Beth Benalloul with Corcoran in New York describes how she got into real estate a built her career. Beth discusses the changes in the real estate market she’s seen throughout her career, focusing on the changes brought by Covid-19. Beth also describes how interior design integrates with her real estate career and how these two complement each other. Last, Beth discusses open houses and how the whole concept has changed recently.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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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 producer Beth battle specifically about developers and how to build those relationships. Pardon the pun on build there. But yes, how to develop Oh, another time those relationships. Sorry, no more puns. Not sorry, probably everyone’s like, Alright, no more puns. But before we get to Beth, please, as a quick reminder, tell a friend about this show, specifically another realtor and other real estate professional or somebody that would love to hear top producer interviewed so that they can learn, for example, how to work better with developers, tell us send him a link to our podcast, keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done is streamed there. But if you’re listening through a podcast app, take just a moment and leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show. So we can continue to do more of what you like and improve the stuff that you don’t like because this is for you. This is your show. It’s not mine. I just talked through it. But I only do things that our audience says hey, do more of that or less of that really, really helps. So please leave us a review. But enough about that. Let’s get to the main event my conversation with Beth Bendele.
Right today on the show we are back from the Corcoran Group in New York City. Let me tell you more about that. Beth battle is a highly accomplished Manhattan real estate broker who’s received coveted awards for her fine work that include membership and Corkins prestigious President’s Council, placing her among the top 25 brokers in the entire company, but has also been recognized numerous times as a top producer when the Wall Street Journal’s real estate, sorry, the Wall Street Journal real trends. Additionally, she’s also earned the status in the Corcoran group’s multimillion dollar club every year since 2005. Beth listens and pays close attention to her clients needs. She’s on top of every detail of their transaction. She’s sold condos, coops and townhomes all over Manhattan, she delivers superior results to both local and out of town clients. Working with buyers, she has an uncanny ability to find the perfect property for their budget and lifestyle. Beth has even sold properties to buyers sight unseen. Sellers respect her outstanding track record for selling her exclusives quickly and profitably. Please, everybody follow Beth on Instagram, which is at Beth Sinaloa, which is b e t h BENALLOUL. And I will have a link to that in our show notes. So you don’t have to spell that out and Instagram. Just go to our show notes. Click click the link and you’ll be able to follow her and see what she’s doing. Beth, welcome to the show.
Beth Benalloul 4:21
Well, thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here. And you know, ask away.
D.J. Paris 4:28
And I’m glad we’ve had a couple of your friends on our show to which Beth was nice enough to tell me and probably even more more than that. So we are excited. It’s funny at you know, it really is even when there’s one point I think it’s 1.6 million realtor or something like that maybe 1.4 in the country. It’s like it’s funny so often, people who are you know, these top 1% agents like yourself really do know agents and I know of course there’s lots of you know, people in New York that you would know just because you come across them but it’s amazing to me how Often, people we have on the show no, even people we’ve had on the show from other places. It seems like a small community of top top producers. So we’re grateful to have you. I always Oh, you’re welcome. Well, we bet this is I’ll just give our listeners and viewers a little behind the scenes. Beth is actually at a sales office right now she snuck into a, a conference room. And this is how busy she is. She’s a working mother, she runs a group, a team. She’s one of the top agents in New York City. And she’s at a sale center in between appointments right now. So we are really lucky to have her. And so thank you, thank you. Because, again, I don’t know how you have the time to do anything that you do, but you do it. So let’s start at the very beginning of your career, because I first would like to know, how you got into real estate, why you got into real estate? And then what did you do to get started? How did you start building your business?
