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 (for the first 18 years of my life) in Pakistan. After that, I went to the US for my undergrad and lived there for seven years in Tempe, AZ, Kansas City, and Atlanta.
What neighbourhood do you live in now?
I currently live with my family in Southeast Oakville in the Ford neighbourhood.
What made you want to become a real estate agent?
I was looking for a more fulfilling career and always had passion for extraordinary client service and marketing -- the two important ingredients that were not very evident in the Toronto real estate market. This triggered my interest in the industry. Now, I find helping my clients achieve one of their most personal goals of owning or selling a home extremely fulfilling.
What’s the biggest challenge you see facing the market today?
Short-term mindset, lack of quality service, and information overload. Given the last 10 years of growth in this sector, owning real estate has become a short-term goal for many [looking] for a quick return. And a lot of it has to do with going after the headlines without seeking expert advice. Sound advice leads to sound decision making, which is extremely important when dealing with a large value asset.
What’s the single best advice you have for sellers?
Always look for knowledge, quality, and excellence when hiring a professional for one of your most valuable assets -- someone who has the patience to listen to you but confidence to not shy away from having a tough and open conversation with you. That’s your recipe for a successful outcome, regardless of the market conditions.
What’s the single best advice you have for buyers?
Have a long-term vision and goal when investing in real estate, with a good balance of rationality and emotions to support that.
What’s the best thing a realtor can invest in for their brand (a bus bench ad, a solid Instagram strategy, etc.)?
Regardless of the channels or tools, the best investment a realtor can make in their brand is to become the “educator” for their clients, and then to go and tell the world through whichever channel can best facilitate that. Someone once said, “become really great at what you do and then tell the rest of the world about it”. That’s my motto.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
I look up to many industry leaders who share my philosophy of creating wealth and memories for their clients with their knowledge, experience, and excellence in client service. For mindset clarity, I am a huge fan of Og Mandino, Brian Buffini, Zig Zeilger, and Earl Nightingale. For strategy and implementation, I regularly follow Larry Kendall (Ninja Selling system) and Jim Miller (from Jameson Sotheby’s).
Is there anything you wish people knew or understood about realtors that you think they’re constantly getting wrong?
On average, a general consumer knows about 12 realtors. And when you are in a crowded space like that and have a job title that says “Sales”, it takes the essence away from our real work, which is being an advisor and a problem solver. Speaking for myself, I am in a “problem solving” and “relationship” business, sales simply comes as a by-product of that.
Tell us about your favourite (or most memorable) sale.
My most memorable sale is, of course, the very first sale I did for a lovely retired couple, who were looking to downsize. It was one of the smallest transactions I’ve done but a highly fulfilling one.
What are the three words you hope your clients use to describe you?
Unassuming. Patient. Honest.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of selling houses?
I try to keep my life fairly simple. Work’s my passion and anything that’s mentally stimulating is what excites me. Family is everything besides work, and I do enjoy the sheer joy I see in my seven year old’s eyes when I pick him up after school.
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.