We are proud to present our March YPN Mentor, Mario Greco. Mario is one of the biggest names in Chicago real estate and, for that matter, in the country.
The numbers of his team, the Mario Greco Group at Prudential Rubloff, are tremendous. His Web site states: “I ended both 2009 and 2010 as the #1 full-service REALTOR in the entire city of Chicago, selling over $225 million worth of City real estate in 2009 and 2010 combined.” The Mario Greco Group ended 2010 rated Number One statewide and Number 40 nationally by The Wall Street Journal & Lore Magazine’s Real Estate Top 400.
Mario’s focus and specialty is not only real estate but building an effective system behind the selling process. His team of about 20 members has a very well defined and strategic process. Mario has formulated an effective and highly efficient method of selling and representing his clients and their properties. Being a systems guy myself, I was excited to get some one-on-one time with Mario so I could pick his brain. His advice is powerful and can be used by each of us. Enjoy!
Me: You have a 17-member group that handles every step of the sales process with high efficiency and effectiveness. How did you formulate your workflow process and perfect your system?
Mario: Almost by trial and error. I have an eye to do things more efficiently. I want to find ways to do less of what I don’t like to do in an effective manner. I might not like doing a certain part of the process but it still has to get done. So I formulate ways to make it happen with less of my immediate involvement. At the same time, I always focus on taking care of my clients as best as possible. As I grew as a REALTOR and my business kept growing, so did my process. You have to let growth happen organically. At every step of growth I gained experience and with it better knowledge to perfect my craft. I was able to find ways of becoming more efficient. Also, I hire very carefully. You have to have really good people working for you.
Me: What separates the best from the average in real estate?
Mario: In no particular order:
- Work Ethic – This is a 7-day-a-week job and more so a lifestyle than a job. The REALTORS who get that are the ones who succeed.
- Knowledge of market/neighborhood trends- You have to know your product inside and out.
- Strong systems – You have to have a rhythm to the madness and an efficient and effective formula behind your work flow. Work smart, not only hard.
- When you meet a client you have to be able to strike up a natural connection and interaction. You have to be likeable! We are in the people business, so we have to be good at interacting with people!
Me: Where is the opportunity in 2012?
Mario: We will have to continue to set the right expectations with clients. This is why knowledge of the market and neighborhood trends is so critical. We are the ones who have to know what price will move specific properties. We have to represent our clients honestly and effectively. Sometimes this means delivering news they don’t want to hear. If clients are not willing to face the facts and demand to list at the price they want, rather than what the market is calling for, it might be better to turn down the listing. Set expectation from the beginning, it is better for everyone involved in the transaction. Also, rentals and short sales/foreclosures are hot right now and will only get hotter in 2012. Become versed in these fields and you will grow your business as a result.
Me: Why do people fail in real estate?
Mario: A combination of not having some of the traits I listed in question number 2:
- If someone is not good with people and connecting in a natural way.
- Not working smart! It is not enough to work hard, you have to be working with a strategy behind the madness.
- Don’t get the right knowledge of the market. This is a recipe for failure; you should always be setting expectations!
- Don’t invest in your business, not only monetarily but with planning. You should always be looking forward to the next step and planning for it.
- New agents or agents who plateau sometimes expect too much from their brokerage. Some agents depend too much on their family/friends for business and not on growing their opportunity/client base. This should be a daily push.
Me: What are the top three most important things to remember when trying to grow your business?
Grigory Pekarsky, C.A.R. YPN Past Chair and Managing Broker/Partner, Vesta Preferred Realty