Casey Napolitano the founder and CEO of NDA Real Estate discusses her experience in the business coming from a multigenerational real estate family. Casey explains the knowledge she gained growing up and skills she possessed by her family and how these helped her career. Casey also discusses the importance of privacy and guarding your client’s information. Last, Casey talks about social media and how to use it to promote your business for free.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
Have you ever wondered what it’s like working with celebrities and high net worth clients for their real estate transactions? Well, 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 podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with top of Beverly Hills producer Casey Napolitano before we get to Casey just actually got a brand new reminder for you guys. Normally, I just repeat the same stuff every time support our sponsors, tell a friend and yes do those things too. But we are really excited about this announcement. I finally out and this is embarrassing, because I should have done this like six years ago, but I’m finally doing it now better late than never we finally have an Instagram account. Now why should you care about that? I don’t even really go on Instagram that much. But a lot of realtors do. Right. But more importantly, we’re we wanted to start clipping out our episodes meaning finding those moments of each episode. That could be bite sized formats for good, you know, short form video. So we hired somebody new to the team and they are making short form clips, usually like 20 to 60 seconds about our episodes and we’ll be releasing those every day we’re releasing one of these clips. So you can follow us on Instagram our have to think about what our name is it’s top agent interviews, top agent interviews, because keeping it real was taken so top agent interviews on Instagram, you can find us on Facebook, we’re posting these clips, literally to like six or seven different social channels. We’re on Tik Tok. Now we’re on Instagram, linked in Facebook, you can find links to all of our all of our social channels on our website keeping it real pod.com. But please, please follow us on Instagram, we just started the account I think we have like 12 followers, which is crazy because we have 10s of 1000s of you listening to the show. So please find us on Instagram at the very latest and you’ll be getting these daily little nuggets of wisdom from our amazing amazing guests. So again, top agent interviews on Instagram, please subscribe, we would love to see you there and provide great content to you every single day. Alright guys, enough from that. Thank you for listening to this super long intro but we’re really excited about giving you guys some more content. So let’s get to the main event my conversation with Casey Napoletana.
Okay, today my guest is Casey Winchell and Paula Tonto with NDA real estate in Los Angeles. Let me tell you more about Casey. Now Casey Winchell. Napoletana is a real estate broker and the founder of NDA real estate, a luxury real estate agency serving California’s elite under her belt are hundreds of sales in Los Angeles ranging from probate fixer uppers to multi million dollar luxury estates. And in addition to working with such a wide range of properties, including Arios single and multifamily residential homes condos trust sales, she considers herself a short term rental expert. Beyond her exciting property investments and thriving real estate career. Casey is also a dedicated wife and proud mother to her three beautiful children Sienna Gemma and Jack. I was actually with my friend who has a jack a son Jack just this last weekend by the way. Along with being a foodie and an architecture and tennis enthusiast. I am also a tennis enthusiast by the way, she is proud to donate her resources to various charities supporting Women and Children in Need, everybody needs to follow Casey on Instagram, which is at KC annapolitan. Know that see a sey and a politan. Oh, also check out her real estate brokerage website, which is NDA hyphen r e.com. We will have links to all of this in the show notes. You don’t have to write it down. Just scroll to the show notes, follow her on Instagram, check out NDA real estate. Casey, welcome to the show.
Casey Napolitano 5:29
Thank you so much for having me.
D.J. Paris 5:31
I am very excited to speak to you because you are the great granddaughter of one of the best. And I’m sorry, because we are going to get to your superstardom very shortly. But we need to I want to go all the way back to your great grandfather. In fact, I almost just just took some of your thunder away, but I have well, we will we will get to this. But Casey has a very impressive family history, and something that I was telling her offline but let’s let’s let the audience in on everything. So let’s go all the way back to the very beginning. Because I would love to know, you know, your real estate career obviously starts, you know, you have your own story, but you actually go back several generations. So I’d love to hear about how real estate was part of your family for all these years.
Casey Napolitano 6:17
Yes, so growing up, I moved like five times with my parents because they were always like buying homes and fixing them up and selling them. And I just, we’re constantly moving like in my younger years. And I was just like, wow, this is it at a young age that like really fascinated me. And then I had my great grandpa Vern Winchell, who founded lentils, donuts. And I never really thought anything of it. Honestly, probably until I went to college did I know like, how big of a thing that was. And so I like to bring it up now because people think it’s fun. But he also did real estate. I feel like he had like, dozens of homes like all over and it was just always so cool to me. Just real estate in general, that you could just be your own boss and find deals and, and every kind of deal is just so different. Like you could just like decide what you want to do. And then my parents when I was like row 10. I remember they bought a apartment building that needed everything. It was like just a wreck. And I watched them like redo all the units. And still to this day, like if they get a vacancy. I’ll come in and I’ll fix it up so they can get more rent. I’m kind of like become like the design Person of the family. And growing up. My dad did probate auctions. And also in New Home Sales auctions all over the country. Eat We even went to Portugal at one point. And I worked for him from a young age like I think I started working his auctions at like, maybe 1010 or 11 years old. They’re called probate auctions. And basically, if he would get a certain amount of properties every couple months, and then the auction would be out front of the house. And the house would be sold as is and everybody would have a better card. And there’d be no contingencies at all. So you’re buying all this stuff like it’s you. That’s it, you get what you get. And it was so exciting. It was just super fun. And then at one point, he was doing a lot of like, new home sales. So we would go to like Seattle, and there’d be like 50 condo units that weren’t selling and he would come and do like a new marketing program. And we would sell 50 units in one day in a hotel ballroom. It was super fun. Like it was super cool. It was different. So yeah, and then my mom she worked at or still works at rodeo Realty in Calabasas, and she does high end homes and then my grandma growing up, her name’s Brenda Winchell. She would be driving around like with her red nails and her platinum blonde hair and she’d be taking notes on her hands. I’ll never forget it. She would always have like notes on her hands, looking for like the next property to sell her clients. And also my Aunt Mimi is like a big time agent in Hollywood. So I was kind of like, I kind of like had to do it because I knew so much about it that it was like if I don’t do this, like I’m gonna really like start fresh somewhere else. So yeah, I went to Pepperdine, for writing for journalism. And then I was like, I think I turned 18 I got my real estate license, my salesperson license and then should I just go keep going or?
