Brian Baker – A Second Chance

At 19 years of age, all Brian Baker had on his mind was the dream of being a firefighter.  He was two weeks away from graduating Fire College in Brandon, and his future seemed to be laid out for him.  All that changed in the blink of eye, following an accident that would forever change his life.

In May of 1992, Brian volunteered to participate in a 217 km run from Winnipeg to Brandon in support of the Firefighters Burn Unit.  Their procession of vehicles travelled along the Trans-Canada Highway with lights flashing as the participants took turns in the run.   After just passing MacGregor around 4am, tragedy hit as the vehicle Brian and several others were in, was rear-ended by a semi trailer whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.  Five were injured, including Brian who was rushed to a Winnipeg hospital with serious injuries, including multiple fractures to both legs.  The next 15 weeks of Brain’s life would include the discussion of possible amputation of his legs, multiple surgeries and the realization that the dream of becoming a firefighter was no longer.

Over the next 4-5 years, Brian would endure more surgeries and physical therapy while waiting for the case to settle.  During this time, Brian and his friend Jeremy Collyer purchased a cabin in Clear Lake.  While living in the cabin part-time (Jeremy full-time) they renovated and flipped it.  This led Brian to purchasing a 4-plex in Brandon and with the help of Florence Zawatsky at Martin-Liberty Realty, starting his career/transition into real estate.  Florence saw the potential and drive in Brian and helped guide him toward a path that is going on strong for 24 years. 

Brian showed his dedication to the industry when he became President of the Brandon Real Estate Board in 2001, 4 years after becoming a real estate agent, then sitting on the Manitoba Real Estate Board for 1 year.   Following this, he was a Director for the Brandon Chamber of Commerce from 2002-2004 and served on the Manitoba Securities Commission for a 3-year term.   He contributes his success to being a hard worker from being raised on a farm south of Brandon where hard work and determination was necessary.   

Brian became a partner with Royal Lepage/Martin-Liberty 15 years ago and has been in the Top 10 of Royal Lepage agents from 2010-2021, usually sitting near the top.  His extensive knowledge in the industry helps his clients find what they are looking for while he negotiates the best price for them.  One of his clients says, “We hired Brian as our real estate agent when we moved back to Brandon.  He was able to tell us about different neighbourhoods and the schools in each area.  We have since used him to sell our parent’s home and find a revenue property.  He gets the job done!” 

Being a graduate from the Fire College and 23 surgeries later, most recent was April 2021, Brian Baker’s career path is not where he thought it would be when he turned 19 years old.  But he felt like he was given a second chance, something his family and friends will forever be
thankful for.  – DYH