March 14

What Makes Real Estate Agents Successful in 2023


On Episode 287th of The No Limits Selling Podcast, we have Louis Belisario, a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker. Coming from a real estate family, Lou knew early on the profession was his destiny. He pursued his license while still in college and earned his Associate Broker designation just three years later. He was named rookie of the year and has remained a top producer ever since. More than a broker, Lou also excels in sales management and has overseen and mentored dozens of agents. He has personally closed hundreds of transactions totaling a quarter-billion dollars, and he's assisted with hundreds more.

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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on The No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of The No Limits Selling Podcast. Today we have Louis Belisario with us today from Brooklyn baby. Welcome to the show.

Louis Belisario 0:49
What's happening? Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Umar Hameed 0:51
You know, I was just I'm here in Toronto right now. And we were just talking about I was talking about Brooklyn, it was like you can go to any pizza joint in Brooklyn and get a great slice. And in Toronto, you have to go find a great pizza place, like the others will be okay. And so that's one of the blessings of being in Brooklyn.

Louis Belisario 1:07
Pizza, bagels, all types of good food. We have a big roast beef thing here, too, was a lot of different good roast beef spots. But yeah, pizza is great man, the best pizzeria in the entire world is it so. We get to enjoy that, Luke Kelly's?

Umar Hameed 1:19
Absolutely. So how long have you been in the real estate business?

Louis Belisario 1:23
18 years.

Umar Hameed 1:24
18 years? And do you have a team?

Louis Belisario 1:28
I have the largest team at Compass in the United States of America.

Umar Hameed 1:31
Wow! How many people?

Louis Belisario 1:32
About 40.

Umar Hameed 1:34
40? Nice. So what's kind of interesting is you know, most realtors, of course, start off on their own. So either join a team to kind of learn the ropes or go solo. And then at some point, they transition into getting a team together. So let's talk about you. When did you start? And how did you start?

Louis Belisario 1:51
I got my license. When I was about 19 years old. I was in college, I was playing baseball in college, and I decided that I wasn't going to make the majors. So I said, I'd like to get a job. I didn't see myself being a nine to five person jumping on the train and go into the city every day instead of behind the desk. My family has been in the real estate business in Brooklyn for about 50 years, give or take. So at the time, I you know, just kind of followed in their footsteps. My grandfather, my uncle, my cousins, and I got my real estate license and I haven't turned back since. So it was probably about 2006, I guess. And yeah, went through every market cycle since then. That's how you kind of make your bones in the world. But yeah, I don't think I'm qualified to do anything else at this point so I guess I'm stuck with this forever.

Umar Hameed 2:41
There you go. And did you go solo? Or did you join a team when you first started?

Louis Belisario 2:46
Well, when I first started, teams really weren't a thing to be honest with you teams are relatively newer thing in real estate. You know, so back in the mid 2000s, I just joined an office. That's what it was. So at the time. You know, I joined Fillmore Real Estate, which is the largest privately owned real estate broker in New York City. That was more of a company that my family had started in 1966. So I joined an office in my the neighborhood I grew up in, and I just started from scratch, you know, calling expireds, calling FSBOs and working buyers and all that stuff. And then as time went on, I kind of wanted to branch out into different parts of Brooklyn. So I was promoted to manager of one of the offices that we had in Fort Greene, which is in downtown Brooklyn, at the Barclays Center. The Barclays Center wasn't even there yet to be honest with you. And that's it. And then the rest is history. And then, about five years ago, I decided to do my own thing and branch out of filmora. And, you know, let them do their thing. And I wanted to go in and do my thing. And I started the Belisario team that Compass back then. And as the years progressed, I made you know, good friends with my partner. Now, Joe Cruz and Jeff Reyngach started to create a mega team together. So we have three principals and about 40 agents. And that's growing every week. And that's about it.

Umar Hameed 4:00
All right. So let's go back to early part of your career at some point along that journey, you know, nothing ever comes easily. So there must have been some tough times. When did you doubt yourself? Like, am I doing the right thing? Did that ever happen?

Louis Belisario 4:13
Happens all times. Happens today still.

