How did this young wife and mother go from 6 deals a year to becoming the top producer in her market in just 3 years?  This video will walk you through the 10 commandments of this top producer.

This video will walk you through the 10 commandments of this top producer.

San Diego top real estate producer, Zandra Ulloa, is a powerhouse in her market. How did she do it?

How did she do it?

Here is the breakdown of our in-depth interview with Zandra:

1:17 What inspired Zandra to get into real estate

2:35 How Zandra got started and how she got to the next level

4:36 Zandra’s 10 Commandments of Real Estate:

5:00 Commandment 1-Time Blocking

8:57 Commandment 2 – Show Up

11:18 Commandment 3 – Do What You Hate

13:47 Commandment 4 – Keep Swimming

15:33 Commandment 5 – Get Rid of Distractions

17:03 Commandment 6 – Be the Brokest One in The Room

19:43 Commandment 7 – Visions of Success

21:20 Commandment 8 – The Pitch

22:58 Commandment 9 – Know The Language (Getting Better with Repetition)

24:45 Commandment 10 – Let People Know Who You Are



The Ten Commandments of a Real Estate Top Producer – In The Know

[Intro] On today’s episode of “In The Know” we’re gonna be sharing the story of how this young wife and mother of two, went from six deals a year to top producer and top 3% in her market in just three short years.

Oliver Graf: So today, I’m sitting here with one of my personal favorite agents, Zandra Ulloa, and I’m here today to talk with her about her journey over the last couple years because she has a really exciting and inspiring story of how she was a young wife and mother with two kids and how she went from six deals a year to being a top producer and rank top 3% in her market.
We’re also enjoying a couple of adult beverages, compliments of Belching Beaver in Vista. We’re trying out the Deftones Phantom Bride IPA. And it’s delicious.

Zandra Ulloa: And the queen of the castle is enjoying Tintero, Sori Gramella, Moscato.

Oliver Graf: Oh nice. Sounds wonderful.

Zandra Ulloa: Yes.

Oliver Graf: And refreshing.

Zandra Ulloa: It is.

Oliver Graf: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about just how you started out in the business and what kind of led you in that direction.

Zandra Ulloa: Well in 2006 it really came down to a point where I went to buy my own home. I had a friend that had the real estate license and I thought, “Okay well my friend has her license, “she can help me out.” Went through the entire transaction absolutely clueless as to what I just did. I knew that I signed some papers, I had new keys to my home but I didn’t really understand the process from beginning to end. And again, still my friend, but I knew that it could have been better.

Oliver Graf: So it sounds to me like you saw an opportunity due to lack of service or lack of education or lack of whatever you want to call it, and that inspired you to get into the real estate business?

Zandra Ulloa: You know what really inspired me is looking for my home I know a lot of us have to understand, we do find our own home and yes, as real estate agents we help find a home. But we as the consumer know exactly what we’re looking for. So in all the research and looking at all the beautiful architecture, the different homes, learning about what I can do with the lot size, that intrigued me. I’ve always really loved architecture. But behind the scenes really is what intrigued me to move forward with my real estate possibilities. And yes, seeing the check was also the number one reason why at that time I thought I could do it.

Oliver Graf: Let’s talk about your progress, right, you got in, you’re completely green, you’re brand new and what happens?

Zandra Ulloa: So I did join a head associate, amazing, amazing man and he had a wonderful assistant who helped train me, teach me the foundation of real estate, but it still wasn’t a challenge to me. So I did start with a head associate, did my time there and realized okay, “The only person that can make this happen is me.” And so I decided to come to a Big Block.

Oliver Graf: So after that first year, you did your six deals, what were you thinking and how did you think you were gonna get yourself to like the next level? And then what was that next level?

Zandra Ulloa: Actually, I am someone that always thinks, “Okay why do I have to recreate the wheels? “What can I learn, what can I implement “that will help me be better naturally?” What it came down to is realizing that I had to have structure. I had to have a routine and I had to be consistent.

