Episode 1: Work / Life Balance for Real Estate Agents – Joel Kahn
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Episode 1: Work / Life Balance for Real Estate Agents – Joel Kahn

All right everybody. Thank you so much
for coming to our broadcast where I talk to really interesting real estate agents to find out how they’re able to have a business and a life. One of the things we really believe here at Realvolve is that money is
nice but life is better! Today I’m really, really excited to have Joel Kahn
on my little webinar series. We’re still working on the title but I think
we settled on Real Agents. Real Life. Joel is somebody that I met in our two
day event in Denver where we tried to turn on the light bulb on the subject of
workflows which is a subject of some stress for many of our users. I was just captivated by his ability to give me evil stink-eye when he thought I was
giving him bullshit. I always love that, I love truth tellers in every way, shape
or form so I asked Joel to come on our show. So that you can kind of get a
sense of how much you resonate with his story. He has been a retail real estate
agent for 10 years. Had lots of experience in construction and development before that but retail real estate for about 10 years. He operates as
a small team the consists of him and a partner agent, Shannon. They have zero
staff. When I asked him if he had an assistant, he said he had Realvolve. An answer that I loved. He is a team that operates under the RE/MAX banner. He does primarily single family dwellings and condos. He and Shannon combined. He needed to tell me that, that it’s not all him but he and Shannon combined and did 50 transactions in 2017 to give you an idea of the size of his
business. Joel’s a family guy. He’s not a guy who has no life but selling
houses. I hated those commercials. Remember those, I think it was NAR that said – Real Estate’s my Life. Forget that! Joel’s got a family and a great life. He’s got a wife. He has two grown daughters, one in college and one on her
way to law school so Joel needs to sell houses in case you have any referrals. He
does business in Ohio. Where in Ohio? Columbus area. Why does every town in
Ohio start with a C? I’m just curious – Cleveland, Columbus. Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland. Toledo – yeah, I’d heard of Toledo. (Kendyl singing) Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio is like being nowhere at all. Sorry, I had to do that! Joel, thank you for coming on our show. Thank you for having me, it’s my pleasure. Will it be by the time we’re done? I’m gonna make you cough up all your deepest, darkest secrets. We don’t
have time for all of those. Okay, alright. Just a housekeeping note for those of you who are joining this Facebook Live. Thank you so much. You can actually ask any questions that you might have in the comments down below.
I’ll be able to see those comments, questions, that sort of thing and I will
try to get to them and ask them before we leave the show. If you’re seeing this
as a recording on Facebook Live, a lot of you are going to see this after the fact. You can still ask questions down below. I will get pinged. If I don’t know the answer, I
will text Joel and get the answer for you. No, he’s not single. No, he’s not available for dating. I just want to get that out there! Let’s jump into what people expect and that’s a little bit about your background in using Realvolve. You’re doing a sizable business. Fifty transactions, that’s nothing to sneeze at. You don’t have an admin.
What gave you pain in your business before you started using Realvolve? We had a few different pain points. One was keeping in touch with our
sphere of influence. Relationship based, I do some stuff with Realtor.com, I do some stuff with Zillow, I’ve bought leads from various sources but I’m a firm believer in that, relationship transactions. The biggest pain point was I believe your sphere of influence and your past
client list is I think just a great way to go. I don’t want to use the
term goldmine but if you’re not speaking to them, reaching out to them and these
are people that know, like and trust you then you’re leaving money on the table
and that was that was one of the pain points. You got a couple of claps for that by the way. You’ve got some fans when it comes to doing relationship building. Appreciate that. The other pain point was I am not a big admin guy. You and I Kendyl, we’re kind of
on different pages with this but we run our businesses differently and that’s okay. In my career, I can count on probably one finger how many admins
I had. Even when I was at my busiest in home building, running my own company and at one point I had 18 homes going at one time, I still didn’t have an admin. I struggle with – is there a better way to do it? I like to push things down in the
sense of I like to manage other people. If my wife is watching, she just started
laughing out loud, there’s a tear in one eye! My kids, the same. I saw Realvolve and I said – huh, there’s this admin piece and the way I look at
it and the way you and I have discussed is that with the workflows and this isn’t a
commercial for Realvolve but with the workflows, the things that you do over
and over and over again for the same transaction. Even though every transaction is unique, there are some things that are always
the same right. In that regard, I looked at Realvolve and said – huh, this can do so many things for me and for us that we don’t have to continue to do the same thing over and over again, that we can start automating it. You’re feeling that ability to automate things would improve this pain point of keeping in touch with your
sphere of influence? Two things – number one, keeping in touch with our
clients on a regular basis. They expect hand-holding, they deserve
hand-holding. They want to be project managed, they’ll just never
tell you that. It allowed us to do that during the transaction but
for a transaction or even trying to mine those relationships, keeping in touch
