Ray Yenkana is an immigrant with a fascinating story…Born in Aruba, raised in Guyana, and alone at a boarding school in England; somehow he ends up in Greater Vancouver, a leader in his local Real Estate Community and a pillar for Re/Max of Western Canada. Andrew and Ray dive into health, mentorship, people that inspire us, the Canadian World Junior Hockey Team, Ray’s addiction to sweets and affection for french fries, his wife’s irresistible cooking, changing with the times, talking to millennials and their new found partnership….This one’s a doozy!
Connect with Ray Yenkana online in the following places:
Facebook: Find Your Power Within
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes21
Full Transcript below:
Andrew Bracewell: This is the podcast that finds the most elusive people the everyday amazing kind that you know nothing about. I’m hunting these people down and exposing their beauty to the world. I’m Andrew Bracewell, and this is every day amazing.
Ray Yenkana: You talk about mental programming, your help. People say things like, Oh, I don’t wanna have tenants And I think I wanna have tenancy pay off my mortgage.
Andrew Bracewell: Today’s guest is difficult to introduce because there is so much he has done and so many lives he has touched. His accomplishments are too large to list yet. I do want to give the listeners some idea of who Ray is in the off chance they haven’t yet met or heard of him. Rather than use my own words. Here are a few quotes from those he has influenced over his career. Ray is one of the kind ist and most thoughtful people I have ever met. He taught me how to believe in myself. He helps everyone. He helped me a lot. Some days I can’t stand him, but mostly I admire him and he’s helped me so much. If you had to do something difficult, you would want Ray on your team. Ray has spent over 30 years in the real estate industry, collecting awards, accomplishing goals and impacting the lives of those he encountered in a mostly positive way. I say mostly because no human is an angel and even Ray wouldn’t want to be considered one. He has the ability to be polarizing, and he isn’t afraid to fight for what he believes in. While his arena has been real estate, his business is people, and during his tenure, so many have benefited and learned from him. That’s our goal for today. We want to talk to and learn from Ray and Kenna. I’m going to do my best to ask the right questions and listen closely so we can all benefit the most. Ray. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Do you like hearing that about yourself? That’s mostly true. Mostly well, there’s a lot of people who think it’s a lot true. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s accurate. What what are the What are the accurate parts?
Ray Yenkana: I, um I dig in and I fight for things for sure. I definitely like to help people and, uh like to see them think of themselves differently than the North than they normally would so that they can accomplish more. Part of that is our culture in our in our environment, In our office over the years, we’ve always thought of ourselves as being. We don’t have to be the biggest office. We just have to have the most the highest producing agents that’ll just attract, you know, achievement type people, people that want to achieve and me and just do more than not necessarily based on a certain number for that we put on them. But they accomplish above and beyond what they ever thought they couldn’t for themselves.
Andrew Bracewell: Where does that desire to help others come from?
Ray Yenkana: There is a good question. It’s Ah, it’s deep seated. I think it’s, um I feel it comes from me feeling, Ah, a lot of gratitude, people that there’s been a lot of people that helped me and there’s a lot of people over the years that helped me to see things, uh, through different eyes, and as a result I was able to, you know, rise up and do more than I originally thought I could have done. And ah so then I realized, well, that’s easy. I mean, you just have to think differently. So maybe I can help people think differently. Then they’ll accomplish more.
Andrew Bracewell: So let’s go back to the beginning. You are an immigrant from Guyana. Uh, correct. When did you and your family come?
Ray Yenkana: We came in 1967.
Andrew Bracewell: How old are you in 67. 15. 15. So you spent a lot of your childhood in Guyana?
Ray Yenkana: Ah, in Gannon, England. I, um I was actually born in Aruba. Okay, but at a young age, I had a, um, older sister that had leukemia appearance wanted her that she was gonna make it. So the parents wanted to go back to where they grew up in Guyana to be close to grand parents and family. And so I was two years old, I think when it took me back and, ah, then I stayed till I was, like, 11 years old. Just before my 12th birthday, Um, my mom decided that I needed to master English, and she packed me up and said, Ah, she went with me and took me and drop me off. My sister and I actually drop me off in London, England, and put me in a school there so I could master English alone with your sister. We stayed in a boarding home, a boarding house. We stayed, but we stayed with some people that boarded students, that everything. And then Mom went back to Diana. She had to go back. My dad was there. She had a job, that type of thing. So we stayed there for almost
Andrew Bracewell: two years. So do you think Do you have a memory or memories from your childhood that have helped shape some of the philosophy is that you have today. I do. What are some of those memories?
Ray Yenkana: One of my earliest One of my earliest memories was I started school when I was three years old and a gun dropped off of this little private school. That was probably it wasn’t near where I lived, but I got dropped off. My mom dropped me off on the way to work, but it was probably maybe three and I have for four blocks away from my grandma’s house, I was instructed. You go to school for half a day and you walk over to Grandma’s and we’ll pick you up over there. You know, just think about it. I’m three years old and I I figured it out.
Andrew Bracewell: You’re walking alone on the street and
Ray Yenkana: I’m walking alone is a three year old and ah, I never had a problem.
Andrew Bracewell: And what’s the safety for a three year old? I mean, it’s never safe for a three year old walk alone in the street. But what’s it like in Guyana at that time? Well, at that
Ray Yenkana: time and the time of day that I walked, I hardly encountered anybody. And the only thing that I was maybe concerned about the thing that I was concerned about was dogs, you know, like if you heard a dog bark or if it was a dog that came at me, I wasn’t Ah, yeah, I’m not big enough to handle Ah, dog. But I I always managed to make it
Andrew Bracewell: so that memories done something in your mind for you to speak about that today.
Ray Yenkana: It, um, it’s an early memory and, ah, lot of times an early memory helps, you know, helps a person helps me to form my thinking. What would I do? I all every time I made that walk, I always had a plan. I had a rock in my hand. I had something, you know, Like I mean, if if a dog came, that would be the only danger that I knew off at the time.
Andrew Bracewell: So back to England, your boarding school, you’re in How many years were either?
Ray Yenkana: I was boarding at a home and I went to a day school and I was there for a year and 1/2. Exactly. You know, 33 semesters.
Andrew Bracewell: What was that? Like boarding school in England. That got to be a culture shock.
Ray Yenkana: It was a culture shock. Um, for sure. In many ways, the they didn’t have a good food over there for sure.
Andrew Bracewell: No spice.
Ray Yenkana: They didn’t have any. Go slice. The English are not known for their cook. Cooking English are not known for cooking. And back in those days, they didn’t. You know, I’m a kid. So the food at home, the
Andrew Bracewell: food in
Ray Yenkana: the boarding home where my mom’s had My mom knew these people. The food was good there, but, you know, going to school, there was food. There was a culture that was like, Aah! I was the only I was the only brown person in the whole school so very quickly somebody decided that they should beat up the brown guy. So Ah, I had to deal with that.
