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Billy Ekofo

Born in the United States, but of Congolese origins, Billy’s life continues to be marked by his relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep passion for community and social impact. Billy is a trained communication and business professional with over 10 years of combined academic and professional experience from living, studying and working in Central Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Billy completed his MBA at the College of William and Mary with an emphasis on Real Estate and Entrepreneurship in May 2013, and joined Century 21 in January 2014 as an agent focusing on the Northern Virginia/DC Metro market.

Recent Posts

Billy Ekofo Bids Farewell to C21 Redwood

By Billy Ekofo on Sep 19, 2018 1:21:32 PM

Earlier this year my life took a turn that I didn’t expect. My wife and I, along with other family members here in the US had to evacuate my parents from the Democratic Republic of The Congo due to safety reasons. The experience caused many other changes in both our personal and professional lives. I left my job at Inman News and returned to CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty because I felt as if the rug of my life was pulled right out from underneath me, and I needed to regain my balance. I am thankful that Redwood has been that constant in my life.

I have spent almost four years at Redwood - as an agent and staff member - working and pouring out my very best into everything. I have witnessed the tremendous growth of the company and the fact that it remained laser-focused on its mission to serve its agents and provide them with everything they would need to build a viable real estate business. I stood and celebrated our agents' successes. I have mourned with agents. I have been the beneficiary of more blessings through Redwood than I could count. And when my world felt like it was crashing down, CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty was there, once again, to see me through. This company gave me a shot at a better life for myself and my family. My gratitude, love, and respect for this brokerage will always endure.

It will come as a surprise to many, but I have decided to step down from my position at Redwood, for the simple reason that it is time for me to pursue a new growth opportunity for myself. Sometimes taking the time to pause, and assess your life and journey will lead you to ask some tough questions, and make some hard discoveries about yourself.

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In a 'Go Go Go' World, Are You Making Time for You?

By Billy Ekofo on Sep 12, 2018 10:49:21 AM

Between my junior year in high school and my senior year in college, I spent all of my summers working at as camp counselor right outside of Williamsburg, Virginia. I loved that opportunity because it gave me the chance to reconnect with friends who had served in the past with me, but also the chance to connect with new staff members. Ultimately, the real excitement was looking forward to welcoming new and returning campers to their favorite camp for the summer and introducing them to new programs, adventures, and a slew of silliness.

I always started my journey at the camp with incredible energy. I barely took any breaks, even though we were encouraged to do so. The excitement of the camp fueled me, so I never once thought that I needed time to recharge myself. My last year as a counselor was in 2004, and by then, I was no longer the Energizer bunny that I was six years previously. I knew in my heart that I squandered any future opportunities to be of service to other staff members, and ultimately the children because I was always on the go, and never took time to replenish my soul and body.

One of the most significant benefits of our work as Realtors® is that we continuously pour our very best into everything we do - and clients get a front row seat to our constant flow. The rush of submitting an offer, breezing through all the contingencies, and finally sitting at the closing table keeps us wanting more: more interactions with potential clients, more opportunities to help other people in our sphere, and the opportunity to once again showcase our ability to help anyone with one of the most significant financial decisions they’ll ever make.

Topics: agent advice
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It's Time to Shake it Up and Stop Accepting the Ordinary

By Billy Ekofo on Sep 6, 2018 9:32:00 AM

Labor Day came and went. The kids are back in school, and summer is coming to an end. In the real estate world, this means a couple of things: The people who wanted to move to a different location are finally settling into their new house and routine. The people who thought about moving to a new home, but haven’t yet made the move, will most likely stay put for at least a few more months. There is still some market activity, but the general spring market frenzy is coming to an end.

Pretty soon, fall will be here, and with it will come another wave of real estate opportunities for buyers, sellers, and renters. Those prospective customers will most likely look for a ready, able, and well-suited agent to assist them with their needs. That agent will probably be either a recommendation from a close friend or relative, or an agent that they found online.

The criteria for choosing said agent will be based on either service reviews, the strength of the recommendation, or the way that agent carries himself or herself either in person or online. Some will choose you. Others will not. You’ll service the ones who decided that your help is something they cannot live without. You’ll close on a transaction and ask them for a referral. They will either share one or several with you or not. You’ll still feel proud of your services to them, and that service will earn you a commission. You’ll celebrate. You will thank your clients for their trust in you, and you'll look into your pipeline with great anticipation and expectation for your next source of business.

Topics: agent advice
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How Are Your Delivering on Your Brand's Promise?

By Billy Ekofo on Aug 29, 2018 2:30:44 PM

I have been having many conversations regarding brand and service lately, but more so around branding. In particular, how your brand’s value proposition needs to be in perfect alignment with the services you offer.

Often, agents think of their brand as merely a collection of trendy colors, logos, images, and regularly scheduled social posts, but it is, in fact, a whole lot more. A brand is a unique identifier for your business, and encapsulated in that brand is a single value proposition to your current and potential customers.

