Accepting and Embracing New Tech Makes You a Better Real Estate Agent • Ilan Bracha

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Ilan Bracha, founder and CEO of Bracha Group with Keller Williams NY, points out how important it is to keep in touch with your clients during this difficult period. He believes that communication is the key to client happiness. Ilan also values recent technological advancements and believes that virtual back-offices will allow us to work from anywhere. Lastly, Ilan discusses artificial Intelligence, and how agents will be able to utilize this technology to better serve clients.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

Ilan Bracha can be reached at (917) 771-8812 and brachagroup@kwnyc.com 


D.J. Paris 0:00
Today’s episode is brought to you by bom bom. If your real estate team could get face to face with more people more often would you create and win more opportunities? Of course you would. But every day you’re interesting some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better rehumanize the experience by getting face to face through simple personal videos with Bom Bom from your laptop, your smartphone even from your CRM learn more and get started for free at Bom dot com. And now onto our show

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with a number one top producing agent in New York City Ilan brockagh. Before we get to Elon, I have a few quick favors to ask of you. Number one, please follow us on Facebook find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod. You can watch us record episodes live with video in real time. And also we post an article that we find that helps you grow your business every single day. So And lastly, thanks for telling a friend. Think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing from top producers and send them over to our website keeping it real pod.com or have them pull up any podcast app and look for keeping it real and they can subscribe there. Thanks for continuing to listen thanks for continuing to support our show and now on to our interview with Elon Branca.

hates it today on the show. We have Elon brockagh from the brockagh Group at Keller Williams in New York. If you’re not familiar with Elon, he’s an absolute mega superstar in the real estate community nationwide, especially in New York. But let me tell you a little bit about him. Elan. Brocket is the founder of Keller Williams NYC and also the founder and CEO of the brockagh group considered a mega agent in the Manhattan market Elon has done over and this is incredible $3 billion in real estate transactions, and has built a network of national international clientele with investment assets worth over $200 billion. Now during his time at Douglas Elliman. Ilan started the brockagh group, which where his stellar broker performance resulted in him being the youngest person ever to be a named managing director. And he was the recipient of numerous top awards including number one in sales for five consecutive years. Number two in the entire PDE network, a top producing sales group most sales transactions, most sales exclusives, most projects to close and a million other awards that he has won over his career, please visit his group’s website brockagh.com. That’s B R A cha.com. To learn more about Elon and his team. Also please follow him and his team on Instagram. You can find them at the brockagh team and also Elon Abraca. We’ll be publishing those links. Elan, thank you so much for being on our show. We really appreciate it. This

Ilan Bracha 3:39
is new, it’s gonna be weird for the thought guests you know, in May, but we will decide. You know what to say thank you so much appreciate it, but shouldn’t?

D.J. Paris 3:50
Well, I was telling Ilan, just before we started, we have a friend who who owns one of the large firms in Manhattan called the Oxford group. And I was we were telling him, Oh, we have Elon Brock. And he’s like, Oh my gosh, you you must have a really big podcast. And he said, Well, I guess so. But he goes, That guy’s a legend. So we’re so excited to have you. But I wouldn’t love for our audience to learn more about you. Can you talk about how you got into real estate? I know you came to this country originally from from Israel. And tell us about about how you got over here and how you got started.

Ilan Bracha 4:22
So it’s yeah, it was about 2022 years ago something like that. Yeah, just about I finished Dominions where I came here to visit and travel and ending up staying falling in love with the city in New York. It’s easy to fall in love in early 20s It just trying you know your life and it’s just a it was a good day. Good experience. And I ended up or worked you know, in a moving company just to get you know, food obviously to you know, me and few friends and

D.J. Paris 4:53
so you were you were a mover you were I still do.

Ilan Bracha 4:58
This is part of it. Working from home? Oh, sure, sure, of course. So yeah, I think I still in the moving business, I’m moving people from, you know, one place to another, I’m just charging them more 70 I ended up, you know, one of my previous work my first boss, you know, I was moving his office, he told me, that Representative should do real estate. And that’s what you know, that was my last move. I start with real estate, I start doing rental, I didn’t like it. And then for a few months, and then I start doing sales. By basically making phone calls, I took the blue book, there was a blue book with information and, and they gave it to me, you know, literally, like, you know, it’s really, it’s funny, because there is no training today, there is so many training out there. And in coaching and mentors that are out there that you can really learn and back then it was like, basically take it make phone calls, good luck. And, you know, you’re learning with, you know, with the, you know, on the way with the transaction you’re learning from, from one phone call to another. And I remember my first listing was in the time was 25, center, Park West, it was the best condominium on center, Park West, you know, by the park, and I’m walking in, there was an old lady very nice, welcoming me, she doesn’t know if I ever had an experience or not. So just, you know, easy, very lovely lady and, and about an hour after I’m getting my listing sign, it was like three, within 30,000, you know, and I’m jumping outside in Columbus Circle, you know, like, my first listing, and that’s, you know, that’s the moment that you knew that this is for you that said, it’s for life, and I still enjoying it, I’m telling you, I’m getting, every time I’m matching a buyer and seller, that’s my passion, it’s still there. And, and then, you know, every year, you know, I was focused on listing and getting more inventory, and we had a very good run for many, many years. And we start to invest, you know, like, I think, you know, this is something that’s I highly recommend to new agents, and even any agents that as you as you making it to the business, you know, take some portion of it and invest, you know, for the experience itself. And also, obviously, to get stronger and make money. But the experience itself is thinking as an investor, I think it’s one of the biggest things, that’s, you know, I would like to share, because that’s what helping me, you know, growing my business, and today, we, we we have investment firm that’s been investing in properties, we have the brokerage side of it, we investing in technology a lot, which is another, you know, because you start thinking as investor as the market changing technology was a big part of it, we invest in technology in different companies. And that’s really what it is. And that’s the story in a way.

