Interviewed by Taylor Reynolds, Duane Morris LLP
Star Real Estate Group
Ian Perler – Mr. Philly Real Estate himself – lives a demanding life. Dedicating himself to his brand, his business and his clients, he has dominated the Real Estate industry since he stepped onto the scene in 2004. Making a name for himself first in New York City, he relocated to our City of Brotherly Love to be closer to his wife, and build his business in a place he could call home. Ian took a break from his action-packed day to provide a us little insight into his life, personally and professionally.
As a real estate agent, your day to day schedule must vary, but tell me about the habits you have and what a typical day may look like for you.
The good and bad part about being a real estate agent is that there really is no “typical day”. That being said, I try to workout first thing in the morning. I’ve learned that if I don’t exercise first thing, it will never get done. After the gym I start answering emails from the night before and planning my day. I work in my office, at home, and in the car. I basically work from the time I get up until I go to bed. For real estate agents our clients want us to be accessible when they need us, so I try to make sure I’m always available no matter where I am or what I am doing.
You have really done a great job of branding yourself as a powerful Realtor in the region. For new realtors looking to make a name for themselves in Philly, what sort of advice can you share?
I always tell new agents or people thinking about getting into the business that you need to be yourself. Real estate is a people business and you are going to want to connect to likeminded individuals. That being said, there are tons of different paths to take depending on what you want to do and how you want to structure your own business. There are agents that like to make cold calls to “For Sale by Owners” and “expired listings.” These people love the chase. Some people like to work exclusively with investors or high net worth individuals. I tend to focus on building my network and database and working by referral. I really think the key is to find what aspect of real estate fits your personality and goals the best and then find someone that can mentor you to achieve your goals. The best thing that I have ever done for my business is to listen and learn from everyone I can and try to always implement new ideas in my business.
A Real Estate business must take a lot of effort to build and maintain. How do you prepare for such a demanding job every day?
I am licensed in New York and Pennsylvania and my focus is in the greater Philadelphia area. So I like to read and see what is going on in and around the city. I subscribe to several real estate video blogs, and I am a member of some real estate training programs. These are full of tips and tricks that motivate me and give me some great new ideas. The most difficult and daunting task I face as a real estate agent is proving my worth to a potential client. How can I differentiate myself from the other real estate agents out there? Everyone has a friend, uncle aunt or cousin that is in the real estate business so that is always the hardest part for me. YPN, and other networking events in the city, have been very helpful in beefing up my network and it has been a great asset to have in my business.
Your website says you’ve been working in real estate since 2004. What about this industry has made you stay with it for so long?
I got into the real estate business in 2004. My mother actually signed me up for classes. She owns a brokerage in New York and thought that it would be a good career for me. Well, 10 years later here I am. I like meeting people and this business is all about making connections. Even when the real estate market was down, I was always happy and enjoyed the business. Don’t get me wrong, it was really tough for a couple of years, but I survived and it really made me a better real estate agent. It helped me to sharpen my skills. My mentality was always no matter how bad the economy is there is always someone that needs help to buy or sell their home…and hopefully they pick me for the job.
Enough about work, what do you like to do in your free time? Besides selling houses, what are your passions?
I just got really into cycling this year and I’m looking forward to it warming up a little so I can get back out on the Schuylkill instead of being stuck in the gym in my building. My wife and I live in Rittenhouse and tend to spend most of our free time checking out new restaurants and exploring the city. I have a ton of favorite spots in the city that I try to go to. My favorite bar is Bottle Bar East in Fishtown, they have a great beer selections and great food. Restaurants are a little harder to pick …Porcini’s on 20th and Sansom, The Oyster House and Tinto… It was really hard to narrow it down to three. If I wasn’t selling houses, I think I would have gotten into the restaurant business. I have always really enjoyed cooking – I find it really relaxing. Every once in a while I mute my phone and cook for a couple of hours. I don’t know why but it just works for me… probably because I get to eat an amazing meal after, and what is better than that!
Last one – what are your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions?
This is probably a little boring but this year I am trying to focus more on working on my business rather than in my business. I really want to focus on expanding my network and working closely with my clients. I want to avoid getting caught up in the day to day operations of being a real estate agent. I have found that real estate can get really overwhelming at times. You can get really caught up in a deal and before you know it you have no new clients or prospects to speak of, and then you have to start building your pipeline back up from scratch.