Listen as Kevin shares how Group 46:10 Sold 552 houses last year for $150MM in sales volume.
Watch the whole episode at www.realestatedisruptors.com/video/interview-with-kevin-kauffman/
Listen as Kevin shares how Group 46:10 Sold 552 houses last year for $150MM in sales volume.
Watch the whole episode at www.realestatedisruptors.com/video/interview-with-kevin-kauffman/
Steve: Hey everybody. Thank you for joining us for today’s episode of Real Estate Disruptors. Today we have Kevin Kaufman with Group 4610, and he’s here to share how he and his friend sold 552 houses for $150 million in sales volume last year. If this is your first time tuning in, I’m Steve Tran with Stunning Homes Realty, broker/owner of Stunning Homes Realty, co-founder of OfferFast the one app you need for wholesaling, and I help people become real estate entrepreneurs.
Steve: If you’re excited today’s show, please give me some thumbs up and some hearts, and before we get started, I just want to share that I did start this show because I’ve struggled, you’ve struggled, we’ve talked about it, we’ve joked about it, and we want to shortcut that struggle for as many young leaders as possible.
Steve: I don’t charge a dime for this show, I don’t make any money doing this. Here’s all I ask. If you get value out of this show, please tell a friend, either share this episode right now, tag your friend, or tell them your best takeaway from this show later on, that way we can all grow together. And don’t forget, this is a live show, so please post your questions, and Kevin’s going to be happy to oblige.
Kevin: I’ll do my best.
Steve: You ready for this?
Kevin: Let’s do it, man.
Steve: All right. So what got you into real estate?
Kevin: I’m going to hopefully do this without crying, just kidding. Actually, no. Honestly, I had a professor, I was going back to school. I’ll give you the short version here, I was going back to school, all I knew was that I wanted to be in business for myself one day, that was it. I’ve always managed to find myself in jobs I didn’t deserve or get paid more than I had earned, or get paid more than I really deserved. I didn’t finish college, yada, yada, yada, so I’m going back to school full-time, I’m working full-time, and I had just turned down a big promotion which would have been great for my career at GE Finance, and I turned it down because I just didn’t think it was worth it. I was like, “That’s not going to help me reach my dreams.”
Kevin: And there was this guy, his name was Professor Goodner, Tracy Goodner, he’s a Facebook friend of mine and I’ll tag him here below later, and Professor Goodner was teaching a class, I think it was on business plans, and one day he walks in and he says, “Hey, we’re not going to talk about whatever’s on the syllabus. We’re not talking about that today. We’re going to talk about money.” So I’m like, “Well, my interest is piqued, what are you going to tell me?” And I knew that he was a business owner, but what I found out is he only taught to give back to the community, and he would teach one to two classes a semester, and he breaks down real estate and how he’s used it to build wealth.
Kevin: And he breaks down business and how money works like I’d never hear before, and what I came to find out is this guy, if you’ve read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, he lives that life. That was him, and in fact, he was accredited through “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” to teach their classes, and through the Maricopa Community College system. So he shook my world that day, and I remember asking him like, “Can I buy you coffee?” All I knew was I needed to be closer to this guy, I needed to learn more. So he agreed, we went and had coffee, and he set me straight on a few things like, “Don’t quit your job. You still have to work.” Blah, blah, blah, so basically for the next three or four semesters in a row, I think it was three in a row, so it was four total, if he taught a class, I took it. Luckily, they were all about real estate and real estate investing and there was no more business plans, and then I was still finishing up all my other general stuff I needed to take for a full schedule, and at some point I realized real estate is where it’s at.
Kevin: And I also knew that I had to keep working, I couldn’t afford … I definitely wasn’t independently wealthy, making 50 grand a year was not going to, or 60 grand a year, what I was making at the time, wasn’t going to get me there-
Steve: Pretty good for a college student.
Kevin: Yeah. Like I said, overpaid always. And so I eventually realized, “If I’m going to still work, maybe I should just work in real estate.” That was literally my thought process. And I didn’t know anything about business, I didn’t know anything about the real estate business, I just thought, “I can go work as a realtor if I’m going to keep working because I want to be around real estate, I know that much.” So that was my whole thought process on why I decided to get a real estate license and go after it, and I did. That’s kind of what set me off on this path, and finally, it was the beginning of ’07, so great timing, I was like, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to jump off the deep end. I’m going to quit my job and get a real estate license.” And all my friends were like, “You’re freaking crazy, dude. What are you doing?” I literally had people telling me not to do it.
Steve: I had the same exact thing because we talked about it. I started in May of ’07.
Kevin: Yeah. Me too. We realized it was the same month, right?
Steve: Yeah, and everyone was trying to slap me like, “What’s wrong with you?”
Kevin: Yeah, they were like, “Dude, you’re too late.” I’m like … and basically, tell me not to do something, it is the same as encouraging me to do it for sure. If the crowd goes that way, for sure I’ll go the other way, so I was after it, man. I was like, “I’m just going to go figure this out.” And I don’t know, I arrived in real estate school. Fred, my business partner always teases that I was the one … apparently it was you and me that kept the real estate school open then.
Steve: Yeah. It was definitely very slow in those times. Okay, so what were some of your early struggles? You started in 2007, obviously we know the market wasn’t fantastic, but what were some of your other early struggles?
Kevin: Man, I was just lost in general. The one thing I think I did right in 2007 was I just went to class. I didn’t know any better, and I knew that I’m good with people and building relationships, I’ve kind of always known that. I didn’t feel comfortable with the word sales, though, and I had to get over that. I did really enjoy being around people, though, but I knew nothing about real estate other than I had bought one house and that was it. My buddy was a realtor. That was the extent of it.
Kevin: So I started going to class every day, and I tried to go apply what I learned, and luckily, I kind of got thrown into the mix because Fred, my now business partner, needed some help with some short sales when I first got licensed, and I basically said yes. I always joke he tricked me into it because he was leaving the country, he was getting married and going on his honeymoon in Fiji or wherever they went, Bora Bora, and so I got … I had sold two houses, and now here it is July or August of 2007, and I’m babysitting his thirteen or eleven short sale listings, and he literally had told me, “I don’t even know if we can pay you for doing these.” He’s like, “I don’t know who will pay us. The seller [inaudible 00:06:27] is broke.” And I’m like, “Well this sounds like a genius idea, let’s do it.” So I just kind of dove it and tried to figure it out. I just learned by deciding, “I’m going to figure it out.”
Kevin: I had learned from Carlton Sheets, late night informercials, no money down type stuff, I studied all that stuff because to me, that wasn’t necessarily about a lease option, it was about finding solutions, so I just decided I would use that same mindset, I would attack the real estate industry with that mindset, and I don’t know, man, I just tripped my way through the first six months to be honest with you. I managed to sell a few houses and survive, and [inaudible 00:07:09] teaming up together not long later, not long after that.
Steve: So what does The Group 4610 mean?
Kevin: That is a … if you go back to 2008, we teamed up February of ’08, so just over ten years ago now, and … I’ve got to go backwards in this story to give you the context for it. We started teaching short sale classes because we were doing a lot of short sales because nobody else wanted to. Again, tell me not to do something and I’ll just do it. So I remember I went to this real estate, like a CE class, and the guy was on short sales, and the first thing the guy says is, “Don’t do short sales, they’re bad for your business.” And it’s a three hour class on short sales, and I thought … you’ve got to understand.
Kevin: For context, it’s February of 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona, and I’ll never forget, I’m in this training room in Ahwatukee, and it’s built for like 30 people comfortably and there must have been 65 people in the room, and everyone is wanting to know. And now I’ve closed like three short sales, so I am an expert. And sadly, I actually was the expert in the room, and I was that guy for the next three hours that just kept raising my hand, and going, “Oh, you’re wrong, that’s not actually how it works.” And I kept doing that, I was that guy-
Steve: Don’t come to any of my classes.
Kevin: Yeah. No, I don’t always do … okay, I do that a lot, but this guy was just wrong about everything. He was talking about what happened in the RTC days, not what was happening in February 2008.
Steve: It wasn’t relevant.
Kevin: Yeah, it totally wasn’t relevant, and I could tell because I was in the trenches and I was experiencing this firsthand, so I remember I came back, I had said to Fred, “Dude, we have to teach people what we’re doing because nobody knows what they’re doing.” So we decided to start teaching classes. Anyway, the reason I share that is because that fast forwarded our business in a big way. The day we started working together was February 2nd or February 3rd of 2008, whatever that Monday was, we had, I think, eleven listings between the two of us, and within 90 days, it became 50. And it was just because we decided we’d go teach classes, and people started referring us deals, and we got known as the short sale guys that were “experts”, so we started growing fast, and I’ll never forget, this is how the name came up.
Kevin: Sitting at my desk, Fred’s sitting at his card table, it was my sister-in-law’s card table, which was his desk at the time, and this office was not any bigger than this actually, and I said, “Hey dude, we’re out of signs. We need to order some more. Do you want me to put your name on them? I don’t my name on any signs. I don’t want my phone number on any signs, I don’t want my name on any signs.” And he said, “Not a chance.” And I said, “We should probably think of like a team name then or something. How does this work?” Because we were just trying to help each other, we were literally backs to the wall, backs to each other, trying to make ends meet, and he said, “Well, we should definitely think of a team name, yeah.”
Kevin: So I went home and I thought of some names, and we had this guy, who, if you’ve ever seen any of our old short sale power videos, you know his name is Mark Collard, we always called him Coach Collard, and he had read the books “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, and I think he had gone to one of those day long trainings. Well, I think it’s habit number two if I’m not mistaken is, “Begin with the end in mind.” Or, “Think with the end in mind.” And that always stuck out to Fred and I because of the fact that in short sales, every question I would ask, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the script I was using, I just didn’t call it a script then, every question I would ask of a homeowner, I was thinking about what’s going to happen nine months from now at the closing table. I was thinking about pricing strategy, my negotiation strategy with the other agent, how are we going to do this with title, what is it going to be like between the first lender and the second lender and the mortgage and insurance companies?
Kevin: I was literally in my mind going through that whole process, so begin with the end in mind or think with the end in mind stuck out to me and Fred too. And my buddy Mark, or Coach as we call him said, “Hey, that came from the scripture Isaiah 46:10, in the bible.” He had taken all seven of those habits, and I don’t remember if it came out of the class that he was at or if he just did it, and for context, Mark is this guy who is … he’s whiter than I am, and he was a Spanish pastor, he led a congregation in Spanish, so he’s this guy that you can’t help but love, he’s just the most lovable guy, and he’s a fun guy. He’s the type of guy that would shave something into his chest, like the Texas Longhorn or something.
Kevin: And so, that stuck out to us, begin with the end in mind, so I said, “What about Group 4610?” I sent an email, and I sent it to Mark and Fred, and they both responded right away, “Group 4610 is perfect.” So we just went with it. It sounded … the minute it came out loud, we all went, “That’s it. That’s the name.” So it wasn’t a big statement, a lot of people are like, “Is that a religious statement? Are you trying to have an altar call?” I’m like, “No.” It’s just, it’s begin with the end in mind. Or, think with the end in mind, that’s all that it is, and it’s definitely started some unique conversations, some good and some not so good.
Steve: I think it’s great, too, because you talk about the end in mind, you’re also talking about servicing the client. It’s not just … you’re not in it just for the money, if you’re in this for the money, you won’t last in this business.
Kevin: Yeah, that’s a fact.
Steve: So I think 4610 helps you remember why you’re doing it too.
Steve: So we generally advise people against partnerships. In fact, in the last episode, Brant and I were talking about how awful partnerships are. So how is it that you and Fred have been able to succeed together for so long?
Kevin: My thinking on this has evolved. And what I mean by that is I get this question a lot. I get a phone call four to six times a year that says, “Hey.” So and so in whatever city said to call you because so and so and I are thinking about forming a partnership and they said you’re the only one, you and your partner are the only ones they know that aren’t husband and wife or family or related somehow that have had a longstanding partnership that’s really worked out well.