D.J. Paris 8:15
It’s a wonderful story. And I’m curious, you know, now of course, you’re in New York City, which which we’re all following how New York is doing because it it of course, ripples all over the rest of the country, you guys are a bit ahead of everyone because of course of unfortunately, of what’s happened. But hopefully, you know, the the hopefully the hardest part is over, we certainly hope and I guess we’ll find out but everything for you as far as your ability to be mobile and even just leave the house and and do your business I’m sure has has shifted. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about you know, what, what you’re doing now as, as a real estate professional? How are you staying in touch? How are you keeping your business going? Because so many of our listeners are also at home, wondering what should I be doing right now? So I’m curious to get your thoughts.

Ilan Bracha 9:05
Right. So so this is obviously it’s not it’s an unusual time. And it’s tough in different ways. You know, take it personal because you know, people that are in what’s happening everyday to other people’s and you have some friends that it’s happened and impact them and families in one way you need to shift yourself up and saying wait a second, you know, I need to have a strong mindset I need to look you know, zoom out. And I like to do it many, many times in my business to zoom out and then check you know, you know, sometimes it’s zoom out as is three months, six months a year and say, Okay, where are we standing now? Sometimes even much more in order to get the plants together. So I think in those time, what we doing is obviously, the communication is extremely important. You mentioned you know, Governor Cuomo, what wonderful job he was doing because of communication and are willing to take, you know, very important So if we want to be the leaders like that, and coming in, in, in, we want to be the one that’s coming into our database, our friends and families and saying, Okay, we are there, let’s talk, let’s, let’s communicate. And sometimes it’s just the communication itself. Sure job, nothing, you know that you need to come back with value usually saying, okay, only, you know, bring value to the conversation, the value today is the communication, the care, they see if you can help from your side, you know, with no agenda. So I think that’s extremely important. For business in general. You know, before every meeting, you know, I’m sure you’re doing it, we’re all doing it before the podcast, we put some notes, we all, you know, read it. So the preparation side of the business, or every meeting that you’re doing they before, right now, I think you need to look at it and saying, Okay, this is my two, three months, before I’m starting again. So I just think it’s a time for us to take two three months and say, okay, in the next 60, and 90 days, I’m going to do 123, and four things and, and because of that, when I’m starting, and when it’s open up, and everything’s going to be bounced back, I’m going to be stronger and more educated, full of confidence, you know, maybe Lin, I don’t know, maybe lean, you know, if you, if you because it’s an opportunity to, to maybe do that. But that’s a that’s, that’s really what we can take the best out of it as much as we can, you know, it’s not I’m talking to many funds owners and family offices, investors, my clients, they’re all coming in and saying this is, you know, there was nothing to do, we just need to watch, and wait. Because in the environment is very tough, because most of the people that you know, lost either lost money or even lost family member. So we are in a very weird situation. That’s it, it’s get stronger and positive, as much as you can, and keep the people around you, you know, we’ll watch there. You said

D.J. Paris 12:15
something that is so powerful, I just want to repeat it because I want our listeners to to really take this from one of the top agents in the country who you just said, a very powerful thing, which was communication is the value right now reaching out? And I’ve said this on on on a few other podcasts recently. But and I bet you would, you would have an interesting thought about it to which I was thinking about all of the professionals I have in my life who I pay service fees to financial advisors, even a dentist, right, and my accountants and attorneys and whoever else is, you know, is in my orbit of people that do services for me that I pay, and I thought I wouldn’t how many of those service providers have reached out just to communicate just to say, Hello. And the answer was the only one. It’s the person who cuts my hair. She sent me a text said I was just want to make sure that you’re okay. And and I and we’re friendly. And I wrote back and I was like, wow, that’s really kind of you. Thank you. And I thought Wait, you know, and I don’t expect that anyone else reaches out to me. But wouldn’t it be nice to be that one person who reaches out to your sphere of influence your clients, your prospects, and says, Hey, I just wanted to check in on you.

Ilan Bracha 13:27
It’s funny, my hair salon guys, a good good friend of mine. And that’s the reason I’m with hair because I didn’t see him for long. But that’s that’s a Yeah, I agree with you on that. Absolutely.

