Meet Malcolm Louis Adams, from Brooklyn, New York, an Associate Broker with Compass. He knows his turf and the neighborhood well and enjoys sharing his insights and experiences with clients to help them find suitable homes. Initially having dabbled in real estate as an investor, Malcolm became a full time agent after working in Design and Art Direction for decades. He has excelled as a savvy real estate buyer, seller, investor, consultant, and broker in the New York City area, focusing on the Brooklyn market.
Real estate career path from Art director to Agent
As a former marketing and advertising professional for over 24 years, Malcolm’s keen eye for design, creative thinking, problem solving, and strong business acumen has helped him make a mark on the real estate industry. Here are some tips from Malcolm Louis Adam’s real estate career path for you to succeed in the industry:
For the people who don’t know you, tell us a bit of yourself and how you got into real estate.
I am a native of Brooklyn, NY, “Malcolm from Breuckelen, born and raised in Bushwick, currently living in Bedford-Stuyvesant with my wife and two sons. I know my turf and the neighborhoods very well and enjoy sharing my insights with clients to help them find suitable homes and investments.
I graduated from Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill, and I received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Communications Design). I also served in the U.S. Marine Corp. as a Wire Communication Sergeant and am a decorated veteran of the Gulf War.
What drives you in this profession?
Previously, I was an art director and graphic designer, and I also did marketing for power brands. I also had a design business on the other side. From these, I rolled my money for my real estate investments. My wife and I gradually started to have a couple of buildings and centers, and slowly I fell in love with this business. I then had my personal, Professional, Spiritual, Creative, and Financial Freedom. I feel it’s an incredible merger of being creative and making money. There is always room for creativity and taking up creative marketing by staging and properties, and I love this aspect of the business.
If you were to go back to the beginning of your real estate career, what would you do differently knowing what you do today?
I would have started it earlier. One needs to be very patient and good with money because you get a lot of deals in one month and for the other there is none. I would have committed to the business full time, ALL-IN from the beginning. I keep my full-time staff employment’s “umbilical cord” for way too long. I would have taken a leap of faith earlier, maybe almost ten years ago, and I would have been so much further by now.
What do you think are the top 3 skills an agent needs to have?
Discipline, Focus, and Passion for the Business. You have to be passionate about the work since there is so much work every day and as if there is a rebirth each day. So if you don’t love the business, it won’t last. You need to work hard since it is so competitive and needs to address the market. You need to work well with others since you have to work with many networks like lawyers banks, so one needs to have a tremendous collaborative mindset to get things done and put them on.
How much does marketing matter in building a real estate practice? What are your go-to marketing tools?
Marketing is the whole game in real estate. Once you have the listing, one needs to put them in the market, and get the targeted audiences for that, and thus the effective marketing tool is the targeting of the buyers, according to their requirements. Every agent has the internet; all real estate tools are available. The only thing that separates you from the crowd is your ability to earn the potential client’s attention. Afterward, it’s your skill, intelligence, and customer service that keeps them.
How do you stay on top of mind with your existing and former client base? Any engagement tactics you can share?
I use all the standard tools to stay in touch with my clients, email, text, and phone calls, but what is effective for me is connecting with them via social media—like, replying to people’s DMs, liking, and commenting on their photos, and posts. Since I am presently at Compass, a tech-aided company, we make videos and blogs. I use all platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram and I prefer sticking to Facebook. I am active in all the media, and I check all of my followers and make sure whoever’s birthday is, I wish them personally.
That way, I can relate to people unrelated to real estate; I try to create a genuine personal bond via social media. At the same time, I love to use the old tools of calling people and love to hear their voices and reflections when communicating. Especially when many clients are from my sphere and know me well, thus connecting with them over a call is excellent. Don’t just call people for selling, but interact with them and ask how they are doing. And this is the most important thing for anybody, no matter what technological aids one uses. I visit many homes, try to be valuable and helpful to the communities, and attend a lot of events. Gradually, they understand and connect to you and trust you by providing with business. And these are all the different touch points I use for communicating with my clients.