Often, the real estate industry is portrayed to be full of sharks: ruthless, unforgiving, merciless, and most of the time, these portrayals aren’t wrong. But a simple change in mindset and behavior could make the industry that much more attractive to someone looking in from the outside. Chadwin Barley chats with Ernest Losoya, the Team Leader of the Losoya Group based in San Antonio, TX. Ernest discusses how these negative conceptions of the real industry could be driving people—whether potential coworkers or customers—away. Creating a comfortable environment is important, especially for first-time homebuyers who have just gotten their lease on a new life, and want to begin by buying a house. Let Ernest show you why, in this case, kindness is the much better path to choose.
Listen to the podcast here:
Ernest Losoya Loves First Time Home Buyers
I am excited to introduce to you the Team Leader of The Losoya Group at City View San Antonio, Texas. Ernest Losoya is a friend of mine and I’ve known him for several years. We met when I was in San Antonio, having a little bit of fun and I took it upon myself to go to the City View Keller Williams office to meet some people there. He was one of the first to be introduced to me at that point in time. His name Ernest is the epitome of the definition of who he is. He is an earnestly wonderful person and a genuine, sincere individual that I’ve completely fallen in love with as I’ve gotten to know him, not only for his kindness but also for his professionalism.
We’ve worked together on several deals and I have high regard for him. Ernest has several years of experience in business and finance and fully understands the financial aspect of purchasing and selling a home. He has extremely strong communication and negotiation skills, which have proven to be beneficial to his clients. His management background allows him the ability to focus on each contract with a careful and considerate approach. Ernest sits on the board of The Sharing & Caring Foundation at Keller Williams and has been recognized as a top producer throughout his career. Ernest, how are you?
I’m great. How are you, Chadwin?
I’m doing great. I’m happy to have a reason to carve out some time to talk to you once again because it’s been a while.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.As a first-time homebuyer, it helps that your realtor walks you through every step of the process. Click To Tweet
I know you and you know that you’re one of my favorite agents across the nation, but the readers do not know you. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about you, your market, and the type of clients that you typically work with?
I work here in San Antonio. We primarily focus on the northwest and northeast parts of San Antonio, but we have clients all over. We work with different types of clients and not by purpose, but our specialty is first time home buyers. We have a lot of first time home buyers that come through our office that we help out. We’ve formatted our business to specialize in them because when I was a first time home buyer, I loved the fact that our realtor at the time walked us through every step of the process. We’ve mimicked that idea with our clients.
We took a step back when we realized the majority of our clients were first time home buyers. We created a roadmap for them and we go over that in our initial meeting or initial consultation. We have an actual packet that we give our clients and we call it our playbook. We go back throughout the process. We referenced that playbook and we’d go through there. We’ve realized that Millennials like to know what’s coming ahead in every step of the process. It lays it out from the time that they get registered to our website to the time that they go out to close. They know 2 or 3 steps ahead of every process of what to expect and it works out. We love the fact that our clients trust us. They can sense our passion in the business and they realize that we love what we do. It’s been a wild ride and it’s a lot of fun. That’s what we specialize in.
Let’s assume that I’m a first time home buyer moving into San Antonio and I want to work with a team like yours that is experienced and knowledgeable in that area. You’ve mentioned we, our, and several words like that, which makes me feel like you are a team. What does it look like to work with you and your organization?
I have a team and there are three of us. We’re getting ready to grow with another buyer’s agent. I primarily work as the listing agent of the team in The Losoya Group. My husband is our lead buyer’s agent and his name is Jason. We have Angela and she’s also one of our buyer’s agent and we’re going to hire another one in the near future. When our clients come in for the initial consultation, the whole team goes in there and introduces themselves to the new clients, but we designate one agent to be helping them. What we like about it is that we have a system that we all have access to.
At any given time, if one agent is working with a client and they need some updates, we have a system where anyone could give them an update. We will work with multiple clients at the same time, so there are times where one agent might be in one part of town and a client wants to see a house there. We make sure that we’re readily available to them. We see this as a value because instead of one agent trying to do it all, we have multiple agents who know the level of service that I expect to get to my clients and we all give that same level of service. They have a team working for them instead of just one individual agent.
I work in a market that’s difficult for first-time home buyers because the price point in this area is what it is. Yet, our two markets are quickly almost merging together with the rapid growth between Austin, Texas and San Antonio. For someone who can’t attain first-time homeownership in Austin or is having difficulty with that, what are the price points in San Antonio?