Umar Hameed 4:15
Yeah. [laugh]

Louis Belisario 4:15
So back then I remember. One night in particular, it's probably like, probably like 2012-2013. Something like that was years ago, was with my girlfriends now my wife and we was in the in our apartment that we were sharing and I remember pacing back and forth. Like, you know what, I don't think I could do this anymore. It's just too much stress. It's too much anguish. It's too much that deals with dying and personalities you have to deal with every day and you know, am I getting paid enough money for what I do and all the things and doubts that you have about yourself? And I was going to, I had taken my firefighter exam not that long before that. I was basically called to do that. I said, maybe it's an option and I chose not to do it and I stuck with real estate, and it was definitely the best decision I ever made. But, you know, doubting yourself is, is a human thing.

Umar Hameed 5:04
Yeah, for everybody. So and tell me about when you first started, you know, the first year or two, where all of a sudden you kind of felt like, "Hey, this is it for me," like I might have been when you were doing a deal, like, did you have one of those moments as well, when you first got validation that, "Hey, I could do this, I can make money of this?"

Louis Belisario 5:21
Yeah, I mean, in my first year in the business, I probably did like six or seven deals. I think I it really hit home when I was able to get my first listing, because I felt accomplished .More than a paycheck, it was the, you know, the sense of accomplishment of getting your first listing. So I think once I was able to break that, that barrier, from there, I, you know, had confidence in myself and in the business. And, you know, that's really it.

Umar Hameed 5:47
Brilliant. So as you you know, lead this team, of course, people that you're leading, have those days where as they doubt themselves.

Louis Belisario 5:54

Umar Hameed 5:55
Go into a room of a 100 people and ask them, you know, "Who has a negative voice inside your head?" people with multiple personalities will make it like 105 people will say, "Yep, that happens to me." So how do you coach people through those doubts? Like how do you get them to inoculates them from their own worst enemy, which is sometimes themselves,

Louis Belisario 6:14
I always try to be relatable to people and make sure that they can be relatable to me. So I'm at a relatively high point in my career, and I've gone through it. So if I'm able to sit there and be relatable, and say, Hey, listen, I've been through the same thing you're through, you're going through right now, you'll get past that you'll get through it, that's the usual take that I'll do. You know, and it's very true. And it's genuine, because it's true. So that's the angle I normally take, you just say I've been there, here's how I got through it. You know, hopefully my advice helps you get through it, I try to be more of a mentor on my team, not a boss, or team leader or anything like that. I want to be a mentor, I want to be somebody who can help the people on my team accomplish their goals.

Umar Hameed 6:53
So why don't we play a game, and the game we're gonna play is, how do we get realtors to be really successful, and I'm gonna get you to kick it off with you know, hey, realtors should know this, do this, and I'm gonna offer my number two, and you'll go number three, and let's keep going till we run out of valuable information for our listeners to...

Louis Belisario 7:12

Umar Hameed 7:12
...glean from.

Louis Belisario 7:13
I think that the biggest thing a relative should be as organized. So I think organization is a big, you know, a lot of people lack it, even me, I lack it also. But if I could be better at something, it would be organization, if you could get a headstone on me and organizing your business, I think you'll be good.

Umar Hameed 7:29
Absolutely. I think number one, that's like a critical thing. I'm going to cheat and kind of go off your answer and go time management, which goes hand in hand with that, and I think, just read it, dear listeners read this book, "Getting Things Done" is like such a useful tool to be organized. And one of the things they do is you have task lists, and I've got tasks for at home. So if it's stuff for home, I can jot it down there. So on the way home, I look at that listing all I need to pick up bread, or I need to do this, stuff for work, stuff in front of the computer. And those eight hours that you'll listen to the audiobook will save you a long, painful existence in this industry or any other. So number three to you, my friend.

Louis Belisario 8:14
And I'll share with you a little bit if we're gonna go that route. And I'll say the secret, right? So this is a very popular, you know, it's not a secret per say.

Umar Hameed 8:22
It's not a well kept secret.

Louis Belisario 8:23
I'll tell you, that was something that I definitely believed in. And it's very cliche in real estate to tell people to watch this or listen to it, but it to me it works. And if you believe in yourself, and you put good out there, good, we'll come back. And it's a business that you could very easily give up on very quickly, right? And in real estate, you need a short term memory, right? So short term memory, just like baseball, right? So if Mariano Rivera goes on the mound, blows the World Series in 2001, like he did, and he gave up and said, "I'll never do it again. He'd never be the best poser of all time." He forgets about it. And all that matters is the next game. So you know, watch the secret, read the secret, believing the secret put good out there and have a short term memory.

