Guests: Diane Ramirez, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: January 8, 2020

Excerpt

We’re honored to welcome Halstead Chairman & CEO Diane Ramirez to discuss real estate industry trends & best practices. She’s known for strategically growing Halstead from its original goal of three storefront offices in the most important communities in Manhattan to its current size of three dozen strategically located offices with more than 1,400 agents throughout the NY, NJ & CT Tri-State area.

Diane talks about what it takes to build & grow a successful real estate business in one of the most competitive markets in the country – and find out what she’s planning next as her firm continues to thrive and adapt to today’s fast-paced & competitive market.

Diane Ramirez has been an active real estate executive and broker for more than three decades. She started her career as an agent in Palm Beach, Florida, before returning to her hometown – New York City – where she quickly became a top real estate broker. She and Clark Halstead together founded Halstead in the fall of 1984. Their vision for the company was to be a high-end firm that leveraged advanced technology, covered all market segments, and was located in the communities they served.

Ramirez has been consistently recognized for her passion and dedication to real estate. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® presented her with their prestigious Leadership Award, which honors a member broker for outstanding leadership achievements. In 2019, REBNY honored Ramirez with the Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership Award for her exceptional career in the real estate industry, and she was also previously honored by REBNY with the Henry Forster Award, an annual recognition presented to a real estate professional with an outstanding record of achievement and conduct both within the industry and the community.

Additionally, Ramirez is consistently ranked within the Swanepoel Power 200, as an Inman Influencer, and by the New York Observer as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate. She was also named the ‘2016 Real Estate Person of the Year’ by the Institute of Real Estate Management, an award recognizing outstanding achievements within the real estate industry.

Transcript

00:00:08:06 – 00:00:31:23
Daniel Ramsey
Hi, everyone. Danny Ramsey here with MyOutDesk and I’m excited because we have a D.R. on the call. So D.R. is interviewing D.R. Diane Ramirez. She’s the chief executive and CEO. This is amazing. You guys have over 1400 agents and you grew up with a vision of just having three to now three dozen. So, Diane, thanks for joining us today.

00:00:32:08 – 00:00:35:12
Diane Ramirez
I am thrilled. My other D.R..

00:00:35:18 – 00:00:46:24
Daniel Ramsey
Yes. Yes. Okay. So we started out talking about your tagline. Let’s introduce an introduction to your business. And you guys primarily serve the New York area. Is that is that correct?

00:00:46:24 – 00:00:54:11
Diane Ramirez
Metropolitan area area, which is New Jersey, Connecticut, the Hamptons, and, of course, the boroughs.

00:00:54:23 – 00:01:00:23
Daniel Ramsey
There you go. Yeah, there you go. And that’s a challenging market, is that correct?

00:01:01:04 – 00:01:04:07
Diane Ramirez
It sure is an exciting one.

00:01:04:16 – 00:01:19:13
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah, that’s good. Let’s talk about your company. Tell us tell the listeners where you come from, what your role is. I know you you’ve got a ton of experience and you’ve grown a really amazing brand. So let’s let’s make a quick introduction of who you are and what you guys do.

00:01:20:12 – 00:01:47:21
Diane Ramirez
Okay. Well, we as you said, we’re a New York metropolitan area. Yes. And we started the firm in 1984. I was already an agent for many years. Yes. And it was time to really get myself knee deep in it. And I had the dreams and visions of what I thought real estate should look like because we were a little bit like Mom Pop back then.

00:01:48:00 – 00:02:14:14
Diane Ramirez
Yeah, in New York City and some in the nation think we still are because we do not really have a formal MLS. Yes. So think back in 1984 how far behind we were. Yeah. So I had this vision that I just wanted it to be a more dynamic industry rather than in back offices. And all our listings were on index cards.

00:02:14:14 – 00:02:44:21
Diane Ramirez
So I thought it was time for a little computerization and a little upscale in marketing and and just a more forward facing company. So that was my vision. And then I met a gentleman, Clark Halstead, who was going in down the same road on the same track, but we weren’t together and we met, shared our business plans together, and decided to come together with Halstead real estate.

