How to make over $20 million in commissions

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Frank Leo, broker of REMAX West Realty, has been in the business for over two decades and has grossed over $20 million in sales commissions because he understands the intricacies of marketing.

Leo “The Lion,” as he’s known, says a major mistake he sees agents make is list properties on the MLS and hope the rest takes cares of itself. Working under a brokerage might proffer an agent certain tools and resources, but

Leo says every agent must operate like an independent business owner in order to be successful.

“The job of a realtor is to market a property,” said Leo. “I work under the REMAX brand, but they don’t pay me. It’s a reverse relationship: An agent can work anywhere, but they pay the company. Every agent runs their own business; they’re all independent contractors.

“What I learned quickly is that our job is to make sure we find the right buyer for a property, and marketing is part of that. It sets me apart from the rest. I have an incredible marketing campaign that reaches huge audiences locally, nationally and internationally.”

Leo is one of the most recognizable sales agents in the GTA because he’s everywhere – in newspapers and magazines, on television and the radio, to say nothing of the internet. In an increasingly mobile world, he understands the importance of scope. His advertising reaches over 6mln potential customers a week.

“People now are very mobile and there’s no limitation to where they go, so you have to have wider scope to reach a wider audience,” said Leo. “I have a network of top agents I work with across the world. REMAX is in over 100 countries.”

Leo is consistently REMAX’s top seller in Canada, a REMAX Hall of Fame member, and he’s earned the Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Circle of Legends Award. Additionally, Leo has won REMAX’s distinguished The Luminary of Distinction Award for his commissions totalling over $20mln. Not only is he REMAX’s second-top selling agent in the world, he’s sold the most units of any agent across all companies in Toronto in 2015 and 2016.

 “Do more, do better, and stand out,” said Leo. “There’s no trick. It’s just hard work, and I invest a lot in some of my clients’ properties to get them more money. If you can reach more quality buyers, you’re going to be able to get better people to come to the table to negotiate, and you can negotiate to get more money for your clients.”

However, perhaps the most important piece of advice Leo has for aspiring sales agent is, “Treat everybody’s property as their castle.”