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Levon Nazarian, one of the top-selling agents in Canada for 2015

REPMAG.CA ISSUE 2.01 | $12.95


The top performers in Canada’s real estate industry SALES STRATEGY

What to do when a hot property has some not-so-hot issues

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WHERE ARE INTEREST RATES HEADED? Economists weigh in on the Bank of Canada’s latest rate decision


Brad Lamb reveals how he became the face of the city’s condo market

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Reflecting on a year of success


y the end of 2014, many commentators in the Canadian real estate industry were predicting that the market was about to come to a crushing halt. The words ‘bubble burst’ and ‘market crash’ were on the lips of many of those in the know. It seemed like hedging against losses in real estate might be a move that would pay off. But ultimately, those predictions could not have been further from what transpired. In reality, 2015 was a record-breaking year in the Canadian real estate market. While average house prices in Saskatchewan and Alberta cities took a sharp decline, the rest of nation’s markets normalized and reached something resembling stability. Toronto and Vancouver were the exceptions, of course, where a limited supply of real estate caused property prices to continue their steady rise.

There is a common misconception that anybody can make money in today’s real estate market, that all it takes to make a fast buck is a cell phone and a winning smile There is a common misconception that anybody can make money in today’s real estate market, that all it takes to make a fast buck is a cell phone and a winning smile. In this month’s issue, we focused on the country’s topproducing realtors from 2015. We wanted to showcase the hard work, skill and adaptability that is required to reach the top. Yes, it was a great year to be in the business, but not everyone performed as well as our top producers, and we wanted to know why. Do they market themselves differently? Do they possess superior business acumen, or do they just have a canny knack for being in the right place at the right time? And how about 2016? Experts are predicting that the high demand in the Toronto and Vancouver markets will continue to push prices up and that oil-centric markets will see a further reduction in housing sales, which will drive prices down further in those provinces. The rest of the country looks set to remain balanced with minimal price increases. The opportunities for agents to close deals and make serious cash still exist, but what will it take to be featured in REP’s Top Producers list next year? Get yourself on the list and let us know.

MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL AUSTRALIA sam.richardson@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 4787


The team at Real Estate Professional

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29/03/2016 10:55:45 AM

ISSUE 2.01

CONNECT WITH US Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information?


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UPFRONT 04 Editorial

Looking back at a banner year

06 Statistics

Trends to keep an eye on in 2016




WHEN KATHLEEN SPEAKS Ready to take your business to the next level? Business coach Kathleen Black can show you how

10 Opinion

What the federal budget means for the housing market


11 Insight into a high-flying brokerage



Even in a hot market, these 100 agents still managed to rise above the rest. REP reveals the keys to their success



Economists try to predict the Bank of Canada’s next interest-rate decision

Top agent Levon Nazarian takes us inside his cutting-edge, tech-savvy Toronto firm



08 News analysis



Connecting with other agents from around the globe paid dividends for these Canadians

How Brad Lamb became king of Toronto’s booming condo market



40 Agent profile

How Goran Todorovic leveraged social media to rise to the top of the Windsor market

47 Career path

Charting Phil Soper’s rise to the Swanepoel Power 200 list

48 Other life

Shayna Nackoney-Skauge makes a splash



This Toronto condo should have been a no-brainer to sell, except for a pesky plumbing issue





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Winner of Top National Team Award for 2013, 2014 & 2015 with Invis Mortgage Intelligence Featured in CMP magazine 2014 & 2015 Young Guns Edition

“Annie works with each client to offer different options, depending on their current and future goals, explaining the implications of each. With team members dedicated to everything from underwriting, administration and business development; her and her team ensure all of my transactions close seemlessly. I will not hesitate to recommend Annie’s service to my other clients—a total professional.”

“I have never come across a mortgage broker as passionate, diligent, knowledgeable and dedicated as Annie Mirza. She’s a results-oriented broker that understands client-service comes first.”


Russell Robson

Re/Max Realty Specialists

Fred Dib

Re/Max Real Estate Centre Inc.

financialpro.ca annie@financialpro.ca 416.836.5617 /financialpro

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Annie Mirza, Mortgage Broker 57 Village Centre Place, Suite 301 Mississauga, ON

BROKER #10428

30/03/2016 2:35:37 AM



Are more regulations the solution? Given the recent money laundering scandal involving BC agents, are more government regulations warranted?

Myrna Park

Erica Mary Smith

Jordan Boyes

“The current legislation serves a purpose (i.e. adding a parent to a purchase contract), but it is being abused. Brokers presently have to acknowledge via a Disclosure of Interest in Trade any transaction involving one of their agents, and closer scrutiny to this should eliminate this practice. At the very least, an agent would have a meaningful discussion regarding the ethics of their actions and disclosure to all parties. Managing brokers need to be held more accountable for every contract going through their offices. Therefore, large brokerages should be required to have managers for approximately every 75 agents.”

“Unfortunately, in any industry, there are individuals who definitely take advantage of their profession; however, it should not be a complete reflection of everyone in that particular industry. In my opinion, it would be to the industry’s advantage for the government to not only tighten up regulations concerning potential money laundering for individuals, but also to focus more on implementing government oversight concerning money laundering situations within the real estate brokerages. With focus on both the individual and the brokerage, there will be a stronger opportunity to prevent money laundering from occurring.”

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction to say that more regulation is needed. What is really needed is more awareness. Before hiring an agent, do your research, ask friends, family members, call brokers for their opinion, etc. In any industry, crime will follow the money; people will look for easy gains or a way to cheat the system. Unfortunately, there are a few individuals like this in every sector, not just real estate. It seems to me that no level of regulation could stop this elaborate fraud from happening. What level of regulation in any industry can, without exception, stop a criminal from perpetrating a crime? If someone wants to commit a crime badly enough, often they will find a way.”

Managing broker Century 21 Assurance Realty

Co-owner Stomp Realty Inc., Brokerage and Condo Chicks

Broker/owner Boyes Group Realty

FRAUD IN BC BC’s superintendent of real estate, Carolyn Rogers, is working with an advisory group being set up by the Real Estate Council of BC to look into allegations of fraud and insider trading by some Vancouver real estate agents. Agents have allegedly been ‘shadow flipping’ properties by reassigning contracts to different owners at progressively higher prices before the sale is concluded, as well as money laundering by helping clients conceal foreign sources of money. Commenting on the investigation, BC Minister Peter Fassbender said, ““Any regulatory changes that might be required will be brought forward.”

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Trending right now

AFFORDABILITY CONTINUES TO SUFFER Finding affordable housing in coveted urban areas is getting harder and harder, according to PwC’s report, which cites greenbelt legislation in BC and Ontario, along with “lengthy approval processes” and “significant development charges” as key drivers in the rising cost of city-centre housing. The report posits that affordability concerns could impact the recent trend of urbanization, forcing more people into the suburbs.

A recent in-depth report reveals that it’s not all doom and gloom for the Canadian housing market in 2016 IT WOULD be easy to be pessimistic about the Canadian real estate market’s prospects for 2016. The oil downturn that has plagued resource-driven markets like Calgary and Edmonton for the past year shows no signs of abating, and the Canadian dollar is also continuing its downward slide. Yet there is a silver lining to these hardships, according to PwC’s 2016 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report: Low energy

prices and a weak dollar have driven interest in manufacturing, warehouses and other key sectors, especially in the eastern provinces. PwC also predicts that the number of renters across the country will increase as housing prices become increasingly out of reach in key markets like Toronto and Vancouver. Overall, caution seems to be the watchword for Canadian real estate in 2016, but there are opportunities to be found.

Vancouver Average house price

$921,900 Price-to-income ratio

11.6:1 59.2

Number of kilometres of transit infrastructure currently underway in Toronto


Canada’s rank in average home size by square footage, behind Australia and the US

1.96 million Total number of multifamily housing units in the country as of 2015


Projected percentage of Canadians who will be in the over-55 age bracket by 2038 Source: PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016



How long can the market continue to grow? Some respondents to PwC’s survey suspect a downturn is coming – sooner rather than later.

PwC surveyed real estate investors in key markets around the country to find out their outlook on key indicators such as the strength of the local economy, investor demand, capital availability and development opportunities. Unsurprisingly, investors in the Eastern provinces were, by and large, more optimistic than their Western counterparts.












POOR Montreal

















Source: PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016



Source: PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016


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Montreal Average house price Edmonton


Average house price

Price-to-income ratio

$357,100 Price-to-income ratio



Saskatoon Average house price



Price-to-income ratio


Halifax Average house price


Average house price


Price-to-income ratio


Price-to-income ratio

7:1 Calgary Average house price




Average house price

Average house price



Price-to-income ratio

Price-to-income ratio

Price-to-income ratio




Source: PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016



In the commercial space, lower energy prices and a weak loonie are increasing activities in sectors like industrial space and office buildings. PwC identified the following as the top 10 commercial real estate subsectors for 2016, based on the percentage of investors who intend to buy in that sector. Warehouse/industrial


Medical office


Fulfilment centre


Neighbourhood/community shopping centres


Limited-service hotels


Apartments – affordable


Apartments – moderate income

Central city office


By and large, investors still see Canadian real estate as a safe haven, though numbers have fallen off over the last decade. PwC speculated that the lack of premium opportunities, combined with the slowdown of the energy market, could lead to further decline.

Full-service hotels

5.0% 4.0% 1.7%

Latin America

0.7% 02%

Others 2014 2004

Source: PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016

29.0% 11.7%

Asia and Oceania



64.1% 34.3%


Student housing



United States









Source; PwC Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016


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Where are interest rates headed? The Bank of Canada made its latest rate decision, and economists weren’t surprised. But what does the future hold?

THE BANK of Canada stood firm on its 0.5% benchmark rate in March, but it may be the calm before the storm – many economists believe the central bank is awaiting the government’s financial policy statement before making any rate-related decisions. “The Bank of Canada keeps putting out a timeframe, saying they will raise the rate next year,” says Michael Campbell, Verico’s economist. “Each time they target ‘next year,’ it doesn’t happen; they underestimate the impact of commodities on the economy.” The BoC’s habit of setting its sights on ‘next year’ to raise interest rates may, once again, fail to come to fruition.

there is no upward pressure.” Commenting on its decision in a press release, the BoC said, “The global economy is progressing largely as the Bank anticipated in its January Monetary Policy Report. Financial market volatility, reflecting heightened concerns about economic momentum, appears to be abating. Although downside risks remain, the Bank still expects global growth to strengthen this year and next. Recent data indicate that the US expansion remains broadly on track. At the same time, the low level of oil prices will continue to dampen growth in Canada and other energy-producing countries.”

“The Bank of Canada is waiting until the budget and will factor that into its next decision” Dr. Sherry Cooper, Dominion Lending Centres “We’re not yet done with the oil downturn,” Campbell says. “There is a real problem in Calgary with commercial real estate – they brought in a lot of office space that didn’t get rented, and those companies that are currently renting have made a lot of layoffs. The likelihood of the Bank of Canada raising rates in the next year is very low because


The BoC also noted recent rebounds in oil and other commodities. Coupled with a slight appreciation of the loonie, the central bank said it remains cautiously optimistic about economic conditions. “Canada’s GDP growth in the fourth quarter was not as weak as expected, but the near-term outlook for the economy remains

broadly the same as in January,” the bank said. “National employment has held up despite job losses in resource-intensive regions, and household spending continues to underpin domestic demand. Non-energy exports are gathering momentum, particularly in sectors that are sensitive to exchange rate movements. However, overall business investment remains very weak due to retrenchment in the resource sector.” Overall, the bank cited balanced risks as the basis for not moving the overnight rate. “The Bank’s Governing Council judges that the overall balance of risks remains within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate, and the target for the


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RECENT HISTORY OF THE BANK OF CANADA’S OVERNIGHT RATE TARGETS The Bank of Canada held its overnight interest rate target at 1% for years before shocking the financial community with two rate cuts last year. 2012




2016 1.000

0.900 0.800 0.700

0.600 0.500

03/16 0.500 Source: Bloomberg News

overnight rate remains at 0.5%,” the BoC said. For her part, Dominion Lending Centres’ chief economist, Dr. Sherry Cooper, believes

Cooper says, adding that it won’t be until 2017 that the full effects of the government’s fiscal stimulus will be felt.

