The Alimond Show

Viktorija Piano CEO/Founder of The Piano Home Group

August 15, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Viktorija Piano CEO/Founder of The Piano Home Group
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever found yourself at a crossroads, where taking a bold step could mean the difference between mediocrity and meteoric success? Meet Viktorija, a real estate maven whose story of tenacity and strategic action unfolds in our latest episode. Viktorija takes us on her inspirational journey from her initial struggles in the U.S. to conquering the real estate world through sales, investment, and staging. Her experience reveals the beauty of recognizing and seizing opportunities, and how a single audacious request during a pivotal job interview became the catalyst for her incredible trajectory. As Viktorija shares her mother's impact on her resilience, we see a portrait of confidence as an indispensable ally in the face of challenges.

This episode isn't just about successes; it's a treasure trove of insights on personal growth, encouraged by the transformative revelations from books and podcasts. Viktorija relates to the '10X rule'—multiplying your efforts to achieve exponential success, a philosophy we could all use, especially during economic headwinds. Her stories of doubling down when times get tough teach us that relentless pursuit, paired with strategic goal-setting, carves the path to thriving in adversity. It's a masterclass in powering through the lows with the same vigor we celebrate the highs, a reminder that our mindset holds the key to unlocking potential, regardless of the external environment.

As we wrap up, Viktorija gifts us with pearls of wisdom on staying authentic and marketing with finesse in an age bustling with distractions. She underscores the importance of tenacity, vision, and finding mentors who can help navigate through self-doubt. Delving into the art of neuromarketing, Viktorija explains how tapping into the buyer's psyche can distinguish your product in a saturated marketplace. With her practical advice, including how to embrace imperfections and leverage the digital landscape, she encourages listeners to establish a genuine connection with their audience. If you're looking to leave an indelible mark on your customers and elevate your business, Viktorija's insights are your beacon. Join us to discover how to harness the full spectrum of your entrepreneurial spirit.

Speaker 1:

First of all, what do you do for my cameras?

Speaker 2:

Okay for your cameras. So what I do? So I run a real estate company, a staging company, and I'm an also investor into commercial properties and multifamilies. So there is multiple things that are happening and I am sort of an entrepreneur in heart and it's always been like hey, what's the next game? What can we do? Like, creating the freedom, creating the passivity.

Speaker 1:

You don't settle, you don't settle. You don't just say, okay, I'm gonna be an agent, I'm good, you just no and you know what?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so, and that's the thing, you know, I think a lot of people get comfortable with that one thing and they stop looking for opportunities from that one thing. So, and what I'm saying by opportunity is I'm not saying, hey, changing things, I'm saying how are you leveraging your current position, your current environment to create other opportunities? And sometimes it's not even about creating them, as much as recognizing them, saying them yeah Right, so are you in tune with your environment or are you not in tune with your? So, if you're in tune with your environment, you are going to be seeing these opportunities and recognizing them when no one else will, and only then you can actually thrive and grow and always break through that next ceiling.

Speaker 2:

Because when you look back, when I started here 2004, I came from forming Yugoslavia and no one wanted to hire me. I could not get a job because English was not my first language, I did not have a degree from United States. I couldn't even get a job at a convenience store or a chain brands that are selling clothes or you know and I just I'm like, what do I do? And I got a job in sales at a dealership and I didn't even know what I was selling when I applied in monstercom. So I was doing sales for them for several years and then I'm like okay, well, I'm doing really great here. I'm always top three out of 50 something people. What's the next thing I can do? And you just gotta leverage people you're with and opportunities and moments. Sometimes these opportunities come for one second and if you don't speak up, it's gone. Yeah, so recognizing opportunities and speaking up for what you want will change your life.

Speaker 1:

So you're at the car dealership. Yes, what was that moment for you, what was that opportunity that presented itself that you were like. Yes, pain.

Speaker 2:

Pain will let you see things. Pain will push you to think further and more than you ever thought you could. And comfort is the worst enemy, right? When you get, when the comfort becomes painful, then you are like what do I do? I can't take this anymore. When you pushed against the wall, I was working 15 hour days every day. Every day I was putting about 74 hours a week, sometimes I believe that car sales on, I mean it was just and it was just like I can't do this anymore.

Speaker 2:

I'm a mother, I have a daughter, single mom at a time. I have a daughter. And then I just started talking to people and started to. I said just put me in front of someone who understands that I don't need the training, I'm just gonna go do the work and through relationships that I've created in that environment, I was able to make an XJOM and I was started working for a new builder and new developer and when I went for interview for that particular job, I remember Vice President of the company interviewed me.