Beth Benalloul 5:54
Okay, so I have been in the real estate business for a little over 17 years. I’ve been at Corcoran the entire time. Yeah, which is, which is very unusual. Most brokers jump around, but I’ve been at corporate for a very long time. I originally started after my husband and I bought our first apartment. And I had gotten pregnant, and I was frantically looking for an apartment. And I started you know, at the time, everything was in print ads. So I used to go through the Sunday newspapers, and I would scour all the ads for apartments. And it became like, my second job in life was to find this an apartment. Anyway, we ultimately bought our first apartment here in New York City. And I gave birth, and at the time I was in the fitness industry, I was doing personal training and teaching spinning and all sorts of aerobics classes. And I, after having a baby, I was like, you know, I really want to do something else, you know, something that was maybe a little less physical that I could, you know, grow into, you know, more of a career. And that was when I decided to get my real estate license. So I got the license. And I had a, actually a client of mine, one of my personal training clients knew somebody at Corcoran, so they connected me and I went in for an interview, I had no experience, I really, you know, besides buying my own apartment, really didn’t know what I was doing. But I sort of jumped in from the ground up, and, you know, started started working. And that was in 2005, the market at the time was very, very difficult for a new broker. Because every single apartment would go into multi beds. So you know, and at the beginning, when you’re first starting, you work with a lot of buyers. So you know, I would go and take my buyer out and she’d find something you know, she’d like, and I’d run back to the office to write up the offer. And by the time I got it to the broker, they would say, Well, you know, sorry, we have 17 other offers, and this one’s cash. And this one’s above ask, and, you know, here I was, you know, advising my client, let’s go in 10,000 below the Ask let’s dancing contingency. You know, I was I was really winging it. But I’ll never forget that the first sale and this shows you how hard I was working the first sale that I did. At the closing, my client bought me a gift. Because she said she had never seen someone work so hard to make a sale happened that she came with a beautiful Tiffany bowl and gave it to me at the closing. Oh, it was very funny.
D.J. Paris 8:30
That is very, very funny and very sweet. And we should also just for anyone who’s listening who isn’t all that familiar with the New York market, sort of explain and not in any real detail, but just obviously we know that New York is one of the most expensive markets in the country to live, which is why the vast majority of people rent and and even rentals are oftentimes Realtors exclusively might even focus on rentals because that of course is just a bigger market. There’s more and more people to to have as clients on New York of course very expensive to own. And I remember speaking of New York in 2005 Just because you mentioned that that time my sister and I bought bought she bought a condo in the West Village I bought a condo here in New York or in Chicago and hers was only 475 square feet it’s a one bedroom floor walk up the West Village no air conditioning everything was kind of miniature miniature like a smaller fridge a small everything was kind of skinny and small. And although when when she sold it you know five years later let’s say something like that. She sold it for like $100,000 profit I sold mine for like, you know I lost money on my so it’s but but the funny part is is then she was like well now I’m priced out of the neighborhood. I can’t I can’t afford to live here anymore. But But it ended up working out but the New York market is is really challenging. Did you start out doing rentals at all? Or was that just not a thing that that appealed to you?
Beth Benalloul 9:59
I never Because I never did rentals. I mean, I do them now. But I really do them primarily for clients of mine who buy apartments as investments, and then I rent the apartments for them. But my business has been primarily sales. And it was basically that way from the beginning. And I’m not sure, you know, I did a few rentals here and there, but for the most part, I focused on sales.
D.J. Paris 10:20
Yeah, it’s funny, you were talking about, you know, 17 years ago, working with your first buyer and being in multiple offer situations. I remember I bought during that time, low interest rates. And and also, we’re sort of in a slump. I mean, rates are rising. Now, of course, but but we’re sort of in a similar is it? Does it feel similar now than it did when you first started?
Beth Benalloul 10:41
Well, it definitely feels similar. And I feel like at this point in my career, I’ve been through a few market cycles. And, you know, it’s interesting, because sometimes broke, you know, brokers who just start will say to me, like, you know, does it get easier? Does it get, you know, and obviously, certain markets are easier to make deals than than others? There’s no question. But it’s always, you know, the real estate business is always challenging, because it’s either a supply issue or a demand issue, or an inventory issue, you know, so I feel like in a market where things move very quickly, oftentimes your buyers get outbid. And then, of course, in a market that moves slowly, if you’re working with sellers, you know, it’s hard to manage those expectations. Why isn’t my property selling? So I would say the market that we’ve been in here in New York for the last year has felt more similar to 2005, in the sense that things are moving quickly. Although to your point, now, with the increase in interest rates, I’m feeling it’s cooling a little bit. You know, New York is also in my mind, very dependent on the stock market. We have a lot of Finance, Financial people, Wall Street people, and the markets obviously been, you know, in freefall,
D.J. Paris 11:51
tumultuous, tumultuous. Yes, yesterday, I believe was the single largest drop it since 2020, which again, just a couple of years, but it was, it was a big drop yesterday.
Beth Benalloul 12:03
So I think that that also has a direct effect on our local market, probably more than other places, you know, feel it, especially in the luxury market.