00:02:45:16 – 00:03:13:03
Diane Ramirez
And that was 1984. And our vision was three offices. And the reason for three is, again, we everything was in back offices that we wanted to get out in the communities. We wanted to be in storefronts like the rest of the nation is. So you see us when you come in a neighborhood and and New York, for those of you, it still is east side, west side and downtown.

00:03:13:03 – 00:03:42:18
Diane Ramirez
So that’s where our three office concept kind of our triangle comes from. And that was our vision. Let’s get in the community and be in the East Side, west side and downtown. And we are not a triangle anymore. No way, way past that. And then also we we wanted to be more tech and marketing focused. Yeah, technology back in 1984 was really just about a computer.

00:03:42:18 – 00:04:19:04
Diane Ramirez
It was nothing else. You weren’t Facebooks and all of social media that we talk about today. So we were the first company that hired a programmer and created our own listing system. So all of our listings went in the computer and we ripped up all our index cards and then our programmers sold it to all our competitors, which was terrific, so that they got into the 20th century and then eventually into the 21st century, and then from a marketing standpoint, we only had the strip ads in the New York Times back then, and we wanted something more dynamic.

00:04:19:04 – 00:04:44:01
Diane Ramirez
So our first idea was we bought a London taxi and had a logo put on it, and we had a rolling billboard going around the city bringing our clients around. We had a computer in the car which took two days to get it even to work. But it there was a computer in the car. We had a phone in the car that was too heavy for me to even carry.

00:04:44:13 – 00:04:52:02
Diane Ramirez
But again, we were we were high tech. Yeah. So that’s that’s kind of our vision and how it all started.

00:04:52:12 – 00:05:08:17
Daniel Ramsey
That’s amazing. That’s amazing. When you guys first started, did you expect to achieve this high level of success? I mean, you guys are kind of one of the I mean, one of the best branded companies in New York now. I mean, why, you know, are you surprised at all the success you guys have achieved?

00:05:09:19 – 00:05:50:10
Diane Ramirez
Well, it didn’t come overnight. So I guess surprise is not the word. But we we were always we always felt we had to be forward thinking. So forward thinking also meant strategic growth. Yeah. So our growth really occurred, I want to say organically, but it was really strategic because many of them were acquiring other firms. So our first, our first foray away from our triangle was at that time we had a lot of our customers going to Brooklyn because back then Brooklyn was lower price points.

00:05:50:10 – 00:06:11:11
Diane Ramirez
Yes. So again, strategic. If you if your clients are going to Brooklyn, why not open in Brooklyn? There you go. That was one of our first forays out of Manhattan. Yeah. Got us out of our triangle. But now we have Brooklyn people coming back to Manhattan to save money. So, you know, everything in life is full circle.

00:06:11:23 – 00:06:13:02
Daniel Ramsey
You go, I love it.

00:06:13:17 – 00:06:14:16
Diane Ramirez
So it’s the start.

00:06:14:24 – 00:06:18:06
Daniel Ramsey
That was the start. And how many offices do you guys have now?

00:06:19:00 – 00:06:21:09
Diane Ramirez
We have 36 offices now.

00:06:21:19 – 00:06:52:01
Daniel Ramsey
Wow. For our audience who you know, many of them are brokers or real estate agents, building teams or they want to build something as successful as you’ve built. What you know, if you’re talking directly to them, what has been kind of the reason why you’ve been successful or what what are the secret sources from going from one office to 36 and being able to manage all that change and crazy real estate agents in your office and crazy clients?

00:06:52:01 – 00:06:55:23
Daniel Ramsey
And like, what’s been your secret to being able to grow and scale that?

00:06:56:13 – 00:07:26:10
Diane Ramirez
I think if you could put it into something simple, I would say staying true to yourself. And part of that is what I mean is we very much have always and still do and will always very much focus on our culture, on our people. Yeah. And if if you his what are we without our people and our agents and and feeling that they are gaining something from us.

00:07:26:19 – 00:08:08:13
Diane Ramirez
So for instance, whenever we expand and strategically grow, we put a lot of work and homework into making certain that we are strategically acquire and a firm that resonates with our culture. Or we have a good team person that understands our company well to do. If we’re going to organically grow and we spend a great deal of research time making sure the company has our culture, our ethical standards, and then we spend a great deal of time making sure the company we acquire feels that they’re loved and that we’re not taking things away.

