What was your first job in the realty industry? I began my real estate career as an investor and investment consultant. I soon realized I knew more about real estate sales and marketing than most agents I delt with, so I got my real estate license and joined Keller Williams – one of the best companies in the real estate industry.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Cycling and reading are my two favorite ways to recharge. I put a tremendous amount of energy and time into my work, so I make sure to find balance with personal time. I also love volunteering with community or social projects, and I get my whole family involved in that process. It’s immensely rewarding to help others.
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in beautiful southern California.
Growing up, what did you want to be? That would depend on what age you asked me. My neighbor’s house caught fire when I was six, and the fire department came charging in and put out the blaze. They were heroes in my eyes and that’s all I wanted to be for several years. In high school I was very good at science, so I thought I’d end up as a chemist or physicist.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Very hard to choose. Norman Mailer comes to mind right away, but I’d have to pick former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Controversy surrounds him, and his policies are directly connected with one of the greatest eras of prosperity and the ensuing collapse of that era. That makes for a great conversation.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Around a big table with friends and family. Wine is a passion of mine, and I like to cook, so that creates a gravity that pulls people in and makes a warm, happy home.
What do you love most about the industry? Real estate, at it’s core, is about our eternal dream of having a beautiful, safe and nurturing home. I love being a part of that, and helping people achieve that dream. I also enjoy the incredible dynamics of the industry. Each day is different, and you get out what you put into it. Hard work and sincere client care build amazing careers and life long friendships.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m a networker, through and through, and I’m in the office and on the phone at 8:00am each morning talking about my properties. That gives me a huge advantage over 90% of the agents in the market. Unfortunately, most agents don’t treat this work as a dedicated business, and that’s one of the biggest mistakes they could make. If you’re worth your salt, you’re putting in 50-60 hours a week for your clients and your business. The truth is there are only a handful of great agents out there.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Making sure my clients needs, desires and expectations are aligned with the market, the property and my professional recommendations. This process requires keen listening, constant feedback, daily market analyses and direct honesty with my clients. This is the part of my work that is most important and most difficult because it’s the easiest to get wrong. Agents simply must go the extra mile to know exactly what their clients require on all levels, and they must be honest with their clients at all costs.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Everywhere! Seriously, I talk to people at the grocery store, Starbucks, my daughters school, charity functions, on the golf course and everyday via phone and website interactions. Networking is the HEART of this business, and you better do it often and well.
What has been you greatest accomplishment? Personally, my family and home are my greatest accomplishments. Professionally, I’ve worked very hard to develop my skills, and that’s led to working with billion dollar clients. At that level it’s not only about being an expert and delivering what’s required, it’s also about providing a level of service that exceeds your clients’ expectations, and make no mistake, those expectations are very high.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
I just read “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts and highly recommend it.
What is your favorite restaurant? In Delray Beach I’m often at 32 East, but I also frequent the bar at The Office. In Miami, I love Bourbon Steak, Edge, The Federal, The River Oyster Bar, Harry’s Pizza and Eating House. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Houston? My architectural tastes are diverse and it’s all about the feeling a particular structure creates rather than the particular style. I really love St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church in North Miami Beach, Vizcaya Museum and The Fontainebleau. There are also many wonderful modern building and homes in Miami. Rene Gonzales is an outstanding modern architect in the area and has designed outstanding modern beach houses that I’m quite fond of.
Smartphone or paper? iPhone and iPad all day long! That said, I do still enjoy putting pen to paper.
What is your favorite city after Miami? San Diego, California.
What is your advice for someone new to the industry? Get up early and go learn your area. Walk neighborhoods and talk to as many people as possible. Work hard, communicate often and use professional business systems to structure your work. Don’t wing it like every other agent out there. Get with a brokerage that has an excellent training and mentoring program, like KW. It makes all the difference.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Homesnap is great, but Dotloop or Go Connect are essential.
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