Today in our “Meet the Agent” series we get to know co-owner of CENTURY 21 AA Realty in Long Island, Frank Dell’Accio. Frank started in the business with his father when he was just 18 years old and now owns his office with his brother, Vincent – a true family affair!
C21: You were just named Realtor of the Year by the Long Island Board of Realtors, congratulations! What do you love most about this business?
FD: I love helping people whether it be a buyer, a seller or an agent. This business affords me the opportunity to have a positive effect on people’s lifestyles.
C21: How did you first get started in real estate?
FD: I started when I was 18 years old. My father had just opened an office with a few partners and he was getting his brokers license and asked me to drive him to class in the evenings. I sat in on the classes and from there I was hooked (which as it turned out was my father’s sneaky plan to entice me to work with him).
C21: Do you remember your first sale?
FD: Absolutely! It was very difficult since my first sale was a result of getting my first listing (which was grueling) and that turned into four sides, two listings and two sales all from that same family.
C21: You co-own CENTURY 21 AA Realty with your brother, Vincent. How is it working with your brother?
FD: I could not have scripted a better situation or relationship. It has been great.
C21: Your area of focus is Long Island. What makes this real estate market special and unique?
FD: The people. Long Islanders are a funny group once you figure them out and you can enjoy their idiosyncrasies. They tend to be creatures of habit.
C21: How do you maintain relationships with clients after they buy a home? It could be several years before they are ready to move again.
FD: We have two or three community events each year that we either hold, sponsor or participate in and we invite the public as well as past buyers and sellers. We are very involved in our local elementary schools and sports clubs. We send periodic mailings to them and we use the Preferred Client Program with every buyer. We have used the PCC Program from the day it was introduced to the System. We provide each agent a personalized monthly electronic newsletter which we send to each agent’s database of past and present customers, friends, family etc. We get a very good response from that tool and it is a friendly way of staying in touch.
C21: How important are referrals?
FD: Referrals are the lifeblood of our business. Without referrals our business would be much more difficult and would certainly impact our production.
C21: Name the three qualities necessary to succeed in real estate.
FD: 1) Commitment - to do the work.
2) Prioritize – your daily activities.
3) Willingness – to talk to people every day.
C21: Our company mantra is “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” How do you embody the mantra in your day-to-day work?
FD: We embody Smarter by continually (weekly, monthly) training, retraining and introducing new and better marketing methods to our agents. We embody Bolder by holding our agents accountable to go out and meet people every day and make contacts for future business. We do not believe in waiting for the “phone to ring.” We prospect expired listings daily and provide accountability for activities. We embody Faster with our sales goals, recognition and awards and being a positive influence in our agent’s lives. We show them we care for them and their families and we respect them as individuals not only because they work in our firm.
C21: Are you using social media for business?
FD: We have a blog and a company, Facebook fan page, however we use it very little from a company perspective. We utilize our agents for that marketing. Our agents create their own Facebook fan pages. We encourage the use of social media, we provide training, provide access to the technology and we support their needs. We have begun using video marketing as our new way of communicating with short bursts of good useful information. We use video in our monthly newsletters and most recently on our agent’s websites. We are in the final stages of using video testimonials from our buyers and sellers for use on our websites and in office video promotions.
C21: What social media channel do you find generates the most leads?
FD: Simply whatever method agents find most comfortable. We do not feel the “one shoe fits all” philosophy is appropriate for marketing. As long as our agents get in front of people consistently, we can generate leads. We play to our agents’ strengths and what they are most comfortable with, not what we think they should be comfortable with. As a company we find visiting face to face in the community still produces our best results. We are very visible in the community.
C21: You’ve been every involved with the MLS, LIBOR and NYSAR. How does this involvement make you a better broker/owner?
FD: I feel that my involvement helps keep my finger on the pulse of the market. I gain experience from the many people I come in contact with, share ideas with, and have developed deeper mutual relationships with fellow Realtors. I am able to assist members with issues and in turn when I need assistance I find it is more readily available. My involvement fosters greater cooperation from other Realtors. In addition, I have greater opportunities to learn more about my industry because I am being exposed to more. I have an opportunity to be involved in new technology that I might not otherwise be exposed to if I weren’t involved. I then better educate our agents and keep them on the cutting edge of all things related to our marketplace.
C21: You are also involved with several local philanthropic organizations. Tell us a bit more about that and how you make time for it all!
FD: I enjoy being part of our community. I wish I could do more but time is a limiting factor. Most of our involvement revolves around supporting program in our elementary schools, local sports clubs and the senior citizen centers. We sponsor programs, donate our time and resources and make our office available for community use.
C21: If you could give one piece of advice to a young person starting out in the real estate business, what would it be?
FD: Be passionate about what you do! The money will follow the passion.
C21: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your free time?
FD: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I belong to a national boating organization which keeps us pretty busy throughout the year even when our boats are out of the water for the winter.
C21: Continue the conversation with Frank via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or give him a ring at (631)226-5995 extension 214.