D.J. Paris 12:12
Yeah, that makes sense. New York, certainly known for finance and market related it, you know, jobs. And, and also, you know, with a pandemic, and the fact that, you know, going back to sort of market type jobs, securities, jobs, you know, people who trade and are in that space, and not and I know, this happened in Chicago, because we have, we have an options. We have a whole Mercantile Exchange here, and, you know, similar to what New York has, and now a lot of those jobs where they be on the floor trading, and really, physically, there are now algorithmic and so it’s computers doing a lot of it. So I’m curious have, have you noticed that the financial part, you know, with COVID? Are people, you know, working more remote? Where is that affecting your business at all, or
Beth Benalloul 12:59
so, I mean, certainly in 2020, I think New York was probably the most affected by that, because we had a huge, you know, number of people who sort of fled the city, whether they went to, you know, south or to The Hamptons, or to New Jersey, or just the outskirts. I think a lot of that did reverse in 2021. And we saw a lot of those people come back, I think it was a variety of reasons, the schools in September of 2021, no longer offered a remote option. So even if you were only part time in your office, if your child was in school in New York City, they had to be here five days a week, which I think brought a lot of people back. But yeah, I mean, we’ve definitely seen the market has shifted because of the pandemic. And it’s shifted, you know, I would say, in a variety of ways, some people who were in smaller apartments and then fled the city only wanted to come back to larger apartments or apartments with had an outdoor space, or, you know, something that had an extra room that they could work from home in. And I think even now, you know, two years after the pandemic started, there are a lot of people that are still working. I don’t know if it’s full time from home, because I think a lot of the businesses now are hybrid. We’ll see how, you know, we’ll fast forward another two years and see how that goes. I mean, some people think it’ll be less hybrid more in office. And then you have other people you speak to the thing quite the opposite. So I don’t know. You know, I don’t have a crystal ball. But I do think it’s not wise to bet against New York because New York seems to be very resilient city
D.J. Paris 14:32
very resilient. Yes. Yeah. And, and there’s just a finite space, a very finite, finite amount of space where people can live of course, within within Manhattan and, and and a lot of people and so is it is it more difficult now finding properties that do have more physical space for people to work at? I would think it would have to be although, again, you play or you play more in the luxury space where maybe that’s more more calm. And then, but curious if that’s changed for you, are you looking for different, different qualities now in properties for your client,
Beth Benalloul 15:06
we say there’s, there’s definitely been a shortage of inventory and certain, you know, price categories or room sizes, or, you know, apartments with certain three, four or five bedrooms, obviously, those are limited. But you know, the other thing we’re starting to see now is you have people who moved out of the city, who don’t want to commute even two or three days a week. So I think we’re going to probably see an increase in even smaller apartment sales, where they have a place to crash two or three nights a week while they’re here. Because they’re going to want to have, you know, even if it’s not a huge apartment, if they’re living out in Westchester, they may want to have a place just to stay for a couple nights. So, you know, again, that brings up the smaller units, and then those people who are training out of those can trade into the bigger units.
D.J. Paris 15:52
I have a question about coops in New York. And again, most of the country, I think our listeners aren’t that familiar with coops, New York is kind of the co op hub of the country. To my to my understanding Chicago has, we have some but not not very, you know, less than probably 1%. I am curious with coops because for those of you that aren’t as familiar, there isn’t a sort of an interview process that a buyer needs to go through with a co op board. And you know, it depends they’re going to talk about financing, they’re going to talk about maybe even income and just just a general get to know you. Do we like this person? Do they seem like they’d be a good fit? Has it ever happened? And I I’m just curious, and you don’t have to give exact specifics, of course, but has it ever happened where you get all the way to the coop interview. And then in that interview goes south for some reason where maybe it’s a personality clash, or the coop boards kind of goofy or something just goes wrong, or the coop board goes, you know, where I don’t think we’re gonna move forward. Has that happened ever to you
Beth Benalloul 16:51
know, it’s happened to me twice in my career. And so what I will say is that both times in my mind, so typically, you won’t get to the phase of an interview, like an in person interview until they have reviewed your package. And in your package, you have already laid out all your financing, all of your, you know, your financial qualifications, you’ve put in personal reference letters, you’ve basically told them who you are. So I had it happen once years ago on a very, very big sale. And I had the listing and the buyers came through another broker. And after the interview, I got a call from the seller. And the seller says You won’t believe this. I thought they were a shoo in. They were the most qualified, perfect couple. And I said what do you mean, what would I believe he goes, they’re rejecting the purchaser. I thought he was joking when he said it because it just was unfathomable. So I said What do you mean, they’re rejecting the for the purchaser. He says they walked into the interview. And within five minutes of them asking questions, the wife burst out in tears and says, we’re in a terrible marriage and we’re getting divorced. No, I laughing I didn’t know at the time. I wasn’t laughing. And I said I had to ask again. Are you serious? And he said yes. Apparently, they were going to buy this apartment. And I guess over the course of the process of the transaction, because oftentimes coops take some time to put together the package and go through the board. They decided they’re getting divorced. And they asked the board to please turn down the application so they wouldn’t have to go through litigation for that deposit. Well, that
D.J. Paris 18:31
makes sense. Yeah. Oh, my gosh, what? Uh, yeah. Gosh, that is that is interesting. So that really adds another layer. And you said it’s only really happened twice, but still twice.
