237: Lead Generation in a Shifting Real Estate Market

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Lead generation is always a hot topic in real estate but even more so as the real estate market shifts and changes. In this episode we are diving into what we are hearing the most questions about right now: leads, leads, leads! How do you get them? Should you pay for them? How many do you need? What if you don’t want to pay for them? When is a lead dead? What should you do if you are a new agent to get leads? How do you crack the code on repeat and referral business? We are answering your questions in the context of what is happening in today’s slower market. In the past we have each paid for online leads and we are giving the details and why we did and when we cut the cord. Sometimes leads are just about the money in and out but the effect they can have on your business and your life. Get ready to hear the truth and reality of finding LEADS!

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The following is a rough transcript provided by Otter.ai.

Katy 0:00
Hi, Alyssa. Hi, Katie. Welcome to Episode 237. Getting business in a changing, challenging market. Okay, it’s already changed. I feel like it’s always changing, right? Yeah. You were like, you were just giggling so I’m like, let’s just start. Yeah. Okay. I want to say that we have been getting a lot of similar type messages lately.

Unknown Speaker 0:24

Unknown Speaker 0:25
They’re about getting. Oh, okay.

Speaker 1 0:29
I thought this episode was gonna be called leads, leads leads,

Unknown Speaker 0:33
I understand what I think Leads leads leads might be a little misleading.

Unknown Speaker 0:36
But okay, do

Katy 0:39
you want it to be called Leads? Leads? Do

Alissa 0:41
you know I, when you said that? That was the name of the episode. I was like, oh, gosh, I cared for the wrong thing. Getting business or we tweaked the same thing. Yeah, getting business and leads? Well, not the same. Not I get business without leads.

Katy 0:58
We’re going to talk about it. We’re gonna talk about it. Okay, we’re gonna talk about it. How about let’s start here. As the market shifts and changes and slows, let’s just call it a spade a spade. You I feel you’re getting sold to more right? How are you getting more? Let’s help you get leads. Yeah, by this, you know, website placement by this Google Ad by this, you know, lead service by this, you know, whatever, from all the things right? Yeah, they’re texting. Hey, are you still selling real estate and blah, blah, blah. I know, it’s a ad when it says my full name. Yeah. Like, right, this is so legit. Okay, so you’re trying to be they’re selling you the leads, because everyone needs the leads. And on top of it, all of these companies, you’ll have to realize aren’t making as much money because there are no leads to sell. Correct. So they are like really pushing it? Yeah. Okay. And they’re losing agents who are either leaving, or they’re like, I can’t afford to pay for the leads.

Unknown Speaker 1:55

Katy 1:56
So how do you know what to what’s a good lead from a bad lead? was the question that I think someone asked like, how do you know if it’s worth paying for what how? What what, what is your determining factor?

Alissa 2:10
I’m only laughing because I feel unqualified to answer these questions, because I haven’t ever used any of the different companies that leads.

Katy 2:23
Okay, you use Dave Ramsey. Oh, yes.

Alissa 2:26
He was an online lead service. Whenever I first started with him, what year of your business was that? Oh, gosh, it’s okay. Because I’m no longer in that program. Because it had it changed to more of a lead

Katy 2:40
service. Okay. In the beginning, you were just like an approved agent. Yeah.

Alissa 2:44
And I had just finished Financial Peace University. Me and Tanner did it after we got married. So good, by the way, just good. Good course. Okay. So I was all all excited.

Katy 2:54
I know. I’m not a Dave Ramsey fan. Yeah. And I am not a fan of him. Well,

Alissa 3:00
I don’t mind him. I’m just not like him. Do you mind him? I’m not a die hard. I think the basic principles are good. And I find his advice. Interesting. Okay, move on. So I had gotten certified, I guess I became I went through his training program, which was also really good. In 2014. Okay, that’s when you did the piece I applied when I finished financial, financial peace in 2013. Okay, I submitted my resume, and I did not have enough experience to be a Ramsey agent. Okay. And I thought, that’s cool. Like, you actually have to know what you’re doing. Yes. Take everybody. He wants some, you know, transactions under your belt years under your belt, then they actually kept my resume on file. And s reached out to me a year and a half later asking me to update my resume. So I did and then went through the interview process at that time, you paid for the training and became a certified agent that if somebody came through the Dave Ramsey site to say, I need an agent in this area that matches those principles, you would get three names, okay. of Realtors in that area, and you didn’t at this point, there was no monthly fee to take anything else from you. Yeah, there was like a 25% referral fee, which was what I was used to when I received a referral from another agent, right? So anywho it was good. I mean, it kept me on my toes. I feel like especially it was like my only source of like, cold leads. And so I felt like it kept me very sharp. Right. I was having to remember that. Like they’re interviewing you and they’re choosing between you and other agents and like, I got rejected a lot a lot. I also got accepted a lot, but it just sort of and they also sent it to all three agents at the same moment. So it was a race. Yeah, they wanted to see like how many times you or the one to contact them first, they can see that. So it’s like when I was in this was before I had kids. And then after I had kids after my repeat and referral business, was it enough to carry me? And it was a hard decision for me to let it go, you remember? Yeah, I guess because I had dedicated so much to it over the years, but I just knew it was time. And they did change the structure a little bit where there was monthly fees. Right. So it was like you are paying for Lee whether or not you turn one, whether or not you close anything. So I just thought it’s, it’s become more of a lead model that I just don’t need it. And I enjoyed my time with it. And I’ve learned a lot. And then I just I guess I would say I outgrew it. Yeah, with my repeat and referral business. Okay,

Katy 5:50
I think let’s stop there. The way that you outgrew it was that you serve them well, and then put them into your database machine. Right, so that they could be repeat referral, I think that sometimes the vibe I get from agents who pay for leads, is that they are so busy paying for leads and working that large volume of leads that come in, then they kind of forget that it should be a hybrid. Like the goal should always be once I’ve had enough of these leads over enough amount of time, I should easily be able to be sustaining myself from the repeat referral business of those leads. Yes, it just I don’t think there’s any reason where as you grow in your business, you should need that lead source forever.

