Work hard, care about people, and have a passion for others,” were the words and wisdom bestowed on Carmela Kapeleris by her Italian immigrant parents while growing up in Toronto. She watched her parents, particularly her father, take an active role in serving their community, a lesson she has taken to heart.
Carmela Zita Kapeleris is an experienced Broker and Marketing Brand Expert. She is an innovator in the real estate industry, having been with RE/MAX for over 20 years. Part of Team Kapeleris with her husband Louis, the pair have over 50 years of combined experience. Last year, they were the number one RE/MAX agents with net and gross sales and have earned a wall full of RE/MAX honours, including Lifetime Achievement Awards to Hall of Fame and Diamond Awards. They’ve effectively layered deep knowledge of their community and surrounding areas with a simple, yet highly effective philosophy of creating as much face-to-face time with clients as possible. It’s resulted in lasting friendships with many of the people they’ve worked with through the years.
One of her greatest pleasures in life is bringing people together both socially and through carefully planned networking events. It isn’t unusual for Carmela and Louis to host backyard BBQs for clients, friendly Open House get-togethers that might feature a hot dog stand or ice cream cart. Collaborating with other people in their community, they rent out the local community centre for movie, ice skating or swim days.
Marketing is certainly a cornerstone of their efforts. Starting with Publishing their own 8-page Community Newspaper called "Kapeleris Real Estate Insider – Your Source for Real Estate Information" bi-monthly across the Region which is packed with Informative Editorial and Articles, a Myriad of Luxury Homes, Detach Homes, Town homes, Condos, Distress Sales, Fixer Uppers and more available for Sale. It also focuses on community resources and events with its spotlight on local businesses section, and fun recipes, puzzles, Sudoku, and colouring contests to further engage with the community.
They also go out into the community and integrate various themes that address the Homeowners interests as well. Beginning-of-the-year school packs are bestowed on students or pumpkins and treat bags are handed out at a Halloween-themed open house. Anywhere from 50 to 100 people may show up at inclusive events meant to knit together a strong sense of community cohesiveness and involvement. “We love doing it,” The Community is like our Family " she says.
In an era when consumers are besieged by competing interests, their attention pulled in myriad directions, reaching potential clients isn’t always easy. That’s why getting out, meeting and connecting with her community is a priority for Carmela.
Still, there is an undeniable need to master social media and the internet, and she never underestimates the enormous influence social media wields. "We do it all, she says of Team Kapeleris: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, CRM, apps, blogging and Kapeleris TV are just some of the many tools in their arsenal. “We just have to get out there and see what works,” she says.
Warm, friendly and outgoing, Carmela, a keynote speaker at real estate events both in Canada and Europe, teaches and facilitates workshops on social media tools as well. A willingness to test new ideas and embrace innovation keeps their business fresh and allows the couple to stand out within their industry.
To that end, Carmela has tested the waters in many new opportunities, experiences that tap into the creative side of a busy real estate agent who manages to find time to paint, write poetry, meditate, and practice yoga.
One is The Ultimate Networking Group, which, since its inception by Carmela four months ago, has grown to over 2,000 members. It’s a chance for realtors, business people, and entrepreneurs to meet potential clients or referral partners while enjoying an evening of good food in stylish surroundings. One get-together was recently held at Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel, another at La Castile Steak House. All events feature prominent speakers. Prestigious settings lend elegance to these events, and have drawn sizeable crowds of people who want to socialize while networking. She has been asked to stage more of these hugely popular events.
An equally inspirational opportunity arose when Carmela was asked to moderate a leadership panel. There she met a Toronto TV network Producer, who asked Carmela if she would like to produce her own online Real Estate TV talk show. Carmela found the live audience feedback immediate, exciting and beneficial to her clients. Sharing her real estate expertise, she tapped into current topics of interest to women, the consumer, and the Business and Real Estate Industry. She now has her own channel: ‘Kapeleris Talk TV: Real Estate and Beyond’, (#KapelerisUltimateTalkTV ) a take-off and a tie-in to the #KapelerisUltmateEvents and Group for her Clients and Business Associates alike. The monthly TV Show is a unique outlet for fun, lively, and informative discussions that enhances her brand while exploring areas of interest in Business and Real Estate in its entirety. Some of the guests have included Toronto Real Estate Board President, VP/Regional Director of Remax-Ontario Atlantic, plus Lawyers, Mortgage Brokers, Home Stagers/Designers, Home Inspectors, City Mayors and political figures. She has also explored fun topics such as Feng Shui, Home Energy Cleansing Experts, Special Gifts for Clients, Chefs and Caterers for Eclectic Client Parties, Real Estate Home Buying and Selling Tips, and much more.
Charitable events are a significant portion of her life, too, and she donates time and effort to the Children’s Miracle Network, SickKids Foundation, The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Adopt a Senior, and World Vision.
Today, Carmela Kapeleris’ life is overflowing with abundance, rich in family and friends and a thriving business that she loves. Much like her father, who had a scholarship named in his honour, she has created a strong vital presence in her community.
Its about being honest to the people in your community, knowledgeable, keeping up with technology, trends and the ever changing industry. Thinking outside the box, being creative, innovative, offering value to the consumer, having an edge, and being one step above and beyond the competition.
“Its about building long lasting relationships and trust with your clients. Ultimately they are the ones we care about the most, they are the ones we hone our trade and be the best we can be.”
“It’s never about the sales,” she says wisely, “it’s always about the people, all the time.”