It took me a total of two hours to fall in love with PropertyGuys.com, during which I looked at their website and listened to Daina’s pitch. It was suddenly abundantly clear to me how the traditional real estate model was broken and there was a gap in the market for a service like this.
I recognized the franchise system as a new wave in real estate, harnessing the power of technology to help Canadians sell their properties more efficiently online, like how Netflix revolutionized television. Rather than typical real estate agents who charge high commission fees when closing a sale, PropertyGuys.com charges a flat marketing fee and works with a team of experts to leave no stone unturned for private sellers. Under this model, sellers have the ability to sell more quickly and for more money, as asking prices aren’t inflated to cover costs.
From real estate lawyers, to professional appraisers and expert marketers, the PropertyGuys.com difference means sellers get a full-service experience, at a fraction of the cost of using an agent. I loved the company’s customer-centric approach recognizing how hard Canadians work for their money and deserve to keep more of it in the bank, without sacrificing expertise or technology when selling their property.
The more I learned, the more it appealed to me and I realized the company spoke my language. Have fun, work hard and think outside the box. This was my tribe. It was like a light went off. I finally connected my entrepreneurial spirit with never quite feeling like I fit into a classroom environment. Reading case studies didn’t work for me, I needed to get hands-on experience. At the age of 22, I’d found my passion: PropertyGuys.com.
Journey to Dragon’s Den
Within a day, I had posted my contest entry video online and started getting votes. I knew the top five videos would make it to the next round, so I began to strategize ways to get as many votes as possible.
I blasted links through social media channels, harassed my friends into sharing them and got my community involved. I finished the contest leading the top five.
From here, I submitted six essay questions that would be reviewed by the PropertyGuys.com head office team, after which the top three contestants would be announced. Sure enough, when the top three contestants were announced, I was on the list. This meant I would fly to Toronto to compete for the franchise on an episode of Dragon’s Den. Each contestant had eight minutes in front of the Dragons to plead their case as to why they should win the $100,000 franchise.
In the dragon’s lair
The three finalists were shuttled down to the CBC building where the taping of the show would take place. Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving and one ‘honourary’ Dragon, Ken LeBlanc, the CEO of PropertyGuys.com, waited for me.
After a whirlwind of photos and interviews, I was standing backstage waiting for my eight minutes.
They were both the longest and the shortest minutes of my life. It is still somewhat of a blur, but I remember Arlene slamming the $100,000 on my podium and saying, “You’ve got my vote,” at six minutes in.
I left the stage feeling confident and excited as we waited for the Dragons to deliberate. After five minutes, Ken came on the stage and announced the winner. To my utter shock, it wasn’t me.