Alissa 6:33
Correct. Right. I would agree with that. Yeah. But I feel

Katy 6:37
like a lot of people get on that hamster wheel and they can’t get off. And I would also caution the people who are thinking about getting on to the hamster wheel that it’s a hamster wheel, right? Like it’s a lot of we’re going to put a lot of because a lot of filters the other deal. Repeat referral business means someone you already worked with calls you and says I would like to work with you again. Or someone you already worked with says hey, my friend would like to use you. And if you guys remember from the episode we just had about the stats from the NAR report. Buyers and Sellers work almost like a huge percentage work with the first agent they talk to you. Okay, so then you get a referral. They’re going to work with whoever they talk to first with my repeat

Alissa 7:19
and referral business. I don’t know that I was ever interviewed. Okay. Right.

Katy 7:24
So different kinds of business. Yeah, when you’re getting a zillo lead or a Redfin lead or Ramsey lead or wherever they came from on the internet. And they’re sending it whether it’s to you or to three other agents, these people don’t know you, they just want you to speedily respond and the volume you need to turn one, I think that the stat online leads turn at less than a 5% success rate. Yeah, I would agree regardless of who you are. Right. So now I need 20 leads to get what, five? Not even five? I need 100 leads to get five Yes, right. Five closes, I need 100 leads to get five closes? Well, if you get a repeat referral, you need five leads to get five classes. Do you follow what I’m saying? Yes. So I think the volume is just like an Instagram followers or number of people in your email list. You just think oh, the more the bigger number means I’m going to have more success. But they don’t turn like that.

Alissa 8:24
Right. I think my so what was kind of cool about this is there’s a dashboard to show you your percentage, okay. And it was the percentage that you lost because they actually closed with somebody else. Okay, it told you that Oh, but there was also the percentage that just never closed with anybody. Right? I got and they reward you for like how high that I think I got up to like a 13% conversion rate pretty good up there way above industry standard. Yes. And then I would say as time went on it, it got lower. And that was probably here’s the thing I was treating these cold leads the same way I do my repeat and referral. So I was killing myself. Yeah. With communicating with that many people. And I knew at some point, I was going to need to automate it more. And it just wasn’t how I operate. Yeah, so it was no longer a match, right. Fascinating. So

Katy 9:19
is it worth it to pay for leads is the final question here? Is it worth it? Don’t don’t answer. Okay, let’s back it up. I started my business in 2006 was my first full year. The only reason I was successful and continued to stay in real estate was because I bought online leads don’t 2006 The internet was barely 10 years old. I was like hey, were you the only one I was? There were two now remember, we’ve always had over 1000 agents in our market. We’re at like 4000 now but even then it was a couple of that there was plenty. Yeah. Myself and maybe one other agent would be in the particular zip codes I picked And they were like, We’re gonna guarantee for you to an online leads renew. Yay. We’re gonna guarantee for you 10 leads, I’m like, great, I need 10 leads. Most months I would get 70 Oh, and I’m paying close attention because there was no other agent you see. So they would just cycle through me and this other agent and whenever it was just flipped around around and only went to you.

Alissa 10:23
So this is the actual process and what online leads are. And just like the years from when you started to now is completely Do

Katy 10:33
you want to die a small death? Okay, I paid $250 a month that is it. Wow, no referral fee. No, like, oh, premium ZIP Code pay this do that be a premiere, like all these other agents are on the page with you know, me, just me. But you know what else the system wasn’t even that was called just listed in house values was the website. They advertised on like, the regular news and stuff like they had commercials. And that’s how they got the least to send to you. I mean, obviously, they had a website. But again, the Internet was not that old. So they weren’t getting like this huge quantity of like Google AdWords or whatever they do now. Well, they then were bought by market leader. So y’all probably know that market leader. Now. I don’t even know what there were. And then Zillow came along after like Zillow didn’t

Alissa 11:21
even know how did you get off the hamster wheel? At what point? How did that happen? I wasn’t hard. It

Katy 11:30
when I did it, also, the actual website that they were running didn’t create us, the buyer didn’t come in and make their own search. Katie went in into the MLS for 70 people a month and made a search set them up on a search based on their criteria. You’re such a hard worker. Thank you. I worked them super hard, because they weren’t, there was no automation at all. No. I mean, like I had to go in. And if I wanted to reach out the sun, then there was no drip email campaign. There was no like, they type in their search, and they’re getting emails, I had to set them up. Regardless, I don’t remember when I quit them. But I do remember maybe 2015 16, somewhere in that range. The zillo people finally broke me down. And I’m like, Fine, I’ll give it a try. It had been a few years since I had used the lead service. And I’m like, you know, my business was, I’d like it to grow. I’ll, I’ll buy some Zillow leaves. I did that for a year. It was expensive. I made no sales. The people who I did end up meeting to go show them property would ditch me in a heartbeat. They only wanted to go in an hour on a Saturday. And I’m like, this is not this is not for me. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 12:38

Katy 12:41
look off to say you do you do you want to try it but put some parameters in place that say, okay, they’re making me do a six month commitment. This is what it cost if I haven’t closed x by then. But also remember, they’re going to sell you on the fact that you only have to close one sale for it to pay for itself. What is your quality of life while you’re having to deal with these leads?