Beth Benalloul 18:42
Yeah, the second time, I also think it was the situation. The woman who was buying the apartment was very eccentric. And the board was very conservative. And I think she must have said something in the interview that they just really didn’t like. I couldn’t I wasn’t there. So I can’t pinpoint what it was. But you know, I was nervous for her to go into the interview. That’s not a great sign.
D.J. Paris 19:08
Maybe we can hire somebody to play you and send you to there’s a lot of actresses in New York. Boy, that is? Well, I did not mean to bring up any any negative experiences, but but I always wondered
Beth Benalloul 19:21
that level of complexity in terms of Yeah,
D.J. Paris 19:25
I remember my sister when she went for her Co Op interview. She had my sister’s totally normal and fine and did fine. But I think I remember her saying it’s sort of feels like I’m going in naked. And they’re they’ve already looked at, you know, everything about me. And I just hope that they say good enough for us. And of course, but I would so you started out in in really in fitness, right? You started in fitness, and then transition to a totally different career. And by the way, I’m going to pause for a second I have a video that I’m going to share I was telling Beth just before we started about this fit He or she made, and I apologize, I forgot the name of it already, but I’m gonna put it in the show notes. But it’s kind of a very simple intro to bath and sort of who she is what she’s about. It’s very cool. It’s very fast paced, but but fun. And I think it’s such a great example of what any one of our listeners could consider putting together for themselves. And I love it because she just like, here’s what I’m into. And of course, fitness being being a big part of your lifestyle. And you’re like you rattled off two or three different gyms that you’re like, Well, I go to one of these three places, because, of course, you know, you’re really into into staying in shape. I am, I am curious. So this this video is awesome. So look for it in our show notes, and definitely click on it, it’s just such a such a cool thing. And I don’t see a lot of sort of little, you know, video clips like that, that Realtors do. So I think that’s really cool. But I’m curious. So you made this transition from fitness to real estate? You know, you had your first client had some challenges, but got it done, then how do you keep growing from there? Were you part of a team? Were you just on your own? I’m curious on what you did.
Beth Benalloul 21:06
I was totally on my own. And at the time, like it’s this, it’s really the same advice that I would give somebody who’s starting on my team today, right? Like, where are you getting the clients from? And how are you growing the business. So and I sort of, you know, obviously, things have changed, and the business has evolved in a lot of ways. But I would say the, the main way is to be in front of people, right. And that can be your own sphere of influence. So for example, someone who just started on my team, I told her to go through all of her, you know, personal contacts, past business contacts, you know, people from her children’s school, anyone you know, at any sort of, you know, arm you can reach out to, and put together your mailing list, you know, you do a monthly newsletter every month, I personally do that. The other thing, which really helped me at the beginning, which may be a little bit less fruitful today, just the way open houses are handled that you know, during the pandemic, but every Sunday, when I started in the business, I would do an open house, and I didn’t have listings of my own. So I used to run them for other agents. And the way it works in New York is if you run it in the you know, for somebody else, and there’s a buyer who doesn’t buy that apartment, you can work those buyers. And so at the beginning, I did a lot of that. And I would, you know, you chase a lot of leads that don’t go anywhere, because there’s a lot of lookers, so to speak. But that was, you know, one of the ways that I got started, and I did a couple of my first deals from there. And then of course, you know, family and friends and referrals, and then you start getting business from other business and things like that. So, you know, it’s not, it doesn’t happen overnight. But I would say if you just keep grinding, little by little, it’s like you get something from here, and then you list something and then you get another listing from that listing. And that’s sort of the it’s an organic growth, I guess. I am
D.J. Paris 23:01
I’m sorry, I’m gonna go just back to your video for a second. I forgot the point I was going to make. But one thing I wanted to mention, sorry. And I will get right back to two sphere of influence stuff and open houses because I do have a question about that. When you watch that video, and again, I’m sorry, I’m going a bit out of order here. But I wanted to make this point and my memory is terrible. So but what’s great is the very beginning shows the insight of Beth’s home, her and her husband and their children’s home. And it is absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous. But aside, you’re welcome outs aside from that, it really lets you sort of understand her style, which you’re only in your home for about maybe 10 seconds or so maybe 15 seconds. She’s not like doing a tour. She’s not she’s more just like okay, let’s go and she walks out the door. But you do get a sense of kind of who you are at home. And I think that is also super unique. So I