We continue the YPN Mentor Series with the outstanding David Wolf of @properties. David was among the Top 1 percent of top-producing agents of the Chicago Association of REALTORS in 2010, and is the kind of leader the YPN loves to highlight. David was one of the first agents with @properties, which has given him some fantastic insight into what it takes to grow a business from the ground floor to a real estate powerhouse.
David ended our interview by stating, “I just love mentoring. Let me know if there are any other mentor opportunities I can help with.” His selfless passion to help others succeed and better the industry as a whole is what YPN is all about!
Please read on to gain some insight from truly one of Chicago’s best:
You are one of the top producing agents in one of the top brokerages in the country. What is your best advice for new agents building their books of business?
Focus on building a strong client base. This is a referral business; referrals are a huge part of my success. Make an effort to meet new people; you should be networking and out in the community as much as possible. From there, organize a database with contacts and maintain consistent communication. Constant interaction and communication with your database will build your name and brand over time. That’s the most important part of building your book of business.
How did you know Real Estate was your calling?
(laughs) I didn’t! My friend actually was the one who got me into it. He started with @ about 8-9 months before me. He told me to try it out and I went for it. I got some early deals and realized I had a knack for it. Nine-and-a-half years later, here we are!
What was your most memorable mistake or lesson learned along the way?
Actually it was a recent occurrence. I’ve had a tendency to try to teach lessons. I have since realized that teaching is not my job as a REALTOR®. I run my business now by this principle: “My job is not to teach someone a lesson or change them; it’s to figure out how to represent my clients properly and get the deal done.”
I also used to take things personally. Don’t do that! The best advice I can give on this is to realize that there is usually some underlying reason why people act the way they do. Think of it like this: when we are driving and someone cuts us off, we have a tendency to get angry. Why do we get angry? We think the person did it to us on purpose, so we get upset. The driver doesn’t even know who we are -- so get over it and don’t get upset. We make better decisions that way!
Is Real Estate a good career choice for a young professional?
Yes, but the key word is professional. Real Estate turns into a back up for most people. You can’t get away with doing it part time. Real Estate is hard work and you have to treat it like a business from the beginning. We are all small business owners. We run our own marketing, accounting, sales, business development and accounting departments. You have to do the “ugly” stuff to become great. Real Estate is a lot of fun but you have to work hard every day. Remember that everything you do every day improves your business by that much.
Real Estate is all about building a personal brand. What are your Top Three points for agents to focus on while building theirs?
- Figure out what’s your brand “name.” Is it your personal name, is it a team name? This is very important. (Refer to the video so you can see David elaborate on this.)
- Figure out what your brand is and move forward accordingly.
- Be consistent with your brand.
Remember that a big official name sounds great from the outside, but your clients might be turned off. They want to deal with YOU, not a big fancy team. The more personal you make it, the better. My suggestion is to brand your name.
2011 C.A.R. YPN Chair and Managing Broker/Partner, Vesta Preferred Realty