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Erin Haas | On Selling Luxury in Toronto

On Selling Luxury Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, Living with Passion 
 
Meet Erin Haas, a luxury real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. A Torontonian at heart, she has been taking over the residential market since she became an agent just a few years ago now. Over ten years in the retail industry has turned her into a natural sales expert, and helped her built tenacity and resilience. In her interview, she discusses the challenges that come with being autonomous, the tremendous plus of having a mentor, and her passion for an ever growing industry. In her own words “working amongst the best in the business at Sotheby’s, inspires me every day. My office is ran by women which is incredibly inspiring. I am proud to be part of the Toronto Sotheby’s family.” Here’s her entrepreneurial journey.
 
Tell us about yourself and how you got into the real estate industry. 
 
I was born and raised in Toronto and went to a French school so I am fully bilingual. I grew up in the city and developed a love for homes and architecture at a very young age. I was originally a singer/songwriter, but as many artists do, I also worked in sales. I spent many years in retail, and eventually became a store manager, managing flagship stores in the Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale. My experience in sales, leading a team and customer service as well as on top of my passion for homes, led  to my career in real estate. It was a natural transition. I believe my success in retail has greatly attributed to my current successes in real estate.



 


What was something you went through in your life that defined you today?

In my early 20’s I lost my father, which was a really difficult time for me. We were really close, and he was my biggest inspiration growing up. He encouraged me to follow my dreams of being a singer/songwriter. Once he passed away, I could not longer continue that path and had to shift my career choice as well. Having him as my driving force really inspired me to move forward and continue the legacy that he started. Making him proud, following his footsteps of being a self made entrepreneur became my goal. He wasn’t given anything in life and made something of himself, and I wanted to do the same with him as the leading example. That’s when I poured myself into my career and found real estate.


Did you always know you would become an entrepreneur? What was a motivation for you to succeed in this industry?

My father raised me to be successful and independent. He taught me to never rely on anyone else, and always encouraged me to be self-sufficient. I have always been ambitious and driven, and have always been focused on achieving my goals. My grandmother was in real estate, and my mother is currently an agent as well. Watching the women in my life push themselves and seeing my father and siblings succeed personally and professionally has been great motivation and inspiration for me.



Tell us about your transition to Sotheby’s. Why did you decide to join a team rather than go off on your own? 

 I started out in real estate at Sotheby’s, and decided to join a team because I knew it would be the best way to learn and work amongst the best in the industry. Growing up with my father being in the auction industry, I was surrounded by Sotheby’s catalogues in our home and was pre-disposed to them at a young age. When it came time to choosing my brokerage, it was an obvious choice for me. It has proven to be one of the best decisions I have made in my career thus far.
 



What services do you currently offer? (Residential : investment properties, homes, first-purchase, condos).

I work primarily in residential real estate. I offer all services, and focus solely on assisting my clients with their needs, whatever they may be. I treat all my clients equally, whether it be listing or purchasing homes, or helping landlords and tenants. My priority is and always will be my clients. 


Have you noticed a trend in the market happening in the last year? Where are people investing more in and why?

I have noticed in the past year, a lot of people have decided to move away from condo living and relocate to the Eastern and Western parts of the city in order to have more outdoor space and room to work from home. Now that most people are becoming vaccinated, we are seeing condo sales beginning to increase again. Our future has been very uncertain, but one thing which has proven certain, has still and has always been, investing in the Toronto Real Estate Market. 



What has been the biggest challenges for you thus far in your real estate journey and how did you overcome it?

I faced my biggest challenge in real estate this past year and a half during the pandemic. My business exponentially increased, but yet I had to face a new landscape when it came to showing properties and interacting with my clients. My clients were required to be more selective when viewing properties, and we took every precaution to ensure that we were not exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks. With the market being as active as it has been, it was certainly a challenge trying to navigate the buying and selling process during the pandemic. We also got creative and resourceful when it came to addressing all aspects of our business virtually.  



How do you set goals and achieve them (with your team and personally)?

I always thrive to do better than my previous year, this is how I set the benchmark for myself. As a team, we always aim to deliver the utmost quality of service to our clients. Our success can only be determined by the success of our clients. They are and always will be our number one priority.

What does success represent to you?

Success to me, is the ability to recognize how far you have come and take a step back to appreciate what you have achieved. We are always very hard on ourselves, but I believe it’s important to always remember where you came from and who helped you get there. It’s important to have a good network of people in your corner who support and empower you to be the best version of yourself. Success is not defined by how much money is in your bank account. You are truly successful when you are surrounded by love and people whom you respect and respect you and when you can share support for each other, this is success.


Did you have mentors in the industry? What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned under your mentor?

My team leaders Richard Silver and Jim Burtnick have been my mentors ever since I joined the industry. Richard and I share many common attributes and come from similar backgrounds, I look up to him tremendously. He has taught me the importance of being yourself, trusting your gut and putting your best foot forward in all situations. He is a master at what he does, and I have been so grateful to learn from him over the years. Jim has also taught me so much about the business side of the industry. He is so knowledgeable and has a great sense of humour, he reminds me every day how much fun there is to be had, we are so lucky to do what we do. The two of them as a duo are unstoppable. They have been great role models to me. Thank you Richard and Jim!




What inspires you to think bigger? Where do you see yourself in the company in 5-10 years?

Working amongst the best in the business at Sotheby’s, inspires me everyday. My office is run by women which is incredibly inspiring. I am proud to be a part of the Toronto Sotheby’s family. My goal in the next 5-10 years is to earn the title “Vice President of Sales”. I see many of my colleagues succeeding and earning this title, and I would be honoured to join them. This is my goal.


At the end of the day, the most important thing to me is that I would be a great role model for my future children and a female role model to other women after me. Impacting women in the industry and inspiring others is what fulfills me to keep moving forward. I want to lead the way for others and show them that anything is possible when you believe in yourself.

How do you stay grounded? What etiquettes do you put in place to keep your balance?

I stay grounded by maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook in all areas of my life. I recently purchased my first home, and when I am not working, you can often find me renovating or doing chores around the house. It is easy to get carried away with work and responsibilities, but everyday I am grateful for my life. When life gets challenging, I always count my blessings for what I have and remind myself that I am always in control of my own destiny.


For more information on Erin, Follow her on Instagram, @Erin.Haas_RealEstate

To view her latest properties, visit Torontoism.com

All Photo Credits – Maria Damian Photography

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