How A Broker Owner Tripled Her Agents’ Production • Lisa Troyano Ascolese

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Lisa Troyano-Ascolese talks about how she got into real estate business. Lisa discusses what she thinks about 2024 and what are her plans for her business. Lisa discuss the future of brokerage and what is she doing to encourage her agents to do to keep busy this year. Lisa also talks about the marketing strategies she thinks work right now. Last, Lisa shares her thoughts about agent commissions.

Please check out Lisa’s Breakfast with Brokers Podcast here.

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

Lisa Troyano-Ascolese can be reached at 201-213-2617 and Lisa.Troyano-ascolese@evrealestate.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Today we’re going to be speaking with a broker owner who purchased a brokerage and then within five years tripled the production of the agents in that brokerage today she’s going to tell us exactly how she did it. 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 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 gonna be speaking with Lisa Triano. Aska Leesy before we get to Lisa, just a couple of reminders. By the way if this is your first time checking us out welcome and if you are not if it is not your first time, welcome back. We appreciate you the best way that you can always help us continue to grow two things, three things. I’m going to ask for three things one, of course, tell a friend about the show. There’s lots of realtors that don’t know about us, so please let them know about keeping it real. Another way is by supporting our sponsors, they help keep the bills paid. We love our sponsors and every sponsor, we hand select with specifically really wonderful tools and services to help your real estate business. And third, leave us a review wherever you’re listening or watching this episode. Please let us know what you think of the podcast and helps us continue to get better and better. Alright, enough of me. Let’s get to the main event. my conversation with Lisa Triano Eskalene easy.

Today on the show, our guest is Lisa Triano askeleen She’s a broker owner is a podcast host she’s a top producer. She’s a speaker. She’s a total superstar in Hoboken as well as in Jersey City. She has two offices there they service New Jersey. And but let me tell you more about Lisa because she’s really really an amazing guests that we are able to have on the show. So Lisa describes herself as a serial entrepreneur. She is the sole owner licensed partner and broker of record for Engel and Volkers Hoboken and Jersey City real estate brokerages as well as the my Hoboken real estate team leader she recently released the first to market mobile staging app called restaged with the hopes of helping with the planet’s rising furniture waste issue. She’s a podcast host a public speaker and a decorated award winning entrepreneur. Lisa thrives in purpose search sorry, Lisa thrives in purpose searching and business creation with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and management from Siena College and a partial MBA studies. Lisa has risen in multiple organizations before leaving corporate America and following her dreams of working for herself. She began a career in real estate over 10 years ago utilizing her strong background in online advertising, sales and marketing for several Fortune 500 companies to sell. Some of New Jersey’s most prestigious properties or clientele is included professional athletes, prominent members of the entertainment industry, among other high net worth individuals. She’s known for her unbridled enthusiasm, unique marketing techniques and knowledge of the real estate market as a whole. Lisa continues to win awards for both real estate and entrepreneurship to see all of the super cool things Lisa is up to please check her website which is LT a endeavors.com. Literally everything she does is on there but also I want you to follow her on Instagram my home book and so it’s like my Hoboken but H O me instead we’ll have a link to that as well in the show notes. Also subscribe to her pod cast, which is called breakfast with brokers, which she does weekly, and she interviews agents and basically talks about the market. Lisa, welcome to the show.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 5:08
Hi, thanks for that intro. That was awesome.

D.J. Paris 5:10
You do a lot of things.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 5:12
I do a lot of impressive. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 5:14
exactly. Yeah. Well, yes, I can appreciate that we, we have one brokerage here you have two brokerages, I can’t even imagine doing two, we have one with just under 800 agents. And that is keeping us very, very busy. The idea of having to just oh, that just makes my head spin. But you not only are doing that you’re also hosting a show you also entrepreneurs, speaker, you do it all. And most importantly, you develop agents. I want to talk about this because one of the most important or impressive things I saw from you is that not only did you purchase angle and Volkers in you open these these two offices, but you also tripled the production of those offices. And let’s be honest, that is not easy to do at angle and Volkers is already an amazing brand. We have them here in Chicago, clearly a name that people respect and admire, certainly one of the white glove firms. But to triple the production of any office, regardless of the name that’s on the sign out front is I mean, we I would love to triple our agents production. So tell me what what you’re doing or what you did, because I think our show is all about agent development. So tell us how you think Well, before we get to that, I’m so sorry. I gotta go with my first question. We will get to agent development second. Sorry, tell us how you got in the industry? Yeah,

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 6:38
so actually ties well into your second question. I was in online advertising sales in Manhattan, working for several Fortune 500 companies. And I worked for an incredible man who was had an open door policy. So I literally sat next to the CEO of the company in this giant loft. There were no doors, it was just he had this great open air policy basically come in pitch me whatever idea you might have. And I’ll I’ll critique it, I’ll give you my feedback. He was like he was a serial entrepreneur and just off the charts. Brilliant. And I had this idea for like an event planning company. And I went to him. And I remember sitting across the table from him. And he’s going through my business plan. I’m like, What did I just do? I just gave my boss my exit strategy. Like, this is the dumbest idea. I fell right into it. And like, he closes it up. And he was like, you know, what’s the problem? That’s great. And I was like, Well, I have a job here. And he’s like, I’m laying off half the company tomorrow. No, you’re never safe when you work for someone else. And I was like, that’s true. I flat out said I loved his honesty. he flat out was like you don’t make enough money. I’m not laying you off. But half the company will not be here tomorrow. Yeah.

