Anthony Lamacchia is the Broker/Owner and CEO of Lamacchia Realty and Crush It In Real Estate. To read his full bio, click here.
As a real estate agent, you know that the industry can be tough to navigate, with constant challenges and obstacles to overcome. That’s why we created the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast, where top-performing agents shared their insights and strategies for success. Join us as we dive into the good, the bad, and the ugly of growing a thriving real estate business. Your host, Lindsay Favazza, will be your guide on this journey. Sit back, relax, and get ready to learn from the best in the business.
Lindsay Favazza: Welcome to Season 3 of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast. I’m your host, Lindsay Favazza, and we have a shiny new opener you just got to listen to, so that’s exciting. We will now be putting the video recordings of each episode on our YouTube channel, so that’s new as well this season. I’m super excited about that. It will be awesome for you guys to not only listen to but also be able to watch your favorite guests describe their stories.
As always, our guests, the season will be kick-ass real estate professionals that are crushing their goals, but also willing to share how they do it with all of you. Today, though we’re changing it up a bit for the season-opening episode. I’m thrilled to be sitting here today with Anthony Lamacchia, Broker/Owner of Lamacchia Realty, and you all obviously know him as the voice and face of Crush It In Real Estate. Before you say hello, I know you’re excited that you want to–
Anthony Lamacchia: This is a long time for me to listen.
Lindsay: Dive into this. I know, I know, but you have to sit there and you have to wait because I have to give you the introduction that you deserve. Anthony’s journey in real estate began when he worked with his father’s landscape company and he learned the ins and outs of running a successful business from both his dad and from his grandfather. He quickly realized that real estate was where he wanted to focus, so he got licensed and dove right in.
He quickly became a top-performing agent earning the title of number one realtor by sales in Massachusetts for several years. Since then, Anthony has built Lamacchia Realty into one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in Massachusetts. The company has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America every year since 2012. Over the last few years, he and his leadership team have had their eyes set on growing outside of Massachusetts-
Anthony: All right, all right, all right. Enough is enough.
Lindsay: Relax, just, just wait.
Anthony: You’re part of that leadership team.
Lindsay: Of course I am, but outside of Massachusetts, and now have offices in New Hampshire, Florida, and Connecticut. He’s been training realtors on how to grow their business from when he had a team model, and now he trains over 500 independent realtors within the company, and over 5,000 training clients all throughout North America. All right, that’s enough.
Anthony: Enough is enough.
Lindsay: Let’s dive in Anthony, and I want to hear your journey. I want to hear all the plans that you have for the future. Welcome to the podcast, stranger.
Anthony: Thank you for having me, and Lindsay I have to give you a lot of credit here because you’ve done a terrific job building up this podcast following. I just asked you before we started, how many people are listening to each podcast and you said, “We’re getting 500.”
Lindsay: 500 followers. We have about 500 subscribers to the podcast, they listen very actively on every episode. Thank you to our audience, I really appreciate you guys.
Anthony: I’m glad to hear that, and I’m hoping that my participation here today will substantially increase that following.
Lindsay: We’ll see.
Anthony: Glad to see how I do.
Lindsay: We’ll see. We’ll have to-
Anthony: Or see how you do, how bad the questions are.
Lindsay: Exactly. I have a little– let’s take us back to the early days. Let’s take us to the early days. We’ll make sure to put-
Anthony: That’s a funny picture.
Lindsay: -this up in the video so people can see. Your dad gave me this.
Anthony: My dad put them up. Remember one time he put them up over the office, the bathroom?
Lindsay: Yes, he sent them to us in a letter.
Anthony: People are going to the men’s room and seeing-
Lindsay: Oh, my goodness.
Anthony: -he sent it to you too?
Lindsay: He sent it to me in a letter. Yes, and I kept it.
Anthony: Told my dad, “You never quite know what’s going to happen.” He’s a very entertaining family member.
Lindsay: Tell us about the early years. Tell us about how you got the brain that you got, which is obviously different from most, and how you got started early on.
Anthony: There’s a lot. We don’t have three hours. I grew up very fortunate in my opinion, most people would not agree with that statement, as you know because you know me. I was fortunate in the sense of growing up in a business environment, obviously, well maybe not obvious to everybody but it is to you. My early childhood years were difficult times, and that’s why when I was nine years old I finally ended up back with my grandparents.
From nine to an adult I had three parents, my grandparents and my dad, which wasn’t fun when you got in trouble. When I got in trouble, which as you know is quite often, and then I’d get yelled at from three people. I was fortunate in the sense that I grew up where business was pretty much all we talked about. I mentioned this in the Real Talk with Anthony videos and they actually show a picture of me, my dad, and my grandfather when I was probably 19. My poor grandmother used to say, “Is all we’re going to talk about is business. Every night at dinner I just have to hear businesses.”
Lindsay: Poor woman.
Lindsay: No, there was no woman talk. It was business, business, business all the time. That’s pretty much what the subject was at all times. When I say business, we talked about my dad’s business, which at that time was a small company in the late ’80s, early ’90s. We also talked about the day’s news, and that’s what drove my grandmother nuts because she enjoyed hearing about at that time her son’s business. When we would start talking about GM or Enron and when the whole Enron thing went down.
