The Importance Of Confidence & How To Cultivate It •Susan Santoro

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Susan Santoro from Susan Santoro team with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty talks about her experience as a realtor, and discusses how she was motivated to get into this business by her husband who is a real estate developer. Susan discusses what is her drive to keep going and being successful as she believes that it’s important to believe on your decisions because in the real estate business you wake up every day unemployed. Last, Susan emphasizes that every agent should be very confident in their job and learn how to sell themselves.

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

Susan Santoro can be reached at +1 203 605 5297 and ssantoro@wpsir.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Today’s a special episode of Keeping it real as we get to speak with an agent who has been practicing for 39 years. Does she have some wisdom to share? Oh boy, does she 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 39 year real estate veteran Susan Santoro. Before we get to Susan, just a couple of quick reminders. Please, as always support our sponsors. We love our sponsors. They help pay the bills for us and help us keep producing episodes. So check out their services and products and consider investing in them. And then second, please tell a friend about the show. Think of one other realtor that could use the wisdom that you’re about to hear from Susan and share this episode with another agent so send it over. Also leave us a review. I guess I asked for three things. Oh well. Thank you for everyone. We love you. We love our audience our listeners. We appreciate you but let’s get to the main event my conversation with Susan Santoro.

All right, today on the show our guest is Susan Santoro from the Susan Santoro team with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in New Haven County in Connecticut. Now let me tell you more about Susan. As since 1985 Susan Santoro has held a prominent position as one of the most distinguished agents within the greater New Haven shoreline region. As the foremost agent in sales at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty is Guilford brokerage, she has garnered a reputation as an unparalleled performers securing the number one agent title and claiming the number three spot across the entire company. operating as a cohesive unit Susan leads the Susan Centauro team, which is a dedicated assembly of accomplished full time realtors, whose excellence earn them the distinguished top real estate award from Inman based on sales, amassing over 73 million in transactions just last year. Now year after year. Her achievements are underscored by multiple awards including the prestigious Connecticut magazine five star real estate agent Award. She secured the highest ranking for overall satisfaction. That’s a client award distinction showcased in Connecticut magazine. In addition to that she’s super into philanthropy and giving back she’s actively engaged with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a testament to her unwavering dedication to fundraising and also is involved with the Ronald McDonald House trees of hope. And we are just so honored to have Susan on the show before I bring up before Susan comes on. want everybody to follow her at Sue’s Instagram, so go to Instagram Susan Santoro underscore realtor. Now we will have a link to that in the show notes as well as Susan’s website. Susan, welcome to the show.

Susan Santoro 4:35
Thank you. Nice introduction. Thank you.

D.J. Paris 4:38
Thank you. Now the last time I was for anyone who isn’t I’m going to interrupt myself now twice as getting through this. Anyone who isn’t familiar with New Haven, New Haven is just outside of New York. It’s right on the basically right on the shore, and it is known for a number of things. Most probably most notably, people of New Haven will tell you and they will tell you with a straight face that they invented pizza. Now, I don’t know if that’s technically true or not. And that is a debatable topic and I am not here to be the final authority on whether it was in Naples, Italy, or New Haven, but New Haven people are very, very proud of their pizza. And I have eaten New Haven pizza and I’ve eaten the very famous Pepys clam pizza, which sounds really gross for a lot of you listening, but it is delicious. So Susan, I am a big pizza fan. And I love the fact that I’m talking to a New Haven person because I love your pizza.

Susan Santoro 5:36
I look forward to treating you to it when you come, but it’s between puppies and Sally’s. We have these pizza wars all the time, and everybody has their favorite. in Wooster street. There are plenty of other places in New Haven also. And the pizzas good everywhere. I

D.J. Paris 5:51
went to chat GBT for the official answer. And again, chat, GBT. It’s not exactly the oracle at Delphi, but it’s a it’s close to accurate. And I said, Where was pizza originated? And it said, while people of New Haven will tell you that it’s originated there, we believe it actually is from is from Naples. But it’s still not totally clear. So we’ll go with new cars.

Susan Santoro 6:15
And you can get New Haven style pizza in your hometown too.

D.J. Paris 6:18
Yeah. So for any Chicago people, if you are familiar with piece, which is always on the top, Chicago pizza places list, it’s not Chicago style, which is the deep dish stuff, but it is it’s thin crust, more of a tavern II sort of style. But But no, not tavern, but thin and big. And just delicious. I am a huge fan of of New Haven style. So anyway, we are talking about, I can talk about pizza. I will. But we want to talk about Susan and all of her amazing real estate accomplishments. Now, Susan, you’ve been in the industry nearly 40 years, which is so amazing and impressive. And you are still crushing it all these years later, I would love to start at the very beginning of your journey, like how did you get into real estate and why? So it

Susan Santoro 7:13
was kind of an accident. My husband is a real estate developer and kind of ran out of land needed a place to build. And I was like, why don’t you get your real estate license and go and look for some land for me to build on. So that’s how it started. And then I thought, Oh, we’re gonna have a family, I’m going to be a stay at home mom. And then, you know, once you have a couple of good sales under your belt, you’re either born with it, or you’re not that adrenaline, that fire in your belly, you can’t wait to make the next sale. And then it becomes addicting. And so by the time my daughter was born, five years later, it was a major career. And I still wake up every single day with that fire, and I can’t wait to see what the next deal is gonna be.

D.J. Paris 7:58
That’s amazing. And it is it is fun. I would like to ask you, what is the what what fuels that fire like inside of you? I never really asked this question. But I think it’s a good one. Like, what do you do? Are you aware of what it is inside of you that is just so eager to keep going forward? Is there certain goals you’re looking to hit? Is it just a feeling of satisfaction? Is it about helping? What is it?

