TRES 237: Top Realtor Back Stories (4 Agent's Journeys to Success)
Sometimes you have to SEE something before you can BE something. In today’s episode of The Real Estate Podcast, Jimmy goes over 4 different interviews he’s conducted with 4 different top real estate agents. Heidi Harris (1:45) Heidi Harris is the owner of the real estate business Home Sweet Heidi, based in Raleigh, NC. Harris runs, with 5 others, a real estate business that services SEVERAL different cities in North Carolina.Harris’s story begins in 2012 when she began working as a solo agent. For a LONG time, she remained solo. Before working in real estate, Harris sold radio ads. However, these ads were DRAINING. One night in bed, her husband suggested getting a real estate license.After getting her license, Harris began work by researching the TOP producing realtors in Charlotte and sending them letters. The letters included some of her business cards and asked for referrals. Specifically, Harris wrote, “If any people are moving to the Triangle, give me a referral.”. The success this got her can’t be overstated. Even TODAY, Harris is STILL getting those referrals.Some of the BEST advice that Harris got while she was just starting out was from a top realtor whose office was next to hers. She came into his office CRYING and asked just HOW EXACTLY he stayed in the business. His answer? “Remember this moment.”. He reminded Harris to focus on the basics. They were painful, yes, but they were the things that were going to drive her toward success.The next step Harris took was to focus on building her BRAND. She started creating business pages for Home Sweet Heidi on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By posting consistently and building her brand, a whopping 30% of ALL of her sales have come from social media.Throughout her entire career, Harris kept focusing on the basics. Whenever self-doubt would arise like if she ever felt video shy, she would push through it. If you’re ever feeling doubtful on camera, push through. As Harris said, “The worst thing that happens is you don’t watch the video a second time.”. Lean into your strengths and prioritize them. Utilize them!Harris has two children, a 5 and 3-year-old. As she focused on mothering her kids, she began to outsource some work. Specifically, as she was pregnant with her 3-year-old, she interviewed a new real estate agent. The agent asked Harris “Can I be on the team?”, and Harris said yes. 3 months after making her first hire, Harris hired the second team member. The momentum continued and now, Harris works with 5 different team members. You can connect with Harris on Facebook at Home Sweet Heidi and on Instagram, under the same name. She’s also available on LinkedIn. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and her phone number is 919-946-3292. Harris loves paying referral fees, so send her your referrals! Andrew Undem (39:45) Andrew Undem is one of the LARGEST real estate agents in the country. Most people can’t relate to that level of success, sure, but they CAN relate to his story of working up TO his current status.Undem started out with a simple, but POWERFUL idea: He wanted EVERYONE he personally knew to know that he was a serious real estate agent. However, he also didn’t want to come off as too pushy or salesman-like. Undem focused on getting his name out while ALSO keeping his personal touch and personality intact. Specifically, whatever his competitors were doing, he did the OPPOSITE.Undem started out by going onto Facebook Messenger and sending everybody who was active a message. He told everyone that he was now working as a real estate agent and he was looking forward to catching up with them or just talking. Although the messages he sent to everyone were similar, Undem made SURE that there was also some personalization between different messages. Again, don’t appear too corporate or salesman-like.Just like Heidi Harris did with her letters, Undem did this CONSISTENTLY. Every day he would go onto Messenger and send a message to the people who were active. How successful were these attempts? In his first year ALONE, Undem made over 30 deals! A lot of real estate agents, and people in general, forget to focus on the basics. THOSE are what build you up to Undem’s RADICAL level of success.Another thing that Undem focused heavily on was: Giving his buyers VALUE. In the sales world, one of the most often touted pieces of advice is to act like an ADVISOR instead of a salesperson. Undem focused on treating his leads like genuine humans and focused on HELPING them instead of simply closing deals with them. This is a GUARANTEED way to help generate leads and build up your business!What’s a method for adding value? Focus on being local, hyper-local even. Work within your community, network with people in your neighborhood, whatever you can do. Why is this important? It puts you at the top of people’s minds. Just like adding value to buyers, adding value to your community will also generate leads. Whenever someone in your area is looking to buy or sell a home, they’ll think of you.The third thing that Undem focused on to help generate success was: Being willing to study and learn the real estate game. REGARDLESS of the work you do, how can you possibly expect to be successful if you’re not willing to learn?One of the things that Undem did to help expand his knowledge was to work under a mentor. If you can find a REALLY good mentor, you can learn from them. What made them successful? What tips and tricks do they utilize? Undem would work under these mentors, learn as much as he possibly could, then UTILIZE those same tips and tricks to jump-start his career. Andrew Undem didn’t utilize some magic bullet to get to where he currently is. Instead, he simply focused on the basics. There’s NO REASON to overcomplicate things. As the saying goes, keep it simple, stupid. Focus on