On this fun episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast, Jeb Blount is joined by the incredible social media influencer and successful real estate agent, Alexander Zakharin. Jeb and Alexander discuss that when the going gets tough in the real estate market, the toughest real estate agents get fanatical about prospecting.
Alexander Zakharin’s Inspiring Real Estate Journey
Alexander Zakharin is a New York City real estate guru and a force on TikTok. He emigrated from Russia to the United States in 2017 with a dream to live and work in the greatest city in the world.
When he had visited NYC a few years before, it was love at first sight as he rode a greyhound bus all the way from Chicago into Midtown West. Drawn to the skyscrapers and beautiful buildings he would later rent and sell, Zakharin took the leap after attending college in the UK and moving back to Russia for work.
He arrived in the states without a job or a plan and stumbled into real estate by pure chance— with no real estate experience. He had a background in oil and gas that provided him some sales experience, but he’d never sold real estate. He jokes that his first real estate transaction was renting out his apartment in St. Petersburg the day before he left Russia.
Through a personal connection who rented apartments in Manhattan, Zakharin got an interview as a real estate agent. He then leveraged Fanatical Prospecting, grit, hard work and social media to climb the brutal real estate ladder in New York City.
Since then, Zakharin has sold over 31 million dollars in real estate proving that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. His astronomical success illustrates how the power of relentless prospecting combined with savvy social media strategies have become keys to success in the real estate market, no matter the economic conditions.
It Pays To Have An Entrepreneurial Mindset
Real estate is a highly competitive industry that is constantly influenced by market fluctuations. As a real estate agent, you are essentially your own boss, which means that you have the freedom to control your own earning potential.
This is ultimately what draws so many people into real estate, but it requires a significant mindset shift. You are responsible for your own success and income. In order to thrive in the real estate industry, you must be self-motivated and highly disciplined with a love for competition.
As a real estate agent, you work for yourself, and you are a self-employed entity. You earn exactly what you work for, and it’s up to you to make it happen. This was one of the main reasons that Zakharin saw early success in real estate and decided to stay on that path.
However, it’s important to remember that this success doesn’t come easily. Real estate agents must put in the time and effort to build their network, find leads, and close deals.
What It Takes To Be Great In Real Estate
Overwhelmingly, your ticket to success, regardless of what business or vertical you’re in (especially if it’s a service business), is meeting people and making connections. The more you focus on the human side of sales or service, the faster you close deals and the longer you hold onto relationships.
High performing professionals understand the value of building networks. Likewise, in real estate, the most successful agents are those who focus on the human aspect of their work and prioritize personal connections with potential clients.
Zakharin explains that the most successful new agents aren’t the one with the fanciest Excel sheets or the perfect messaging, they’re the ones who aren’t afraid to call up people in their network and say, “By the way, I’m doing real estate now. If you’re looking to rent or buy, reach out to me.”
Having conversations with people helps any professional gain practical knowledge and experience through learning by doing. There is no substitute for having real conversations with people and maintaining that personal connection is the key to achieving excellence in any business, but particularly in sales and real estate.
Why Shortcuts Don’t Work In Volatile Times
During times of crisis, such as a recession or turbulence, it’s important to go back to basics and fundamentals. Top professionals in various industries practice fundamental skills regularly, regardless of any crisis.
The problem is that many people quit doing the things that work once they start seeing success. This is human nature, and it’s why people struggle during tough times.
In times of abundance, people start believing that they are the ones responsible for their success, and they hit cruise control.
However, when the economy takes a downturn, they’re left wondering what happened and start looking for the next shortcut to success as they fall behind their competitors.
So, during both times of crisis and times of abundance, it’s essential to focus on the basics and not wait for the next opportunity to come to you.
How To Combat Market Fluctuations In Real Estate
Zakharin discusses the real estate market in New York, mentioning the low inventory of resale apartments and the high demand for new developments.
He suggests that developers are incentivized to sell their inventory and that buyers often try to take advantage of creative financing options like mortgage buyouts to get lower interest rates. He also notes that his agency is seeing more cash buyers and walkaways from contracts.
Zakharin cold calls anywhere from 25 to 50 expired listings each morning, and this technique is highly effective as many people who previously listed their apartments are still trying to sell them.
By building a prospecting routine into his day, Zakharin is able to combat the unpredictable market fluctuations that have been characteristic of the last several years.
Fanatical Prospecting is a sales strategy that involves consistently and proactively reaching out to potential customers or clients.
The goal of fanatical prospecting is to fill the sales pipeline with a steady stream of new leads, so that you can focus on building relationships and closing deals with those who are most likely to convert into customers.
In terms of real estate, by consistently generating new leads and actively pursuing them, agents can create a steady stream of business and avoid the ups and downs of a feast-or-famine cycle.
Fanatical prospecting involves a disciplined approach to identifying potential customers, reaching out to them through various channels – phone, email, social media, and in-person – and building relationships with them over time. This approach requires persistence, dedication, and a willingness to work through rejection and failure.
Alexander Zakharin’s success in New York real estate correlates directly with his persistence in fanatical prospecting and never being afraid to pick up the phone or start a conversation with someone on the street.
Instead of being at the mercy of a volatile economy, Zakharin leverages his connections and constantly seeks out new business so that there’s always another opportunity right around the corner.