376 episodes

Interviews with real estate industry leaders, hosted by Bill Risser, EVP - Strategic Partnerships for RateMyAgent. The Real Estate Sessions was selected as the 2019 Inman Innovator Award Winner for Video/Podcast Show.
Unlike many shows in the real estate space, I do not focus on investing, sales and marketing or any specific topic. I focus on my guest and do my best to get their backstory.
I am curious by nature and I find the backstory of our industry's leaders fascinating. I've discovered lenders that were ballerinas, Chief Creative Officers that managed bands, and CEO's that sold vacuum cleaners (and not very well) in college.
So, if you are looking for stories about industry leaders with a bit of strategy and business knowledge tossed in, give The Real Estate Sessions a shot.

The Real Estate Sessions Bill Risser

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 36 Ratings

Interviews with real estate industry leaders, hosted by Bill Risser, EVP - Strategic Partnerships for RateMyAgent. The Real Estate Sessions was selected as the 2019 Inman Innovator Award Winner for Video/Podcast Show.
Unlike many shows in the real estate space, I do not focus on investing, sales and marketing or any specific topic. I focus on my guest and do my best to get their backstory.
I am curious by nature and I find the backstory of our industry's leaders fascinating. I've discovered lenders that were ballerinas, Chief Creative Officers that managed bands, and CEO's that sold vacuum cleaners (and not very well) in college.
So, if you are looking for stories about industry leaders with a bit of strategy and business knowledge tossed in, give The Real Estate Sessions a shot.

    Mackenzie Grate, The Machree Group, LLC

    Mackenzie Grate, The Machree Group, LLC

    Juggling two careers is never easy. For https://www.themachreegroup.com/ (The Machree Group) real estate agent http://www.mackofalltradesny.com/ (Mackenzie Grate), being an educator by day and a real estate agent in her free time is a challenge. But her passion for helping other people settle into their first home, as well as the amount of support she gets around her, fuel her to keep moving forward. “Mack-of-all-trades” Mackenzie sits with Bill Risser in this episode to share her knowledge about real estate investing, interior design, and supporting you in becoming financially independent. Tune in and be inspired by Mackenzie’s story as she walks us through her real estate journey.

    ---


    Mackenzie Grate, The Machree Group, LLC
    Welcome to episode 316 of the show. Thank you so much for reading. Thank you so much for telling a friend. We are going to talk to the Rising Star of the Year and this was handed out by https://www.ratemyagent.com/ (RateMyAgent) as part of our Agent of the Year Awards in conjunction with Shelley Zavitz’s https://newagent365.com/ (New Agent 365) coaching. http://www.themachreegroup.com (Mackenzie Grate) is great. She has been an investor, a renovator, a fix and flip, and a fix and hold person for years, but she got her real estate license during the pandemic. She has got an amazing story. I am excited to chat with her. Let’s get this thing started. Mackenzie, welcome to the show.

    Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

    I am so excited. I think this will become an annual thing. I’m going to have the Rising Star from the RateMyAgent’s Agent of the Year Awards every year on the show. If you read my show, you know I like to get the backstory. I want to find out where people started and where they grew up. You live in Brooklyn, but you work in Kingston, which is way upstate from there. Is New York where you grew up?

    I have a pretty interesting upbringing. I was raised back and forth between two states. My father lived in Northern California in a small town called Modesto, and my mom lived in Indianapolis, Indiana. Every time I had off from school, I would fly to Indianapolis to visit my mother. I remember this was in the early ‘90s. At one point, there was even one direct flight from San Francisco to Indianapolis. Me and my sister knew the crew pretty well because they were always on the same flight.

    I have never been to Indianapolis, but I have been to Modesto. Modesto is a little town. It is the Northern tip and end of Central Valley in California. If anyone knows it, it is way up there. Modesto is not the most glamorous spot in California. Am I correct on that assessment?

    I always joke that it is the armpit of the state because of where it’s located. It is one of those places where it is very close to a lot of cool stuff. The location itself is not super awesome. There are tons of places to go to. It’s close to San Francisco and the Sierra Nevada. I did a lot of hiking and backpacking with my father growing up.

