By Connie Adair
Wayne Baguley dances to the beat of his own drummer. In fact the Realtor with Royal LePage RCR Realty in Orangeville, Ont. was once the drummer for Papa Grey, a 1970s pop/rock band. Before real estate, he was also a band manager. And lessons from those careers prepared him well for real estate.
Blending the creativity of music, the music industry and his own sense of “when everyone else goes right, go left” attitude, Baguley has found a way to stand out from the rest by being true to himself.
When he moved from the music industry to real estate, it was a rude awakening. “In the music industry, there are lots of marketing tools – album, CD, record, radio air play, videos – to launch an artist. So it was a shock when I moved to real estate and saw the little ads. I don’t even call that advertising. I started running large ads. I spend a lot of money in print and still believe in it.”
While others were running single, black-and-white ads, he went with half or full-page full-colour ads. “Institutionalize yourself. With little ads scattered around, the chances of getting a call are slim.”
He also employs humour to get people to spend more time reading an ad, creating a loose, approachable image. He uses his herd of pets to catch readers’ eyes.
The skilled businessman and marketer runs four-colour ads with outstanding features printed in red ink. Red arrows point to property features – a pond, fish or an owl in a tree. “It’s a hoot,” he says.
One popular ad, “Relax in the country…” features Baguley and his Great Dane at the chess board. Another shows the agent “Out Standing in His Field” surrounded by his herd. He says the ads have garnered positive feedback.
When he first became an agent, he says he noticed others were dressed in suits and ties. “But I have to be myself. I had long hair and still do. And my clothes are casual and loud,” he says. “The idea of being me is important.”
He’s also enticing potential clients with his new website, waynebaguley.com, where people can see his listings and his animals and get a feeling for the man. “But you can’t sell country properties on a website. You have to entice people to see a property. Selling country property is all about buyers connecting with the property.”
Over the years, different animals have come to live with Baguley and have made their way into his ads, like the chess playing dog. “You’ve got to have fun. Everything is too serious, especially now,” he says. “I enjoy sharing photos and videos with friends, clients and internet followers. It’s fun and makes people feel good. Country living is about love, heart and passion. I am selling a happy, healthier lifestyle in the country, generally larger pieces of land. In the long term, it’s a good investment since they aren’t making any more of it.”
And he’s good at it. In 2017 he received the Chairman’s Club award for being in the top one per cent nationally of all Royal LePage Realtors. In 2019, he received the Red Diamond Award for being in the top two per cent in the residential marketplace. He also has an Award of Excellence for attaining at least the Gold Award for five out of seven consecutive years. Another prized award is his Juno, which honors distinguished Canadian music figures.
Baguley grew up in Port Credit in Mississauga, west of Toronto, under “difficult circumstances,” he says. “My mother was able to hold on to the house after my father got sick. She worked hard.”
In 1961, when Baguley was nine, the family home near the Credit River burned down. His mother, despite her 5′ 2″ stature, was a strong woman. He and his two brothers had paper routes. As flames destroyed the family home, “she told us, ‘You’re not doing anything here. Go deliver your newspapers,’” Baguley says.
When one customer heard the tale, she called the newspaper and they did a story. Baguley told the reporter, “It’s our job so we just went out and did it.”
Then came The Beatles era, and everyone wanted to be in a band. Baguley mowed lawns to make money and his mother helped him buy a snare drum and later a drum kit.
“I had to work harder,” he says, adding that drumming didn’t come naturally. “I’d practice six hours a day in my mother’s basement.”
After he left school, the band played many gigs, including The Strawberry Fields Festival at Mosport in 1970. He says it was the Woodstock of Canada, with the likes of Alice Cooper, Leonard Cohen, Jethro Tull and Grand Funk Railroad in the line up.
The band made a “sparse living” and Baguley didn’t like to travel, so he became a band manager instead. During that time, he bought his first house, sold it and bought another. He liked real estate and promised himself that if he made money in the music business he’d invest in real estate.
Unfortunately, he and his business partner never reached their goal of breaking an act, so instead of investing in real estate, Baguley turned his attention to selling it. In 1989, he joined Royal City Realty in Guelph. Not long after it became a Royal LePage franchise that now has 19 offices, most No. 1 in their markets. He has been with the company since.
During that time he moved to the country, where he raised his three sons. “I grew up in a home close to the marsh and Credit River. I’d spend my days catching turtles and fish. I wanted my kids to grow up with the same lifestyle.”
After his grown sons moved to Whistler, Baguley moved to a property northwest of Toronto. It includes 12 acres of hardwood bush, five acres of open land and a workshop that he converted into a barn for his animals.
“Real estate wouldn’t be my career if I was doing something I couldn’t get in to. I like country properties because they’re something unique. Each is different and it keeps me fresh.”