D.J. Paris 13:38
I would love to get your thoughts because you are to some degree, a bit of a visionary. And you have a lot of really interesting opinions and smart opinions and thoughts about where technology is headed right now. Everyone’s doing virtual meetings. Well, of course, that’s not going away. And it will probably just become part of our regular life, even after we go back to normal. We’re all getting hooked on on these kinds of meetings. And I know that you started out your career. You know, like you said, pounding the phones. We used to call that being a cold calling cowboy. And you would get listings sight unseen over the phone, which is absolutely an incredible task. That is a tough thing to do. But where do you see technology changing? I know you’re investing in technology, and where do you think the future is there for real estate agents?

Ilan Bracha 14:27
I think I think what we see in technology, it’s it’s the ability first, you know, obviously like you’re saying virtual virtual closing, you know, it’s a great step back, you know, and then I think with title, there is a lot a lot of work to do in titles in in in the blockchain you know, sure arena and we can do I think the virtual back office, it’s a big it’s a huge thing also, because right now people working from home and you see that you know what, it’s not so bad. As much as you know, you can hire part timers you can iron people’s you know more than you expect, you know you did before, but not necessarily everything their office, and you can have a better service because it’s all about that in the end of the day, your back office is the one who’s giving the service. And we always think, oh, I can hire another person. But if they do any phenom, you can and if it’s virtual, they can if it’s part time, or they can, and all of a sudden, instead of one person, you’re going to have four different people. That’s their expertise, it’s a one segment in the back office of, of your service. So there is I think the technology will allow to give a lot of ability to grow. Also, you can expand it to different places in the country or the world, because of technology. I think, technology, it’s basically the main thing that I see is the data, you take all the data that’s coming in, and with AI technology will allow us to make to process it and make decision faster, easier. So when you think about sellers and buyer, and you’re saying if I want to go and bring their service to a next level, I’m basically need to give them better information. Right. And so, you know, one of the issues that will come up and we see it now and we will, we will see it even more, there is tons of information. So I think the right brokers, the top brokers will be able to analyze those information, and do the due diligence for the broker for the buyers and the sellers, and bring the results. So I don’t think the brokers will go out with technology coming up, because I know it’s many questions coming in. Immediately when you think technology, I think more about the bed brokers will be out or the step up, or the Booker’s did stink, then you know, they’re not, you know, I learned, I’m telling you, I’m doing it over 20 years, and I’m learning everyday, I am studying, trying to get better every day, getting into so much to learn. And there is a commercial investment, residential, the hotel business there is the finding side of the so when you when you starting to get you know, better you just understand there’s so much more to learn. And there’s so much to get better. So I think technology will allow you to see it, and to ask for yourself and your buyers and sellers will ask from you more. So you you know it’s happening. You know, I see my kids. And I’m saying, Oh, this generation is something else. But it’s such as there’s something else there information, it’s in a different it’s more accessible. So because of it, they can process it and come back with better info, you know, results. So that’s the next that’s when we say no, it’s a different generation. So the future technology changed forever. Like if you for the last 3040 years and with us there is always technology every 10 years something happening in technology, we’re in a process of a different technology, but when the same process faster process, right? But we’re the same change. You see it with the kids, the kids coming up in you know with those, so I think technology in the data and AI is huge AI is a totally different thing. It’s a game changer. And if we know how to to understand if we will open to understand it and and be able to process it to our business fast. You will see you will take will take more pictures from beautiful form in any industry. It will take market years.

D.J. Paris 18:49
I agree I wanted to relay a funny a fun story, a New York story I was in got to visit the Zillow headquarters there in New York a couple years ago and we I was joking around with one of their top management people saying, well, I bet you I bet a lot of real estate agents, you get a lot of angry emails and calls because some some agents like Zillow and a lot don’t. And he was laughing He goes yeah, there’s some agents who don’t always appreciate what we do. What we’ve done with technology, providing you know, listings online and the MLS now is available to everyone in New York. I know there isn’t one but most of the rest of the country has MLS but Zillow just provides it for free. Anyway, I was saying how often do you guys get complaints about your Zestimate being wrong? And he goes, and he laughed, and I think you’ll appreciate this. He says, you know, yeah, our Zestimate isn’t perfect, right? Like people see, everyone looks up to see what the number is. But most of the time, maybe we’re not that accurate. And he says Realtors should be thrilled that we’re not that accurate because they’re still important. They’re still the ones that can come to the client and say, Hey, Zillow was wrong about this. Here’s I’ve crunched the numbers. I’ve taken the data and Here’s where I think you really are at. So you’ve now demonstrated your value. Even though you have these disruptors coming in trying to, you know, maybe do some of the work for you, you get to still be the broker and say, No, this is wrong. Here are the right numbers. And, and he was laughing, he says broker should love us because we’re not that accurate. You know?