Kevin: I have these conversations with people four to six, seven times a year, and here’s what I realized. Some dumb luck is involved. We’re not that smart, but we’ve also done some smart things that have supported that dumb luck, and what those things are, to give you an example, day one, before we even agreed to work together, we both love Mexican food and I’m from Yuma, Arizona, and-
Steve: So you’re like the biggest most famous guy from Yuma, then.
Kevin: Not quite. [inaudible 00:13:47] is the most … Cain Velasquez actually, but at any rate, we drove to Yuma to go to my favorite Mexican food restaurant, it’s called Chili Pepper, it’s behind Mr. G’s, and we drove down there and we literally typed down on a piece of paper those eleven listings that we had, how we were going to compensate each other on that, and then what would any other deal ever look like, and then … so if I brought a deal in, what would I compensate him on it, and vice versa, and what happens if we created a deal just because we’re in business together. It wasn’t my sphere or his. And we had decided we’d do those 50/50, but we actually started 85/15 on the other side.
Kevin: We had both come from some relationships where business wise we felt we were the ones left holding the bag, [inaudible 00:14:39] end up burning, and so neither one of us were ever going to let that happen again, so we were very clear about that from day one, and it took us over three years to get to 50/50 on everything, and to this day it’s a competition, we’re super competitive, so even though the money is split 50/50, trust me, at any given moment, one of us knows who has more referrals for the year.
Kevin: So much so my wife said to me at one point because she, for some reason, saw our numbers for … I was showing her something in our system, it might have been our new tech system where we’ve got our reporting at, and she goes, “Does Fred know you’ve done more referrals than him this year or deals?” And I was like, “Oh, he knows. Trust me.” So it’s a thing, right? Number one is we agreed that nobody could live off the other person because you can’t do it. We were going to split, we split expenses 50/50, but income is split 85/15, couldn’t live off the other person, that was number one. Number two-
Steve: So that’s still intact today?
Kevin: Well no, 50/50 now on everything. To be straight with you, at this point, he’s earned 50% of anything I ever did. If I win the lottery tomorrow, I might not give him 50%, but I’ll give him a little bit.
Steve: Give me a call first, I’ll give you some advice.
Kevin: Thanks. Might need a good attorney’s number. The reality is I feel like he’s earned 50% of whatever. Whatever I have that he wants, I would probably just give him 50% of. So the other part of that is we have the same vision, we both know where we want to go. We take different paths to get there, and we definitely have some similarities, yet very big differences, too, in our personalities. There’s a reason I’m the one in here doing the podcast because you and I have built a relationship over the years and you haven’t with him.
Kevin: And it’s not that he doesn’t like people, but that’s not his strength and that’s not what gives him energy, but if you and I came up with a crazy idea today to go sell 100 houses or something, right? I know that I could take it back and go, “Dude, this is awesome. Look what Steve and I thought of here.” And he’d make it work. Somewhere between the operations team and my brain, he’ll make it work, so we’re a really good pairing like that. We had a friend describe us as, “It’s like you guys are opposite corners of the same brain.” That’s some of the dumb luck.
Steve: You just complement each other really well.
Kevin: Yeah, we do. And the other piece of it, which is I think we do really smart is there’s just no ego involved. And I can remember we’ve interviewed people who have known us for years about different things, and they’d be going, “Okay, but really, who makes the decisions? Really, who has the final say?” And we’re like, “Really, both of us.” And people have a hard time grasping that, that we can be in such lock step that we could make the same decision. The reason why is this. Number one, we disagree very rarely on a strategy or method or direction, and I think, I don’t know if this is true, but I think the safe place for us is that if we disagree, neither one of us are afraid to give in to the other person because we already know that if we screw it up, because we screw up a lot, we’re just going to stop doing that.
Kevin: I always tell people, we have two strengths. The first strength is that we screw up a ton, but luckily, the one thing we’re better at than screwing up is we stop doing that and we’ll just go a different direction. For instance, if I wanted, say, one system and he wanted another, probably one of us feels stronger about it or has a better argument, so we’ll just do it, and the other person doesn’t care because we’re either going to get the result we’re after, or we’ll just go the other direction. So I think that’s helped a lot, and I think that’s how it has worked.
Steve: So it’s not having a big ego and the willingness to accept that you’re wrong.
Kevin: Yeah. I’m never wrong, so it’s really easy for me. I have a good sense of humor about it-
Steve: I have that same problem.
Kevin: And if he was here, he would also tell you the truth is he and my wife have been friends since second grade or third grade, like neighbors, they grew up in this … there’s this group of friends, they grew up on the same block, they’re friends to this day, and he would tell you that he loves my wife and my kids, and I love his wife and his son, too, more than I like him, so luckily that also helps.
Steve: Yeah, it helps to go through the struggle. Right. So we talked about 552 for 149 [inaudible 00:18:59], but 150 to kind of get your ego right where we’re at-
Kevin: Thanks man, I really needed that.
Steve: But why didn’t you just try a little bit harder just that last month to get to that 150? I’m just messing with you, but how did you guys get … because 500, even 100 is a big number, right? We have a lot of people doing it, but 500 has got to be some sort of managerial or logistical nightmare. So what’s the first step in that journey, what does it look like to get there?
Kevin: Man, it is and it isn’t. The one thing I’ve learned is that the bigger your world gets, the smaller your focus needs to become, which sort of, in a way, makes everything else easier and also usually makes it messier. But as long as you can get past that. So I think number one, like you said what’s the first step, I think you’ve got to be willing to, number one, let it get big, you want it to get big, and be willing to let it get messy. And the perfect example I can think of that is I can remember back to 2015, 2014, and you know this, we were having quite a shift in our business, and Fred and I were back in the trenches, we were on listing appointments, we were showing to buyers, you name it, and a good friend of ours who is kind of a friend/mentor, Ben Kenny, was like, “Hey, come over here guys, let me help you out.”
Kevin: So we flew up to Bellingham, Washington and stayed with him and kind of just shadowed his team for a couple days, and the way he would do it is he would say, “Okay, go watch this. Observe that. Come back in an hour, 45 minutes, two hours, and we’ll talk about it.” And then he would send us on our way to the next assignment, so at the time, we’re selling … I think in 2013, we did like 130, 140 transactions. Pretty good, but neither one of us are happy with it, and Ben’s doing 700 transactions, mostly in Bellingham, Washington, which is the size of this complex.
Kevin: So we caught ourselves going, “Why are they doing that? Why do they do that? Why do they do this? We do that so much better.” And finally, we went, “Okay, we might do it better, but he’s selling 700 houses and we’re selling 130, so maybe we should just shut up and listen.” And what I realized on that trip was that Ben was willing to let it be chaotic and messy for the sake of growth in all things and go home at night. And I was like, “We’ve got to do that.” And once we accepted that, I think that was when our … I don’t think, that was when our business started to take off, that coupled with a model change with the way we approached the way our salespeople interact in our company and things like that, that was the big catalyst for us to be able to go from like … we had done 219 transactions a couple years earlier in the short sale world, but at the time we were at 130, the very next year, 130 was then 160, was the year we went to visit Ben, and we were able to almost triple … not triple, more than double the following year and just keep growing to 550 last year.
Steve: Now, when you went up to see Ben, were you only in Phoenix?
Kevin: Yes, we were considering going to Colorado at the time, so our business partner there, Aaron Lobovic, who, the guy’s an animal, absolute monster, is someone we’ve known for years through the short sale days, and we were considering expanding, we were doing this thing called expansion, something we had actually considered back in 2011, but we got a little distracted with something, so we sort of let that sit on the back burner, and once we got done being distracted and got back into our business and fixed our business, we went, “Okay, we can have these conversations.” And I’ll never forget, I’m sitting in the meeting in Denver, and Aaron Lobovic is in the meeting, and a guy named Leo Sanchez, who at the time, worked for a company called Wave Point Homes, and
Kevin: [inaudible 00:23:00], who, at the time, worked for a company called Waypoint Homes. Do you remember them? They bought a ton of houses, here, right?
Steve: Yeah, they’re a big hedge-fund buyer.
Kevin: Yeah, and we had sold a lot of homes to Leo, and built a relationship with him. He was struggling in Denver, because there’s not a lot of inventory. There wasn’t then, either. We were trying to just introduce him to people that we thought either had a lot of … What’s the word I’m looking for? Not clout, I hate that word.
Kevin: Yeah, had a lot of pull in the industry, and/or had a lot of listings, and so we thought it’d be beneficial for both parties. We set up a bunch of meetings, cause we know a lot of people in Denver. Set up a lot of meetings, and we’re just sitting in the meeting one day. It might’ve been towards the end of the meeting. Leo goes, “Gosh, this would just be so much easier if you guys lived here or if you sold real estate here.” Aaron is across the table. He looks at us, and goes, “Huh, if you guys did that, I would totally be interested in talking to you about maybe partnering on something. I’ve been thinking about getting into retail sales.”
Kevin: Light-bulb moment. A couple months later, that’s right about the same time as this trip to go see Ben Kenney, so we come back. We’re revamping the model in Phoenix, and we’re gonna go launch it in Denver, all at the same time, ’cause Fred and I are like, “If you’re gonna do something, you might as well do it big.” Right?
Steve: Right, if it’s not gonna work, at least make as big a mess as possible.
Kevin: Oh, yeah. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Right?
Steve: Oh, 100%. So that was in 2012, ’13-ish?
Kevin: ’14, yeah.
Steve: ’14. To get you to the next level, are you growing here? Are you adding additional markets? What’s- ?
Kevin: Yeah. I think it’s important to say that, in Denver, we got really lucky. Aaron is phenomenal. We’re not that good at hiring, nobody is. This guy hadn’t sold real estate before. He had a real estate license, been around it his whole life, invested, but not done retail sales. I think he had sold two or three houses. In his first 12 months, the guy sold 72 houses, 72 personal deals, as well as another 33 through other people, through a showing assistant and two team members that we hired kind of part-way through the year. He crushed it, in every sense of the word. We were surprised because he converted at a level that we didn’t know somebody could convert, and we could actually generate the leads at a rate that we didn’t know we could generate the leads. We were able to teach him how to do it, and then we were able to service it.
Kevin: Well, I don’t know that we were able to service it. We stumbled a lot, but it helped start to build the systems that we have today, which I think are phenomenal. We got a little false sense of, “We might know what we’re doing.” We didn’t know what we were doing, but we were figuring it out. The one thing we did know is we had the right guy and we were figuring it out. Yeah, we started just going wild. Now, at the same, Phoenix is growing, ’cause we’ve switched up the model here, and we’ve got our agents. We’re training them to take both listings and work with buyers. Fred and I are stepping out of production, and just working through people, and trying to help them become better agents. I’m trying to hire people. Fred’s trying to train them better. Aaron is doing his thing in Colorado. We’re flying him out here monthly so we can spend time together. He’s shadowing me on a listing appointments. He’s shadowing Fred on listing appointments.
Steve: So he did 72 personal deals, and he’s shadowing you? That’s amazing.
Kevin: The guy’s a monster. He’s a monster. I don’t know that that was the growth plan. It just happened. It was very organic from the standpoint of he did better than we thought he could, and we did better than we thought we could on our end of the deal, and it just started working. It’s just been a learning process since. A few months later, kind of about halfway through the year, a girl named Stephanie, who was with us in Nashville, who actually worked on the team … I hired her when she was a kid. In 2009, I had hired her, literally, to answer phones, because, short-sale days, the phone’s ringing off the hook from agents and you name it.
Steve: Oh, yeah.
Kevin: She had worked her way up to be a listing agent on our team toward the end of the short-sale run, and she kind of got burnt out. I won’t go into the story, but she left. She went into commercial real estate. She eventually married Fred’s brother, and so she’s now his sister-in-law, which has nothing to do with her ability, just she’s connected. Her and Fred’s brother moved to Nashville, ’cause he’s a musician, and a couple months later, she wants to get back into real estate. We’re like, “Well, we’re geniuses at this expansion, ’cause we’re crushing it in Denver, and we love you. We never wanted to not be in business with you. You wanna be back in sales? Let’s do it.” She got licensed middle of that year, and we started growing there too. The reality was it wasn’t like we were trying to expand.