Speaker 2:

He's like hey, we have a six months training. I'm like are you kidding me? I'm a single mom, I gotta pay my mortgage, I have a card payment, I have a daughter Put me on the floor. I'm like I have her piano lessons, her activities. How am I gonna survive? I said I don't need the training. I said I just need can you give me 30 days and put me on the floor. I'm just gonna sell and I promise you I will be your best. And he's like can you sell in this environment and that? And I was like I can sell anything to anybody, just give me the opportunity when did you get this confidence?

Speaker 2:

I think confidence came from my background. I would say. My mom raised three of us after war on her own. She worked all the time. We lived in a one bedroom apartment in Belgrade at the time after, when the war started in 1992 in Bosnia, and I, just I, just so much I just sell my mom, just fighting every day and I think that was the biggest inspiration for me.

Speaker 2:

Just Her back was against the wall and she fought like hell. She had to do what she had to do. My brother was three years at a time and I was 13,. My sister was 14. And she just pushed through every day and she was just like, okay, let me just make it through today, just make it through today and just seeing her and, at the same time, balancing the health of her children three of us which you know, we are our best friends right now, my siblings were best friends and maintaining that healthy family environment. While she was working all the time, she would get up four in the morning, she would cook a meal every day. She would work and come home at seven, seven, eight PM. She would make us a dinner, you know, and just, she would do it every day and this is a woman that didn't have any opportunities not where I come from. So that's a big part of the grit that I have in me and fight.

Speaker 2:

And also I had no choice. You know what they say desperation is biggest motivation. I had no choice. So I went back to the new builder and I'm like, hey, I'm just putting it on the floor. And sure he did. He saw something in me and I will never forget it. His name was Mike. Not sure if I should disclose last name, but he was one of my greatest mentors and I first year I was a national or metropolitan rookie of the year. Out of I don't know how many builders and how many sales people, I won that Gail Award for a rookie of the year and I was like wow, when they called my name and I was on the stage, I was like I could not believe it?

Speaker 1:

Could you not believe it? Or were you like I knew? Well, I knew.

Speaker 2:

I know how hungry I was to make it.

Speaker 1:

The gratitude probably was overwhelming.

Speaker 2:

But do your yes, I think the gratitude was. I just couldn't believe it. I'm like I made it. I actually made it and there was thousands of people sitting. I think it was what was the hotel In somewhere in DC. We were in one of the conference centers and it was massive. There was a lot of people, over a thousand people, big round table, white clothes, gail, you know, and I was the one pulled on the stage to be given the award in front of all these people. And then I was like, wow, I actually am capable of this. This was the moment where I realized if I did this, I could do anything. It was like somebody just put, took these blinds off my eyes.

Speaker 1:

It was all over behind the curtain.

Speaker 2:

And I think this is where the snowball just started rolling. It was a snowball effect, right yeah, and that was a huge confidence booster.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure. So yeah. So your family? Are they here in the?

Speaker 2:

US. My family's not here, okay, so I'm the only one here. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I hope you took video of that and sent it to them.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think I did.

Speaker 1:

Okay, guys, there were pictures everywhere.

Speaker 2:

You know, I think it was like a beginning of Facebook too. Yeah, so it was easy to market it, you know. But yeah, I was thin at all, of course. You know, my mom was so proud and, yeah, that's beautiful, that's so amazing.

Speaker 1:

I'm so excited to hear that story. Okay, so you started off in terms of you killed it on the cell floor for the new home building. For the developer yeah, what came after that?

Speaker 2:

After that what came is I remember one day I had a contract was given to me. Every year is a new reps for sales, reps for the builders. You have to resign or renew your contract and we had a certain percentage. We are compensated for the work we do and people just sign it, it's normal, and then you move on to next year. It was not like a typical W2 employee, right? So you have to sign this independent contract. So I just looked in my contract. They reduced my commission and I was the only one who had the reduction. I reached out to my superiors and like why? I was like, wow, we were calculating, you were doing too well.

Speaker 2:

Well, we're projecting, you're going to do this much, you're going to make too much money and we have to average it, and that was it for me. So I was rookie of the year, I'm your best salesperson here and you're going to punish me. So and to me, you shouldn't be punished for good work. If you do a good job, this is why you're in sales. If you're in sales, sky's the limit. I shouldn't be penalized. I should be rewarded, in my mind, because it's kind of natural right. So I explored other options. I interviewed and I was looking into becoming my own real estate agent, becoming my own real estate CEO. And in May, when my buildings closed with a new builder, that day, when my chat cleared, I want to shook a hand on my vice president and say thank you for the opportunity. I'll stay here for a couple of weeks to train a new person, but I'm ready to go, and this was end of 2015. I took my license and since then it's been just an incredible thing.

