Pamela Marcus talks about her transition from advertising to real estate and discusses her experience with clients. Pamela also talks about “Pam’s rules” which is to always be honest and tell the clients the truth about the property. Last, Pamela discusses how advertising taught her discipline and customer service – two very valuable assets in real estate business.
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This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
We all know you’re supposed to be honest with your clients. But how can you actually use honesty to attract more clients? Or we’re going to talk to a top producer today who does exactly that. 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 Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top 1% Producer Pam Marcus. But before we get to Pam, just a couple of quick reminders. Please tell a friend about this episode. Think of one other realtor that could benefit from maybe they’re struggling this year. Let’s face it. 2023 is a tough year markets picking up a little bit right now. But it’s still pretty slow out there. And a lot of realtors are depressed, depressed, dejected, and sending them a link to this episode might actually help them snap out of it and have a great 2023. So do them a favor and it also does us a favor. So please introduce them to the show, you can drive them right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Or just have them pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button we would appreciate it Okay guys, enough of me. Let’s get to the main event my conversation with Pam Marcus.
Today on the show we have Marcus with the PAM Marcus team compass in New York City. Let me tell you more about him. Now Pam graduated NYU School of Business and also attended Wharton at University of Pennsylvania. And so she has this incredible pedigree but let’s let’s keep going through her history because it’s so interesting. She spent three years in bank marketing at Bankers Trust before segwaying into advertising as an account exec at Marine Midland Bank and then spent 12 years at grey advertising and 10 at Bates advert 10 years of Bates advertising convincing the public to eat brands like m&ms, Snickers, Campbell’s soup, and raisin bran cereal. And then she spent seven years in the travel business expanding a niche travel company called lawyers travel into other professional firms. And at the time, Pam didn’t even know how to use a computer or write a plane ticket. But the target figured if she knew advertising business, she would know how to take care of their travel needs. She also spent one year in her own consulting business helping hotels fine tune their marketing, and then three years at a startup called barbarac, which is they make ergonomically designed tools for women. And then eventually at the ripe young age of 60. She started her real estate career and I am so excited to welcome Pam Marcus to our show. Before that, I’d like everybody to follow her on Instagram. So please. And by the way, the link to her Instagram account is in our show notes. But you can find her at Pam Marcus real estate on Instagram and everywhere else on social media. Pam, welcome to the show.
Pamela Marcus 4:28
Thank you so much DJ. It’s really a pleasure to be here. And I’m flattered that you asked me to do this.
D.J. Paris 4:34
Well, I am flattered that you accepted to do this because I am just so impressed with anyone that starts a career of any sort at at you know the age that you did it with in your case with real estate but your background I am so fascinated with because I’m curious to learn more specifically about how that background helped you when you started and how it continues to help today. So My first question is about, you know, gosh, you had this really incredible career, non real estate related advertising, different marketing sort of jobs in different industries, and then at 60 decided to go into real estate. So why real estate at at age 60?
Pamela Marcus 5:19
Well, I was a number of reasons. The last place I was, which were the ergonomically designed tools for women, when we weren’t paid for six weeks, I said, this is silly, it’s time to leave. So if I’m not going to get paid, I might as well do something else. Just stay home and have fun. And what happened was, I tried to figure out what I wanted to do, because staying home and doing nothing was not going to suit me, I would drive myself and everybody else crazy. And I realized that I had done a couple of real estate investments for myself, I had done very well and that I love people. I love young people, and I love teaching and helping people. And I love shopping. So I said, you know, I think real estate could be a good fit. Am I went to school and I networked into Corcoran at the time, I knew some people. Sure. And that’s how I got into real estate. And it was an the very first client I took care of happened to be the daughter of dear friends of mine. They were of the ripe age to buy an apartment and they were my first clients.
D.J. Paris 6:30
Wow. And and how did you? So one quick question, because before we get to that story, because I’m curious, when you when you did start, you know, your background was was not real estate. So everyone, I’m assuming in your sphere of influence, including your friend who, whose daughter, of course, became your first client. I am curious how you made that transition known right to people in your sphere, so that they could start thinking about you as a realtor, as opposed to the marketing that, you know, somebody down on Madison Avenue being in more of the ad space, which is probably how they thought about you.
Pamela Marcus 7:06
I kind of I if I remember correctly, I did a mailer that basically played off of my background. You know, when I think it was sort of a plane ticket, we’re flying on to the next place. And I was a Manhattanite. I knew all these people. And I guess one tip I would always say is, people remember if they like you, they don’t always remember why.
D.J. Paris 7:32
Or they don’t always remember what you do, either. They just like,
Pamela Marcus 7:35
they just know they like you. So whether if they like you, they assume they like what you’re what you’re doing. And you know, this very first sale is kind of an interesting sale. Because I did it. And they wanted to buy an apartment that I told them not to buy. It was a land lease, and we don’t like land leases in New York unless you’re a Brit. And I said, I don’t think you should buy it. But they bought it. Well, about six months ago, I had to sell it. And I always have a rule that might the test I applied to something you buy as well do I think I will be able to sell it in five years without a lot of problems? Well, and can I do I think if the market is good, we can make a profit. Unfortunately, when I sold that this was the first sale I ever made that they lost money on the transaction. And I said to the wife, I said, Amanda, is Greg mad at me? She looked at me and she said, Absolutely not. He remembers you told them not to buy it. And and you know, they bought a very expensive apartment and they love it. And you know, but I think the thing is you if you ask me why I succeeded? It’s being totally honest. Yeah. And I guess that’s always been my nature. But at my age, I’m afraid if I wasn’t honest, I wouldn’t remember what I said.