Oliver Graf: Consistency, okay. And so, learning the game; there’s lots of different trainings out there. So how did you kind of navigate your way into finding what worked for you?

Zandra Ulloa: You know, not to rub on anybody’s back or anything like that, I know that Sam Khorramian, our owner of Big Block, really helped me catapult the substance, the foundation of understanding how marketing material and understanding how SEO and marketing all together worked. And realizing ultimately that the next opportunity comes through the internet. Also just taking little bits and pieces of every type of training program that’s out there. Why, because not one training program entirely is good for everybody. We all have different personalities, we have different goals. You just have to really understand, what can you set in your routine that will help you stay consistent?

Oliver Graf: Perfect. And Sam you can go ahead and put the check in the mail to Zandra, she accepts cash or check for the testimonial.

Zandra Ulloa: Cash preferred.

Oliver Graf: When you told me about your 10 commandments, I was very intrigued and I wanted to have you on the show so we could talk about Z’s 10 commandments of real estate and how they’ve kind of helped you take your business from almost square one to being top 3% in the whole market.
Number one, time blocking.

Zandra Ulloa: Everything that you’re going to hear, I literally implement every single day, maybe not to 100%, but I do every single thing on these 10 commandments. The number one thing is understanding what your day looks like. If you don’t know what your day looks like it’s that saying of “fail to plan, plan to fail.” If you end up getting caught up in a great opportunity, let’s say you were supposed to prospect from this hour to this hour, but instead you got a sign call to go show the home. Well whatever time frame that you weren’t able to get to, you’re not able to remove off your time blocking. You’re only able to move it to another time. Never remove. Why because naturally you’re gonna say, “Oh I’ll just get to it later.” You’re never gonna get to it.

Oliver Graf: And try to do your hardest stuff first, right? Because the bigger elephant you can get off of your to do list, the lighter it starts to get and the more momentum you can go towards getting things done. In terms of time blocking, like what on a daily, weekly basis, what are the things that you’re time blocking?

Zandra Ulloa: Ultimately you have your prospecting, you have your cold calling, the things that you really don’t like to do. You have the marketing material – information that you’re following through. Really you’re dialing the people around the just listed, coming soons, sell just went pending. Why, because you have an evidence of success. Why not piggyback on things that you already have? And if you don’t have any listings now or you don’t have any just sold, use mine, use Big Blocks, they’re a brokerage.

Oliver Graf: Right, that’s a great point. There’s always things that you can do within your office to leverage, to get yourself opportunities to get in front of more people. Open houses are great, as well. You can always find someone that’s got a hot property in your office and work out something with them to where you can show it for them and everybody wins.

Zandra Ulloa: And can I add towards open house? I know you guys hear a lot about open houses don’t work. It’s showing up and I know this leads into our second commandment, it’s showing up. When you go in an open house if you have zero guests, make your phone calls, role play by yourself. Call your significant other, role play. Pretend that you have someone in front of you. It’s an opportunity to be productive and get better. Ultimately it’s literally showing up.

Oliver Graf: So what would you do at an open house if nobody’s there?

Zandra Ulloa: So I would either bring in my notes, my blank notes. I’m writing hand written notes, I would say 10 a day to 50 a week. Handwritten notes to people that you either know might be looking to buy, sell or invest, people that you have met at networking events, that’s why it’s important to collect cards. In this industry, it is who you know and the more people can put a name to a face, they’ll be excited to work with you ’cause they know who they’re referring to.

Oliver Graf: So you’re writing 50 handwritten notes a week?

Zandra Ulloa: It’s 10 a day, yes.

Oliver Graf: 10 a day. And what are you saying in those notes and who are sending them to?

Zandra Ulloa: So like I said, let’s say we go to a networking event, our young people’s network, some type of networking event ultimately a meet up group. And you’re meeting these new agents. You’re writing hand written notes to agents, thanks for your time, thanks for to speaking to me, thank you for giving me some guidance about this, this or that. It’s taking the opportunity to do what everybody else is not doing. Why because you might not have an opportunity now to work with that individual, but in two years, even one year or one month, when you send an offer over you don’t think they’re going to remember your name? You’re the only agent that thanked them for their time, for their insight, you’re gonna be remembered.