with those people. That was a huge pain point. It was an Excel spreadsheet,
it was a memory, it was what’s their email. It was all the problems that
anybody else has that we’re speaking with,
I had them as well. You mentioned in our prep call that another pain point was the ability to convert those online
leads. Can you tell me more about that? Sure. I have no problem picking up the
phone when somebody reaches out to me to say – Hey, It’s Joel Kahn with RE/MAX, The Provident Team. Got your note. You know, fill in the blanks. I’ve read all the email scripts
that everybody else has. I tried different things but it’s the consistent
touching of once you’ve reached out to them, it’s the consistent follow-up with
them of trying to get them to reach back out to you. We implemented a workflow, it’s not automatic. We pick and choose – again, something that I’m a little bit different than other agents on but
we pick and choose what we do and who. If we like the lead, it’s something we want to work with, not necessarily on a personality
level. We’ve got, it’s either an 11 or 12 step program that we got from The
Paperless Agent. We modified their workflow and their email verbage a little
bit and it allows us to again, automatically keep in touch with people. If they engage with us and we go down a different path, we’ll stop the workflow. Don’t engage with us right away, we’ll continue the
workflow. That just happened today. I had someone reach out to me and say – we’re not active but please keep our search. Don’t want to have coffee but please keep our
search going out of MLS. It’s a small victory. This sounds like part of
your workflow in talking to online leads is asking them to physically meet you
for coffee. Just to get together? Correct. If Shannon’s watching this right now and I know she is, she’s laughing because when she first started, I would buy her Starbucks gift cards and say – go meet people for coffee, go build the relationships, go do those things. I keep Starbucks myself and I’m sure
lots of other people but I’m very much a relationship person. I also believe egotistically, you’re not. If I can get in front of you, I’ve got a great shot of
landing you as a client. I believe in that very strongly for anybody – email, phone calls, text messages. People can hide behind them but you get that one-on-one, shake their hand, look them in the eye, take notes, write
things down. I just think that’s a great way to build a relationship and start a
relationship. In your world, all this electronic stuff that we’re starting to use to kind of leverage our time might be a tool but
what builds those relationships is that face-to-face and your workflows are
helping you to create those opportunities, right? Exactly. The phrase
is belly-to-belly. If you’re sitting across from someone, next to someone and honestly it happened yesterday. Someone signed up on the RE/MAX website. I’ll tell
you my conversion rate is below zero on the RE/MAX website for some reason. It’s the worst one out there and it is my brokerage, it is the national one. I reached out to him, called him said – Hey, This is how I
operate and he called me back and said yeah I’d like to meet with you. I’m really getting started, a younger person. We met yesterday, met with a lender today, his search is up and running, he wants to see one this weekend. It would never
happened if I would have not met him in person. Meeting in person is critical then. Here you are, I heard you say that you’re using
workflows but I know that getting to the point where you have workflows was not
that easy for you. Can you tell me a little bit about how you cross that
hurdle from what the heck is this to wow, I can really use this as a tool. Absolutely. We implemented it, we started building our database, we started
tracking our transactions and all the sudden on a Facebook Realvolve post – Hey, We’re gonna do a live classroom training. I can’t remember if it was Mark or Dave, I messaged him – I’m in and then I harped on him. He’s like – this is the weekend and I go – great, I’m in. This is how much it is. I don’t care, I’m in. Then it was – well, we haven’t finalized the date yet. I don’t
care, I’m in and it was a constant barrage of am I in, am I in, am I in? The reason is I had signed up for another CRM. I bought it
twice. I did not learn the first time that I hated it. I used it a second time
and used is very loosely so I went to the class. What I thought we were doing was we were using it at 50%. Then we went to the classroom training, walked
away somewhat with our tail between our legs because we were using it at 5
or 10%. Wow! The classroom hands-on training, there
were aha moments. Certainly listening to what you were saying and how you do your
workflows. I thought it was very cool that the CEO of the company was there
but the CIO was the one who was doing the classroom training. When you have
a question and not to blow up Mark’s email inbox but when I email Mark, he
actually responds and it’s almost always a user error – that’s me. I use the online chat as well. They look at your workflows, they
say – what are you trying to do? This is what I do but that aha moment was really in Denver when we were going through… excuse me for the rustling around. We were going through this three-ring binder that is on my desk. My merge fields are still on my desktop but going through that saying – this is really something powerful that we have to harness because it will take us to the
next level. Was there a particular tidbit that you
got from Denver that maybe somebody else could go – oh wow, that means something to me. I don’t know what that might be but can you remember
something like that? No, but what I can tell you is that sitting there listening to the other people in the classroom and some of them
had the same pain points. Some of them were way further advanced. Exclude yourself, you’re at a different level. I am, what can I say! You are but listening to the people
