When the word “RISK” is mentioned in a conversation, most people run in the other direction. But entrepreneur and Broker of Record, Gabriel Bianchi ‘gets focused’, and he is not most people. Known for his endless optimism, Bianchi only sees the glass half full. He is a firm believer in always looking towards the future and that we are all major contributors to our own “success”. This kind of confidence and risk that he has taken, has helped Bianchi take his 25 year career to the helm of the Number 1, fastest growing RE/MAX franchise Worldwide for 2011 – a fact spotlighted on March 7th 2012 at the annual RE/MAX International Conference, held in Las Vegas.
Since the age of 21, Bianchi has been riding the waves of an ever-changing real estate market. When boom became bust, he still believed he was in his element. Business of any kind has its peaks and valleys but, as Bianchi puts it, “it’s how you handle yourself in a down market that will help you reap great rewards in an up market”.
When Gabriel Bianchi began his career in real estate it was others in the business that inspired him to stay the course, and from then on it was the industry that built his experience. He has always honoured and appreciated the likes of Rocco Cerone, his Broker/ Owner. As a young realtor, Bianchi had immense praise for Cerone, who he credits for mentoring him and “changing my financial life forever”.
In addition, inspiration also started at home. It was Bianchi’s own mother and father who always believed that all was possible, “within your faith”. Having been brought up with good “core values”, Gabriel Bianchi has never been shy to assist, motivate or support others in reaching their potential no matter what their age.
In 1996 he quickly rose, becoming a top producing agent. His focus has always been on the client and their needs vs. the “real estate transaction”. Bianchi believes in “sharing insightful advice and advocacy to each client and ensuring that their needs met with their inspiration”.
Some of Bianchi’s highlighted real estate transactions include; the sale of a 43 acre retail development on Rutherford Road fronting Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre for $33.5 million, the leasing of 110,000 sq. ft. office space to Ontario Court House at Finch and Arrow Road and the sale of a $6 million residential home within the National Estates to name a few. Gabriel Bianchi was making a name for himself as an agent who thrived in the ever-changing and challenging real estate market.
In June 2003, he took the leap of faith and founded RE/MAX PREMIER, opening its doors at the corner of Jane and Langstaff. When researching which Brokerage brand to join, he found many appealing values in RE/MAX which complimented his own. RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, a family business that has become a global success story and currently boasts a network of more than 100,000 agents and 8,900 offices in 88 countries. The first Canadian RE /MA X office opened in 1977, brought here by two Canadians living in Etobicoke, Frank Polzler and Walter Schneider. Highly enterprising and driven individuals with solid reputations in the industry, they expanded rapidly across the nation, despite widespread opposition within the industry, including major mergers of competing brands and trust companies. Against all odds, RE/MAX obtained #1 market share nationally in 1987. By 1988, RE/MAX grew to 20,000 agents, making it the number one real estate organization in Canada. It is the family-owned and operated entrepreneurial spirit of the Liniger’s, Mr. Polzler and Mr. Schneider along with the international RE/MAX family that Mr. Bianchi was proud to become a part of. It is this same entrepreneurial mindset that Gabriel Bianchi felt was in the hearts and minds of the Vaughan Community and its realtor network. The scale of RE/MAX’s operations brings perspective to Bianchi’s recent achievement.
In May of 2006 while continuing on his successful path, Bianchi expanded on his market presence and co-founded the Master Franchise to RE/MAX ROMANIA. He quickly became an international player in the RE/MAX family. It is in this new real estate arena that he became a student of the international brand and developed the art of building, recruiting and complimenting all those interested in the real estate industry.
In countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland, the dream of owning a business was never even a possibility. He enjoyed sharing success stories of other brokers in North America with some 300 candidates at the Bucharest National Franchise Show that took the RE /MA X brand not for granted, but felt privileged to be given a chance to succeed. Mr. Bianchi claims that this was his most incredible experience as a realtor / business person. The joy and pleasure that these new prospects showed was overwhelming and gratifying. He spent several years travelling throughout the other European countries, sharing mutual challenges with other Master Franchisors and their quest to dominate their market place.
It wasn’t until December of 2008 that Bianchi returned his focus to the Vaughan market, which at the time was declining very quickly. After his experience of recruiting agents and building a network of 23 offices in Romania, he made the decision to expand his operations in Vaughan. He moved the business, fronting Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre on Rutherford Road, building the largest real estate office in Vaughan, with 18,500 sq. ft. of space and 100 physical offices. He believed that the realtor community was craving a premier facility that would better suit topproducing agents and eventually help with the growth of RE/MAX PREMIER and the Vaughan community. “Trying to grow in a down market is always risky”, he says, before adding, “but it was a calculated risk”.
Bianchi was able to, and continues to attract and retain some of the industry’s top producers. I n 2010, RE/MAX PREMIER acquired another Vaughan real estate brokerage with 88 agents, increasing RE/MAX PREMIER’s market share. P rior to the building of his new location, RE/MAX PREMIER had grown from 28 agents to its existing 247 agents, which includes 163 award winners. RE/MAX PREMIER continues to grow its market share by attracting the most successful and committed agents in the Vaughan area.