Speaker 1:

I was just a reaction, Sorry. I'm like investing in the story now.

Speaker 2:

The reaction was priceless. So when I went back and said that they kind of jumped through the hoops to keep me and they said they're going to offer me my old commission and all this other benefits. And would you please consider? Saying, and so my mother gave me the best advice big decisions since life you should always sleep on and then make a decision next day, even though I felt I knew what I wanted and I knew the answer, that point I'm like let me take my mother's advice and sleep on it. You wake up with a fresh mind, you think clear and then you're like, okay, let's go and deal with the problem, deal with the issue.

Speaker 2:

And what he didn't know my eyes present at the time is that through this time when I was given that new contract, which was January through May, I have built something in my mind that nothing or no paycheck could compete. And so in my mind, after I've interviewed and talked to so many you know, successful entrepreneurs, real estate owners and companies and so on, I knew I was going to become a multimillionaire. Yeah. And so when he came after five months to me to tell me, hey, here's your commission back and you can do this and we're going to do this for you. That could not ever touch what I've created and what I've projected on myself and my ambitions. Who am I going to become if I just have enough stomach and guts to give myself that next opportunity and try?

Speaker 2:

And when I woke up the next morning I had that stomach feel like if I go back I will be so disappointed in myself. It wasn't about just disappointment, but it was also acknowledging that I'm not worthy. You know, you have these internal conversations, internal enlightenments and internal recognitions of who you are. What are you made of? What do you want to be? What do you stand for? Your values are tested in these decisions and these crossroads, right. And so the next day I said I would call and I was dragging that entire day. I took my family to DC and my daughter to the, I remember, to museums, and it was 4 pm. I'm like I need to call back and I knew the answer. But I just you know. So I called back and I said thank you for the opportunity. I think I'm ready to move forward. He didn't like it, but you know, we parted in a good terms and you know, and here I am today.

Speaker 1:

That is an amazing story. Have you told that story before? I think?

Speaker 2:

one time in certain shape or form I did.

Speaker 1:

You have so much like passion behind it. It almost sounded like you've told the story so many times, so I'm so excited. Yeah, no, I didn't.

Speaker 2:

actually, I think there was one time I was sharing it with my KW office and we talked about it, but you know, I don't know what details and stuff, but yeah, that's amazing.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so now you're an agent and now you're building your empire. Yes, how are you? How does somebody we're talking about you know you have to be able to see the opportunities. You have to be able to see, period what's in front of you, because most people don't. They have all these opportunities in front of them, but they just don't recognize them. Like you said, how do you start training your mind to be able to recognize opportunities when they're presented in front of you?

Speaker 2:

Training your mind. I don't know if it's just about that. I think it's a multiple things. Training your mind First of all, you have to invest in yourself and self-improvement. I'm a big believer of self-improvement. Books, I love them. I'm audible all the time, head away. It's you just start listening to these amazing people and amazing stories. And then you, at some point, when you read and listen to all these books and all the podcast amazing podcast that you know, you learn from these people and then you realize that these people are just like you, yeah, and then you're like, well, hold on a second, this part, like something just saying, saying you know, and you kind of find yourself in that person and you may be not 100 of the podcast you've listened or books you read Maybe that's a 101 one that you listen in that hundred, that 101 one that you just heard you found that person who actually had the message just for you. You feel like that message was just sent for you and you're like, holy moly, this person just told everything I need to describe me, where I'm at today. But it also showed me that this can be done no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what belief system was installed with you as you were a little child. No matter where you are in life, you can actually make it. So I think the first step would be investing yourself in your mind empowerment, and the only way to really give yourself opportunity to get that mind empowerment is being in a right circle. Being in a right circle and spend time. You take 30 minutes a day, 20 minutes a day, and choose something that will actually make you pause, because I promise you there will be one message in that book that is meant for you and it will make all the difference in your life, because this is what happened to me.

Speaker 2:

I remember on the plane I was reading Grand Cordon's. Tanix was flying to Europe to see my family and you know I've been reading and reading, and reading and reading. And there's one part in his book, book that says when you have your goals and then your annual goals, and at the end of the year you see your failing your goals, most people adjust those goals to the goals they have achieved, so they seem reasonable. But he said that's a wrong method, that's wrong philosophy. What you need to do, you have to Tanix your goals to achieve what you really originally thought you can, instead of adjusting them to where you are, because that's really coming from your financial thermometer or whatever thermometer you had personal, emotional, whatever thermometer you had originally. But Tanixing your goals is going to prompt you to be where you originally wanted to be, and so to me, that was like that's exactly what I've been doing in the last three, four years. Why am I stuck at this particular goal and achievement every year? Because I haven't been really Tanixing my goals.

