Genevieve started in the real estate business back in 2003 as a Realtor and ended up getting heavily involved in buying, rehabbing, and flipping homes until about 2007. She joined Lamacchia Realty in 2014 and has been a major player with the company working with both buyers and sellers. Genevieve also mentors a lot of the new agents in the company since her knowledge of everything involving Real Estate is so vast. Click here to learn more about her.
Welcome to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast where you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly of how real estate agents overcame challenges and grew their business. Check out the Episode Notes at CrushItinRE.com/podcast. Here’s your host, Lindsay Favazza.
Lindsay Favazza: Welcome to another episode of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate. I’m your host, Lindsay Favazza, and today, we have a real treat for you. I am joined by the phenomenal Genevieve Botelho of Lamacchia Realty, a leader in the industry who has been closing deals since 2003. Genevieve’s vast experience spans from buying, rehabbing, and flipping homes to mentoring new agents, making her a well-rounded expert in her field. She’s not just a top producer but a dedicated professional who finds joy in helping her clients find their dream homes and making the process as smooth as possible for them.
Having lived in various parts of the world, she brings a unique global perspective to her work as well which I’m excited to talk more about. Without further ado, Genevieve, welcome to the podcast, my friend.
Genevieve Botelho: Thank you for having me, quite the introduction.
Lindsay: I know, right?
Genevieve: I’m like, “Am I all of those things? That’s awesome.”
Lindsay: You are all of those things and way more, which everyone’s going to find out here in a second. Why don’t you start us at the beginning and share your story about what you were doing prior to real estate and how you got into the field in the first place?
Genevieve: Okay. All right. [unintelligible 00:01:37] ways back.
Genevieve: I grew up overseas. My parents were missionaries. I was born in India, lived in Egypt, Greece, Mexico, London, all over the world till I was 14 when my parents moved back to the States, lived in Florida, then I moved up to Massachusetts in ’97. I went to college because I was homeschooled my whole life too besides college. College was my first experience of school. Went to college, was working, bartending, and waitressing throughout my college years to try to make ends meet.
Lindsay: Weren’t you Red Bull girl or something too?
Genevieve: Yes, yes. After I graduated college, my bar manager was now a manager for a distribution company. They were including Red Bull on to their different products that they were selling at convenience stores. He’s like, “Do you want to be a Red Bull girl?” I was like, “What? What is this?” Long and short of it, I wasn’t like this fun little classy Red Bull girl. I was driving a big van, carrying cases of Red Bull, trying to open accounts in no man’s land that nobody had heard of Red Bull. It was an interesting start to “my sales” career.
I’m trying to think of how exactly I got into real estate. I think I’ve just always loved real estate and houses and people. Everyone thinks, “Oh, I’m going to get in, and I’m just going to show a house, and I’m going to make lots of money.” You know that [unintelligible 00:03:10].
Lindsay: It’s going to be just like selling sunset.
Genevieve: Yes, exactly.
Lindsay: It’s all just going to magically-
Genevieve: Waiting for my calling call on that.
Genevieve: I’m joking, totally. I got my license in 2003 and started with Keller Williams and was overwhelmed. Primarily, they had a little bit of training, but they threw you to the wolves. You were out there representing people in the biggest asset decision of their life, as far as buying something, and I really had no clue what I was doing. Michelle, who actually brought me onto Lamacchia, her and I started with Keller Williams. We’d bounce stuff off each other. I learned through trial and error, and not the best way to learn for dealing with people’s biggest assets, but that’s how I learned.
Did that for a while, then I went to work for a builder that was doing a new development in Belchertown. They were planning on building these million-dollar houses on this golf course. Long and short of it, working that for a while, it never came to fruition. I believe they ran out of money. I stayed with them. I did my own business while doing the new construction. I was with them for about a year and a half, then I went and worked for RE/MAX for a few years. When I went to work for RE/MAX, I started getting into flipping houses and I found a huge joy in that.
I just kept my license so I could buy the properties, and sell the properties myself and get the commission on both sides. My brother was a contractor. I would [unintelligible 00:04:48]–
Genevieve: It worked out well. I have a very large family, 16 brothers and sisters so got to have a contractor and realtor in there, yes.
Genevieve: Yes. [laughs]
Lindsay: Wow. Yes, you got one of everything in that family.
Genevieve: Really, you would think. We don’t have a doctor or a lawyer. I mean what are we doing wrong [unintelligible 00:05:07] here?
Genevieve: I started getting into that side of it, loved it, would do a few homes a year, and really, really enjoyed it but then the market crashed as we all know. In 2008, 2009, 2010, it was not [unintelligible 00:05:29].
Lindsay: Tumultuous time.
