When Work is All in the Family
Brandon’s real estate sector dates back to May 1881 when, having finished laying out Brandon’s fledging townsite, the survey crew moved on, and agents such as J.W. Horn, who was first on the scene, started selling lots to entrepreneurs eager to open their start-ups.
By October, there were 57 commercial outfits — among them, a flour mill, saloon, shoe store, billiard hall, butcher shop, and nine grocers. Our downtown’s retail sector was on its way.
Meanwhile, real estate broker, James Johnston, sold lots to prospective home owners. He left a lasting mark on our residential landscape — his home, Johnston Estate, built in 1881, is one of the oldest single family residences in the city. Privately owned, it is a municipal heritage site.
These days, says StatsCan, 345 Brandon professionals work in real estate. Agents are on the front line, helping those looking to buy or sell a home, set up shop in their own building, or become an investor — among them is Tyler Plante:
After playing professional hockey for eight years, I started working with my father, Cam, in 2016. I was nearly 30 years old, the age when I had always planned to retire from hockey, and having had several injuries and nine surgeries, I decided it was time.
I’ve always followed in Cam’s footsteps. We both played for the Wheat Kings. He played hockey in North America and Europe. I played in the U.S, Sweden, Italy, Norway, England, and Germany.
Cam started in real estate in 1998 and says working together has given him new energy. He’s got the experience, but I’ve been able to play a part. Before I came he didn’t even have a website.
I’m bringing him into the new age, now we’re on facebook, twitter and instagram as well as having a website. This helps people to get to find out about us — everyone knows someone who is looking to buy or sell a house.
I’ve invested in real estate in the past so I know how it feels to be the client and how I want to be treated. My mindset is not to think about the competition. In hockey there is always someone who wants your job so you just focus on working hard. Now I do that for my clients. I make sure to explain the process, answer their questions and accommodate their schedule.
In real estate you’re dealing with emotions. When a couple sells their house they are both happy and sad. There’s a tear — maybe they got married there, it’s where the kids took their first step. So many memories, good and bad, are involved when people are buying or selling a home.
Selling someone their first house is exciting. They’re happy and I’m happy that I’ve helped them find what they want. You build a rapport with people when you’re helping them find their home and we stay in touch.
The transition into real estate from hockey wasn’t difficult. I’m a people person and I like to work as a team. There’s great support group here at Royal LePage. Job shadowing has really helped, and I have Cam as a mentor. It’s great to work with my dad. He’s my best friend.
— by Brandon Now