D.J. Paris 9:11
So, advertising exec, who’s honest, oh my gosh. Sorry, I just that was an easy joke.
Pamela Marcus 9:19
But it you know, honesty is it’s everything. They may not want to hear it. But you have to tell them what you think.
D.J. Paris 9:28
Do you know I’ve done over 450 episodes of the show and hundreds of people I’ve interviewed and I am sure this you’re not the only person with this particular philosophy that I’m going to sort of circle back to because I found it to be particularly interesting, but it’s the first time someone’s verbalized that on our show. So I want to just make a point to step on it a little bit to make sure that it’s not lost and all the other wonderful things you said but you said two things that were really interesting. One was about When you’re always going to tell somebody the truth with the, with the idea of in five years, would I be able to resell this property for you, and actually have it be, you know, hassle free and ideally a profit. And that, to me is is fascinating. And it’s a great credo. And then, of course, you know, having to then deal with people who don’t necessarily take that advice and having to possibly disappoint them, even though you told them not to. And, and, but that honesty factor really goes a long way it reminds me of, and it’s happened just a few times in my life, when I’m thinking of buying or, or you know, buying a product or a service, and the sales rep would come back and say, You know what you don’t want you don’t want this, it’s not going to work for you. And I love that kind of honesty, and I’m always appreciative of it. And it is pretty rare, unfortunately.
Pamela Marcus 10:57
Yeah, I think I know where if I was giving advice it has to come from. Even if you need that commission check to pay the rent, don’t act like you do. If you have to take money out of a savings account and put it in your in your checking account. So you know, there’s a balance. It’s when you lose sight, and you’re desperate for the money that you will say anything. And you know, I’m I think where that came from from me is early on in my career. I was married and my husband was doing fine. So I didn’t need the money. And when life changed, and I really didn’t need the money, it was so ingrained in me that I’ve never acted that way. And I think that’s what people relate to. And in the end, they’re, they’re more loyal to you. And they stay with you and they recommend you.
D.J. Paris 11:55
Yeah, absolutely. The other thing too, about being desperate, and then acting desperate is that that oftentimes comes with less rational decision making, because your death because you’re feeling the anxiety or the fear of the financial insecurity, oh, my gosh, my checking accounts down, I need this commission to survive. And and then people start making different decisions than if their bank accounts were full. And so keeping a check on one’s own anxiety is really important. Because if that bank account is low, and you duty the commission, you have to really check yourself when you’re dealing with clients to make sure I’m still acting as if everything is okay. Because that will ultimately be in the client’s best interest.
Pamela Marcus 12:43
And even if you play a game with yourself, you know, you put money in the account, that’s really not money to live on. But psychologically, you have the money there. And I also think, no matter how little you have, you must give a closing gift. I cannot tell you how many people I have said to me, Oh, I’ll never recommend her. She didn’t even give me a closing gift.
D.J. Paris 13:08
Yeah, that’s it’s I mean, people can all they have to do is Google. The average commission on a particular like that information is even though they might not see it, when they’re closing, and they might not see the actual amount you’re getting paid, they can figure it out. And you have to assume that they are going to know it, whether they ever asked you or not. And then to think well, she just made 25 grand, and I didn’t she didn’t get me anything. I think you’re right, I think that’s a really good practice.
Pamela Marcus 13:38
And I also don’t think it’s how much you spend, I think it’s more what the thought else, and that you understand who these people are and what they could relate to, for example, people my age, I will often give them stationery, you know, engraved stationery with the name Manila dress, you wouldn’t want it if it was the last gift in the world. So it you know what makes sense for who the person is.
D.J. Paris 14:07
So you’re very intentional and thoughtful about what that person might like and want. And you’ve probably know their hobbies and sort of what their interests are, and then can can give them an appropriate gift as opposed to just getting the same thing for everybody, every time. That’s really important. I am fascinated by your ad background. And again, I know you haven’t just been in advertising, you’ve done a lot of different things. But I’m curious because we were talking before we started and you were saying my background really helped me when I decided to get into real estate. Do you mind sharing a little bit about what that means to you?
Pamela Marcus 14:41
Well, I was an account guy on packaged goods accounts. And by the time I finished it, Bates I was running all of the m&m Mars business. And I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and you really learn customer service and You learned how to deal with people and you learn how to listen. And I think that is the kind of background that I have much more patience now than I would have had. I’m not sure 20 or 30 years ago, I would have had patience to put up with all these questions. And, you know, so I think it it and it also taught a discipline of how to approach something, how to present it, you know, people are impressed if you don’t just walk around with a bunch of loose papers, but you lay it out, I wrote a buyer’s guide. And in the Buyer’s Guide, it has things like Pam’s rules, and people get a kick out of that. Because my rules are things like if we walk into a lobby, and it’s fake flowers, is that the kind of building you want to live in with fake flowers?