Genevieve: Things plummeted. After that– I’m trying to think, oh, my daughters were pretty young at that time. That was around 2008. My daughters were born in 2006 and 2004, so they were young at the time. I stayed with them for a while, then I started working– I’m trying to think which way it was. I started working for Micozzi Management which was dealing with a lot of rentals. They had an in-house setup where they own 800 units and they had in-house leasing agents and stuff like that. I did that because I had the real estate background. I was doing that for, I don’t know, two years, something like that, then I went to work for a distribution company selling wines. Long and short of it, in 2014-
Lindsay: You flirted with real estate for a long time. You had your license but you were not quite a realtor. You were doing all the things around it for a while.
Genevieve: Yes. I was a full-time realtor at Keller Williams, then with [unintelligible 00:06:38], I had built my own business so I would have to go on the site two days a week but then I was working my own business’ sphere and stuff like that. After that, I got into the flipping side, so then I got out of that. I would refer business out or do a deal here or there for friends and family, but I really got into buying and selling real estate myself. I had been out of real estate from 2009-2014 essentially. I even think I had let my license lapse because I remember referring business to a realtor that I was friends with.
When Michelle reached out to me, I had just switched out of working for Micozzi Management and doing distribution. Somebody had reached out about doing direct sales for salons and stuff like that, which I thought would be a great fit for me. Anyway, long and short of it, that didn’t work out and I was actually collecting unemployment when Michelle reached out. She was like, “Gen, we’re looking for somebody in the Worcester area. There’s no office.” McGeough and Lamacchia at the time, and Anthony was just buying John out at the time. I was like, “I’m not getting back into real estate. I’ve been out for five years. I got to restart from scratch. Oh, my god.”
I didn’t really enjoy it that much originally besides the buying and selling myself. I just was like, “No.” then she’s like, “Just meet with Anthony. Just meet with him.”
Lindsay: Just do it.
Genevieve: She’s like, “It’s different. It’s different. It’s not like Keller Williams, RE/MAXes of [unintelligible 00:08:14].”
Lindsay: Yes, because you have been in a couple of big box places, so you had this thing set in your head as to what it was going to be like.
Genevieve: Exactly. The way things were structured, it’s way different than even Lamacchia is now. It was very close [unintelligible 00:08:29]. They paid for a lot of not to get into detail of what was different, but just his vision was different, then also how they operated. The business was different as well. I went and met with him. Just remembered taking [unintelligible 00:08:44]. Little crazy, but fun.
Lindsay: Little crazy, but in a good way.
Genevieve: He brought up [unintelligible 00:08:50]. I still remember when he was introducing me to somebody else to talk about I guess the backend of stuff. He’s like, “She has e-mail on her phone.” That was a big question he asked me. “Do you have e-mail on your phone?” and I’m like, “Yes.” He goes, “You pull it [unintelligible 00:09:07].” It was a big thing. I’m like, “Okay, this is this is so strange but cool.” At the time, I was like, “I have it on my phone but I never really check it,” little did I know it was going to be– It’s probably why he asked me because-
Lindsay: Checking it all the time.
Genevieve: All the time, yes, knowing how busy I was going to be with them. Ended up leaving and saying, “I’m going to think about it for a day or two,” and then just saying, “Yes, I like it. I’m going to join. Let’s do this.”
Lindsay: You never looked back.
Genevieve: I didn’t.
Lindsay: You took off running at that point. You were getting training. You were having the support of Michelle who was already well into the machine of Lamacchia Realty. She was doing really well and you guys were two of the first agents out there in the Worcester market for us and you guys just like really helped to grow that area. Tell me what it was like back then. Not having an office for a little while and also feeling like you were venturing into a new market that even the company hadn’t been at as far as branding and all that stuff goes. Was that difficult for you guys or was it like, “No, it’s not a big deal because homes sell online now,” or what was your thought back then?
Genevieve: Even when I worked for the bigger companies, I didn’t really go into the office that much because I didn’t feel like– I don’t know, I just felt awkward going in there. Even when I would meet with clients back in the day, I would meet at a coffee shop or do things differently or go to their home, especially on the listing side and stuff like that. To me, not having an office locally was that big of a deal. We went in once a week for training in Waltham and they gave us the support we needed to start building the Worcester market.
There was a lot of just leads and stuff getting sent to us because we were the only two for the first year and a half there. Her and I, we knew what each other were doing at all times, what deals we had, what was coming. When buyers would call in, it worked out really well. I think it helped that we knew each other from before too. We had worked together and knew how each other worked and stuff like that. She was great with handholding. I had to relearn how to write an offer. I couldn’t remember anything, maybe I blocked it out, but it was like, “How do I do this again?”
It was a crash course into relearning or learning the business. Things change obviously every few years anyway, so it was important for me to continue to go to the training that they had. Yes. As far as the brand awareness, I always had a thing that I feel like you’re really selling, not selling, but they’re going to hire you because of you and what-
Lindsay: Who you are.
