Our Guests: Jeff Robertson and Carie Igel
Are you ready to get started on your business plan for the new year? Join us on Wednesday with guests Jeff Robertson and Carie Igel for tips on how to grow your business with a good plan. Get ready, get set, and get excited!
Wednesday, November 17th @ 1:30 PM Central Time.
0:00:00.0 Geoff Stertz: Hello and thanks again for joining us for another Fathom Live, a livestream show dedicated to giving you tips and insights from experts in and around the real estate industry. I’m your host, Geoff Stertz. Glad to be with you here today. Today we have Carie Igel and Jeff Robertson with us today, two of our esteemed district directors, so glad to have you. And where are you both at in the United States?
0:00:25.7 Carie Igel: So, I’m in Columbus, Ohio.
0:00:28.9 Jeff Robertson: And I am in Dallas, Texas, just north of Dallas, Texas, McKinney, Texas, about 45 minutes north of Dallas.
0:00:34.0 GS: Alright, very good. We’re gonna get to know them a little bit more here in just a second, and we’re gonna be talking about business planning today. So if you need, grab a piece of scratch paper or somewhere to write down a note, your laptop, iPad or whatever, because we’re gonna have some takeaways today from today’s show. Also, if you haven’t checked them out, check out GoSocial Agent, they will help you with your social media presence. So as you’re trying to grow your business, they’ll help you set up your account, they’ll do automated postings for you, buyer and seller handbooks, all kinds of stuff. So check them out, gosocialagent.com. Also, if you are watching, make sure to comment, it automatically enters you into a drawing to win one of three packages, you can win a photo listing package, a yard sign package or a GoSocial Agent’s leads package, all of them worth $200. So just start commenting, say, “Hey,” shout out from wherever you’re at. Also, we’re gonna be monitoring the comments during the show, that way if you have questions, this is an interactive thing, or if you have a comment that you wanna make, drop it on there. If we use your comment in the show, we always add your name five times into the drawing, that way you have more chances to win. So we encourage your interaction and feedback.
0:01:43.7 GS: So let’s jump into things here today. We’re talking about business planning. First of all, just a little bit about yourselves, maybe just give us a 30-second intro. Start with ladies first, Carie.
0:01:57.6 CI: Okay, I’m Carie Igel. As we already established, I’m from Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been with Fathom since 2014 and a District Director since 2019, and love it.
0:02:12.7 GS: Awesome. And congratulations to Carie by the way, you’ve just eclipsed 100 agents that you’re overseeing in your district. So that’s some really exciting stuff.
0:02:24.0 CI: Yeah, thank you.
0:02:25.5 GS: And it’s taken a little bit of time, but as you’ve said, it’s starting to pick up momentum more and more now that you’ve kinda hit that magic number.
0:02:36.3 CI: Definitely, thank you.
0:02:36.4 GS: Awesome. Jeff, a little bit about you.
0:02:39.2 JR: I’m Jeff Robertson. I am from McKinney, Texas, just north of Dallas. I have been with Fathom since April 2012, almost 10 years. I’ve been in the district director position since 2015. And yeah, happy to be here, happy to talk about business planning which is very important.
0:02:57.8 GS: Alright, so yeah, let’s talk about that. One of the things as we were discussing this, and both of you, as far as I understand, you offer a business strategy session with all of your agents when they join. So if they’re an experienced agent and they have a lot of miles behind them, you may not need to, but you may, but at least newer agents and agents that want to, you sit down and you work through a business strategy. So this is something that you guys are well-versed and you know what you’re doing. So one of the things that was interesting to hear both of you bring up had to do with mindset that before you even talk about, “Well, how many calls do I need to make? And what are my income goals or whatever?” the mindset behind that, so Carie, maybe starting with you, what are the mindset aspects that are so important to doing the business strategy?
0:03:49.9 CI: Yeah, great question, and something I could talk about forever, honestly. When we’re talking about mindset, I think it’s really making sure that you are giving value to your clients and to your sphere of influence all the time. And we can all sit down and crunch numbers all day long, and how many sales do we average sales price? What’s the timeframe we’re looking at?” That’s your typical business planning. But mindset is, I think, is just as important, if not more important, than knowing what your sales goals are. Coming up with what you wanna do every single day, as far as keeping in touch with your sphere and giving them good value and content, are equally as important. And then making sure that you are figuring out who your perfect client is, knowing who exactly you want to work with, and then finding that perfect client. Because if we’re just throwing baseballs out there and seeing what you can hit, you really need to narrow it down and target who exactly you want to work with, and then find the business, ’cause it’s there.
0:05:07.7 GS: So, with that, with the finding the perfect client, where do you see people not consider this and it ends up hurting their business and what they’re trying to accomplish?