Kevin: She said she wanted to sell real estate. We’re like, “If you’re gonna sell real estate, we can do this together,” and so we did. That was kind of how it started taking off, and then we fooled ourselves.
Steve: Well, that’s fantastic. I mean, that’s a great journey. How would you explain to a person that’s new in the business what is expansion? How is that different than traditional real estate?
Kevin: Yeah, the way I would explain expansion is quite simply this. To me, in its simplest terms, expansion is simply expanding your leads, expanding your administrative services, or what I’d call your hub support, and your training, and taking those to different market than where you’re currently at. What it looks like in our world is, if you came and sat in our office in Tempe, what you would see is there’s a lot of folks that are licensed in Arizona, and all of them are also licensed other places, like Colorado, California, Tennessee, et cetera.
Kevin: You’ll see that, actually, what we’re doing is we’re providing services there, just like it would in any other team, in any other brokerage, the difference being some of the agents are in offices that are in another state or another city. We generate the leads the same way. We use as much technology as we can to help with the culture that you don’t get when you’re not in the same office every day. We’re a team. Truthfully, it’s a team that just happens to work in different places. It’s the old hub-and-spoke model, if you will. There’s a hub, where everything kind of central comes out of there, and then there’s sales people.
Kevin: There’s agents on the ground, in these different locations that we operate in, and they get all the same services that the agents in Tempe do, and the agents in Tucson do, and the agents in San Luis Obispo, et cetera, you name it. That’s what expansion is. Now, it’s way more complicated than that. Right?
Steve: Of course.
Kevin: Let’s face it, real estate, it’d be fair to say it’s antiquated, like our laws and the way things are run, but you have to follow the rules, and so you have to work your way around … There’s a lot to learn there. But, in its simplest form, that’s what expansion is. It’s just selling real estate in more than one location.
Steve: There’s a lot of really big producers in the Valley.
Steve: What would you tell one of them? Say, “Hey, you guys are doing really good here. You guys should go expand,” or should you only expand if that’s what you want to do? Should you only expand if you have boots on the floor that you already know and trust versus going out and recruiting? What would you say to those people?
Kevin: Yeah, I wouldn’t ever tell anybody that they should expand. To be real honest with you, it’s not easy. It’s a challenge, and most people aren’t up for it. It’s hard. It’s expensive.
Steve: What’s expensive about it?
Kevin: Well, it’s not profitable on day one. It’s not. Let’s face it, as real estate agents, most of us want quick returns and we want fast results, no doubt that I want that too, and it’s not that way with expansion. It’s not easy. It’s a challenge. If you think it’s a challenge to lead people that you look in the eye every day, try leading people that are in another state, that need to show up every day and do the same thing, practice scripts, and lead gen, and go on appointments, and hopefully use the scripts that you taught. It’s a challenge. Number one is I wouldn’t tell anybody that they should expand. If I’ve ever told you that, if someone’s watching this, I’m sorry.
Kevin: But it is exciting, because what happens is two things. It starts to turn your business into more of a business, if you’re not already treating it that way, and you have to learn how to do some of those things that, quite frankly, you don’t have to learn if someone sits in your office. There’s a lot of cheats, if you will, that someone can get just ’cause they sit next to you and they can listen to you. You don’t have to get great at communicating, ’cause they can just overhear everything you say, as long as they’re willing to learn. It’s a challenge, and I love a good challenge. If you’re going to do that, I would say you’ve got to be up for the challenge, be ready to not make a lot of money on this. It’s not an instant-gratification thing.
Kevin: However, it is a lot of fun, and it could totally change your life. I wouldn’t just go recruit people. Wait for the right relationship. Here’s the deal. When you expand with somebody, the way it should work, and I say should, perfect world, is it’s just the right next step for you and for them.
Steve: It’s organic.
Kevin: Yeah, it’s very organic. I would love to say that it’s anything different than that. I know some people that have forced things different than that. You might say that it’s worked a little bit, on the outside. I know some of the war stories, on the inside, that the public doesn’t get to see. It’s not always that easy. There’s certainly some people that are gaining traction and winning at expansion. I can tell you right now, a lot more people are not winning at expansion than are winning. That’s not to say that it can’t be done. It’s to say that this is still really new in our industry, and it’s still really hard for most people in our industry to even wrap their head around. There’s not a perfect model for it yet. There’s just not.
Steve: It’s, like you said, a massive, massive test on your leadership. Your leadership’s got to be on point to lead people across the country.
Kevin: Yeah, to lead yourself, too, to handle that. It’s a challenge.
Steve: All right, so you’ve got a lot of Facebook groups. I don’t know, probably 20 or 30.
Kevin: Well, no, I only have one.
Steve: Only one?
Kevin: Well, I mean, I guess I have two, one for my team, and then the one.
Steve: Well, I was talking about the Tesla.
Kevin: Oh, wait, I do. I forgot about that one.
Steve: Is that it?
Kevin: I should really take care of that.
Steve: I was gonna say, “Stop harassing me,” ’cause, every time you create a group, you’re inviting me.
Kevin: No, I only have two groups. I forgot about the Tesla group. Maybe I should go pay attention to that-
Steve: Yeah, maybe you should.
Kevin: -or close it. I don’t know.
Steve: Okay, so then tell me about the Next Level-
Kevin: Next Level Agents.
Steve: Yeah, let’s talk about that group. What is it? Why did you make it?
Kevin: Next Level Agents, the group formerly known as Real Estate Agents Who Want Real Results, the true story is Fred and I, and our buddy Cody Gibson, who is an agent in Portland, also crazy, does this expansion thing, had discussed that we would love to have our own Facebook group, ’cause there’s a lot of Facebook groups out there that may be-
Steve: So many.
Kevin: So many. That maybe, just maybe, brought a different conversation to the table, ’cause we didn’t love the groups that we were in, and we didn’t love the conversations that were happening in those groups. We just thought, “Well, that’d be kind of cool to have our own group one day. I wish we would’ve thought of that earlier.” We didn’t do anything with it. One day, Saturday morning, I just woke up and decided, “Today’s the day.”
Steve: Who cares? We’re making this.
Kevin: Yeah, I literally went in and created the group. I couldn’t think of a good name, so I went with Real Estate Agents Who Want Real Results, ’cause that sounded good in the moment.
Steve: Yeah, that wasn’t a lot of research offline.
Kevin: It was a good 45-
Steve: No close groups.
Kevin: It was a good 45 seconds of thought. I texted Fred and Cody and said, “Hey, guys. We finally have that Facebook group we’ve been talking about for so long.” True story, that is how it started. We had always said, “Well, if we had one, we would just try to have good conversations in it, and try to bring value, and see what happens. It’d probably be a lot of fun,” and so we did. We added a few people that day. I think we might’ve got to a thousand people that first day, or 500, or something like that, and then it just started growing. I think the power of it, initially, was that the relationships that myself and Fred and Cody have were able to draw in other people that won’t necessarily go to the other Facebook groups and participate or even read, much less actually put their own opinions in and post on, and so I think that that helped.
Kevin: We were also able to use some of those same relationships to bring in free webinars and content to our people in the group, just as a giveback. Literally, we just thought, “How many eyeballs could we get on this?” We didn’t know. That was where it started, and then it just started becoming this thing, where it was like people were talking to me about it all the time, and people were going, “Can I do a webinar in your group?” I’m like, “Yeah. Why not? That’d be cool.” Next thing I know, people are really responding well to it, and so we just start feeding it a little bit. We started giving it a little more attention. It was also very organic. Most good things usually are. It grew, and here we are today. It’s just over 23,000 members.
Kevin: It’s called Next Level Agents. As you know, we just did a live event, in person, last month, in Las Vegas, where we had about 260 registered, probably about 220 showed, and then about another 70 people watching it online, on the live stream. We just brought massive content that day. The whole goal was, “Let’s go see how much content we can bring and how much value we can deliver.” The truth is I called all my … I didn’t call all my friends. I called my friends. I had a waiting list of people who would like to speak at it, because people were like, “Yes, I’ll come speak.” The reality was that all my friends over-delivered. They’re all givers.
Kevin: You look at people like Joshua Smith and Jason Abrams, Via Williams, these people just come in and they’re just like, “I’m just gonna give,” and they come in, and they just gave to the audience for whatever their time-slot was. My friend Chelsea [inaudible 00:37:57] and Travis [inaudible 00:37:58], they just all said, “I’m gonna give.” I didn’t pay them. I didn’t even pay for their flights. They just said, “Yes, I’ll come give,” ’cause I think that’s what people in our community do, when they really feel-
Steve: I think the top producers do.
Kevin: Yeah. Well, ’cause it’s one of the keys to getting further-
Kevin: -is giving more, and so you maybe wanna surround yourself with people that do that.
Kevin: That’s something I picked up along the way, and I know that you have too. These people who all command their own day-long training classes or more … Josh has the bootcamp, and Jason speaks three to four times a week. These guys are speakers, and they’re practitioners, and they just came and gave massive value. My buddy Dustin [inaudible 00:38:40], who you have to get on this show, by the way, comes in, and-
Steve: Just let me know when he comes in.
Kevin: -just absolutely blows it out of the water, crushes it that day, and people are just like, “Oh, my gosh. Content-wise, this is the best event I’ve been to in years.”
Kevin: Yeah, and our goal was this, “Let’s bring the most value.” I’m not gonna bash any companies or any brands, but most of the conferences out there are either totally lacking in real estate content or there’s an angle. Do you know what I mean?
Steve: Oh, I totally know.
Kevin: There’s a reason why the people who are on stage or why someone’s pitching whatever product, or whatever, and we just went, “No, let’s just give great content.” We already scheduled next year’s event. We sold, I don’t know, 60-something, 70 tickets to next year’s event, the day of the event. We’re like, “Oh, people wanna come back.” The response from it was awesome, and it felt cool to know we delivered on what we thought we could do, and we just hoped we could do. We just had an idea, kind of just like the start of the group. We had an idea, and then we were like, “I wonder if we could do an in-person event. If we did, I wonder if it would bring the community closer together,” and it did.
Steve: That’s you, Fred and-
Steve: -Cody, okay.
Steve: I just wanted you to know my offer still stands. I will keynote for 50,000.
Kevin: It’s only 50,000?
Steve: Only 50,000.
Kevin: You’re gonna give me the discount?
Steve: That’s the Next Level discount.
Kevin: That’s awesome. That’s really big of you, by the way.
Steve: Hey, I wanna give. Okay, so-
Kevin: Oh, man.
Steve: What was the takeaway? You did it ’cause you wanted to give back. Right?
Steve: After it was all done, [inaudible 00:40:27] do it again, we’ll do this differently, or-
Kevin: Oh, so many things that we saw, that you just don’t see when you’re putting on an event of that magnitude, that you just don’t see until you see it, and then you’re like, “Oh, man, we’ll do this different. We’ll do this.” The one thing we knew we made a mistake, from the get, was we made it a one-day event, not a two-day event, ’cause it’s a destination. Even though it’s Las Vegas, and it’s easy for almost everybody to get to, people go, “It’s only one day? If I’m gonna go out of town, I wanna make it two days, and then I’ll make it a weekend.” We knew right away it had to be two days.
Kevin: We couldn’t do it. Our schedules are just too booked, and we had backed ourselves into a corner. We couldn’t change the date. Number one is next year’s will be two days. We just learned little things, just room setup, and chair configuration, and length of talks, and length of breaks. Do we have the vendors in the room or out of the room? Just things like that that you don’t know it until you see it and go, “Oh, totally should’ve saw that coming.”
Steve: That’s how all those mistakes are, though.
Kevin: Yeah, and so now we have a list, literally a nice big list of all the things that went all right, and all the things that we’ll do different for next year, and it’ll be better.
