Find out how Florida agent Liz Hogan learned that it’s not just what you know, it’s often who you know that gets results.

New to the industry? Get started with everything you need to know about the early decisions that’ll shape your career, including choosing a brokerage, learning your market, creating an online presence, budgeting, getting leads, marketing listings and so much more. If you’re a team leader or broker-owner, New Agent Month will be jam-packed with resources to help your new hires navigate.

As Compass’s No. 1 agent in Florida for four years running, Liz Hogan has made a major impact on her market and on the industry.

With $1.5 billion in career sales and a top ranking from Wall Street Journal/Real Trends, this Miami native works with everyone from first-time homebuyers to commercial property pros. Find out how she learned that the agents and brokers you work with are often your most important allies in the real estate business.

How long have you been in the business, and how did you get started?

I’ve had my real estate license for 18 years and have been actively working for the last 15 years. A close friend of my parents, Audrey Ross, who used to have her own brokerage but now works at Compass encouraged me to get my license. She actually has launched many careers and continues to be a great mentor and friend. 

She asked me to help her with a customer looking to purchase a warehouse, and even though I knew absolutely nothing about real estate at the time (I couldn’t even operate the MLS) it was an easy and profitable transaction, and I was immediately hooked!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I still see myself working at Compass but in a completely different landscape — hopefully working with the backend of the business helping with the upcoming launch of their technology products.

I have more than doubled my production since joining Compass and believe I will continue to increase my volume each year. I anticipate a lot of consolidation in the industry.

What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?

The best lesson I ever learned came early on in my career from a seasoned agent. She overheard me squabbling on a transaction with another agent in my office and told me, “You will work with your customer once, maybe twice, but with that agent many times over the course of your career, so don’t get on her bad side. Someday you will need a favor from her.” She was so right.

How did you learn it?

The credibility you have with other agents will directly influence your career. I have always strived to build great relationships with fellow agents, and act honestly and fairly. 

This approach has really helped me especially in today’s market of multiple offers. When an agent on the other side of the transaction knows and can trust you, it is much easier to get the deal, and to get the deal done.

A couple of months ago, I made an offer for a buyer of mine and there were other competing offers. The listing agent told me he preferred to work with me over the other agent, who was known to be difficult, and therefore we were able to negotiate and get the deal closed.

In this case, the price and terms were going to be the same as the seller had all the power. The difference of which buyer won the deal came down to the buyer’s agent.

What advice would you give to new agents?

The best advice I would give is not to turn down any deals because you think they are too small. This business all comes down to relationships.

I was working with a customer in private equity who could spend a good deal on his rental when he relocated to Miami. He called me a couple months later and asked me to help his sister, who he said couldn’t afford nearly as much, but he wanted to make sure she was in good hands and with someone who would find her a safe, decent place.

I helped her to maintain my relationship with him, and he did forward me to several of his colleagues in the future. She then referred me to one of her friends. I really didn’t want to do low-priced rentals, but her friend was so nice, I decided to take it on.

She didn’t like anything she could afford to rent, and the next day called me to say her dad would buy her an apartment instead. She bought one unit from me and her dad went on to buy three more in the same building!

Then he had me write an offer on a home that he saw at an open house as well as a lot for a home he wanted to build for himself. From that one small rental, I did millions and millions in transactions.

Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!

Christy Murdock 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 TwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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