0:05:19.4 CI: Yep. So I see newer agents who say they wanna get into… They’ll tell me, “I wanna work in the luxury market,” but their marketing and their advertising and everything they’re putting out there on social media perhaps has to do with credit and rebuilding credit or building credit, and that is more of targeting someone who’s a first-time home buyer and not someone who is in the luxury market.
0:05:44.6 GS: Gotcha. Okay great… Yeah.
0:05:45.9 CI: So that’s one big mistake.
0:05:48.5 GS: Great example. And then also, Jeff, you’ve talked to agents a few times about making sure that you have clients that are people that you wanna work with, but also that aren’t going to waste your time, and that tends to be sort of a trip-up or a roadblock, I guess, for newer agents ’cause you’re kinda like, “Man, I’ll take anybody.” So I’m just curious what your thoughts are on that.
0:06:19.6 JR: Yeah, and I know it’s very difficult as a new agent too, you just get in that mindset, I did it too 14, 15 years ago when I got my license, of wanting to take on anybody that was willing to work with you. And I think the hardest lesson in real estate is how to decide that maybe you don’t wanna work with that client, maybe they’re not a fit for you. So I see a lot of agents make the mistake where they spend a lot of time with clients that are not ready to get pre-approved or they’re not listening to their advice, aren’t loyal to them, those types of things, and they drive them around.
0:06:56.8 JR: Also, if you go into what your business can look, plan looks like, and if you just have kinda one source, a lot of agents tend to focus on external lead, paid-for leads, that can really trip you up after a while because if you’re solely dealing with buyer clients, then the amount of business you can actually take on at one time is very difficult. You can really only handle probably four or five buyer clients at one time. So if you’re just focusing on that, you’re gonna spend a lot of time in the car chasing down business, and especially if you’re not diligent in how you pre-qualify those clients.
0:07:41.2 GS: So let’s talk about actually getting to creating a business strategy, and I’ll throw this at Jeff to begin with. If I’m sitting down with you as a new agent, and I don’t mean necessarily I’ve never sold a home before, but it could be, but I’m sitting down with you for the first time and you say, “Let’s chart out, okay, what we need to do to make sure that 12 months from now you’re successful,” or longer than that, what are you doing with me to get me on the right track?
0:08:12.0 JR: Well, first off, I just kinda wanna know what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you feel comfortable with [0:08:18.0] ____ feel comfortable with, real estate school, and there’s lots of seminars that have great ideas, there’s a million ways to be successful in real estate, there’s a million strategies, there’s a million marketing techniques that you can use, but you have to do what you feel comfortable with. I’ve always kind of given the example of door-knocking. A lot of seminars, people will tell you, “Well door-knocking is the key to success.” Well, some people don’t like door-knocking and that’s not what they’re comfortable with. So if you’re choosing things that you’re not comfortable with, aren’t really your strengths, and or things that you’re not gonna consistently do, then you’re gonna have a really hard time being successful in real estate. So my first conversation with them is, “What’s your background? What are your strengths? What do you think you’re definitely gonna commit to? And then [0:09:17.3] ____ affecting those strategies and not overwhelming themselves as well at the beginning, because if you tend to try to jump around and do 50 different strategies at once [0:09:31.0] ____, that’s gonna lead to some issues as well.
0:09:34.9 GS: Hey, I’m just gonna make a comment here. We have Carie Igel and Jeff Robertson with us. So for whatever reason, Facebook did not… It didn’t trigger to go live. So we’ve been live on YouTube here, so if you missed the beginning, we’ve talked about mindset for business planning and making sure that the way you’re thinking about your business and the way you’re thinking about your life is important. So you can go back and watch that on the YouTube version of it. So our apologies there. But we are live on YouTube. We’ve got a bunch of people actually watching right now. So if you haven’t, get to commenting on Facebook and YouTube, that way it automatically enters you into a drawing worth 200 bucks.
0:10:11.1 GS: So sorry about that, guys. But thanks everybody for waiting in the wings. We’ve got a whole bunch of people here on Facebook. So we’ll keep plowing forward here with that. So you’re talking about playing to your strengths as far as putting together a business plan, knowing yourself, knowing what… That you’re good at or that you want to do that you would be passionate about and really focusing on that. Also, as far as the mindset stuff too, just kinda go back to that for a second with Carie, you talked about also knowing what you want in your life. It’s not just about knowing who you wanna work with, but also you need to establish what you actually want out of this whole career before we get going. Do you wanna speak to that for just a minute?
