Hi David! We are so excited to sit down with you today. You’ve had an incredible career built on relationships and you’ve been able to take the skills you’ve had working with buyers and transition to a successful listing agent. Tell me a little bit about your Real Estate Journey.
I was dragged into Real Estate. I was told I needed to get my license and initially I fought it. At the time, I was in the textile industry. I loved my career, I got to travel, and working in textiles was always a conversation starter. Real Estate seemed like a natural fit, and eventually I got my license and jumped in. When I first started, I loved the people part! I started out primarily working with buyers, and I quickly dove into the ISA world. I would do all of the outbound calling and inbound leads. I managed our boomtown platform, worked with buyers, got a showing agent, and now I’m working with both buyers and sellers. I closed 70 buyers last year and 31 sellers. Half of my business comes from past clients and referrals.
You mentioned that half of your business comes from your database, what do you think creates that type of return?
I focus on connection. I am the type of person where if I feel like I didn’t really connect with someone I will step back and reflect on what I missed. I like when I can speak to someone in the language they like. When I first learned about the DISC personalities, that was fascinating to me! I immediately took what I learned and applied it to the people I work with. I loved being able to meet someone, assess who they are, and then shift the conversation so I can speak to someone in their language and make them feel good. That’s important to me. I like being able to talk to someone and make them feel like they matter. I’m open to the idea that not everyone needs the same thing, and I am flexible in my approach.
What do you listen for to make someone feel important?
I listen to keywords and phrases on a regular basis. If they have a concern about something I want to address it. I am identifying where they lack clarity and I look for ways they are trying to say something and I help them say it. I want to help them think through things and I will always provide a counter point or alternative to help them consider all the angles.
It sounds like you are really intuitive.
I think that’s gotten more apparent as I’ve gotten older. I trust it more and I go with it.
How do you nurture the relationship, so that people continue to work with you and refer you business?
Social media. It’s so easy to do if you are that person, and I generally am. I share a lot on my social media, sometimes I think I share too much but I like it and I know people like what I post. It keeps me connected. If I’m up early in the morning and doing stuff, I’ll post about it. I will comment if someone posts something with information, I’ll also send them a DM with more info. I love helping people and social media is one of the ways I can do that.
I’ve been working to be more present on Instagram and LinkedIn since they don’t come as naturally to me as Facebook. I’ve been focusing on being more professional on LinkedIn to bring more of a business perspective.
Although I know that social media is only a certain segment of the DISC profile, so I often ask myself, “how do you connect with other people?” High C doesn’t stay in touch the same way. For that, I make sure that I do more than just social media. I will call someone if I’m in a neighborhood or if I see something that reminds me of someone I will call or text them. I often send messages or videos just asking people what’s new in their world because I genuinely want to know, and I think people value that.
I know that follow-up is important to you when it comes to converting your leads. Do you use the concept of a pipeline for your buyers and sellers?
I have my own little spreadsheet that I use on regular basis. It tracks my A/B/C lead pipeline. I use it every single day. I scan the list and make sure I follow up with people. I used to keep it in my head, and something changed at one point where I lose things more frequently than I used to. Now, everything I do goes in the spreadsheet. My numbers are always updated, and I always know what I have coming down the pike.
You’ve been in Real Estate for a few years now, what have you noticed about how Real Estate has changed over that timeframe?
It’s a 180 from when I’ve started. The public has changed. Sellers used to be on the market a long time and buyers would be focused on getting the price down. In fact, I work with a lot of buyers who come back to me, and I look at what we negotiated. It’s incredible some of the deals people were getting years ago. Today, buyers are so wired differently. They need a whole different set of behaviors. Now it is all about making your offer the one that gets accepted. There isn’t as much time as there used to be. Now, I think the market will start to level out, and that will mean that we will have to learn new behaviors once again. One of the things I love about real estate is that it’s constantly changing, it’s never the same day twice.
How have you adjusted to the market changes?
I am more direct. I give people the space. I share with them the strategy for how to win. I tell them, “If you want this result, this is how we have to do it. You can make whichever choice you want, and it’s my job to give you the ammunition to win.” Years ago, people would have multiple showings before making an offer, and today we don’t have that kind of time. Even though I am more direct now, I’m still friendly. Most of my business is people who bought years ago, in a completely different market. It’s my job to share with my buyers how it works differently now and to position them to win. .
How do you position them to win in this market?
Speed. Today’s market is about empowering your client to be able to make a quick decision. I focus on giving them enough information and preparation in advance so they can make a quick, informed decision.
How have you changed the expectations you set with buyers and sellers?
With buyers, I tell them that we need to outline the top 3 things for them. Then we drill down into what is most important and what really matters in the house they buy. Once I establish and review those, I say, “now that we have those, your job is to make the seller’s life the easiest you can make it. That’s the offer that wins. Our goal is to make it as easy as we can for sellers.”
For sellers it’s a different perspective. With sellers I’ll tell them, “The only mistake you can make as a seller is to price it too high, let’s agree not to make that mistake. If you want the best combination of terms and buyers to pick from, you want to have the greatest reach. Price determines your reach. If you price it too high, you won’t get much reach and you won’t get the offers to choose from”.
What is your top tip for someone working with buyers in this market?
Everyone wants to be heard. Take the time to listen. Listening requires more in depth thought than just hearing what they are saying. I had an appointment a couple of weeks ago and I left feeling like I didn’t really connect with them very well. We had a good conversation, they asked me good questions and I could answer them. Yet, what I kept hearing from them is that they were enthralled with the idea of listing, but they were terrified of how much they would pay and where they would go. I don’t know if the average agent would have walked away thinking, “I need to stay in touch and I need to give them time to think through what they need to do.” I realize that it’s not just about them listing the property, it’s about much more than that. Some people close just to get the listing fast, but my default is to build the relationship and then they will work with me. Maybe they won’t come on the market today but ultimately, I will get their business, so I want to give them information and empower them to make the best decision for themselves.
How do you define success?
Fulfillment. My day is successful when I’ve helped someone. I enjoy being someone who can help others and solve a problem.
If you could put any saying on a billboard, what would it be?
What is the greatest thing you get from your coaching relationship?
My coach always fixes it, or should I say, my coach always helps me fix it. It’s always about helping me figure out how to fix it. Whatever it is, whatever is on my mind, it’s fixed by the end of the call. The way he helps me process things the way I need to process things is incredible.
What kind of impact does that have on you?
It’s huge. It changes the course of my day. There are times where I wake up, and I’m in a bad mindset. I have my call and it changes the course of the day. If I didn’t have the call, my day would be dictated by everything else.
My coach is absolutely the reason I am as successful as I am.