BreakAway Agent Episode #4 with Anthony Vulin of the Collective
Anthony Vulin from The Collective Agency got his start in real estate right out of college. He jumps into new projects and just ends up killing it time after time, so we sat down with him and got some ideas to help other agents build relationships and ultimately grow their businesses.
He has gotten his success from building a close knit group of relationships that has helped him grow his database and maintain connections.
Let’s get into his process, listen to some key indicators for success, and read what he has to say about what is going on in the market right now. Here are notes from our recent conversation on the BreakAway Agent podcast.
Important Things Anthony Vulin Wants You to Know As You Build Relationships In Real Estate
Whether you’re expanding your team, building a stronger referral base, or just trying to make connections to keep your real estate business successful, Anthony Vulin brought up some excellent points in his episode of The BreakAway Agent Podcast.
1. Culture Is Extremely Important In A Competitive Work Space
Anthony typically only hires 20% of the people he interviews because he believes that culture is one of the most important aspects of a solid team. Often times we spend more time in the office than we do with our own friends and family, so it’s crucial to have the right fit when bringing on new agents.
Specifically, you want people in your office who are willing and eager to grow. We can’t all know everything, so being a part of a team where you can lean on and support each other becomes key.
2. Find A Broker Who Mentors You And Embeds You With Masterminds.
Along the same lines as finding the right culture fit for the office, mentors and masterminds are another huge part of what can make or break a team.
Surrounding themselves with successful mentors is a huge part of what makes Anthony and his office so successful. When you find a mentor that supports you, teaches you, and helps instill a thirst to learn, your business can grow exponentially.
3. Become An Advocate For Homeowners.
Something that Anthony specifically likes to stress is the idea that real estate agents and brokers have a voice to help support homeownership.
Homeownership rates are going down, and it’s becoming harder and harder for people to buy homes. Real estate agents can do something about it. Whether it’s reaching out to Congress or being apart of the National Association of REALTORS, it becomes the duty of brokers and agents to be a supportive advocate for affordable housing.
Find out how your city is developing, and what are they doing to help homeowners and future homeowners.
4. If You Want To Be On A Top Team, Always Sharpen The Saw And Grow.
Being a top team means filling that team with top agents. Top agents are learning based, and eager to help support other agents.
20 minds are better than 1, so start by collaborating with other real estate agents and build relationships that are synonymous with growth. If you’re in an office and you’re feeling alone or like there is something missing – create your own group!
In an ever changing market, it’s important to band together and combine our knowledge if we want to help the most amount of people.
5. As New Agents, It’s Important To Know Why You’re In The Business
Why are you in real estate? Is it just for the money?
If you want to be successful, you have to know how important homeownership is and be dedicated to building relationships and helping buyers. If you’re not committed 100%, you won’t make it in this industry.
It’s not enough to try to do this part time. How dedicated are you to growth and how willing are you to put in the time? Ultimately that will be what sets you apart.
6. The Number Way Real Estate Agents Bring In Business Is By Referrals.
Nearly 75% of new business that comes to real estate agents are from referrals. It’s important to have a database, of course, but that database means nothing if you aren’t cultivating a relationship.
If you have a database of over 1000 people, and yet none of those people are bringing you new business, it’s basically meaningless.
Anthony suggests starting with a database of 300 people that you are close to, 300 people who you have a personal relationship with and would be willing to bet they’d refer you to someone else.
6. You Need To Build Relationships With People – Close Enough That They Would Invite You To Their Birthday Party.
How do you know if you are maintaining close and personal relationships that could potentially help your business? If they are asking you to come celebrate their birthday, or go out for drinks, or come to a family dinner – then you are probably doing a good job.
Ultimately that is the goal, to have 300 people in your database that are asking you to spend time with them.
7. Use The Alphabet Trick… Build A Trusted Database By Calling 2 Letters Each Week.
Though there are several flashy tools out there that are constantly dangled in real estate agents faces, most agents feel they don’t have the time to use them. It comes down to making your time worthwhile, and time blocking even basic systems like the alphabet trick.
Data shows that you need to be making contact with everyone in your database at least 4 times a year. So gather your database and every week, contact every person in your database with the last name A-B. The next week, call or email or reach out to everyone with the last name C-D. And so on and so forth. At the end of the alphabet, that will be the end of the first quarter, and then you start over.
It doesn’t have to be something huge. Send someone an email. Shoot them a text. Ask them how it’s going and see if maybe they need your expertise. The best CRM and tools are the ones that you use. So go out and use them!
8. Build Your Database With People You Actually Know
It’s not enough to just vaguely reach out to your database. Make sure you have a solid follow up system to cultivate those leads into profits for your business. The fastest way to build your database is to fill your database with friends.
You don’t have to put ALL of your leads into your database, put in people who already know and trust you. Qualifying your leads first is a great way to help make sure that not only are you bringing them the most value possible but that you aren’t wasting time on clients that you aren’t clicking with.
9. Know Your Market and Stand Out From The Competition
It’s so important as a real estate agent and a broker to know your area. You don’t have to know everything, but you do have to be an expert in where you are at. Make sure you’re pulling the numbers, researching the data, and giving your clients the information they want.
If you aren’t a trusted advisor, your clients will move on and find someone they trust and respect as someone who knows what they are doing. Part of building relationships and standing out from the competition is becoming a knowledgeable source of information.
10. Three Things You Should Be Doing If You Do Nothing Else
One of the most important things you can do to build your business and grow those relationships is to CALL YOUR LEADS. It seems basic but if you have 300 people in your database, it should only be taking you about an hour to call your leads every day.
One hour a day to potentially exponential grow your sales for the year is not a lot. It’s nothing. What are you leaving on the table by putting off those phone calls? Who are you letting slip through the cracks?
If you know the value of your leads, you would be so much more keen to pick up the phone.
The next important thing is to nurture those relationships. Do you have people in your database that aren’t inviting you to their birthday party? Reach out and get closer to those people. Become their friends. It is so much easier to refer a friend than it is to refer someone who barely reaches out, so get closer!
The third thing is to not forget about those who already gave you new leads. If you have people who have already successfully brought you new business, reach out to them. They obviously know you and trust you. Make them feel important and valued because they are!
11. In Real Estate, You’ve Got To Be All In Or Do Something Else.
One of the last tips that Anthony gives is to be all in. Be focused. You don’t have to spend all of your money or give all of your time. Focus on the most important parts of your business and watch them grow.
It’s not worth being in real estate unless you’re ready to commit and perform at a really high level.
About Our BreakAway Guest
Anthony Vulin, Owner
Anthony Vulin began his real estate career right after graduating from UCLA in 2000. In August of 2013 Anthony launched his very own boutique real estate company in West Hollywood…THE COLLECTIVE and was NAMED 2016 REALTOR OF THE YEAR by Beverly Hills Greater LA Association of Realtors (out of 9000 agents).