Michael LaFido is a real estate consultant and top-producing Realtor with over twenty years of experience in the industry, specializing in luxury listings. His marketing has been showcased on the cover of Crain’s Chicago Business and highlighted in Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Mansion Global, and the Wall Street Journal, just to name a few. He is also the author of the Bestselling book, Luxury Listing Specialist Book: Dominate Luxury Listings in your Market.
Michael is the founder of the Marketing Luxury Group, where he assists agents and affluent homeowners by providing the top-tier tools needed to successfully sell a home. He calls Chicago home today where he enjoys spending family time on his weekends. His latest book project, ‘Secrets of Top Luxury Agents: Learn How to Dominate Higher Priced Homes’ is set to become one of the best real estate books in the market today.
With all the career paths available, what made you dive into the real estate world?
It was by accident. I had a part-time business when I was a full-time teacher. In the summers, I would clean and stain decks. One of my customers said to me “Have you ever thought about getting into real estate? You’d be great at it.” Long story short, 3 to 4 months later, I had my real estate license. I was looking at it as a part-time income. Fast forward a few years later, I was doing so well and making more money selling real estate part-time than full-time teaching. I got married and we started a family. I had to commit to one or the other and I followed my passion.
For anyone who is fortunate enough to meet you, they are immediately aware of your passion, your drive, and your expertise for and within your field. That energy has inspired so many. The question is, who inspires you?
Athletes inspire me. I’m a former athlete and football player, and I loved the missed success stories. I love watching “March Madness”; I love college football. I love the Olympics. I love hearing stories behind them. I love human kindness. Proving others wrong. We all have barriers, but you’re focusing on the end goal. I get inspired by athletes. To be a better person, to be better at your career path, to give back if you make money. Some of the best athletes have been inspirations to me, and my former coaches in high school were my biggest mentors as far as that is concerned. I played high school football for them and both of my coaches there were inspiring.
How would Michael LaFido define the term “luxury”?
Well, I’m talking real estate now, so luxury can’t just be a price, right. It needs to be the materials, the way you feel, the finishes. In real estate there are 5 primary price points and luxury is different in Indiana than in Illinois, and different in New York. So, when it comes to real estate we define “luxury” as a home that is 3 x’s the average sale price.
Walk us through a day in your life, sunup to sundown. Ready, go.
I have the good fortune of taking my daughter to school every day this year. Before taking her to school, I go for a workout, shave, and shower and then I take her to school. I get to the office and set the day with my assistant. Throughout the day I am a content provider, providing content for consumers and for realtors whether it be videos, my blog, etc. I do a lot of marketing pieces and do some prospecting and follow up with potential clients. Then, of course, you have to service your current clients and try to get deals together. A lot of e-mails, a lot of phone calls, a lot of texts, a lot of running out and meeting people. I wish I could network more throughout the day and do more lunch appointments, but I am so busy I don’t get to do that much.
In the evenings, I try to turn my phone off and not show houses in the evenings or on weekends, if possible. I try to do things with my family.
What is the most rewarding part of being a real estate agent?
The most rewarding part is “over delivering”. There is something so exciting when you represent a seller, and you’ve got them more money than they thought. Sometimes it’s life savings. It’s estate planning. It’s a legacy left for their family. Or, when you represent a buyer, getting them that property, out negotiating through creativity and terms, not just price, and getting your client the best deal possible. That is very rewarding.
Where do you find your passion?
I think back to somebody I compete against or who is better at something than me and my drive is to prove, not just them wrong, but to prove others wrong. When they think of luxury real estate, Michael LaFido is the guy. For me to prove them wrong is the mentality. I’m always looking at the competition. I thrive from that. If someone in town is doing some cool marketing, I make note of it and say “you know, I have to up my game” because I want it to be a no brainer that people remember me when they’re thinking of buying or selling real estate and on the consulting side, when they’re thinking about selling more luxury real estate or increasing their average sale price.