What’s up everyone and welcome to another episode of Become A Local Leader! In today’s episode, we have Navid Khayyat, Realtor at Zabrocki Real Estate Group

Navid is a San Diego native who loves the great outdoors and all San Diego has to offer. He has an amazing wife named Zoraya and three kids: Alexander, Xavier, and Theo. Navid loves talking to people and making new friends, but most importantly he loves to help out people any way he can. And he’s not just a real estate professional. He’s your go-to man for anything that you need help with and the world will need.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

Meet Navid Khayyat our featured Local Leader

What else do you love about San Diego?

It’s a border city. So it’s on the border of California and Mexico, so I love that everybody is so fluid and mixed over here. And with me being Mexican and Persian, I like that I am a mix of different cultures and I love that here in San Diego we’re in a mixed culture environment. 

So, I think that’s a very good place to live, because you kind of dip into different peoples and cultures, how they live, what motivates them, and you know, that way you can engage and see how other people live and it opens up your mind a lot more. That’s what I love about San Diego.

You also get to meet a lot of cool people. I love hearing people’s stories.

What would you say in terms of living and working in San Diego? Do you live in the same neighbourhood that you work in, or do you work in one neighbourhood and you live in another? How does that look for you?

The cool thing with me is, I do real estate but I also work part-time at T-Mobile. My T-Mobile job is outside of where I live. 

But I’m doing my real estate services strictly around the area where I live right now. I live in National City and I’ve been focused on Chula Vista right not but I’m not limiting myself to just this area. I’m about a year and a half into my business, so I’m trying to get as much as much exposure as possible so I’m working in San Diego and El Cajon, since I grew up over there. I’m just trying to get all over the place. But my forte or I guess where I am more knowledgeable is, El Cajon, National City, Chula Vista, and then the Hillcrest areas as well.

You mentioned you’ve been in real estate for about a year and a half now. So what were you doing before that?

I was at T Mobile where I am still. During my time there I’ve been in sales. I’ve been wanting to do real estate my entire life, as far back as I can remember my uncle was and is still a contractor. And that’s how I kind of got into it. I loved the idea of working on and flipping houses. And then when I started watching those real estate shows, I was like, “oh, that looks like so much fun!”. So, I just decided to just go for it and I’ve found that I truly love it. I think it’s a lot of fun putting myself into a new situation and talking to people, just trying to help them out to the best that I can. I think that’s why ultimately I got into it.

So then what would you say is your superpower as a real estate agent?

I like to think of myself as a one-stop-shop. So, I’m not your regular realtor. I’m not just going to just hang up the phone or be just like, “OK, well, screw you, if I can’t get anything out of you”. I’m here to try to make friends and have a real connection with someone. Everyone has a friend or a family member that I might be able to work with, whether they want to be my friend or not, you know. 

So whatever, I can do to help them out. You know, so, I normally just say “if I cannot help you out with buying or selling your home, I’d love to help you out in some form on your to-do list and what’s going on in your world”. I think that’s what differentiates me and that’s my superpower that I just kind of go beyond that wall and just kind of break down and see what else do you need help with and what I can help you out with.

In terms of numbers, what’s your current volume right now?

So I’ve done about two transactions within my whole career so far. I’m at 950K right now. That was actually over my goal that I actually thought I was going to make. So I’m very excited about that! 

I’m currently right there. I have about a couple of clients that I’m working with right now. So I still have that momentum going and I’m really excited about that.

I have a goal for myself or like for my business, where I want to be in six months from now. I want to hit at least 1.5 to 2 million in total sales. That’s my goal. It has been a little bit rough because of what’s been going on and other circumstances.

But as I said before, that’s another way that makes me uncomfortable and  puts me in a position to adapt to what’s going on in the market and how to reach out to different people. Overall, it’s been really good though.

So what would you need to start doing in order to hit your goal of 1.5 to 2 million in total sales?

As I said, with the adjustment of what’s been going on with the coronavirus and everything involved in it, my forte or my big thing was open houses. I love being like front and center and being able to make eye contact with the person I’m more of an in-person type person. That way I can read your body language, and get to know you a lot better and communicate more effectively. 