behind us saying – this is what we do and you’re like oh that’s a great idea
and this is what we do. It’s almost like it was its own little mastermind group. You’re hearing these things going – oh
that’s a good idea, let’s try to implement that. Of course, it’s drinking from a firehose but we committed to – we’re gonna do the first
transaction to close workflow. Did it. We did a second one. We split up the buyer,
the seller, whether it’s finance or cash and you have to be willing to make a mistake. Now that you’ve had some workflows that you’ve written for yourself and I’ll bet you that process was a really interesting
one where you had to identify the things you actually do to make a transaction
happen, right? I know I enjoyed that. Can you tell me what pain points or how has that improved your ability to run your business? I think first and foremost
communicating with our clients on a regular basis. As agents, we know it a lot. Well, the good agents know a lot. The bad agents
just trip everybody up. I know I’m not supposed to talk about that. The agents
who know what they’re doing, know what they’re doing. The problem is we get into
such a system of I know it therefore my client should know it and
that’s NOT true. Some clients do. Some of them, it’s their fourth or fifth transaction and they know exactly the way it’s going to go. Some of them, it’s their
fourth or fifth transaction and they still have no clue what earnest money deposit does or why you have it or home inspection or whatever it is. These transaction to close workflows that we setup are really about keeping
in contact with our clients. An email of the final countdown – again, give Shannon
credit where credit is due. She’s the one who came up with that. It’s
a great way to get somebody excited about getting to the finish line. It’s a list of here are all the things and by the way here’s what happens with your
earnest money deposit, here’s what happens at the title company, don’t forget your driver’s license. The text message before closing – Hey, We’re
all set for tomorrow. If you have any questions, reach out to me. Don’t forget your driver’s license because at least in Ohio if you don’t
have that ID, you’re not closing so we harp on it. It sounds like that has really streamlined your process. I’m guessing that it also
enhances your clients perception of your value to them? It does. If I do a listing presentation or I’m working with a new client, I talk about
Realvolve. I talk about Realvolve as being one of my tools. I’ll tell you, my very first workflow that I messed up – I hit go and my buyer
who did not speak English very well was a technical person. Got 12 emails and
text messages all at the same time and my phone was blowing up because he’s going – what do you mean I’m closing tomorrow? What do you my earnest money deposit is due tomorrow? What do you mean my applications due?Everything was due and I’m like – Hey, I learned from that! Yes, I talk about it because this is something that it’s a value add for us. The next question that I had but I think it kind of goes right into it here. This is a value add for you. How does Realvolve help you to enhance your business creation activities? We’re
able to keep in contact with our current customers, our previous customers, our
potential customers, our suspect customers – that’s one of the labels and
our database of people on a consistent basis. We still what I call two step it – we send a newsletter every month but we do it out of MailChimp. The content on that newsletter comes from The Paperless Agent. I like what they do
and how they do it and what they have to say. I think it’s relevant across different agents. One thing that you and I discussed is I’m not sending out
postcards with cookie recipes. That’s not my personality, it’s just not. But you look
like you enjoy cookies. I know I do. I like eating them way more than I do talking about… Okay so no cookie recipes, got it. It allows us to keep in contact. If you go back to what I said originally and it’s something that I get on the soapbox about is – there’s great value in your database, there’s huge value in your database. It’s a conversation starter at times. One thing you and I discussed was we don’t blast
our database with emails when we have new listings. If we have something unique,
we do. Unique for Columbus is different than unique for Carlsbad. We had one that we sent out and the O’Leary
experience. We didn’t put a price on it. I had a client said – Hey, I love it. I was
like well, it’s twice as much as your price point but it got him
communicating with me. Hey, These things are going on. It sounds like you’re concentrating on sending messages of value rather than robotically
sending out things just because you need to send something out? Correct. You had mentioned also, because you just mentioned that database is such
an important aspect of your business. You mentioned reaching out at special times in their lives – when they’re pregnant or life events. We keep track of and it’s more on a personal level, the younger couples. It
doesn’t matter their age but when someone is pregnant, we try to keep track
of – Hey, Have you added to your family yet, what’s the latest, what’s going on and this just happened. We become friends with our clients. It’s very rare
that we do not keep in touch with them. Every once in awhile it happens, personalities just don’t match but we keep in touch. I remember that a certain couple, she was due in June and sent a note and said – Hey, Have you expanded your family yet? This was their first and he goes – oh, actually came early. Thanks
for reaching out. By the way, I’m glad you reached out. They bought a very small home last year and they want to be on land. We’d love to
talk to you, we’re gonna start our land search now because the home is too
small for us. I went there, did a CMA, pulled some numbers, saw the house that
they had worked on, of course saw the baby, gift card, little handwritten note.
