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Cultivating success in real estate is about diving in head first, being flexible and formulating lasting and genuine relationships with both buyers and sellers to encourage great experiences and repeat business.
If anyone understands the daily demands of the real estate industry in a hot market, it’s Anne Dresser and Cesar Reyes, Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) members and DMAR 2017 Excellence Award recipients.
Anne Dresser, of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, was honored as the no. 1 top producing agent for both number of transactions and total sales production, and Cesar Reyes, the managing broker of Megastar, represents the no. 1 top office (one to five agents) for number of transactions and no. 3 top-office (one to five agents) for total sales production.
What time do you wake up, and what do you get done before 8 a.m.?
Dresser: I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to put together my to-do list and respond to emails, texts and phone calls. The morning is an important and quiet time to get myself prepared for the busy day.
Reyers: I wake up at 5 a.m. I believe strongly in personal health and fitness. I think the morning is a good time to take care of myself and knock things off the to-do list, before anyone else is up.
I also take time to shoot some baskets because I coach basketball. Afterward, I eat breakfast and am ready to be in the office no later than 8:30 a.m.
What do you accomplish in a typical day?
Dresser: After I get my responses out and to-do lists made, I spend about half of my day going on listing appointments and the other half making calls to contacts I have in my arsenal.
I have a list of people I touch base with who are likely to move in the next six months, whether due to a major life change or they simply enjoy moving.
Reyes: Once I take care of personal items, I sit down for five to 10 minutes to write down 10 to 20 things I need to accomplish that morning — contract deadlines, pending transactions, accounting, bank-runs, file management, Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
That checklist generally takes about two to three hours to complete. In the afternoon, I spend time looking at properties, taking appointments and doing research and lead generation (the fun stuff).
What are some things you include in your routine that help keep you on task?
Dresser: I like to block time on the calendar to make client calls and generate leads. When I am in the car, I use that time to call and connect with people.
Additionally, I prioritize 50 percent of my time to be in the office for administrative tasks and taking notes.
While blocking off time is a great concept for getting important tasks completed, being available for last minute calls and appointments is paramount for building genuine relationships with clients.
In real estate, you have to be extremely flexible and accessible because it is an important and emotional time in your clients’ lives.
Reyes: I generally block my schedule in 30-minute increments to get things done, and I like to make my lunches productive by networking with Realtors, clients and peers.
How do you balance work and family?
Dresser: I set my family appointments first. I have three children and the youngest is 20. I schedule my trips to see them and build business around family. My goal is to take one weekend a month for family vacations.
Reyes: This business can be very stressful. I like working for two or three months then take a one-week vacation to re-energize.
When I come back, I am more motivated and ready to tackle work. This allows me to always be working toward a planned vacation with something to look forward to.
I also get all my work done in the office so once I get home at 6 p.m. — I am home and present. I try to leave the weekends for minimal work.
Here are a few tips from our experts.
- It’s best to be the first wife, the second child and the third Realtor. Meaning, if clients want to overprice their house, it’s not always a benefit for Realtors to take the listing right away because it likely won’t sell.
- Finding the perfect house is like finding the perfect spouse: if the house has 80 percent of what you need, you can work on the rest because you likely won’t find 100 percent.
- Go the extra mile. Become a friend to your clients to build genuine relationships with them, and don’t forget your clients after you finish the job. Take notes on things that are going on in their life. As a real estate agent, you should be a resource for people in all aspects of life — think referrals for doctors, dentists and daycare.
- Do your homework. It’s a good idea to be aware of competitive neighborhood pricing, market trends, neighborhoods and school zones. Make sure you are communicating with your buyers and sellers and taking their feedback so there are no surprises.
- Remember to pick up the phone. My first managing broker in 1999 told me whether someone is calling you or you are making outbound calls, it’s important to make genuine verbal and physical connections to build relationships.
- Become a friend. Get to know your clients, and make sure to call for birthdays and anniversaries.
- Be professional, be ethical, and do what’s right. Nothing comes easy, and you will have to go out and get it.
- Work with the best in the business. This includes title companies, loan officers, lenders and vendors. If you don’t, it will stress you out and make your life much harder.
Although being a top producing real estate agent in Denver’s booming real estate market — or any market for that matter — is no simple feat, below are a few key takeaways for budding agents to help pave the path toward becoming a great agent.
- Manage your time: Use technology to its full potential by blocking hours on your calendar. Starting your day early is also a good idea! In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, people whose performance peaks in the morning are better positioned for career success because they’re more proactive than those who are at their best in the evening.
- Build personal connections: Making time to build personal relationships and connections is invaluable. Take the initiative to have face time with clients, and simply pick up the phone instead of email.
- Balance your own health and family: Setting aside time to unwind and connect with loved ones is important. In the busy world of real estate, it can be easy to wear yourself out.
Ann Turner is the chief executive officer at the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR). You can follow DMAR on Twitter at @DMARealtors.