Speaker 2:

So when I took that one thing and implemented it in my business, I saw results right away. My business has been doubling and tripling the last five years, like even last year in real estate, with all the changes that we had interest rates and you know biosphere into buying and committing to these large payments. You know, especially coming from 2.5, 3% interest rates, you were literally doubling your payment. I would get calls from team leaders, agents, victoria, we're struggling, we're struggling, victoria, where our business went up, and I'm like, yeah, I know it's hard, it's like you don't want to say, but I'm like you know what, when it's slow, you double your, you Tanix your effort and you know, and just, you got to stop listening to the noise, because there's too much noise out there, right.

Speaker 1:

That's why people like Grant Cardone and the other leaders, the business leaders that's why they're so popular is because they're saying the stuff that nobody else wants to say or hear, because we all want to stay comfortable and we want to say like when you said lower the lawyer expectations lawyer expectations Reasonable. That's a crazy goal.

Speaker 1:

That's kind of what people will tell you is don't be so hard on yourself, like relax a little bit, take a vacation, when people like Grant Cardone and like yourself say like okay, no, it just means you need to 10 X your goals. That way you'll 10 extra efforts and then, where you land, will be in a place where you're very happy, agreed, so in terms of okay. So what advice would you give, not just to real estate agents but to business entrepreneurs, cause I know you talked to you've got a nice large circle. What would you say to them in today's economic fun challenges, besides 10 extra goals, yeah, yes, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we had a, we have a team meeting three times a week and our team unit was actually just about that. When things are changing because you know, when you think about market, when you think about any business, that that you know goal is always changing. Market is changing, industries are changing. This is, it's fluid, and if you're not adapting yourself to it, you're going to just, you're going to just dissolve. Do it.

Speaker 2:

Today's meeting was about focus on what you do the best. Do not get distracted by what others are doing. Stay authentic to who you are. Tenax your efforts. Tenax your efforts, right, but stop listening to the noise, stop listening to the distractions, because I'm telling you the noise and there's so much noise from outside oh, this is what's gonna happen, this is how this should work, this is what.

Speaker 2:

No, if you truly believe in your values, in your qualities, then stay authentic, stay on that same path because it's worked so far. Embrace the changes, but do not change your values, do not change your, do not change your vision. And you have to remind yourself of your vision in changing markets every day, more than often, because you know how our psychological self kind of creates the opportunity if we believe so in the changing environment like today, you have to stay focused and you have to stare at your goal every day and things will come to you, opportunities will come to you. And don't give into what other people are saying, what other people are doing. Just being focused and being loyal to your goal and to your vision and devoted to that vision 100% means that your vision will be devoted to you 100%.

Speaker 1:

You're intense, I love it.

Speaker 2:

You have to be, you have to be, and when you think about all the extraordinary achievements in life that were made, were made, but more of an extraordinary people and you know you're thinking, oh, that's not normal, that's really abnormal. That's unusual when, when you think about it, really all the people that achieve those unusual, abnormal or eccentric things are the same kind of people.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I was gonna say and you know I'm gonna add one piece of what you said, which is you were like stay true to your values, stay true to your vision. I think also kind of like what you talked about about listening to podcasts, listening right, reading the books also keep people in your circle that have bigger visions than you. That way you can say, oh, maybe I need to reach a little more. If you don't believe in yourself, a lot of times it might be your manager or your boss or your colleague that will say these things that kind of dampen you a little bit.

Speaker 1:

But if you see people like Victoria saying like, no, no, I'm 10xing, I'm, you know people are like, oh, the market's so bad, it's like it can be for some people. But you know there are ways of thriving, just kind of with. One last piece is marketing. People that listen to this. They're business owners or entrepreneurs and that's the biggest thing that they always want to know is how do these successful business owners, what are they doing? That's different in terms of the marketing, because everybody thinks it's an easy button.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it's not an easy button. There's a system to it and there is strategy to it. And number one you have to define and master who your clients are.

Speaker 1:

It's not everybody who wants to buy a home. No, we're getting a picture taken. No, no, okay.