Alissa 13:03
That was hard for me too, is that when a lead would come in, if they they came in the middle of the night sometimes and it was just all the time. I love this story. One of my good friends is a lender and had an agent come to her and say look, I want you to be on my lender list. And she was like, Wow, thank you. This will be great. What thank you for giving me this up. She said the next day I get this email. Here’s the sign the dotted line. Yeah, she never signed anything. The agent put her name and information down and basically said, Is it okay if I send you some leads? And she was like, Yeah, great. Thank you. So she said, the next day, I’m sitting at my computer working on my files, and I get this email that’s like, Oh, you have a new lead from that realtor. So she was like, Oh, great. As soon as I finish this, I will call them she said four minutes later, I got another email that sent this lead was assigned to someone else. And she was like, Oh, what, what happened? So she didn’t know what to do. So she did try to call anyway. And they were like, not no one answered. And so she just deleted the emails. And she said then the next day was Saturday, and I was in the grocery store. And I got a alert to my phone that was like that realtor has sent you a lead like and she was like great. As soon as I check out and get in my car, I’ll call this person and then before she could do that, it was like this lead has been assigned to somebody else done moved on. She called the agent said Please take me off. I don’t operate this way. I love my repeat and referral business. Right? I cannot and it also just like makes you feel like you have failed. It’s like constant rejection. It is listed rejection 100% And I just I thought that was so interesting because I don’t know if it’s happening as much now as it was in say 2019 2020 But there was a really big spurt in our market where lenders and realtors were offering to pay leads for each other and they still do don’t care and yourself. Yeah, I figured they do. But for a minute there when it was a new earthing, it was a huge push. Well, I’ll

Katy 15:06
tell you what, you’re gonna find this interesting when I was still paying for my leads, like if I wanted to increase, then other agents start to figure it out, right? Like, it didn’t go on and on for years like it did in 2006. I was still using that system. However, agents were they were selling it better to other agents. Yeah, you know, so the lead volume was getting lower, or I had to pay more before, I guess, the RESPA and TRID stuff. Your lender could pay the whole amount, and they or your title company or whoever. And that was happening pretty frequently, even in our market. And then they were like, No, you have to split it. But then that we’ve talked about this on the show before, just like what you said, the agents would go to a lender, maybe it was the one they’ve partnered with all along and be like, Hey, I’m gonna buy these leads, and I want you to pay for half, so that I can send them to you. And if you don’t want to pay for half, I’ll just move on to a lender that will. And so the lenders were kind of like, yikes, they don’t make the same money they have agent makes on sale. So they’re like, and they need a lot of agents. You’re not supplying them all of their business. Yeah. And even it’s a lot of business. They’re like, but then this is a slippery slope. Yeah, then the next agent that I normally partner with is going to do the same thing. And I only have so much of a magic,

Alissa 16:20
going to like my top lenders that I use and telling them that like hurts my heart, you’re like, leaving you if you don’t support pay for my business, right? Makes me feel icky. It’s kind of

Katy 16:36
I mean, you really are kind of like putting them over a barrel and you’re like, do you want to keep working with me and getting my business? Well, you’re gonna have to pay, right? Pay to my friend pay pay, you must pay. So I think that ultimately, I transitioned out because it’s the quality of life isn’t there? You’re gonna have to be like, kind of at a beck and call. And that wasn’t my but once I had kids, I’m like,

Alissa 16:57
I don’t understand random thought in my head, please. Let’s

Unknown Speaker 16:59
hear so many people

Alissa 17:02
leave as a solo agent to join a team to get leads. Oh, yeah, as a solo agent. Why don’t they just pay for their own? Because the leads have gotten so expensive. Oh, my sin when they finally closed when they have to give so much to the team? Oh, great. Six, one way, half a dozen like other kind of like, financing it with the team? Do you want to pay for it up front?

Katy 17:23
I say do you want to just go there? And look? Is that the case that maybe that particular team has locked down a zip code? Or is in a position where you couldn’t even go buy it from that X would Boomtown or whatever? Like I don’t know. Yeah, because they can’t. And that’s what happened. That’s why you saw such a boom in 1920 21. There were tons of leads to sell, because there were tons of buyers and sellers in the market. As the actual buyers and sellers lead the market, they have less quantity of leads to sell, right? So then if you’ve always been locked into a zip code 70808 as a team lead, you’re still getting maybe the number of leads have gone down. But that literally that agent can’t go to Zillow and say I want 70808 They’ll be like, well, we’ll let you know when there’s an opening. And that agent, maybe that team leader has it. Do you know what I’m saying? Yes. So in that way, I guess it makes sense. And if you don’t have the money to finance it up front, if the problem is you don’t have business, or

Alissa 18:21
money, you definitely don’t have money, no money, no business. So you have to go somewhere that will send you online leads, but then you give you lose your bigger percentage, because you’re giving it back. You’re paying but you’re paying

Katy 18:35
until you build your own business. I mean, yeah, it’s a necessary evil, I would say if you’re gonna go that route, but like, Did you exhaust all the possibilities of ways you could get leads yourself for free? No,

Unknown Speaker 18:49
they did not.