0:11:04.8 CI: Yeah, for sure. And I’ll use myself as an example. I do this with my agents a lot. So for me, I have two kids that are school age, middle school and elementary school, and it’s very important for me that I am home in the morning when they go to school, and I’m home when they get home from school, and we eat most dinners together in the evenings. Not all of… Not every night is possible for us. But… So I built my business around that and scheduled hard stops into my schedule so that I’m not letting my clients control my schedule, which is then dictating my family life too. So I think it’s super important that you set up your parameters for your life, and you have a set of goals that are not just number, numerical goals or business goals, but have your personal goals too. Is there something you’re trying to achieve in your personal life? Is there a family goal you’re trying to achieve? Are you trying to buy an income property? Or have some goals set up. And I like to look at quarterly goals instead of annual goals. I think it’s good to have some stretch goals every quarter. But really re-evaluating your business and where you are every quarter, I believe, gets you way more…
0:12:29.2 CI: A lot more money in the end. And there’s a book that we spoke about earlier, The 12-Week Year, that it speaks to that. When you’re setting your goals at the end of this year for next year, you have no idea what’s gonna happen next year. When you reach December and you re-evaluate things, perhaps your whole circumstances have changed.
0:12:50.5 GS: Right.
0:12:50.9 CI: So if you’re then quarterly re-evaluating, you are way more on target by the time you reach December because you’ve had the opportunity to adjust based on what’s happened in life.
0:13:02.1 GS: Okay, so just to kinda make a scenario then, suppose that I meet with you and say, “Look, I’m looking at… I’d love to be able to get to a point where I’m trying to keep my hours to 40, 50 hours a week and not working insane, obscure hours of the day to do this, and I’ve got a couple of kids that I’m trying to have ready for college, and so I’m looking at an income goal that I want to get to eventually where I’m making $100,000 a year doing my real estate career,” how do you break that down into, “Here’s what you need to do today, tomorrow, next week”?
0:13:39.8 CI: Well, it comes down to consistency. And I go back to what Jeff said earlier where you pick what you’re good at. Not everyone is gonna be good at door-knocking or want to do it, but pick two or three things that you are comfortable with, and then do them consistently. So many times we see agents who say, “Okay, I’m gonna send out postcards,” or “I’m gonna do handwritten notes,” or whatever it is they select, and then they’ll do it for two or three weeks, and they’re not seeing results yet, and so they stop. And what we are doing right now will affect our business in three to six months, so we have to have our income…
0:14:18.4 GS: Great advice, yeah.
0:14:19.9 CI: Yeah, we have to have our income-generating activities happening consistently. So whatever you choose, and I tell people, pick two or three things and then stick with it for a minimum of six months so you can actually see it come full cycle.
0:14:36.3 GS: Very good.
0:14:39.3 CI: Yeah. So that’s my biggest piece.
0:14:40.6 GS: Jeff, anything to add to that? If I’m sitting down with you and I’m saying, “These are my goals,” what are you doing with me to help me get there? As far as like [0:14:48.3] ____, yeah, go ahead.
0:14:49.8 JR: I also agree with Carie, looking at quarterly goals versus just annually. Even looking at them monthly to kinda see where you’re at in your business and really tracking your success, because a lot of times, the first year or two is just very overwhelming. First year, you’re really trying to learn, the second year, you tend to get busy, and then it’s just managing a lot of things, and learning how to write assistant or transaction coordinator or something to help you out with your business. But what Carie said is completely right. I mean you have to be consistent. You can’t just do things for two or three weeks and give up on it. To me, there’s two agents that really struggle in this business, one of them that… One of the agents that struggle are the ones that overwhelm themselves and aren’t consistent. The other ones, I call them “getting ready to get ready” agents. They’re always getting ready, they’re always perfecting their website or their spread… Their database or something like that. But they don’t ever actually jump off the cliff and actually do anything. So…
0:16:03.3 GS: Right.
0:16:03.3 JR: You can’t keep waiting for the phone to ring. You have to pick… And that’s what we get back to, what you’re comfortable with, because if you’re picking things that you’re not comfortable with, you’re not gonna do them and you’re not gonna do them consistently, so it’s gonna lead to zero business on your end. So pick some things that are comfortable and do those things consistently. Track your results and talk with your district director or your broker manager, or a mentor or a leader or something, they can help you fine-tune those results. ‘Cause I think Carie and I have both seen agents that have so much potential and they’ve got really good ideas and strategies, they just haven’t fine-tuned them a little bit. There’s just a little bitty tweak that they can make that will make all the difference in the world in how that strategy leads to success.
0:16:51.7 GS: So, as far as picking things that you’re comfortable with… First of all, you said something that kinda made me think. I’m a web designer, I love design, I love making logos and designs for people’s marketing, but what’s interesting is, even personally, most of the business that I’ve gotten in life has not come from my website or business card. Probably 90% of it comes from a conversation with somebody and they say, “Oh, you do that? Oh, could you do this for me?” And they’ve never seen my website. They’ve never seen my business card. They’ve never seen any of my marketing. It’s not that it’s not important, and going back to the show that we had a couple of weeks ago, that “know, like, trust” factor, you do want people to know, like and trust you and having that branding, if you’re just kind of farming that way, they need to see that you don’t look like you rolled out of bed five minutes ago in relation to your marketing.
