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Secret Lives of Real Estate

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Get a peek into the Secret Lives of Real Estate, where we pull back the curtain to share the personal passions, philanthropic efforts, community spirit and industry insights from real estate industry leaders, trendsetters and legends.
(NOTE: This is the official archive of the podcasts that originally appeared on the "Secret Lives of Real Estate" website, which was a joint production of RealTrends and QuantumDigital, Inc.) Continue Reading >>
Get a peek into the Secret Lives of Real Estate, where we pull back the curtain to share the personal passions, philanthropic efforts, community spirit and industry insights from real estate industry leaders, trendsetters and legends.
(NOTE: This is the official archive of the podcasts that originally appeared on the "Secret Lives of Real Estate" website, which was a joint production of RealTrends and QuantumDigital, Inc.) << Show Less
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An American Dream: Alex Bruno on Success Through Perseverance Join QuantumDigital’s CMO Eric Cosway as he interviews Alex Bruno, owner of RE/MAX 5-Star Realty in Florida. Alex is a top producer who also works with banks, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Alex is HUD-certified, and has a strong network of home buyers and investors.
 
Eric: Alex, welcome to the podcast.
 
Alex: Hello. How are you doing?
 
Eric: So, it sounds like RE/MAX 5-Star has been around since 2016. What led you to want to start the business, or create a franchise for yourself?
 
Alex: Actually, over the years, I thought it was important based on the experience that I got in real estate. I wanted to have an office with a little bit of a different perspective, and being a buyer’s and listing agent for many years, I understand how difficult it is to be an agent. I wanted to facilitate the tools and the support for the agents the way that I would like to have it myself. I wanted to be able to answer their questions, and at the same time provide the tools that they need. I didn’t want to be the office that was open for 30-40 years. Things change over the years. The real estate market changed. The real estate agent’s needs changed. The buyers changed. Everything is completely different. And more and more the market keeps changing every year. We need to make adjustments constantly.
 
Eric: Is your primary focus on buyers in Hollywood, Florida? Or do you do both buyers and sellers?
 
Alex: I work with buyers and sellers, and I work on South Florida, not just only on Hollywood. From Miami Beach to Pompano Beach, we are open to working with different cities.
 
Eric: Was that area impacted by the hurricane this past summer? Last couple of months?
 
Alex: Absolutely. Yes. And we’re still seeing the damages around.
 
Eric: How did that impact you? You’re right there in the center of it. You have a staff. Not only were you affected, but I’m sure the business was impacted as well.
 
Alex: First of all, it’s something that is out of our control. We need to take it the way it is, and try to make the best of it. So, we need to just continue life because it was definitely a huge impact for real estate, and also properties they were supposed to close. They have to be re-inspected again, and appraised again. Some of the sales fall apart, but we need to continue. When the market crashed in 2007, life continued. And you have to keep going. And there were always buyers. We were a little spoiled, some of the agent. Deals were so easy, then they were no longer that easy. We need to work harder. But everything is possible, and we need to adapt to the times.
 
Eric: You came into the real estate business in 2007. How was that first year for you as a Realtor?
 
Alex: It was a little sad. A lot of people were very depressed. It was like the end of the world. It was a commotion—many people taking time off, going away. Other ones struggling to figure out how to react to these major changes. And I personally think it was easier for me because I was not that spoiled. I was new. So, I figured out there are always buyers. People are going to keep buying homes and selling homes. This is not the end of the world. Maybe the end of a good market, but there were always FHA buyers. Much better buyers than before. Real buyers that can afford these houses. Because, after the market crashed, lenders were more conscious about the capability of a buyer to purchase a home. You keep going, and you have to adapt to the situation.
 
Eric: Is there something specific about a buyer that you’ve learned—the one or two things a buyer always needs that you just know what to do, and just handle a buyer so they’re fully happy and satisfied with all the work you do?
 
Alex: One of the most important is to listen to them, and try to build in your mind and try to understand what the needs are for they buyer. Try to put time into that buyer to show them that you want to work with them. Because it’s a very competitive market. Here in Florida, a lot of people have real estate licenses. So, everybody knows a friend, or a neighbor, or a coworker that has a real estate license. But, not everyone is dedicated to this career. A lot of people think it’s easy, but it’s not that easy. What you need
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An American Dream: Alex Bruno on Success Through Perseverance Join QuantumDigital’s CMO Eric Cosway as he interviews Alex Bruno, owner of RE/MAX 5-Star Realty in Florida. Alex is a top producer who also works with banks, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Alex is HUD-certified, and has a strong network of home buyers and investors.
 
Eric: Alex, welcome to the podcast.
 
Alex: Hello. How are you doing?
 
Eric: So, it sounds like RE/MAX 5-Star has been around since 2016. What led you to want to start the business, or create a franchise for yourself?
 