    If you are a skier, you want to get to Mammoth. You are right there instead of driving up from San Diego. You go to school there. Where was college for you?

    I wanted to get as far away from Modesto as possible. My friends say, looking back, that I had a bad case of senioritis. Believe it or not, I signed up for an acting school in New York because it was easy to get into and it was the furthest place from Modesto. At seventeen, I boarded a plane and came over here. My dad dropped me off, helped me get set up in a small little apartment, and then as soon as he hopped on the plane to go back to Modesto, I went down and unenrolled in college.

    I lived in these dorms for schools in the city that do not have their own dorms. I did not tell him at first. There is no need to disclose that information straight away to stress him, but come the second semester, they asked me for my classes and did not have a report to give them. They are like, “I am sorry,...

    • 31 min
    Episode 317 - Stacey Soleil, Head Of Community And Industry Relations, Follow Up Boss

    Episode 317 - Stacey Soleil, Head Of Community And Industry Relations, Follow Up Boss

    Do you want to thrive? Then you need to learn how to talk to people. Bill Risser sits with https://www.linkedin.com/in/staceysoleil/ (Stacey Soleil), the Head of Community and Industry Relations at https://www.followupboss.com/ (Follow Up Boss). Stacey shares how social media changed her life because it taught her how to be a connector. You have so much opportunity and power to stand out and connect through these online platforms. Digitize your real estate transactions, and remember to partner up with older real estate agents. Want to hear more? Tune in as Stacey shares more wisdom and insight on thriving through social media.
    ---


    Stacey Soleil, Head Of Community And Industry Relations, Follow Up Boss
    I'm back after a brief hiatus. I took a little time off through the end of the conference season to recharge my batteries. I'm now back with new episodes and I'm starting off with a bang with episode 317. We're going to be talking to Stacey Soleil. She is the Head of Community and Industry Relations for https://www.followupboss.com/ (Follow Up Boss). She has been in the business for a long time and has done a lot of different things. I'm talking about working with tech startups, sales, marketing, sales training with brokerages, and contributing writer for news. She has done some great stuff and doing a whole lot more. It's going to be fun to catch up with her. Let's get this thing started. Stacey, welcome to the show.

    Thank you for having me.

    It's going to be a lot of fun. We're https://www.inman.com/ (Inman) buddies. I think that's a safe way to put that. Katie Lance got me involved in the Inman world back in 2010 and I've been connected to it ever since. You're now deeply connected here. Not only being an ambassador multiple times, but the https://www.iamwomanup.com/ (WomanUp) group does some great stuff at Inman as well. Tell me what it is like and why the Inman community is so important to you.

    I was thinking you have probably seen so much change, fun and drama in all the events if you started back in the day. I want to come back and ask you questions. It's funny because people will say to me all the time, "What is that ambassador anyway? What does that even mean?" It means different things to different people. For me, it's way more than a social influencer position. Originally, when Katie had created this role, it was a way to amplify the community, connect people at the events, and try to bring more awareness using the tools that we have in social.

    For me, it's even more than that. The reason why is the way I look at everything that I've had the opportunity to connect the dots with inside the industry, everything that has been an open door moment or an opportunity, I take it very seriously. Sometimes people will laugh at me because I take things so seriously. If I say yes to a volunteer opportunity, I go in all the way.

    I am that person who's like I'm getting paid $1 million to do this role. I'm a very enthusiastic ambassador. I love connecting with people. In fact, when we were in New York, the very first evening before the event started, there were lobby cons. We all know about that. Everyone is hanging out in the lobby bar area, catching up with each other after post-pandemic craziness.

    I was scanning the room. I knew pretty much everyone, which was so fun, but then there were these people that were in between the tables. They didn't look like they knew anybody and they were watching. I got up from the table and excuse myself. I said, "Are you here for Inman Connect by any chance?" They're like, "Yes." I said, "Do you know any of these crazy people talking or is this your first time?" "This is my first time."