Andrew Bracewell: And did you endure Endure that the whole time you were there? No, no, no. I just
Ray Yenkana: in the in the early days, I had to deal with it. But I learned to deal with that back way back in Guyana when I was both probably able to eat or nine years old, my dad took me. This was this is actually defining thing for me. So when I was a body in her nine years old, I change schools. And my dad took me to a neighborhood that he grew up in and took me to the school. And he said, Ray, this school is, ah, predominantly, um, predominantly Negro students. And you would be just a handful of Indian kids among maybe two or three Chinese kids Be no such thing as a white person in a school in this school. And, um but the kids are gonna want a beach up. My dad told me so. He says, you know, here’s the basic. Here’s the basic thing you do to survive. And so I was having fights with kids within the first week or two of being in that school to the point where I learned how to bluff him. I learned at a bluff, um, and I learned how to take the cane, because every time, every time you get into a conflict in the school, you’re gonna get caned. But I actually learned that the cane ng was, um I used it to my advantage because the other kids aided getting keen. So I avoided many, many, many fights. Because whenever they won’t pick a fight and say, we’ll do it after school right out in front of the school, right? No, no, no. They said, Well, no, we do our fighting in the back. I said no. No, I I’m not fighting them back fighting in front of school. And so if you find fronts, really, for sure, gonna get caned. So I avoided. I mean, I probably only had a couple of fights. Two, maybe
Andrew Bracewell: three. Sounds to me like you were negotiating. I
Ray Yenkana: was, but I didn’t I didn’t know it, you know, it was just like Children. You know, uh, in my studies in negotiating, I mean Children are natural negotiators. And so I learned right away I gotta leverage this. I gotta leverage the rules of the school, and I’ve gotta leverage my language and what I say to people. So what I say to people can, you know, make the fight go away and, ah, you know, you can have a lot of fights with words and not in the but having
Andrew Bracewell: to go to blows. Did you get physical from time to time? Yeah, I had to break a few noses. That’s a nice way to put it. Well,
Ray Yenkana: I mean, if you break somebody’s nose and the blood starts coming, that’s usually the end of the fight for kids. Little kids, you know, we were little kids.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah. So you finish up in England when you went 15 16 years old.
Ray Yenkana: Knows about, um I was I had my 12 and 13 birthday in England and ah, half by Christmas. Diamond in my comes on. My birthday is in July. So before Christmas, my I went home and I was thinking it was like a holiday trip and I didn’t realize appearance actually had a plan, but I didn’t know about it, so we never went back. The plan, I think, was to come to Canada, come to the States, and it didn’t work out. So and I end up doing part of my high school in Guyana from January of You’re right, you know, the next year when I went back. And, um, until 67 money when I into Canada.
Andrew Bracewell: And how does that process go in 67 of coming to Canada?
Ray Yenkana: Ah, we arrived in March of 67. So my dad, not my dad myself and my sister came first. My mom stayed to sell the house, unwrap up the business and stuff, and my dad at the find a place to live and get a job and all this kind of stuff. And we ended up going to school in one location because we were staying with some friends of my parents for the first few months until that we found a place, and then we when we found a place, then it was closer to a different school. On this one. I change schools
Andrew Bracewell: And were you angle sacked like we’re in an English speaking community or a French speaking community?
Ray Yenkana: No. I was living in Montreal. It’s you’re living in a friend. Speak Anning. They’re speaking city, Right? So on the street, you’re gonna hear and speak French. And I learned how to speak some French in England. But when I went to much, all it expanded so that I could get my But I went to an English speaking school.
Andrew Bracewell: So you finish up and you graduate, Grayer, right through a series of circumstances. You end up coming from Montreal two bc at roughly what? 20 years of age? Something like that.
Ray Yenkana: Think I was? Ah, it was 1973. So I would have been 22 years old.
Andrew Bracewell: And at what age would you say your working career began as an adult? Would you say that was 20 or 23. 24. When? When? When is that click in your brain? Well,
Ray Yenkana: I started working. I mean, I have to work. When I came here to British Columbia, obviously had Oh, I was married and she never married in Montreal before we came and within the first year was being here. First child was born Mike and ah, So I was working at a job. I worked at a couple different jobs when I really started. The work was in. I was about 26 years old about 1977 and I realized I’m not gonna make it in working at a job. And so I started when another guy we started a construction company and I started building building homes and doing renovations, which I did till about till the time I got into real estate. And
Andrew Bracewell: how long would that have been that you were building homes?
Ray Yenkana: Well, I was built. I was day to day on the job from 77 till 85 when I got into real estate. But I kept the construction coming, Going till about 90 93. You know, I never worked on the job. I just worked, you know, every day. But I I kept the company going and ah, assisted the guys that work for me. You ran the company that I shut it down in 93 because by that time, my real estate was too busy. We’re
Andrew Bracewell: gonna come back, Thio. I want to get into the real estate career piece in a second, but I want it. I don’t want to forget to bring something up that’s that’s relevant to the last weekend Here. You. Ah, you watch the Canadian Juniors. Off course I saw you did some. You were doing some posts and and videos on that.
Ray Yenkana: Correct. Uh, you know, when I came when I came to Canada, it wasn’t If you want to go back When I first came to my drill, everybody in Montreal, the great Montreal Canadians. Come on. When I came to Montreal, they all watch hockey,
Andrew Bracewell: and they were winning at that time. Yeah, well, they they’ve kind
Ray Yenkana: of backed off a little just to kind of give the rest of them a chance to catch up. All right. You sure you know what I’m saying? Um, but yeah, we like your first game. You know, the people. But we had these little black and white television sets, and I couldn’t figure out what people were doing because I couldn’t see the puck. So most people who aren’t born in Canada, uh, who you know, who are born in can. They don’t realize that when people first come to Canada,
Andrew Bracewell: they can’t see the puck. They’re just not accustomed.
Ray Yenkana: They’re just not accustomed. Their eyes are untrained and for Canadians, they think you mean? I see the park whole thing. Have you been doing it since you were born? And so then the, you know, just following the play. I mean, hockey is a lot like soccer, which I grew up plane Ah, Except it’s on ice. And, you know, I’ve become like a lover of the sport. I mean, hockey’s like the, you know, I’ll go to a hockey game before I go to a lot of other games and the Canada Juniors, you know, you know, every year that’s like a tradition. I mean, it’s the best hockey, the best hockey you gonna see in the year typically.
Andrew Bracewell: So when you were watching the gold medal game and Canada’s down by a goal in the third period,
Ray Yenkana: we were down by two goals.
Andrew Bracewell: They’re down by this. True, they’re down by two goals. What’s your confidence level? That they’re coming back and winning that game? I gotta confess. I go. There it is.
Ray Yenkana: I gotta confess, I was, uh I mean, I expect him to win. But when they were down two goals against the Russians, I’m sure I’m not the only person thinking, Ah, shoot. We’re screwed. And I said. And then I said, I’m the words out of my mouth. We’re screwed unless they do something pretty darn quick. And they did something pretty darn quick. And they got
Andrew Bracewell: a lucky goal. They got the well. Well, it was a balance. The It was a shot from the captain. Yes, well, it bet did it Didn’t go off someone’s ankle. That someone’s ankle. It went off a foot. Yeah, one of the foot you
Ray Yenkana: want. Oh, yeah. Went off of foot. It unintentionally went in the goal. You call it a lucky goal.
Andrew Bracewell: Well, you need luck. And who knows where luck comes from? Exactly? Yeah,
Ray Yenkana: exactly. It We got a goal, and then the monsoon forgot that goal is okay and we got a chance. And then we got another goal. That goal was the go ahead goal, wasn’t it? They were. No, that was the tangle. Entangle. I’m having trouble remembering the tangle. Maybe the tying goal was the one from the captain. I can remember. It was two goals there. I only room. I remember the captain doing the one goal. I don’t remember. The other girl was in the winning goal. I mean, the winning goal. I’ll never forget it. But I’ve watched the replay over and over and over because I wasn’t sure how he would put that pocket. It was a It was a work of art. Thomas. The guy from Trauma. Yeah, and I was The guy was. So he’s the hero.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah. You. Ah, you did a video the morning of the gold medal game that I watched. You did it. You probably released it in a number of platforms, but I watched on Instagram and there’s a quote from the video that I’ve heard you say a number of times and I want to I don’t want to ask you about it, something to this effect. And if I misquote, you tell me. But it’s like this. You say there can only be one number one. And then you said the boys are playing for silver today. They’re playing for gold. Now that’s a statement of her. I’ve known you my entire life, but I’ve heard you make that statement my entire adult life and certainly my entire career in real estate. When you say there can only be one number one. What does that mean to you? What are you trying to convey? Well, I’m trying to
Ray Yenkana: say that there’s an opportunity to become excellent at whatever it is you want to become excellent at. So not everybody necessarily wants to be. No. Everybody’s interested in being the number one say sales producer in the office or not. Everybody’s interested in being the number one sales producer in town. Or you know what I’m saying? Yeah, absolutely not. Everybody is interested in certain number one positions, but everybody probably has a number one position that they want to attain and be consistent that at something in their life. And so when you when you focus on that and you get the number one spot there is, there is only number one number one,
Andrew Bracewell: so not necessarily the number one spot. But when you focus on that and get what you’re trying to attain, exactly, that’s what you’re trying to convey. That’s right. That makes sense.
