(Above) The DiSpirito Team
As a fresh licensee, Emilio DiSpirito dove eagerly into real estate. He had doubts, but also experience in sales, and was drawn to the flexibility the industry offers.
“I burnt all of my ships and put all of my focus on real estate,” DiSpirito says. “I loved the freedom behind it.”
After a year, business picked up, and he began to branch out into establishing a real estate team. He found his fit at HomeSmart Professionals Real Estate, where today, he leads The DiSpirito Team, a group “tailored to a high-end service approach,” he says, for clients in Rhode Island, Eastern Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts.
“I view my team like The Capital Grille, the five-star fine dining restaurant,” DiSpirito says. “That’s how we operate. You want for nothing while you are there—everything is completely covered.”
Every day, The DiSpirito Team commits to maintaining that standard—in fact, on their website, the hours of operation simply state “All Day.” DiSpirito himself is also dedicated to helping others succeed. In March, he’ll be headlining a session at the HomeSmart 2020 Growth Summit, diving into how to operate a profitable real estate team.
Suzanne De Vita: Emilio, you’re a believer in branding. How did branding factor into forming your real estate team?
Emilio DiSpirito: I was working in real estate for roughly a year when I started to see the momentum pick up, along with the responsibilities and reality of navigating people through such a large transition in their lives. I started to look for agents to come under my wing. This was the middle of 2013, and there weren’t a lot of teams out there—no structure, and no one to coach you.
Fast-forward to HomeSmart Professionals and Dean deTonnancourt. His mentorship and guidance have allowed me to take my team from ranking in the top 10 percent to the top 1 percent. People discouraged me from starting my own brand because there was already too much noise out there. My team’s The DiSpirito Team, but my name means much more than that. It means “with spirit,” and because of that, I immediately imagined a dove. The dove in our logo stands for empathy, devotion and a peaceful messenger—all qualities that the best real estate agents should have. The purple in our logo stands for luxury and comfort. We use that as a guide to who we hire and who works with us.
SD: How would you describe your service as a team?
ED: Anybody that works hard and does the right thing should get the red-carpet treatment—it doesn’t matter if someone is selling a $150,000 home or a $5 million home. We’re tailored to a high-end service approach. I view my team like The Capital Grille, the five-star fine dining restaurant. That’s how we operate. You walk in the door, you’re greeted with a smile, and it’s a pleasant experience. You want for nothing while you are there—everything is completely covered. That’s how my team runs.
SD: You also have a popular radio show, which ties in…
ED: It airs Sundays at 10 a.m. on News Radio 104.7 FM and 920 AM, and also on the iHeartRadio app. This is an opportunity for me to help other local businesses in the area while educating the general public and our clients throughout the process of the transaction. We use the content from the show to send brief videos to our clients, and also have a podcast on SoundCloud. Between the radio frequency and our online presence and different local websites, we estimate we earned roughly 600,000 impressions last year, and PropertySpark ranked us the No. 1 social media influencers in Rhode Island.
SD: That’s impressive! So, what’s the makeup of your team today?
ED: We have six sales agents in total. We have a transaction coordinator who handles the paperwork and moving parts, and a marketing coordinator who’s in charge of content creation, social media, etc. We’ve also got a full-time video editor, and a client concierge who takes care of all of our clients when it comes to tasks that keep our agents from selling—scheduling showings with other agents, giving other agents feedback and contacting our sellers every week. We don’t corner our agent partners into a buyer or listing role. They can do both.
SD: You’re going to be speaking at the HomeSmart Summit this year. What advice would you give to a new team?
ED: Give more than you expect to get. Don’t expect to make a profit within your first couple of years—it may take three years before your team is profitable, or you may never be profitable as a team leader. Don’t forget to put your people first, and make your team your partners. Don’t make it about yourself—I see it happen way too often. Your team has to buy into your mission and your culture. Also, be consistent—go all the way on your branding and own it. Don’t listen to people that tell you to do things differently, or that you can’t do it. Use it as fuel to your fire.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.