    I was like, "Okay. What's your goal? What made you decide to sign up?" They told me about what they were doing. I said, "I'm going to introduce you to a few people. Are you ready?" I took him and introduce him. By the end of the thing, I saw them all over the place....

    • 32 min
    Dr. Brad O'Connor, Chief Economist, Florida Realtors talks the Pandemic, the market and looks ahead.

    Dr. Brad O'Connor, Chief Economist, Florida Realtors talks the Pandemic, the market and looks ahead.

    THE REAL ESTATE SESSIONS PODCAST

    Episode 291:

    Host: BILL RISSER

    Guest: Dr. BRAD O'CONNOR

    Episode Summary



    Meet our guest in this episode, https://www.linkedin.com/in/brad-o-connor-81824226 (Dr. Brad O'Connor), Chief Economist at the Florida Association of Realtors, currently based in Orlando, Florida.

    Live at the Florida Realtors Convention 2021 at the REBarCamp in Orlando, I sit with Brad, who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and he expounds deeply on the real estate and housing markets. He shares his perspective on the economics surrounding the market over the years and how it relates to the pandemic and current trends.

    Top Takeaways:

    "Prices are rising very fast… but you've got to go a little deeper into why that's happening; prices don't always rise for the same reasons."

    - [Dr. Brad O'Connor]

    "The best thing you can do is read; read a lot."

    - [Dr. Brad O'Connor]

    Don't try to get there overnight; you're not going to

    - [Dr. Brad O'Connor]

    Episode Highlights:

    [00:30] Intro to this live episode

    [01:24] Meet today's guest "Dr. Brad O'Connor."

    [03:20] Did you always plan to become an economist?

    [07:20] Building the connection with Florida Realtors.

    [10:10] What were you thinking would happen as the pandemic started on "March 20th, 2020"?

    [13:10] Discussing the reasons for the current housing shortage.

    [16:00] How long before the builders catch up with population growth?

    [18:10] Comparing the current rise in home prices with a similar occurrence in 2005.

    [23:56] What do you see in the next five years?

    [26:32] What advice would you give a new agent?

    [28:51] How to contact Dr. Brad.

    [29:49] Outro

    Episode Notes:

    Brad shares he didn't particularly plan to become an economist but had several things he wanted to try out in college, which he did till he finally decided on Economics. After school, he knew he wanted to become an Economics professor. He later moved with his wife to Orlando when she got a job there, after which he got a job opportunity with the Florida Association of Realtors and is now the Chief Economist there.

    Before the pandemic hit the U.S, Brad had started to prepare for the possible impact on the economy, and the initial expectation was for prices to remain stable. Fortunately, what was not expected was the speedy recovery of the market, with Florida being at the forefront in the U.S.

    The current housing shortage, however, started before the pandemic. This occurred because, at some point, people got the idea that the cost of housing would continue to go up and consequently built a lot more houses than the demand at the time. After the great recession, many building companies were put out of business, while the few that remained have been very conservative in building. Due to the population growth afterward, most of the housing from the previous cycle was absorbed by 2013, and builders have been struggling to keep up with population growth. The pandemic only made the situation worse. The decline in construction due to inadequate building companies, workers, and skilled labor has been a significant factor in this housing shortage; hence the government is now creating incentives and awareness for more people to get involved with this line of business. Another long-term constraint is the inadequate supply of land for building as the population grows.

    Brad compares the current rise in housing prices to a similar event in 2005, followed by a massive drop in price. Since 2011, the statewide median sale price of houses has not been down yearly. First, there is an increase in demand for housing because the millennials are more prominent in population size than the previous generation. Secondly, following the pandemic, people now prefer to relocate to other areas because of the flexibility to work from home. So, unlike the previous situation where demand for housing was going up due to business speculation that the price...

    • 30 min
    Jerry Valentine, CEO and Founder of Renter Mentor, shares his story

    Jerry Valentine, CEO and Founder of Renter Mentor, shares his story

    In this episode, I sit with Jerry, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He discusses his work in the nonprofit space and the experiences that led him into the affordable housing aspect of Real Estate.