0:17:40.0 GS: So you do want it to look nice, but as far as actually generating business, so much of it seems to come from conversations. But to your point about finding things you’re comfortable with, do you ever have to tell agents, “Look, you need to get uncomfortable here for a little bit, and then you’ll become comfortable with it”? Any stories like that, or any thoughts on that, from either of you?
0:18:05.2 JR: You know, the… I didn’t mean to cut you off, Carie, if you were gonna speak and everything. But the biggest thing that I see with real estate agents is the fear of another real estate agent out there. They’re just so scared to get out there because they feel like they’re bothering their sphere, their clients, or they’re always worried, “Oh, well everybody knows a real estate agent.” Look, in this industry, 90% of the agents don’t market at all. So you’ve got a big advantage. And it has nothing to do with that because it doesn’t matter whether there’s another real estate agent in my neighborhood. I have every right as a self-employed business owner to market and try to attract clients.
0:18:51.6 JR: So, I think that’s a hurdle that many agents struggle with, is worrying about bothering their sphere, and that goes back into the mindset, and I think Carie touched on this in our pre-show a couple of days ago, and she can probably speak a lot on this, but if you go in with the mindset of serving people, helping people, not just as a sales person, then it’s very easy to talk to your sphere because you can just talk to them about life and then offer charity events and community service type things. Anybody that gets in this business just for the money is in the business for the wrong reasons. You’re in the business to help people. And so, if you truly love and care about people, then they’re gonna see that and they’re gonna trust you, and therefore use you. So it’s just… Don’t over-analyze it. Just talk to them about life and the real estate thing will come.
0:19:50.1 GS: So I wanna recap here for a second, but then I also wanna ask, Carie, you had mentioned to us previously in our pre-call that you kinda have your daily success items, the things that you say like you really need to be doing this every… No matter who you are, no matter what your strengths are, you need to be doing these things. So I wanna ask you about that in a second. But just to kinda recap, and Jeff, I did print this off, this is a part of your business planner here where you’re basically just very simply saying, “Here’s your January, March, April, or January, February, March goals,” and you have all 12-month goals and you kinda break it down by month, by quarter. So if we’re kind of bringing it up to this point, what we’re wanting to do is say, “Okay, between January and March, these are the things that I want to accomplish. This might be… This is how many leads I wanna generate. This is the things that I wanna mail out to people. These are the things I wanna do in my social media. These are how many sales or how many lease contracts I wanna have by that point.” Is that… That’s what we’re talking about here within a quarter, essentially within 12 weeks?
0:20:56.0 JR: Correct. And to meet any kind of goal, like for listings, for example, you’re not gonna get every single listing, I hope you do, but I don’t think there’s an agent in the world that’s gotten every single listing or closed every single buyer. So if you have a goal of 15 buyers closed that year, you probably need 25 appointments because there’s gonna be some that just fall through the cracks or can’t get pre-approved or things like that. So knowing kinda what you did last year, how many contacts you need to make this year to achieve your goals, having realistic goals, and then, “Okay, how are you gonna get there and what kind of strategies… ” And that’s why I like to have them put the strategy they’re gonna do in a calendar type template just because as a visual, you can check off the list every single month of like, “Okay, did I do this? I need to get on this and make sure that I’m committing to it.”
0:21:54.4 GS: So if we’re gonna give a homework assignment right now, I mean either while you’re watching the show or right after the show, January to March, list them all out, put them in three columns, whatever, put them in one big paragraph, start writing out, “These are things I wanna get done.” You will thank yourself later. Carie, so let’s talk about those daily success items. I thought that was a good way of putting it.
0:22:17.8 CI: Yeah, several years ago when I went to an NAR convention, one of the speakers that was there started talking about gratitude journaling, and I thought… I don’t even know what this is, right? I’m pretty thankful for my life, I’m pretty thankful for everything that’s going on. We all have struggles, we all have rough days. But when I started gratitude journaling every morning and every evening, it really changed my whole mindset. And that’s the first thing I learn to start with every day is spending five minutes or so of quiet time, just reflecting on small things that I’m thankful for. And when you really have that positive mindset and you’re coming from a place of gratitude, it’s really hard to be negative and down. So that’s where I like to start. And then there’s a coach here in Columbus that has really given some great pointers, and there’s a template here of everything that he has said to do, and it really… It works beautiful. So set small attainable goals for every day, two or three things that you know that will move the needle for your sales. Don’t have an overwhelming to-do list that you need to check things off because sometimes a lot of that is just not important stuff.
