A Ride to Remember: Richard's Story - Bosley Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage - Homes and houses for sale in Toronto including Cabbagetown, The Annex, Danforth Village, Lawrence Park and Riverdale

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20 December 2019
Bosley Real Estate

A Ride to Remember: Richard's Story

The holiday season has a wonderful way of bringing the community together in times of joy and times of need. 

Bosley agents understand the importance of giving back to the community during this time of year, and beyond. We recently caught up with agent Richard Mell to learn more about what inspires him to bring the community together. Richard works in Bosley Niagara office region and recently started a bike light donation program after the community experienced a horrible tragedy. What followed was an unexpected outpouring of support from the community. 

We asked Richard why he decided to join the Bosley family, and how his community outreach experience has contributed to his role as a real estate agent. 

Hi Richard! Tell us a little bit about yourself! How did you get into real estate? How did you start at Bosley?

I moved to Canada from the UK in 2010 to help with a family business – it's a wine tour business around Niagara on the Lake. We do bicycle tours in the area, so I'm familiar with all the different locations in Niagara on the Lake. Three years ago I decided to take a step back from my  Grape Escape Wine Tours  (we built the company up to be the number one Wine Tour company in town!) and I started exploring another avenue to transition into, which ended up being real estate. 

My partner is an interior designer, so it flowed into what we do, how we live, and what we're interested in. I've been doing real estate now for 2 years in February. I started directly with Bosley Real Estate – they were my next-door neighbour in Niagara on the Lake – and I'd always been interested in the family-owned dynamic for a company (similar to our Wine Tour company). It really appeals to me – the boutique-style brokerage – so I went to speak to the manager there, Doug, we had a great conversation, and that was it! I never thought once about trying anywhere else. 

Niagara on the Lake is a small community – only about a population of 15,000. It has that small-town feel but it's also a popular destination for people coming to visit. There's a whole bunch of different people that you meet and get to know in town so it keeps things interesting.

Lovely! Tell us all about your bicycle light donation. 

Grape Escapes owns a lot of bicycles as we do bicycle tours all over the area, so we really get a vibe for what cycling is like in the community. There's minimal infrastructure at the moment, except for some cycle lanes, and the majority of farmworkers that come from other countries to assist with grape production and the harvest, get around by bicycle.

They also work long hours. So very often they're riding home or riding to the grocery store when it gets dark in the evening. There's an organization called  Bikes For Farmworkers,  which gets donated bikes, fixes them up, and donates them to the farmworkers – but not all of the bicycles have lights. 

What was the biggest factor that inspired you to take this step?

The donation came about initially because one of the area’s farmworkers was walking down the street in the dark and was struck by a car and lost their life. It was a horrible tragedy. That really triggered a lot of conversation in town around the issue of safety, so we thought, being that our business deals directly with bicycles, it could be a nice way to give back and bring everything full circle.

Wow. And what was the impact? Tell us a bit about how it’s affected the community.

So we did a few  Facebook posts  asking for volunteers to help distribute the lights, but when the lights were delivered they were all vacuum-sealed and didn’t have any batteries installed! We had 500 sets of bicycle lights that needed to be unwrapped and have the batteries installed, so we put out the word and a whole bunch of people volunteered to come out and help us to do just that. 

People were also sharing the Facebook posts and commenting on what a great idea it was – and it triggered another group of people to look into sponsoring some high-visibility vests as well. So it really has started a lasting conversation across the community. We want to do everything we can to make sure another life isn’t lost. 

Richard, how important is the role of a real estate representative in building and supporting the communities they live in?

I think it's absolutely key. I've always felt that way. Grape Escapes does many community events and supports so many charities - which is something I’m able to do due to my compelling work as a full-time Bosley agent as well. It's something that really builds a strong community and something I will always want to do. 

Many of us are privileged to work in real estate and I feel we have an obligation to give back to the community more, to build and earn people's trust and respect, and to let people know that you're there to do more than just make a quick buck.

Do you have any thoughts on your community work in the future?

It’s absolutely something that I'm going to keep pushing forward with. The Niagara Bosley Real Estate office is very active in the community and does a lot of corporate events. I always look to add to that and do something similar on my own (with the company's blessing!) and get more people involved. It's a lot of fun to do and it's really the best way to connect with people – and that is exactly what you need to do in this industry. 

What we learned from Richard is that taking part in the community begins with connection. Often times it’s the simple act of getting to know someone to truly understand what they are passionate about and how you can get involved in like-minded initiatives. Being active in the community comes in many shapes and forms. As the holidays’ approach, we should consider all of the opportunities at our disposal. 

There is a level of thoughtfulness that comes with building community outreach from scratch, and the connections agents like Richard make with his community is what makes him stand out from the crowd. At Bosley, we take careful consideration in choosing the right people to support you in your home buying and home selling journey. Richard’s drive to give back to those in the local community isn’t something he only takes on during the holiday season. And when those initiatives can translate to a positive impact with clients and the community at large — it’s an easy sell.