00:08:08:13 – 00:08:32:08
Diane Ramirez
And they they left their family, but now they’re joining a bigger family. And I personally make sure I know everything I can about every single agent. I know their names. I know they’re they have children or horses or what their and I go to every one of my offices and my agents think I know every one of their names.

00:08:32:08 – 00:08:45:13
Diane Ramirez
And most of them I do. Once in a while I might forget one or two, but that’s how much they know that myself and my readers care about them. And that’s that’s the secret sauce is now.

00:08:46:11 – 00:08:50:18
Daniel Ramsey
So you have I mean, I think the agent count is 1400. Is that one.

00:08:50:18 – 00:08:51:04
Diane Ramirez
Hundred.

00:08:51:10 – 00:09:13:22
Daniel Ramsey
And you and and it’s amazing that culture is the thing that got you from one or two or three offices to 1400 people. I think I think that’s amazing. And it feels to me like you’re the glue and you’ve created leaders that they understand they’re the glue for your agents. So talk about how challenging that is in our real estate space.

00:09:13:22 – 00:09:27:24
Daniel Ramsey
A lot of agents are moving brands and you know, the loyalty is something that’s that’s shifting right now away from the broker and into the consumer. So I’m curious how you guys are positioned yourself to kind of be that glue, you know?

00:09:28:18 – 00:10:00:04
Diane Ramirez
Well, it’s to be the glue you have to demonstrate. And part of our culture is we have an incredible leadership team and everybody feels they do. But I mean, we do we have incredible leaders and they they’re feeling is the same as mine. They really do. They care about their agents. They care about their growth. They even care about the the little hiccups in life, even if it’s your child is not well or a parent is is is aging.

00:10:00:12 – 00:10:28:20
Diane Ramirez
So you really have to show them you care and not about them and what they’re bringing to the company. It’s about them being part of our family. And we use that that word a lot and we mean it genuinely. So they’re they’re doing exactly the same as what I’m doing and and they’re following through. So it’s consistency throughout the company and what they’re doing is helping them get to the next level.

00:10:28:20 – 00:10:54:23
Diane Ramirez
So when you talk about loyalty, we find our agents are loyal because they see the value of the leadership team, right? They they know they’re in trouble with the deal. Something’s falling apart. They need help. They need they need some outside bit of information. And they know we collectively will deliver it. And so that they know that translates to them in dollars.

00:10:54:23 – 00:11:20:07
Diane Ramirez
Even so, it’s not just the the caring and and knowing that they’re important to us. We help them make a difference at the end of the day, in their pocketbook by deal doctoring or whatever it might be. And those are the things that create loyalty. You want to feel loved, but you want to see the added value. And that’s that’s what my leaders do.

00:11:20:07 – 00:11:22:16
Diane Ramirez
They bring added value to their agents.

00:11:22:22 – 00:11:39:16
Daniel Ramsey
It’s a great articulation of how to serve rather than, you know, and how servant leadership can be applied in the real estate world. I really appreciate that. Let’s trade gears or switch gears a little bit. You guys are positioned in the luxury space, is that correct?

00:11:40:05 – 00:11:41:02
Diane Ramirez
Absolutely.

00:11:41:11 – 00:11:44:17
Daniel Ramsey
So I talked to us about that. What have some ideas.

00:11:44:22 – 00:12:16:12
Diane Ramirez
I do because to me, luxury is not just a dollar sign. Yep. And and we’re in many, many markets. And I have markets where we’ve got properties that are 80 million. And I have I have other areas where, where they’re high end, maybe 400,000. Right. But does that mean my expensive areas are luxury and my luxury property in the 400 range is not luxury.

00:12:16:23 – 00:12:37:19
Diane Ramirez
So to me, luxury can’t be a dollar sign. It has to be. What is luxury to you? If I ask that of a person just starting out in life and they want to get their first apartment, that luxury may be a room. It’s all theirs. And no roommate. That’s luxury. Yeah.

00:12:37:19 – 00:12:38:18
Daniel Ramsey
In New York City.

