“Why trudge through the snow on your own when someone else has already trudged through before you and created a path.” -- Eric Grant, Oakwyn Managing Broker.
Oakwyn knows the importance of collective learning and collaboration, which is why we provide so many opportunities for gaining knowledge and insight for our agents. This is what sets us apart. We are constantly learning, bettering, and elevating our people and our service. We do this through education.
Our Medallion photoshoot earlier this year was a celebration of Oakwyn’s eager application of learning and knowledge to the real estate landscape. For the photoshoot, we asked our agents to come prepared with their favourite book, and you can relive the moment here. This photoshoot, and our work with Decoda Literacy Solutions, epitomizes our commitment to literacy, learning, and the ways in which both can bolster Oakwyn culture, and our wider community.
In the spirit of International Literacy Day, we would like to reflect on how literacy champions our core value “Pursue Growth and Learning”. We sat down with five of our Managing Brokers to discuss how Oakwyn supports growth and learning in everything we do. They explain how education, growth, and learning are ensuring Oakwyn stays where it belongs, at the top.
Michelle Adams, Managing Broker
Hello Michelle, why is the pursuit of growth and learning so valued at Oakwyn?
Growth and learning are so important to Oakwyn because it keeps our brains working, it keeps us ahead of the curve, and it inspires new ideas on how we can better serve our clients.
How does Oakwyn make sure those values are upheld?
We ensure we create as many touchpoints as possible with our agents. Our Oakwyn University helps to set our agents up for success from the beginning. We also have many other meetings, newsletters, events, and webinars to help our agents get the information they need and to give them ample opportunities to learn from each other, ask questions, and network.
How is this continued pursuit of growth and learning helping Oakwyn agents become better realtors?
Real estate is always changing. There is so much to learn, and by the time you think you’re done learning everything, there is always something new to learn! There are also so many facets to becoming a well rounded real estate professional. You need to be able to flex your people skills, negotiation skills, and overall knowledge of law, financing, economics, property, and more to even keep up with the industry. If we don’t continue to pursue growth and learning, it is easy to fall behind on what’s new, and can hinder our ability to serve our clients.
In the spirit of International Literacy Day, what have you read recently that you have learned from?
Becoming, Michelle Obama
It taught me the importance of having a voice and using it.
"If we don’t continue to pursue growth and learning, it is easy to fall behind on what’s new, and can hinder our ability to serve our clients."
"As much as you are growing in your professional life, you have to be growing in your personal life to be able to excel in both."
Arlene Chiang, Managing Broker & Chief Operations Officer
Hi Arlene, how is the continued pursuit of growth and learning synonymous with real estate?
If anyone in real estate thinks they know everything then they probably don’t know anything. Real estate is a profession where there is so much to know and so much to learn. That’s the fun thing about getting into real estate for people who have a curious mind, you can always be better and there are so many elements of life that you can learn.
How important is a commitment to personal growth to further your professional development?
As much as you are growing in your professional life, you have to be growing in your personal life to be able to excel in both. It’s a constant balance of trying to be a better person in all aspects of your life. I try to create habits for myself to grow and learn from, and I read a ton at the weekend because it gives you so many different perspectives on life.
How does reading help you bolster growth and learning professionally?
You learn so much from reading. You can learn so much just through comprehension. Reading and understanding a story translates to you being able to read and understand a legal document, even though they’re not connected. Reading gives you the opportunity to improve your skillset without knowing it. It gets your mind to expand in a creative and different way. There are a lot of different ways to learn, but reading is something you can take with you wherever you go.
What is a book you have recently learned from?
Start with Why, Simon Sinek
It really hones in on the reason why people do what they do. When we first started Oakwyn, it wasn’t about the dollars, it was about the “why?”. Why were we starting this brokerage and how were we going to create a positive change in people’s lives? We opened Oakwyn because we wanted to create a positive change in the industry and elevate the level of service to agents so that they could elevate the service to their clients. This book reminded me of that.
Eric Grant, Managing Broker.
Hello Eric, why is the pursuit of growth and learning so valued at Oakwyn?
