Becoming A Top Producer Twice (In Two Different Markets) • Sarah Stone

Play episode

Sarah Stone real estate expert and a top producing broker with Douglas Elliman’s Manhattan office, talks about her transition into real estate business. Sarah talks about the lessons from her past job and how she leverages them for her job in real estate. Next, she discusses the importance of being a good sales person for her. Last, she talk about the value of relationship with the clients.

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

Sarah Stone can be reached at 917.693.0957 and sarah.stone@elliman.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Today we’re going to talk to a top producer who built an amazing business in New York City. Then life changed and she moved out to Connecticut and had to start all over again and built an even bigger business. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcasts 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 top producers Sarah stone. Before we get to Sara, if you want to continue to help our show grow, we just ask that you do really well three things I guess I’m going to ask for a lot today. One is telephone think of one other realtor that could benefit from these episodes. You know this is a tough year for realtors, especially if you’re working with buyers. So let’s help our fellow agents as much as possible please let them know about the show I appreciate it also support our sponsors, they pay the bills and we love our sponsors and we choose them very specifically only if they if I think they can add value to your business so please support them as well. And then third, follow us on social media. Almost every day we post short form video clips on all the major social platforms Facebook, Instagram, tik, Tok, LinkedIn etc. Where we post little best of clips from our episodes usually 60 seconds with an actionable strategy. So find us anywhere, any social platform just search for keeping it real, we appreciate it but enough about that let’s get to the main event my conversation with top producer Sarah stone

Okay, today my guest is Sarah stone from Douglas Elliman, she’s in Fairfield County, netiquette Greenwich, Westport, and also in New York and Westchester as well. Let me tell you more about Sarah, Sarah. This is really an impressive biography. So I really want you guys to clue in on this because we’re going to touch about a lot of what I’m about to mention here. So Sarah was a top producing a broker at Douglas elements Manhattan office at 575 Madison Avenue for a decade. She was Rookie of the Year during her tenure there in Manhattan. She sold many many high profile properties including 65th East 76 800 Park Avenue and the world famous Dakota Building which is at one West 72nd. She has now taken her experience knowledge and famed sales experience expanded it from New York into the Connecticut suburbs specializing in the purchase and sale of fine homes in both Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Sarah also has a finite for exterior interior design. She’s an expert in staging and decorating a home she she’s resided and raised children in both Bedford, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. She is the perfect guide to find or sell your own suburban splendor. A former nationally ranked tennis player which I would love to ask a few questions to improve my own game. Sara spends her free time playing tennis and also pickleball and I do want to talk about pickleball because I am the noise of it is my only issue with Pickleball is noise. But it is a fun game. In one of Greenwich, Greenwich his most beautiful town parks or clubs Sara can also be spotted driving around in her vintage Mercedes convertible I want everybody to follow Sara on her Instagram she has an amazing Instagram following Sarah stone style so s s s Sarah with an H stone style we will so at Sarah stone style. We’ll have a link to that in the show notes and also a link to her Douglas Elliman website definitely check her out on social she does some really super cool thing. Sarah, welcome to the show.

Sarah Stone 4:57
Well, thank you that was an extremely ordinary intro, I really appreciate that. Thank you very much.

D.J. Paris 5:03
We really appreciate you coming on. Thank you, we appreciate you. And coming on our show is a big deal for us. We know just how busy top producers like you are. And it’s been the biggest and lovely a surprise for me as starting the show like five or six years ago in thinking, Oh, none of these top producers are ever going to have time for this. And yet here we are, like 500 episodes later, and still being able to get top producers like you to give us some time that I know is in short supply for you. So thank you. Thank you.

Sarah Stone 5:35
Absolutely. My pleasure.

D.J. Paris 5:38
Let’s start at the beginning. So how did you get into real estate and why?

Sarah Stone 5:45
So my journey to real estate actually started, I’d say fairly early on. Relatively speaking, I graduated with a degree in economics from Tulane University down south. And I I, at that time, my goal was let’s let me get a job that will make me the most amount of money, the quickest. I wasn’t like, oh, what’s my passion and what am I good at? And you know, not I was like, let me get into Wall Street and let’s get cracking. And that’s what I did. I worked for a mutual fund called Lord Abbott. That was my first Sure. Sure. At that I was in the GM building on 58th Street, right across from the Plaza Hotel. And I got my series seven, my series seven and 63 I

D.J. Paris 6:51
had those both as well my first job as a financial advisor, so I know that world. Yeah.

Sarah Stone 6:57
So I was working as I was selling working with regional managers to sell our various funds. And I did that for a little bit there. And then I moved on to another bank DLj which is back from that sort of a 90s was a boutique kind of bank back then that was bought by Credit Suisse First Boston while I was there. When when I as I was working at DLj. You know, I worked as a registered sales assistant for the bigger brokers retail brokers there. And it’s it’s very fast paced, high pressure. male dominated,

D.J. Paris 7:47
especially sell sell sell. Yeah,

Sarah Stone 7:50
business and frantically paced, although, you know, not not to say that this business isn’t. But it was just, you know, it was something like, oh, is this really did I pick the right thing for me. And this is when my introspective examination of of my, my thoughts and goals to really and truly were and, and this is another bit of diversion, but I was always into I wanted to be into acting theater modeling, and that kind of thing. So I said, Okay, you know, I’m going to try, I’m gonna go for all that stuff. I’m gonna go for my dreams, but the pay isn’t so great. When you’re starting out. So I said, I’m going to subsidize that with I’ll be I’ll sell some real estate on the side, you know, I had gone through the process of, of renting an apartment in Manhattan and I saw I got a little bit of of a window into how all that worked. And I saw my I asked my broker a lot of questions. And in Manhattan, especially, I mean, you’re paying back then you’re paying a 15% commission to the to your broker. And

