Alistair Powell is the Managing Broker and owner of Engel & Völkers, The Villages, a global luxury real estate firm. Originally from the United Kingdom, Alistair joined Hamptons International realty to become the youngest ever sales manager. He owned his own brokerage at the age of 21 and established locations in Panama, the Middle East, London, Shanghai and Manila.
He arrived in Florida in 2009 to be closer to family and to see what kind of success he could achieve in the U.S. He joined Sotheby’s International Realty in Miami where he was the recipient of several awards including the “Young Guns Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2008. He was most recently recognized as being an entrepreneur and marketer to watch in 2012 as one of Miami’s “Power 30 Under 30.” In 2012, he joined Engel & Völkers to extend his global reach and to support the high level of service that his brokerage is committed to to providing for its clients.
IXACT Contact recently sat down with Alistair for a special Q&A blog post. “Forget about the noise and trying to get rich quick. Put yourself out there and network. And build your real estate database based on everyone you’ve met no matter how meaningless it might seem to be at first” he says.
IXACT Contact: Hi Alistair, thanks for speaking with us today.
Alistair: I’m glad to!
IXACT Contact: Great! You’ve had an amazing real estate sales career. What has been the “secret” to your success?
Alistair: I was at a Young Professional Network meeting recently and they asked the question, “What makes one successful?” When it came my turn, I answered that it was me. And I don’t mean that arrogantly.
But for me, it hasn’t been about the tools. It’s been about being myself and reaching out and being transparent about who I am. When you put yourself out there in the public eye, and that’s what we do in real estate every day, or should be doing, good things will happen and some bad things too. You just can’t worry about the bad things. You have to be fearless and know that the more successful you become the more of both will happen. But as a result, I have very meaningful relationships and the results have been great on both a professional and a personal level.
Of course, technology tools help. A real estate contact management system, for instance, helps me to stay organized and ensure I’m building those meaningful relationships over time.
IXACT Contact: Absolutely. We agree that mentality plays a big factor in one’s success. Why do you believe a real estate contact management system is so important for agents?
Alistair: It is invaluable and you can’t live without it. If you think you can keep track of all the information that is available, that you should keep track of, without a real estate CRM, you will fail. There are only a few things you can remember. The technology exists to keep track of a much wider base of knowledge and data, which allows you to do more and achieve more.
IXACT Contact: As you know, a real estate contact management system also helps Agents stay organized. Do you see poor time-management and/ or organization a common barrier to success in the field?
Alistair: Yes. Agents spend a lot of unnecessary time acting on opportunities that may or may not happen. Taking the time to know whether it’s 100 percent saves time down the road. If you’re not sure you should go for it, you shouldn’t.
It’s important to also mention that agents need a real estate contact management system to manage their daily tasks, get automatic reminders, and make sure nothing falls through the cracks when listing and closing homes.
IXACT Contact: How do you recommend Agents keep in touch with and market to their clients better?
Alistair: Ask the client how they want to be communicated with. If they want to use email, use email. If they want to be snail mailed weekly, then that’s what you should do. You shouldn’t expect for a client to join your communications channels. Ask and find out what their preference is, what part of the day and how often and then maintain it.
That being said, you need to make sure you’re somehow communicating to your real estate sphere of influence (SOI) over time and building relationships. This is how you’ll get referrals and repeat business down the road. Being time constrained is a factor for many agents, but the best real estate CRMs, such as IXACT Contact and Engel & Völkers’ own platform, let you automatically send out a professionally designed and written real estate newsletter every month. No work is involved on your end.
IXACT Contact: What’s one piece of advice you give to new agents?
Alistair: Be yourself. Forget about the noise and trying to get rich quick. Put yourself out there and network. And build your real estate database, based on everyone you’ve met, no matter how meaningless it might seem to be at first. It could be valuable later on.
IXACT Contact: When you’re not thinking and talking real estate, what do you enjoy doing on your time off?
Alistair: Everyone should be active in the things they are passionate about. Don’t just join a networking group for the sake of networking. Make it a group that meets on a subject or activity that you are passionate about and you will get more out of it on so many different levels. When I need a break and need to get away from it all, I go to Disney so I can feel like a kid again.
IXACT Contact: Thanks for speaking with us today, Alistair!
Alistair: My pleasure.