You are a real estate brand and you love it.

By David Bramante | February 16, 2018

I just finished the book “Crushing it!” and this book covers a lot of content which I feel is pretty basic for creating online content. It also challenged me on some boundaries in my mind.

My biggest take away is an idea which that has been haunting me for a long time… whether or not I like it, I’m a personal brand online… and so I might as well accept it and control it. We’re all personal brands, multifaceted, with many interests and specialties and it’s all getting logged digitally.

This may seem like a basic take away from a guy who has advertised himself as “Mr Echo Park” for several years, but when marketing myself as a Realtor it was less the real David and more a real estate version of David.

What if I allowed my marketing to have been more authentically David?

This book challenged my thoughts on why it is or isn’t prudent to separate the business (or businesses) and personal life (and interests). Maybe there doesn’t have to be lines drawn between our personal and professional lives, or at least those lines which we create can be blurred a little more than I am by default comfortable with?

Whether or not we are aware, the lines are blurred digitally and long after we’re gone, there will be an archived legacy of all of our behavior. All of our behavior. So perhaps we could be more aware of that and more authentic in our activities?

What am I going to do next because of this book? It inspired me to move more in the direction of creating candid video interviews and/or film honest discussions about things I am passionate about, all things I’m passionate about, and not limited to just real estate (though I am obsessed with real estate).

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David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.

He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.

For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com. 

Hal Moore on Leadership: Winning when Outgunned and Outmanned

By David Bramante | February 13, 2018

I just finished “Hal Moore on Leadership: Winning when Outgunned and Outmanned” last night and it’s about Lt General Hal Moore and his experiences during is very long career in the military.

Though it reinforced what I have been learning about leadership over my life time and recently during the books I have been studying, the byproduct was that it really made me wish I went to West Point – The U.S. Military Academy so I could have studied leadership… their mantra is “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

My big take away from this book is that there’s no such thing as a bad team or a good team, but instead there are only bad leaders and good leaders of teams. And a critical component of being a good leader is understanding that he/she is not a manager. There is a difference between leaders and managers.

This reality really hits home because when I was actively running BRE Investment before joining Keller Williams Downtown Los Angeles, I had a revolving door of employees in my never ending quest for the “perfect employee” and I see that my mistake was that I was not inspiring the team as their leader. Seems like a minor distinction, but it’s a big realization.

Separately, this book reinforced that in order to have people truly follow you, you don’t ever degrade them or scare them, but instead lift them up and inspire them. Praise publicly, correct privately. I discovered Schofield’s famous (among military circles) “Definition of Discipline” in this book, which I had not heard of before. Here it is:

Definition of Discipline:

“The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and to give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.”

– Major General John M. Schofield
Address to the Corps of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy
August 11, 1879

Here is a link to the book on Amazon: http://a.co/amoSVZl

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David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.

He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.

For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com. 

Everything that happens around you is your responsibility. Everything.

By David Bramante | February 10, 2018

Since I’m the Team Leader at Keller Williams Downtown Los Angeles, I have been reading as much as possible about leadership and team building. Helping real estate agents is a tricky proposition, because they’re entrepreneurial spirit and legal independent contractor status can feel like you’re herding cats some times.

I’m diving into these topics as quickly as possible since I want to be the best leader I can be for the agents in the office. The structure of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win is great… war story, business application, and summarized principle.

My biggest take aways from this book are:

  • Simplify everything to the lowest common denominator so everyone around you understands it.
  • Prioritize everything you do (don’t make to-do lists, instead make priority lists).
  • Lead through decentralized command… explaining the purpose (the big why) and do not micromanage.
  • Everything that happens around you is your responsibility.
  • Bonus: Wake up as early as possible to challenge yourself mentally!

Several of these big take aways that I listed above are echoed in many of Gary Keller‘s books, like The ONE Thing which is interesting considering how different the actual content of these books are.

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David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.

He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.

For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com. 

 

The best real estate training program. Mentorship 2.0 at Keller Williams.

By David Bramante | February 10, 2018

Over the last six months as the Team Leader of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles (KW DTLA), I have been involved in numerous conversations about the break downs and necessary improvements needed in our real estate mentorship program. And this is while I have heard that the concept and practice of an effective mentorship program and/or productivity coaching program has long since been given up on at most brokerages.

My first experience with an actual mentorship program was when I worked at Marcus & Millichap Los Angeles in Downtown LA in 2009. When I joined, the Manager Steve Stein had me meet with three different agents. I spoke to Rick Raymundo, Peter Strauss, and Neema Ahadian. Those conversations about possible mentorship and coaching, and the requirements and financial expectations were wildly different and unmonitored by M&M. I asked Rick to mentor me and we worked together for over a year on a 50/50 split, but our mentorship was generally unsupervised by the brokerage moving forward and there were many issues between us that didn’t necessarily get resolved.

Looking back, I see that we both exacerbated minor conflicts and the main issue was that there was no top down review of our relationship as senior/junior or mentor/mentee. We were just two young guys making things up as we went.

Fast forward to 2017, I was seeing mentorship at a completely different vantage point. I was recruiting new agents for Keller Williams, and these new agents were looking for real life expertise from senior agents, and they were asking me who these senior agents were they should talk to. Nine out of 10 times, the new agent asks me to mentor them and while I would love the opportunity, taking on new mentees would have been difficult given the time restraints I was already feeling as a brand new Team Leader.

These new agents had large dreams for themselves and huge expectations from what we could offer them as their real estate brokerage, and truthfully I was nervous that our current program (at that time) was struggling. The only positive, at least from the exterior, was that our split was 80/20 and superior to some brokerages like M&M with 50/50 splits. But I actually began to think that the 20% was part of the problem.

