Kosta: In today’s episode I’m speaking with Evelyn Lacerda a Broker with Remax. Evelyn is a consistent 200% Club Award winning realtor that recognizes agents that achieve over $200K in commissions. Evelyn also trains and coaches new and experienced realtors on how to level up in their business. She’s an entrepreneur, a natural go getter and is clearly committed to be the best at what she does. However, most notably, Evelyn is one of the most passionate and sincere realtors I’ve spoken to and she really values her relationships with our clients and that’s really evident in our conversation to really clear why I’ve. Evelyn is a top agent and it was a real pleasure speaking with her. So without further ado, here’s our chat, Evelyn. Thank you so much for joining me on the Top Agent podcasts. Really do appreciate it.
Evelyn: Thank you for having me.
Kosta: Excuse my voice. By the way, I’m just getting over a nasty cold so you can probably hear it.
Evelyn: Sorry that you had that happen to you. It’s the season.
Kosta: It’s all good. So Evelyn, you’re a broker with Remax. You consistenly reach, the 100 percent, 200 percent club awards with the company. You also train and coach new and experienced realtors on how to elevate their business. I love service to their clients. So definitely a lot to dive into there. But why don’t you kick things off by just telling us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you got into real estate.
Evelyn: Yeah, absolutely. So we moved a lot when I was growing up and I got really excited about getting to know new neighborhoods when you bedroom, discover the new and interesting features of each house became obsessed with owning property. So I purchased my first home when I was 24. It was a preconstruction townhome by Daniels in Erin Mills Mississauga. At the time I was operating three businesses and none of them had stable income, so I got a tenant to help me manage the bill. And from that point on I just wanted more properties and more tenants. When I met my ex husband, we had the same goal, so we continue to buy and renovate investment properties and had tenants in them. So my job was to manage our properties manager tenants, and then we had another business that I was involved in as well. When we divorced, I lost all of my assets, all of my means of income.
Evelyn: And I had to start over from scratch. Uh, my ex husband literally stole every single penny from our joint bank account and I had to move in with my grandparents because they made sure I had access to no many. So I couldn’t even rent a place for myself. I went from owning three houses with five sets of tenants to not being able to pay for rent. So pretty devastating time. Uh, but the silver lining was that I’m always, I’ve always been a hard worker and highly motivated by just the opportunities finally get my real estate license and I mostly worked for myself as an independent contractor. So generating my own clients wasn’t new or scary to me, but that’s how I got started obsessed with real estate from a young age and then hitting rock bottom and taking the opportunity to start over and plunge into the business, not as an investor at a, as a realtor and finally get
Kosta: As awful as that story is. So inspiring to, to just, you know, hear about what you went through to where you are now. I mean, that’s, that’s so incredible. So you said you had three, you operating three businesses. Were those all like real estate connected or were they just.
Evelyn: Uh, I used to work in the club industry and I used to also work as a promotional model. So in both those capacities I was self employed and contracts with my services out. But as you can imagine, you’re doing promotions, you’re working at trade shows, your hosting events, but it’s not a five day a week job, so you’ll be booked for different gigs or opportunities, um, but it’s not consistent, so I had to have multiple jobs in order to generate enough income and I am extremely ambitious so just getting by was never going to be good enough for me and I’ve always been fascinated with passive income generating wealth and trying to think outside of the box. Um, my parents both came to Canada from other countries and built themselves up from nothing and I learned how to work hard, uh, didn’t necessarily learn how to work smart, so I had to take courses and develop myself outside of university and outside of college, which I attended both, uh, to actually learn how to operate a business and generate passive income and leverage investments to try to create opportunities that don’t happen if you don’t try.
Kosta: I love it. I love stories like that. It’s so amazing. So you always been pretty entrepreneurial then?
Evelyn: Yeah. And I, Yep. My family are all entrepreneurs as well. Um, my mother has an aesthetics, a business that she operates and my, my dad, my stepfather has a swimming pool company. My birth father has always had his own business in Brazil. So it’s kind of in the family.
Kosta: That’s awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. Um, so real estate, maybe it’s getting very competitive as I’m sure you’re experiencing not only competitive by just the sheer large number of realtors out there, but also in the sense that buyers and sellers are equipped with more and more information and resources. So the value that realtors provide have to increase. Can you talk about that? Like how do you stand out from your peers and what kind of value do you bring to the table and your business?