Katy 18:50
Did you host open houses every Sunday for a while to see did you I mean, call it for sale by owner? Did you go like ask the other agents in your office? If they need help in a certain area? Or maybe they don’t want to work with rentals? Maybe they don’t want to work a certain like, area, price range or whatever Did you like do all the what to do when you’re new or slow? Like,

Alissa 19:11
I think leads seem like the magic pill the one time quick fix if I could just get some leads. If I could just get some business I would be successful. I

Katy 19:20
will tell you a story about leads. And I will not name names. But there was an agent in our market that had taken agent systems or right before she did. And she and I were talking and she said she was a zillo agent. Personally, not on a team pay for it herself was doing great business. I think she was doing 52 transactions in a year. Wow. Amazing. Yeah, right. She was paying $9,000 a month. Oh my gosh. So Mike, hold up knowing our average price kind of got an idea of what a commission might be. You got to do three say so she had to do 36 sales just to cover the pay for the leads. So that means that in reality If you’re only making the money on 20 sales, right? Yeah, because you had needed 30 just to pay to break even. Right? So why not be a person who does 20 sales of your repeat referral open hat like a simpler, easier. And she was seeing four buyers on a Saturday that she never met before and might never see again. She’s like, just running, running. Because think about it. Now. If you did 52 sales from that you had to get 1000s of leads to wade through.

Alissa 20:33
I think it’s people like to jump into things without checking the numbers. And that could be anything. Oh, yeah, they’re very quick to join a team switch brokerages buy into a program that guarantee something. And I remember I had this new agent telling me that they were switching over to whatever brokerage because the brokerage, she was spitting out all these numbers, and I went, have you checked this? She was like, What do you mean? I’m like, I mean, you can see this all in? Yeah. Have you checked what they told you? Well, no. I said, let’s do that right now. And I opened my computer. And it was sparse. Like, I don’t know if it if they just lie.

Unknown Speaker 21:16
Maybe I don’t know. But I said is

Alissa 21:19
there any? I don’t know what they’re basing their numbers off of? I don’t know, I’m just telling you what I see in our system is not what you’re telling me about. And it was like, people don’t do their due diligence and their research for themselves before making these big financial decisions. They’re just looking for that quick decision that’s going to make them feel better.

Katy 21:41
Well, look, a salesman typically sold you the leads. Yeah, they are good at that. That’s their job. They know all of the objections, they know all of the ways to pull it you and be like tomorrow, you could have a buyer, if you’re going to work your database that’s going to take you

Alissa 21:55
months. On the note of how you said, when you were working the leads, they would drop you in a heartbeat, or the agent that you talk to that was meeting four new people on a Saturday, and then maybe she would see one of them again. Yeah, you know, and our buyer consumer episode, we did a whole episode that we encouraged you to share with your buyers because it goes over the buyer rules and the hardest process work. Yes, yeah, I have found it to be extremely valuable. When I get new clients, especially for the first timers. The only negative feedback we received from that episode is that when we’re going over the buyer rules in that with our buyer is it says don’t click on a Zillow link or any button or any but any website, any website, anything that says talk to agent, talk to an agent, see the house now schedule here like we’re educating our buyers. Don’t do that. Because it will send you to an agent that is paying to receive your information. And I could lose you. Yeah. If you want to work with me. If you want to work with me to work that way. Every time you have a house you want to see send it to me. Yeah. Well, our friends that listen that do pay for leads were like, I don’t know if I feel comfortable sending this episode to my buyer, because that’s how they found me sometimes, sometimes, but I thought, regardless of how they found you, you don’t want them to click, you want them to stop clicking, especially if that’s how they found you. You want to educate them and say listen, right now you have to break bad behavior now. Yes, you got them. But now you need to educate them and say, Listen,

Katy 23:35
I know that you got me because you clicked a button. Now that you have me, you must stop clicking buttons. Yeah. And again, stop being afraid to tell people the truth. Let them know how it won’t listen, you found me that way. And I’m glad but I don’t want to lose you. I think we’re a good match. Or I’m going to do this this this for you. We’re going to have a great experience. So you got to stop clicking the button, stop clicking the button, and I would just flat out say that to them? Yes. Please don’t click the button. You can continue to look on X website because I know that’s where you’re gonna go to find houses and that’s okay. No more clicking the button. Here’s my phone number. You can call me you can text me you can email me you talk to me. I

Alissa 24:10
just had a young young couple. I can tell I’m getting older. They were like What 30 Because like my first time homebuyers used to be my age when I was 22. And like paint art in their 20s children. I know kids so funny. Anyhow, they’re young. And they really wanted to go see these houses. And I said, Awesome. Have you talked to anybody about numbers yet? Have you been pre approved? Well, we actually have an appointment scheduled for Sunday to go see this house. I said oh, do you already have a realtor? Well, no, but we did request an appointment online and they said they could meet us there and I said look, I don’t want to overwhelm you with information but in realtor world the agent that shows you the house is the one who gets It’s the sale on that house. So it would not be fair for an agent to show you a house and on their weekend or any time and then not be allowed to write a contract for you. She goes, I never even thought about that. She they

Katy 25:14
just think they’re like salary hourly. Yeah. listing agent.

