The panel is:
- Moderator Teri Conrad
- Jamie Schreder of Royal Lepage
- Vince Pontalletta of Remax
- Terra Maibach of Remax
- Christina Kroner of Remax.
Jamie: All the big guys in our brokerage are doing business the same way as thirty years ago. The tools are different, though.
Vince: We listened to our old guys and we tried to copycat those strategies but add our own tools, a hybrid, to reach the new people.
Terra: The basis is still service. You’ve gotta take new school and old school, and take what works, leave what doesn’t. Cold calling etc doesn’t work. Spamming Facebook doesn’t work. It causes people to unfollow you.
Christina: we are living through a cool time where the industry is being innovated at every twist and turn. Whether or not you go with it is up to you. This whole business is being disrupted. Connecting is natural to me, and tech is natural to me. And it’s all about being authentic; you will naturally find your tribe that way. Social media is the best way to embrace that and connect at the speed of light and make that community happen.
Teri: Why do you push back on social? to Jamie
Jamie: I just like it better. I’m not good at the social media side of it. I prefer IRL. Know your audience; that is my audience. Communicate with people the way they want to be communicated with. A lot of our clients are older, and they don’t like texting. They want me to pick up the phone. Same both residential and commercial.
Terra: I connect with people on Facebook, because it’s not about real estate, but it makes me personal to them.
Terri: How do you structure your business? What’s your vision?
Vince: you’re going to be successful only once everyone knows their role. We use Top Producer, which ensures we can communicate with our clients regularly. You have to follow the new norms, like open houses. You’re adapting to a new market, and you need to instill that in your team.
Jamie: Outside of work is a lot more important than work to Millennials. It’s about those great vacations, going out on Friday. It’s just a different mindset.
Teri: You’re not just realtors, you’re successful millennial realtors. How?
Terra: Positive thinking; think and grow rich. It’s decision making: what are you going to do, how are you going to reach your goals? That helped me get to platinum level.
Question from the audience: what inspired you to invest in your website so much, and make a mobile responsive site?
Jamie: We hired someone, rebranded, and it’s still coming.
Vince: you’ve got to make sure your brand is there for people to see. Your brand is just as important as your targets.
Teri: Christina is doing a lot of video.
Christina: I did a ten step, one minute long video about buying a condo. That is paired with Seth Price’s customizable buyer/seller guide, and I customized his, so that’s a bit of bait. People are signing up on the website for this and then providing the drip campaign. I target demographically, not geographically. Where are your clients? Be there. I go out, even though I don’t drink, and I’ll be socializing at midnight and the next day I will do a video about the questions they asked me last night. They want answers, and I provide them via video.
Teri: Richard Silver has done a series of neighborhood profiles that he’s repurposed over and over.
What’s the struggle of Millennials? Is it harder to get into the market?
Vince: They’re all saying “I should have bought last year!” so now they’re either getting parents to help or taking a condo. Make them comfortable. Get them excited regardless of what they hear on the news. We do financial advice, refer people to advisors, etc.
Terra: People can get into a detached home in Nanaimo for $400k. It’s possible, unlike here. So the market for millennials is the same as for other people, although they may need more advice and handholding. Be honest with them, because they’ve already done their research. Be authentic, because they’ll catch you if you aren’t.
Jamie: I read Millionaire Listing every year. Find the 2 or 3 things you’re really good at, outsource the other 7 you’re not good at in your top ten tasks. We have trust in our brothers working with us, and I have an administrator. There are a lot of things I’m not good at, and I’ve got good people to do that. I don’t work weekends or evenings. Cory does. The change happened two or three years ago; the way I’ve built the business is based off my lifestyle, not dollar targets. Everything above your special number is just gravy, and the life is important.
Teri: What about systems?
Terra: Interface Express and private client services, I use. Docusign has revolutionized my business and I can do more business in the same amount of time. People are open as long as you send things out with a bit of explanation. Be there for people, but use the technology. Help your clients be comfortable with the tech.
Christina: I was taken seriously, not marginalized because of youth, as I literally grew up with real estate and deals, and I’m also not that young. My biggest challenges were during doorknocking. There were objections because “if you’re good, why are you doorknocking?” And I can’t network with moms at the park, and I can’t just hang out at the park by myself, that would be weird. It took awhile to find my tribe and go to where they are. I work with a lot of tech guys and so I network with startups, etc. I naturally jibe with them.
Vince: Work/life balance pays off. It pays when you’re with clients too. It makes you a better realtor, and a rounded person. If people feel you value your personal life, they will expect you will value theirs. But it helps if you have a team member to pick up the slack, etc. Be honest about the reason.
