REAL Trends interviewed Keller Williams associate Nikki Ubaldini of Florida about her successful husband-and-wife real estate team and her path to real estate. Ubaldini is a broker with more than 500 sales associates and three offices. She shares how she got hooked on real estate and how Keller Williams has helped her along the way.
REAL Trends: Tell us about your path into real estate.
Ubaldini: We got into real estate because we had purchased homes in Florida and Canada.
When we moved to Florida, we sold our Canadian home and had to come to closing with a check for $10,000! We felt we had been mislead by our real estate agent, so we thought, if we want to continue buying real estate, we should get our own licenses. We were in entertainment at night and saw an ad from a real estate company saying they would pay for our licenses if we hung them there for one year. We didn’t plan to sell real estate, just invest. We went to an office meeting, and they challenged us to start lead generating. We started getting listings! In fact, we got three listings from one of our first appointments. We were hooked.
We continued in our entertainment jobs by night for the first five years of our real estate careers. For years I was a salesperson. It wasn’t until I found Keller Williams did I decide to venture into brokerage. Along with my husband, Gary, I run a 10-person team, specializing in residential real estate. We’ve done that since 1986. I grew up in the Tampa Bay area. Our team and our brokerage have one main goal: to create raving fans of our clients. I’m also a Keller Williams trainer.
REAL Trends: Tell me one lesson learned when building your brokerage.
Ubaldini: I learned that you must choose the correct real estate model. I didn’t do that right out of the gate. I made the mistake of going with a model that didn’t allow me to find influential agents so we struggled growing that brokerage. Finally, I chose a franchise that was profit centric versus franchise centric. When you do that you focus more around the influencers to help you build it. Once we did that, the brokerage thrived.
REAL Trends: What was the biggest challenge you faced professionally when building your brokerage?
Ubaldini: I believe my greatest challenge was navigating the learning curve. For so many years, I was a salesperson and then I moved into leadership. It’s a big learning curve and requires you to find the other leaders who can help you grow and run the offices. It requires a new set of skills.
REAL Trends: Based on your experience, what is the one thing you did with your brokerage that changed the trajectory of your business? What was the turning point from success to major success?
Ubaldini: You must have consistency and focus. We look at growth and productivity. If an activity doesn’t fit with our goals, then we don’t do it. It’s too easy to have squirrels running around. We have a clear goal, and if something does not fit with our focus, then we don’t do It.
This interview was originally published in REAL Trends. View it here.