“We’re not yet done with the oil downturn. There is a real problem in Calgary with commercial real estate” Michael Campbell, Verico the Bank of Canada will have a better idea about the future of rates once the government releases its budget. “[The Bank] is waiting until the budget and will factor that into its next decision,”

Campbell agrees. “[The Bank of Canada] is looking to the March budget to see what kind of fiscal stimulus the economy is given; there isn’t a single push to increase rates right now,” he says. “There will be no upward pressure on

rates in the foreseeable future – every time people thought the rate would go up, it didn’t.” Indeed, the Bank shocked the mortgage industry last year with two cuts to its longheld overnight rate – from 1% to 0.75% in January 2015 and to 0.5% in July. The bank’s forecast at the time of its second rate cut was that economic growth would resume by the third quarter of 2015. “The lower outlook for Canadian growth has increased the downside risks to inflation,” the Bank said at the time. “While vulnerabilities associated with household imbalances remain elevated and could edge higher, Canada’s economy is undergoing a significant and complex adjustment. Additional monetary stimulus is required at this time to help return the economy to full capacity and inflation sustainably to target.” REP

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GOT AN OPINION THAT COUNTS? Email repmag@kmimedia.ca

No surprises in the budget The recently announced federal budget should spell good news for Canada’s housing market, according to Dr. Sherry Cooper

THE FEDERAL budget included everything I expected and nothing that I feared. The fears first: There is no change in the tax treatment of capital gains or stock options, despite continued rumours and speculation. Indeed, in a press conference in the lock-up, Minister Morneau said that stock options tax changes are off the table because they are so important to young, innovative companies. There is also nothing in the budget designed to tighten credit conditions in the housing markets. With respect to housing, Ottawa will support the collection of data regarding foreign purchases of Canadian residential real estate, providing additional funding to Stats Canada, working with CMHC and British Columbia. Evidence-based assessment of the situation is important. Hopefully, governments at all levels will refrain from discouraging foreign investment in housing in a misplaced effort to create more affordable housing. The budget does express concern about affordable housing by investing $2.3 billion over two years for social infrastructure in communities where it is most needed, including $739 million for First Nations, Inuit and northern housing. The budget states that “stable and secure housing markets protect the greatest investment of many middle-class Canadian families. On December 11, 2015, the government announced coordinated actions to strengthen the resiliency of Canada’s housing finance system, increase market discipline in residential lending, and promote long-term stability and balanced economic growth. The government will continue to closely


monitor vulnerabilities related to housing and consumer debt, and is prepared to implement further measures, should they be needed.” This is all good – no messing around with the housing market in this year’s budget, but reasserting a watchful eye on excesses and potential bubbles. There is a growing concern among US hedge fund managers regarding the Canadian housing market and Canadian

contingency reserve. But to the surprise of some, there is no estimate as to when the federal budget will be balanced. Despite these large deficits, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio – while rising from 31.2% to 32.5% in the fiscal year that begins April 1 – will fall over each of the next five years to end fiscal year 2020-21 at 30.9%. Canada has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio by far in the G7, so no worries here. With interest rates so low, debt-servicing costs have dropped sharply. The middle-class tax cut was announced last December, effective January 1. While it is estimated to provide a net boost to the economy of $1.3 billion this year, the hike in tax rates for incomes over $200,000 – which is called “the tax fairness measure” in the budget documents – is estimated to have a net negative economic impact of $0.7 billion over the same period. The negative impact of this tax increase could be substantially greater, especially over the longer term, as it dampens entrepreneurial spirit and makes it more difficult to attract and retain talent and new high-growth businesses in Canada.

“While there will no doubt be quibbles about the specifics of the budget, the good news is that it will provide economic stimulus without threatening Canada’s solid financial position” household debt, as many expect a meltdown in Canada, similar to what happened in the US in 2007–2009. This is nothing new, as Canadian pundits and media have been suggesting something similar for several years now. However, vigilance against fraud and insufficient qualifying conditions for credit is important to maintaining the financial stability of our economy and our financial institutions. As expected, the current fiscal year budget deficit is forecast to come in just shy of $30 billion ($29.4 billion, to be exact) and to fall only a bit next year (to $29.0 billion), nearly three times the size of the deficit promised during the election campaign. As well, deficits will remain over the five-year forecast horizon. There is some cushion here in that these numbers include a $6 billion

Bottom line: While there will no doubt be quibbles about the specifics of the budget, the good news is that it will provide economic stimulus without threatening Canada’s solid financial position. There is no doubt we will maintain our triple-A rating. The government was urged by some to spend more and by others to spend less, so they have reached a reasonable balance without raising the tax burden further on high-income Canadians. The actions taken will help, at least at the margin, to assure a minimum standard of living for all. REP

Dr. Sherry Cooper is the chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres.


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Insight into a highflying brokerage Levon Nazarian of Re/Max Infinite, one of Canada’s top-performing real estate brokerages, reveals the secrets to his success

Levon Nazarian (left) and Stefan Solomun (right)

LEVON NAZARIAN, president and broker of record for Re/Max Infinite, and his business development manager, Stefan Solomun, are two young, ambitious and dynamic individuals who are full of energy. They recognize that staff satisfaction and customer service are crucial if you want to operate a high-end, top-performing real estate brokerage. “Every year, we’re growing in record numbers,” says Nazarian, who was recently recognized as the number-one broker in commercial, industrial and land development transactions in all of Canada. A lot of our success is to do with our attitude and loyalty to our agents. We’re proud of the familyoriented environment at our brokerage.” As well as supporting a team of almost 70 top-producing agents at his Richmond

Hill brokerage, Nazarian is spearheading a number of multi-million-dollar development projects, including an 80,000-square-foot office and retail project on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill and a master planned hillside community project in Los Angeles, California. Nazarian, a patriotic Armenian, is also the regional owner of Re/Max Armenia, through which he’s reforming the real estate industry in his home country. And he’s in the process of opening a new 20,000-square-foot facility to house the Re/ Max Infinite head office. The new office will incorporate essential services such as an in-house law firm, a mortgage brokerage, a home inspection office and an interior design studio. Nazarian believes the new office will transform the way real estate is conducted

and will allow for a more “well-rounded” service for clients. As competition heats up in Canada’s real estate industry, brokerages must also go the extra mile to attract and support the best agents. “It’s important that we provide top-notch service to our agents,” Solomun says. “The brokerages that do provide that will be the ones to survive.” Solomun attributes most of Re/Max Infinite’s success to the energy he and Nazarian bring to work every day. He believes the pair’s youth offers a distinct advantage to young, hungry agents who are looking to succeed in the industry. “Since we’re a younger team, we make it a point of educating our agents about things that other brokerages can’t,” Solomun says. “For example, we educate our agents on how they can be tech-savvy, how they can use technology to make themselves more productive when they’re on the go.” As they aim to “revitalize” their business with the latest tools and technology being used in the industry, Nazarian and Solomun emphasize that their popularity is not only with those just coming into the industry, but also with seasoned, top-producing agents. Building a strong team with clear lines of communication has been crucial to the success of Re/Max Infinite. “My team is my family; I trust them with my eyes closed,” Nazarian says. “I take great pride that we have created a sense of community within our brokerage.” He also has a deep sense of gratitude for his team. “I owe a great deal of our success to our management team, without whom I would not be where I am today.” REP


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THE KING OF CONDOS From buying his first property after graduating university, Brad Lamb has become one of Canada’s top condo developers

IF YOU live in Toronto, you know Brad Lamb. OK, maybe not as friend or an acquaintance, or even as a neighbour. But you know Brad Lamb. Starting in the 1990s, Lamb became the face of condominium sales in Toronto. His face and name appeared on billboards across the city, and he was a common fixture on real estate programs, becoming the go-to expert on the city’s condominium market. As the market grew, Lamb soon moved from selling condos to designing and building them, spearheading several high-profile developments, not just in Toronto, but also in Montreal, Ottawa and now Calgary. Lamb takes pride in the quality of his buildings, and he credits much of his success not just to his relentless drive, but to the example set by his father. “My father told me not to do anything halfway,” he says. “There is no point doing something poorly and making excuses. So from day one, my work ethic has always been to do a good job.”

Property magnate Given Lamb’s focus on quality, you might expect him to have come from an architectural or design background, but you’d be wrong. When Lamb entered Queen’s University, his major was engineering.


Halfway through the program, he found that he didn’t particularly enjoy engineering. While there, he became interested in real estate and discovered he had a knack for the business and a way of working with people that would make him a formidable real estate agent. When he completed his engineering program and began first working in engin-

A year later, I was able to sell that property and make some $22,000 in the sale. Soon after, I purchased three other properties and continued to do that over the next four years.” After those four years had passed, Lamb was able to make the successful transition to become a full-time real estate agent. He saw an opportunity in Toronto and soon

“My father told me not to do anything halfway. There is no point doing something poorly and making excuses. So from day one, my work ethic has always been to do a good job” eering sales, he devoted time to real estate and building a portfolio of properties. “All my life, I’ve had an affinity for selling things to people, and while I was working in engineering sales, I was buying and selling real estate,” he says. “Almost from the first month after my graduation, I was buying property. The first property I bought was in London, Ontario, cobbling together the money needed from myself and my brother.

joined with Harry Stinson, a Torontobased condominium Realtor and developer best known for the redevelopment of the Candy Factory Lofts and One King West in Toronto’s downtown. Lamb has nothing but praise for Stinson and his work in understanding the investment opportunities in condominiums and in spurring condominium development in the city. Lamb worked closely with Stinson


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PROFILE Name: Brad J. Lamb Title: Founder Company: Brad J. Lamb Realty and Lamb Development Corp. Years in the industry: 28 Fast fact: In addition to his real estate and development projects, Lamb is also the star of Big City Brokers on HGTV.


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for five years, becoming a specialist in selling condos. In 1995, Lamb decided to go on his own and created his own firm, Brad J. Lamb Realty, where he quickly become the bestknown face in Toronto’s real estate market. By 2007, his team had sold some 2,000 condominiums. Even with the recent slowdown in the economy, Lamb’s firm continues to do strong business, especially

you develop a sense of who you are and what is important to you.” As an example, he points to the level of finishes in his buildings. “Everyone is using concrete and steel. Everyone is using the same pipes, and most buildings are built in the same way. How do you stand out? It is such things as what you use for your balcony railings, the size and quality of your mouldings and finishing materials and fixtures.

“If you go back 20 years and read the science fiction published, those writers were writing about living in boxes in the sky. Well, we are now living in that future” with first-time buyers looking to enter the condominium market.

