When you sell $12-million in real estate in one month during your first 18 months as a real estate agent, you must be doing something right.
JP Sandhu of Century 21 Showtime Realty in Windsor, Ont. set the new milestone in April but selling multi-millions of dollars worth of real estate monthly is nothing new for the relative newcomer.
The secrets to his success? Hard work, a positive outlook and a never-give-up attitude.
Sandhu immigrated to Canada from India when he was 18 with his parents and siblings. “My elder sister was living in Windsor, that’s why we moved here. My parents went back to India after dropping us here.”
Jobs were hard to come by during the recession in 2008 so he moved to Toronto briefly to look for work but returned to Windsor when he got a job as a gas station cashier. Later he got a job as a truck driver. He bought his first truck and started his own trucking company a decade ago.
When the trucking business wasn’t going as well as he had hoped, he knew he needed a backup plan. He says he always liked real estate and when he was young had helped his father build a house. He earned his real estate licence in December 2019, just before the pandemic hit, everything paused and his trucking company really ran into trouble.
“The drivers didn’t want to go to work and I didn’t want to send them to work,” he says. Sandhu sold his house to keep the business running and concentrated on his real estate career.
At first, business was slow. He called everyone he knew to let them know about his new profession. Once he started selling, business snowballed, as clients and friends told their friends.
The average price in Amherstburg is $500,000. The community is near the mouth of the Detroit River and the area is known for its beautiful shoreline and Boblo Island, the former site of a well-known amusement park and a military outpost. Sandhu sells about 14 residential properties here in the $700,000 to $1-million range each month.
He does that by keeping in touch with his database, letting them know when listings come in. Although many agents don’t do videos, even during the pandemic, for Sandhu it’s a must. He has photography and videos done at the same time, instructing the videographer about what to include, the length (best to keep it short – around 90 seconds because people don’t have time to watch long videos) and ensures the music isn’t boring, he says. “A good video puts you out there. People will come to you.”
He stresses the importance of being consistent and reaching out regularly. He tells people why the properties are a good investment and provides information that’s useful to them instead of focusing on himself.
Sandhu also says it’s important to “be positive, know what you’re doing and trust yourself. And establish a company when you’re young.”
Getting into real estate early will help you, he says. “We sold a house and bought another. It appreciated. Get into the market. It helps build your empire, your company and your net worth.”
He says he was discouraged when he had to sell their house to keep the business going, but his wife told him, “You can do it. You did it one time, you can do it a second time. The trucking negative became a positive.”
Had the trucking company not gone through hard times, he wouldn’t have a real estate career. “What happens, happens for the best. Keep trying.”
If you have a dream, be prepared to work hard because no one is going to hand it to you, he says.
The trucking business is doing well and his wife now manages it. Sandhu devotes his time to real estate. “I wanted to be a top producer and now I am one,” he says.
“Joe Montaleone, my broker, helped me a lot. Whenever I have questions he is always there and (so is) all the other staff. It’s been a great time,” Sandhu says.
When not selling, Sandhu “loves playing sports and spending time with my family (his wife, whom he married in 2014, and their five-and-a half-year-old daughter) and friends.” He says he also loves to barbecue, and he loves to eat.
For those just starting out in the business, Sandhu says, “I encourage you to keep trying. The first days may be slow. People don’t come to you right away.”
The biggest lesson, he says, is to never give up. “Keep trying. Times change and can be good or bad. The ones who win are the ones who keep trying.”