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Len Skok and Cathy Galt are the founders of Pine Tree Real Estate Brokerage Inc. in Barrie, Ont.SUPPLIED

A challenge in growing a new brokerage, says Len Skok, is finding ways to attract young agents.

By recently launching a new “environmentally conscious” brokerage, he thinks he may have found an angle to accomplish just that.

Skok and Cathy Galt, the founders of Pine Tree Real Estate Brokerage Inc., based in downtown Barrie, Ont., are implementing a wide range of initiatives aimed at green credentials.

“I tried to search real estate and environmentally conscious companies and I couldn’t find anything,” Skok says. “So the whole concept was how do we stand out and differentiate ourselves? Real estate is a very egotistical business. I grew a little tired of being told who’s the biggest and who’s the best, and we’ve got the best technology, and on and on.”

Since Skok and Galt launched the brokerage, young agents have been reaching out, wanting to work with them. Skok says they are now at 26 agents, with plans to open offices in Collingwood and Toronto.

“I haven’t had to spend a dime to bring them in, which is phenomenal. It just shows we are appealing to the future, and the future is obviously what we have to focus on. You can buy a V8 with a carbureted engine and take it home to your children and they aren’t going to be impressed.”

Probably their most significant eco-friendly undertaking is to plant a tree after every successful transaction. According to the Tree Canada website, one large tree can provide a day’s oxygen for up to four people.

In its first week, Pine Tree planted 12 trees. Clients get a certificate with their name that shows them the location of the tree.

Agents are encouraged to drive electric cars. The brokerage uses online platforms for marketing and administration to promote going paperless, and plans to work with recognized environmental organizations, including Living Green in Barrie, which is executing the tree-planting initiative.

“Yes, it’s a good marketing angle, but we are sincere about it. Hopefully it puts us in a different headspace,” Skok says.

“I think it’s time for all industry to become more responsible because you know there’s COVID and we’ve got wars going on, but we also have a planet that’s dying.”


Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.