Alissa 25:18
Yeah. And she said, So what do I do? I said, unring the bell ringing, stop clicking buttons, online, or anywhere. I said, if you would like to work with me, I’d be happy to meet you at that house. I am available at that time. But you would have to let the agent know, hey, I did not realize how it worked. I actually do have an agent. And she’s like, okay, I can do that. I said, Yes. Good. Okay, great. Well, I’d

Speaker 1 25:44
be happy to work with you. Otherwise, you could keep your appointment. And that could be your agent. Yes. Whatever you want to do. And she said, Well, I’ve already gotten so much information and value from our 10 minute phone call. That agent when they called me didn’t ask me anything about my budget. Because they’re just trot, y’all. If you buy online leads, I’m not talking to every one of you. I’m sure some of you do it correctly, but a lot. Don’t kid yourself. A lot of agents are just trying to entrap the buyer, right? Like, let’s just get you paying to be on this chart.

Katy 26:18
Let’s just get you on this. Then I’ll just be like, here you are. You’re here. You’re working with me. Maybe it’s like sign here. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s like, well, let’s quick write a contract before I lose you to the next button you push.

Alissa 26:31
It’s just a different type of thing. And you have to be if you want to do online leads, you need to be very comfortable talking about money. Yeah, you need to be very comfortable talking about business and how real estate works. If you’re just trying to like squeak by and like open doors and pray that they use you to write the contract. It is not for you. Yeah, it is not okay. Someone

Katy 26:50
else wanted to know how they could get away from their lead generation company to something more cost effective, but keep it at 4050 leads a month.

Alissa 27:00
So they still want to get 50 leads a month.

Katy 27:02
I think the problem is that maybe if you’ve always been on an online lead vibe, you don’t realize you don’t need 50 to turn because you’re going to turn it a higher percent if it’s repeat referral someone you met in person, someone I don’t maybe even an open house person who met you let you know, like, Yeah, I’m gonna turn it differently. So you don’t need 50 anymore. Maybe you all how many? How many transactions do you need should be more than how many leads do you need? Yeah, and there are lots of gurus that will tell you you need x leads no matter what, like, Oh, you’re gonna you want to do 10 transactions, you’re gonna need 200 leads? Well not true. What kind of leads? Are they? Right? Like, what kind of people are you working with? So I think that the answer to that question is you’re going to spend a lot of time and money if you’re getting 50 of any kind of lead. Yeah. Right. Unless they’re repeat referral, and then they’re not costing you anything. Yeah, it’s just free. The point is, if

Alissa 27:55
you want 40 to 50 leads a month, guaranteed. You’re gonna have to pay for it. But what’s the mindset? I guess? It’s also the thing, right? You got to I saw Okay, speaking of mindset, I saw this ad, a paid sponsored ad on like Instagram or something selling leads. And the caption said, if you’re not if you’re not sorry. I want to mess it up. It said, if you’re not paying, you’re not playing. And then I’m thinking, and then someone in the comments goes, I’m not playing. I’m working. Yeah. Okay, yeah, yeah. That’s how I feel too, right. I don’t want to play yeah, I want to work and build my business. I have a business. Right.

Katy 28:41
So to Zillow, do I want to pay for Zillow to stay open? Nope, that’s not my business plan.

Alissa 28:46
How can I use that money to build my own relationships? Because

Katy 28:51
that’s more pleasant. It’s more fun. It’s safer. It takes less time. It is going to sustain you long term. Yeah. Right. Because you’re going to build this system where you treat the people well, you do the transaction, you remember to follow up with them. You ask them if they know anyone, you send the notes to their dad who came to the inspection. Zillow is not sending notes to nobody. They’re just pushing out more ads on Google and whatever so that they get enough leads in that they can sell to you and I love when people also complain about Zillow is just taking our listings and selling them back to us and like you’re paying for

Alissa 29:28
it. Right? They can do that because they have all your money. You’re complicit in this. And if that’s, I mean, I’m not they’re using your listings, to get leads to then send it to other agents that pay for them,

Katy 29:40
right and now it’s too far gone. And even if even if they disconnected and they couldn’t show all the list, it doesn’t matter. The public would go straight there and be like, oh, I need to click a button to say my listing can go on Zillow. Well, obviously I’m going to click the button because I need my listing to be on Zillow. Sure. Okay, what about phone duty is phone duty dead?

Alissa 30:01
It’s not in my office. Okay, people, I don’t get slower. But the key to me is scheduling your phone duty on an office day, and bringing plenty of other things for you to do. If the phone rings, great if it doesn’t, fine. Okay, or open houses dead? No, definitely no, no. Right.

Katy 30:20
So if you do phone duty well, and you do open house as well, and you put in the time it takes eventually, you can’t not get business. Right. Yeah, it’s going to happen. Now, I do think that a lot of the pushback lately we’ve been getting is kind of, we’re gonna get to the market in a second. It’s kind of market based, right? Like, even if you’re on phone duty right now, there probably less calls coming in. There are even if you’re paying for Zillow leads, they’re probably less leads coming in. Yeah, because they’re less buyers and sellers in the market in this winter period. I think it’s going to add as this airs, I think we’re getting at what

Alissa 30:56
the rates are doing, like I see you’re gonna change, it’s gonna change fluctuates. Okay,

Katy 31:01
while we’re on referrals before we talk about the market, actually. How do you crack the code of past client referrals? So we’re just like, work your past client? Is there a code? How do you crack it,

Alissa 31:13
you have to ask, I know this sounds crazy, okay. But when I do my, my Nov, or whatever, whenever I do any type of probe, campaign, that’s the word I’m looking for whenever I do any type of campaign where I am saying, Hey, I just wanted to thank you so much for working with me. And I wanted to remind you that I am open for new business, I strictly want to work repeat and referral business. So anybody, you know, send them my way. I do this every single year. And every single year, I get different responses. And I get a few that say, Oh, awesome. I always feel like you have you’re so successful, that you don’t need it. And I’m like, Y’all keep me successful. So it’s sort of like you have to remind the people, and then there’s like this huge blip of incoming business. And I think that can be done anywhere slow. You need to be writing notes. And it doesn’t have to be to someone that you sold a house to. I wrote, I went back through my high school yearbook.

