As part of our Agent Spotlight series, today we’re talking with Brendan, who has been part of the BREL team since…well, since there was BREL!
Why did you get into real estate?
Melanie had recently started in real estate when the 2008 market crash happened. Like everyone working in travel and freelancers everywhere, I suddenly found myself with lot of time on my hands…while suddenly Mel could use some help. At the same time, I was already a classic Toronto Victorian homeowner (unlike Mel who was Ms. Condo), and I had lived here most of my life, so the city was my backyard. I became the de facto old house and lifetime Toronto guy.
What did you do before becoming an agent?
I was a bit of a nomad: I lived in Japan for a few years teaching, then worked for almost a decade as an international travel tour guide, eventually transitioning to writing about travel as a copy editor and writer. Throughout it all Toronto was always my spiritual home; the tour guides would often say “home is where your stuff is.” My stuff was here.
What’s it like being on the BREL team?
Never a dull moment!
What do you love most about buying and selling homes?
I love people, and there’s nothing more fun than sharing a fun new experience with someone–it’s why I loved being a tour guide. There are few more exciting and impactful experiences than buying or selling a home, and I still find guiding people along that journey exciting. I even still like showing people parts of the city or buildings they often didn’t know existed!
Tell us about where you live.
It’s not quite the Junction. It’s not quite Baby Point. Nobody really knows what Lambton is. What it is though, is a classic realtor buy: it was the next neighbourhood step for some great neighbourhoods that were expanding (Baby Point) and finally coming into their own (Junction). Our last house was the same: we lived in Little Portugal/Brockton Village just when “West Queen West” was just becoming a thing. Up to then, it was just “that area west of Trinity Bellwoods.”
What does ‘home’ mean to you?
Home is wherever my dogs–and wife–are. (In that order. Sorry honey.)
What’s your craziest real estate story?
Story #1: Successfully hosting and orchestrating a 20-person bidding war…from a hotel room in San Francisco (with the client and a team member watching offers coming in, in real time, on a TV screen via a Google Doc).
Story #2: It’s a Seller’s market: two houses in contention, both hosting bidding wars the same night. We pick the “uglier” one of the two, thinking competition will be less. Everyone else does the same, and we get smoked… During the tears that ensued, I realize that property #1…received NO offers. Turning those tears into a backup offer on house #1 before anyone else figured it out was our greatest psychological coup in real estate!
In 25 words or less, what’s your best advice for a Toronto home Buyer?
Be ready to do battle (and win) before you ever step out the door to search. Be prepared. The moment you say “oh, I’m just looking” is the day you’ll probably find The One!
In 25 words or less, what’s your best advice for a Toronto home Seller?
Don’t believe the stories your neighbours tell about their agent, their sale, their house. Everyone stretches the truth, and nobody repeats the bad stories!
What we ❤️ best about Brendan
by the team
We reached out to the team to see what they love about Brendan:
From Nicole: He’s the best of both worlds when it comes to a Broker of Record: fun and approachable, but also wildly smart and informed about all things real estate (and FINTRAC..).
From Halina: Who needs the Geek Squad when you have Brendan Powell. He is a total techy and helps to keep the whole team current. Brendan is a charmer and super easy to get along with which makes him an excellent team leader AND team player.
From Lisa: He’s a natural-born tour guide and that applies to his mentorship style. Wants to help you see the path but still wants you to feel like you’ve discovered things on your own. He genuinely cares and wants us to do well and doesn’t mind when we shine. That’s not always the case with teams where the leaders take the glory. And his all-day bedhead is glorious.
From Allie: What Brendan hasn’t seen, gone through or got a story to tell about in real estate isn’t worth knowing! Super knowledgeable and with a great sense of humour, working with him is a lot of fun and he becomes a friend for life – no wonder he gets so many repeat clients! Brendan always has his clients’ back, is a tough negotiator and will take care of all the stresses.
From Dena: To me, Brendan is the technology king. He’s extremely computer savvy and knows all the latest programs for REALTORS. Brendan has a kind heart and believes in second chances. Through the years he has always had my back and this is a quality that every team leader should have.
From Kristin – B is my file naming Type A twin (final.final.final2 APS hahahaha – NEVER!) and my go-to for all things technical. Well, now for everything since he is our Broker of Record (or El Capitano as we all call him). I cannot stress how comforting it is to be able to go to him with all of the questions and he is so patient and respectful and if he doesn’t have an answer, he will get it for you. He wants us to succeed and that comes through every single day of working together. Thanks for being you B – proud to call you my friend too.
From Mel: I married and started this business with Brendan 1o+ years ago, so I guess I’m kinda into him. As anyone who knows us can attest, Brendan and I are opposites – which is fabulous for the business but makes day-to-day working together a bit more challenging (we’ve fired each other more than a few times over the years). He’s the micro to my macro, the extrovert to my introvert and the eat anything/red wine/hoppy beer lover to my picky eating/prosecco/wheat beer preferences.
People love Brendan – he has a way of making everybody feel comfortable and accepted. I loved watching Brendan take over as Broker of Record this year – he just fit the role so comfortably. It’s not surprising I suppose, given his obsession with systems and tech, FINTRAC and boring accounting stuff. But take note: he’s equally talented at guiding his Buyers and Sellers and finessing his way through a negotiation.