D.J. Paris 15:53
And, boy, I could talk for a full hour about my hatred of fake flower.
Pamela Marcus 15:58
Okay, there’s your answer. And then if I’m with people that are my age, or even a little younger, I don’t know how I feel about six or eight steps into the building, you know, someday, that may be a problem. And you know, I guess people they tell me, I’m funny. I don’t think I’m funny. I think I’m being honest. You know, to me, a living room that’s narrower than 12 feet looks like a bowling alley. So it’s those kind of things, or I made a mistake when I wasn’t in this business. And I bought an apartment, and it was on the third floor. And I only looked at the daylight. I never knew there was a street lamp outside of my bedroom window. Oh, yes. So those are the kinds of things that I think what you’re what I’m trying to do is educate them in ways that they feel as if they have greater knowledge, you know, how high the ceilings are? Or just the kind of you have to have a bathtub? You know, because if there are babies who need a bathtub. So I think it’s, I call it Pam’s rules?
D.J. Paris 17:14
Well, what it sounds like is two things. So what I hear you saying is, number one, obviously, your listening skills, your this comes from working on accounts, I’m guessing where, you know, you had to serve various masters during those account meetings, you had to win over groups of people at other companies, and you’re competing with every other ad firm in town who wants that business, and it become, really can become about presentation and, and of course, relationship and all everything, it’s so everything is so important. But then I also heard you talk, it’s really giving your own opinions about things which Realtors oftentimes are, I find, are reluctant to give opinion, because they sort of don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t know what someone’s, you know, particular interests, or, you know, you know, likes and dislikes might be, so they just go you know, I’m just gonna stay neutral. The client likes it good. client doesn’t like it, we’ll move on. I like the fact that you come in and say, Hey, this looks like a bowling alley. I think that is incredibly honest. And it really again demonstrates you don’t need or the commission more more than you need the person to be happy in their home. And I think the willingness to give your own opinion is probably a very powerful tool when dealing with clients.
Pamela Marcus 18:35
Well, I had an interesting experience the other day, we sold an apartment, and now the woman wants to buy another apartment, and we’ve been looking and looking. And we walk into an apartment. And she says to me, I really liked this. I said, Good now come to the window. And we walked to the window. And the adjacent living room could look right into her bedroom. I said to her, you can’t go to the window on a night gown. Is that what you want? Yeah. And she said, Oh, thank you. And then of course that evening, she had found something she really liked. And she wrote back and she said to me, you know, I want your opinion. Do you really like it? I said, Yeah, you know, you have my opinion. You were in love with the apartment before that and I’d made to go to the window should Oh, yeah, you’re right. But they trust you then. You don’t just keep saying yes. It they don’t need frankly, why do we deserve a commission check if all we do is arrange appointments,
D.J. Paris 19:45
right? Zillow can pretty much do all of that without you write. For the most
Pamela Marcus 19:49
we don’t. If we if we don’t add value, then why bother? Which is another one of my sort of pet peeves. I think you need to specialize is in a certain area, you can’t know all of Manhattan. If you I mean, if you look at my website, and you look at what I’ve sold, yeah, I’ve sold all over Manhattan, or even a couple in Brooklyn, and but there’s probably not a building on the Upper East Side that I don’t know about. Yeah. So I’m going to your, your domain that that and Sutton Place it, that’s my domain, and I’m happy to help help you any place. But I have better value in those places. And that’s one of the benefits of a team. Because different people have different skill sets in different areas.
D.J. Paris 20:39
Now, before we move forward, I always forget to do this until the very end of the show. So I’m going to do it now, since you just mentioned your team, because not everyone makes it to the end of the show, which only taken me five years to figure this out. But I figured it out finally, so I want to make a quick note for our listeners and our our viewers, which is that if you are a New York City agent, and you would like to work on a team, like the PAM Marcus team at Compass, and you think you might be a good asset to them, or they might be a good asset for you. I want you to reach out to Pam, because your team is looking currently for agents. Pam, quick, two quick questions about that. One, what is your team looking for in an agent, what would be like an ideal recruit for possibly your team, and then what’s the best way that they should reach out to you?
Pamela Marcus 21:30
I only like people who are hungry and want to work hard. It’s a little bit to me, I when I was divorced, and us your friends fix me up a tooth that only takes you so far, you have to be willing to go find some dates on your own. And it’s the same thing with me Don’t go on a team because you just want them to feed you business team will give you some business, but you also need to be building your own network and your own business. So I think you need the sense of initiation, I we all do things differently. But we all should have the same core values. And to me a team is not just to increase the GCI for a higher split to me a team is we think like, I can let you go and talk to a client and I know what will come out of your mouth will be similar to what I would say, the the team, the person who’s on the team, the longest since we’ve had a team is been with me for six years. I hear him speak and I think it’s my voice at this point most of the time. So you know, coming out of a younger person. So I think you need to I look I love to teach, you know, at this point, I love mentoring people. And because when I was in advertising, I mentored a lot of people and I still do. But you have to be hungry, and you want to you have to be willing to work hard. You have to be willing. I’m a little crazy. I can get you know, a little testy. But if you’re on my team, you know I love you and would do anything for you. Yeah. Well, that’s that’s, I think they’re my children.
