Michael Mandile closed 73 transactions in his first year. I’d like to repeat that for everyone. 73 TRANSACTIONS IN HIS FIRST YEAR. In our conversation Michael talks about the philosophy he developed called C.L.I.E.N.T., and how he uses it with every customer and how it generates referral after referral for his business. And, oh yeah, Michael sources every single one of his clients on his own. Already a top 1% in his first year, this is an interview not to miss!
D.J. Paris 0:16
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real. The only podcast made by Chicago real estate brokers for Chicago real estate brokers. My name is DJ Parris, I am your host, and welcome to the show. If this is your first time listening, we appreciate it. Or if you’re a regular listener, we also appreciate that too. Please tell a friend if you have other brokers in your office that could benefit from hearing from top producers like Michael Mann de les, who we are about to interview in just a moment, please let them know about it. And so pal, a friend passed this podcast on we have 1000s of listeners and can always use more. Speaking of if you have any brokers that you admire that are really out there doing interesting things that we need to interview for future episodes, let us know. So you can visit our website, which by the way, not only can you let us know about people we should be interviewing, but you can listen to every episode we’ve ever done. Our website is keeping it real pod.com also find us on Facebook, we publish all of our podcasts there too, which is just search for keeping it real pod. And also a couple of regular features that we have on the show. In addition to interviewing top producers, we have a few top producers that do regular segments. Once a month, we have Eric workman who talks about investments. Eric is an investment specialist. And so be on lookout for those episodes. And we also have the wonderful Carrie McCormack who talks about what’s going on in the market that brokers need to know she looks. We look back the previous month and forward the future the next month. Now the great thing about Eric and Carrie is they are here to answer your questions. So if you have any questions about investments, let us know you can send those through our website or through Facebook or email. We’re really easy to find and Eric and and also Carrie are here to answer those questions. Kerry’s great for if you have questions about how to be successful as a as a realtor. But please send us those questions. We greatly appreciate it. But now let’s get on to our interview with first year superstar Michael Mann de la.
Today on the show we have Michael P. Mandalay who is a graduate of DePaul and double majored in business and poli sci has an extensive background in real estate sales, property investments and property management. He’s been he was raised in a family of real estate investors, Michael has gone from observing family business to working his way into the world of real estate. He’s joined at properties as a driven real estate broker in downtown Chicago. Michael is best known for his incomparable customer service and takes pride in his client philosophy. That’s an acronym that he developed, which stands for customer service loyalty, integrity, energy negotiations, and triumph, which are six actions he guarantees his clients will receive from him and he’s downtown residents since 2007. He’s also an enthusiastic member of the community enjoys traveling, while going to Black Hawk games dining out excetera when the you know, when the real estate comes to mind, Michael is your guy. So thank you for being on our show. We appreciate it.
Michael Mandile 3:26
Awesome. Thank you for having me. Glad to be here.
D.J. Paris 3:28
So we always like to start our shows by asking how people people’s about people’s journey and brokers journey into the business, you obviously have a family history of it. Can you talk a little bit about that history? And then sort of what propelled you to continue on?
Michael Mandile 3:43
Absolutely. So you know, growing up my parents, my parents dabbled in real estate, nothing crazy, but investment in property here investment in property there, you know, more so on the rental side, just as my childhood, you know, rather than sometimes playing outside or being with friends, I was being dragged around to, you know, rundown properties that were looking to be fixed or collected or and stuff like that. So, you know, I saw the ethic of hard work a but real estate be and it always stuck with me. I always enjoyed it and, you know, started to appreciate it later on in life.
D.J. Paris 4:17
And is your family originally from Chicago?
Michael Mandile 4:20
Yes, both my parents are from Italy. But, you know, prior to moving here, they came when they were younger. They both are from the Chicago suburb area.
D.J. Paris 4:30
Gotcha. So, so at what age did you get in get your broker license?
Michael Mandile 4:36
I just received my broker’s license about a year ago.
