Every week on Stay Paid, hosts Luke Acree and Josh Stike pride themselves on having conversations with top producers from all industries and unearthing “golden nuggets” of wisdom and actionable advice that you can use to grow your business.
We’ve been mining the archives, and, this week, we’re excited to share some of our favorite golden nuggets from the past 12 months.
In this episode:
- The importance of creating a personal brand.
- The power of relationships in sales.
- How creating your own podcast can turn you into the local expert.
Ep 71: Dex Lipovic
SP: New agents are trying to build a brand for themselves. They’re trying to figure out how they are unique or different from all the other agents in their area. How didthat process look for you?
DL: I’ll start off with the name Dex and the City. The brand has always really been there. It’s just now been injected with steroids and put out on social media. My passion has always been touring people around New York, whether it’s tourists, my friends from out of town, or international buyers and renters that I was dealing with.
A lot of these people came to New York just knowing that they wanted to invest in the city but having no idea what neighborhood. I had to sort of be a neighborhood guide. What grocery stores are there? What subway lines and attraction are there?
When we were going on these tours, it wouldn’t just be about an apartment or building that they were investing in. I had to literally take them around the entire neighborhood and around the entire city.
And then one of my buddies called me Dex and the City, and that’s when the light bulb went off. I was like, “Wow I need to just run with this.” I locked down everything from the domain name and getting the trademark done to the Instagram and Twitter handles—the whole nine yards.
Instagram was sort of always the bread and butter of like what I was going after, just because real estate in general is such a picture and video-oriented industry. And who doesn’t like looking at like nice houses?
SP: How has Instagram translated to leads for you?
DL: It’s been the biggest driver for my business, actually—not just when ads came out, either. Obviously, that has been elevated since. But even before ads came out, everybody already knew what I do. My entire sphere of influence, then, grew from a personal networking standpoint.
This is something I started back at the beginning of 2017. Rather than collecting people’s business cards or their phone numbers or emails, the one thing that I always go after is getting somebody’s Instagram handle. That’s regardless of whether I met them for 30 seconds or if I had dinner with them.
That is the Golden Nugget. That is the transformative factor of my career so far over the last two years. They fall into what I call my ecosystem. As you know, since you’ve been following me for almost a year, you’re going see me every single day on my Story touring a new property.
From there, they automatically associate real estate with my name. I don’t necessarily want to say it’s all new customers and people I’ve never met coming to me through Instagram. But a lot of times, it’s people that I met a year or two ago. They added me, and they’re in that ecosystem. Then, the leads and referrals generate from there.
Ep 77: Sean Carpenter
SP: You have this tagline: build relationships, solve problems, and have fun. Could you walk us through what this means, and then how it can help an agent live an abundant life?
SC: If you think about what we do every day, it’s what we do. We build relationships, solve problems, and have fun. Now, “have fun” is optional, as you know.
Every single day in sales, you can be building a relationship—either a new relationship with someone you’ve never met or deepening a relationship with someone you’ve known for years. And if you’re good at solving problems, people will call you when they have a real estate need.
If I can get other people to tell my story for me, then I don’t have to spend my time, effort, and money telling my story. Seth Godin said that our job is to turn strangers into friends, turn friends into customers, and customers into salespeople. Get those customers to tell others about us.
SP: What are some of the operational things agents need to implement?
SC: There are really two things an agent does with his or her day. They either do business development or business support activities. I can take anyone’s to-do list from the day and draw a line down a sheet of paper and say whether something is a business development activity or a business support activity.
Most agents spend most of their time doing business support activities. I ask people why, and they say that it’s easier and it has to get done. And I agree with that, but let me tell you why most people spend most their time on business support: because there’s no rejection.
SP: Amen! that’s a Golden Nugget, people.
SC: If you spend all your time doing business support and not business development, there soon will be no business to support. Every day, we have to treat our career development opportunities like a farmer in the field.
Work the land and put seeds in the ground. We have to fertilize and water and work the land, and wait for the seeds to pop through and become a plant. We still don’t have a harvest yet, do we? We still have to work the field, prune, fertilize, and water. We have to wait and be patient.