D.J. Paris 9:39
No, this is this is excellent. And you know, I was just no yes. I mean, all of this is great. I was thinking when you said Pepperdine. I remember Pepperdine is like right on the water too. Isn’t it like it’s
Casey Napolitano 9:51
D.J. Paris 9:52
Yeah. If you if your child ever wants to go to Pepperdine, they are going to have an incredible is it matter? taboo or it’s in your mouth. It’s relevant. Yeah. Yeah, I have some friends that went there. They said, anyway, but but but aside from that, so it’s either donuts or real estate. You had to go into one of those one of those two industries. And yeah, yeah. And by the way, if anyone there are still a few windchills stores, or shops, where are they for anyone out there? Because if you haven’t had a windshields donut, I have had one. They are incredible. They are literally the best donuts you’ll ever have. Where can they find them in SoCal?
Casey Napolitano 10:29
So in Los Angeles, there’s one in Tarzana, Arthur receita, right off the freeway. And then there’s one on Melrose in Hollywood, that Oh, I think there’s, there might be one on Vine still. But back in the day, like there were every exit, like every exit off the one on one and there was a Windows doughnuts. And still to this day, if you see a donut shop, and the sign is shaped like a triangle, you know, it was a windshields at some point. So back in the 80s, when he sold the whole company to yum, yum donuts, you would start seeing that they would just keep the sign but then just a new new name was on it was that? Well, that
D.J. Paris 11:07
was that’s a very big brand. And so you know, I what I what I know a lot of our audience might be thinking as she grew up in a real estate family, this is all going this is all must be so easy for her because she’s just been involved with it for her entire life. And it goes back generations, you have grandparents and great grandparents. And in fact, I do want to make a point, your great grandfather, who did start winches doughnuts had said, Yes, that’s my business. But real estate is really the best investment. And he really, he really hammered that into the family. Right? So the idea was the doughnuts were what paid the bills, but then also wanting to build sort of multi generational wealth through through these real estate investments. And it obviously spread to like every member of your family.
Casey Napolitano 11:54
Exactly. 100%, for sure.
D.J. Paris 11:58
So you, you’ve been a broker, or you’ve been a realtor now for about 13 years or so, which is amazing. And you’re you’re crushing it in, in Beverly Hills, I would love to know, you know, I guess what our audience wants to know, is like, how did you grow your business? Right? So you came from a real estate family, but at the end of the day, you still have to build your own business, you know, how did you go about doing that? I’d love to know, like, what steps you took, I mean, because you’ve been a broker for 13 years, but you’re still relatively new as an agent, even though you’re crushing it. So I’d love to know, like how you got started.
Casey Napolitano 12:35
So in my early 20s, I did a lot of event promoting and Hollywood. And I feel like that was a good starting point to like build my network. Just I met 1000s of people, you know, just who wanted to go to the event and befriended them. And it was just all like, I don’t know, just like a natural kind of social thing that was like a good baseline. So I worked at my real estate company, it was like a big, commercial and acquisitions company, but I was like part of five people who do residential sales. So get there at like nine in the morning, and then work until like, six at night, like standard corporate job. And then I would go home, get ready for the event. And I was doing events at like, there’s like a famous club called Hide. And I would just like walk over there and work there from like, 10 o’clock till two in the morning. And then I would get up and go back to work, like get up at you know, 630 and get ready and go to work. I had like multiple outfits in the trunk of my car at all times, like for my many hats that I was wearing. And so I feel like that was a good way to like start the hustle of just like networking. Because in say, in real estate or sales in general, like you really just have to go for it and be confident and know as many people as possible. So I was doing that. And then honestly, my first client ever is my husband right now, which sounds kind of silly and dumb, but it’s
D.J. Paris 14:12
not at all it’s because I always say if you’re going to make mistakes, do it with family. They’re the ones that are if you’re new, you know, a lot of times people think, Oh, I don’t want to work with my friends or family right now. I don’t feel very experienced. And I always say Who’s most likely to forgive you? And it’s gonna be friends and
Casey Napolitano 14:31
I’m just saying you learned a lot with every single deal. Like even now like every single deal, like something new comes up and it’s just important to like, just keep going. But like I matched with him on Tinder. You know, I was in my early or mid 20s and my best friend was like you are dating like the worst guys like go on Tinder. And I’m like, but aren’t the worst guys on Tinder?