    • 35 min
    J. Philip Faranda, Owner/Broker J. Philip Real Estate shares his journey to real estate

    J. Philip Faranda, Owner/Broker J. Philip Real Estate shares his journey to real estate

    Resources Mentioned:

    Episode Summary:

    Meet today's guest, J. Philip Faranda, the founder and broker of https://www.jphilip.com/ (J. Philip Real Estate) based in Westchester County.

    In this episode, I sit with Phil, who is based in the suburbs north of Manhattan, and he shares his unique insight on the real estate industry and describes his impactful experience working so far.

    Top Takeaways:

    "The hospitality industry is the only industry in my opinion that can make real estate look like a walk in the park."

    - [J. Philip Faranda]

    "There's no market you can't break into if you follow best practices."

    "If the truth can kill it, it needs to die."

    - [J. Philip Faranda]

    "Every single one of those 120million leads that are sold to Realtors every year, that's some agent who didn't take care of a customer."

    - [Bill Risser]

    "It is clear to me that most Real Estate mistakes… it is downstream from something that was unbrokered or under- brokered."

    - [J. Philip Faranda]

    "Everything you do today is a love letter to future you."

    - [J. Philip Faranda]

    Episode Highlights:

    [00:34] Intro

    [01:16] Introducing our guest, J. Philip Faranda.

    [03:00] About Phil's background and interests.

    [17:26] How Phil started in Real Estate.

    [24:53] About Phil's real estate company, J. Philip Real Estate.

    [33:35] Discussing Zillow Real Estate marketplace.

    [46:44] https://beverlycarterfoundation.org/ (The Beverly Carter Foundation).

    [53:03] Phil's advice to new agents

    [55:13] How to contact Phil

    Email-

    [56:25] Outro

    Episode Notes:

    After studying liberal Arts, Phil thought he would go into writing or teaching. Still, he started his first job was selling supplemental programs to Catholic schools, which he did for seven years while resisting opportunities to go into real estate with his friend. Eventually, he was offered an apartment and a monthly draw to work in Real Estate, and he took up a passion for Real Estate. He also shares that it fit his issues with attention, and he enjoyed the versatility in the experience.

    At some point, Phil also took a year off to work as a Bartender and later worked in mortgages for five years. Doing this, he learned that there wasn't much of a difference between real estate in Westchester and Manhattan, especially if best practices are followed. He took the course and started his company.

    In describing the inspiration for his real estate company, https://www.jphilip.com/ (J. Philip Real Estate), Phil shares that he had to go by J. Philip to differentiate himself from his father. So, he had to answer to the name J. Philip in school, which later became the name of his company. The brokerage grew and now has close to 100 agents. Phil had picked up blogging to keep himself sane after the market crash in 2008; however, it ended up boosting his brand, growing his following, and helping him recruit more agents as the blog created an impression that the company was more significant than it indeed was. Phil shares that he deeply enjoys blogging and all that comes with it.

    Phil shares that his company was the first brokerage in his market to syndicate to Zillow marketplace ahead of everyone else. After he sent an email to Spencer Rascoff, former CEO at Zillow, pointing out a need for a change in the strategy of marketing Zillow, he was asked to be on the advisory board. After working there for a few years, there was some misapprehension towards the changes, but he believed it was necessary.

    Phil believes that Zillow will have to reinvent itself to stay ahead of the curve. Addressing the concern agents have about competing with Zillow, Phil explains that most real estate mistakes come from unbrokered or under-brokered deals based on the poor performance of agents; as such, the focus should be directed at such poor practices.

    Talking about his work with the Beverly Carter Foundation, where he served as President, Phil narrates experiences that

    • 56 min
    Florin Patrascoiu, Owner/Broker - RE/MAX Premier

    Florin Patrascoiu, Owner/Broker - RE/MAX Premier

    THE REAL ESTATE SESSIONS PODCAST

    Episode 294:

    Host: BILL RISSER

    Guest: FLORIN PATRASCOIU

    Episode Summary:

    Our guest this week is https://www.remax.com/real-estate-agents/florin-patrascoiu-wesley-chapel-fl/100033441 (Florin Patrascoiu, the broker/owner of RE/MAX Premier.) He is based in Wesley Chapel, northeast of Tampa, Florida.