Susan Santoro 8:23
So it’s a lot of the above except that I except for the goal part? I am not believe it or not most successful people always say, Oh, I’ve got this, you know, board or this, you know, the goals of my year. I don’t like goals. I just like to keep on going keep on going. And you know, not many people have asked me you know, kind of like, what is your why? But the truth is, is I dropped out of college after my first year, I was never meant to go to college. My mom was not happy and told me that, you know, if you want to be successful in life, you have to have that opportunity and go to college and get a degree. So and my dad who ran a major corporation was CEO of a major corporation also didn’t finish college. So why think it was one of those things like I’m going to show her and now we just you know we laugh about it every time I get an award I send it to my mom and I say no let me know when I’m going to become something so that was kind of my why it makes my dad super happy still checks in on me weekly wants to know my sales. And you know it gets a big smile on his face. So I think I think he remains my why he wrote a wonderful book called pilot your life. It sits on my desk and it’s my motivational Bible. It’s a great motivational book for people in business and he’s definitely my why.

D.J. Paris 9:50
Well let’s Yeah, let’s give a plug for that books say the title one more time and Father’s Day life.

Susan Santoro 9:54
Pilot your life. My dad is Ronald Shaw. He was the CEO of the pilot and corporations?

D.J. Paris 10:00
Oh, well, we certainly know who they are. In fact, I have they have offices here in Chicago. And I have I have friends that work at pilot, oddly enough, I have one friend that works at pi or did. I don’t know if she’s still there. But oh, that is wild. Oh, my gosh, yes. That is a big company. Wow. And isn’t it amazing, not not an MBA, not a college grad. And he was a CEO. Incredible.

Susan Santoro 10:26
Yes. And a lot of the book kind of talks about that, you know, and it’s just that that competence level, you know, I raised my daughter saying, you know, make a decision, believe in it, own it, it’s yours, and then just follow it. And that’s just sort of a simple way of life, whether you’re making a decision on going to a party or not, or whether you’re making a decision on a business transaction, I think it’s all the same. Once you own that, you believe in it, you just keep going. And that’s how I feel about my business. And I tell my team and other agents who asked me all the time, how do you still do these hours, you know, it’s 6070 hours, sometimes a week, how do you still do this, after all these years is you wake up unemployed every single day in our business, and you have to go out and look your best. You know, if you wear makeup, put on your makeup, put on, you know, get dressed, just go out and present yourself the best way possible, and you will be a success, you’ll be confident and it’ll show. And with that comes success.

D.J. Paris 11:32
You wake up unemployed every day, you know, that is so true. And it is, you know, I know there would be people to say, well, that’s a negative way to look at it. But you know, what, I have found that having that thought of, you know, it’s something that’s pushing against me versus something I’m running towards, like, the idea that I’m unemployed, oh, my god, I gotta pay my bills. That is, I think, a more powerful motivator than like, for example, if I was, if I was being chased by somebody with a knife, I think I’d run faster than if I was running towards a million dollars, I bet I would run faster with the guy chased me with a knife. So even though I would like not to be motivated by by pain, the reality of it is it’s true. We are as agents, we are unemployed every single morning when we wake up. And it’s an opportunity to not only find business, but to keep the business that we do have, and really treasure it, because it can go away at a moment’s notice. That is a really great lesson, we’ll

Susan Santoro 12:34
come up to you at parties, people come up to the grocery store. Everybody wants to know how the market is tell me about real estate or asking you about a particular property. And so that’s where again, you’re selling yourself constantly.

D.J. Paris 12:47
How when, how important is it for you to have that information about the local market? On hand ready to talk? It may be, you know, to varying degrees of detail, I’m sure. But how important is it when you’re at the grocery store? And someone’s like, Hey, Susan, you’ve been doing this forever? What’s the market? Like? How do you typically address a question like that?

Susan Santoro 13:08
So it’s very important, and I am a statistics person. So I do look at the numbers every day, whether it’s against, you know, me, my, I don’t want to call them competitors, but it just associates other associates. But I always kind of know what’s going on. I look at percentages in, you know, I just wrote an offer, for instance, in Fairfield County, and I usually based just out of New Haven County, but because Yale New Haven Hospital has bought up a hospital down in Fairfield County, we now have a lot of our doctors that are going that way as well. So I was just down there, and their business is done very differently than ours. But before I went down, I went and I looked at kind of where the numbers are. And I’m seeing that things are going approximately 13% over asking. So it was such an important tool for me to be able to share with my clients. We crafted a great offer the first time they didn’t want to go that high over and and they didn’t get the first house and the second one, they listened to me we crafted a perfect offer the sellers could not say no to and it went approximately 12.5% over asking, but our offer got signed. You know, so I think knowing the numbers is very important knowing your market. And then of course, you know, you can always, you know, tell someone you know what, I’m going to get back to you later, I’m going to look this up for you and good reason to make a phone call back to that person. Absolutely. You’ve captured them. It’s like being stuck in an elevator. And you know,

D.J. Paris 14:43
I love what one of I just want to go back to one thing that you said that for me was was pretty rough. It’s something that I can’t remember another one of our guests saying in all the episodes we’ve done, so I just want to step on it a little bit because I think it’s is really, really a great idea. So what Susan said, and she said it very quickly, and I just want to make sure that everyone heard it. She said, You know, when she was about to produce an offer, she looked at, you know, obviously comparable places, she looked at list price, and then sales price, and just did the quick math on what you know, that percentage over was, that way she can bring that data back to her clients say, here’s why we should consider this type of offer based on you know, other other comps, I don’t know that a lot of agents do that. And that is, you know, a lot of agents are like, Okay, Mr. or Mrs. Buyer, how much do you want to spend? Okay, maybe we can go a little bit over. And it’s more of just like finessing like the feeling of the of the buyer, but not actually bringing the hard data saying we should offer X based on I think that is a really great idea for anyone who’s working with offers, do

Susan Santoro 15:51
your homework, you know, before you go to do an open house, and I tell the agents on my team. And I always remind them, pull up a circle on MLS, as to everything around the area that you’re doing the open house at, know your statistics, know what else is out there, that house might not be right for them, you can easily get in the car after open house and take them to look at your the other listings around the area. So just do your homework.

