Selvan Puvaneswaranathan is a Real Estate Broker working with Century 21 Leading Edge Realty in Toronto. Selvan entered the real estate business part-time while working the night shift at a local factory in the hopes of finding a better work-life balance. After gaining experience, he quit the factory position and began his career as full-time real estate Agent in 2016. Through personal education and the desire to always learn, Selvan has successfully become a well-known name for both personal and commercial real estate.
Now that he has established himself in the local market, he is able to spend more time with his wife and two young children. He enjoys taking family vacations and playing sports, like basketball, with them.
How did you get started in real estate?
I spent about 16 years on a night shift at a factory as a micro technician. One day, I met an agent who had been in the real estate business for thirty-five years and we got into a conversation about what we each did and what our lives were like. When I told him what I was doing, and how I hardly had any time left to spend with my family, he suggested I look into real estate. He said it could allow me more free time to spend with my wife and kids, which is what I really felt I was missing out on. He said real estate allows for more flexible hours. I researched the business and got myself educated on how to enter the field and I’ve been doing this full time now since 2016.
How do you make money?
Real estate is a commission based business. When I complete a sale, I am paid for my services out of that sale amount.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I first started in real estate part-time in 2013, while maintaining my factory job. I spent those first few years learning the business and gaining experience. I worked under another agent for some time. I went to as many coaching seminars as I could. I wanted to be sure I had the confidence before leaving the solid paycheck. For me, it took those three years to become profitable enough to replace my fulltime employment and establish real estate on full-time basis.
When you were first starting in real estate, was there a time when you doubted this was the right choice? If so, how did you handle it?
It wasn’t doubt so much as inexperience. When I first got my license in 2013, I didn’t have clients. I had to learn how to speak with clients. I was very shy, but through the agent I worked with, I learned how to approach people.
In those first few years, while I was still working the night shift, I would spend a lot of time during the day catching up on sleep. That made it tougher to follow up the way clients needed me to, I would miss calls a lot. It certainly got easier when I finally left that job and focused fully on real estate.
How did you find your first customer?
My first customer was a coworker at the factory. I put flyers up at work letting people know I was starting in real estate and to speak with me if they needed anything. A coworker approached me and let me know he was looking to buy, and I was able to find him a house he loved below asking price. He then let others know that I had done well and from him, I received several referrals.
What is one marketing strategy, besides referrals, that you use that works well to generate new business?
I use flyers at least twice a month throughout the local area. I am focusing on apartment areas, so I make sure they are blanketed there. I generate a lot of calls from those flyers.
What is one of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I may have several buyers, but not all will qualify for a mortgage on every property. Some seller agents may ask for no conditions on a mortgage, but I will not allow that. I don’t want to risk the buyer purchasing a home they may not qualify for, even if they have the deposit. I don’t want my clients to end losing any money and/or the house they purchased
What do you think makes you successful?
The basis of Real estate business is trust and reliability. My negotiation skill is what has earned the confidence of my clients and it really plays a vital role in my success as realtor. My clients know that I have their best interest in mind and that I will work to get the best value for their money. I am flexible and reachable. I follow up with my clients, even after a transaction has been completed. Because I know will they will reach out to me when they are in market in the future.
What has been your most satisfying moment since starting in real estate?
Whenever my client calls me to thank me after they move into the home I found for them. Often clients have invited me to their housewarming parties. It is very nice to be receiving those invites because it shows me that I have done well for them.
What does the future hold for your real estate business and what are you most excited about?
I wanted to continue as a realtor and establish a larger clientele and work primarily from referrals. I would like to eventually be an owner of a brokerage and be an inspiration for individuals like myself.