D.J. Paris 14:53
Exactly. Let’s go into the lion’s den where the worst people are.
Casey Napolitano 14:57
And he was like, dude, just try it. So Mind,
D.J. Paris 15:00
you found the good guy.
Casey Napolitano 15:02
I found the good guy like, which is like an understatement. So my first and only Tinder date.
D.J. Paris 15:08
His program we had only Yeah,
Casey Napolitano 15:12
it’s crazy. Or I was just super desperate. Like you never know.
D.J. Paris 15:18
We’re all super desperate. Now we knew
Casey Napolitano 15:20
like we knew. So when we matched his, his profile picture was him speaking at a wedding, like he was the best man. I was like, okay, like, this guy’s this guy’s like looking, you know, for something real. And so we went on the date, and it was like a three hour day the valet Parkers had to bring in my keys. They’re like, you, you guys gotta go like the restaurant go home. Yeah. And he was like, how many? How many homes have you sold? Because I was like, just talking about because he’s older. He’s seven years older. So I’m like, yeah, yeah. Like, I’m just like, big time real estate. And he’s like, how many homes have you sold? And I’m like, Ah, what worked on like, 20. You know, but I haven’t sold any thought myself. Right? Sure. So months past, and he’s like, we’re very serious. And he’s like, I really want to buy my first place. And I’m like, okay, cool. So we started looking at Sherman Oaks, and he was my client. And at the first one, like, he liked, we walked out front and he put his arm around me and he was like, this would be perfect for us. And so at that moment, I was like, oh, okay, so we ended up getting it together six months into dating before getting engaged or anything like that,
D.J. Paris 16:30
which everyone says never do that. And it worked out for you guys.
Casey Napolitano 16:34
Yes. And it just it just felt right. And it was a huge remodel. So to make matters worse, we moved in with my parents. So he’s like 3034 year old man right? Well with my girls. Yeah. And that was like a great test to see if we could last but
D.J. Paris 16:53
that is a that is a stress test for sure.
Casey Napolitano 16:55
Yeah. And my and my parents are super great, but we’re really close. So it’s like a lot. And so living through that remodel was amazing. And cut to we got pregnant like after we got married and we were living there. A month in we were like we want to live in Calabasas. Like we want to raise our kids in Calabasas. It’s so safe, Calabasas, like a great community for families. We don’t we want to be closer to my parents because they’re let’s be honest, free babysitters. And on the weekends, we would be traveling we would rent out the house on Airbnb. Like we were those weirdos that were like, it’s fine. Like, let’s just let’s let’s run it. Let’s rent it out. We had an owner’s closet while we’re living there. And that turned out to be an amazing lead generator for me. Really? So yes. So once. It’s such a crazy story. So like, when we decided we want to move to Calabasas, there was nothing for sale. And we just walked the neighborhood and we put about like 20 handwritten letters in mailboxes. And were like, Hey, I’m pregnant. Like, let me buy your house. And like, I think three people called me out of 20. And we ended. Yes. And we ended up buying the house that we’re in now. The tenant there was it was a rental property and the tenant gave it to the landlord. And the landlord called me like two weeks later, and he was like, I heard you want to buy my house. So I’m like, Yes, I do. Anyways, we ended up buying it like within we saw like it for we saw it for like five minutes, all the lights were off. It was just it was a wreck. And we were like, We’ll take it. And we got a great deal. And another It was another remodel. But we ended up keeping our first house. And so that became a full time rental property. So we started doing the Airbnb short term. And that was great. I would like a random celebrity would write it. And this particular celebrity is someone I actually like, went to middle school with like, so random. And she was like, by the way, we ended up connecting and she’s like, by the way, while I’m in town, I want to look for houses. Can you show me some? So then that’s when I started showing her houses. And then I got another celebrity in there. And she was like, I can’t find a property. I only want to live in this particular area like what can you do? So I started going on the MLS and finding expired cancelled withdrawn listings, hitting them all up. Got a lot of people angry. A lot of people hanging up on me. Like, what this is my privacy, like, I’m gonna do not call list. But then I would get like maybe two yeses. Oh, we’re still interested in selling it wasn’t the right time. So I’d give her those leads. And she’s like, damn, like you’re really hard working. Like I’ve never had this before. So then, the best part about that story is that something hit the market and she sent it to me. And she was like, can we get this house? And I’m like, Sure, let’s go see it. So she ended up buying that house that was listed. She could have gone I’m with her agent she worked with before, but because she knew I was like constantly thinking about her like that, that trust and that like hard working thing, she used me on that deal. So
D.J. Paris 20:12
it’s like at that time you guys were a team almost right. And she actually found the property, but you had done so much work and heavy lifting prior to that, that that didn’t matter who found it, she she was with you. And that that is such a wonderful compliment to you.
Casey Napolitano 20:28
It’s really important, though, to build trust more than anything with your client. Because there’s a lot of people out there that like, don’t have their clients back, like fully. And if you show them like, they’re your client, but you’re also their friend, like you literally care about their well being, then they’re gonna stick with you forever. And I just think that is the most important thing. It’s like, when you pick a doctor to do an important surgery on you, you go with the one that’s like, the most trustworthy, you know, you don’t go with the one who’s like gonna give you a discount.
