New brokerage targets foreign investors

by Neil Sharma on 08 Nov 2017
After 25 years in the real estate industry, Sunny Sharma has accrued a wealth of knowledge that he’s pouring into his new venture, Century 21 Leading Edge VIP Realty Inc. Brokerage.

Sharma understands that the future of Greater Toronto Area real estate is in the skies, and that’s why, as president and co-owner of Leading Edge VIP, he endeavours to position his brokerage at the forefront of the city’s condo boom.

Based in Markham, Leading Edge VIP is very active in its home market as well as in downtown Toronto, where Sharma says savvy condo investors come out to play. The brokerage’s co-owner is of Chinese descent and has many contacts within the community, many of whom comprise the city’s real estate investor class.

Sharma says Chinese buyers realize the value condos hold, because vertical construction is how growing international cities develop housing on large scales.

“With Asians, I’ve found condo purchases are high on the hierarchy,” said Sharma. “With any new preconstruction-driven projects, there’s always a high level of Asian presence. And having a co-owner of that descent, we’re actually helping a lot of people who just speak Mandarin or Cantonese, and in the same breath being able to get designated allocations from large developers in order to help them serve their clients in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Although we’re a full-fledged brokerage ranging from commercial and residential sales, based on the currents trends over the last few years specific to preconstruction condos, we’ve found a need and we’re able to serve the public, and now we’re able to serve agents with dedicated allocations well before launch dates of upcoming preconstruction high-rise condominium projects. Our brokerage is catering to become a condo centre.”

Sharma extols condo investment because single-family detached homes—while still sought after and great investments—are in short supply. Moreover, finding a house in Toronto’s downtown core is a tall order.

“Based on the market accelerating so quickly, with affordability there was a shift from traditional freehold homes to condominium purchases,” he said. “The beauty of that was people were still able to derive an ROI and cap rate that was in line with buying real estate, but better than other investments out there in the market.”

Downtown condos are buoyed by triple-A amenities and transit, and that’s why savvy investors flock to them in droves.

“We’re heavily involved in downtown Toronto because the experienced condo buyer likes to buy in strategic locations,” said Sharma.

Sharma is also the 2017-18 president of the Certified Commercial Investment Member’s Central Canada chapter, a designation that has grown in popularity within the industry in recent years. Requiring roughly 250 hours and eight to 10 courses, CCIM designation allows members to network and augment investment opportunities in the world’s most active markets.

Sharma says CCIM will figure prominently in his new brokerage’s plans.

“The beauty of this is it’s a global designation to evaluate real estate anywhere in the world,” he said, “so it’s a set level of principles that have been globally accepted under the global designation of CCIM. From the brokerage level and incorporating CCIM, we’ll be able to train our agents.”

Related stories:
High inventory effecting condo prices
The secret to partnering with condo developers

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