Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Alex Zoltan Szinegh:
Originally from Hungary, Alex Zoltan Szinegh, co-owner of Daytona based Signature Real Estate Results and principal partner of Signature Real Estate International, immigrated to Canada in 1963. He and his family fled a war-torn region for a more peaceful and profitable existence in North America. Szinegh learned, at a young age, the meaning of hard work. By 1983, after attending a seminar, he discovered the world of real estate. He liked what he saw and decided to get into it. For the next 15 years, he worked for several different brokerages before starting his own in 1998. In 2002, he made a move that would set the stage for a real estate journey spanning several countries and impacting thousands of homeowners.
"In 2002, we moved to Las Vegas, a place with a tremendous amount of opportunity at the time," he said. "We established a real estate company and started building houses. Eventually, we did the same thing in Hawaii and Costa Rica. We discovered Costa Rica because someone said the beachfront real estate was extremely affordable, especially compared to Hawaii. They were absolutely correct. We ended up building a subdivision, a restaurant, a grocery store and several rental houses, including our own beachfront house."
In 2008, Szinegh's wife passed away and in 2009, he decided a fresh start was in order. He sold the house in Nevada and moved to Orlando. While living in Orlando, Szinegh met his current wife, Kay. The two moved to Tampa where they lived for five years. All the while, Szinegh and Kay, who's also a real estate professional, continued to grow the brokerage and worked to create their own unique brand of real estate services. In June of 2017, Szinegh and Kay moved to Daytona Beach where they presently reside and manage a local office for Signature Real Estate.
Szinegh shared what makes Signature Real Estate International different than other brokerages and how they continue to find unique ways to set themselves apart. "I've worked for several different companies over the years," he said. "At one point, I was a Senior Vice President with Exit Realty International. I've personally sold over 3,500 houses. I've seen, first-hand, how dramatically the industry has changed. Today, you have large franchises that charge their agents big fees and independent brokerages that don't charge fees at all, but offer little in the way of training. We're technically a franchise, but we're different in many ways. First of all, we award franchises, we don't sell them. We look for people with great reputations who are young, tech savvy, energetic and willing to adapt with the changing times. We give our agents 100% of their commission and offer great training. Our offices are designed for the new agent that enjoys working from their car or a coffee shop. Our office is like the Starbucks of Real Estate. We have couches, a coffee bar and places for agents to hang out and collaborate.
The extent of our training is what really sets us apart. We offer online and live training. By focusing on training, the results are a better agent who's more likely to sell houses. The additional commission earned on selling those houses allows them to spend more money on advertising, which creates more sales."
With a real estate career spanning almost four decades, Szinegh knows a thing or two about real estate and how to remain relevant in an ever-changing market. According to Szinegh, over the last ten years, technology has dramatically changed the landscape. There are more companies, primarily internet-based real estate companies, to compete with. However, as Szinegh pointed out, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"A lot of these new companies have agents that aren't very professional and many have little training," he said. "Real estate is easy to get into. Every time the market changes, people jump in and think it's going to be so easy. It's only the good ones that stick around. Signature Real Estate embraces the positive aspects of technology, such as custom software and e-signing, and continues to move with the market. The biggest thing in this business is you can't just sit still. You have to be very active and on point, because the market can shift suddenly."
Looking ahead, Szinegh is focused on expanding his brand of real estate across the country. Signature Real Estate currently has multiple office locations in Nevada, California, Alaska, Utah, South Carolina and Florida. As Szinegh shared, the expansion strategy involves growing the business in more regional clusters. They're also adding more ancillary services including mortgage, title and insurance services under one roof. On a personal level, Szinegh will continue traveling around the country for speaking engagements and coaching sessions.
Szinegh, who at one point owned three pizza shops in Canada and has co-authored three books, covering a variety of business and entrepreneurial topics, offers some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "If someone comes to me looking for advice, the first thing I ask them is why," he said. "Why are you doing what you're doing? What's the purpose? You need to have a strong why. It's also critical that you get involved and join various professional networking groups. You won't have enough money to advertise your way into success. Aside from the books I've co-authored, I always recommend that people read The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber and The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. I was a top agent in 1984 and almost went out of business because I didn't know anything about running a business. I ended up firing myself as the manager and went back to what I was good at, which was selling. I hired someone else to run the company. These decisions came from reading The E-Myth.
Remember, your income, your attitude and your lifestyle is an average of the top five people you hang out with the most. Keep good company. The last thing I'll share is one of my favorite quotes. Benjamin Disraeli, former two-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom once said, 'Nothing can resist a human will that will stake its very existence on its purpose'. When you're committed to doing something, things will continue to move forward, even if faced with extreme odds. I'm a good example. I never finished college and now I have the honor and privilege of speaking at colleges."
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