October 26, 2017

JF1150: She Left Wall Street Jobs Behind To Be A Realtor with Julia Hoagland

Julia has a background in engineering and finance, so why in the world leave the Wall Street firms to be a real estate agent? I’ll let her answer that in the show, she’ll also tells us how she leverages her engineering background to impress her clients and earn their business. As the #21 agent in NYC according to WSJ Real Trends, it seems Julia made the right decision with her career change. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!


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Julia Hoagland Background:

  • Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Compass, a residential real estate brokerage firm
  • Ranked #21 of NYC agents by WSJ Real Trends 2016
  • Formerly the Vice President and Director of Marketing at two leading Wall Street firms
  • Active member of the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate international affiliation
  • Based in New York City, New York
  • Say hi to her at jhoagland@compass.com
  • Best Ever Book: Traction

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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff.

We’ve spoken to Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and a whole bunch of others. With us today, Julia Hoagland. How are you doing, Julia?

Julia Hoagland: I’m doing fantastic. How are you, Joe?

Joe Fairless: I am doing fantastic as well, nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Julia, she is a licensed associate real estate broker at Compass. She was ranked #21 of New York City agents by Wall Street Journal Real Trends 2016, formerly the VP and director of marketing at two leading Wall Street firms, and she’s an active member of the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. She’s based in New York City, New York, so she is performing at a high level in a very competitive market. With that being said, Julia, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Julia Hoagland: I am happy to. My background is very analytically-focused. I’m an engineer by training, and I did that for three years before going to Business School for finance. After eight years of that I gave it all up for a career in real estate and started this business about 12 years ago.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so why?

Julia Hoagland: Good question. [laughs]

Joe Fairless: Because with your background in engineering, and then you went into finance, you were working at Wall Street firms, you have to be making more money than what you made your first year as a real estate agent, or at least thought you would make in your first year, so why leave that?

Julia Hoagland: I really always felt slightly like a fish out of water in the corporate American structure is the best encapsulated version. I was never fully passionate about what I was doing, and I got laid off if truth be told, and I took a year to travel for our honeymoon with my husband. When I came back, I just thought  “You know what? I can always go back to Wall Street. Let me see what I can do on my own.” At the end of the day I just switched assets and added emotion, because I’m still marketing, underwriting and selling financial assets, they just happen to be in the form of real estate.

So it’s not really that different, but now I work for myself and in theory my time is my own, but in reality my time is not my own at all… But I love it.

Joe Fairless: A year to travel for your honeymoon certainly is the longest honeymoon trip I’ve ever heard of. I’m about to go on a ten-day honeymoon and I thought that was kind of long to leave, but holy cow, now I’m really jealous.

So your engineering background – how has applying that led you to rise to the top as an agent or broker?

Julia Hoagland: Engineers are all about problem-solving, that’s what the core of engineering is, and there are a lot of problems to solve in real estate deals. What we do here in New York — I’ve never done what I do outside of New York, but we have a very liquid and very geographically condensed market; it’s not that big of an area. It is tall, there’s a lot of verticals but not a lot of horizontals. So you can assess valuation pretty accurately by doing statistical analysis on the multitude of statistics that we have here.

It’s really a perfect marriage of the science that I was trained on and the art which makes it much more interesting than what I was doing in the past, to me.

Joe Fairless: Can you give a specific example…? Okay, so I’m your client. What about you with your approach do I recognize “She might have an engineering background”?

Julia Hoagland: What is important to clients is always maximizing value. To a buyer that means buying a property for the lowest price, and to a seller it means getting the highest price from a qualified buyer. What we are able to do by the analysis that I just described is assess using real data – the true value of something is what someone else is willing to pay for it, so it’s important to know what the true value of assets that are like the asset that you’re considering have been in order to assess [unintelligible [00:05:06].08] But data is by its nature historical, and you are trying to predict the present by using the past, so the art of the science (if you will) comes into play when you adjust that statistical analysis on that historical data by current market trends is now the interest rate, the consumer sentiment and all kinds of qualitative factors.

Joe Fairless: With the different qualitative factors that you just mentioned, and then I’m sure you’ve got some qualitative go-to points that you always look at, how do you determine what’s most important and how to prioritize?