Joel, Thanks for coming out. We really appreciate it. Thanks for setting up the
land search. They’re already talking to the lender and it wasn’t a matter of – gee, I want to sell them some some land. It was a matter of – they had a baby and that’s a pretty big event and I liked the two of them and I sent them a note. I said – Hey,
What’s going on and then it turns into a potential transaction, well three transactions – the land, the build deal and the seller as well. It really sounds like you’re using your
database as a means of being authentically interested in your clients
lives. Yeah, we have about 550 people in a Realvolve database. We’ve talked about it, your Realvolve database is your clean database. The people that you really know, like and trust. Correct. We have another… well there’s three or four of them in there we don’t really like. Okay well there’s a stinker in every pile. I have another database from previous lead sources of 1200 that we have not merged in yet because I’m
afraid and I like the cleanliness but I can’t keep track of – let’s say there’s 350 of them are my clients or my people. I cannot mentally keep track of all those people and what’s going on. Shannon gave me the smiley face with tears. I think she’s
thinking of who it is you don’t like in your database. It’s not just me, she has one as well! This is a publicly open thing so we’re not going to talk
about who Joel thinks is a stinker. What’s said here stays here. Oh wait, no it doesn’t stay here so we can’t say. Because relationship building
is such a big deal in your business, I know that you’ve shared with me
something that you do in your business to help foster those face-to-face
relationships. Sounds like bowling might be something
that’s fun in your business so can you tell us more about that? I had the idea of doing some type of client event. I thought about it
a few different times, never pulled the trigger. I thought about a cocktail party.
I thought about different things. There are a few Realtors locally who do movies and before I was a Realtor and I was still building and I built spec homes I actually went to those. It was very nice, they did a toy drive. It was during the holiday season
but we wanted interaction and you don’t get interaction in a movie. It’s kind of
like the first date if it’s a movie, it’s safe because you don’t have to talk
about anything. It was Shannon who said – Hey, What about bowling? To which I was like – not my thing but a great idea. What we did was – we sent out to our previous customers, 2 – 3 years back and then we ended up having to go back a
little bit further but we did a bowling event. It was the end of October, I think it was beginning of November. We had rented out half of an
alley and Shannon is connected with a charitable organization that needs food
donations. We had sponsors, we had some mortgage companies, some title companies, my CPA who is both a client, a referrer and I refer back to her. Great person. We said -okay we’re gonna take this money to help offset some of the cost, we’re gonna take this money and we’re gonna buy gifts and we did a raffle. The rules of the raffle were if you want to be part of
the raffle, you have to bring in a bag of food. We were trying to do some good
and it was really cool. We debated back and forth – it was a Saturday afternoon.
In Columbus Ohio, in the fall everything revolves around the Ohio
State University football schedule. I don’t care who you are and what you’re
doing, if you believe otherwise and you’re trying to hold an event, you will fail.