Ray Yenkana: That’s right, like in other words, in life, whether it’s in our relationships or in business or in, um, in our health goals, who’s working out to be to be in the second best shape I could be or who’s you know who’s pounding the payments every day, too, to produce the second highest amount of sales that I’m capable of.
Andrew Bracewell: Do you think people are having that conversation in their brain when they go into a challenging experience? Or what do you think is the mental block? What do you encounter in your experience?
Ray Yenkana: So the answer is, first of all, do I think people have are thinking about this and I’m thinking not most people. Most people, they’ve been told they’re not gonna amount to much. And most people live in a world of, um, lacking confidence in themselves, in their own abilities, and and and it’s very it’s very deep seated. And matter of fact, I was some. I work with people to try and help them get over those mental gaps, like identifying the problems easy. You know what? I’m having a coaching session with, uh, a client like an agent. I I ask him only a couple of questions. One of them. One question is, I say to them, you know, what is it that you wanted to do that you didn’t get done this last month? This last
Andrew Bracewell: year? What is it? Do
Ray Yenkana: you want to do in your career. You haven’t. You know, you didn’t get done. Well, what do you still want to do? And And that that could be one thing that could be seven things. So I get him toe, I get him to write that down, and then I say to them the second question, The second question. I don’t expect them. I don’t expect him to write that down right away. Send them away with this question. The second question, I give it the money. Say, go back and see if you can figure this out on which is what I’m asking him to figure out is what got in the way. Because you’re you. You are. You put your pants on one leg at a time, you’re human. But everything that you’re talking about other people have done, so you could probably do it to. So something must have got in the way. Could you make a list for each of the things you wanted to get down? You didn’t get down, what got in your way and it could be several things. And after that, after we review that information, they now have a pretty clear picture off. What’s going on, but you should see what they say about what gets in the way. It is unbelievable,
Andrew Bracewell: right? So you’ve done this with literally hundreds of people? Exactly. There’s got to be some commonalities that come out of these conversations.
Ray Yenkana: So what? What What happens in these conversations is when I say what gets in the way, it’s it. It bypasses, it seems to bypass. The conscious brain goes right into the emotional brain, and it’s like they’re not even answering the question of what? Because if you saw the answer, you go while I was trying accomplish such and such. What we got in the way. Well, they start telling you some story about their dog died or you know they’ll tell you something. You think that’s what got in the way of getting that done? It did, in a way, because they were soul consumed with all these other things. They never got the job done whatever it is that they wanted to do and to try and bring them back from to bring him back to the right steps that we have to do to accomplish any goal. It is not easy. It’s
Andrew Bracewell: easy
Ray Yenkana: to identify it, it’s it’s it’s not that hard to identify it. It’s really hard to put the plan in place because now that requires us making some changes to our schedule to a lot of things, and then to become unconsciously competent in anything, you have to do it over and over and over again. And that’s why most people that make New Year’s resolutions or I was making a joke the other day in the gym with Mon Ami videos. I said, Look, if you wanna you know, it’s busy in the gym right now. It’s busy, you know, because it’s January. Sure, everybody’s there is every is there. So if you want, you want to get in and use the equipment. Go in five in the morning. But its okay By February, we’ll be fine. Little quitting
Andrew Bracewell: the word Well, that’s
Ray Yenkana: right. The herd will see it.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, so you’re Are you 67? 68? Always.
Ray Yenkana: I’m 68 was morning 51.
Andrew Bracewell: You’re born a 51 year, 60 years old. So 68 year old Ray and can I can imagine is far different than let’s say, 38 year old in Kenna. What are and I don’t have a memory of you back there. I mean, I’ve known you my whole life, but I certainly don’t have a memory of you back then. What are some of the obstacles or false beliefs that you’ve had to overcome in your life? Because I think a lot of people Let’s see you now See you as this highly accomplished, bigger than life human. But knowing you and your level of authenticity, there’s got to be some things that you’ve had to overcome in order to get where you are today.
Ray Yenkana: Well, the first There’s several, of course. Of course, Nobody. Nobody is born a certain way. You develop, right? So I was concerned about what people thought of me. I mean, my Frank, I was raised in an environment where it was important to be thinking that we need to do and say things that people other people will approve off. You need other people’s approval. So if you’re gonna be in sales, if you’re gonna be in real estate sales, it’s realtors are such a small part of the population. I mean, just in British Columbia, we have almost three billion people. Yeah, 2.7 you know, almost almost three million people. So in the whole province, we have maybe 24,000 realtors. Something like that, Yeah. So do the math on that. It s so to become a realtor or for that matter, I can change any sales career and and certainly any license sales career. But but sales in general, if you if you’re trying to make a living doing commission sales, it’s going to be your your part of the majority of majority of people are are exchanging time for money there. There’s somebody’s job commission sales. You’re a minority, and the things that commissions salespeople have to do takes them out of their comfort zone and puts them into situations where for sure people are going to go. I mean, just about everybody I know in sales has been told,
Andrew Bracewell: right? Why don’t you
Ray Yenkana: get yourself a real job like, seriously, like mine? Just get off the phone. You just go get a job and be like the rest of straight time for money. So
Andrew Bracewell: So I want to pick this apart of it. In sales, you are going to encounter scenarios where people are giving their opinions of you where they’d be good or bad breath. And at some point time early on in your career, you had to overcome some voices in your head. That said, Ray, they don’t like you. They don’t think you’re good enough. You’re an idiot because that that’s not fair, That’s where. Did you encounter some of that?
Ray Yenkana: Well, when the very first time. So I’m gonna go white right back to When I was aged 12 and I was living in England and I decided to try out for the cross country team. I was very athletic. I always I want to do everything, try anything. Soccer. Burkett. I play. I love sports. So I’m trying office, cross country team and the cross country team I’ve never run. That’s one thing I haven’t done is run distance or run distance uphill. So my cardio is low. I’m accustomed playing sports like Cricket burger. It’s not a lot of running. It’s a more skill tennis and those signing to make a long story short. I’m doing this cross country run. It’s the tri. It’s the first trial for the school team. There’s 100 of US students in my age category and if I don’t watch what I’m doing. I’m in such a rough shape. I’m gonna come last. But there was one kid, and I thought I could beat him. I beat him to come to come 99 out of 100 right?
Andrew Bracewell: What distance was this?
Ray Yenkana: This was about two miles cross country up and down hills in a park. And, uh, the coach I said toe the coaches taking everybody’s names and keeping track, and I go up to him and I said, uh, when are you gonna pick the team? We says we’re gonna have a few more practices. He says, but probably in a month or so, I’ll pick the team for the school. I said, how many were you picked to go on the team? And I think I was about 15 of us guys would be on the team. And I said to him, I said, Well, I’m gonna be on the team and I was a kid. So, you know, as an adult, I look back and think he’s probably thinking, What a moron I like. My chances of making the team were slim to none.