00:12:39:03 – 00:13:11:04
Diane Ramirez
Exactly. And that didn’t cost $80 million, right? I our firm focuses on luxury, but it’s for the luxury of what is the luxury for that individual. So even if it’s just you want a studio where you have your own space or you want a triplex penthouse and you know, and the best building in in New York City, for instance, you treat that the customer as a luxury customer, get to know what it is.

00:13:11:04 – 00:13:14:22
Diane Ramirez
It’s luxury for them and make sure you deliver that.

00:13:15:14 – 00:13:28:20
Daniel Ramsey
And is that part of your service offering that kind of separates your branding from your competitors is just delivering like help us understand your positioning in the market when it comes to serving the luxury clientele.

00:13:29:23 – 00:13:58:04
Diane Ramirez
Well, it’s it’s having agents with that mindset that it’s it’s not just a transaction dollar. And I’m not just dealing with well-known clients. It’s right. You know, each client is has to be treated and and behave with them as if they are the most important person. And then when you do that, before you know it, you are dealing in the upper echelon.

00:13:58:16 – 00:14:20:16
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah. So when, when you think about like some of the cool because I’ve seen some crazy marketing things come out of New York and L.A. and San Francisco and Chicago like some of the coolest marketing things. Can you tell me a story of one of your agents, like doing some really amazing marketing or some maybe something that the brand that you guys have done is at a at a brand level.

00:14:20:24 – 00:14:46:23
Diane Ramirez
Right. Well, we were kind of proud of our we we mostly everyone would know this, but we’re members of leading real estate companies of the world. And we have two out of the last four years, one most innovative company and this great network of over 600 independently owned real estate firms. So we very we pride ourselves in being innovative.

00:14:47:09 – 00:15:33:03
Diane Ramirez
And one of the areas where I think we we hit it out of the park is our video. We were early in on video and and really have taken it to many levels. And where we are now is the lifestyle and evoking emotion into the so we have we have agents that have connections with the film. So we brought in classic guitars, we brought in entertainers that we have another that has some influence and the the ballet world and we’ve had that bout ballet dancers going through through the through an apartment again evoking this elegance and and reason to watch it.

00:15:33:18 – 00:16:00:15
Diane Ramirez
One, one thing that we did recently and it’s silly and funky, but we had a one bedroom apartment of which we have quite a few could not get interested in it. Yep. So the agent that had it happened to have an affiliation with the ASPCA. So what they did is they brought in 20 or 30 kittens into this one bedroom and they had kittens.

00:16:01:12 – 00:16:28:22
Diane Ramirez
I’m sorry, it wasn’t kittens. It was puppies. I was thinking of something else. Puppies, horrible puppies. Tossing and turning and having the best time. It was so watched in our in in the in the YouTube world. And we sold that apartment two days later. We were the third age and they could not differentiate this one bedroom apartment from the hundreds of others.

00:16:29:06 – 00:16:39:18
Diane Ramirez
And by get having these puppies running around and having all these people watch it. Two days later we had an offer on the apartment that’s creatively.

00:16:39:24 – 00:16:46:02
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah, and that’s a great story. I’m I’m going to I’m going to use that in the future. You can’t sell a house, throw some puppies in it.

00:16:46:23 – 00:16:48:18
Diane Ramirez
Get evoke emotion.

00:16:48:18 – 00:17:04:00
Daniel Ramsey
Just that’s awesome. That’s really cool. So what are some of you know it’s interesting as a broker I love picking I’m a broker, too, so I love real estate. It drives my kids crazy. I stop at all the open houses in my neighborhood.

00:17:04:04 – 00:17:05:01
Diane Ramirez
Don’t we all?

00:17:05:05 – 00:17:27:21
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah, I just I love it and I can’t help myself. But here, as a broker, the world is shifting to starting to provide more and more services to your agent population. Like how? How are you guys serving your agents to really up the level of value you guys deliver?

00:17:27:21 – 00:17:33:02
Diane Ramirez
Well, I do think you have to go a little bit into the technology world for that.

00:17:33:09 – 00:17:33:22
Daniel Ramsey
That’s right.