D.J. Paris 21:04
Right? You know, it’s funny, I just started thinking about this, in the last couple years speaking of, of health, and I think this relates to real estate, because, you know, I have a number of doctors like everybody, you know, I’ve got a dermatologist, and I’ve got my general practitioner that does my physical every year, and I’ve got my you know, I’ve got the orthopedic person when I have a sports injury or whatever, right? So you have these, this, this team of people, a psychiatrist, you know, things like that. And, and all I really want, I mean, I want them to be competent, but more importantly, I want them to care. And I, I’ve had experiences with with physicians where I felt like they did care, and I’ve had experiences where I felt like they didn’t, and I will take somebody who cares about me even over somebody maybe who’s considered a more a better doctor, or maybe has more accolades or more accoutrements, you know. And I think the same applies for real estate. Like, if if your clients like you, like you were saying, you know, your friend saw all the hard work you did also had a benchmark, because they had worked with an agent prior and said, Well, my agent, my previous agent didn’t do this that, you know, that is that is what usually wins the race, in my opinion.
Casey Napolitano 22:20
Yes, for sure. So since then, I was working at like that big corporate office, all say it a boys club. And I started bringing in a bunch of deals, and people were like, noticing and wondering, what is she doing different? And I literally would do marketing, like social media photo shoots in the office, and it gets people talking, and honestly, DMing you, which gets you clients, like you would never in a million years think like, oh, I’m going to post me showing a house that someone will buy a house just from that post, like, like, there’s a new thing that’s happening, I’m sure it’s happening, where you live with agents, there’ll be going to brokers opens on Tuesdays, or it’s Tuesdays here, Tuesdays and Fridays. And they will just fully just show it on their story. And boom, someone will message them and say, Can you show me this? And then by
D.J. Paris 23:18
the way, can we can we pause for a second is that not the greatest idea that anyone who’s not busy, as a realtor should be doing in their local market go to the like, in the past, it was a little bit tougher to get brokers or I guess we call them broker opens here in Chicago. And by the way, for our audience, if I use the word broker, I It’s synonymous here in Illinois with realtors, so I apologize, I don’t want to confuse anybody, I’ll try to use the word realtor, just because I think that’ll be less confusing. But whatever these are called realtor opens broker opens. These, these are really like 15 years ago, when we didn’t have like, as much technology. It was kind of a headache to go to those things. And like, if you had a fancy client, they wanted to see something, maybe you’d go check it out, or you’d go to support someone else in your office or a friend of yours in the industry. But now you can go there and actually use it to your own benefit by posting. And by the way, a Casey I’m curious, I think people shouldn’t even just do this for those broker opens. But they should also do it for every time they go to a showing like you can find something about any property. That’s interesting. And you could do a quick little 32nd video, right?
Casey Napolitano 24:29
But there’s always like this fine line. So when I show a house to like my number one client of the moment, they’re my number one priority, and we find the house I’m not posting it, you know, because then someone might message me and say, Can you show me that and then and then sure, and then your script so? Yeah, so if it’s not one that my clients buying, like Yeah, I’m all about posting it is so important, and it’s actually like ends up being great for the listing agent as well because you’re bringing more eyes to Generally,
D.J. Paris 25:00
it’s a win all the way around. And again, for people that are in between clients, this is a great way to drum up some possible activity. Because if you, you know, and it’s also a great place to cut your teeth, doing video, because, you know, we now have our phones are very powerful. And even if you’re not going to have a professional lighting crew, you know, there which probably you’re not for a, you know, a broker open or something, you can, you can just shoot a quick, you know, you can shoot and edit and, and make these these short form videos and really excite your your your bass.
Casey Napolitano 25:38
Yeah, so the easiest editing app that I use is called an Shah. And it’s free, totally free, just download it, and you click on your phone, you could shorten it. And I just highly recommend making these reels on Instagram and make less than 30 seconds, quick shots. But another thing that I think is really interesting about real estate nowadays is the homes that were showing and we’re seeing are just cooler than before. So there’s a lot of competition, which makes it hard to be a seller. But if you have the opportunity to like stylize your home like you should, because it will stand out in a big way.
D.J. Paris 26:17
You have any suggestions of ways people can do that, that aren’t, you know, terribly invasive or don’t require, you know, tremendous, you know, reconstruction, like even just smart home, where things are are kind of exciting. And even though they’re not new anymore. You know, being able to control things with voice is kind of a cool feature.
Casey Napolitano 26:37
Yeah. One listing I can think about that was on the market before and didn’t sell. And then we took it off the market when our client allowed us to paint the cabinets and fix out. Switch out light fixtures like literally from I like to go to Lowe’s, like Lowe’s has like trendier light fixtures, than most other affordable places. And so I would switch those out and literally just paint the cabinets. And even though someone might walk through and say I’m going to redo this kitchen in a year or six months or tomorrow, they will get it, they will be able to feel what it’s going to look like. So like it’s worth every penny. And you could do all that like for under, you know, five grand, or 10 grand, if you if you put 10 grand into every listing, like it would just go a long way. Staging is like the most important thing. But then again, you get clients that are like, I can’t leave my house or I live here, I don’t have anywhere to go. So you just kind of have to roll with it and figure out the best scenario for your client. And the photos go a long way. Like even if you don’t change anything, if you just get a really high end photographer, which you should cover the costs up for your client. It will it could transform the property without even doing anything.