Developing quality Because of Lamb’s expertise in the condo market, he was soon approached by developers to help sell new projects. After a few years of doing this in the late ’90s, Lamb had formed his own ideas on what a condominium development should be and what features would appeal to buyers. In 2001, Lamb took a big plunge and launched Lamb Development Corporation, which specializes in smaller condominium projects. The first property he developed was gläs, and it was soon followed by others: the Flatiron Lofts in Toronto, McGill Quest in Montreal and Gotham in Ottawa. Currently, he has two developments underway: 6th and Tenth in Calgary and SOBA in Ottawa. “We have built a very vertically integrated company where I have a division that finds land, a construction division, and we do all of our own marketing and campaigns for the projects,” Lamb says. “When you work a long time on something,


“Someone might spend $69 on a bathroom fixture,” he continues. “I will spend $105 on that fixture. We can spend an extra $1,000 to $2,000 per unit because we want to make a quality product. Business is about making a good product, and it is hard to make a good product. “I can say with confidence that our product is better than anyone else’s. It is important to me to walk down the street and hold my head high and know that we are delivering the best architecture, interior design and interior finishes in our price category, and no one comes close.” As for predictions that the current condominium boom in Canada will slow down or even come to a halt, Lamb is confident that it’s not going to happen. “The cost of a single-family home in many places is out of sight, and it will not improve,” he says. “If you want a house, you are going to have to be rich. “If you go back 20 years and read the science fiction published,” he continues, “those writers were writing about living in boxes in the sky. Well, we are now living in that future.” REP



The year Lamb started selling real estate in Toronto


The year Lamb founded Brad J. Lamb Realty, a boutique brokerage specializing in urban condos, lofts and townhomes


Number of Toronto developments for which Brad J. Lamb Realty has been the exclusive broker

$7.5 billion

Total amount of real estate sales Lamb has been involved with over his career


Number of properties Lamb has been involved in the sale of

$1.3 billion

Amount of condo development Lamb has spearheaded in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary


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29/03/2016 10:58:54 AM



TOP 100 AGENTS REP reveals the top performers in Canada’s real estate industry



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LAST YEAR was unquestionably a hot one for Canada’s real estate industry – thousands of agents across the country made significant improvements on their 2014 sales numbers. For this special report, we’ve rounded up the best of the best: 100 agents who were the top performers in their respective markets. We also sat down with a few of this year’s top agents to find out the secrets to their success. On the following pages, you’ll learn how agents in vastly different markets – from Toronto to Vancouver, Regina to Thunder Bay – differentiate themselves from the competition, what advice they’d give to up-and-comers and how they unwind (or try to) after a hard day’s work. We hope their insights will provide you with the push you need to make it onto next year’s list. >>



Aitken, Daniella


Century 21 Miller Real Estate

Kogan, Roland

Anderson, Linda


Re/Max Charlottetown Realty

Anichini, Anthony


Royal LePage Premium One Realty

Arruda, Steve


Century 21 Regal Realty

Atkinson, Curtis


Azad, Audrey





Alan Newton Real Estate

Kovinich, Nada


Re/Max Cornwall Realty

LeBlanc, James


Engel & Volkers Victoria

Lee, Juhan


Re/Max Masters Realty

Re/Max Real Estate (Central)

Leung, Derek


Century 21 In Town Realty

Re/Max Hallmark Realty

MacDonald, Jason


Royal LePage Team Realty

Bains, Rav


Re/Max Westcoast

Mallette, Lynne


Sutton Group Select Realty

Baker, Brian


Royal LePage Martin-Liberty Realty

McDadi, Sam


Sam McDadi Real Estate

Ballard, Mark


Re/Max Masters Realty

McDonald, Shawn


Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty

Basra, Ron


Re/Max Select Realty

McIntyre, Neil


Re/Max Realty Services

Behroyan, Shahin


Re/Max Masters Realty

McLean, Carla


Royal LePage Martin-Liberty Realty

Berke, Craig


2% Realty Select

Meader, Graham


Colliers International

Bezina, Silvana


Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty

Meek, Kelly


Main Street Realty

Bolin, Trevor


Re/Max Action Realty

Messecar, Chris


EXIT Realty First North

Bonner, Stuart


Re/Max Crest Realty

Metallo, Frank


Re/Max Premier

Bowness, Brenda


Century 21 Advantage

Munn, Jason


EXIT Realty Advantage

Boychuk, Mike


Royal LePage Hallmark Realty

Nazarian, Levon


Re/Max Infinite

Boyes, Jordan


Boyes Group Realty

Nicolas, Matthew


Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate

Bracewell, Andrew


Re/Max Little Oak Realty

Oey, David


Harvey Kalles Real Estate

Bracken, Bob


Re/Max Real Estate Services

Pennycook, Chris


Royal LePage Dynamic

Brazeau, Joseph


Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty

Piercy, Scott


Engel & Volkers Victoria



Brind, Adam


Core Assets Real Estate

Prasoulis, Alex

Brunet, Christine


Oak Realty

Radcliffe, Mike


Century 21 First Canadian

Butt, Don


Re/Max Sabre Realty

Rampf, Mike


Re/Max Crest Realty

Calder, Kari


Century 21 Fusion

Ramsay, Ken


Harvey Kalles Real Estate

Campbell, Joe


Re/Max Crest Realty

Roberts, Brent


Royal LePage Brent Roberts Realty

Cartwright, Chris


Main Street Realty

Rostek, Jacqui


Sutton Group Professional Realty

Chen, Jim


Re/Max Masters Realty

Salt, Lisa


Re/Max Vernon

Chin, Raymond


Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty

Sayah, Ronaldo


Keller Williams Solid Rock Realty

Cochrane, Louisa


Royal LePage

Seymour, Jethro


Royal LePage Real Estate Services

Collins, Mitch


Century 21 Energy Realty

Siksna, Paul


Core Assets Real Estate

Comens, Michelle


Re/Max Crest Realty

Sinclair, Al


Re/Max Hallmark Realty

Corea, Sam


Re/Max House of Real Estate

Siltamaki, Wendy


Royal LePage Lannon Realty

Devereaux, Dale


Century 21 Advantage Realty

Sly, Tiffany


Chestnut Park Real Estate

Elliott, Sarah


Hanlon Realty

St. Jean, Michael


St. Jean Realty

Evernden, Mark


Engel & Volkers Calgary

Teel, Matt


Royal LePage Community Realty

Flemming, Steve


Re/Max Village Realty

Tkaczyk, Arthur


Century 21 First Canadian

Florez, Julio


Royal LePage True North Realty

Todorovic, Goran


Re/Max Preferred Realty

Fowler, Gord


Re/Max Vernon

Tomlinson, Maggie


Chestnut Park Real Estate

Gillette, Derek


Re/Max of Nanaimo

Toombs, Darcy


Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Center

Glass-Ashley, Julie


Royal LePage Royal City

Tourney, Joyce


Re/Max Joyce Tourney Realty

Golden, Don-James


Re/Max Grande Prairie

Treitz, Dave


Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty

Grime, Margorie


Royal LePage RCR Realty

Twomey, Christian


Re/Max Landan Real Estate

Hahne, Max


Engel & Volkers Collingwood

Verde, Joy


Re/Max Hallmark Realty

Hargraft, Cam


Main Street Realty

Vesuwalla, Julie


Century 21 Bamber Realty

Hawke, Jim


Re/Max Georgian Bay

Vieira, Jamie


Century 21 Miller Real Estate

Honch, Jesse


Coldwell Banker ResCom Realty

Watt, Dave


EXIT Realty Advantage

Hurrell, Mike


MaxSave Real Estate Services

Westrheim, Amanda


Century 21 Assurance Realty

Kalogeropoulos, Dimitrios


Royal LePage Team Realty

Witane, Vijit


Crimson Realty Point

Kaushal, Sameer


Century 21 Coastal Realty

Wood, D. Kathie


Harvey Kalles Real Estate

Kirstine, Neil


Keller Williams Lifestyles Realty

Zigelstein, Shawn


Royal LePage Your Community Realty


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COVER STORY: TOP 1OO AGENTS KELLY MEEK Main Street Realty Uxbridge, Ont.

Kelly Meek references a quote by writer Douglas Adams to sum up her approach to the real estate industry: “To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” In the competitive Uxbridge market, Meek has focused on creating a marketing campaign to get herself into the public consciousness. “I concentrated on producing my own listings magazine, and I also have ads running on the radio,” she says. “It was a lot of work, but it’s been very beneficial. The marketing plan was my focus, and people do approach me after seeing my ads.” Giving back to charity is highly important for Meek. She feels especially strongly about helping young people, both locally and abroad. For every fee she receives, 5% goes either to Young Life North Durham or to send underprivileged kids to Camp Mini-Yo-We.


Re/Max Westcoast Richmond, BC

Rav Bains has been selling real estate in Greater Vancouver since 1993, during which time he’s earned top producer status within the Re/Max Westcoast office as well as in the industry as a whole. He’s been part of Re/Max’s Chairman’s Club since 2012, and he consistently ranks in the company’s top 100 agents in Western Canada. He’s also been a member of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s Medallion Club since 1997, and has received the organization’s Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.

CHRISTINE BRUNET Oak Realty Elliot Lake, Ont.

Christine Brunet has lived in Elliot Lake since 1989, which gives her a vast knowledge of the area to meet her clients’ needs. Brunet’s number-one priority is customer service.



Re/Max Real Estate (Central) Calgary

With more than $40 million worth of deals closed in 2015, Curtis Atkinson is one of Calgary’s top-producing Realtors and one of the top agents within Re/ Max Western Canada. He’s consistently one of the top-selling agents in the thriving Re/Max Central office and is a multiple winner of the coveted Re/Max Chairman’s Club Award.

SILVIANA BEZINA Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty Georgetown, Ont.

Silvana Bezina’s long and distinguished career in real estate sales includes being among the top 1% of Royal LePage agents in Canada four years in a row, as well as consistently being the company’s numberone agent in Halton Hills, Georgetown and Georgetown South. In addition to this brisk business, Bezina is also a member of the Brampton Real Estate Board and the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce.

JUHAN LEE Re/Max Masters Realty West Vancouver, BC

Juhan Lee believes his ability to speak three languages – English, Korean and Chinese – gives him a distinct advantage over his competition by allowing him to work with a large demographic of clients that other real estate agents simply cannot reach. Additional qualifications also make him an attractive proposition for clients. “I’m also a licensed mortgage broker, so I’m able to offer a different aspect of investment to my clientele,” says Lee. “I can restructure their finance to optimize their profit.” Lee also takes the time to help Korean newcomers settle in Canada. In addition to helping with any language barriers, he introduces people to their new area and gives them any information they might need. In addition to speaking the language, Lee studied in China so understands the Chinese culture well. “It helps my business a lot, especially in the part of B.C. where I work, there’s large Chinese population,” says Lee.

ALEX PRASOULIS iListRealEstate Toronto

Not only is Alex Prasoulis is a commercial and residential real estate broker with more than 14 years of experience, but he’s also a licensed mortgage broker with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, which allows him to provide mortgage and financing solutions to his real estate clients. Prior to starting iListRealEstate in 2010, Prasoulis worked at Prudential and Royal LePage as a broker specializing in residential, commercial and condominium properties in the GTA.


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Re/Max Cornwall Realty Cornwall, Ont.

In the industry for seven years, Nada Kovinich focuses her attention on Cornwall’s residential market and says she enjoys the emotional aspects of working with clients in that segment of the industry. “I attended the University of Ottawa, but couldn’t really find the right career path,” Kovinich says. “I was managing a horse farm at the time, and my boss kept saying I’d do well in real estate. I decided to do the course, and here I am today. I’d never do anything else.” Kovinich believes it’s the way she approaches her job that has helped her become so successful. “I don’t make this job about the money,” she says. “If you make it about the client and not about the money you make, you’re definitely more likely to be successful.”


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COVER STORY: TOP 1OO AGENTS RONALDO SAYAH Keller Williams Solid Rock Realty Ottawa, Ont.