Your brand is of great importance for many reasons. In addition to the monetary value you bring to the table, this is something to which recruiters and brokerages looking to acquire companies pay close attention. Your brand is such a differentiator that, when built correctly, a business will consider whether or not acquiring you will enhance its brand to the point that a consumer would be willing to pay extra for doing business with them over another company. This is what is often referred to as brand equity - an intangible measurement of a brand’s power that can either enhance a company’s standing in the marketplace or cripple it completely.

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Feeling Alone in an Industry Full of People

By Billy Ekofo on Aug 22, 2018 11:14:43 AM

Has your brokerage ever made you feel like an afterthought?

One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel alone, and by alone I mean being among people day in and day out, and still feeling like you are the only person in the room. Luckily for our industry, we have remedies for combat such feelings. We come up with different ways to ensure inclusion. Sales meetings, for example, are a good time for agents and the brokerage's leadership to get together, give some updates on the market, company policies, and special announcements. Company outings provide ways for agents to connect on a more social setting - away from listings and contract discussions.

Company trainings provide ways for agents and staff to learn and grow their knowledge on a particular topic. Also, let us not forget about the multiple luncheons and happy hours we put together. We do everything we can to ensure that agents are part of some company function, which is designed to make them feel part of something higher than just a sales-driven career because sales can get lonely at times.

Topics: agent advice
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You Still Have Time to Embrace Change and Be Successful in 2018

By Billy Ekofo on Aug 15, 2018 7:52:00 AM

This is the time of the year - August in particular - when we come to a realization: We are satisfied with everything that has transpired so far this year, or we cannot believe that three quarters of the year went by without a single bonafide achievement. Even worse, people have already started talking about laying the groundwork for a fantastic sales year in 2019.

It is a frightening thought because there are about four months left until this year is over, but the tendency at this point is to coast through the rest of the year, hoping and praying for a better year next year. We start to make plans for better things: better processes, better outreach, better marketing, or social media strategies - all because we begin to think that the year is practically over, so beginning or pivoting from anything right now would be an exercise in futility.

August seems to be one of those months that puts everything in perspective for me as well, more so this year, since it marks the 20th anniversary of me leaving my home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and arriving in Richmond, VA to start a brand new life in the US. I came to the United States with no family and no plan, other than to survive and surmount whatever changes, obstacles or setbacks this new life would hand to me. I had no choice but to make it work. I couldn’t take a flight back home and pick up where I left things off in the DRC. I had to believe that this journey was worth what was a momentous undertaking for a 17-year-old boy.

Topics: agent advice
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Do You Know Why Recruiters are Calling You?

By Billy Ekofo on Aug 8, 2018 9:09:00 AM

Let’s clear up any confusion.

Yes, I recruit agents. I am always on the lookout for incredible talent to join our company.

Yes, I think we have the best tools, support, and programs available to help any real estate agent out there take their business to an even higher level. Yes, I am fully aware that my opinions regarding the merits of our company are utterly biased. Any attempt to convince me otherwise would most likely reinforce that as a company we are better positioned to help agents succeed.

Now that this is cleared up let’s dive into the goal of this post.

A couple of days ago I was having lunch with a Realtor friend. Yes, my instinct was to convince her to leave her company and join ours. I was heartbroken but happy to hear that she’ll be moving out of the area, and because of this, wouldn’t consider leaving her current company. In fact, the national headquarters of her company is in the state she is moving to. As a result, any hope of recruiting her has been completely shattered.

Topics: recruiting
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Who in the Industry Changed Your Life?

By Billy Ekofo on Aug 1, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Last week, I wrote about my takeaways from Inman Connect and how being an Inman Ambassador has affected my career and my life. My real estate career has been a series of ups and downs. Though there have indeed been more ups than downs, I went through a dark period early on. With bills mounting, I was having a hard time getting my real estate career off the ground. It got to the point that I thought that maybe this wasn't the industry for me. I was prepared to walk away and leave real estate behind.

But then one agent showed an act of kindness that not only helped me at the moment but put me on a trajectory to success. I went on Facebook Live yesterday to discuss the impact this agent has had on my life and my subsequent prosperity.

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Being the Agent You Long to Be

By Billy Ekofo on Jul 25, 2018 11:11:44 AM

Last week was an exceptional week in San Francisco. Over 2,000 real estate professionals from all across the industry and the world made the journey out west to learn, grow, and think of better ways to develop themselves and their services. In a roundabout way, Inman Connect has become a bit of a pilgrimage - Realtors and other real estate practitioners from all across the industry journey to this gathering. Our temple is a conference hall. Our faith is in the belief that we are meant to be the conduits of better lives for our clients, our communities, and the world. The journey we take has its perils - we lose our luggage, our flights are delayed, and sometimes our reservations are nowhere to be found - but the result is still the same. We come together as an industry to challenge ourselves, ensuring that we are always looking to break our self-imposed limits.

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The Most Important Things I've Learned at Inman Connect

By Billy Ekofo on Jul 19, 2018 5:56:29 PM

Since I'm in San Francisco for Inman Connect, I decided to do something a little different for my blog post this week. We've been posting #DispatchesfromInman over on our Facebook page since the conference started. It's been a fun time full of friendship, networking, and learning and I want to share some of my big takeaways with you:

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