0:23:37.6 CI: So two or three things to get done every single day, then make sure that you are making a couple of phone calls to past clients, your two-year sphere. Also, do get on social media, if you’re on social media, and just get involved. Check out what is happening and what people are doing, who’s having a baby, who got engaged, who just lost a parent or a loved one, and comment, because you don’t have to get on there and be like the proverbial realtor in the room saying, “I’m here.” Right? Just get involved and talk with people. That’s what they want. And then you’re staying top of mind, you realize what’s going on, it gives you the opportunity to then follow through with a handwritten note, with a phone call, and so you’re just showing up in their lives. And that’s how you stay top of mind. So a couple of social meets, and then take time every day to invest in yourself, whether it’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, jump on clubhouse, if you’re on clubhouse, and get involved in some real estate rooms or some mindset rooms, and just absorb, and then take care of yourself. So many times as realtors and as parents, we don’t stop and just take 10, 15 minutes to really have a little self-care, a little quiet time.
0:25:00.7 CI: So I think if you’re consistently doing these things every day and starting and ending the day with some gratitude journaling, and sometimes we all have bad days, and it can be as easy as “I’m thankful for the color that my walls are painted,” right?[chuckle]
0:25:17.0 GS: Right.
0:25:17.3 CI: It doesn’t matter…[overlapping conversation]
0:25:17.4 GS: I’m thankful for what didn’t else happen today, yes, yes.
0:25:20.4 CI: Yeah you can always find something.
0:25:22.8 GS: Well, and a great time of year for that to start right now…
0:25:26.0 CI: Yeah for sure.
0:25:27.5 GS: As we head into Thanksgiving. So hey, just to recap then on that, from what I hear, you have gratitude, three goals a day, so set three goals a day like, “I’m gonna get these three things done, two, three things done today,” direct message at least five different people, whether that’s social media, handwritten note, text, something like that, come up with three social media posts or some way to engage, to create engagement on there, at least one a day, and then do spend an hour, read, podcast, learn something, improve yourself, and then do a couple of calls to your sphere. Oh and then…
0:26:05.8 CI: Yeah.
0:26:05.9 GS: Wait. There was one more. No, I think that was it. I think I got all of them.
0:26:09.6 CI: Gratitude journaling, yeah. And make sure when you’re doing your phone calls to your sphere, don’t sell them on anything. No one likes to be sold on anything. These phone calls, these text messages, whatever it is when you’re reaching out, it is simply to connect with them and say, “How’s it going?” I’ll tell you what, and I’ll make it real quick, but when the pandemic started and most of us were shut down for a little bit, or at least pivoted to figure out what we were gonna do with our business and how we were gonna be able to continue to work, and I took that opportunity and just started reaching out to clients, past clients, and I knew they weren’t gonna be buying or selling any time soon, many of them had just started, had just moved, but it was just a phone call to say, “How’s it going? How are you guys managing this? Are your kids at college? Are they home? What’s happening?” and that helped tremendously. It was connecting human to human is what people want, and it’s building that trust with them that you had already established. They already know they can trust you, I hope. And then creating that human connection, it goes a long way.
0:27:20.3 GS: Awesome. Now, one of the things we got talking about when we were talking before was just sort of natural ways, I mean, you have to take initiative, but some more natural ways of being in the room, if you will, as an agent, but not like you said, saying, “Hey, I’m over here selling houses, call me.” And Carie, you talked about like a food truck thing, Jeff, you had some ideas as well. I’d love to have those thrown out, And if others, if you’re watching, comment, I mean just say, “Yeah, I’ve done this in my neighborhood.” I would love to hear that. Also, I’m getting a lot of love and positive feedback here from everybody about what you all are saying. I’d love to hear some controversial disagreements here. Let’s spice things up in the comments. No, I’m just kidding. But if you do have questions or ideas that you want Jeff or Carie to speak to, you have two people with a wealth of experience and knowledge here as far as running a business and generating real estate business. So anyways, what did you do with food trucks?
0:28:27.1 CI: So again, when the pandemic started, I decided I was gonna get… Oh, we all… If you live in a big city, there’s an app for our phones or our laptops called Street Food Finder. And so I reached out to our local president for the Street Food Finder app and just got on his radar and I said, “Hey, if I wanted to have a food truck come to my neighborhood every week,” and we picked a random day, it was Tuesday, so it’s Takeout Tuesday is what I ended up naming it, and I scheduled with him so that a food truck came to my neighborhood every Tuesday from 4:30 to 7 o’clock. Food truck then… They open up the schedule, they all line up and schedule, and so there’s a variety of different foods and everything. But my neighbors loved it because now all they have to do is go out of their door on Tuesdays and pick up dinner. They order on the app, they pay for their own food. It’s literally just being that connector piece to dinner, and it had nothing to do with me…
0:29:33.6 GS: A way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.
