BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
Passion is what drives us and focus is what brings it to fruition. For everyone in the world who has a dream, these are major keys to success, building on a vision for a successful future.
Entrepreneur Aaron Charles wasn’t always clear about his own dream, always searching for a sense of purpose that would steer him in the direction of prosperity doing something that would challenge yet satisfy his inner visionary which he could continue to build on and establish an empire of his own.
Aaron was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and immigrated to Canada in 1986. After his parents’ divorce and dealing with the difficulties of adapting to a new county, he got mixed up in the wrong crowds and deeply immersed in the city nightlife. Aaron found himself chasing things that provided instant gratification with no lasting benefits. His wild party nights and delinquent behavior put a strain on his relationship with his father and he was forced to face the world on his own, living in a group home, attempting to manage school and a job just so he could get by. Soon the call of the street became something he could not resist and he continued on a path that would eventually lead him to nowhere.
After graduating high school, his friends were discussing their plans for the future, applying to college/university and describing their hopes and dreams for potential future careers. Aaron soon realized that he didn’t have a vision of his own to share, no idea as to where he wanted to go or who he wanted to be. Reality hit when he discovered it wasn’t only himself he had to worry about, but now the future of his son soon to enter the world.
Aaron didn’t make the decision to pursue a post-secondary education, but delved head first into entrepreneurship at the age of nineteen, starting up his first business a Party Promotion Company called 24/7 365 Entertainment. Aaron established his business, when saw a need to service the younger generation in the party industry.
This was only the beginning for Aaron, utilizing his entrepreneurial skills he organized and hosted and promoted parties through his company for two to three years using the money he earned to invest in something more stable and long term. “It was becoming difficult to juggle two jobs, working during the day and promoting at night,” shares Aaron, “I realized that more stable income would be necessary for my long term growth.”
Aaron’s outside of the box thinking is what drew him into entrepreneurship, his ability to take risks and be open to new ideas provided a freedom that gave him the opportunity to explore and see the world through many different lenses. “With entrepreneurship everyday there is adversity, everyday you’re dealing with problems and everyday the landscape of your business changes in some way that always keeps you on your toes,” says Aaron, “The one thing I like most about entrepreneurship is the unknown; yes it might be scary, but the unknown is a thrill for me, the limits are endless.”
The shift in Aaron’s thinking came when he was in a serious car accident in 2009. He was fortunate to have not sustained any major injuries, but the experience would give him the extra push he needed to take his life in a new direction. He saw his purpose and was able to envision it with sure eyes, rekindling his relationship with real estate and taking the money that he had earned through his first business to invest. Aaron always knew the importance of real estate. Having experienced life in a group home where nothing was your own and surrounded by many people who didn’t own the property they were living in. After an opportunity, where he was exposed to a different group of people who where all homeowners, he had the chance to compare their quality of life and the difference was definitely something he could get on board with. He made it his goal to buy his first property as soon as possible to improve his quality of life and acquired his first property at twenty-two.
That single purchase changed his financial situation and his mindset and attitude toward life shifted. Chasing the feeling of stability and ownership became his new goal recreating that feeling with every property he acquired.
Aaron has been in real estate for the past eight years working as a realtor for Dream Maker Realty. Along the way he has met people who have mentored him and coached him on how to invest in real estate. He became the ‘architect of his future’, constructing a solid and impactful foundation for his vision, but also in his commitment to actualize the dreams of the individuals and families who he works with to help secure their biggest investment.
Working as a realtor for Dream Maker Reality Aaron has helped his clients to realize their dreams helping them to map out their financial goals and educate them on the importance of investing in real estate. The company has multiple branches when it comes to purchasing property, providing clients with the resources and education they need to buy and sell, making sound investment choices.
Growing up in an at risk neighbourhood, Aaron knows the realities of not having that stability. This has motivated him to find a way to support families in similar situations raising them out of poverty showing them how they can build generational wealth.
Aaron founded the Real Estate Assistance Program (R.E.A.P.) in the GTA and Hamilton in 2013, as a comprehensive support system to assist a wider population of prospective home-buyers in accessing the knowledge, finances and options available needed to make the leap to home ownership. R.E.A.P. is a unique initiative that facilitates the recycling of community wealth back into the community. Through R.E.A.P.’s work, first-time homebuyers have been given the hope of home ownership by finding strategies to make housing affordable to individuals in a range of living conditions.
At Dream Maker Reality and through the Real Estate Assistance Program they want to educate their clients first on buying, selling and investing. They teach potential homeowners about how the home they live in becomes an investment if they purchase the right home in the right location for the right price.
Helping people to understand what they are doing within the transaction and showing them how the investment can align with their long-term personal and financial goals is the main objective of R.E.A.P. offering services that include information about home ownership, rent-to-own, loans, selling your home, working with young professionals looking to buy their first property. R.E.A.P. provides a unique and innovative platform that connects investors to first-time homebuyers to achieve home ownership through new construction and connecting realtors assisting them through the buying and selling process for their clients.
“90% of the millionaires come from real estate and in order to achieve that financial freedom you are looking for you have to be educated first,” says Aaron. “I’m not on top of the world, but I do have a good view of it.”
Looking toward the future Aaron hopes to help more families achieve the same things he has investing in real estate. He wants to work very closely with Young Professional to pass on the education and provide them with the tools they need to save for a down payment on a home. Through Dream Maker Reality and the R.E.A.P. program Aaron wants to show people that they can reach out for help and they too can be making their own dreams a reality.