More words of wisdom from the Board’s ‘most professional’ REALTOR® of 2022

In classic, John Armeneau, humble style, Randy Cooper was totally unprepared and shocked to receive the highest award the Board bestows.

The member whose team is with HomeLife Benchmark Realty, White Rock is our John Armeneau Professional of the Year for 2022. He credits his ethics and success to those he has strived to emulate.

Here is part two of our conversation with Randy Cooper.

Q:  In your acceptance speech, in addition to your dad Garry, you mentioned some pretty big names in our Board – Len Doray, Rick Dubord, and Bonnie Moy all from your office and all John Armeneau award recipients – as your key mentors. How important is mentorship to Realtors just starting out?

A:  It’s invaluable. Absolutely critical. I was so fortunate to be able to start with my dad who was already very experienced, and it was from him that I established a base, a foundation, and the right systems. If you pick up good practices right off the bat, it will save you a lot of time and improve your business faster.

Q: In our virtual world, how can new Realtors find the right mentor?  

A: It happened to me a few months ago at my daughter’s soccer game. A new Realtor approached me wanting to know a good company to start off with and what training programs to look at. Nowadays, you want to join a good team to learn all their systems and you also need to learn about the market. Rick (Dubord) is really good about trying to match people up with the right mentor.

Q: Hundreds of new licensees have joined our Board in the last two years, why is it that so many are attracted to the profession during a seller’s market?

A: Everybody thinks it’s an easy job and that it’s quick easy money. What they don’t see is the amount of time required. We spend a lot of time that we never get paid for, for example a listing that never sells, and people don’t see that. If you’re interested in real estate, you have to go into it for the right reasons and look at it long term. Like life, the market has its ups and downs, and you hope it averages out.

Q:  Would you agree that most members of the public don’t have a positive opinion of Realtors?

A:  Yes and no. I mean there are real estate issues that crop up in the media like the shadow-flipping scandal that was really awful, and I personally felt that more should have been done to hold those Realtors accountable. But since then, I think it’s much better thanks to the Board and BCREA and organized real estate that have worked hard to try to educate the public that the majority of Realtors are well-intentioned and hard working.

As well, improvements in real estate education have made a difference because it’s a lot more structured than it used to be and there is more emphasis on ethics. I think we could still improve on education, and we could be more stringent on finding and holding unprofessional Realtors more accountable.

Q: Have you ever been in a situation where the Realtor was offside or unethical?

A: Absolutely. And it’s our duty to report it and that doesn’t happen enough because if we don’t report it nothing’s going to change. We are here for the client’s best interests. We have to advocate for them.

I truly believe experienced Realtors have a responsibility to help guide new people who come into the business because we’re not only helping that new Realtor, but we’re also helping ourselves, we’re helping to make the profession better.

Q: And finally, you don’t just work with your dad. Your sister’s son, Zak Stepaniuk is also a member of your team. I just have to ask just how much fun is it working in a three-generation real estate family?

A: It’s truly fantastic. You know blood is thicker than water and we always have that trust. Dad and I have been working together 24 years now and have always been on the same page and now having my nephew, it just enhances our team. His energy, his knowledge of technology and he’s a super hard worker. Dad’s work ethic is instilled in all of us. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Randy Cooper, HomeLife Benchmark Realty, White Rock is the Board’s John Armeneau Professional of the Year for 2022.