Ryan Cochrane represented Saanich and Canada around the world as a top swimmer. He is now selling the world on Greater Victoria as a realtor for one of the region’s newest real estate firms.
Cochrane became a professional realtor about six months ago for reasons that sound very much like those that drive high-performance athletes.
“You don’t want to be stagnant,” he said. “You want to stand out.”
Cochrane’s athletic resume certainly does. He won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. He followed this with a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Games in London. He is also a four-time Commonwealth Games champion, and won a six pack of swimming world championships. Between 2008 and 2015, Cochrane was Canada’s male swimmer of the year eight years in a row.
Cochrane, who retired in 2017, said he chose to pursue real estate because it is an industry without a ceiling but with an entrepreneurial spirit that requires his best every day, with every day different than the previous one.
“The harder you work, the more you get out of it,” he said in noting that athletic skills, like goal-setting, translate very easily from the world of high-performance athletics to the real estate industry.
“Being a professional athlete for most of my life allowed me to focus on a single goal, and that was to be the best in the world,” he said in a previous interview. “That determination and commitment is what I like to bring to each relationship in real estate.”
Selling homes is of course not the same as Olympic-level swimming, and Cochrane readily acknowledges that making actual sales remains a process. “It’s trying to make connections in the community,” he said.
He said being a former Olympic athlete certainly helps with meeting people, and standing out — in his case, both figuratively and literally, as he stands six-foot-four
Cochrane, who grew up in Saanich’s Sunnymead neighbourhood where his parents still live, has certainly become a familiar figure during the 20-plus years that he has lived in the region, attending Claremont secondary school and the University of Victoria along the way.
This said, people are still getting used him in his new role as a realtor.
“People are more used to seeing me in a bathing suit than in a suit,” he deadpanned.
While Cochrane is still trying to find his specialization as a realtor, he made a deliberate choice to join of one of region’s newest real estate firms.
The Agency — a U.S.-based luxury real estate brokerage — opened its Victoria branch in September of this year, and Cochrane said he joined it because of its unique culture that stresses transparency and professionalism, while setting high goals.
Cochrane has joined the industry during what many describe as a transitional period that increasingly favours buyers rather than sellers, perhaps not the most ideal condition for a new realtor.
But true to his background as a long-distance swimmer, Cochrane is in it for the long run.
“If you have certain goals, and if you are doing the job for more than the paycheque, you can get through the tough times.”