Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs are Tom Storey and Cam Woolfrey of The Storey Team. When it comes to real estate, they have you covered with everything you need to know to navigate the market.
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
TS/CW: We are “Professional Real Estate Advisors.” Our goal is to make sure you have every resource available to make the right decision when it comes to your real estate.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
CW: I would say “Trump,” but that joke makes me a bit sick to my stomach right now, so I’ll answer seriously.
Both of us have taken somewhat different paths. I was a Real Estate and Housing graduate from the University of Guelph who started in commercial real estate at CBRE, while Tom started right into residential sales after completing his sociology degree at Guelph. As you might have guessed, we were friends back in those days. As time went on, we both realized that we could combine our skills and expertise to have a competitive advantage on your average residential agent. So, I made the move to Toronto to join Tom, and the rest has been one big happy business partnership.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
TS: Other than being mentioned in Notable? It’s not official yet, but we will receive the “President’s Gold” award for the second year in a row. We were right on the edge of making Platinum this year, which would have put us in the top five percent of realtors in the GTA in terms of dollar volume. I don’t have any stats to back this up, but as realtors who are 25 and 26 respectively, I think that puts us well ahead of other young agents and is definitely a nice feather in the cap to be recognized in this way.
Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
TS: In the next five, 10 and 20 years, I want to continuing building relationships, and surrounding myself with the right people. In 20 years I want to have the same passion about my profession as I did the day I started.
CW: Obviously, we have sales goals, but I see myself with a happy family, surrounded by good friends (and good food!). We want to be industry leaders but I’d like to reiterate that making a positive impact on our community and being a solid, trustworthy person is much more important.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
CW: I feel like a bit of a sales infomercial here but, “Focus, listen and execute!” Too often when you’re young in any business, it can be overwhelming at the start. You may have all of the ideas in the world, but at the end of the day if you spread yourself too thin, nothing ends up getting done. Pick a defined long-term goal and focus on the individual steps that are going to get you there.
Listening is just as important. Be a sponge and don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch. After all, most ideas can be improved on.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
TS: I’ve supported Baycrest in their search for a cure to Alzheimer’s. Last year we participated in their pro-mm hockey tournament, where we were able to raise over $26,000. The support we received from our family, friends and co-workers for our fundraising efforts was astonishing. Supporting Baycrest and Alzheimer’s research is important to my family and me, as Alzheimer’s has touched us directly. I’ve seen firsthand how it has affected both my grandparents, and I truly believe that there is a cure in the future.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
CW: For me, it was changing markets. I turned down an unbelievable opportunity in my hometown of Waterloo to live in Toronto, which essentially put me starting from scratch. I overcame that by surrounding myself with the right mentors and putting in a lot of late nights. Hard work usually has a way of helping people overcome obstacles.
TS: Starting in the industry when I was 22 years old, I was originally concerned with how clients would perceive my age. I learned pretty quickly that being knowledgeable and providing value to my clients was more important then my birthdate. To this day, I’ve never been asked my age.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
CW: This is going to seem weird, but we have a rule where if we don’t go to Nando’s for 14 days, we stop what we’re doing and go.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browsers? The most played songs on your phones?
TS: Storeyteam.ca (ha!) and Anything by James Bay.
CW: Outside of work, it’s espn.com. My most played song is a tie between “Higher” by D’Angelo and “Poe Mans Dreams” by Kendrick Lamar.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
TS/CW: Rob Carrick (The Globe and Mail) and Gary Vaynerchuk.
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
TW: Jamaica, for family and history). Croatia is next on the list.
CW: Italy, for its history and architecture. Iceland is up next for me.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
TS: Living in Toronto, there is always so much going on. Sometimes it’s hard to pick just one thing to do, and to make sure you made the right choice!
CW: Seeing people post anything live sports-related on social media.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
CW: Also Nando’s.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
TW: Living on King St. has helped me become way to comfortable with ordering in, or going out for dinner. I wish I spent more on vacations. Or actually took one. That’s a goal for 2017.
CW: Online impulse purchases. To give you an example, I bought a “Zamboni Desktop Vacuum” for $20 on Amazon…ask me how many times I’ve used it. I wish I spent more on my hair. Tom has great hair, so it’s tough for me to look at my mop and feel good about myself on a daily basis.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
TS/CW: We’re going to combine answers on this one. Success looks like happiness to us. Chances are if you’re happy you’re achieving the goals you’ve set out in your life. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.