if you when you watch this watch for those first 15 seconds. And notice what you think about Beth. And she by the way, she’s in like almost like a casual, almost like on her way to the gym kind of like outfit. She’s not she’s not dressed up. I mean, there’s other parts of the video where you’re really dressed up and look, you know, like you’re on your way to a showing or something. But this is just you in the morning, hey, this is me with your cup, like I think you might have even had coffee with yourself. And I thought that is so cool, because and not of course not all of us have homes that maybe we want to show off. And not that you’re showing off but just just demonstrating like this is who I am. And it really like I saw that and I immediately thought wow, she knows how to style a home. And that would be really valuable to me if I was a buyer because she’d be able to look at rooms and say I know what we can do with this and I know you’re not an interior designer but the fact that you’re that you renovated your own home which we didn’t talk about but you did. And you I’m sure you you know designed it and it is it is really a great little subtle thing to learn about your skills inside of a house. If that makes any sense at all.
Beth Benalloul 24:59
Yeah, well That’s definitely true. That’s actually my third house that I’ve done. And I’m extremely into it. I’m not a designer, I have no design training. But I spend my day with floor plans and finishes. And I’m very good with that. And usually when I’m out with one of my buyers, I can definitely like show them how to re envision the space or change the floor plan to make it you know, more optimal. So I would definitely say that’s one of my, my stronger points. So it’s really impressive that you picked up on that,
D.J. Paris 25:30
well, I’m a marketing person. So I’m always looking at things like that saying, like, what are the feelings I’m getting, as I’m watching. And of course, we learn a lot more about you other than just the few seconds that you’re in your house, but those few seconds. And I think that the fact that you did that first is almost like a really interesting first impression. I just thought that was a really smart, interesting way. Again, I, I’m always thinking of branding and market. But anyway, I want to also talk to you about something that you are also really well known for, which is working with developers, this is this is oftentimes thought of as like the Holy Grail for realtors, it’s like, oh my gosh, if I could just sit inside a sales center at a development and you know, take walk ins and win that business from the developer. Boy, my life is on Easy Street. And I just want to learn more about how you started working with developers and any advice you have for our listeners who might think, Gosh, I’d like to develop those relationships, too.
Beth Benalloul 26:25
Yeah. So I originally started many years ago, when I was asked to finish the sales of a building. So basically, what that means is my company was handling the overall sales and marketing for the entire building, where they might have sold out 200 units out of 210. And there were what they call leftovers that were remaining. And instead of continuing having a full time sales team there, they gave it to a resale broker, which is what I am. And that’s actually how I initially got started doing it. It was many years ago. And it was on a project that had been very successful. And I took over I want to say it was five units at the time. And one of the units was the penthouse of the building. Oh, wow. Yeah, so it was a very big sale. And I remember at the time, the building was very far east, and every broker that had come to see the project was like, good luck, you’ll never sell that. Good luck. Good luck, people used to say you’re gonna have to put some a brown bag over someone’s head, so they don’t know where they’re located to get them there. Long story short, I ended up not only selling it, I sold it in a bidding war for I think $650,000 over the ask. And it achieved the highest price in that location that had ever been achieved. So it was a huge, huge success. And it was a great project. And I really enjoyed it. And from there, I went on to take other what I’ll call leftovers in a building. I then. So I had done, I’ve done a quite a few of these at this point. I was then approached to do a project from a developer, that was a ground up project. And I got in sort of the building the structure was up, but it wasn’t finished. And we sold that. And I will tell you, that was a very big challenge. Because we got into it. The market was softening, you know, and oftentimes with these developments, it’s timing, right? So you have a very robust market, things move very quickly. Obviously, various things go on different tax changes in New York City and things like that. And that one, I started more from the ground up, but it was a, I was on that project for three years. And it was a lot of time. So it wasn’t you know, I think sometimes people think, Oh, you just walk in and make sales. And it’s definitely definitely not that. I’m working on a project now with a developer that’s a hole in the ground. And that one, I’ve been involved in every single step since inception. So I have analyzed every floor plan every where every door opens where every sink is. And you know, we haven’t even finished the we haven’t even finished the finishes yet. We’re still finalizing the floorplans. But that one I’m super excited about because that one is the first one I’ve been in from day one.