Ilan Bracha 20:19
Right. Yeah, there’s so many disrupting technology that’s, that’s coming in, in real estate, but in a way that disrupting the, the old process. Yes. And then the coming up with it’s a new way of doing business anyway. And you need those services, you need the Zillow of the role you need, you know, we are working on something right now. It’s matching buyers and sellers. With algorithm that’s it’s scary, you know, when you’re coming in and say, Well, Google knew that I’m here or they knew that I’m looking for tweet something and they sent me that’s, that’s the power of AI, they, you know, you take this information, the processing it, and bring it back to you now, is it the end of the process of real estate in the real estate transaction, there’s so many things to change, and do better. So I think for the next 1020 years, we will, you know, we constantly will see changes. So there is nothing, you know, a to worry or afraid of technology, I think we need to appraise it and try to learn as much as we can to become better a Booker’s in a big in a better matchmakers. And

D.J. Paris 21:29
also, you know, one thing that that the technology hasn’t yet solved, and maybe will never solve, which is a good thing is the emotional side of buying or selling a property or renting a property, right, the emotional, all of the ups and downs and the different emotional motion spectrum, to be able to help somebody navigate through how stressful or how, how much fear there might be, and that’s where a broker’s value can, and it’s nice that a lot of the technology has made it easier for brokers now to then be able to focus on the more human side of the transaction, to be able to really guide that agent through or sorry, guide the client through that process to where you now don’t have to, you know, do as much, you know, finding of properties on because your clients are looking online anyway, you still should be doing that. But you now get to focus more of your effort on on the human side, which I think is is very difficult to fix using technology.

Ilan Bracha 22:26
Right another there was the like you said, you know, the fear will be big play right now in today’s when people’s coming back to the market. So I think our job is really to handled, you know, older hands, basically and take them to the process and they need someone like that. When you coming in from a situation like that. I remember it in 2008. I was you know, I came to my partner in 2008. September 8 to march Oh, nine, right, so about 111 apartments a day, but we under transaction here.

D.J. Paris 23:07
I want to pause that for a second. I want to repeat that you were you were closing one transaction almost per day, up until till the end of march towards the end of 2008. That is an incredible statistic. And then And then what happened?

Ilan Bracha 23:22
Right so so into September, always, you know, Lehman Brothers Markets coming down from oh eight to march oh nine, we didn’t sell one unit. So the fear and I tried I can tell you I was sitting down for six months, I did my whatever I can and in order to sell in move and reduce in price reduction, whatever, I we couldn’t move one unit. And I came to my partner time and I told him you know, it’s I think America is going down and you know in the start laughing so why are you laughing? So we that was very, you know, and I was serious? And he told me if America is going down the whole Ward need to go down before America is going down and said okay, so I didn’t get it at the moment that is saying as it started to open up in New around like August, September or nine it’s really start to bounce back heavily. Like even more than what you know, it was before in a way it was sold more in the last quarter of all nine for the whole year. Was Yeah, so So I remember and I said okay, you know what, it’s you right now we sometimes the fear put you in a very dark place and saying okay, now that’s it, it’s under the change. And it doesn’t matter what positive personality with it doesn’t matter if it’s makes sense or not. We just, you know, the fear immediately can take you to those places and and I think it’s very related to what we’re having now. People are afraid of what’s going to happen and more than the actual you know, results, you know, because you know, about 60 days ago we still nothing you know, the market was very good. Everybody was making money

D.J. Paris 25:13
rates are low everything’s good yeah,

Ilan Bracha 25:16
yes now I can I can compare because there is nothing like it before so I can compare it but what I remind me the fear and the anxiety of the 911 For three months, there was no movement Sure, who didn’t sell anything but there is other people that really act in those times. And you see it more in investor side because the investor take the emotion out. So I have a friend that’s boring in after September 11 The first few months few buildings in downtown just about in Wall Street area. And I’m talking about like they did 10 times or 20 times more than what they spent after it’s bounced back. And same things in oh eight and oh nine when you bought buildings and notes and things like that, that was the ability for investors to put their motion out to take advantage of it. And today I think because of technology and because of the data that’s out there you should feel you know the emotion is there but you have enough data that’s allowed you to think like investor and act like investor so this is our job as a brokers you know, not just to come in and say okay, I’m positive I’m going to make phone calls I’m going to make you know, I’m going to bounce back I’m going to get there it’s really to educate yourself so you can give the information in a level that people make decision faster easier in those brokers those people those investors those are the ones it’s really we remember this time is a good time for for the business in a way Yeah, I

D.J. Paris 26:57
agree. And I know that you are a big believer in in fundamentals basics, you know doing doing the work there’s that old old Zen saying it says Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water after enlightenment chop wood carry water. So you’re a big fan of discipline and and and fundamentals. Can you talk about how that has really guided you through your entire process? A lot of the people we’ve a lot of the top agents we’ve interviewed on our show, say you know, I might have started 1520 years ago I’m really doing the same the same activities today as when I first started they might look a little different, but I’m still doing a lot of the same same habits. How has that been for your business over the years?

