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From humble beginnings to the Canadian dream: The story of Aditya Soma

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We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Aditya Soma from Windsor. His story is an inspiring one. Raised in India with his family, with very little to their name, Soma came to Canada as a student. He started out by investing in real estate himself, then, a few years later, getting his license in 2019. In 2023, his team had their best year ever, coming close to the 200 transaction mark. 2024 is on pace to beat those numbers.

When you speak with him you can feel his passion and energy for the life he’s built. For what real estate has done for him. You can see why he’s been successful. He found a system that works for him, and he executes it. He wasn’t chasing shiny objects. He was doubling and tripling down on what had provided the most success. 

Growing up in India, Soma didn’t have much time with his family. They didn’t have a lot of money, so his family was rarely together, with his father having to go as far as Dubai for labour work. Over 25 years, his entire family was never together for more than a month.

 

The drive for financial freedom

 

“I was driven by the need to provide a better future for myself and my family,” Soma explains.

He was working in IT and read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It changed his perspective completely. Soma started investing in real estate before he ever got his license. Starting in 2017, he began investing in real estate with the money he made in IT. By 2019, he owned four properties, but he was also seeing trouble starting to brew.

Between paying for his sister’s wedding and one of his projects failing, he had a problem. Soma was almost $190,000 in debt, and he needed to do something. That’s when he started thinking about sales and he decided to become a realtor. He powered through the courses as fast as he could and got licensed that same year.

By the end of his first year in the business, Soma had done 55 transactions and paid back the entirety of his debt — every single dollar. 

So how did he do it?

 

Sharing the journey

 

He started a YouTube channel about his journey to get his real estate license. He talked about the process, from the investing he was doing and everything he could that didn’t need a license to talk about. By being open and honest about what he was doing, he ended up with three clients waiting to hire him once he finished his licensing. Soma recalls, “Each post was crafted to showcase my learning process, challenges and victories, making my journey relatable and engaging.”

One of the keys to his videos doing so well, according to Soma, was that he shared everything. “I don’t take things out. I’d even share projects where I lost or didn’t do well. I share very transparently.”

 

An action taker

 

Throughout our interview, it was clear Soma didn’t think it was anything unique that he had done. He took action. When he got his license, he consumed content all the time. He learned from the best and then took action on that — books, podcasts and any other content he could get his hands on.

Soma credits these books for having the biggest impact on him:

  • The Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller
  • Sell it Like Serhant by Ryan Serhant

They provided the blueprint, and he executed it.

 

The power of YouTube

 

During Soma’s entire first year, he struggled to get even 1,000 subscribers on YouTube. Most of his videos never got more than 55-100 views. Very few ever went over 500 views. He did 55 transactions though, with most of those leads coming through YouTube.

It’s not all about volume, but the quality of the people viewing the content. His content targeted the Windsor area and what people there might be thinking about when it comes to buying and selling homes. 

Soma’s focus was to make sure anyone searching Windsor on Google would have his videos show up. He’s putting up longer-form videos every week and shorts daily.

To figure out the best content, he kept it simple: “What questions were people asking me? What questions did I have when I started investing? What challenges did I face? For the Indian immigrant, it was important to show people the possibilities. You could buy with as little as 5 per cent down which was unheard of at the time in India.”

Every video needed a hook, which was in the first 3-5 seconds. Something to grab their attention, which Soma says is the most important part of each video. Then, he’d give the content and at the end tell viewers to call him. 

This strategy worked so well that he later had to take his phone number out of the videos. Soma was getting too many calls and couldn’t handle the volume anymore. So, he pivoted to sending people to Instagram where they could DM his account, and he has assistants who help to answer all the messages. When the prospect is ready to speak to an agent, they get passed to the team. Think of these assistants as Instagram-focused inside sales reps (ISAs).

 

Building his team

 

“(My) first hire I didn’t pay; I hired my wife. She was a bank teller at the time. She used to write offers, book appointments and then slowly take the calls.” 

Any task he could pass off to someone without a license, he started getting his wife to do. Soma noted that he wanted to spend all his time doing two things: generating leads or converting them. Everything else he wanted other people to take on.

He shares his journey over and over, and it continues to inspire people to take action. During our interview, Soma would light up talking about the people who have joined his team. He told the story with particular pride of a man who lived in Barrie, Ontario, about four hours away, and was inspired by his videos. He quit his job, got his real estate license, packed up his life and moved to Windsor. 

The man then showed up at Soma’s office, and he had yet to speak to him at that point. He told him what he did and that he was all in. Soma recounts him saying, “Just tell me what to do!” 

Soma hires more and more people who come from similar backgrounds. The playbook worked for him and it has been easy to create the same playbook for his team members. In fact, it’s a requirement for anyone joining the team to do videos. 

He even employs a content team to help. Soma has a content ideator come up with video ideas and film them, and an editing team as well. All new team members need to do is shoot the videos. The content team handles the rest, from editing to even posting on their accounts for them. 

 

Reuniting the family

 

As mentioned earlier, Soma and his family never spent more than a month together in 25 years, as his dad often had to travel to get work. But due to the growth of his sales and investment in properties, he was able to reunite his family in Canada.

Now his parents live with him full-time in Windsor with his wife and daughter, and a few of their cousins, too. They’re even getting in on the team with his mom having the unofficial title of “Team Chef.” Almost every day, she hosts the entire team at the house and cooks food for everyone. 

Soma saw how hard his family worked to make ends meet and provide him with the best life they could. Now, he takes great joy in being able to repay them.

 

The negative side of living publicly

 

With over 30,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 47,000 followers on Instagram, it’s not all positive. By sharing his success and his journey, Soma attracts negativity in comments and DMs. For example, people telling him to “Go back to India” or asking “What could you possibly know about Windsor?”

Soma admits that in the early days, a lot of those comments would get under his skin. Sometimes he uses comments criticizing the content to improve it. The racist ones he knows aren’t about him.

Soma told us about a moment that changed things for him. He had helped a Canadian buy a six-unit building as a first-time home. She was a big follower of his content. He’d looked through comments and found some nasty ones, but she was there in the comments defending him with passion.

“All the negative comments were about their insecurities. After that fight, I never thought it was about me. I’m doing what I’m doing … It’s their own insecurities.”

 

A client-first approach 

 

Even when there’s negativity, those who support Soma do so with passion. They have his back. There’s a simple reason for that: he has theirs, too.

A lot of people say they work for the client, but they think of short-term commissions. Soma sent eight deals to his realtor before getting licensed himself, as he knew that thinking short-term would hurt him in the long run. He sent referrals and bought more through her because he trusted her judgement.

Every time a call comes in, he wants to get to know them, to learn their motivations, where they are in life and the why behind calling, and then help them figure out the best option for their situation — even if that means telling them now isn’t the right time.

“In the South Asian culture, trust is hard to build, they often don’t trust as easily as people in Canada do.” That’s why he credits so much of his success to YouTube. He was able to gain people’s trust through his videos by showing everything. The results speak for themselves. 

With his approach, Soma and his team had their best year yet in 2023, doing more transactions than ever before. Now in 2024, they’re on pace to beat the record set last year.

 

Want to go deeper with Aditya Soma? In Backstage Pass we have the recording of the interview we did for this article and a follow-up Q&A for our members. Get your Backstage Pass here.

 

Photo source: adityasoma.com

 


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