Growing up, Ronaldo Sayah held a lot of different jobs, but he was never truly satisfied. However, a seed was planted when he bought a property with his father. He had an interesting conversation with the agent, who asked Sayah if he’d ever considered being a Realtor. He’s now been a real estate agent for 10 years and won’t be swapping this job for any other. “I’ve found my place,” he says. “I like being able to help people with such an important purchase; it’s very fulfilling.” Being part of a strong team is a huge motivation for Sayah. He also reads a lot of self-growth books and puts his success down to his positive outlook. During every client meeting, he always keeps the bigger picture in mind. “It’s not just about getting one deal – it’s about getting that client and their network for life,” he says. “That helps me keep my game above average. I’m always finding ways to challenge myself to impress clients.”




Re/Max of Nanaimo Nanaimo, BC

Royal LePage Brent Roberts Realty Surrey, BC

After 25 years as one of the top Realtors in his area, Derek Gillette often surprises people when he reveals what he enjoys most about the industry. Other than working with people and being innovative, it’s the competitive aspect that he thrives on. “I am lucky to have some amazing competition in our area that has always pushed me,” he says. And Gillette has done his part to push the industry forward as well. “Over the years, I have had opportunities to start other businesses, like a large international referral network, and to innovate a Real-Time analytic software for my clients, which received many R&D grants,” he says. “The software is now shared by Realtors across Canada.”

Brent Roberts’ favourite deal of 2015 occurred when he got involved with clients who had been made an offer by a developer. Roberts immediately recognized that his prospective clients were under-selling their property. “I said, ‘Guys, come on, this is ridiculously low. I think we can do more,’” Roberts recalls. “They were nervous and were wondering what would happen if they ended up with nobody else to sell to. We wound up with an extra $650,000 in their pocket.”

ARTHUR TKACZYK Century 21 First Canadian Corporation London, Ont.

Arthur Tkaczyk has been with the Century 21 First Canadian Corporation team since 2007 and is among the top 1% of Realtors at Century 21 First Canadian. Tkaczyk also has been awarded the Double Centurion Award at the agency.


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Re/Max House of Real Estate Calgary

Over the last 20 years, Sam Corea has built an enviable reputation for a high level of professionalism in real estate sales, consistently ranking as one of Canada’s (and the world’s) top Re/Max agents. Corea has been involved in more than 3,500 transactions, selling over $1 billion in real estate and has invested countless hours in sales and marketing. He is also a weekly guest expert on CTV Morning Live.

MAGGIE TOMLINSON Chestnut Park Real Estate Port Carling, Ont.

As an Accredited Senior Agent [ASA], Accredited Buyer’s Representative [ABR], and Sellers Representative Specialist [SRS], Maggie Tomlinson offers specialized training, a proven track record and extensive experience to enable her clients to make a smart and economically sound real estate decision. Tomlinson’s trademark technique is to ‘list local … and market global.’ Her portfolio of successful realty transactions speaks for itself – she knows that setting the right price and reaching the largest audience is the key to satisfied customers.


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Re/Max Hallmark Realty Toronto

A 30-year veteran of the industry, Al Sinclair in operates in the GTA, completing approximately 10% of his deals in commercial projects and 90% in residential. So how did he manage to complete a whopping 194 deals last year? One word: exposure. “I have a top-rated TV show on CP24 called Hot Property; it goes out to two million people and is on five times a week,” Sinclair says. “That’s an advantage that no one in the country has. I sell probably two times a week directly from the show.” Sinclair does get noticed when he’s out and about, and he enjoys the interaction it brings. “It means that my marketing is working, and that helps my clients who are trying to sell their homes,” he says. Marketing plays a major part in Sinclair’s strategy, and he’s not afraid to invest a considerable amount of money to boost his profile. “I own my own building in the Beach, which is well-advertised, and I have about 1,000 commercials on TV each month,” he says.


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Dimitrios Kalogeropoulos, also known as ‘Agent DK,’ uses his unique background in business and psychology to assist his clients. Kalogeropoulos has been awarded the Sales Achievement Award, Master Sales Award, Director’s Platinum Award and the Diamond Award. He also won the Chairman’s Club Award in 2015 for being in Royal LePage Canada’s top 1% based on sales earnings.

JORDAN BOYES Boyes Group Realty Saskatoon, Sask.

Jordan Boyes believes it’s his work ethic that differentiates him from the competition. “When I train or coach people, I try to tell them what I do and the hours I work, but I don’t think they actually understand how many hours I work in a day,” he says. His commitment to training and willingness to take advice from others in the industry also helps Boyes continue to improve. He enlisted a coach, Tatianna Londono, who played an important role in helping him with time management skills. The two are now good friends and often run ideas by one another. Boyes’ brokerage has had success with new construction projects and is a becoming a popular choice for developers. “We’re also trying to get the cream-of-thecrop agents here,” he says, “and we’ve had some success in attracting some of the bigger names in our city.”

AMANDA WESTRHEIM Century 21 Assurance Realty Kelowna, BC

Born in Vancouver, Amanda Westrheim now lives year-round in the Okanagan Valley, where she is passionate about the real estate market. She has worked exclusively as a Realtor in the Central Okanagan area for the past 12 years, 11 of which she’s spent as a member of the Century 21 Assurance Realty team.



Lisa Salt and Gord Fowler have more than 60 years of combined real estate experience. Salt previously worked with organizations such as Royal LePage Vernon and Coldwell Banker Spectrum Realty. Fowler has been with Re/Max since 1992 and is also a licensed Realtor in Calgary. To date, the couple has sold more than 3,000 homes in Calgary and North Okanagan.

JASON MACDONALD Royal LePage Team Realty Ottawa

Jason MacDonald focuses on the Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven, where he is chairman of the Barrhaven Business Improvement Association and plays a role supporting the local food bank and legion for veterans. Being part of a strong and supportive team is crucial for MacDonald. “I have a phenomenal team, and that’s the key of a good leader – that he hires people who are smarter and more hardworking than him!”

MARGORIE GRIME Royal LePage RCR Realty Orangeville, Ont.

A real estate expert since 1975, Margorie Grime now serves the markets of Orangeville, Dufferin County, Caledon and Erin, Ont. On average, Grime sells a home every 3.6 days in her area. In 2011, she was awarded Royal LePage Canada’s Chairman’s Club Lifetime Award, recognizing her place in the top 1% of the agency’s sales force for 10 out of 14 consecutive years.


Century 21 Miller Real Estate Oakville, Ont.

Prior to joining the real estate game in 2006, Jamie Vieira owned and operated retail stores in Burlington, Mississauga and Georgetown. Today, he provides real estate services to the Halton region, including his hometown of Oakville.

VIJIT WITANE Crimson Realty Point Toronto, Ont.

Vijit Witane believes it’s his determination to find the ideal solution for every client that differentiates him from the competition. “I believe in a common-sense approach, and if a property is not suitable for a client, I would try to stop them from purchasing it,” he says. Away from work, Witane plays a major role in a Sri Lanka-based charity that helps impoverished schoolchildren and students who aim to attend university.


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CHRISTIAN TWOMEY Re/Max Landan Real Estate Calgary

Christian Twomey thrives on the day-to-day interactions of the real estate industry and makes a point of really getting to know every client. “The people I work with and their stories are what keeps me coming back for more every day,” he says. A 15-year industry veteran, Twomey has a passion for helping people and believes his clients can sense that when they begin to work together. His honest, realistic approach to every deal helps his clients navigate what can be a stressful time. “Whether it’s your first home or your fifth, it’s a major financial transaction and can be quite emotional,” he says. “My clients are counting on me to be a partner and an expert. That is exactly what I am.” Giving back also plays a major role in Twomey’s life. He heads up the planning committee of an organization that has raised more than $2 million for kids with cancer and also travels to El Salvador each year to help build homes for families in need.


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COVER STORY: TOP 1OO AGENTS JOYCE TOURNEY Re/Max Joyce Tourney Realty Regina, Sask.

Joyce Tourney does whatever it takes to look after her clients’ best interests, a strategy that has netted her tons of referrals from satisfied past clients. “So many of my clients refer me to their friends and family,” Tourney says. “Last month, I had a girl call me and say, ‘My mom told me to call you because you’re our family Realtor.’” Tourney believes in always making herself available to clients and says that keeping up with technology has been critically important. When she’s not working, she likes to rejuvenate by getting some sun with a winter break or a trip to the cottage in the summer. “I also go to a lot of meetings and training sessions, so I see a lot of different cities that way,” she says. “Those conventions are a really beneficial, and that’s definitely what new agents should do. You’ll grow more quickly and learn from others’ advances and mistakes.”

MARK D. EVERNDEN Engel & Volkers Calgary Calgary

Mark Evernden entered the real estate industry more than 10 years ago after working in sales and marketing for large worldwide companies such as Pepsi and Colgate Palmolive. Currently, he is president of sales and a private office advisor at international real estate firm Engel & Volkers. Prior to joining Engel & Volkers in 2014, Evernden was senior vice president of sales at Sotheby’s International Realty and a Realtor with MaxWell City Central, where he specialized in residential and commercial investment real estate.

SHAWN ZIGELSTEIN Royal LePage Your Community Realty Toronto

Shawn Zigelstein is a part of the largest real estate company in the York region. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than $200 million in real estate.



Re/Max Action Realty, Fort St. John, BC

Since entering the real estate industry at the age of 20 and starting the first Re/Max team in the Fort St. John area, Trevor Bolin has been named the number-one Realtor by the Northern BC Real Estate Board for 10 years. He’s also the author of an inspirational book, Take Charge and Change Your Life Today, which is based on his own life story.


Re/Max Masters Realty, Vancouver

Shahin Behroyan is among the top five producers in residential sales in Western Canada and in the top 10% of Realtors for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver based on units sold. He’s also in the Top 100 of Re/Max agents worldwide for residential sales, and a member of both the Re/Max Hall of Fame and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver President’s Club.

MATTHEW NICOLAS Royal LePage Dynamic Real Estate Winnipeg

Matthew Nicolas is one of Winnipeg’s top Realtors, achieving the status of top 1% of all agents in the city. He currently is with the Royal LePage Dynamic team, which he joined after serving as a Realtor at Sutton Group for over four years. Nicolas has several real estate projects under his belt, including Winnipeg’s largest condo project to date.

DAVID OEY Harvey Kalles Real Estate Toronto

For the past two years, David Oey has ranked in the top seven Realtors at Harvey Kalles Real Estate. He is an expert on the residential and commercial real estate market of the east, west and central Toronto neighbourhoods. Previously, Oey was a sales representative with Re/Max, where he received several company-wide awards.

GRAHAM MEADER Colliers International Toronto

Focusing mainly on commercial and industrial transactions, Graham Meader believes that having uncommon market knowledge gives him a distinct advantage. “That knowledge is critical, especially in a market that is so product-constrained,” Meader says. “If you look at the volumes of investment sales that took place over the past two years, in 2014, they were half of what they were in 2013, and then they halved again in 2015. So, when everyone is looking for products, if you have something that is off-market, you’re going to be wellpositioned for success.”


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30/03/2016 2:25:12 AM

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Re/Max Hallmark Realty Toronto

For Toronto-based Audrey Azad, whose business is focused on residential sales, staging makes all the difference. “I offer a unique proposition in terms of staging,” she says. “I’ve invested heavily in an inventory and a crew of stagers. I have three trucks and 6,000 square feet of amazing inventory. When people see their homes staged as a showroom magazine house, they are amazed and say, ‘Audrey, if I’d only known.’” An avid golfer, Azad travels south of the border each Christmas for a much-needed golf getaway. “We also have a little nine-hole course near our house, so in the mornings, I get out there at 6 a.m., and by 8 a.m., I’m done, and nobody knows I’ve been golfing,” she says. Azad has noticed the need for Realtors to work harder to get leads now compared to the pre-Internet days – but she welcomes the challenge. “Now, you have to hone your craft,” she says. “You have to offer a valueadd to consumers, because consumers are unbelievably savvy, and that’s fun.”