0:29:35.1 CI: Yeah, through food, and it has nothing to do with my real estate business. What it did was start providing name recognition, which I’ve lived in my neighborhood for 16 years, but it was just another way to put my name out there. And so now when I am farming my neighborhood or when I’m leaving postcards or whatever I’m doing, they’re like, “Oh, well, we know her. She schedules the food trucks.” And I’m posting on Monday, “Hey, here’s who’s coming tomorrow,” and then I post again that day on our neighborhood website, Facebook group, or Nextdoor if you have that for where you live, just little things. And again, it’s just contributing to people.
0:30:17.0 GS: That’s awesome. By the way, Carie, do you play the piano? I see one behind you there.
0:30:22.6 CI: I do not.
0:30:24.1 GS: Oh I was…
0:30:25.1 CI: I do not.
0:30:26.6 GS: Bummer.
0:30:27.1 CI: Yeah, it is behind me, but I do not. I did piano lessons as a child.[chuckle]
0:30:30.1 GS: But we all know what that means. It means you could play piano, but you don’t.
0:30:34.4 CI: Right.
0:30:34.9 GS: So now, Jeff, you’re a musician. You play guitar?
0:30:40.0 JR: No, I was a vocalist.
0:30:41.7 GS: Vocalist, that’s right, right, in a heavy metal band.
0:30:43.7 JR: A long, long time ago. Yeah, in a heavy metal, thrash metal band. So I won’t define what that is, but that was back in my…
0:30:56.5 GS: Your wild year.
0:30:57.0 JR: Very early time. Yeah. But it was a lot of fun.
0:31:00.6 GS: So Jeff, do you have any ideas that are sort of organic ways to generate business?
0:31:06.3 JR: Yeah, I mean Carie brought up a good point. I farm my neighborhood for many years, and [0:31:12.8] ____ successful was not the postcards that I sent out consistently because you’re only two or three seconds of people’s attention, but it was a community involvement that I got into. So it was doing an Easter party every single year where we’d set up a bounce house and have a cookie exchange party, those types of things. I’ve got an agent that I manage that she’s part of a Goldendoodle Network, where they meet at the dog park and play with their Goldendoodles. As an agent, there’s a lot of… When we talk about networking events, there’s networking with real estate agents at business events, which is great because you can always get ideas and learn something, but as far as for your own personal business, getting involved in small group activities of something that you’re already interested in, and then you probably do anyway, whether it’s a book club, whether that’s painting or music or wine club or anything like that, you can get involved in those small networking groups which can bring you a lot of clients.
0:32:20.3 JR: I’m kind of dorky, I play darts, I play three or four nights a week. Shoutout to Sparta Dart Club in Dallas, Texas, best dart club in the city. But I’ve gotten so much business over just playing darts, and that’s something that I’m gonna do weekly anyway, so you make connections with those people, you make connections with just your small groups, whether it’s a church group or whatever you’re into. Pick something that you’re really into. I had an agent a couple years ago, she’s from Paris, France and she was looking for some ideas to network with people, and she found French groups who participate in the DFW area and she got a lot of business and she met a lot of friends.
0:33:08.7 JR: So it’s just those little things that you can focus on and… I kinda wanna piggyback on what Carie said earlier about, when you’re contacting your sphere, when you’re marketing to people, what do you say? We get that question all the time. What do you say? You really make it personal. And there’s a big difference between direct marketing and passive marketing. Passive marketing is like leaving your business card in a small business and hoping that somebody calls you. And I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but that’s not engaging with anybody. So direct marketing has to be intentional. So you never wanna be the person that everybody just thinks as the pushy salesperson. You wanna be the person… Like my mentor, Justin Levitch, great guy who now runs a brokerage in DC, and an incredible mind, always told me, told me from the beginning, “Everybody needs a mechanic, everybody needs a CPA, everybody needs a real state agent.”
0:34:10.4 JR: So you wanna be that person, and the way you get there is not by just being the pushy salesperson, it’s being the person they can trust to go for contract referrals, they can go for property tax help with comps, they can go to with just general questions and serving your community, being there and, “Yes, I also do real estate, but I’m involved in your lives.” And when you go to social media, stop just posting the same message every single time that just says, “Hey, I’m a real estate agent, call me.” Post things about the market. Tell stories. Engage with people. We talked about engagement earlier. Comment on their posts. Don’t just like everything. Comment. Call them if they have a birthday or text them. Call them if have a baby, so you… “Hey, can I send you a baby gift?” Every Veteran’s Day, I make a list of all the veterans that I know in my sphere and personally text them or call them and thank them for their service. So it’s just that little personal touch that…
0:35:15.6 GS: That’s great.
0:35:16.5 JR: It goes a long way.
0:35:19.9 GS: Kinda another business idea, I mean as far as trying to actually make difference in people’s lives but doing it through your business and also being able to grow your business altogether, Carie, you mentioned a book called, The Go-Giver, maybe talk about that, and you did something with coats as it relates to that idea.