D.J. Paris 9:15
yeah, let’s let’s talk about this. Let’s Let’s pause for a second because this is a very important distinction. What Sarah’s like, oh, okay, I really am acting modeling. I want to pursue that and I’ll do some real estate on the side. What what she What if you don’t know real estate, if you don’t know rentals in New York City, one of the things that she’s explaining right now and I apologize for being rude and interrupting but I want to make sure everyone understands is very different from pretty much every major other major market, maybe Boston’s a little bit this way too. But Boston and New York I think, are the only two markets that do this where oftentimes the renter, the renter pays the Commission, which is a tough sell, right? That is hard. Oh, by the way, I need an extra $5,000

Sarah Stone 9:57
Yeah, on top of I mean, You know,

D.J. Paris 10:01
on top of first month, last month, first month

Sarah Stone 10:03
last month and your security deposit, and here’s another, you know, 15% of it of the years rent. So, yeah, definitely, it was something that that I made note of when I was going through the process like, oh, doing the math, you know, let’s see if, and this is just rentals. You know, I wasn’t even thinking about the sales game then. So, I had a friend, I had sort of a connection at Douglas Elliman and, and they walk, you know, they said, let’s give it a shot, do your thing. And that first year, I made 10 times what I made doing the acting modeling gig in real estate, so amazing. I found that I really had a knack for it. And not only that I really enjoyed, I enjoyed, get up because I just love New York City so much. And I found that I really had so much passion for just checking it all out and getting to know all the different neighborhoods. And you know, and like, how great is that, like, my job is just kind of cruising around the city and checking out all the all kinds. I mean, especially in those early days, you wouldn’t believe like, what I was, wasn’t all glamour, trust me, it was, you know, I was trying like to sell this studio that was above Subway sandwich shop.

Unknown Speaker 11:39
Now like smell like bread all the time subway

Sarah Stone 11:42
bread, I still to this day, I burned my son’s memory to Subway, I can’t do it just takes me back to like, you know, I was probably I must have shown that thing over 50 times. So I spent a lot of time in that department. But that’s sort of like how it was. It was definitely the money was great at that time. And, and it was, I found that I really enjoyed it. And it was something that I was really good at. So it I just sort of morphed more and more making that into my full time occupation.

D.J. Paris 12:21
And so so you really built your career in the city, and then you’ve then made eventually made a move. And so essentially, I mean, it wasn’t like you moved across the country. So it was neighboring, but still far enough away, where it’s a different world, at least a bit of a different world. And having to sort of start over essentially, is incredible. It’s almost like, it’s almost like an attorney who passes the bar in New York, and then all of a sudden is like you don’t think I really want to live in Arizona? It’s like, well, they don’t have to, they don’t have to go do it all over again in Arizona, right? You know, and so you essentially had a similar kind of experience where you were moving from Manhattan, which is insanely, a challenging market to be a realtor, and whether you’re doing rentals or sales. I’ve interviewed tons of people, even from your firm who work in New York, how challenging Of course, we all know how challenging it is. And then to then go somewhere else and say, Oh, I’m going to like start all over essentially. And I understand it’s not completely starting over. But essentially it is. So that is even more amazing is that you’ve sort of you were Rookie of the Year in New York, and then you know, back into the suburbs as as your life changed. And so what was that transition like like going to a new market, a new area and trying to build your business again?

Sarah Stone 13:38
Um, well, it was it I was I’m very grateful for my firm Douglas Elliman because that the fact that they’re the biggest mover of real estate in Manhattan, and and they had, they had opened up a an element office in Greenwich about five years prior to my joining so they have nice established referral thing going on, on their own. I stepped in with some a lot of pre existing relationships with brokers that I had worked with in Manhattan while I was there, and when while I was in the city, I should mention I was you know, I worked in three different offices while I was there, I was a 575. But I was also on the Upper West Side for a little bit. I worked at nine at Madison for a little while. So I really got to know a lot of brokers and and and in this business you’ll find I mean, people go 20 years in this business easy. So there’s a lot there was a lot of people that are still very much active in their careers that I have worked with back then. So it was a very I was very lucky to be able to light up those relationships and Knock on you know, not call call people up and say, Hey, I’m back in the game, what have you got? Let’s go. And and it was the timing couldn’t have been better obviously with that the start of the the pandemic and the major shift the demographic shift that we all saw from the city to the suburbs. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 15:21
was that really was good timing. Actually, it wasn’t it was accidentally good for you. Yeah. What a fortunate what a fortunate thing. And, and yet still, there’s still a lot of competition, of course, where you are, and there’s a lot of great realtors. And so, you know, you, you, I’m assuming you were able to take a lot of the sort of habits and disciplines and that you learned, you know, we’re Yeah,

Sarah Stone 15:46
I mean, I think, you know, being a good salesperson is being a good salesperson, you know, like, you remember the, the, the Wolf of Wall Street. And that last scene, you know, he had gone to, to the federal prison for for, you know, his his tax evasion and fraud, wire fraud and all the stuff that he had done. And he got out and then he was giving seminars across the country and holding, he said,

D.J. Paris 16:19
Sell me the patent. Yeah. Right.

Sarah Stone 16:23
And like, and that’s sort of the that that’s the spirit, you know, like when if you have this skill, it can, it can really work across a lot of different platforms. So while I was doing it, and I was, you know, a realtor in Manhattan selling coops and condos, it my skill set was very applicable as far as as selling homes here hear up in the suburbs. It’s just you know, we didn’t have to happen septic tanks, and we didn’t worry about that, like, sewer sewage and all that stuff, roof. There’s a whole other aspects of, of real estate that goes on here that isn’t necessarily I mean, that in the city, you have to worry about Co Op or packages, which forget about it. I don’t miss those whatsoever.