D.J. Paris 16:18
And you probably also in in the county that you serve. And I know you work, you know a lot of places in Connecticut. But I imagine you know what neighborhoods people like our starter neighborhoods, you know, where they they graduate to when you know, you know where the best schools are, all of this is we’re talking really about knowing the community, knowing the inventory, knowing kind of what’s happening. How much time do you think you spend every day, sort of checking in on those stats.

Susan Santoro 16:51
I do it every night. So I am Luckily, I was born with not needing a lot of sleep, which works great. In my personal practice, I when the world gets quiet, you know, 11 to 2am, I’m on a computer, I’m just checking numbers, I’m checking towns, seeing what’s new seeing, you know, sales, that’s when I work the best. So I would say I do it every single night. But in the beginning of my career, I did two open houses every single Sunday. Did that for years. That’s how I built my, you know, my list of clientele. And, and I always always went on back then, you know, we had a book that we used to flip through and see what the listings were around the area and know and know the sales, so I was able to hopefully answer a question that may have come up in an open house. So I think it’s a good practice. If you get out of the practice. That’s not good. Yeah, get

D.J. Paris 17:53
back in. It’s, yeah, doing open houses. It’s it’s it just is the thing to do. And it’s always the thing to do. And technology has not really changed it too much to where open houses seem to be still very effective. Have it probably drives you crazy when you see newer agents not wanting to sit open houses on the weekends. I think if I was a new agent that I would beg other agents to let me come to their open house, I would sweat egg about

Susan Santoro 18:26
right I tell them all the time here I’m giving it to you. I mean, people are the people that are walking in the door, I some are just doing this as a hobby, right, they just want to go and see a nice house. But most of them are coming because they have an interest in buying a piece of real estate. It might not be that piece of real estate. But you now have their information, you hopefully have a conversation and get up a you know, repertoire with them. And they’ll call you when they’re ready to buy real estate or you can be in touch with them. And I think the technology today, you get their email, you just drip on them and drip on them eventually, when they’re ready to buy real estate. What was that Realtors name I met and it’s going to be right on the top of their you know their head. So I think it’s really important to put yourself out there. And whether that open house gym, the grocery store, you know, my family makes fun of me, but I never I’ll never walk out the door not in a matching outfit or having my hair look good or whatever. Because you’re always selling yourself. So and branding, branding, branding, you know, put your name, put your name everywhere that you’re you know that that’s allowed. So yeah,

D.J. Paris 19:38
totally, totally agree. I think those are all amazing ideas and things I agree with personally as well. So sort of the irony of you, not being you know, a college grad, but being ultra successful in real estate is you actually work a lot with Yale, which is in New Haven as well. So you know you work with a lot of the doctors at Yale you work, I think with faculty as well. So let’s, you know, this is something that I don’t think we’ve ever talked to anyone about is, you know, being sort of a friend to the university where you get, you know, sort of known amongst, you know, the the management there, that you’re a person that can help when professors come in and leave or when physicians come and leave at the hospital. So can you talk a little bit about how do you build? How did you build those relationships? And how, and how does that how does that work for you?

Susan Santoro 20:31
So you know, it’s become a niche. You know, as I think I’ve mentioned to you that one in one of my clients years ago, named me realtor to the docks, and that becomes my, my hashtag realtor to the docks. And it’s not only it’s not the only people that I work with, clearly, but it was kind of an accident, it was probably about 25 years ago, sold a house to a chief of a department that was coming in. And it was going to be a struggle, they were willing him from Harvard. So it took a while negotiations take a while it was probably a good year, that every time they’d come to town, I’d show them houses, show them around, get to know the area took them for pizza. And we obviously finally got into contract. And he said to me, like, I promise you, I’m going to be building a very big department here. And that department, I’ve moved my it’s, I’ve moved my 49th Doctor into that department from him in 25 years. Now, obviously, those those sales turn into they multiply, because then one of those doctors has someone coming from UCLA, they just came from, let’s say, and from another department, and then they give my name to that department, and then that starts spreading around to department. So right now I have three departments that I really get fed a lot of business from, from the Chiefs directly. Now, that’s it’s a lot of work. It’s not just oh, here’s a doctor, and they you go out and you show them a house, it’s, I get them sometimes on their second interview here. And they still have maybe four interviews to go. They want to see if they can afford to live in Connecticut. So I’ll take them in the car, I’ll spend a day and you know, it’s kind of a, you know, driving them around and educating them on the areas and drive them by house. And so you know, here’s approximately what this one would go for. So I really give them a full education out of maybe 10 doctors that I’ll take in my car that they’ve given me, maybe one or two, if I’m lucky, it will take the position.

D.J. Paris 22:38
So, so it’s a lot of time. Yeah, it’s a

Susan Santoro 22:42
lot of time, but it pays off. Because like I said they what I find is that, you know, I’m educating these very brilliant people on such a different level, right? I’m not, I’m certainly not saving lives, but I’m changing lives, and they don’t have a lot of time. So they come to me, kind of I’m a very good listener, because I have to be, they tell me what they’re looking for. And then if there’s something obviously not on the market now, but when they’re ready, I’ll use my resources. I don’t love cold calling. But I’ll do it. A lot of times, I’ll call my list of clients that I’ve amassed over 39 years and say, you know, do you know anybody who’s looking to sell in your neighborhood, I have this great couple coming to Yale, they’d be perfect. I do a lot of letter writing personal letter writing and just sometimes get an open listing, just say, you know, just let me just show it to this one client. And a lot of people don’t want their house on the market. And they’re thrilled to do it. And it just becomes a smooth transaction. And but I think it’s I think it’s interesting, you know, kind of niche I kind of call it where healthcare, you know, meats and real estate merge, right. It’s that Yeah. And I just like I said, it’s, you know, I think teaching them they’re so brilliant, but they don’t know anything about real estate. She don’t know what a septic tank is. Their eyes light up when they realize like, what actually goes into a septic tank. You know, they don’t understand financing. They know what they make, they know they can afford what they can afford, but they don’t understand, you know, 15 year versus a 30 year, you know, a fixed rate versus an arm. So I love teaching them and then, you know, like I said, we kind of changed their lives quickly and I have to do it efficiently and move on. So