D.J. Paris 27:58
Yeah, it’s it’s it. I mean, we live in an Instagram world. I mean, we’ve been living in an Instagram world world. And remember, every one when we look at photos, now we look at images, we’re probably looking at images on social media, images, for anything, any part of life is now is really best or most most commonly viewed or absorbed by consumers by the American public, via social media. And all of you know, we expect perfection in these pictures. We expect things to look right we expect them to be filtered correctly. For better or for worse. That’s where we are. And so if you’re not putting that sort of thought into your your, you know, your staging your photos, you’re really doing your client a huge disservice because it’s not about the property. It’s about how people consume information people want to see now with video, oddly enough, I don’t think people expect perfection, especially for reels and some shorter form video where it’s like, Hey, this is what I’m doing today. Yeah, you can, you can get away with a little bit of imperfection there. But when it comes to staging, and listing a home and getting the photos, yeah, step it up. You’ll make more money for the client to plan everything, everything will work, and it’ll only cost you a few $100 More like it’s not it’s not
Casey Napolitano 29:18
money, like Time is money like it, sell it in a week sell it in a week. Everybody wants.
D.J. Paris 29:24
So as you’ve been growing Yeah, exactly. As you’ve been growing your business, I You’re a hustler. And that’s that’s what I’ve, you know, sort of garnered from from our conversation so far is you’re willing to do a lot of the things that, you know, like that, you know, other agents aren’t willing to do or maybe that you had to do to sort of stand out in the boys club and sort of get your foot in the door. You were writing personal notes and putting them in mailboxes like that. 99% of realtors are never going to do that. And it’s a shame because if they did, they would likely get results like I mean, you had a tenant in a building, take a handwritten letter handed off to the landlord, which by the way, never happens. Right? They were just very random. Yeah, like super random, but it did happen because you put in the effort, and you were calling expireds Fizbo for sale by owners, you know, people that were off the market and getting screamed at going I don’t want to talk to a realtor and yet you’re putting in that effort because you never know. And that’s the job the job is is a lot of rejection. And and here you are now and so. So I’m curious to find out what you’re doing today. So you’ve grown this incredible business, MDA real estate, you know, you guys work with celebrities, you work with non celebrities, you work in every area of real estate, also investment properties to what’s what’s your what, what are you doing these days for marketing purposes to get more clients?
Casey Napolitano 30:59
Social media number one, for sure. You know, as a requirement, every agent on NDA has to go to three brokers opens every Tuesday, if their schedule allows, like, if they’re free that day, they’re going and it’s working like you just you’ll just never know who you’re going to attract. And it’s just free advertising. That’s actually very natural. And it works. So yeah, that for one and then number two, we do these fun, NDA boxes like we give to clients. So it’s like, it’s a branding thing. But then it’s super like curated like go to that influencer. We call it like hashtag gifted by NDA. So like people will see these videos of the NDA boxes, which could they vary. So they’re very curated, like, I’ll get to know a client and I’ll be I will just start making notes of what to get them like, which is so like, funny because it’s like, beyond like real estate, but it’s important for them to know that you know them and you care about them. So like, for example, my clients that are in escrow right now are buying their dream home and keeping their first home as a rental. But we realized at their, at their first house that are both houses, you can see each other so it’s like, it’s just across the canyon. So like, just for fun in the box, we’re gonna get them some binoculars like,
D.J. Paris 32:26
Oh, that’s great, because I love money. It’s
Casey Napolitano 32:28
like fun, right? Like, not really to spy but like that. And then we’ll get them like, whatever it is a bottle of patrol. And recently, I got like a client, just like designer, keychain for their new keys, you know, stuff like that. And people love it. They just, they just eat it right up, and then use the video on your social media. And other people will see that and be like, wait a minute, I want an NDA box, like I want a home. But I also want the box. So I’m gonna hit them up, you know. So that’s one thing.
D.J. Paris 32:59
So when I’m curious, what’s the what are the differences when working with celebrities versus non celebrities, as far as helping them buy and sell homes is do celebrities tend to have an output celebrity and high net worth individuals in that in a same similar category? Because you work with both? And do they tend to have more of a team that you then have to sort of work with the entire team? Or is it I’m curious what the differences are.
Casey Napolitano 33:31
So everyone is totally different. It’s just like real life like celebrities, some have like business managers that you have to talk to. Exclusively, like, you don’t even really talk to the client, you just show them some houses and you talk to the business manager to make it happen. Others, you’re just dealing directly with them. Some literally have an entourage. But I would say like working with celebrities versus non celebrities. Everyone is just so different. Like there’s no no one’s in a box. Like no one’s in a box at all. Celebrities have been like really great to work with honestly, like just super chill and like eye on the prize and like big picture in my experience. And I feel like I have like an eye for what they want. Like recently, I sold a house to this amazing girl and it needed literally everything. But it was such a cool house that you could you literally you couldn’t find it anywhere. If it was built to this day, like it wouldn’t have all everything that it had that charm. And she was down to do the project. And we just like we’re just so in tune on it. So that that makes me super, super happy when I can find something super special like that, and then see a client transform it.
D.J. Paris 34:50
And so, at what point did you decide to sort of build your own brokerage have your own brand and really just make it your own thing as opposed to working under someone else?
