Pierre has been in the real estate industry for just over a decade now but has earned himself a reputation as one of Toronto’s top real estate experts. Now, as he starts his own brokerage, we sit down with Pierre and ask him how he first started using real estate as a means of building wealth.
Q: When did you buy your first property?
P: I bought my first property when I was 18 and living in Mississauga selling travel.
Q: How did you afford a property at the young age of 18?
P: The property I wanted to buy was in Mississauga for $170,000 and the builder wanted 10% down in 6 months. Since I didn’t have a penny to my name, I did the math on how I could save enough for the down payment. I divided the $17,000 I needed by 6 months, then divided that by 4 weeks in a month and 5 days in a week to see how much I needed to make per day. I was working on commission for a travel agency at the time so I wouldn’t leave my desk until I earned that amount each day.
Q: Did you pull it off in time?
P: I did! I worked my butt off and earned it in 2 months instead of 6!
Q: You’ve said you owned 6 properties by the age of 21. When and how did you make your next purchase?
P: My friend had bought a place in the first pre-construction property in King West and convinced me to move downtown. I ended up getting the last unit in the building and it was going to cost $272,000 and the builder wanted 5% down. I had half of the down payment from a $6,000 tax return I’d just received and borrowed the rest on a line of credit. By the time I moved in, the property had already increased $100,000 in value.
Q: That’s a lot of money. Did you want to sell your property in order to cash in?
P: Nope. Instead I borrowed the $100,000 I had earned on it and leveraged it to buy more properties. People thought I was crazy, but had I not made those decisions—well, it really changed my life.
Q: How did you know when buying, which properties were going to earn you the most money?
P: I didn’t have any money to lose so I worked really hard to educate myself. I spent every waking moment, virtually day and night, researching properties throughout the city. I taught myself everything: which properties go up in value, which builders and layouts are the best, which neighbourhoods are on the rise.
Q: When did you finally decide to make the move into becoming a professional in the Real Estate market?
P: Once I had taught myself what I needed to know and started seeing things come to fruition by buying and reselling, it developed my opinion on how to guide people to achieve the most success. It changed my life. So at 22 I became a real estate agent because I wanted to be able to help others build their own wealth the way I had for myself.
Q: What does it mean to you to have your own brokerage?
P: I never saw myself starting my own brokerage when I got started in real estate. It’s because of my amazing clients that I’ve worked with for years that I’ve made it this far.
Q: There’s a lot of competition in the real estate industry. What sets you apart from other agents?
P: I’ll always give you my completely honest opinion and would never advocate for a property that I wouldn’t buy myself. If a client is thinking about selling their property but I know they’ll earn more by holding it — I’ll tell them to wait. I’m always assessing what will benefit a client’s financial future, not treating them like a single transaction.
Q: What advice would you offer those looking to get into the market?
P: It’s true what they say, you’re richer than you think. We’ve been able to get properties for our client’s within their budgets by analyzing their financial situations. The sooner you can get into the market, even if it’s a studio condo, the sooner you can get your money to start working for you. Prices are going to continue to go up, just look at Vancouver, so the best day to buy is always yesterday. But once you’re in, you get to start benefiting from the amazing equity gains that the Toronto market has been generating.