It is said that innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower; that those who are able to successfully adapt to change often use adversity to his or her advantage. Often, when benefits outweigh risks, the end result is success. But what about applying that same drive to another industry?
As a licensed pharmacist since 1991, Kris Thorkelson has mastered the art of answering customer’s needs. After graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy, he purchased HW Pharmacy in Winnipeg only three months after he began working there. Selling that pharmacy to Safeway Canada in 1995, it was then that Thorkelson truly became a leader. He is the owner and founder of The Prescription Shop and owns two medical clinics that are attached to his pharmacies.
Some would classify Thorkelson as a risk taker; he’s an innovator in the world of online pharmacies, having founded Canada Drugs in response to the rising costs of prescription medications.
Perhaps it was that entrepreneurial spirit that allowed Thorkelson to switch his focus to real estate by launching My Place Realty. Founded in 2016, My Place Realty is a property management company in Winnipeg that specializes in helping home seekers find the perfect place to call home. Thorkelson used his decades of experience in the medical industry to guide his principles in real estate.
“I like to see the end result,” Thorkelson explained. “I am used to identifying a need and fulfilling that need, and real estate allows me to utilize my leadership ability. By finding a family a place they feel comfortable enough to call home, My Place Realty works hard to change the standard of property searching.”
My Place Realty’s standards include: respect, accountability, forward thinking and one team. These govern each step of the process for their customers, whether it’s purchasing, renovating or managing the property. The customer service that My Place Realty provides focuses on utilizing the many talents of its employees and management team.
Vice President of My Place Realty Tom Haughton works closely with Thorkelson and provides coaching and self-improvement seminars for the My Place Realty team.
“Along with my senior management team, we actively strive to live our mission in providing quality multi family homes that people are proud to call home,” Haughton said. “We actively live our core values to set an example for our employees and help build a better company.”
In addition to finding the perfect home, My Place Realty works closely with the Winnipeg community, helping organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Lighthouse Mission, Nature Manitoba (Manitoba Chimney Swift Association), Winnipeg Harvest and the Christmas Cheer Board.
Kris Thorkelson offers this advice for both entrepreneurs as well as those considering a new business venture:
“Trend-spotting is so important. Finding creative ways to leverage customer needs against what’s new and evolving will change how we live.”
As far as supporting causes and being a stable force in the community, Thorkelson said it’s important to remember how fortunate we are.
“Sometimes we take our lives here in Canada for granted,” Thorkelson said. “We don’t realize just how good things are here; or how fast they can change.”
“When running an organization, investing time in your community is one of the most important things you can do to build trust and a strong community network,” Thorkelson added. “It is the most rewarding feeling to see happy customers.”
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