With just over 23,000 Instagram followers, Martin Rouleau, BComm 93, knows how to market himself — and the high-end properties he represents for Engel & Völkers, as a real estate broker.
Rouleau has been in the field for nearly 20 years, first at Groupe Sutton where he worked as a real estate broker for over 16 years and now at Engel & Völkers, where he’s been the top-selling agent in Canada for the past two years.
A social media pioneer who’s recognized for his hard work, dedication and skill at growing his brand, Rouleau got his start at Concordia where he says he first mastered the art of networking.
What did you study at Concordia and why? What kind of career did you have in mind when you made the choice?
Martin Rouleau: “I studied Commerce. I was raised in a family of entrepreneurs and wanted to open a coffee shop or a restaurant. The hospitality industry was also appealing to me. During my studies, I was concierge at the InterContinental hotel in Old Montreal. The idea of opening a small boutique hotel was also a dream. Of course, there would be a café or restaurant in the small hotel.”
Can you tell me a little about your time at Concordia; are there any specific classes, teachers or experiences that stand out from your time there?
MR: “After spending seven years at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, I chose Concordia because its downtown location and multi-ethnic atmosphere appealed to me. I really enjoyed the management accounting classes. I especially remember spending countless hours at the Norris Library on Drummond Street and at the Loyola Campus Library. These are great memories for me.”
What was your first job after graduation and how did your career progress from there?
MR: “My father had a successful business exporting and manufacturing pole line hardware called Hydrocom International. I joined as customer service manager while they were taking on the ambitious implementation of ISO 9000 international standards. The company was successfully certified in record time and, in 1998 after the Ice Storm, an American company approached my father to buy the company. My father had no intention of selling but the offer was too good to refuse. In 1999 he sold and I decided to take my real estate course. It was the best decision I could have made.”
How did Concordia prepare you for what you're doing now?
MR: “I strongly believe that a bachelor’s degree teaches you how to learn, how to organize your time and how to interact with people. I started in real estate in 2000 and as of today, I have sold over 1,250 properties, mostly in the high end sectors of downtown and Westmount. I was Engel & Völkers’ number one broker in Canada for 2017, based on gross commission income, and was one of the company’s top 10 agents worldwide.”
What does an average work day look like for you?
MR: “The hardest part of being a successful real estate broker is that it’s a 24/7 profession. I usually start at 8 a.m., texting and emailing from home. My days rarely end before 9 p.m., returning messages and calling clients from a restaurant since I have no time to cook. I try not to book any visits on Saturday and use that day to catch up on work. More often than not, Saturdays end up being 10-hour work days, but in the comfort of my home. My car is my second office, so a year ago, I hired a driver. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in years as I now manage to do a lot of work between visits and meetings.”
You're recognized for your presence on social media. How do you recommend people use social media to grow their brand, business and/or goals?
MR: “Be authentic and true to yourself and don’t delegate your social media to a firm or consultant. The content has to vary. I like to mix real estate with travel, food, fashion and family. In real estate, visuals are very important and my social media accounts were built brick by brick, over seven years. Social media is a lot of work but today, when I do a post, I reach more than 50,000 people so the hard work is paying off.”