Re/Max Preferred Realty Windsor, Ont.

Century 21 Energy Realty Fort St. John, BC

Goran Todorovic has been a broker with Re/Max Preferred Realty for more than 13 years, and has consistently been the number-one sales producer. With more than 24 years of experience selling real estate, Todorovic focuses on residential, commercial and industrial properties in the Windsor, Ont., and surrounding area.

Mitch Collins specializes in incomeproducing properties and investment real estate, including custom rental homes, multi-family, commercial and land development plays in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Collins spent six years drilling and serving rigs and also was a portal crane operator.

DALE DEVEREAUX Century 21 Advantage Realty Red Deer, Alta.

In real estate since 1985, Dale Devereaux is proud to have helped so many families with their housing needs. For the last 16 years, Devereaux has donated a turkey dinner for every house he has sold to the Red Deer Food Bank, allowing 14,435 people to enjoy a great meal at Christmas.


NEIL MCINTYRE Re/Max Realty Services Brampton, Ont.

Neil McIntyre puts his success down to his detail-oriented approach and his willingness to make sure that every property is 100% ready before it goes on the market. “Listening to people and paying attention to what their needs and wants are is also important,” he says. “I like to help people come to decisions that cover all their bases.”


Harvey Kalles Real Estate Toronto

Ken Ramsey specializes in houses, condos, lofts and townhomes in the greater Toronto area. He is the first Toronto realtor to be accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Ramsey also has achieved Harvey Kalles Real Estate’s Chairman Club status, which recognizes a select group of top-producing agents within the firm.


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LEVON NAZARIAN Re/Max Infinite Toronto, Ont.

For Levon Nazarian, picking a favourite deal from 2015 is easy: a land development sale he completed for a client in Richmond Hill. “My client bought the land for $1.5 million, and three years later, we sold it for approximately $12 million,” he says. “I was responsible for all of the planning for the deal; it was extremely enjoyable.” Nazarian also received the coveted award for being Re/Max’s number-one commercial broker for all of Canada. Not only did that give him a huge sense of personal pride and satisfaction, but Nazarian says he plans to use the award to boost his already burgeoning profile. His outlook is one that all up-and-comers in the industry would benefit from adopting. “I love what I do, so it doesn’t really feel like work for me,” he says. “It’s extremely enjoyable, so I don’t really need to unwind. I just came back from a business conference in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and my job is so enjoyable that I consider that a vacation.”


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Re/Max Hallmark Realty Toronto

Verde has been a licensed real estate for 26 years and, unlike many of our other top producers, doesn’t believe in advertising – she gets all of her new clients through referrals. She likes to offer a signature personal service and counsels her clients through all stages of design and renovation. Knowledge, sincerity and trust are the hallmarks of Verde’s approach. “My clients’ interests come first,” says Verde, “if a deal isn’t right for my client, it isn’t made. People can sense that.” Being active with charities and the community is highly important to Verde. She delivers meals-on-wheels anonymously every Monday, helped build a house for Housing for Habitat last year and a portion of every sale she makes goes to the Miracle Wish Fund. For the past 4 years, Verde has also been involved with Bladder Cancer Charity, a national charity which aims to address the day-to-day issues of the disease. “Giving back to the community is at the forefront for me,” Verde says.

JACQUI ROSTEK Sutton Group Professional Realty Halifax, NS

Jacqui Rostek works throughout Halifax and surrounding areas, specializing in Bedford and Clayton Park. Her Platinum Group represents the award-winning builder Rooftight, which is a great valueadd for Rostek when working with clients buying new homes.

JASON MUNN EXIT Realty Advantage Fredericton, NB

Jason Munn brings more than 20 years of experience to EXIT Realty Advantage. A consistent award winner for excellence in his field, Munn has found success through honesty, integrity and plain hard work. Prior to joining EXIT Realty Advantage, Munn spent nearly a decade as a sales and leasing consultant for an automotive dealership.



Century 21 Coastal Realty Surrey, BC

Royal LePage Lannon Realty Thunder Bay, Ont.

With some 22 years of marketing experience, Sameer Kaushal has a long list of Century 21 awards stretching back to 2006. A commercial and residential Realtor, Kaushal’s accolades in 2015 alone include being number 44 by production and number 69 by units in all of Canada, as well as a Double Centurion Producer.

Wendy Siltamaki was recognized for a great 2015 when she was named Royal LePage’s second top-performing agent in Ontario. It was a nice surprise for Siltamaki, who attended the gala in Toronto with no idea she was up for an award. “I felt like I put Thunder Bay on the map!” she says. A graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada, Siltamaki has been able to draw on her experiences as a dancer to build a successful real estate career. “I learned a lot of self-discipline and about putting in extra time and effort,” she says. “I really put a lot of the way my life has turned out down to the principles I learned at the school.” Based in Thunder Bay for the past 26 years, Siltamaki thinks it’s the perfect size city for a Realtor to be in. “Business is conducted a little differently, in that we’ve got a wonderful group of Realtors,” she says. “In Thunder Bay, we all know each other, and we all get along quite well regardless of the company we’re at.”


Century 21 In Town Realty Vancouver

With more than 15 years of entrepreneurial experience, Derek Leung has sold upwards of $200 million worth of real estate in the Vancouver area. Leung has maintained official Medallion Club membership with the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board for the last eight consecutive years and has ranked in the organization’s Top 100 Realtors.


KARI CALDER Century 21 Fusion Saskatoon, Sask.

Kari Calder specializes in the Saskatoon and surrounding markets, where she enjoys talking to new and existing clients about the changing market in and around Saskatoon and the process of buying and selling homes. She specializes in helping first-time homebuyers get into the local real estate market, but she also helps seasoned buyers purchase homes in and around the Saskatoon area.


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Re/Max Grande Prairie Grande Prairie, Alta.

Engel & Volkers Victoria Victoria, BC

Don-James Golden services the Wembley, Sexsmith, Grande Prairie and Clairmont areas and specializes in new construction, farm and land, investments, business opportunities, foreclosure properties, luxury homes, residential acreages, development land, horse property, condominiums and international real estate. Golden focuses on providing his clients with the best results and service in the industry by listening carefully to understand their real estate goals, whether they are new to the market or experienced investors.

James LeBlanc has been dedicated to the business and real estate world for the past 20 years. He understands the art of negotiation and respects client confidentiality. With a breadth of strategic marketing and business expertise, LeBlanc has led a variety of companies throughout their life cycles. He also has served on boards of directors for large service-based businesses.

Engel & Volkers Victoria Victoria, BC


Scott Piercy boasts more than two decades of international sales and marketing experience, from British Columbia to Mexico, Costa Rica and Europe. Piercy has been a Gold MLS winner for six consecutive years, which places him in the top 10% of all Realtors in the Greater Victoria area.

Re/Max Masters Realty West Vancouver

Mark Ballard regularly reaches back to his first job in new home construction to help his clients determine the costs and market values of renovation and new home construction; he also works with new home builders and developers to market their land and new homes. He’s also relied on his experience in mortgage financing to teach the subject to Realtors for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Always a top producer, in his first year in the real estate business, Ballard was awarded the Re/Max Masters Rookie of the Year Award for the highest sales for a new agent. He continues to be one of the top producers in the industry, achieving Medallion, Re/Max Platinum and Re/Max Hall of Fame status year after year.


Re/Max Select Realty Vancouver

Ron Basra began his professional real estate career in 1997 at the age of 19. Since then, he’s racked up an impressive number of accolades, including being named a member of the MLS Medallion Club, the Re/Max Hall of Fame, the Re/Max Platinum Club and the Re/Max 100% Club. The key to his success, he says, is treating every transaction like his very own and understanding the many sacrifices people make in order to invest their hard-earned money.


JULIO FLOREZ BRENDA BOWNESS Century 21 Advantage Red Deer, Alta.

Brenda Bowness was born and raised in rural Central Alberta and is a graduate of the Red Deer College Business Program. Her local knowledge has helped her earn Century 21’s coveted Centurion Producer Award for the past two years.


Chestnut Park Real Estate Toronto

Tiffany Sly has earned a reputation as one of Toronto’s top real estate agents. Sly received the Chestnut Park Chairman’s Award in 2015, the President’s Award in 2012 and 2014, and the Director’s Award in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Royal Le Page True North Realty Fort McMurray, Alta.

Julio Florez, who has ranked as one of the top 10 Realtors in Canada with Royal LePage for many years, ascribes his success to his “work ethic, commitment to outstanding customer service and constant learning.” The bilingual Florez positions himself as “not just a Realtor, but a trusted advisor with many years’ experience.”


Alan Newton Real Estate Toronto

As a member of the well-known Kogan real estate family, Toronto native Roland Kogan has real estate in the blood. Over the past 17 years, Kogan has developed his own distinctive approach to servicing the ever-growing demand for luxury properties from both domestic and foreign buyers.


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Engel & Volkers Collingwood Collingwood, Ont.

CHRIS PENNYCOOK Royal LePage Dynamic Winnipeg

Chris Pennycook says he doesn’t consider himself a salesman, but rather prefers to take the approach of an advisor. “My goal is always to get the right house for my client,” he says. “I think it’s because of my approach that almost of all my business comes via referrals.” He also makes a point to treat every client with the same level of attention and importance, regardless of the price of the house they’re buying or selling. “Everyone gets the same service,” he says.

CAM HARGRAFT Main Street Realty Keswick, Ont.

Cam Hargraft bought his first property at the age of 20, when he was still working at a bank. It wasn’t long before he got into real estate full-time, specializing in his hometown of Georgina, Ont. “We still have the old-school values and small-town feel, and that’s something I really love,” Hargraft says. “When you do the right things for people, especially in a small community, it speaks for itself.”

MATT TEEL Royal LePage Community Realty Medicine Hat, Alta.

With 10 years in the industry under his belt, bilingual Medicine Hat native Matt Teel has accrued a slew of awards, including three consecutive Pinnacle Club Awards from the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board for highest achievable sales.


Max Hahne has worked in real estate and fine homebuilding for more than 30 years. In that time, he’s built a deep expertise in waterfront property, not only in Ontario, but as far away as the Caribbean and Central America. Hahne is a member of the Toronto Real Estate Board, the Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors, the Lakelands Association of Realtors, the US National Association of Realtors and the International Real Estate Federation of Agents and Brokers.

SHAWN MCDONALD Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty Nanaimo, BC

Shawn McDonald has more than a decade of experience in the real estate industry and more than 20 years in customer service. That expertise has led McDonald to be recognized six times as one of Realty Executives Inter­ national’s top 10%. He’s also among the top 3% of Royal LePage agents.

CHRIS MESSECAR EXIT Realty First North Barrie, Ont.

Chris Messecar is driven. His insistence on going above and beyond for every client, combined with his dynamic approach to marketing, has made him EXIT Realty North’s top producer since 2012. He’s also been one of REP’s top agents under 35, and has been recognized as the secondhighest grossing agent in Ontario, the seventh-highest in Canada, and one of the top 100 in North America by EXIT Realty.

JIM HAWKE Re/Max Georgian Bay Midland, Ont.

Real estate has always appealed to Jim Hawke, who has now been in the industry for 27 years. He says he enjoys working with a variety of people and gets a lot of satisfaction when sees a client happy after a successful deal. Hawke makes sure to explain things to his clients in a way that’s easy to understand, and his calm approach helps ease their anxiety in stressful situations. “I like to help people through each stage,” he says. “My aim is to help everyone understand every situation. I like to make life easier for everybody.” Hawke likes to stay in touch with former clients – every year, he and his team throw a customer appreciation party for all of their clients. He advises newcomers to the industry to “look for a good team where people will teach you what the business is all about.”


