Don’t Miss These Business-Boosting Tips From the YPN February Breakfast: Top Producer Panel

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast virtually through Zoom. Even though our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli were put on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local industry experts. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!




Thank you to Perdure Carter, Dream Spots Leasing, Ben Lalez, COMPASS, and Emily Sachs Wong, @properties, for sharing your time and expertise with YPN! How are these Top Producers leveling up their businesses and achieving success?

Establish A Presence Online & In-Person

How did today’s top producers pivot their businesses to a virtual world following the COVID-19 pandemic? For all three, a lot of their systems and business efforts were already virtual. They simply leaned in. Social Media & Videos: Perdure sells a lot of his properties before he even gets a chance to list them. How? Live videos! For Ben, it’s all about knowing your audience. A majority of his clients are first-time homebuyers below the age of 35, so his team pushes out educational content on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and, eventually, TikTok, with these clients in mind. Farming Areas: “People call me and say, ‘We see you everywhere!'” Perdure said. “When all I’m doing is making sure I have posters in the local grocery stores, four benches in the same block, banners at the schools and so on. If it’s an area I want to specialize in, I am making sure I’m being seen.” Socially-Distanced Open Houses: Sit in open houses for whatever property you want to sell for,” Emily said. “If you can’t be found, no one will ever find you. Get out in front of people. Do your homework on that property type and everything surrounding the property you’re currently/physically sitting in. If you’re not a valuable tool, they won’t want to use you.”

The Key to Setting Yourself Apart From the Competition Is…

A Strategic Online Presence: “I love putting things on social media,” Emily said. “The biggest thing someone can do is put themselves out on social and really give information to people.” Creating and promoting content is easy but establishing value and offering valuable information to your sphere is a guarantee to set you apart. Ben agreed. “We put out a ton of educational content. Understanding how each social channel pushes out our content is super important to our business.” His team pays attention to the different lengths and algorithms between platforms and adjusts their content accordingly. Perdure operates from a place of transparency. He uses live videos during the different stages of his fix-and-flip properties so his followers get honest behind-the-scenes looks at the process. He has built such a strong following, people regularly ask for updates on the properties from his previous videos! Doing Your Homework: Perdure knew he wanted to become the go-to expert and name-brand in certain market areas, so he invested in his biggest asset: his expertise. “I started in the South Shore, so I studied the area and made sure I knew it. Be more than a licensed door opener. Don’t be a human lockbox. Make sure you can provide information.” Stuck in a multiple-offer situation? To Emily, this isn’t unique to this time period. You can prepare yourself and your clients by researching ahead of time. “People have been willing to overpay for brand-new and perfect for the last couple of years,” she said. “I make sure I am open with my clients about the history of like-kind sales in the area. I make sure I am speaking the truth and I’m the person they can count on for that.”

From Your Goals to Team Goals: Consistency & Persistence Are Key

This morning’s top producers said their personal goals and team goals are one and the same. Yet, this calibration doesn’t come to be without careful and constant work. Accountability: Perdure is always setting goals that push him and his team, but more than anything, he says being consistent and persistent are what matter most. “We all set goals at the beginning of the year, but by March we’re on to something else. The key is to be consistent for all twelve months with monthly meetings to check on progress.” Ben’s team hosts a big goal-setting meeting in December where they set five personal goals for each person. “In the grand scheme of things, I’m a coach,” he said. “I am invested with them, and it’s my job to hold them accountable.” Leading with Positivity and Empathy: Ben reminded us of the two most important qualities in a leader. “As team leads, we must lead with positivity and with empathy. The transaction may not be the biggest thing going on in their (clients or brokers) life right now, so it’s important to understand what’s going on beneath the surface.” Emily said it best. “Last year, a lot of people needed our help. Know that what we (REALTORS®) are doing is really valuable work; if we’re making the process seamless, we’re doing a great job.” Remind yourself of the value and the importance of your services, and you’ll establish yourself as a positive leader within your team, your brokerage and the industry.

Level Up From the Start

Looking back at the start of their careers, what would these top producers do differently? What challenges did they face? CRMs and Systems: Ben recommends establishing the basics from the get-go. If he could go back to his first year, he would find a CRM he will use daily. Keep up those good habits! Play the Long Game: Looking back on the start of her career, Emily now recognizes the importance of establishing lifelong clients. “It’s okay if you don’t have any listings yet. Buyers turn into listings! If you do a good job for them, they will turn into sellers.” For Perdure, his career followed this exact long game. “Renting is a great space to start. Not only do they turn into buyers who turn into sellers, I was at my rental units so often that the commercial owners were getting to know me. Over time, they asked if I did commercial, and that’s how I got into commercial sales. You never know where it will lead to.” Find Something & Dominate that Area: Perdure recommends finding a niche or an area you want to work in, then dominate in it. “You can’t be great in all areas. For example, when people think of luxury south side Chicago, I want them to think of me.” Ben agreed. “Find the one thing that works for you, that you’re comfortable doing, that you’re actually going to do, then lean into it super hard. You will be successful.”

Taking Care of Yourself & Hustling Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Refill Your Cup First: Ben makes sure he’s doing what he needs to do to take care of himself because he sees the professional stakes behind his mood. “If you’re not taking care of yourself, then my interactions with you every day will be terrible. Taking care of yourself and hustling are not mutually exclusive.” Perdure uses time blocking to carve out the balance between his personal time and his business. “Use your mornings for yourself,” he advised. “I dedicate my Sundays to my family. No real estate. No distractions. Be where your feet are!” It Isn’t About Doing More, It’s About Staying Relevant: Emily supplied some wise advice! “If you take the opportunity to slow down, you will slow down and the market will move past you. Do things that keep you relevant. If I’m no longer relevant, I shouldn’t be in the business anymore.”