Michelle Kam is an award-winning real estate broker operating out of Toronto, Ontario. With more than a decade of industry-related experience, Michelle graduated with honors from York University before accepting an opportunity with Re/Max- the number one Canadian real estate organization. Recognizing her passion for the real estate landscape, Michelle focused on urban markets and specialized in condos, lofts, and townhomes. Through her dedication and commitment to her craft, Michelle was able to carve out a niche for herself in high volume sales and throughout her career worked for various agencies including Concord Alex and Baker Real Estate.
Having fostered an extensive client base, Michelle eventually established her own brokerage and cultivated a leading team of agents, brokers, and administrators. After running City Accord Realty Inc. for over ten years, Michelle Kam met with Jamie Johnston, Owner of Re/Max Condos Plus, and decided to once again join the Re/Max brand.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I consider myself an early riser, so I like to hit the gym first thing in the morning. I also believe that regular exercise fuels productivity and clears your mind for the day. Once I am in the office I tend to my appointments with clients and then the later part of my day is usually spent preparing contracts and listings.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I would say that my ideas and the ideas that are presented by my colleagues, are a collaborative effort. We join forces to create ideas and then work to develop a comprehensive plan of action to carry them through.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am deeply excited by the advancements in technology. I am interested in the application of chat GPT for the marketing areas of real estate. I have been using it here and there for some of the marketing of the properties I have, and it has been very fruitful. I would have to say technology is completely evolving the current landscape.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
I am fairly visual, so I find that keeping a list of my responsibilities keeps me on schedule. I try my best to prioritize my tasks and when I can, I delegate work to ensure that everything gets completed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The most important advice I would give to my younger self would be to know that everything works out over time. I would tell myself to not stress about minor details, and instead look at the bigger picture. I would also remind myself that customer service is key to long-term success. Sometimes if you get caught up by the day to day work it can be overwhelming.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
There really isn’t a right or wrong time to purchase a property. The market is always changing and so is your personal financial situation. Each individual has a “right” time to buy which suits their timeline and goals. Trust the help of experts and do your research.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
At the risk of sounding repetitious, it is so especially important in this industry to be purposeful and persistent with your follow-up. It is the way to grow and be successful.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
When I feel overwhelmed or unfocused, I usually take a break from whatever it is that I am doing, and I will either go for a walk or just listen to music to clear my mind. I just leave whatever the issue is alone for a bit until I feel refreshed and ready to make productive decisions.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
It is essential to manage all of your responsibilities openly and honestly. If you are unsure, then take the time to circle back to your clients and have a discussion with them. Clients do not appreciate receiving
an answer for the sake of receiving an answer, they want to understand their options.
I would also stress the importance of a follow-up. One must exhibit integrity and display this value in every aspect of their business. It is how I managed to amass many of the contacts over the years. When you have good connections, you tend to get products or real estate that some people may not have access to, which in turn gives you a competitive edge.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I would have to say that it is particularly important to make sure you review your paperwork. If you have people helping to assist you, make sure you review what they are doing, too. That is something I have learned the hard way.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have seen a lot of my clients do well with short term rentals. They purchase a property and then rent it out fully furnished as short term stays. The RIO seems to be the best if you do not mind managing it, but there are a lot of companies now which can provide that service to you if you do not wish to manage it on your own.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I currently use chat GPT. We are using chat GPT for marketing and creating property information. The other software application that we use quite often is MailChimp for newsletter management, or email marketing management.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
I cannot say that I have any books or podcasts that provide value to me. I would say, we have data from the real estate board that we get, which I read and digest. But in terms of industry magazines, or newspapers, the information published is not always accurate. I do not pay much attention because the news is typically an overall picture, which does not apply to the way we do business. Whereas with my brokerage, we service a niche marketplace in specific areas. We work in certain pocket neighborhoods, and these pockets do not necessarily get affected by other things that are happening. The information is not accurate for the communities that we serve in our niche market. Which is the reason I follow the data that is provided to us by the Real Estate Board which is much more helpful than a generic blanket of general information.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
That is a tricky question because I don’t really watch that much television if I am being completely honest. I much rather read a book or spend time with my friends and family.
- Building a business with integrity will assist to amass new clients.
- Following up with clients is one key to success in the real estate industry.
- For true real estate data one should look at data that is area focused, not generalized.
- When investing there is no “right” time for everyone, the criteria for each purchase is individualized based on one’s circumstances and goals.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.