Langley realtor named in top 100 most influential leaders

Left to right: Little Oak Realty
Left to right: Little Oak Realty's Michael Thorne, Jorda Maisey and Trisha Bongers sit, relaxed in their boutique-style real estate office in Fort Langley. It's a paperless office. They also display local artwork including letting their featured artist use their space for free once a month. Thorne was recently recognized by Inman News as a top 100 most influential leaders.
— image credit: submitted

In real estate circles, being named one of Inman News 100 most influential leaders  is "huge," said Fort Langley realtor Michael Thorne.

In late December, Thorne, a Re/Max agent with Little Oak Realty, was put on the prestigious list.

He, along with his partners Jorda Maisey (vice president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board) and Trisha Bongers, opened up their paperless boutique-style office in Fort Langley in 2011.

They are one of the only real estate offices in Canada who conduct business in a paperless way, using their iPads for everything.

Thorne said he was at home making his family's traditional clam chowder on Christmas Eve when tweets and Facebook messages of congratulations started coming across his social media feeds.

"I've been reading the Inman list for years," said Thorne. "It was totally unexpected. It blew my mind that I would be on it. I was beyond humbled to be recognized amongst the international powerhouse names on the list."

He is one of only two Canadians on the list.

Among those chosen in 2013 are CEOs, the founder of Re/Max and industry giants based out of big American markets.

"I think being named to the list really validates for us that we are pushing the envelope at the reward of our clients," said Thorne. He stressed that the recognition is for Maisey and Bongers too.

Thorne was also recognized by Inman News for his agent-targeted weekly online video show "Mobile Agent TV", which he co-hosts with another agent based out of New Jersey.

Together the two interview real estate leaders and offer insights and tips on how to keep up with technology in their industry.

"What we've found from Mobile Agent TV is the more we share the more you learn yourself. It's a competitive industry we are in but I think this kind of sharing of information makes us all raise the bar," he said.

To readers, Thorne is best known for being part of the popular My North Langley — a blog about the community of north Langley. The blog, which has done fundraisers and events, has been up and running for three years and has more than 2,000 followers.

"I grew up on a farm in Walnut Grove when there were farms in Walnut Grove,"  he laughed.. "I've lived here my whole life and it seems crazy, but I'm in love with my community."

He said being a realtor, he gets to connect with his community or introduce new people to his community every day.

He said at Little Oak Realty, they pride themselves on being on the cutting edge of the real estate industry, "which is changing and has changed rapidly."

"Our team has embraced change and how it effects the industry. We've been paperless for seven years," he said.

But selling has changed too.

"It's no longer about selling, it's about telling a story," he said. When they listed a unique Fort Langley mansion, they decided to make a short film, showcasing all the homes highlights by showing a family hosting a dinner party.

In the video, it shows the actors getting ready in the bathroom and in the bedroom and then opening the doors to the guests and having an outdoor dinner party.

It grabbed the attention of potential buyers in a way that personalized the home, he said.

Their new website will be offering all sorts of information and "tons of videos" about Langley's neighbourhoods and Langley living.

"When people are looking to buy, they pick the community first, then the neighbourhood, then the home," he said. A person wanting to live in Brookswood is very different from the person who prefers Willoughby. What we are also seeing is the younger generation looking to buy really wants amenities at their doorstep. They want to walk to a coffee shop and have that recreation centre right near them."

For more about the Little Oak Realty team click here.



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