D.J. Paris 4:41
That’s, that’s amazing. And you’ve you’ve had a pretty impressive start. And you know, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of people even within a year, who fizzle out or who don’t continue on. I know you know, the dropout rate in this industry is obviously shockingly high. But can you talk a little bit about You know, what you feel you’ve done. That’s helped keep your business going and growing.
Michael Mandile 5:05
Absolutely. So yeah, I started a year ago, I’m 73 transactions in 2017. This year is rockin.
D.J. Paris 5:12
That is, by the way, let’s I want to pause, and I’m going to repeat that it’s 73 transactions in a year is in incredible, incredible incredible. And I say that as the the firm I’m at we have 600 brokers at properties has about 3000. So I can tell you that even with our 600 brokers that would that would be an incredible for a veteran agent, that would be an incredible year. So congrats to you, that’s so much
Michael Mandile 5:39
appreciate that. So to answer your question, it’s, it’s a lot of everything. You know, it’s it’s persistence, it’s hard work, it’s just seeing what you want. And really focusing on that goal and putting in the drive and the effort until you you’ve accomplished what you need to accomplish. And you know, always looking to improve always looking to be better always looking to grow your network, your sphere of people, it’s it’s real estate on the mind, from the moment you wake up the moment you go to bed, it’s it’s what I’ve programmed into my head, and it’s worked, you know, just networking connections, shaking hands, and always having your radar up to see what’s available and who needs. Who needs a real estate broker.
D.J. Paris 6:21
Yeah, and, you know, it’s, it’s so funny. So we interview a lot of, you know, basically everyone we interview as a top broker for this show. And oftentimes, they there isn’t a secret of Magic Bullet sort of strategy that they’ve employed that no one else knows about. And they’re like, oh, you know, I have this sort of special way of getting business that, you know, nobody else is privy to, it tends to be, well, I tell everyone what I do. And I stay in touch. And I wake up thinking about real estate. And, you know, so what you’re what you’re how you answered that was was really very, very in line with with all the other top producers, but I want to drill down just a little bit because oftentimes with with the brokers we have, who do listen, who aren’t yet top producers, they’re constantly going well, but what does he actually do? And I know that sometimes that’s hard to verbalize, because you’re like, I just, you know, tell everybody, but, you know, when you first started, how did you make sure that everybody you knew in your sphere of influence knew you were a broker? Was there? Did you communicate that anyway, to make sure everybody knew that you had now gotten your license and could help them? Sure, well,
Michael Mandile 7:27
first, first off, I had properties training was amazing. I mean, he really instilled some, some great techniques and great ideas as to what to do. But I mean, I literally, I went through my cell phone, you know, and what literally reached out to everyone I had, you know, whether I talk to them every day, or haven’t talked to them in years, went through my email database, who have I communicated in some way shape or form with emails, neighbors, you know, door guys, I’ve at the store, you’re in line, you start talking with the person behind you, whatever it may be, but I really just digging into whoever I’ve crossed paths with in my life, and really just wanted to let them know that, hey, I’m in real estate, whatever you need, I’m here to help you. And, you know, a lot of people responded to that, to really get me off my feet, they put trust in me to, to get get going. And, and I was grateful for that. So that really helped to give me confidence. And it gave me some momentum to roll with.
D.J. Paris 8:30
Yeah, and I’ve always thought too, sometimes a newer broker may the one of the objections they’ll have to doing that is to like, but I don’t know enough, what if I screw up, you know, and these are my closest friends and family these and I always say, well, these are the people most likely to forgive you number one, if you make a mistake. But also, you know, and hopefully you work for a firm that helps you along the way and of course, at properties has that reputation. And you know, they’re going to assist you through every step of it. But also I find that, you know, it’s such a simple thing to do is to go through your, you know, your address book, essentially, you know, digital address book and go, I’m going to make sure everybody knows what I do. And, you know, of course, we tell our brokers to do that new brokers do the same thing. And I suspect most of them still don’t do it. And it’s a real shame, because I don’t know how else you would expect to grow your business. And, you know, it’s just, you know, even if you just wrote everyone a little personal note and said, Oh, by the way, I’m now a broker. Here’s my card if you need anything, you know, buy, sell rent, etc. I’m your I’m your guy. It’s pretty simple. And it’s essentially what you’ve what you did. And obviously it worked out really well. So what what percentage would you would you estimate of the 70 Plus transactions were from your existing sphere?
