Whether it was his daring escape from the former Soviet Union as a teenager, or the discipline and focus he applied to judo, earning Olympic level status, Raymond Pace always approached life with energy and tenacity. As he prepares to launch his own real estate brokerage firm as a franchise owner of Century 21 Pace Realty Corp, it’s not difficult to understand how Raymond wound up at the top of his chosen profession. He has consistently been in the top one per cent of agents in the country and has won numerous awards while serving the Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, Toronto and Milton communities for more than 27 years. Now, as a leading North American realtor and a team leader for the Pace Home Selling Team, he is taking the next step.
His drive and work ethic he attributes to judo and his parents; his mother worked two jobs to make ends meet and even then, it wasn’t enough to keep her son at home full-time – a young Raymond was sent to a child care institution during the week. “I thought it was normal, at least I was fed and we had structure,” said Raymond. When he fled his homeland of Lithuania with a childhood friend, he wound up in Italy where he was taken in by a group of priests. From there he came to Canada, specifically Port Credit where he again lived in a rectory while attending high school. Initially, he attended college to become a nurse, but while helping out a fellow countryman sell condos on the weekends, he became fascinated with real estate, earned his realtor’s licence at 19 and never looked back. Within two years of obtaining his licence, he became one of the top 100 realtors in Canada. “I love solving clients’ problems. I don't just see myself as selling a home or helping people buy a home, it’s helping them fulfill their needs, their dreams. Fulfilling what people want, that drives me. I’m just a facilitator.”
As an elite athlete, Raymond was disciplined and focused, and always strove to do better. “I cannot be second best.” When he came to this country, speaking no English and with no knowledge of Canadian ways, Raymond found the easiest way to adapt was to imagine himself having been re-born. “I just said to myself what if I was born a second time, had a second chance, how my life would be? Of course I would want to learn the language, of course I’d want to go to school and do well and be part of society.
That made the process easier, it was easier to adapt. ”Throughout his real estate career, working for Sutton Group, RE/MAX Canada, RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp and finally Century 21, Raymond was “always looking to go to the next level.” As a young salesman, who looked even younger than his 19 years, he would be eagerly door knocking and on the phone in his search for potential clients, even obtaining his broker’s licence to give him more credibility. He attended a real estate training and coaching session with the renowned Mike Ferry Organization to learn how to operate a business and build a team. And every year, despite a recession and housing market crash, Raymond “got better and better, sold more and more homes.”
He is excited to open his boutique style operation which will have the international presence and client perks of Century 21, while offering the exceptional service, proactive marketing and proven results his clients have grown to love. He promises to be a hands-on manager. “I’ll come and do an evaluation of your home, I’ll negotiate an offer, I’m not just a team leader, but a hands-on guy.” Although Century 21 Pace Realty Corp is located in Oakville, Raymond and his team of agents will serve the surrounding areas.