All these other businesses out there she would be like, “What do I care about them?” That really taught me a lot about business at a bigger picture. He was an accountant at Raytheon, and he did the taxes for everybody in the family. Then he did my dad’s books. My dad’s books at the time, my grandfather used to do them on the old accounting sheets. Those 11 by 17 ugly manila color.
Lindsay: Did they have the rip-off sides too? I remember my mom doing stuff that had rip-off– I don’t know.
Anthony: Yes, because everything was done on a pad of paper and he would handwrite it. I was lucky, very lucky, that probably starting a– I started working so young that if I say it people don’t believe it, so I really don’t even say it. I just say I was doing full summers at seven years old with my dad. At that time the punishment if I was really out of line was you can’t go to work. That’s how obsessed I was with working. I ever tell you that?
Female Speaker 1: No.
Anthony: Yes. That was the punishment. Actually, I have a funny story. Seven years old, we’re living in Wayland. We left Watertown when I was about five, moved to Wayland, lived there, I don’t know, a year and a half or something. Then we moved to Hopkinton for a couple years, then I was nine I get back with my grandparents. Anyway, I get punished, I got in a lot of trouble– I was about seven. You can’t go to work tomorrow. I’m like, okay, I don’t agree. I put up a stink, I’m yelling, mad, arguing with my dad, whopping, this is Anthony Lamacchia seven years old.
My dad’s like, “No, you’re not going to work. End of story.” Puts me to bed. I wake up in the morning, he had already left for work. I was pissed that I didn’t get to go to work and I mean pissed. I was sour the whole day. This is what I did. We just finished having a new septic system installed in the backyard. It just got graded, and they just put the grass seed down. A company– my dad didn’t do it even though he was a landscaper. The company that did the septic, they filled everything in, they graded the yard, they put loom down, they put seed.
Despite my dad and went out in the yard and I dug a hole because the yard had holes in it for like, I don’t know, it felt like three months. I don’t really remember. Maybe it was a month. They were putting the septic in. My dad was sick of it. He would always complain about it. I said, to get him back, I’m going to go out there and I’m going to dig a hole in the middle of the yard. I go out, I’m about halfway done digging the hole and my stepmom comes out and she say, “Anthony, Dad’s going to– you’re going to get it for this. You’re in big trouble. You shouldn’t be doing this.”
I was like, “Yes, okay.” She’s like, “You’re going to regret it.” I distinctly remember digging where I got down to where they had sand and clay or whatever gravel components they had for the septic. I’m digging it up and my dad comes home and it’s six o’clock at night. I’ll never forget I was starving. My dad walks over to the hole, looks down in the hole, and I’m like realistically probably chest deep seven years old. It’s like three feet hole.
Lindsay: You’ve been at it?
Anthony: Oh, no. I’ve been at it for three hours. Just my anger. My dad’s like, “Wow, you think you’re a wise guy digging this hole on my yard? Great. Here’s the deal. You’re not coming back in the house till you fill it in.” I was like, “Holy shit.” I’m looking at this mound of dirt and I’m starving and I’m like, “Well, I want to eat.” He’s like, “No, you’re not coming in the house until you fill it in.”
Lindsay: Did you put yourself in that-
Anthony: No, I did. He as a parent, he did the right thing. What did I do? I sat there– I didn’t sit there. I stood there literally crying. He was like, “You’re filling it in.” I filled the whole hole in and I remember at the very end when there was probably six inches to go, he came out and helped me grade it because he felt bad, helped me grade it.
Lindsay: Because he probably wanted to make sure that you did the end part right.
Anthony: Yes, right. Then we went in and had dinner. Point being, I was obsessed with work from a very young age. There’s a lot of reasons for that. I don’t commonly get into them. Money wasn’t exactly plentiful and it gave me a chip on my shoulder and made me want to work, work, work and make money. That was how it went. Even though I didn’t live with my grandparents I was with them a lot. I would be able to work with my dad on a Saturday, for example, spread mulch, loom, whatever, cut someone’s lawn.
The next day my grandfather would be doing a job cost sheet manually. I’m probably 10-ish years old and I’d be like, “No, no, we didn’t use six yards a mulch there. We used four. We used three at the next job.” I became the helper for that with my grandfather. Not formally, but often enough that he would listen to me and realize I knew what materials we used at what jobs. If we bought some brooms or we bought something. I go, “Oh, we bought a blower yesterday.”
Lindsay: You don’t forgot about this.
Anthony: Yes, and it became a thing. Then when I was 12 years old, I remember it happened this morning, my grandfather said, “Today you’re going to learn about–” I remember he called them financial reports. “You’re going to learn about financial reports.” I was 12 years old and that was the day he taught me a profit and loss, balance sheet, accounts receivable, accounts payable. I was very interested. My dad points that out. Sometimes my dad says, “Oh, you give us more credit than you should.” If I didn’t have them and there’s no way in hell-
Lindsay: You wouldn’t have been– yes.
Anthony: I basically went to Business College as a teenager, and I would never have been able to do that if it wasn’t for them, yes, is the truth that I was highly interested and highly motivated. That’s how it started. I knew at a very young age I would be a business owner. I thought I would only be involved in– I don’t want to say only, that’s not true. I thought my biggest business and the biggest thing would be a landscaping company.