Evelyn: Yeah, absolutely. So for me, real estate is a people business and as much as having access to the old information is great and handy and any of my clients have always had access to information or anybody in my database is it access to it just by asking what I love is now through you and through um, tribe we’re going to be allowed to give our database and our clients access for the information through our website. Uh, I think that’s brilliant because otherwise I’m just manually pulling it. The thing is that information by itself doesn’t offer really that much value because you have to know how to use that information. And so for me personally, I step by step my clients through the buying and selling process. I give them possible scenarios that can happen each step of the way I have the experience and the knowledge to it, my clients in the best position possible, especially when things go sideways.
Evelyn: So a person’s home is to often their largest asset. There’s a lot of legal and procedural details and the average person has no clue about. It’s really a situation that people have no idea what they don’t know. A learning curve and real estate is huge and I don’t see myself as a salesperson. My real job is to educate, to guide a problem solved, to negotiate the best opportunity for clients to remove as much stress as I can from the process. You anticipate challenges that other people don’t know to look for and to take action in advance of that problems don’t take place, but if they do take place and to resolve them quickly and ensure my clients are protected, so that’s not really being a salesperson with a lot of other things but not selling.
Kosta: Yeah. That’s all true and I agree with what you said about the Sol data. I mean, although this information is out there, which is great, it still requires a professional to be able to dissect it and analyze it and understand what it truly means. Right?
Evelyn: Yeah. Just because your neighbor’s house sold for x amount of dollars, there might be other factors in place, like what are they funding onto her backing onto? Do they have a pool, either square footage, larger? Are they renovated to a higher level? All those things have value and when it’s your own property, people can get a little bit blinded about, uh, what their home is worth. So having an outside person to be able to analyze it and explain to them why their house is worth x and then also be able to market that ready for its best features and communicate to interested parties. Why that home to get more money. That’s, that’s part of our job.
Kosta: Yeah, that’s all right. Uh, it’s so much more than just as you said, think you’re dealing with so much more like emotion for example. I’m sure you’ve come across sellers who are adamant that they should get a x amount of dollars for their home, but oftentimes that emotion gets in the way of reality. So a lot of consulting is required on the realtors end among many other things like marketing, advising, branding and sales. So it’s really a wide gamut of all things business. If you think about it,
Evelyn: a hundred percent. Yeah. It’s much bigger than people imagine. There’s a lot more involved in it. And, uh, you know, legal things that can go wrong, procedural things that can go wrong, it’s just so much information that if you’re not doing it full time, you don’t know where to start, where to begin. There’s just a lot. So one of my favorite things to do is to provide a lot of education and information for my clients, but I also provide each my buyers and sellers with a package that they can go through and reread. And I always say to them, no question is stupid and if you need to ask me something 500 times, don’t feel bad because it’s a lot of information. So ask me as many times as it takes, you’ll never annoy me and I’m always here to hold your hand through it and to make sure that you’re protected.
Kosta: That’s amazing. I’m staying on topic. What are some of the biggest challenges that you currently face as a realtor? Like whether it be with, you know, marketing and lead generation, brand awareness or just providing information and, and, um, you know, education to your clients or anything else that you’re seeing in the business today?
Evelyn: So I’d say that I have now a lot of challenges. I had some challenges my first couple years because I’d work with motivated people who would burn me out to be working night and day, seven days a week for months in a row without a day off. And I didn’t know how to help them be more focused and I didn’t know that I could walk away from people who aren’t serious about buying and selling and just want to like a good deal, uh, or to sell for an unrealistic price. So what I learned that really transformed my business is that it’s my job to teach and guide my client so that they know what they need and to put themselves in the best position possible to get what they want. And I’ve learned that, um, if what they want is not possible in the current market, again, and I educate my guides, I’m just show them why it’s not possible.