Umar Hameed 9:06
Brilliant. So you said two things. They're so good for going above and beyond because I think they're two different things. But just going to the secret for a moment. I often advise clients to have affirmations and here's why I do it is not so much for the secret intention of setting it out there. But what I'm looking for is when I say you know, women find me attractive women find me attractive. And then that voice comes up and says, Who are you kidding? That's what I'm looking for is that negative reaction because that negative reaction is a thread that goes down to a belief within us. And once we figure out what that belief is, we can change it. So sometimes using affirmations to get that negative reaction uncovers an unconscious belief that's stopping you from being awesome baby.

Louis Belisario 9:50
You know, I like to, I would say next and this is why my voice is raspy right now and this is why my eyes are big right now. Networking. So network He's a big thing in real estate. We just went my entire team, we took a bus out to an event last night in Long Island with a bunch of Long Island real estate brokers and bankers and trying to drop some business. Networking, I could say is one of the things that changed the trajectory of my career.

Umar Hameed 10:17

Louis Belisario 10:17
It's a very easy thing to do. And they're very plentiful. So there's always networking events in New York City or big cities, they're all over the place, right? So you can always go out there and meet somebody, you never know where your next deal is going to come from. So meeting and associating yourself with as many professionals as you possibly can, should help your career grow as well.

Umar Hameed 10:38
Absolutely. So I'm gonna add a little bit to that before I go to kind of my one. But here's a question for you, Lou, what's the difference between networking and not working? One letter. And I think networking is critical. But you really need to have a plan when you go to network. And you need to have follow up. Follow up, follow up, follow up. If you don't have a process, you're just going to be lost and waste time. And here's the tip, no matter where you go, whether it's networking or somewhere else, or let's say a dinner party. One of the things I asked when I go networking is, "Who am I here to meet today," and I look at everybody there, and somebody just seems to be a little brighter than everyone else. And I go, "Before I leave this, I am going to visit with that person." And I was at this conference without 700 people. And there was this woman who happened to be really cute. And that wasn't the reason she stood out. It's something about her kind of glowed. And so I said, "I'm gonna meet this woman before I leave." And at the lunch break, she was bringing food back from the buffet. And I said, "Oh, why don't you stay here at one of the, you know, high top tables, I'm gonna get my food, I'd love to chat with you." And this was her story for the podcast, it's a previous episode, and we'll put the link down below. She was minding her own business at home with her son and her husband, and the phone rings and her 18 year old daughter who's at university and athlete, apparently, there's some kind of medical emergency, and it's like, 'Something's happened to your daughter just wanted to let you know, you should come to the hospital, we're taking her there." And by the time she's getting ready panicked as a two hour drive, she gets a call from the dean saying, 'Your daughter has passed."

Louis Belisario 12:12
Oh, my God.

Umar Hameed 12:13
And it turned out that she had a cardiac arrest at university, but they had no device to defibrillate it to bring her back. And so she started the foundation, and changed the law in Pennsylvania to actually make sure that every university every high school in a gymnasium has that. And that's a good example of just Who am I here to meet and you'll meet the most amazing people. So here is my advice to realtors. The best version of you is you the most authentic you and most people think I need to create this persona of this what an agent is, "Hi, how are you, I'm an agent." And they get a sense of who they are. But there's a third spot, which is their authentic self. And once you discover who you are, then you have power you have foundation, then you don't have this delusion of who you are, you know who you are. And when you have enough confidence this, what you show the outside world. And this is where clients kind of go, "I don't sure what it is about you, Lou, but I just feel comfortable being near you. And I want you to be my agent." So it helps you in real estate. And it also helps you in life

Louis Belisario 13:18
100%, man. Like I couldn't agree more with that. I would say you got to be persistent in real estate. persistency is key in this business. If you're not being persistent, you mentioned follow up earlier with whoever you come in contact with, whether that be through networking, or through farming or whatever it may be. Persistence is key. And I look around my team and I pinpoint the people who were the most successful. And the most successful people that I've whether managed or had on my team really in all my years are the ones who are the most persistent with with follow up. And I can piggyback that word with consistency also. So...

