5 things wildly successful real-estate brokers do to get the most out of their days
- Many well-known real-estate agents, from Mauricio Umansky to Mary Fitzgerald, share similar habits.
- From caffeinating to streamlining their time, top agents have told Insider their tips for success.
What does a typical day as a real-estate agent look like? Most of the country's all-star brokers will say such a thing doesn't exist, but what's clear is that many of the pros at the top of their game share a handful of similar daily habits.
Whether you're an up-and-coming agent or just an ambitious professional, read on to live like the pros.
Nest Seekers agent Erin Sykes, whose listings and sales totaled $150 million 2021, starts her day in Florida with two nitro cold brews on an empty stomach, for the extra jolt of energy.
Austin, Texas-based agent Kumara Wilcoxon with Kuper Sotheby's International Realty has a morning Earl Grey tea with almond milk, though that comes after two large glasses of lemon water and a celery juice. The morning ritual has helped her sell over $1 billion in her career.
And Mary Fitzgerald, the Los Angeles agent who stars on "Selling Sunset" and sells multi-million dollar mansions with The Oppenheim Group, can't get moving without at least two cups of coffee — she's a self-avowed non-morning person.
They stay on top of their fitness
Franes Kat zen, a Douglas Elliman agent who specializes in luxury condo sales in New York City and sold $340 million last year, is a former ballerina and stays in shape by taking dance classes at Upper West Side studio Steps on Broadway three times a week.
Fellow New York-based Douglas Elliman agent Lisa Simonsen also had a former career in fitness. As such, the agent who sold more than $100 million in 2022 makes sure she works out in her building's gym, usually on a spin bike, every morning.
Former Junior Olympian and real-estate wunderkind McKenzie Ryan used to compete on the national level in rhythmic gymnastics. Now with Elliman in New York City, she said she employs similar discipline.
"With my background, I need to be physically conditioned. Working out is half mental, half physical," she told Insider in 2021, when she sold over $34 million. "And I do a ton of my business strategy when I'm working out." She also does 1,000 crunches a night.
They check the markets, and the news, first thing
Ryan Serhant wakes up at 4:30 a.m. every day not because he likes it, but "because my career depends on it," he said. The extra-early start time allows him to scan the news and catch up on anything he needs to know before the markets open. It's a proven strategy: He's sold over $5 billion in real estate in his career.
In Los Angeles, The Agency's Mauricio Umansky, who sold $298 million in 2021 and stars on Netflix's "Buying Beverly Hills," tunes into Bloomberg, Fox, and CNN to get apprised of what's going on.
"I like to hear all the perspectives. I love to see how they report on the same story from a completely different point of view. It's quite entertaining," he said.
When she starts her day at home, Sykes always has the TV running in the background to stay apprised of all of the happenings that could affect her markets. "When there's breaking news, you have to be available right then to do the commentary for the different channels," said Sykes, who is also an economist. "I've done commentary from everywhere: from hotel rooms, from my car, from client's homes, from my home, and from studios."
They go the extra mile for their clients
Tal Alexander, who left Douglas Elliman to found a firm called Official with his brother Oren, entertains clients in his elite condo building: 432 Park Avenue near Manhattan's Central Park. He stores special meat from butchers, as well as a wine collection, so he always has something special on hand. Together the Alexanders have sold over $1 billion in real estate.
Leave your own party? Sure, if you're Simonsen. A double-booked schedule isn't uncommon in Simonsen's line of work, where agents have to accommodate buyers' limited windows to view homes for sale. As Charlie McDonald, her team's operations lead, explained, "Lisa's clients' time is very valuable. They'll give us the smallest window of time that they can see something, and we have to get them in."
Serhant gets a new SUV every year "just to update it," though he said he makes sure his car and clothes are never nicer than his clients'. "The client comes first. And I always want them to feel special," he said.
They maximize their time with tech and stay self-disciplined
To make the most of her day, Miami agent Dina Goldentayer makes sure she's taking the most efficient mode of transportation around the Magic City. That might mean hopping in the golf cart to cruise around to listing appointments on the Venetian Islands, having her driver take her across town, or even arriving at a meeting by helicopter. The Douglas Elliman agent knows what she has to do to succeed: She was the top-selling agent in Miami in 2021 with $750 million in transactions.
Aaron Kirman, who sells palatial properties with Christie's in Los Angeles and stars on CNBC's "Listing Impossible," developed a new tool called Estate Dynamics that uses artificial intelligence to find people who might be interested in purchasing one of the houses he's selling. The tool then tracks their online behaviors — like their search history and posts on social media — to target them with ads for properties that fit their wants. The goal is to help agents, like himself, close deals more quickly and efficiently. Not that he needs the help: Kirman sold over $725 million in 2020.
Eat an indulgent lunch? Not Kirsten Jordan. The one-time "Million Dollar Listing New York" star and Douglas Elliman agent with over $500 million in career sales always makes time for a meal, eschewing quick fixes like protein bars, but makes it a point not to linger too long.
She's too eager to get back to work.
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