By Zoe Eisenberg
“The small choices we make every day compound over the long term to create amazing momentum,” says Ron Escobar, Broker/Owner of CENTURY 21 Select in Los Angeles, Calif. In the following interview, Escobar describes his winning approach to customer service, and how his company has been able to flourish in their market.
CENTURY 21 Select
Los Angeles, Calif.
Region served: West of downtown Los Angeles to the beach communities, south of San Fernando Valley and north of South Bay area.
Years in real estate: 12
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 15 and growing, with a target of 50 agents by the end of 2014.
Average time on market: 38 days
Average sales price: $850,000
Key to staying profitable: Add value to stakeholders. Deal from a position of strength. Since we strive to be the best at what we do, we don’t discount our commissions to clients, or overpay agents. We give more than we take so we can be profitable.
Best business advice ever received: Operate on one-liners that encapsulate great wisdom. One of my favorites is from a client named Yoram, who told me, “Never work for money!” I understood it to mean work on something because you love it, then you’ll be passionate and engaged long after everyone quits. This will help you be the best, and the money will surely follow.
What is your team doing to stay on top of the field?
We are growing a team-oriented organization that shares a common culture founded on providing value to our clients in excess of what we take from them.
An immense part of adding value to our client is based on the perspective and experience we bring to the table. We’re always interested in learning and pursuing education, whether something is directly related to a home purchase or just peripheral.
The small choices we make every day compound over the long term to create amazing momentum and value that I offer to my agents and they offer to each other and to our clients. We are engaged and we show up smiling and ready to take on each day with a detailed plan that leads to results.
How do you integrate technology into your business plan?
Technology is no longer a differentiator for businesses. Instead, it’s a basic element that must be part of the equation.
We have the best technology and we use it wisely, broadly and deeply. The big difference is the people behind the technology, the culture, the knowledge, the willingness and the readiness to assist the client with a smile and a warm handshake. It takes hard work to bring the human element to a market that’s consistently bombarded by mass emails, advertising and hundreds of phone calls. We stay focused, positive, innovative and engaged.
What are some of your winning marketing strategies?
Apply the basics, over and over again. Say what you believe, and believe in what you say. My team and I just joined the most iconic brand in global real estate. I’m ecstatic about the value it’ll bring to my team, my clients and the community as a whole. CENTURY 21 Select agents are: Smarter. Bolder. Faster®.
This is not a catchy corporate slogan. Instead, I believe it, embrace it, breathe it, sweat it, and turn it into a reality with my actions.
What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
There are a lot of forces behind the scenes that are influencing how the inventory of housing is being handled by banks after the 2008 meltdown. In my opinion, large bulk sales to hedge funds that turn the homes into rentals to annualize income streams and securitize these streams are happening more than they should. An unchecked real estate market will lead to the super-funds becoming bigger, and the average American homebuyer being squeezed out of the market. This is one reason why it’s important to stay politically involved. We need to vote and lobby, and make sure our representatives legislate and accomplish the tasks we elected them to do. The American Dream is to be a homeowner, not a home renter.
What has been the biggest challenge in your market, and how did you and your team overcome it?
The biggest challenge and competition is me, Ron Escobar. The market’s going to do what the market’s going to do. As individual practitioners, our opportunity is in understanding the market, the variables, the products and the players, and to figure out how to bring value to one another. This requires passion and focus over a lifetime. That’s why you have to love what you do, because it takes a long-term commitment and lots of energy and focus.