I created what I call my 4-H Club. Every day when I get in the office, the first thing I do is write five handwritten notes.
The second thing I do is run a hot sheet. Now, this is real estate-specific, but a hot sheet is the section in the MLS where it shows you the newest listings, price changes, contracts, and sales. As I run through that, I say to myself, “Do I know anyone who lives within a two-block radius of that house?” And if I do, I text, call, or email them that listing.
The third H I do is Happy Birthdays. That’s the first time I jump onto Facebook while I’m in the office. I see which of my friends have birthdays that day. Now, this is a Golden Nugget, as you say. What I do is write a little bit more than just “happy birthday.”
Mine says something like, “Today’s your birthday. Forget about the past, because you can’t change. Forget about the future, since it’s not here yet. Forget about the present: I didn’t get you one. I hope you have a good year!”
People say, “Thanks, Carp! Funniest post of the day.” Which means for that split second, I was top of mind.
The last H is what I call my High Fives. I’m already on Facebook, so I do five likes and five comments. Then, I jump over to Twitter, and I do five retweets or comments on people’s tweets. On Instagram, I don’t just do five likes, I do five comments. And the last part my high-fives is five random. It could be as easy as, “Hey Josh, hope you have an awesome day!” or “Hey Luke, did you see the extra innings homerun by Bryce Harper in the game last night?” It’s just a random little touch.
Then, when I’ve done my 4-H Club, I go across the parking lot to our Starbucks and get my coffee as a reward for putting seeds in the ground.
Ep 66: Willie Mandrell
SP: What’s the number one place your deals are coming from?
WM: I know a lot of agents probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s networking. It’s just getting out and meeting people.
We just talked the world becoming a little bit more social, but the idea that you can just sit back and post things on Instagram and build a massive business … I think it’s flawed.
In my opinion, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are supplements. I don’t think that there are too many things that you can do that are going to overtake the face-to-face conversation that you have, sharing a beer with somebody, and getting in there and telling them what you do. They’re able to see your passion.
When you can see someone’s face and hear it in their voice, you can understand what they’re trying to do. I think it’s a lot more powerful than any image or inspirational quote that you can put on Facebook.
You never know where leads are going to come from. And when I say networking, I don’t necessarily mean business networking events or real estate events where there are a whole bunch of other real estate agents. I mean find something that you enjoy doing, whether it’s swimming or tennis or something else. Go out there and join a Meetup.
Just go out there and meet people who are not necessarily in your line of work: doctors, lawyers, nurses, and caretakers. You have a commonality now. You’re biking and you just enjoy a 10-mile bike ride, and the conversation of what you do for work always comes up. Then, you don’t have to have that awkward conversation, saying, “Here’s my business card” and sticking it down their throat. That conversation comes naturally. You have something to talk about now outside of what you do. And they’re more likely to do business with you on the opposite side.
That’s what I say I mean when I say networking, is getting out there—whether it be a cooking class. snowmobiling, or whatever it is you love. Go out there, meet as many people as you can, and dump them back into your CRM. I can almost promise you that your business will explode.
SP: That’s so gold!
Ep 81: Kim Angeli
KA: We’re planting corn every day. We’re planting the seeds every day of connections and building relationships. But we can’t plant corn today and eat corn tomorrow.
I’ll see it all the time with salespeople. We’ll do a relationship campaign. We’ll send out birthday cards or thank-you notes to our top clients. Or let’s say they send your magazine out, and they don’t get $500,000 worth of sales the next week.
And they’re like “Oh my gosh.” It’s planting corn, and some of the corn will grow and we’ll eat it. Some of the corn will die. But if we don’t plant corn every day we’re not going to eat corn.
My carpet cleaner did all these gratitude calls and got all this revenue, and he didn’t do any more. But you have to do about five things a day to move your business forward. We’re planting corn every day because the farmer doesn’t go out and say, “Well, let’s just throw some corn out there and hope tomorrow we come out here we have stalks of corn.” It doesn’t happen.