Julia Hoagland: It really depends on the asset. If you have (I’ll call it) a cookie cutter two-bedroom apartment in a building with 500 units in it and there have been ten other two-bedroom sales in the last three months, several of them in the same line, then it’s pretty clear that the most important comps you wanna look at are those in building comparables… Because when you’re in the same building, you neutralize for location and amenities and monthly charge levels services etc.

If you have a very unique asset, for instance let’s say a penthouse, one-bedroom apartment that’s 2,000 square feet and has a terrace, you may not be able to find any comps in the building that are like that, and there might not be any in the immediate area.

I’ve actually searched for an apartment exactly like the one I’ve just described all over Manhattan, for the most expensive one-bedroom apartment to sell in the last six months to one year, and analyzed all of the data that is similar about those apartments while trying to adjust for what’s different in terms of neighborhood, and type of building, month lease etc.

Joe Fairless: And with your clients, what type of presentation or how do you communicate this information to them?

Julia Hoagland: I prepare a spreadsheet with my team; we pull data off of our listing system, which is just basic data – the address, the unit number, the costs monthly, square footage etc. and we then augment that with condition and a lot of factors… Like, if we’re analyzing townhouses, do the townhouses have suites and how wide are they, and are their gardens South-facing or North-facing, and are they deep? Do they have high ceilings? Are there interior [unintelligible [00:07:33].21] that kind of thing. I put it on a spreadsheet and calculate averages based on the entire data set and then similar condition data points, and then maybe side street data points, and put together about six or seven paragraphs of analysis, including on the actual data, and put it into an e-mail and send it to my clients with the attachment along with the statement of account from the New York City taxing authorities and also the Property Shark information.

That gives them something to chew on, and then we get on the phone and discuss the findings and decide on a negotiation strategy.

Joe Fairless: As far as your clients go, what would you say is the typical profile, demographically, of a client of yours?

Julia Hoagland: I speak finance, so I tend to connect — it’s all about connection in our world, and in any world of sales, I think, and we all tend to connect with people whose language we speak most, and since I have an analytical background and I approach the business that way, I tend to connect with people who also are in some sort of an analytical field or have analytical training, which includes finance, consulting, accounting… So I would say a large majority of my client base is from or connected to those worlds, but we have very good business referral partners in California, as an example, that are entertainment industry advisors.

We’re also extremely discreet, and discreet by nature and by practice, and I do think they go hand in hand; it’s hard to be one without the other. So I connect on that level with them. We’re able to work with very high-profile names that you’ve heard of without letting anyone know, and they appreciate that.

Joe Fairless: How do you get introduced to the high-profile names?

Julia Hoagland: It’s all about networking. I’m a big networker, I am a member in several organizations, I ascribe to the abundance mentality, so really trying to figure out how I can help people, and I learned that when people help me, I’m very focused on helping them; what goes around, comes around, and it all kind of made sense to me. So it’s networking, organizations that I’m in… I tend to connect with people who ultimately introduce me to these clients or their business advisors.

Joe Fairless: And what organizations are you involved in?

Julia Hoagland: I’m in the Women Presidents’ Organization, I’m in 100 Women in Finance, I was a member of BNI for 12 years (I’ve just resigned this year) I’m a member of The Cultivist, which is a really interesting organization focused on the arts — it’s not really a networking organization per se, but there’s always networking to be done when you’re at events with people who are interested in the same things you’re interested in. I think there are a few others, I don’t have them at the tip of my tongue.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, but those are the ones that are top of mind. The NI – what does that acronym stand for?

Julia Hoagland: BNI is Business Networking International. It’s quite popular in New York. I think there’s 70,000 chapters around the world. It’s all about networking; the sole purpose of the organization is to help business owners build business. I helped form a group when I started in the business, and I could tell you one of the big contributors to my growth in the beginning, and just a really good way to not only build business, but… You stand up every week and you talk about what you do, so it makes you really good at marketing, and trying to figure out a million different ways to talk about things that you do in ways that will sell them. And you also develop this really strong network; I have very good friends – some of my best New York friends are in the chapter… And a strong network of wealth advisors, and [unintelligible [00:11:25].06] attorneys, mortgage brokers, graphic artists – all kinds of people who are in these chapters that you get to know really well because you meet every week.