But since we’re not doing open houses anymore due to COVID, I have to adapt to cold calling and reaching out to my YouTube 100 which is my sphere of influence. So that’s one thing that I need to focus on and just kind of ramp-up. That’s one thing that I’ve been kind of struggling with. So I have been really putting all my effort into that because it’s not my forte at all but I want to have it become a strength of mine.

It’s really weird as a realtor; I hate making phone calls. I think it’s the most nervous thing ever. But at the same time, it’s something that I have to do. I think that’s where something that will definitely make me go where I need to be. It’s just making the calls and working my sphere of influence. Besides, I’m going to do door knocking again. Here in California, we’re under stay at home orders. So, I’m still trying to test out how that goes and figure out what I can and can’t do. 

Like everyone, I really have to restructure how I do my business. And I really think if I focus on my sphere of influence, make my calls that’ll get me to where I need to be to reach that 1.5- or 2-million.

What is your median home price?

In San Diego right now, it’s about 550-650 thousand. That’s around the medium price range. The houses that I sold were around that price range too. The market here in San Diego is still moving, so I’d stay within that price range of about 400-700 thousand where the market is kind of ticking a lot.

What are your total sides?

Strictly as a buyer right now, Richie (agent), an awesome title rep I have been working with, he’s been giving me a bunch of listing leads. So I’ve just been counting on them and just trying to get there. Obviously, as a real estate agent, you want to try to get as many listings that you can. So that’s my ultimate goal. And actually, to your question beforehand, I believe I’ll get there if I get more listings versus buyers at the same time. 

What would you say is the percentage of business you get from referrals versus advertising versus relationships? 

A lot of my clients that I’m working with, as of right now are based on referrals. So I would say like 60% are from referrals. I guess some are from Facebook, but I would say that’s very slim. I don’t really do that much social media. But I think ultimately it’s from referrals and my sphere of influence as well. Technically, so I think that’s where I get most of my referrals from. I think it’s more than 60 at that point.

How many new relationships do you build on a weekly or monthly basis?

It actually helps me that I’m at T Mobile, so I’m out in public. I actually meet a lot of different people. And so that’s actually the best way that I kind of get leads.

I would say I’d probably talk to a couple hundred people a week, and out of that I would get maybe like five leads. I think that helped me out a lot. That’s how I get a lot of exposure and create opportunities for conversation.

Would you say any business owners that you’ve teamed up with that send referrals your way?

I do. I have my uncle, who has his own business. He’s been sending me some people. My wife’s uncle has his own business as well who also sends people my way. Some of my customers that I met at T-Mobile are now clients of mine. One of them I’m working with at the moment, he’s actually sent me a lead as well. Again, it’s based off my sphere of influence and existing relationships that I have. But I think ultimately it’s because I am at T-Mobile talking to a lot of people that’s what helps me out.

Now in terms of some of the advertising that you mentioned, what would you say what has worked for you this far?

I don’t really do too much on social media. However, I’m starting to reengage that as well and try and see how I can engage my following with ads.

I’ve noticed that when I do a lot more home tours, I get a lot more engagement. So that’s something that I should utilize more to get more exposure. What I normally rely on is sending out letters. I’ll normally send some of the letters saying “Hey friend. I have so-on-so who wants to look to buy your house”.

Is there anything you would say that hasn’t worked for you?

I feel that when you’re running your own business, in the beginning, trial and error are always inevitable. You’re going to run into it. I think there have been a lot of things that haven’t worked for me.

I can’t think of one thing that comes to my head right now. But, I know in the beginning and still in this process, I’m learning through trial and error. And that’s just the best way to kind of do it.

One thing for me that I have recognized is that I’m very much like “squirrel aware”. So I guess trial and error for that is I have to be just like locked into a room so that I limit any and all distractions for myself.

In terms of your budget for marketing and advertising, what do you find you spend and what do you spend on?

The letters would be about only $300. So, I pretty much spend about $300 a month and I would say I get like one person kind of interested. So, it’s not bad but I’d love to ramp that up a little bit more and kind of see if I do spend more money what the outcome will be. 

What would you say that your clients rave about when it comes to you? What do they really appreciate about your services?