Evelyn: If they still want something that’s unachievable. I’ve learned to just wish them well and walk away. And so that gives me a lot of peace to be able to say, no, it’s not going to work out. Every relationship that I have with someone, even though 99 point nine percent of them are, are wonderful, there’s going to be the odd time where I’ve got to let go and walk away just because they’re not ready to receive the information to put them in the best position possible. Um, I guess another challenge is just getting time off. It is a seven day a week, night and day business. So I have a hired an assistant. Um, my current assistant’s been with me for almost a year and that’s also given me so much more life balance. I can’t say that I regularly take a day off, but I can. And that’s really, really fantastic.
Kosta: That’s amazing. That’s what I wanted to ask you as well. So I see you do have a team now, which is incredible. One of the challenges that I see a lot of realtors face is like you mentioned time management. So oftentimes realtors don’t really have a fixed schedule. You’re, you’re constantly juggling meetings. Client Services Showings, open houses, maybe, etc. Uh, I’d imagine dealing with all that and managing a team a is even more tough. So are there any tips yoU can share for just managing your time better?
Evelyn: So there’s what I know to do and what I haven’t yet inputs, so tIme blocking is critical, uh, to be able to get your calls in for prospecting and then make sure that you’re available to work in your business, on your business and be available for showings for clients and all of that. So, um, I have my work schedule time blocked now I just have to actually do it. So it’s one of those things where you know the right thing to do, but you have to implement it. So, um, yeah, it’s something that I’m working on, but time blocking is absolutely critical to make sure that you can get it all in.
Kosta: Yeah. Which is a lot easier said than done. I mean, I totally can relate to that for sure. Um, so switching gears a little bit, you’re a multi award winning realtor. You consistently reach the, uh, both hundred percent, 200 percent club awards or three max, which, which correct me if I’m wrong, but so 200 percent, you’re hitting over 200 k in commissions per year. Yes. Right. Perfect. That’s amazing. Congratulations on that big time numbers. Are you on pace to, to reach that level again this year?
Evelyn: So I almost doubled my business in 2018. So what’s funny is when you create structures and systems and you’re actually able to implement them a, you create a consistent experience for your clients and things went much more smoothly and your clients have a much better experience. So, uh, open the last a year and a half, I’ve been able to create and implement those structures. So where 2018 was actually a down year for most agents, it was my best year. So I’ve actually done platinum, which is over 2:50 a. I won’t disclose my exact income, but it, it’s that nearly double a last year. So, uh, I think that having clients that are really happy about their experiences with me, them referring me to other people and then they have great experiences with me, it just starts to really, um, gosh with positive energy, positive experiences, and that in turn comes back and helps to grow my business. So it’s the, I also got married this year, so it’s 2018, a phenomenal year for me. Yeah, really, really great.
Kosta: Congrats on that! Are you able to share how many transactions you’ve done in the air or it may be a range?
Evelyn: Um, yeah. So, so with over 30 I deal with every price point. so I’ve, I’ve got, um, a field where the properties are worth over one, five, one seven, but then I do the other end as well where, um, I’ve got some town homes that I fell that are, you know, 500,000 and everything in between. So my average commission is, is healthy, it’s a healthy commission so I don’t have to do as many transactions as somebody who’s doing it on a lower end. Um, I will be growing my number, but yeah, they’re strong numbers. We, I definitely have good systems in place to support even more transactions in that circle for next year, a year and the year before with more focused on creating client experiences. And now that I’ve got all those systems in place, we can focus on growing our numbers, not much in terms of a broker, a commission, uh, but in terms of transactions. So that’s, that’s the plan for 2019.
Kosta: Incredible. Thank you so much for sharing that. Um, so doing that many transactions involves, you know, consistently beating your lead pipeline, I’m sure, uh, what are some of your most effective marketing strategies that you’re able to share?
Evelyn: So I do best when I’m face to face or voice to voice with people. Um, I, I do what’s called a farm. So there’s areas that I specialized in. I do a lot of my work, so it’s if mr. Farber and south mississauga, so apple and lakeview and what I find really works for me is of course we use social media to advertise our open houses, the facebook, instagram, youtube, linkedin, twitter, like all of that. We use all of that and our website with you, um, but we call an invite the neighbors who often have family and friends that want to move to the area to attend the open house that everybody’s welcome. And I do frequently sell my listings to people that have come through the open houses. So the other advantage of hosting them is not only to get a buyer for the property, which we do all the time, uh, but also it allows the neighbors who were thinking about selling me, see how I handle marketing and, and that introducing other people to my client’s and for potential buyers, they have an opportunity to see that I’m not just out there to make a quick buck.