Jamie: We answer our phones at 11 on Sunday night, and we will go over there at any time. We’re handcuffed to the job. We have to be really clear about rescheduling it if we have to.
Terra: We have boundaries in our real lives, and we should have boundaries in our business as well. People will understand. And we have our networks, and we don’t need to tell anyone our personal business. We don’t have to say “I’m at a birthday party” but you have to say “I’m not available, let’s reschedule.”
Vince: When you first start, you’re so hungry you’ll do anything. Now it’s more about narrowing it down to where you want to work, when you are available?
Question from Nick Profeta: Is this your game or our game, millennials vs Old Guys?
Jamie: Our older agents always remark “why aren’t the young guys here (ie at a conference)?”. Young people will go where they perceive value and if they don’t perceive it at your event, it’s because you didn’t make the value argument to them well enough.
Christina: I’m a big fan of webinars. This is one day intensive that covers the topics that are most pressing in my business.
Teri: How do you do target setting?
Jamie: I do it quarterly, by myself, and then tell the team. It’s top-down.
Terra: You put the number out there, do the Think and Grow Rich thing, and there’s a lot of faith. I put some weight in it because it helps me and helps my clients. Over time you can measure it. Pick your house, focus on it. Think of my sold sign in front of your house. It works.
Teri: This is why I like women on panels. Being positive is such an important aspect of any business.
Christina: I literally have a barometer that I physically colour in. The tactile aspect helps me. I had a road trip and I had a big calendar and knocked off each day down to the departure. It was very helpful to see the year in advance. Real estate is a 90 day cycle, so this is very helpful, the visual aspect. I also do weekly self-checkins. Also I am very rewards-driven, so the most painful thing to me would be to not be able to travel or race. You have to find your Why. Once you have that you’ll work a 20 hour day and not even be tired.
Vince: I set my goals annually but I have a monthly target and check how I’m doing and why I did or did not succeed.
Terra: I need the goals. And it has to be big, it can’t be easy. And as soon as I have done one, I want the next one. What are you really doing in your life? It’s not about money. I have money goals, but ultimately it’s not about money. It’s an overall, success is about your overall life. The goals are what keeps me motivated.
Question from the audience: Do any of you have children? If so, how do you balance your lives?
Vince: I have a 2 year old and one on the way in July.
Audience remarks: It’s not about the brand, it’s about the service. It has to be about this neighborhood, speak to my needs, etc. Thinking of the consumers of the future, what advice would you give older people to connect with the customers of the future?
Terra: It’s about 100% believing.
Audience: I think it’s cute that you feel that way, but I’m not sure it helps.
Terra: I’m also looking for different ways to connect. But self-confidence conveys a lot to people. I can connect with any age that way. We need to find out what makes us tick and use that to connect with other people.
Teri: Has the industry lost its soul?
Jamie: People now can get info we never could. Now our value isn’t the information; millennials don’t value the information, since they can get it from Google. They value our insight on that information, and our service.
Vince: We’ve lost a lot of business to people’s moms. It’s trust.
Audience question: We have lots of millennials coming in to the office; while it’s about the lifestyle and less about the work. But there’s something about you that pushes you to do what you do. What is that? As managers you’re communicating that to millennials. How?
Jamie: I see lots of excuses from young people. They’re on Facebook all day. Just Get Shit Done. Get off Facebook and make some sales. A lot of young people in our office that are successful just get shit done. It’s a matter of wiring.
Christina: It looks easy, this business. Nobody wants to do the work you don’t want to do. You don’t realize you give up a 40 hour a week job to work 90 hours with zero security. I have struggled with that at times. My investment properties have helped me through some times when I didn’t want to do things. But once I found my Why things changed overnight. I found what gets me up in the morning. Also a Mastermind group is a great way to get likeminded young people together and share things you can’t share on social media. You have to front a bit on social media.
Terra: My work ethic is high. I get it done no matter what, and you won’t know if it’s a strain. Work ethic, integrity, and good customer service. Facebook isn’t all millennials do, it’s what we do in addition to the rest of our lives.
Teri: there’s a stigma of millennials as lazy.
Christina: This generation has more options than any previous one. There are too many options. It can be overwhelming to find the path you want to take, because there are so many options. It’s not about being lazy.
Audience: What do you do for client appreciation?
Jamie: We get them good and drunk. I filled fridges absolutely filled with beer, and people would take pictures, etc. We’ve rented entire section of a ballgame stadium. Now we do beer walls. We do it because we are genuinely thankful, and it has come back to use tenfold. Find out what your clients are passionate about and gift them something related.
Vince: Beer, wine, tours.
Terra: I don’t do alcohol, in case something happens, or in case they’re a reformed drinker, etc. I just don’t want to be responsible. Do not push your client off the wagon.