Oliver Graf: What about to non-agents? What’s the message to them? It’s not asking for business.

Zandra Ulloa: Not at all.

Oliver Graf: Asking for referrals.

Zandra Ulloa: Not at all.

Oliver Graf: What is it, what’s the approach and how do you take it from there?

Zandra Ulloa: My approach with individuals that are not referral based business is, how can I help your business grow? So it really is, how can I make you better? Or how can we continue to be better in our industry? It was great connecting with you, I’d love to maybe just take an hour of your time to role play, how can I get better at what I do? And how can I help you get better at what you do?

Oliver Graf: So time blocking number one, number two show up.

Zandra Ulloa: Yes.

Oliver Graf: Tell me more about showing up. Obviously there’s an open house example, show up ready to play.

Zandra Ulloa: You have to separate yourself from work and from home. I used to work from home and I used to always constantly say, “Oh there’s dishes, “oh there’s laundry, who’s at the door?” It’s constant distraction.

Oliver Graf: What’s in the fridge?

Zandra Ulloa: Right? It comes down to showing up. There’s not one individual in this office or ever that can say that I don’t show up to my office. If I’m not showing up to my office every single day, it’s because I’m out literally back to back in appointments. And those days are pretty awesome, but those are exhausting days. I’d rather come in, see my peers, encourage them. And there’s days I don’t want to come in, but I come in. There’s days that I don’t want to show up, but I know in the back of my mind that coming to work will at least make me feel better. I might have not gotten all of my to-do things on my time blocking schedule done, but I know that I came ready, prepared and willing to literally conquer the day.

Oliver Graf: Do you have like a get in the zone routine? Do you have something that you like to do to get yourself mentally ready to go and take an appointment?

Zandra Ulloa: For buyers, presentation and a seller’s presentation I’m well prepared. I literally have my presentation booklets ready to go so the minute I have a last minute appointment or the minute I need to get in and get out, everything’s ready to go. Again, failure to plan is planning to fail. So yes, I have a routine. Thankfully my regular presentations are ready to go. But prepping yourself as far as constantly reminding yourself that not one seller, not one buyer is the same. And just because they’re your friend, you should still be interviewing for the position. You should take it seriously, you should be professional. You shouldn’t automatically assume that you have the job. Everybody who gives me the opportunity to possible help represent them in buying or selling, I don’t automatically say, “I got this it’s slam dunk.” I still want to show them my best and my spirit of excellence at all times.

Oliver Graf: And those are actually the people on that point to go above and beyond for, right? The people you know the best are generally gonna be your best referral source. So if you can go out there and give them an experience that’s unforgettable, that’s remarkable, that makes them want to talk about how good you are, then you’re gonna get referrals for days, right?

Zandra Ulloa: That’s for sure.

Oliver Graf: Number three is do what you hate.

Zandra Ulloa: Whatever you hate doing, do it the most. Who loves cold calling? No one, who likes to be the sales person on the other line, “Would you like to buy or sell today?” No one likes to do that. But I encourage you guys to think outside the box. Pretend that you’re the one getting the phone call. And you hate that sales call. Even as agents when we get people who want to sell us constantly we’re like, “Okay, what, yes, no.” I actually give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t automatically hang up I want to see what they have to say. Why, what can I take away from their script and implement into mine?

Oliver Graf: I know you’re the type of person that doesn’t like rejection.

Zandra Ulloa: Not at all.

Oliver Graf: So how do you deal with that and how do you push through it so that you can do what you hate and do what you have to do?

Zandra Ulloa: You know again I learned from the best, I learned from Sam of getting over the objection of trying to understand what is the reason behind the no? What is the why? So my job is to find out why are you telling me no before you even have heard what I have to offer? Before you even have heard what I can do to be a lifelong resource for you. What is the why? So my job is to repeat and acknowledge and try your best to ask the right questions to get through to get to the yes or the no, the real yes or no. Not because they just don’t want your call, the real yes or no.