This one happened to have an evening football game and we would wrap
up right beforehand and we had all different types of people. What’s funny is we went back and forth on whether we should do an open bar and of course
we’re like – no it’s kid friendly, it’s a family event and you look over and the
people who you thought would have buckets of beer, buckets of six-packs
of beer by their lanes had the beer and we just kind of laughed about it. The best part about it was we got to interact – that was a second best. The best
part was our clients got to interact with each other and it was really cool
to see. We kind of placed people together that we thought we knew would
get along. We didn’t do a blind draw, maybe next year we’ll do that. We think we can double in size which will double in donation so in January, February this year we looked at the Ohio State football schedule and there’s actually a weekend they’re not playing. We reserved the bowling alley
right then and there and we’re gonna do it again because it was a lot of fun. We built relationships and yes, I got two transactions out of it because clients said – Hey, We’re trying to
get our friends to work with you. Bring them too, that’s the point of that. The idea of having an event where everybody can talk and interact with
each other. You with them but also them amongst themselves, you feel is more valuable than the movie? I’m a very strong believer in having that interaction
but I’m a relationship guy, I believe that. I’ll tell a very quick story. I talked about my CPA. My best friend was there and we started talking. He
goes – how do you know Capstone CPA’s and I was like that’s
Donna, she’s my accountant and she was a client. He goes – that’s my accountant. He had never met her before. He started working with her when he lived
out of town on a referral from somebody else. Let me introduce the two of you and
they’re both great people so of course they get along great and I think she looks at it and he’s going well, she does a great job. He’s had the
belly to belly, face to face. Much easier for him to refer business to her as well. Now you’ve become the connector between those two which really
strengthens your relationship with them. Correct. I bring a value that a lot of other agents don’t bring. It’s one and done, here’s your postcard and maybe you’ll hear from me once a year if you’re lucky but probably not. You invested in building that relationship once and that will probably continue to pay out throughout your
career as opposed to paying over and over and over and over again for a new
online lead, correct? Correct. Every business book
tells you the same thing – a repeat customer is way less expensive
than creating a new customer. Let’s kind of jump into that. You had said to me that the vast majority of
your business is repeat and referral. Even though you
pay for online leads, you do a pretty good job with follow-up and conversion.
Could be better. We could all be better but you don’t do a bad job and yet still
with all of that, most of your business comes from repeat and referral. What do clients rave about the most about how you do business, why do they
repeat and refer with you? I think part of it is the technical peace that I bring to it and I don’t mean that in a technology way, Realvolve. I have a vast background in real estate, I’ve seen an
awful lot. I have not seen everything but I’ve seen an awful lot and that’s my
phrase to people. As you and I discussed – after I got my license, about a year or two after I got my license, I spent three and a half years running a
foreclosure portfolio for a community bank. Oversaw the disposition of 400
properties, about $25 million, $150 house that wasn’t worth $150 up to a 2.6 million dollar golf course. When we talk about the transaction, when we talk about the negotiations, there’s a piece of me that
is just different and unique in that I’m able to look at things and get
things done, keep things moving along, explain things
well to people. If I get the glazed-over look, I will stop and I will
say – do you understand what I’m saying? Let me say it a different way. I’m trying to do this for you, I have no problem getting a piece of paper out and sketching. I think that’s a big part of it. The other part of it is when I’m working with buyers
and I work with both, is when walking into the home. I start in the basement
and people look at me and I go – look, I have one quirk when we look at houses and that
is we have to start in the basement. They always look at me and as we’re going
down in the basement, there’s really two reasons I do it. What I tell my clients
is – if the foundation isn’t what we want it to be, there’s no reason to look at
the rest of the house. The other reason I do it which is the sales side is – there’s
no good conversation that ever happens next to a furnace in the basement. You want to finish in the kitchen, you want to finish in the master suite, you want to finish in the great room, you want to finish in the outdoor living area. I learned that a long time ago and that’s another reason why you never end up in the basement. There’s nothing sexy about it. If it’s finished, that’s one thing. If you’re in an area where it has basements, trust me on this. Look at your clients and say – I have one
quirk and let’s start in the basement and they really appreciate it, especially
the engineer and technical type. When you look at them and you say – if the
foundation isn’t what we want and it isn’t right, there’s no reason to look at
the rest of the house. They will appreciate you looking at them, knowing
that you’re looking out for their best interest. Of course all my California
friends are going – what’s a basement? Right! Sorry. What’s this, it sounds like you’re speaking English but we don’t think so. That’s just a little joke on my part! The whole time you’re talking I’m like yeah,
sounds great! Start in the garage? That sounds like super cool. Besides your kick-ass CRM which of course is kick-ass, what tool or book or gadget have you purchased for say less than $100 that’s really made a difference in your life or in your business? Every month for $67, I get my information from The Paperless Agent and like I said – they’re the ones who actually referred me to Realvolve in the sense of this is a great CRM. Full disclaimer guys – The Paperless Agent, we have business
interests together but I did not pay Joel to say that. No, I would say it without even getting a free t-shirt from them, that I haven’t seen yet. I think their all very good, I think their webinars are very good, I think it’s very
relevant information that’s shared. It allows us to touch our clients on a
monthly basis so I do that every month with them. I live with my cell phone like
all of us do so technology wise although it’s not less than a $100 a month but the data on using my cell phone. Then as far as books go, everyone talks about these great, great
books, these fancy books in all of this and and I told you that my favorite
of all time is – Who Moved My Cheese. It really resonated with me and I read it a long time ago. It was actually handed to me by someone, a former employer that I did not like, he was not a good person. And you still read the book. Well, I read the book and what’s interesting is that book, it’s a simple read, it’s a quick read but it just teaches you that activity breeds activity and momentum
breeds momentum and sitting and doing nothing is the absolute worst thing you can do in any business setting, especially us as agents.
