From Italian Farmhand to Canadian Realtor: Riccardo Manazza Plants Seeds of Change in Real Estate

From Italian Farmhand to Canadian Realtor: Riccardo Manazza Plants Seeds of Change in Real Estate
Photo Courtesy: Riccardo Manazza

By: Cloud Realty 

Kelowna’s real estate scene has a new player, and he’s not your average suit-and-tie realtor. Riccardo Manazza’s journey to this sun-drenched valley is as diverse and vibrant as the autumn grape harvest, winding like the mountain roads that hug Okanagan Lake. A former farmer, construction worker, and bathroom renovation king, Riccardo is sowing the seeds of a different kind of crop: changing the public’s perception of real estate agents, one genuine smile and heartfelt conversation at a time.

“We should really start sending questions to people beforehand,” Riccardo chuckles during an interview, disarming any formality with his easygoing charm. “So they have an idea of how they want to answer. We don’t do it, do we?”

This lighthearted moment perfectly captures Riccardo’s essence. He’s relatable, passionate about connection, and stands out like a sunflower in a field of conventional realtors. His story speaks volumes. Born in Italy, he landed in Canada as a teenager, trading cobblestones for rugged coastlines. Construction became his first love, followed by a stint as a king of bathroom renovations (“a hundred thousand dollar bathroom,” he boasts with a grin). Then, a leap of faith: farming the bountiful Okanagan.

“Farming, like everybody knows, it’s a lot of money input,” Riccardo explains. “I spent all my savings just trying to learn.” The harsh realities of agriculture, combined with a desire for financial stability, led him back to construction. But helping others remained his true calling, whether it was flipping houses or guiding farmers through financial labyrinths.

Real estate, then, felt like a natural evolution. “Getting in front of people,” he says, “is actually a nice thing because you just get to talk to people, right? And find out how I can help.” His diverse background – builder, farmer, financier – is his secret weapon. “I like to talk to people and find out what they want and what they need. I can make some money out of that, that’s fantastic.”

But money isn’t the driving force. “What motivates me? I think…creating a better world,” Riccardo says, his voice softening. “My wife and I are very keen on planting fruit trees everywhere. You guys have like them till like a clock? So the tomatoes are loud in it, right?” His passion for sustainability bleeds into his real estate philosophy. He envisions a world where homes are more than just bricks and mortar – they’re havens for community and environmental consciousness.

From Italian Farmhand to Canadian Realtor: Riccardo Manazza Plants Seeds of Change in Real Estate

Photo Courtesy: Riccardo Manazza

Riccardo’s biggest challenge? Shattering the stereotype of the slick, sales-driven realtor. “I want to change the opinion of people that have about real estate agents,” he declares. “They’re like…pastors,” he continues, his eyes twinkling. “Pastors are there in every big event in someone’s life, you know? Like they’re there when you get married, they’re there when you raise a family, they’re there when the family moves out…I just feel like…the perception that people have about real estate agents should be changed.”

He believes it’s about building trust, one client at a time. “It’s not just about the commission and the money,” he clarifies. “Of course we are, but I mean, it is a job, right?” His honesty is disarming, refreshing in a world of carefully crafted personas.

As technology reshapes the industry, Riccardo embraces the future while holding onto the human touch. “AI is helping out…making blogs and making that work,” he acknowledges. “But I have a wishful thing that is adding to being like a profession that is recognized, just like a doctor. It’s just like whenever you say a word realtor, it should be like explanatory…”

He pauses, searching for the right word. But his message is clear – he wants realtors to be seen as valued professionals, not just deal-makers. “It’s a service, right? So it’s going to be there forever at this point. It’s so well established, right?”

Riccardo Manazza’s story is one of resilience, ambition, and a deep-seated desire to make a difference. He’s not just selling houses; he’s planting seeds of trust, community, and sustainability in the fertile ground of Kelowna’s real estate landscape. And like his beloved tomato plants, Riccardo is ready to watch those seeds blossom into something truly remarkable.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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