Toronto, ON

Years as a commercial broker: 3
Sales volume in 2015: $54 million
Totals deals in 2015: 15

CMP: You’re relatively new to the business. What made you decide to go into commercial brokerage?

Manish Jain: This is my first job since I finished school at Ivey. I met my current partner, Carl Lavoie, by chance, and he asked me to come work with him. I don’t think I would have been interested in residential real estate.

CMP: Why is that?

MJ: Residential is a need – it is housing, and it’s a very emotional process for people. Commercial is more of an investment class, like dealing with stocks or bonds. It’s a totally different world. People you meet in commercial are usually successful businesspeople who are looking for ways to protect or grow their capital.

CMP: So it has a steep learning curve?

MJ: Yes, it’s really an investment asset class. I think anyone who can do this job could be working as a stockbroker or a financial analyst.

CMP: What are the main challenges of being a commercial broker in the GTA right now?

MJ: Well, you have to be able to justify very high prices on everything and make the lenders comfortable with that. I think the biggest challenge, though, is working with extremely tight timelines. All the deals are so competitive on the buying side that we as brokers have to arrange financing in a short period.

CMP: Is there anything that really surprised you about the business?

MJ: The fact that some of the people at the top, really high-powered executives, are extremely kind and generous with their time. The reason is because if someone is smart and talented, and they are kind to people, they tend to do very well.

CMP: What goals do you have going forward?

MJ: I would like to make more strategic partnerships. At this point, my main goal is to help expand our team and help build a good support structure for processing deals. We recently added an analyst to our team. I would also like to build more repeat clients as opposed to one-offs. I would also like to move more into the publication side and write more about the industry.

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