Lindsay: When did the spark hit for real estate?
Anthony: When I was about 20 years old I really started paying attention to real estate, looking at condos, looking at multifamily. I remember I was enamored by the fact that wait, I could buy a two-family, rent both units, and that would be an investment. Before I even moved out of living with my grandparents, I moved out of there when I was 23, I bought a condo, fixed it up, got it rented. Then I bought a multifamily in on South Bridge Street in Worcester, got it rented then I flipped the condo then I bought another one. Then I bought a two-family house that I moved into, but buying and selling or buying and renting was really what got me going in real estate.
Lindsay: Because at that time you were still working for your dad at the landscape company.
Anthony: Still working for my dad at least 60 hours a week, making pretty good money for 20, 21, 22-year-old kid. I started working so young that when I graduated high school, I had a sizable amount of money in the bank. I was able to buy a property. Let me think about this, it was like a week after I turned 21 I was able to buy a property. I guess I was out of high school two years, so it was a young age.
Lindsay: You got into real estate, at the time what were those early years like?
Anthony: It was a couple of years after that I said, “Maybe I should be a realtor.” I thought about getting a real estate license, and the guy who I was working with buying properties I told him I was thinking of doing. I told him I was thinking of leaving the family business, which was very uncomfortable time in my life, was very tricky time. My dad didn’t take it well as you know and it was tough but I made the decision. I got a real estate license in July of ’04. Then told my dad and it went over very poorly. My grandfather had to get involved and my dad really took it to heart. There was a lot more to the story of why he took it to heart, but 23-year-old Anthony didn’t get that and my grandfather did. My grandfather was like, hey-
Lindsay: I’m sure there’s a lot of people that can’t relate to that.
Anthony: I remember my grandfather said to me, “To you, this is a job, to your dad, who was left with you when your mom left when you were two, this is a big deal.” I was like, “Shit,” and I went from-
Lindsay: It sounds like you’ve helped him too.
Anthony: I grew the business substantially, yes, in high school and then when I got out of high school, we were really able to grow. I had a knack for business and I was bobby cocky. I was good at it from a young age and I was able to grow the business. My dad from where he sat he’s like, “Well, you grew this now you’re going to leave?”
Lindsay: Like your business partner is leaving you.
Anthony: Yes, and it was tough. It was a tough time. I looked at it like we were partners he didn’t. Now as a 42-year-old man, I understand why he didn’t. Some of the comments that he made irked me but I look back and I’m like, “Well, he was right because– but it’s hard.” We’re both bullheaded– my dad and I are very alike. The difference is I’m more of a controlled, calculated, thought-out person. He’s more reactionary, I’m more like my grandfather. It’s funny I bringing up my grandfather. My dad and my grandfather literally out loud used to say to me– my grandfather would say to me, “Listen, you want to be big businessman someday?”
I’m talking 14 years old, 15 years old. He would say to me, “You can do it, I believe you have the ability to do it. You have a ton of energy. You really understand business. You’re hardworking, but I’m going to tell you now, as much as you’re learning from me, you can’t be just like me because you’ll never build a business, I’m too conservative.” He would use the word conservative. “Your dad is wild, and that’s why he has a business. He’s more of a wild character. If you’re totally like your dad, that won’t work out well either because it’s too much.”
Then my dad used to literally tell me, “Don’t be all like me, I went bankrupt once, I’ve had struggles, blah, blah, blah.” His details I’m not going to get into, but he would literally say, “You got to be more like grandpa, but don’t be totally like grandpa.” They literally– to this day, I’d love to ask my dad, maybe he’ll tell me after he listens to this because I’m sure he will. He’s my biggest fan, my biggest supporter. I want to ask my dad, “Did they collude on that.” Dad, if you’re listening-
Lindsay: It’s just like a plan
Anthony: I want to know did they say to each other let’s– or did they just do that on their own. I don’t know. They were smart to do it because they were right. They were right. If I was all my grandfather, I never would have built the business. If I was all my dad, it would have been harder and I wouldn’t-
Lindsay: Nice happy meal.
Anthony: Yes, and that was my goal. That’s the beginnings. You asked when I got into real estate. That’s what led me into real estate. I got into it. I became an agent.
Lindsay: You are a top-performing agent, very quickly.
Anthony: Pretty quickly, within a couple of years. The first 20 months in the business I was still working with my dad in real estate basically full time, both jobs 80, 90, 100 hours a week. I was very determined as you can guess, Lindsay. I just worked hard to build a database to market. Another thing I learned working with my dad that I was just enamored by. I was fascinated at a young age. He would send postcards out. To this day the postcards and the landscaping space as you know– because you’re the VP of marketing.
Lindsay: It’s so satisfying, you send one out, and the phone rings.
Anthony: It’s amazing. In the landscape world, you send them out, the phone goes nuts. The real estate world, you send them out, you get two calls.
Lindsay: They don’t come for nine months until after the postcards.