Speaker 2:

You have to in any business. You have to under. You have to define your client, tell who is your client or who is the client that would align with you, your mission and your vision. And once you define that, then you have to define the way you're going to address them effectively. Now you're connecting because you're in the same wave line, right, but the definition of who you want to work with and who can benefit from your services. Defining that first and then finding a marketing and sending a clear message for that particular group is the only effective way. And obviously, today, through social media, there's so many amazing channels where you can really send a message. And this is where most people fail. They're just not active enough. Do I like it? No, I don't. It's my personal opinion. It could be draining. You know, as a business, you're exposed to good and bad. You get both sides of it. But here's what I'll tell you attention brings clients, attention brings money, so you have to create attention around your brand.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Yeah, I think that's the biggest struggle. What you're doing, what you're doing it's a struggle, though, like attention, because people are afraid of showing up Number one on video. They're afraid of being different. They don't want to be different, they want to fit in.

Speaker 2:

They're afraid of being rejected. Rejected, yes. They're afraid of being criticized, yes. And you know what? If people are criticizing you, you're doing something different, and that's what people need to remember, and you know, what People like.

Speaker 2:

People don't like perfection. Be who you are, be you, it's OK. If you're not perfect, you know no one Like. When I started, I was doing the videos and, oh my gosh, but then I committed. I think this is a good tool, but if anybody's trying to leverage social media, we do these videos, we want to post them. Oh, it's not good, it's not good. So I made a rule for myself many years ago. I have three shots to make this video. I cannot make more than three. One of three I will post.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So just do that. You know I love that and you eventually going to do it the right way. And so what if you stumble? You actually want to relate to these people. Everybody stumbles, we all make a mistake, so what? It's kind of cute, you know?

Speaker 1:

I 100% agree. My rule is I don't look at the video. I pay somebody to do my video for me and they will post it for me, and I just never see it, and once it's already out there, it's too late. It's too late. Just don't say or do anything that's going to land me in jail. I'm good, yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree. And then just to kind of wrap it up, what's a message that you would say to your future potential clients, like whether it's a value or whether it's something that you want them to know about you?

Speaker 2:

You know that's a great question. I didn't think about that one. But I would say this If it feels right to you, you go for it, if it doesn't feel right, you don't. You know, it's always a matter of like, oh, it's expensive or it's you know. Oh, this is cheaper. Don't be blindsided, don't be. What do they say? What is the saying Penny? Or rich dollar? Foolish, what are they? I'm so bad with those things, yeah. Or, like you know, don't be blind. And you know, make sure you see the forest from the tree. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So one thing that I think it's really important to recognize if you are thinking or selling, or you know you're working on your next real estate step, is understand. There's a difference between cost of sale versus net, what you net to the end. Sometimes people get wrapped up about, oh, how much is gonna cost me, and they don't know that if they cut it costs last year, the net will be so much smaller. Yeah, what you invest in that proposition, you can I mean you can 10x to the end. We see that over and over again and this is why our company has wide love services where we actually go and we stage, we own the, we own this, the staging company. We, we do everything with the contractors, we handle everything for our clients. It's literally white glove service. Yeah, we get the key, we get it done.

Speaker 2:

You're looking at home that looks like a model and you're gonna have probably multiple offers. If not, you're gonna at least have that. You know asking price. And even even if it's not asking price, you know you, we always Push that price more because the thing is that people make Decision based based on emotion, not on reasoning, right? So if the emotioning altitude, emotional altitude is high when they enter into your home, that's where people are pulling checks and riding those checks. If they come in, they feel we lost them. Yeah, we lost them. You have one shot to make it successful, one shot, and and that momentum is so small.

Speaker 2:

So you have to create that momentum and I say always I want people coming into our listings, I want them, I want their heart to skip a beat, because if their heart is not skipping the beat, they're not pulling their checks. So you have to work with, with human Psychology, and this is called not neuro marketing, which is next level, and we can talk about that next time. I, which I'm so passionate about, say that again the word neuro marketing. Neuro marketing understanding how People make decisions when buying Sounds how we. How are we connecting to these people? We need to engage emotionally. We need to gauge our senses. We need to engage visually, right, every, every Memory trigger. It needs to be engaged. So when they leave all listing they can see ten others, but I'm the one they're gonna remember and I'm the one they're gonna talk about. They don't know why. I know why. It is my job to know why, and this is why neuro marketing in sale is extremely important Sounds like that's what your clients get when they sign up with you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, we work hard for sure. Thank you so much for being on the podcast, taking time today and sharing your story. It was so amazing.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for having us. We appreciate you guys. It's amazing. We love your podcast too.

Speaker 1:

It's amazing.

Speaker 2:

Everybody just listen to the pot, because there's such great material here, so much to learn, and if you're stuck in the place, listen to the podcast. There we go, get unstuck straight from Victoria.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, thank you.

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