D.J. Paris 7:47
And that’s it’s important thing, by the way to realize that if you for people that do have corporate jobs, or maybe you’re thinking about getting into real estate, I was one of those people who was very highly compensated at a tech firm. Prior to this, I had just gotten a perfect review, I’d gotten a raise. And then I got laid off a week later, even though all signs pointed to I am doing great. But because I was so highly compensated, I was very easily they could get rid of me pretty easily. So that’s a really strong point. Yeah.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 8:19
And when I went on to go through like six or seven rounds of layoffs, and then finally they closed my division of the company, and I was out on the street, they had no money left. They didn’t give me any severance. And I remember being like, I’m gonna just get my at the time my late mother was a realtor. And I was like, I’m just gonna get my real estate license all my friends, we’re moving to Hoboken, I’ll do a couple rentals and it’ll pay the bills. And I remember jumping into it with I had the the event planning company that I was starting and kind of started doing them and I had to make a decision worth my time and kids one side or a million dollar condos on the other. And I was like I’m going for the Cocteau’s. So I close my company and I start time as a mom and pop company eventually bought the remaining owner out and and here we are. So real estate, yay. Unbelievable.

D.J. Paris 9:10
It’s amazing. It is it’s it’s funny how people get into this business, and then some, you know, ultimately become, you know, broker owners. So let’s talk a little bit about agent development, as we were, as I was getting to at the beginning and realized I hadn’t properly sort of gotten your story. So how do you think about training again, angle and Volkers is is really a brand at least here in Chicago and I’m guessing in most parts of the country where it’s I don’t know that there’s a lot of brand new agents who joined angle and Volkers I know it’s a lot of like, hey, once you get to a certain level, you know that’s that’s a place and again, maybe they do train new agents as well. But regardless, as a broker owner, you are always wanting your agents to do better production, more production. And of course, you’re there to guide them. So How do you think about that? And, you know, tell us like kind of what you’re talking to your agents about right now is 2024 just started, we had a tough year last year, at least here in Chicago. I know we did. Probably you guys dealt with the same high interest rates and low inventory that everywhere else did. So how are you thinking about this year?

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 10:19
I’m cautiously optimistic. If you asked me that question, I think three months ago, I would have told you that in the hatches and grab your helmets, and that’s it. But I have to tell you, I think I mean, our markets a little resilient in that regard. Like we get the word five minutes outside of Manhattan, you can get into Manhattan from Hoboken and four different ways like train bus vote, you know, Uber, we’re right across the river. So for us, we always bounce back a little bit quick, and we’re about nine months out of Manhattan’s market. So our nine month lag, I should say for Manhattan’s market. So we have a nice, like people are always moving in and moving out and moving in moving out. So there’s always like a decent amount of transactions for us. That being said, when we closed last year, there were 53 properties on the market for 60,000 people, and there’s 1011 realtors that identify as Hoboken as their market. So the math is just not mapping. So it’s, it’s one of those situations is where I think we’re gonna continue to see low inventory, anything that comes on the market gobbled up with multiple offers over asking. And I think the low inventory is really what’s keeping us going and keeping that that steady. But a lot of parts like we start with North Jersey, a little bit of West and we some South Jersey as well. Not all those markets, but certain pockets of those markets. And, you know, we’re seeing it across the board. So I think as long as demand remains that high, we will continue to to to have, you know, a healthy situation. We just need we need a little bit more inventory. And I don’t I’m sure you guys are seeing the same thing by us. The issue is, you know, we have everybody that is stuck in these two, two and a half percent interest rates. And during COVID All of the pricing shot up. I mean, our single family market in Hoboken went up 24% In two years. Wow. So now, you know, that brownstone that was 1.8 is you know, significantly higher. Now you can’t get anything decent for under two, five. And, you know, again, the math isn’t happening. It’s like people are like, Well, I’m just gonna stay on my condo until these rates come down. So it’s I think if we see, if we just see a five if we just see 59999 And like, a just a five, I think we would have like a wild spring. But I don’t know. I mean, now they’re talking about