Unknown Speaker 32:20
Of course you did. Of course, I

Alissa 32:22
wrote notes to my friend’s parents that I was like, close with in high school and said, I’m in real estate now. And I love it. It’s going so well. If you know anyone please send them my way. I cannot tell you the response that came from that. That’s really sweet. People want to do that. Do that. Oh, that

Katy 32:40
Fairest that that’s the let’s go real deep mindset. Why did you get into real estate? If you were going to be embarrassed about it? You can’t stay you gotta go. Like, if you’re not if you’re afraid to tell your aunt or your friend’s parents that you actually sell real estate. Let’s dig even deeper. Why are you embarrassed? Like, are you embarrassed? Because everyone thinks realtors are scum. Because I got that done a couple of messages like, but how do you and we’re gonna have a whole separate episode on speaking to your value again, because we need to do this, but let’s just think what makes you embarrass? Yeah. Are you embarrassed because you don’t have a lot of experience? That’s fine, but how can you build some confidence like you’re learning right now? So why why are you afraid to ask because it’s so funny.

Alissa 33:27
They just think that the biggest thing is I don’t want to come off as salesy. Yeah, I don’t want to be at my kids baseball game and come off as salesy. Asking someone what they do. And they say, Oh, I’m a nurse, what do you do? And you say, Oh, I’m a realtor, and then you’ll talk and you ask that nurse, where do you live? Oh, I love that neighborhood. What is salesy

Katy 33:45
about that nothing, nothing. I also don’t see what salesy about saying, Hey, if you have friends or family that are going to buy or sell, I’d love for you to share my name.

Alissa 33:54
Yeah, I’m not asking you to pay me anything. I’m not asking you to sign up send you 600

Katy 33:59
emails about it. I just literally said, Hey, I’m, like you said, I’m open for business. Yeah, I am a business I’m going to need some clients are also I’m no longer going to be a business and I think letting them know,

Alissa 34:09
I only want to work my repeat and referral business because y’all have been such a delight. Right? Keep that going. Make it feel elite

Katy 34:17
almost. Yeah. Like I only want to work with you and someone you send me to. So you have the keys to like make this happen. Right?

Alissa 34:25
They would much rather pay because I look I completely sympathize

Katy 34:30
when I was early in the business and I paid for my leads. I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to show up with competence and speak to my value to someone I’ve known for 30 years. Do you know what I mean? Like I didn’t have to you especially in your case, you wouldn’t have to convince people little baby Alyssa is also capable of being your realtors to you for going back to your high school friends parents because they knew you when you were just a kid.

Alissa 34:55
In one of my letters I wrote to my like best friend from high schools mom, I was like I will always remember sitting at your island eating the entire box of macaroni and cheese. Like that is how I remember her. And that is how she remembers me. Yeah. And I related to that now I so now the house is Isn’t that funny because

Katy 35:12
everyone becomes an adult. They can sympathize with the fact that you’re obviously not a 16 year old kid anymore. I just find it to be interesting, because it really is mindset. And this agent said, I can’t quite bring myself to do the Buffini continual ask thing. Always think of Me for friends and family. And I would like to say can you not bring yourself to say it one time? Yeah, it’s fine. If you don’t want to send them a note every month saying send me your I’m always, you know, I’m never he’s his thing is I’m never too busy for your referrals. But I’m like, also,

Alissa 35:44
did you ever say it? Yeah, ever once. It’s not, but it’s not all or nothing. Can you say it two times? Yeah. Like, what if someone said, Hey, how’s the market and you’re like, it’s going really well. I’m focusing on growing just my repeat and referral business this year. Let me know if you know anyone.

Katy 36:00
I would never be your friend again. Never never were broken up.

Alissa 36:04
We had someone asked recently, like, you know, I’m in the season where my kids are so busy. And I’m like, I enjoy going to the birthday parties and meeting new people and meeting new parents. And they’re like, I don’t want to go to the birthday parties just to get deals. I’m like, I don’t go just to get deals. But while I’m there. I don’t sit in the corner and talk to no one I say I’m Alyssa. I’m havens, Mom. Oh, your his Oh, great. Awesome. What do you do? Oh, cool. It would be rude not to

Katy 36:32
be rude. Not to someone asked me what I do. I don’t say nothing.

Unknown Speaker 36:38
Yeah. Yeah, please, I’ll

Katy 36:40
tell you so embarrassed. And while I’m at times, I am embarrassed to throw myself in with this lot of realtors. I still have to. I’m not embarrassed about the job. I

Alissa 36:50
do. Right? Like,

Katy 36:52
I know what I do. And I know, I have like my best friends. They are like, for sale by owner. Why would anyone do that? Because they know me. Yes. They know what I’m not afraid to tell them what I do. Like, they’re like, obviously you’re working. I can see what you’re doing. Alright, let’s move on to the market. In today’s market, especially our sweet new agent friends who showed up in 2020 and beyond are like, what is happening here? Yeah. How do you Alyssa Jenkins, prepare, plan deal with changes fluctuations in the market.