Ilan Bracha 27:45
I think yeah, the number one the number one tools that say I have in my toolbox I will say discipline you know, I can I can say I can say mindset I can say you know what? And meet me and many many top producers investors. Family Offices manager did say no good friends and in funds owners, I am telling you more if all of us have a toolbox and you’re going to pull few of the mindset network education things so many things that you’re saying why they got their why? Why are they doing well, I think the number one for me and many others will be a discipline thing doing the same things over and over and over and over and without no thinking you know, just like it doesn’t matter what’s its what’s the days it doesn’t matter if it’s rain or shine you just doing it and you don’t think yeah, this is a power you know, tool that’s I can rely on by now like after so many years doing it and understand that that’s what makes people the difference between people that’s doing okay to do in great to do in wonderful and it just the amount of time they putting it in and the amount of discipline of doing the same things and become an expert and in monitoring you know, the hours you putting in the time and the you know, the engagement to the process of doing it. I think this is what make the difference. For me at least I think this is like okay, I feel like I can mean you know that okay, doesn’t matter. You know, okay, we will do it, we will make it happen. Yeah. Because you know, you have it. You see it in the in the army also. You know, that’s what they’re teaching, you know, like you’re doing the day to day start training you to get to this place, that’s the place they want to get to achieve the discipline in eventually.

D.J. Paris 29:42
Even you know, yeah, even in really stressful environments. Part of the discipline that they teach in the military is so that when it’s really stressful, you can still follow protocol you can still do your your activities even in despite of massive fear or Just, you know, chaos is that you can still perform your task, which which we know those tasks will lead to success.

Ilan Bracha 30:08
Yeah. And now it’s really weird because you’re waking up at 530 in the morning, because you know, you waking up 530 In the morning, every day, and you’re doing the morning routine, but it’s really different because you’re going from the living room to, to the dining room to the you know, to the kitchen, and it’s a different, you know, maybe different view, but the process, you’re going to do the same things. So maybe in those times, we do different activity. But the main process of pushing forward and doing you know, and get better. It’s this discipline in you. The driving, I think this is very important. Someone, something for me,

D.J. Paris 30:50
yeah, no, you’re right. When a few days into our stay at home order here in Illinois, our my boss came in, he’s the owner of our company, and he said, Well, I’ve got good news and bad news, the good news is we might go to the next level, by you know, when this is all over, the bad news is we might go out of business, we don’t know what’s going to happen. And some of it is maybe up to up to the gods, but what we can do is we can keep doing everything we’re supposed to every single day, and do our very best. And, you know, he was sort of joking with they’re going out of business. But the reality of it is none of us can control some of those external events, but we can control that discipline and, and those fundamentals, and we’ve just been proceeding as as we always have, and just, you know, hoping for the best for sure. But just keeping our head down doing our work. I’m sure I’m sure you’re doing the same.

Ilan Bracha 31:40
Right? Absolutely. Yes.

D.J. Paris 31:43
I would also love to talk to you about tips. So you have seen, oh, gosh, countless agents get into the industry, you’ve seen some succeed at the highest level, you’ve also seen people struggle and maybe leave the industry. You know, discipline, of course, is is key, but do you have tips or you know, a tip or some advice for our listeners who may be you know, wondering, like, gosh, what is it? What does it take to get to the very top or I just want to get to that next level? I want to double the amount of production I did from last year. You know, what should I really be doing right now?

Ilan Bracha 32:20
So there’s so many so many things, you know, like a few pics, so many tips out there, just like if you want to choose, you know what I will? I will probably you know, like, I think education, you know, like to get you know better in what you’re doing ask questions, you know, start to you know, like meeting people and ask questions, I think it’s one of the biggest thing that they can do in this, you know, foreign agents in new one, you know, because they need to observe as much as they can to be open up to you know, to to learn and to do it, you know, so you know what the best thing will because we obviously in our, in our business, we are so many agents and I like to see them that is the new infused second after talking to them. I can feel like this guy got it or thought and it’s really instinct it could, you know, I’ve been wrong many times but most of the cases that it was good and it’s because you know they they were a you know, a coachable and I know a guy who is a coachable and have a blind faith, like you’re telling him okay, that’s what you need to do. And and you see that’s it that is blind faith and coachable. Personality, I know this guy will do great. It doesn’t maybe it doesn’t you know, it’s not the best communicator maybe doesn’t have this Scelzi name. But this guy wants to learn he’s coachable is is going to do exactly what you’re telling him with with a blind faith. And those guys will make it you know, because it’s not it’s a marathon. It’s a long term career. It’s not like a one shot, okay, if I did it a good year, it means I’m going to do wonderful for the rest of my life. It means if I’m going to have this attitude with me in my personality, then I’m going to be successful. Because that’s that’s why I see for many, for my experience, at least.

D.J. Paris 34:25
Yeah, my girlfriend is thinking about going into production herself. She is a she works internally at a high end, luxury apartment building. She’s in house leasing for this management company at this nice building, but she’s never been on her own. And she was saying, Well, I’m thinking about it. And I’m not sure if I want to do that. I said, Well, here’s the best way to find out if it’s for you. I said I can connect you with an infinite number of top producers who will spend who will be happy to talk to you and you can ask them what does it take to be successful? And you’ll know within talking to a few of them. If If it’s the right fit for what you want to do, because they’ll tell you exactly what it takes. And so this idea of being coachable, she’s now going to do that and start to talk to these top producers. And so I think you’re right, this education piece of it is, we’re so lucky that that real estate agents, you know, obviously, are the successful agents are very busy. But I’ve found that they tend to be very generous as well, and are usually willing to help other agents at least give them advice and ideas. And a lot of times, if agents just sort of new agents or people that want to learn, if they just sort of, you know, like you said, with blind faith go, Okay, I’ll do that. They’ll probably have success, because they don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There’s lots of successful people that will say, Oh, just go do this, this and this. And well, you know, within a few years, you’ll you’ll probably be at this level.

