Shami Sandhu

Top 40 Under 40 2010

Photography Constantine Tanasiuk

Age: 36

Job Title: Broker-owner, Re/Max River City

Why He Is A Top 40: His brokerage was ranked No. 1 in Edmonton in 2009 in total sales volume for a single branch office and was also the top recruiter for all Re/Max offices in Alberta.

Key To His Success: “Live your eulogy.”

A real estate broker is essentially the captain of a team of agents. When a brokerage changes hands, it’s not uncommon to see an exodus of agents. When broker-owner Shami Sandhu took over Re/Max River City in 2008, that didn’t happen. “I’m proud to say that we didn’t lose anybody,” he says.

Not only did River City not lose anybody, Sandhu was acknowledged in 2009 as the No. 1 recruiter for all Re/Max offices in Alberta. His office was ranked first in Edmonton for total 2009 sales volume for a single-branch office by Real Trends magazine. He chalks much of this success up to an emphasis on training programs and mentoring in areas such as how to build a clientele through relationships. “The true character of a businessperson isn’t what you do before the transaction is completed, it’s what you do afterwards,” he says.

Sandhu’s people-first approach includes an office-wide emphasis on charitable giving. He has embraced the longstanding partnership between Re/Max and the Children’s Miracle Network; as a “Miracle office,” all River City associates donate a portion of their income to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Sandhu also has a relationship with Edmonton’s Food Bank. He has been on the board of directors since 2007 and he participates in governance and various fundraising initiatives, including an annual event in the Punjabi community held on Guru Nanak’s birthday, which brings in $65,000 to $75,000.

Sandhu is also a passionate advocate for safer communities, something that can be traced back to his involvement in a community patrol program in 2001 in Mill Woods, the neighbourhood where he grew up. In January this year, he was appointed by city council to serve on the Edmonton Police Commission. Commissioners oversee the police budget, the hiring of the chief of police, the creation of the annual police plan and the complaint process – a time commitment of between 40 and 60 hours a month. Since joining the commission, he has also been elected a director of the Alberta Association of Police Governance.

Sandhu believes that at the end of the day, community engagement should take precedence over the pursuit of the almighty dollar. “What I’ve done with the food bank, what I’m doing with the police commission and with the Stollery, I think that’s going to leave a much bigger effect on the overall community and city than just filling up my bank account,” he says.

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