Michael Mandile 9:50
I would say maybe seven or eight. I don’t know. off the bat.
D.J. Paris 10:01
Sure, yeah, and for most brokers even getting seven to eight transactions in a first year is not a bad first year. So it’s I we didn’t I don’t know if you know, Nico apostle Amis over at Keller Williams, he, he was talking about his first year and what he used to do, I don’t know if you did this, but he would host open, he had no no listings, he had no clients. He was from the Linkin Park area, I was born and raised. But he’s like, I, we, he was like, 22, he’s like, nobody’s gonna give me a million dollar home to sell for them. This, he’s been in the business forever now. But at the time, he went and went to every top producer in his office and said, I will do open houses for you in Lincoln Park and Lakeview, because that’s where I want to specialize. And it makes me seem like I’ve got stuff going on. And, and he did that. And then he would go knock on everyone’s door, who was adjacent to the homes, that he was doing the open houses and meet the neighbors. And he would say, hey, just so you know, I’m doing this open house. And that was one of the ways in which he, he built his business, which I thought was very interesting. But he ultimately ended up would call all his friends and say, Please come to this open house, I need I need bodies to show up. So how did you where did the other deals come from? How were you able to get out there? You talked about networking? You know, is there any particular secret sauce to networking that you’d recommend? Or that’s worked for you?
Michael Mandile 11:21
Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s always having your radar up. So I mean, I, it wasn’t typical networking, to generate the other leads, or whatever it was more, you know, like you said, having an open house and see who comes following up with them referrals, you know, from a deal, you receive another deal, people are impressed with how you work, or they give you a referral. You know, in the doorman where I lived, you know, making a connection with him, you know, the lobby, just just really putting your face out there and really just reminding people that you indirectly cross paths with after you reach into your original database that you’re in real estate. And, you know, like you said, like showing people you’re busy, I think helped, you know, hey, I’m sending out a mailer or posting something on your Facebook and people share it, whatever it may be. And there’s a lot of uncomfortable situations where you know, you’re cold calling, or, you know, you’re sending emails to people you don’t know or you’re like you said, knocking on doors. I mean, it’s it’s doing a lot of things that I didn’t want to do out of my comfort. Sure. But I realized I had to do to generate some success, generate some business. So
D.J. Paris 12:35
yeah, I was I interviewed and these are at properties, a grace Goro and Julia Brenner, who are partners. And they’re also grace is the she’s in the why I’m on the YPN. Board. i She’s not the president. I think she’s the vice president. But anyway, I interviewed them as a team. And they’re young and and they’re killing it. They’re top one percenters. And I asked them how they grew their business. And they said, they did it with rentals. And they said, you know, we didn’t have any sales right away. And they’re from they’re both from Park Park Ridge, but they said, No, we just didn’t have any. So we did rentals, and then we turned all of those, not all of them, but we turned a lot of those renters into buyers, you know, within within a year or two, and we stayed on top of it. And one of the thoughts I had for you know, you talked about, you know, making friends with your doorman. If you if you, if you’re a broker out there, you’re listening, and you want an idea of of how to potentially work with more renters, which a lot of brokers, you know, don’t necessarily want to do because they’d rather do sales. And obviously, that’s a great thing too. But if you did want to do rentals, one idea that that I would always recommend is, you know, if you go to some of these buildings, or if you live in a building with a doorman, and it’s an apartment building, and it’s in particular, the high rises, you could go in and say hey, what do you guys do? Or even just the the management company if they if they’re there on site? So what do you guys do when somebody decides not to and to rent an apartment here? They come in, they see it? Maybe they even run a credit check and then they just decide elsewhere? What do you do and, and I think what you’d probably find is those doorman or even the management people, they’re on site, just go ahead, I don’t know, we just let them go. And if you can build a relationship with those people and say, Well, geez, I have access to 1000s of other apartments. I’d love to talk to that person. You know, you probably get a few leads that way. Sure. Absolutely.