Oliver Graf: So by doing the question based approach and the finding out the why, you’re able to break through the rejection because?

Zandra Ulloa: Because I’m telling them, “Look I know you didn’t expect my phone call. I know that you didn’t expect to have a random individual call you, but I’m really wanting to know, I’m just curious. Is the reason that you don’t want to buy or sell today is because you really don’t want to buy or sell? Or is it because you don’t know me?” “Will you give me the opportunity, 10, 15 minutes of your time, to show you what I have to offer you? No obligation, just opportunity. And you’ll hear me say that, that’s our mission here at Zandra’s Realty is “no obligation, just an opportunity.” No, because that’s my team saying. And I own that.

Oliver Graf: You can borrow it, just change it up a little bit.

Zandra Ulloa: Yes, that’s how we do everything around here is there’s no obligation, there’s just an opportunity to be informed.

Oliver Graf: Well done. And that’s a great way to come in early, the no risk approach. Try to get them off the market so that they at least, when they are ready to move forward you’re the one that they’re thinking about and you want to lay the groundwork.

Zandra Ulloa: And that’s the key getting them off the market.

Oliver Graf: Cool, number four you have keep swimming.

Zandra Ulloa: Keep swimming. We are in the industry of sales, it is not fun. There’s days that we don’t want to come in and do what we have to do. But if you want to continue to make excuses as to why you’re not being successful or meeting your goals, then it’s because you’re giving up too soon. You’re expecting fast results and it’s not going to happen. You have to give the time, but you most importantly have to constantly tell yourself that it’s worth it, that you can do it. You have to be your biggest cheerleader, you really do. Keep swimming.

Oliver Graf: So what advice would you have to the people out there that right now feel like they’re barely keeping it up, barely got their head above water? What’s your message to them to tell them to keep swimming?

Zandra Ulloa: You have to ask yourself to be real, realistic. Is this what you passionately love to do? Professionally and personally. If it’s not, then don’t keep yourself in this industry that’s gonna constantly make you feel like a failure. Not everybody is good in this business. So find what you’re good at and love it. That way if you have days that you feel like you’re failing, you’re still successful because you put your best foot forward.

Oliver Graf: It doesn’t help out there that all the TV shows, the reality TV shows and all that make the business look so easy. No one fails, right? They’re all closing huge deals and flipping crazy houses, but when you’re out there in the trenches, it can be pretty tough and it is a grind. And so keep swimming.

Zandra Ulloa: Keep on swimming.

Oliver Graf: Next on the list is, get rid of distractions. What do you consider the distractions?

Zandra Ulloa: Okay so kind of going back a little bit if you have an opportunity to just get out of the house a few hours, maybe two hours, four hours, six hours, eight hours, doesn’t matter. Get yourself to one of our offices if you can, or get yourself to a library wherever you don’t have distractions. This not only means physically removing yourself away from distractions, this also means getting your lovely device, also known as your cell phone and laptop out of the way. If you’re not meeting the goals on your time blocking or meeting the goals that you know that it takes to get things done, you need to literally, physically remove it out of your hands, out of your face. There’s awesome applications like Freedom App, that if you have the Freedom app it will allow you to between this time and this time, not allow you to open up the applications like Facebook and Instagram, social media.

Oliver Graf: Makes sense. One thing I just started too was something similar to Freedom App, but I turned off all the notifications on my cell phone, so I don’t get Facebook notifications, I don’t get Instagram notifications, Snapchat, all the things that are always buzzing on your phone, so now it’s just email and text messages. And that’s been like a huge time saver and focus enhancer. So we just finished up getting rid of distractions. The next point and the sixth commandment of Z’s 10 real estate commandments is surround yourself with people that are more successful than you.