Steve: Very cool. I know that the purpose was to give. Was there any ancillary benefits, like, “Man, that was so awesome we did this. Here’s a positive side-effect or consequence that we had no idea was coming from it”?
Kevin: I don’t wanna say that we had no idea, because the truth is … When Fred and I started teaching this class, I’m gonna go backwards in time, to 2008, when we started teaching the short-sale classes, we didn’t charge. We gave away everything we had. The one thing that maybe we shouldn’t have … I don’t know, maybe we should’ve sold some more of our content. I don’t know, but the thing that that did for us, that I still reap benefits, literally, to this day, reap the benefit of it today, was that we would give back to the real estate community constantly by giving away our information and trying to help other agents sell more houses, close more short-sales, give more value to them. It just created relationships, so many names.
Kevin: One of the things I didn’t tell about that year was, a guy named Steve [inaudible 00:42:41], he didn’t coach us, but he mentored us, and he really helped us get clear on our mission, vision, value, beliefs, and perspectives, which help you decide where your business is really going and who you are. Curtis Johnson’s a good friend, and Russel and Wendy Shaw, and Tim Cusack. I could go on and on. Jeff Lucas. They just created all these relationships, because we were willing to give our time, our resources, our energy, and stuff always comes back. At first, it looked like referrals, and then it looked like introductions and relationships that would just open doors for me. It’s still doing that to this day. I mean, literally, people call about that group all the time, and literally either call or message about the group, and it’s because something cool happened in there.I don’t know that you can put a price-tag on that.
Kevin: I’m just a firm believer, if you just work to give value, there’s always a way to, quote, unquote, monetize it. Whether that’s actually because you can sell something or because somebody introduces you to someone else, and then that leads to a business opportunity, or it might lead to 15 listings in one-year markets that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, you never know, and so I think, from that, number one, the thing we were looking for is build the community even stronger in the group, and I think just continue good will. Referrals come out of it, for sure. Absolutely, we’ll get referrals out of it. That’s it. I always tell people, “You should go teach. You’ll get referrals out of it, and you’ll learn.” It’s a no-brainer. The more you give, the more you get.
Steve: One thing you mentioned there was kind of fascinating. You’re getting phone-calls about this group?
Kevin: Oh, yeah.
Steve: What kind of calls do you get about the group, if you can share?
Kevin: Yeah, first of all, from agents, from people that wanna be in the group, people that wanna speak at the event, people who wanna do webinars in the event, people that want to be sponsors of the group, companies, you name it. We get calls about the group, like, “Hey, I heard you had this really amazing event. Can I buy a copy of the recording?” or, “How can I get involved next time? Tell me more,” literally, phone-calls, text messages, emails about the group, and it’s just become this thing that sort of has grown its own legs and now is a thing.
Steve: I am in the Strategic Coach. One of the things that Joe Polish and-
Kevin: I was just gonna say Joe’s name. Dan Sullivan.
Steve: -Dan Sullivan talked about is, when Joe started I Love Marketing, the intent, maybe, at some point, was to monetize, but let’s just B.S. for 30 minutes or an hour, and let’s just have fun, just riff. One thing he said was that, after 100 episodes, people were constantly blowing him up. It was like, “What are you selling? I want to buy it.” They’re saying, “I’ve got nothing to sell. I’m just giving away content.” They said, “After 100 episodes, let’s celebrate it. Let’s take the best of the first 100 episodes,” and I might be butchering the details. You might know it better … “Let’s take the best of the 100 episodes, throw it into a book, and sell it for 99 bucks,” and they sold out their first run.
Steve: It’s fascinating. You get these additional calls, like, “I wanna buy the recordings,” or, “I wanna sponsor it,” or this or that,” and I harass you. I was like, “Hey, I wanna speak, for money.” Anyway, so-
Steve: Hey, I wanna speak for money, anyway-
Kevin: See, it’s funny, Joe always says, so I’m gonna master my group that Joe leads. Joe certainly monetizes it-
Steve: I’m planning on joining you.
Kevin: It’s awesome and you know, one of the things he says is life gives to the giver and takes from the taker.
Kevin: Getting to know Joe, as you know, I bought a building that happens, dumb luck, next door to his.
Kevin: I’m in this parking lot, like if I told you the names of the people I saw walking through my parking lot today, it’s rad.
Kevin: And Joe’s next, Joe’s the most connected guy in business, right? He’s the most connected guy and so, dumb luck, I buy the building next to him and my friend, Michael [00:00:44 Burnoff?] goes, dude, do you know Joe [00:00:47 Polish?] I’m like, yeah, who doesn’t know who Joe Polish is, he’s like, no, do you know him? His building is next door to your new office, and I go, no, he’s like, let me introduce you.
Kevin: So that happens last year about this time or last September and so Joe, I ended up joining the Genius Network, which is the mastermind group, and it’s, dude, it’s amazing. It is amazing, and one of the things I’ve gotten to know and I’ve learned so much from Joe in a short period of time, like that dude gives. He genuinely believes in just giving and giving and giving, and he’ll monetize, and that guy’s a great marketer, he knows how to sell, but he genuinely gives. One thing that he said to me, I remember the first time I met him, and we’re kind of walking around his office and we’re doing the whole tour because his office is cool. You should check it out. He says, yeah, my thing is, I wanna, I’ll sell you what you want but I’m gonna give you what you need.
Steve: Oh, I love it.
Kevin: The guy’s way more than about business, and he’s got such a big mission in life and man, I just freaking adore that guy and I’m so thankful that our paths crossed, because he’s changed my life in a lot of ways in just the whatever, nine months that I’ve known him.
Steve: Well, that’s incredible, good stroke of luck to be next door to that guy.
Steve: And then the other thing you said, you know, life takes from the takers and gives to the givers or vice versa, you know, one book I read, I wanna say four years ago which was impactful for me was Give And Take. Have you read that book?
Kevin: Adam Grant, yeah.
Steve: So you know, the thing that they said, all the guys on the bottom performance wise or compensation wise, they’re givers, and that’s like okay, I’m a giver, so I’m kind of screwed, I guess, and then you look at everyone else in-between, they’re takers or matchers, the guys on the top are the givers.
Kevin: Isn’t that funny?
Steve: We talk about giving back, that’s, you can’t, what’s the word I’m looking for. Symbolize it.
Kevin: Yeah, so you made me think of, first of all, my first, who I would consider my first mentor in life, and he was a guy, he’s passed away, his name is Brian [00:02:53 Plummer?] and he had written a book called The Compassionate Samurai, and the reason he wrote that book was, in his experience of the world, there were two kinds of people. There were the nice guys, the givers who quite frankly were compassionate and they were willing, they’d give you the shirt off their back. The problem is that that was the only shirt that they had, and then his other experience with the world was that there were people that were samurai and they’d kill you, right? Like in business and in life.
Kevin: And so what he wanted to do was train a world of compassionate samurai, and it was, that was his view of, no, you can be absolutely amazing in business and you can be giving, and you don’t have to be one or the other, and I think of a song called, by Green Day, called Nice Guys Finish Last, like when you said givers are on the bottom, yeah, nice guys finish last. How many times have you heard that saying?
Steve: All the time.
Kevin: People say it, oh, I guess nice guys finish last and they let that be the theme of their life, instead of being like, actually, nice guys finish first, which, do you wanna be on the first or last? It’s totally your choice.
Steve: Absolutely. So what are you passionate about?
Kevin: Currently, besides my family, I’m passionate about the fact I got to hang out in the fort that my daughters built last night. This morning, I’ve got a three-year-old and a five-year-old and we have to tell spooky stories with the flashlight up above our face this morning at about six am before I went to the gym. My daughters were insistent last night that I wake them up early today because it’s a gym day, and I go work out with a trainer and I gotta be there by seven and it’s in Scottsdale, so I’ve gotta leave my house by six twenty-five, and so they’re like, wake me up early, and I’m like, this’ll be too early, they’re like, come on, wake us up, and so I woke them up, and we went and played and we did spooky stories.
Kevin: So I’m passionate about that. I’m obviously passionate about business and I’ve had a big change in my life just around what I’d call an overall health journey. You might notice these glasses have a little bit of a different tint to it to kind of block out different lights, I’ve gotten in to some of what I would call really weird stuff from my health perspective, because quite frankly, I’ll be forty next week and I feel better than I did when I was twenty-one, and I’ve been on this journey and it’s easy to look from the outside, to go, well, you’re a really big guy, and I’m like, yeah, I am, and I’m down seventy pounds from where I was eight or nine months ago.
Kevin: Oh yeah.
Kevin: In fact, I’m working less hard than I was then. That was the problem, so I was younger, I was really overweight, I was over four-hundred pounds at one point, lost all the weight, starting working out, starting counting my calories, like I could look at a piece of food and tell you what were the macros in it, what were the calories in it, and I would go to work out five, six days a week, well, eventually, like my body, it stopped working. I don’t know how else to say it. Things stopped working, and so meanwhile, I’m seventy pounds heavier and I’m working harder than I ever have, and you like, if I had one more doctor to tell me to eat less and exercise more, I was gonna punch him in the face.
Kevin: Because that’s actually not always, in fact, it’s usually not the right advice.
Steve: Not the right advice.
Kevin: So what I, I’ve been on a journey, but I kept going, well, I’m an accountable guy, so I must just not, I must be cheating, I must be doing this wrong, and I’m self-aware of the fact that I like to eat and what I like to eat and et cetera. I measured my food, everything I put in my mouth, for two years. I’m aware of it, and so I finally, this journey led me to discovering guys like Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Coffee, and then finding my chiropractor, Dr. John Toma in Scottsdale and then finding my now general care physician, Dr. Brian Glick, who is a functional medicine doctor through chance, through a podcast on, to a Joe Rogan podcast I was listening to, who the guest was Rob Wolf, which is why I was listening.
Kevin: He mentioned a website, I went to that website because I’d been searching for a good functional medicine doctor, someone that digs deeper, and I go in and see, first of all, it’s a process to get on the waiting list, and I sit down with the guy for two and a half hours, that’s my first appointment, and probably my average appointment with him is two to two and a half hours, I go to him and I do blood work every ninety days and he adjusts medication, adjusts vitamins, and we’ve slightly changed, I’m talking slightly changed the way I eat, and all of a sudden, the weight that I couldn’t lose before, and oh, I had to stop working out. I had to stop working out, and so I guess that theory doesn’t work. Exercise more, because I stopped working out for about five months, five or six months, and before he would let me go, because my adrenals were all jacked and a bunch of different things going on and so the weight starts coming, I start feeling better instantly, like I don’t know what time of the day it is right now, it doesn’t matter, it could be seven am, I’m ready to go the rest of the day.
Kevin: The rest of the day, I’m ready to go until I go to bed, and so just through that process, and then refining things, like my chiropractor, he’s so weird. I say that in the most adoring way. I wear these goofy glasses at night, I’ve got a pair of glasses like the lenses are really yellow or orange, and they block out blue light, and then I got another pair of glasses, they’re literally safety goggles. They’re red and they block out all blue and all green spectrums of light, so all artificial light is gone, and you can’t stay awake. Like, it keeps your body in its natural circadian rhythm, so doing stuff like that, I won’t geek out too much, but infrared and red light therapy, spending time in the sun, people think, oh, I can’t go in the sun, I’m gonna get sunburned. Well, you get sunburned, number one, because your diet sucks, and number two, because you’re not used to be outside the way you should be. That’s actually why people get sunburned.
Kevin: And so just understanding the way our bodies have evolved and understanding more of this information that is now available that quite frankly, I have a cardiologist because I had a weird [inaudible 00:54:50] with my heart a few years ago and even though I’ve lost seventy pounds, like literally his advice to me, this is just weeks ago, was like, you need to lose more weight. Stop eating so much and start exercising more. I’m like, dude, you’re not gonna get it. Like, he thinks that’s the answer, I’m like, well, okay, cool, not to go too far down a rabbit hole, but so people when they have, say, high blood pressure, what else do they say? Don’t eat salt. Eh. Actually, salt’s not it. You’ve probably got inflammatory markers in your blood and those are things you need to work on and it probably has way more to do with the types of food you’re eating, not the fact, most people need more salt, and so when you dig in to stuff like that and you try things, when you start realizing what other people are doing out there to feel better and to just live a better life and you start testing them on yourself and seeing what works? Dude, it’s a game-changer.