Andrew Bracewell: Well, 99 out of 100 So you’re in the 99th percentile. You needed to get to the 15%
Ray Yenkana: of exactly and and so it was training for the team or trying to make the team. When you’re running cross country and you’re running up hills, you hear voices. Now maybe the voices go away when you are accomplished. I don’t know. I always had the voices. I have the voices today. So if I put myself outside of my comfort zone, I start going on a huge hike. Or and if I’m by myself, well, then it’s just me and the voices. That’s why you know, when you it’s always easier to hike, run like what other people? That was easier. You got the encouragement, but when you just have you and the voices. So I just had me and the voice is running and believe it or not. When I got into sales, I recognized it was the same voice. So when I would hear these voices in my head, I went, Oh, that’s the same frickin demons or whatever you wanna call him. The juice is speak to me when I was running the hills in England, and, uh, I can’t listen to that nonsense. It’s got a break. I just can’t keep doing it. You’re doing it especially, you know, in real estate, when you first get started, you got to talk to a lot of people are gonna make a lot of calls. You gotta go see a lot of people. That’s how you get the momentum going is basically real. Estate is building yourself a book of business, but the same could be said of insurance sales. You know, my friend Carl. He was in insurance sales, and I used to go visit him when I was in construction, and I would watch him make the calls through the phone book. And so I had the idea. Okay, We gotta gotta make a lot of calls. You start doing that, you’re gonna hear voices. If you beat the voices, you you’re gonna break through.
Andrew Bracewell: It should be noted. You spent you started real estate. What year? Well, I
Ray Yenkana: started. I started real estate 1985 but for the 1st 2 years, I was basically running a property management company and do company and doing leasing, right? And so it’s It’s quite a bit different. And the business was already established, and I was just running it for the owners. So I didn’t really get into sales that we we know it in real estate until, ah, about 1980
Andrew Bracewell: eight and then you go from 88 to 2000 or late nineties, just selling and not owning or at what point time did you transition? Just out of selling, Intoning the broker Duren. Well, I had
Ray Yenkana: to buy The brokerage was kind of like I had to buy the brokerage because I couldn’t negotiate a proper split with the owner. And I had my broker’s license by 1991 and I was trying to get the owner to give me a better deal on Split. Ah, we were on 60 40 splits back in the day, and finally she says, Ray, you just better by the company. So I bought the company in 1991 and converted it that year to ReMax office and ah so I own the company. But there was no money and owning company. The money was in sound Rose State. So I own the company and I started selling real estate. And by owning the company, my production went down, so I quickly transitioned into getting a partner who would run the office. So I spent a year. My production went down in 1992 from 75 transactions and 91 the 55. That’s significant, and and so I realized, I can’t be managing. I can’t be running this office. It’s gonna affect my income. So I sold half the office, so I still owned half. But it was just like a by owning the office. Back in those days, I had some control over what was gonna happen to my sales
Andrew Bracewell: career. Yeah, which was the thing of value worth protecting? Exactly. Yeah, today it’s
Ray Yenkana: That’s a non issue for most people that have a license because we’re in a bigger environment and we don’t have brokerages to do dumb things like try to take all the world’s changed. Back in those days, the brokers made all the money and the sales people had toe scrape by, and it’s turned around.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, So at what point in your lineage did you go from King on the street? Only concerned about selling more homes into some type of, let’s say sagely, type figure where you became concerned about others in your industry and helping them. And then I’ll use the word mentoring because the latter part of your career post 2000. Let’s say when you move down into the Valley, many people would describe you as somebody who teaches trains and mentors and cares about the development of other people’s careers. So when when did that transition happen in your brain?
Ray Yenkana: So when I was still enforcement, John and I recruited agents into the office who had never been in real estate. Uh, I was concerned like I mean, I can’t recruit somebody into the business and they leave their job and them not be successful here. So I would work with these people one on one. Even though I was selling, I was sure I would hold nothing back and I would show, but it was just a handful of people. But it was enough that when I moved here I had an opportunity to buy the rematch Little office in the fall of 1999 and I made the deal and I bought in and bought the office. And then the owner’s son, Don Gertz junior, joined me as the as an owner and ah, right away. I realize, OK, I need to build the office. But the long term way of building the office is to build a people. So if I built, if I bring people on board and I build them, make them very productive and help the existing people increase their production, they’d probably stay. And for the most part, they do.
Andrew Bracewell: So it was in that transition exactly that you’re you’re thinking Well,
Ray Yenkana: in 2000 when I moved, I I started to come. I bought the office in January 2000. I made a commitment to come every month for a week to girl the office in terms of recruiting agents. And I said to my partner, Dunn Jr. I said, Ah, it’ll take me three years to double the office. Well, I got lucky, I guess, and we got lucky and we double that number 14 months. So I escalate. I hurried up my moving plans and I moved by 2002
Andrew Bracewell: and from that time until today, you’ve not. I mean, in the earlier years down here you were still doing a little bit of selling. But for the most part it’s been teaching, training mentorship, right? I always
Ray Yenkana: I always do some sale. I did some sales when I first came because the office wasn’t big enough. Thio the officer wasn’t big enough to support me. So any income that I had to have coming in have to come either from savings or from, ah, sales. And I always kept making seals, and I just I just sold my business and fortune John to one of the agents. So, uh, I had funds coming there, and but I always did some sales because, I mean, I don’t want to say Well, when it comes to residential sales, I you know, I did. I was doing over 100 transactions a year for 15 years so I could be dropped off in any city. And Aiken, I can go get listings. I can go get make the business happened. But as time went on, I had to curtail any residential work and just do commercial deals. And I am a C C. I am. I took those courses before I got here, and so that enables me to do high level commercial sales and make a good income. We don’t encroaching on my time I
Andrew Bracewell: feel like we need to go back and not gloss over a statement you just made there. You said you did over 100 sales a year for 15 years. Is that correct? That was my average. Did you ever get tired?
Ray Yenkana: That’s why I That’s why I started thinking about leaving the town. Because the last few years I was there. I was like, my last 10 years, and my average was over 120 transactions. But if you put the 1st 5 years onto it and it comes down to, like 100 transaction when you’re doing 100 and 2150 transactions a year, I mean all you do is there’s not much life in, you know, you’re just eat live, breed real estate, right?
Andrew Bracewell: The cost is great. Exactly. Yeah, that that is something that it sounds sexy or amazing to say that you’ve done right this many deals. But can you speak to the cost? Whether it be physical, mental family, Like, what are some of the things that you that you gave up in order to do that for
Ray Yenkana: sure for sure affect you physically? So the exercise regimen that I have today. And it also e. I didn’t have that same exercise regimen back then, but I also philosophically, maybe had some. I definitely had wrong information. Back in those days, I thought keeping fit was having good cardio. And so in the early years, you know, I would play racquetball and squash three or four times a week, and I would stay lean. But then I had an injury. In the early nineties, I ruptured my Achilles, and so when I ruptured my Achilles, it was really hard to get my eating back into the way it should be. Did you just keep on eating? It’s a habit. You don’t change habits overnight.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, you’re You’re burning high calories here, eating like a horse. Exactly. Yeah.
Ray Yenkana: And then now I’ve got an injury and I gotta recuperate.
Andrew Bracewell: Not to mention your wife is a very good cook.
Ray Yenkana: Well, that’s actually one of my one of my problems. My wife is like an amazing cook. So on, I love everything. If she makes a bad dish, I mean, it’s just bad in her mind.