Umar Hameed 13:26

Louis Belisario 13:29
...it's an inconsistent. Two completely different things but if you're able to group those two things together, you will be very successful in this business. And I think a lot of brokers, a lot of agents drop the ball with that tremendously.

Umar Hameed 14:11

Louis Belisario 14:12

Umar Hameed 14:12
And I'll kind of add to that. I was training a team in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of the guys had finally closed the deal. And so the team leader said, "How many times did you have to reach out?" he said, "21 times," and everyone's like, "Oh my God," because there's agents have this sense of, I'm being a pest.

Louis Belisario 14:32

Umar Hameed 14:32
And what he said was the guy forgot the other 18-19 tax he had totally forgotten. But when he needed me, I texted him and he responded back and said we got to move forward. And that's persistency and so I'm gonna let that leads into my next suggestion is mindset is the most important element in anything because if you are a mediocre real estate agent with a strong mindset you're going to do okay, If you have a really great skill set, but a weak mindset, you're not going to do as well. But if you have a strong mindset, and a strong skill set, you're gonna be a frickin rockstar. And so at the end of the day, the enemy is not the interest rate, is not the other agents, is not your people that your clients. There's a quote from Pogo a comic strip from like, probably your parents generation is like, "We have met the enemy and the enemy is us."

Louis Belisario 15:26

Umar Hameed 15:27
So it's all about what's happening between these two years.

Louis Belisario 15:30
Absolutely, definitely agree with that as well. The next thing, it's so fun, I just had it on my mind, I was gonna say, and I forgot what I was saying. But hold on, I think the next thing that you have to do is felt that you have to be willing to ask questions, right? So a lot of agents. And then this is the first thing I say, when somebody joins my team, and they still don't listen for the most part is, "Don't be afraid to come to my office and ask me a question or call me or text me or reach out." "Lou, I don't want to bother you." "You're not bothering me. You're not bothering a team leader that you want to make money for the team. No problem. I'm happy to be here for you." And I think that's something that a lot of new agents do. Because they're just afraid to ask questions because they don't want to sound stupid. No stupid. No questions, a stupid question. If you don't know the business yet, how can anybody expect you to not ask questions, right? So I really, really encourage, ask questions, whether it's a manager or team leader, you know, a mentor you have in the office, a veteran agent. Most people are pretty kind and are going to be willing to help you out. So I think asking questions is big.

Umar Hameed 16:29
And it kind of goes back to mindset, right? Is this the image we have of ourselves of, "I don't want to appear weak." And I know with certainty, Lou that if you're in a situation that you don't frickin know something, you're going to ask them and say, hey, help me out. And and that really is about confidence, and the connection with yourself. So I think absolutely 100% Asking for help critical, but asking questions, because asking questions is such a freaking powerful thing in in the sales environment. By the way, Lou, do you have any kids?

Louis Belisario 17:03
I do. I have a three year old and a one and a half year old.

Umar Hameed 17:04
So what's the name of the one a half year old?

Louis Belisario 17:08

Umar Hameed 17:09
Alessia. And do you remember the first time you held her in your arms?

Louis Belisario 17:13
Of course. The day she was born, July 26.

Umar Hameed 17:17
So dear listeners, if you heard the tonality of lose voice change by asking questions that can change his brain chemistry.

Louis Belisario 17:24
[Garbled] may be happier now.

Umar Hameed 17:25
Yeah, instantly. And when you're with a client, you can tell them all you want. But if you ask the right questions, you'll actually change their brain chemistry and change the way they think. So we have such awesome power in asking that. And sometimes when you're asking something is something your client already knows. But the way you ask it, it gets them to realize it. Because oftentimes people have all these ideas in the etheric sense. And it's your job as a salesperson to ground those in our conversation to move that sales process forward.

Louis Belisario 17:56
Couldn't agree more?

Umar Hameed 17:56
Can I hear an amen? Amen! [Both laughing] All right, Lou, to you my friend.