D.J. Paris 17:15
I always loved when my sister bought a condo, or sorry, Co Op, in the West Village, many, many years ago. And my sister’s kind of a little superstar in her own in the industry she’s in and she was certainly more than qualified to buy this Co Op. And she you know, they got the offer accepted. And I this is like a million years ago, and I didn’t know anything about real estate. She’s like, Oh, now I have to go for my interview. And I was like your interview. I was like, what is that and so if you’ve no one’s ever dealt with coops before, you can obviously look this up. But there’s typically an interview process to make sure that the because coops are slightly different its ownership share. So everyone’s kind of owning everything to a degree. So they want to make sure that you’re not some total Bozo who’s gonna screw everything up for everyone. And so oftentimes, you do have to go in front of the board and forget about forget about that you put 100% down or whatever. They’re not evaluating that they want to make sure personality wise that you’re not a total joke.

Sarah Stone 18:13
They want to know who your best friend was, instead, they want to know your blood type. They want to feel your bank accounts. I mean, they they want to know every little detail about you and you have a package about that thick in front of you.

D.J. Paris 18:27
Did you ever see Did you ever have a deal go south because the personalities didn’t line up? Did that?

Sarah Stone 18:32
Oh, okay. Yeah. Oh, yeah. It was I learned that that game very quickly. It was a the my very first one of my first Co Op deals, I remember I was dealing with a building on the Upper East Side. That was a very snooty you know, consider themselves quite a an established and and you know, prestigious buildings a 50% down require you had to put down at least half and then you had to have at least three times the amount of the apartment in liquid assets

D.J. Paris 19:13
in liquid assets.

Sarah Stone 19:15
Yep. On. So I did have like $4

D.J. Paris 19:17
million sitting in cash.

Sarah Stone 19:20
Yeah. And then my I had a client who was like, I’m paying all cash. And PS I have $50 million in the bank account. Let’s Let’s rock and roll. The board came back and said, Okay, we’d like to do the interview in on July 15. They my client said nope, July is no good. What do you have in August? So that was all they needed that that was that? That was Yang.

D.J. Paris 19:52
Sorry. You’re not a fit. We need you to come in July. Yeah, I’m amazing.

Sarah Stone 19:57
That was that they said if this guy’s If that’s how he’s gonna play it for you, I mean, you have to as though you’re approaching you’re, you’re getting an introduction with the queen. I mean, that’s how you have to think of it like you have to be so honored. You have to like, if you’ve got plans, forget it. You don’t care. Let’s go. Like, isn’t that

D.J. Paris 20:18
amazing? Oh, yeah.

Sarah Stone 20:19
Different world you come? I learned that very quickly. Yeah. And you probably

D.J. Paris 20:24
have to have to then prepare your clients for those interviews and say, like, Okay, here’s, here’s some suggestions about like, don’t speak unless spoken, you know, or whatever. But, uh, you know, only give the right answer don’t, whatever, whatever the you know, that same sort of thing, if you’re going in for like being deposed by the attorney, don’t say anything.

Sarah Stone 20:43
But, like, happy and affable, and, you know, talk about your golf handicap and the tennis match earlier that day. And that’s about it.

D.J. Paris 20:55
So moving out to the suburbs, moving away from the co ops the condos, more of single family homes, and really kind of learning a new inventory, I’m guessing, you know, is going out there and really trying trying to learn that. Real quickly, though, just curious. I want to go just briefly back to your very first year doing, you know, rentals and maybe some sales in in the city in New York. How do you think or why do you think you did so much better than so many other rookies that year? Was there anything that that you can say, you know, I was really good at X, Y, or Z, or I just did things that other people wouldn’t do. Just curious in what you thought made the difference for you?

Sarah Stone 21:36
Well, for me, it was I worked as an assistant to one of the top producers and a legend and I was very lucky to work for this man. His name’s Robbie Brown. He is he’s no longer with us. He passed away a couple of years ago, but he is a legend in the industry, and an incredible guy and, and not at all, like a typical broker, like he was laid back, he rode a bike around the city, you would ride a bike to, you know, to your listing appointments. He was he was so cool and casual about it. But that was on the exterior. Meantime, he was hustling like nobody’s business, you know, he was he was a great networker. He went to every party, he went to the opening of an envelope, you know, he was there. He He nailed the world, you know, he had people working for him that he just grind at it to send, you know, postcards out, blanketing the city with with mailings. You know, like that old age old adage that we love so much, if you throw enough shit on the wall, some of its gonna stick type thing. This really applies when it comes when it comes to this. And the other thing that I learned from him is the value of relationships. She had certain clients that that he worked with that it like it always goes back to the you know, it being a referral business. Right. So like he had certain people that he that he worked with that that was provided a pretty steady flow of of listings. And one of those sources was from a state attorneys

D.J. Paris 23:39
huge, huge deal. Yeah.

Sarah Stone 23:41
And and I, I thought, you know, when I saw when I went out on my own, I emulated him to the tee and I first thing I did was I targeted attorneys are so smart. And I did and it didn’t take that it didn’t take too many you know, I had probably two or three estate attorneys and I have one divorce attorney kind of that I really worked on developing those relationships with I would show up in the their office with lunch I would send you know bring donuts in the morning I went around introduce myself dropping business cards saying hello to everybody in the office you know to the point where they started throwing me some listings you know smaller ones at first and then when those would go well it would they give me the bigger ones and that’s that’s how I ended up getting that Dakota listing was through this estate attorney. Yeah, so it really is it you know if you have if you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world if if you have a loved one that had died and owns a Manhattan apartment, of course you’re gonna go with who your attorney recommends you use, especially if you’re not if you you know, if you’re the benefactor of the estate, you don’t live locally or you just hand it right over. And so I would have to say that that was really the most, that was a critical move that I made that that differentiated me from the rest of my of my pack. Let’s call it my incoming class.

