Originally, my career plan was to become a lawyer. My education was aimed towards that goal. I graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom with Distinction) degree from the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta. I went on to receive my LLB designation from the Faculty of Law,University ofAlberta in 2005 and interned at two respected law offices.
However, because I have an entrepreneurial bent, I was open to other opportunities when they came along, and my career path took a turn towards real estate – something I never planned for nor expected. But education is never a waste of time even if you don’t follow a direct path. Although I am not a practicing lawyer, as a REALTOR® for Realty Executives, I use all my skills and knowledge in that area to give my potential clients the added advantage when they become my clients.
Coming from a business and legal background, my negotiations are always creative as well as professional. I get the deal done to the satisfaction of all involved. I love being a Real Estate Agent – connecting with people with business objectives that overlap my own and developing rewarding relationships. I enjoy being exposed to new people constantly and forming alliances, relationships and friendships. It takes good teamwork to make things go smoothly – I have incredible support from my administrators, staff and referral partners.
Part of what I love about my work is collaboration with others – sharing, brainstorming and learning from other business leaders. Networking is a huge part of that process. It requires building alliances with other professionals to form a potentially mutual synergistic business alliance.
One of my most successful networking efforts is as Founder and President of the Edmonton“Linked-In” Business and Social Network (www.meetup.com/LinkedinEDMONTON). We have over 350 members that meet regularly for lunch at different restaurants throughoutEdmonton – we support local businesses whenever we can. This network combines the best aspects of business and social networking allowing many opportunities to build both professional and social relationships. This group generates about a third of my business.
When I start to form alliances and connections, I look for business people who show integrity, strong ethics and fair play in their business. It’s important to know when to walk away from an opportunity that is not an ethical opportunity; to not take advantage or hurt another human being just to make an extra dollar.
I’ve been in the real estate business for four years now. During that time, I noticed a need – a niche area that was not being filled. So I started a special project to meet that need by building a team of strong professionals with multi-cultural, multi-ethnic backgrounds from a real estate perspective to serve a greater real estate market. I speak Cantonese as well as English and have connections with REALTORS® who can serve our clients in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, French, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.
I strongly believe in giving back to the community in which you live. I am so fortunate to live in a province and community where opportunities to get ahead in life abound and am very aware of my good fortune and prosperity. It is the right thing to do, to contribute to the community that affords me that prosperity. That means going above and beyond what is expected of you with no complaints. Success gives you the power and freedom to support those around you and to invest in yourself and others to fully enjoy life.
I love to organize events, and have helped raise funds for several charities such as the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Wheelchair Foundation of Canada. In the past, I have volunteered with the Big Brothers & Big Sisters Society of Edmonton & Area as an adult mentor.
As an active member of the Rotary Club of Edmonton Riverview, I have served on various committees. Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations. Rotarians promote goodwill and peace in the world. The motto of Rotarians is ‘Service above Self.’ Rotary has a 4-way test that asks questions reflecting the strong moral and ethical approach to business that I espouse: Is it the Truth? Is it Fair to all concerned? Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships? Will it be Beneficial to all concerned? I strive to encompass all these ideals in my business dealings and in my friendships.
I want to have a positive impact on the next generation and make the world a better place by maintaining honesty in business and through service to community. These are the guidelines by which I measure success.
Stephen Lau, BCom, LLB,
REALTOR®, Realty Executives Integrity
Director of Marketing,
Golden Rice Bowl Restaurant &