D.J. Paris 12:32
no one has the crystal ball. It’s funny, I hear everyone’s got their own number when it comes to rates like your 6.3. Obviously 5.9 would be amazing. We don’t know, I’m actually going to see Lawrence Yun, who’s the NAR Chief, Chief Economist. And next week, I’m just lucky enough that he’s in Chicago, because I think ours here. Despite all of their problems, we’re still having this market. I know we won’t go there. There was the I don’t know if you saw there was news yesterday about I’m very curious to see what that’s about. But that’s just the gossipy part of me. But anyway, I will get to chance to to come back and do an episode on what Dr. Yoon soo predicts for this year. He’s usually fairly accurate. But this is a big problem. Right? I think it’s 85%. Yeah. 85% of us homeowners with a mortgage have less than 5% rate. Yeah. So as you’re saying, I mean, I’m at 2.9%. Like, I’m not moving. Yeah, yeah. So so it’s a problem. But is there does the math work? And this is I guess, the question and it’s market specific. But I’m curious, does the math sort of work when rates are where they’re at now? Just because oh, we are dealing with cat a lot of cash offers I bet. So that may that may sort of negate what I’m about to say. But for non cash offers, I think now might actually be a decent time to buy because anytime rates do drop to the low sixes it’s going to be an it’s going to be so much competition. I just wonder if people are going to be gripped vastly overpaying if they were to buy today, lunch curious.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 14:10
I’m already on like three group chats with friends and family like talking about my in laws have a house that went up across the street from them. They live in a modest block back up to it. commercial districts like not a cul de sac like not like, you know, everyone’s like, the house just hit for two, eight. And it’s like, what?

D.J. Paris 14:28
It’s everyone’s already overpaying.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 14:31
Everyone’s really overpay but I also think that like to your point right now is a great time to buy because you have a little bit of leverage. And, you know, whatever still sitting on the market right now might not necessarily be bad. It just might be, you know, it was mispriced or, you know, it’s not the typical you know, all white modern farmhouse everyone wants like it just might be a little different that you can change I think, I think to your point, it’s a great time to buy.

D.J. Paris 14:58
I also want to talk A little bit about brokerages. So this is something we don’t ever talk about on the show. And being somebody who’s in management at a brokerage. I think there’s a lot of times a disconnect between what agents maybe expect from a brokerage and also just how brokerages work. I think. I think one myth that I’d like as a broker owner you can I probably appreciate dispelling is that the margins for brokerages are high they’re really not. And you know, brokerages are in competition with other brokerages, of course for commissions and everything. So you know, we’re at a situation where I think agents continue to split clients squeezed the agents, the agents squeezed the brokerages. You know, things are changing a bit. Do you think there’s going and of course, the lawsuits with respect to commissions? Do we Do you think there’s going to be like a massive change in the next several years with how agents are compensated? Obviously, it’s a crystal ball question. But just curious about, you know, how it’s all going to is, are things going to fundamentally change do you think?

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 16:02
I mean, I think yes, I think I think frankly, we’re the last agent, the last agency, the last industry that hasn’t been shut up, right, We’re the last ones that, you know, taxis had Uber and blockbuster had Netflix, you know, We’re the last ones that really haven’t had a major shake up. So I think, I think yeah, I think something’s coming what that is, to be honest, I have no idea. You’re absolutely right, the margins, the margins are very thin for brokerages. I mean, I only have 33 agents across to brokerages, and that’s kind of by design. Sure. Cuz, you know, but to your point, more agents is more money. Right? So it’s like, it’s, I think we, we, the power of the brokerage was diminished with certain models that emerged, you know, not naming names, but the Catholic model. And, you know, a lot of things were dangled in front of agents faces like, you should come here, you can make 95% of your commission. It’s like, right, but now you have a bunch of people running around the industry that don’t know what they’re doing and have absolutely no one to call. I mean, there’s there’s a brokerage that again, I would never call anyone out. But there’s a brokerage, where it took me two months to find the broker to month on where to send the check, like, yes, it’s, I mean, really, it’s so I think, to a point, and this is a good segue into your other questions, I think everything’s gonna go back to some level of basics. And you hear Tom Ferry talk about it, you hear Buffini talk about it, but there’s going to be some level of back to basics. And I think what, what we offer and what I’m sure you do as well is, you know, you need some sort of guidance, you need somebody I came up with a mentor perspective where I could call that person at 9pm. Or I can call them at midnight, or I can call them at one in the afternoon, and he picked up and that’s 100% why I became a successful agent quickly, because I had answers to questions. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 17:47
I can’t think of anything more important for an agent who’s newer or just looking to increase production is having somebody who’s either doing slightly better than they are or who’s just an industry veteran, who can say like, here’s how to do it, call me when you need help. And brokerages I think are a lot of them are starting to move more towards the team model, which teams a lot of times can pick up the slack of, of where a brokerage, maybe smaller, maybe doesn’t have as much support or training. I’m seeing that a lot happen here in our, in our market here. A lot of we’re seeing a lot of brokerages step away from training and kind of put that in the laps of the team leaders. So that’s kind of interesting. But again, there’s there’s quality control issues with that, I’m sure depends on the team, of course. But the idea of just having a mentor is so critical, we are actually finally putting a true mentorship program together this year at our brokerage, it’s taken us a long time. And it’s really tricky. As you know, mentorship programs are tricky because you know, you don’t want to give your your agent that just joined you a bad experience at the same time. You’re putting a lot of trust into the whoever the mentor is. And at the same time, you have to figure out how you’re constantly communicating with both to make sure that everybody’s happy and getting what they need. And of course, you know that but that’s what a brokerage should be doing. That’s literally part of the job if that’s something they offer, or if they don’t offer that you know, they should have Hey, if you call between this time and this time, you’re gonna get one of us on the phone, we’re here to help you. We you know, we are we’re here to help but not every brokerage is like that. I will say this to anyone listening. If you are somebody who is calling, and you don’t get good responses, this is the year to maybe explore other options, see what other firms offer because mentorship support training, these are the things that you are paying for for your brokerage please please please take advantage of them. Yes, if you’re going to a firm that doesn’t have these things, but they offer you like the highest commissions. Okay, fine, you get that that’s a trade off, but really understand that there are other solutions out there, and maybe it makes sense to earn less commission if you’re getting better, of course better training and support. What are you encouraging your thought about fundamentals? What are You encouraging your agents to do this year, just to sort of stay busy. You know, we can’t control the interest rates or the market inventory, but we can control our actions. So just curious on what you’re seeing successful agents do right now? Yeah, I