00:17:34:18 – 00:17:45:17
Diane Ramirez
And it’s funny, you know, so many people think where, you know, technology is going to overtake our job and what we do. And I am so not a believer with that.

00:17:45:17 – 00:17:46:07
Daniel Ramsey
And yeah.

00:17:46:14 – 00:18:13:18
Diane Ramirez
And the portals that are coming out, you know, we are the core of of the transaction. So I don’t believe any of that will eliminate us. But I think what it does is it does elevate our game. So you must embrace it. So if it’s technology to me, it’s treat it for what it is, trained it well, but it is a tool and the tool does it make things better?

00:18:13:18 – 00:18:49:02
Diane Ramirez
It just gives you well used more time to be a great agent. So I think you have to be on the cutting edge of technology for your agents. Help them embrace it, help them learn it, make it as simple as you can, and that will help them have more time building their relationships with their customers. Yeah, so I do, I do think technology and and then along the same vein, the whole idea of social media, I, I just think you need to do everything you can.

00:18:49:02 – 00:19:17:09
Diane Ramirez
We just did something along along that with Instagram. What we did is we call it exclusively hallstatt and we now have an internal Instagram and we’re using that is one of the ways that we stay connected with our agents because we know they’re there. So if we have some new idea or if we have some new concept, we have even some new idea that we’re presenting.

00:19:17:09 – 00:19:39:02
Diane Ramirez
We put it in the exclusively Halstead’s Instagram, and we know everybody’s looking at it. And then it also gives them an ability to go back and archive it. So if they remember seeing something, they’re never going to remember where the memo was. But all they have to do is look in their Instagram and find and find our announcement.

00:19:39:12 – 00:19:51:00
Diane Ramirez
So so we find even corporately, we’re trying to make social media easy, make our agents easier through social media, even internally.

00:19:51:10 – 00:20:07:21
Daniel Ramsey
That’s crazy. Well, as a as you know, one of the leaders in the real estate world, what are you seeing with interest rates, the political space? You know, where are you seeing real estate heading over the next couple of years?

00:20:09:15 – 00:20:14:11
Diane Ramirez
Well, I think right now the interest rates oh, my God, can I get any better?

00:20:14:11 – 00:20:15:03
Daniel Ramsey
So low.

00:20:15:03 – 00:20:42:18
Diane Ramirez
It’s so what it has done for purchasing power for our buyers out there is amazing. Yeah. In New York, our market is a little hesitant right now. We it’s it kind of started in our luxury arena and because the prices got a little ahead of themselves. Yep. And now it’s trickled down a little bit, but it’s because of that.

00:20:42:21 – 00:21:09:24
Diane Ramirez
The sellers, whether they’re developers or resale sellers, have realized they have to be competitive in pricing and they really have to sharpen their pencil and make certain that the buyer sees value. So you add that to our current interest rates, and I think this is the best buying opportunity I have seen for New York City in particular in a very long time.

00:21:10:17 – 00:21:22:13
Diane Ramirez
So I think all of that is good. I think that the chaos is going to probably keep our market a little frenetic for a while.

00:21:22:19 – 00:21:34:08
Daniel Ramsey
Uncertainty, basically, it’s adding uncertainty. And so people are pausing when they might, you know, go forward with such great inventory and such great interest rates.

00:21:34:14 – 00:21:54:24
Diane Ramirez
And the buyers are out there, but they are hesitant. But I think value and purchasing power, the combination is going to bring the buyers out because it’s it’s their home. This isn’t like it’s an investment. So I’ll, I’ll hold off. It’s their home. They want to get moving.

00:21:55:06 – 00:22:12:05
Daniel Ramsey
Yeah. And what I love about home, I was telling somebody the other day, I’m like, if this is an investment, you cannot be emotional about it. But if it’s your home, be emotional. Love on it. Oh, yeah, overpay. None of that matters. It’s where you’re going to live for the rest of your life. Right?

00:22:12:08 – 00:22:25:16
Diane Ramirez
Exactly. And you’re not going to trade it at the end of the year for a tax benefit. So enjoy it, live in it, make sure it’s it’s not just the best price, but it’s it’s where you want to cozy up every night.

