WINGS Woman of the Month
Meet Rachana Bhomavat, a smart and savvy CA and CPA professional who left a high-profile job to start a family. After her son was born, she chose to start afresh. While finding her own nest in Toronto, she was drawn towards real estate and thus found her calling.
Soon, real estate became a passion as much as a business. It became her key to freedom and flexibility to manage both home and intellectual stimulus. She defined her own success that evolved over time: earlier she was an enterprising professional in a corporate world, and now she is a happy mom and a real estate professional managing her family and work! She simply followed the urge of a dream transformed by the mind’s eye into a belief that something is possible, and from there into a conviction that her hard work must and will make it actually happen.
Rachana combines her optimistic attitude with a passion for helping others to create an enjoyable experience for each client. Backed by her finance skills and corporate experience, she is well prepared to guide her clients through Toronto and GTA’s competitive market. Whether the client is a first time homebuyer (or sixth), investor, or opening up a new business, she is dedicated to ensuring every transaction is a delightful and educational experience.
Tell me about your family.
I live in Toronto with my husband and an almost six-year-old son. We grew up in India and we’re the first-generation immigrants. We love to travel and be outdoors as a family.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I love meeting new people and enjoy talking to them, understanding their needs, where they came from and learning about their goals and future aspirations. I generally spend a lot of time with them, which makes them feel comfortable sharing their challenges with me. I connect them to people that I know that could be a good resource for them. It gives me immense satisfaction to see a family happy in their new home, it makes them feel secure and gives them satisfaction that they have an investment that will grow in value. It is really interesting for me to see a home before my client bought it and how it looks after they have moved in and settled down.
What are the challenges that you have faced in your business? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I faced was trying to balance my time with my kid and giving my new business the time and energy that it needs. Now, I’m learning to focus and manage my time better. I have an encouraging and supportive husband who is fully involved in raising our son.
What do you think separates you and your company from your competition?
It is the level of interest that I take in my clients’ lives and family. For me, it’s not just about closing the deal and moving on! It’s about connecting with their family and their personal life. My tagline is ‘Your realtor for life’, where I envision myself helping my clients making the right real estate decisions, whether it is buying their first home, buy an investment property to pay for their kids university, to right-sizing as their family grows or as they become empty-nesters, and help their kids as well. I’m associated with the Royal LePage Signature, a full-service brokerage where I get all the tools I need to succeed and complete support.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your industry?
Have a great mentor
Join a brokerage who invest in their agents and supports you in every way.
What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession through the years?
The GTA real estate market has seen several big changes in the past few years. The market was going up crazily when the Government introduced measures to stop the trend in April 2017 by bringing in foreign buyer tax. This had an almost immediate impact to curb the steady growth. Then in December 2017, Government introduced the stress-test where lenders had to qualify home-buyers at the current interest rate + 2%. This reduced the mortgage amount that prospective homebuyers qualified for. There has been a lot of influx in the GTA, more than 175,000 people came into the GTA area in 2018, increasing the demand of housing. In Toronto, the rental vacancy rate was 0.7% last month.
What do you see as the coming trends in real estate?
From an economic perspective, there are no big trends. I don’t see any signs of a recession coming! The interest rates have almost stabilized, with the upcoming elections after 6 months, I do not see major changes in the short-term. The housing prices will continue to grow at a moderate rate. For the long term, we have to wait to see what the new Government does.
What are the biggest issues facing your business right now?
The biggest issue is affordability and not enough housing options available for all the new people entering the GTA.
What are you most optimistic about in the next 12 months for your business?
The real estate industry is highly regulated. The Government is looking to review the REBBA (Real estate and Business Brokers Act) to change the real estate rules to benefit the consumer, raise the bar on education, strengthen professional standards and hold those who break the rules to the highest level of discipline. OREA (Ontario Real estate Association) and OHBA (Ontario Home Builders Association) have recommended implementing as-of-right zoning along Ontario’s 200 major transit hubs that could potentially create room for four million new homes in the marketplace. I’m hoping that the province responds to the growing demand and implements measures to bring in more housing supply and choice to our growing communities.
What are you passionate about?
I’m most passionate about women’s issues and children. I also love to help newcomer families integrate into the society and make Toronto their home, because I love the city so much.
What is the passion project you are working on this year that you are especially proud of?
There are two projects in particular, one is to get more involved with Wings and support other women entrepreneurs. The second is to be more involved with the Royal LePage Shelter foundation that raises funds which goes directly in helping more than 50,000 women and children. On my part, a portion of every deal I complete is donated to the Shelter Foundation directly by my brokerage before I get paid.
How did you hear about WINGS?
My closest and oldest friend in Toronto, Salima Virani introduced me to WINGS.
How has WINGS helped you?
It has given me wings and provided me a platform to show case my real estate business as well as connect with other women entrepreneurs and their families. I know I have a circle of women whom I can rely on and are a resource to me in the city for anything that I need, which is very comforting to me.
What is the one message that you would like to share with other women entrepreneurs across GTA about WINGS?
WINGS is a not-for-profit women’s organization, founded by Sanjukta Das. Her vision is supported by the Board members – Anu Thind, Kala Narayanan, Nillia Lal. They volunteer their time and effort and have built a community of women entrepreneurs across the GTA that help and promote each other. They hold “Networking Events” for women entrepreneurs and proceeds from these events goes towards a charity. So, I would highly encourage all women entrepreneurs in the GTA to join WINGS to connect with, and support other women. The goal is “Together we soar higher”.
You can reach Rachana Bhomavat at 647-400-1567 for your commercial or residential needs.
About the Wordsmith: Aarti Santosh is a Communications professional with a background in Commercial Arts and Journalism.