the basics and your real estate business WILL grow. Molly Slagle (51:00) Molly Slagle works with realtors WORLDWIDE through her business, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Houston, TX.Slagle began her real estate career in a pretty funny way. She wanted to renovate her kitchen and knew it’d be costly. How was she going to make that money? Through real estate. However, Slagle also knew that just because she got a real estate license, she wasn’t going to automatically start getting clients.To help generate her leads, Slagle took a similar approach to Undem. After having some wine, she went onto Facebook Messenger and looked for people who had, in the past, reached out to her about workout supplements and equipment. Slagle messaged them, asking if they would send her ANY referrals looking to buy or sell real estate.It took Slagle around 40 different messages, but she got her first 3 leads out of it. After she got her first few leads, Slagle started to work on social media. However, similar to Undem, she made SURE her posts didn’t come off as too pushy or sales-y. The posts were simple and personalized. Along with posting on social media, Slagle would reach out to people and different leads. If it was someone’s birthday, Slagle reached out to them. If someone just graduated or achieved something significant, she would be there to congratulate them.Along with reaching out to potential leads, Slagle made SURE she gave back to her community. One example she gives is the time she bought coffee for teachers and parents. On the first day of school, Slagle loaded up a gift card for a coffee place and posted the card’s details on social media. She let everyone know that they could use the card to get some coffee, and asked them to post and tag her when they bought their coffee. Just like adding value to clients, this got her name and business out into the community.Beyond adding value to her community and remaining consistent, another INSANELY VALUABLE tool that Slagle uses is Community. Specifically, Slagle is part of a group called the National Rethink Council. This council can help develop ideas as well as give motivation. An all too common issue real estate agents and business owners in general run into is burnout. If you have a community or group of people to remind you of WHY you initially started, however, you can avoid this burnout and continue growing your business. If you have any referrals, or just want to get in touch with her, you can reach Slagle at her website www.mollysoldit.com or reach her on Instagram under the handle mollysoldit, or her Facebook account. If you want to text her, you can contact Slagle at 713-471- 0527. Brad McCallum (1:14:30) Brad McCallum, based in Canada, has been in the real estate game for 5 years but has only worked in the business full-time for around 3 years. Around that same time, he began to do the MAIN thing differentiating himself from his competition: Uploading videos onto YouTube.McCallum started his career during a RECESSION. During his beginning years, only around 38% of sellers could actually SELL their homes. More than half were unable to because of the market environment.Just like ALL of the other agents on these show notes, McCallum focused on the basics. He focused on being consistent with his uploads and business and providing GENUINE value to his clients. Compound interest in your personal brand is what BUILDS that brand.There are several different ways to build your real estate business and generate leads. The way McCallum did it, however, is GENIUS. Although his channel started out very small and with little watch time, through compound interest and consistency, McCallum began generating leads THROUGH his videos.Beyond just generating leads and business, building his brand had another INCREDIBLE effect: Passive income. Instead of having to constantly reach out and make cold calls, potential buyers and sellers would COME TO McCallum through his videos. Even on days when he didn’t work, he was STILL able to generate leads and build his business, simply through his compound interest.If you’re going to build your business through YouTube, there are a few KEY things to keep in mind: First and foremost, YouTube is an ad platform designed to show viewers ads. Making entertaining content that keeps viewers watching is key. McCallum’s content is designed to capture his viewers' attention within the first 5-10 seconds and then KEEP them watching. Evoking emotion or showing something exciting is one way McCallum goes about this.After getting someone to watch the first few 5-10 seconds, you have to get people watching past the 30-second mark. How do you do this? SHOW THE VIEWER THE HIGHLIGHTS UPFRONT. Too often, YouTubers will wait to showcase the most exciting part for the end, thinking it’ll keep viewers watching until then. This, however, just isn’t the case. Show them EXCITING things first, this will keep the viewer watching.There are a million things we all COULD be doing, but that doesn’t mean we SHOULD be doing them. Something else that McCallum focused on was providing genuine value to his clients. In regards to his channel, that meant providing entertaining, informative, and high-quality content to retain viewership. For you, this might mean being genuinely helpful and giving clients everything they need to buy or sell their properties. Other agents offer value by giving back to individual clients or their community as a whole. Do you have a video or content idea perfect for your business? Share it with Jimmy! Connect with Jimmy Burgess on LinkedIn and Facebook, and his YouTube channel. If you like what you heard today, we’d love it if you’d share a rating or review and then subscribe to the podcast and tell others about it. You can find The Real Estate Sales Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, and our website, The Real Estate Sales Podcast.