Twenty years is a long time for any company.”
So reflects Jason Ralph, Broker of Record and President of Royal LePage Team Realty.
As that company celebrates two decades of success throughout the National Capital Region, Ralph looks back on its many accomplishments, including his own rise from award-winning Sales Representative to member of the ownership and management team.
While the milestones are too many to mention, the one that impresses Ralph the most is the company’s record since 2005. “We’ve been the number one brokerage in Ottawa for units sold and dollar volume,” the russet-haired Ralph affirms. “When our founder Kent Browne started this business twenty years ago, it only took him three years to become the number one brokerage in Ottawa. We’ve maintained that legacy for seventeen years through the hard work of our trusted realtors and staff.”
For Ralph, real estate is a family business…well, sort of. While his father, Johnathan Ralph, was Broker/Owner of Royal LePage Gale Real Estate, Jason grew up with other aspirations—foremost, hockey. He credits the sport, which he played for the Kanata Lasers before moving on to DV1 school Union College in New York, for creating the tenacity and mindset it takes to rise through the ranks of the brokerage game.
“I went on to captain two professional teams, along with being made a player assistant coach. Those experiences required people management skills––and sharp ones at that because you’re managing twenty-some players who all have different expectations, skill levels, and personalities. That really helped my sales career. Every client has different personalities and expectations; you have to learn to manage those and work with them. Now, as an owner, people management is a huge part of my role. My athletic career set the foundation for the tactics I use to help our realtors succeed.”
Once Ralph started thinking about hanging up his skates, he went looking for a career where he could make good on the premiums of sweat equity and self-reliance instilled by hockey. “I knew I wanted to work in an industry that rewarded you based on how hard you worked, rather than a salaried position,” he explains.
That’s when the example set by his father took root. The younger Ralph got his real estate license in 2005. He played hockey over the winter and sold houses in the summer, an approach that let him test out whether or not the family business indeed suited his demeanour. It did—like a hockey glove. “I absolutely loved the work,” he discovered. “A few years later, my wife and I moved from the USA to Canada so I could continue to work in the field full time.”
So, in the end, then, life turned out to be a case of “like father, like son” after all.
“My father’s business was the largest independent real estate company in Eastern Ontario,” Ralph reflects. “Like I said, I wasn’t heavily involved in the business growing up, but I did get to watch and listen as he and his partner navigated the successes and the struggles of the housing market in the ’80s and ’90s. It’s been hugely beneficial to have so much knowledge at my fingertips that I can access with a simple phone call.”
Ralph, in fact, considers the entire Royal LePage culture one large family. “It might sound cheesy,” he offers sheepishly, “but our company really is like that. We know the importance of taking care of our own.”
Not to mention countless others. Royal LePage has a long and proud history of community involvement. “One of my partners, Kent Browne, was quoted saying at the beginning of his career, ‘I started giving back right away to become successful.’ His philosophy has become a tradition that we value. We’re involved with one hundred charities in Ottawa, whether it’s donating time to be a driver, volunteering, or donating money.”
Just as impressively, Royal LePage is also the only brokerage in Canada that has its own registered charity: the Shelter Foundation. The initiative was created to curb violence against women and children. “My wife Kate has even gotten involved, helping to renovate some of the women’s shelters here in Ottawa,” adds Ralph.
His sports career reduced to keeping up with his three active kids, Ralph is more than happy to keep cultivating a culture of generosity. “This business truly isn’t just about becoming successful… it’s about helping people”
By Dan Lalande
Photography by Sean Sisk