D.J. Paris 23:24
Yeah, well, it’s a family. Yes, you know, to some degree and I. So if someone does think they may want to join the family and think they could provide value to you and receive a benefit, what’s the best way they should reach out to you?
Pamela Marcus 23:41
Shoot me an email.
D.J. Paris 23:43
Do you mind sharing your email
Pamela Marcus 23:45
D.J. Paris 23:48
Easy enough. And by the way, we will have a link to Pam’s email. So firstname.lastname@example.org, we will have a link to that in our show notes as well. And I’d be thrilled. Well, and I would be thrilled to hopefully find one of one of our listeners be possibly a fit for you. The other thing I want to mention very quickly before moving on to the rest of Pam story. And I’m so excited to hear more about I want to talk specifically about the ad background and how you bring the professionalism that you had back then in those client meetings and those, you know, those those types of business winning or possibly losing opportunities into the real estate world. But I’m also I wanted to also mention for anyone out there who is not in the New York area and maybe as a realtor in another part of the country or even in another even in another country. If you have clients that may be relocating moving to New York City, maybe people in the financial world are just for whatever reason moving to in maybe they’re having a second home or or they’re moving entirely over into the East Coast. Pam would love the opportunity to connect with you too and be a resource for you if you have clients moving into that area. So reach out to her as well. She would be honored to talk about Your client. So Pam question about going into appointments with real estate clients, maybe for the first time. And let’s assume this isn’t necessarily a referral, even though I know probably all your businesses or most of your business is probably referral. But let’s say it’s somebody who doesn’t know like and trust you yet. I imagine the idea of walking in? Well, I don’t know, you know, I’m going to ask you, because I don’t want to make any assumptions. Would you walk in, you sort of talked about this earlier, but I just want to drill down, would you walk in to let’s just say, a listing presentation? And let’s say that, you know, that that, that this client may be interviewing one or two other realtors, which, you know, I guess happens, of course, would you come in with a presentation? Would you come in with a blank pad of paper? Would you do it a different way? I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what works best for you.
Pamela Marcus 25:52
First of all, I wouldn’t do it alone. And I learned this from advertising, people are going to like somebody better than they like someone else. And there’s a woman on my team who’s a little younger than I am, but a mature woman. We have been on two or three pitches together. We have never won the pitch. I always wait. And you always take someone else with you what I find, boy, girl, young, old, different personality. I partner very often on deals with someone at another agency, we’re very different. And that’s it’s not about the ego. If a if a lead comes in or request comes in, I would never do it on Okay, your next man up, you know, whatever. Not everybody’s not equal. You need to understand the situation and bring who you think make sense for that situation. And two peas in a pod, but you don’t need to.
D.J. Paris 27:04
That makes that makes a lot of sense. Sorry, we have a fire truck going but Okay, hopefully that wasn’t too loud. That Well, that was loud. Sorry. But yes, I that’s very interesting. I’ve yet to hear anyone mentioned specifically, there are lots of teams that do those together. But I’ve I’ve yet to hear anybody say we do this as a group that are to some degree more than me, just in case, maybe they don’t connect as much to me, but my team member, and also just, it really just expands the opportunity to win the business, I think because I don’t see it hurting the business, the opportunity, if you have another person with you, it only possibly could help because you’re right. Maybe they don’t connect to me, for whatever reason, but maybe they connect to this other person. So that’s really a smart idea is to bring somebody who has a kind of a different skill set or a different, you know, just a different Yeah, purse, different personality.
Pamela Marcus 27:59
Yeah. And it does one other thing if you win, win it, and you’re the only one that went. If anyone else goes to show the listing, they feel that they’re getting second fiddle. If they’re in the listing presentation initially, you’re closer to being on equal footing, and they don’t feel as if they’re being deprived if that person does most of the listing most of the showings that I do all the negotiating.
D.J. Paris 28:28
I love that. Oh, what a question about the listing appointment. Are you bringing in a presentation or Yes, yes, yeah.
Pamela Marcus 28:36
But that’s probably my background. And people fall for it. People like it. They like when it it. They feel as if you think they’re important, and you’re treating them properly. And the once or twice I got suckered into going Oh, would you just stop by? It never worked?
D.J. Paris 28:59
Yeah, it’s I am. I guess I’m impressed by people I know who just go I just bring in a blank pad of paper. And I have talked to those producers, those top producers. That’s the I would say that’s the exception rather than the rule because every top producer I they almost laugh when I asked them like, of course I bring in a presentation. I respect this person and their time. And maybe if it’s your best friend, you might not need that. But if it’s somebody who doesn’t, you know, isn’t in your close sphere. You have to win the business. You know that from the ad game?
Pamela Marcus 29:33
And even if you don’t win, even if you don’t have to, you’re treating them with respect. Yeah, I got an interesting call to divert a minute, last week from someone and she said to me, okay, I’d like to sell my apartment on Park Avenue. said okay, I said, you know, so many brokers. Why are you calling me you? Have you met me once or you know? Well, it turned out that I played canasta with her in Florida twice. Okay. Ken, so am I said to her? I’m flattered why you calling me. She’s what? I figured we’re good canasta player, you’re good broker. But and I am going down to see her next week. And I said, Well, she already gave it to me. I’m bringing yet I’m putting a presentation together. I don’t think you assume. Yeah. So you treat it as if it’s a new business pitch.