D.J. Paris 24:45
what I want to go I want to go back to the open house or sorry, the open listing idea, because this was something that that stuck out as you were mentioning, so walk us through that because I don’t know that everyone listening is going to understand what that means. So,

Susan Santoro 25:00
you know, they’re in other areas not here. You know, they kind of pocket listings right there. Yeah, sort of the same thing. Except that, you know, I will literally call someone in a neighborhood that I think it’s perfect that their house is perfect for, and ask them that, you know, would you be interested in selling, here’s what I think I could get you. And you don’t have to put your house on the market, you don’t have to clean it, you don’t have to, you know, pick your socks up off the floor. Here’s when they’re going to be your let me bring them in. And, and it’s simple. And with COVID, that that was, that was a gift to a lot of people who especially, you know, some of my doctors who obviously, you know, couldn’t get sick, and we just bring them into one house, it was perfect, great, we make the deal. They’re not as picky as someone that may have, you know, a no timeline, you know, they just they want, they figure out what school system they want. I always send them to like, Great schools.org, I let them do their own homework. Never steer anybody towards a school system, because it’s different for everybody. You know, somebody might be looking for a kid that’s really strong in theater, or really strong in math. So, you know, I steer them to great schools.org, and then let them make their decision, and then kind of pick out three towns and run.

D.J. Paris 26:25
That’s a great tip, the that website for the pushing that whole conversation off, you know, for ethics, obviously, we can’t really steer somebody towards a particular school, but you can steer them towards the website and say, Do your own research I have found in I just LinkedIn just told me, I’ve been doing this for six years, which I didn’t realize. And I feel actually a little bit like God, it’s been six years, maybe maybe I need to hang it up. But I’m having too much fun doing it. But the reason I’m bringing that up is Gosh, I don’t know, I just lost my train of thought, oh, no, it was it was about what I was reflecting on over the last six years. Sorry. So over the last six years, I was thinking a lot about when I saw that I had been doing this six years, I was like, Okay, what are some of the common elements of some of these top producers? And you just said something that I think is incredibly important. And I think for someone like you, it’s kind of just like, that’s what you do. But I think a lot of realtors don’t do this. What Susan basically just said was that she goes and finds her own inventory for her buying clients. Right? She’s not just scouring the MLS, which of course she is doing that too. She’s like, you know, I’m going to just lob a call over to so and so down the street, because that’s the perfect house for my client. And I’m going to see if they would be willing to so I find that that is something that top Realtors often will do. And other agents just don’t even occur to them. They just look at the MLS that’s what’s there. If it’s not on there, sorry, can’t help you. I love that. So you are literally

Susan Santoro 28:06
it depends. I think it also depends on the age, the the Gen Z’s that don’t like to make phone calls. I’ve been hung up on a lot in my career, right, a lot of doors get shut in your face. Keep going, right, just keep going. The next door is open and and just don’t don’t let it stop you. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 28:26
I think it’s so important because people either you can wait for them to get ready to sell their home, or you can proactively go to them and say, here’s what I think I can get you if you’re interested. And I know that everyone’s got a price, everyone’s got a price for their home, that they would be willing to move even if it’s there for ever home. So, you know, if I you know, I might think I’m in my forever place now. But if you came to me with 100% Return offer like that I would make 100% on that’s not my forever home anymore, I’m gonna find something else. So that is such a

Susan Santoro 29:04
smart opening line for that is fill in the blank. If I could get you X. Yes, you would sell your house right? And fill in the blank and see what

D.J. Paris 29:16
love that you

Susan Santoro 29:17
might you might be thinking that they’re thinking here when they’re really just thinking here. Yeah. So, you know, on a good example of that is I had somebody call me once for a donation. And they asked me if I would at night. It was an organization who was important to me, but I’d given to them before. And I was planning on giving more that year, that particular year. And they called me and said, just wondering if you would match your donation from last year. Dom So I matched my donation. They could have gotten double from me if their approach was different.

D.J. Paris 29:55
Yeah, that is really absent Loli

Susan Santoro 30:00
saw in the presentation, all in

D.J. Paris 30:03
the presentation, thank you for it. That is such a great, great tip. I love that let’s let’s talk about presentation. When you go into a listing presentation, let’s say for example, and let’s say it’s not a instant slam dunk, it’s not a past client, it’s your you’re in competition, maybe with another agent. How do you approach listing presentations, and because obviously, you win a lot of them. So tell us about what you do in a listing presentation that you think maybe is a little different. So

Susan Santoro 30:36
interesting that you say that, because the thing that you said that really stands out, is what people think, right? Oh, this is a slam dunk. What I tell anybody who will listen to me, nothing is a slam dunk. If you’re going on a listing presentation of your brother’s house, be prepared. Everybody is a client, everybody deserves to get the best to make, you know, hopefully make a profit. But everyone deserves to be treated exactly the same. And I’ll go back to that in a second. Just saying that, you know, I, I think a common thread when I read some of my, you know, hundreds and hundreds of Google reviews, is when people come back and they say, you know, she treated us like we were her only client. And I think that’s really important is that you give whether they’re spending 100,000 or 100 million, it doesn’t matter treat everybody the same because their house is their castle. And so I try to do I like to do a two step program. Not everyone will tell you, it’s the best way to do it. But I like to go out the first time, if I don’t know the people, I don’t know the house, give me a tour. And I’d take notes, tell me what you’ve done. Tell me what you love about living here. And then I’ll come back, you know, Tom, I have to do my homework. Because I don’t care how good you are, you can’t go out and tell someone a price of a house without seeing it. It’s impossible. So