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 20:15
mean, I think we’re actually approaching it from like a three prong approach. So basically, we’re looking at the people that actually have to move. So I’m encouraging them to develop relationships with, you know, attorneys that might handle trust and estate work attorneys that might handle divorce, you know, really get in touch with old, like retirement communities, let you know, if you have somebody moving in, they most likely have to sell something, I mean, really acting as an advisor for these people that are going through a very scary transition in their life. Like, I think this country doesn’t do a good job of kind of protecting our elderly people. And it’s a scary time for them, right. And they’re saying, I just saw another podcaster. I don’t remember the name of but it was like, they’re calling it the silver tsunami. And it’s like, most of the transactions that will happen in the next five years are people over 65 cashing out. And I think the best thing you can do, or any agent can do is really start to make relationships in that realm. That’s certainly something I never knew anything about. And now I have wonderful relationship, friendships with divorce attorneys, and trusts and estates attorneys. And you know, that sort of thing. I think that’s going to be key going forward, because they so many of those baby boomers are cashing out in the next couple of years. Oh,

D.J. Paris 21:27
yeah. Great, great, great point, Lisa. So everyone listening, if you do not have relationships with divorce attorneys, estate planning attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, these are all people that deal with a lot of times someone’s entire net worth. And so they know that they understand the situation somebody is having a life event change, or inheriting a bunch of money, maybe from a parent who is, you know, passed away, they need boomers, baby boomers are going to be transferring a Trant on trillions of dollars down to over the next handful of years. To, to to their their siblings, or sorry, their offspring. And this is the time to build those relationships. So that when it maybe even becomes a tax advantaged reason why somebody buys or sells or put something in a trust, that you’re their person. So now’s the time to start reaching out to those providers and start saying, I want to build a relationship with you, I want to learn, you know, how can I send you business and you know, here’s what I look for. And you can also to

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 22:29
be like, to be I’m sorry to interrupt you, but to be ethical about it, you know, it’s a scary time, I think they’re, you know, that generation is very ones out to get their money, you know, so it’s one of those things to like, to really approach it from, like a place of assistance and a place of helping and be like, we’re gonna make sure that everything’s safe, and your kids get everything and you’re happy. And, you know, just being an ally in that process. That is, to me sounds terrifying. You know, I think that’s gonna go a long way. And it’s actually doing something nice with what we’re doing, you know. So I think it’s a great, great option.

D.J. Paris 22:59
It’s an amazing option. I’m so glad you mentioned that because it we are fiduciaries. So we are responsible for making sure we’re doing what’s in our client’s best financial interest. And as Lisa just said, it’s really the right thing to do. So I would say in every conversation with or every client conversation at some point, say, Hey, by the way, do you have somebody managing your estate? Do you have a will? Do you have some of the setup it not that you have to get involved as the agent, but you just want to say I just want to make sure everything’s protected, and that we’re doing things in the right way, even if it’s just to show that you care, that even just saying that demonstrates I care about your situation. And I know people that can help with this, if you need that you have a good accountant, do you have a good financial adviser? Do you have enough insurance? Are you covered in everything? Even though yes, we’re selling homes, we want to make sure that this home fits into your financial plan. I bet if if an agent would say that to to a potential client, and maybe they’re interviewing three or four other realtors as well, I bet those other agents probably wouldn’t bring up those kinds of things. Because it gets it gets tricky, where you don’t have to answer those questions when they’re like, Well, what about this as I, Hey, that’s not my area of expert expertise, but I have people that can help that can help you with that. Or let’s just get everyone on the same page. Yeah, totally. From a marketing perspective, because that’s your background, I want to talk about what marketing strategies do you see working like right now? What what do you see agents doing that successful? Maybe what do we see agents doing that you sort of shake your head and go, you know, not a good idea? Yeah,