D.J. Paris 30:39
Even when it’s your canasta teammate, you’re going to say, you know, you’re probably more likely to win the business. And I’m still going to treat you as if you don’t owe me at all. And because there’s, there’s really no downside, right? The only downside is maybe you don’t win the business. But it’s not because you didn’t show up prepared. It might just be, you know, their son might be a realtor in New York, and they ended up doing that instead. Who knows. But, but it’s not because I wasn’t prepared. And that, you know, obviously, in the ad space, I don’t know if it’s still so much that way. But certainly it was in the past, and it probably is exactly that way still.
Pamela Marcus 31:16
So you can when you do that, yeah. But DJ, when you do that presentation, I think the strongest piece in our pitch package is what percent? Have we gotten relative to asking price on the last 10 sales?
D.J. Paris 31:30
Pamela Marcus 31:32
so you’re fairly comfortable that we’re not coming in giving you a pie in the sky? Number two, when the listing will show? We’ll do that. Yeah, we’re showing you what we priced it at and what we sold it for. For the end, we keep it up to date on the last 10 listings.
D.J. Paris 31:53
i That’s just, I’m only pausing because I love that. And it really is, here’s my most recent track record. And here’s why it’s important. Here’s it’s in your case, it sounds like this is the important metric, because it is yes, I have all this history. And I have kind of a neat story. And, you know, my team’s really cool, and we’re great. And let me just show you what we actually do. And that is where the rubber meets the road, the data. And you’re basically saying, Well, here’s the last 10 transactions, because and that’s really, really smart. Because there are going to be if they are interviewing other agents, agents going to come in and go, Well, if I tell them it’s worth X, that might just win the business in and of itself. You’re obviously you’re that goes against your I mean, unless it’s true, you’re unwilling to, of course, you know, inflate a number. And as a result that, but you’re like, but here’s what I’ve actually done. I think that is incredibly powerful. I love that, again, something else nobody’s ever said on our show. Which is that’s why me
Pamela Marcus 33:00
well, by the time they’re my age.
D.J. Paris 33:04
Let’s talk about So okay, so I think I have somewhat of a sense of Oh, and by the way, one last thing about the listing presentation or the buyer presentation, where you don’t yet have the business. The presentation we talked about you come prepared, you have something that looks professional has some current data, you know, you’re going to explain everything that you do for the client, how important is the listening part of that, as well. And again, I’m curious to how that relates back to the ad background, where you’ve probably seen mistakes, ad execs have made in these pitches where they’re just like, I know what the client needs, and they push forward. And it’s not really what the client wants at all. And they didn’t do that listening components. I’m curious how important is that listening part when you’re in these presentations,
Pamela Marcus 33:52
very important. Let them talk let you listen to what they really want. And we never put a price in the listing presentation. We say we can’t give you the price until we see the apartment. You know you can tell us it’s meant and it might have been Min 35 years ago. So it we give you a price when we’re with you or we’ll say we’ll we’ll email you but you’ve back but that’s true in anything DJ about listening and just listening to what people are saying and what’s important to them. And it’s still their home. I mean for the most part we’re not selling investments we’re selling it was their home and they love it. And you can’t you can’t really you don’t want to insult them are very often in New York, it’s an estate and they really not ready to say goodbye to mama. We we I mean and there’s if they’re not ready, we tried to sell an apartment tried to sell it and finally after six months He said, Okay, I give up your complaintant and stage it, while we painted it and stage it and sold it within 5% of the asking price in a week, but they are not ready. So you really got to be sensitive. And listen. And I think you also have to show that there are so many agents, what makes you different. And one of the things we do and because it’s my marketing background, and I have such fun with it, is we wrote the buyer’s guide, we wrote a coloring book. And it’s a coloring book that has about 10 or 15 line drawings that really were photographs of different listings. But on each one is a fact about New York that relates to that picture. I’ve seen other people do coloring books, but it’s just a coloring book. Ours is an educational coloring book. And then it ends with a crossword puzzle about real estate. Now, even though that’s really not for the seller, it says we do things that are a little different. To get attention and show you we care, we just did a deck of cards. And the first card deck on the first card on the deck is the PAM Marcus team deals with a full deck. And the two jokers one is me and one is the team. I love it. And then it’s divided into neighborhoods and places in the neighborhood. So I think people like that they think they’re not just treated that they’re only going to get it just just sold just listed postcard, which I find very boring anyway.
D.J. Paris 36:41
Well, I would I would ask you what your opinion of just listed and just sold social media posts are but I suspect I know, which is whatever. No, go ahead. What is your I
Pamela Marcus 36:51
think it I think it’s good to get your name out there and good to give you credibility. And I think I think what’s important, and I tell the team, we all solicit business differently. I can’t tell you that the way I do it fits you. So but you need to do it, whatever is that works for you come up with a plan and do it. I mean, I got a sale coming out of a funeral. I spoke to someone at the funeral, someone sat next to me on a plane. And I ended up selling his father a you know, an expensive apartment three months later, but not everybody is comfortable doing it that way? Sure. So it’s it, you’ve got to, I guess what I’m saying is, you have to be yourself and find what works for you.
