Get to Know..
We know finding the right real estate agent can seem overwhelming. So at Envision Realty Inc. we’ve started a blog to help our current clients, and future clients, get a better understanding of who our agents are and give you the support you need to make real estate fun!
This month, we’re introducing the Broker of Record of Envision Realty Inc., Salar Taba. Salar has so much drive, determination, and passion about his business and career. His interview really shows you the kind of person and agent he truly is.
So how did you come up with the idea and name for Envision Realty Inc.?
I wanted a name that was unique and described what my goal was. Every great idea or goal starts with a vision of what you want. Envisioning is your first step. Envisioning was my first step when I started my career, so I thought the name was perfect.
What is your goal for the business?
The goal is to let each client know they are special and that they matter. I want to create a place that provides privacy and exceptional customer service. A place clients feel comfortable, confident, and at ease in.
And in real estate, we know how important location is to set the tone. I chose Leslieville as the home community for my business because I love the energy and people. There are a lot of young families and it’s very pet friendly. The community has a great vibe and really supports local business. Leslieville is full of small businesses that fit with Envision, and I want clients to feel that close-knit community when they visit the brokerage.
What traits do you look for when hiring an agent?
When I think about hiring someone, first I think about if I would want them to handle my own real estate transaction. These agents are representing me and the brand I have created, so I look for people who fit that brand, who are passionate, confident and honest. They should make every client feel comfortable and confident that they chose the right agent.
I also want people who never stop educating themselves about the business and the city. The more knowledge the agent has, the better service they can provide, and the more likely the client will be satisfied. A lot of our business is generated from word of mouth. They were referred by someone who enjoyed the service, so we have to continue to create those positive experiences people want to talk about.
What sets you apart from other real estate agents?
Approaching each transaction individually is important. Not every client is the same and the first thing you need to do is LISTEN to clients and get to know them. I believe if I do my job right and understand my clients needs, show them the right options, and the timing is right, it will work out.
It is also important to sit down with clients and explain specifics so they know to expect. I have a lot of experience and knowledge from different condo boards I am associated with and from working in the financial district, so I know details of how procedures work and can help clients with a deeper understanding.
I also work hard at building strong and lasting relationships with people in the industry which has generated a list of contacts that I can reach out to after business hours for help - because we all know, real estate moves fast!
What makes the Envision Realty brokerage unique?
We’re a boutique brokerage, so I am very involved in coaching and developing my agents, which most bigger brokerages don’t have the luxury of doing. We are close-knit, with open communication, and treat clients as people not dollar signs. We work together as agents to ensure the clients are getting the best service and benefitting from all of our experiences. We are a family that supports each other and helps each other grow. We aren’t competing with each other for clients and forgetting about service or helping only our own clients. We help everyone we can and ensure that we are dedicated and devoted to every client.
How would you describe your clients?
Envision clients range in age, race, religion, lifestyles and stages in their lives. Like the people who work here, they are diverse. One thing they have in common is that many of them are super generous and grateful. I often walk in to the office to find presents waiting for me and it is an amazing reminder that I am doing exactly what I should be.
How did you get into real estate?
I was 16 years old working at a café next to a real estate office. One of the agents came into the café regularly. Sadly, the owner of the café sold the business. But the agent approached me to work as her assistant. I was her assistant for three years, and learned a lot about the business. After three years, I decided to travel to Australia before applying to York for business. I was accepted to business school and worked part-time at a bank while I was in university AND studying to be a real estate agent. I knew my passion was real estate and that I wanted to focus on a career in the field once I graduated from York University.
What is your advice for buyers or sellers looking for a real estate broker?
A real estate agent is working for you. Like any position you hire for, interview and research different agents. Meet a few and talk with them to make sure they’re a good fit before you commit to working with a specific agent. It’s a big transaction so select an agent carefully, one you trust. Once you do find the right agent be sure to communicate with them, be patient with them, and work with them to ensure you find the right new home.
What would you say to someone who wants to start a career in real estate?
Real estate and renovation shows are all over television right now, but the industry is not as glamorous as they make it seem. It is a LOT of hard work, dedication, and long hours. You need to be patient in building a client base and strong rapport with clients. Never stop learning. Commit time to reading articles, meeting other agents, talking and helping all clients you can. Don’t hesitate to ask someone you admire in the industry for help. If you are the type of person who believed that Rome was built in a day, then real estate is not for you.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business
and how did you overcome them?
When I first opened the brokerage I wanted to do everything myself. It was my baby and I wanted to make sure it was taken care of properly, to see it grow and understand how it worked. It was definitely a challenge to start the business running the office and providing service to my clients I can be proud of, but I learned so much and really pushed myself to make the brokerage successful. I am a better real estate agent and broker of record because of it.
And when I hire someone now, I truly appreciate and understand the work it takes to make operations run smoothly. It gave me a better understanding of what every position needed to do to live up to my expectations. And luckily, when you love what you do you attract the right kind of people, and that has been true for me.
What was your favorite property to sell, and why?
My favorite property I have ever sold was my first property. My first clients were a lovely couple who wanted to sell their current home and buy a new house. I was a little uncertain about being able to do both but I bought them a new home and sold their home all within 24 hours. That was six years ago now, and it gave me the motivation to be the broker that I am today.
What do you think about the market right now?
What are the biggest differences from 6 months ago?
And what will it be like in 6 months?
The market right now is perfect for those buyers who a few months ago missed out on buying a home. I personally don’t see the Toronto market crashing anytime soon because our city, unlike Paris, Los Angeles, and other metropolitan cities, will have a demand for homes and condos as long as there is immigration. People are moving to Toronto daily - because of work, family, or just because there is more opportunity here. Certain areas of the city might see a flat few months because of the uncertainty of new legislation and interest rates, but it will only be a matter of time before they increase again. I can’t predict the future but I think it’s important to focus on today and plan for tomorrow.
What would be your top tips to anyone buying or selling a home right now?
My advice is: Don’t rush! Take your time when it comes to choosing an agent and a home. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the first home you loved, everything happens for a reason. And when you do finally secure your new home celebrate with a BIG bottle of champagne.
Thank you for getting to know Salar better.
To see if he’s the right fit as your agent, contact us today!