D.J. Paris 25:31
It’s funny, because I’ve, I’ve certainly heard of attorneys calling divorce attorneys and of course, estate planning attorneys make all the sense in the world. I don’t know why that wouldn’t have occurred to me. But I think you might be the first person and all the hundreds of episodes we’ve done that have mentioned estate planning attorneys. So I’m, I’m almost thinking they may be a bigger opportunity in certain ways, because a lot of agents maybe do think I should call a divorce attorney and get and you should do that, of course, should build those relationships, but estate planning attorneys maybe go a little bit a little bit forgotten

Sarah Stone 26:03
about the radar, but yeah, absolutely. That’s brilliant. Yeah, that’s 1,000% that even more so than divorce attorneys, I’d say because, you know, divorce can get complicated. And, and typically, especially if they’re two people that are two parties that are have vested interest in in that apartment, usually, you know, somebody knows somebody, they lived in the town, they’ve got somebody they want to use, you know, you’re they’re less likely to need the referral than an estate attorney rate

D.J. Paris 26:37
point, because a lot of times when mom and dad pass, and the kids now are to deal with all the estate stuff, or one of them is people are either moving, or they living in different places kids live

Sarah Stone 26:50
in Wisconsin. Yeah, they don’t want to know from that they just, you know, it goes to the probate court and goes through probate probate, I should say, and, and they’ll, they’ll trust their attorneys to handle it for them. And that’s a really good spot you if you have a few relationships with with some very, you know, successful attorneys that have quite a few clients or estates that they handle it. Definitely that that is a huge place for for inventory.

D.J. Paris 27:28
I could see I could see two people, realtors doing webinars or in person, you know, events, where it’s like, Hey, if you haven’t done your estate plan, I’m gonna bring my my my estate planning attorney, and we’ll do a little combo of like, you know, a little present. Right, right. I could see that being

Sarah Stone 27:46
that shares. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, totally. Definitely, that that’s very much the case. Again, with you know, your with attorneys, you know, it’s you’re not supposed you can’t, technically you cannot get they are not entitled to a commission on that. So like, you can’t say, oh, well kick it back to you, you know, but you can in other ways, you know, tried you have had them benefit from from your business as you are from from theirs. And that is one way is bringing them in for something like what what you’re saying like a seminar or recommending them to your audience or your sphere of influence? You know, that’s definitely,

D.J. Paris 28:31
it’s actually even more brilliant in a way that I’m thinking, at least from my perspective, because everybody who owns a home needs a will. Right? So it’s like, every single person you work with could potentially be a referral to I mean, you know, depends on what that Estate Planning Attorney What kind of client they want. But like, every single person who owns a home should have some sort of estate plan in place, even if it’s just some, you know, easy well, that that they could do, but it’s a really smart because not everyone gets divorced. So it’s just like, Well, somebody’s getting divorced, I can certainly refer them to my to my, the attorney I like, but everybody needs an estate plan. So it’s actually you everybody, such as

Sarah Stone 29:11
a few things, you gotta pay taxes, and you gotta die. Those two things are

D.J. Paris 29:16
and we don’t know when. Yeah, yeah. Let’s let’s talk about I want to talk about the state of the market today, because you’re a huge producer. And the market is, at least I’m in Chicago. We have about 800 agents here at our firm. All I hear about in our agents are great. I’m not here criticizing them at all, but I hear a lot of people being nervous about rate where rates are with lending, obviously are higher than then. I mean, they’re always too high for anyone really, but they’re certainly higher today than they were, you know, two or three years ago. And you know, we’re approaching the sevens for you know, most 30 year fixes and fixed and then and then also inventory being because there’s This disincentive to move right now. Right? So if like, if I have a 3% mortgage, which I do, you’d have to really make a strong knot you but but a realtor would have to make a very strong case for me to go, I want to go from 3% to 7%. Like, that’s a tough, tough thing to swallow a tough pill to swallow. And what are you? What are you experiencing? And how are you coaching some of your clients through this, so that they so that there can, it can make sense for them to make these decisions?

Sarah Stone 30:29
Well, it’s, it’s been, it’s been tough, and that it really is a double whammy, because we’re just coming off of COVID, you know, the pandemic surge, where a lot of people that were sort of teetering are on the fence about selling, you know, it was in their five year plan, let’s say, and then this thing happens, that drives the value of their of their investment up some 20 30%. And you’re like, Well, gee, I better cash it. So we had a lot in the last two, three years, we’ve had a, we’ve seen a lot of that where people are, are cashing in their chips. So you’ve got a pause in, in the, in the action of of those, those people that would have been putting their homes on the market they’ve already sold. So we’ve got, we’re taking a hit from that side. And then we’re taking another from the interest rate side, because, like you said, to me, people are sitting, enjoying their two 3% rates, but they’re not seeing a dip in prices to incentivize them to if they if they want to, you know, downsize get something bigger, if they weren’t, you know, we’re just not, it’s just not, there’s no incentive for them to move unless you’re moving to an entirely different area. Or if you, you know, let’s say you’re in a certain zip code, because of the school system, and, you know, you want to move to a town where, or a different part of the country where the cost of living is much different. It’s, or it’s really, like, it’s not a choice, like you got to move because of your job or because of a divorce or it’s just, you know, one of those instances. So we’re really suffering with the inventory, and buyers are frustrated, it’s a really tough time. I mean, I can’t even imagine, you know, I have I’m working with buyers right now that are in, you know, in, I’ve got buyers that are in the 5 million plus range. And then I’ve got several buyers that are in the like, one to three range. And the one to three range is just

D.J. Paris 32:58
for get it is so much competition,

Sarah Stone 33:02
so much competition and they’re in they’re going in, they’re putting in offers, they’re waiving contingencies, you know, mortgage contingency appraisal, contingency inspection contingency, forget it, you know, we’ll pay, like, we’ll pay all cash, we’ll close when you want. Well, like, you know, we’ll, we’ll put a statue of your family in the backyard for the rest of us for the end of time for us to worship at your feet. I mean, but you’re, you’re going against 30 other applicants, like there that you are in a bidding war amongst, you know, there are literally got, we’re going against 2025 different bids. So how do you win? I mean, it is so so tough. So a lot of times like right now when I’m dealing with my buyers, as I’m looking at, you know expired listings, and I’m looking at you know, I’m knocking on doors, I’m I’m trying to go off market, because once you get involved with all of that craziness when when you are first to four weeks to market on the MLS, if you’re priced appropriately, it’s going to be a madhouse, I mean, if you’re overpriced, you’re overpriced, and that’s that you can’t do anything about that. But like if you’re, you know, your listing and that the one to three range, it is going to be an absolute zoo and you’re competing against the same people over and over and over again. It’s incredibly frustrating.