00:22:25:24 – 00:22:48:16
Daniel Ramsey
Yep. I love it. I love it. What it as you’re you’ve probably mentored hundreds if not thousands of agents over your career, I’m guessing. And I’m going off our plan questions because I just love your brain, I love your values. I love that I love your servant’s heart. Like, I just love that part. That’s one of our core values as well.

00:22:48:16 – 00:23:09:17
Daniel Ramsey
But as you’re thinking about mentorship and the people in your office that you’ve helped over the years because you’ve had decades of helping agents, which is unusual, I don’t meet very many people that have had decades of that. So what what’s your best advice for agents now? The ones in your office, the ones that are competing out there on the streets every day?

00:23:09:23 – 00:23:12:18
Daniel Ramsey
You know, what’s your what’s the best advice you have today?

00:23:13:22 – 00:23:38:13
Diane Ramirez
Well, I think it’s a little bit of how I lead my own life, is it’s lead with passion. You know, it’s when you do things from your heart and from what’s most important to you, you’re you’re going to first of all, you’re going to do a great job. And and it won’t be a job. It will be you just helping people.

00:23:38:13 – 00:24:06:20
Diane Ramirez
That’s the part of residential real estate that I think is so exciting. You are bringing someone into another person’s home where you can you can just tell the love that was in that in the household and and you’re walking them through their bedroom and their living room. And so I see it as a passion and not just going through the motions of coming together for a commission at the end of the day.

00:24:07:11 – 00:24:26:13
Diane Ramirez
And I think when you do that, number one, you never get tired of what you’re doing. You can’t wait to help the next person. And I’ve heard over the years people say, oh my God, agents who come and say, you know, I feel a little burned out. I keep doing the same thing over and over and over again.

00:24:27:05 – 00:25:00:10
Diane Ramirez
And if you look at it with helping people and with the passion of what you’re doing for their life, it is and over and over again because every person has a different story. Everyone has a different, different vision of what home is. Right. And and you’re the one finding that needle in the haystack for them. And when you look at life that way with passion and love and of what you do, it’s it’s it’s just golden.

00:25:00:11 – 00:25:02:13
Diane Ramirez
It’s why I skipped to work every day.

00:25:02:24 – 00:25:07:11
Daniel Ramsey
Oh, I love it. I like to see you skipping to work in downtown New York.

00:25:07:11 – 00:25:11:23
Diane Ramirez
I Lexington Avenue, it looks like. And there I am skipping.

00:25:12:04 – 00:25:43:14
Daniel Ramsey
I love it. You know what’s interesting is recently I went on this tour of a casino and it was it was it was in my hometown. And it’s it was a kind of a cool scenario because the the CEO of that that, you know, lots of millions of dollars casino was a woman and she’d spent 20 years leading in that industry that’s very much dominated by men and as I sit here and I hear lead with passion and your heart, I wonder your story around that.

00:25:43:14 – 00:25:59:04
Daniel Ramsey
You are predominantly you’re leading an industry that is filled with men and here you are 30 years in successfully building a really big, passion filled business. What’s that been for you? What’s that been like for you?

00:26:00:09 – 00:26:33:00
Diane Ramirez
Well, it’s it’s interesting because this is something I also try to help, especially females that I work with and and come to me for guidance. Yeah. And I think the bottom line is, from the very beginning, I never looked at myself as a woman. And there’s all these men around. I saw myself as someone starting a business that I had all the desire to make successful and and I happened to be a woman.

00:26:33:10 – 00:27:07:23
Diane Ramirez
So whether it’s you’re invited on a board or you’re in a you’re working with business clients that happened to all be men and you are the one showing them around. Just ignore the fact that they’re men and you’re a woman, you’re a business person. You’re you’re where you are because of who you are and and what you’re doing and your passion and your knowledge and your expertize and the fact that I happened to be a woman and and other people around me are men.

00:27:07:23 – 00:27:33:04
Diane Ramirez
It’s something I try never, ever to think about. I’ve been on many, many boards that are all in the beginning. Years ago or almost all men. Yeah. And I just. I walked in the room as if I was invited, so it didn’t matter. I wasn’t there because I was a woman. And then, you know, so I just went in because I knew they wanted my expertize.