Ilan Bracha 35:48
Exactly. Yes. Absolutely. And

D.J. Paris 35:51
I wanted to ask you more about what agents can can do, you know, to to prepare. Right now, you talked about education. And, and I think, I’m sure, you know, it right now is a great opportunity to learn your market, right. And also know, you know, whatever, wherever you specialize for I’m talking to our listeners, geographically, you probably have a hyperlocal area that you really want to specialize in. And now’s the time that we all have a little bit more time to educate ourselves, now’s the time to really get those skills up. Like Elon was saying, you know, now’s the time to educate yourself and know more than other realtors in your area about your specific, you know, location that you want to specialize in. And, and you can devote the next 3060 90 days to doing that, and you’ll emerge a stronger broker or stronger realtor. So I wanted to also ask you, I want to switch gears just real quickly. And talk about working with investors, developers, as well on this has been a huge focus of your use and your team. How did you start doing that? And what advice do you have for agents that are looking to break into the investment world?

Ilan Bracha 37:04
So So what can we be investors, when you start to a educate yourself to learn the numbers, the performance, you know, the thing or the you know, the return on investment, the final side of it, how to get it what kind of return in when you start to put these things together, and you know, there’s so much things in the investment, because you have the commercial and the of the residential, the residential part we buying a lot in, we buying from developers, we buying condominium, back of condos, or the whole building, you know, if it’s a small building enough to to buy the whole building, we will buy it, and then we will market it ourselves and sell it. In some boy developers, there are few projects, so we take some units from them in each one. So it’s work, it’s a win win, because we taking some inventory from them in a in a fair price. And it’s allowed them to, to get some kind of return back and also focus on less inventory or fuel project that they have. Because the investor intends you know, when they have a good run, you buy another one. And you will sometimes you get to a point that you have few projects and you say, oh, you know what, I have more inventory that I can sell it, you know, on a timely on the timeframe, that’s the promise. So that’s where we come in. And we’re hoping and I think it’s working for many years, it’s working great because we work in respectfully with the developers, something we represent them on few projects, and some of them we’re getting from them on the commercial side of it, we did many sampling, we bought land, we design it, we brought value by buying the people’s out or we bought value by combining few lands and make it as a one land and assembling those and sold it as a design finished product to developers. So we are like to stick with doing the same thing that we know because because we are on the street and we know what the needs of the market. So we are hoping by taking the land put the right unit makes the design and then give it to the developers or cover developers in the finished product when you finish it and then put we’re not doing the one in between the actual development we are not this is not our expertise. We did it but it’s not our expertise. You sometimes you do stuff to learn and and you go back to what you the best way. So those are the things that we’re very proud of to be good at. And we use many use technology right now to to finally you know to analyze the deals better to to find deals to process it. So that’s what we’re doing. If people wants to come in to this wall, they need to Start with one unit. So buy one unit for yourself, see what you get, you know the return, then sell it and then commit for another two and then sell those two. So I think if you’re coming into the condo work, that’s what you need to do work with developers create relationship and when, and with other brokers, so they know when there is a goodbye, they can call you and you can act immediately. So, so this is the direction for if they want to come to the investor, investment site for commercial, I will say it’s also you may be the beginning, you team up with someone, and you learn the process and let them you know, so you’re the one bringing the money or you’re the one who’s helping with the unit mix. So you’re the one that’s happening with the cells, but you coming up with a team until you build your own team. So that’s, that’s, I think the best way to start and get there.

D.J. Paris 40:52
Do you think right now, especially in New York, New York City, and specifically is now a good time to to invest? Are you guys looking to continue those investment efforts? Have you pause those? Obviously, right now, you know, money is so cheap. It’s a very attractive time, you know, through from a lending perspective to look at investments are Have you put that on hold right now? Are you guys still looking? You know, what are you guys doing?

Ilan Bracha 41:18
We definitely looking if we can jump now and do you know, make deals now, today, I think we want to learn more about the data, we want to learn and analyze it more. There is nothing, there is no reason to rush or to jump on a situation. But yes, if there is an opportunity, we were very capable of acting. And you know, we just want to make sure that we know you know, don’t want to do I think I think it’s too early to analyze it. And I like to take data and really find you know, what I can find from it and then act from that. I don’t want to I want to do educated decision. But are they just acting as Yeah, you want to make deals, I want to make deals every day. Basically, it’s the time doesn’t allow you to do educating decision right now you need to if you if you want to do something like that, you want to do it with a due diligence time. So I won’t go hard on something, I won’t go and put some time into the now for the buyers of buying for themselves as a consumer and wants to buy the property that’s already looking for six months, three months, knows exactly what they’re looking for. And now they see it in a cheaper price. Absolutely. They should act because it’s this is the time that people nervous. And you You already did the due diligence before. So there it is. That’s the way I will split the decisions.