The average price point is about $250,000. We have a number of clients who are purchasing properties that are a little bit less than that, especially first-time home buyers. Sometimes, they’re used to renting and they used to a certain payment amount. One thing that we always tell our clients is, “We don’t want you to be house broke. We want to make sure that we’re going to get you into a house that you can own that started your investment.” We also understand that you still want to go out and you still want to go to the restaurants. You want to take the kids to SeaWorld, to Fiesta Texas or to the River Walk and do that fun stuff. We work closely with a select number of lenders that can understand the importance of that as well. We have about 4 or 5 different transactions that are under the average price range of $250,000. I’ve trained our agents to create the offers and to be competitive.
What I love about Keller Williams is that we have a lot of training, expertise, and knowledge on how to work the contracts. This market is competitive. We have clients who get outbid a lot or listings where we have multiple offer situations. We’re creative with the offering. We say that we try to make it to where the offers that we’re submitting are strong offers, even if they may not be the top price offers for that particular listing. We liked that because it shows the other agents that we’re knowledgeable in the contracts and we know how to read and interpret the contracts. We always want to make sure that our clients are financially set to where they can put in the strongest offer possible. We only have about four different vendors that we use and we purposely do that because they know that we’re all trying to get the same end goal.
If I had a family member or a friend who was looking to be a buyer in the San Antonio area, I would want them to work with you. The reason why is that from the moment we first met, I recognized you as a giver. If I remember correctly when we first met, you were presenting to other agents and teaching them about technology. That’s another thing that I love about you. You’re super innovative and your clients can be self-assured that you’re going to leverage all kinds of tools, keeping the process that can be complicated simple, and making it easy on them. You’re working behind the scenes with a lot of technology and a high level of understanding of your marketplace. Let’s go back to the giver concept because that’s the type of people that we want to be a magnet to and work with individuals who have like-minds and like-hearts. Tell me how you are engaged in your community and some of the things that drive you in your business from a relational standpoint.Because the market is competitive, clients often get outbid a lot, or there are just multiple offers on the property. Click To Tweet
Giving has always been an important part of our lives. From the beginning, my parents raised us to be cognizant of those and of others and give as much as we can back. I’ve been involved with our local chapter of the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and all of those kinds of things. I’ve instilled that in our team as well because I feel like if you give good out, you’ll get good back. There are times where we need to bend over backward and do certain things for our clients to help them because if I feel like if we have a gift, God gave it to us and we need to share with others. That’s the main reason why I have been on the board of The Sharing & Caring Foundation. It allows me to give back to our smaller community here within our office. We also do quarterly events with a local nonprofit as well.
One time, we did this event where we went to a food pantry and they had 50-pound bags of beans that they needed to put into smaller bags and we turned it into a competition. Our team went out there and we competed against other teams to get this huge amount of beans into smaller bags so that they could go out and hand them out to the families. It does two different things. Number one, it’s a good team-building exercise because we get to get away from the real estate world and mindset and focus on something else. It makes you feel good inside because you’re helping others, your taking time away from your main job to help others. I’m blessed that in real estate we can dictate our own schedule and we can carve time out for things that matter to us. It makes you feel good inside to do God’s work.
I’m glad that you brought up this foundation called Sharing & Caring at Keller Williams because we will have other Keller Williams agents reading the blog and your presentation. I personally have never heard of The Sharing & Caring Foundation. Can you help me understand what that is?
The Sharing & Caring Foundation is a local charitable organization. In our market center, it’s like KW Cares, but it’s a local version of that. Agents are able to designate a certain amount from their commission checks over to this organization and I’m on the board. What the board does is that we get applications from other agents asking for assistance. Sometimes, we need to help them when they’ve had a death in the family. As you may know, a lot of real estate agents sometimes don’t have insurance, so we’ve helped people who have had horrible car accidents. We’ve helped out large events like that. We even help agents who need a tank of gas to go from one closing to the next.
What the board does is that we get the applications and we review them and we vet them. We have the huge responsibility of deciding who gets the funds and how much do they get. It’s rewarding and stressful because we have to hear and tear up about all the other bad things that happen, but it also makes me feel grateful that we have an organization such as The Sharing & Caring Foundation. I am honored and blessed to be part of that. It’s nonprofit and it’s completely separate from Keller Williams, but it is within our organization and it’s an awesome thing to be a part of.