Evelyn: I’m not a pushy sales person. I’m actually out there to help them reach their goal and put their best interests first. So I think after talking to me and interacting with me, they do get to learn that about me and feel out if we’re a good fit. So there’s so many great opportunities, uh, hosting open houses and being face to face with people. But of course, again, on the back end, we are promoting it through a every possible method to get people to attend.
Kosta: Yeah. You know, you’re right at the core, I think it’s still very much is um, you know, people business. Absolutely. Um, do you do any door knocking as well in your farm area?
Evelyn: I Said, I said, but, and I know every realtor is going to scream at me for saying this, but I don’t like people showing up to my door if I’m in the middle of doing something. And I, and I worked from my home office. I have two dogs. I have a Jack Russell and a french bulldog. Somebody comes, knocks on the door. They go nuts. It interrupts what I’m doing if I’m not expecting somebody or really don’t want to talk to them. So, um, what I, I do instead of door knocking is a, I have a lot of people that are in my farm area in my database. So why email out to them to let them know when we have an open house in their area? Uh, I also do make phone calls so I can just leave a message on their phone if it’s inconvenient for them to pick up and invite them.
Evelyn: we also do, um, vip invitations that we have maIled to the area where we’re doing the open house. Again, people are picking up that piece. We’re looking at it on their own timeline without feeling like I’m bothering them. Um, what I do instead of the door knocking, if we have some client events, so we do community thrived. Sales have also been doing giveaways around halloween. It gives me an opportunity to meet and chat with and have a conversation with people that live in the areas that I specialized in and it really, really pleasant. Uh, and I, I frequently have a high turnout at my open houses because people know me and they feel really comfortable coming just to chat and pick my brain and say hello, like we’ve been friends forever. So, uh, yeah, the face to face is great. I just don’t like to do it when people don’t want it. That makes sense.
Kosta: yeah. And you know what, that’s a really, really good point. Um, I, I think it’s so important to you shouldn’t do marketing and you shouldn’t do like types of marketing that you personally don’t like done on you, if that makes sense, because if, because if you, if you do that then you’re attracting people that you might not necessarily want to work with. We want to work with you. Whereas if you’re just doing things that you know, work on you, you’re sort of attracting like a likeminded potential client, if that makes sense.
Evelyn: I completely agree. So my philosophy is do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. So I treat my clients and other agents how I’d like to be treated and again, marketing, same way, how would I like to get information? And then I ended up being surrounded by incredibly kind, generous, appreciative people. so working hard and working ethically to where I am today has paid off in spades. It’s just amazing. Surrounded by great people all the time.
Kosta: Yeah, it makes total sense. So you’re also a coach and trainer now to, to new and experienced agents in your brokerage. Is that right?
Evelyn: Yes. I love it. I love it. I’m finally at a point in my career where I’m, hopefully I can influence and help minimize people’s learning curve. Um, people don’t know how much they know about real estate and my first two years in the business, um, I, I just stumbled around trying to figuring out how things worked and I was afraid to ask for help. I was afraid to ask questions other than obviously if I’m dealing with a contract then I would make sure my manager had looked at it to make sure I was, had all the conditions were that they needed to be. But in terms of a business perspective, I, I didn’t really feel comfortable asking the top agents to share their two cents with me because I thought I was bothering them. Uh, if I could go back in time and teach myself dumping it would be to join a team right away and shave off an enormous amount of learning curve.
Evelyn: And that would’ve accelerated my business much more quickly than new brick by brick stone, by stone. Slowly building something. So that would be the advice that I’d give myself and any other new agents, join the team, learned from the senior agent and see what they can offer you once you’ve worked with them and you are more capable and more confident if it doesn’t work out and you can always move on to your, you know, independently and do your own thing, but there is significant value and not trying to reinvent the wheel and learn it from somebody else.
Kosta: Yeah, it makes total sense. I agree with that. Um, another question, what are some of the biggest opportunities that you see most realtors not taking advantage of that you notice thinking your during your coaching and training?