Andrew Bracewell: I I just I have a memory flashback so the listeners can just listen to this for a moment. So I live with Ray for maybe a six month period, something like that in my college years, trying to make money up north. So I got to experience Patsy’s cooking, and I mean, I come from Al’s. My mom was an amazing cook, too, but I got to live with Ray, which was different cooking. Patsy Cook different than my mom did. And I can say for six months I mean, I I remember going to the table, the dinner and just walking away in absolute pain because of the quality of food I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop eating it. So I I sympathize with you. It’s not. It’s not entirely your fault. It’s It’s some of the blame. Lay is laid upon the person prepping the food. Is that a fair? I have used
Ray Yenkana: that excuse for years. I have used that excuse for years and, uh, my inability to push your weight right, my inability to stop or you know, and And if I’m out of the house, I eat less than if I’m at home. If I’m at home, I get hungry every hour, every hour. I want to eat right? Sure, there’s always
Andrew Bracewell: something around. So I Sorry, I digress There. I want to go back. I don’t want to interrupt our line of thinking. So the cost. What was the So you said physically? What about mentally? And then what about time cost on your family? Because I think that that is something. I’ll speak for the masses a little bit here for a second when we observe thes great titans and industries and you would certainly be categorized as a titan in the industry. The Titans often talk about their accomplishments, not in a bad way. The reference things they did right. I did this. I did this. I needed to overcome this. But what’s not commonly referenced is the cost to those accomplishments. And I think it’s difficult for people to grasp sometimes how to do some of these things because from their perspective, they go Well, I don’t know how to do this because I’m putting in my 40 50 55 hours a week, and I can only do this much. So how is it possible to do this much? Can you just speak to the sacrifices that you made in order to do what you did. Well, for
Ray Yenkana: sure that the time I would have spent with my with the family with the Children, the kids, I mean, one of my kids would say things like, Well, I could’ve I could’ve been playing hockey if somebody would have got up, got up, driven me the hockey games. I back then I was thinking, Well, I thought I was paying for the hockey, but nobody came and shared me on that, you know, Nobody was in the stands cheering me on and ah ah, and now not gonna have grandchildren. I mean, any time I get a chance to go to the airplane, I’m there cheering him on. Because now I realize, you know, maybe you should have been there sharing the kids on, you know, they needed that, and ah, but I was unaware of that because I was crushing it, right?
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, there’s a There’s a belief system sometimes that people well state when they’re when we’re hard at work accomplishing something, it’s very easy to turn and look at the family and say, I’m doing this for you and I would say I used to believe that, and now I believe that for the most part, what I’m doing is for me. I’m doing things because I enjoy it and it gives me life. And it’s what I want to be doing. And for the most part, my family’s along for the ride. And then you’re walking this fine line of trying to find a balance and not sacrificing too much for ah, for what you’re having fun at.
Ray Yenkana: Yeah, you’ve got to put certain things in place. I mean, I didn’t sacrifice everything. I mean, I I used to have certain rules to moderate all the stuff I was doing. So I started early, like a lot of my appointments were at six in the morning, my first appointments. I’d meet people for breakfast at six, and I’d work all the way through the day. But I always had supper at home, so that was one of the things that kind of kept me somewhat of a balance. It was rare. We wouldn’t
Andrew Bracewell: have anything to do with that food that was being cooked, right?
Ray Yenkana: It would have a lot to do with the food because, um but it was also I gotta eat, and there’s no restaurant that’s gonna make food is good with my wife. So especially in 14 John. Well, anywhere. I mean my grandkids. Even today, if you know, for some kids, they go, You want to go out to eat in the They think it’s a treat to want to go to McDonald’s, and and and my grandkids will know No way. If Grandma’s cooking will go in there, that makes sense. So, you know, um, but But having you know, keeping that one little thing where you could meet together and have some family time was important. But for a lot of those years, for a lot of those years, it was just Patsy night because, you know, keep in mind, I started in real estate in my mid thirties. All my kids were born, but it almost 26. So by the time I’m in my mid thirties, the youngest of the kids are like 10 or 11 years old and the oldest ones, they’re teenagers, and so they’re kind of like on the way out the house. And by the time I ramped up the business in the early nineties, the kids or we didn’t even have Children at home like when you came to ST about us in the nineties.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, that was late. I was late nineties 99 2000 of you and your you were emptiness.
Ray Yenkana: So they’re the early nineties. The kids were going off the college or working someplace in S o pass the knife a little last 10 years and fortune John a boat. We’re pretty much on our own. And But the realization came one day when I thought myself. Actually, it’s funny how this realization came. I when you when you get into your forties, you’re gonna attend funerals of people that that your peers? Sure. And when you do, or maybe people you know, they’re maybe 10 years old, and you you attend a funeral. You it makes you think a little. But among the things I thought about those I’m not from fortune, John. And, um, I’m gonna I’m gonna bury me here. I remember answering that question, saying, No, I I’m not going to stay here all my life someplace. I’ve got to go someplace else, and we began thinking, And then through a series of circumstances, we end up in the lower mainland.
Andrew Bracewell: So I’ve written a note for myself here that I wanted it. I don’t want to miss this, So I’m gonna go to this now. Mentorship Training, coaching. This is it. This is a theme of your life in the last 20 years. Certainly in the time since you came to the lower mainland you to build a business, you bought little Okun. That’s what you’ve spent the last 20 years your life on who are some of the great mentors and thinkers that have impacted you.
Ray Yenkana: So when I was unfortunate, John, um, I met a man. He’s on the first guys I met older than me and, ah, we got to be friends. And he actually is like one of my best friends. But he’s a mentor. His name’s Ron and the Ron help me understand a lot of things about life and family and ah, money. So Ron was a kind of one of those early and, you know, he’s one of those early mentors and he’s still a friend. I still call him a few times a year and talk, and I mean, if I get on the phone with Iran, we could be on the phone for we could be in a phone front are to just time We just passed. Is it so much We done together and and and and with. The other thing about Ron was we would bounce ideas off of each other, so we would meet almost every week. And if I had an idea, it bounce it off him and he your critique what I was saying, One of my other early mentors was, um you know, there was a there was a famous guy. His name is Charlie. Tremendous. Jones and Charlie used to make a comment. He said, My mentors are the books that I have, and when you’re living in a remote area like forcing John, you’re not gonna have the opportunity to goto live seminars and meet famous people. But you can buy their books and listen to their tapes. So I had a lot of mentors over the years. I mean, when I found out my real estate board had a library, I you could ask the girls that used to work the moons that are still there there. Remember that I used to take everything out of the library and listen to it everything that from Mike Fairy and Floyd Wickman and on and on and on all the great sale strangers. But the guy and it really affected me by thinking, was General Jim Rohn really affected? My thinking is Jim has the most practical don’t worth business philosophy, way of looking at life. And, you know, you just can’t get enough of a gym stuff. And so a lot of it I’ve listened to so many times. It kind of is effect. It’s kind of molded how I think. And then later on in my in its time went on, I met. Ah, I mean John Maxwell through his books and stapes. And then I’ve had the privilege of actually meeting him alive and actually going to several of his live events, and ended up taking one of taking a certification program that he has for to become a certified trainer and coach and speaker. So those those are some of the guys. I missed guys that you know that are with us anymore. But I have older material and listen to it like Zig Ziegler.