Alex: Actually, over the years, I thought it was important based on the experience that I got in real estate. I wanted to have an office with a little bit of a different perspective, and being a buyer’s and listing agent for many years, I understand how difficult it is to be an agent. I wanted to facilitate the tools and the support for the agents the way that I would like to have it myself. I wanted to be able to answer their questions, and at the same time provide the tools that they need. I didn’t want to be the office that was open for 30-40 years. Things change over the years. The real estate market changed. The real estate agent’s needs changed. The buyers changed. Everything is completely different. And more and more the market keeps changing every year. We need to make adjustments constantly.
 
Eric: Is your primary focus on buyers in Hollywood, Florida? Or do you do both buyers and sellers?
 
Alex: I work with buyers and sellers, and I work on South Florida, not just only on Hollywood. From Miami Beach to Pompano Beach, we are open to working with different cities.
 
Eric: Was that area impacted by the hurricane this past summer? Last couple of months?
 
Alex: Absolutely. Yes. And we’re still seeing the damages around.
 
Eric: How did that impact you? You’re right there in the center of it. You have a staff. Not only were you affected, but I’m sure the business was impacted as well.
 
Alex: First of all, it’s something that is out of our control. We need to take it the way it is, and try to make the best of it. So, we need to just continue life because it was definitely a huge impact for real estate, and also properties they were supposed to close. They have to be re-inspected again, and appraised again. Some of the sales fall apart, but we need to continue. When the market crashed in 2007, life continued. And you have to keep going. And there were always buyers. We were a little spoiled, some of the agent. Deals were so easy, then they were no longer that easy. We need to work harder. But everything is possible, and we need to adapt to the times.
 
Eric: You came into the real estate business in 2007. How was that first year for you as a Realtor?
 
Alex: It was a little sad. A lot of people were very depressed. It was like the end of the world. It was a commotion—many people taking time off, going away. Other ones struggling to figure out how to react to these major changes. And I personally think it was easier for me because I was not that spoiled. I was new. So, I figured out there are always buyers. People are going to keep buying homes and selling homes. This is not the end of the world. Maybe the end of a good market, but there were always FHA buyers. Much better buyers than before. Real buyers that can afford these houses. Because, after the market crashed, lenders were more conscious about the capability of a buyer to purchase a home. You keep going, and you have to adapt to the situation.
 
Eric: Is there something specific about a buyer that you’ve learned—the one or two things a buyer always needs that you just know what to do, and just handle a buyer so they’re fully happy and satisfied with all the work you do?
 
Alex: One of the most important is to listen to them, and try to build in your mind and try to understand what the needs are for they buyer. Try to put time into that buyer to show them that you want to work with them. Because it’s a very competitive market. Here in Florida, a lot of people have real estate licenses. So, everybody knows a friend, or a neighbor, or a coworker that has a real estate license. But, not everyone is dedicated to this career. A lot of people think it’s easy, but it’s not that easy. What you need
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Matt Curtis: Homes for Needy Families Join Tracey Velt, editor of publications for REAL Trends, as she talks to Matt Curtis, founder of Matt Curtis Real Estate Inc., and team leader of the Matt Curtis team in Madison, Alabama, where he gives us a look at the charitable work he's doing to build a social impact program in Nicaragua.
Sue Yannaccone of ERA Join QuantumDigital’s CMO Eric Cosway as he interviews Sue Yannaccone, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. Growing up, Sue lived in six different states before she even turned 12. This experience gave her an invaluable lesson in embracing change. Since joining ERA Real Estate, Sue has helped move the organization forward by increasing broker satisfaction with the ERA brand, fostering an internal culture of transparency, collaboration, execution and ensuring accountability. Throughout her career, Sue has developed a keen appreciation for the importance of teamwork and achieving balance, both in her professional and family life.
Jeff Martell: Building Homes in El Salvador Join Tracey Velt editor of publications for REAL Trends as she interviews Jeff Martell, broker-owner and chief inspiration officer for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate 43 Degrees North in Meridian, Idaho. After being moved by a presentation announcing Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate's partnership with New Story, a next-generation crowdfunding charity, Martell shared his passion with his team to raise money to build homes for those in El Salvador. The team raised enough in one day to build two homes and has been going strong ever since. Here is his story.
Finding Your Niche Join QuantumDigital’s CMO Eric Cosway as he interviews Ben Bacal, founder of Roofshoot. Roofshoot’s mission is to make it easy and affordable for real estate agents to shoot video. Since entering the real estate business in 2005, Ben has the distinction of listing the most expensive property in U.S. history at $250 million. As a former film student, with a passion for creating content, Ben saw the need for a fast, simple solution that would make it possible for any agent, regardless of skill level, to produce high-quality videos to enhance their personal profiles and promote themselves as experts in their respective neighborhoods.
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