“If you’re looking to invest in real estate, where do you go?”
This was the question Paul Poliszot, CEO and broker of record at REXIG Realty Investment Group in Oakville, Ont. asked some of his small investor clients. He was astonished that they responded by citing a small fraction of companies, including Realty Executives, where Poliszot worked between 2009 and 2016.
Back then, and fresh out of business school with a finance degree, Poliszot entered a real estate industry that was recovering from the 2008 recession. “Obviously, there are big firms out there, like Cushman, that service large corporations or big investors on multimillion-dollar purchases. But there was nobody that was really servicing the smaller investor. And I was very surprised that maybe nobody thought the market was big enough,” says Poliszot.
A small investor, he says, “would be someone whose financial worth is up to, let’s say $20 million. It’s not somebody who has the bandwidth to go buy out entire apartment buildings, one after the other. It is somebody who typically has a business or a very well-paying job. They show up everyday to work and they are just looking to maximize what their dollars can earn for them outside of their core business.”
Recognizing that there was a gap in the industry, and with mentorship from his broker uncle, who had managed a portfolio of over 3,000 rental properties, Poliszot had a slow start in an under-serviced niche. But he soon developed his calling for working with smaller investors such as medical professionals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, lawyers and senior-level executives who wanted to see their money grow.
During his stint at Realty Executives, Poliszot helped “hundreds of members trade and invest in real estate.” This was around the same time that the Greater Toronto Area’s condo market was starting to boom. In 2014 he won an award for selling the most condos in Toronto’s downtown in a particular month and quickly achieved platinum status for new condo sales. He stayed in the company’s top five for new condo sales.
Around 2015, Poliszot bought a franchise from Realty Executives regional and named it Realty Executives Investment Group. His investment business continued to thrive under the new banner. At 37-years-old, he has amassed an impressive list of awards, which include the Chairman Award in 2017 and the Top Gun Commission Gold award in 2019.
Recently Poliszot established a new independent company, REXIG Realty Investment Group. Operating from a 4,500-square-foot office with more than 20 agents, Poliszot and his team function much like a real estate investment bank with their clients “to provide them a macro economic view of what is going on in the marketplace. Many of these investors have the ability to buy real estate in any global metropolis, not just the GTA,” he says.
Starter investors are “put into short-term assets first to get them to understand how the process works and how they can really see those returns initially and maximize them. We then build on a medium-term portfolio and then ultimately a long-term portfolio. Even if somebody comes in with significant amounts of capital, we still won’t advise them to go buy large assets right away, because they have to learn the process,” says Poliszot.
Residential Realtors are missing an opportunity to build wealth for themselves and their clients. As masters of their crafts, while seasoned Realtors build their muscle within a specific geographic area or a demographic, they still miss out on the cohort of clients that are looking to strictly invest, he says.
“We try to educate this agent and train them to think like an investment advisor and not just a Realtor. Ultimately they are dealing with an individual’s, typically, most expensive asset. With rising real estate prices for two decades, this is something that if families can learn how to tap into, and if agents can learn how to tap into, they can make some phenomenal decisions in a very short period of time and put themselves on the road to wealth and on the road to stability and financial independence,” says Poliszot.
With a client list that includes several top medical professionals, REXIG’s business is growing fast, based on the number of referrals they’ve received in a short time. Polizot’s appetite for acquisition and delivering profits for his clients are the key driving forces behind his new company.
“I take every risk, and the investments that we ultimately recommend to our clients, we test first with our own capital to make sure that the process is sound. We make sure that the profit will be there,” says Poliszot.