Steve: Well, so when I met with you many, many months ago-
Steve: About a completely different topic, I told you, I started keto, right? And so it’s very frustrating because we’ve been told our whole lives, count your calories and work out more.
Kevin: And don’t eat fat.
Steve: And don’t eat fat, and all I do now is fat, guys laugh at me, I put butter in my coffee in the mornings, right? Lots of butter, lots of bacon, I’ve lost almost thirty pounds since the beginning of the year, and I was telling my wife, I played on Sunday, was hooping it again, driving by people which I haven’t done in over ten years-
Kevin: All of a sudden, you’re fast.
Kevin: At least faster, right?
Steve: Faster, so it was actually working, right? The things I’m trying to do are actually working now on the basketball court.
Kevin: Isn’t it crazy?
Steve: So listening to everyone’s advice about eating this or whatever and exercising more, no, it’s just you have to know what to eat, and everyone’s just misinformed, unfortunately.
Kevin: Dude, you know when, I’ll tell you, because this trips most people out. You know what I cut out of my diet? I was already eating fairly keto and paleo, like I don’t eat grains, I just, I cut that out years ago. It wasn’t, I don’t eat much dairy with the exception of some cheese, like you know what I cut out? I cut out certain vegetables, and I’m not exaggerating. I cut out tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, like because those are my favorite vegetables that are high in what they call lectins, and a lectin is just a plant protein, it’s all it is, and if anybody wants to geek out on that, look up the book called The Plant Paradox or just Google Dr. Steven Gundry.
Kevin: And I’m not saying he’s 100% right, but he’s definitely, that made a big difference. My doctor, Dr. Glick, my primary care physician said to me in the first meeting, he’s like, I need you to eat more vegetables but don’t eat, and I’m like, what? And so he literally, you’re telling me to eat more vegetables but stop eating the ones I actually like. He’s like, oh yeah, just throw a bunch of gee, or butter, and garlic on the ones you don’t like, you’ll start liking them. I go, what? He was like, oh yeah, you just bitter, he says, watch, I’ll show you in a blood test that you’re a bitter taster, I’m willing to bet, and he names all these different foods that I don’t like, he goes, you don’t like those foods, do you? I go, no, and he goes, it’s because you taste bitter more strong than most people. Just douse it in gee, which is clarified butter, to those of you who don’t know what that is, and so add fat to it and eat it and watch what happens, and so then I cut out tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, my three favorite vegetables, and all of a sudden, I started feeling better within days or weeks. My energy levels just went way up.
Kevin: And I stopped working out and then, so you mean to tell me that because I stopped eating that, the one thing I did do that I gave up is I would have either a sugar-free Monster or a Coke Zero a day, but that wasn’t the thing, because I had given that up for years before. Literally, two and a half, three years, I went without any sort of artificial sweetener, any diet soda, any drink that had any sort of sweetener, I went without. So I know that that wasn’t the thing, but I did give that up too at that point and then I got rid of all foods that are high in lectins and I just kept gradually adding more fat and more vegetables, that’s it.
Steve: Fats, I love fats.
Kevin: It’s crazy, right?
Steve: It’s really good.
Kevin: So funny, my wife and I, it was date night the other night and we went to this place that we wanted to go and it was good, but something was missing and neither one of us knew, but it was good, and so we’re talking later that night, she goes, it just dawned on me what was missing from dinner. I go, what? She’s like, fat. There was not much fat in the dish. I’m like, oh my gosh, you’re right, so it’s crazy how much, I buy cases of gee at a time, so.
Steve: I go, every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I buy eight of those-
Kevin: The bottles?
Steve: Sticks of butter.
Kevin: Oh, just the butter, yeah. It’s awesome.
Steve: All right, so what is your superpower?
Kevin: I think my superpower is connecting. It’s funny you ask this, because my friend, somebody who I admire a ton, Brian Gubernick, led a mastermind for us, for the VIPs for the next level agents group, we had a dinner the night before and for a couple of the VIP ticket holders, and he asked that question to a bunch of us in the room, what’s your superpower, and I said, I think it’s connecting, and he asked me why, and he made me go deep, he made me go further and so the reason I think connecting is my superpower is because I’m, number one, I enjoy it, and number two, I’m really good at it. I remember weird stuff. This is small, but it’ll give you an example.
Kevin: My first experience of you is in a mastermind in 2014 in that office in Tempe and that’s my first, I know, I just place stuff like that and I know that I ate lunch, we had it at Matt Green’s in Tempe and I remember talking about keto, I just, I don’t know, sometimes it’s important stuff, sometimes it’s not, but I’m really good at going, I knew what car you drove, and then when I saw you in the parking lot, I also knew that that wasn’t your car, right? And it’s, I don’t know, there’s something about me that’s made me good at that that I definitely use to my advantage, and I would say if I have a superpower, that’s it.
Steve: Very cool. Definitely helpful in real estate.
Steve: All right, so what lesson would you wanna teach today’s young real estate entrepreneurs?
Kevin: Get used to the boring grind, and I hate the word grind, because I’m not the 24/7 grind-grind-[inaudible 01:00:58]-grind guy, I don’t like that message. If that’s your thing, do it, cool, good for you. I’m not that guy. I wanna go to bed at a good time and I wanna take care of my body and I wanna have my mental state, so that stuff’s way more important to me than grind-grind-grind, but what I mean by that is, when you’re working, freaking work. When it’s time to make phone calls, make phone calls. When it’s time to be with somebody, be with somebody. And stop bouncing around from idea to idea. People are always like, do you think this will work? What if I did open houses? What if I did cold calling? What if I did mailers?
Kevin: It’ll all work if you freaking do it, and if you do it every day consistently over a long period of time, it will work. The question is, will you work? That’s the real question. The truth is, the cold hard fact is real estate is very, very simple, but it is hard work, and it can be boring as heck to come in and do the same thing every single day because you kind of feel like you’re on this rat race or on a treadmill that you can’t get off of, but the reality is, once you start connecting the results, when you start seeing the results for being consistent for a long period of time, that gets exciting, connect your excitement to the outcome, not to your daily activities.
Steve: Right, celebrate the rewards. Not just the activities, you gotta do activities, you gotta celebrate, but remember the activities.
Kevin: Yeah. You have to do that. So many people I know just don’t make phone calls every day for a month and then they’ll stop. I’m like, why are you stopping? Why? Cool, you’re gonna do open houses now every day? Yep. And they’ll do that for a month, and then they’ll go on to mailers, and then they’ll go on to sitting at Starbucks with their computer open and a sticker on their computer that says Hi, I’m A Realtor. Or whatever the-
Steve: I haven’t seen that.
Kevin: Avoidance tactic is that they’re gonna use that day to just doing the work. It’s so, real estate is so dang simple and there are more tools available to us than ever, there are more technologies available to us than ever, there are more ways to connect than ever, and yet realtors, as a whole, we all think, we all run around inventing ways to not work.
Steve: Yeah. Let’s see, what was it, someone came up with a term. Oh, Brant said it last week. Creative avoidance.
Kevin: Yeah, yeah, that’s a perfect example.
Steve: All right, so we’ll go with one last question. It’s a selfish question.
Steve: What book should I read? What book have you read recently that’s like, man, that’s a mind-blowing book?
Kevin: Hm. What book should you read.
Kevin: That’s a tough question. I’ve read some really great books recently. One of them would be Willpower Doesn’t Work by Ben Hardy, and that’s about setting up your environment for success.
Kevin: I think that’s really great. I think there’s a book called So Good That They Can’t Ignore You by, I’m gonna butcher his last name, it’s either Cal Workman or Cal Newport, I think it’s Cal Newport. So Good That They Can’t Ignore You, that is all about not following your passion but creating your passion by being diligent at something, it’s the anti follow your passion book, which is great. That book is a game-changer in my opinion for people that will read it, but if you said, dude, just give me one book that’s gonna give me all the superpowers-
Steve: I was gonna finish because, finish 2018 on a bang, flying out the eight.
Kevin: Dang, man, this is so tough. My favorite all-times are Tools Of The Titans, Tribe Of Mentors by Tim Ferriss-
Steve: So you love that book. Because I’ve heard mixed reviews.
Kevin: Love them both. Yeah, they’re like reference books. I love, here’s why I love those books. And I ran into one of the guests in the books today in my parking lot because of who’s in my parking lot. And I’ll probably post a picture I took with him tomorrow, his biceps are extremely larger than mine, and he, he gets people that are the best, Tim Ferriss, gets people that are the best at whatever it is that they do, so that’s one thing, one of the reasons I will always listen to his podcast, even if I don’t know the guest, whereas other podcasts I will cherry-pick based on the guest, because I know that Tim Ferriss, he knows that person is the best at what they do or one of the best, they’re world-class, he knows them, he’s researched them and he’s knowledgeable enough on the subject to have a good conversation and pull stuff out, and I don’t think anybody’s better on the planet than Tim Ferriss at that, and so there’s these two books full of nuggets and wisdom, and some of them are one-page chapters, some of them are four-page chapters, but they’re so full of these golden nuggets of life and in business and money and finance, all these different things that to me, there’s probably not a better set of books.
Kevin: And then the one thing is, also been huge in my life-
Steve: It’s an amazing book.
Kevin: Just being able to focus, right? Getting able to focus on what’s most important in the moment, like that’s a game-changer.
Steve: Okay, awesome. So what is the best way for one of our listeners to get a hold of you?
Kevin: So Next Level Agents Facebook Group, for sure, I’m in there. You can’t not see me if you join that group. Find me on my Facebook page, just research Kevin Kaufmann or go to Kevin And Fred on Facebook, that page is fine too. Instagram, I love Instagram, I probably spend more time than anywhere else just because it’s new and fun. It’s not new, but you know, it’s-
Kevin: Fresher, but I love Facebook, so yeah, I would say Facebook.com/kevinkaufman, I guess, I’m not sure about the URL-
Steve: We’ll find it.
Kevin: I’ll post it. I’ll post it in the comments or something.
Steve: Okay, so awesome. Thank you very much, and again guys, if you like this show, please share this episode right now and join me on Friday at 3 o’ clock, we do have a special guest flying in from Florida. Raphael Vargas is gonna be talking about he’s whole-sale’ing in multiple states and how he found one big investor, which is gonna propel his business to the next level where he’s already doing forty-plus deals a month. His business is gonna go to the next level and how all of us need to step up our game.
Steve: Don’t forget to visit our website, realestatedisruptors.com, to find out more about these shows, upcoming events, and just general information about us. So thank you, guys, for watching.
Listen as Lizy shares how she went from Fired to $100MM in Sales Volume in 2016 and on pace for $200MM in 2018!
Watch the full episode at www.realestatedisruptors.com/video/interview-with-lizy-hoeffer/
Steve: Hey, everybody. Thank you for joining us today for today’s episode of Real Estate Disruptors. Today we have Lizy Hoeffer, the queen of mortgages in Arizona. She’s here to talk about how she went from fired to over 100 million in sale’s volume. If this is your first time tuning in, I’m Steve Trang, broker owner of Stunning Homes Realty, co-founder of the OfferFast app, and I help people become real estate entrepreneurs. If you’re excited for today’s show give me some thumbs up, give me some hearts.
Steve: Before we get started, I started this show because I want to give back to our community. I know that I’ve struggled when I got started. I’m pretty sure you’ve had some struggles in your business. We want to shortcut that struggle for as many young leaders as possible. All right? I don’t charge a dime for this show, I don’t make any money doing this. All I ask is that you get value out of the show. Please tell a friend, either share this episode, tag your friend below, or tell them your best takeaway from this episode. Don’t forget, also this is a live show, so please post your questions and Lizy will be happy to answer them for you.
