An Interview with Krista Nickols, Serhant Real Estate Broker
Hi Krista! Tell us your story! Why did you decide to become a Realtor and subsequent Broker? What made you want to get into the Real Estate industry?
I was working in corporate banking and across the street there was a new condo development. My now husband and I went to look at units. When we returned to revisit our units of interest, they were all sold out. I knew at that moment I wanted to get into real estate.
I actually got my Broker’s license out of necessity to manage a team. I had shied away from taking on other agents for as long as I could as I enjoyed doing everything myself until it got to be too much. I was pregnant with my first child and knew at that time that I needed help.
Who has been the greatest influence on you within the Real Estate Industry?
I love how multifaceted our industry can be. Initially I was working in the traditional independent agent role. I got pregnant and had my first child and wanted to be in a more corporate setting, so I started working with real estate developers on specific projects. Luxury new development marketing grew into a niche for me. Now I am having fun exploring the ways in which social media is changing our industry and getting our properties in front of even more buyers.
What has been the biggest challenge for you within your career and how have you overcome it?
Initially I tried to do everything on my own from taking out buyers to seller pitches to printing marketing materials. I am so lucky to have a team now to assist with so much of the workload. My first hire was a Virtual Assistant and now we have grown into a team of five.
Something that often gets overlooked is the amount of business that is generated from referrals. I would encourage every agent to give each client top-tier personalized care and go the extra mile because it does not go unnoticed. Real estate is a very saturated industry, and reputation is the difference between someone choosing to work with you or a different agent. Agents can also be so focused on transactions that they forget to stay in touch with past clients. It’s essential to come up with a systematic follow up approach.
How do you keep emotions in check and overcome the highs and lows that are inevitable within this business?
I take a lot of comfort in data and know that sales can be a numbers game and to keep going. I actively surround myself with positive teammates and colleagues.
This industry can keep you busy all day - every day, how do you find such a great balance between work-life and personal-life?
Early in the industry I worked 7 days a week. When working with developers there was more of a set schedule and a team to back you up on your days off. I now take my days off just as seriously as I take my days on so I can show up refreshed and ready to bring my A game.
What advice would you have for others when it comes to marketing themselves and building their brand?
Early in the industry I would work on deals all over the NYC area. Now I take a very strategic approach to marketing to ensure it works in my client’s best interest. Careful thought is put into every social media post, so it reaches a targeted audience and produces the best results. I am now exclusively focused on the NYC market and a certain price point. I tend not to stray from certain perimeters.
What has been your best avenue for generating leads and building your clientele?
Initially for me it was Zillow leads and then referrals started to come from these leads.
Choosing a brokerage and surrounding yourself with the right team is so imperative in this industry, how did you decide that SERHANT was the best choice for you?
In 2020 I had to exclusively sell real estate virtually for several months during the shutdown. This highlighted the importance of digital content. I started to notice what other Agents were doing and Ryan Serhant stood out. When he decided to start his own firm I was seeing their content before I saw anyone else’s. The audience SERHANT. has built is unrivaled. Our digital marketing approach brings in new leads and gets deals done.
What would you say is your #1 tip for others to start thriving in their careers?
I would encourage all new agents to gain as much deal experience as soon as possible, even if means giving up economics on a deal. If you have not found a team you want to join, I would certainly partner with a senior agent on your first few deals.
What’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself on day one as a licensed Realtor?
When I first entered the business, I held onto clients, wanting 100% of the sale and worried that I could not have someone else fill in for me. Looking back, I got less accomplished with that mindset. 100% of nothing is nothing. Now I’m working with a team whose skill sets complement my own, and I’ve found that we better service the clients that way and help each other’s businesses grow.
The secret to success is….