You’re much better off going and doing whatever that means to you but just
getting out there and doing it. We talked about things I won’t do and I don’t like to do in real estate. That’s a few, like door knocking. Speaking of someone who did that for 12 years. In the last few years what new belief, behavior or
habits have most improved your life or your business? That’s a great question and it’s somewhat of a set up question because in the past two, three
years… I’m just lobbing the ball at ya. For me, it’s become about relationships. Does that mean that you were highly transactional at some point in your life? I was. Certainly with the downturn of the market in 08, 09, to go through 10 and 11, you were just praying if you had a listing. You were praying to get a
buyer. You were praying to get to the finish line. Again, I was doing the consulting at that point in time so I had multiple things going
on but you were looking at things as – okay, let me just get this sold so I get my commission check. I’ve spent months marketing it, open
house after open house after open house. You’ve invested this time, this money. Commissions became much more cutthroat then. It was just a very
unique situation and two, three years ago is when I started realizing – that’s not who I am and I am much better in a relationship setting. Now, I’ve taken a step backwards at times because of that. Saying – I want to build those relationships and I want to build them stronger. As much as I want to go wide
in my business and that’s why I still do some advertising and some third party and I really want to go deep, I don’t think my database is big
enough, deep enough. That’s why I still go wider. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop
going wide because people will fall off of it. Wide means
that you’re adding more people to your database. Deep means that you’re
strengthening the relationships of a person in your database. Correct. I want to take you back a second – you had said that a couple three years ago you had a
realization that being transactional is not who you are. What happened at that
time that made you rock back on your heels? I don’t think there was anything
specific. I’m sure I worked with a client who was a jerk. Joel, that happens every year. For some of us, every week. Just one client? I’m sure there was a string but for me it’s – I just am not gonna work with people who don’t respect me, don’t respect my time. We all have the client that’s always ten minutes late, right? That’s just who they
are and that’s okay. You kind of put up with it but when they’re a jerk about it, you go – that’s not what I want to do, it’s not who I
want to deal with. I looked and I said – you know what, I don’t want to work with people who don’t want to work with me and it kind of went to the I’m not gonna work with jerks. If I do have a lead that I start working with and they’re somebody I don’t want to work with, I’m not gonna
cut the cord but I’m just gonna kind of stop the communication and it’s just
gonna end and I’m gonna let it go. Weren’t you fearful or anxious in some fashion that you
wouldn’t make as many sales by switching that way? Sure, I still am. When you’re up
at 1:00 in the morning working, I’m at 4:00 in the morning worrying. Was it a light bulb or did you go through a transition where you back slid and went
back and forth or how did that feel to you to move from concentrating on
transactions to concentrating on relationships? If it was a lightbulb moment, it was not a point in time so I can’t say on this day or this
date. It was more of a realization or awakening which might be
too strong of a word. It was somewhat of an awakening of – if I can build the
relationship, I’m gonna enjoy what I do a whole lot
better. If I’m not building a relationship, look – I got a commission check. Put in the bankroll, let’s go do another one. I’m supported greatly by my wife Kathy so that makes life a whole lot
easier. I’ve got a cheerleader, I’ve got someone behind me who’s pushing me,
good and bad as we all get there. She also calls you on your stuff. Oh yeah, right. Knowing that that’s there, it does make it easier for me to say – okay, so I didn’t make that X amount of dollars, I lost. Although I’m a believer you can’t lose what you never really had
so the more I look at that and the more I look at the relationship building, it makes your life that much happier and that much easier and it’s
that much more enjoyable being a real estate agent. Yeah, more enjoyable to be a real estate agent. This can be a tough business. Yes, can be a tough business. It can, absolutely. I know that in your office you have people that ask for advice and come up to you. What do you say to – let’s just say there’s… well okay, RE/MAX is really not the environment for
sweet young things but a newer agent that is asking you for advice on what
they should do. What would you tell them, how would you tell them to get started? Three years ago ish when Shannon and I first started
talking, this was part of our conversation. We sat down and she said – I think I want to get my license. She came with a real
estate background, worked at a title company and we talked about what are my steps other than get my license, what are my steps? These are your steps –
start writing down a list of people that you know, start writing out a list of
people that know, like and trust you and we’re gonna kind of build this up. Then when you have your license, we’re gonna launch you into that.