Lizy: So happy.
Steve: You ready?
Lizy: Yeah, let’s go.
Steve: All right. The first question is, what got you into mortgages?
Lizy: It’s not a very sexy answer. I was in college and I found myself in a position where I wasn’t going to be able to continue if I didn’t figure out how to make money fast, so I got out the newspaper, because that’s where you found jobs at that time, and I looked for the highest paying job, and it happened to be as a receptionist at a mortgage company. That’s what got me started.
Steve: Okay. What were some of the early struggles you faced in that role?
Lizy: I mean, I transitioned a lot. The good thing is that I’ve had a lot of opportunity to discover a variety of different roles within mortgages, so I started as a receptionist, I lasted in that position a month and a half before I decided that I wanted to be a dialer. Then, I was a dialer for multiple years and then became a processor.
Steve: Dialer, as in inbound inquiries or …
Lizy: Real estate agents would call those ISAs.
Lizy: I was an ISA. Then I worked a lot as a processor. Then, in 2008 the market crashed, and I was a highly paid processor, and I found myself being laid off, and replaced by our receptionist. It was just a really interesting time. When I got-
Lizy: Into mortgages it was very traditional. Lots of FHA, VA, and then it turned into this whole stated no income, no assets. I saw the boom, I saw when interest rates were in the high sixes, sevens, and then they lowered all the way to five. I got to see a whole lot of different things happen and I saw a lot of people who never really took home ownership seriously. I remember the reaction that my parents gave when I said I was working for a mortgage company and they were like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe it. You’re working for a mortgage company,” and thought it was so prestigious. Then to actually see the people behind the scenes were kind of Wolf of Wall Street. I mean, and I’m being kind. I mean, I think every meeting was at the strip club.
Steve: It was a different time.
Lizy: Different time for sure. It was just really interesting coming from operations. Then, by the time I was going to be a loan officer, I was only 25 years old. At 25, you find yourself in a predicament where the people that you know aren’t necessarily in a position to buy a home, especially in the worst economic downturn that our parents and even … We had ever seen.
Lizy: They just weren’t in a position, so I had to learn to be really scrappy. I was really lucky. I did fail a lot at first. I lived off of a $10 weekly budget for food and everything.
Lizy: Yeah. Was lots of Ramen Noodle recipes. My mom actually paid for me to go to a Brian Buffini seminar, which kicked off my whole career, and how to work with a database, and love on your sphere, and what to do. It was the foundation for everything I did for many, many years after and I credit a lot of all the success I had to that one $500 seminar.
Steve: Wow, really? See, I had no idea that you guys started with Brian Buffini. It makes sense looking at your business. That was one of the first coaching programs I went through as well. I wish I’d took it as well as you did. All right. You’re at Buffini and you started building your database. Then, what’d you do after that?
Lizy: Building a database was really tough. He talked about starting a farm, and doing door knocking, and then meeting people, right? His big thing was the last thing you should be doing is doing the [inaudible 00:04:35] activities and really focus on your sphere. But at the time, my sphere wasn’t really strong, so I ended up having to focus on networking, and doing [inaudible 00:04:43] activities. I figured, I’m like, “I didn’t want to get mugged or kidnapped,” so I started my first farm at the Arrowhead Mall and I worked the small business owners like nobody else. I went there every single day, sat at the [Muddle Home 00:04:58] kiosk for multiple years, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Steve: You were sitting in the kiosk? You’re the one that’s harassing people when they’re walking by.
Lizy: 100%. Then, I brought everyone coffee, so like the-
Steve: Oh, that’s cool.
Lizy: Security agents, the puppet shop, the perfume ladies, the everyone I could meet. I just wanted to do my mayor campaign in an area that was air conditioned and safe.
Steve: Yeah. Well, that makes a lot of sense. What year was that?
Lizy: That was 2008 to probably 2011.
Lizy: I did that for a long time. A lot of people will give me pushback on starting things, like farming, or door knocking, or even meeting business people.
Lizy: I just think about if I had to start over again, I’d probably do something similar.
Steve: Well, it was effective. That’s actually how we met, not through the mall, but you came over to my office. We’re at ListerPros, a baseline in Mill, and my old office is … I can hit it with a baseball from here. You had stopped by, it was a pop by, so it was Brian Buffini, and he came by with the Seven Levels of Communication, dropped it off, and we had a great meeting. Then, that’s how you planted that seed.
Steve: Clearly, it worked.
Lizy: Well, and it took six years of followup, right?
Lizy: Because the first time I met you, I was very unqualified to be your partner, right?
Steve: Well, I was also probably not a great partner at that time. Okay, so why do you think you’re so determined and passionate in your role as a loan officer?
Lizy: That’s a really loaded question, because I think it’s not just being a loan officer. I think I’m just passionate in general about things.
Lizy: I think it’s just because my entire life I’ve just had to be really scrappy and I’ve been really fortunate to understand the things that motivate me. I have a lot of dysfunctions, I have a lot of brokenness about my life, and those things have always been really clear to me. I grew up in a family that was up and down financially. There were like two times in my life where the school bus pulled up to my house and the electricity guy was shutting the lights off. I remember those-
Lizy: Things were really, “That’s never going to happen to me when I get older.” I just, I have an interesting relationship with my mom too. She was a big driver for me for a really long time and I was like, “I’m just never going to ask for help.” In my family, everybody’s been traditional government jobs, engineers. They’re all very, very smart. I’m actually probably the dumbest one of all of us, which serves me well, because I didn’t go into engineering and I went into relationship making. I just didn’t want to fail. I didn’t want to be the one that just didn’t make it, so I’ve always been really scrappy and understood that your dysfunctions, even though they’re the things that make us the most ashamed and the most embarrassed, are also the things that are the greatest motivators.
Steve: Okay. Then, we had talked about before about finding your why. How did you go through and find your why?
Lizy: Finding a why is really hard, because most of the time when people talk about a why, they talk about saving the starving kids in the third world country, or they talk about their family and their kids, and all those things. While everyone, I believe, truly does want to help people, I think that our greatest motivators are always the things that have personally impacted us the most. That’s the one thing that I think I’ve always been really gifted in, is I really understand what motivates me, what brings out the biggest emotions, and I think that if you’re a person who’s trying to look for your why, I think you need to figure out, well one, “Why did I decide to do what I’m doing?” You’re going to give yourself some superficial answer like, “I don’t want a boss, or I want a flexible schedule.”
Steve: Right, right. If everything works out just fine, we’ll have that flexible schedule.
Lizy: Yes. If you start thinking there and you’re like, “Well, why is that important to me?” Then you start going into like, “I really hate when people tell me what to do.” Then you’re like, “Well, why? Why do you hate when people tell you … ” Then it turns out that you had some sort of thing that happened to you and you never felt like you had control in your life. Once you hit on it, the second that you feel embarrassed or emotional, that’s your why.
Lizy: Right. If you can’t say it out loud, that’s what it is. Just being really, really connected to that has been my super power, I guess.
Steve: Oh no, that’s cool. Well, that’s going to be one of the next questions, is what do you consider to be your super power? Do you want to elaborate on that, or do you want to move on?
Lizy: Well, I think that is the super power, right? Really figuring out what my why is, but then I also can bring it out in people, right?
Lizy: Just keep asking the right questions. I mean, if you’ve met with me, it’s not uncommon to cry the first time.
Lizy: Not cry because I’ve hurt you, but cry because we’ve got somewhere real very fast.
Lizy: I think that’s the beautiful part of any kind of relationships, is that you’re having a relationship with someone you trust, someone that you know that cares, and then someone that you know can really bring out the best in you.
Steve: Okay. That makes a lot of sense. Going back to the title of the show, from fired to 100 million. Let’s start with the fired. Let’s talk about that story.
Lizy: Lots of dysfunction in my life. I have a very … If you’re familiar with the DISC test, I have a super high eye, and then my secondary characteristic is a high C. I am inclined to please people, but I also need it to be perfect and systematized.
Steve: Right. Highly abnormal characteristic, or combination.
Lizy: Which makes it really tough for me to be successful in my job, because I’m a very emotional perfectionist. I had a business partner and I wanted to be independent. Unfortunately, we had a really colorful toxic relationship and it just wasn’t going very well. I was emotional and just not great to be around. When you’re not great to be around, and super emotional, and I never really showed my worth. I always wanted to be the one behind the scenes. I just look like the troublemaker, so I got fired from my job, and rightfully so because I just didn’t … Was not meeting any of their core values. But it was the best thing that happened to me, because it forced me to then rediscover my why. Why was I being so emotional?
Lizy: It got me to realize that I just don’t like letting people down and I don’t like being in a system that lets people down. It was such a beautiful thing for me to be able to transform, and create, and build something new. I read this book, Delivering Happiness, which is ultimately why you and I ended up reconnecting.
Lizy: It just changed my entire trajectory of life, where I was going, what I wanted to do with customers, what I wanted to provide, and who I wanted to be. It got me onto the wow process that people know us for and just being that person that provided value, versus what I got. I got fired and then immediately started getting to work. I’m really scrappy, and I don’t let people tell me I’m going to fail, so one of the most powerful things that was said to me during that meeting was that, they thought that I was a weak link between me and my old business partner.
Steve: As in, you were dragging …
Lizy: I was dragging them down.
Lizy: I know. But you know what? I think that perception is reality and I did not obviously show my value at all, but it was those words that hung with me the entire time, and so every single time I wanted to give up, I was like, “Hell no, I’m not going to be the weak link.”
Lizy: I never wanted to go down in history as the girl who got fired, and was a disaster, and sued them, and was horrible, and just ended up being exactly what they fired her for.
Lizy: I really did a whole lot of introspection. I got into coaching. I really submitted at that time and was like, “You tell me what to do.” Then, I went to therapy. Let’s see, what else? I read a lot of books. I took a lot of leadership stuff. I mean, I just really was focused on changing the negative things about me and then using just a … I mean, if you’ve ever been fired in your life, and everyone has been fired at least one time. It’s quite possibly the most humbling experience of your whole entire life.
Steve: Yeah. I’m not everything I thought I was.
Lizy: It took me down to my core, but allowed me to build something even better in its place.
Steve: You said something that was interesting. You said that your core values didn’t line up with their core values, but we’ve done business together for over two years now, and I think our core values line up very well. Do you feel like you had different core values then, or what was the clash between yours and theirs?
Lizy: Well, okay. Core values is tricky, because you can have core values when it comes to customers, and you can have core values for the culture you’re building in your business. You and I have the exact same client customer care goals, right?
Lizy: Client first every single time.
Lizy: But at the time, I just didn’t know how to communicate needs, right? Instead of communicating needs, I would complain without solutions, and I would get angry, and not just like a level five angry, it was mostly like a level nine or 10 angry. You just can’t be that person in a culture, in an environment. It’s super funny, because I love Darren Hardy to death, and I feel like I was the one that introduced him to most people in my life, and he was ultimately the person that told them they should fire me.
Steve: Well, you told me, you were involved in getting him out there, and then they met with him, and they talked about whatever.
Lizy: No, they went onto take his courses later on and-
Steve: Oh, I see.
Lizy: Then it was like, he was just like, “Well, you just have to get rid of this person. She’s taking up all your time, all your emotion. She doesn’t fit in with the culture you’re looking at building.” At the time, they were looking at building a mega team, versus really running a branch, and it just … A square peg, round hole.
Lizy: I just wasn’t a really good communicator, right? Super people pleaser and perfectionist.
Lizy: It was really hard to not be the boss.
Steve: Well, you’re the boss lady now.
Lizy: Now I’m the boss.
Steve: It’s funny, you also mentioned Darren Hardy and telling him to fire people, because I’ve gone to two different ones of his events. One was Insane Productivity Life and the other was a High Performance Forum. Each time I went, he kind of said, “There’s someone on your mind right now that you need to fire.” I was like, “Okay.” I started thinking about it, and each time I went to an event I fired two people. I feel kind of bad about it, but it was the right decision for our company core values and how everything was-
Steve: Decision for our company core values and how everything was working together.
