In this weekly column, realtors from across the country share stories about the lessons they have learned during their careers in the industry.
With over half a billion career sales, Angel Nicolas with The Nicolas Group at Compass combines his experience as a professional baseball player with his expertise in Miami real estate to deliver exceptional service to his clients.
Just like in his days playing, Nicolas knows that teamwork is the key to success, and it is this focus that has helped The Nicolas Group become one of the most productive teams in all of Compass Florida. . Find out how he learned that it’s more about the customer than the agent when it comes to creating winning results.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been working in real estate for over five years, but my career started in a completely different direction. In 2005, I was drafted to play baseball for the San Francisco Giants. I was injured three years later, which drastically changed my life plans and forced me to rethink my strategy.
I started out by opening my own personal training business in Miami, Quality Fitness. While looking for a place to open a gym, I became intrigued by real estate and was convinced that if I combined my relentless work ethic and my drive to succeed, I could start a business and work with doing something i like. I started out in the commercial world and during that time ended up getting two residential listings before construction – that’s when I realized that residential selling was my calling.
I like to think of real estate as a sport. I approach every day and every business as a professional athlete. Preparation and practice are essential, I “train” every day to become a better agent for my clients to add value. It involves learning and constantly evolving my strategy to keep up with market changes and make sure I’m at my peak.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see The Nicolas Group growing to be the # 1 team in Florida. The plan is to expand the team and hopefully start developing residential homes as well as getting into development sales.
What’s a great lesson you learned in real estate?
One of the most important things I’ve learned from working in this industry is that it’s never about you, it’s always about the customer. Always ask questions, and never assume or answer questions for them. We can learn a lot by asking questions and listening to the customer’s response.
How did you find out?
I used to focus on areas where I personally liked houses. I tried to sell the properties that matched my needs and preferences. With experience, I have learned that everyone has different tastes and lifestyle priorities.
My goal is to understand the wants and needs of the customer and connect the dots from there. A few years ago, I was showing a house that wasn’t necessarily my style, but instead of projecting my opinion on the client, I asked him what he thought of the house. It turned out to be exactly what they were looking for.
If I had inserted my opinion right away things might have turned out differently, but instead the client was extremely happy to find exactly what they were looking for.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Don’t be a “jack of all trades”: focus on becoming a market specialist in a specific area and grow from there. In the beginning, a lot of agents try to sell anything and everything. It’s best to focus on a specific area and be consistent with it.
Maybe you’ll start with a condominium or a gated community, but learn all about it and grow from there. People will eventually associate you with this area and want to contact you for advice or information on this.
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Christy Murdock is a real estate agent, freelance writer, coach and consultant and owner of Real estate writing. She is also the creator of the online course Building the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow the real estate editorial staff on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.