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 Senior Directors of Luxury Sales for Compass, South Florida’s Ida and Minette Schwartz have led their team to more than $200 million in luxury real estate sold.
Find out how they cultivate their relationship with each other and their relationships with clients and colleagues to grow their impact and influence on the Miami residential market.
How long have you been in the business?
Ida: I have been working in real estate for about 20 years. I got into the industry after a house nearby went on the market, and it sparked an interest in me that I couldn’t shake. I was immediately drawn to real estate and began working my way up to the top.
Minette: When I was little, I was privileged to see my mom in action. She always brought me along with her to showings, and it was an exciting experience to be a part of. I started my career working in corporate America in New York and then went on to get my MBA at Duke University.
After graduating, I moved back to Miami and continued working in the corporate world for some time before I finally made the decision and asked my mom to join her business.
Editor’s note: The rest of this interview is taken from a joint email sent by Ida and Minette. It’s been lightly edited for grammar and style.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
2020 was a whirlwind, to say the least. It was no doubt an incredibly challenging year for many and taught us that there is no certainty in anything. While many people lost everything, the South Florida real estate market was fortunate to see a surge in demand, and our business grew tremendously.
In the midst of everything, we were inspired to take a step back and realize that above all, we are blessed to work with amazing people and to be able to work together as a family. In five years, we see ourselves continuing to help our clients find their dream homes and growing our team and our business.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Relationships are truly everything, and if you don’t adjust your mindset from the get-go, it’s going to be tough to stay afloat. At the end of the day, it’s about the clients and what they want.
We genuinely care, and we listen. We do our best to stay present and check off all of the items on our clients’ wish list. Even post-transaction, it’s important to stay in touch, keep that line of communication open and become their trusted adviser.
We have also learned how important it is to maintain a healthy relationship with one another. A lot of Realtors are a part of a team — and it takes some time to find that sweet spot for how to successfully work as one.
Working as a mother-daughter duo is no different, it can be challenging, and we’ve had to learn along the way, but we’ve had a lot of fun in the process. It might seem cliché, but we abide by our rule of five — respect, boundaries, balance, space, and “woosah,” a state of clarity or calmness.
How did you learn it?
Every month we sit down, review our business, and gauge what is working and what is not. It was during one of these meetings that we had an “ah-ha” moment. We came to the conclusion that we needed to start thinking of ourselves as a small business. We found more joy in being selective with smaller groups of clients, many of whom have become close friends, and we realized we were more profitable in doing so.
Our clients are more responsive and trusting with us when we can dedicate more time to truly understanding what they are looking for, and because of this, they feel confident that we are working hard every day in their best interest. To us, it’s more than just a business transaction.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Next, understand that change is inevitable; there is always going to be something new, so learn to adapt while staying authentic to yourself, your brand and your clients. Lastly, celebrate the small wins!
Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.