In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
With more than half a billion in career sales, Angel Nicolas with The Nicolas Group at Compass combines his experience as a professional baseball player with his expertise in Miami real estate to deliver stellar service to his clients.
Just as in his playing days, Nicolas knows that teamwork is the key to success, and it’s that focus that has helped The Nicolas Group to become one of the top-producing teams in all of Compass Florida. Find out how he learned that it’s more about the client than the agent when it comes to creating winning outcomes.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the real estate business for over five years, but my career started in a completely different direction. In 2005, I was drafted to play baseball for the San Francisco Giants. I was injured just three years later, which dramatically shifted my life plans and forced me to re-strategize.
I started out by opening my own personal training business in Miami, Quality Fitness. While looking for a location to open a gym, I became intrigued by real estate and was confident that if I combined my unrelenting work ethic and drive to succeed, I could create a business and work doing something I enjoy. I started off in the commercial world and during this time ended up getting two pre-construction residential listings — this is when I realized residential sales was my calling.
I like to look at real estate as a sport. I approach each day and each deal as a professional athlete. Preparation and practice are key, I “train” every day to become a better agent for my clients to add value. This involves constantly learning and evolving my strategy to keep up with market shifts and make sure I am at the top of my game.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see The Nicolas Group growing to become the No. 1 team in Florida. The plan is to expand the team and, hopefully, begin developing residential homes as well as break into selling developments.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
One of the most important things I’ve learned while working in this industry is that it’s never about you, it’s always about the client. Always ask questions, and never assume or answer questions for them. We can learn a lot from asking questions and actually listening to the client’s response.
How did you learn it?
I used to focus on the areas where I personally liked the homes. I tried to sell the properties that appealed to my needs and preferences. With experience, I learned that everyone has different tastes and lifestyle priorities.
My goal is to understand the client’s wants and needs and connect the dots from there. A few years ago, I was showing a home that wasn’t necessarily my style, but instead of projecting my opinion onto the client, I asked what they thought of the home. It turned out that it was exactly what they were looking for.
If I had inserted my opinion right away, things might have gone differently, but instead, the client was extremely happy to find exactly what they had been looking for.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Do not be a “jack of all trades” — focus on becoming a market specialist in a specific area and grow from there. Starting off, a lot of agents try to sell everything and anything. It’s better to focus on a specific area and be consistent with it.
Maybe you’ll start off with one condominium building or one gated community but learn everything about it and grow from that point. People will eventually associate you with that area and want to contact you for advice or information regarding it.
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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 Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.