Zandra Ulloa: This was the hardest one for me. I typically am intimidated by people who are successful, those people that I feel, “We’re gonna hire you because you have the multi-million dollar listing that you worked for them.” And I’m the type of individual that, who wants to feel I work with you. We have a goal we want to achieve that goal. And it’s intimidating. But I realize that if I surround myself with likeminded individuals who have goals that reach the sun, literally, then I’m only going to better myself. I should be the brokest one in every single group anytime that I’m trying to make myself better.

Oliver Graf: Totally agree. Definitely a big fan of networking up, it will always expand your connections, open up new opportunities. How do you go about doing that, though? How do you get yourself from some person that just hangs out with maybe the same 10 people that they’ve hung out with for the last 15 years since high school, to hanging out with people that think on a bigger level, do business on a bigger level, all that?

Zandra Ulloa: Honestly it’s just trying to think outside of the box and making yourself get out of the comfort zone. And what that means to me is wherever I’m at, it doesn’t matter if it’s an elevator, it doesn’t matter if it’s a hospital or out at a networking event. I’m constantly introducing myself. I’m constantly letting people know that I’m in the real estate business and I’m not here to sell anything to you, but I really am looking for resources to help myself personally and professionally grow. So it’s really just stepping out of the comfort zone. How do you do that? You have to show up, you have to go to the networking events, you have go to events, whether that means volunteer events or galas that you typically don’t go to. You have to surround yourself, you have to let people know a, who you are, you have to make yourself heard, and b, that, you want to also be a potential resource to them. Going back into, how can I help your business succeed? I physically shake when I surround myself by people that I feel intimidate me for whatever reason, I don’t even know why. I physically shake. You can hear the trembling in my voice, but I get right through it, I do. And every time I want to literally run and hide after I’m done, but I do it. I try my best to get myself out there and let people know okay, “I’m Zandra, how are you?”

Oliver Graf: Once you can just do it and break through that, then you’re gonna notice yourself taking a lot of action on bigger things that previously were uncomfortable and keep expanding your comfort zone. Number seven is a vision board.

Zandra Ulloa: The vision board, why? Everyone talks about the infamous vision board. You need to visually see where you wanna go to. What dreams you want to turn into reality? So if you are constantly surrounding yourself with the negative thoughts of, “Oh this contract didn’t close “and this buyer has canceled and this seller “decided not to sell.” You have your vision board constantly in front of you to remind you that it’s worth it. Focus on where you want to go and visually keep it in front of you.

Oliver Graf: We’re actually in Zandra’s office right now. I just noticed one of her team members has their vision board already up here.

Zandra Ulloa: All of my team members have their vision board.

Oliver Graf: Then every other desk has a vision board up. Another easy way to actually do it because I’m a big believer in vision boards, as well, is just to keep yourself motivated and excited. And then once you take, once you achieve those things to be able to cross them off the list is like one of the most satisfying things ever. But to make it easier on yourself, everyone’s got a computer screen in front of them most of the day and I change my screen saver to just be pictures of the things that I want to be thinking about and the goals that I have and just the things that I want to do. And so that way every time I come back to my desk it’s cycling pictures of all the things that get me excited.
Number eight, learn your elevator pitch. So let me test you real quick. What’s your elevator pitch?

Zandra Ulloa: Sure. So let’s say you go quickly into an elevator and you see it’s an attorney, they’re on the phone, and they’re talking and they get off the phone and you have 20 seconds to do your elevator speech. Hi, my name’s Zandra Ulloa I’m a real estate agent here in San Diego. A perfect client for me is someone who’s looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate. If you happen to know anybody looking, I’d love to give you my card, I would love to be a resource for you, as well.

Oliver Graf: Great. Quick, succinct, to the point. So what advice would you have to anybody else trying to come up with their elevator pitch? Maybe how long should it be, does and don’ts?