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SARAH ELLIOTT Hanlon Realty St. John’s, Nfld.

Sarah Elliott’s interest in real estate was piqued when she bought her first home at age 23. She hadn’t expected the process to be as complex as it was and realized that many others must face the same problem. She made it her mission to help those people. Thirteen years later, Elliott is still driven by her desire to help. For her, it’s all about building relationships. “I like to keep things simple for clients because things can get overwhelming,” she says. “Each client is different, but I really try to ensure that everyone gets the ultimate experience.” Elliott attributes her success to the great support she’s received from her brokerage, and she invests in constant training to keep up with the latest changes and trends in the industry. She also partners with a mortgage company in order to ease clients through each step of the home-buying process.


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2% Realty Select Edmonton

MIKE RADCLIFFE Century 21 First Canadian London, Ont.

Lucan native Mike Radcliffe has been selling real estate for more than 22 years, 17 of which have been with Century 21 First Canadian, where he has received the Centurion Producer Award numerous times as well as the Centurion Honour Society Award for his outstanding accomplishments.

DANIELLA AITKEN Century 21 Miller Real Estate Oakville, Ont.

Daniella Aitken brings her expertise to bear to help make her customers’ home-buying experience as stress-free as possible. In her years at Century 21, Aitken has racked up numerous awards for her sales abilities. Last year, she was recognized as a 10-Year Centurion Producer and a Double Centurion Producer. Aitken also has been recognized as one of the company’s top producers in Canada.

NEIL KIRSTINE Keller Williams Lifestyles Realty London, Ont.

Although Neil Kirstine had managed his own real estate company for nearly 30 years, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the Keller Williams Lifestyles Realty brokerage. During his 30+ years in the industry, Kirstine has developed a reputation for strong communication skills and dynamic marketing, which has led to many satisfied customers, allowing him to build a brisk business through referrals.


With more than 200 transactions under his belt since 2012, Craig Berke made it into the top 5% of Edmonton Realtors three times. One of his ongoing projects is the development of a marketing and referral program to promote real estate in Manzanillo and Ajijic/Lake Chapala, Mexico, to Canadian buyers.

LYNNE MALLETTE Sutton Group Select Realty London, Ont.

With both parents as Realtors, it’s not surprising that Lynne Mallette got into the industry at a young age. Today, Mallette brings her experience to bear as one of London’s premier agents. She’s won Sutton Group’s Platinum Award for 15 years running, and has been the top agent in an office of 130 agents for five consecutive years.

JULIE VESUWALLA Century 21 Bamber Realty Calgary

With more than 30 years of professional customer service experience, Julie Vesuwalla is the leader of the Home Sweet Home Team, which has been named a top-producing team at Century 21 Bamber Realty for three consecutive years, and was also named a Top 21 Century 21 Canada Team in 2014.


RAYMOND CHIN Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty Ottawa

As the top-producing agent with his company and with Coldwell Banker internationally, Raymond Chin’s focus has been not only about generating sales and transactions, but also giving back to his colleagues by passing on his best practices, tips and habits. To that end, Chin has helped mentor many up-and-coming Realtors in his company.


Royal LePage Premium One Realty Vaughan, Ont.

“There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional,” says Anthony Anichini. But of those qualities, it’s Anichini’s ‘client first’ philosophy that has enabled him to become a top real estate agent. “This means keeping myself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to [clients’] needs,” he says.


Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty Barrie, Ont.

Royal LePage, Vernon BC

Dave Treitz works in the fields of residential, commercial and investment properties and specializes in new construction subdivisions. He is also a registered member of Brookfield Global Relocation Services, a service tasked with helping Canadian military and other government personnel relocate.

Louisa Cochrane specializes in singlefamily residential and strata properties in the North Okanagan market. In 2014, she was recognized as one of Royal LePage’s top 10 realtors in British Columbia. She’s also the recipient of Royal LePage’s Diamond Award, which is the highest award given by the company.


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Sam McDadi Real Estate, Mississauga, Ont.

FRANK METALLO Re/Max Premier Woodbridge, Ont.

Real estate runs in the family for Frank Metallo. He started out working as a ‘greeter’ before obtaining his real estate licence. From there, he started working with his mother, focusing on the condo market. He believes his detail-oriented approach is a key factor in his success. “When people are going through with such a big contract, they want to understand everything that’s going on. I really enjoy helping clients through each step of the process.”

Sam McDadi spent two years working as a financial analyst for two large multinational companies before discovering his true calling as a real estate agent. Setting up his own independent shop has allowed McDadi the opportunity to continually grow his business while ensuring his clients receive the highest level of service. As a direct result of his efforts, he continues to be one of the top-ranking Realtors in the country.


Re/Max Crest Realty, Vancouver

Stuart Bonner has been selling real estate on Vancouver’s Westside for more than 37 years and is consistently recognized as one of the top 100 Re/Max associates in Canada. He’s also been named as a life member of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s MLS Medallion Club and a member of the Re/Max Hall of Fame.



Re/Max Sabre Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC

Re/Max Masters Realty, West Vancouver

Before joining Re/Max Sabre Realty, Don Butt was both a licensed agent and a professional real estate appraiser. After completing more than 4,000 appraisals in the Tri-Cities, Butt has become recognized as one of the greatest authorities on local housing values in the industry, which provides him with the knowledge and confidence to be an exceptional negotiator on behalf of his clients.

Up-to-the minute on current information and ready to guide his clients through the real estate market, Jim Chen is a Re/Max Chairman’s Club member, 2014 Medallion Club member and YU Residences sales director.


Re/Max Little Oak Realty, Abbotsford, BC


Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty, Milton, Ont.

Joseph Brazeau grew up in rural Milton, and his extensive knowledge of the area, combined with his sophisticated information technology and business skills, is an invaluable resource for any buyer or seller. Brazeau’s team has been named in the Royal LePage Chairman’s Club 10 times since 1999.

In 2003, Andrew Bracewell directed his passion toward real estate and has since had the pleasure of assisting hundreds of people in achieving their real estate goals. After five years in the industry, Bracewell established his own Personal Real Estate Corporation to better serve his clients. He has been recognized year after year as one of the best agents in the industry and is respected by his clients and peers for his straightforward and honest approach.

LINDA ANDERSON Re/Max Charlottetown Realty Charlottetown, PEI

Linda Anderson has been in the real estate industry for 30 years, and she’s spent last 16 of them based on Prince Edward Island. Going from zero contacts on the island to being a top producer in 16 years is quite the achievement, although those who know and work with Anderson aren’t surprised. She puts her heart and soul into her work and is an advocate for thorough planning. She also has a great reputation for taking care of her clients and making sure they’re protected through each stage of the process.

DARCY TOOMBS Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Center Newmarket, Ont.

Darcy Toombs obtained his Ontario real estate licence in 2005 and has been with Coldwell Banker ever since. Serving the Northern York Region and South Simcoe, he takes pride in delivering outstanding results for residential and commercial clients via a detailed, systemized approach.

DAVE WATT EXIT Realty Advantage Fredericton, NB

Dave Watt’s success in the real estate industry over the last eight years can be attributed to his hard work, dedication and honesty. Active in the community, Watt is a member of the board of directors for the York Care Centre, as well as the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.


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Re/Max Real Estate Services Vancouver

D. KATHIE WOOD Harvey Kalles Real Estate Toronto

Although Kathie Wood primarily focuses on residential sales in Forest Hill, Allenby, Lawrence Park, Rosedale and Bloor and Yorkville, she also has worked successfully on many commercial real estate transactions, and also has her Commercial Real Estate designation from the Toronto Real Estate Board. Wood works closely with her husband, Herman Wood, who specializes in all aspects of commercial real estate.

Bob Bracken’s real estate business is focused on helping people buy and sell investment properties such as apartment buildings, development sites, nursing homes, and duplex, triplex, four-plex and other multi-family residential properties. Bracken puts a priority on providing sellers and buyers with all of the information they need to confidently make informed decisions on investment real estate.


Royal LePage Martin-Liberty Realty Brandon, Man.

Brian Baker has been selling real estate since 1998. He is the recipient of the National Chairman’s Club Award, the Manitoba Top 10, Lifetime Award of Excellence and the Diamond Award. He also has served as president of the Brandon Real Estate Board and a director of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce.


MIKE HURRELL MaxSave Real Estate Services Prince George, BC

Mike Hurrell has won MLS awards in six of the past seven years for sales volume. In 2014, the independent agent was the top market producer for the Prince George area, selling more homes than any other agent from any company.


Core Assets Real Estate Toronto

With more than $100 million of sales in the past five years, it’s no surprise that Adam Brind, the managing partner and broker of record for Toronto’s Core Assets Real Estate, is ranked in the top 1% year-overyear among Toronto Real Estate Board members. Brind takes responsibility for the company’s marketing, recruitment and brand growth, but somehow also finds time to contribute to media outlets such as The Globe and Mail and Toronto Life.


Core Assets Real Estate Toronto

Working as a licensed real estate broker for 10 years and experienced in multiple aspects of the industry, Paul Siksna brings a vast amount of knowledge to the table. With more than $100 million in sales under his belt, his value in the real estate transaction extends beyond the sale itself, as clients have access to his group of trusted professionals.


Re/Max Crest Realty Vancouver

STEVE FLEMMING Re/Max Village Realty Sharon, Ont.

After leaving the automotive industry, Steve Flemming was considering his options. He bumped into a couple of friends who had gone into real estate, they both spoke highly of their careers. His decision was made. That was 10 years ago, and Flemming is definitely happy with his move into real estate. “It’s challenging, but I’m believer that you get out of it what you put in,” he says.

South African Mike Rampf arrived in Canada 22 years ago. Working in Vancouver’s crowded residential market, Rampf believes his marketing skills – he completed a business and marketing degree before entering the industry – are key to helping him stand out from the crowd. “I wanted to learn how to market before learning how to become a Realtor,” he says.

MICHAEL ST. JEAN St. Jean Realty Hamilton, Ont.

A Hamilton native from a prominent real estate family, Michael St. Jean is highly experienced in residential resale, new home and condominium sales. This varied background has provided him with a solid foundation for servicing the local market.


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Royal LePage Real Estate Services Toronto

CHRIS CARTWRIGHT Main Street Realty Newmarket, Ont.

Chris Cartwright specializes in residential deals areas across the York region, including Toronto, Newmarket, Bradford and Simcoe. Before getting into real estate, Cartwright worked at Dell for 12 years, first in sales and then as a brand manager. He sees that time as a perfect apprenticeship for his now-blossoming career as a real estate agent. “I put together a 20-point plan that explains what I do for my clients – a lot of the focus is on online technology,” he says. “I do virtual tours and post those online. Social media is also a major focus.”

Jethro Seymour has been finding homes for Toronto families since 2007. The lifelong Toronto resident focuses his energy on Midtown Toronto, specifically the Davisville and Leaside area. Seymour has been honoured by his employer numerous times, twice winning the Gairdner Award for his division, which recognizes the top 1% of Royal LePage agents in Canada.


Royal LePage Hallmark Realty Saskatoon, Sask.

With more than a decade under his belt at Royal LePage Hallmark and almost five years in volunteer positions with the Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors, Mike Boychuk is a high-profile member of the local Realtor community. A licensed trader in farm and acreage properties, Boychuk also was a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association in 2013.

Re/Max Crest Realty, Vancouver

Lifelong Vancouver resident Michelle Comens first entered the Vancouver real estate market almost 20 years ago. Since that time, her sales record resulted in her being among the top 3% for sales in 2014 and number two in sales for the Re/Max Metro Group in 2014.

