Lillian Montalto Signature Properties International, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Andover, Massachusetts | www.AndoverHomes.com
Region served: Massachusetts and New Hampshire
Years in real estate: 40-plus
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 25
Motto/work philosophy that you live by: Real estate is what we do; relationships are why we do it.
Tell us what it means to be part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.
Their statistics speak for themselves, and their programs and what they offer internationally are far superior to any franchise around. They also get the luxury part of it. We sell in all price ranges, but when I have a luxury client, I want the very best tools that are available, and they have them through their luxury marketing program, Luxury Portfolio International®.
What is your best advice for new agents?
Find the most successful agent in the area and try to get them to mentor you. I’m a back-to-basics person, and one of my favorite sayings is that I start every day from zero. I teach my agents that when they wake up in the morning, they’re hunters. Every day they need to ensure that they’ve hunted enough so that they’ve sold or listed something. It’s also important to never rest on your laurels. I don’t care how many properties you might have under agreement; you start every day like you have nothing on the books. I also believe that most agents don’t use their SOI enough; they don’t leverage it. Whether pumping gas or in the supermarket, they need to tell everybody what they do because everybody always wants to talk about real estate.
When it comes to closing on a property, what is your No. 1 strategy?
I do a very tough consultation with buyers and sellers, but with buyers especially because I think one mistake salespeople make is that they don’t refine their listening skills. People like to talk a lot, but it’s about asking questions. If you just ask questions, you will learn so much about that particular client that it will help you find exactly what they’re looking for so that the close happens by itself. If you listen and bring them to properties that fit their requirements, your job is done. If you don’t listen to them, for example, when they tell you their price range and you bring them all over, you’re a taxi driver. Developing your listening skills is one of the most important things you can do in our business.
How do you see the market evolving over the next year?
I think what’s happening is a correction that was very much needed. It was way out of control. Things are coming to market now, but there is still not an overabundance of inventory. That being said, by no means do I think the market is going to take a deep dive. Everybody needs a roof over their head; people are always buying and selling homes.
Do you use any time-saving tools?
I time block. I have certain hours of the day that I return calls to clients and certain hours that I prospect for new business. I’m very meticulous because you can go to the bank and deposit a check, but you can’t deposit your time anywhere. When you’ve spent that time at the end of the day, it’s gone. And that’s the most valuable thing that agents can protect: the use of their time.
For more information, visit www.leadingre.com.