I think they appreciate that I’m a one-stop-shop. I don’t necessarily just focus on the house, I ask, “what else can I do to help you out?”. “You need a Spanish teacher? If I don’t know anyone, I’ll go and find one for you”. “If you need a gardener, I’ll go out and find them for you”.

I’m the person that wants to help you out the best I can. My goal is to take the stress away from you and put the stress on me and that’s my job.

So I think that’s what really gets my clients raving about me is the fact that I’m going that extra mile and I’m actually just going past the house. I’m actually helping them out personally in their life, whether it be with them or their family members.

And does anybody ever take you up on that offer?

They do so. Sometimes it feels like they’ve not worked with the right person in the past, maybe someone who has just stopped at the house. So, often they don’t expect that I will offer and follow through. So I think it’s a cool way to kind of break that wall down, particularly if it’s a cold call or someone that you’re just meeting.

But, like I said, I’m here to make friends, so that’s something that I just do naturally.

Are there any community marketing initiatives that you’re currently part of?

So I’m with Home Solutions Group. So we actually do a lot of charity work. During the holidays, we did some turkey drives. We also do Toy drives as well and are very active with the community. In the past we have done beach cleanups as well. We’re based in the Chula Vista area, so that’s where we’re kind of focusing on.

As I said, I’m all about helping people out. I was always brought up on that my grandpa always told me, “No matter what, you always have to give back”.

And so that’s what I’ve always done like I’ve always been instilled to do that.

Especially now with my team lead, he’s 1,000% involved in the community so he’s a great person to work with.

Are there any community and marketing initiatives that you’ve seen or maybe even other realtors are part of that you’d like to try and you just haven’t yet?

I have. They do like a bunch of different events and so that’s what I want to try to do. Maybe do a client appreciation day or something like that. But as for the Community, at least here in San Diego, we’re more like a beach town. So, we do a lot more like the beach cleanups.

I think what I would like to do is like a second toy drive this year, one for the kids over here and then one for the kids in Mexico. I’ve always wanted to drop off the toys for the kids as I’ve been so lucky in life. So, I want to be the one to give kids the gift and see their faces.

What are some of the roadblocks that you’re facing and what do they look like?

At least personally, one of the problems now is that I am used to relying on being open house savvy. During an open house I was just in front of the client and was able to talk to them directly. I’ve very comfortable in that environment. So my roadblock is just trying to adapt to phone calls and video calls, and operating that way. Kind of transitioning back to old school, real estate 101 methods.

But with client wise, I think the uncertainty. Uncertainty of where the future is headed, where the economy is headed, what’s going to happen with the coronavirus, is it still going to get worse. I think that’s the main issue that I am getting when I do talk to potential clients and even my current clients right now. They’re scared of the uncertainty of the uncertainty. They’re scared of tomorrow. And that’s one of the biggest things I just have to address and help overcome. 

As a professional, it is your job to obviously educate and de-escalate the situation. You have to make them move in the right direction for their situation. Everything changes day to day so much that it’s hard to keep up and let them know what avenue to take and where to go. I think that’s where my biggest roadblock is with my clients. 

What I’m doing now to overcome that is just being more of a rhino, their leader and not being afraid to ask for help. So I’m referring to my team lead and asking, “how do I overcome this situation?”. I’m not afraid to ask for help, you know, and so I think that’s what will help me overcome this hurdle and overcome this craziness that we’re dealing with right now.

You never know what you’re going to get. It’s like a box of chocolates as they say. We don’t know what the rest of 2020 has in store. Who knew that in 2020 we were going to relive the Spanish flu AND the stock market crash! 

Lightning Round – Quick fire, short answer questions






I’ve never used that. So I can’t really say.

Facebook ads


Google ads


Instagram ads.


LinkedIn ads


Any other sources?

I would do lead generation. So I’m looking at market maker right now and also I forgot this other one, I forgot. It doesn’t come to my mind, but those would be good ones as well.

What about retargeting?


And do you have a digital marketer that you pay that does work for you?

I do not.

What about print ads like flyers and door hangers?

