Lucky in love Mina Sabbaghzadeh and David Rad have used their relationship to their advantage as successful realtors. (Photo by Lisa Mark, Lisa Mark Photography)
It all started when he gave her an unexpectedly long ride home.
“We were taken out as third-wheelers. Our friends wanted to go on a date, but they didn’t want to go alone, so my buddy took me and her friend took her. I was meant to be the ride for him and Mina was meant to be the Plan B for her in case the date didn’t go well. We were not supposed to meet, that’s the funny part,” says Rad.
When the night was over, Rad drove her home and that’s when they really hit it off.
“I used to live on King Street and Mina lived in King City. I offered to give her a ride home and when I asked where she lived she said King, so I offered to give her a ride not knowing we were 83 kilometres apart. It was a long drive home, but we weren’t talking about the addresses,” says Rad.
They clicked and have been inseparable ever since. The two were married in June 2016 and Sabbaghzadeh followed Rad into real estate. The two are now sales representatives for PSR Brokerage.
“I’m not the type of person who wants to spend too much time with one person. I have to have my own alone time to sit down, analyze and make decisions, but with Mina it was so organic,” says Rad.
“When we started dating each other we were together all the time and we actually moved in with each other really fast. She lived so far away; it was just easier to be together. But, as for me bringing Mina into real estate, I didn’t bring Mina into real estate. Mina is a natural sales person.”
“I studied public health,” says Sabbaghzadeh, “but I wasn’t looking forward to the fact that it was a very routine, repetitive day-to-day job, and my personality is anything but routine. The best part of real estate is not a day goes by where you feel you’re doing the same thing over and over again. There’s definitely a lot of day-to-day work, but every part of it balances and gives you a kick.”
When the pair met, they’d both just come out of long-term relationships and weren’t looking to date again so soon.
“That was really the best part because it was so unexpected and so right at the same time,” says Sabbaghzadeh.
Within a few months, they moved in together and within a year they were both realtors — personally and professionally intertwined 24/7.
So how do they do it?
Well-heeled realtors Mina Sabbaghzadeh and David Rad
With both of you spending so much time together, does it ever get to be a bit much?
R: Everyone always asks the same question and honestly, no. Since we’ve been together we literally spend every waking moment together. We’ve actually discussed over the past few months how I haven’t had a night with the boys and she hasn’t had a night with her girlfriends, but we haven’t done it just because we haven’t felt the need to. Both of us are extremely fulfilled and we’re not going to carve out alone time just for the sake of doing it.
What initially attracted you both to real estate?
R: My background is in architecture and design. I had a design build company for a number of years and while we were designing custom homes and commercial spaces for people, everyone was always asking us to find them the perfect build or perfect space to work with. We had to find an agent, but it was difficult to find one that shared our creative vision, so as an extension of my services, I decided to get my realty license, so I wouldn’t have to communicate with another person. As I got into it, I found that real estate gave me a lot more than design, so I put the majority of my focus there and eventually I put all of my focus into real estate.
S: Being involved in what could be a person's biggest decision in life brings a lot of pleasure to both David and myself.
How do you both work together?
R: We don’t have a division of labour where it’s like, “Mina, you take that deal and I’ll take that deal.” We do as many deals as possible together and if my focus needs to be on something that I’m stronger in, I focus on that.
S: Let me put it to you simply: I’m an organized freak and we’re both OCD, so in terms of organizing our meetings and day-to-day I take care of most of that. In terms of sales and closing the deals, I let David do all the talking.
What do clients most commonly misunderstand when working with a realtor to buy or sell their house?
R: We try to minimize the misunderstandings as much as possible by keeping an open communication level with all our clients. Most importantly, we always put ourselves in our sellers’ or buyers’ shoes and think ‘what would we do in that situation’?
Do you think your clients appreciate that you’re a couple?
S: For sure, I can say that almost 100 per cent of the people that come to showings or meetings like a girl’s perspective versus a man’s perspective and it’s just very pleasant for them to see what I can bring to the table and what my views are on a house versus what David’s professional views are as an architect as well. It definitely brings a normal balance and piece of mind to our clientele. It’s a good mix.
How do you balance your personal and professional lives? Are you talking about real estate around the dinner table?
S: Honestly, it’s very natural. We don’t really pick and choose our conversations because most of the day we’re together … we don’t have a set rule to not talk about work at the dinner table.
R: There’s a difference between just working for a paycheque and having passion for your job. We’re both very passionate. I love buildings and anything I’ve always wanted to do has revolved around real estate — either selling it or designing it. Real estate is like porn to me. Mina is a born salesperson. She gets a thrill from the process of the sale, so for us to stay unplugged with our phones off at the end of the day doesn’t work for us.
What is your best advice for those buying or selling in a competitive market?
S: Do not let the deal get personal. What we mean by that is if you’re purchasing your personal residence in this competitive market and you absolutely fall in love with a house in a bidding war, try your best not to lose the deal over a couple thousand dollars. On the other hand, if it's an investment purchase, set your limit and don't step out of that comfort zone.
How will you make yourself better at what you do?
S: Practice makes perfect. But we are strong believers in investing in ourselves in order to be better performers. So we read two books a month. Some of our favourite entrepreneurs are Grant Cardone, Simon Sinek, Tom Hopkins, and Patrick Bet-David.
How do you stay successful in this business without alienating friends and family or neglecting your own needs?
S: By keeping a transparent relationship with all our friends and family members. But most importantly, by staying humble and living our lives not expecting anything from anyone.
What is it like finding someone who shares the same passion as you?
R: It’s a blessing. I don’t have to convince Mina of anything because we’re convinced at the same time, but we do talk about it. We do pros and cons. If we need to make a decision, we sit down, we talk about it and discuss whether we should or shouldn’t do it.
S: Our favourite thing is to make lists; it’s how we tackle any problem in life. I have lists about my lists too, just like Monica from Friends.
Did you ever think you would find someone you’re so in sync with on so many levels?
S: That’s the beauty of it: we weren’t expecting to find anyone. We both knew who we didn’t want to be with and that’s what made it so easy to say, yep, this is the guy or yep, this is the girl. It’s so easy because we don’t have the qualities here that we don’t like in a partner. I tell all my friends who are single, just when you think you’re not going to meet that one person is the time you’re going to meet that one person.