Alissa 37:29
I over prepare, right? You’re like a saver. You know, my dad is like Alyssa, I understood that. I understand that you started real estate, and worked really hard and hit some big numbers pretty fast. But you must prepare, because they won’t last forever. It won’t last forever. He always tells me that. During 2020 2021 When I saw the volume being done by me and everybody else, I thought this is not gonna last forever. Like no, no, no, no, when everybody else went out and got new cars. I was like hoarding. I was just like, Yeah, I just want to prepare. The end, you’re like the Indus coming. This is I was like, this is going to be my first recession. I was like a doomsday prepper for real estate. I was like, hoarding canned goods. Not really. But I kept thinking, if there is a recession coming, I will be prepared. Yeah. And then it didn’t really come. It was a soft land. It was a softer landing than I prepared for goodness. But it allowed me to enjoy it. Because I went, finally that madness, take a breath, that madness of 15 offers per listing is over. I’m going to I have got to clean out my database. And my I have to tidy up around right here. Okay,

Katy 38:47
so but you might be an anomaly. There are lots of agents listening. They’re like, Well, I didn’t prepare and now it’s slow. Yeah, what do I do? And some people are like, do I get a second job or a full time job? What’s your take on this? Now, you know, what’s interesting to me? You know, in the beginning of the show, and for a long time, we’ve always said, We believe agents should be full time, right? But also, you cannot be full time. If you don’t have clients. You didn’t you have extra time? Well, you need to be full time getting right. You should be working. But I like if you let’s just say you have no transaction. And you spend some amount of your week doing the business acquiring work, right? You still have time because you’re not spending any of your week managing clients. Yeah. Do you go get a second job?

Alissa 39:37
What’s your take on that seen a handful of agents that did get a second job and did it well, okay. and used it to grow their real estate business. That’s better. The problem is, and I don’t like blanket statements just like, you know, all leads are bad or whatever. You know, it’s most agents this most agents that. So I’m not going to say all right. But they trick themselves thinking that they can do both. Well, the agents I know that did it. Well did it for a very short time. They were very intentional and very disciplined about I’m still going to do open houses. Was it a full time job that they took? No, no. I’ve never seen anyone to go to a full time job and do real estate successfully. Yeah, ever. I’ve seen a lot of people try. Yeah, never, never have I seen it work. If you’re one of those listeners, we’re gonna get emails after this, like I do just fine. I’m a stay at home mom with a full time job. And I sell real estate and I’m successful at all three. I’ve never met anyone like that, I would not be able to do that. Right. And so I’m just saying to be realistic about you can do anything. You can but not everything. That’s my favorite. And do you don’t want to do everything? How? What is life at that point? You know? So I think if you have to do it, you have to have a plan in place for how that particular part time job is going to help catapult your business. Yeah. How you are going to be intentional with the people that you meet, letting them know that that’s your plan. And you need to have a cut off date. Yeah, either a cut off date or a cut off savings amount like it was a cut off savings. And I think that makes perfect sense. Yeah, I was still bartending whenever I was licensed. And I said I need $6,000 Before I dropped this cold turkey. I had no kids. I wasn’t married. $6,000 was my number. Yeah, I came so close to it a few times, and then fell short when there was a gap and closings. When I hit it. I thought no, no, no, it needs to be 10. It needs to know I said six, you need to go make it happen. And it did that fear motivated me. Same. I did not want to ask mom and dad for help. Right? It didn’t want write code. It wasn’t I made it as if it wasn’t an option. Correct? Not an option. Yeah. Then has to work this work? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Like people don’t have to make it work. They have backup plans, or yeah, if you always have a, sometimes it’s better to just jump in the deep end. Like, if you don’t, if you have the safety net, you might just use it. And I’ve seen people like I was always so low. I was never on a team. So when I was doing all those coffee dates, so many young people that had started on a team or kind of like started on online leads. I didn’t start that way. Right. So I had to figure it out. Right. And I think once you get kind of okay with the leads just keep flowing in. I

Katy 42:46
know I’m paying for them, but they don’t stop. You just sort of like why don’t I’m afraid to try something different. Because what if it doesn’t work? And then now I’m not in a place where I have the money saved up, right? Like yeah,

Alissa 42:57
I can’t just not let it work. And our episode that we did on cold leads, following up on cold leads sign calls is one of my favorite.

Katy 43:08
Okay, great. I want to ask you how do you know when a lead is dead? So we’re talking about needing 100 leads to get five deals? There was 95 people when did you call it when were you like flatline This isn’t working.

Alissa 43:18
Yeah, that was hard for me at first and then once I started like crossing people off the list, it got really easy. Like you know what, this is great. My final email which I think is in our prospecting templates that they get when they join community my final email said something along the line of like hey, Alyssa here again. I still have a file I’m cleaning out my files I still have your name on one of my files and I wanted to see Do you still need help buying house or do you still plan to sell your house? If not, that’s okay, just let me know just let me know and I’ll remove you I need to remove you and that’s when I start usually the ones that net were never responsive like that really were because they didn’t need help anymore they just didn’t know how to tell me that so I send the last Hail Mary email as a way to give them permission to just I’m a real Just tell me where you’re at just tell me and when I send that email responses I get are like I actually sold it last year with my aunt or problem great I’m so glad it worked out for you. And then I’m so glad to remove them from my list because when I was doing like the Dave Ramsey stuff the list got too long and I the type of person I am can’t stand to not be able to give them all my best but I couldn’t give them all my best too many people is too many people too many people so I just you know, I call it quits at different stages. Have they ever responded? Yeah. Have I tried all the different revenue we have a real person are they a real person? Have I tried all that? Have they ever texted emailed or called text and you have to try all three several times. Yeah. And then I just get to where I’m like Enough is enough. Right? You know,

Katy 45:02
you just like, right, especially if they were responding and then they fall off. Yeah. Yeah, they don’t need you. It’s the same as sellers. You’re like, will tell me about the feedback. I’m like, here’s the feedback. There’s no offer. Yeah, it’s just the same with the buyer lead.