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 24:34
I think, you know, this whole concept of, of agents having to be their own social media marketers. I think some are born for this. I think some need to hire someone. It’s I think it’s a long the, you know, I think you have to find a place and this is one thing that we do offer is like that you can stand out right. And I think a lot of agents there’s a lot of ego involved in this business. I mean, I’m sure you you’ve seen it, you know, and there’s part of that that’s actually really great. They because it allows these agents to kind of, you know, create this persona and they create this whole business surrounding that ego and it’s wonderful, it can also go in a very bad direction. So I think it’s, I think it’s one of those things where find, find a way that you can create a platform for yourself where you stand out. Because, like I said earlier, we have 1011 realtors that identify with Hoboken as a product, that’s insane, were one square mile. So you really need I think 7078 of us do the most work, you need a way to stand out. I mean, social media is still free, which is crazy to me like that. I mean, the fact that people aren’t diving into that, diving into AI in certain ways, like, there’s so that’s the fun part of this, I think, like come up with creative videos, come up with creative videos for yourself, not just for properties, you know, market yourself through video, if you’re sending don’t just send emails, what’s an open rate for an email now, it’s like nothing, you know, if you, you send it with a video on it, that’s someone interesting are directed to that person. So we’re doing a lot of that we’re doing a lot of very targeted marketing, we also utilize our network. So Anglin Volkers is in 33 countries around the world. And we actually work very well together. You mentioned the one in Chicago, I think we just sent him something a couple of weeks ago, like we we work very well on the referral side of things. And we double down on that because we do have a great relationship with the shop. So I think you know, kind of find your niche and then get it out into the world. I also think and this is a buzzword, so I hate to I can watch my agent Tom Worley rolling his eyes right now, if he’s ever listened to is the term authentic. I think we were being authentic before authentic was cool. And I think that’s key like you’re this is, you know, we did this all the time, we’re doing multiple transactions a month, all that stuff, but we forget that a lot of times this, this is like the most important transaction for someone. So out there renting a Bentley and driving around the street, like acting like, you know, that does nothing for anybody. You know, it’s you want to authentically present a home authentically present yourself and kind of cut away with all that craziness. Like, I think that’s a big trend that’s gonna go haywire is the days of you know, rolling up to the estate in the McLaren. I think you’re done. I think it’s you got to do something a little bit more authentic.

D.J. Paris 27:13
I think you’re right, and good riddance to those days. My opinion because because, well, and there’s nothing, you know, again, everyone’s different. And cheers to the people that do that. And I’m not here to disparage them. But But I think authenticity, the way I think about it is skills are well, honesty and skill. So it’s like, are you actually telling the truth? Are you presenting your actual self? And are you good? Are you actually useful to the agent and the useful agents always do business? It’s funny, it’s an you guess you have to have a good marketing plan. And you have to, there’s more to it than just being good. But being good is really the most important thing. And it’s this is the year to sharpen skills, because as I’m sure you’re seeing this in your market, you know, yeah, there’s 1000 agents who identify, you know, as Hoboken, but I’ll bet you by the end of this year, there won’t be 1000 agents, I’ll bet you there’ll be a lot of a lot fewer. And the agents that are still around and doing all of those things to sharpen their skills and keep their marketing strong, are going to gobble up market share. I mean, I certainly hope that’s what happens, because we certainly could use in this industry. But you know, some agents probably do need to leave the industry not have you know, have their own fault. Maybe they were never trained, well, maybe they don’t, it’s just not really their job. But we’re gonna see, I mean, we’re already seeing it, we have a holding company for agents that don’t actively practice, we started like 10 years ago, just like, as a kind of as a goof like, well, I guess we should have a holding company started with one agent, now we have 1000 agents in there. And the last in the last year, we’ve seen 200 People join our holding company, not not like from our firm Obrador, holding just in the in the whole state of Illinois. So we’re seeing huge people leaving, which should be very actually both scary and very exciting to anyone listening to this, because exciting, because you’re gonna have more opportunity, scary because it could happen to you, too. So I think it’s important that if you just keep doing the right things, and learning, I don’t see any reason why somebody wouldn’t be successful. But I like so we talked about social media, yes, of course videos. But you know, in right now, I think we think about how do I be useful on social media, there’s all sorts of ways to do that, you know, pick a micro market at some sort of geographic area and do videos about that area and highlight the restaurants and I mean, you could do all sorts of fun things that are really useful to the community. And then you could then go into those like restaurants say, Hey, I just made a video about you guys here. I just wanted to let you know I’m gonna tag you, you guys. If you want to send it out, that’d be great too. And there’s all sorts of ways to get immersed in the community but I I think that’s that’s going to be the key is getting back to those basics of, of getting involved in the community learning your skills, but but I am curious, you know, what, what are you know, are you seeing anything else like, are you seeing Traditional mailers, for example, I’m hearing agents going back to doing a lot of physical mailers. To

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 30:06
me the mailer thing, I’ve never, I’ve never got it, I’ll never be a proponent of it, I know their success with it, I know you have to do it, like 45 times upside down. And from a lock of hair, I don’t know, everybody talks about it. Like, it’s the God’s gift to our business. I don’t get it. I have agents that do it. And I support that I love it. To me, it’s so much money. It’s just, it’s just litter, like, and I’m not, you know, I’m not saying like from an environmental perspective, it’s just, I mean, I personally get like six a week. So if I’m an agent, so it’s like, to me, I don’t know, I don’t get the mail or thing I get that it works. And if that’s your if you swear by it, by all means die on that hill. But for me, I don’t get the mail or thing personally, I think you’re way better. Utilizing video and unique ways. I sent out a text Yesterday, I went through all of my old landlords and gave them a video just saying, Hey, you may have made a lot of money. Like let me you know, let me know if if you have any interest in selling because this is the difference of what you can make. And here’s a net proceeds worksheet, blah, blah, blah, I have like six meetings next week just from doing that. And it’s I don’t have a ton of landlords, you know, I have maybe like 2020 to 30 landlords and I have six meetings. I mean, that’s a huge return. So I feel like that sort of thing. I think we need we’re gonna need to get creative. And I think we’re going to need to learn how to surf and videos. I think video and social or anything you can do from text messaging is fantastic.