She was great because she listened and that’s the most important thing is when
you have someone that listens. The new agent that comes in that I don’t
have a relationship with and they go – what should I do? It would probably be
the same conversation – start writing down who you know and go talk to people, go
have coffee. Go get involved, involved in whatever that is. If you play golf, start talking to the people you play golf with. Don’t harp on them. I’ve got a
question. You told Shannon – build that list of people you know, build a list of people you know, like and trust. Then you said – then when you get your license, we’re gonna launch you. Right. Did you have Shannon, did you tell her to call these people and say I’m a real
estate agent. You want to buy or sell a house, how did that go? Shannon and I have two things we refuse to do. One is we will not door knock. The second
is we will not cold call. Now… that wouldn’t be a cold call but she reached out. I’m sure she called the people that she knows well. We sent out postcards, we announced it, there were emails where you added them to the
database. We started doing those things. I started feeding her some leads because
it was fair. It’s what I wanted to do that she could
hit the ground running. Her first year, it wasn’t a full year. She did well. We sat down and she said – okay this is my
goal and I shook my head and I go no, that’s not your goal, that’s your comfort
zone. I’m not one of those who says – you’ve got to really push yourself to the edge. It’s okay, let’s have two goals so we have the goal, we have the stretch goal and we try to push that. I do it for myself as well – this is my goal, this is my stretch goal. We talked about – okay, how do we do it and it was starting to build those relationships. We are two very different people. You probably remember talking to us. We’re very different people but we have a
belief in that we take very good care of our clients. Shannon’s nice. She’s very nice. She says she’s the warm and fuzzy one but
people, you don’t hear what she says at 10:30 at night when she’s ready to go to bed. I asked you this question, actually let me rephrase it a little bit because I asked you if there are routines and habits that you have to start your day. You’re like yeah, that’s a bad question so let me put it a different way. What are the things that
ground you, what are the touchstones that keep you moving forward and not being
like a shit show? You’re assuming that I’m not a shit show! I am
assuming that. Yes, you do throw off that vibe. If I’m different, please
enlighten me. I think part of it is how I grew up. Both my wife and I did not grow up the way our kids are growing up and
we’re happy about that most of the time. I think we have a tendency to look where we came from and where we want to go together and the things we want to do.
I think that’s part of it. The other part of it is I do get emotionally involved
with my clients in a good way, I want them to be happy. I can sometimes come across as not the most warm and fuzzy. I am a people pleaser and
I want them to be happy. I want the five star review on Zillow, I want to be able
to ask for it and not have to worry about it. What I want is them to have such a great experience that if some of their friends say – we’re thinking about moving. Call Joel, don’t call anybody else. Call Joel. It sounds like your touchstone is whatever it takes to get your clients positive
reaction? As long as it’s not illegal or immoral or something like that, yes. I’m
sure your wife is happy to hear that. This is a business I think that if you don’t do the right thing, it can come back and bite you in a lot of
ways and that’s always in the back of my mind. I know I have a job to do and I
know there are things that have to happen on a daily basis. You had talked to me – what’s my routine? My routine is – I’m very
responsive when I wake up in the morning, what text messages are there, what leads are there, what workflow do I need to run in Realvolve and who do I need to respond to? I will always take care of
everybody else’s need, especially my clients or my lenders that need
something and then I kind of start the rest of my day. I know there are coaches out there who say – you need to do this, you need to do
this, you have to take care of your time, you have to control your time, don’t
respond, don’t do that. The other book that we talked about, same author is Raving Fans and I’m a believer in that. I believe that if I can have a raving fan, one raving fan can turn into 2, 4, 8, 16, etc.
If someone’s got unrealistic expectations, it’s a different situation. I had one client that won’t start texting me until 10:30 or 11:00 at night but I don’t respond. I respond at 5:30 the morning when I get up and I try
to blow up his phone but we’re three transactions deep with each other and
then he’s referred me out to somebody else and will probably refer me out to a
couple more. We just work well together. Sympatico. Sympatico, right. With all that, you’re being a client pleaser, you’re really paying attention to their emotional needs as
well as their operational transactional needs. There’s gonna be times when this
business just knocks you on your ass – you lose a listing, somebody buys a house from their buddy, what have you. What do you do to recenter yourself when that kind of stuff happens? Well, short of throwing my
phone across the room. Which is probably not good, those things
are very expensive now. They are. A couple things I will do – I will work out of my home office a lot, I will change my surroundings. I do a lot of cycling so there are times if I’m having a really bad day, I’ll text my wife and say – I’m going for a ride and I’ll go out whether it’s an hour and
a half or two hours or three hours and I will just ride. I have a buddy that I ride with who we can talk through different things. We talk – is this a training ride or is this a therapy ride? We joke about it so I have someone to talk to there. Certainly I can talk to my
wife about certain things but I change my surroundings and then every once in a
while I call Shannon and go – okay, I’ve done 1200 plus transactions in my world.