Still new to my role, I had already heard horrible stories of how mentors and mentees had had huge fights and that both sides were unhappy. Unhappy with the percentages and unhappy with the results. This took me back to my experiences with Rick, and so though now I took full responsibility for the break-downs between us, I was committed to making sure our mentorship was going to be incredible and properly juggle the concerns of all parties.

While the lingo is a little different between Marcus & Millichap and Keller Williams Realty, as is to be expected, the general question the different brokerages are wrestling with is this:

“How can a real estate brokerage, after the training program is completed, ensure that a new agent has the guidance he/she needs in order to learn the basics of the real estate business and sell real estate as quickly as possible?”

Apparently, until now there hasn’t been a winning formula. That’s why most of the brokerages I have looked into have given up on mentorship programs and productivity coaching, at least internally, though they may still offer the concept to the public and the new agents they recruit. Many team leaders and productivity coaches want to make something work, but they’ve not been able to figure it out.

With all of this in mind, and with real life mentorship experience under my belt both initially as a newer agent with Rick at M&M, and now a senior agent and Team Leader working with new agents at KW, I believe our new mentorship program here has some unique characteristics which solve the issues brokerages have been facing.

The number one question both new agents and experienced agent asks is this:

“How much is the commission split for me?”

At most M&M offices, the general split between new agents and senior agents is 50/50 for the first three transactions, while the default split at KWs is 80/20 for the first three transactions. Both of these splits are extremes which do not address the underline concerns of either party. The new agent wants to gain experience from a mentor in the mentorship program, but doesn’t want to get ripped off. The senior agent wants to help new agents learn the business, but wants to be properly compensated and not create a drag on their business.

The answer we came up was this:

  • The first transaction is 60/40
  • The second transaction is 70/30
  • The third transaction is 80/20

This acknowledges that in the first transaction the new agent is brand-new with usually zero experience or knowledge in real estate transactions. In this first transaction, the agents, new and experienced, are basically partners working with a client, but the experienced agent shoulders most (if not all) of the work for a 40% split rather than a “nominal” 20% split.

The sliding scale to the mentee’s benefit acknowledges a simple truth in a mentorship program, the new agent is gaining experience from transaction to transaction, and so an automatic change in split is intuitive. We struggled with having a minimum amount due to the mentor, and after many iterations we reduced the $30,000 minimum to $15,000, and then ultimately scrapped the minimum altogether.

Separately, as a mentor I have experienced the tendency to not want to discuss some of the very basics of the business that every new real estate agent asks his/her mentor or coach… because the conversations are redundant, slow and after many years in real estate, just not mentally stimulating for me. And in the same breathe as a mentor and as the Team Leader of our office, I want to make sure our new agents get the support they need and deserve. Common questions are:

  • How do you use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
  • How do you search for active and sold comparable (comp) properties?
  • How do you create proposals, comparable market analyses, etc?
  • What California Association of Realtor (CAR) forms do you use and why?

The solution for this issue, and generally how you help new agents that have completed their mentorship program (have sold three transactions), is to create a completely new model for mentoring / coaching our new agents.

This new mentor system is creating two levels of mentorship, a senior mentor and a junior mentor, giving a new agent two mentors (for the price of one). This is unheard of in any other real estate brokerage, including the KW offices I have spoken to:

  • The senior mentor, like me, handles strategy conversations dealing with planning, technique, and implementation of the four models of real estate… everything involved in securing listings and selling real estate.
  • The junior mentor, which in our office is Jos Viramontes now, handles the administrative conversations and answers the basic questions that were bulleted above. Jos is helping our new agents get familiar with the MLS, search comparable properties, create proposals, use CAR forms.

The compensation plan between the senior and junior mentors is simple, they split the mentorship / real estate coaching fee 50/50 due to the mentor, from the mentee. This new model covers all the concerns that have been breaking the mentorship programs and productivity coaching programs that I have studied, and creates a whole new opportunity for new agents to generate income as they grow their businesses.

This new opportunity is that once a new agent completes three transactions, he/she may be eligible to become a junior mentor which allows them to make another source of income as they help train the office and grow their own real estate business.

Our hope is that this new mentorship program which our office has created solves the concerns of the new agents and senior agents, increases everyone’s productivity and commissions, and becomes a model that is replicated in other real estate companies, because creating thoughtful programs like this helps make selling real estate less a job and more an actual business.

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David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.

He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.

For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com. 

Create amazing real estate marketing. Create buyer profiles.

By David Bramante | February 5, 2018

Just finished “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” and strongly recommend it. The big take away for me is you need to begin all marketing with the end in mind, or pay the price. Literally.

This means creating “buyer” profiles and creating quality content around them… focusing on their needs and their experience from start to finish. Read it and let me know what you think!

I learned this the hardest way possible, by ramping up my marketing with BRE Investment between 2015 and 2016 with extreme marketing campaigns that drifted in design and concept too much and too often. While we made BRE a house-hold name in the the area, there were few quick sales that supported these campaigns.

Many people felt the marketing we did, which I actually learned was more a branding blitz, was an ego trip instead of a real attempt to grow the business. While we do receive emails and calls from these campaigns, the advertising and branding we did did not gather the quick and immediate seller leads we had hoped for.

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David Bramante is the Team Leader & Managing Partner of Keller Williams Realty Downtown Los Angeles, and the manager of BRE Investment in Echo Park.

He has been a top producing California Realtor since 2005, helping clients sell, buy, invest and lease residential and commercial real estate in Los Angeles.

As a real estate consultant, he has hired, mentored and coached over 150 Realtors in Southern California, including many top producing Realtors in Los Angeles County.

For questions about the above blog post, becoming a real estate agent, or joining Keller Williams Realty, send an email to David directly at david (at) breinvestment.com or davidbramante (at) kw.com. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1119070481/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_SRkEAbMKCACGJ