On a basic human level, one of the most important things is to grow, learn, and try to make ourselves better. On a corporate level, we’re looking at pushing the standards of real estate. We want successful agents and we want them to do well and create the life that they want and that happens through transactions, knowledge, and growth.
How is this continued pursuit of growth and learning synonymous with being a better realtor?
It’s the difference between being good or being great. The more you know the better you are, and the better prepared you are. This can be a lonely industry and this was one of the reasons Oakwyn was founded, to be able to share, collaborate, and grow together so that everyone gets better.
Is your commitment to learning setting Oakwyn agents apart from other realtors?
100%. 1 in 5 of our agents is Medallion, and the industry standard is around 1 in 11. We’re literally twice as good as other agents. If you want to play better tennis you hang out with better tennis players, well if you want to be a better realtor you hang out with better realtors. That what Oakwyn is about.
What book helps you in your ongoing pursuit of growth and learning?
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
I try to read it every year and every time I read it it’s a different story. It all depends on where you’re at in your life and I find it changes every time I read it. It’s taught me to always keep an open mind.
"If you want to play better tennis you hang out with better tennis players, well if you want to be a better realtor you hang out with better realtors."
"You have to be able to adapt in order to change, and if you don’t learn or grow you can’t adapt to change."
Joe Lloyd, Managing Broker.
Hi Joe, why are growth and learning so valued for Oakwyn company culture?
Growth and learning are important because Oakwyn is a representation of realtors, and the more qualified realtor we have, the better reflection it is to clients and the peers that we work with. We’re very invested in our people. The managing brokers at Oakwyn are very receptive to ideas, and not closed-minded. We’re always looking for input, not just from other managing brokers, but from agents too.
Being a relatively new Managing Broker with Oakwyn, did Oakwyn’s educational programs impress you?
You have to be able to adapt in order to change, and if you don’t learn or grow you can’t adapt to change. It’s critical just for survival! The learning programs at Oakwyn really appealed to me for this reason, as one of the things that is sadly missing in this industry is good training programs.
How does adapting and learning ensure a higher quality realtor?
I’ve been in this industry for over 40 years and if you do not change with the way things are done you will not survive. Rules have changed, marketing has changed, there are so many things you have to adapt and change otherwise you will not survive.
What is a book that you would like to recommend?
Mentor & Me, Alan Stewart
First-time realtors should get this book, it’s full of little nuggets that realtors can benefit from. Alan Stewart recognized the importance of mentors in this industry and he writes about it in this book. Mentorship is something that is missed in our industry. Many agents when they start this business don’t want to give up any commissions, but it’s well worth it to learn from somebody else.
Shelly Smee, Managing Broker.
Hi Shelly, how are growth and learning upheld and supported within the Oakwyn team?
One of the key learning platforms we have at Oakwyn is something I championed called Oakwyn University. It’s currently a 12 segment real estate 101. We have a very strong support system in place through our programming for both new and experienced realtors.
How do you champion growth and learning in both your professional and personal life?
I’ve always been a nerd when it comes to reading lots of books. I’ve always been asking “why?”. Still to this day, if I don’t know the answer to something I’m going to find it. I think in any profession that’s the key indicator for success, how willing are you to actually do the deeper dive and find the “why?”. I don’t think it really matters if it’s in your personal life or your professional life, inquiring minds always want to know, we’re always searching for the answer to something.
How is the “inquiring mind” helpful to elevating yourself in real estate?
It’s such an interesting profession and it’s evolving all the time. It can be overwhelming at times, but for someone who likes to be challenged, it’s a great place to be.
What’s a book that you have learned from?
The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer
It’s a book that changed my life and came to me at a time when I really needed it. It showed me that not being attached to the outcome of something makes it so much easier to accept whatever happens.
"I don’t think it really matters if it’s in your personal life or your professional life, inquiring minds always want to know, we’re always searching for the answer to something."
We’re grateful to be able to celebrate Literacy Day within a community that values the role of reading in self-growth and learning. Thank you to our Managing Brokers for speaking about how their shared values of growth and learning impact Oakwyn on a daily basis. For more information on Oakwyn University, webinars, and other educational resources, visit our website or find us on Instagram.