Lizy: You never know. Those things could be the pivotal changing moment in their life. Because I think about it and I’m like God, would I still be the same person today if I hand been fired, if I hadn’t been rocked to my core? I don’t think I would have been because I think true change happens when you’re in pain. Something bad happened and it makes you reevaluate and you decide at this moment in time I’m going to become a better person.
Steve: Right. Now, you’re going through this journey and introspection and obviously you’ve improved, made a lot of changes. How did you go and pick up the pieces? That’s all great for a mindset. How did you pick up the pieces logistically to get your business to where it is today?
Lizy: Having taken that back to Brian Bafeeny, so he has this thing called a confession letter. I have just been one of those people that understood that the more authentic and more vulnerable you are and just lay it out, people will help you. When I was a broke 25-year-old, I was like look, I’m a broke 25-year-old but no one is going to work harder for you, no one’s going to be more available to you. Look, I have nothing to do other than service you and being able to communicate that story has been powerful, but then when I got fired, it was the same deal. It was like guys, I became a work terrorist. I tried to make it funny. I became a work terrorist and I got fired from my job.
Lizy: I can’t believe I’ve lost my way, but I’ve never been more humble and more willing to learn and more willing to take your feedback than I am right now and I promise if you give me a second chance, I’m never going to lose your trust again. That was the message. I put it out on Facebook. I took out an ad for my long lost clients. I sent out a letter. I called everyone. I did not hide from this at all. It was literally fired on a Friday, I picked up the phone, actually I spent all Saturday crying. Then on Sunday …
Lizy: … I picked up the phone and I started calling everyone. It was crazy to see the amount of people that wanted to see me succeed and help me and because I was just willing to say it was all my fault, this is what’s wrong, I am going to change, and here’s what I need if you’re willing to help me. I did that.
Lizy: Within that weekend though, I pulled together 17 loans.
Lizy: The first month I was at Prospect, I closed 27 deals and it was literally because all of the amazing people that I have in my life were rallying behind me and my team. Also, I will tell you that logistically speaking there’s no way I could’ve done it without Kaden, and Alejandra, and Sam. It was like Jerry Maguire style. There were like okay. Well, we’re going to offer your people jobs. I was like well, we’re going so see who they want to work for. Thank God, they … I had four assistants at the time and three came with me.
Lizy: They were amazing. We all got on the phones. We literally had no laptops. They used one of my Apple. We took all our apps on the paper. We phoned everybody with our cellphones. It was crazy, but they were super committed. All we did was spend, it was like eight hours on the phone dialing. We were able to turn a business around super fast, but it was no excuses. It wasn’t like I need a logo or I need this or I need this to be successful. It was like here I used to do … I do the core training. We have a form called the lead tracker. Lead tracker keeps all your names and phone numbers and emails and I got to keep those because I’m …
Lizy: I know. I was a paper person.
Lizy: We called every single lead I had, every single referral partner I had in my phone, I took out the ads. We just got to work from the moment we got there.
Steve: What year was all this?
Lizy: That was, I think, 2013.
Lizy: It’s either been four or five years now.
Steve: Okay. From there because I think you mentioned also that you connect with everyone through Facebook as well.
Steve: How’d that play into rebuilding your database?
Lizy: I didn’t have everyone’s phone numbers, but I did try to friend everyone on Facebook. At the time, Facebook allowed you to sync your phone contacts with people on Facebook, so I did. I did the sync and then I uploaded that confession letter and then I started messaging everyone and contacting everyone and getting contact information for everyone.
Steve: Right. Well, that’s the definition of scrappy.
Lizy: It’s just like a lot of calling. There’s no replacement for calling and direct outreach. There just isn’t. No.
Steve: Well, our last guest, Brent Downey, was talking about talk to people and that’s it. Just go out there and just talk to people. Don’t do anything else. What does your organization look like today then?
Lizy: It’s really different. Imagine a room with people with just their cellphones and paper and once computer. Now, we’re located in [Biltmore 00:20:46]. I have a really beautiful space in the [Anchor 00:20:48] Center. I have 20 people that work directly for me and then I have about 40 branch employees. We’re going to close 200 million this year as a branch, which I’m super excited about.
Steve: We got to update the title.
Lizy: We’re very high tech and high touch.
Steve: Okay. Then, one of the challenges that we all have as realtors is staying in touch with the lead. How are you able to stay in such great communication and contact with the leads?
Lizy: That’s always something that we focus on and that’s a marker that I think will always never be perfect and something that you have to constantly work on all the time. I have built out Salesforce, so that things are really automated and constantly bringing things to the forefront so that we’re not having to remember it because we’re not robots and we’re humans. I read a statistic once that said that 80% of filed information is never referenced again. Yeah.
Lizy: Yeah. It’s actually in a book called When. It’s a really good read. If you’re putting all of your leads into a CRM, but you’re not in the habit of going to that CRM, that’s referenced information.
Lizy: I just make it so that there’s a ton of workflows and a ton of things that remind us to keep in touch with them.
Steve: Let’s say someone’s brand new into mortgages, what should be the first step, first two, three steps for them to get started?
Lizy: Whether you’re in mortgages or real estate or any kind of sales, the very first thing that you need to do is comprise a database. That database, I would break it down into three different people. If you’ve never had a past client, you’re going to break it up into two. But, it’s influencer, so people who have an impact within their community or their group of friends or their business and then it’s business contacts. People that you’re meeting with that they understand the networking game, they understand referrals, you scratch my back I scratch your back kind of thing. You want to get at least 150 people in there. Then from that list 150 people, you categorize the day.
Lizy: You figure out so on Mondays I call my favorite people and then on Tuesdays I do update calls and then on Wednesday I’m calling my database. If you don’t have a database, you’re calling leads. Thursday, you’re calling your hot leads, so you’re getting them in the car on Saturday or you’re going to visit with them on Friday and then Friday is business people.
Lizy: Right. I just comprise a list, figure out a daily theme, and then I would contact no less than 60 people a week and not the same people, different people.
Steve: Wow, 60.
Lizy: 60 and then figure out a good milk route. I am better in person than I am ever going to be on the phone, even though I had multiple years as an ISA. I think I’m just better in person.
Steve: Yeah. Well, I think that everyone should be able to sell better in person, so I think that’s great. I think having that phone touch is amazing. That’s way better than texts and emails and whatever people are using now and then what’s even better than a phone touch is a face to face.
Lizy: For sure.
Lizy: A milk route is typically so that mall route that I did where I would bring people coffee, that was my milk route. I’d go in to see the security guards, go in to talk to the Dillards salesladies, go in to talk to the puppet shop and the cigar shop and the timeshare people, just getting to know them. That’s where I built my first clientele.
Steve: Wow. What would consider to be some of your critical components to your success today? What are three tools that you cannot do without today?
Lizy: A database is number one and I think anybody in sales will tell you that a database is number one. Then having a structured system for followup. Because a database is a tool really and what you do with that tool is really the most important thing, but you can’t do the action without the tool.
Lizy: Right. It’s having a really good system, a database, and then I would say being able to communicate your vision within stories. Being able to connect with people by … I started a blog this year just because I used to write these really long Facebook posts and everyone was like you should just start a blog. I started a blog, but it was based on the idea that I really want to be able to share pain, but then also give you the tactics for how I solve my problem. I wrote one on how to get out of debt and I wrote one about how I became what happened to make me a receptionist to where I am today. Things I learned since I was 35 and I have a series of other ones. The way that you can communicate your why and that it provides value for their people in a story is super valuable and I think it’s the way that marketing is going nowadays.
Steve: 100%. I think that the blog that you’re doing is fantastic, but I wouldn’t have stopped putting the stories on Facebook too. I would do both.
Lizy: I do. As I’m talking about why I wrote the blog, it typically comes with a very long Facebook post, which is not as long, and it comes with cool photos.
Steve: Okay. Then, I think a lot of what you’re talking about today is going to be extremely effective for anybody in any industry. I don’t think it’s limited to mortgages. I don’t think it’s limited to real estate sales. Is there anything else you like to teach or present to all the young entrepreneurs that are trying to get into any industry?
Lizy: Yeah. I would say that most of the stuff that I learn nowadays isn’t from real estate or from mortgage professionals. I’m taking a lot of notes from the restaurant industry and I’m taking lots of notes from influencers, lots of notes from hospitality. I literally was … My property manager at the Anchor Center is somebody I’m really trying to replicate their customer service. I’ve never been happier with a landlord in my entire life.
Steve: What are some examples of things they’ve done that are blowing you away?
Lizy: They are really good at good [pop-bys 00:26:57]. Every month, they drop off something. They’re constant with their communication, letting us know what’s going on and what additional features they have, like car washes, they bring in food trucks on a weekly basis, they brought in an ice cream truck. They’re just very proactive in their communication and it’s always a one up. I have had issues, don’t get me wrong, with the office. There was a pipe that broke or the sink didn’t work and I’ve never even thought once about leaving because of how well they take care of us. I thought about that and I’m like God, I want people to rave about me the way I’m raving about my property manager.
Steve: Well, I kind of maybe want to move over there now. If I didn’t live in Chandler, maybe I’d move my office a little bit closer to you.
Lizy: Yeah. I wouldn’t rent anywhere else.
Steve: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned?
Lizy: I think the biggest thing is and I’m so dumb, it was a like a Chinese proverb that I can’t remember, but I remember the gist.
Lizy: It was that if you aren’t humble, you can’t learn anything. If you think you know everything, you’re just unteachable, uncoachable. Somebody said that to me right before I got fired.
Lizy: I thought and it wasn’t like not the people firing me, it was somebody else that said they quoted the proverb and then.
Steve: It wasn’t necessarily directed at you. It was like check this out.
Lizy: I’m sure it was directed at me in a really nice way.
Lizy: Like have you ever heard this? That was one of the most impactful things and so I always really, really try to stay humble because I know that it’s not me. As team leads, we just get to take credit for everything, but there’s like 20 people that work super hard on my team that blood, sweat and tears that don’t get the credit that I do.
Lizy: Right. I know that this is not me. This is an accumulation of everything that the team does, which by the way shout-out team if you’re listening to this, I love you and couldn’t do this job without you. Always stay humble and then always want to learn.
Lizy: Things are constantly changing, this industry is never going to stay the same. We’re already in a big shift right now, in case you can’t feel it. We’re shifting. People are terrified that they’re going to lose their jobs to technology or big investors and what do we do next. It’s like these are the types of markets that build people. This is when you get the most market share, so just always be willing to learn, stay humble, and then the third thing is never lose, you got to be scrappy.
Lizy: If you aren’t scrappy, you’re dying.
Steve: Well, and I’d like to touch on that, the part about it’s changing. I think not only is it changing, but it’s going to keep changing faster. If we’re not staying on top of it, you’re only going to fall further and further behind and I think that the first part, the first lesson you mentioned about the learning and the day you stop learning is when things start falling apart, so I think that’s one of the core values that … Well, it’s the first core value for Stunning Homes is growth is that you have to be willing to learn because if you’re not willing to learn then what are we even doing. I don’t even want to hang around with you at this point because you’re not going to get better. You’re going to be stuck at this level and then go down from here.
Steve: It’s not going to be fun hanging around with you.
Lizy: I know.
Steve: Yeah. Okay. What are you learning right now?
Lizy: I’ve actually been really studying time management and not just a schedule, I’ve really dove deep into understanding the science behind our daily schedules, our cercadian rhythms, when I can be the most effective. I just think that we’re trying to improve 1% a day and in efficiencies like when are you going to be at your best in sales or when am I going to make the best decisions or when should I be having meetings. That’s really what I’m focusing in right now because I just want to hone those skills in really good because there’s only so much time in a day. In case you can’t notice, I’m about to pop out my third [inaudible 00:31:00].