Evelyn: Uh, so there’s a saying that real estate is simple it, but it’s not easy. Uh, so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to do what we do, but it takes a, a type of personality and the type of work ethic and that type of mindset to do what’s uncomfortable. And if you’re scared, you’re scared to make those calls. If you’re scared to put yourself forward and have a conversation, it’s not the right business for you. And people think that being a realtor means you’re showing properties and you’re throwing something up on mls. That’s the most insignificant part of our jobs when somebody tells me, oh, I want to work with a different realtor because I had to find my own home last time. That’s not what we do. It’s like a side effect of what we do. um, anybody has access to realtor dot, ca. Anybody can look up the properties that are available. There’s so many other things that need to be done to make a transaction successfully come together and to make sure you’re in the best position possible. You’re getting the best. You’re not overpaying for a home or you’re getting top dollar when you’re selling your home. There’s a lot that goes into that. So, um, people need to have a personalitY where they are not afraid to do simple things that are not easy, if that makes any sense.
Kosta: Very well said. I couldn’t agree more with all of that for sure. Switching gears yet again. Uh, I want to just jump into technology. As you know, it’s constantly evolving and changing. How do you see technology changing the way real estate is done in say the next five to 10 years?
Evelyn: So that’s a, that’s a huge question Because in the last nine years that I’ve been in the business, everything’s changed. It’s so different, you know, there’s, so, there’s so many convenient things that we have access to now. So identifying or being able to do documents legally, um, just by emailing the documents to each other, it helps to facilitate things. Um, there has been times where I’ve literally done three deals in one night because I was able to do it from my home office, whereas I wouldn’t have been able to take care of all of those clients if I didn’t have that technology. It would have been impossible because we’d always do offers in person before. What I don’t like is, it is a depersonalizing things a little bit. Um, so I, I do really enjoy the experience of sitting across from the seller if I’m representing my buyer and telling that seller why my client should be winning in a multiple bid situation and a bit about the personality and how much they’re going to appreciate the health if they’re the ones that win to have a one on one connection with the other agent, with the other, um, whether it be a buyer or a seller and all of that helped to make the experience very positive and to go smoothly.
Evelyn: So anyway, it’s kind of sword because the technology is phenomenal at getting things done more quickly and more efficiently and more strategically. But then sometimes it can remove some of the personal aspect to it. And I find that when you Start treating something like a house, which people, they spend all of their personal time in, they connect with their homes. usually they invest time, energy, and money Into their home. When you treat that, like it’s a transaction and not someone’s largest personal investment and I think you’re taking away from the experience. So you know, we’re going to be moving towards more open, um, information opportunities. I think that’s great. I think that people should be informed. I love it when my clients come to me and they say, oh, that house, that house and that house sold for this and this and this because they looked it up on houser or wherever they looked it up.
Evelyn: Then more educated. It makes my job easier. I don’t know that real estate will ever become a business where you take the people out of it, I hope not because I think that’ll be really sad. Um, but again, different opportunities for technology are making things a lot easier. For instance, google ratings, being able to see a video of the agent interact, uh, wIth their listing so you can get a feel for that person’s personality, a client video testimonials, so you can hear in another person’s own words what their experience was like with that agent. All of that to me is an opportunity for a potential client to get to know you without being sold to you. And I think that’s fabulous. I think we’re all being sold to too often and having an opportunity for people to get an idea about who you are and what your life without you having to push it in their face. It’s pretty fabulous.
Kosta: That’s a phenomenal answer. Um, I, I think efficiency is great to, to, you know, speed things up and make your life easier in certain aspects of your business, but at the same time I think striking that balance and keeping that personal touch, which I agree with you, I think it’s so important in real estate and kind of would be sad if that goes away. I got to admit,
Evelyn: yeah, I, I have really strong relationships. Like I said, with 99 point nine percent of my clients, they stay in my life forever. Most of them are on facebook with me. They know my niece’s look like they know what their names are, they know my daughter, they talk about my husband. They’re like, oh, I probably didn’t see while we, because he’d been with us all week. So it is a very personal thing and um, as much as I, I like to make money and I do a, if it was just about money, I wouldn’t do it because I give my whole life to my clients. I work around them, I’m taking their call super early in the morning and super late at night. I’m holding their hands when they’re really stressed out because they’re buying and selling at the same time and they’re little bit nervous about it. Uh, so yeah, that, that personal aspect wasn’t there if I didn’t adore the people that I was working with, I do something else, I would do something completely different. So yeah, the personal aspect definitely has to be there.