D.J. Paris 34:39
Are there any any tips you have to stand out in those offers? Any suggestions of you know, obviously, you don’t have a ton of control over all those multiple offers, but just anything that has helped you get a little bit of an edge when you’re submitting, you know, an offer that you know is getting a dozen or more other offers. so

Sarah Stone 35:00
well. So again, this is where relationships do play a big part. Because when you start to do a lot of business and a certain market, you get to know all the players, right. So like, if I know the listing broker, I know I’ve got an advantage because I can I can talk or, even better yet, if I’ve done a deal with that listing broker and we know each other, we can trust each other, then I know that I can go to I can, I can talk with that listing broker more frankly, and get more information for my client than then some than an unknown. So that’s where experience really is crucial. If you want to work with someone who’s been around the block a few times to know, because knowing the landscape, knowing the players really makes a huge difference. Because if it’s between you, and your client, or you know, Joe Schmo that, from some firm you’ve never heard of,

D.J. Paris 36:02
with the exact same offer, you’re gonna, you’re gonna win

Sarah Stone 36:05
equal, right, you’re gonna get it. So I would say that, that does play a part, for sure. The other thing I recommend doing is, you know, the family resume always helps like that. Cheesy, kind of, like, we love your house. And we like the love letter. Yeah, right. And the photos with the family and like, you know, because people, you know, homes are very, they’re very sentimental, meaningful things to people who who’ve raised a family and a home and spent decades of their life caring for this home, they really want to make sure that that home goes to somebody who’s going to do the same thing. You know, that’s just, it’s almost like, there is such a powerful emotional connection to, to a home that you’ve lived in and raise your family. And you really, you don’t want to sell that home to like a developer, you know, or some investor, like, you know, somebody representing like a, some guy in, you know, in some Russian oligarch, or something, sorry. You know, like, like, if you’re a nice, nice, you’re nice people that that have, you know, like you, you want to be like the school system, you’re a nice family, you absolutely want to present that to the sellers. And there is you can get an edge. I mean, I just, we just experienced this recently with a, with a deal that I’m doing in the moment at the moment in Bedford, New York, and in Westchester County. It was between my people. And, and, or it was gonna go to this developer who actually had put in a higher offer than we did. But this is, you know, they’re young couple, they want to raise a family in this home. They love so this was, this is another thing that that’s this is a tip that people love getting compliments on the work that they’ve done or the upgrades that they’ve done on the home. So you know, knowing like, this was a 1930. Just almost, it’s a gorgeous home that but they did so much work to it, upgrading it, decorating and painting and the moldings and the chandeliers, they did all the fireplaces over they, they really did a wonderful job. So we wanted to just throw, we wanted to tell them what a brilliant job that they had done how much we love the the the materials that they used in their kitchen, we love the the kitchen island that granite is, you know, get detailed. People love that stuff they love like, they like, you know, why do we do anything? Right? Like why do we renovate our kitchens and bathrooms and put all this all the stuff on the wall? Because we want people our guests to come in and say, Ooh, wow, great to have you like that’s why we do it. Right? So like to get that recognition to get that kind of like that’s going to get that’s going to work in your favor. People do what

D.J. Paris 39:39
what percentage, what would you guess because you are up against multiple offers, of course in the price ranges you’re at. And you know, you’re coming in with some of the more human parts of it. They’re like, Oh, we really love what you did with the kitchen, the blah blah, you know, and you can talk about that or even maybe the by a couple can record a little video or type out a letter or, you know, hey, oh my god, it’s so amazing. What percentage of offers Do you think Do That? Is? It’s kind of it’s it. I know it was more popular during the pandemic, when there were so many offers where it was like you had to do something to stand out. But now that that’s subsided, but inventory still low in there a lot of multiple offers now, is that a common thing? Or is that just something that like, I imagine most Realtors don’t do that they just put in the offer? See what happens?

Sarah Stone 40:30
Yeah, I guess it depends, you know, on the deal. It depends on you know, like, for example, if I’m representing one of those states, from the, you know, referral from a state Attorney, like those kids in Wisconsin, they just want, they want to divvy up the money, they got it, split it four ways, they don’t care, or something. It doesn’t work all of that that’s not sure. Not all the time. I guess it’s it, I would apply it as needed. It’s a situational kind of vibe, vibe out, you got to suss it out and see when it’s appropriate and where it’s appropriate. And of course, like, if it’s appropriate for your client to be, maybe you’re not representing a really nice family, like maybe you are representing, you know, an investor or somebody that wants to put a subdivided or do all or gutted or who knows. So it really, it’s that sort of a Yeah, apply as needed is what as is how I would phrase that. And that’s, that a good broker can can vibe out, especially if you are, if you’re, if you’ve worked with that listing broker before, you know that that’s in the, in the due diligence information gathering stage, a good broker should be able to guide you through that,

D.J. Paris 41:56
ya know, for sure I love that tip is, is if we think that the sellers have an emotional attachment to the upgrades they’ve made, that can be something that the agent can ask the other agent, hey, my client really loves what you guys did with the kitchen. And then they can configure out how much you want to oppress that in the in the offer. But certainly, people are always loved to be complimented on their work. So that is, you know, even even if it doesn’t win, win the bid, it certainly is a good practice to compliment people on what they’ve done right with their house. Because also, if they’re like most of us, I think most of us like we look in the mirror, and we see the little imperfections in ourselves. And I think most people think about that way with their home as well. It’s like, Yeah, I did this project. But then there’s like 10 Other projects I had didn’t get to. So most people look at their home. They’re like, Ah, God, I have so many things I have to do, and I haven’t done and then when somebody comes in is like, oh, that thing you did is really cool. It’s like, oh, yeah, that’s right. I did do that thing. Yeah, that’s really it’s a nice little reminder.