D.J. Paris 37:47
And that takes courage. I think it takes courage to give your opinion about something that it would be maybe easier in some ways to close a sale without giving your opinion like you were saying, the woman with you know, the person looking right into our living room, it would be easy for you to say Oh, I better not show her that. And that would go against all of your values. So I never, I would never suggest you wouldn’t do that. But a lot of agents would. And I think maybe that in it like, this is great. I’ll tell you a corollary example or kind of similar example to me because I don’t produce real estate. But, but I have an accountant, like a lot of us. And like this is this is it almost makes me want to cry. But I love this about my accountant. I never speak to her until she is like, Okay, you need to pay XY and Z. Well, a couple of weeks, or actually before the end of the year, she sent me a note. And it’s always sort of like humorous to get this and but it did make me almost want to cry. But I love this about her. She said, I’m getting really nervous about you this year. And for whatever reason, maybe there’s been some tax law changes or something I don’t know, she goes, I’m getting really nervous. I need you to cut a check to the government for this giant sum that I was not expected. And she goes, I just think this will help cushion the blow come tax time. And as as painful as it was to cut this check. I was like I love the fact that she got nervous about me. Like it sounds simple. But I like when my doctors show that they care about me in a way that’s more than and when my accountants like I’m thinking about you. And I’m getting a little scared. And I want to do this because I want to. And I was like, This is why I love this accountant. And maybe she’s the best out there. Maybe she’s not the best out there. I don’t know. She cares. And I’m in until till I get audited. I’m not going to I’m not going to change because I know she cares, right or wrong, good or bad. She cares about me. And that to me is the most important thing because I suspect she’ll work harder for me because she cares now maybe she’s just saying it. I don’t know, but it seems like she cares. And as a result, I won’t you know every so often I look for another account and just to make sure that my account is doing the right things, but I’ve not I wouldn’t leave unless all of a sudden someone’s like, oh my gosh, she’s really doing the wrong stuff for you, because she cares. So I think that is such an underrated or not talked about you talked about likability earlier, this likability factor is a real thing. And it is people make decisions based as we know that based on who they know, like and trust, and you have an opport, everyone has an opportunity to but you have to earn this, I think you have to earn know, like and trust through your actions. And obviously, you’re doing this, I have a quick question. So we talked about when you have a client, you know, sort of the professional part of going in with, with with all of your ducks in a row and really treating them as special as they are. But then the transaction happens. And then maybe there’s a seven year window where they’re maybe longer or shorter, where they’re not transacting in real estate. And they might, of course, refer business, but they themselves aren’t needing your services necessarily. What are you doing in between that time to make sure that they don’t forget about you? I don’t think they could forget about you, but just in the off chance that they that you don’t want them to what are you doing?
Pamela Marcus 41:12
Well, I told you, I like shopping. And somehow I started about 15 years ago, I give clients gifts at holiday time. It’s always it’s one gift goes to everybody, but it’s always something related to the house. And it’s young old boy girl never has the brand on it never has my name on it never, you know nothing, not that it is a personal gift. And I have now gone into homes when they go to sell and see seven or eight of them all over the place. So we do do holiday gift stirring COVID We did a couple of gifts, you know, we said you’re washing your hands so much we send some fancy soap. Sure, you know, a month or so later, we sent chocolate and said you need a little sweetness. You know, we if someone refer someone to me, and that person buys something, I send a referral gift, knowing who you are and what you would like, I do send the quarterly reports to the whole CRM database. But I think and the team sort of says that I don’t really follow the CRM database, I just kind of go Gee, I haven’t spoken to so and so in a while. And I’ll give them a call and say let’s have lunch or breakfast or meet for a drink and how are you? So it’s reaching out? Because it’s my network that gives me my business. And I think they can tell why would you want something with the compass logo on it. So
D.J. Paris 42:55
it’s funny, it’s funny, because I suspect I’m sorry to interrupt, I just want to make this point, because you just said it so beautifully, is you wouldn’t want things with brand specific stuff on it, because it does change the way people perceive that object, of course, and you might not want in your home to have you know, something sitting out that says so and so accountant or, or whatever the professional service is, and I’m in that same group, I agree. And obviously other realtors feel differently, and they do put their logos on things, and that’s fine. But I love the fact that you’re like, I don’t need to put my brand on here because I’m maintaining this relationship regardless. So they don’t need to look at the item and see my name because I’m staying in touch with them. Isn’t is that sort of the understanding is I’m not gonna get about you anyway.
Pamela Marcus 43:44
Okay, well, but you do need because at this point to be honest, EJ, if the lawyer that I’ve used for a long time got a call from an ex client, and then and he said to the client, well, how come you’re not using Pam on this trade? And it was someone that I had, you know, not been crazy about not really pursued? And she said, Oh, I thought she was retired or passed away, because I haven’t heard from her in a while. So it’s important to keep in touch with who you want to keep in touch with you know.