A lot of people misperceive our industry. We are blessed that many agents can make an amazing income, but for instance, individuals who may be starting into the industry and getting their feet wet, it can be a little bit of an uphill climb. Because we’re 100% commission when something catastrophic happens, we have nothing to fall back on. For those who may not know about Keller Cares, that is an organization that was started and founded by some leaders within Keller Williams when they recognize that it might be a need.
What we do as an organization is individual agents opt-in and choose to donate a portion of their commission to that 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so that there are funds to pull from. I thought I’d give a little bit of orientation to anyone who doesn’t know about that organization, why it was created, and the good things that it does. Let’s talk a little bit about your business, how long you’ve been in business on the real estate side, and what caused you to choose this career.
I’ve been a licensed agent for a few years and the reason that it caused me to change careers is an emotional story now that I don’t share often, but it’s important. I was in the financial industry for a number of years and it got to the point where I was in a negative headspace. I was in a department that I didn’t agree with the things that we were directed to do. I would work hard and not necessarily get paid for the work because we would get salaries, so I’d get paid the same amount of money. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing.
I’m the oldest of four siblings and I would always strive to be an example to them. I realized one day that I wasn’t being a good example. I’m the oldest of 42 smaller cousins on my dad’s side of the family and on my mom’s side of the family. They all look up to me as well. I realized that I wasn’t being a good example and I need to make a change. It happened on the day that was a bad day. My real estate agent called and she was following up with her leads. She asked how things were going and I was open and honest with her.
She invited me to come to a team meeting on a Tuesday here at the office. I came in and I fell in love with Keller Williams. I had always thought about the idea of being in real estate. I never acted on that because I had a solid job. At that point, I decided I wanted to take the leap, get my license, and try starting my own business. I wanted to do that as an example to my siblings especially. I wanted to show them that if you’re unhappy where you’re at, take the leap of faith and trust God that He’s pushing you to a different part of your life.If you give out good, you're going to get good back. Click To Tweet
I did a lot of praying until I finally decided to make the leap, joined Keller Williams and I haven’t looked back. I knew from the beginning I wanted to start my own team. A year into it, I stopped lead generating because I was getting too much business. At that point when my coach decided that I needed to bring someone on, I spoke to my husband and I said, “Would you be interested in joining real estate on my team?” He took the leap of faith and he trusted me. He joined about a year after and then we hired our buyer’s agent, Angela. She’s been phenomenal.
We’re at the point for our business coaches telling us that we’re ready to hire someone else, so we’re going to be bringing someone else onto the team. Needless to say, it’s been an amazing journey. My little brother is getting ready to get his real estate license because he’s seen how much fun I’ve been having and how successful it’s been for us. My mother left her job, got her real estate license, and is now a Transaction Coordinator with Keller Williams. We’re slowly building a family business. It’s been a lot of fun and that’s what got me into real estate. I haven’t looked back.
Thank you for being vulnerable with us and sharing that story because the truth is not until we get knocked down in one area that we don’t realize a lot of times, that’s what catapults us to grow. A small setback can be an open door to a whole new avenue. What an incredible journey that you’ve had that speaks to the success that people can expect to achieve if they put the right efforts and activities behind this business. I took a couple of notes while you were sharing because another misperception in that marketplace is the fact that real estate agents are sharks and are competing against each other. It comes from all the fun TV shows, which I’m addicted to like the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and all those fun drama shows. It does cause perception to people who aren’t in this industry that we’re ugly to each other. One of the things that I also love and was drawn to with the business was the Keller Williams culture and how color collaborative and friendly we are. Do you happen to know how many agents are approximately in San Antonio?
It’s between 12,000 to 14,000.
I did a little research as well. In Austin, we’re about the same 14,000 to 16,000 and it’s constantly a growing number. Can you speak to that? What is it that you feel causes Keller Williams to have such an embracing culture in what’s considered to be a competitive industry?
There are a lot. We have this culture of helping others. I teach a lot of ignite and technology classes. I was teaching a class for new agents and some were coming from other brokerage companies. There are new agents with Keller Williams and as I was talking to them, an agent raised his hand and said, “Ernest, why are you telling us all of your secrets? Aren’t we your competitors?” I took a step back and I said, “Have you ever flown into San Antonio on an airplane?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Have you ever looked down at all the homes out there?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “There are plenty of homes for everybody,” and it hit him.
