Welcome to Meet the Agent, an ongoing series profiling real estate agents from across Canada. With more than 150,000 agents, brokers, and salespeople working in 75 different boards and associations across the country, we thought it was about time they had a place to properly introduce themselves.
If you or someone you know deserves the same chance, email email@example.com to apply.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Boucherville on the South Shore of Montréal.
What neighbourhood do you live in now?
I live in Outremont in the core of Montréal on the Mount-Royal.
What made you want to become a real estate agent?
I was a small developer with my wife and business partner. We weren’t satisfied with the agent we were using to buy and sell our projects, so we decided to start buying and selling ourselves. Eventually, we started a real estate agency in Montréal and Québec that specialized in the sale and marketing of first-class condos. We now represent 75% of all the major projects assigned to agents in the greater Montréal area. After 10 years, we acquired the rights for Engel & Völkers in the province of Québec, and last summer we bought the license for Engel & Völkers Toronto City. We also have a commercial division.
What’s the biggest challenge you see facing the market today?
Sales of new condominium projects have been slower in Montréal, aligning with the larger national trend. We expect, however, that sales will return in full force by 2024, especially in light of population projections; by 2030, the population of Québec is estimated to grow between 12 and 19%.
What’s the single best advice you have for sellers?
When you receive a reasonable offer that is close to what you are seeking, take your money and run. The first offer is often the best offer.
What’s the single best advice you have for buyers?
Stop focusing on your potential return on investment if it’s your primary residence and you have a long-term vision; if you find the right one for you, take it and be happy in your optimal home.
What’s the best thing a realtor can invest in for their brand (a bus bench ad, a solid Instagram strategy, etc.)?
If you are aiming to work in the premium segment, join Engel & Völkers, we are a global luxury leader. Locally, we are selling more than the five other main luxury agencies in our province combined.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
I look up to professionals who value selection, specialization, and quality before quantity, those who stay away from Walmart approaches, short-term vision startup concepts, and pyramid structures.
Is there anything you wish people knew or understood about realtors that you think they’re constantly getting wrong?
How hard it is to survive. 50% of agents quit within the first year and 90% are gone after the second. We see and hear about the most successful ones, but the average salary is absolutely not what people think it is.
Tell us about your favourite (or most memorable) sale.
I sold a mountain and ski resort but never got paid -- at least not until I sued the seller/buyer and won a settlement. I play the real estate game 100% fairly, but unfortunately, not everybody in this industry has the same ethics.
What are the three words you hope your clients use to describe you?
Likeable. Honest. Credible.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of selling houses?
Absolutely nothing. My wife/partner and I are in a perpetual real estate meeting. For me, real estate is a massive and complex game. I’m averaging between 250 and 500 emails in and out a day. Real estate is my life!
This interview may have been edited for both length and clarity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of STOREYS.