WBM proudly presents the one and only Sandra Rinomato. Sandra is on top of her game. Many can learn from her expertise, as she is definitely someone you can look up to. Not only is Sandra a beautiful and positive woman, but she also represents an influential movement with her intelligence, business savvy, and compassion towards life. Take a minute and get to know Sandra Rinomato.
WBM: So let’s start off with you introducing yourself to the people who may not who you are. What exactly is it that you you do?
SANDRA: I am the host and realtor on an HGTV show called “Property Virgins”. I have been a realtor in Toronto since the 90’s, which sounds like such a long time ago!
WBM: What has been your favorite accomplishment in your career so far?
SANDRA: I think my favorite accomplishment has been writing the book, “Realty Check”. I had always loved writing but never devoted any time to it, thinking that I wasn’t capable. Seeing the project through from start to finish was incredibly difficult.
WBM: Is there something you want to do, that you haven’t yet?
SANDRA: I would love to make certain that all of the children in Canada are fed a healthy breakfast by funding or opening a service for them, [and] really being instrumental in helping a large group of people with gaining access to some of the most fundamental things, like health care, or love and shelter in an orphanage or home for kids.
I have a director from the show who is currently in Zanzibar, and she told me that the money I donated to the building of a hospital for the town will build an entire brick wall. The people have taken on the task of building a hospital themselves as the government has no money or desire to build it for them. I would love to help them get all the materials and then medical supplies to run this place, and what I would like in return is an email telling me that the first life has been saved. Imagine that. Imagine knowing that the money you sent actually saved a life.
WBM: What’s the difference between the real you, and the Sandra we see on television?
SANDRA: Well, the real Sandra has far more sides to her, of course. In 22 minutes, you don’t get an in-depth picture of what my thoughts are, and besides that, that picture is “me on the job”. The Sandra at home loves to hang out in sweats and cook, read, and spends a lot of time on her laptop. She dotes on her pets, a dog and a bunny, and would love to have a lot of animals. She cares about the social responsibility we share and ignore most times. She is concerned about GMO, tries to eat organic as much as possible, constantly battles with that extra 10-15 lbs, and is rather spiritual. She also tries very hard to give her 12 yr old son the life lessons he will be able to draw upon in the future, while trying to ignore his indifference to these lessons!
WBM: So what projects are you working on now?
SANDRA: I am trying to launch a product line that is so “out of the box” that it is really hard to even pitch it to your average department stores. I am working on opening up an office location just for our team. I am going to get my broker’s license this year, or try at least! I would love to set up a mentoring service for real estate agents because I see the need for it and get asked for it often. I am looking for a new show idea. I am working on my fitness–did I mention the extra poundage? And I’m trying to learn how to play [the] saxophone.
WBM: What are your goals for 2011?
SANDRA: To get a whole lot closer to being the person I want to be.
WBM: What made you get into real estate? How long have you been in the business?
SANDRA: When I called a friend and asked him to find me a location for a coffee shop he asked, “Why don’t you sell real estate?”I laughed; he got defensive, and then asked me, “Do you know how many lattes you have to sell to make the same money as just one commission?” I replied that I knew, asked how to become a realtor, and the rest is history.
WBM: What do you do for fun when your not helping people buy and sell homes?
SANDRA: I love cooking. I have great apps on my iPad and have been gathering mouth-watering recipes to try out on unsuspecting friends. Right now, our kitchen and about half of the house is under construction, so I have been cooking in the crock pot, toaster oven, and now someone has lent me a two-burner hot stove. I just made a lasagna this morning, with bolognese sauce and bechamel.
The problem is, I have some things at the small wet bar at one end of the basement, wash dishes and pots in the laundry tub at the other end of the basement, and the burners in the bathroom where there is so much more counter space. If the authorities came, they’d shut me down! But most of the challenge is in finding utensils and spices because my entire kitchen was packed with the understanding that it would be completed 3 weeks ago. I can buy new spices and utensils, but you tend to just assume you have everything in its place when you dream about recipes, and realize too late that you don’t! It’s kind of fun though: almost as challenging as cooking while camping.
WBM: What is something that a lot of people don’t know about you?
SANDRA: I am spiritual, and getting greener every day. I have a Tesla sedan, an electric car on order, I am in the process of installing 8 PV panels, have a greywater system in my house, use indigenous plants in the garden [which] we landscaped to reduce water usage, used local stone–which came at a premium price–to reduce the carbon footprint, and have ordered a rainwater collection system.
WBM: What do you like most about being in the business?
SANDRA: I like being able to solve problems for people and get them closer to their dreams.
WBM: Any regrets? Lessons learned?
SANDRA: When you get out of bed every day, you tend to learn! Life has a funny way of doing that to you, whether you want it to or not! What I have learned by selling real estate is that people are afraid to make mistakes that will embarrass them or cost them time or money, and I can help them avoid those mistakes. It has also taught me that I am very motivated to help people, even if my contribution is simply real estate-related. Who knew?
No regrets. Madonna has a great song, “I Deserve It”, which talks about the many miles, many roads we have travelled, falling down along the way, which have taken us to where we are right now. I absolutely love where I am right now, and so there are no regrets. There can’t be. To regret something would be a slap in the face of your entire life and the lessons we talked about. As Madonna sings, “I have no regrets, there’s nothing to forget, all the pain was worth it”. I’ll bet you never thought I’d quote Madge in this interview, did you?
WBM: What inspires and motivates you?
SANDRA: When I watch shows on Oasis HD, or read about what amazing things people are doing out of passion to save the world, or to help the helpless–whether animals or humans–I feel motivated, as well as great joy and awe. I want to become more like them.
WBM: Any advice for those looking to pursue their dreams?
SANDRA: Be certain that the negative chatter in your head is rational. Often, our ego or our fears will talk us out of pursuing a dream. So control that chatter, make your mind still and pay attention to what you feel, not what you think. In my life, every time I went against my gut or intuition, I paid a price.
WBM: What do you want to be remembered by?
SANDRA: I probably haven’t done it yet.
FOR MORE ON SANDRA RINOMATO
Sandra Rinomato and her partners have a thriving real estate business in Toronto and serve the greater Toronto area with residential sales of condos, houses, and multiplexes.
Also tune into Sandra’s HGTV’s show “Property Virgins”!