Al Filippone started in real estate 35 years ago and has dominated the real estate market in Connecticut. He’s also one of the first to grow a real estate team in the area.

On this episode of the Byron Lazine Podcast, he and Byron discuss his early days with direct mail and door-to-door deliveries, the building of his mega team, and his advice for new agents. 

Direct Mail & Door Deliveries

While other agents were using ads in print magazines to get noticed, Al decided to go a different route: “I was mailing out 2,400 pieces and delivering the other 100 door-to-door every month.” 

He got to know the area well, and it wasn’t long before people started recognizing him when he appeared at their door. 

People asked him why other agents weren’t using direct mail and he’d think, “They are doing it. But they’re doing it once or twice, it’s not generating business, and they’re giving up.” He admits he was about to give up on it himself that first year, because not much was happening. 

“The key was – and to this day, whether you’re talking about Instagram or direct mail, whatever it is – the key to success in this business, I don’t have to tell you, is consistency.”

Al Filippone

Byron’s recent Instagram post on video creation is a good example of this. 

Starting a Team

Byron asked Al when he decided his business had grown to the point where he needed a team. He was one of the first in the country to build what has now become a mega team. And not many agents around him loved the idea. 

“As a single agent, once I’d hit $10M in volume, I felt I needed a support staff person – an administrative manager. And didn’t know that at the time, but to me, that’s really the first step in building a team.”

Al Filippone

He and Bill Raveis formulated the concept of a real estate team 22 years ago. And it’s evolved from there. Al’s team – Team AFA at William Raveis Real Estate – now has an average home sale price at $1.5 million. And last year, they sold $350 million.

Al’s advice for new agents

Al has seen quite a bit over his 35 years in the business. Byron asked how important it is for an agent to be committed on Saturdays and Sundays. 

“You know the old saying, ‘Entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40.’ As a realtor you own your business… so, you’re gonna get out of it what you put into it.”

Al Filippone

As far as the current market, Al’s gut feeling on the economy centers on his hope that it’s not a big downturn but rather a leveling off. He’s noticed three changes:

  1. Not as many multiple offers,
  2. Not as much of a disparity over asking, and 
  3. More houses sitting on the market that need price adjustments.

He reiterated something he learned from Bill Raveis: “When the market is down, that’s when you have to open up the throttle and invest even more.” 

The best investments for agents

Al recommends picking the investments you enjoy the most and doing them every single day. 

There are so many things an agent can do – so many possible directions they can take. But if you try something different every day, you don’t get great at any one thing. 

“I think the best investment you can make is in getting support… Your investment could be, ‘Hey, I’m gonna invest some of my split to be on the right team, to be in the right office… or going out and hiring your first assistant – or virtual assistant. So, you can go out and do the things you should be doing every day, because you’re really, really good at that one thing.”

Byron Lazine

Al added a reminder to newer agents that, with consistency, they will see results – but not overnight. “Resolve is the key.”

Top to-dos for new agents

Al offered his top to-dos for agents just getting started in the business:

“Number one, when you’re not out with clients or meeting people in public, get into the office… It puts you in a position where you’re treating it like a business, which it is… You’re learning from the experienced agents and the other agents in the office. You’re cementing a relationship with them. So, if they have a piece of business to pass out, they’re gonna pass it on to you…”

Al Filippone

Byron’s last question was about the #1 lesson Al has learned over the years working side-by-side with Bill Raveis? 

“To be your own person. To not worry if the horse is blind, just load the wagon. And to do what it takes to carry out your vision.”

Al Filippone

Watch the full episode for more. 

Sisu increases brokerage & team annual volume by 107% and agent annual volume by 28%.