Michael Mandile 14:23
Absolutely. I rentals were huge for me my first first year I mean, that was a big part of my business a huge part. And you know it’s it’s it’s only been a year since I’ve started with this business and I’m starting now to receive Hey, I’m looking to buy Can we go out and take a look so I definitely look forward to that but I anticipate that happening that’s huge. Yeah, it’s
D.J. Paris 14:46
it’s such a great thing. I think rentals are so awesome for brokers in their first year if they’re not slammed with sales and Most brokers are not slammed with sales in their first year. It’s just a great way to stay busy to earn earn some some faster Income and sales will bring, and also set yourself up, you know, for future sales. I know for me personally, I was 30, before I bought my place. And I probably could have bought a year or two before I did, but I just didn’t know that I could I really didn’t, I was a smart enough person who knew nothing about real estate. And I, the only reason I ever ended up buying a place as my friend who, oddly enough was my boss. But at the time, I was in technology, and he said, you know, you buy a place, you should buy a place. And I said, Oh, really, I just didn’t know. So I think this education piece of it is so huge. And, you know, if you’re working with renters, you have this amazing opportunity to stay in touch. And they’re going to use a realtor when they buy a place. And it might as well be you. Right? Absolutely.
Michael Mandile 15:44
Yeah, I mean, stay in touch with them. And, you know, how is everything and you know, kind of reach out and build a relationship with them. And it’s also good practice for brokers just getting started you get experience with the MLS, you know, your back end with the company, you work for contracts, you know, being on your feet scheduling, stuff like that. So it’s a great experience. And like you said, it’s it’s easier money, you know, there’s more people in the renter pool, especially here in Chicago. I mean, the markets insane with that right now. So, so, great opportunity.
D.J. Paris 16:17
Agreed. And, and again, these are, many of them are future buyers, and you might have to wait a year or two, but it’s certainly, you know, they’re going to use someone and it’s going to almost certainly be someone they know. So it might as well be the person that’s helped them find the apartment, right. So that’s, that’s a so well said, tell us a little bit about your client philosophy. Can we break that down a little bit? Absolutely. So
Michael Mandile 16:41
I it’s something I kind of stick to in my head, and I just want to let my clients know that I will do that. For them. It’s a protocol I follow. So I mean, you have to offer customer service to your clients. I mean, no matter what the customer’s always right, the customer’s always first. You have to be there for them, you know, people are counting on you. Your responsiveness, your promptness, you’re giving them what they want, you know, they want to change areas or they want to change budget, just do it. That really helps. First and foremost, you know, a client client wants to feel important and special. So the loyalty to them, you know, staying true to your clients, whether you it takes a long time, or it doesn’t, you know, some deals are harder than others remain loyal to them, let them know that you’re there for them, let them know you understand your needs. They’ll appreciate that, too. You know, you don’t want to seem like Hey, I just want a quick buck. And I want to get out of here. I mean, even if it’s a deal you don’t want to do you’re not comfortable with you know, stay true to your client if you took on the responsibility. You know, finish it through the integrity you know, remain honest with them. Don’t don’t push a deal that in the back of your mind is not good for their best interest. I mean, we’re in real estate we know you know where the market might go or we know we might spot something wrong with the house or we might think hey, they’re overpaying and willing to you know, the integrity is huge for me I mean it’s important to building a relationship and building trust and you know, you don’t want to sell someone something that two years they’re gonna not feel they’re going to feel taken advantage of or not happy I mean that kind of falls on the broker so I believe in huge and integrity you know, shaking hands and being truthful and honest throughout energy is big you know, always being positive always been on top of it always been you know, optimistic. There’s ups and downs in real estates and in real estate and I think the clients can can feel your energy when you answer the phone be be happy be positive sound like you’re happy to hear from your client even if you’re having a bad day it’s not their problem you know, they everyone has their own problems always be treat people the way you want to be treated with your energy it’s huge it’s a sponge. Negotiations are huge for me it’s sport you know negotiating a good deal you know, getting the best absolute deal for your client the shortest amount of time for the highest dollar amount or you know, the best negotiation get them the best price dollar minute you want to provide good value for your clients in triumph, you know, being you know, happy celebrating with your client, letting them know that hey, we got a good deal. This is awesome. This is a good chapter in your life, whatever it may be, I mean, it’s, you know, the trophy of over the deal making of of what we’re doing. Sending your client you know, something a gift or thank you we’re taking them out for a drink after to celebrate or sending them a picture of, you know, to put in their place where Whatever it may be, just know and on a good note. So you put all those things together in depth that it really makes for a really solid real estate experience.