D.J. Paris 29:19
How many years from the time that you started working with that till the time where somebody can actually move in? Do you have an estimate? I’m
Beth Benalloul 29:26
just curious. It probably three to four years.
D.J. Paris 29:29
That’s so you’re gonna work on this for three to four years. That’s amazing. And so this is not always quick, easy. Transactions, right?
Beth Benalloul 29:41
I would say the opposite of that. It can be that if you come in at the end and you get a swing on the market, that’s good. But if you’re really going after development, and you’re working with the developer who’s starting from day one, then there’s a lot of things that go into it that I don’t even think people realize, you know, doing spreadsheets so they can get fined answering and presenting to the bank. And, you know, going through floor plans, really, you know, we we had an on the building that I’m working on now, which I’ve been on for about a year and a half now. I mean, we just recently flipped half the building, because we realized that views on one side, were going to be superior to the other side. So all the floor plans we had done, we ended up rearranging half of them. So it’s really a lot that goes into it. Yeah, pricing it and trying to, you know, pin the pricing, when oftentimes you’re still a year away from launching. So you almost have to predict what’s going to be you know, so it’s challenging, but it’s fun. And it’s an it’s exciting.
D.J. Paris 30:42
I’m curious, I wanted to ask about the first development on your site on the far east side that you felt that or that other realtors who had tried said bad location? Not not great views? Yeah, how did you end not only did you sell it, but you had bidding war. So what do you think you did differently? Just because I know everyone’s wondering, I wonder what she did if there’s anything tangible, that you feel you did differently or better than the other agents that came before you.
Beth Benalloul 31:12
So in that particular situation, the developer was very open to making changes. And what we did was we hired a staging team, the apartment had not been staged, and it had sort of been shown under construction. So we ended up we decided we were going to pull it and then relist it when it was completely finished and staged out, she and I literally hand picked every single pillow that was in that apartment. And once it was staged, it honestly looked amazing. And when we first listed it again, it was a little slow at the beginning. And then all of a sudden, we had three parties who were all interested and had amazing outdoor space, gorgeous views. Really high ceilings, and the buyer who bought it I’m still friendly with her. She’s She loves living there. It was it was a really good success story.
D.J. Paris 32:01
I’m curious too, about staging. So when you’re listing properties that our resales Not, not new developments? What, and I just don’t know the New York market as well. So I’m curious, what percentage of the time do you bring in professional stagers or are staged it professionally? Versus just using whatever is currently in the in the unit?
Beth Benalloul 32:23
So I would say I mean, that varies a lot, right? Because it varies on so many factors, right? Is the person living there as the apartment already? Does it already look, okay? You know, and of course, how they live, and is there a tenant in place, I mean, so it’s there’s a big, there’s sort of a big net there, I would say almost every apartment I go into to sell, I do some elements of staging. But some element can be me having them go in clean out closets, change bed linens, put out white towels, you know, clearing things out and putting them to storage, and then it can go all the way to emptying the entire apartment and putting in all new furnishings, painting window treatments, and I’ve done both, you know, it just depends on the on the individual circumstances of the seller. You know, I ended up also selling a lot of estate apartments. And I always try to get them to stage if I can, not all the states will have the budget for it. But typically, what we do is we’ll empty the apartment, we’ll paint it white, sometimes we’ll do some like surface work just to make it look better. And then I can also virtually stage it from the back end. So that when people see the photos, at least it’s looked staged. So I would say almost every apartment that I sell, there’s some type of staging, it just can be very minimal, or it can be you know, the full gamut.
D.J. Paris 33:49
It seems like your ability to do interior design is really one of your sort of not secret sauces, because of course anyone can learn to develop those skills. But it seems to be a pretty important part of, of what you offer. Right? And I’m, I’m just curious, you know, how you started to learn, you know, interior design? Was it something that you just were into on your own? Or did you develop it once you became a realtor? Or how did you develop
Beth Benalloul 34:20
it? I’ve always been like this, I’ve always, you know, I’m very into home decor. And I would say it was even before way before I got into this business. And you know, I also think it’s how you know, maybe how you grow up like I’ll just give a funny example. But my grandmother bless her heart is still alive. She’s 98 and she lives alone. So my husband whenever we go to visit her, he always comments he’s like, I’ve never met anyone her age who lives the way she does. Everything is in its place. Everything is neat, and it looks completely formal right now. The place hasn’t been redone.
