Top-performing agents share what it takes to succeed in real estate in 2022 during the second day of Inman Connect in New York.

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Tomi Rose remembers getting in touch with a client who was new to town and needed to make a trip to the store.

The client, one of many for Rose’s sports and entertainment brokerage, was new Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin.

“He didn’t have his car yet [and] he was going to take an Uber to go to Target,” Rose said. “I’m a mom first. I’m like, ‘You’re not going to take an Uber. I’ll just take you.’”

It may not be the most conventional way to attract and retain clients, but it was one of several pieces of advice Rose gave to agents looking to break out in 2022 during Inman Connect on Wednesday in New York.

“Just taking an extra step, just trying to figure out what your clients need, meeting them where they’re at, that’s what’s been very successful for me,” she said, “You build those relationships and now the clients know you, they have a trust with you.”

Rose’s example of playing part-agent, part-chauffeur for the NBA player new in town was one way she said agents could attract and retain loyal clients at a time when homebuyers might feel disloyal to their agent. 

The advice that emerged from Rose and Santiago Arana, a managing partner of The Agency, were the personal journeys of two people who got into real estate and have become successful.

The two provided somewhat diverging personal experiences that have led them both to success in the industry.

For Arana, it involved moving to the United States from Bolivia, learning English and getting into real estate on the recommendation of a cousin. He didn’t have a large network of potential clients. He was still learning the dominant language.

“No relatives. No college roommates. No high school friends,” he said. “You have to start from scratch.”

That involved getting out, knocking on doors and meeting people in person. The work involved can be hard, he said, but he recommended agents stay in the business only if they’re committed to the craft.

“You can’t be the best 100 percent of yourself if you’re not outlining what it is you want and your goals and what direction is it you’re going,” Arana said.

Just like Rose stepping in for Martin’s Uber, Arana suggested putting a personal touch on client outreach.

“If I’m driving in L.A. to a taco stand and I thought of a client that we once were there, I call that client,” he said. “Every time I think about clients throughout my day, I just keep calling.”

Rose stressed the importance of finding a niche within the industry and developing within that niche. 

For her, that involved focusing on catering to people within sports and entertainment. She has more than two decades of experience, including acting as the senior director of luxury sales in the sports and entertainment division at Douglas Elliman.

Earlier this year, she founded Aston Rose, a brokerage focusing on the same clientele in Florida and California.

She stressed focusing on developing a personal brand and sticking to it, even if that takes extra time and effort.

“I woke up at 5 a.m. today to get here and get hair and makeup done,” she said. “I wanted to present myself in a nice, beautiful canvas to you guys.”

Email Taylor Anderson

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