Anthony: Correct, but I didn’t know that when I started. When I started I was like, “Oh, I’m going to have the same luck with postcards with real estate that I have and the landscaping space, not the case.” I still was very bold with my marketing because I would learn from watching my dad. I remember when I was really young, there were times he don’t even have the money to pay for the newspaper ad and he would just tell them to do it. He’d be like, “I’ll pay them in 60 days.” I’m like, “No, dad but I was in the meeting, they said you have to pay him 30s.”
“What are they going to do? Take the newspaper ad back?” He’s like, “I need to run the ad.” I’m like, “Okay.” It’s so funny. That was really what gave me an understanding of marketing. I was very bold with my marketing from the beginning, I sent postcards to my sphere of postcards, to my database. What I found is my sphere that I grew up with that I knew, they were pretty good to me. The sphere that I knew through working with my dad wasn’t. They looked at me like the landscaping and kid, I didn’t get much business from them at all.
To this day, I get some but not a ton. We also worked in an extremely high and luxury community, so it’s a little different. It’s hard to break into luxury even as an experienced realtor, never mind a 23-year-old like, “Hey, I’m going to take the world over a kid.” It’s totally different. I had a business partner, my business partner was the realtor that was helping me buy homes, John Maggio, good guy, and still in touch with him. He and I and Sarah Chaisson started, and we literally use an extra bedroom in my house. I had a three-bedroom, one of them was where my bedroom was, the small room I took on my own, and him and Sarah in the other room. We just built up from there.
Then we started selling so much then we had to get an office, we had to hire people. I will tell you, yes, I made obviously a lot of moves that worked, but I also made a lot of moves that failed. Benefit of hindsight, I will admit, my timing with the market and with television advertising couldn’t have been better. If I started now with TV ads like I did in ’06 they wouldn’t work.
Lindsay: didn’t work.
Anthony: No, I wouldn’t said they didn’t work. I kind of in a way struck gold at the right time where the market had a tremendous amount of inventory, a tremendous amount of homes were being listed. At that time, there were years there in Massachusetts, 150,000 homes a year were being listed.
Lindsay: What year was this?
Anthony: This is ’06, ’07, ’08. Now comparatively speaking, there’s like 80,000 homes being listed, this year it’ll probably be less. I happen to run the ads when tons of people were listing, and then I worked my butt off to really learn how to price homes right, how to work with sellers. I went through some tough years. I lost listings. I was too aggressive on appointments, but obviously I did enough that I’m here. Then we just grew it, and then in ’09, we were out selling our entire office.
The company we were at we were selling more than the whole company. The leader who actually is a great guy to this day, my neighbor, a good friend, but he sold a lot too. We were like, “It was just too much to be there.” I remember one Sunday he said to me, “I got to come back from the Cape to write your checks for the week.” I’m like, “We’re getting to be too much here.” The truth is we would have the left.
Anyway, we were always had a vision going on our own, he knew that. He was very supportive and I’ll tell you– I don’t know if he’ll listen to this, probably not, but maybe I’ll send it to him now. I learned from him because when we went on our own he was very supportive. He came in here, right here, right here with the huge thing of flowers and we had our grand opening. I learned from that. I was still a young guy at the time and he set a good example and he was supportive of us.
Lindsay: Because you could have gone down the same path that your dad went down was just like-
Lindsay: -fine, whatever, get out of here.
Anthony: Of course.
Lindsay: Go on your own.
Anthony: You’re right but it was a little different circumstances. The past broker– I won’t say his name. He was at a brokerage and a lot of brokers get butt hurt, but I think he knew we were going to build something. He knew I was going to build something.
Lindsay: He saw something in you and he knew could do it.
Anthony: He did, yes, and he supported me. I know that for him was a little annoying, but he was supportive and I’ve never forget it to this day.
Lindsay: You’re running the team now?
Anthony: Yes, team model but we were like a team orig. We own the brokerage but we run on a team model. We’re producing the leads, we’re giving out the leads. I’ll tell you, as the market started to get back to somewhat normal, which was like 2011 to ’13 the TV ads were decreasing. Part of what forced my hand into, “Hey, I got to figure out other ways to grow this thing was that. Granted I always did have a vision of building a huge brokerage.
That pushed me into it, and I started getting this vision of, well, why aren’t we opening offices in other areas? Because whenever we didn’t get business, Lindsay, every single time, you’re in Waltham, my house is in Bolton. You’re in Waltham, my house is in Leominster. You’re in Waltham, I’m here in Beverly. It was always geography. Other than that, we got every listing appointment we went on– close to.
I said, “We should be producing leads, opening offices in other areas, and take the whole state over and then take New England over.” Then down the line to what extent do we go nationally? That was where my ex-business partner and I, our visions weren’t quite aligned, and I kind of had my own vision on how I wanted to do it and started moving in that direction a little but wasn’t totally able to.
2014, he and I had conversations about how he wanted to get back into building, and me being my personality that I am I was like, “Great, good luck, yes, I want to take this off on my own.” Him and I made a deal right in this room at nine o’clock on a Sunday night, very amicable. In touch to this day have nothing but respect for him, he’s a good person, and bought him out. We had the most undramatic buyout, probably of any two business partners ever. I stuck to my word, he stuck to his, we communicated along the way.
