One year later: Royal LePage Little Oak Realty’s journey of growth and success

June 3, 2024 11 min. read

One year ago, Royal LePage® welcomed the owners and agents of Royal LePage® Little Oak Realty, a highly productive and profitable brokerage based in British Columbia, to its network. The brokerage and its team of top-performing sales representatives have a strong reputation in the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Grand Forks, and the West Kootenay and Okanagan regions. Previously a Re/Max brokerage, owners Ray Yenkana and Andrew Bracewell embarked on a bold journey: transitioning their staff and sales team to a new brand after 30 years with their previous franchisor. 

Reflecting on this significant change, Ray and Andrew share some of their remarkable achievements, lessons learned and the positive impact this year has had on their brokerage’s growth and development.

Major Milestones and Achievements

Royal LePage Little Oak’s first year with Royal LePage has been marked by several notable accomplishments. Both Ray and Andrew highlight some of their major successes since joining the brand, and reflect on the challenges they overcame. “We successfully managed to retain our key staff members and about 70 per cent of our sales team after the conversion took place,” said Ray. “Embracing a growth mindset, we initiated our first acquisition with the brand, adding another brokerage, Royal LePage® Northstar, with approximately 45 sales representatives to our roster. This significantly bolstered our sales team. Building off of this, our recruiting efforts have been revitalized, thanks to Royal LePage’s robust Client Relationship Management (CRM) system, rlpSPHERE, its industry leading website,, and the notoriety the Royal LePage brand has in our marketplace in comparison to our previous franchisor,” he added.

Despite facing challenges during the transition, such as logistical hurdles of changing signage at four locations and maintaining relationships with their clients, their resilience has paid off. Leveraging sandwich boards and temporary signage, the team managed to navigate through these obstacles and remain top of mind in the communities they serve. 

Andrew describes the year as a ‘tale of two halves’. “The initial phase of the transition was marked by emotional farewells to some of our agents who did not agree with our decision to shift brands. However, this period also brought forth newfound energy and excitement,” Andrew recalled. “In the second part of the year, we experienced exponential growth through both our recruitment and acquisition efforts. Today, we have managed to grow our brokerage back to our previous size, and are in a strong position for significant growth in the future,” he added.

Innovative Tools and Services: A Catalyst for Success

Royal LePage offers brokerages a variety of valuable and innovative tools, technology and services that Ray and Andrew attribute to their success. Ray commented on the support received, especially in regards to training for his agents to not only help them during the transition, but also to level up their businesses. “The live trainers in our offices were appreciated by our agents and offered a highly valuable learning experience. Their quick response time to any questions or concerns is commendable,” said Ray.

Andrew emphasizes the impact and importance technology has in a real estate business, and how advanced technology tools can help boost agents’ productivity. “For years, we were paying for products designed for the U.S. market, which were ultimately ineffective for us as a Canadian franchise. Today, over 30 per cent of our sales team benefits from Royal LePage’s technology tools, and that number continues to grow.” Additionally, he highlighted that the quality of the training for these tools and other services within the brand has been a game-changer. “Our agents have raved about the quality and quantity of training available, which has helped us stand out with our recruiting efforts,” Andrew noted.

Strategies for Growth and Success

Expanding their business through strategic acquisitions and recruitment has been a key focus for Royal LePage Little Oak. The team stresses the importance of staying top of mind in their marketplace, ensuring their clients, prospects and even other agents are familiar with their brand and their services. “We have a multifaceted recruitment strategy, and are now equipped with superior tools that allow us to better address agents’ questions, meet client needs more effectively, and clearly communicate our value proposition,” said Ray.

Andrew highlights the importance of public perception and being attractive in their marketplace. “Aligning ourselves with a Canadian brand like Royal LePage has opened up conversations we were never having before. Building strong relationships with other brokerage owners and agents is critical, and we aim to be at the forefront of their minds if they ever feel the need to make a change,” he added.

Overcoming Challenges and Lessons Learned

Royal LePage Little Oak’s transition to Royal LePage came with its share of challenges. As the transition to a new company was highly confidential at the time, it was difficult to communicate the reason for moving brands with their existing agents. “Despite the legal restrictions that made communication with our sales team difficult, we trusted that the honesty and integrity of our ‘Little Oak’ brand and team would eventually attract our agents back to us,” Ray explains.

The journey to a new company was an emotional process for their brokerage. “Change is hard, but ultimately growth cannot happen without pain. We lost some of our valuable agents who were unhappy with the transition, but our brokerage is in a far better place today,” said Andrew. “On a macro level, I would not change anything about how we handled the move, however on a micro level, we would have taken a different approach to certain conversations. While it’s challenging to know what to do in the moment, reflecting on the transition has revealed that trusting your intuition and relying on your experience as a business owner is essential; all we can do is learn from these experiences.”

Key Strategies for a Smooth Transition

“During the transition, we had to try and navigate any resistance to change with our team and our agents. We faced some limitations in how we could communicate with them, which was challenging as information was shared with our agents from our previous franchisor before we had the chance to engage with them directly. Once our contract concluded, we were able to share our perspective openly. This transition was not without its difficulties, as some of our agents already aligned with the messaging from our former franchisor,” said Ray. “When we had the opportunity to do so, we were able to communicate to our agents the importance of shifting to an organization with superior tools and services that would support them and help them thrive in their businesses.”

Andrew shares that the eagerness for change among staff made the transition smoother. “Our team was ready for something different. They were ready to dive into the Royal LePage world with excitement and fervor. The boost in morale from leaving a challenging relationship with our previous franchisor was palpable, and the team was more than prepared to make the move.”

Final Thoughts and Advice

Reflecting on the overall experience, Ray and Andrew encourage other brokerage owners to consider moving to, or starting their business with Royal LePage. “If you’re considering joining, you can rest assured that you will be raising your game. You will benefit from the best support and the strongest online presence, along with robust tools and services that will boost your business, and ultimately increase your profitability,” Ray added. “Your brokerage will stand out amongst the rest, and from our first-hand experience, your agents will be happier as their businesses will thrive with the amount of resources, training and support made available to them.” 

Royal LePage Little Oak’s first year with Royal LePage has been transformative. They successfully navigated challenges, celebrated successes, and laid a solid foundation for future growth. The team is excited about what the future holds and remains committed to providing exceptional service to the communities they serve, while supporting their agents in their businesses.

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