Lizy: I got to figure how to do the same amount of work in a shorter amount of time.
Steve: Right. Right now, I think you mentioned When was the book.
Steve: Right now, that’s your favorite book when it comes to time management or what?
Lizy: I read a couple books. When, I thought was the most interesting because it was a totally different perspective on time management. It was like really a bunch of science, which I kind of geek out on that stuff. Then, I’m co-reading this book called The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. The book was recommended to me more times than any other book has ever been recommended to me and I couldn’t read it because the name is so cheesy, sorry Chet Holmes, but it’s a brilliant … Well, still, sorry Chet Holmes. The book is brilliant.
Steve: Yeah, the book’s amazing.
Lizy: Yeah. I feel like the title is misleading. Well, I guess you could become the ultimate sales machine, but it’s really on management, time management, productivity. The book is really, really smart.
Steve: It has a lot of really good.
Lizy: I mean, the book is really, really smart.
Steve: There’s a lot of really good content in just one book.
Lizy: In a chapter, too, right?
Lizy: I was like three chapters in and I was like, “This is the best book I’ve ever read.”
Lizy: So that book and then I’m trying to think of what other one I was thinking of, but it slipped my mind.
Lizy: It obviously wasn’t my favorite book.
Steve: So how has failure shaped your life?
Lizy: I think that failure is the only thing that has really shaped my life. Up until this point I’ve had … I think the coolest thing about where I’m at today is I just have failed so many times. I think that just learning from those failures and getting better and better each time is big, but the fact that I fail a lot means I also win a lot.
Lizy: One of the coolest things that Darren Hardy ever said to me in a group of people was that the pendulum can never swing in just one direction. You can never just fail.
Lizy: You’ll succeed just as many times so long as you continue to try.
Lizy: It’s always just been beautiful for me. That was one of my favorite blog posts was I was like I just don’t believe that there’s any real failure out there.
Lizy: Because the worst thing that happens is you just learned something super important that will change your life and make things better for the future so long as you’re humble enough to accept the lesson.
Steve: Well, and I think it’s not just the failing, right? There’s a lot of people that will try something and they fail and it’s like well, I tried and it was over. I think what you said was that the failure and then the introspection and what did I learn from it? I want to add to that you want to fail as fast as you can as many times as you can because the more you fail, the better you’re going to get.
Lizy: Yeah. It’s really hard for me to fail fast, though, because I am a high C personality. I really have to think about all of the steps and all the measureables and all the things.
Lizy: So I fail kind of slowly.
Lizy: But when I fail, it’s really big so I do learn.
Steve: Everyone knows about it. Okay. What have you read that everyone should read? I know we’ve already mentioned a few books already, but what book have you read that’s been super impactful?
Lizy: I’ve read a couple books that have been super impactful. Oh, the other book that I was thinking of that I forgot was Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Steve: I’ve heard amazing things about that one.
Lizy: Yeah. That book really was also really amazing. The most impactful book I would say to read, if you were only going to read one business book, is The Compound Effect. That’s why I fell so in love with Darren Hardy. I was like, oh my God, this guy totally gets it. I would read that book religiously every single year. It’s actually inspired by a book called Slight Edge, too, so both those books are really huge. It just talks about all the little things that you do on a daily basis, like the one little action means nothing, but then over the course of time that little action compounds to mean something. So that book I thought was huge. I think if you’re just beginning in sales and real estate or mortgages you should read The Seven Levels Or Mr. Shmooze, I think. And then if you’re really looking to build a business, Delivering Happiness I think was a total game changer for me.
Steve: Yeah. That’s a must read for my team.
Steve: There’s a lot of books that I love but Delivering Happiness is a must read because if you want to understand our company culture you have to love this book. Okay. And then what have you done that everybody should do?
Lizy: What have I done that everybody should do? I think getting coaching is something that everybody should do. I think that there’s something to be said for accountability and having to tell people out loud if you’ve actually done the thing that you said you were going to. That moves the needle. It’s kind of like confession. There’s lots of people who don’t really believe in it, but when you’ve really got to tell someone who’s going to judge you on the other side, at least for me, it’s very impactful. But it also gives you a different perspective on business. I’ve never had people who understood what I did in my circle. Everyone, they look at real estate agents or they look at loan officers and they’re like, “Oh, yeah, your job looks so fun.”
Steve: And easy.
Lizy: “You just golf and sleep all the time.”
Steve: And make big checks.
Lizy: Yeah. I know, right? It’s like I haven’t had a good sleep in a long time. Yeah. So I just feel like having other people that could relate to me and that I could talk about employee struggles or talk about how to overcome objections in my industry, I think it’s so super crucial and when you don’t have that kind of ability to bounce off those ideas I think you’re just kind of stuck.
Lizy: I think they said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
Lizy: Well, coaching helps you not be insane.
Steve: Is there any particular coaching program that you would endorse at the moment?
Lizy: There’s so many. There’s multiple ways to skin a cat. For me, the CORE has been super life changing. They’re the reason that my business, so my business has grown, so when I was a top producer and got fired, I did 167 loans that year.
Steve: That’s pretty good.
Lizy: Yeah, it’s really good. No, no, no.
Steve: You got fired doing 167 loans?
Lizy: I did. You have to be a real big, you know, to get fired. But the next year, being coached by the CORE, I did 238 loans.
Lizy: Then 412, then 539 and then 634, and then this year we’re going to close 800.
Lizy: Right? So that kind of momentum and training, it happens because you’re being trained, not because I just figured it out myself. It’s because I had really good guidance and people that were constantly holding me accountable. If it’s one thing that you can do for your business it’s get coached sooner.
Steve: I think that, you probably don’t want to plug this so I’ll plug it for you, is that you coach real estate agents, too, to help them build up their business.
Lizy: Yeah. I coach loan officers and real estate agents, yeah.
Steve: And then another thing that you didn’t touch on is that you also run a mastermind.
Lizy: I do.
Steve: So you want to talk about masterminding?
Lizy: Yeah. I think that the more … So, you’re the sum total of the five people … I really feel like I’m just regurgitating a bunch of good quotes, of the five people that you hang out with the most. I think that you always want to be the dumbest person in every room. Masterminding is kind of what that makes me, right? I get the best people in my industry together to share ideas and what’s beautiful about masterminding, if you find the right people who are willing to give and they’re not of a scarcity mindset, you can come up with some of the coolest, neatest ideas or you can find out that the idea that you thought was so super amazing someone’s tried 12 different times and this is how they failed at it and it maybe not is such a great, brilliant idea. It’s just crazy to see how all these brilliant people do their job and how different all of them are and how they execute. It’s super amazing.
Steve: So let me take the time now to apologize for all those times I’ve shut you down in masterminds.
Lizy: Not such a good idea.
Steve: Why do you think some of the people fail when they get into mortgages?
Lizy: I think people fail for a variety of reasons, but I think that people fail because of fear, bottom line. It’s like they’re afraid of asking people for business, they’re afraid of looking needy, they’re afraid of coming off as a salesperson, they’re afraid of doing the activities, they’re afraid of getting rejected. They’re just like failure to launch. I think that’s the biggest thing and this is what’s hard. You are a salesperson.
Steve: Embrace it.
Lizy: Yes, but if you’re only out for what’s in it for you, you should be afraid.
Lizy: Right? Because who wants to work with a show me the money guy? Everyone’s rooting for Jerry Maguire. No one really likes that guy.
Lizy: Right? So you just want to be the person who’s like, “How can I provide you value?” And realize that if you’re not doing it, what is preventing you from doing it and then write that list out and tackle step one, step two, step three, step four. You can’t be failure to do something. This is one of those industries that will chew you up and spit you out.
Lizy: It’s like you’ll feel amazing one minute and then get an angry text the next minute and feel like you suck. There’s nothing for it. You’ve got to have really thick skin but you also have to be willing to accept that you are not perfect and learn how to say a really good, “I’m sorry.” And everything will work out.
Steve: That’s really good, writing out all the reasons why you don’t want to do it or you can’t do it or whatever and solving each one, one by one. That’s brilliant. That’s the first time I’ve heard that.
Lizy: That’s how I coach my team members.
Steve: Is it?
Steve: That’s awesome.
Lizy: Or just in general. This is actually really good scripting. If somebody doesn’t want to do something, you’re like, “Okay, so I know you don’t want to do this. You’re probably never going to do this, but if you did do this, what would have to happen to make that happen?” Then they tell you and you’re like, “So, if I make all this happen, then you’ll say yes?”
Lizy: And then they can’t say no, because they’ve just told you why. But then you’re removing obstacles. If you’re the boss, that’s your job, right? You want them to do something, they don’t want to do it, find out why and fix it.
Steve: I think there’s two things that have been really helpful for me with my business that I learned from you. One of them is the Wow program. Can we talk about the Wow program?
Lizy: Yeah. The Wow program I came up with after Delivering Happiness, so this was my version of that. It was how do I show people how much they mean to me?
Lizy: Right? Because that’s the one thing that I’ve always struggled with because I am a total people pleaser at heart. I just never want people to think that I took more than I ever gave and I wanted them to know that their life meant something to me outside of their mortgage transaction. So I started paying attention to their life events and started paying attention to things that were important to them. Birthdays, I mean, birthdays has been a really big thing. If you know me or follow me you know I’m a good sprinkles cupcake girl, so just making people feel loved and special. There’s a book called The Five Love Languages and it talks about all the universal love languages, but gifts is pretty much either on the top or right in the middle for most people.
Lizy: So the Wow program is just centered around honoring all the people that are special in my life and making sure that they know that they’re special to me and not just because of their home loan.
Steve: Yeah. And another thing was the referral script on the Tuesday calls. You want to go through that real quick?
Lizy: Yeah. One of our value adds is that we are going to, because I know that most real estate agents are scared of asking for referrals and they don’t want to ask unless they’ve done a perfect job. So one of the things that my team does is ask for referrals for them. So every Tuesday we give an update for their home loan and we ask them a series of questions. We ask them on a scale of one to 10 if we have met their needs and if they give us anything less than an eight, we will not ask for a referral, just so you know. But then the next question will be what would it take to get to a 10? Or if it’s a 10, why is that a 10 so I can go report back to my team and make sure that we keep doing this? Then is there anything else I can do for you? Are you sure there’s nothing else I can do for you? I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can for you. So if there is nothing else, it would mean a lot to me if you knew of anybody that was looking to buy or sell in the last week if you would give them our information. Do you know of anyone?
Steve: That’s powerful. In fact, I actually have that printed and we call it the [Caden 00:43:48] script.
Lizy: It is the Caden script.
Steve: I give it to my people and I say when you’re talking and when you’re updating them, use this script. So the question is hey, we didn’t get that many referrals this week. Did you use the Caden script?
Lizy: You know, it’s crazy because I think you just have to ask. But you cannot ask unless you’re really trying to go above and beyond.
Steve: Right. So a random question here. On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?
Lizy: Yeah. I mean, people who know me probably say more than 10. I mean, I’m just, I don’t know. I’m like so many things in one.
Steve: All right. Thank you so much for being on the show. If someone wanted to get a hold of you, what is the best way to do that?
Lizy: The best way to get a hold of me is contacting me through our website, which is lizyhoeffer.com. So l-i-z-y-h-o-e-double f as in Frank, e-r.com. You can call me on my team line, which is 480-818-6222.
Steve: Perfect. And again, if you guys liked the show, please share this episode right now. We are going to be here next Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. We’ve got Kevin Kauffman, a real, living rock star. Last year his team sold 552 houses for just shy of 150 million in sales volume. Be sure to visit our website, realestatedisruptors.com to find out more about our upcoming events. We did have a happy hour last night. It was great. We had some amazing knowledge being shared, so if you want to find out more about the next event, please do check out there. And again, thank you very much for being here.
Lizy: Thank you guys. I appreciate it.
Listen as Brent shares how he was able to Gross over one million dollars by simply calling people!
Watch the full episode at www.realestatedisruptors.com/video/interview-with-brent-daniels/