Mario Eldin has a lifelong love for sales and a passion for digital marketing. He practiced real estate in his native New York City before recently relocating to Orange County, California.
Today on Stay Paid, Mario discusses his journey, from hustling in Brooklyn’s competitive rental market to working with expired listings and FSBOs in California.
- When working with expired listings, it’s important to exercise patience and understand the pain points of customers.
- When you don’t try to book an appointment right away, you’ll stand apart from all the agents who do.
- Hosting an open house for a FSBO is a way to offer value and build a relationship, while connecting with buyer leads.
Q: Introduce yourself to our audience.
Before I was an agent, I had a decade of experience in digital and social media marketing. I have a background in building websites, and I’m a big geek when it comes to that stuff.
I graduated from college when I was 27, turning 28. After that, I became depressed. I felt like I was floating, unable to decide what I wanted to do. I decided I was going to try this one last thing that was in my face the whole time. I was always selling something. So, I took my real estate test, and, within 3 weeks, I was an agent in Brooklyn. My first week, I made about $5,000.
Currently, I’m in the middle of creating a course for New York City real estate agents who want to make money doing rentals.
Q: Why did you move from Brooklyn to California?
I went to Agent2021 with Gary Vee. I met people there, and we followed each other on Instagram. They watched my hustle. Social media is a huge part of my personal brand. One thing led to another, and they called and asked me to come work with them. All it took was one phone call. That same day, I started figuring out how I was going to get out there.
Q: Was it easy to leave?
It was not easy leaving. I’m a Brooklyn boy. When I came out here, I was making everybody cry. The people here are very sensitive and I’m overly edgy. I was clashing with people. My intention was good, but this is how I talk.
Q: What’d you do from the beginning to build your business?
When I was in Brooklyn, I was very heavy on rentals. Towards the end, before I found out I was going to California, I was transitioning into sales. So, I took my test when I got to California, and I passed it the first time. As soon as I got my license, the first thing that I did was set up my team in the office with a cold calling platform.
Q: What leads are you calling?
I call newly expired listings, past expired listings (6–12 months ago), and FSBOs. I don’t gauge it by the amount of phone calls. I sit down for 3–4 hours. In three hours, you can make 200–300 phone calls, but you might only connect with 30.
In California, I no longer aggressively hit newly expired listings. I call them once or twice a week in order to feel them out—in order to have a conversation. Then I door knock. I don’t try to book an appointment the first time. I try to find out what the situation is.
Q: Do you decide whether or not to close right away, based on the phone call?
With newly expired listings in California, there are so many people working them. And everybody’s trying to close. It’s more efficient to have a conversation and get to know what’s bothering them, build rapport, and just talk. Always agree with them, and remember: they will always remember how the conversation ended, so end the conversation on a friendly note. Why is that important? Because, when you want to call them again, they’re going to pick up. They’re going to remember, “Oh, this was the nice girl/guy who had a conversation with me.” They’re not going to be as defensive. I’m doing this for free because I’m hoping that, in the future, you might consider me.
Q: How does this approach translate to sales for you?
I’ll be very transparent. I’ve been in the California real estate game now for 4 or 5 months. I finally got my first listing after several months, signed the listing agreement, and created content for Instagram and Facebook. As soon as all the marketing materials were created, I got a text saying, “Somebody passed away.” The deal didn’t go through.
I’m my biggest hype man. I generate all this energy within myself. I just told myself, “When you make it, and you’re worth $300 million, you’re going to have a great story.”
I had another listing that came from this kind of conversation. His agent fell through, and I got the phone call. That one is currently pending. And then I got another one, which was a FSBO. I called this lady, and she had been getting constant phone calls. She was very defensive and didn’t really want to talk to me. Long story short, I told her I could offer her a free Facebook campaign, and I would host her open houses for her for free. Why would I do that? The open houses are free buyer leads. You’re paying Zillow thousands of dollars a month. You can’t spend a few hundred a month to push some traffic into an open house?
Q: What routine has driven success for you?
The architect of the world built this a certain way, and this is one of the foundations of it: whatever you believe in, it will happen. Whatever you put out into the world, that’s what you’re going to get back. That’s why these successful people have all these different ideas, because that’s what worked for them.
I recommend everybody read the book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. You can read it every month, and you’ll get takeaways every time.
Q: What would you tell the younger you?
I would tell myself to avoid my parents’ advice about things that they have no experience with. We grew up broke. My parents came from a place of safety. “You’ve got to go to school here in America.” That’s all they knew. I don’t blame them. They just didn’t know better. They knew the safest way.
I listened to that, because I saw how much we struggled. People were buying Air Jordans, and I was going to Payless and buying Shaqs. I understood how broke we were. And, because I understood that, I felt like I had to listen to them.
- Test the strategy of calling expired listings, not going for the appointment on the first call. Then work on door knocking those qualified listings.
- Be direct about your intentions on your next cold call.
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