There was one winter there, I bought him out September of ’14. The fall of ’14 was a very slow fall in real estate. You remember the slow falls. Here’s what’s funny, incidentally, ’10 was slow, ’14 was slow, ’18 was slow, ’22 was slow. What do those years have in common? Midterm election years. Anyway, the fall of ’14 was slow. I buy him out, September 23rd, ’14, write a huge check, sign my life away. We have a slow fall, then that winter-
Lindsay: Was the snowstorms.
Anthony: -worst snowstorms ever. The whole market shuts down in the month of February 2015, and I got to pay this guy every month. I’ll never forget I called him and I said, “Listen, I’m worried. I think I can pay it, but I’m worried.” He didn’t go over well, but we stayed amicable. We talked through it. I told him what was going on, never missed a payment, stuck with the payments. Five years straight, every payment when it was supposed to be, but we made it work. To this day, I have respect for him and I wish him nothing but the best.
Lindsay: I swear there’s still people that always ask, what happened to the other guy?
Anthony: It happens, yes. It’s less, it’s worn off.
Lindsay: I think this is now people finally have that story. This is truly the story. There’s no drama, there’s no crazy story behind the scenes. I think people always want that.
Anthony: Of course, it’s like if people split up, what happened? Who slept with who?
Lindsay: Reality TV. Yes, exactly. There was none of that.
Anthony: There was none of that. I literally wish him nothing but the best. If he called me in the middle of the night for help, I’d be there in five minutes.
Lindsay: Yes, for sure.
Anthony: All good.
Lindsay: Tell me the difference of now you’ve started to head into the independent brokerage model.
Lindsay: The difference between being a realtor to then being a team leader, to then being a broker, what’s the difference? [crosstalk]
Anthony: Oh, there was some big adjustments along the way. Funny enough, I had a conversation with someone yesterday about this road here, because this person that I talked to in another state is struggling with it. You have to change your hats. See, that’s the part that so many people struggle with in business is the changing of the hats. They don’t understand that as you grow you have to change. If you do not change, if you stop changing, you will not grow.
My job today is not what it was five years ago, it’s not what it was five years before that. In five years from now, it’ll be different. I’ve most of the time done pretty good at those adjustments. Sometimes I think I’ve been a little slow, but in everybody else’s eyes, I’m fast, but from my own standards. There was some adjustments, there was some swallowing of pride. For example, one of the things that I proudly did from 2010 to ’15 was, I’m Anthony Lamacchia and I’m the number one realtor in Massachusetts.
Number one team in Massachusetts. You go back and look at RealTrends, we were, I wasn’t even close. We did more transactions than anybody. I got to ’15 and I realized that was hurting me. I said, “Okay, that’s helping me with consumers, but if I want to grow the brokerage, it can’t be the Anthony show. No.” I started backing that stuff off in ’14, but ’15, once I owned it on my own, I had nobody to check with. I said, “That’s it.” We didn’t even submit our numbers, even though we were somewhat of a teamerage still to RealTrends.
If you look at RealTrends history, somewhere around– I got to make sure I qualify this because someone will call me out, someone in California will say he said, “Somewhere around ’09 to somewhere around ’14, we were number one in Mass.” I got up to 26th team in the country. We had about eight of us, we were selling five to 600 homes a year. Jackie, my chief operating officer, my number two now, she was the star agent. The other execs, your coworkers, Mike was a star signing up listings. Dave was a star signing up listings.
Sarah Chaisson’s just been the back office worker in history forever. We had all these people, Angela Walker, now Rastellini, she was running the team. It’s funny, we’re kind of like a family. We fight sometimes, but we never leave each other, never turn on each other’s backs always. We just changed– I’ll tell you, getting them to change was as hard as getting me to change. In some ways, it was worse. Truth is it was worse. Along the way-
Lindsay: Because you had the vision.
Anthony: I had the vision, I had to get them to see it. Now, I remember like yesterday, being on a bench out there with Jackie, arguing with her one day, and she was upset. This is like eight, nine years ago. “Ah, why are you changing this and that?” It was tough. Dave and I, Mike and I, all of us along the way, we’ve banged heads. I had to get them to see my vision. I’ll tell you something about these people. When they saw it, game was over. Once I got them to see it, game was over. Their focus was 100%. One thing about our group, there’s never and I told you so. You know that because you’re part of the clan now. There’s never and I told you so. If there is it’s never a, I told you so.
Lindsay: It’s actually usually just a joke.
Anthony: Or the person who was wrong will bring it up. Like, “Yes, right, you were right.” You asked about the transition. I had to take the realtor hat off and throw it away. Then I had to take the team leader hat off and throw it away. Then it was broker/owner. I made some very specific changes at that time. We had to stop putting things under Lamacchia team in MLS, and stupidly I waited a couple extra years on that. Billboards, stop putting my face on them. Because I want the company to be about the brand and about the realtors in it, not the Anthony show. Now, due to the nature of the business we’re in, there’s a lot of Anthony. I tried to decrease it as you know because you came in. Where did you start, ’15 or ’16?
Lindsay: I was ’16, early ’16. It was right around that time that I started.
