For top real estate agents in California Mick and Julie Perez, in Lancaster, success is about thinking outside the box, always trying to improve, and treating others the way they would want to be treated. “We hold the key that opens the door to people’s dreams,” Julie says, and the couple counts that as a blessing.
Their philosophy works. Julie and Mick were the #1 Top Producers of the year in their office in 2013 and 2014. They also won Centurion Awards in 2004, 2005 and 2013, as well as the Team Centurion Award in 2006. Prior to real estate, Mick had been self-employed all his life, including a career as a guitarist with the band Warrior in the 90s. But he wanted more. A friend at MTV got him a job as an assistant editor, but sitting in a room editing videos 12 hours a day didn’t suit him. Then a cousin in real estate in Las Vegas suggested he try it, that real estate was lots of fun. Mick did just that, entering the industry in 2003. He told himself it was all or nothing, and within four months he was #4 in the company out of 130 agents.
Julie was working in the regional accounting department of Fidelity National Title at the time, but every time she went through the newspaper, she thought real estate sounded so exciting. Six months after Mick, she got her license. Three months after that, Mick told her, “Time to quit your job!” He had 12 open escrows at any one time and needed her help. It turned out to be the best decision. “We’ve made so many friends who were clients,” Julie says. “We don’t see it as work. What could be better than hanging out with your friends all day? Or seeing the joy on their faces when we hand over the key, or helping out if they have a short sale or unforeseen circumstances?”
The couple uses every available means to promote their business: targeted internet marketing, ads on menus at golf courses and on Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulio, cards, letters, their personal Facebook pages, ThankYou Perks—but the most unique tactic is one Julie created herself. She and Mick select local businesses they feel deserve to be recognized, then promote them on a page on their website and feature them on the back of their business cards. If a customer shows the Perezes’ card to the business owner, they receive a discount.
After admiring big custom homes that had spectacular photos and discovering how expensive it was to have similar photos made, Mick and Julie invested in a DSLR camera and are perfecting the art of photography. The plan is to put outstanding photos on all their listings. “We’ve done four so far,” Mick says, “and the traffic is unbelievable.” Clearly, innovation is this couple’s m.o. “Wherever we see the market going, we try to learn, stay current and change,” Mick says.
That change now includes expanding into Lake Arrowhead, a 13/4 hour drive away, where luxury cabins start at $1.5 million. The two bought their own cabin to be in the center of the real estate market—and to enjoy life, as well. Mick is writing music for their virtual tours, Julie is learning to play the guitar, and they both plan to take more real estate courses.
But some things stay the same: their love for their two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3, their intention to stay a cut above whatever happens in the market, and the way they treat people as people, not as clients. “It’s not a 9-5 job for us,” Julie explains. “It’s everything.”