Sarah Stone 43:05
Yeah, I mean, at home, your home is your an extension of yourself. It is a representation of yourself. Absolutely. And just like you said, we look, we, when we’re living in it, we don’t see how fast we look and see the flaws. And we think everyone’s gonna come in and say like, Oh, that is like the wall color. She pin. Oh, like that, you know, I remember when I first got my first apartment on the Upper West Side, and I stayed the floors really dark. You know, so it was like this pre war apartment. And like, the walls were this really high ceilings. It’s like these moldings, beautiful, like, classic six apartment on the on the Upper West Side. And I stained them. Like, I just went for it. I stand in like ebony color, you know, so really shiny and kind of contrasted the white walls and everything. But, of course, I was like, Oh, God, is it like so? Is it too dark? Like did I pick the right shade? And I remember like walking, I would pray I would walk in to get my first impression of the place and then walk back out and then walk back and to like, get a fresh like, I must probably do that 20 times. And you know, my, my husband at the time was probably like, oh my gosh, she’s she’s totally gone berserk. But it was that first friend that came over. I remember her name is Eve we went to college together. She came over and she said I love your floors.

D.J. Paris 44:47
And then you never had to think about it again.

Sarah Stone 44:49
It’s like, Oh my God. God bless. Like, yeah, it just yeah, you need affirmation. we all we all love and need affirmation.

D.J. Paris 44:58
Well, I have I Have an all white condo, everything’s white, or like white and black, the fixtures are black, you know, but like the countertop stuff, the floor is light, all the walls are white, and I can’t wait for like 10 years from now, somebody will walk in and go, what were they thinking? Because everything changes, you know, at some point, like the all white thing will just not be cool anymore. And everything is going to look goofy at some point in history. So it’s funny. So you know, I just I’m looking forward to that kind of, because I remember when I bought my condo before in 2005, and we were doing certain things with granite. And that was real popular. And now it’s like, we look at those goofy granite. Some of the goofy or granite colors were like, what were they thinking? It’s like, No, that was in back in 2005. And now, you know, the white thing has kind of been in for the last five years, and it’s probably

Sarah Stone 45:52
leached floors that was that how to run or it was like, you know, those like bleached wood and Nantucket II kind of shingles and that like everything’s just like, been in the sun for too long, kind of

D.J. Paris 46:07
it is it is funny, but it is it’s important. I think agents sometimes forget that that like, there are real if you’re representing buyers, there’s real human beings on the seller side. And if you have a good relationship with with the listing agent, and and that’s where it’s really important to play nice in the sandbox, right? It’s like always, and look, I know, especially I think women get I mean, I don’t want to generalize based on gender, but but I think women get this much worse than men is that there’s just a lot of jerks that are realtors in the industry too. And I know a lot of women who are who are very successful in real estate, who are like, you would not believe the way I get spoken to by other realtors on a regular basis. Like Nice, nice. You see, you’re nodding your head. And it’s like, Well, how could I ever be mean to Sarah, she’s like a lovely, sweet person. Oh, she has to deal with this too. And the reality of it is it only is ultimately going to hurt the other agent if they’re a jerk to you. Because you’re not going to forget that.

Sarah Stone 47:02
Yeah. I mean that especially like the whole like listing broker buyer buying broker dynamic. Like if you’re the listing broker, you are like too cool for school like you are, you know, you should be grateful if you get a return phone call from the listing broker. Like, it’s just that’s the, that’s the market that we’re in right now. It’s a seller’s market, right. So like, you if you want to be on the sell side, and like, we’re on the buyer side, we’re all sweating away, and can we show it please? Oh, you’ll let us like, you just have to be so nice. And, you know, catch more flies with honey type thing. And the listing brokers stuff. It’s like, it’s like, can we just lose the attitude? You know, like, I, it’s just like, please, I don’t understand it, you know, like, it’s one of those, like, you know, when there’s like an event for a cocktail for brokers or networking event for brokers, and people are like, Why am I gonna go to that I don’t want to meet a bunch of brokers, like I’m not selling to brokers. And it’s like, Ah, no, you go to those, you go to all those cocktail parties, you you meet everybody, you handshake, you throw cards up, because you never know when that relationship is going to be important. And the network, you know, the more that that business is going, it’s going to inevitably build, if you put it out there, it’s going to build

D.J. Paris 48:35
Yes, and you could not be more more accurate there. And I’ve just heard that said over the years on the show, by just about every person we’ve ever had on is, is be really, really nice to other agents, and also realize that other agents might be having a bad day too, and give them a bit of grace when they falter, and maybe are less than professional, even though that’s never acceptable to be less than professional, but it happens. And it’s one of those things where, you know, the the top agents, I know, kind of learn how to grin and bear it a little bit more. It’s not quite as personal to them, when somebody’s awful to them. And obviously that sucks. We’re to ever have somebody be awful to anybody. But this idea of like, I’m just going to catalogue that I’m going to remember that and, you know, maybe in the future that maybe won’t serve that person that was crappy to me, maybe maybe, you know, and and we all want

Sarah Stone 49:34
karma happen. It’s a karmic situation, it happens and especially, you know, in a market like Greenwich where, you know, it’s it’s a big market, but there are a few very strong players that you’ll you’ll see again and again. And, and you know, and that’s the beauty of our business too is like a deal has a beginning and an end right like you can tolerate anybody for it through the length of time that it takes to, to sign a contract and get to a closing, it’s not like you’re gonna have to go to a nine to five job and see this person every day for the rest of your life. You know, like it, they when the deal is done, the deal is done. And that’s what I love. I love like the sense of, of completion, this the achievement of finale, you know, it’s over. So you can move on to the next one, but you just need to make it through that to make keep everybody happy. So we get to the finish line.

