Throughout her 25+ year career in real estate, Stephanie Vitacco has consistently been named among The Top 100 Agents in the Nation and among Keller Williams’ Top 10 Agents Nationwide. She’s personally sold more than 6,000 homes. No matter the market, her track record of sales and service is consistent and impeccable.
Here she shares some of the keys, habits, and insights that have helped her dominate her local Greater San Fernando Valley, California market and become the #1 Top Producing Agent at Keller Williams in 2019 with sales of 196 units and a GCI of $3,661,251.21.
❌ There is NO easy button to success. It’s about staying focused and working hard.
This is not an easy business, but anything worth having is not easy. You have to train to become highly skilled so you can become highly efficient. Real estate is a contact sport that requires you to be on top of your game every single day. You can’t rest on your laurels, not even for a second. The business is intense, but it’s also satisfying.
✨ Hone your expertise and fine-tune what makes you shine.
I believe that what makes me shine and sets me apart is that I am relentless. I don’t and won’t give up. I’m a strong listing agent. I am extremely proficient at how to get a home sold and get results. That’s my sweet spot. I take a lot of pride in being knowledgeable about how to get a property sold and interfacing with my clients.
❤️ Empathy matters! People see right through inauthenticity.
A real estate sale or purchase is almost always your client’s largest transaction, so there are a lot of moving financial, logistical, and emotional pieces associated with it. As their realtor, it’s important to realize that every transaction is multi-layered. Is your client selling or buying because there was a death or divorce? Is someone moving up, away, or down? You need to get into the weeds with people and understand their motivation, goals, and needs. I really care what’s going on with them and I sincerely want to help. I look at each property as if it were my own. In addition to strong business skills, you’ll need acutely developed people skills to help them on all the levels they need. In this way, many of my clients have become friends.
🏃🏽♀️Stay 10 steps ahead and anticipate the needs of your clients and colleagues.
Our team continuously and proactively follows up with other realtors and lenders to make sure all the thousands of details in a transaction are handled so that our deals get done. It’s a mistake to trust that everyone involved is going to have it together. It doesn’t mean they are ill-intended, but people have a lot going on, can be easily distracted, or their timetable may not be as urgent as mine. Yet, I have to report to my sellers, and I know how I’d want to be treated – to know someone has my back, and is keeping me updated, so I don’t have to reach out and ask where we are in the process. I liken it to going to the doctor or working with an attorney. You want them to assess the situation, tell you the strategy, and implement the steps to make it happen in your best interest.
⏭ Your success will hinge on how quickly you’re able to pivot and adapt to the chaos of life.
Some people might say top producers have it all worked out, but it’s never done and it’s never perfect. Just when you find you’re at a place where you’re humming along, something changes. Technology changes, the market changes, or the business changes and you have to be nimble and prepared to pivot on a dime. It can be exhausting, but the systems that you had in place two years ago may need editing. Things are constantly changing. It’s ironic that real estate is such a messy business because I like things to be neat and orderly. That’s why you have to build up a certain tolerance to it, work hard to stay ahead of the coming changes, and control what’s controllable.
🚴🏽♀️ Everybody has struggles. Everyone. Expect it.
As realtors we are always working in the business and on the business. There are smooth days and rocky days. It’s like riding a bike. You might be on a sunny road now, but soon you’ll be pedaling into the wind. You will experience hills and mountains, potholes, and extreme weather changes.
👫 Our success does NOT exist in a vacuum. We grow into new opportunities because of the people around us who love us, cheer us on, and have fierce conversations with us.
Who you work with is crucial. It takes a village. There are so many different parts of the process that have to be comfortably managed. I am a perfectionist and a bit of a control freak. Thankfully, I have a great, highly experienced staff and we’ve all been together a very long time. They help with the marketing, the tremendous amount of processing and follow-up, and make sure all of the hundreds aspects of a transaction are properly promoted. Success is locking arms and doing the small things over and over again.
👨👩👧👦 To best help your clients, be true to yourself and don’t waiver.
Know who you are and stick to that. Speak the truth and tell your clients what may be unpleasant for them to hear. Be transparent because people can sense when you are trying to sell them.
📈There’s no such thing as overnight success.
Success is gradual and takes time and it looks different for everyone. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, after 10,000 hours of doing something, you shift your level of expertise. Tap into Keller Williams’ vast network of models, systems, tools, resources, training, and likeminded agents to get over hurdles, and to better help your clients.