D.J. Paris 32:01
to what by the way, I want to pause you for a second because it I want you to keep going with this. But this is what a consultant does a consultant goes into a company and says, Tell me about the company. And then they go, I’m gonna come back and give you my findings. So this is what we’re talking about with a two step process, you’re doing it very much like a consultant,

Susan Santoro 32:19
right? Do your home, you know, go back, do your homework, and then come back and show them nuts. You know, sometimes I’ll talk about a little bit of my marketing on that first interview, you know, kind of what I do, you know, very quick, they’re always like, well, you know, what’s your commission, you know, what, we’re gonna go over everything when I come back, because there’s so much more to tell you about what I’m going to do for you. And it’s always about what you’re going to do for them, you know, and not for yourself. And so I don’t go in prepared to you know, sign right here on the dotted line, I may lose some, I have gone out on a few in my career. And we’re I’m called back, you know, the next day and they say, Oh, we signed with someone to meet they that person was maybe just buying the listing, they told them a really high number that sure, you know, that they wanted to hear and get him to sign on the dotted line. I’d like to be realistic, and otherwise they’re gonna call me every single day, why hasn’t my house sold? So I like to do my homework and give them real facts. And I’ll never take more than 48 hours before I go back. But I like to be prepared.

D.J. Paris 33:33
You know, it’s so funny, because I’ve been talking to top producers, I guess for six years now. And they pretty much everyone, you know, has a similar sort of answer. Like, like you were saying, you know, well, not the two step approach always but, but doing your homework, going in with, you know, information, having a presentation, and really having it very well practiced. I suspect that is missing from a lot of realtor training. I think a lot of agents don’t get that sort of training of listing presentation buyer presentation. You know, how do you you know, how are you extracting information how are you collecting that information? And then how are you using that information to you know, hopefully get the deal it is it is something that is a real art and a science I believe and something that that you’re obviously part of so you’re when you first go out there you’re on like a more of a fact finding mission, you’re like, tell me about the home. Tell me about all the things that that you want or that you’ve done to the home and you collect all this information and then you go back you process it you put it through some some different metrics. And then you’re like, Okay, here’s what just like a consultant, here’s my report. Here’s what we’re going to do. And

Susan Santoro 34:46
I come back with a nice bound book and it is not just statistics about you know William Pitt Sotheby’s but you know about me and what I’ve done but the marketing I bring them you know, actual, you know, for Photos and show them the difference of your cell phone photo versus my professional photographer. I have, I’m not a good photographer. So just because of that, I’ve used a professional photographer for 20 years. So that’s important. I think that people need to see it, touch it, feel it, and I bring them this book show them, here’s what I’m going to do for you. Show them the advertising, I show them, you know, where their house is going to appear, how it’s going to appear, and then give them real facts. Here’s the house that sold, you know, within your neighborhood, a Walden, why isn’t my house worth that much? Well, because they have a brand new kitchen. And you know, yours is from the 1970s. I mean, I don’t say that, but, you know, I try to give them the reasons as to why I think their house is worth what I think it’s worth. And then we talk about just the kind of the art of pricing, right, not just that 99 cent pricing, you know, the ending with the 99. Sure. But I have always sort of said, you know, it’s really important to let the buyer perceive a value, you, to me, You cast a wider net, the wider your net, the more people that come in, the more people that come in, the more offers you’re going to get, the more offers you’re going to get, the higher your price is going to be. So I think it’s coming on, you know, right? Here’s your market value, let’s come on under your market value, let’s cast that wider net. And you know, you’re kind of like, walk into a department store, right, that loss leader at the end of the aisle, it got you to cut into the store, and then you’re going to spend more, that’s what we want, we want more people to walk in, we need the traffic to get your price up. So I think it’s just important to tell them at all aspects about marketing.

D.J. Paris 36:46
I think so too. And there is this psychological principle called escalation of commitment. So what Susan’s basically saying is, hey, maybe it’s smarter to price it slightly under under market value, so that we have more people competing. And the reason why that’s significant for human beings is we are wired to as we agree to something as we want to continue to agree to something. So that’s what’s called escalation of commitment, you guys can Google it, but it’s basically a psychological principle, it says the, the more as you sit, continue to say yes to something, you you become more and more committed, it’s harder, actually to pull out. So in other words, if you’re going back and forth with somebody on pricing, you know, there’s multiple offers there’s bids, it’s actually more likely that those two people will continue to battle it out versus one person saying I’m leaving. So it’s actually a really smart play, because it plays into our human nature of wanting something and wanting to compete, and win and achieve, which is, is built into us. So that’s a really smart idea is get a lot of people interested in the property, and then you can have them all battle it out.

