Surround yourself with the best team members and allow them to do their job. Why? You are not an expert on everything. Learn to rely on your team. Example: Building a house. Yes, you can build one yourself, but it is so much easier and faster to rely on the right people!
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nellie High, High Realty Group.
Nellie High-Iredale is the co-founder of High Realty Group, a real estate group focused on cutting edge digital marketing. Nellie’s early career activities included working in the family’s real estate companies and in the field of Architecture.
In 2006 she moved to California to further her career. Nellie’s background in Design and Architecture provide valuable expert guidance to creating the right atmosphere when selling or buying your home.
Nellie’s philanthropic activities have included volunteering at the Athenaeum, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD) in La Jolla, and is an active Board member of the UCSD Oceanids. Nellie is a Trustee of the Fusenot Foundation, an organization that funds grants to state-based, non-profit organizations.
Nellie is a member of the San Diego Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. She resides in San Diego, enjoys traveling, playing the piano, and is fully bilingual in English and her native Spanish.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. This beautiful country thought me about color and architecture. From the majestic old haciendas to the modern buildings. I started learning about real estate in the family business. We were developers. Starting from the selection and location of land to the final product, large high-end houses and low-end as well. We would also sell the houses on our own. It was educational and interesting to understand the whole process during these years back in Mexico.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“One person can make a difference.” Start the day with a positive attitude, smile, be kind and positive, what we say matters. This all has a ripple effect. In the beginning, it may go unnoticed but not for long. The bottom line, what matters is the great satisfaction it provides.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. I find it very interesting since he analyses what high achievers do to make a difference. He focuses more on where the skills are coming from rather than the outcome. Coming from a country where there is so much poverty, it resonates with me by evaluating how did my upbringing influenced who I am now. A family with a profound interest in education, honesty, and self-discipline.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Our work is mainly in Coastal San Diego. Focusing in the La Jolla, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe areas. Before the pandemic began, my group, would frequently meet people in-person, interested in selling their homes. We would have dialogs about the options, review the market and comparables, selling tips, how to stage them when was the right time to hit the market. We would be holding open houses every weekend. A thriving market. We had bi-weekly meetings at the office with our full support staff.
Deriving mainly from being scared, my first thoughts were that the economy was going to collapse, including the real estate industry. To my surprise, we kept going strong and even in a faster mode, we kept listing houses for sale and finding a very receptive market. Sales have been solid and prices rising.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
We realized the immediate need of switching to digital platforms. The pandemic has catalyzed the online world. It has been a great way to keep in touch. The personal interaction is greatly missed, however, when not available, having access to the digital world has helped out by maintaining close communication with our clients. With this being said, we still do need to have in-person interaction with clients since it is unheard of selling a high-end property without seeing it. It simply does not happen. In some instances this is the biggest single investment that some families perform. Our clients need to visit the houses that they are interested in, check them out in detail and analyze if these do indeed fulfill their needs. In order to perform these showings in the safest way possible, we have been strictly following the COVID protocols; filling out paperwork, and changing our “standard” practices. We all wear masks, gloves and disinfectants. One more thing that changed ever since the pandemic started is our weekend open houses. We cannot longer perform them. These we do miss and can not wait to get back to them. In the meantime we supply 3-D digital models of the properties to be previewed by our clients.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Very well indeed. We are able to measure our marketing reach through analytics and are having more accurate results about our audience’s response. We have seen tremendous results from our changes. There has been a 93% reduction in cost per click on our social media ads, and we have received several leads due to our innovative approach. The increase in organic social media reach has been tangible. We constantly receive comments and feedback from our current sphere and new potential clients. We have tools to analyze and produce graphics to increase traffic and contributes to better results.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, my business partner, Alejandro High. He specializes in statistics and in the digital world. This online marketing success is mainly because of him.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Develop a love for mathematics. Become an expert in numbers. Why? Because these are always essential. Example: We use them every day; sales statistics, comparables, and data
2. PR. Keep in mind that you have to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds. You better be friendly and try to find the better on each one of them. Learn to balance out and do not polarize.
3. Keep in touch with your friends. Why? This is your sphere of influence. Example: Our number one source of transactions come from friends/acquaintances.
4. Good habits. What we perform as a routine are our habits. Example: positive thinking, exercise, hard work, nutritious food. Example: Always start your day exercising and never skip breakfast. This will set you in a good mood and you will be ready for a successful day.
5. Surround yourself with the best team members and allow them to do their job. Why? You are not an expert on everything. Learn to rely on your team. Example: Building a house. Yes, you can build one yourself, but it is so much easier and faster to rely on the right people!
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
Exercise every single day. Make it a routine. This will be a good habit for the rest of your life. It will provide a good time-out to relax your mind.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
BE KIND. This to me, is the most important feature of a human being. We all need it from each other. Let’s keep this in mind.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would have loved to meet Marie Curie. An exceptional human being. Speak about her great contributions to humanity. With her discoveries, she alleviated suffering. An unstoppable worker fully dedicated to her subject.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!