Montreal Real Estate Maven
Meet Tatiana Londono, Montreal real estate maven, reality TV star, author and philanthropist. I had the pleasure to interview Tatiana a few years ago. When I re-connected with her recently there was so much more on her plate; the launch of her new book, getting married to her beau, and lots of exciting new projects coming up in 2018.
Operating one of the largest independent agencies in Quebec with over 100 brokers is not easy. Yet with a busy schedule and personal life she manages to be a mentor for her team of brokers, always gives back to her community and pushes women to break the glass ceiling.
Her story proves that positivity, hard work and perseverance always wins.
Photo credit - Philip Faith
Tell me about the launch of your new book.
It took me almost four years to write it. I hired three ghost writers, I did all the editing myself. I'm very proud of this book, it's a "how to" of real estate but it covers much more. Everything starts with your own health and well being. The first chapters are about exercise, mindset and being healthy then it goes into real estate techniques. It includes little shortcuts to success; lessons that I've learned along the way, over 15 years of experience. It's all original content.
What challenges did you face in the beginning of your career?
[In the beginning of my career] I did everything wrong. I had nobody to teach me anything, besides my dad.
My biggest challenge was finding work-life balance. Not being able to choose, because I always felt like I had to choose work if I wanted to build my career but in the process I missed out on being a “hands on” mother when the kids were really young.
What about as a realtor?
I recently did an Instagram post about real estate challenges. It's called the #tatsrealestatechallenge and I wanted people to tell me what challenges they had to face in real estate or what their challenge is presently.
It’s very hard to be a beautiful woman in real estate. The men sometimes flirt with you and use listings as bait. They want to discuss “business” over lunch or coffee and what if you say no? Honestly thank goodness for this #metoo revolution! I have the right mind to report plenty of men in this city...
What advice would you give women who might find themselves in that situation?
It's hard because if they don't have the coffee, then they might not get the job and they might not pay their rent that month. I'm so happy about what's going on with business and women today in our society because there are plenty of men out there who behave and the ones who don't I hope they go down because it happens a lot [in real estate].
As my daughter said in a speech she wrote at school:
We are tired of being broke, being groped, tired of being seduced at our places of work, tired of looking behind us when we walk at night, tired of rape, tired of having to feel fear.
Enough is enough!
What advice would you give yourself when you first started in real estate?
1 - Don't be afraid you'll make the money; hire someone immediately to assist you.
2 - Make less money enjoy the kids. But I wouldn't make less money because I would hire that assistant immediately. Delegate, delegate, delegate. That's the difference between me and some realtors, they delegated immediately.
3 - Don't worry, go home and say NO. If you can't do that contract don't do it. Say no. You don't have time. I didn't say no to anything, that was my problem. I would come home when the kids were asleep. I didn't even see them on the weekends, because I was selling new construction condos. I would rather make less money, and enjoy my life. I remember I was selling new construction showroom every Saturday and Sunday for the first seven years of my career and at one point I'm like: what am I doing? I wouldn't see the kids! Today I refuse business that's not convenient for me and my family.
What keeps you motivated?
Money. I like making money. As a woman in our society it's important to be financially independent. I don't need to depend on my husband - sure, his money helps but I don’t need it because I have my own. Amen to that.
Did you grow up that way?
My father was Mr.Macho, and he raised me to be Ms.Macho. My mother was a traditional mom, she still cooks for me and comes over to cook for the kids. She is a good mom, cleaned the house and she worked. So she showed me hard work, patience and unconditional love. They taught me everything I know. Fortunately I learned the good from both of them. It's 50% how you were raised and 50% what you learn from your direct surroundings.
Do you remember making your first sale? How did it feel?
Yes. My first commission cheque was for a 6-plex I sold in the Atwater market it was $260,000 dollars, an American couple that bought it from a Bangladeshi couple. I split it with my dad it was for 5% I double ended it. I was in heaven. I said, okay I'll do that again.
It's funny because I see these realtors that get these huge commission cheques and they don't realize that if you do that 10 times you can get 10 times that amount of money. It's very logical. That's how I thought of it.
What three books would you recommend in real estate?
Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gilmore
I also recommend everyone to watch Oprah Winfrey's Master Class.The first season, the last two episodes are her story. I highly recommend everybody watch that. If you do watch it you will learn like I did that there are no excuses that should get in the way of achieving your goals and success ! Oprah went through hell and back and look at everything she achieves!
How did you develop your resilience?
I'm just not afraid of anything. I moved a lot as a kid. We started in Toronto, we moved about five times I went to five different schools. Then we moved to Colombia where I had to learn to speak spanish because I didn't speak it properly, then we moved back to Montreal.
Here I was in Montreal, I was put into a school, I had to learn french, I had to adapt quickly to situations. I learned the hard way.
I didn't know anything [back then] I didn't know about coaches, I used to listen to Tony Robbins on Napster. They don't teach you anything in school. No one helped me at Remax, I got here by myself. At Sutton Immobilia they did help me and hence it was after Sutton that I opened my own agency.
How do you mentor your brokers at Londono Group?
We have boot camp training every Monday and Wednesday. It starts in September and by December we're not even finished. So there's no excuses, there's always someone available. As a matter of fact my baby daddy, Oren Pinto,who runs this place with me is so dedicated - he lets people call him at 11 o'clock at night with problems, he loves it. It's a life for us, it's not a job.
What's coming up next for Tatiana Londono and Londono Group?
The Real Estate High Rollers Course - over 1,000 brokers all over America, who are part of our coaching business. We're also coming out with a radio show this year.
My next book is going to be about every single way that I've learned to get listings. That book doesn't exist yet so I'm going to write it.
We're giving back to the community and it's always important when you're a woman in power to give back!
Cover photo credit - Michelle Vanderweir