Anthony: We were decreasing putting my face. You don’t see my face on billboards anymore unless it’s a new market because we want to connect. I’m saying this to everybody else, Lindsay knows this. Because we want to connect the faces, we want to connect my face, not the faces, with what people see on TV.
Lindsay: We want to do what worked in the beginning in those markets and then.
Anthony: God blessed me with– a lot of things he didn’t bless me with, I can’t barely spell my name, but I can talk on camera. For television, obviously, there’s no one else that’s going to be a stand-in, but for billboards, for other marketing we do, the marketing that we do at DCU, at the ICE centers, at all the sponsorships, you don’t see my face, you see the logo. Logo, logo, logo, the hats, the shirt, logo, logo, logo.
Lindsay: This [crosstalk] it’s so recognizable.
Anthony: Yes, it’s exciting. I’ll tell you, everybody that joins always says it happened to me on Friday. They said Anthony I was with the such-and-such company and I can’t believe they’ve been around for how many years. I know the company so I said, “About 50 years,” and they said, “No one said anything to me when I wore their jackets. I wear the Lamacchia jackets and people walk up tap me on the shoulder, oh, they sold my house, oh, do you know that guy. It’s exciting because we have invested significantly in the brand and we as you know plan to do that for decades.
Lindsay: Yes, and there’s years that the TV ads were kind of diminishing, but seeing the return on that.
Anthony: Yes, like right now.
Lindsay: You’re seeing the return now because you’re like, wow, people still know the brand really well.
Anthony: Yes, the ads we do now are for branding. Someday we get back to a high inventory market, we’ll turn it up and we’ll have a head start. Bottom line to get back to your question is I had to change my hats along the way and I did it and I accepted that.
Lindsay: Talk to me about motivation. We’re going to switch gears for a second. I know you’re kind of a freak of nature when it comes to this kind of stuff.
Anthony: I’m told.
Lindsay: Everyone has their times where their motivation wanes a little bit and they have to get themselves back on track. Have you had an example of something like that happening?
Anthony: No. I don’t know what to say, I don’t. What do you mean like motivation for business or?
Anthony: Motivation to not eat a chocolate chip cookie? Yes, I get weak on that. You know that. That’s my weakness, right?
Lindsay: That’s more personal things that you lack.
Anthony: Yes, but business? No, there’s never been a day, there’s never been a minute, there’s never been a 10 second period where I’ve been like, “Oh my God, I’m not into this,” or, “I’m not as excited,” or, “I don’t want to get up today.” Fuck no.
Lindsay: You’re still as passionate about it today as you were back then?
Anthony: Oh, more.
Anthony: No, there’s never ever. I’m just being honest. I’m not trying to talk tough.
Lindsay: I want your honest answer.
Anthony: I never waver in my determination to build the largest and best privately held brokerage in America, and a whole bunch of ancillary businesses that’ll be bigger than all the other businesses in that space too.
Lindsay: What do you think are some of the characteristics of someone that is great in this business? That maybe is just a great realtor. We’ll start there.
Anthony: A great realtor, they got to be personable, they got to be willing to put themselves out there, they have to have a natural knack. I think they got to be a people person. They got to be a people person. I know some agents that they’ve been doing it 30 years so they can treat people like shit and they get away with it. Generally speaking, that doesn’t fly, you need to be a people person. I think the agents that are even a cut above can think of some in our company. They’re agents that take an interest in the market. Jerry’s pointed that out.
Because there’s top agents. Some of them are top agents because they made themselves superstars, or the market got hot when they made themselves a superstar. Then there’s people that are top agents but are even next level that know how to navigate different markets. You have to really care like me. I’m a very strange personality because I’m obviously a D but also I have C personality in me too where I’m obsessed with reports and data. If you have some of that you’ll be even better because you’ll truly understand the market at your core.
Lindsay: I know you had done a video at one point, 99 problems. I laugh about that one. Tell me what’s one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had so far in your career and how did you get past it? How do you try to hopefully not have it happen again?
Anthony: Look, when you’re running a business, you have problems. It’s funny I said this in that video, and then a week later I was watching a Tony Robbins video where he said one of the problems that business owners have is they think they’re not going to have problems. I was like, “Holy shit,” I said that in my video a week ago but his video was three years old and he knows better than I do.” Obviously, he’s Tony Robbins. I just go into my day expecting that that’s going to happen, and that’s why I don’t really get thrown off by it. I just know that’s the way it goes. Now when you asked a specific question.
Lindsay: What’s something that you’ve had to deal with? What would you say without having to get into too many details about it, what’s one of the biggest challenges that you faced?
Anthony: One of the challenges that bothers me to this day and I still haven’t overcome it is local realtors around where we are with our headquarters. Around where I grew up, around where I had my first office. We have a little bit of a harder time or a lot of harder time recruiting the top agents. I know for a fact that is because they look at me like, “I don’t want to go to his company. I worked in the same office as him 15, 20 years ago, and I don’t want to be working for him.” It bothers me and I’ve accepted it. Just look at the data, every market we’re in or almost every market we’re in, we have at least one of the top agents in that market. In some cases, two at the top, or three, or four, or five.