Andrew Bracewell: Sure, yeah. So what’s that you mentioned you became a coach Maxwell coach. What was that process like? The certification
Ray Yenkana: process is, um, them interviewing you to find out that you’re the right person for it. Because they’re not just about trying to make everybody until coach, so them interviewing me. And then the certification is like a four day. It’s a four day program, but it has a continuation part of it. So, like to maintain your you’re standing. You go once a year, and there’s always fresh material on new stuff, and they have them. They’re the most incredible for coaches. They have the most incredible website with life, with materialised there forever. You don’t even have to go back to the certification to improve yourself. But you have all the material that you have always
Andrew Bracewell: had access to. Okay, So back to the little Lok story. Because I want to dive into that a little bit more. Roughly 20 years in the lower mainland while you purchase little locating in 2000 is that correct? Right, So you’ve got you’ve seen a lot. The industry has changed a lot. You’ve encountered hundreds, if not thousands of people. What are some experiences or lessons that stick out to you in that time? Either people, you’ve encountered hardships you’ve injured challenges. What are what’s a nugget or two that you can can speak to about that? Well, in
Ray Yenkana: our business, change is the key word. And so what we did, what we did last year isn’t necessarily what we’re gonna do forever. And so learning howto make you were
Andrew Bracewell: basically some of
Ray Yenkana: the things we do in real estate are the same. It’s how we do it, the changes all the time. So a realtor is always gonna have to prospect for buyers and sellers. But how we do it. I mean, in the early days, how you did it was you made sure you went to the office because people would come there. So if you’re not in the office and people come, you’re gonna miss the listing offered lead or you’re gonna miss the up, you know that because people would fall in the office or they physically walked into the bone and physically walked in. But then when the market shifted, the marketplace shifted and technology shifted. Now, you know, people that people knew they didn’t have to come, they could phone and you get paged. And so technology just kept changing what we did. I mean, It used to be that we used to think. And this is if I say certain things like we used to print and send print material. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that today, but that was the only thing, but yeah, you see. But back in the day, if we were gonna reach out, we we had we had print medium. We didn’t really have some of the things we have today. So then, as time went on a
Andrew Bracewell: juice paper classified print that was basically 10 signs it
Ray Yenkana: Matter of fact, I liketo some of the ads I used to run promotional ads which were branding brand awareness ads. For me is a realtor. Those were all done in the newspaper and on flyers. Today. If I want to do brand awareness ads, I better have it on Facebook and Instagram and on. I better be doing some videos and things like that, which we never
Andrew Bracewell: had that opportunity. So that’s one. What about, how have you what? Let’s talk about generational gaps. So you’re you’re a baby boomer, and now you find yourself in a position of you alluded to technology change, the introduction of video social media. You’ve got Gen X not only Gen X. Now you have. What do they call the kids these days? No hit millennia, not hipsters. I was going to say hipsters, millennial millennials. Yet you from my observation. I mean, you have absolutely down your level best to adapt and embrace a lot of these different people in different changes. So tell me, tell me a story or two about that. Well,
Ray Yenkana: the story is it’s always been in my hand. But I When I left gay and into Good England, I had to learn to speak like the English. I can absolutely talk Clark times like I was in London. If you drop me off in London tomorrow, I’ll still have my British accent. It’ll be right there. I’ll bring it up to the surface. You’ve got to speak the language that people that you’re speaking to understand. So when I learned much Uriah pas francais, you know I gotta speak some French. Well, generationally, I mean their words. I was trying to remember a word. My granddaughter made reference to some kids. I asked her she knew those kids and she meets. She said a word. The word we would have used was we would have said, Well, they’re a bunch of druggies And she didn’t say that. She had a different word, and I and I missed it. So I’ve gotta find out what that word is, you know, because there’s new words. The English language. See one thing. Voting thing. This is the fastest growing language on the planet. Fastest changing, too. And there’s new words added all the time. So if you’re going to keep up and be able to speak to people at any level, any you know and in the real estate world, you can’t say, Well, I’m on Lee servicing people over 60 or money serving people, you know, you got to be able to help anybody. Ah, and if you are like me and you have a brokerage where we got people that we probably have like 19 and we’ve have had 19 and 20 year old agents join us. We’ve got some in their seventies, and so you gotta be able to speak to all of them. So you got to keep up with stuff, so that’s what you’ve done. That’s what I’ve done
Andrew Bracewell: you’ve embraced and to your point you’ve had from an early age. You I think you are constantly changing.
Ray Yenkana: I was constantly aware of the fact that I mean, I’m a communicator, and communication tools are when somebody comes up with a new communication tool, you better quickly. You better didn’t make a decision that if this is going to stay and it’s not gonna be a fad Ah, and a lot of people going to use it, you better jump on it and learn Like, I mean, I started doing Facebook. Uh, I was probably enrolled in Facebook back in old six or seven, but in No. Nine and realize Oh, my goodness, this thing that’s going to go I better get over to learn everything I possibly can, which is what I did.
Andrew Bracewell: So let’s get let’s get a little bit more personal. Is it two years ago. How long? How long did you have your heart attack? Two
Ray Yenkana: years. In a few months. It was November off 2017.
Andrew Bracewell: Remember of 2017? I remember that you and I spoke on the phone a day before it happened, and if someone had asked me was are able to have a heart attack, I would have said, Hell, no. Because of the energy enthusiam enthusiasm in your voice at the time.
Ray Yenkana: Well, actually, when I had I had a heart attack. When I had the heart attack, I was in the gym.
Andrew Bracewell: You actually might have. Now that I’m thinking about it, didn’t you? You had it. And then there was a period of time that went by before you even realized you had it. Correct. Well,
Ray Yenkana: what? Yeah. So what happened was I was the acute heart attack. So the doctors would probably say, Ray, you probably had several heart attacks before didn’t November. Because all through that year, I had several times when I would have extreme pain in my chest and I talked to, you know, I talked myself into thinking it was just muscle and, um, but in November, I had a heart attack in the gym. And what that meant for me was at the end of my work out, it was a hard work out. In the end of the workout, I was tired. We went home, had a shower. I actually cancel unemployment because I thought I’m just too tired and I’ll just sit here and rest and And my daughter came and talked to me and said, You know, you look like yourself. You and I said, Well, I’m just tired. But I was actually having a heart attack and made a long story assured when they die and end. And they checked me out. Everything else. Um What? What? What? What they discovered was I had some blockages in my in my main artery, five. So they put in five stints and put me on, you know, on medication and the exercise part. I always exercise. But I was overweight. I was obese. I was over. I was over 20. I was probably like 30%. 26 to 30% body fat. It’s over the next. For the next last two years, I’ve changed. My eating increased. I’ve always exercised. I’ve always exercised. But I always. But I had a misconception. A misunderstanding, a misunderstanding I had was if you did. You know if you’re if you walked or if you ran or if you did. Cardio sports, like certain types of theirs are lots of cardio things. Right? You’re going to stay in shape. What? I didn’t understand until recently. Only in the last year. Even though I’ve been working in the gym for five years, it’s only been the last year that it’s Dawn. It’s Claire that I have to build muscle and the secret about the building muscle thing. Is that the muscle? When you when you do resistance training with weights, which I did this morning, your body is actually gonna be burning fat for maybe 17 hours. Where is when you do? Which is what? All my life, I’m a cardio guy. So the workout serves me well during the workout and maybe for an hour or so afterwards. What did you get? Older? You lose muscle. You’re not producing testosterone anymore. It’s so so what you want to do is you wanna meet for me what I realized in the last two years, I’ve got to go into the next decade and next 2030 years of my life. I got to go in there with the most most like, impossibly taken with.
Andrew Bracewell: So you learn this lesson in your early sixth early to mid sixties?
Ray Yenkana: Yeah, In my mid sixties, I learned I shouldn’t I If if I went back to my 30 year old self, I would have told myself then. Hey, squash and racquetball is great, but you should be lifting weights a couple times a week for sure. And then later on, it would have dawned on me. I should be lifting weights, maybe 34 times a
Andrew Bracewell: week. So the guy has a heart attack. We won’t call it a near death because I don’t think you were near death, but it’s a heart attack all the same. And for the most part, from my observation, you have bounced back physically, incredibly well and embrace some new habits and healthy habits and things that you needed to do. What is the What’s the battle in the mind? Okay, when you have a heart attack,
Ray Yenkana: I already had put into my mind an important thought a long time ago. The thought was, if you have ah, heart attack and you pay attention to what has happened, you could live a long time. So you’ve got to make some changes. You’ve got to be hard on yourself. You gotta watch what you eat. You gotta You, In other words, the first heart. If you survive the first heart attack and you change your life, you live for a long time. It’s like the weight is like a wake up call.
Andrew Bracewell: And statistically, the numbers are actually quite good. Yeah,
Ray Yenkana: So if you, you know, carry on as if nothing happened living the way you live, the second will probably take you so that that’s what I had in my head.