Zandra Ulloa: You have to be as firm as possible. When you don’t sound confident in what you are selling or what you’re informing of someone of what you do they’re not gonna take you seriously. So I would say just make it short and simple. You can hear I can speak very fast, like very, very, very fast. So I’m constantly reminding myself to try to slow down. And again not everybody knows how to handle the inflection that you may or may not have and the speed of what you’re saying, but ultimately you want to make sure that you get your point across. So I would say literally no more than 20 seconds. How long does it take from an elevator to go from one floor to the next? That’s the opportunity you have. Even the ones that come into our main office here at Big Block, I mean that’s exactly how I was able to get the State Farm rep as my preferred vendor. I introduced myself and since then he’s been sending me business over.

Oliver Graf: Perfect. And he’s in the office right next to ours which is actually interesting because I bet you’re the only person that’s actually taking the time to go over there and ask for business, even though there’s a lot of agents that come in and out of here on a daily basis. And therefore you’re the one getting the business and everyone else isn’t. Just come ready with your elevator pitch and don’t be afraid to get out there and just ask for the business because the more you do it, the more business you’re gonna get. It’s a very simple numbers game.
Alright, cool. So after elevator pitch we have scripts and role play.

Zandra Ulloa: How much better can you be in a position where you get on the phone and the night before you practice an objection and then you make the phone call and you get the exact objection the next day. You just practiced it. So practice makes perfect, obviously. But most importantly putting it from paper to verbally saying it is one thing, okay? And try to find your rhythm. Try to find the way you feel best comfortable. Cold calling itself is not a comfort zone that I naturally wanted to be in at all times. So what do I do? I want to make sure that I feel as confident as possible to be able to handle any objection that’s thrown my way and by doing role paying and scripting is going to make me better at what I do and what I hate to do.

Oliver Graf: Kobe Bryant says that the reason that he was so successful is that he used to show up and before and after every practice he used to just shoot hundreds of free throws, over and over again all by himself. Just over and over again. Because that way when game time came he was able to do it and it was automatic for him. It’s the same thing with the scripting and the role play; when you write down the three objections or five objections that you get the most, but just write down those answers. And then every day just practice them a couple times, read them with people and practice them and you’ll get better. And that way when they come up in real life they’re just gonna come out automatically and you’re gonna be like, “Whoa. I just said that right at the perfect time and it actually worked.”

Zandra Ulloa: Drink up.

Oliver Graf: The last and final of Zandra’s 10 real estate commandments is, always wear your name badge.

Zandra Ulloa: Always.

Oliver Graf: Why do you say always wear your name badge?

Zandra Ulloa: No one knows what you’re doing unless you either a, say it, or b, show it. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot that my name tag was on, whether it was at a gas station or the grocery clerk saw it. When they see it kind of sticking through your hair or they see it on your shoulder, they will look at it and glance at it. When the minute they see it, just introduce yourself. I’m a Realtor, if you ever need any real estate needs I’d be happy to help you out. Here’s my card.

Oliver Graf: I love that question.

Zandra Ulloa: So really, it’s wear your name badge and always have your cards ready to go.

Oliver Graf: So question, does it have to be bedazzled like that one is? Or can you have just a regular name badge.

Zandra Ulloa: Always, blinged out is the only option in life. No, just wear your name tags and give your best.

Oliver Graf: And so when you say wear name badge all the time, are you literally talking about all the time? Like you said at the gas station. You’re going to the gas station with your name badge on.

Zandra Ulloa: So it even comes down to is as your swiping your card at the gas station, walk. You have no idea who you’re gonna meet up with, who you’re going to see. They’re gonna see that opportunity, right? Now unless someone around your circle already knows that you are the real estate goddess, you are the real estate king, then you don’t have to wear it. But until you are a household name or until people know you before you know them, then please always wear your name tag.

Oliver Graf: Oh I like that. They know you before you know them. So very cool Zandra, always a pleasure. Really appreciate you taking the time to share your insights with us. So go out there, make it happen, close some deals. And now you are In the know.

Zandra Ulloa: Cheers.


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Thank you for watching In The Know – The Oliver Graf Real Estate Show

To Your Success

,Oliver Graf

Oliver Graf
Inc. 500 Entrepreneur
Co-Founder | President
Big Block Realty & Real Estate Agent Trainers