D.J. Paris 34:55
I think we might have lost you. Sorry, you’re still there. I just don’t hear your voice. Oh, Oh, there you are.
Beth Benalloul 35:01
Okay. Yeah. So I was saying that anytime I go to visit my grandmother, who’s 98, her house is in perfect shape. Okay. She has not redecorated in 60 years, but it’s still good. And my mom also basically lives that way. So I think it’s a little hereditary. Now. I spend my whole day looking at luxury apartments, and homes, townhomes. So I have like a pretty good eye for it. But a lot of my friends even tell me like you’re in the wrong business, you should be in house flipping, because you’re good at like going in, fixing it up. And moving on. So maybe one
D.J. Paris 35:38
day thought about doing Have you thought about doing some of that
Beth Benalloul 35:40
all the time, all the time. And I know there are brokers that do it on the side. But it really is a full time job to do that. If you’re gonna really do it, you know, professionally.
D.J. Paris 35:51
I want to take a quick pause for a talk about one of our sponsors. And then I want to ask Beth, a question about you’d mentioned open houses at the beginning. And I know that, of course, that that is such a so many of the people we’ve had on our show that is part of their story. And it’s usually almost 100, almost 100% of everyone we’ve interviewed talks about the importance when they started at open houses. So I wanted to ask a question about that. But before we do, I want to tell you just real quickly about our episode sponsor, which is one of my favorite companies in the real estate tech space, which is called follow up boss. Now after interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for the show, which the CRM that’s talked about more than any from our guests is a follow up boss. And let’s face it, following up is the key to taking your business to the next level follow up boss will help you drive more leads in less time and with less effort and don’t take my word for it. Robert slack, who runs the number one team in the United States uses follow a boss and he’s built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 additional outside systems. So if you have other tools, you’re using no problem they can integrate with it. So you can keep your current tools and lead sources. And here’s the best part. They follow a boss a seven day a week support. You know, agents of course work on the weekends you need support during that time follow up boss will help you get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM, that for a limited time, they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial, which is more than twice the amount they give for anyone else. So and by the way, no credit card required, they’re so confident you’re going to use their system after the 30 days, that they’re just going to give you the 30 days to try. But only if you’ve visit this special link. So I want everybody to visit follow up boss.com forward slash real again, follow up boss.com forward slash real to do your free 30 day trial, see if you like it, and then I know you will keep using it. So follow up like a boss with a follow up boss. Thanks for the pause there. Beth, I am curious, how important for agents who are really looking to get to that next level? Um, how important are open houses today? I know you’re probably so busy, you don’t oftentimes get to do as many as you used to. But how important are they for for lead generation to finding buyers? Maybe not necessarily for that property, but certainly, you know, for other properties.
Beth Benalloul 38:13
So what happened here in New York is a little different than I would think in most of the country. So during the pandemic, we were under a lot of restrictions in terms of showing apartments. And a lot of it had to do with buildings, right? So the building would restrict you, you could only bring in two people a day or three people a day and they had to be pre registered. And you know, it made things very difficult. Many of those restrictions have loosened. However, one thing that I have noticed that has stayed is that most open houses now are by appointment. So you actually have to schedule in advance that you’re going to come or send your buyers to those open houses. So for example, the first open house I ever did was in Mother’s Day of 2005. The broker who was running who had the listing said to me, okay, here’s a show sheet, and here’s a sign in sheet and he gave me one piece of paper, okay, and it had 20 slots on it. So I said, okay, okay, and I was very eager, and I had my pen and every person who came in, you know, I’d say, please sign in and give me your email and your phone number. We had 87 signings
D.J. Paris 39:21
on Mother’s Day, which you would think nobody’s going out on Mother’s Day, but
Beth Benalloul 39:26
Mother’s Day. So I was like, I didn’t I mean, I my head was spinning. You know, it was like my first weekend out. You know, today, I think that’s pretty much unheard of, and maybe maybe not in, you know, certain areas of the country. But in New York, I think that would be unheard of. You know, I’d be happy now if I got 18 people much less 87. So I think while they’re important, and I would definitely encourage new brokers to do them because I think it’s a great place to try to source active buyers. I don’t think they’re as important as they were just because I think there’s well less, maybe less people, right? So it’s like less people, your chances of converting are less. The only flipside to that is that if you’re going to an open house, you’re probably more serious. And it’s not just like a Sunday activity.
