How To Make it as the Best Real Estate Agent in Miami?
The Miami Association of REALTORS held its 4th annual Legends & Millennials All Star panel on Tuesday September 18. David Siddons was one of the 4 legends invited. Legends are real estate professionals that have really built a name for themselves in the industry and are well established. Both panels provided insights on how attendees can better themselves in the industry, how they can grow their business, how they can break into the luxury market as well as providing insights as to where they believe the market is going.
Please find below the questions asked to David Siddons, Top producing Miami real estate agent.
Please, explain how you were able to break into the high end real estate market? What would you recommend for those trying to do the same?
Firstly, breaking into the luxury market was not an immediate thing. I rarely think it is immediate unless you are already plugged into that world, which happens, but it is rare. Like many agents I started with small listings, low priced properties of $300,000-$500,000 and this took a couple of years. I probably would have continued like this for much longer had I not decided to start writing reports and blogs. I like to think I have pretty good english language skills and so writing for me is somewhat second nature. The reports led to calls from big clients and these clients just grew in size over time. Luxury deals are great, but don’t expect to hinge your entire career off selling $15M properties; you need volume to do well.
The essence of what I did is based around offering value, which in my understanding was best expressed with market knowledge. To me, the best way to express that knowledge was to write reports and blogs. But not the kind of reports that brokerage houses produce (which certainly provide use), but more of the grass roots; in the trenches experiences with what we are seeing out in the market.
From there I spent a lot of time developing my website and my digital marketing. Getting the information out also means making sure you have a platform to do it, and then combining it with good old fashioned farming; picking up the phone and making the calls.
What I recommend to those trying to break into the luxury real estate market?
Don’t get stuck behind your desk and get out there! Meet other agents, run open houses (great way to get experience with buyers and also a much needed service). Also very important is to study the market and look for trends and patterns. Be better than Zillow! Don’t do 1000 things once, do 1 thing 1000 times. Repetition is important, and there are several pieces of the puzzle that have to be repeated many many times.
Hire an assistant. Even if you cannot afford one, get one. This was the turning point for me. My first assistant is still with me today, yet now she is my marketing director. Give them a piece of the commission. Everyone needs to feel like they have skin in the game.
What was the deciding factor on why you chose the company you’re with and why did you stay with them?
I was first introduced to Chris Basick, who was my manager in the Brickell EWM office, he now runs the EWM Miami Beach office. I think it was his legitimate passion and genuine care for the agents in the office that got me to join. From there I met many great people, but I think the shared sense of responsibility and a good moral compass was what kept me. Ron is a very ‘good guy’ and I think that is something very important to me. To make sure that what I do means something and who we look up to are good people. I don’t think you should follow someone because they are financially successful yet morally corrupt. I have stayed with them because the core team are respectable people with a great sense of social accountability. I think its important to recognize that the brokerage can take you only so far. Your true success is to be defined by yourself. [As per 2019, David Siddons is now a Director of Luxury Sales with Douglas Elliman real estate)
What do you do to stay focused on daily basis? (daily routine to get you started)
What is my day like? I think like most it’s pretty crazy. We certainly have to time-manage very well. Answering emails is the first thing. There is always a flurry of those to handle. As listings are a driving engine of the business, it’s often checking in to see how each listing in performing and making sure we are doing the maximum to expose them. I usually speak to my assistant as the first person of the day, followed by my head of marketing.
I have found that it’s very easy to fill your day with non-sense and things that trick us into thinking “I am busy, so that’s good”, while in fact it does not make money. Now I ask myself the question: “Will this action bring me actual business or will it make money?”. If it does not then I delegate it or I just don’t do it. Ask yourself every morning: “on the list of 10 things to do, which ones actually will be monetizable”.
Do you have you own website?
Yes, I have Luxlifemiamiblog.com and it has become an essential part of my business. Wether I am going for a listing or serving a client, I make sure my website is working for me. From directing clients to a blog I have written that answers one of those “typical questions” to using it to illustrate our marketing outreach, it is an essential part of our business. My site probably takes us at least 30% of my time managing. Marketing is your life blood and no matter what you do, don’t let that slip.
What are the unique ways in which you prospect?
When I started in the business, I tried to do things that were memorable. Jam jars, pumpkins, hand written letters. As time has gone on, I have realized that whatever I do picking up the phone is number one. And make sure you know who you are calling! Know something about them, nothing more insulting that getting a call from someone who knows nothing about you!
What would you change or add to the industry?
I would like to see more collaboration between agents. Stop seeing other agents as competition and start seeing them as important assets that will help you sell more and provide you with much needed market information.
We are not omnipotent and we cannot expect one person’s experiences to guarantee a true reflection of the market. We need to understand the market from many angles, many experiences and many minds.
If we are to survive Trulia, Zillow and all the other algorithmed-based businesses we need to deliver a more precise personalized effective service, better knowledge and better market understanding. We need to be better as a group. To become more highly regarded we should be better researched, better educated and more aware.