Born to sell

by Neil Sharma18 Oct 2017
It isn’t every day that the art director of an ad agency switches lanes to become one of Toronto’s top sales agents, but that’s exactly what Zia Abbas did.

Abbas won a seemingly endless string of awards under the REMAX banner – he was REMAX’s number one producer in 2011 and 2012; number two in 2013; and number 4 in 2014, when his revenues were 21% higher than when he was the brokerage’s top worldwide salesperson – where he sold $10mln in 10 years. Such a feat would have qualified him for REMAX’s Circle of Legends if only he had stayed the full decade instead of departing to found his own brokerage after six years.

Abbas is the sole owner and President of Realty Point, as well as of World Class Realty Point Brokerage, and the former has grown to 26 franchises in only two years of operation. One reason for the nascent brokerage’s explosion is Abbas’s unique operational approach, in which all franchises work under the umbrella company’s roof where they’re provided with administration services and resources.

“Any high-performing agent has dreams to open up their own brokerage, but to start their own brokerage they’d have to take on a lot of responsibilities and that’s why a lot of these agents are hesitant,” said Abbas. “But with this model, you open a brokerage with us and you can open at our office, where your major monthly costs are eliminated. From a booking to a showing, right up to the paycheque, we take care of everything.”

In spite of those boons, Abbas says Realty Point’s real lure is the hallowed access franchisees and agents receive within the preconstruction, high- and low-rise markets, where the Abbas brand is as trusted as it is revered.

Abbas consults the GTA’s premier developers on their floorplans, advising them on everything from trends to what is likely to sell faster at that point in time.

“Because of my background investing in real estate and my marketing background, I’ve developed a good eye for functionality,” he said, “so I sit with developers like Fernbrook Homes, Cityzen Developments, CentreCourt Developments, Menkes and Great Gulf Homes, to name a few of them, at the very initial stage of a project and give them a heads up about the depth of the market and what kind of units would be easily absorbed.”

Ascending to the summit of one of the world’s hottest real estate markets didn’t happen accidently. While Abbas used to invest in real estate, which was a crash course in what was to come, he’s known to drive hard bargains as a negotiator, and he takes a principled approach to client representation.

“I always try to make transactions very smooth and I don’t engage in bidding wars,” said Abbas, who only agrees to opening-day sale prices for his clients.

Abbas is also the host of Buy Low & Sell High with Zia Abbas, which has aired over 120 episodes, however, his legacy is sure to have more longevity than his long-running TV show.

“I want to create my own legacy,” he said. “I want to create something starting with my name rather than take something with a brand that is all over the place, and today we are pioneers in this city when it comes to preconstruction, especially. We sell thousands of units a year.”

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