Casey Napolitano 35:01
So it all started in 2020. You know, COVID was crazy. I was seven months pregnant. And for about a month if there was nothing, right, the whole world was just shut down. There was no, there was no real estate, no one was there was it like it was March to me, I would say March to May, debt. And I was just like baking all the time, just like strawberry bread, whatever I could do with it with my little girls. And so then in May, I was like, eight months pregnant. And then my phone started ringing. And people were like, Hey, I’m from Seattle, and I want to move to LA COVID is like getting me excited to like, be close to my family. Can you can you help us? And I’m like, Can I help you? Yeah, I can help you. And I’m like, I have this big Tommy and I have my mask on. And they at the time, you had to work gloves. And you had to schedule a showing and sign the COVID waivers. It was like a huge ordeal. So that was going on. And so I had one of the biggest month ever in June of 2020. Like of my career, and I was nine months pregnant. Even at the hospital, I was dealing with two escrows, which was great, because you’re just like, your mind isn’t like focused on what’s happening. It’s just like, you’re doing it all. And so you don’t have time to like stress. So at that point, I was like, Why do I need to work anywhere other than my own company? So that is when I signed up to get my broker’s license, which is a second kind of step in California. Yeah, and run my own brokerage. Why can I do that? I literally do all my own marketing. I have my own clients. I never got my clients from my company, private company. So I signed up for the test and you had to fly to Sacramento. Really? Yes. There was no testing in Los Angeles because the COVID Oh, right. Headquarters. Yeah. So I had my baby. And then I don’t know, maybe like a couple of months passed, and I got my test date. And got there. And it was just a huge ordeal. You have to leave it like four in the morning, wake up at three get there at seven. You get your you get your thing, and it says congratulations. And and then that was like the starting point. And I was like, Okay, let’s go. So then, I don’t know, a couple of weeks went by and I was like N D A, that’s it. And I looked at my husband, I was like it’s NDA. And he was like, yeah, it’s NDA, like I had no other ideas. It was just, it stands for non disclosure agency. And I really wanted to just like be different. And with my clientele, we we really know how to protect their privacy based on my experience with all of these cases before. So like, for example, when celebrities go to my house, you have to have a trust so that people don’t stalk you like it literally happens. And they hang out outside of your house if you don’t have a trust, again, paparazzi as well. Yeah, yeah. All kinds of weirdos watching you. And so that’s, that’s not cool. Like your house is supposed to be a place you want to just feel safe and inspired. And you don’t want to worry about any of those things. A lot of these people too. They’re just so busy working, that when they go home, they just want to chill, they just want to sleep. And if you have 20 people standing up front, like you’re not sleeping, so. So that client I was telling you about earlier that used me after I was sending finding her off market deals. I found out that on her last sale this that it was leaked. And and the reason why was because she kept the same trust on her previous house that was leaked by one of the agents. And she didn’t change the trust. So these media people have it saved, like this is a trust and they have an alert with the title company. Anytime this closes under this trust name. That’s her house. That’s her new house. It’s so creepy. So on the next one, I was like, Dude, you need to get a new trust. And you need to change the name completely like, and even the person who signs for the trust is somebody it’s somebody that they trust, but it’s not any same. Yeah, it’s not anyone with the same last name. So you have your mom or so just someone totally random that you trust
D.J. Paris 39:32
make the trail harder to follow. Yeah,
Casey Napolitano 39:35
yeah. So they will do they will sign everything on their behalf. And so I just got really good at figuring out how to keep these things private.
D.J. Paris 39:43
And there’s a lot of stress associated with that because a lot of that really goes beyond your control, right like you. You know, you might not know about trusts. You’re not a real estate attorney. You’re not You’re not an estate planning attorney. You’re not a business manager. And so You some of these things you probably learned along the way. But but but knowing that now it’s got to be so incredibly valuable to somebody who’s who is buying, like maybe their first property or, or something that hasn’t gone through this, like, oh, we need to, you probably have conversations about privacy, and publicity and all of that.
Casey Napolitano 40:19
Yeah, even even like every everyone, I recommend getting their house put it in a trust. It’s just important. For many,
D.J. Paris 40:27
it is a great a great idea whether it’s an investment property or not, and, you know, talk to an estate planning attorney or someone who knows how to do those things. Curious on. So you have a team, you have many agents on your team, of course, you’re looking for more agents as well. But I’m so our audience where you know, we’re realtor audiences are realtors, and I’m curious, you gave a really great suggestion would go to the open houses, take videos post on social, anything else? Are you still doing personal notes? Are you still doing the things that you were doing? At the very beginning? Curious what else is working for you?
Casey Napolitano 41:07
I mean, coming up with your own personal brand is so important. So like, for example, I have one agent on our team, and she’s such a hustler. And she also teaches yoga. And I am like, run with it. She was like, Really? Yes, go do a photo shoot at the yoga studio, like that is your audience. You know? Yeah, it could be beyond that. But focus on that, because that’s what she’s, that’s what she’s known for. And her, you know, community. And yeah, the whole like, and don’t be afraid of the camera. Like, it’s so lame that we have to like be models or whatever, and start like taking photos and stuff. But it’s important because people feel like they know you. And they want to know you if you’re if you aren’t afraid to just be who you are, and just be authentic and confident. Just, it’s just so important. So come up with your own personal brand. And run with it like social media, if you could just schedule a day, every week where you take content, like even just with your phone, it it will get you clients it really well.