Bianchi, now 47, says that providing a good example to his three children has always been his inspiration and motivation. “With the incredible support of my wife Bessie, we were raising a family when the market was at its worst from 1989-1996 - other agents were getting out of the business and nobody was entering the real estate industry. Work ethic was a critical ingredient”. Right through that “down market”, which lasted for seven years, Bianchi always believed in himself and was determined that this tough market would build his character and perseverance.
“I couldn’t just show up and hope for the best - I had to remain driven”, adds Bianchi; “My family was depending on me”.
Gabriel Bianchi speaks to the reason why the real estate industry was right for him. As much as the people around him encouraged him, he says it really was in his genes “to help and motivate others” if they were buying a home, building a portfolio or starting a new career. He comes from a very spiritual family; his mother and father were both involved in their local church (St. Wilfred’s Parish) and their community. “My mom was in the choir, Dad was a Minister of the Eucharist, and my brother Tony and I were altar boys, along with most of our friends”.
His business approach has always been “people first, business follows”.
“The brokerage’s goal is to keep agents on track; achieving their goals and dreams - this is 100% RE/MAX PREMIER’s culture. We are an extremely “sharing” company. What does this mean? “We gather together weekly and monthly to discuss and explore what is current in our marketplace, changes in the industry and to share our new insights about our individual clients, which we didn’t know prior to our gathering. We are totally dedicated and committed to our agents’ success and their responsibilities to their clients and families. I have four managers who have unique skills and experience on how to train, instill our ethics, upgrade our legal obligations and keep us all accountable. We are constantly managing, mentoring, coaching and training. The culture of our office comes from assisting and accommodating staff and agents”, says Bianchi. When asked about his management style, Bianchi says, “I believe in a win/win approach”.
RE/MAX PREMIER has also set the stage for a “FULL SERVICE” real estate office, “servicing the AGENTS” by providing a FULL-TIME and on-site professional home stager, two full-time and on-site mortgage brokers, (DLC Dominion Lending and TD Bank), two full-time and on-site lawyers, an on-site and full-time home inspector and an on-site and full-time marketing and promotion company.
RE/MAX PREMIER also sells over 490 New Home products annually, with multiple builders. It has a dedicated New Home Manager, with 18 full-time new home agents servicing areas from Milton to Markham, including infills in Downtown Toronto.
According to Bianchi, incredible service isn’t simply provided by the agents. “The brokerage prides itself on its support staff, who serve both the agents and the community. They are second to none. They are extremely experienced, accommodating and caring. It’s truly a pleasure to work ‘with’ them. They are always readily available to assist in every aspect of the company’s daily operations”, he says with pride.
RE/MAX PREMIER shows strength in numbers, with 5 offices servicing the Woodbridge, Maple, Thornhill, Concord and Kleinburg areas. The PREMIER brand is continually growing as a top producing brokerage within those areas as well as the surrounding markets. “Agents are here to service the area. We attract like-minded agents who can perform at a high level, and our commitment is to help them reach their goals”.
Bianchi’s overall vision is for continued growth. “We want to continue to attract committed and successful agents who compliment the brand and help grow market share. The culture of our Brokerage is clearly stated in our mission statement: Our mission is to provide leadership for the enhancement of our agents and their clients by providing superior and professional management and staff who share a passion for exemplary service and long term relationships”.
Bianchi sees his role as being responsible to motivate and inspire people. He is one who considers himself to be “an entrepreneur with a real estate license”, and says that to be substantial in business, you need to remain focused and committed, not only to yourself, but to your staff, your colleagues, your community and most importantly, your family. “I understand the demographics here in Vaughan, hard-working business professionals, self-employed people, retirees and entrepreneurs, all of whom identify well with our RE/MAX brand”.
Being a local Broker of Record/Owner who lives within the community he serves, Gabriel Bianchi is also a major contributor to the community through charities that are near and dear to his heart, as well as the entire RE/MAX PREMIER Team. RE/MAX Agents believe in giving back to the communities in which they live.
One of the ways they do this is The RE/MAX Miracle Home Program, which provides agents with the opportunity to make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network on behalf of each home sold. RE /MA X Agents have raised more than $100 Million for this cause, alone. RE /MA X is also proud to support breast cancer initiatives that will make a difference. As a lead donor of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, through the annual “Yard Sale for a Cure” (held at the end of May, annually) and the “Sold on a Cure” programs, RE/MAX PREMIER is helping to fund research that aims to stop breast cancer before it starts. Another cause is “A Cure In The Future”, a local community fundraising group which raises funds in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation Research Department and the fight against Cancer, which RE/MAX PREMIER has contributed to since its inception. This particular cause is one that the Bianchi family is personally connected to. It was in 1992 that Bianchi’s mother lost her battle with cancer at the early age of 46.
“Inspiration comes from the people who matter most to you”, Bianchi says. “I’m fortunate enough to have the best of all worlds”. He feels lucky to have been inspired by the family he came from, the family he is raising and the RE/MAX Family. Choosing RE/MAX was a perfect fit for Bianchi, given his people skills, his determination and entrepreneurial spirit, a choice that he has never looked back on.
He can’t wait to see what the future holds.
“We have built a PREMIER Office, for Premier Agents in a Premier Community”.