D.J. Paris 31:35
Yeah, and I love that with text messaging with systems like Bom Bom or loom where what’s really cool if you if anyone listening hasn’t explored those. What’s really neat is if you know somebody with one of those accounts, have them send you one just as a test, because what’s cool is they’ll take a video, and and this really, you can send it if you’re like iPhone, iPhone, or I don’t know what it looks like for Android. But what’s cool is it will literally take the video that you make and create like a little gif, three second GIF, and then it’ll send it to the person and then you know, it’ll, they’ll see that they have a video for them right in their text message. And they’re more likely to click on it, we sent an email, we send an email to all 700 plus of our agents announcing we have a new managing broker, which is a very big deal for us. And so we sent out an email on Sunday, which is not the best day to you know, send out an email. But it’s all of our agents say, hey, just FYI, this big, long thing, here’s our new managing broker, welcome, etc. And then we sent an SMS on Monday to say just with a video, and we were curious to walk out the higher open rate, we knew text messages were would but it was night and day difference, we had almost a 50%, almost 50% of our agents clicked on the link in the text message, about 15% of our agents clicked on the link in the email, or open email, even open the email. And maybe that says more about how we communicate via email than anything, but it’s just the way it is. I mean, people are, well, you know, this, nobody reads their email, you’re a broker owner, you know. So this idea of utilizing SMS in a way that’s not invasive, that’s not overly communicative. But like providing value is amazing. It’s such a great creative way. And people don’t probably want to take your phone calls all the time, either, right? So that’s a great way to sort of have a conversation without having a conversation and you’re like, Hey, I just you know, here’s a you know, let’s take a look at your property and see if it’s a good time to sell.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 33:33
Yep, 100%. I mean, even if you like from a brokerage perspective, even recruiting, I mean, my I have a great relationship with some of my best agents, and they show me the text messages, they get these campaigns that these are crazy, it is wild. I mean, you’ll have like, Hey, want to work here. And they’re like, no thanks. And they’re like, hey, but you really should work here. And they’re like, no thanks. And he’s like, Please work here. It’s like, Oh, my God. And it’s just it’s like, relentless. I mean, to the point where I think it almost turns them off, like, totally, you know, it’s, I don’t know, I think there’s an art to it. And I think that’s, that’s really going to separate, like, who makes it through this next transition is who can figure out what that art is and how you can do it authentically to yourself. And and really utilize these because there are so many tools that I mean, I don’t even know if you’ve dove into AI at all, but like, I try and do like a little each week, because it is the stuff you can do it that is incredible.

D.J. Paris 34:23
I mean, II, you know, the most obvious application, or the first one I had heard of was dropping your listing description, and it’ll rewrite it and or, you know, you’d tell it to rewrite it in a particular way. You can also tell it to abide by, you know, whatever rules are applicable in your particular state or federal rules around making sure it’s not a housing violation. But But yes, you can do that. That’s sort of I think most people know about that stuff now. But what if you were like, I don’t have anything to do for the next two days, because I don’t have any client appointments. You could literally as Chad GBT. Hey I’m a realtor, I have the next two days free. And I My goal is this, I want to reach out to 10 new people or whatever. And please give me ideas about how to do that it will literally give you ideas. So you don’t even have to come up with your own ideas anymore, which I think is so cool. And yeah, so utilize AI, I think if it is like, I don’t remember if it’s the Odyssey or whatever, there was the oracle at Delphi, I think, maybe for the Odyssey, but anyway, anyway, whatever is the old Greek mythology thing, but the Oracle Delphi was this thing, you know, you could ask anything for and it would tell you the answer. I feel like Chet GBT is our version of that. It’s not perfect, but it can do a lot of cool things. So you start talking to it, and start asking questions and asking for help, like, hey, help me market this property? What? Oh, there’s something really cool. You could do that. I’ll mention real quick. I just learned about this. You can put it I did this for myself, because I wanted to see, the building I live in is only three years old. It’s a brand new development or new ish. And so I said, I wonder what chat GBT, which I don’t even use the paid version. I have like the free version, which only goes back to like, 2020 or something. So it scours the web. But it only scours that I think through like, 2020. I don’t think there’s anything more current than that in in its database. Although I may be wrong. Anyway. I said, I wonder what chat GBT knows about my condo unit or my building. And I said, Hey, I live at this address. Tell me everything you know about it, which I was just interested to see, it knew what kind of countertops I had. It knew the pricing was wild. Because what it did is it it probably scrape the website that was for my building, when it when building was selling units, or I don’t know where it grabbed the data from it didn’t say, or it, maybe it did, but I didn’t look. But regardless, it knew everything. And I thought, if I was an agent, practicing, I would put this in F before every listing, because maybe there’ll be some fun little facts and things to know about the property that you would never know. Or maybe even a listing agent doesn’t know. And you know, you’ll just learn it knew when it was built, it knew it just knew everything. It knew what the average price points were, I was so cool. So you know, you should do that before every listing just to find or if there’s nothing that if it doesn’t know anything about the property, I would say, well tell me some cool things about the neighborhood that maybe a prospective buyer would want to know. Like, where’s the cool restaurants, whatever, it could be anything. So yeah, AI? Absolutely. Very cool.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 37:19
It’s very cool. It’s very scary, but it’s very cool.

