Marni Lokash is just like you. Sure she has been selling homes now for 19 and a half years, but when she bought her first home at 30—quite an accomplishment in and of itself—she had the same anxieties as any other first-time home buyer. So she knows on a visceral, emotional level what her clients are going through and how important a decision buying or selling a home always is.

“I care a little too much about my clients. It's not a numbers game for me where I have to make sales, sales and sales. For my buyers, I want to make sure it’s the best home they're walking into, and for my sellers, that they've sold at the right time for the most amount of money they can possibly get. Sometimes I get too emotionally caught up in making sure everyone is happy,” she says.

Even though she's one of the top-tier agents at Harvey Kalles Real Estate Brokerage, she couldn't care less about awards and recognition. Her business is built exclusively through referrals and her network, and that's the way she wants it.

“My buyers and sellers know that I take a vested interest in what they're doing. Who I am in my business is who I am in real life. I don't pay attention to awards. I think it's great to do well, but that's not how I want to sell myself. I want people to work with me for who I am and not because I have a distinguished letter beside me.”

So who is Marni Lokash then? Storeys wanted to get behind her business and give our readers a little insight into who she is as a person.

What are you reading these days?

Scar Tissue; it's Anthony Keidis's autobiography.

First album you bought?

It must have been John Denver's Rocky Mountain High, but I was 6, so my parents would have bought it for me as per my request.

When you were a kid, you wanted to be a …

I never had an answer for that question when asked!

Advice you would give the younger you:

To take advantage of all opportunities presented to me, no matter how scary they may seem at the time! Experiences (all kinds) are your best future tool.

What sets you apart from all the other realtors in town?

My honesty, as cheesy as that sounds. I am honest and upfront with my clients. I will talk buyers out of a home when I know it's not right. I won't sacrifice my integrity or reputation for a sale. My strategy is to work as a team with my buyers and sellers. They are investing in property, and I am investing in them for my future business. I want everyone to be happy.

Any hot tips for homebuyers in this overheated market?

Just take a deep breath before diving in! Trust your realtor and the advice they give you when it comes to paying the right price to get the home you want. If you don't get it, it wasn't the one for you!

What is Toronto’s most underrated neighbourhood?

Tough one..I still think Corso Italia has more growth potential.

Profession you would most like to try:

Professional that a profession?

Favourite architect or architectural style?

I think a contemporary look mixed with a cabin in the mountains.

Moment you’re most proud of:

Buying and renovating my first home. As a single woman at 30, knowing I had worked toward buying a home on my own was very empowering. I encourage all young women to buy property as soon as they can. It is the best investment to grow with.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Anderson Cooper

Next big goal in life is:

Learn another language!

How do you stay a top producer for so long?

I have remained consistent in my values, consistent with my clients and consistent with educating myself on the real estate market and financial markets. I never gave up even when there were times I wanted to. This business is all about pushing hard and pushing through and that's what makes a top producer.

What's your secret to balancing work and family life?

Keeping calm and knowing that work isn't number one. Also, staying active.