We invited the twittersphere and asked agents to tweet their questions to Ryan Serhant using #AskRyanSerhant, and this is what emerged with Ryan’s advice.
1. @luly9 asks: Do you personally invest in properties? Why or why not?
Yes, of course. I look at thousands of apartments a year. It’s my job to know what good deals are. When I see one that I personally like, I jump on it. Brokerage builds income. Real estate investment builds wealth.
As a real estate broker, I also look at real estate investments as another way to lend credibility to my profession so that I’m a real estate broker advising people on making multimillion-dollar investments on property.
If I, too, am not investing, why would a buyer ever trust me? Think about it like this: Would you go to an overweight personal trainer, or would you invest your money with a wealth manager who doesn’t invest his own money?
2. @Jbender 318 asks: What’s your first piece of advice for a first-year agent, to build a sustainable business?
Stay focused, and don’t take a single day off. First, know that the next two years of your life are going to be very difficult, but it’s the ones who are willing to live a few years like others won’t who then live the rest of their life like others can’t.
Second, know that in the world of residential real estate everyone you know, everyone you see on the street, everyone you meet is now a client. Your first months should be spent compiling the contact information of your entire spear of influence and reaching out to everyone personally and letting them know you are now a real estate salesperson.
If you actually do this, from those calls I guarantee you will have at least one deal that will come to the table. From that one deal will come another one, and from that one will come two, and from those two will come four, and so on.
If you follow that principle and you have the work ethic, you will always have active buyers and sellers, and every day will be better than the last because you told yourself from day one that this was supposed to be difficult.
3. @RealtrorSteveGP asks: What was/is the most effective marking tool you use to expand your brand?
The real estate brokerage business is built on referrals. Referrals are only ever made by others personally, so think about what that means. That means that somebody else out there in the world is taking the time out of their precious day to tell somebody else to work with you.
That is a remarkable thing, and how do you get those referrals that are made so personally? By giving those people personal attention.
Everyone is busy, but what I want is for every client and referral to say when they describe me, “Ryan is a very, very busy guy because he’s successful, but when he is with you, he makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room.”
That personal attention is the best marketing advice I could give to anyone, and then you stem from that. Personal handwritten notes, personal small gifts, personal dinners, personal calls on birthdays saying how young they look, personal invitations to your events. That’s what builds this empire!
4. @Lena_Exxx asks: When did you know you wanted to become a broker: Honestly?
I still don’t know if I want to become a broker. What I do know is that in 2008 I had no money, but one of my good friends, Jason Paulino, pushed me to get into real estate because he said I could be good at it, and it would help pay the bills.
So, I guess I knew I wanted to become a real estate agent when my friend told me to, but in reality I knew I wanted to be a broker the day I listed my first property because at that moment I knew that the real estate brokerage business is not a test of genius or physical strength.
It is an exercise in hard work. The harder I worked, the more listings I would get; the more listings I would get, the more buyers I would get; the more deals I would do, the more money I make. And that really is the American dream to me. The harder you work, the more money you make!