Congratulations to Tona Kasel, Opcity’s Featured Emerging Agent for September 2018.
Opcity works with more than 40,000 agents across the United States, and more than 1,000 agents participate in the Emerging Agents program.
We started this program in Aug. of 2018 as a way for up and coming agents who did not have the required transaction history to receive training and gain experience in the industry.
Tona Kasel, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Columbus, Ohio was the first person in our Emerging Agents program to successfully convert an Opcity referral into a customer.
Tona got her real estate license in June 2018, just one month prior to joining Opcity. Since joining, she’s already had one completed close, two pending closes, and has met 68 referrals through Opcity.
We chatted with Tona to learn how she’s become so successful so quickly. After just a few minutes into our conversation, it was clear. Tona is driven, friendly, and genuinely cares about the people she works with.
And most importantly, she is a hard worker. Tona has three other jobs on top of being a real estate agent. She’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves, make mistakes, and learn on the job.
Her perspective on the industry is one of positive curiosity. She is constantly learning and believes there is something to be taken away from every experience and doesn’t get discouraged by leads who do not close right away.
Can you tell us how you got started in real estate?
I got my license in June 2018, and right after I started, my managing broker signed me up for Opcity’s Emerging Agent program, so that was really my first experience in the industry.
I’m using Opcity as an opportunity to learn and grow my business. I love that Opcity provides me with so many leads, that’s what I need. It might take 20 leads to get one closing.
Opcity keeps me really busy, certainly a lot busier than if I didn’t have Opcity. It’s also given me the opportunity to go through the home buyer process and learn. That’s why I’ve accepted almost everything I can get my hands on.
If it’s a viable lead, I want to work it. I’m a new agent, so going through the process and learning the steps to writing a contract, and doing showings, and communicating with customers, it’s just a good experience.
Congratulations on your first Opcity close! Can you tell us about it?
The buyer was very excited about the excellent price we were able to get her. I loved that I could help her with a major step in her life. She was a fabulous negotiator; she knew what she wanted and in the end she got it. We worked as a team to get it done and I thought that was pretty cool.
What challenges have you seen working with online referrals?
Sometimes potential clients who come through have unrealistic expectations on what they are able to do. Some of them are not qualified, but that’s the way it goes. A lot of the time I can still help them by referring clients to Berkshire Hathaway’s in-house financing team if they need it.
I have a client who needed help with her credit score, so I helped her connect to a finance partner and she’s currently in my long term hold. We keep in touch and ultimately when she’s ready to purchase, I hope she thinks of me.
What is your “secret sauce” to converting online real estate leads?
Be yourself, be genuine, be transparent, be considerate. You’re dealing with people’s lives, their schedules, this isn’t a cookie cutter sale. Every circumstance is different, and if you understand that as an agent and can be flexible, you will see success.
Do you have any advice for other agents using Opcity?
You just have to work the leads and look at the big picture, look at the end game. Nothing is a waste of time, you take something away from every experience, even if it doesn’t turn into an immediate close. The more you do something, the better you get at it.
Opcity has been a great place for me to practice what I’ve learned during my training. I’m using this opportunity with Opcity to make mistakes early and be better moving forward. These are people’s lives we’re dealing with, and if you make a mistake on a high-value property, you could cost the person a home.
A few other things I’ve learned through using Opcity:
- Constant follow up is key to staying top of mind. Let your clients know that you’re thinking about them. Keep checking in with them.
- Be mindful of everyone’s situation. If you are working with a veteran, thank him/her for their service. If you know a client has been ill, check in to see how they are feeling.
- Real estate is about turning transactions into relationships. Build Relationships to develop loyalty. I built a relationship with a family who is looking for a home, and when someone else tried to contact them, they turned them down and continued to work with me.
- If it was easy, everybody would do it. Some things can’t be helped, that’s just the way it goes. Realize that every situation is different.
We love Tona’s tenacity, never-ending positive attitude, and her understanding disposition. We are lucky to have an agent like Tona on our platform and wish her continued success in the industry.
Do you want to utilize Opcity to meet prescreened buyer and seller leads? Click here to request more information!