D.J. Paris 20:10
Well, I’d like to congratulate you. For number one, having a philosophy I think that is separates you just having something that you were able to, to speak about, you know, very easily and fluently, it also was essentially within your first year is incredibly, incredibly impressive and but it also separates Michael from, I don’t know, I’m gonna be generous and say, or I’m gonna be conservative and say probably 95% of the other realtors, it’s probably closer to 98% or 99%. So having a philosophy where he’s able to articulate and say, here’s what I do for my clients here are the, you know, the the, the six sort of tenets, my values, this is what I promised you is so incredibly powerful, obviously, you have to back it up and do it, as well. However, just being able to explain, this is why people choose to work with me, is going to just separate you and put you in a class, you know, very different from the average broker. And of course, all of those, those values well, when explained make perfect sense, right. So I wanted to congratulate you for even even thinking to have something like that. Right. And by the way, this is on his on his app properties website, he you know, he talks about it, and he just, you know, explained it in more detail here. And I did want to ask you about follow up after the after the sale or after the rental, how do you stay in touch with your, with your clients, obviously talking about triumph and you know, congratulating the win, and the sale is closed and you do something nice for them. Do you have a follow up strategy beyond that
Michael Mandile 21:46
I just nothing set in stone, I just I’ll send them a text here and there, how are you, you know, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, you know, just just something small to the point, you know, sometimes your clients will become your friends, sometimes, you know, they’ll be your neighbor. So you’ll see them often. But the ones that are outside of that box, I mean, you you want to, you want to remind them that you’re still there that you know, they’re there, they’re still important to your life to your business. And, you know, just a quick text, a quick phone call a quick email, I think it goes a long way. So you know,
D.J. Paris 22:23
yeah, and to that, you know, these are people that if you’ve, if you’ve done the right thing for them, in your case, I’m sure you must always do because you’ve had such success so quickly. But for all brokers out there, these are the people that want you to succeed the most, right? The ones you’ve helped, and these are the ones that that if you do this great job as Michael clearly does, they reward you with remote and telling all their friends are telling some of their friends or at least one of their friends. And it’s it’s such a huge opportunity. That is it’s really important. And Michael basically said earlier is like every single transaction you have with them or every single piece of communication you have with them, you know really needs to be around their needs, getting them what they want. And, you know, again that that in and of itself separates you from from the majority of brokers I suspect. So uh, we I did want to ask you about either your wild goose chase and key story if you could tell us about that.
Michael Mandile 23:18
Sure. So sorry about that. Um Yeah, so the wild goose chase or so you know, the funniest point I think of my career is I mean it was actually recently we go to a property with a client a buyer and you know it’s winter here in Chicago it’s it’s very cold you get you get your instructions from them where how you’re going to access the property it’s higher is in the loop so we get there and you know we follow the instructions and sure enough there’s there’s no lockbox the car is in loading zone we’re freezing and it became it wasn’t funny at first but you know I get on the phone with the broker Oh go here oh there no lockbox go here she ended up forgetting where she put the lockbox of course so we finally found this lockbox I mean maybe 15 minutes later valleys I mean it was It wasn’t so much fun my client was like What what did I sign up for you know, and we get the lock back then it doesn’t open the codes not right Oh no. We really want to see this property so we then wait to get in you know she’s like well just get in the building and you know go upstairs the doors wide open once you get in you’re fine we get in the doors not open so finally we go back outside open up this lockbox with like our key, you know, it was like jammed and finally get in and the key doesn’t work to open the unit. I mean, at this point. At this point, we’re just cracking off. It was so funny is I guess you had to be there. But
D.J. Paris 24:51
did they end up buying that property or? No? Yeah, it’s like enough bad omens in one day. Move on to the next but it is it is. And again, I think, you know, that’s really interesting, really sort of, not unusual story, right? So like, you’ve been doing this long enough, you’ll have, you know, a story like that, if not many others. And I think the key is to is to keep laughing about it, you know, and while it’s happening, and also to have the empathy for these, you know, these buyers that are like, just wanting to come see this place, and you’re stressed, because you’re having to, you know, run around and everything’s not working. But, but it is, it is amazing that, you know, it’s a real test of like, Can I stay positive throughout this horrible experience?
