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Broker Spotlight: Melissa Zavala, Broadpoint Properties
Name: Melissa Rose Zavala
Experience: Broker since 2006, broker owner since 2008
Location: Escondido, California
Brokerage full name: Broadpoint Properties
Agent team size: 8-10
Transaction sides: 80+
Sales volume: $40 million
Why Melissa Zavala is in the spotlight
Melissa Zavala serves as broker-owner of Broadpoint Properties and is the founder of two administrative services companies geared toward the real estate industry: Short Sale Expeditor and Transaction 911. As a trainer, she assists agents through coaching, mentoring and speaking opportunities and has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. She has written for The American Genius and The Real Daily and has been featured in Upward: 50 Leading Women in California Real Estate.
What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?
It is actually not what people think it is. People think it is flashy cars, fancy homes, fine wine and networking. That is only about 3 percent of the job (at most); the rest is thick skin, true grit, strong negotiation skills, excellent interpersonal skills and the willingness to learn and adapt.
What’s something you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
A few things that I wish I had more training on before I started: accounting and risk management. Over time, I’ve figured it out. But keeping an eye on agents and always having risk management top of mind is crucial to a brokerage’s success.
Also, a good accounting class doesn’t hurt. I started out by copying the list of accounts from the back of Keller’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and calling an acquaintance for QuickBooks tips. Had I taken an accounting class in college, I think it probably would have helped a bit.
Overall, I think it is important to understand that only life experience and transactional experience can really help you in real estate. A passion for learning and good training are important, but good, consistent closings will make future closings easier and more efficient. Also, the best tip I can provide to anyone, is that saying “no” is a freeing experience that opens you up to new opportunities.
Tell us about a high point in your brokerage career.
One of the many high points in my career was during the Great Recession. At that time, I developed a company that provided short sale negotiation services to other agents throughout California. Our administrative team was able to help close over 1500 short sales during the Recession, get agents the closings they wanted, and borrowers in financial distress the dignified exit they deserved.
What’s your top prediction for 2022?
I believe that the market is stagnating and will likely see an adjustment later this year with prices going down next year. As interest rates increase, I always keep in mind that managing the national economy is a balancing act and fed rate hikes are done to combat inflation.
What makes a good leader?
Good listening skills, extremely strong interpersonal skills, a gentle approach and the willingness to lead by example.