Louis Belisario 18:02
Let's see. Okay, I think a lot of people recently, in the last couple of years, for obvious reasons have got away from coming into the office. I believe that in order to be a very successful real estate agent, you need to be in the office at some point in time during the day, working from home, in my opinion, people differ. But I think working from home is a miserable experience that you're never going to get, you're never going to reach your full potential working from your house. So I just had a conversation yesterday, one of my one of my teammates here, and she came in she's like, "What can I do differently? Like I hit a wall." I was like, "I'll be honest with you. I haven't seen you in about two weeks. You know, so if you were here, you could actually the same question two weeks ago, instead of waiting for two weeks to come in and asking the question, right?" And you would have fed off of the other agents energy that's in the office, you would have heard of conversation, that maybe you didn't know something and you just learned something. So even if you don't have business drumming right now, being in the office will drum up business, people don't walk through the door anymore, like they used to do back in the day, right? So you're not gonna have a seller walk and say, "I want to sell my house." But you may have, you know, a teammate here who's doing a deal with on a co op that you've never heard the lingo for, or, you know, is negotiating a deal and you picked up a new trick that they did that you can incorporate to your business. So I think being in the office being present and putting on your, you know, your work outfit every day is important.

Umar Hameed 19:22
Absolutely. And there's something about you and that collaboration, that informal stuff, where you could be chit chatting about something outside of this and it just builds connection and builds confidence and it sparks ideas. So one of the things we need to do is when we're dealing with our clients is very much, "What did you value most about working with me?" and they're going to tell you what they valued most, which is really nice. Helps in the testimonials. And let's say that what I really valued most was the way you looked after us, which is nice. Nice to hear. But how would you describe how I looked at after you to a friend, and then they go deeper. And that does two things. Number one, it lets you know your value as an agent, because we have a sense of what we're doing. And sometimes it doesn't matter what we think is what clients think. And also it gets them to articulate at a deeper level. So it helps in marketing too, because all of a sudden, it's like you're actually using the language of clients that it's going to resonate with other clients as well. So Lou, I'm gonna give you the last piece of advice.

Louis Belisario 20:29
Okay, so this one, actually, it was deep with me, because we do a lot of business on social media these days, right. So I think, you know, every real estate agent who starts out is starting out, "I'm gonna start, I'm gonna open a business page, I'm gonna just post pictures of kitchens and bathrooms." What I've learned over the years is that people don't really care about what house you're selling, or what the kitchen looks like, or anything like that whatsoever, they care about you. So I think we're all going to market ourselves on social media, we need to do it smart to do it effectively. And we need to stop marketing ourselves to the rest of real estate brokers, because that's what we do for the most part is we're marketing ourselves to other brokers, we shouldn't log on ourselves to potential clients. So I think if you could invest in a social media course, or social media coordinator or something like that, I think it makes a lot of sense to, you know, make sure that your brand is authentic and effective. You know, across whatever platforms, you're putting it up.

Umar Hameed 21:26
Brilliant. And Lou, before we leave, how about a question for me?

Louis Belisario 21:30
You know, this is the first time I've interacted with you.

Umar Hameed 21:32

Louis Belisario 21:33
You know, this is the first time we've met, obviously, how long have you been doing this?

Umar Hameed 21:37
So we're coming up to three years doing this podcast, and I do this podcast for two reasons. Number one is my highest value is learning stuff.

Louis Belisario 21:48

Umar Hameed 21:48
And there's no better way than getting an expert there. And it's so that's useful. And the second thing is, you know, adding value to the world.

Louis Belisario 21:55

Umar Hameed 21:55
And out of all the tips that we gave today, there's going to be agents that are gonna go, "Oh, my God, Lou, that's like freaking brilliant. I really liked that." And, or it could be something that, that I said, or something they heard in a different way that they've just heard from a different viewpoint. And I think that just, that's one of the joys of life is getting people to kind of drop you a bet someone dropped you a line saying, "Hey, Lou, I heard you on that podcast. That really helped me a lot. I closed the deal because of that" would be delightful.

Louis Belisario 22:24
Absolutely. 100%.

Umar Hameed 22:26
Lou, thanks so much for being on the show. I really, really appreciate it. Enjoyed it. And 22 minutes, just flew by.

Louis Belisario 22:32
Y'all. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. A lot of fun.

Umar Hameed 22:38
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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