Published in Bayview Post. [July 2007]
The art of the deal
Grad chooses property over painting
Student: Bob Zamani
Graduated: Earl Haig Secondary School, 2000
Best Subject: Math
Worst Subject: Science
Current Job: Real Estate Developer
Earl Haig Secondary School is primarily known for producing students well versed in the arts, but real estate developer Bob Zamani definitely did not excel in that part of the school's curriculum.
"The only artistic talent I had in school was wood shop," Zamani says.
At 26, Zamani is already the owner of two thriving real estate companies, Zamani Homes and Canquest Financial. So in a way, Zamani is working with wood, even if it's lumber.
While many of his fellow schoolmates were busy with art, Zamani was busy nurturing his interest in finance.
"I was active in school," Zamani explains. "I started the Raising the Roof program at Earl Haig, and I was the secretary of finance for the annual fashion show that the school put on."
After graduating from high school, Zamani decided to strike out on his own while in his second year of university and started up a mortgage company, Canquest Financial.
Reflecting back, Zamani even sounds surprised by his success. "Sometimes, when I look back at the challenges, it's scary. I can't believe I achieved it," he says.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Zamani has had real estate in his blood.
His father started a real estate developing company while the family was still living in Iran. When they emigrated to Canada, Zamani's father brought the family business with him.
Zamani is quick to credit his father for his success:
"My father is my biggest mentor. He is the reason why I am here today," he says. "He is my best friend, and he is still involved in the business."
While Zamani has taken over for his father as the vice-president of Zamani Homes and helps finance the company's real estate projects with Canquest Financial, the opportunity to take the keys to the family business was not just handed to him.
"I had to prove myself to my dad at first," Zamani explains. "So I had to attract other clients to Canquest Financial at first."
While Canquest Financial lends money to Zamani Homes today, 80 per cent of Canquest's business is devoted to other real estate developers.
An admitted workaholic who feels that his vacation is his work, Zamani can take pride in the fact that he has reached such heights in the real estate game.
Currently, Zamani Homes is constructing eight custom homes in the Yorkmills and Bridal Path Area. These luxury homes range from 4,000 square feet in size to 12,000 square feet.
"The Bayview area is a beautiful part of the city," Zamani states. "It's close to downtown but you also get to enjoy suburban settings. The project has been outstanding."