Real estate can bring you financial stability, but you have to be willing to do the work. It takes long hours and a lot of follow up.
Selvan Puvaneshwaranathan is a Real Estate Broker in Toronto, Ontario. He received his broker’s license through Ontario Real Estate Association and has been in the field full time since 2016. He is currently providing his expertise with Leading Edge Realty, Inc in Scarborough.
Prior to his real estate career, Selvan was a quality control technician specializing in microtechnology, including SIM card manufacturing. Wanting more for his family than what the factory provided, he pushed himself into a new field and has found great success with his unique follow up strategies for maintaining clients.
When he is not meeting with clients or hosting an open house, Selvan enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.
Why did you become an independent Real Estate Broker?
I wanted to spend more time with my family. I had been working in a factory for many years, and I had originally begun looking into real estate as a part-time endeavor. I wanted to have more time to spend with my wife and my young children and as I got more comfortable and more knowledgeable in real estate, I found I was able to have that time. It takes hard work, a lot of research and a lot of communication between clients. You must be available to show listings. Hosting open houses are also a requirement in the field. It’s all worth it, though, when you can see your family and enjoy your time with them.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every morning, I set up a time with my prior clients to discuss anything that needs to be done for them. I then move on to my current clients for several hours. I have a schedule for each day. I have showings and meetings with clients. I make sure I know how my day will go as soon as I wake up so that I know it will be the most productive. I also take extensive notes for everything I do each day so that I am able to look back and be sure that I have taken care of everything. That also allows me to look back maybe two or three weeks later to be sure I am still on track.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Whenever I think of a direction I want to go, I make sure to educate myself the best way to accomplish that goal. I use some out of the box methods to be sure I am doing the right things for my clients. If I need a little guidance, I sometimes actually will watch YouTube videos. They can give me inspiration or even show me how to properly complete a goal.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The constantly changing Toronto real estate market.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Staying in touch with my previous clients is a habit I keep that I think is very beneficial for me. I think a lot of people in this business close the sale and move on, but I have found value in keeping up with those I have helped. I have been introduced to new clients through prior clients. Some have even come to open houses that I have to see me and to have me meet their friends or family that are looking for someone to help with their search.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would have told myself to quit my last career sooner. My friends in real estate had already been doing this for ten years or so by the time I started doing this full time in 2016. They are doing very well, but I held on to the technician job longer than I should have. I could have spent more time with my family. I spent a lot of years working in a factory, holding on to a $50,000 a year job when I could have moved full time in real estate and been making at least twice that and have more time at home.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I live modestly compared to a lot of the people I know in real estate. Many have several properties, they have many investments. I don’t want those headaches. I have one house and I spend the money I make on vacations. At the end of the day, I just want to enjoy that time with them. I don’t need all those additional properties for more income. I am building memories with my wife and children instead.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Finding a balance between your personal and professional life is so important. Again, several people I know in this business don’t just sell homes, they have investment properties as well. They work almost non-stop in order to reach what they feel is their success. I put in the hours to be successful and we live comfortably, but I think what I consider successful if a different view than theirs.
Real estate can bring you financial stability, but you have to be willing to do the work. It takes long hours and a lot of follow up. I feel the hours I put into it bring me the life that I want, without having to chase more or have more. I feel fortunate that I have found this success through my hard work.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The strategy that I use of following up with my past clients has been very successful for me. That constant contact allows them to think of me if they are in the market again, even years after our first transaction. I don’t think as many real estate brokers take advantage of this opportunity as they should be. It has brought me more success, just checking in with previous clients, than even I would have first thought and I plan to keep up this strategy.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I had an incident happen with one of my sales in 2016. My client purchased a property and had requested the basement be brought up to code and be legalized. The seller’s agent confirmed to me that before the sale was completed, the basement would be legal. I trusted their word, but did not follow up properly on the paperwork.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would recommend purchasing a multi-dwelling property and renting it out for profit. If you make a solid investment on a good property, this can be a very successful venture.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought my son a remote control car that we had seen at another family member’s home. I wouldn’t buy it right when he saw it because he was still a bit too young then. He had to wait until I felt he would be able to really enjoy it. When his birthday came, I got the same kind we had seen. He was so happy; his face was priceless. He said, “You are the best Dad ever!” That makes the money worth it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
ZoHo CRM is what I use to keep my clients up to date. It gives me my daily reminders to follow up with past and current clients, helps me stay on track every day.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Especially for anyone interested in getting into real estate, I would recommend Rob Vivian’s book The Realtor’s Magic Formula. It breaks down each facet of real estate, like how to do listings, how to speak to clients, and how to find leads. It’s very informative and I found it very helpful.
What is your favorite quote?
One of my favorite things to say is all is well. It reminds me to keep a positive attitude.
• Don’t be afraid to learn something new
• Maintain strong relationships
• Keep a healthy balance between work and family
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.