Genevieve: Exactly. I really think it’s a personal business and if they can relate to you or you build that rapport and they feel comfortable and trust you, they’re hiring you. Yes, obviously all the support and now going on listing appointments, it’s 100% easier because they know it, it’s easy. Plus all the things we’ve been added into our marketing and stuff like that since day one.
Yes, I didn’t feel like it was that daunting to try to open up– plus I’ve worked in Worcester before, so it wasn’t like I was new company, new agent to the area. It was like I had people that knew me and I knew the market well. It was just adding the Lamacchia brand awareness to it.
Lindsay: Take me back to those days, you’re saying that the branding, the marketing, that kind of thing wasn’t a huge deal and then it was just getting back into it, and you were starting to now get more comfortable again, and feel more confident. What was something that you were struggling with though back then? Was it making calls, was it trying to get your sphere in action? What were some of those early-day struggles that you were having if now things were coming together in some of the other places that you didn’t have it before?
Genevieve: Yes. That’s actually something that was interesting. Anthony, when I met with him was like, “What do you prefer, buyers or sellers?” I was like, “Buyers,” and he was like, “What?” Thought it was so strange. “Why?” And I’m like, “I don’t know.” I just worked better with buyers because sellers were very daunting to me at the time. I was struggling with getting comfortable with going on listing appointments, dealing with sellers, stuff like that. With Michelle there, I went on a few with her to begin with and then it catapulted into–
Lindsay: Then you’re like, “Sellers, I want sellers.”
Genevieve: Yes. Oh, my God. [laughs] I’m like, “Hello, sellers. Where have you been on my life?” [chuckles] Yes. Buyers, I love you too, but I’m just saying for quality of life and having a certain schedule and being able to plan, sellers work well with that, but I’m working–
Lindsay: Plus then you get buyers, so it just is easier.
Genevieve: Yes, exactly. One hand goes with the other. I think learning the listing side also, just getting– yes, reaching out to [unintelligible 00:14:19]. The call, I’ve never been good with cold calling or doing– that’s never been my style. They didn’t push it, but they were giving us leads and they expected us to do the call a certain way because they’re paying money for these leads and they want to see a conversion. Mindset in doing the calls and knowing they are better off working with me than somebody else, per se, I’m going to do the best. I can do a good job for them, and I think having the confidence going into the call-
Lindsay: I love that.
Genevieve: I get so upset, somebody hangs up on me, it ruins my day. I’m just really thinking back like, “Why?”
Lindsay: You’re like, “Why do they hate me so much?
Genevieve: I know. I’m like, “This is bothering them.” Like, “Hello, hello.” Learning that and being confident I think was my biggest challenge, and joining and starting up the business again.
Lindsay: I love that. Let’s take a break from these kind of questions.
Lindsay: Let me ask you kind of a funny one, but tell me one of your craziest stories that you’ve had as far as your real estate career. Think back as to-
Genevieve: Oh, my God.
Lindsay: -the one that at a dinner party, you’d be telling people like, “This is how crazy my life gets as a realtor.” What is that story?
Genevieve: I have a funny story. In Worcester, there’s a lot of three-family triple-deckers. I have some horror stories, but this one, at first I was horrified and then I look back and I’d die laughing. It was a Saturday morning and I had set up an appointment to show a three-family. I was told it was going to be vacant and stuff like that, and that the tenants weren’t going to be there.
I go in, I start showing, I start hearing noises upstairs and I’m like, “Hello, hello.” Thinking like, “What is going on,” right? Go in and I’m still hearing noises, and I open one of the doors and– I don’t even know if I should be saying this. [chuckles]
Lindsay: No, go ahead. It’s fine.
Genevieve: It was like [unintelligible 00:16:16] Darth Vader sex sort of whatever thing was going on, full costume. This is Saturday morning and I go, “Oh, no. Oh [unintelligible 00:16:25].”
Lindsay: Saturday morning?
Genevieve: Saturday morning. I don’t know if it had carry in from the night before or what was going on, but he peeked over the curtain, and I was like, “Whoops, this is so,” yes, yes. I have walked in on a few people doing things [chuckles] like other things, but this was the biggest because they were in full costume. I only saw the guy. I don’t know if he was by himself, but I assume there was somebody else there. It was like, “Oh, god. [unintelligible 00:16:49] “
Lindsay: Oh, my god, let’s hope he wasn’t by himself because that just gets even more weird.
Genevieve: Yes. We did not finish the showing, we left the house. [chuckles]
Lindsay: Your clients must have been like, “Oh, my goodness.”
Genevieve: They were. I think they were newer clients too, and they were [unintelligible 00:17:01].
Lindsay: I’m assuming they didn’t buy the house.
Genevieve: They did not.
Genevieve: They did not.
Lindsay: That’s insane.
Genevieve: I think that’s one of the craziest.