Susan Santoro 37:58
Right, exactly. And I think also back to that kind of to stuff, I think that the other idea behind it is it gives you time, if you don’t know the people give you time to maybe, maybe make a connection, right now you you can go down a rabbit hole, certainly on social media, and figure out who they might know or, you know, find out oh, they used to work for this company. You know, oh, did you do work with so and so. And, you know, it’s about fo Gosh, 35 years ago, I think, had a marketing company. Look at all these notes I had received in the five years I had been in business, a beautiful thank you notes from my clients. And they came up with a tagline. And it’s real trust, real care, in real estate. And that’s what they came up with. After looking at all of that I care about people, I really, I really truly care about them. I have a baby shower of an old client, I’m going to in a couple of weeks, I’ve been invited to weddings and bar mitzvahs and barbecues. And that’s a testament to me just fostering my relationships with people. But I, like my physicians, maybe I’m just, you know, I should have been a doctor and my other life if I ever wanted to go to college. I love medicine, I’m fascinated by it. And making them my friends has not only you know, it’s been great because I get to learn. But obviously, it’s helped in my career because they just continue to refer me and refer me. And it’s all this business if you want to stay in it long term. It’s just all about relationships. And I have a team that I started about 10 years ago, only two people on it, I don’t want more. It’s very different team. I kind of you know, I say it’s like one plus one plus one equals three. You know, putting our ideas and thoughts together and also putting our volume together just makes us greater, you know, it’s small team. But number one small team in Connecticut means a lot more More than just an individual person, and absolutely unique people, you know, everyone’s different, again, fostering relationships. One of the girls has been with me about 10 years, she’s a marathon runner, great connections, right? She’s out there selling herself all of the time. Obviously, we’ve made up a t shirt. So it says the Susan Santoro team, but then in the back in big letters down her backs as realtor, let someone come up and ask her a question while she’s out running or at the end of a marathon. Tap into that, right, one of the other girls has been with me about four years, she’s a mom of three kids, that is your perfect audience. Get involved with their sports get involved with their, you know, PTA. So, you know, I love to be able to problem solve with them love to be able to teach them how to tap into their resources and go through your index cards and call people. q4. I said, I’m not a goal setter in the beginning. q4 is my very favorite quarter. Because I like to look and see how much I could actually accomplish in q4. So I go through my address book, and I reach out to as many clients as I possibly can in a week.

D.J. Paris 41:17
What’s amazing, you know, that is a great idea. Because most people step off the gas and q4, you know, we have the holidays, we have family stuff, the best. But you you step on the gas.

Susan Santoro 41:30
Absolutely. It’s my it’s my very favorite time. And and I like to see like what can I accomplish between now and then. So, and again, I don’t set myself a number goal. But you know, sometimes it’s just as simple as an email, you know, hey, drove by your house today love the new color of your front door. Or you know, pick up a phone, you know, was thinking about you know, or look on look on Facebook, right? See how old their kids are now have a reason to call them. fostering relationships is key. If you want to stay long term in this business, it’s definitely the key to my success.

D.J. Paris 42:07
And thank God for social media in the sense that we now do get information about our clients, if we’re following them. And we get to enjoy their lives as they post about it. And it like Susan, like you just said, I get to call, Hey, I just saw you went on a trip to Cancun hope it was great. It’s the perfect reason to pick up the phone and not have to do a sales pitch on oh, by the way, you know, I you know, because that can always come up naturally as well. But I want to I want to go back to something you said that I think is really critical. And I think it comes through is care and trust, what you’re really doing because I believe that care and trust are earned, not automatically given and you have a huge an amazing history of constantly demonstrating care and trust. And therefore that when you know, it’s funny that your niche, one of your niches is doctors. Because I think I think the same way when I choose a doctor for myself a physician, I the only thing I really, really that’s most important to me is do I think this physician cares about me even just a little bit. If they care about me, I’m good. If I feel that they don’t care about me, then I’m going to look for another doctor. So I use that same principle. When I’m when I’m going to see a doctor I want I want I want them to actually care about me. People want the same thing, obviously, in a realtor in any in any service position. So I think that is such an important thing is demonstrating care and trust is really should be if people are going to set goals. I think that’s a heck of a good goal to set is I want every one of my clients to go. You know, Susan cares about me, or DJ cares about me or whatever that that is worth its weight in gold. Absolutely. Now, what are you what do you do to stay in touch with clients in between transactions? Because of course, people you know, buy their home and maybe they don’t move forever or for 10 years or what are we doing to stay in touch and make sure they don’t forget about you? Anniversary

Susan Santoro 44:22
cards? Happy anniversary, right? Some people are like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this house seven years because you forget right you forget how long you’ve been in it. So I’ll always write in the card how long sometimes I’ll you know, write little personal notes. Thanksgiving. I don’t do Christmas. I don’t do Hanukkah. I don’t sometimes I’ll do New Year’s Thanksgiving Thanksgiving card. It’s a great time to say thank you. You just does exactly what you’re saying. Thank you for your referrals, even if they’ve never given you one. They may have thought that they’ve mentioned your name. It may not have panned out but you’re thinking Am I do send a gift, I can’t talk about, you know what it is because you’re not supposed to. But I do send a gift to every client who does give me a referral, after closing, and, and they’re so appreciative of it and very surprised when they get it. And then they liked the idea of getting this gift. And so then they try to give you more. So one of my departments at Yale, there’s two girls who are in competition to see who can they keep calling me who’s given you more referrals this year. So it’s actually become like this very funny game. But I then I, like I said, I do that q4, I do spend a lot of time I have an old fashion, right, I have an index box with all of my clients names on an individual card. And then each month of when they bought it makes it easy. I obviously have it on computer also. But sure, I’m visual. So we’ll go through that card box. And we’ll start calling, you know, just checking in sending a note, like I said, send an email, there’s so many things that you can do, you do get hit up, I’m not going to tell you don’t for donations, you know, kids, add books, or you know, when you buy a pie or buy a candy I do I always buy anybody that comes to me and says they weren’t, you know, trying to sell food, I buy it and bring it down to the Ronald McDonald House, because it’s a very, unfortunately, a full house all the time. So I’ll always drop stuff there. But so yeah, you do get hit up, you do have to go out for drinks or dinner or lunch once in a while. I don’t mind it. Again, I love to learn things from people. So it just goes back to that being a good listener. And you just, if you just quiet for a minute and just listen to somebody else, you’re going to gain something that’s going to be momentous for you, it’s just going to change things for you, they might not realize that they’re telling you about their neighbor, who is going into a retirement home, they just might mention that not thinking about business. I heard that, go back to my office, I look up that neighbor’s name. And I write that neighbor letter. And I keep in touch and I keep sending letters until that neighbor calls me for a listing appointment. So good listening, just be a good listener.

