Joshua Sumi found his way into Real Estate after gaining experience and developing his interpersonal skill in other sectors. Joshua talks to The Industry Leaders about his love for his industry and why it's essential to nurture your network.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Like many twenty-somethings fresh out of University, I took some time off and worked in the Hospitality and Service industry. During the next few years, I honed my customer service skills while also gaining the confidence to navigate various social situations. Ultimately, it was on the encouragement of my Mom (a former realtor) and my love for social interactions and skills in customer service that pushed me into the world of Real Estate.
What kind of work does your role involve?
Being in Real Estate is never boring! On any given day, I could be out showing properties in various locations to multiple buyer clients, researching and staying up to date on market trends, creating new social media content, meeting with potential seller clients, or providing home evaluations. This isn't it though, there is a lot of "behind the scenes" work that happens on a day-to-day basis, which for me is mainly focused on lead generation.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Homeownership is certainly the dream for many people in North America, and it's incredibly rewarding to be a part of helping someone make that dream a reality. I also love the freedom that comes with running my own business and the opportunities that come about being in the industry, like expanding into Real Estate investing.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
There has been a lot of advice handed down over the years, but there are two pieces that I often refer back to:
Business can come from the most unexpected places and sometimes not from the places you would most expect. It can be a tough industry at times, but it's important to not get too high or too low on yourself.
Be yourself! Don't change who you are for who you think you should be or what you think a client wants you to be. If you're genuine, honest and true to yourself, the business will follow.
What, or who inspires you?
I try to draw on inspiration from a variety of areas, like industry leaders, famous/successful entrepreneurs and friends and family who've built or are building their own personal success. Mostly, I look to my father and take a lot of inspiration and advice from him, a self-employed entrepreneur who's run a successful business for the last 35 years. You can learn a lot from your parents (who knew!?).
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
Real Estate has always garnered a lot of public attention, especially within the past few years, so it's not hard to stay up to date whether you're in the industry or not. Personally, I make it a priority to stay informed on the latest market stats/data. I also engage other industry professionals (mortgage pros, financial analysts, other realtors, etc.) to help gain insight into the market's state from various perspectives.
Whether you're in the industry or not, I encourage anyone to reach out to an industry professional and just have a conversation; there's a lot of insight out there.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Many people think Real Estate is easy (I blame HGTV, haha), but sometimes you're not making a living when business is slower. Some of the biggest challenges I've faced are staying consistent and motivated when business is slow. I try to focus on setting attainable goals for the next month or two and prioritise achieving those goals, whether generating a certain number of leads or updating my marketing content. It's essential for me to not turn stagnant.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Assuming it's unclaimed and a gift from above, I probably finish all the work I have with my current clients while also buying a dream house (nothing too crazy though, $2 million should just about do it, haha). Then I take a solid month (maybe two) off work to travel, assuming there isn't a pandemic going on. Japan, Europe and South East Asia sound like a good start.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I always say Real Estate is 24/7, you never know when a client will reach out or need you (especially in a hot market like this), but I try to stay active, go for a run, play some basketball or do some yoga. I also have a guilty pleasure for a good Netflix series or some bad reality TV (90 Day Fiancé anyone?!).
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
Honestly, higher standards for realtors and more accountability throughout our industry, top to bottom. Unfortunately, not all realtors are created equally, and there are many out there that give the rest of us a bad name and ultimately hurt consumer confidence in us and the industry. Higher education and stricter rules/regulations to promote greater transparency and better protect the consumer is a good start.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
Not necessarily a Real Estate Podcast, but I'm a daily listener to The Intelligence podcast by The Economist Radio. It's a great way to keep up to date on news and industry from around the world. Highly recommend.
How should people connect with you?
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