Singh, a broker and investor with Right at Home Realty, originally mapped out a career in finance as an accountant, and even landed a coveted job with Ernst & Young straight out of university, but life had other ideas for him. At 22, as a university student, Singh bought his first investment property, a duplex in Waterloo.
“I was in my second year of the University of Waterloo’s five-year Master of Accounting program, reading all sorts of books to figure out how to make passive income and different investment models, and that’s when I came across real estate,” he said. “I didn’t have much money, but I scraped money together, saved up, did the research and put 5% down. I studied the market and came up with a niche market strategy.
“At 22, I was running around doing everything. I was furnishing the place, my buddies were helping, I was doing marketing, putting up signs, doing showings—I did all the stuff a landlord would do, but at a very young age.”
The success of his first investment property quickly yielded another, and it wasn’t long before friends and colleagues took notice.
“I started helping them and sharing what I learned through all my years of investing,” he said. “It’s how I made my transition to sales. A lot of colleagues were buying homes using realtors but were really dissatisfied with the process. They weren’t getting professional service, so they asked, ‘Hey Manu, can you help?’”
Although Singh only decided to become a full-time agent in 2014, he’s wasted no time differentiating himself from the fierce competition in downtown Toronto. He deftly uses his background as a certified public accountant to create forecasts and analyses for the clients he and his small team take on, because today’s clients are savvier than ever before.
“We provide advanced financial analysis and modelling about real estate, whether for investment or their home to live in, so we do five-year, 10-year, 20-year projections and forecasts,” he said. “We use our educational backgrounds and corporate consulting experiences to create projections into the future to see appreciation on properties based on property type and area, and we try to see what works best for that particular client. With traditional agents, their value-add is they’re gatekeepers of information, but we go deeper and organize it into data analysis.”
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Manu Singh didn’t envision a career in real estate, but it would be hard to argue that he belongs anywhere else.