D.J. Paris 37:23
What do you think there’s going what do we think about commissions? Now I know New York, New Jersey, you know, your your you guys have a very unique market there. But do we think agent commissions are going to change? Do we think do you do you? Are you seeing a trend where listing Commission’s are coming down going up staying the same? Just curious.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 37:46
I mean, we what I’m seeing, or what I ended up finding out what we started to see where the buyer’s agents were only getting 2%. So usually in our market, it’s a five or 6% listing. And we usually split it in half, two and a half to the listing agent, two and a half, Green Rovers. What I started to see was more and more 2% listings. And it coincided around the time that all these lawsuits happen, which don’t even get me started on those. But so when all that so I was like, oh, maybe it’s a reflection of that maybe people aren’t willing to give it out and up when you actually looked at the HUDs and the closing disclosures, you were seeing that this listing agent was keeping three and only giving out two. So I think there’s going to be a little bit I think listing agents are probably going to have a little bit more control over where that distribution lies. And we started doing it here for some properties, because to be honest, there was so much like tumultuous, like fighting over over deals. I don’t know it was a post COVID thing. I don’t know if everybody was just inside for too long. I don’t know what happened. But like, there was like two months ago, I spent the entire day arguing over a refrigerator. This guy just took his subzero refrigerator and just rolled it out the door was like it’s not like a refrigerator. It’s a $10,000 item. Like we have a problem here. I was like Sue me like it was just it’s so like contemptuous. So I think that if you as the listing agent have that option, you know, okay, well, here, I’m gonna give him like 2000. And Mike allows you to kind of control the deal a little bit more and keep things going. I mean, I think the other thing is to listing agents, it’s not a slam dunk, now, you know, to sell or it won’t be. So I think we’re going to have to do way more marketing. I think we’re gonna have to do way more, you know, higher end videos and higher end promotion. And so that is costly. So I could see that being more of a shift that I’m not necessarily worried about, but vigilant of whether or not there’s not going to be buyer’s agency. I don’t know. I mean, I think it’s really doing the whole industry a disservice and the seller a disservice to just eliminate buyer’s agency being paid. I think people think that Realtors get paid too much but if they actually saw what was going on in the back end, they would be appalled. I had multiple people this year be like I don’t know why You do this? Like, what? And they couldn’t, you know, my clients know how hard I work and they’re happy to pay the fees. I haven’t honestly had pushback on fees and years. But who knows, you know, the more that these crazy lawsuits get published, it’s it’s a it’s a sad state of affairs, I think they you know, people? Well, I’ll leave it at that. I think it’s, it’s, it’s more along the lines of like a mental situation or a mental health situation than it is anything else. But I agree, I think people that I’ve really worked with a good realtor, really know how much work is done and how much we do to keep the deal together. So I think in the end, I think that’ll prevail. I do think we’re gonna go through a weird time of justifying our fees. But I think at the end will be fun. I

D.J. Paris 40:46
think so too. And I think this is where skill just kind of wins the game. If you’re if you’re worried about if you’re, if you’re getting pushed back on your commissions. To me, I would see that as an agent, I would see that as feedback that maybe I’m not communicating my value proposition as well as I could be. And really saying, here’s why, in fact, if I was an agent, I would just say, I would explain to you how I get paid. I want to explain to you exactly how it works. And I want to explain why, why it’s worth it, why believe it’s worth it. And, you know, you don’t have to have that conversation every time. But for anyone that’s on the fence. I mean, this is kind of the lawsuits were kind of about this where, you know, commissions were kind of nebulous and kind of confusing, and nobody really understood them except the agents because it wasn’t super obvious who was paying the Commission’s and how it all worked. But this is a great opportunity to get ahead of it and really just explain it to buyers. Okay, technically, you’re not paying a commission, except you are paying a commission. And let me explain how it’s all baked into the price and everything so you get a better sense of where it comes from and how it all works out. I think I know, just agents explaining things better is always a win. And I think that to your point, I think they’re not You’re not going to get as much pushback. I think when it’s more confusing. I think that’s when people are like, wait a minute, what am I paying? Like? It’s like when I go into buy a car, which I like never do, because it’s such a bad experience buying a car, or at least I feel awful. Yeah. You always feel like you’re getting ripped off. Like nobody ever is like, here’s Okay, here’s what I’m going to make if I sell you this car, like, I’m happy to say if somebody’s like, Hey, I make 400 bucks each time I sell a car, I need to up this by 400 bucks. So I can make, like I get it. Like, we can have that conversation. I’m not I’m not a monster. But if I feel like you’re ripping me off now I’m not and I don’t trust you. Or if I feel like I don’t know the real story. Now I’m like, Well, now I don’t know who to believe. So I think with realtors we don’t thankfully we are not we are not cars. There’s nothing wrong with car salesmen. I love love good car salesman, but we know that the stigma in that industry is I don’t think I’m getting ripped off. I don’t know. So we don’t want that, you know, that same stigma here. And I think a lot of it’s just explain, explain, explain, explain. Tell everybody how it works. There’s no secrets anyway. I mean, it’s not anything to be embarrassed about. Who