D.J. Paris 42:17
i It’s such a great idea. And the yoga one is is a really good example because I could I could hear I know a lot of people listening to our show have other jobs, right? They do real estate part time, they want to do it full time, but they have to pay the bills. And right now real estate isn’t paying the bills for a lot of people. And so as they’re building the real estate practice, they have these side jobs, and maybe someone’s you know, an Uber driver, or maybe they’re a yoga instructor, or maybe they have a full time career is doing something else. Regardless, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to talk about that stuff. I actually think it’s quite endearing. Because if I can see someone who I who I believe is working two jobs, like, especially like a yoga instructor, as well as you know, realtor, I’m like, I’m doubly impressed. Like, that doesn’t make me think less of them, it actually makes me think more of them. Because I’m like, wow, they must really be hustling. Because in order to do two things, you got to put in a lot of work. And so for anyone listening, that’s like, even if you’re an Uber driver, I think there’s a way to brand that in a way that’s like, Hey, I’m doing this right now. Because I you know, there’s ways to frame it. If you’re if that’s your your side hustle. And there’s ways to frame it that isn’t necessarily going to make you look like you’re not a professional. There’s always ways to frame things. If you’re authentic, and you’re you’re proud of what you do, you should absolutely be talking about it. Maybe not every part of your life, right? You should have privacy too. But like this idea of like, Hey guys, I am a hustler. Anything that demonstrates I work hard. And I work for you, I think is is it again, if it’s authentic, absolutely people we all want our the people service professionals in our life, to be hustlers we want we want our accountants to be hustlers. We want our attorneys, we want our financial advisors, we want everyone who are doctors, we want all these people to be really, really skilled. And we know that the way to skill is through hard work. So anything that demonstrates hard work is usually a win. Even if it’s like, Hey, I’m doing this other job that I don’t want I really wish I wasn’t doing. I think there’s a way to even brand those things and say like, Hey, this is where I’m at right now. And I think you’ll still attract the right people at the right time by exposing being vulnerable, being vulnerable and saying this is who I am, you know?
Casey Napolitano 44:43
Yeah. And And on that note, being a mom I always like was afraid oh my gosh, like I’m gonna get pregnant people are gonna stop calling me like they’re gonna think I’m like have a headache or whatever. And and then once I read realized that people will say, Oh, can you help me with this, they will say it like gently, and then you go yes, then they’re not afraid to use your help. But with that, being whoever you are in your family life, for example, a mom, run with that as well. Go to as many mom events as you can with your kid, you know, use your time for multiple reasons, like, have fun with your baby, like help your baby like have do all these fun, like mommy’s but then it’s also literally going to help your business in a really natural way. So and then also another thing I want to say is, have lunch with somebody completely random, every one time a week, like someone that you met five years ago, or you just met them last week, like go to that lunch, even if you think oh, I don’t have anything in common or I don’t really know them. Just do it. The more people that you speak to, on a daily basis is the more business you’re going to get. And the more you’re going to learn and it’s just good. Just all around, you know, and like,
D.J. Paris 46:13
Yeah, I mean, I’m thinking back to the beginning of our episode, where you were talking about being an event planner, and meeting tons of people who are, you know, at these events and wanting to get into these events. And I mean, there isn’t, that’s a bout his greatest strategies I’ve ever heard to building up a real estate database contact database, because you’re literally just meeting people and in a fun social environment, you’re capturing their information, and then you can market to them or take them to lunch or develop a relationship or a friendship with them. You know, it’s really up to you what you want to do, but none of that can really happen unless you’re out there. Meeting people. And I think there’s, there’s ways that introverts can do this as well. So I don’t want anyone listening thinking, oh, gosh, I you know, being you know, going out in public is is taxing for me. I’m an introvert, believe it or not, most people wouldn’t probably know that about me. I’m an introvert as well. So are I’m more introverted than extroverted, I would say, I mean, I’m both I both but I’m more introverted, I need a lot of alone time, a lot of rest. But I’m really clear that in my life, you know, getting out in with other people is just, it’s just good for my, my overall health, my business, everything. So this idea of just the more things you can social things, and it could be online, you can be can do it online, you could do it in person. You know, I know, I know, realtor moms, speaking of moms, who have developed Facebook groups for like, here’s all the cool mom events that are going on in my area. And that becomes it’s not even a real estate thing. It’s a mom sort of resource up, and they get all the other moms to sort of contribute to it. And then they get all this business as a result of adding value to moms that has nothing to do with real estate.
Casey Napolitano 48:04
Yeah, it’s because of that trust that building that trust that’s just completely natural and authentic and real.
D.J. Paris 48:11
Well, let’s talk about your brokerage because you are growing, and you guys are just crushing it. And I know there’s gonna be a lot of our listeners who are SoCal agents. And they would are, you know, this is the year I mean, this is the year of recruiting and joining teams and switching firms. You know, markets changed, rates are different. Inventories different. Everyone’s a little uneasy right now. So a great opportunity to explore other options. And, Casey, I’m curious if you were looking for another agent to join your team, you know, what would you be looking for just in case any of our audience thinks they might be a match?
