By Connie Adair
Growing up in the United States, where “it’s all about business,” shaped Geeta Chopra’s outlook on life and it’s why being a Realtor is her perfect profession.
Montreal-born Chopra attended high school in the U.S., where “the entrepreneurial spirit is high,” she says. “The business capital mindset of the people appealed to my entrepreneurial instincts and I became a firm believer in creating a job, not applying for one.”
She returned to Canada and majored in economics at the University of Toronto, and later worked at a major bank as an analyst and began to invest in real estate, always keeping the thought of being her own boss in the back of her mind. “I bought and rented out my first condo upon graduation,” she says. “I now have 15 tenants (and) do my own property management.”
She decided to become a Realtor after realizing people were constantly asking her for real estate advice. She got her licence in 2008. “I prefer to work for myself and (realized) the limitless potential of real estate.”
Chopra worked for two years with Century 21, winning an award for second-highest sales for the quarter and for professionalism. She joined Right At Home Realty, based in the Don Mills and Eglinton office in Toronto, in July 2010 and began by selling to her social circle. She also attended networking events.
Chopra works with a variety of buyers, including first-time and seasoned investors, drawing on her own experience and success as an investor.
Her preferred type of investment is condominiums. “I travel a lot and do other things. With a condo turnover is less. You sign a year lease and for a new condominium, maintenance is low,” she says. She especially likes preconstruction, which makes up 65 per cent of her sales. “Preconstruction is a rare opportunity to benefit from three price hikes on your real estate before it even becomes tangible. The average expected profit upon closing is $75,000 for a two-bedroom unit.”
She shares her knowledge and expertise daily, starting a typical day answering emails and phone calls and making evening appointments. Following showings, she talks with clients for an hour or two. “There is a lot of explaining and discussions,” she says.
She also hosts a television show, Real Estate and the City with Geeta Chopra. She came up with the idea for the show, pitched the station and has filmed 10 episodes to date. Each episode features a different guest expert. During the week, Chopra finds guest experts then spends an hour on Friday night taping the show, which is aired on local television station Rawal TV and can also be seen in India and Pakistan. (Episodes can be viewed at geetachopra.ca.).
“I created Real Estate and The City with Geeta Chopra to educate the public on real estate. The show is strictly informative based. It was designed to answer a lot of the questions my clients have asked me over the years. It is free yet valuable information. It also gives developers a chance to promote their latest launches.”
Chopra has VIP status with many builders, getting pricing before it’s released to the public. “It is usually lower pricing with other perks, such as discounts on parking and free lockers or first choice pick (of) suites.”
Chopra’s clients range in age and type. She says there is a major difference between young and older clients. With the young demographic, the psychology is different, she says. “They are more upbeat” asking about the rate of annual appreciation and rate of growth, whereas older buyers may have questions about a real estate bubble.
The secret to her success? “I sell it because I believe it. I wouldn’t sell anything I wouldn’t buy.”