If you’re looking to work with one of the top selling real estate team’s in Rochester look no further than The Friend Team at Keller Williams Realty Greater Rochester. Led by Mandy Friend Gigliotti, this team’s passion is Positively transforming moments, seasons & lives through real estate. And they do it with a team of 10, half of whom are Rochester Young Professionals.
We took some time to learn more about Mandy, how her team came to be, and what advice she would give to young professionals just starting out, looking to start their own business, or ready to take what they are already doing to the next level.
RYP: Tell us a little about yourself and how you grew your team
Mandy: I was Born and raised in Canandaigua, and after attending college down at the University of Richmond, I settled back in the Rochester area. I began my real estate business at 22, almost 10 years ago! When I began the team, it was heavily focused on first time home buyers which laid the foundation of education for our clients and a high level of service. We quickly expanded outside of that niche by serving all buyer, sellers & investors in Monroe, Ontario & surrounding counties.
RYP: What inspired you to begin in real estate? How did you overcome the initial challenges of starting in your own business? How do you overcome challenges these days?
M: The inspiration for me to get into real estate stemmed from the connection with clients. Whether it was an exciting or challenging move for my clients, I loved being there in that season where they really needed support and guidance. Once I got into the business, the biggest challenge I faced was never turning off. When you’re as passionate about helping people as I am, it’s hard to be away from your phone — and frankly, my connection to my phone was a big piece in the team’s growth. They knew our communication was phenomenal and that we always went above and beyond. However, a few years of that quickly turns into burn out and I knew I had to do something different. This is when the team really took shape as we started to lean on each other for support. When you have lots of hands on deck, as we do on our team, you’re able to make a plan for who is on when, how we can each support each other etc. This change not only improved the quality of life for everyone on our team, our clients were getting an even better experience than they were before.
RYP: Why is Rochester the right place for you to grow your business?
M: Our team loves Rochester because of all of the amazing communities. In our business we see a variety of lifestyles, a variety of hobbies & interests and it’s so exciting helping our clients navigate which areas will suit them the best.
RYP: The Friend Team is one of the top real estate team’s in Rochester, what do you attribute your success to?
M: I know this sounds corny, but we truly love our clients — and I do believe they can feel it. Our team is constantly brainstorming and masterminding to find new ways to better educate, advocate and connect with our clients so the process is a seamless and enjoyable as possible. As a result, over 80% of our business comes directly from a past client or someone we know highly recommending our team which shows that our clients are our raving fans helping us continue to grow and serve more each year.
RYP: Your team consists of 10 women and the majority of you are young professionals, what strengths do you gain from the makeup of your team?
M: While we recognize the value of diversity, we do have a very strong presence of young professionals on our team because they naturally bring so many strengths to the table. Two of the key strengths to me are:
1.) Motivation for impact & freedom: We work hard to create a culture of grit, passion & fun and to achieve and maintain that, it means we have to be sure we have the right people on the bus and in the right seats. We’ve all heard that young professionals really care about impact and freedom, the key for our team is to understand that those are the bi-product of discipline. While it may look like a business that is flashy, showy & fun, it’s lots of long days, nights & weekends, heavy emotions & constant growth. As our team has really leaned into the discipline that comes from systems, models and delegation within this often chaotic business, we’ve been enable them to not only make a big impact in so many lives, but to also have have endless opportunities in front of them.
2.) Strong Communication: One asset our team is known for is our strong communication. As young professionals, we’ve essentially grown up with a phone being a natural part of our lives. We work closely with our clients to learn when and how and when is best to communicate with them. Some of the time it’s at lunch, after work when the kids go to bed, or on the weekends when they’re off of work — and either way works for us! We do work to set boundaries, but since this communication comes second nature to our young professionals, our clients are able to reap the benefits.
RYP: What advice would you give to young professionals who are beginning their own entrepreneurial journeys or struggling to take off in their fields?
M: Consistency is key! When I started I picked 3 things that I needed to do each week: education, networking, prospecting. There are always shiny new objects that can distract you, but if you have clarity on 2 to 3 things that you know will move you and your business forward, create a bunker to fend the rest off. It is always slow at first and you may feel like there is a lot of competition. The ones who succeed are the ones who day-in and day-out show up consistently. Then next thing you know it’s almost been 10 years!
RYP: What other piece of advice would you share with anyone looking to grow in their own business?
M: The more I’m learning about business, the more I’m seeing the incredible opportunities for entrepreneurship. When this all started, I wasn’t motivated by selling homes, I was motivated by helping people. The clients and friends we’ve served can attest to that feeling. I encourage you to explore what your passions are and use that as a guide. Not hours, not money but what do you actually enjoy doing. As you dig into that, find a community of people who are where you want to be and don’t be afraid to reach out to them! I can’t tell you how much I have gained from those that have gone before me and have given me SO much wisdom. Combining your passions with consistent actions and a community to lean on will set you up for great success!