0:35:40.5 CI: So one of my agents has a charity that she started, Daisy Love, Nikki Johnson is an agent here in Columbia, has a great charity and so we gather… Actually, we’re in the process of doing it right now. We’re collecting coats from anybody. And so I put it out on my page for my neighborhood and just said, “Hey, my real estate office is collecting coats for this charity. If anybody has anything that they want to donate whether it’s hats, coats, gloves, etcetera, leave it on your front porch and I’ll pick it up.” And again, it’s contributing to the community, it’s coming from a place of serving others, but it’s planting another seed in my neighbor’s brains that I’m a real estate agent and that I have a real estate office. Who knows if they want to buy or sell or if they’re an agent themselves who is interested in what Fathom might be doing? So really it’s just being intentional and authentic in everything that you’re doing every day.
0:36:47.7 GS: One other thing too that I… Kinda going back to that sort of your daily planning, one of the things that you mentioned, Carie, was hyper-scheduling your day, which sounds scary, but maybe talk about what you’re talking about.
0:37:03.2 CI: Yeah, I’m not meaning like put it on overdrive, but just making sure that you are scheduling your activities for the correct amount of time. Sometimes we’ll check our email and we’ll leave ourselves 30 to 45 minutes to check your email when really it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes. So by hyper-scheduling, I’m just making sure you’re not leaving any gaps. Give yourself the right amount of time for the task. Don’t do it in half-hour chunks, hour chunks. Hyper-schedule it by doing 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and moving on. And then we all know as real estate agents that our schedules are going to be interrupted, it’s the nature of the business, especially as a district director, we’re answering phone calls all day. But those interruptions are gonna happen, but it’s jumping back into your schedule after the interruption that makes you extremely productive. Instead of saying, “Gosh, I just had to put out a fire, I just had to fix this for a client,” and then hanging up the phone and wondering what you should be doing for 20 minutes, it’s you can look at your schedule and jump right back into where you should be because you are focused. And we all know the interruptions are gonna happen, so it’s fine, don’t stress over that. Just jump back into your income-generating activities…
0:38:29.4 GS: I’m gonna ask you…
0:38:30.4 CI: And allow time for catch-up.
0:38:31.2 GS: Yeah, excellent. I’m gonna ask you both just for any kind of final thoughts but we’ve mentioned two books, the one was, The 12-Week Year, and I think that’s Brian Morgan and Michael Lennington, so you can look that up on Amazon. You also mentioned The Go-Giver, and I don’t remember the author of that one. Any other books? Because one of the things that we said from the beginning was you should be scheduling some time to read in your day, so if you’re looking for some books, here you go. So you got those two. Any other books that you both would recommend that have been helpful to you?
0:39:07.4 JR: Yeah, the best real estate book I ever read was Seven Levels of Communication by Michael Maher, M-A-H-E-R. You can pick it up on Amazon. I think I read it fully on a plane ride to somewhere and a plane ride back. But it really talks about making connections and how to be kind of the middle person between not only partners that you have in the industry, but also your clients and how to be the resource that they turn to.
0:39:37.9 GS: By the way, Jeff, I think some of your district director friends were wondering if they can borrow your little business plan or document. Are you… I’m gonna put you on the spot. Are you willing to share that with people?
0:39:47.4 JR: Of course.
0:39:47.9 GS: Okay.
0:39:48.9 JR: Of course. I actually put it on our internal… I’ve got a Google Drive and everything where it’s all on there. So anybody that’s looking for that, just email me and I will send you the Google Drive with not only a presentation I’ve done, slideshow, but also that template.
0:40:05.8 GS: Awesome. I’ll mention one other thing too as far as resources, for those who are not Fathom agents, if you go to fathomcareers.com, there’s a freebies tab right on the top. One of the freebies on there is called Agent Business Planner and it allows you to do somewhat what Carie is talking about with the pre-planning and say, “Okay, I wanna make this much.” It’s primarily the financial side of it, but, “This is my income goal.” And then after answering just a few slots in this document, it kicks out, “Here’s what you should be doing each month, week, day, and how many people you ought to call.” So that one’s there. And then for the agents, if you go into Fathom Wiki, it’s there in the marketing… If you just look up marketing training downloads in Fathom Wiki, that document is there and you can use it for free and… I mean they’re both free even, and you don’t have to register anything for it. So you can check out both of those. Those are really great ways of just quickly breaking stuff down and that might help you fill in your 12-week slots for your business plan. Any final thoughts before we let you guys go? But don’t go away, audience. This is usually where the best stuff happens right here, so stay tuned.
0:41:12.3 CI: I pulled up my Audible because I’m one who doesn’t necessarily sit down and read. I’ll listen to…
0:41:18.6 GS: Oh, yes, books. More book ideas. Sorry.