D.J. Paris 47:32
Be a good listener and be inquisitive, like ask lots of questions about someone else’s life, right? Like, know what is going on. Because home and life is connected, right? We’re, they’re intricate, they’re obviously interchangeable. You know, your life and your home is really one thing. And so being in touch with what is going on in your clients lives. And listening, as you mentioned, allows you to just learn about what other opportunities may exist that they might not have even thought as an opportunity for you. They’re just sharing, you know, parts of their life.

Susan Santoro 48:10
Right. And I think you know, the other thing is, don’t make it about yourself. Very simply, just coming to mind quickly. You sent me an email two days ago, and I had a nutty day, and actually was traveling back from Chicago visiting my family and and then had a crazy day just hit the ground running. So instead of writing you an email saying, you know, I’m sorry, right? I’m sorry, is about me. You probably don’t realize this, but I wrote you and just said, Thanks for your patience. Now I’ve made it about you. Yes. It’s very important to realize, none of this is about me, me, me. You know, there’s lots of agents out there who are going to post every day. You know, I’m the best. I’m the greatest and there. There’s enough business to go around that. Some people want to deal with people like that, that’s fine. But I try to I want to make it about you make it about the client, what can I do for you? Not what it’s going to do for me and make me number one that will come just make it about make it about your client.

D.J. Paris 49:18
Yeah, demonstrate care and trust. It just it all it all goes back to that this this accountability thing to is, is acknowledging thank you for your patience. You know if you know we’re delayed on a response or an email, thank you so much for your patience. Here’s the answer that you’re looking for. Absolutely brilliant. versus saying, I’m sorry, DJ. Sorry, DJ. It’s not about DJ it’s about telling the client Hey,

Susan Santoro 49:48
there’s time waiting, right? Yeah,

D.J. Paris 49:50
I kept you waiting. Yes, I am. Sorry about that. But I acknowledged what you have. Yeah, that’s a really smart, smart idea. As we all

Susan Santoro 50:00
care, real trust in real estate, it’s my tagline. Actually, I should, if I, you know, want it someday, maybe I’ll get it tattooed someday. But, but it is, it’s a motto that I live by how important

D.J. Paris 50:13
is it to have a niche to read? Whether it’s, you know, your your, you know, you work with doctors you work with, with faculty at Yale, obviously, you have, you know, other clients as well. But how important is it to have a specialty, like, just like doctors have specialties?

Susan Santoro 50:29
I think nowadays, I guess if I was to get into the business again, you know, if that was new, I would try to focus more on that, I think there’s a lot of people who have made that really their success, you know, where it’s, you know, the, the waterfront specialist, or the this specialist, I think, you know, I can’t really called being a realtor to the docks by my niche. But I guess it’s just what I sell, you know, myself, and it’s just the time that I can dedicate to them, right, sometimes they don’t even realize what time it is, especially the ones in training, you know, they’re doing the residency here. They’re in surgery, they get out to in the morning, and they’re sitting down, and they might be looking online, to see all of the stuff that I you know, sent to them to look at today, all the new listings, and they don’t even think twice, they’ll start texting me. Yeah. And sometimes I’ll surprise them and answer them at 230 or three in the morning. You know, other times, I won’t and you know, try to say, okay, I get a little respect of time. But, but I think that that’s, you know, really important, I pay attention to them. And so I think that that’s sort of the niche thing, again, came about kind of by accident like that, but that’s when people come to me, and they say, Oh, Dr. So and So recommended you, I’m going to be you know, I’m coming in, in the neurology department. Great, you know, and that’s it. Yeah. And I was told that you never sleep. So it’s like, it’s become a joke, but they love that, that I can dedicate so much time to them, a lot of times people are, they’re texting or calling me even on WhatsApp, because they’re coming from another country. And I’m able to, you know, talk to them at crazy hours. So I think depending on what your your niche is, you can really hone in on it. I just interviewed with another department at Yale and not gonna mention him by name. And the chief sent me a nice note the other day and said, you know, we’d like to take you on as, as our realtor, if you don’t mind, we’re interviewing, you don’t mind. We’re interviewing a few people next week, you know, that we’re going to have you take out terrific. So you know, it’s another department. So, again, it’s, no one’s paying me to do this. So you don’t get paid until you’re sitting at a closing. And I think that goes back to that drive of waking up unemployed every day. You know, we don’t make a dime till you’re sitting at a closing. And don’t forget that. If the deal doesn’t end, when you write the contract, and it gets accepted. There’s so much more to it. You. You want to be able to give somebody PD, my kid fell out of a tree today. Oh, you know, we’re new in the area. We don’t know anybody. You know, do you have a pediatric pediatric ortho you can give us? Sure. You know, that’s what you want. You want that you want to be that person that they come to for the name of a restaurant, anything. So I think that that’s really important that just don’t let the deal and after you write the contract, yeah,

D.J. Paris 53:40
yeah, it’s so you, boy, you said you said a lot. Just there and a lot of really, really great stuff. I could not agree with you more, I think it’s super imperative that people think about, you know, the kind of relationships they want to have with their clients and to think well, what do I have to do to earn that relationship? What do I have to do to earn somebody saying something like, oh, this person cares about me and my realtor likes actually is is invested, you know, in my happiness, like, if they can say that, they’re gonna sing your names, the, you know, they’re gonna sing it from the mountaintops, to everyone else. The other thing too, is, you know, thinking about niches and you were talking about working with physicians, is you probably just by being around them, you’ve studied kind of what physicians are like, what their needs are, you know, obviously every everybody’s different, but they have commonality, I’m sure there’s certainly needs and you have just been a student of, of, you know, whatever departments you’ve worked in to where I suspect you’re almost thinking you almost think of yourself almost as an employee even if some of these you know other depart Let’s,

