. So, for example, if I call and I’m looking for a response, just touching base with my clients periodically throughout the day saying I haven’t heard back yet but once I do I’ll let you know. It’s just that extra level of work.
Kim – What is the one thing that has surprised you the most about being a Realtor so far?
Branden – Well this market I can say right now is so surprising. And really working with buyers who are really needing a little bit more education on what’s happening. And that’s no fault of theirs. It’s just the way that things are moving is very quick. So it’s really keeping your finger on the pulse and delivering the current market information to them. That’s what I would say.
Kim – Something maybe you didn’t expect about becoming a Realtor or that you weren’t ready for when you entered this profession. Can you maybe tell us something you’ve learned along the way?
Branden – Absolutely, when you’re entering the industry, you know, not to get down on yourself if it’s really very intense. But once you create structure and have a plan in place, hopefully it should be smooth sailing.
Kim – It falls into place after that.
Branden – Absolutely.
Kim – Well thank you so much. We very much thank you for your time. And congratulations again on your 2017 Leadership Award.
Branden – Well thank you so much. Thank you everyone.