PLACE Partner Maria Galizia, a top agent on the BKT Austin team in Austin, Texas, recently closed $1 million in GCI. She credits these seven actions with building a successful real estate career.
Many agents dream of becoming million-dollar agents but building a database capable of generating that level of gross commission income (GCI) in real estate is difficult, no matter your tenure. For team leaders who have already reached that level of success, helping your agents scale their businesses as top producers can be equally challenging. But, it’s certainly not impossible. We sat down with PLACE Agent Maria Galizia of BKT Austin to discover the successful steps she used to reach $1 million in GCI in less than a decade.
1. Focus on lead generation
Make finding business your priority, all day, every day. Set a weekly goal for how many real estate leads you want and where you will get those leads. Maria used:
- Expired listings
- Sign calls
- Internet leads
Using these parameters as your guide, make the calls, have the conversations, and input every lead into your real estate CRM. If you thrive in a competitive atmosphere, join a lead-generation challenge. Participating in the Bold 6000, an intense six-week lead generation push, was a major catalyst for Galizia as she generated at least 250 contacts each week.
2. Trust the process
The activities you do now can generate future business. Always be consistent with your process and lead-generation efforts; trust it will deliver results if you do your part.
Galizia closed three transactions in her first six months. She put in the time and continually added leads to her database, trusting that process and her stellar service would gradually lead to more deals and increase her real estate GCI.
3. Build long-term client relationships
Agents aren’t just in the real estate business. They’re in the relationship business. Over time, this relationship will play out in multiple ways. Agents help clients navigate the purchase and sale of their homes, buy investment properties, and build wealth in real estate. In return, forever clients help agents grow with repeat and referral business, which can pay off big throughout your real estate career.
To begin, start with these foundational steps to strengthen your rapport:
- Be incredibly precise with every detail
- Follow up before, during, and after the transaction process
- Provide regular updates on the value of their home
- Focus on long-term relationships, not short-term gains
- Advise clients on their wealth-building journey
If you begin your journey with each client, in the same way, the behavior will become second nature, and turn everyone into a forever client.
4. Personalize the conversations
While it’s great to know your clients’ birthdays and their pets’ names, take it one step further by understanding their life goals and how their relationship to real estate ownership will shift over time. Do they want to house hack, and why? After their college-age children graduate, how do they envision their lives? Are they interested in growing passive income with investment properties? Do they foresee a move in the future and need advice on renting their current property and connecting with an agent in another state? Every transaction has a compounding component that can lead to future transactions, so become a part of these future conversations by asking questions.
“My best advice for getting the next referral from your current clients is to peel the onion,” Galizia says. “Don’t ask just one question — open-ended queries go several layers deeper to get to the heart of their motivations and goals.”
5. Productivity = increased real estate GCI
A key component to take your real estate business to the next level is leverage. Many agents start with virtual assistants or in-house support. No matter who you hire, you must train them on your business and outline expectations. As they get up to speed, you’ll have more time to focus on business activities that drive growth.
Galizia leans on a buyer-focused agent and a Brivity Virtual Assistant. She’s invested in their growth, and her professional and personal life has reaped the rewards. “They’ve proved to be a huge piece of leverage as far as gaining back time to pursue more listings and achieve quality of life,” Galizia says.
6. Consistency, consistency, consistency
Whether you consider yourself a natural salesperson or not, one thing you can control is consistency with your business activities. Make those follow-up phone calls, update clients on the transaction process, and always provide the best service to each client, no matter what happens during your work day. You’ll establish a productive business when clients know you are reliable and trustworthy, and, in return, you’ll increase your GCI in real estate.
7. Add value & drive your real estate GCI with partnerships
The right partnership can take a real estate agent to new heights, turning their dream career into reality. The key is to be strategic with what partnership you choose.
Galizia partnered with PLACE because its unique platform helps agents leverage their talents, time, and scaling capabilities. Founded by top-performing agents for top-performing agents, PLACE provides the technology, marketing, and systems that allow back-end business activities to run seamlessly. It also provides models, resources, and support to scale and build a team within a team.
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