Lake Okanagan Realty owner Alexandra Axsen has a big heart.
For example,waitress Amanda Tak approached Axsen at the Train Station Pub last year to ask about becoming a realtor.
Not only did Axsen meet the next day with Tak to tell her about the profession, she offered to pay for Tak’s real estate course and then hired Tak.
“Amanda was bubbly and cute and a real go-getter so I just knew she would be a great addition to Lake Okanagan Realty,” said Axsen.
“And I was right. She matches clients to the right home and in her first eight months she’s sold six homes. The average first-year realtor sells no homes.”
Tak couldn’t be more appreciative.
“I wanted to be a realtor so bad, but couldn’t save up enough money for the course,” she said.
“Alexandra not only paid for it, but I don’t have to pay her back either. The deal was I would work here for two years, but I’m sure I’ll work here much longer. It changed my life.”
As a small office with five realtors, Lake Okanagan Realty’s success lies in each agent bringing their own personality to the job and matching the right clients with the right properties. “When you do that, you get referrals and that’s the main way our business grows,” said Axsen.
“It works whether you’re selling residential or commercial real estate or doing a development.”
As a Southern California girl, Axsen’s path to Kelowna is winding.
After graduating from Pepperdine University in Malibu, she got into marketing and public relations.
One of her contracts was helping organize the Score Celebrity Hockey Tournament for Charity in Toronto in 2004.
Many of the players were former NHLers, some women players from the Lady Kings in Los Angeles, including Axsen herself, and 1998 Olympic snowboarding champ Ross Rebagliati.
Rebagliati will forever be known for having his gold medal taken away after a positive test for marijuana and then having the medal reinstated.
Axsen and Rebagliati clicked in Toronto and married later in 2004.
The new couple moved to his hometown of Whistler where Axsen worked for the Whistler Film Festival and Tourism Whistler.
When Rebagliati started to do some promotion for Kelowna Mountain, the couple moved to the Okanagan and had a son, Ryan, now aged six.
Axsen got into real estate, first with Macdonald Realty.
The marriage has since ended.