Michael Mandile 25:40
And that’s, I’m sorry, go ahead.
D.J. Paris 25:42
No, no, no, I just, I think, like, it’s good to have those experiences, because it really tests your resolve of like, you know, Can I can I stay? Can I stay relatively calm? Or even my clients are super annoyed. And then of course, they don’t blame you for it. But it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s tough nonetheless. And then tell us about the snake your snake story.
Michael Mandile 26:04
So we we were showing a house out in the suburbs to a client and you know, it was an older house completely remodeled. We walk inside and everything was off to a good start. Probably the strangest real estate experience in my life. And now we’re looking around and hey, there’s a basements check out the basement. So we go in the basement and it’s pitch black old house, you know, maybe from ninth early 1900s. And you walk down the stairs and starts to resemble a scary movie of sorts.
D.J. Paris 26:38
On like, an unfinished basement on that’s yes, it finished.
Michael Mandile 26:41
It’s unfinished. You walk down? No, like concrete stairs? No, no railing.
D.J. Paris 26:47
I’ve seen this movie.
Michael Mandile 26:50
And you can go on either side. So there’s no wall. I mean, you could go left or right. We get down there. And you know, half of the people that were with us, it was a husband and wife and the children that the wife and the children stayed upstairs, they didn’t want to come down, it’s just dark. So we finally find a light on a string. And as soon as we pull the light string, we see we’re in an empty, unfinished basement, we turn around, and there’s a huge glass enclosure. And inside this glass, glass enclosures a huge snake. Of course, it just, we ran out of there. And it was it was bizarre.
D.J. Paris 27:30
If we can all visualize the light, you know, being like on a string, one solitary light bulb with a pull string on it, and then you turn it on, and there’s a snake in an aquarium. Because who would want to? Who would who would want to put a snake up? You know, ups like everything most people would? Even though if they’re into snakes, they probably would? Well, maybe because they’re showing the house they moved to downstairs or something. But yeah, do you think that that would be mentioned at some point, because that would freak out 99% of anyone who walks through that house,
Michael Mandile 28:02
not the best of staging components, but
D.J. Paris 28:07
that’s when you have to have the come to Jesus conversation with the seller and say, I think we need to move this to another location. or lock it down somewhere where nobody can get to
Michael Mandile 28:18
put in the garage. That’s something but that wasn’t Yeah.
D.J. Paris 28:22
That’s really funny. Well, well, Michael, I really, really appreciate your time. And again, I want to stress as we kind of conclude this, this interview that 73 transactions in the first year is beyond impressive, obviously, Michael’s a super humble guy who, you know, and we’re like, Well, how do you build your business? He’s, you know, I just network and I do a good job. And, you know, and obviously, it’s it is all of those things and and probably a lot more, but this is a truly impressive, you know, broker and obviously big things ahead for Michael. And big things, as all have already happened. But if there are any buyers, sellers or renters that are out there that are interested in working with you what’s the best way they should reach you?
Michael Mandile 29:05
Let me carry on sharing my cell phone directly call text anytime. 847-322-8827 Or you can shoot me an email Michael at Chicago, Lux homes.com, which is my personal website that I work with.
D.J. Paris 29:20
Yeah, yeah. So that website again, is Chicago Lux, which is L UX. So Chicago, Lux homes.com is a place to to read about all things. Michael Mann de les. And so Michael, thank you so much for being on the show. Really appreciate your time.
Michael Mandile 29:37
Thank you for having me. Great, great talk. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.