Andrew Bracewell: So when you’re lying in a hospital bed and you’re hooked up to an I V in the doc’s telling you, you’ve had a heart attack is there ever a moment there where you’re questioning yourself, doubting yourself, wondering if you could bounce back? What’s the What’s the voice in your head in that moment? Well, I’m kind of
Ray Yenkana: liking little bit of shock, but for me, I mean, like, you know, im Yeah, well, I’m I’m overweight. But I could still walk 20 miles all in a day if I wanted to. I mean, you know, I mean, I’m not I’m not useless, but your heart’s a different part of your whole system, right? So you make a definite mate, makes you think. OK, I’ve got to make some changes, and I got to do some things, too, to correct this and one of The things I did was I went to see a naturopath, and I said that in Ashgabat would you thought I was gonna have a heart attack? And he said he didn’t necessarily think that either. But he said, Let me run some tests And of course, the money ran tests. You found out that, um, I had a lot of heavy metals and me, and so people my age have grown up in a time where we were exposed to a lot of things that we didn’t think was problem. Like a lot of guys that lived on farms painted, I used to paint. I used to play with lead. I used to make things with leaden, melted down and do all kinds of things. When I was a kid, Well, that is bad was I was full of lead mercury from with these but mercury fillings in are models and sure. And so I had the last one removed, like you know, after the heart attack, I I had been removing him because I knew was even dentist would save, right. You should get rid of that. Change that one. I’ll change this one. I changed the last one out, and then I took the circulation program. So I’ve done over 35 treatment’s chelation treatments, which they tell me, You know, they tell me it’s reduced those some of those medals, and there’s probably another. There’s other opinions of these things. You know, I’m not the medical person, but I go
Andrew Bracewell: for help. So you get to the last few years of your career here. You’ve built an incredible thing, and then you have this 37 38 year old got through 12 35 when the conversation started. But in the last few years, you’ve started to release this thing that you’ve built your baby to me. And today, as we look at each other, we’re having this interview. We’re partners. That can’t be easy. What’s that process like having built something with your blood, sweat and tears and then have a young guy come along and say, Hey, Ray, actually, I can I can I can not only can I help you, but I think I’ve got some ideas that are better. Move over. Get out of the way. Let let let me let me take this. What’s that like? Well,
Ray Yenkana: it’s, um, you know a TTE first, You know, you might think really so then. But if you But as I reflect on it, I go I would rather do this for a longer period of time because I like doing it. And, um but there’s only certain parts of it that I like, see? So with you coming along and you wanting to do some of the things that makes make it so that I don’t have to do those things that I could just do the things I like to do in the business, you know, working work in the business and do the things I like to do and the things that I’m good at. And, um, I’ve always had a partner, for the most part in real estate. You know, I I didn’t have a partner for the first year when I bought the brokerage. Then I had a partner after that. And then when I came to rematch, a look at a partner for the first 10 years, nine or 10 years, and then from the last eight or nine years I didn’t. But I have always been thinking marry fact. I spoke to you and I when I bought over my last partner.
Andrew Bracewell: You did? I spoke to your house in 2009. I’m going with you right away. And it was It was too early for a I. I was at that time. I wasn’t I wasn’t old enough or mature enough. I don’t think I’m old enough or mature enough today, but at least I hadn’t seen enough of life to be able to grasp it in my brain.
Ray Yenkana: Right. All right, I get it. So I mean, ah, it’s better. I’m better off working with a partner. And finding a great partner like you is like, doesn’t come along every day. So I’m, uh I’m working on it.
Andrew Bracewell: But this is the first time I actually think I have I have visions that you and I will write a book together one day. And that and the title of the book will be I sold my business to a Gen Xer and I bought a business from a baby boomer because is the first time that you’ve had a partner who is not your age. Correct? And that has that’s produced some I mean, you and I. In the last few years, I mean, we have, ah, lot of history and, you know, good stuff to fall back on. But there’s some challenging conversations that just come out of the fact that we’re 30 were 30 years apart, right? But we’re here, and we’re doing it well.
Ray Yenkana: I’m ready for the book. Whenever you want to do that.
Andrew Bracewell: Don’t talk with your grandkids. Yeah. You like to talk about your grandkids. What I enjoy most What? Your grandkids.
Ray Yenkana: Well, when I start talking about my grandkids, my wife, you she says You think anybody else cares about what? You know? Like, if I start saying something about my granddaughter are my grandson. My wife’s like just to settle me down, like I mean right now, everybody wants a cure. Every cares. What? You’re great.
Andrew Bracewell: Well, today you have the microphone, and we have you here to talk. So even if nobody cares, we still want you to talk, and I care. I like getting you talking about your blankets.
Ray Yenkana: Well, I can tell you a couple things. My grandson is He’s the firstborn. His name’s soul. And ah is absolutely incredible. He’s the most caring soul. He cares about everybody memory. He cares so much that he doesn’t play competitive sports because from a young kid he was like he didn’t necessarily want to take the ball away from the other kids Or, you know, if he taught playing soccer was passable of everybody. Everybody should have a turn, you know. So he’s a very caring person. And ah, from you know, kids develop things early. And one of the things he developed early was he loved building Legos. So every Lego thing on the planet he’s built it tearing apart. If I went by his house yesterday and what he’s using the grass building, something he’s always building, he just loves to build. And so I love to encourage him because I remember I remember the joy of building when I built houses and the and the other thing about Mayor and said that he leaves me and my sister was, If she hears the she’ll, uh, she’ll laugh because I was never I was always mean to my sister. I was always picking on her, and I wasn’t I wasn’t a great brother, you know, like, you know, just picking on our teasing her my grandson. He is always taking care of his sister like I mean, he’s If there’s the last piece of cake, you’ll say, you know what? He’ll offer it to her like he’s He’s unbelievable. It could mean that’s a That’s a very I’ll tell you what. He gets older, and this may be not a nice thing. That’s not appropriate place to say. But whoever marries that boy, they’re gonna have a heck of, Ah, husband does. He’s caring and takes care of it. Takes your stuff. My granddaughter. Oh, she is competitive. All she ever wanted from Tash was younger was a ball, some kind of a ball. And, uh, I get a kick out of here because before games, I’ll say So are you gonna kick their butts and she’ll look at me and go, Yes, yes, we’re gonna kick butt.
Andrew Bracewell: She’s a rugby player.
Ray Yenkana: She plays rug me, She plays basketball. And she she did it. They discovered her when she was running track, so she was doing so good running. She’s so fast. That’s hard to rugby, people. Sorry, it’s about somebody that, with that speed, should play rugby. So she doesn’t really have time for track and volleyball. She plays anything he’ll play though any of those four sports, but she basically plays basketball and rugby and tries to make it all work.
Andrew Bracewell: And she’s I’ll fumble through this. But she’s getting to a point where she’s talking about playing nationally for Canada, right in rugby,
Ray Yenkana: she’s she signed papers to play on on the um on the national team and all those of all, she’ll probably she’ll probably be on Olympian if if she keeps on going the way she’s go.
Andrew Bracewell: And she’s like, what, 15 16 years old, just turned 50? That’s amazing. And most of the women she’s playing with our 23 years older than her right now.
Ray Yenkana: Usually she’s playing with under 19 girls you when she was 14. So she’s got her grandmother’s genes. She definitely got the grandma’s good. Looks us for
Andrew Bracewell: sure. Okay, that’s true. I’ll I’ll agree with that. What are some of the things that make you human? What do you love? What? You’re bad habits? What do you do? What do you do alone when no one’s watching eat too much? What do you What do you think? What do you stick it in your mouth? What’s your thing? Ah, I I, you know,
Ray Yenkana: believing around because I mean, doing what I’ve been doing to change my eating. I’m not. I’m not as guilty. I’m not driven to eat sweets of eye as I used to, but, um, yeah, I I like my desserts. I like over the year, you know, over the years, my weaknesses, deserts and ice cream and all those kinds of bad things.
Andrew Bracewell: So if you encounter a French bakery, you’re just you’re you’re in trouble. Well, you
Ray Yenkana: know what? I’m okay. No, but it wouldn’t take long for me to fall
Andrew Bracewell: off. You know, it’s like being dry, like
Ray Yenkana: I’m okay, but, you know, I wouldn’t wanna I
Andrew Bracewell: usually
Ray Yenkana: walk through chocolate shops. Ah, chocolate, their places. I usually go
Andrew Bracewell: for science. I usually
Ray Yenkana: walk through for the smell.
