How much do you love your profession? My question goes out to all of you. How much do you love working in the real estate industry? Is it just a hold over until you find your next “thing,” or have you found your calling for the long haul?
I’m bringing this up because of my recent interview with Gaspar Flores, owner of Su Familia Real Estate. The man’s passion and love of his work are addicting. Gaspar is the kind of man who makes you proud to be a REALTOR®. He is in real estate not for the paycheck but to provide the best experience for his clients. Or, as he puts it, for his extended family. That’s why he named his brokerage “Su Familia:” Your Family.
Most brokerage names don’t have a meaning that’s deeper than the awnings they're printed on. Look at my company’s name for example. It took me three months to come up with Vesta Preferred. All the time I am asked, what does Vesta mean? Well, Vesta is the Greek goddess of home and hearth. Okay great, I’m not Greek, to start. If Vesta exists and looks down on our Earth to help us best she can on the home and hearth end, I don’t think I will be the one she calls. But “Su Familia” makes sense, after speaking with Gaspar. He has an incredible brokerage and is constantly a top producer in the city.
In YPN interviews I aim to find out what makes our mentors tick. Why are they successful? With Gaspar, all you need to do is look at his brokerage name and understand the meaning behind it.
Me: When you started Su Familia Real Estate, what was your strategy for success?
Gaspar: I always wanted to be independent and flexible with any business decision. I used to work for a large brokerage and sometimes felt like my hands were tied behind my back. Now I make decisions based on what is best for my clients, their needs and our community. Owning my brokerage I don’t have to worry about balancing those decisions with business success. I can always do what is right and go the route of watching my clients’ best interests.
Me: What are some unique ways you market yourself and your company?
Gaspar: My reputation is based on the top-level service I provide to my clients and understanding of who they are as people. I make sure everyone coming through Su Familia’s doors is treated like family.
I love going by the saying, “nobody cares about what you know until they know that you care.” You always have to mean what you say and care about what you are doing. Clients will be the first to sense that you care or don’t care. I make my agents understand the other end, the consumer side. I have them put themselves in their client’s shoes. I want my agents to make the right decision.
We make decisions asking ourselves, “what would the client want to do for the best end result?” When people see you care, they stick with you and bring their entire networks to you. See all of your clients as extended family.
Me: Where is the opportunity in the real estate market in the next few years?
Gaspar: This is the best time to be a REALTOR®. There is an outcry from consumers for real estate information. With all of the information online, clients are more confused than ever. They want clarity and we can provide that to them.
We have a huge opportunity to make a positive impact on our customers. It is time to acquire that equity and trust with clients. Do that for the future so you can build your network moving forward in your career. We have to help people lose the fear. It’s time to prove our value to the community.
Me: What is the secret to maintaining happy real estate agents and a strong company culture?
Gaspar: I am always accessible and there for my agents when they need me. Key moments in my agents’ lives, the personal times when they need strong support, I’m always there for them. Those moments are more important than commissions or any business problems. My agents know they can rely on me. I also hired a Managing Broker rather than being that myself. The Managing Broker has to be a neutral head between the company’s interests and the agents’ interests.
Greg’s note: Su Familia agents average 10 years with the company. Considering the industry average is around 6 months, this speaks volumes on the satisfaction level at Gaspar’s company.
Me: What do you preach to your new agents about how to be successful?
Grigory Pekarsky, 2011 C.A.R. YPN Chair and Managing Broker/Partner, Vesta Preferred Realty