Whistler Realtor Q&A: Rob Palm

May 24, 2018
Rob Palm with pugs

Q: Why did you move to Whistler?

A: I originally moved to Whistler to teach skiing in 1992. I grew up in downtown Toronto then went to university in Montreal – I love the city, I love the energy, the people, the atmosphere. And that’s the funny thing, when I look at it backwards, it doesn’t make sense! But I would say that’s the big thing about Whistler – it’s in the mountains, it’s away from it all, but it’s easy to get anywhere and the culture and energy is that of a larger place.

Q: What made you stay here?

A: My brother was working out here and my parents had moved to Vancouver. My initial plan had been to come out here for around six months, and I haven’t left yet! If I’m really being honest with myself, I had no intention of staying here for any length of time but once I spent more time here I realised how special it is.

In the end I have to say that it was summer that made me stay. I love the mountains and I love skiing, but this place is just amazing in the summertime.

Q: When did you get into Real Estate?

A: I taught skiing when I first arrived then began working in the restaurant industry at Araxi. Then I actually ended up working as a massage therapist for 2 years before injuring my back and stopped being able to do any of that.

I started answering the phones at Whistler Real Estate initially as an interim position, then the manager at the time asked me to work for him, and after that I got my license in 1999.

Real estate is really in my blood though – my Mum is a Realtor, as was her Mum, and then I have a couple of cousins in real estate as well.

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to buy property here?

A: Go with your gut. Start with what you love and work your way backwards from how you see yourself using a property first and foremost.

Unfortunately, I would say that with any property in Whistler there is some sort of compromise – it’s sad to say, but just try to make as few compromises as you can. But also understand that it’s all amazing! Just to be able to have something here and enjoy it on a regular basis is magic.

Q: What is your favourite thing about working with your clients?

A: Taking care of them. Taking it from the first meeting where maybe they’re not sure what Whistler truly is – I think some people possibly walk in the door thinking that Whistler is just the Village and it’s so much more than that. I love opening people’s hearts and minds to what Whistler really is, that part is so much fun.

One of the best things though, after being here for 20 years, is working with repeat clients and watching them go through different stages. Starting off with something small, then working their way up to something bigger, and even back down to something small again. Just being a part of their journey.

Q: If you were not a real estate agent, what would you be?

A: Wow! I’m not sure! I don’t know if I’d still be in Whistler.

But, if we say for example I was going to retire, I think I would love to be a mountain guide here. Doing something on the mountain, showing people round, then in the summer doing the same with mountain biking.

On the other side, if I hadn’t got into real estate then I’d probably be doing something similar in the city.

Q: So it seems real estate in Whistler really shaped your future. Do you think that’s part of the ability to have a certain work life balance?

A: Yes, for sure. I think one of the beauties of working in this environment and having the technology that we do, it gives you the freedom to work from anywhere. Whether it’s the chairlift or a mountain hike, you’re still able to talk to clients and work, while doing the things you love.

But, it can also get in the way of family time and free time. It’s a trade off and you need to find that balance.

Q: How do you decompress or how would you spend your ideal day?

A: From a decompression point of you, my wife and I love going to Hawaii! It’s exactly the same environment as Whistler, a very similar lifestyle. But at the same time, a friend of mine used to say: “I built my life on living somewhere where I didn’t need to have a vacation”. In some ways we’re on vacation everyday in Whistler. Not to say people don’t work hard! But you can work hard then in 10 minutes be in the middle of a forest riding your bike.

I think if I could give you an ideal day it would be waking up early, checking in with work, spending an hour with my dogs somewhere. Then picking up my kids from school and having some fun with them, probably playing some hockey.

Then I would have a drink with friends on the deck and enjoy an awesome dinner looking out over the view!

Q: What makes you smile the most?

A: First and foremost I would say my kids, my family and my dogs. Then probably just pinching myself and wondering, “how did I get here?” Just being able to look out at the mountains and realising how amazing it is!

Q: What is it like raising a family here?

A: It’s amazing! We have a small town feel that allows everyone to know each other so there’s a real strong community sense. But we also have big city influences, and international influences.

Most people say that you live in a bubble, which to some extent we do. We’re not as multicultural as say Toronto or Montreal, but it’s not a small town in the sense that it’s small minded. My kids have the opportunity to enjoy amazing amenities that most 12,000-person towns don’t have. Whether it’s recreational or arts and culture, those things are all at their fingertips, which you wouldn’t typically get in this size town.

Q: What accomplishment do you consider to be the most significant in your career or in your life?

A: First off my family, that’s always been first. It’s easy to have kids, but having a tight nit family that loves each other’s company is probably my greatest accomplishment.

From a work perspective, I’ve been in the top 5 performers in the office for around the last 15 years. So that consistency of being able to produce well and take care of all my clients is one of the things I’m most proud of.

The final thing – my wife and I have just finished building our own home. It’s been a dream of ours for a long time, so that’s pretty special!

Q: Finally, in one sentence, why should people come live here?

A: You should move here if you love the mountains and you love the lifestyle and culture that surrounds that, combined with an active and strong community where you’re willing to put in the work to achieve the perfect life balance!


 Find out more about Rob and view his current listings HERE.

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