In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
A guest shot on Million Dollar Listing and a decade and a half of serving celebrity clients has made Johnny Mansilla one of the most sought-after brokers in Miami.
What accounts for his success? It comes down to staying open to possibilities and using his gift for connecting to build an exceptional professional and client network.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the real estate business for more than 15 years. I started off as an investor flipping houses when I met a broker from Brown Harris Stevens. From there, I worked along the coast of Florida until a former client flew me to New York to negotiate and finalize a penthouse listing.
I ended up working on the listing with Ryan Serhant.
I went back to Florida after the sale, but not for long. A developer I was working with made me a sales representative for two buildings in New York. After some time in the city, I connected with Ryan again and joined his team. Soon after, Eddie Shapiro, the CEO of Nest Seekers, introduced me to working for corporate. From there on out, everything truly fell into place.
I couldn’t be happier to work for such a great organization.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
After more than 15 years as a real estate broker, I became a U.S. citizen. With that, I have recently taken immense interest in my heritage. For as long as I can remember, I have been working to thrive successfully in this country. Now, as I have made a name for myself, I want to discover where it all started for me.
In addition to tracing back my roots, I want to become more involved with the changing times and technologies of the real estate industry. Specifically, I want to explore more of the ways in which commercial real estate will be affected.
What’s next in today’s society of endless innovation and the world of virtual reality (VR)? It’s clear that the industry is facing a challenge, and I want to be a resource for tech developers so that action and energy is going in the right direction.
Truthfully, it will all start when we answer the question: “What will take the place of commercial retail?” Once this is discovered, it is my goal to work toward making NYC a better and safer place for all.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate? How did you learn it?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that real estate transactions are emotional — people are heavily invested emotionally as well as financially.
Throughout my years in the industry, I have sold the full spectrum of property types — from an empty lot with a spec home to penthouses and luxury homes like Armani Casa. In order to successfully complete a real estate transaction, I must listen and identify the client’s needs and wants; it’s so much more complicated than a plain money exchange for a tangible good.
Acquiring a dwelling for most families represents a life’s effort to accumulate the necessary funds to purchase a home, a place where they can see their families grow and blossom. Based on that belief, brokers ought to listen to and get involved in the decision-making process. However, very few brokers successfully master this professional skill.
What advice would you give to new agents?
For new real estate agents, I strongly believe that you should always do what you love. It may take a while to discover your passion, but once you find what sets your heart on fire, the rest will follow. It can be extremely difficult, but with commitment and focus, you can achieve what you set your mind to.
If you are interested in real estate in order to get money quickly, this is not the industry for you. No matter what, follow your truth; your passion will always lead you to what you love. Life will take its turns, and you must remember to stay open. If you do so, the status and recognition that we all long for will follow.