Realtor® Patti Davila: The ‘Singing Agent’
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Like many of the world’s citizens, the last two and a half years have been tough for me, to say the least. My husband Jozay and I lost work and we lost a family member in this COVID-19 era. We were forced to postpone our careers as musicians who traveled the globe performing both on land and at sea.
However, thanks to a positive mindset and strong work ethic that began when I was 14, my fluency in three languages, and a music and business degree from New York University (NYU), I was able to seek out and find a new career that helps me bring joy to people’s lives. I chose real estate, thanks in large part to my uncle, who showed me early on the many advantages of owning property.
By working with a leader like Christine Hansen, our company’s broker and advocate (and 2018 president of Florida Realtors®) at Century 21 Hansen Realty, I found a culture and a family that has helped me improve the lives of my clients, the communities where I live and work, and the overall economy in southern Florida.
Having been in the business for about a year now, I’ve branded myself as the #singingagent. A great deal of my early success as a sales professional is the result of three things that I learned from being on stage at music venues worldwide: rehearsal, practice, and performance.
In real estate, rehearsal is born from being relentless in perfecting the skills necessary to deliver extraordinary experiences to homebuyers, home sellers and investors. I spent hours and days on the company and brand’s comprehensive learning and coaching offerings. I was told early on about the real estate adage, “The more you learn, the more you earn.” So, I gave 121% and went above and beyond to gain as much knowledge as I possibly could.
Practice began with the knowledge learned from rehearsal. I began calling everybody I knew. Not only did I earn a few listings, but I also turned away a couple of sellers after I learned they were not the right fit. For example, one client wouldn’t lower his price even though I presented him with a comprehensive market analysis and three written offers at that true market value. Finally, in full transparency, I had to tell him that I couldn’t work with him anymore, but I wanted to leave the relationship (the audience) feeling good about our experience, so I wished him the very best in selling his house. He has called me since, reinforcing the fact that I did leave it on the best terms possible for us both. That feels right.
As a performer, whether it’s in music or real estate, you cannot let your environment dictate the outcome. I’m accustomed to overcoming microphone, sound and theatrical shortcomings. In real estate, I learned early on how to deliver the very best performance in every unique situation. A sister of a friend (and a fan of my music) referred me to a colleague who needed to sell his home. The seller’s home was dark and musty. With empathy and transparency, I asked for his permission to clear the clutter, open a few windows, and create a more welcoming atmosphere. What he said next I will never forget, “My spouse died because of COVID. This was our dream home. I can’t go in there.” Together, holding hands, we went in, but he wanted to clean it up by himself.
Four days later, everything was clean, and belongings placed in the garage. I brought in a painter, a cleaning service, and even an antiques dealer who made offers on some of the items from the home. After some additional quick fixes, I brought in a photographer and then we listed the home and it sold 48 hours later.
Since I became a Realtor at the end of 2020, the shift has been “real.”. I am living and doing well in a fantastic new world. My music business, which I have continued to run with my musician husband/partner, is thriving once again, and I now generate even more interest in my new career using the ever-expanding fan base we continue to experience whenever we play live.
Deciding to mesh both music and real estate and label myself the #singingagent was truly the key. When they say to work "who you are", and “"what you know", I recommend everyone listen to that, for it is the well from which all things have bloomed for me! I also recommend finding a coach. It has helped me to know what I don’t know, as much as it has taught me what I already do. The accountability that comes with a coach is key, and now I hold myself accountable for all new goals I set much more easily.
The support I get from my Century 21 broker and office and team is without question the reason that I feel so emboldened, so relentless and so inspired to help my clients. I treat every single client like it’s my last. I always sing songs to each member of an audience like they are the only ones in the room. I do the same with every person I interact with – the client, the loan officer, the inspector, my broker. I try to live in the moment of each conversation and task I am performing, and it helps me to see it more clearly and calmly.
Here are the most important things I have learned to do for my career and myself:
•Set goals and tasks: I must schedule time slots – daily, weekly, and I review them all monthly. Things change, the market changes and so the slots may need to change too. Work back from where you want to be and to get there, make calls, check all emails twice a day, perform contract and emergency tasks, and follow up with marketing. I can’t reap what I haven’t sown. It’s a juggling act, and I have learned what my limits are.
•If I don’t feel 100%, I can’t perform at 100% – self-care is the key: I now meditate every morning upon rising. It gives me the peace I need to then start my day. I get up at the same time every single day. I try to run three times a week, and take an entire day for myself, and that’s planned. I have a date night set with hubby – no work, just play. I found what works for me.
•I brain dump everything on paper before I go to bed – it’s a review of the day. I then list what I have to do tomorrow. It lets me lay it down for the night, and it gives me a chance to have a restful sleep.
•I prioritize my tasks. I make calls and go on my Moxi engage five days a week; if I skip one day, that’s ok, I make it up the other four days. I figured out my “sleep number” and follow that. I try to tackle the scary task first and follow up with the immediate tasks necessary. I complete the day with emails and prospecting preparation. When the day is done, I silence my phone. Only emergencies can get through to me after a set time.
My bonus tip: I have learned to listen with both ears. To my broker, to my client, to the world around me. It’s the magic, the music, and the key to service.
You know, when you’re on the road as a musician, things can get a bit complicated, whether it’s the food, the hotel or the venue. But as the old saying goes, “The show must go on.” It’s the only way. It’s the same with real estate.
I always wanted to be a famous rock singer. The confidence I learned from being on global stages is the same confidence I’m using for my real estate performances today. I rehearse and know that I will make mistakes. Practice is not a race; it’s a marathon of learning, coaching, and always staying abreast of the markets and clients that you serve.
And the performance – that’s the best part – because the result is helping people buy, sell or invest in real estate and achieve their desired outcomes by delivering memorable experiences. It’s the face-to-face, personalized, unique relationships and ongoing connections that provide this #singingagent with a standing ovation every time I make a difference in people’s lives, the communities where I live and work, and the overall economy in southern Florida.
Patti Davila is a real estate professional with Century 21 Hansen Realty in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She is an Argentinian-born New Yorker who speaks, English, Spanish, French and Italian. She holds a degree in both music and business from New York University (NYU). Davila has traveled the world, namely as a musical performer and marketing administrator in the live events and music industry, where she honed her communication skills while tending to the varied needs of a wide range of clients. She also is actively involved in fundraising for charitable causes, is an avid runner, and has called sunny Pompano Beach home for the past 20 years.
Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research, and legislative representation to its 225,000 members in 51 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Newsroom website is available at floridarealtors.org/newsroom.