Paul Cluff finds his true calling

From furniture to real estate, from Vancouver to Kelowna

  • Nov. 13, 2019 8:30 a.m.

– Story by Toby Tannas Photography by Darren Hull

What if one day you woke up to the realization that your life needed to change? The passion for the career and family business you served for so many years was gone and had been replaced by an uncomfortable apathy.

Would you have the courage to step out of the family fold and forge a legacy of your own? Paul Cluff did. The Kelowna realtor left the Jordans Furniture empire after 20 years of growing with his great-grandfather’s company. He dutifully put in his time and worked from the bottom up.

Then, something else kicked in: a deep-seated desire to create something of his own, something outside of what was expected. In short order, Cluff informed his family, left Vancouver and moved to Kelowna with his wife and young son. That is how he found the courage to step into what he calls his true destiny. Today, he is a realtor with RE/MAX Kelowna.

I recently sat down with Paul and asked about his life’s journey.

Toby: Jordans Furniture has been run by your family since 1929. Your great-grandfather, grandfather, your mother and uncles, and then you and your cousins…When did you first think about walking away?

Paul: I would at times naturally wonder what I would be doing if Jordans didn’t exist, but pretty quickly after my son was born I started thinking more seriously about it. It was a lot to do with my freedom, my own path, my inspiration. I was getting apathetic. My biggest fear was living in a place of apathy until the end. As far as I know we have one life and I didn’t want my life to be lived in that place.

Toby: How did your family take the news?

Paul: It was a big decision, a difficult one. It was almost like a divorce — definitely some grief in there — but they understood.

Toby: So, you, your wife and young son left Vancouver. Why did you choose Kelowna?

Paul: My wife and I actually met here years ago. She’s from Germany and was going to university in Kelowna. I was helping run the Jordans store here. She loves Kelowna and was very happy to move back. Personally, I loved living in Kelowna and witnessing the amazing quality of life. I think it’s the ideal place to raise a family.

Toby: What lead you to a career in real estate?

Paul: I’ve always had a passion for real estate. It’s an absolute challenge. You’re pushing boundaries. In real estate sales you really have to master yourself because you’re not protected in any kind of system. You have to go out there and make the system.

Toby: You worked in a very established system at Jordans. Is your new career more or less comfortable for you?

Paul: It’s definitely less comfortable, but comfort can be a terrible thing sometimes. This is starting from the very bottom, so you have to be humble in terms of the approach. It’s like being a kid again, learning how to do this and that. It’s exciting.

Toby: How have your years in sales at Jordans helped you in real estate?

Paul: Jordans is fundamentally about delivering the best service possible. It’s been ingrained in me from the earliest days when I was delivering furniture as a teenager. You deliver more than what’s promised, respect the client — that’s the life and ethos I’ve lived now for so long.

Toby: Have you found a niche in real estate, something you want to specialize in?

Paul: My instinct would be to do the luxury market because coming from Jordans, a luxury brand, I’m very comfortable in that place, but I appreciate all levels of real estate. I really love the emotion and connection with the client that comes with real estate. When you combine a lot of money with a major life decision things get pretty intense. It’s exciting and I like being a part of that.

Toby: What are you working on now?

Paul: A lot of my energy is focused on the Lakestone development in Lake Country with my amazing team, The Property Source Group. Big things are happening in Lake Country these days. Lakestone is a hidden gem, many people don’t know it’s there, but when they find it I hear a lot of “wows.”

Toby: How do you like doing business in the Central Okanagan?

Paul: I meet amazing people here who have come from all over the world and I meet them regularly. There are quality people here. My wife and I also believe strongly in giving back what we can. In a bigger city you get swallowed up. Here I feel we can really make a difference.

Toby: What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing what you did: leaving behind a comfortable, secure career for something new and unexpected?

Paul: If you have the option, follow your passion. For me, I always really admired my grandfather and what he represented. He had this style and this way about him that I wanted to capture. I loved the idea of working in his company and being part of its history, but then the cold hard practical side hit me …this is what I’m doing every day. Life is a constant journey to find out who you are. You can’t close yourself off to it because of a decision you may have made as a teenager. I say to anyone, find what gets that fire going in you, that spark, and then make things happen.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

LifeLifestyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Photo submitted/ Rita-anne Fuss
Distancing Diamond Project in Millet for mental health

Distancing Diamonds allow for social distancing community gathering.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

The death of 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze of Edmonton has now been ruled a homicide following an ongoing RCMP investigation.
UPDATE: RCMP arrest youth for second degree murder of 19-year-old Jacob Chitze

Arrest made for the murder of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19.

Pumpkins for the 46th Annual WDACS Pumpkin Ball on display at Vision Credit Union Wetaskiwin. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
46th Annual Pumpkin Ball held virtually this year

This year the pumpkins were sold over a six-day online auction.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Front-line hospital workers have walked off the job at the Rimbey Hospital, and across the province. Photo Submitted
Front-line health care workers on strike across the province, including Rimbey Hospital

The strike is due to cut of 11,000 health care jobs in the province, according to AUPE

(Black Press file photo)
Maskwacis RCMP welcomes new detachment commander

The Maskwacis RCMP detachment has a new detachment commander, Inspector Leanne MacMillan.… Continue reading

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

Most Read