Maria Tsiaousidis | Trust, Loyalty and Perseverance

Meet Maria Tsiaousidis @MariaTsiaousidisRealEstate realtor, investor and business woman. She started her career in residential real estate just under a decade ago and has since dominated the market. Her vast network in finance, and other professions has allowed her to give a 360 degree service for investors or home buyers. She gets her motivation to continue growing from her two daughters. “I want to show them that they can succeed in anything they put their heart into.” She says. When she’s not closing deals in heels, you can find her baking goodies or spending time with her family. Find out her success journey below.

Tell us a little bit about yourself along with your background?

In terms of my background, I’m Greek. My parents were born in Greece and immigrated to Canada in the 60’s. I was born in Toronto and raised in a typical Greek neighbourhood. As most immigrants my parents worked hard to establish a life in a new country. They eventually sold their home and moved to Cornwall, Ontario near the Quebec border, with the intention to become entrepreneurs. My father was a builder, specializing in residential homes, while my mother was the brains of the operation. She ran many businesses. She ran a restaurant and they also bought land and have my father build on it after which they would then sell for profit. My parents have three girls, me being the youngest.

I finished high school in Cornwall and decided to move to Toronto. My sisters and I never wanted to stay in Cornwall and as the youngest, I was also the last one to leave. I went to University of Toronto and majored in Economics with a minor in French. When I finished University, I jumped into the financial industry and started working for Scotia Bank. I worked for them for almost twenty years.

Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit from?

Definitely from my mother. The vision she had, and her brain weren’t typical for someone from that generation and on top of the fact that she left her country with nothing. She basically started all the branches of businesses that my parents had, and she was a mother of three kids. I looked up to her, she was my role model. The way I am today is mostly thanks to her and what I learned from her throughout my life. I took from her that spark to be a businesswoman and the joy of running a home.

Did watching your parents build early on have an influence on your decision to go into real estate?

Initially, when I went into the banking industry I was working with mortgages and growing up I was exposed to real estate because of my parents’ businesses. I think it was when my parents decided to retire and leave Cornwall for Toronto and were looking for a home that it all started. I found them a home located four houses from mine through a private sale. I completed the transaction for them, while not having a real estate licence and it was in that moment, right then and there that I realized this is what I need to be doing. It was the trigger I needed to get my real estate licence and I never looked back since. 

What is an added advantage of working with you?

Because I come from a banking background in which I spent two decades; I can obviously provide a much higher level of service to my clients in terms of not only the actual property but everything that surrounds the financing. I have built an incredible network and work with one of the top mortgage specialists in the country. Each and everyone of my clients gets to benefit from years of experience and a very strong network of professionals through me. 

Looking back at the career that you built, what is some advice you would give your younger self?

When you first start in any industry, I think most peoples fear is that you will not be perceived as having the knowledge and experience in the industry/business because you’re just starting out. That being said, looking back and knowing that I had my parents experience behind me and the years in the financial industry I really leveraged that to my favour. Looking back, I should have pushed that even more than I did but like I said, it’s that fear that lingers making you believe you’re not going to be good enough or don’t know enough to really make an impact. Even with all the baggage I had, that fear still settled in and made some noise because it’s a new industry you’re getting into, and you must get out of your comfort zone. With the years I had in banking my level of confidence was extremely high because of the years of experience and proven capabilities but when starting from scratch, this confidence doesn’t necessarily transfer over into this new career path that you choose.

The best advice is to believe in yourself and not let your fears get the best of you, no matter what kind of experience you are coming in the industry with and to remember that you always have something to bring to the table.

What type of real estate did you go into?

I went into residential real estate although I dabble in commercial whenever the opportunity arises. The commercial side is more for my own clients with whom I had residential transactions with. People who are only in residential will always find someone who specializes in that, but my forte is truly residential real estate.

What is or has been a challenge that you had to surmount to get to where you are today?

I’ve been very fortunate in the sense that I have worked very long hours and dedicated a lot of time and energy to get to this point with only minor setbacks. As for Covid, it changed the way we do things, the way clients buy and sell in the industry, and I’m quite sure that applies to every industry around the globe. I always go back to my younger days and remember how my parents, came to this country, worked 24/7, 7 days a week and built multiple businesses all while raising three young girls. I learned that there are only excuses or results and I prefer to be on the result side. 

Funny enough my challenge has never been as for most people getting the work done but on the contrary, where do I stop working, where do I take some time for myself and do something other than work? I didn’t know how to say no to clients to the point that if they needed something right away I just did it right away. It’s very important to know when work stops, and your life begins. 

You also must consider that it’s relationships built with clients over the past eight years and when your clients refer you, well that’s another sale and more work and more income, so like I said it’s very important to set boundaries that work well for you depending on the chapter of your life you’re in. 

What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in real estate in the last 8 years?

The biggest lesson I have learned would be to never be afraid and to always put yourself out there. It’s a bit coming to what I would have said to my younger self. This industry has 60 000+ real estate agents and the competition is there, but that should never ever stop you from doing something that you want. With courage, discipline, and hard work anything can be attained.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask, to try because the truth is you will not win every time and you will not get every single client. As you get better and gain more experience in this industry, you will build your own client list from which an amazing business will grow and continue to grow for as long as you nurture it. On the other hand, if you never put yourself out there, well that’s a guarantee you won’t get any results. 

What is your long-term vision for yourself in the real estate industry?

I’ve had a vision for a few years now, where I would like to grow a team for my real estate business and seeing my daughter who is in second her last year of high school work with me and that we build something beautiful together. I have two daughters and I would include both but one of them particularly showed real interest and a mother/ daughter team would truly be a dream come true. That would be the kind of team I would want to grow, keeping it in the family and hiring if we need. The challenge I find in a team is that people want you and having my girls with me is a direct extension of me in comparison to someone else.

What would you recommend someone looking to get into real estate with the current state of the industry?

There is a reason we say location, location, location! Covid has certainly changed things in the sense that a lot of people left Toronto to go to the suburbs due to remote work. But in the long run, people will still come back, and immigration is back so location has and will always matter. 

If you’re interested to invest in the Toronto area, depending on budget, I’m would always advise to stay in the core of Toronto because it will always be a hot spot and will always be bought back, being a great investment whether for short or long term primarily because the best jobs are in that area so people will always pay to be close to work. Your investment will not only grow in the core of Toronto, it will grow at a faster rate than other than those investments that were done outside the core area of Toronto.

For more information on GTA area, Follow @MariaTsiaousidisRealEstate on Instagram 

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