In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
As a finalist for 2019’s NAR 30 Under 30, Khoi Le knows that putting others first is the surest path to success.
Having struggled with poverty and homelessness throughout his childhood, Albuquerque real estate agent Khoi Le has a special sense of mission and motivation in working with his community.
After immigrating to the States at the age of 6, his mother faced economic and cultural barriers as she sought to provide for her children. Le was first inspired to learn about real estate to help his mother understand a purchase agreement.
Now he uses his knowledge to help others like his mother, and says, “Being able to provide homes to families is my dream come true.”
How long have you been in the business?
I got into real estate in 2016 and started my business in 2017. My specialty is connecting with people and listening to their needs, whether they are clients, agents or complete strangers.
My bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in business administration is in management of technology. With this background, I use technology to enhance my business and my personality to drive it.
I have invested hundreds of hours of education in sales, management, contracts, photography, team building, leadership training and communications. I am not only a Realtor, I am a community advocate, CEO of my business, education partner to non-profits and servant to consumers.
I partner with local businesses to give our clients an offer or discount to do business with them. This program helps market other small businesses in my community, along with giving our network a list of amazing companies to do business with when they are new to the neighborhood, city, state or, in some cases, the country.
Technology has given us a great way to connect with people. I have over [6,000] followers on Instagram and almost [5,000] people on Facebook. My posts generate almost 1,000 comments, my video views near 10,000. I post to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram Stories and update my Albuquerque Realtor Blog regularly on YouTube, giving the audience a glimpse of our life in real estate.
I do local business interviews onsite with business owners and have been featured many times on radio by helping charities have a voice in our community and helping them out through my networks.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Because of my past, I have vowed to help as many people as I can. There is a child out there right now, homeless and afraid, that needs us to tell him it’s going to be OK, and he is capable of changing his reality and even the world.
I always tell my agents “Be the person you needed when you were a child.” Helping others, being a positive influence and changing lives is free.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Being an immigrant has motivated me to work harder and do more for my community and family. I grew up without the same advantages as the other children. I didn’t have help at home for my homework due to language barriers. I didn’t have television or Christmas.
What I did have was hope for my family to have a better life in America, an amazing and hardworking mother and the will to never experience poverty again.
My single mother survived the Vietnam War, the communist regime and an abusive husband. No matter what, she did what she had to do to provide. My mother stressed education everyday. She told me everything can be taken away from you, but they can never take away your education.
I received my master’s at 21 with honors in a top-10 program in the world. I have designations after my name because I am continuously learning so I can be better at my craft and to be able to help the most people.
Because of my hardworking mother, I work hard everyday and enjoy it. I wake up at 5 a.m. I go to the gym, I have my morning meetings, and then I go into the field.
I never eat alone because I always take a client or a friend out to lunch or dinner. Breaking bread with someone face-to-face means so much to me. Sometimes it’s 10 p.m. before I get home because I’m having so much fun at work or being with a client or friend.
What advice would you give to new agents?
My advice for agents is the platinum rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. People want to be helped, to feel validated, to be heard. In turn, they will help you. Be the friend, the community leader, the rock your community needs.
Realtor is my occupation, but helping people is what I’m known for. Once you let go of ego and the drive for numbers and sales, you will realize how much you personally can change and shape your community.
Do not count units and sales. I personally feel that as an industry we should only count the number of families that we serve; the money is secondary to fulfilling the dreams of our community.
We are not sales people. We are service providers, and with today’s technology available to the consumer, we will be extinct if we do not provide a higher quality of service, better communication and more education about our communities than Zillow, realtor.com and the other dozens of websites that have been built to replace us.
Do the right thing always. Be fearless because you will never get in trouble if you follow the code of ethics. If it feels like the wrong decision, it probably is. Reach out to others if anything is questionable. The security of knowing my business is never going to be in jeopardy allows me to sleep at night and help more people every day.
Take care of yourself. You are the rock to your community and your clients and your family. A doctor does not stay sick to help her patients.
A Realtor cannot get the best value for a buyer or the best offer for a seller if they are not healthy, safe and well-rested. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take breaks, take a day off and exercise!
And lastly, cooperation is crucial. I truly believe we are all in this together. We cannot have a closing if there is no seller or buyer. The listing agent and selling agent are at the same table.
We all have to do our part to get to that closing table. The reason it is called “cooperating agent” is because that is what is required to serve our clients.
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