Founder of Zia Group, Daniel Zia, was awarded the cover and featured interview in World Class Magazines. Below, you can read the complete article written by author Katrina World.
Focus, appears to be fundamental to Daniel Zia and his Zia Group’s business strategy. Zia surrounds himself with a stellar team of eight, each centering in their own top-tier, specialized skill, that can walk buyers and sellers through every aspect of the real estate transaction. He keeps tight control on his inventory, choosing each client and listing with care. Instead of expanding in terms of physical territory, Zia has decided to focus exclusively on the Southern part of Santa Barbara county, to become an expert in all areas of the local market. The needs of his clients are paramount. His full-service website provides more than just listings; it is an interactive resource for buyers and sellers, providing information about neighborhoods, their history and local housing trends. This dedication has seen Zia skyrocket to win the position of top realtor, in the Santa Barbara Independent’s “Best Of” Reader’s Poll in 2009, 2011 and 2012, as well as the National Association of Realtors ’30 under 30′ Award, in 2013.
“I think it comes down to our value propositions to our clients . . . I sincerely care about the people in my life and I seek to add value in their life wherever I can, be it in real-estate or otherwise.”
To really mature in the competitive real estate industry, it is important to be able to look beyond the surface and realize that what a property is like now, is not the same as its potential for the future. Zia prides himself on his ability to be a “neutral adviser” who always keeps the best interest of his clients at heart, even when it might mean the loss of a sale, in the short-term. He explains that he excels in his ability to counsel his clients through what can be, “some very aggressive, difficult negotiations” or “analyze the nuances of property values,” when they are looking to invest. Zia reports that this long-term, relationship centered approach has brought him real dividends, because, even though he is active in a community of 140 thousand people, real-estate is, “in many ways, a small town.” Most of his business, as much as 40 percent, now comes from referrals.
“With technology and there being a plethora of information at everyone’s fingertips, online, you know my role has really changed, to not just being a communicator of information, but an interpreter of information, helping people make predictions and analyze all that data that is out there, overwhelming people.”
Daniel Zia was probably born to be an entrepreneur, and he says he had that drive, literally, as far back as he can remember. When he was 13 and 14 years-of-age, he was leveraging eBay, selling collectables and coins. By high school, he was selling aftermarket car parts in four different countries, through his own Internet business, Fusion Imports. His early endeavors were not only financially profitable, they also brought him recognition, including a Future Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a scholarship from the National Association for the Self-Employed.
“Whenever I do any endeavor, I don’t consider it a job. I really look at it as a business, so I create the business plan, I look at the strategy, I do the swot analysis. I really find out where my skill-sets match with the niche I am going to be targeting.”
Real estate is in his blood. It was his family’s business and Zia recalled that he grew up around job and construction sites with blue prints on the kitchen table. He learned early how to, “deal with people and deal with business.” He started his career, as a real estate agent, at the fresh young age of 21, the youngest agent at Prudential California Realty, but he was lucky enough to have a manager who believed in him. His background left him perfectly situated to understand how people were using the Internet to buy homes. Building rapport and demonstrating competence has always been the marrow of success, so that often, by the time his often affluent, older clients met him, there was already a high level of trust. Zia emphasized that 20 percent of homes sell before they are even listed, so having a dedicated network and, “sphere of influence,” is essential. A priority for customer service was something that Zia says he learned from his father, to never take a client for granted.
“I am always looking to add value, stay in touch and be involved in that person’s life . . . if and when they go to resell or buy new, we want them to remember that great experience that they had with us.”
The backing of Keller Williams Santa Barbara allowed Zia to take his business to the next level, when he founded his own boutique real-estate investment group. Zia says, “We are in historically unprecedented economic times, both nationally and internationally. It’s a very exciting time to be in real-estate.” A large part of his business is so called “Fix And Flips,” where properties are rejuvenated solely for the purpose of profit and resale. Zia has renovated 25 properties over the last four years and is engaged in five such projects right now. Concentrating mainly on local trends, Zia predicts good markets to continue, “for at least the next couple years. Then it’s anybody’s guess.” His analytical slant towards focused and efficient business, that provides customer service and expertise across the real estate equation, is sure to benefit his clients, regardless.