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Jerry Cibulski
The Jerry Cibulski Team
Century 21 Agawam-Albertson Fine Homes and Estates
Team members
: 2 agents; other vendors, including builders, landscapers, interior designers and painters
Area served: North Fork of Long Island, New York
In real estate: 3 years

When and why was the team formed?
The team was formed a year ago when I outgrew what I could do by myself. Our market primarily caters to a second-home and retirement clientele. People buying here really need more than just a home; they need to know who to call for landscaping, for furniture, for painting, etc. So it was a natural progression to put the painters and landscapers together and with all of these auxiliary businesses and our team became a full service package.

Tackling Time Management:

How do you utilize the team concept to operate more efficiently?
I separated out sales and rentals so that I focus on sales, and Dennis, my other agent, is in charge of client care and rentals. That allows me to focus my time on local home sellers and matching home buyers with properties. Dennis takes the process from contract to closing and works closely with our clients and customers to keep them in communication with all the steps involved in the real estate process.

How do you delegate to ensure that no one is overburdened?
We continually assess where our service levels are going and what makes the most sense for task assignments. We strive to achieve a seamless process with each other and our clients.

How do you prioritize and schedule your day as the team leader?
I look at all of the tasks that need to be completed for the day and then review where I need to be geographically in our market. I then combine the tasks with my daily route. It’s all about time management. There are only 24 hours in the day and you can’t make more of them.

What is your approach to team meetings? How do you keep them productive and on track without taking too much time?
We have periodic meetings. We try to keep the topics of the meeting on topic and try not to stray from the discussion points. We try to talk about the projects that aren’t getting to the top of the list. I came out of running a business before, so it’s just natural to keep them on point.

Any special strategies that help you manage time better?
I utilize Franklin Planners and Top Producer, and try to incorporate some personal time with friends to keep some balance so I don’t get stressed. When you get stressed, you aren’t as productive.

Success Strategies:
The one thing your team can’t live without
: My biggest mantra: “Professionalism and service while having fun.”

Best way to build a brand: When I first started, I branded myself as a local resident and an agent. The best thing for me to do was come up with a consistent message that spoke to who I am as an individual and allow that theme to evolve over time. So, I bought a classic black Cadillac to take buyers out on the weekends and then a 1967 Mercedes for errands during the week. I have two classic cars that I use for the business; our logo and tagline has a classic sort of retro look and feel to it, so it matches well with the cars. In Homes Magazine, I have a full-page ad with the classic Cadillac and the tagline, “A Classic North Fork Experience!”

Key to profitability: Making sure that any expenditure I make is consistent to the theme of the team and it returns more than the initial investment. Our public image has to be consistent and relevant.

Philosophy on life in real estate: “Do the best you can and have fun while doing it.” I live in a beach and wine country community. People who buy here are buying a lifestyle. I love my job because I live and work in a unique community comprised of wineries, farm stands, pastoral views and great beaches. It is very rewarding to see my clients move into the area and partake in the North Fork lifestyle.

-Lesley Geary