Susan Santoro 55:00
and some of the doctors that do come in think I am, you know, and they think I’m working for the hospital or the university. And, you know, sometimes I have to, if I if comes off, you know, explain that I’m not. And you know, here’s how I got, here’s how you got to me. But you know, it’s again, it’s just relationship building and caring, caring, caring. So I’m today, in fact, I’m just as I’m talking to you, I just got a, an alert just popped up on my computer, a client who I sold a house to three years ago, in the military, and was given my name from another realtor who follows me online, sold them a house, you know, not too far from here, they’ve been doing a lot of work to the house, they reached out to me, do you have a plumber or an electrician? So they sent me a note last week and said, you know, we’d love to have you over to show you what we’ve done to the house. And most realtors to be like, if they’re not selling, you know, I’m not gonna go over. And it is going to take up an hour and a half of my time today. And they my alarm just went off just reminding me that that’s where I’m going today at four o’clock. So you know, yes, it’s, it’s 45 minutes there, it’s 45 minutes back, I’ll probably sit there and visit with them for an hour and a half. Okay, but three hours of time, if their neighbor decides to sell their house, who’s going to be on the top of their head? Yeah. So you’ve got to just take the time to do stuff like that. And I’m excited to see what they’ve done to the house. And I really, truly do care. But

D.J. Paris 56:36
that’s, that’s the whole point is that you are happy to it’s not always easy to drive 45 minutes each way. It’s not easy, but you’re excited to do it. And it’s what ultimately demonstrates care and compassion. And I I’m in this I’m a professional, and I want to see this all the way through. Susan, this has been such a such a fun episode, you have given our audience an incredible amount of strategies and techniques and tips. And you know, from your 39 years in the business, is just incredible. Your motor is still revved up and ready to go every morning. I’m going to I’m going to I’m going to adopt the I am unemployed every morning idea. I love that. I think that is it’s not not to depress somebody not to make somebody feel no. But to have a bit of urgency, a bit of like, what am I going to do today? Where am I going to go? Who am I going to talk to right? And

Susan Santoro 57:37
you have to create you have to create your own interview, right? Create your own job interview every day, and get and also are you going to get up and, you know, brush your hair. If you’re going to go out and interview Yes, then don’t walk out of your house without doing that. So, you know, just always be ready to sell yourself. Because everyone out there is interested in real estate everybody. I don’t care who it is, whether it’s they’re making money or they want to be an investor. They want to ask you questions, so be ready and look your best.

D.J. Paris 58:08
Love it. Well, for every thing, Susan, please follow her on Instagram as Susan Santoro underscore REALTOR at Instagram. She also has a website at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty we’ll post a link to that because Susan is just outside of New York City. She has a lot of people that are you know, moving in moving out. She works you know with with universities there so if anyone out there has clients that may be moving in or out and wants to network Susan with you what’s the best way they should reach out to you?

Susan Santoro 58:46
They can reach out to me they’re on social media. You said that you know the Instagram. Also this isn’t Santoro team is on both Instagram and Facebook. My email Susan Santoro 11 at gmail 11 is my lucky number. So Susan Santoro eleven@gmail.com. My phone number is all out there, they can Google me and they’re gonna find out everything about me. But yeah, I do a lot of a huge referral network and I’m always looking for agents in different areas and I love keeping in touch with them. And eventually I’m going to probably have eight or nine referral checks that will be coming in soon of referrals I’ve given in all different states. And again, a comes from I was talking to a physician that I went to on an appointment and he mentioned to me that his mother is going to be putting her condo up for sale in Florida. Really okay on the East Coast. Oh great. Where and we just start talking again. It was just conversation. I have a great realtor there. Oh, I didn’t necessarily have a great Realtor in his mother’s town. But I have enough of a network that I can go to and say, who’s the best in that town. And then I called that doctor that night on he gave me his personal cell phone number, called him that night, gave him this, this person already spoke to that agent. I have a chat coming in now. So you know, use every opportunity out there to talk about real estate. So I think I’ve probably given away all of my secrets now, but, but again, I love to teach. And I’m happy for anyone to reach out to me with any questions.

D.J. Paris 1:00:31
Well, Susan, you have been super generous to us on the show. We, we thank you on behalf of the audience, thank you for your time today and, and good luck at your, your your 45 minutes each way. Plus our our meet with with your your clients there. And just on behalf of everyone. Thank you. And on behalf of Susan and myself, we want to thank the audience for making it to the end of the episode. We just ask that everybody do two quick things. One, tell a friend think of one other realtor that is struggling right now that could use a little boost maybe a few fresh ideas to help them finish this year strong. Send them a link to this episode, we would appreciate it. And also leave us a review. Tell us what you think of the show. Let us know what you like and what we could do to improve this show is for you, and we want to continually make it better. So tell us what to do. Everyone go follow Susan on Instagram, Susan Santoro, underscore realtor link to that in the show notes as well as her website. Susan is a class act and is just an amazing, amazing realtor. Please reach out to her learn from her. And hopefully everybody can you know start to have more success in the way that Susan does, which is a lot about being professional, knowing your your data and staying in touch and caring about people it’s it’s really it’s just a lot of hard work. It’s what it is. It’s

Susan Santoro 1:01:59
a lot of hard work. You know that little thing on my desk that you know the old Chinese proverb you know, fall down seven times, but stand up eight. Keep going. Don’t give up. It’s a great career. Just it’s a lot of work.

D.J. Paris 1:02:12
It reminds me of that old Zen saying which says Before enlightenment chop wood carry water after enlightenment chop wood carry water.

Susan Santoro 1:02:23
Just keep going doing it right. Absolutely. We’ll see every great. Thank you so much.

D.J. Paris 1:02:28
Thank you so much, Susan. We will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Susan.

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