D.J. Paris 44:22
And by the way, thank you for that honesty of Hey, everyone, everybody snug
Pamela Marcus 44:27
Yes, when everybody’s not gonna want you know, and you’re not right for everyone. And this is a personal relationship. So you want to be with someone who you think a understands you b will fight for you and really cares. I mean, I had someone this week is in love with an apartment and doesn’t want to lose it. I said it’s good thing you’re not negotiating.
D.J. Paris 44:55
I suck because you’re not willing to walk away I said
Pamela Marcus 44:59
you Because you’d be overpaying, just let me play it out. I promise you, I won’t, you won’t lose it. But I’m not giving them full asking price until I have to it.
D.J. Paris 45:13
How many agents? What percentage of agents do you think and this is just a guess. But you’ve, you know, what percentage of agents wouldn’t would say what you said? Don’t worry, I have this. I am not going to let you overpay. And I know what what to do here. I think that’s a rare thing. And I applaud you for again, having a conviction having an opinion, and and sticking to it in the client’s best interest.
Pamela Marcus 45:43
What will you hope? I mean? Also, you have to remember the Jay I can get away saying things that the 30 year old can’t say it’s true, they will take it from me a little more than they’ll take it from everybody else. But it you have to really care. This is a tough business. There’s a lot of competitors. The other parts that I don’t think that brokers realize is how important your relationship is with the other brokers. Oh, I specially I don’t think that’s true outside of New York with all the lock boxes, but we don’t have lock boxes we interact. And very often it’s the broker who decides who gets the deal. And we all know there are certain brokers, I won’t go to their listing, you know, I won’t, they’re just too hard to do a deal with. And if you have that relationship with other brokers, your buyers going to get it because they know you’re going to play fair and square, they know they’re going to get a good board package. So I think people underplay the importance of playing well with their colleagues.
D.J. Paris 46:56
And, you know, this, too, came so much into play in the last several years during especially during lockdown with will say during the 3% rate, you know, time where we had so many buyers, and there were so many multiple offer situations, a lot of times sight unseen. And there is something to be said that highest and best offer might not win the deal, because maybe they go oh, I don’t know who this agent is, or they don’t have a good track record, or I don’t like them personally. And then they see a friendly name. Oh, I know. I know, Pam, she’s great. She’s gonna get this thing done. She’s a real pro. I imagine that in and of itself wins, sometimes over highest and best.
Pamela Marcus 47:40
Yeah, I think yes. And the firm you’re with and the credentials of that firm, and it’s important. People want to have a comfort level. So it’s it you have to play nice with the other with the your colleagues as well.
D.J. Paris 47:56
Yeah, it really just helps everyone, when when you do and I imagine you have to grin and bear it sometimes as well, when other agents aren’t being super nice to you. And I’m sure that happens a lot. Because, you know, for a million reasons, obviously, people treat women differently than men. And you know, people of different ages are treated differently. And again, this idea of also dealing with some of the abuse, I imagine that comes in,
Pamela Marcus 48:24
I like to you have to remember I built a career on brands. So to me, the brand is important, because it means something. Yeah. And I see, we get a reputation and you can’t change your reputation. You earn it one way or the other.
D.J. Paris 48:44
I used to do marketing 4 million years ago on right out of college with Anheuser Busch in St. Louis. And this was back when Budweiser was was known as the king of beers even I think today, but it was really the number one that and Bud Light were the two biggest beer sold in the country. And I always before working for them, I thought oh, those are kind of lower tier beers, they’re fine, but they’re not like good quality. Well, when I when I started working there, I learned that the quality control is so impressive at some of these brands, including Anheuser Busch, that oh, you know, they’re maybe they’re at a different price point than higher end product, but their product is perfectly done. And and there was a certain level of perfection that I was not used to in my normal life. And I was like, Oh, this is why they’re at the time. This is why they’re number one. Everything is professionally perfected. And you’re you’re coming from that same world of Yep, we get it, you know, whether it’s m&ms or you know, something that’s considered you know, a different price point for a snack. m&m people, to them, their product is is is incredibly important to them, and of course their professionalism for anyone that one interact with it like you on the on the ad side, you treat it as it’s the most important thing, just like you do with your clients today. I am going to just watch curious for one last question, and then we’ll wrap up. But I think it’s a good one. Or I hope it’s a good one, which is to say, right now we know 2023 is projected to be a challenging year for agents, you know, low inventory high rates, although hopefully the rates are starting to come down, thankfully, but still a challenging year, I’d say would would be fair, or at least according to the NAR Chief Economist who I saw a few weeks ago, so he was even saying it’s gonna be a tough year. But anyway, I’m curious what you would suggest to maybe a teammate of yours or just an agent who is isn’t saddled with a lot of clients right now. Maybe they’re like, I don’t know, really what to do. I’d love to drum up some more business. Just curious, what would you do? If you were maybe finding, oh, gosh, I don’t really have a lot of clients right now. What might you do to sort of seek out additional business? Or what would you recommend for somebody to do
Pamela Marcus 51:02