D.J. Paris 42:48
Yeah, that that that absolutely makes sense. And I wanted to switch gears real quickly because I love the story. You just recently sold a massive apartment in New York, that was over $5 million. And it’s a really interesting story. Do you mind sharing that with our listeners? Oh, yeah,

Ilan Bracha 43:07
it’s, this is a funny, it’s a funny story. Because it’s about you know, you ask for something weird in faith and say this and I don’t know, every day there is something weird. And I think one of the things that’s happened just recently a few months ago, we a buyer came in with an excellent broker. And that’s upset a lot when you’re dealing with a good you know, worker the other side, it’s extremely important. And they put an offer with the closing of three weeks. And you know, in the city, the condo building exactly three weeks just to get the board approved. Yeah, that’s fast. For lucky sometimes it’s, you know, more and, and they’re asking for closing in three weeks. Finance, not cash. Wow. So pregnancy 20 weeks, and they can they sign the contract today. And they want to get out of the they have ability to get out of the contract, meaning soft contract. It’s called contract soft indenture, in terms that we know is basically they can get out of the deal anytime. And meaning now, the owners live there for over 10 years, and it needs to be out in three weeks. Wow. And the buyer can make, you know, change his mind every day. So he’s, he’s, you know, he’s asking me what we should do. And I said, you know, I don’t know. It’s just like, listen, it’s based on the broker that I know that I’m dealing with. And I did some homework on the buyers and feel comfortable they can deliver it but I’d never saw terms like that that says like, this is new. Now. It’s a long shot to get the terms in three weeks. I don’t know I know. It’s very tough. I saw it in the past where it’s very, very tough. Yet the building maybe I know some people’s in the management I can get it done. But now for you to move all your stuff get we weeks and this is, you know, it’s up to you and you know what the ending up renting an apartment put, you know, a deposit on a rental, it’s good lose the deposit and that’s a shot. But is a is a very, very smart center. And he took the shot, he knew what he’s getting into and when the gap closing on it on time. Very good. So sometimes you take shots and faith and and it’s happens and can tell you that you should do I don’t like soft closing, like when the claws you know, when they sign the sign you know, in closing? I don’t like that. So it’s a weird the terms. But yeah, we did it. And now look at it, you know the market today. So if it wasn’t doing it, and I won’t get the buyers out for sure. I’m happy that he made this decision. And it’s so weird. But again, in our industry, every time you see I see everything you say see everything and so it’s always something new. And that’s probably the fun part as

D.J. Paris 46:15
well, even just getting the condo board or the co op board together to be able to, you know, interview and review the deal in three weeks is is got to be difficult. And then on top of that finding an apartment for for the seller to move into and put a deposit down. And then of course, just moving away with all of that is is an incredible thing to have accomplished in three weeks. And that just happened what in December of this last year. Yeah, it’s

Ilan Bracha 46:42
you build with the years you build a team of people that you feel comfortable with. So you get the best lawyers, you got the best, you know, back office, the team. So when you have a good team players with you, it’s easier to make a decision in one product and process it better. But yeah, it’s it was a weird one.

D.J. Paris 47:06
But I bet you look like a hero to both the seller and the buyer. Right? So you this is what a wonderful thing that got done. And I’m sure there would have been a lot of in that situation or a different situation, maybe it wouldn’t have gotten done. And not that you wouldn’t have done anything incorrectly. It just the buyer could walk at any moment. And but I’m sure you You are a hero to that seller to get that property squared away. And especially good timing, of course, with with obviously everything that’s happening now. And I just have one final question for you. Just because you’re the first person we’ve had on from New York since the pandemic, of course has started is how long has it been since you’ve left the house? Or are you able to get out at all Are you absolutely stuck inside all day?

Ilan Bracha 47:53
So the first 40 days, we didn’t leave the US for maybe twice me and my kids did my wife, you know, we’ll stay there, we basically set quarantine, you know, we made a decision to do it, we were thinking this is the right move. And then some you know now about you know, maybe a day, you know, half an hour a year off an hour there we’re going out. We trying to for the kids, it’s important to get them out a little bit. It’s very tough for kids things garden, it’s a little challenge when you keep them, you know, in in place without getting out. So I think it’s it’s not a easy one. But it’s important. It’s not just important for your family and for yourself. It’s just important for others, there’s so many people that in age have a risk in and we don’t want to take you know, it’s important for people to stay on in Stay Stay safe for themselves, but for many others that really can you know, get it in there was no way back from it. Yeah, I lost a client that was friends. And it’s a it’s tough. It’s really you know, and you know, they’re in Asia saying there’s so many years for them to keep in and there is no I think it’s very important for us to remember you know, there’s always people out there and we have to to help as much as I can and helping right now staying on. And also we need to support the help that’s you know, the public you know, the doctors and nurses and even the peoples in the grocery store. Yeah. In a way the putting the life you don’t think we don’t think about it now but think how risky is it to sit down and service someone in a grocery store? When you know there is a huge chance you know, you can get affected you know so that’s that’s what I’m saying? It’s a One way we need to appreciate and the only thing that we can help beside, you know, extra tip to the service people, you know, that’s coming in because it’s important. I think it’s also important to acknowledge them. It’s the one that’s, you know, stay home and give the awareness out there with social media if you can. So people will remember it’s like saying didn’t end yet you know, we still we did good position. Now, we I think we’re heading to the right to good places, because we, right now in a decline, decline, Graaff is in the decline that so let’s see what we need to be. We need, we still need to push forward and stay home and stay safe.