Joe Fairless: It sounds like a great organization, why did you resign this year?

Julia Hoagland: I wanted to make room for the next guard, and I also felt like I was at a position and a place in my career and development that I wanted to focus on other things, like The Cultivist and the Women Presidents’ Organization. My team, which is comprised of six salespeople, myself and two admins, they are now – some of them are in BNI already, but it’s really about what they’re doing now. So it was just time to kind of make room.

Joe Fairless: Got it. Based on your experience, what is your best advice ever for anyone who wants to invest in New York City?

Julia Hoagland: Partner with someone who really knows about how to assess the value of properties; I’m talking about a brokerage, which is what I do, but there are a lot of different ways to approach what I do, so it’s not only important to partner with someone who’s confident – that’s kind of the baseline to me – but also someone who you can really relate to, because then they get to know what it is that you’re looking for from a deeper level and they can better advise you.

Joe Fairless: You told me before we started recording about 10% of your clients are investors, right?

Julia Hoagland: Yeah, about 10%.

Joe Fairless: Okay, so what are they looking for?

Julia Hoagland: Interestingly enough, when I first start working with investors, they’re often looking for highest yield, which makes perfect sense… But in New York City (and other cities like it) people trade yield for upside appreciation potential and liquidity, so that’s one of the first questions I always ask investors – if yield is your number one goal, then I might suggest [unintelligible [00:13:18].00] to a broker in an area like Kansas, or somewhere in Middle America where prices are much lower, rents are also lower, but the yields on those properties is higher. The thing that you’re trading is upside appreciation potential; there is a good likelihood that New York City – this is me as someone who’s selling properties in New York City talking, so take it with the grain of salt that you need to, but I’m very bullish on the long-term valuation potential of the city, because of a lot of reasons.

That potential doesn’t exist somewhere that’s more [unintelligible [00:13:51].03] and less internationally-known. And the liquidity in New York City is pretty amazing. With the exception of the six months after the financial crisis, you can sell just about anything at any time if you get the pricing, marketing and exposure right here.

If you’re in a place like – I’m picking on Kansas and I don’t mean to, but somewhere that’s just not a major metropolitan city, you’re likely not gonna face equal liquidity situations, so you might have to drop your price pretty dramatically if you have to sell at any specific point in time.

Joe Fairless: Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?

Julia Hoagland: Yes.

Joe Fairless: Alright, then let’s do it. First, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.

Break: [00:14:34].05] to [00:15:33].15]

Joe Fairless: Alright, Julia, best ever book you’ve read?

Julia Hoagland: Recently, Traction by Gino Wickman.

Joe Fairless: Best ever transaction you’ve done, either business-wise or real estate?

Julia Hoagland: My own home, purchasing our apartment that I live in now and I absolutely adore, that I found and I wanted to buy on the day that I found it, and my husband being the shopper that he is needed to spend another few weeks looking around at properties, so I sent him on this way… And then he came back. [laughter] Thank goodness.

Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?

Julia Hoagland: Not listening and not giving the other side a chance to give me information by picking up the phone and calling them.

Joe Fairless: Best ever way you like to give back?

Julia Hoagland: I love talking with people and finding out what it is their interests are, and taking something that I’m really familiar with or can easily get familiar with and either contributing to the cause or introducing them to someone I know who’s affiliated with the cause… Basically, making connections.

Joe Fairless: And how can the Best Ever listeners either get in touch with you or learn more about your company?

Julia Hoagland: You can e-mail me, you can call me on my cell phone, or you can go to my website. I’m very happy to connect with everyone at any time.

Joe Fairless: And what’s the best e-mail?

Julia Hoagland: jhoagland@compass.com

Joe Fairless: Easy enough. Well, Julia, thank you for being on the show; thank you for talking about the analytical approach that you take based on your engineering background and the data points you look at, as well as how you get clients through the networking approach that you take, the abundance mentality and those specific organizations that you’re in and the benefits that you’re getting from a couple of them.
Thanks for being on the show. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon!

Julia Hoagland: Thank you.

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