focus on where your strengths are, if you have sold in one building a couple of apartments, build on that. Send send a couple of mailings, not just sold just listed. But we we’ve done kitchen, you know, refrigerator magnets for a zip code, and listed 10 or 15, places on that little map. But not You’re not the supermarket in places you might not know about so that their message is, we know your neighborhood. So we know how to sell your neighborhood. Do some interesting mailings. But don’t go try something, see if it works, and then expand it. Everything is not going to work, see what will work and then expand it where you have more knowledge. I mean, I always found people say to me, Well, how do you pick up so much? How do you pick up so many people in an open house? Well, if you went to that Open House prepared, and you knew everything that was in your competitive set, and you knew the neighborhood, and you knew everything about it, they walked out and they said, Hmm, if I had a broker that represented me, I want to deal with somebody who really knows. And you’ve demonstrated that, you know, and that’s, I think, the most important advice, it’s like, you know, an educated consumer is is the best. And that’s what you really you want to be educated. You want to know what you’re talking about, and not just be sending out a bunch of BS and stand out, stand up for who you are, you know, defend your clients fight fear clients, I will just tell you one, I think about it often. My second client ever was a big sale for me. And it was a Fifth Avenue apartment. The lawyers couldn’t get together, everybody was nitpicking over the stupid contract. And I was so green at the time, I didn’t know better, but I called the meeting of the buyer and the seller in the apartment without the lawyers. And I stood there and I said, Do you want to buy? Yes. Do you want to sell? Yes. I said, Okay, well, we’re gonna stand here till we hash it out. And then we’re going to give it to the lawyers to draw up the contract. Do you know work? Brilliant, as well, but it worked. You had you have a buyer and you have the seller? Yeah. And they could not, you know, get past it. And I sometimes the attorneys get in the way for sure. Absolutely. And the truth was after that the when I got back to the office, and eventually it closed, my manager said to me, Pam, you’re going to make it in this business. So I think you know, you do what you need to do to get the job done professionally and showing you care. I’m always buying baby gifts. You know, I’m like The Walking baby gift person, but it’s always something I as I said, I like shopping. So it’s it’s fun.
D.J. Paris 54:17
Yeah, I just wanted to say one last thing as we wrap up that I meant to interject earlier, because you mentioned this and I again, demonstrating care. This checks that box for me in a way that I’ve never heard an agent say that they do, but it’s something that I would recommend to all of our listeners, and it’s probably something Pam does, which is she said something very important that I thought about after I bought my first condo back however many years ago, I thought, boy, I’m so lucky that at nighttime, this area doesn’t turn into like this crazy hotbed of activity that might interrupt my sleeping or you were Talking about like having a light that might come right into the, to the, to the house that from the street, and just and maybe even just hearing what it’s like when people are home and if it’s a multi unit property are they able to hear, you know, above and below them and those things which become really important once you move in, but maybe aren’t you don’t, you know, maybe you saw it at like 11 o’clock on a Friday when everyone at the building is at work and there’s no noise at all and, and you know, going in, and as a realtor. I always I always thought But wouldn’t it be cool if Realtors would say, you know, it’s a Friday night, I’m gonna head down to the place that you’re looking at. I just want to kind of get a sense of what what the, you know, is there anything weird with the lighting? Is there any weird noise coming from the street, or I’d like to bring you down and let’s make sure you’re comfortable with it. But however you do it, that is a brilliant thing, because that is, boy, there’s nothing more annoying than moving into a place and then finding out. There’s this obstruction that you just didn’t know about. Because you didn’t. We weren’t there at 10pm at night on a Friday.
Pamela Marcus 56:01
Right? And I always say go walk the neighborhood. Smart. Just go walk, see how you like it. I tell people, I like a block that has a lot of doorman, so that there’s always somebody when you’re walking down the block. But yeah, take your time to get educated. And even in the things we’re not allowed to say. Point them in the direction to learn what they can learn.
D.J. Paris 56:29
Well, perfectly set in a perfect place to sort of wrap up this episode for everyone listening. On behalf of everyone listening or watching, we thank you, for we thank Pam on behalf of the audience for spending an hour with us, we are so grateful. I can’t even count the number of tips you provided maybe without even realizing it. Well over a dozen of great tips from top, from a top producer about what you can implement immediately. That will increase your professionalism, also, the way that your clients think about you. So I want and then on behalf of all of our audience, on behalf of Pam and myself, we want to thank our audience as well for making it all the way to the end of the episode. We’re here to serve you, the audience. And we appreciate it a couple of quick things, the best way that you can help us grow is by telling a friend so think of one other agent in your office, maybe somebody you know, especially somebody that’s struggling right now it’s a tough year, send them a link to this episode with Pam, and help them help themselves in this year. So you can send it right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com All 450 Whatever episodes we’ve done, you can stream right from a browser you don’t have to even use a podcast app. Or if the person is a podcast person, just search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. And I also want everyone to follow Pam on Instagram, find her at Pam Marcus real estate. Also, you can email her if you maybe have a referral for her or you’re interested in joining your team email@example.com Both of those links will be in the show notes so you can just click there. But Pam, thank you so much.
Pamela Marcus 58:04
I thank you so much. I enjoyed it tremendously. Appreciate it.
D.J. Paris 58:10
Everybody, you too and we’ll see everybody on the next time. Thanks, Pam. Thank you