You’re not gonna believe this one and it’s nice to have someone who’s in the business. I have a couple other Realtors that are friends
and we know we can talk to each other and it’s never gonna go any further than
each of us. One of them visits a lot longer and I think you have to do that. You know, you have those little five minute, 10 minute, 15 minute therapy sessions with a friend or with a
co-worker, a team member, a spouse, somebody you ride with. Like I told you, in the wintertime here things can get very slow. I will pack up my laptop
and I will go to the local Starbucks and I will sit there because I will not be
able to meet anybody sitting in my office at home. At my office at work, it’s not a collaborative place. It’s just that’s not the environment. Where you are with DIGGS, you’ve created that. I respect that. When I’m invited out there, then I will come see you because I want to see it. I’ve got a team from San Diego that’s visiting us right now, they’re downstairs. They called and said we’re coming up and I’m like okay, great. We’ll see you in a little bit. To me, you’ve got to change your physical environment and that’ll help you change your mental
environment as well. Do you ever have trouble recognizing that that’s what you
need, I mean do you get like stuck sometimes? Sure, absolutely. And they have to kick you out of the house, right? Not too often. The other thing I’ll do is – we’ve got a couple of chocolate labs and I’ll let them out of their crates and I’ll just start petting them, take them outside. Again, it’s changing that environment and when
they’re around, there’s nothing better than a lab with a wagging
tail in my humble opinion. You’ve shared so many nuggets, I don’t even know how to unpack them all. I hope that the people who view
this, maybe they’ll rewind it and go back and review some of the stuff you shared
about like the bowling event and Who Moved My Cheese. What a classic.
I haven’t read that in a while and I revisit it and went – yeah, that is a brilliant
book. How can people get ahold of you if they want to maybe refer business to
you or maybe have follow-up questions to what you’ve shared, what’s the best way to
get a hold of you? My cell phone. Whats your phone number? 614-778-3918 I’m gonna show that. See, these are things I can do. Look at that. How cool is that! I gotta do this – call now at 614-778-3918 Wait, there’s more. Feel free to call. I would prefer a phone
call over a text message. Old fashioned, wow look at you. Just because. If you want to text me, that’s fine. Just tell me who you are, give me your contact information. Just don’t say –
Hey, Tell me about… Email – they can email me at: [email protected] Oh man, that means I have to figure out TheProvidentTeam.com All this spelling, oh my goodness! Let’s hope I got that right. You got it! That’s your team under the RE/MAX banner, correct? Correct. For those of you who maybe got on a
little bit later, Joel has a ton of experience in Columbus Ohio but also
with development, new development, foreclosures, corporate sales. Just a lot
of stuff that I’ve never even experienced and I think that he is an
amazing resource for anyone in that neck of the woods or just kind of in
general with people who might want to build. For example – building doesn’t
happen really out here cuz we have no land but the idea that I might have someone interested in it, I’m definitely gonna be using you as a
resource for the things that I need. I really thank you for coming out on this
show. Is there anything that you want to say in closing, parting shot if you will? No, thank you for having me. I say no then I say something. I’m gonna call you on that. Thank you for having me, it was a lot of fun. It was great to get to know you better and I greatly appreciate
it. I greatly appreciate your knowledge and what you brought during those two
days because you’re a huge resource. Oh no, no. Stop! You’re huge resource for Realvolve and not to advertise for them but I really like it. Half of it because of what it does and the other half of who they are as people and that’s really pretty cool in this day and age. There are faces and names that are behind Realvolve and they’re not even behind Realvolve, they’re in front of it and that’s unheard of these days. Yeah,
we’re out and about, that’s for sure. Mark and Dave and the team and Nate and Caleb who are
always on chat. They always are! Our support team rocks man. Right, it’s greatly appreciated because I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it
comes to this stuff. All right, we’ve got to sign off but thank you so much. Thank you
for attending the show guys. Again, if you’re seeing this on a replay and you
have questions, go ahead and put them down below and we’ll make sure that you
get answers. Thanks for now you guys. We’ll see you at our next show. Thank you.

One Comment

  • Ronald Gorman

    Joel, I also am a long time fan of Paperless Agent. They have suggest that you send their monthly blog to your contacts using Realvolve.

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