Sam Sharma
 
Passion, Youth, and Determination Equals Success

Profiles of Success

Sam Sharma was a kid with a dream. And he turned that dream into more than a successful reality. While many teenagers are involved with sports and other activities, Sam was following his dream to become a realtor. Even as a teen, he showed a passion and dedication for real estate that most veterans don’t possess. He channeled that passion into a successful career that many realtors dream about. “I got a real early focus at a young age,” Sam says.

As a teenager, he learned about the business from his father, retired realtor Ved Sharma. After school, Sam went to all his father’s appointments, and soaked up as much knowledge about the real estate business as possible. Sam idolized his father, and couldn’t wait to follow in his footsteps. “At a very early age, I wanted to prove to my father that I could do this business. This is the dream I had.”

He says his father taught him many valuable lessons. “I learned early on about how to talk to people, how to relate to people,” Sam explains. “My father taught me a lot of morality, honesty, integrity, to think about the client before yourself, and to never, ever focus on the commission. Focus on the relationship.”

At the age of 19, Sam realized his dream, and became a real estate agent. Proving that there are some people who are born into a certain vocation, Sam’s success soared in a short time, despite his youth. Sam always saw his youth as an advantage in the business. His youth gave him the opportunity to establish relationships, and grow with his clients.

In a business where many people’s real estate experience is negative, and where clients switch realtors with every move, Sam had the foresight and wisdom to decide early on that he wanted a lifelong relationship with his clients. “You never hear people say ‘this is my realtor.’ At a young age, I wanted to be the person’s realtor for life.” In addition, Sam focused his energies on the younger market. “The young people, they want to deal with someone who talks like them, and that looks like them.”

Within three years of entering the business, he qualified for the Medallion Club Award, which is given to the top 10 per cent of the Vancouver Real Estate Board. Today, at age 31, Sam is currently ranked in the Top 1 per cent. He sold more than 100 homes in 2003, and as a result, was awarded the President’s Club Award, given only to the top 1 per cent—a distinction that only 66 realtors qualified for in 2003.

In addition, Sam has a loyal client base that most realtors would envy. Even as a real estate rookie at the tender age of 19, Sam always had the sophistication, responsibility, and mature attitude beyond his years to succeed. “One hundred per cent, my business always came first, even at that young age,” Sam says.

While many agents take an aggressive sales approach, and often sacrifice their clients’ best interests in the name of a fast sale, Sam takes the “non-sales approach.” “I usually don’t sell,” Sam explains. “My selling technique is very casual, very nonchalant. It’s more building a relationship and a trust with the client. People will never do business with you unless they trust you.” He says his approach has struck a chord with clients. “The non-sales approach, being more of a consultant, has led to hundreds of referrals.”

Sam illustrates this point, when he talks about his approach at an open house. “At an open house, a realtor will start aggressively selling. I just hang out, I let people walk through the place, and then I start building a relationship with them.”

Sam’s ability to establish long-term relationships with clients is an important secret of his success. In fact, many of his clients have become good friends. “You’re part of their lives. You’re more than a realtor, you’re a dream builder. I become a friend to them.”

One client speaks of their close relationship with Sam, and his no pressure, no-sell approach. “Sam Sharma was more than just a salesman. From a salesman, he became a friend, and is still a friend,” the client says. “At no time did he ever pressure us to buy. His one concern was to see us satisfied with the condo that we would eventually buy. Time was of no consequence to him. Our time was his time, and he was so very, very patient.”

“I am extremely pleased with the way Sam marketed my home and ultimately handled the sale,” raves another client. “Sam’s professionalism came through in every way.”

Sam has an uncanny ability to remember small details about his clients’ lives, even years after the real estate transaction has completed. His genuine care and concern for his clients’ well-being manifests itself in many ways. He remembers one new immigrant couple from the Philippines who couldn’t afford the commission. Many realtors would run the other way. Sam did the job for free. “My goal is to help. At the end of the day, they couldn’t afford to pay the commission. Most realtors wouldn’t do that.” That was eight years ago. Since then, he has received 20 referrals from that couple over the last eight years.

Sam is a strong believer that when you give, it comes back to you. He has many stories like this, of his generosity towards his clients and fellow realtors. He even takes the time to conduct training sessions for new realtors. “I love helping new agents, and I am always willing to help and share my secrets with them, because when I was young, a lot of top agents were willing to mentor and teach me, so I never forget that I have a duty and a responsibility to give back.”

Of his mentoring program, Sam says he teaches old school principles. “I teach the rapport and trust way. I can’t afford not to help them out. I think I have a responsibility to do that. I never forget my roots. I never forget about the people that have helped me. I appreciate people that have helped me over the years.”

In addition to his long-term relationships with clients and his unparalleled generosity, Sam says that his passion for the business is a large component of his success, and a large motivator for him. “I get motivated by my own inner passion and helping people along the way,” Sam says. “What really motivates me is to see other people succeed, to see other people happy.”

Sam is grateful that he recognized his talent for real estate at a young age. “I was lucky – I ran with the passion. When you’re young and you know you have certain talents, you can either use them or squander them.”

Sam is proud of the stellar service he and his brother, Johnny, a key member of Sam’s team, provide. “I’ve got a really good ability to handle a lot of people at once, but there’s no way I could do the volume if I didn’t have my brother,” Sam says. Johnny handles buyers and a lot of the administrative aspects of the business.

However, Sam is with his clients through every step of the process. “I’m a full service realtor,” he says. He helps clients with lawyers, home inspectors, and whatever service they require. “I’ve educated myself on all aspects of the relationship. I’ll take clients to City Hall to find information on zoning. Experience is the best thing you have. There’s nothing I haven’t dealt with.”

Sam is particularly acute at listening to his clients’ needs, and works hard to fulfill them. “When I take a client out, I ask them specifically what they want and I only show them what they want. You let the client make the decision. Realtors are often trying to control the sale for their own agenda,” Sam says. Sam is also a strong marketer, and an excellent negotiator. In addition, he is the only realtor in Vancouver who has a television commercial. His website www.sharmateam.com, has Sam’s listing information, buying and selling tips and Vancouver city links. Sam says achieving balance in his life is difficult, and admits that he can be a workaholic, but he is learning to balance his life with his wife, Rishma’s guidance and support. “She’s been with me for 14 years, and she’s my rock,”

Sam says. In the future, they hope to have children, and Sam says he is looking forward to becoming a father. As for his career future, Sam says he doesn’t know what he would do if he wasn’t doing real estate. “This is the only job I’ve had other than being a paperboy for the Vancouver Sun,” he says with a laugh. Sam plans to continue to provide the same outstanding service to his clients that he does today. Eventually, he plans open his own company, and he wants to double his results. He would also like to be involved with condominium project marketing. He already has some projects underway, and is building relationships with builders and developers.

Whatever Sam undertakes, he will do so with passion, determination, and generosity. “People say I’m born for this,” Sam says. “I was able to find my niche. I’ve found my dream. And I’ve been able to create them through this business.”

 
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