Certain markets like Lemon Star we have almost all the top agents in that market. Here locally the top agents it’s male dominated, and I have this problem much more with males because males run on ego much more than females do. I happen to be in an area where it’s male-dominated. That is a problem that I haven’t overcome yet, but I hope to. I almost mentioned a friend’s name. Gary Keller is what I mean to say, he struggled with this a bit when he was opening in Austin. How the story goes, I don’t know exactly don’t quote me. He did better with his office that he opened that was an hour away that he did in his local town office–
Lindsay: Which is Wooster compared to Waltham for us.
Anthony: Wooster to Waltham look at that, it’s the same story and I’ve never spoken to him about it. There’s also another guy who built just a tremendous mortgage company who I did speak to about it. I don’t want to mention the name, but I guess it doesn’t matter– Victor the owner of Guaranteed Rate. The founder, a very successful person that I look up to. He and I talked about this one time in Chicago and he said, “Anthony, it took me 10 years to overcome that. 10 years as a mortgage brokerage model to get the locals to say, all right, I’m going to work with Victor.” I still struggle with it and it irritates me. It is what it is and I’ve accepted it and we’ve overcome it in many other ways clearly.
Lindsay: What advice would you give to broker-owners in this market right now? What should they be focused on because obviously things are changing, we’re going back into that lower market.
Lindsay: Slower market. What is it that you think that they should be focused on right now to keep the brokerage alive, healthy during this time?
Anthony: They got to be on offense and you got to be on offense at all times. I’ll tell you something. I’m on offense at all times as you know and that’s why we were growing– that’s not the only reason. You guys are a big reason why we were growing 40 to 60% a year. Now in 2022, what did we grow, I don’t know, 3-4% by transaction. This year we’re hoping to be up 10%, but I’m not convinced we’re going to be, it depends how well we do with acquisitions this summer. Now if you’re not on offense– what I’m getting at is this. If you were a broker/owner that wasn’t leaning forward, that wasn’t on offense in the last two to three years, you could get away with it because the market was growing you.
Now if you’re not on offense, you’re going to be down 30-40% if you’re on the East Coast and you’re going to be down 40-50 if you’re on the West Coast and it ain’t going to be fun. Now you’re reasoning, your need, the necessity to be on offense and lean forward and train your agents and put out good information for consumers and educate your agents, educate buyers and sellers. Now that need is up tenfold and I’ll tell you this, if you’re not up for that game, you need to look at joining a company. You need to look at getting bought out before your company dwindles to nothing because we’re going to see a lot of that in next year.
Lindsay: You want it to be still worth something before that happens-
Anthony: That’s the thing and some people are proactive and some aren’t. We obviously are going to continue to grow the company. Maybe we’re having a couple of pumping-the-road years here for the whole market. I’m very confident that within– put it this way, at the latest by the end of 2023 we will be back to large growth every year because we’re really focused on acquisitions at a level that we’ve never been as you know. Once you start acquiring and growing in chunks, growing with 20 agents, 50 agents, 100 agents, we’ll be back to that 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% growth a year.
The future goal, the future plan, we’re the number two independent in New England now. We’ll be the number one and then eventually we’ll get to number two overall. Then we are going to have a few-year battle with one of our competitors, the biggest one who’s been number one in New England since 2002. I believe we’re going to beat them– very worthy competitor, a lot of great people there. Brand name that’s been around 140 years. I believe we will pull ahead of them in New England.
We’re extremely focused in Florida, Florida’s been off to what I would refer to as a good start. I’m not ready to say great just yet, but we’re looking for acquisition opportunities in Florida. We’re also looking at opening an office probably further north than where we are. We’re doing good in Fort Lauderdale, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious to me that we can probably do great if we go about an hour north. We’re poking up around in that area, West Palm, Jupiter, places like that.
I suspect though I’m not sure because it’s opportunity specific. I suspect that’ll be the next place that we open an office. Who knows, I could get a call today from a great company in Orlando that wants to sell or a company in the Southwest Florida. My aunt to, I’m very close with has a house in Southwest Florida. Our plan is to continue to grow the business. I’m 42 years old, there’s no chance of selling, there’s no chance of any of that. My children are still young. I think we have a great team of leaders here in the company that we have at least a 20-year run with.
Then we will have to see what that next generation group’s going to be. We will definitely recruit some younger folks into that top-tier team in the years to come so that we can replenish. I want to be aware of that because I plan to work till I’m much older. I don’t plan to retire in my 60s, that could change of course but I strongly doubt it. I was joking with my daughter and my wife recently about how I’ll be working when I’m 90 and my daughter will be yelling at me to slow down.
Lindsay: If you wanted to work when you were seven, I doubt that you’re going to stop when you’re 70.
Anthony: I agree. It’s all I know. Here’s the thing, and I mean this sincerely. To me, it’s not work. It’s not, it’s a game, I play a game every day. It’s a fun game, it’s a challenge. Here I’m the person that says we’re not playing games we’re doing business here, so I’m contradicting myself with some of my sayings.
Lindsay: We get it though. It’s a passion.
