GRAHAM KENELLY: Real Estate
Graham’s favourite part about being an alumnus? Knowing that he’s ready to take on the real world because of his College Pro skills, coaching and community. He’s one of our youngest spotlights, so it’s only up from here!
Education: University of Calgary (BA), Economics
Rookie Year: 2009 (Calgary, AB)
Current Home: Calgary, AB
Graham stuck with his College Pro franchise through 7 years, with one year off in the middle.
He got involved through a friend with whom he had ‘similar wavelengths’, so the entire experience struck a chord with him. “Through the interview process I really learned a lot about myself, and understood more about who I was as a person.” Graham didn’t get hired the first year he went for it, but it only encouraged him to work harder and improve himself to the best of his ability. “After my first year of being kicked in the teeth by life, I realized how big of a learning experience it was, and just how much it challenged me. I had a bit of a crisis of meaning, but then I read a book called ‘Start With Why’ and it totally changed me. I actually named my company Why Painting the following year as a reminder that no matter how tough things get, if you just remember why you’re doing it you can pick up and push forward”. Graham admits that there were a lot of times he wanted to give up, but he was incredibly successful in his run as a franchisee.
Graham has recently entered the real estate biz after graduating with his bachelor’s of economics and having his real-world CP business experience in his back pocket. He was lucky enough to make some great connections in his years as a franchisee that are helping him through the transition. He has clients now that were previously customers, “there were a lot of people who I spoke to while I ran my painting business who appreciated the way College Pro did business. In a similar way that College Pro has a spin on painting, real estate is in need of some innovation. I get to work with clients to remodel how real estate agents provide value to their clients.” Graham is currently working at CIR Realty, with a deep involvement at HIA Canada.
His Most Rewarding College Pro Experience
Overall, the most rewarding part in a lot of franchisee’s lives is the people they meet. Graham thinks back at his time as a franchisee and believes that the best part was becoming friends and colleagues with people who have different strengths and different weaknesses, and growing together. “It’s incredibly rewarding both in your career on the professional side, and in your personal life. I love the ability I’ve been given to connect and develop relationships and be able to get to know someone on a deeper level”.
“Honestly, money management was a huge skill that I gained as a franchisee.” Graham also highlights the ability to ‘understand before speaking in order to be understood’ (he thinks he got that quote from someone else though).
Graham lives in Alberta and loves to escape to the mountains.
He is a huge reader and while he typically reads non-fiction, he recently made it through his first fiction since high school.