I feel like that’s the culture here. We don’t have to be competitive with each other. We don’t have to do any mean to each other. We can help each other because when we help each other, we can change the perception of these real estate agents that are sharks. If you give out good, you’re going to get good back. Anything that our team creates, our marketing and all of that stuff, we get excited because we can teach these newer agents on how to do that same stuff. That’s good because there are plenty of homes out there that we don’t have to be competitive with each other.
I love that because I was afraid of the perception of real estate agents when I first started. I was afraid that everybody was going to see me as competitors, but the moment that I stepped into this office, everyone embraced me and they were asking me, “How can I help you?” That’s what we do for the newer agents. We asked them, “How can I help you? We’re having an open house. Do you want to come door knock with this? Do you want to come shadow so you can see our tips and tricks?” When I find a new app and technology stuff, I’m excited to add that to our list of things that we’re going to be teaching new agents. It’s helping others and it’s what we’re here to do.
What’s perfect about that is I am an incredibly competitive person by nature. It’s been a place in which I’ve had a lot of personal growth as well. I remember you mentioned Ignite, and it is the class that new agents learn how to do the actual business of the real estate. It’s about a twelve-session program. Every day you take these classes and you learn how to implement the activities that make you successful in the business. That’s the classes that Ernest teaches quite a bit in his own office. I remember learning either in Ignite or another track of classes that I was taking where one of the presentation questions that you’re supposed to ask a seller or a buyer is, “Are you interviewing other agents?” I’m always nervous to ask that question thinking, “If my client hasn’t figured it out for themselves that they should be interviewing other agents, why in the heck would I plant that seed in their head?”
What I’ve learned being in the business and with all of the perspectives that have brought is I tell my clients, “Please interview other agents. Please do not speak with me because, at the end of the day, I want you working with the person that’s best suited to serve your needs. If you do interview other agents and circle back to me and decide to hire me, then we both know that you’re coming to the relationship with an informed decision. We can partner together with a lot of true trust and understanding of how we’re going to be successful to achieve your goals.”
I like that you said partner because that’s exactly how we feel with our clients. We’re their partner in all of this. We’re the professionals, we know what to expect and we know the process, but we are their partner to help them find their perfect home. I always tell my agents, “We’re not in competition with anyone other than ourselves.” My competition is myself last year and the year before last, and that’s who I focus on because I’m competitive as well. I have my numbers posted on the board on the wall here in the office of my number last year, and that’s what I need to be. We have Jason’s number supposed to from last year and that’s his competition and Angela, her competition since she’s still new is the month previous. That’s what we focus on. We’re focusing on what we’re growing ourselves. What we’ve made this year so far in closed is what we closed last year with a full year. We’re doing well but as long as we keep that focus for a competition for ourselves, we’ll be fine.
I want to thank you for everything that you’ve offered out to the universe. I’m sure it’s going to come back to you tenfold. I know that you do a lot of reading professional and personal development. You like to focus on positive thinking and positive words. Why don’t you leave us with information from a favorite book, quote or an affirmation that you use that drives you and why you like that specific tool?
There are several and I have them all written down on my wall. I would probably say, “Your business grows to the extent that you do,” because you can use that in many different avenues. I always feel like if I’m uncomfortable, then that means I’m growing. It can go to where you’re working on your physical fitness and emotional fitness and as long as you are growing, then your business will follow. That’s the one that I use the most and that’s what I love.
Thank you so much. I do love that because it’s true that we cannot achieve what we don’t become. Ernest, tell us how to find you. What’s the best way to get connected if we happen to have a friend, family member or loved one that’s moving to San Antonio?
You can get in contact with me by phone at (210) 387-8744 or you can check out our website at www.MyNextSanAntonioHome.com.
Have a great day.
- The Losoya Group
- The Sharing & Caring Foundation – Facebook
- United Way
- Habitat for Humanity
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Keller Cares
About Ernest Lasoya
Ernest Losoya was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Ernest has over 16 years of experience in business and finance and fully understands the financial aspect of purchasing and selling a home. He has extremely strong communication and negotiating skills which have proven to be beneficial to his clients.
His management background allows him the ability to focus on each contract with a careful and considerate approach. Ernest sits on the board of the Sharing and Caring foundation at Keller Williams and has been recognized as a top producer throughout his career.
Ernest’s goal is to provide the BEST customer service to each of his clients, and to have a smooth and successful transaction!