D.J. Paris 50:38
I agree. I think that is that makes all the sense in the world. One thing I wanted to mention, because I know we’re kind of running coming up on near the end of our time, I was thinking about your, you know, what your Oh, I know, I wanted to ask you, it was about what you do in between your deals. So you just talked about, like, there’s a beginning and an end to the relationship. You know, some a some clients are easier to work with than others. Some you’re like, I can’t wait to be the this person’s friend forever. And others are like, you know, that was a nice experience. And we don’t need to, you know, keep keep, you know, keep keep communicating. But what do you do in between those transactions, so that the clients don’t forget about you? Right? Like, obviously, you can’t be friends with everybody. But are you doing because, you know, if somebody’s only really utilizing you every, let’s say, five to seven years, or whatever the cycle is in your area? What are you doing so that they don’t forget? Oh, who did we use five years ago? Not that you’re forgettable? You are not forgettable, but let’s assume that we’re all forgettable? You know, we’re all we’re all forgettable. And and so, you know, what are you doing to make sure your clients don’t forget you.

Sarah Stone 51:49
I mean, you got to do all this stuff to stay top of mind. Right? Like, we all know the stuff, it’s just there. It’s, it’s a, it’s not, this is the gritty pain in the ass stuff that we all it’s like, we’re not looking forward to it. We don’t love coming up in your inbox all the time, and being so annoying, and videos, you know, like being in your face type thing, but it really it matters. It’s important, like you have to stay top of mind. And that means continuously marketing yourself reaching out, you know, to to your network. blasting out those emails, sending postcards, social media, obviously is incredibly important. And I always say it’s, it’s more like, it’s not like your I personally don’t get my my phone’s not ringing off the hook from my social media, you know, it’s not like someone’s looking at a tick tock that I made and like, Oh, my God, Sarah, like, it’s you, you are the one you have to sell our house. But what it does provide is like it’s a, it when they go to do some due diligence on you, and they go to check you out would be client, they’re gonna see all that stuff. And they’re gonna feel nice and safe and snugly found that they’re in good hands with with you like, so that stuff all really it accumulates, it makes you as the time goes on, and you’ve got more and more history, it’s all the better. So you really just, you can’t be afraid to put yourself out there. And I know that that’s so it’s not easy to do. It’s, it’s like it’s really it, you got to take the good with the bad when it comes to that stuff. But you really it’s in this day and age. And it’s crucial to not only maintaining your business, but really growing your business you need to stay relevant to the conversation.

D.J. Paris 53:56
It also gives people access, right? Like, it allows people to feel like they have a connection with you. Even at three in the morning when you’re asleep. If they’re awake, scrolling through Instagram, or wherever. And they’re now seeing like, oh, that’s maybe I know Sarah or maybe I don’t maybe I’m being introduced to her through a tick tock or whatever. But it allows people access to you more about you, without you having to make pick up the phone and you know, call make these cold calls, which you’ve done, you’ve done cold walking, you’ve done a lot of these more difficult, you know, sort of cold introductions, whereas, you know, social media is a great way for people just to remember might be reminded of what you do, right? So it’s like you can continually pump out content about all this cool stuff you’re doing in real estate in sort of the thought that like the right people will see it. My followers might see it they’ll at least be reminded I’m still in the game and doing XY and Z for for as a realtor. So I think for it’s it’s a lot of just a branding thing, right? It’s like it’s not it’s more than that, but I think from a branding perspective, it’s, you know, we know most people scroll, you know, scroll in some sort of social media channel once or twice during the day, might as well be one of the things they come across. Right,

Sarah Stone 55:12
exactly. And I mean, if you’re not doing it, somebody else is doing it, I can guarantee you that and like, the more that we are in, in an online business, you know, I mean, I think Zillow is a real game changer in the way that we, we have the availability of understanding your market and knowing what’s on the market. We didn’t have this pre 2000. I mean, the the client had to solely rely on the realtor to show you what was available on the market at that time. So now, they have access to pretty much almost every platform that you do. So how are you going to add value to that person? You know? How? How are you going to enhance that experience for them or provide, provide them an experience buying or selling a home that a different agent can’t, you know, yeah, so that’s really, you got to find exactly that your brand, your vision.

D.J. Paris 56:24
And what’s really cool is you get to lean into that now, whatever your thing is, like, could be outside of real estate, even maybe you’re passionate about something a hobby or, you know, particular belief system or group or whatever, you’re just into x. And what’s really cool. As an agent with social media, one of the good parts of social media is you get to not only find all the other people that are into x. But even if you don’t have a community of people that are into the same thing you are, you can start posting about that on your real estate page. If you’re really into something maybe it tangentially relates to real estate, or maybe it doesn’t. But if you’re into surfing or whatever you might be into, you know, you can do that. And then people start to feel like, Oh, that’s pretty cool. This, this is what this versus that do. And you’ll you can start attracting, you know, surfers or people who are in that space, simply by posting a lot of good quality content that a surfer might want, or that somebody that’s into cross stitch or whatever it might be. And you you get to be yourself, which is really cool. Below, up

Sarah Stone 57:26
and down an entire different demographic that you wouldn’t have had access to. And that’s like this job. You’re always working even when you’re socializing, and just generally having fun yet, like you’re actually what you’re what we’re working, you’re always you’re meeting people, you’re interacting with people, it’s an opportunity to let that person know who you are and what you do. You know, so that’s why it’s so important to I mean, obviously, we’re working your your career is important. But when I’m you know, playing tennis, or I’m playing pickleball or even if I’m going to you know, an event, a fancy Greenwich gala or something like that, that’s always an opportunity to connect with somebody and to grow your business. So like it’s a kind of a cool way to not feel guilty sometimes, like sometimes when you know you’re doing something that’s not work, work, work work, you’re like, oh, but really, when I’m, I mean, I’ve gotten a lot of business from playing tennis, because we women love to chit chat when we’re playing a double match, like we’re on the on the changeover. I’m like, Who doesn’t love to talk about real estate? You know, like,

D.J. Paris 58:49
everyone’s got to live somewhere.

