PPTO Founder, Broker of Record & Real Estate Investing Guru
Zhen is the President and Broker of Record of RE/MAX Excel Advantage Realty, the brokerage which houses the PPTO brand.
Growing up as an immigrant in Toronto was difficult. I was constantly forced to move around from property to property. During my childhood, I moved 12 times and never had a place that I could truly call home. This insecurity and instability presented many obstacles and challenges for me when I was younger, especially since I saw my single mother struggle to make ends meet. I knew I had to change my lifestyle for myself and my family. I followed the traditional path that most immigrant families live by, that is, go to school, get good grades, and get a good job. I went to the University of Waterloo, graduated and got a job out of school that paid well. Little did I know though that my world would eventually get turned upside down by an unexpected email notifying me that my corporate job would be terminated. Luckily, I had my real estate license and could pursue this further while being out of a job in the corporate world. This was a blessing and a curse as I could still make a living with my real estate license even without a full-time corporate job, but to be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of selling real estate at the time. I had a disliking for the real estate profession and understood why there are so many bad stereotypes for Realtors. However, after I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it changed my perspective and way of thinking. I was inspired to start my real estate investing career. I became entranced and engulfed with everything related to real estate investing. I consumed thousands of hours of podcasts, tons of books, and attended countless training seminars to be a better real estate investor. It was fantastic!
Even though at the beginning it was a rocky relationship with my Realtor career, it eventually struck me one day – I could help my clients do what I did with real estate investing in order to create wealth, retire early, have financial freedom and most importantly, have options in life outside of the 9-5 grind. With that mindset, I set out to create Prime Properties TO out of sheer frustration with the lack of transparency in the real estate profession and so that I can better serve and educate the public on how to correctly invest in real estate. I’ve helped clients create thousands of dollars in cash flow and more than millions in equity gains since embarking on this journey with Prime Properties TO. I’ve been lucky enough to find a true passion in real estate and it’s been fulfilling to know that I’m able to use my knowledge and expertise to help many others reach their goals and dreams as well.
WHY WORK WITH ZHEN?
Zhen has many years of real estate experience and is a fully licensed Realtor, Broker of Record, Certified Negotiation Expert and Member of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Zhen is the owner of the RE/MAX Excel Advantage Realty Brokerage. He has closed many large residential and commercial deals, which has allowed him to develop a depth and breadth of knowledge in real estate. He is highly efficient, very logical, has strong analytical skills, is reliable in the utmost and does not waiver in his integrity. Contact Zhen to see how he can help you realize your real estate goals today.
I love exploring the lush green lands of nature with a nice cup of Aero Pressed coffee. When I’m not trekking through random forests, I love wine, food, working out and watching basketball.
A Minh Luong
PPTO Managing Partner & Strategic Director
ABOUT A MINH
Zhen and I share very similar immigrant backgrounds, and this is perhaps one of my main sources of inspiration in helping Zhen co-found Prime Properties TO. Fortunately, I didn’t move nearly as many times as Zhen during my formative years, but similar to him, there wasn’t ever a place that felt like a true home. With huge communication barriers in Canada, my parents struggled to make ends meet. However, being given so many opportunities here in Canada and seeing how difficult it was for my parents, I was motivated to make something of myself and that was my mindset going through school and my eventual career. I was always taught to save my earnings, invest in mutual funds and contribute to my RRSP. I was fortunate that my hard work paid off and I was able to reach my goals when I had the means to move my entire family into a place that we could call our permanent home. So, that was my first foray into my real estate journey and I haven’t looked back since then. Despite reaching my goals through working a corporate job and saving my earnings, I simply knew it wasn’t going to be enough in the long haul to build wealth so I plunged into the journey of real estate investing and uncovered a whole new world.
By profession, I’m an experienced Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) with 10+ years as an audit professional. Being a highly analytical, strategic thinker and client-centric by way of my business background and accounting accreditation, I bring a unique set of skills to the PPTO Team. I’m also the creative lightbulb behind PPTO with my interest and zest for design and branding. I’m constantly thinking about how to improve PPTO and continuously working towards refining its content.
I believe in living life to its fullest through adventures around the world, eating good food, enjoying a glass of wine, playing sports and gushing over cute puppies.
Realtor & Vice Chair of the Arbitration Residential Roster (TREB)
As a Realtor for the last 14 years in the real estate industry, I have learned and accumulated experience and knowledge that enables me to assist my clients in reaching and achieving their real estate goals. My most valuable strength is effective communication. I have the ability to ask the right questions to identify clients’ needs, and to work closely with them to find the ideal solution that best fits their needs. This valuable skill
is also the right skill set that enables me to expertly negotiate on my clients’ behalf.
In 2012, I was selected as a member of The Toronto Real Estate Board Arbitration Roster. I wanted the opportunity to give back to my industry, and at the same time, help preserve the professionalism and standards of my industry. This was the perfect platform for me to achieve both. To be selected for this role, a member is required to demonstrate, amongst other skills, extensive knowledge in real estate such as Rules and Regulations, and the Code of Ethics that governs our real estate industry. My extensive knowledge, skills and experience has enabled me to provide outstanding services and fulfill my fiduciary duties to my clients, and to promote and protect their best interests in the real estate transaction. I am pleased and honoured to have been re-selected in 2018 to serve another 2 -year term.
Since joining the RE/MAX organization in 2009, I have been able to give back to two of my favourite charities: the Children’s Miracle Network (Toronto Sick Kids Hospital) and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. For EVERY transaction, a donation is made on my behalf. I am extremely grateful and happy for the opportunity to give back.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening, photography, knitting, crocheting, tennis, hiking, fishing, and taking long walks.
Arnie San Agustin
Realtor & Off Market Specialist
Looking back, from an early age sales has always been something I’ve excelled at, albeit unknowingly. From flipping items on Kijiji at 15, to reselling tickets, and eventually starting my own landscaping company, this “go getter” mindset of mine has always been a huge part of my life. What started as a means to an end in funding my initial investment property has turned into a fulfilling career in real estate.
One of the compliments that I hold dearly is having a down-to-earth personality that naturally keeps my clients comfortable, at all levels, with asking questions throughout the entire transaction. Whether you’re buying a home or looking for your next investment, I’m always happy to provide insight and an unbiased opinion. With an analytical approach, my goal is to keep you confidently informed and in charge of the process from start to finish. I bring the same level of energy and heart to each client interaction.
Although the markets have changed substantially since purchasing my first home, I naturally gravitate towards investment properties and pre-construction units. Having gone through the process myself multiple times already, it’s easy to empathize and appreciate finding someone to bypass the nonsense and noise surrounding that initial purchase.
With a work ethic that’s responsible for being the backbone of my success along with a continuous willingness to learn, I’ve been able to maintain an edge in the industry. Filling the role of that close friend you wish you had when deciding on investment properties, I help clients find that “Wait… that’s possible??” moment and then guide them through what’s within reach via real estate. These are the small joys that being a full
time agent bring to me, personally.
I’m a self-proclaimed foodie and find the joy in our harsh Canadian winters by hitting the slopes with a snowboard.