0:41:20.6 CI: Yeah, so I pulled up my Audible so I can refresh myself on what I am listening to or have listened to. And so a great one is The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, and that talks about just taking everyday things that happen and making them memorable. So that’s a really great one. Any of the books by Simon Sinek, Start With Why, Figuring Out What Your Why Is. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller is terrific. And then one that can… It has a lot of bad language, so I’m just gonna put that out there, but it is Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. He’s a former Navy SEAL. And talk about mental toughness and learning to stretch your goals and realize that you might have started here, but you can go to here, and it’s all in your mind. So there is a clean version. You can purchase it without…
0:42:21.6 GS: Oh, that’s nice.
0:42:21.9 CI: The bad language.
0:42:22.7 GS: There you go.
0:42:23.7 CI: Yeah, it’s out there. But it’s pretty raw.
0:42:27.9 GS: Yeah.
0:42:28.2 CI: So those are ones that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.
0:42:31.4 GS: I’ll throw one out there because it is related to the topic today and it’s also another Navy SEAL one by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin called Extreme Ownership, and if you haven’t read that, that’s an excellent one as well and it talks about not… ‘Cause I know we talked about this in the pre-call too about agents that will come back to you multiple times, to you as a district director and say, “I just can’t seem to do it,” and it’s like, “Well, have you done the things that we talked about last time? Why are we meeting again if you haven’t done any of the homework that we talked about?” But this book really shows in both a life and business context. And of course, every chapter is a war story. They were in Ramadi, Iraq, and so they talk about, “This is what happened, here’s how it applies to your life and business.” and talking about taking ownership and really look into, “What do I need to do first before I look at, well, the market’s not doing this for me,” or “This person didn’t call me back,” or having all these excuses a lot of times that we have. And so… Anyway, so that’s another great resource for you. Alright, final comments. Thank you for those recommendations, by the way.
0:43:44.3 JR: I would just say, just get into the mindset of picking yourself up at the end of the day if you’ve had a hard day. Real estate is a roller coaster. There will be days where you just have the most frustrating day, you have an upset client, you have two deals fall through, but you can’t let it get in your head [0:44:05.7] ____ so you don’t pick up the next day or pick up the next minute. As Carie talked about earlier, if you get distracted or something and you have a bad day, you just gotta pick yourself up and go with the mindset of, “Look, I’m gonna continue to do the same things I’m doing every day and that’s gonna lead to success.” Because the day before, you might lose two deals, but the next day, you might gain three. So every day, pick yourself up, have that positive mindset, trust the processes, be consistent, be intentional, be direct as far as who your client is and who you’re trying to market to and what your goal is and serve them, love them, be yourself, honestly. Just be yourself, and if you’re yourself and don’t try to overthink it, success will come.
0:45:05.9 GS: Very good. Carie, any final thoughts?
0:45:08.9 CI: Yeah. I think a lot of what Jeff was saying is how I feel as well, and it is just making sure you’re accountable to yourself. Have personal accountability and don’t get discouraged. It’s so easy to get discouraged, but just keep moving, do your gratitude journaling, that will help with the discouragement in overcoming it, and then just stick with it. So many times we’re not seeing instant results, but this is not an instant business that we’re in. It’s all about relationships. So strengthen your relationships. Come from contribution. Like Jeff said, “If a deal falls apart and you lose a client, it’s fine. It’s opening the door for the next client and making room for the next transaction.” So there’s plenty of business out there for everybody, even in a market where we’re saturated with realtors. It’s an abundance mindset, So just keep going and adding value to your sphere of influence and the people that live around you and to other agents as well, right? Having a good reputation among your peers and other realtors that you’re working with goes far, especially in a multiple-offer situation, and that’s a whole other show that we could do.
0:46:28.9 GS: Well, that was gonna be my final thought, is that we need to have you both back on here again to talk about some more stuff, because clearly… And we discovered this too when we called each other here before the show that we could just talk forever, and there’s a lot of stuff to be made into a good show. So maybe we’ll do that in the future if you both are up for that. So we’ll let you guys go. Thank you so much. And we’ll make Jeff’s document available or you can reach out to him for that. If you’re still watching, head over to fathomcareers.com and check out a lot of the freebies that we have over there. There’s just a ton of practical stuff. We’ve really made an effort to try to make that practical, and so you’ll see a lot of free things that are great for business planning, for really taking inventory of your business and putting together those strategies as it relates to scheduling and social media and income and really systems. A lot of different things over there, so check that out. We’re a company that works for you. You don’t work for us. And we offer 100% commission of the tools designed for your success.
0:47:38.4 GS: I’ll also let you know that our next show is gonna be on December 15th, and we’re gonna have Billy Nunez, who is our director of culture. And so grab a cup of hot chocolate, chill by the fireplace and watch the show and we’ll talk about nice things. Not that we didn’t today, but we’ll talk about some nice things and enjoy some time together with that. So with that, we will let you go. Thanks for tuning in.