Since becoming a full-time agent in 2006, Steve Arruda has become an expert in his field, impressing clients with his extensive knowledge of Toronto and the home buying and selling process. Arruda has collected positive experiences with first-time buyers and sellers, long-term clients, serious investors and builders. His excellent work ethic and sales skills have earned him the Century 21 Top Producer Award, multiple Centurion Awards and also the coveted Grand Centurion Award.

Coldwell Banker ResCom Realty Prince Albert, Sask.

Re/Max Crest Realty, North Vancouver


Century 21 Regal Realty Toronto



Joe Campbell is located in North Vancouver, but he frequently sells homes throughout Greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Since beginning his career in 1990, Campbell has sold more than 800 homes. His exemplary sales record is a reflection of his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, which have garnered him several awards.


JULIE GLASS-ASHLEY Royal LePage Royal City Guelph, Ont.

Julie Glass-Ashley regularly uses her master’s degree in social work and past experience guiding people through career changes to provide comprehensive service as a real estate agent. In 2013, Glass-Ashley received the President’s Gold Award as one of the top 10% of Royal LePage agents across Canada. As a Master Accredited Senior Agent, she’s also one of an exclusive few agents equipped to handle the unique needs of seniors.

A Prince Albert native with experience in construction and insurance, Jesse Honch not only knows the local market, but also has experience with properties from start to finish. He has been a licensed Realtor for more than six years and is the winner of the Coldwell Banker Diamond Society Award and a two-time member of the International President’s Circle.


Royal LePage Martin-Liberty Realty Brandon, Man.

Carla McLean is a three-time winner of the Royal LePage Diamond Award. She counts among her areas of expertise multi-residential, condominiums, commercial, farms, vacant land, acreages, land development, apartment buildings, hobby farms, rural, income properties, relocations, mobile homes, firsttime buyers, agricultural, cottages, military/ RCMP transfers and restaurant business.


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When Kathleen speaks



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Real estate wunderkind Kathleen Black is one of Toronto’s foremost industry motivators. Here, she shares with REP her formula for building relationships in an increasingly digital world IN TODAY’S hyper-digitalized world, finding that subtle harmony between cuttingedge systems and interpersonal connection can be a challenge. Team-building and real estate business coach Kathleen Black has developed a process that streamlines the daily rigours of real estate life with her unique brand of personal and professional development. Having put in years in the industry refining her model, she sat down with REP to look back at a career devoted to helping others achieve success. For Black, the word success means some-

business does require an element of natural talent,” Black says. “Personality profiling is an invaluable tool when you’re recruiting new salespeople to your team. You want to avoid making long-term mistakes, and our process specifically focuses on avoiding these types of oversights.” Team-building is only one element of Black’s vast repertoire of development areas – her service offering also includes sales systems, conversion techniques, mindset coaching and performance enhancement for agents.

“If we dare towards an ideal, we uncover the truth of our capabilities. In this lies the future of performance – a holistic flow of integrity, achievement and potential” thing altogether different than it does for most. While many view revenue numbers or perhaps strong relationships or even the ‘right’ attitude as the pinnacle of achievement, Black believes a happy union of all those criteria is the key to unlocking potential. Her vantage point on professional development is tantamount to that of an architect blueprinting a skyscraper, yet she still retains a strong foundation in that human touch needed for any service industry, especially one as personal as real estate. “We forget sometimes that growing your

Building a better team The insights Black offers come from hard-won experience: She spent the early part of her career selling real estate before transitioning into coaching. Black earned the 100% Award from Re/Max in her very first year in the business, and won the Platinum Award every year after that, so it’s safe to say the implementation of her Elite Business System into her own practice was a winner. Agents exposed to her system are selling exponentially more real estate and duplicating that success with multiple team


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members – even with the often dreaded ‘pay per click’-style leads. While systems are integral to workflow and establishing a rhythm throughout the business cycle, Black stresses the urgency of a holistic, personal touch to every client challenge. In other words, cookie cutters can stay in the kitchen. “Most of my clients want to travel and have more time with family, instead of just selling real estate 24/7,” she says. “You know, everyone wants systems, but in the end, it’s the mindset that holds them back. For many of my elite clients, people who have surpassed the $250k to $500k numbers, sure, the right systems were in put in place and working, but 99% of the time, it’s the mindset that was stopping them from breaking through to the next level. That’s why it’s interesting that sometimes the biggest gains are made with mindset coaching as much as business systems.” These are the types of insights that can only be conceived through a determined effort to customize each program to an agent’s specific profile. A degree in psychology has definitely paid dividends for Black


Spreading the word When she’s not on the front lines coaching, Black takes to the road to spread her message with the industry across North America

“At the heart of all achievement lies a desire to uncover the best of our potential” in that regard, and the concept can even be applied to group sessions as well as one-on-one consulting. “Our Legacy Consulting program is ideal for agents with a vision or who are interested in starting a team,” she says. “But, as we get into our Lifestyle Consulting or Mastery Consulting programs, the more advanced programs, we’re talking about understanding and building teams of people – or how to successfully manage teams of people. We don’t just look at things like recruiting, hiring and organizational structures, but also the lead-generation techniques of a profitable team.”


through keynote speaking engagements. A strong believer in universal insight-sharing and transparency, she is a constant advocate for improving the optics of the real estate industry as a whole. “Our industry is viewed with some skepticism at times, because were often muddying the playground,” she says. “Our reputation as an industry can be improved if we develop a playbook work together as an industry.” While considering the real estate industry as a whole is part of her responsibility as an industry leader, Black also speaks at length on real-time revenue and market-share acquisi-

tion. Encompassing everything from content tools, online lead generation and conversion systems to the daily practices of successful sales teams, her strategy has led to exponential growth for most of her clients. Some have even doubled or quadrupled their sales and increased operating efficiencies so substantially that they have climbed to number one in their respective regions. Today’s digital world can certainly be a confusing, intimidating and seemingly insurmountable obstacle for many real estate entrepreneurs – especially for industry leaders or young professionals who make decisions on a daily basis that can lead to long-lasting results. In such cases, having the wise counsel and guiding principles of an industry advocate are not just a luxury –they may in fact be a necessity. Perhaps that’s why there will always be room in the industry for business-building consultants such as Kathleen Black. Every top gun needs a co-pilot – and in that respect, she has certainly soared. REP


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Brent Roberts #1 With Your Referrals

Serving The Lower Mainland of British Columbia for over 25 Years “Working with you was as about as much stress as watching an afternoon football game at the bar.” - Dan K “ You made what should be very stressful, selling a home, so easy. We are so thankful to you, Brent, and your whole team.” - Vince R

Referral Hotline 1-800-220-0202 Office 604-220-0000 Email brent@brentroberts.com www.brentroberts.com

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Social hour Working with a team and using social media have allowed Goran Todorovic to be on top in the Windsor market

IN THE nearly 30 years Goran Todorovic has been in the real estate industry, he’s seen a lot of changes. Where it was once possible for a single agent to successfully do all the work needed to be at the top of their game, that’s not the case today. The Internet and social media have changed the way agents do business, and Todorovic and his team at Re/Max Preferred Realty in Windsor have embraced the change. That team is also a large part of Todorovic’s success, which is why he refers to himself as a team leader, overseeing a powerful team that continues to make his agency one of the top in the Windsor area. The team is made up not just of sales representatives, but also of people who support their efforts and to use social media to stay ahead of everyone else. “The selling of real estate has changed tremendously over the last few years,” Todorovic says. “One cannot be a successful agent today without a team behind you. The team has allowed me to expand my business.” In fact, Todorovic has seen business and income triple over the last five years. Real estate in the WindsorEssex County area is showing a healthy growth. Home prices are affordable compared to many places in Canada, and certainly compared to nearby Toronto. The average home price in Windsor in 2015 was $183,692, and in the first months of 2016, the average price was $207,000, according to Todorovic.

His team has allowed Todorovic to be consistently ranked as one of Re/Max’s top sales producers, and he’s won the RE/Max Chairman Award and Re/Max Platinum Award.

Keeping up with technology Todorovic can’t stress enough how important it is for agents to leverage social media and use it to be in constant contact with clients. “We are on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and we use other social media as well such as Instagram,” he says. “You need to be everywhere [on social media] to be seen as a force to be reckoned with.” Todorovic adds that mobile technology is important, too – today’s homebuyers, he says, prefer to keep in touch with their Realtor via text. “We have found that millennial homebuyers prefer that you text them instead of calling them,” he says. “Texting someone will produce a greater and faster response than an email or a phone call.” However, he says that social media and mobile technology also put unique pressures on agents. Because communication is instantaneous, homebuyers expect an agent to answer questions and provide information immediately. “They want to go online and immediately get interior photos of the home, get a video and information about the property,” he says. “You have to be much savvier than you once were ... and you will work 12- to

“You should not be throwing listings onto Facebook just to get likes from your friends. You need to be an individual in this industry because clients want to engage with an individual, not a robot”

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COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Part of the reason Team Goran has been so successful in the Windsor market is that they take the time to get involved in their local community. Team Goran is the major corporate sponsor of the Heart & Stroke Soup Kitchen fundraiser, which is coming up at the end of March. Todorovic himself is also the president of Beach Grove Golf & Country Club, the premier golf and country club in the area. In addition, he has served on many community and charitable boards and committees, including as president of the Windsor Essex County Association of Realtors. 13-hour days. There is no downtime because today’s client expects you to be able to answer their text and queries right away, be it at 7:30 in the morning or 10:30 at night.” And because today’s home buyer can shop around for agents with a simple online search, buyers are very willing to switch agents if they believe they are not getting what they want. Todorovic says an agent today has to use social media to build trust, adding that too many agents make the mistake of using social media as a listing service instead of demonstrating to potential clients why they should be doing business with you. At the end of the day, he says, people still want to have a relationship with a person. “Don’t just use Facebook or Twitter to market and showcase your properties,” he says. “Show the client who you are. Show them that you go to the park with your kids, that you play sports and are active in the community. You should not be throwing listings onto Facebook just to get likes from your friends. You need to be an individual in this industry because clients want to engage with an individual, not a robot.” REP


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29/03/2016 10:49:12 AM



Going global Canadian brokers found value in the connections they made at a recent global real estate conference CANADIAN MEMBERS of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, or LeadingRE, were well represented at the network’s recent annual conference at the


Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, which attracted 2,500 top real estate professionals from 25 countries. The event focused on a range of topics impacting real estate profes-

sionals and consumers in today’s market, covering topics like quality recruiting, developing leadership talent, ways to be more profitable and building a culture that inspires exceptional performance and customer loyalty. The event was open only to members of LeadingRE, an invitation-only global community of high-quality, independent real estate companies. We talked to several Canadian real estate agents who attended the event to find out what they took away from the conference. Here’s what they had to say.


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The week following the event, we were able to send a referral to a member in Winnipeg whom we made a personal connection with at the conference.

How did sessions address the key areas most companies focus on every day: recruiting, listing and managing offices? Michael Kalles, broker, Harvey Kalles Real Estate, Toronto: The substance of the program was incredible. For recruiting, we focused on culture and ways to attract and grow our people to create an environment that creates both financial success and work-

What were the major benefits of attending the event? Kate Archer, broker/vice president, Bowes & Cocks Limited, Peterborough, Ont.: For those of us who are ‘in the trenches’ every day, it’s so valuable to see things from a broader point of view and to hear what other successful people are doing to innovate, create and grow. Without question, the event was a highlight of my professional year. LeadingRE’s director of business development, Sheila Barr, commented further on what distinguishes this conference. “Everything about this conference is a ‘wow’ – from

“We are all market-leading companies on the local level, but being able to round out our services with global connections and resources is invaluable” Kevin Skipworth, Dexter Associates life balance. In terms of listings, we learned ways to convey our value to consumers through storytelling, new technologies and marketing strategies. Relating to office management, we explored innovative ideas for inspiring loyalty, operating efficiently and creating smart offices that are welcoming and wellequipped.