00:27:33:15 – 00:27:43:24
Diane Ramirez
And when you take that out of the equation, it’s amazing how it really isn’t a female male situation. It’s just leaders among leaders.

00:27:43:24 – 00:27:55:10
Daniel Ramsey
And that’s probably what has led to so much of your, you know, success is that I mean, just that mindset of getting business done and adding value and you’re the expert. That’s why you’re there.

00:27:55:16 – 00:27:56:10
Diane Ramirez
Exactly.

00:27:56:21 – 00:28:17:16
Daniel Ramsey
I love that advice. And I you know, we’re almost done. But I’ve noticed that you sit on a ton of boards for charity and you do a lot in the community. Let’s talk about that and how that’s helped build your brand and raise that kind of, I guess, you know, celebrity kind of. I mean, you’ve done a lot of work in your in your local community, right?

00:28:18:06 – 00:28:53:15
Diane Ramirez
I have. And and that’s really when I think of building brand, the the way I see this really is life is multifaceted and you cannot be all one thing. I’m I’m married for a long time. I have children. I have grandchildren. And, you know, blessedly, you know, very successful in all those arenas. And and I think of why and I think the reason for the why is because I made certain every aspect of my life got the full attention.

00:28:53:15 – 00:29:23:19
Diane Ramirez
So if I’m in the office and there’s I’m not thinking about home when I’m home, I’m not thinking about the office. You always it always intertwines a bit. But the main focus and in life, I believe you have to give back, especially when you’ve been in an industry as long as I. So anything I’m involved with the personal charities, the the business charities, the boards that I sit on, it’s all about the giving back.

00:29:23:22 – 00:29:49:07
Diane Ramirez
And we in our own company a number of years ago wanted to do something charity wise within the company. But I knew that my agents were very charitable on their own. So how would we pick a charity that was appropriate? So what we did is we created Helping Hands, and what we do is we actually physically do things.

00:29:49:17 – 00:30:23:04
Diane Ramirez
We go into schools and we paint the school before September. We go into parks, and we all just rake it, rake the parks and paint the benches. And we just did for the start of school called Operation Backpack. And we helped build and collect the items, put them together and deliver them to homeless shelters, over 20,000 backpacks for children that were homeless that would not have a backpack at the start of school.

00:30:23:17 – 00:30:53:06
Diane Ramirez
Obviously, we did it with many others, but my agents, we stood side by side in a hot summer day, sweating away in the in a basically a loft, putting those together. And to me, that’s that’s giving back. It’s it’s with your hands, too. So that’s life. Life has to be multifaceted and part of of life is giving back.

00:30:53:16 – 00:31:01:02
Daniel Ramsey
Diane, I love that story. And you can’t buy that kind of brand equity when your agents are helping you give back like that.

00:31:01:08 – 00:31:10:21
Diane Ramirez
And seeing it blow up in social media. It was so exciting and that’s not the goal of it, but that was the joy that came out of it.

00:31:11:00 – 00:31:20:11
Daniel Ramsey
Well, Diane, thanks for being with us today. You’ve built an amazing business. If somebody wanted to connect with you or be in your world, how would they best do that?

00:31:21:00 – 00:31:29:10
Diane Ramirez
I guess email is D Ramirez had a sitcom and that’s it. Follow me on on Instagram.

00:31:29:10 – 00:31:30:24
Daniel Ramsey
So there you are.

00:31:31:08 – 00:31:42:18
Diane Ramirez
My it’s the the Diane Ramirez because Diane Ramirez was take it already so and I’d love to hear from all your guests out there.

00:31:43:05 – 00:32:08:22
Daniel Ramsey
Well, Diane, thanks again for your time. We really appreciate you giving love on our audience and our people. Thank you. It’s been amazing, guys. We just had one of the most successful brands and leaders in our space for her entire heart and soul into us. So, Diane, thank you so much for being here. Guys, if you’re listening, my outlook.com, we help real estate brands grow by providing leverage.

00:32:09:06 – 00:32:11:22
Daniel Ramsey
Thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate you.

00:32:12:14 – 00:32:25:08
Diane Ramirez
My pleasure, Joy. I hope we get to meet in person. Me, too. My name is.