Sarah Stone 58:51
Right? And like, it’s such, it’s so easy to casually be like, Oh, my God, you guys, the showing that I had earlier today, let me tell you, and they’ll lean right in they though they want to know. And my goal is always to make sure not don’t ever leave any social situation, without them knowing that I’m a realtor. Like, that’s all I have to do. That’s all you have to do. I don’t I don’t need to push it down. I don’t want to ram it down their throat and ask them where they live. And are they interested in selling in the next five years? You know, I all I need to do is have them register that somewhere in their peripheral that Oh, I played tennis with this lady and she’s a real estate broker. And you just don’t know how that’s going to germinate. You know, you just

D.J. Paris 59:44
it might. It might be that like that person’s brother is a realtor and so you’re not going to get that business but they might say oh my friend, you need to talk to my friend. She would be awesome because you know, so yeah, you’re right. You never know where it’s going to germinate. I love what you just said every Your job is, as a marketer, part of being a realtor is to make sure that everybody who you come across that you interact with understands what you do for a living, it does a great pushing is always, to me, I’m not a big fan of people. But I want to know, I want to know what all of my friends do I want to know where they work. Like I haven’t I have an interest in that when I meet somebody, you know, oftentimes what they do for a living might be the least interesting thing. But I still ask, and I still am like, Oh, what are you into? What do you do? That’s really, really important, we shouldn’t be again, and also everyone’s got to live somewhere. So they’re going to need a realtor anyway. So you might as well it’s not like you’re trying to sell them aluminum siding, or something that they may or may not need or want, right, you’re not selling something that’s not important, you’re actually like, well, you’re going to use a realtor anyway. So it’s a good idea to make sure that people know that that’s what I do. So I want to end with that. Because I think that is such an important, great, important thing. It may for everyone listening, let’s make it a goal that everybody in your life this year is going to get some sort of reach out from you in a gentle way to remind them that you are in the business. And you can figure out the best way to do that everyone’s got their own individual style. Make sure that everybody in your end that you’re consistently dripping something on them, maybe not every week, every maybe not every even month, but few times a year, at a minimum, they’re getting some sort of reminder that you are a realtor. So Sarah, thank you so much. And I also want to say for everyone before Before leaving, don’t leave the chat because I would like to remind everyone that Sara is always speak we talked about having relationships with other realtors, Sara is gets a lot of her business from referrals because she’s just that good. So if you have any clients that are moving in and out of Connecticut, even parts of New York, it doesn’t even matter where just reach out to Sarah she can’t help you. She’ll know who to refer to but she would love to connect with you specifically around you know, Connecticut, parts of New York as well. So for talking Fairfield County, Greenwich, Westport, Westchester County,

Sarah Stone 1:02:07
Westchester County right outside the city. Those Those are my wheelhouse is and I I love referrals. I think you’ll even I never chintzy with referral fees.

D.J. Paris 1:02:22
And, and Sarah’s clients oftentimes have other homes elsewhere or move. So if you are in an area that people may be retired to Yeah, you know, or Florida is the big one. Yeah. So let’s, let’s, you know, this, this is a two way street sort of scenario. So definitely reach out to Sarah also, if you’re a realtor in Connecticut, and you’re like God, I would love to work with someone like Sarah, I would love for her to be on to be on her team and learn from her. She learned from one of the best you can learn from her. She’s one of the best now. So you know, right now she obviously she’s they she can’t take everyone. But if you think you could add value to her team, or if you think you know, she could add value to your business, reach out to her this is let’s let’s build a relationship. So Sarah, if there is another realtor who wants to connect with you either for referral or maybe they’re interested in looking at Douglas Elliman or your team? What’s the best way they should reach out to you?

Sarah Stone 1:03:17
Well, they can always they can find me, my Insta, which is at Sara stone style. And if not that, you know, I my cell phone my email, which I don’t know if you can provide that in the notes. But But yeah, always reach out. My website is element.com/sharath stone. And there I will be and I would love I would love to connect with as many listeners as I possibly can. And really, this is fun. I would love to do this again sometime. Totally a total pleasure torture. I could chat with you all day.

D.J. Paris 1:03:52
Yeah, it was it was so much fun. So everyone deftly follows Sara on Instagram, Sarah stone style, we will have links to her email, also her website on in the show notes. So please feel free to connect with her. She’s super easy to find and make a connection with her and let her know what you thought of the episode. And also, you know, maybe you guys could do some business together so or maybe could join or two. So anyway, Sarah, thank you so, so much for your time. Sarah is a huge, huge superstar. We’re so grateful to have you on the show. So on behalf of the audience, thank you, and on behalf of and we want to also thank the audience too. So on behalf of Sarah and myself want to say thank you for listening and supporting our show support our sponsors. Thank you for watching and listening, please just tell one friend about the show. That’s the only thing we asked. You know, I guarantee everyone listening knows one realtor that could use a little bit of help this year. It’s a tough year for realtors. So let’s send them this link to this episode. Maybe it’ll help them get to the next level in their business. So Sarah, thank you so so much. We will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Sarah.

Sarah Stone 1:04:54
Pleasure. Thank you so much.

Share this episode!

More from this show

Never miss an episode!

We'll email you each time a new episode goes live.

You have Successfully Subscribed!