D.J. Paris 40:14
I think that’s good. I think that’s good advice still relevant. Maybe the numbers are different than they used to be. But and now that people are going back to in person activities, maybe we’ll see those numbers climb a bit who?
Beth Benalloul 40:28
Yeah, yeah, I
D.J. Paris 40:29
agree with what we should also mention that, that Beth, by the way, is always looking for, for, of course, new clients. In particular, for a lot of our listeners, if you have clients that are moving to New York, for example, and you don’t practice in that space. In that area, then, of course, you know, Beth would love the opportunity to chat her, she and her team. And also, if you’re a realtor in the New York area, and you’re looking to maybe see if there’s a group that’s a better fit than what you’re currently at, or firm. And of course, you know, Beth would be happy to take a look and see if you might be a fit for her team. But if anyone out there would like to work with you, whether it’s to send referrals your way or just to maybe learn more about your group, in case they want are looking to make a change, or just a buyer or seller out there listening to our show, who says, you know, I am I need somebody to represent me in New York, what’s the best way that any of our listeners can reach out to you?
Beth Benalloul 41:26
Honestly, I’m always, I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m always on my phone. So I would say call email text. And I’ll make myself available for anyone who you know, has a question or just wants to talk about the market or referral. I’m happy to, you know, work with you on that
D.J. Paris 41:44
as well. And we’ll have all of that information in our show notes. So you don’t have to write anything down. And I’m curious about too. How often because New York, of course, we know as people get older, oftentimes they go they moved down south, maybe make a beeline for Florida, which is probably the most common destination for New York residents. Yeah, yeah. How often? Are you working with agents down in Florida saying, I’ve got somebody who’s moving down there was looking for another property, or whatever it is, that’s got to be I imagine a big, big part of your business.
Beth Benalloul 42:18
I mean, honestly, I’ve had, you know, when someone sells here, they’re going somewhere, right. So whether it’s Florida, I recently had two clients move to South Carolina. I’ve had someone moved to North Carolina, someone moved recently out west. So I just think, you know, it’s sort of everywhere. I even had a client moved to Singapore recently. I mean, work related. But yeah, so definitely, if you know, I’m happy to meet anyone who could potentially be, you know, I could send a referral to So
D.J. Paris 42:49
yeah, that’s, that’s another great point. So if you are in an area where people retire too, or just get second properties, yeah, I just interviewed a an agent from Charleston, which you talk about South Carolina, just actually this last week. And he goes, Oh, my God, it is because of course, we know people are moving to Nashville, South Carolina, Idaho, lots of these places. So you know, Beth, would obviously love to talk to anyone who is considering New York, or is maybe just moving within New York. She is a great resource. And I want everybody to also follow Beth on Instagram, so you can find her. And again, there’s a link in our show notes. But as at Beth battling with her first and last name on Instagram, and you can take a look. And she’s got a website that is currently under construction. So we’re going to once that goes live, we’re going to make sure our audience knows about that. But Beth, I want to thank you for being on our show. You have been a fantastic guest. Really given our audience. Oh, you’re so welcome. Really, on behalf of our audience, we say thanks, because so much great content and advice and loved hearing your story, as well. And on behalf of again of the audience. Thanks, Beth. And on behalf of Beth and myself, we want to thank our audience for continuing to listen, watch support our show, the best way you can help us continue to grow is just tell a friend, think of some other real estate professional that you know that could really benefit from hearing this great conversation with Beth and send them a link to our show. Easiest way to do that if the person you’re sending it to does not not a podcast person, no problem. Just send them to our website, keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done is right there. Or they can just pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button. And also please last thing please leave us a review whatever podcast app you might be listening, whether it’s Apple podcasts or Google Play or Stitcher, Spotify wherever, Pandora, let us know what you think of the show. All suggestions help us continue to evolve. So thank you, to our listeners and audience for sticking around staying throughout this whole episode. Beth is amazing. We’re so glad to have had her on the show one of the very top agents in New York and within the Corcoran Real Estate Group, which is we know it’s such a powerful organization and but Wait. We are so excited to continue to watch your career from from here, wherever we may be in the country. So thank you, Beth. And we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Beth.
Beth Benalloul 45:12
Thank you. Thank you so much.