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In this column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Anaheim, California-based team leader Leo Robles has been in real estate all his adult life, having earned his license at 18 years old. Robles describes himself as “all about growth and personal development” and is a vegan who’s “big on health and fitness.
Robles is passionate about making a difference through coaching and training, and loves sharing what he learns with his social media followers. Find out his best advice, including the game-changing words of wisdom he passes along from his real estate mentors.
Meet Leo Robles
Title: Team leader
Experience: 18 years
Location: Southern California
Brokerage name: eXp Realty
Rankings: No. 50 in the company
Transaction sides: 1900-plus during my production career
Sales volume: $760 million career
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
I learned from one of my mentors, Harold Wasson, the importance of reputation. I had a run-in with a listing agent as a rookie and the agent on the other side of the deal was not communicating very nicely and started to get very aggressive with me. I talked to my mentor and told him I was upset and needed his advice. I told him I wanted to retaliate.
He then asked me one question: “Do you want to be in this business for the long term?” I said, “Of course.”
He then told me this: “You don’t realize this yet but this is a small industry. No matter what someone says or does, don’t take it personally, and always take the high road. You only have one reputation. The people who are professional stay in the business long term, and it’s a small group of people. You will eventually see the same agents over and over, and a good reputation will open up doors, and a negative one will close doors.”
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be in the army or military because I wanted to help people. Real estate definitely relates: Even though I did not join the military, I do help people every day.
What’s the most important thing you learned in school or in your prelicensing classes?
Almost nothing there helped me or prepared me for the business of real estate. Definitely do a crash course or prep course. I love Prepagent; I wish I had it 18 years ago.
What’s the best advice you ever got from a mentor?
One of my mentors before I even started told me to develop my mindset. I was 16, That was the first time I heard that your mindset determines your success. I asked him what book I should read, and he told me to go to nightingale.com and find any course that caught my attention.
I bought two: The Silva Ultramind ESP System by Jose Silva and The Law of Attraction by Esther [and Jerry] Hicks. I bought these two audios and listened to them constantly, even though I didn’t really believe or understand most of it. It rewired my mind.
I also bought a book that changed my life called by Tony Robbins. That was the first time I heard someone say that you could make a million dollars at a young age. That one idea gave me the belief that I could succeed at a young age.
I had many doubts and lacked much confidence because I had a concern that people would not trust me because I was too young. Using what I learned about modeling success, NLP and also for the first time in my life writing my goals on paper changed everything for me.
I wrote all of my goals on a shoe box cover because I didn’t even have a notebook. I — 100 percent — did not believe that it would work. I thought it was silly and a waste of time until everything I wrote became a reality. I read and listen to audiobooks daily, I write my goals daily and I love to teach what I learn.
What would you tell a new agent before they start out in the business?
Commit wholeheartedly. Focus on building relationships. Have a definite aim at what you would like to accomplish by when and act until. Personal development is a must.
What do clients need to know before they begin a real estate transaction?
Clients need to research agents they hire by looking at reviews and social media and doing a consultation to make sure the agent is a good fit.
What do too few agents know that would make their lives easier?
Using a calendar is a game-changer. I used to equate time-blocking and having things on the calendar meant less freedom, and I learned that it’s ultimate freedom. Create a day and week based on what you want to do and accomplish, and add to your calendar.
I always tell agents to block off time that is not negotiable first and all other time focus on lead generation and lead follow-up. Also, leverage technology, especially AI.
What book has taught you the most and what did you learn from it?
Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins. I learned NLP, modeling and writing goals down along with the why. I like to listen to my books now. I love Audible, and I’ve now read over 200 books. Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by Dr. David Hawkins would be the second book; it taught me emotional intelligence, how to manage the emotional system and how to move the energy.
The third book was A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. It shifted my perception of reality and the power of being present in the moment. A seminar that changed my life was The Landmark Forum, which helped me to identify blindspots and complete my past and left me with a blank slate to create my future with the foundation of integrity. It taught me how everything in my life was interconnected, including my business.
What is the one thing everyone should be doing to make their life and business better?
Find what strategy energized you the most to grow your business and go all in and become a master. Surround yourself with like-minded people, and create positive pressure by declaring your goals to your mentors and business partners.
Find people who are doing what you want and duplicate their recipe for success. Delayed gratification will play a huge role in actually manifesting your vision.
If you could do anything other than real estate, what would it be?
I would most likely be an archeologist because I love learning about ancient civilizations and like to work with my hands and discover new things.
Tell us a story about your most memorable transaction.
My most memorable was signing and selling three listings as a newer agent. I met my client at an open house. I remember we spoke for about 45 minutes, and we were basically sharing about life and what his goals were. He left and decided not to make an offer on the listing.
I followed up with him three days later, and I asked him if I could help him with anything else. He told me that he was in the process of remodeling three homes to put on the market. I then asked if I could help, he mentioned that he had a couple of people in mind, and I asked him for an opportunity. He agreed to meet the next day.
Disclaimer: I had never done a listing appointment nor did I even know what I needed to do or say. I asked around the office, they told me I needed a listing agreement and checked the values of the homes. Someone showed me how to run comps and then created three listing agreements and three CMAS. And I then showed up.
At the listing presentation, we spoke for about two hours after which he asked me what the values of the properties were. I showed him the three CMAs with recent sales, and then I told him my recommendation of what I think each property could sell for. He agreed with my comps and said it was about what he was looking for.
He then asked me a question about escrow fees. I froze and had no idea how to answer, but I said, “Let me call my office and get you the updated fees because I think they just recently changed them.”
My office shared with me the approximate fees, and then I shared with him what it was. He said it was typical fees as well and that it sounded good. We both then just sat there awkwardly for about a minute, and he finally said, “Don’t you have something for me to sign?” I said, “Absolutely, all I need is your autograph.” I gave him the pen and then he signed all three listings.
I walked out of the presentation not really understanding what I had done, and then, once I settled myself, I was exhilarated!
Long story short, this man became my best client, and I helped him to identify, prepare and list over 550 homes in the next five years. This one client changed everything for me. That’s why I always say you are only one client away from changing your entire life.