Ep 03 – Iliana Abella: Grow your real estate business by building long-term relationships

The Real Estate Pipeline / June 28, 2022 / By: Carlos Concepcion
Iliana Abella

In this episode, Carlos talks with Iliana Abella, owner of The Abella Group, a private brokerage firm, where she specializes in luxury residential real estate in Greater Miami. Iliana holds membership as a treasurer in the Master Brokers Forum which culminated in her nomination to that prestigious group’s Board of Directors in 2005. She takes great pride in providing clients with personalized and high-quality service, the evidence of which is clear in a long history of repeat and referral business.

Watch the full video to find out how Iliana did to successfully serve the Coral Gables and Greater Miami area for over 30 years and sell over 15 million dollars.

Video transcription

Carlos: I’m very excited about our next guest. She’s the owner and managing broker of a top producer agency in Miami. They have sold over $15 million in sales, in new developments. I’m so thrilled to have her be part of the podcast. So, let’s move right into it today! I’m very excited to have a partner and a friend, Iliana, owner, and director of the Abella Group, the top producer team in Coral Gables, Miami.

Iliana: Thank you for having me. It’s an honor for me to be part of your Pipeline program.

Carlos: Well, it’s very exciting to showcase and displace other agents nationwide. I’m pretty sure viewers would like to know a little bit more about you from when you went into real estate.

Iliana: So, my husband and I started our own company back in 1990. The name of the company was Greater Miami Investments. We started a business with a three-year-old boy, and I was pregnant with my second. So this is how I started my real estate company in Coral Gables, Florida. It was not easy. I think when you have an attitude of winning and there’s no turning back kind of an attitude and you have to make it, and if you have to fake it until you make it, do it. 

The idea is that hard work, consistency, and action will get you the results. And this is what we did. Fast-forward to 2018, we were very fortunate to have been approached by Compass, and they acquire our company. At that time, we had 50 agents working with us.

Some of them join us, as referral directors. Some of them are active agents with time. Some of them just fell by the sideway. Managing a team within a company like Compass would have been quite difficult right now. We’re 16 agents and we’re very happy. We’ve been able to grow our business.

Consistently every single year, since we entered this company, some of the success I owe to meeting you and you creating our website back in 2020. It was just the beginning of the pandemic. And it was a very hard time because nobody knew where our business was going.

So I kind of put all my effort and energy into working on the website, since we were at home. And so we came up, we started our lead gen program and everything else. It was hard, but at the same time, I noticed that this was a way to generate new business at a time when everything was kind of at a standstill.

Carlos: That’s very nice to hear. From my perspective, since I’ve met you, I can validate the fact that your team has shown us nothing other than dedication to your craft on very hard work. You had a lot of experience in the business for many years.

How do you manage to get that first team? And now what are you doing? 

Ilana:t I think in the last, probably say the last five, six years, team movement has really been a start. For agents out there, we’re having a hard time and they will like to start building a team. This is my advice: the first thing you have to do is you have to find people like you who want to succeed, who want to, it’s not only about making money, because a lot of people think that being successful it’s all about money. I think being successful goes way, way beyond making money, because if I make a lot of money, but I am a person that when I walk on the street, people cross the street cause they don’t even want to talk to me because then unlike me, what’s my success right there? So I think it’s about building relationships.

With those team members, number one, and having people that think alike that are willing to learn, that are coachable and, you know, Compass is very much about coaching, learning, technology. We have access to incredible tools. You’re very familiar with it. So if these people that are working with you are not willing to learn, not willing to grow, read, go to a seminar, or attend a class, they may not be the team member you want to collaborate with, right? 

Carlos: What are some of the best practices that you share or promote within your team for them to be successful with their relationships?

Iliana: When they first join us, the first thing we do is sit down and have a meeting. We tell them how we work, and how we operate. We meet at least once a week with the team. And we strategize, we talk about what the team is doing, who’s working on what. That’s one of the things that we do, but communication is very important. And I must say they know they can call me Monday to Sunday. And I know that this is almost like having children, but I like it.

Carlos: As a business owner, sometimes you have to do that babysitting steps.

Iliana: Well, everybody has to do it with their own style. Bring your own style to the table. I mean, I like it. I like it if they call me, they have a problem, I’d rather prefer they call me and ask the question than to later tell me they have a problem.

So, you know, we avoid a lot of mistakes by talking, and I think, you know, the friendship outside of the business relationship, you know, just having that camaraderie that we have, the togetherness that we all get along, we help each other. That’s something that the leader has to establish from the beginning, that attitude of giving, sharing, and helping, because sometimes you’re going to be on the receiving end and sometimes you’re going to be on the other end.

Carlos: I love your message because it goes alongside everything that we preach as well. If there’s anything else that you would like to share with agents nationwide, please let us know what, anything we may have left out.

Iliana: Well, after talking about that relationship that you established with your agents and that accountability, let’s just say we have accountability. So every weekday that we meet, we come to the table to see: what happened with this deal? And what happened with that client? Were you able to find the property?

It’s communication, number one. Number two, establish the same relationship with those clients that each of you is working with. So communicating with the clients, sending them an email, calling them. You have to set aside some time during your day. Very difficult in our career and this time in what we’re dealing with right now, because we’re all running around like crazy people, trying to find listings and trying to find our client’s properties so they can go see properties. It’s very hectic, but we need to set some time during our day to make the phone calls to email, to call the agents, not only the agents that we work with within our network, uh, but also the clients. And so go through your CRM and set up at least one hour of your day to touch base with people in your CRM, through email, whichever way you feel more comfortable.

If it’s a phone call, sometimes it’s easier to pick up a phone than to send an email.

Carlos: Especially in this time and age where technology is so in front of us, um, sometimes we’ll miss the point of how easy is just to make that human connection with a phone call. Eliana is very nice to have you here, for those of you who joined later in the pipeline and want to know more about Iliana, her website is theabellagroup.com. Iliana, again very nice to see you. 

More about The Pipeline

The Pipeline is a conversational podcast hosted by Carlos Concepción, Chief Sales Officer at www.idxboost.com, a real estate business accelerator platform that combines the power of innovative technology, proven marketing strategies, and experts working alongside. 

IDXBoost has scaled real estate professionals to 9-figures in yearly sales, by helping them boost their brands, dominate their local markets faster and generate higher financial returns year over year.

The Pipeline’s goal is to share knowledge and provide awareness of how top real estate producers leverage the internet’s power to achieve their business goals nationwide.

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