D.J. Paris 50:47
Yeah, I was at the grocery store the other day with my girlfriend, I think it was on Sunday, and I was we were in line and they have the six feet separation on the floor, so you know where to stand. But when you get up to the actual cashier, they had, they did have a plexiglass thing between us, we’re only two feet apart, maybe from her, but there is a plexiglass, but, you know, I still touched every thing. Every piece of food I was buying, I put it on the conveyor, she had to touch everything I touched now she’s wearing gloves, but she accidentally touches her face, you know, she could be infected. And I thought about it afterwards and probably, you know, probably earning a modest wage to be in that have that job and I thought she is really putting her life at risk so that I can get groceries and she’s probably not that well compensated. And I thought we really owe some of these people a huge debt of things you know, we all know of course about the people in the medical profession who are putting their lives at risk you know, all day every day all year round, even when there’s not a pandemic but especially now but I thought yeah, they’re also what about the people you know at the checkout lines at the groceries who are maybe they’re only earning minimum wage and they’re still doing it they’re still showing up and I I thought boy, I wish there was a little tip jar I could just put you know put a few dollars in

Ilan Bracha 52:14
the yard we do anything do we do in it we just you know when you calling and you order right now I mean we didn’t do it in the past but now we’re doing it and I think it should do it maybe in the future also we calling so we take the lady that stood the call and we give the lady the guy that deliver so and we saying okay, so I want to put a T on the on the bill and I want to split it in a way that’s you getting some because wow are we doing with the doorman still building every day is somewhat different neighbor buying dinner for the for the Dormans. So you know,

D.J. Paris 52:51
I am embarrassed to say I live in a high rise with the doormat with with the door, you know door staff who rotate every eight hours and I am embarrassed to say at around the holidays, I give them all a tip. But I haven’t given them specifically a tip since this has happened and you just reminded me or just gave me that idea. So thank you, we should be being extra generous to the people that are putting themselves in harm’s way to allow us to be giving

Ilan Bracha 53:18
and it’s not need to be much you just need to be something that self say someone you know, I know you’re here. I know you’ve you know, you don’t have to and you taking risk. And thank you for that. It just just the process of giving I think it’s a it’s a blessing for the ones give us some say suppose both way.

D.J. Paris 53:40
Well, what a wonderful place to wrap up. Now, for everyone who’s listening Ilan, whether they’re, you know, an investor or a buyer or a seller or renter anyone who’s listening who might be wanting to work with one of the top agents of all time in New York City or somebody on your team from the Brockie group what is the best way one of our listeners who says I need this kind of agent to represent me what would be the best way they should reach out to you

Ilan Bracha 54:11
so I think the best way is to go to backer that can be or a CHA that come in you can get our information there or send us an email you know call us be NYC at Baja that commits our emails for the all the lead that’s coming in and processing them. You know and just let’s see any advice anything they need? We really we very happy that that you have us today and it’s a great great experience. Thank you for that and then well thank

D.J. Paris 54:51
you we we really appreciate your time we know just how busy you are even today at home with your with your family and your children. And we know just just how difficult it is to find time to be on our show. So we couldn’t be more grateful. But again, everybody who is listening should go visit brockagh.com, br a CH a.com. If nothing else to see what a really good website for real estate team looks like, I just love, love, love, love your website. But everyone should should go and see what they offer. If you’re in the New York area, really even outside the New York area and are looking for a team to help at to help with your real estate transactions. They’re the team to go to also please follow Elon and his and his team on Instagram, there’s two places one is the rocket team. And also Elon brockagh, we’ll be publishing those links as well. But on Elon on behalf of our listeners, we want to say thank you for your time, really appreciate it. And also on behalf of Elon and myself to the listeners, we say thank you for continuing to listen and support our show. We started this about four years ago, I didn’t know if anyone would care. I didn’t know if anyone would be interested. And now we’ve grown to we think we might be the largest podcast now in the country. And it’s not because I’m so great. It’s because people like Elon come on our show and share share their their their strategies, their success, they share, you know what they think works. And that’s the reason why we’ve continued to expand our audience. So we ask our listeners just to do two quick things. One is to think of another real estate professional that could really benefit from having heard this interview but hasn’t heard it yet and send them a link, you can visit our podcast website at keeping it real pod.com Or just pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real well. We’ll pop right up and and tell them about it. The second thing is to please follow us on Facebook every single day we post a link we find an article online written by someone in the real estate profession that has written an article to help agents grow their business. So we post that and we also post of course, links to all of our episodes and video as well. So Ilan, thank you once again, we wish you and your team the the best of success. Of course, please stay safe and healthy. And, you know we’ll we’ll hopefully I’ll get through this sooner rather than later. But we wish you and your team continued health and success and thanks again.

Ilan Bracha 57:20
Thank you stay safe. Thank you

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