I’ve only done those once and those are through the lender that I close with. And so, yes, I have done those

What about bus benches, grocery carts or any kind of display advertising?

I haven’t done those, but I am interested in learning more.

And what about writing blogs?

Yeah, why not, it’s the same thing as a video blog. So, yes.

That’s the next thing I was going to ask you, any video content?

Yes, I actually do that on my Instagram. I do some video content and I have a YouTube Channel as well. So yes, I definitely do that.

Where people can find you on YouTube?

It’s Khayyat Realty. So it’s the same all across the board to my Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or Khayyat Realty. You can just look me up under Navid Khayyat.

What about an email newsletter?

I haven’t done those yet, but I am looking into that as well.

What about Virtual open houses?

Yes, I do those right now. Well, like I do like a live, so yes, it does work.

And in terms of following up or working your database. Do you pop by?

Sometimes, it depends. How I am with the person so

Yes, depending on the relationship level. I am the person because some of them I don’t know I’m not quite there to just kind of show up randomly.

Like I am there but Yes, to your point, I would say, Yes, definitely. Okay.

What about writing personal notes?

Yes, I do that. I do a letter every month for each person in my sphere of influence.

What about sending gifts?


For me, the main thing is to get to know your clients on their level. So, I see a lot of gift baskets and everything which are nice, but I think if you actually get to know them on that level then make them your friends, or like how you are with your family. 

I understand that maybe they are cautious about the type of water they drink, you’d get them a water bottle with a filter. Or perhaps they like some type of flowers, you’re just going to get something that would be what they would actually want.

That’s just with your agent or like the person helping you out as you have to try to get to them under that personal level.

What about client appreciation parties?

I would want to do that. I do see other agents doing that. So I think that’ll be a huge success, honestly. So yes, I think I would definitely do that.

What about calling, texting and DMing – how often would you say you do that?

I think I do that far more often than I do calls. Just to the fact that I do have a part-time job. I can’t always be on the phone all the time. So I think that I prefer to text a lot or send video messages. I would say I definitely do that, for sure.

What about door knocking?

Yes, as weird as it is, I love it. Because that’s something that allows me to be in front of the person. So, yes.

And how about prospecting For Sale By Owners?

I’ve never done that before. But I would say yes. Every opportunity is a good opportunity. Why not take it?

What about Expired Listings?


A personal question: Mexican food or Persian food?

I think Persian food. Honestly, the reason being is I can get Mexican food at every corner. While I think it’s good, I prefer to go to the Persian places although they are 20-30 minutes away. Getting Persion food is a luxury which is more enticing for me. I would say Persian food, especially some ghormeh sabzi, that’s really good.

So do you have any go-to’s you recommend you recommend besides that one? Any other ones that we have to try?

I would try any of the kebab spots. The kebabs are good. Ghormeh sabzi is my number one. Yeah, there’s a lot of different stuff that I would highly recommend.

Before we go, what would you say to realtors out there who want to be recognized as you know the local market expert or the ‘go-to realtor’ in their community?

So I think the main thing that I want to focus on is a lot of people get into real estate thinking about money.

But don’t think about the money. Think about how you’re going to be helping people out. I think that once your focus shifts off of the money aspect and on to helping people out, you’ll get to be a leader in your community. You’ll be getting to be someone who would be rapidly referred out to and someone who can be like I said a one-stop-shop. 

I think, as realtors, we see what’s on TV and they broadcast a $600,000 commission. People don’t get the hard work that goes behind the scenes. It’s going to take some time to get that and don’t give up. Perseverance will get you where you need to be. Honestly, just keep on doing it. Don’t give up.

There have been times I wanted to give up, but I just kept on doing it. It does run you down. Ultimately it’s whatever your goals are. They have to be reinforced with not just the what but the why. Why are you doing this? And it’s rarely about the money. It’s likely about providing a certain lifestyle or security for your family. You have to dig deeper into ‘why’. And I think that’s what will make you that local leader and that person of knowledge or that knowledgeable person in the area.

If you liked the show, be sure to share it with your friends and colleagues. If you want to learn more about Becoming a Local Leader, then be sure to check out how other agents are becoming the go-to Real Estate Professionals in their communities.