    In this episode, I sit with Florin, a Romanian by birth and American by choice, as he talks about his journey from Romania into real estate in America. He also discusses current trends in technology and the practice of real estate.

    Top Takeaways:

    "People should experience other countries, and other cultures, live there for a month or two, and when they come back, they come with a renewed appreciation for what they have."

    - [Florin Patrascoiu]

    "Truthfully, the hospitality industry prepares you for anything in real estate."

    - [Florin Patrascoiu]

    "You have to be open to learning."

    - [Florin Patrascoiu]

    "You know what the best CRM is?...the one you use."

    - [Florin Patrascoiu]

    "Trying to force people into something is a losing proposition."

    - [Bill Risser]

    "You get more by giving and not expecting anything in return."

    - [Florin Patrascoiu]

    Episode Highlights:

    [00:38] Intro

    [01:11] Meet today's guest, Florin Patrascoiu.

    [02:40] How did you end up settling in Florida?

    [16:25] Florin's path to real estate

    [21:27] The benefits of Mentorship in Florin's career.

    [24:50] How would you describe Wesley Chapel?

    [27:40] What is happening now in the Tech space that you want agencies to adopt?

    [32:00] The path to real estate market recovery with the pandemic.

    [36:15] Discussing the current issue of commissions as regards the NAR-DOJ settlement.

    [39:55] Florin's advice to new agents.

    [43:08] How to contact Florin.

    [44:54] Outro

    Episode Notes:

    Florin studied in Romania, moving to Florida in 1996 at the age of 24. Although Florin loves America, he shares that Romania is also a beautiful country. It is located in eastern Europe, with a Latin-based language, even though Slavic-based countries surround them. He joined his wife in Florida after she moved to Florida because her family was there, and he loved the place. Florin studied Economics with a major in International Tourism and has a deep passion for Soccer which; he played professionally growing up but stopped due to an Achilles injury.

    Describing his journey into real estate, Florin explains that he had to work in an Italian restaurant when he immigrated to the U.S. The experience of being a part of the hospitality industry was beneficial to him later in Real Estate. He also worked in corporate business for a while till he finally started with Coldwell Banker. He worked there, grooming himself for close to 7 years; he describes this as his formative years. He also discovered that he has attributes that make him an entrepreneur, a trusted adviser, and a team builder suitable for real estate. However, after he started a company, things got rough as the great recession hit.

    Florin strongly believes in Mentorship and coaching in his growth. Additionally, since he had faced a lot of ups and downs with the recession, the "dot com" boom and bust, as well as 9-11, he was well-groomed in the early years of his practice in Real Estate. He also got involved in "Short sales."

    Wesley community is a vibrant, growing, diverse community much different from the way it used to be, with more facilities for daily living or entertainment.

    Discussing current technology in Real Estate, Florin explains that even with advancements, technology will not replace agents. Still, agents can streamline the process of home buying or selling for clients using technology. Even CRM software is best determined as a good fit by the person using them.

    Florin highlights that the state of the real estate market is not expected to change anytime soon in the pandemic, noting that rates are...

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

maddie@podcastingyou ,

Great podcast!

Bill is a great host and his passion for and knowledge of the real estate industry definitely shine through. His guests each bring so much to the conversation, really appreciate the wealth of knowledge in each episode!

megan@podcastingyou ,

Valuable Content!

Bill does such a good job covering a variety of topics. The guests offer valuable insight as well. I would recommend this podcast to anyone looking to be inspired and informed!

josephrand ,

Smart and Funny

Bill is a smart and funny host and does a great job bringing in engaging, interesting real estate industry leaders. Lots of compelling conversations without sales pitches or hucksterism. Highly recommended to all real estate professionals.

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