Editor's note: I was fortunate to interview one of Realtor Magazine's 30 Under 30 winners for the Greater Tampa Realtor's magazine. Below you'll find some excerpts from that interview. You can listen to a podcast of the interview here, and you can check out a full list of 30 Under 30 winners here. Special thanks to Brittany Jackson and Grace Smith at Greater Tampa Realtors for organizing and hosting this interview.
Louis Savinetti, IV was recently named to REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of young, successful real estate professionals who have demonstrated skill, success, creativity and leadership in their careers. Nico Hohman of Hohman Homes sat down with the GTR member to learn more about becoming a 30 Under 30.
Nico Hohman (NH): You’re one of NAR’s 30 Under 30 winners. Congratulations on that, Louis. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Louis Savinetti, IV (LS): Hello, thank you for having me. I’m a listing agent with RE/MAX Dynamic and the Duncan Duo. I’ve been doing real estate about four years now. I was raised in the Tampa area. I’m a graduate from the University of Florida and I have a true passion for real estate. That’s why I think the success with being awarded the 30 Under 30 really comes from just passion for what I do. So, just excited for the process and to be nominated.
NH: Can you tell us a little bit about that process? How did you first hear about the award? How did you go about applying for it?
LS: Actually, my first week in real estate, I came into the office one day and there was a magazine, REALTOR® Magazine, that had the 30 Under 30. I learned all about it and became a little obsessed. I spoke to my broker, Andrew Duncan, about it. I said, “This is a long-term goal I want to set and I want to do it now.” He said, “I love the enthusiasm, but you have to slow down. You’re new, you have to learn the business, you’ve got to have sales, you have to build yourself up to be competitive.” You were actually allowed to apply more than once.
NH: I’ve heard that many applicants do apply a couple years and it might even take two, three or four years before you even get accepted.
LS: I really wanted to do “one and done.” So, I waited until my last year. My plan was to keep growing every year, which I did, so my sales numbers were where I wanted them to be. I learned a lot more about community service, got a lot more involved, became just a much better, well-rounded person and agent to really make me as best of a candidate as possible. The interview process was pretty extensive. They start off with a written portion. I had to answer about 16 questions in-depth. And, you didn’t have to do it, but I actually had a video made to get myself off of the paper. I wanted people to say, “Who is this guy?” So, that was really fun. What I learned most about 30 Under 30 is that it is not just about sales. Just being a rock star isn’t going to do it. They’re looking for well-rounded individuals that, across the board, do a good job. In my video, I showed myself working with my clients, my community service and playing ice hockey, because that’s one of my big hobbies. Then, there were one or two phone interviews and a really fun social media campaign. That was the process and it’s been since November. I actually found out a little earlier than I expected. But, it’s been a long few months waiting to hear back.
What I learned most is that its not just about sales... they’re looking for well-rounded individuals.
NH: You talked about how it’s not just about sales numbers, but the overall well-roundedness of a person. What were some of the things that you’re doing outside of your actual sales that you think helped boost your application and made you a finalist?
LS: As a team (at the Duncan Duo) we do a lot of stuff. The one thing that stuck out to me was Habitat for Humanity. As a hobby, I love building – construction, redoing furniture – I’m actually renovating my own house right now. Through this opportunity that I found out about, I get to go, build, learn and help people, so I get such enjoyment out of it and I benefitted from it too because I’m learning so much with these professional contractors and getting to do new things. Also, I think (the judges) are looking for a compelling story about what I did to get here, how I got here and who helped me. I definitely didn’t do this alone. My team was an amazing support. There’s no Louis Savinetti real estate. I’m part of the Duncan Duo and that’s why I was given so many great opportunities to even be able to apply for 30 Under 30.
NH: So, one of the things that the Duncan Duo is known for is being the official real estate partner for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tell us a little bit about that.
LS: We’re very lucky to be working with the Lightning and it’s an amazing opportunity. Not only do we advertise with them but we do a lot of community service activities with them as far as getting the players to come to certain events and having autograph signings. As funny as it is, in Tampa we have some really passionate hockey fans, so we give them more access that way. We have big holiday parties for our clients where they get to come and they get to skate at the arena and it really opens us up to more exposure for home buyers.
NH: So, with the recent 30 Under 30 nomination and all the success with the Lightning, what are some things you’re going to do as far as your future branding and marketing?
LS: The one thing I want to take most advantage of is the credibility that comes with it. A lot of times I meet with clients who are a lot older than me. They’ll have kids older than me or even grandkids older than me and it’ll be a high-end property. Sometimes it’s like, “Okay, kid, how are you going to sell our property?” It will be nice for them to say, “He was nominated for 30 Under 30 so he must be doing something right.” Just because I’m young, doesn’t mean I’m inexperienced. Also, a huge part of it is the networking, Since I was nominated, I’ve been invited to a private Facebook group and events for other 30 Under 30 agents throughout the country and that is opening up a whole new world already as far as help with questions about anything or referrals.
NH: And that’s what’s great about being plugged in to the local, state and national REALTOR® associations. You can have that connection part whether you’re with a large brokerage or a small independent one. You have a good network of people that you can trust. So, what advice would you give to a brand new YPN just starting in the industry?
LS: I would definitely say that knowledge is power. Real estate is constantly changing. Learn as much as you can. For us, GTR has a lot of great classes, so come to them. Learn as much as you can. And, if you’re not on a team, get someone in your office or a partner to work with to script with. That’s what we religiously do. You have to know what you’re talking about for people to trust you. And then, once you start to see success, keep going. I call it the REALTOR® roller coaster. A lot of people will work, work, work and then they’ll stop prospecting and the next month will say, “Where did all my business go?” Well, you stopped doing what you did to get all that business you had last month! So, keep going. Don’t ever take your foot off the gas, especially in such a competitive market that we’re in. And, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I would not be where I am today without family, friends, amazing co-workers. Don’t get discouraged, stay positive, really put a full effort into it.
Knowledge is power.
NH: Looking back on the early years in your real estate career, were there any changes you would’ve made?
LS: I would’ve gotten into a lot earlier. I would’ve loved to have gotten involved even in college just to start getting my foot in the door. And, I wouldn’t be afraid of the mistakes. My favorite part about real estate is that I learn something new every day. And I would dedicate more to it. So, put the time in now so you don’t have to later. Build that network early on so you can continue to grow.
NH: For the future of the real estate industry, what are some things that you see are going to be challenges and threats to the industry? What are some things that you see could be opportunities?
LS: Definitely on my radar would be technology. There are a lot of websites that are "agent-less." As much as a threat that can be and somewhat is now, I still think the personal relationships will never be able to be compared to. You really want to keep an eye on that but you want to be competitive versus a computer and commissions. You learn how to add value to yourself because you are always going up against a cheaper commission or just no commission. And, honestly, in our market, in a great market, a lot of people are getting their licenses and it’s a lot more competitive. As far as real estate and legislation, I think we’re not going to have the downfall that we did in the past. I think we’re learning from our mistakes and I definitely see our market staying consistent for the next few years.
NH: One last question. If you could have any super power, what would your super power be?
LS: Any superpower? I’d want to read your mind so at a listing appointment, if you want me to tell you something different, I’d be able to!
NH: Louis congratulations again! We look forward to seeing your face and your name around much longer here in Tampa and across the state and the country.