Employees’ Choice Awards: Paul Rushforth makes the ordinary extraordinary

Mark
Mark Brownlee
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Having worked as a realtor for about a decade after the end of his career as a pro hockey player, Paul Rushforth has built up quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to selling houses. But he knows that doesn’t mean he has all the answers.

Paul Rushforth, outside his Orleans office.

“When people come on this team from different backgrounds, I’m always anxious to see how we can improve, if there’s anything we’re doing that they think that they can tweak or make better,” he says. “So I’m letting some people run with some ideas.”

The exchange of ideas works both ways, however. Mr. Rushforth, the owner of Paul Rushforth Real Estate, says he’s also a big believer in training.

The company’s managers regularly go to seminars with realtors from across Canada and the United States. They come back to apply that knowledge at team training sessions held every Tuesday with the salespeople, he says.

This is important, he notes, since many of the people who start out as realtors don’t have too much to go on.

“I believe that we’re the most educated team and the highest-trained team in the area, and I think that’s what allows us to be so successful and sell so many homes,” he adds.

However, he doesn’t want his employees working all the time.

Mr. Rushforth says one of the greatest difficulties in managing the firm’s staff is striking a balance between working hard and creating opportunities for them to rest and relax.

When I hire, I don’t hire necessarily the most talented person but I’m going to hire the best fit – someone who’s ordinary that we can make extraordinary.

More than 50 people took part in a company ski trip to Montebello over the Christmas holidays, he says. That goes along with other initiatives, such as wine and cheese events, that happen on a regular basis.

There’s a big “burnout rate” among realtors, he notes, so giving everyone a chance to pause and take a break helps create more productivity when they get back to work.

PAUL RUSHFORTH REAL ESTATE

FOUNDED: 2011

Workforce: 17 employees, 13 agents who work as independent contractors

No. of ECAs: 1

What they’re doing right:

Regular training sessions

Employee getaways at the owner’s cottage

Regular events, such as wine-and-cheese parties

Geographic location: Canada, United States, Montebello

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