Walnut Grove’s Jack-of-all-Trades Realtor
Approachable, intelligent and always armed with a pop-culture reference and movie quote for every occasion, Mark is the newest member of Robles Real Estate Group. He joined our team last fall and it’s like he’s always been a part of us; he has fit in perfectly.
A serious jack-of-all-trades, Mark has done it all. From car audio salesman to a landscaper, to construction worker, to helicopter pilot – his resume is full of interesting jobs and intriguing stories.
I know it has been a while, but how did you get into real estate?
Mark: I think I was officially licensed in March of 2016. And what led me to that you ask?
Haha! Well.. yes, actually! What drew you to it?
Mark: Well, it’s kind of a long story, but my wife and I had just moved to Walnut Grove in 2007 from Toronto where we had been living for a year while I was working sales for an electronics company. While I was still working, she had come back on a reconnaissance mission to find us a home. She found one alright, and before I had even seen it in person, we bought it! It needed a reno pretty badly inside and out. Thankfully I’ve had a lot of construction experience over the years, so we gutted it and did the entire renovation ourselves. We made this beautiful house, and although it wasn’t the biggest or fanciest, it is probably still our favourite home.
All the while, I was training to be a helicopter pilot and in my “spare time”, I had also started a handyman company. It’s funny before I became a realtor, Dave was actually our Realtor!
*Just then Mark’s daughter Lily comes into Mark’s office*
Lily: Computer isn’t working. The mouse stopped working
Mark: Have you tried the trackpad?
Lily: I did.
Mark: Okay. Try unplugging it and if that doesn’t work, come back for tech support
Mark: Sorry about that. Because everything is online for school at the moment, we’ve been pulling out old computers for them to work away on, but it’s proving to be a bit difficult.
*Lily comes back in*
Lily: Tech support! I need you!
Go ahead! No worries!
Mark: Okay. I’ll be right back.
*a few moments later, Mark returns*
Mark: Restart. That’s the key to the whole operation. Just hit restart. I think I see a new laptop in my future.
Where were we… Oh, right.
So, long story, boring… We started buying and flipping houses. My wife would handle the design and I would take care of construction. It was a great fit and we ended up being good at it too! Obviously, when you are flipping houses, you are going through the buying and selling process a fair amount and experiencing all the stress and uncertainty associated with it.
It was that experience that started a natural progression to becoming a real estate agent. Looking back, I think that Real estate has always been in my bones. That construction background is another major aspect that lent itself to becoming a Realtor. When I go into a home with a Buyer, they’ll wonder out loud if they can pull down a wall in the house and I can look at it and say – yes, probably, or probably not.
That’s super valuable!
What’s your favourite part about real estate?
Mark: Hmm. Buying a house is typically one of the biggest purchases a person or family will make and it’s really a defining moment in the direction of their life. It’s a huge responsibility and an honour to guide people through such a monumental decision.
To sum it up – The people. That’s what I like most. You meet so many great people and being such an important part of this decision – it’s an honour. It’s cheesy, but it really is.
Not at all, I think that’s really nice!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Mark: Right from the beginning I was an adrenaline junkie. As a small child I wanted to be an astronaut, and as long as I can remember I had wanted to be a pilot. Eventually, I did become a helicopter pilot, and I still pine for that some days. I love exploring. That’s one of the things I love about dirt biking too. Being able to go poke around a mountain and just explore and see things that not many people have or will.
It sounds like you lean more towards country life rather than city life. Would that be a fair assumption?
Mark: I can adapt to both.
I grew up in Deep Cove, North Vancouver so I was all about the forest and climbing trees and all that kind of stuff as a kid. I spent most of my time growing up there and the rest in Kelowna on our family’s apple orchard, usually crashing dirt bikes into overhead sprinklers or barbed wire fences.
On the flip side, I lived in downtown Vancouver for a number of years and also a year in the heart of Toronto which I enjoyed immensely.
I have to admit though, my happy place is up at our family cabin in the quiet forest.
What brought you to Langley in the end?
Mark: Family, friends and the community.
The thing I love about Walnut Grove that you really can’t find anywhere else – you know, we’ve looked – is that it is this perfect little self-contained entity. You’ve got everything you need right at your doorstep and it caters so well to young families. You’ve got the rec centre, shopping, parks galore, walking trails, highly rated schools. It’s really ideal.
Do you have any secret talents?
Mark: I think my secret talent is just being handy. I’ve surprised a few people with that over the years…I can also do a decent Arnold impression.
Do you have a favourite book or movie?
Mark: This question is always so impossible. I just love funny movies! Lately, all of the Marvel stuff has been so prevalent, so my son and I keep watching Thor Ragnarok over and over again. The humour and writing in it is just so good. I’ve got so many movies I like. Old School, Office Space, The Big Lebowski – the funny quotable movies!
Books? I’m about to finish one called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which has been interesting, but not at all what I expected it to be…in a good way.
What are 5 fun facts about you?
Mark: *silent for a while* What is fun about me…
- I can fly a helicopter.
- I can fix or “MacGyver” just about anything.
- Secretly, I love dance parties with my daughter and playing video games with my son.
- “Normal” bungee jumping bores me.
- I love fresh coffee and old whiskey.
Alright, last question. This one’s just for you. Your favourite movie quote that you find yourself using all of the time.
Mark: There’s too many! They just come to me in the moment. How about, “60% of the time, it works every time.”