When you see the worth of what you’re doing, it’s easy to stay motivated and driven. This is what Hoppler’s Broker of the Month, Michiko Senir – Llamado, can say about her career as she reflects on her experiences as a real estate broker. In this interview, she shares how she finds joy in helping her clients find their dream home, the valuable insights she has learned along the way, and what bits of wisdom she can impart to the younger generation of real estate professionals.
What made you pursue a career in real estate and what do you love about it?
I have been in real estate for 8 years. After I left my first job after college in the banking industry, I wanted to try something different. It so happened that my mom was in the real estate brokerage business so I joined her back in 2011. I’ve been an independent broker ever since, and it was a big help that my mom was there to guide and mentor me. She had an established network and good reputation already and that helped a lot in finding my own feet in this new industry.
After I had my first sale, I saw the value of the business. It may sound cliche, but I enjoy that I can serve clients through this job. There’s a thrill every time I’m able to help my clients, like when I help a starting family find their first home. I also love the idea of matching. As a broker, I take clients’ requirements and find listings that are a match to what they need, as well as market my clients’ properties and find the right buyer/renter. In this business, I’m constantly connecting with clients, sellers, and fellow brokers, which is something I like.
How do you stay inspired in this line of work?
In real estate, even if your time is flexible, it still has demanding hours. Sometimes I still have to work at night or on weekends. I had to let go of some of my extracurricular activities, because I needed more time to focus on my work. There’s a certain fulfillment I get from being able to help my clients – and that really keeps me motivated. This kind of work requires me to meet people – whether it be clients, fellow co-brokers, suppliers and the like. In a way, it’s like being part of their lives, and that brings me joy. Another good part is I get to spend more time with my family as I don’t need to report to an 8-to-5 kind of job.
What is a quality you’ve learned and sharpened as a real estate broker?
Integrity bears a big weight in this kind of job. Your name and reputation are very important in this industry. I am more mindful about the things I say and do, being ethical and respectful of all parties, as they reflect how I work. If a relationship with a client or co-broker gets broken, it can affect future transactions.
How did you first encounter Hoppler?
I first encountered Hoppler when I was searching for a property online, and I was able to speak with one of their brokers. Years later, I encountered a Sales Director from Hoppler again at a viewing who introduced me to the company and their platform. I saw the benefits of marketing my listings on a platform like Hoppler, and their team guided me on uploading my listings. I created my account and became a Partner Broker!
Can you name qualities you think every real estate broker should possess?
This kind of work requires you to meet different people of different personalities, ages and statures. You can work with a newbie or a veteran broker, with a demanding or an easy to talk to client, or the admin personnel or the contractor – at the end of the day, you are in it to serve. Whoever it is you’ll be with, you always need to respect them. It is a very humbling job.
Flexibility is also important in a broker’s work. You have to find ways to close the deal and to adjust accordingly when there are unfavorable situations. As a broker, you have to stick by certain values and principles, but you also have to stay balanced and unbiased.
What goals do you still have for your career?
With the increasing demands, my husband and sister joined me and my mom in the business last year. I want to grow our team further and develop a better structure that allows us to accommodate more clients and listings. With a larger team, we can serve more clients, take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way, and monitor transactions better.
One thing you want to impart to younger brokers.
Like in any sales job, it’s critical for brokers to keep on planting. It’s easy to get excited when you expect a deal to close, but there are instances when they don’t push through. There’s wisdom in planting: even if it’s months later, you have something to harvest.
Michiko stays driven because of her heart to serve every client. No matter what comes her way, her commitment keeps her in the path to succeed.