I plant the corn, I water the corn, I nurtured the corn. And some of the corn is big. They’re my raving fans. Some of the corn is little. They might be my seed clients. And then some of the corn I could put Miracle Grow on and grow raving fans. And then, some of the corn, I just move on.
SP: That’s such a Golden Nugget. Rewind that! Listen to the last two minutes again. That is the key. Business is a long-term game. It’s a farming game. I think that’s an incredible analogy.
Ep: Bubba Mills
SP: When you look at a small business owner, you look at their P&L. You need to focus on income-generating activities. It’s not about necessarily cutting expenses. It’s about being wise about how you’re spending your money. But you don’t want to pinch pennies, because you’re going to lose dollars that way.
How do you walk people through the process of building their business sustainably from income-generating activities?
BM: Every company, whether it’s an insurance company, a title, company, or whatever else, you have three types of business. You have free (referrals, past clients), leads that you rent, and leads that you own.
When we’re working with small businesses, the number one way to generate business in your community is to be able to grow on another small business in your area.
SP: That’s a Golden Nugget right there.
It’s that simple. I do this entire session called “The Art of Reciprocity,” and it’s got five ways of getting free business.
If you guys take this video, you can promote me on it, and you know I will watch this thing. I’m going to be like, “Oh crap, they did a video on me.” What I need to do now is put it on my social media. My wife will put it on hers, and then my maybe my kids and my team. You guy just got ten people in your database by doing one thing, and how much did it cost you? Zero.
Now, these agents need to go to their local small businesses. I don’t care if it’s a quilting company. I don’t care if it’s a grooming place. Let’s do business with local companies and go interview one a week. Do a Facebook Live or edit it and put it on there later. They’ll put it on theirs, too. Boom! I just doubled my database and it cost me absolutely nothing.
Ep 91: Luke Acree, Josh Stike, and Mark Randall
LA: If you watch any type of TV show, the first season is so different. They kind of morph into their characters. But you’ve got to find your authentic self. It’s really difficult to be authentic on film, and I think it’s easier to be authentic on audio than it is on video.
JS: It’s also a great source for your other content. We talk a lot about content marketing here. I was actually having this conversation with my brother. I kind of laughed, because I said, “Hey we’re about to record a podcast about how to start a podcast.” He’s got this blog that he set up, and his target is men with a religious worldview and fathers, and kind of helping them be better fathers.
He’s got this blog, and he’s trying to drive traffic. He eventually wants to monetize this thing. And so, just as we’re talking, I’m like, “Dude, you’ve got to start a podcast.”
You’re going to come up with something on this podcast that will help you produce a blog post. You’re going to be able to create a graphic for it. You can cut out an audio snippet and use that on your social media. You’re going to come out with an email newsletter, and you have another piece of content to give to your audience.
If you’re a service professional, you are your brand. You need to get people to know you, like you, and trust you. And hearing you speak and provide expertise is going to do that.
LA: Ladies and gentleman, that was a Golden Nugget! Everybody listening to this, I’m sure, has the same thoughts I do. I’m so small. It doesn’t matter. Why would I spend the time? That is the number one reason—the amount of content you’ll get from producing 30 minutes of audio.
JS: You have an opportunity to do interviews or invite people on your podcast who are in the local community. And maybe they have an audience, so now you have an opportunity to get your brand and your voice out in front of their audience.
LA: If you’re an agent, you can interview a mortgage person and teach first-time homebuyers how they go about a mortgage. Something else that’s really popular right now is flipping and investing in rental properties.
MR: Those are huge podcasts right now, just teaching people how to do those things.
JS: Think about the power of being able to say that you’ve recorded a podcast on what to ask your home inspector, and now you’re sending that to your client right before their home inspection.
MR: You can even go a little deeper, and you can create a Facebook ad. If you did a podcast for first-time buyers, create that ad and send them to a landing page where they put in their email. Then it becomes a lead.
LA: Alright, gentlemen: another golden nugget!
- Implement at least one of the Golden Nuggets from this episode.