Andrew Bracewell: Exactly. I figure it just to see Well, just to
Ray Yenkana: see in the smell it and then I think Okay, that should do you right. That that should be good enough. Keep moving. Oh, keep moving. Just smell it. Just keep moving. Maybe that’s what it was. It was just the smell, you know, because obviously, if I stay, I’m gonna indulge.
Andrew Bracewell: Do you have do you do in your health plan right now, You know, you’re obviously, you know, discipline, and it was restricted, as you can be. But do you have a day once, Every now and then you let yourself go. Or what’s your What’s your plan? What to do with that? Because sometimes we need a mental release. You can’t just live this restricted life, so I don’t have
Ray Yenkana: a day. But what happens is it usually doesn’t happen Monday to Friday. But if on the weekends we happened to go out, I would probably have fries with my with my meal.
Andrew Bracewell: Interesting. But that’s not a sweet
Ray Yenkana: I know, but but But I love fried food. I mean, I grew up eating a certain amount of fried food. I mean, are you telling me the tribe food doesn’t taste better than you know something that was blank
Andrew Bracewell: pill and it can It doesn’t always it can. Well,
Ray Yenkana: you know what? Here’s a problem with this actually problem for not only for me, but for a lot of people. It’s like it’s like a mental wiring. We think those fries are gonna be great, but after about the second or third or fourth Fry. Yeah, we’re thinking it’s
Andrew Bracewell: not that great and it’s not feeling that good. Like, I haven’t
Ray Yenkana: at Kentucky Fried Chicken and years, but if somebody said, Let’s go get some country chicken I’m not gonna say no, I’ll be rude. Yeah, be rude. So you know, bad foods, I think, are like part of my They’re part of my bad programming since, you know, And, you know, like you asked me what I like. What I like is I I grew up eating a lot of different Indian foods, and Indian food’s always come with royalty, which is flour, which is bread.
Andrew Bracewell: It’s It’s a dipping mechanism. Call it what it is
Ray Yenkana: exactly. Yeah, so, you know, we might. I think my wife purposely doesn’t cook royalty and curry that often, although she can cook. She’s French Canadian machine, Cook wrote in Curry with the best Indian women on the planet. And that’s because my mom used to come and spend summers with us, and she’s my sister. My sister comes and spends time, but if she’s here now, sure. So she learned how to do it. So I gotta be careful, you know, she’s got She’s helped me out that way. She helps me out, but I’m making too many things that air. And she does a lot of stuff where I’m meeting a lot of good veggies and stuff like that that, you know. But what foods? My I’m a I’m a foodie while
Andrew Bracewell: I There’s a lot of people that will listen to this who will agree with the statement cause they’ve experienced it already. But perhaps some people will listen and you’ll get called because of it. You are in my spectrum. You’re one of my best lunch partners, even though you and I actually don’t do, you know, we get busy and now we end up not doing lunch very much anymore. It’s funny, you know, we used to do way more, but because you like to eat from all corners of the globe, as do I, and finding people who like to eat that way, it’s not always easy. But every time I go for lunch with you, I feel like we’re doing you know, it’s it’s time Malaysian, Japanese, Indian, whatever, it’s anything, absolutely. And so for that reason. So whenever I’m feeling you know, sometimes I think I’m gonna call Ray, and not that your company is not good. But sometimes when I got a call right, it’s because I just feel like eating something different. And not everybody’s into eating, eating from all corners of the globe. That’s their That’s their problem. That is their problem. Hey, one last thing before I before I let you go here, I figured this would be a good question for a guy like you. Retrospect, through all of your experience, you know, the age you’re out with, the accomplishments here at what’s a thing or two that you’d like to be able to tell yourself of 30 40 years ago? What have you learned that you’d love to be able to relate If you could go back and do it again? Well,
Ray Yenkana: obviously, I would have bought more Apple stock. Uh, you
Andrew Bracewell: know, I would have been good, you know?
Ray Yenkana: I mean, I mean, hindsight’s always 2020. I mean, I would have bought more Microsoft. I would have you know, different. You know eso. You know, in the real estate world, in the world of real estate and when you’ve been in the business for 34 years, you’ve got to realize when I started the average price Waas both 50 to 60,000 in your market where you were in the market I was in 50 to 60,000 was the average price. My frak them. I’m I think I’m I
Andrew Bracewell: think your high I’m high. I think it would’ve been 20 to 30. I think at that time in the lower mainland, it was probably 50 to 75.
Ray Yenkana: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I am. Hi, it’s it was more like 30 to 40,000. Yeah, So when you when you realize that I did buy real estate every year, I used to buy real estate every year income producing real estate. But you know what? If I had to do it again, I would have bought less residential more commercial. I would’ve bought less single family and more multi family
Andrew Bracewell: single families an easier entry point for people, though, that that’s the obstacle, right?
Ray Yenkana: It’s an easier entry point, but ah, and and sometimes you hear you hear this quite often, even among realtors, you’ll hear people say things like, you know, talk about mental programming. Your help. People say things like, Oh, I don’t want to have tenants and I think I want to have tenants. They pay off my
Andrew Bracewell: mortgage. Nicest people in the world. I love him. Yeah, so it’s It’s
Ray Yenkana: programming so high that from an investment point of view, I would, uh, I would have probably, you know, knowing what you know, when you look back, Would you go? You know what? I should have done this a little bit differently. Look, the good news was, I did buy real estate all along that I still own real estate. So that’s it’s a hedge against inflation. So the one thing I see realtors not doing the view if I’m giving myself advice back in my thirties, I could give the same advice to some of the agents in our office by more realistic any real estate. When I started in my first year on older Realtor said to me, he said, Ray, don’t sell everything and I looked at him and he and I got it. I got it. He says. Rain don’t sell everything by some of it yourself. And so if I pass anything on to anybody else, don’t sell everything by something every few years by something.
Andrew Bracewell: And what about philosophically What do you wish you could say to yourself 30 40 years ago? Build muscle? Mmm. That’s good.
Ray Yenkana: Build muscle. I I did not know for years that the difference between cardio and muscle I wasn’t a fitness guy. Just always exercise and thought I was close enough, but at what helps? Important than if you’re helps important. Bill muscle. That’s good. Well said And And the other thing about that is ah, you gotta get on top of your dot You know, like you can’t just eat anything. Anything. You just got to get on top of it and eat the best you can eat. And yes, you can have days off for you. Could have a week off. Like if you go in the holidays. But you see, health is like and anything in life that’s good. I think of it as a big target and you’re shooting arrows of the target. If most of the hours are in the are in the center of the target, you’re gonna be good. If you’re missing the target all together, you’re gonna have troubles. So or not taking shots are not even taking shots,
Andrew Bracewell: not even taking shots. You got What’s that? Gretzky’s quote. You got 0% chance of scoring the goals that you never they never attempt or something like that.
Ray Yenkana: You don’t shoot the puck. You’re right. You missed all the goals. You where you don’t shoot.
Andrew Bracewell: That’s right. That’s what it was. We’re we’re messing it up somehow. But it was something like that. Hey, thanks, man. This has been, uh, there’s been a lot of fun, and I sincerely appreciate your time. Thank you. We’ll see you again soon. When Ray was three years old, he walked home alone on the streets of his town and Guyana devising a plan Should he have to fend off the dogs? A few years later, he had to learn to fight at his boarding school in England because he was the only Indian kid. Rayyan Kenna believes deep down that you may have to fight and you’ll always need to adapt, because that is what he needed to do his entire life. Since the mid nineties, he has been a building block for re max of Western Canada, and he has helped transform hundreds of lives by teaching people to believe in themselves. Not bad for a skinny Indian kid from Guyana who once got 99th place in a race out of 100. Don’t forget to check out our show notes for more information on today’s episode and join our mailing list at everyday amazing podcast dot com to get notified of upcoming and newly released episodes. Thanks so much for joining us today.