Casey Napolitano 48:49
Yeah, so NDA is always looking for new talent. And we’re looking for hustlers like our favorite word. Where you just like, want it, you just want to keep working and you’re hardworking. We’re, we hired quickly in the beginning to end and I learned a lot of things. Like for example, I hired someone and I literally, like got him a listing and he was like, I don’t have time to do.
D.J. Paris 49:18
Here’s, here’s a here’s a free $10,000 Check. No, I’m good. I don’t do a lot more than that. It was more than that. Yeah, Casey, I will fly out there. I will get my license and you can hand me any deal you want. And I will tell you,
Casey Napolitano 49:32
yeah, so we’re looking for people who like to work and they like people. Yeah, and just whatever makes you unique. We want to know about that. Like that’s, that’s super important. Yeah, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like I can just tell when I meet someone that they have it that just the work ethic and the positive attitude is something thing that is so huge, like, I’m seeing that a lot of people are like super negative and, and I get it like, it’s a crazy time, it’s the world isn’t saying. But if you just are like glass half full person, things are gonna start happening for you and we want to work with you,
D.J. Paris 50:19
or at the very least, if you’re a glass half full person, I mean, you recognize the the weeds in the garden, you’re supposed to see the weeds, okay, there’s weeds in the garden. And there’s also some flowers there too. And if you can sort of see it all and see the beauty and some of the challenge at the same time, you know, it’s just going to be less stressful. Like, it’s, it’s still going to be hard. Life is hard work is hard. Business is hard. But it’s all about reducing distress, right. And so like, if you’re a glass half full person, you know, at least you’re paying attention and you’re going to get through it with a little bit less anxiety and stress. So that’s I always think it’s also infectious for the office to when there’s positive energy around people kind of feed off of that. So I’m right with you. If anyone out there is thinking about maybe exploring other options, you’re in the you know, the LA area, you’re an agent, maybe you’re not getting what you need from your current brokerage or your or your team or, you know, maybe you’re on your own and just kind of doing it yourself and, and really want to team up what’s the best way someone should reach out to you in case they think they might be a fit for you.
Casey Napolitano 51:26
Just call me or email me like I’m always available. And my goal is to have an agent representing NDI in every area of Los Angeles. So like, you know, we have Joe and Santa Monica, I have Steven and Silverlake, Justine in Woodland Hills. So I want someone everywhere. And then when I get a lead, I tend to be very like giving with my agents like I just got a lead in Santa Monica and I shared it with Joe just because he was there you know proximity and he really ran with it and he just did such a great job. So if you’re in Los Angeles and you want you want you want leads from like genuine leads, true leads from a great brokerage and then also like the support that would be that would be NDA. So just hit us up on email or
D.J. Paris 52:22
actual brokerage who hands out leads, this is a unicorn, this does not happen. We know this right? Casey knows this because she started at a firm and built it all up on her own without any leads. So she knows just how rare and valuable this is. So you have to prove yourself if you want to join her team meaning show why she you need to be part of the NDA team. Reach out to her the best way to do that go to her website, which is NDA, hyphen, R E NDA slash r e.com. I’ll have a link to in the show notes. There’s a contact us form. Also follow Casey on Instagram, Casey apartado will have a link to that as well in the show notes. But Casey, this it was such a pleasure chatting with you. And really fun to watch your ascension as you continue to grow the business and do well. So we are thrilled to continue. And we didn’t even get into your Johnny Knoxville story which I will have to do at a different time. Because you have some great celebrity stories that aren’t under NDA that we can talk about. So we will an NDA, get non disclosure agreement. I think we covered that. But the reason she she said that is she works a lot of celebrities and she has to sign NDAs all the time for her clients to protect their privacy, but she’s got some good stories that she can share. So we’ll we’ll have to have you back some time to hear some fun celebrity stories. But anyway, if anyone and by the way, I’ll wrap up with this if anyone out there is. Now again, Casey does work with high net worth individuals. So they sometimes have multiple properties in multiple locations. So even if you’re not an agent in Southern California, but maybe you have, you know, you’re in a different part of the country where people also have vacation homes, other properties, Casey would love the opportunity to work with you and refer business back and forth. So even if you’re a New York agent, or you’re down in Miami or wherever you are in the country, Nashville, Austin, all these, you know, fun destination places that people are buying multi, you know, second, third, fourth homes. Yeah, referrals happen. So reach out to Casey let her know how you can provide value to her clients, and she might be able to return the favor as well. So Casey, really appreciate you being on the show today. We want to have just as everyone ever wrapping up here, just want to remind everyone to please follow Casey on Instagram, Casey Napoletana, Instagram, and you can find all of this on her website as well, which we’ll have in the show notes. We want to thank Casey for coming on the show today on behalf of the audience. And on behalf of Casey and myself. We want to thank our audience Thanks for continuing to stick around and continue to make. Our numbers are still going up after five years, which is incredible. So I’m so grateful to everyone who is listening or watching at this moment. So thank you. Thank you. And please tell a friend think of one other realtor that could benefit from this conversation with Casey. She’s a hustler. Think of one other agent that needs to hustle a little bit and send them a link to this episode. You can find us at keeping it real pod.com all of our episodes can be streamed there, or if they’re a podcast person, just pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real. Hit that subscribe button. We would appreciate it Casey, thank you so much. I had a great time with you. And we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Casey. Thank
Casey Napolitano 55:42
you so much. Have a great day.