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 42:56
isn’t looking at the hood. And notice that like, Yeah, I mean, like, obviously, were a massive line item. But it’s also like, like, what I started to do now is literally lay out before I start working with someone exactly what’s going to happen, the entire transaction and exactly what we’re going to do for you on each side. And I like I said, I’ve never had anyone pushback ever, ever the past like three or four years when it’s really been a question, you know, but to your transparency.

D.J. Paris 43:25
I agree. We should also mention, I didn’t do a great job of this on this episode. But I do want to mention that Lisa, you know, look, she owns two white glove brokerages in Jersey City and Hoboken angle and Volkers if you don’t know them, they’re amazing. They’re really, really at the top of the, at the at the top of the mountain for these, you know high. They attract very high producers, they also develop people into high producers, it’s just a good company. So if you are in those areas, and you’re an agent, now again, company like ours, we hire tons and tons of people. But Lisa is a little bit more. She’s she’s she and her team are very careful about who they bring on board because they want they want to develop you or they want to bring you on and find a solution for maybe an issue you’re having at your current brokerage. So if you’re like, I would like to work at a place like that, where by the way, when Lisa came on board, she tripled production. That would be pretty cool if you’re an agent. So how about checking out what Lisa has to offer? So Lisa, if there is an agent out there that’s interested. And by the way, guys, I want to also talk about if you’re a New York agent and just a second, but if somebody’s thinking about maybe making the switch, Lisa what’s the best way they should reach out to learn about your brokerage?

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 44:39
Yeah, I mean, you could reach out to me personally, it’s info at my home boeken.com You could text me 201-213-2617 Or you could actually I’m on social constantly. Obviously like I said earlier, it’s a big focus for us so you could DM me at at my home boeken so m YHOMEB o ke dot com. And then our if I’m sorry, our brokerage account is at EV, Hoboken JC. So you can do that one too. But either way, we’ll have

D.J. Paris 45:10
links to all that in the show notes. Thank you for that. And also want to mention, too, that for agents that are in other parts of the country that have clients that maybe move to New York, I mean, Hoboken and Jersey City are really considered New York at this point, it’s becomes, you know, a very desirable area, regardless of what somebody’s price points may be. Those are included in the sort of Manhattan sort of market. So if you have clients that are moving into New York, reach out to Lisa, because her team focuses on the Jersey side, do you guys do New York as well, or just the Jersey side?

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 45:46
We have a great relationship with our New York office. So we actually have, we can end our Brooklyn offices. So we actually we can help you, you know, if we could actually do like a 360 approach, we can give you some options in New Jersey that we think are comparable to New York, and then you know, we can send you to New York agents and they can handle it as well. So yeah, by all means, if I’m the starting point, I’d that would be great. So

D.J. Paris 46:05
it can if you’re if you’re somebody where people from those areas move to retire to probably going somewhere further south and warmer. If you are in one of those markets, where are fed from those areas, another good person to reach out to to say, Hey, I bet you have people that are moving, let’s figure out a way to mutually benefit each other. So I’ll reach out to Lisa,

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 46:26
and overseas. I put nine families overseas last year nine Wow. While we have an overseas component, like we always do a decent amount overseas. Nine is insane. That’s

D.J. Paris 46:37
incredible. So reach out to Lisa also, I want you to subscribe to her podcast, which is breakfast with brokers, you can find it anywhere podcasts are served and follow her on Instagram on all the social platforms my home boeken will have the link to that in the show notes. Lisa, thank you so much for being on our show. We greatly appreciate your time you’re raising a total superstar. Lisa is the person watch. We’re gonna have to have you on again, because you have a Virtual Staging app as well that I certainly we didn’t even get to, which is called restage. Check that out. It’s available on on your app store. restaged. It’s a Virtual Staging app. That’s hers. Check it out. Lisa, thank you so much. On behalf of the audience, we appreciate Lisa for spending an hour with us and on behalf of Lisa and myself want to thank the audience for sticking around to the final app for the final minute of the episode. And also please tell a friend think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing this great conversation with Lisa send them a link to the show. We can you can find us everywhere. So Lisa, thank you so much. We will see on the next episode.

Lisa Troyano Ascolese 47:43
This is great. Thank you so much.

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