LeadingRE focuses on being both local and global. How was that in evidence at the conference? Kevin Skipworth, broker, Dexter Associates, Vancouver: We are all market-leading companies on the local level, but being able to round out our services with global connections and resources is invaluable. The conference was a very tangible way to experience the power of this global network, as we engaged with other members from around the world, learned about what’s happening in different markets and learned how to connect with international clients.

How did it help with branding versus national franchise competitors? Ron Stader, broker/owner, CIR Realty, Calgary: Our priority is on building our own brand and reinvesting in our company and our market, so the franchise model just doesn’t make sense for us. At the conference, we learned that today’s consumer gravitates toward local, authentic brands, but that they also want to work with people who understand the global marketplace and have a worldwide reach. The unique character of our companies, paired with LeadingRE’s resources, is a real differentiator against franchises.

the production of the main-stage events to the calibre of the keynote speakers to the hospitality events in a five-star setting,” Barr says. “But without a doubt, the most remarkable part is the true sense of community our members feel and comment on from the moment they arrive. We often hear that the level of collaboration is unlike any other industry event. Whether first-time attendees or conference veterans, they all appreciate being part of something meaningful.” REP

LeadingRE’s next major event is its Global Symposium in Amsterdam, October 23–25. The 2017 Conference Week will ® return to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, February 27– March 5, 2017. In addition to its conferences, LeadingRE supports its community with a global referral network, professional development programs and connections to opportunities worldwide. If you are the leader of an independent company and would like to learn more about membership, contact Sheila Barr at sbarr@leadingre.com or 312-361-8632, or visit www.leadingre.com. ®


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29/03/2016 10:50:30 AM



Not such an easy sell A downtown Toronto condo in a sought-after neighbourhood should have sold instantaneously – but there were a few unexpected issues

IT’S NO secret that Toronto is experiencing a condominium boom. In the downtown core, new properties are going up every day, and certain neighbourhoods are highly coveted by buyers, especially those in or near the much-vaunted Yorkville and Rosedale areas, near the iconic Yonge-Bloor intersection. So when a condominium unit came onto the market in an established building just step away from Yonge and Bloor, you’d expect that unit to move within days. That’s certainly what Colton Rice, a sales representative with Forrest Hill Real Estate, thought when he took on the property. “When it originally hit the market, everyone was feeling good about the property and location, and I figured it would sell quickly,” he says. While the unit was located within walking distance of the high-end


shopping district of Yorkville, close to excellent schools and connected to Toronto’s subway system, it was competing against many newer and more luxurious properties in the area. Still, the price was competitive, and, combined with the location, that should have made the 920-square-foot unit sell quickly. But Rice soon discovered a few challenges.

layer of PEX pipe with brass fittings. When it came onto the market, it was seen to as an excellent alternative to traditional copper pipes and fittings. It was quick and easy to install, speeding up building times and reducing the number of plumbers needed on a building site. The problem is that Kitec corrodes quickly and fails. In 2005, Kitec was recalled (a class-action lawsuit is currently pending), and it was recommended that existing Kitec plumbing and fittings in homes and condominiums be replaced with traditional copper pipes and fittings. This requires getting behind walls and into floors, and expensive project for anyone. “It is an insurance nightmare,” Rice says, “and any lawyer who knows about Kitec will tell a buyer to walk away immediately.” There were no current problems with the pipes, and the building had plans in the works to replace the Kitec plumbing, according to Rice. But the question remained: What could be done to make the unit attractive to potential buyers who might be turned off when told about the plumbing issue?

An unexpected plumbing issue The biggest of those challenges was the discovery of Kitec plumbing in the building. Kitec was a popular alternative to traditional copper piping, and was used in some new home and condominium constructions in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Kitec plumbing uses a flexible aluminum pipe that runs between an inner and outer

A bright, modern space What was apparent to Rice was that unit offered many advantages to a buyer. In addition to its excellent location and attractive price, the space itself had plenty of potential. However, when Rice took on the property, the interior reflected the design aesthetic popular at the time the building


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ADDRESS 8 Park Road, Unit 2906 Toronto


LISTING DATE February 8, 2016


SOLD DATE February 22, 2016

SOLD PRICE $582,000

STYLE 920-square-foot condo with parking space, storage locker and 24-hour concierge

BEDROOMS 2 + den


was constructed. While not unattractive, the aesthetics didn’t fit with what condominium buyers are looking for today. “We decided that we wanted to do everything we could to really change the property, to renovate without having to touch the walls or the plumbing, which would need the condo board’s approval,” Rice says. “What we really wanted was to freshen the unit and modernize it. And if you look at what the unit looked like before, the change is dramatic. “What we did was change the look to a modern, clean one,” he continues. “We changed the countertops in the kitchen, which had become dated. They were stylish some 10 years ago, but they did not reflect the aesthetic of today’s buyers. So we changed them, updated the old range to an induction range, and added new sinks and faucets.” The existing flooring in the master bedroom was also updated and replaced with a new hardwood floor, and new fixtures were added to the bathroom. “What people wanted was something modern and new, and since this was an existing building, what it really came down to was to highlight the space and the features and location that would make it attractive to a buyer,” Rice says. “So when people walk in, what they discover is that while the building may be close to 10 years old, it looks and feels brand new, fresh and inviting.” After the work was done and Rice placed the unit on the market with its new look and competitive price, he was able to pull in 40 showings for the property within three days. An offer was made on the fourth day very near the asking price.




Average price


Average price

Halton Region





Peel Region





City of Toronto





York Region





Durham Region





Other areas





Rice says that once people saw the unit and were told that the building’s property management and board were going to replace the plumbing, and that more plans were in place for upgrades to the building, the resistance he expected to encounter over the plumbing issue was quickly nullified. “You have to remember that his is a property at Yonge and Bloor in Toronto, and it came with a locker and parking, which are much sought after in this area,” Rice says. “And the reality is that the Kitec plumbing is being dealt with, so once that issue is resolved, you are entering a property that is being modernized and, as a result, will only increase in value.” REP

Source: Toronto Real Estate Board


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Each office independantly owned & operated

Caleb has exhibited entrepreneurial skills as early as he can remember. At age 5, he started buying, fixing and reselling toys for a profit. At age 16, he began importing vehicles from Japan for resale in his hometown of Calgary. Following High School, Caleb took a Real Estate course and immediately knew this was the right career choice for him. It was a career that would use his strengths, negotiating skills, online expertise, work ethic and love for meeting client needs. Since starting with RE/MAX Landan in January of 2010, Caleb has always strived to provide his clients and colleagues with the utmost respect, professionalism and integrity. After a year in the business, Caleb’s mother Jeannette, decided to retire from nursing and team up with Caleb. “Caleb’s father and myself flipped many homes over the years, so it was a natural transition for Caleb - he new the process, knew the ups and downs - so it made sense that he would develop a love for real estate.” Caleb’s goal from the beginning was to create a thriving Real Estate business and provide “above and beyond” service. “It’s been 6 years since I first

started with RE/MAX. The average Calgarian moves every 4-5 years. The substantial amount of business that comes directly from our past clients and referrals only proves that we are successful with what we do, and our clients value our expert services.” Because almost 1/3 of Calgary residential sales are condos, Caleb attained his Certified Condominium Specialist designation to ensure that any condo purchase or sale would go smoothly, and his clients would be well informed and educated throughout the entire process. Caleb is involved in many charitable and professional organizations, believing that giving back is a key to his success. He devotes a portion of every deal to the Children’s Miracle Network. Since the beginning of 2013, Caleb has been a board member on the Calgary and Area RE/MAX Group Advertising Committee. Caleb’s portfolio focuses on online and active advertising and brand recognition. Online marketing and presence is crucial to the Real Estate industry. “Online marketing is the trend, with more than 95% of people starting their home search online. Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram

Caleb ReiCh,


or Google optimization, we need to stay ahead of the trends”. Though online presence is necessary, the personal touch is still the mainstay of the business. Caleb endeavours to stay on top of the industry through education, research and working hard to meet client needs. Caleb’s integrity, hard working ethic, and professional demeanour has earned him a stellar reputation in the Real Estate industry. His excellent negotiation skills have become a valuable asset to both buyers and sellers. He believes he’s not above doing anything to help sell a home: whether it’s moving furniture for staging, cleaning, painting, dog sitting - whatever it takes to sell his listings. Caleb and his team have consistently been Top Producers year over year at RE/MAX Landan, a brokerage of roughly 90 Realtors. Their team has earned 3rd and 4th place overall in the Top 15. They have also been recognized in the Top 100 in Western Canada, based on 6400 Realtors. “Our team has developed a unique approach that has proven to be successful in the Calgary and Area Real Estate market”. Caleb Reich is the right agent for any market!

& jeannette ReiCh



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29/03/2016 10:53:08 AM




From the tech trenches at IBM, Phil Soper rose to become one of the most influential people in Canadian real estate – three years in a row 2016




This year, Soper landed on the Swanepoel Power 200, a list of the most influential people in Canadian real estate, from corporate and brokerage executives to thought leaders. It was Soper’s third straight appearance on the list

“It’s a reflection of the hundred-yearold company I’m at the helm of. I feel I’m accepting the honour on behalf of the 17-18,000 people who work here”

From 2004 to 2007, Soper also served as chair of Prestige Resorts & Destinations, which works with the meeting planning community to provide site selection resources via a global network of high-quality resorts, hotels and destination management companies


BECOMES BROOKFIELD’S CEO In 2003, Soper was promoted to CEO. He directed the restructuring of Brookfield into a publicly traded enterprise and expanded into multi-brand operations encompassing Royal LePage, Prudential Canada and Via Capitale. He was also an early adopter in leveraging social media channels to enhance his firm’s effectiveness and communications reach





GOES TO IBM Immediately after college, Soper found work with tech pioneer IBM, where he stayed for more than 15 years. Over the course of a decade, he worked in systems engineering, systems integration, sales and sales management, and product management



At the turn of the millennium, Soper made the leap into real estate, serving as VP and general manager of Brookfield Global Relocation Services, the world’s second-largest provider of personnel mobility services

After more than a decade at IBM, Soper moved into a role managing the company’s IT consulting arm “At the time, the group I managed was Canada’s largest information technology consulting and implementation business” Phil Soper left the University of Alberta – where he was a pole vaulter on the varsity track team – with a bachelor of commerce degree in management science “I later successfully completed the Ivey Executive Program in 1999 at Western University”


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29/03/2016 10:53:25 AM



GOING FOR THE GOLD Shayna Nackoney-Skauge channeled her success as an Olympic athlete into a thriving real estate career

TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email repmag@kmimedia.ca

WHEN SHAYNA Nackoney-Skauge describes herself as “a bit of a fish,” she’s not just speaking metaphorically. In fact, the Winnipeg native is such a natural-born swimmer that she was forced to learn synchronized swimming after completing all levels of traditional swim lessons by age 7. She made the national team at age 14 and proceeded to compete in the 2004 Summer Olympics. “We placed fourth, which is the most heartbreaking position you could


Age when NackoneySkauge earned a spot on Canada’s national team


possibly imagine,” she says. “But it was still a great experience.” She followed that up with a stint in Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show in Las Vegas before becoming a Realtor – which she enjoys for many of the same reasons she loved synchronized swimming. “It’s not really a job; it’s more of a lifestyle,” she says. “Similar to being an athlete, you have to be at it 24/7. It’s always different, always active and not just about being behind a desk all day.”


Years spent performing in Cirque du Soleil’s “O” in Las Vegas


Bursary amount Nackoney-Skauge donates to an athlete family every year


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Top 100 Agents: The top performers in the real estate industry

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