Lindsay: I know. I love hearing these stories because everyone has one that’s so different, but that one’s pretty good.
Lindsay: I like it.
Genevieve: Yes. [laughs]
Lindsay: Tell me, fast forward, you had a run– I mean, you still have a run, you’re doing great this year. I’m just saying you’ve scaled your business to a level from 2015 till these last few years of doing very consistently a high level of sales. What do you attribute that high level of sales to? What is it that you’ve been doing? Is it a marketing tactic? What are those things that you’ve done to get to that point?
Genevieve: Sure. I had a good first few years, and then in 2018, middle of the year, I was struggling. I was a single mom, well, I had a father [unintelligible 00:18:05] I had to support them and myself. I did have a degree and I remember reaching out to Anthony and being like, “I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t think this business is for me. I’m going to need to use my degree and get a real job.” He’s like, “What are you even talking about?”
We’re going out to lunch, and he’s like, “I’m going to start mentoring you and you’re going to have to do everything I say, but I promise you, you’re going to do much better, and you could make President’s Club this year.” It was July, I think I had 12 deals between closed and under. I’m like, “What are you smoking? No way. There’s no way in hell.” His main goal was that I need to set up 3-5 appointments, have them set up for the following week, and then other little tasks in between. If I didn’t have that appointment, I had to make a before a Friday or Saturday call.
I used to go into this– when I would have five or six deals under, I would just hyper-focus on them and get them to the closing table. Then I’d be like, “Oh, my god, I have nothing under.” Then I would do this roller coaster [unintelligible 00:19:12], and he said I would go into closing mode. Every time I had, I never stopped prospecting and looking for business, and reaching out.
No matter how busy I got with closings, I had to always continue to put time and effort into future business. That really changed a lot of things. I ended up making President’s Club plus two that year, which was just crazy miracle. Since then, I’ve hit President’s Club Elite I think three times, and then back to President’s Club. I’ve always been within that 35-55 range of houses, and this year I am way down. This year is a huge struggle for me.
Lindsay: Yes, but you’ll bounce back. You always seem to bounce back. That’s the thing. I know that there’s been a few years where this point in the year, you’ve been a little bit more behind, and then all of a sudden it’s like you are crushing. I mean you’ll get there. I just realized that there’s a training coming into this room. I’m going to ask you one final question, and then we will be done for today. I wanted to just ask what advice you have for agents out there who maybe have been in the business for a few years who would like to see that level of consistency in their business? What advice would you give to them?
Genevieve: I would give Lamacchia Realty advice because we have all the paid on assistance, all the backend support that we get, and I can’t obviously relate it just to Lamacchia agents to say, utilize all that we have, but in general, I would say, don’t go into closing mode. Always be prospecting. Always be selling, but don’t get in people’s faces. I’m a very soft-sell kind of person.
Lindsay: Don’t be [unintelligible 00:20:57] .
Genevieve: I’m not a hard like, “You need a sign right here.” It’s probably I’ve lost a few deals maybe because of it, but I feel like I get referral business and a lot of business because of how I work and operate, and mindset. You are going to have a few bad days. Just know that if you keep at it and keep consistent, you’re going to end up doing amazing things.
Lindsay: I wish I could have taken that little clip because I feel like there’s times that that advice would’ve been given right back to you. Because you’ve had moments where you’re like, “I’m not doing well, and it’s going to be a rough year.” You even said it a few minutes ago, but you got to keep that mindset, you got to stay positive, and you got to keep just grinding and doing what you need to do, so that you don’t lose that business later on, or end up in that-
Genevieve: It’s not easy. I think people come in thinking it’s easy and it’s not, but once you put the hard work in, the returns are so much worse– worth, not worse, [laughs] so much worth the effort of doing that.
Lindsay: I love it. Well, Genevieve, thank you. I know we had a few blips with scheduling and now this, so I apologize, but we are good to go. I am so glad I got the chance to chat with you today. I think our audience is going to love to hear from her. If you have any questions for Genevieve, her links are– oh, I always screw this up. Her links are right here. [laughs] Make sure to follow, like, and feel free to send her a message because she’s an open book. I love it. Thank you so much, Genevieve.
Genevieve: Thank you.
Lindsay: I’m so happy we got a chance to do this, and we’ll see you all on the next episode of the Agents Who Crush It in Real Estate podcast. Thanks, everybody.
Announcer: 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 in to 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, so sit back, relax, and get ready to learn from the best in the business.
Thanks for joining us on the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast. We hope you’ve learned some valuable takeaways. Be sure to take action and grow your business. You can check out the Episode Notes and more content from the show at CrushitinRE.com/podcast. And if you’d like this episode, and you’d like to hear more stories, please share with others, post on social media or leave a rating or review. To catch all the latest from Anthony you can follow him on Instagram at Crush It In Real Estate on Facebook and YouTube. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.