Meet Melissa Zapata: Managing Behind-the-Scenes of Real Estate
Melissa Zapata thought she wanted to be an accountant.
In 2011, she had been working in retail when she started doing real estate administration work for an REO company. She continued to stick with the real estate industry when she shifted to residential sales as an office manager in 2014. From there, she got licensed so she could expand her responsibilities beyond transaction coordinating and all the other backend management.
“There were certain questions I couldn’t answer,” Melissa said. “Getting my license just made sense.” She helped the team lead grow his team from two to fourteen, closing approximately 200 deals in a year.
Hustling From the Get-Go
If Melissa could go back to that first year, what would she do differently or the same? “The biggest challenge was learning the business,” she admitted. In the beginning, this wasn’t her ultimate dream career path. As time went on, she grew to love it.
Now, her average day and week are completely different from each other. She managed buyer and seller files from contract to close, conducts lots of follow-ups through email or phone calls and keeps lines of communication going between brokers, attorneys and their clients.
Yet, it isn’t always hectic. “My hours have become more flexible over time,” Melissa said. “For balance, it took me a lot of years to get there. I worked seven days a week in the beginning. You know, the beginning in real estate is a lot of sacrifice and hustle.”
Melissa’s Advice For Success
“Have patience! Every day is different, every file is different and every client is different.”
Whether you’re interested in using your real estate license on the admin side or on the sales side, no matter what, it isn’t about the sales numbers. “It’s about the relationship and building rapport,” Melissa advised.
The first year is challenging, so build relationships with everyone you meet and set expectations from the start. Strong habits like time blocking are important, according to Melissa, just as much as networking.
What’s next for her? “My end goal is to have my own office and my own team. I want to help them grow and really cultivate the training side of things.”
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