Kosta: Amazing. Couldn’t agree more with that than I do want to be mindful of your time. I do end off each chat with what I call the top three. Are you ready? Yeah. All right. Number one, your favorite real eState or business book.
Evelyn: Okay. So I’ve got three that really helped shape my success as a real estate investor and also as the owner of a successful real estate business. So, uh, don campbell’s real estate investing in Canada was integral and how I set up the corporate structure through my investment properties and it helped me to understand that estate is the only investment that you can make money in multiple ways. So everybody knows at primary, one is forced savings as you pay down your mortgage. Second one is appreciation with time and then on your principal residence, when you sell it, it’s the only investment where you pay absolutely no tax, which is staggering. That’s an enormous amount of money that you put in your pocket just by owning your own principle residence, not paying tax on it. Then if you have an investment property, it’s your tenant that’s paying the cost of your asset and you still have a tax advantage of only paying capital gains when you sell that property.
Evelyn: So just so many mind blowing opportunities to make money with one asset in multiple ways. A second most influential books that shaped me as a real estate investor is that the canadian real estate action plan by Peter Kent. So peter teaches you how to create and build your wealth through real estate. So he educates you on how to qualify for a mortgage, how to leverage your properties to purchase more properties, and how to determine your game plan to meet your investment goals. So it’s really insightful and it’s strategic. Uh, I currently own nine units last year I started to diversify into other real estate opportunities that don’t require me to be as hands on as I have to be as a landlord. So peter, ken’s is actually my personal investment advisor and he has been helping me balance out my portfolio by having the best of things like ap capital, icm and centurion, which are mortgage investment corporation.
Evelyn: So it’s a hands off way for me to continue to invest in canadian real estate, which I believe very strongly in. My third recommendation is actually for realtors. So, uh, and I think you probably have a number of agents who have talked about this book. So Gary Keller millionaire, real estate agent, it’s affectionately referred to as the red book. So it evolved me from working transactionally to actually building a business. So having the full time assistant, having a new buyer agent coming on board, we have systems and structures in place and have taken my business to a whole new level and this book helps you to create a positive and consistent experience for your clients. So, uh, more than one room.
Kosta: That’s great. Thank you so much for sharing those. I’m definitely going to check those out. I’m number two, your top vacation spot
Evelyn: so I can’t pick one. Um, uh, Brazil for the effects in it. Warmth of people in stunning natural beauty. Rome for art and architecture and old world. Feel a thaIland for whether exoticness and grieved for romance and charm. New york for fine dining and the energy that just radiates from the ground up. There’s just endless. Like every time I go somewhere there’s something unique that I absolutely love about it. So I could never just pick one, but there are few that I go back to again. And the Thailand for sure. Just
Kosta: incredible. It’s a tough one to answer, I admit. Yeah. And lastly, if you could go back, what do you wish your 20 year old self knew?
Evelyn: So I just, going back to what I said earlier that I would tell myself to join another agent’s team. I’m just learning curve is so huge that having an opportunity to work with a senior agent a would have made me better, faster and now that I’m in a position to do that for other people, uh, I, I really see how much it can help. So, um, that’s the best advice I would give. Just don’t reinvent the wheel, learn from somebody senior and be fully invested in whatever you do, which I’ve always been a but don’t feel like you need to do it on your own, you know, take the help from other people.
Kosta: Perfect. Very well said. And if someone wanted to reach out to get a hold of you, where’s the best place they can find you?
Evelyn: My, my cell phone, so it’s on my site as well for one, six, seven, zero, six 4400. I’m available pretty much night and day. I, if I’m with a client, I don’t pick up. Just leave me a message and I’ll call you back at my first opportunity.
Kosta: Amazing. Evelyn, this was a real pleasure. thank you so much for coming on the show. Really do appreciate your time and wisdom and insight, so thank you. Oh, thanks, I really enjoyed it. Perfect, and we should definitely do this again sometime. I would love that. When all the best. Thank you. You too.