He Talks About His Process and Keys to Success
We got a chance to sit down with one of the best real estate brokers in the United States, Sokrat Arzumanyan. In the past two decades, he has created a unique workflow that is unmatched. His client-first approach and dedication to self-improvement are just a couple of reasons why he has been so successful in such a highly competitive industry. Sokrat is committed to excellence; and that commitment is displayed in his approach to real estate: from his education to his attention to detail, to his loyal clientele. Sokrat is a shining example of how diligence, perseverance, and hard work can lead to the type of unprecedented success that he has achieved. Here is our interview with the outstanding Sokrat Arzumanyan.
Who is your typical client? What is the typical age of one of your clients?
The typical client would be anyone who is serious about buying a house. Anyone who knows why he or she is buying a house, and anyone who can afford it without spending all of the money they have for their monthly expenses. Anyone who is ready and willing, but needs guidance and information throughout the process. I have clients who are 19 or 20 years old and I will have to write a letter to the bank explaining why a 19-year-old is making half a million dollars a year. And then I have older clients who are downsizing and need help, not only with the purchase but with tips on how they can keep their property taxes low. So, there is really no particular type of client or age.
And where do you typically meet your clients for the first time?
If they want to buy a property, the first meeting would be at that particular property. I am with Zillow’s Premier Team and sometimes it’s better to meet them at the property the first time to show that I’m serious. Then after the first meeting, I would invite them to my office for a face-to-face so we can sit and talk to show that they’re serious, too. My goal is to make sure they can afford the house without creating later problems for them because there can be a lot of misinformation from other clients. And then I’ll pull their credit and do a soft inquiry to make sure that they qualify. And then, from there, we’ll go through the properties and talk through the process. If they are a first-time home buyer, I’ll go over their taxes. Then I might contact their accountant to explain what’s going on. I have to show what makes me different from the other 5000 agents in town by explaining in detail that I can do it all, and they have to prove that they are serious about buying a house; it’s mutual.
What else separates you from the 5,000 or so other real estate brokers?
Number one, I’m a loan broker. I do my own work. I do the in-house underwriting. So I am the one who is doing everything for that client and I have to look out for their best interest. Because don’t forget, buying a house, especially if we’re talking about a primary residence, is an emotional thing. And people usually make mistakes when they buy with emotion. So, imagine a person seeing a house, falling in love, daydreaming about remodeling their home, buying furniture, and the deal doesn’t go through because of a loan problem. Guess who is at fault.
The other thing that differentiates me from other real estate brokers is my years of experience in construction. So, when I look at the house with my clients, I know the property was just remodeled and painted. And I go through the inspection reports with my clients word-by-word and explain how much it would cost to get it repaired, if we have to.
How is it dealing with clients in this current market?
The market was crazy. I go through this emotionally stressful process with them, but the point of me going through it is to protect my clients as much as possible, sometimes from themselves. So being hands-on with the property, with the file, and with the loan helps and protects the client in the end. And again, my goal is to use all the information that I have acquired through a decade of experience to help them make a decision because a lot of times, they’ll turn to me and ask me if they should buy a particular house. If I don’t think that property is in their best interest, I will tell them no. I have a client right now who is a dentist and his brother has a real estate agent’s license. But has decided to go with me because he and his wife are having issues with the process. And they wanted to know if they buy a particular house, will they be able to afford the remodeling. After reviewing the numbers and looking at their situation, I had no problem telling them that they are in no position to buy a two and a half million dollar property. For me, it’s about doing good work. If I do good work, you might tell one or two people. But if I mess up and I sell you a house you can’t afford in the first place,or sell you junk, you will tell every person you see for the rest of your life.
You’re a one-stop shop. You do everything, right?
Absolutely. Me being that one-stop shop, a real one-stop shop, starts with the loan. You come into my office and you will be with me until you get the keys and I’ll be there at the inspection. I’ll be there for the termite inspection. I’ll be there at the sewer inspection. I’ll be there for the general inspection and I’ll be the one reading through the report. Does it take time? Yes. But at the end of the day, when you hand that person the keys and look into their eyes, you’ll know that it is all worth it.
What would you say is your secret sauce for getting the job done?
The purchase is contingent on an appraisal. I will talk to my appraisers before sending the offer so I know what to expect. Every transaction is different. I will talk to the client and explain to them that we might need to remove the appraisal contingency and we might need to pay from our pocket because the house might not appraise. And then I would convey that message to the selling agent. There are certain times that I would explain to the client that it’s in their benefit to obtain private money financing, which is all cash for the seller. So, we send an offer closing in 10 days or sooner by mutual agreement or in 15 days or sooner by mutual agreement. People who work with me know that it’s very important to communicate because the mutual goal at the end of the day for all the parties is to sell, buy and move on.