Anthony: I love it. I look at a guy like Rupert Murdoch, 92 years old or 90 years old, and they’re still doing deals. Now do I want to still do 80 hours a week and have to do recruiting appointments and all that? Occasionally jump in on conversations with buyers and seller? No, I don’t. By then I don’t think that’s something I’ll be interested in. I want to build the brokerage dramatically. I want to dramatically build the property management company. As I get older, I’m very focused on reoccurring revenue sources. The training company it’s been an infant for five years and it’s about to become– maybe it’s been a toddler I should say.
Lindsay: It’s a toddler.
Anthony: It’s about to become an adolescent here in the next couple of years. We’ve been asked to get into coaching for many years, the pressure is building dramatically. I’ve had four coaching requests in the last week. One of the things that’s different is now the people that are asking me to coach them have large businesses. I think we’re going to launch a coaching arm of Crush It In Real Estate Inc. That as you know compliments Lamacchia Realty. I will confess publicly, I haven’t yet. I will on this podcast to give a little extra. I’m back involved in the family business as you know-
Female Speaker 1: Come full circle off.
Lindsay: -for three years and I haven’t been talking about it very much. My brother is the one that runs the company Lamacchia Landscape Construction. He is the president of that company, he does a terrific job. I’m extremely proud of my brother and I’m part owner of that company along with him. We have high aspirations for that. It’s not my day-to-day, but it is something that I spend few hours, a couple hour meeting with my brother a week or every other week, and a conversation with my brother every day.
Lindsay: It makes sense. It compliments all the other things.
Anthony: Of course it does. Remember, not remember, but-
Lindsay: In a bagel shop, it’s literally.
Anthony: Of course, and here’s the thing with property management. To really make property management worth it, you have to have ancillary businesses. For us to have the snow, and the landscaping, and the landscape construction, and those types of things in the Lamacchia families of companies is advantageous. That was my vision for several years. What do they say? There’s a mafia joke. Once you think you’re out, they pull you back in.
Lindsay: They suck you right back you in.
Anthony: That’s what happened. I’ll tell you, it’s been fun. I don’t work with my dad day to day, him and I never could. We’re both nuts when we get mad and it just doesn’t work. I got to admit, I really enjoy talking to him about the business and talking to him about the future plans, and being so involved and talking to my brother and guiding my brother on what he’s doing. I obviously have significant more business experience and he’s been great about it. I’ll tell you, my dad actually gives me advice for the real estate company.
Lindsay: He does give them to me.
Anthony: He’s a smart guy. He’s a wild character. When I talk to him about, hey, I’m having this dilemma or this, or I’m debating about this or that. He’s a great person to bounce things off of because he has a different way of thinking, and sometimes gets me to look at something from an angle that I wasn’t thinking, or maybe I was but not enough. One thing about dad, I never have to wonder what he’s thinking ever. I don’t love that all the time, but I know I need it. Anyway, that’s the story.
Lindsay: I really, really appreciate it. Thanks for being so honest. I think there’s some stuff in here that you talked about that we haven’t really talked about.
Anthony: A little more detail.
Lindsay: That’s exciting that people got a little-
Anthony: Geez, we went on for 50 minutes.
Lindsay: That’s what we do.
Anthony: Jesus, you told me 30, Lindsay.
Lindsay: I know. We’ll edit it down.
Anthony: I think one thing we probably didn’t get into enough was some of the specifics on the brokerage side. That’s where we have our biggest audience, obviously. Maybe we do that down the road.
Lindsay: We’ll do another episode.
Anthony: Maybe do that as a Season 4 or something.
Lindsay: Stay tuned for that. There you go. Thank you so much, Anthony, for taking the time today and for being such a huge role model to me, and to so many in the company and in the industry, honestly. It’s been fun to be a part of it with you.
Anthony: I thank you for that and I thank you for all the hard work that you do. I remember like yesterday being on my back porch one weeknight and I got an email that said-
Lindsay: here we go.
Anthony: -marketing guru seeking innovative real estate company.
Lindsay: Yes, yes, that’s my email.
Anthony: That is folks is how we met.
Lindsay: That’s how we met?
Anthony: I will tell you, you are a star. I’ll give another inside scoop.
Lindsay: This isn’t about me.
Anthony: We have an internal joke. The joke’s worn off now that the years are going on, but we’ve had a joke years back with me and some of the top team, we would joke that I taught them and all that. One day Angela and I were talking about how fantastic Lindsay is. This is probably four years ago. Angela goes, “Yes. On that one, you can’t claim to have taught her everything.”
Lindsay: I didn’t say now. It’s definitely the percentage has gone up. It’s been seven years now, which is crazy.
Anthony: I appreciate you and appreciate all the work your team does. As you know marketing and recruiting are the two biggest things I’m involved in. You and I work together a lot. I bother you a lot, nights, weekends. Your husband’s terrific, he puts up with it. I know he doesn’t because he believes in the mission too.
Lindsay: Yes, absolutely.
Anthony: That’s great, so thank you.
Lindsay: Like I said in the beginning, it’s not just a podcast anymore. Go check out our YouTube channel and watch our podcast playlist to see all the great episodes from this season starting with this one. We will see you on the next episode of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate. Thanks, guys.
Presenter: Thank you for tuning in to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, share it with your friends and colleagues, and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform. If you’re interested in being a guest, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening, and don’t forget to crush it in real estate.