Alissa 45:16
Here’s the feet. They don’t. That’s a really good analogy. Yeah, they’re there. They’re not here saying they didn’t ask you. They’re not gonna buy your house. I’ve tried to get feedback from them five times, it doesn’t matter. The only feedback I need is an offer. Yeah, they don’t want it. They don’t want it. Let it go. Sorry. Just as much as you can’t make that buyer buy your house. You cannot make force someone to work with you. No,

Katy 45:41
no, you have to follow up with some level of diligence, or you’re just dropping the ball. I’m

Alissa 45:46
not saying and I think that’s where my burnout came from. Is that I did you for sure. Where I was like a hardcore follow up. I just, I had to, or I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. Yeah.

Katy 46:01
So look, you’ll find the middle ground though. Yeah, you don’t have to be hardcore. And whenever they’re like make them say no to you 10 times I do not ascribe to that

Alissa 46:10
at all. No, if they said no to me once I respected that. Did you say no? No means? No means no.

Katy 46:18
Why does it even teach that make them say no 10 times and people will tell you I’ve been cold calling and I my lead my guru says I have to make that they have to say no 10 times. That

Alissa 46:29
is why Realtors develop the image and reputation. That’s why we’re here. That’s why you’re here one hustle humbly episode at a time trying to bring professionalism and respect back to the realtor brand. rying to just try. Okay, let’s

Katy 46:45
talk a couple more specifics to the market as it is today.

Alissa 46:51
How are you pricing houses? I feel like this has to be a whole nother episode. It’s such a different question.

Katy 46:57
Okay, fine, but it is market related. Okay, so like if it’s challenging because the market is challenging, inventory is tight. How do you price so

Speaker 1 47:04
that’s why I think this episode needs to be called leads, leads leads by

Unknown Speaker 47:08
all right, you want me to save this for later people are gonna be like, I

Alissa 47:11
want to know. Okay, let’s talk about it. Just quickly. I’m doing a lot of education right now with my sellers. I’m explaining to sellers. Listen, Mister Mister seller, the way that an appraiser would work when they value your home is they must go back six months. They aren’t really supposed to go back further unless there’s no comps. We have some comps here. Or maybe we don’t. So I had to go back nine months. Okay, whatever it may be. But the problem is we’re in a shift right now. So the last six to nine months, where this we may be able to do a little better than this. If we can get your house really staged, well presented? Well, let’s look at these actives. I’m I’m actually watching the actives a little bit more. Now. That’s what I was waiting for. Yes, I’m what I’m like, these are our guinea pigs right here. Yeah, we’re trying to push it because we’re coming off of a historically low time. But we’re shifting back to a more normal stabilized market, right. So there’s no I always tell them no matter what the market is, there’s no magic number. Now you could pay five appraisals. And they would all come back with a different number, I can assure you, yes. There’s a range here, right? I do not feel comfortable going here. Based on this data. See, pushing it maybe to here based on your house. And the work you’re willing to put in

Speaker 2 48:27
open discussion is most important here, because you’re gonna be like, Hey, listen, based on these comps, it’s this. This is where I think we could go, here’s our range. If we push it, we might get multiple offers. I don’t know. Yeah. But we have to be ready to adapt and change quickly. Yes. If no one comes. It’s the price. Yeah. So let’s make it a as a data driven person. It is very hard for me in this shift. Like I’m having to educate. I usually let the data speak for itself. I’m having to do so much more.

Katy 49:00
I actually I did one this week. And I did look at the actives more heavily. I’m like, Look, all four of the houses on the market have been on the market over 100 days. Yeah, this one is exactly like your house. This is the price it but you’re not listening for two months. Yeah. Let me learn from them. I can’t write I can’t tell you today. Yeah, maybe today I listed here. Maybe in two months. It’ll be $20,000 Different up or down. Yeah. What are these people going to sell for? So especially

Alissa 49:25
the people that I met with in December, January that are trying to get their house ready for March, April. I’m

Katy 49:30
like, listen, we’re gonna have to watch because the number I give you today may not be the number I give you in March. But they’re different. And that’s always the case. Yeah, it’s always the case and my broker that REMAX for 70 years used to always say, appraisers are always behind the actual market, because they’re looking at data that already happened. Agents are seeing what’s happening with sellers and buyers. today.

Alissa 49:54
We hear what buyers are saying what they’re seeing what they like, yeah. Which

Katy 49:58
houses are selling are not stiff, they’re always behind. They’re always behind the market. Okay, one more logistical question for this current market, shifty, shifty question, the move up buyers, how can we help them be non contingent so the list that this person was already aware of was a bridge loan pulling money out of a 401 K taking out a HELOC, which is a home equity line of credit. But what are the creative solutions? What

Alissa 50:29
are they missing? I’m sending all of mine to the one time recast, okay, tell people what that is. The one time recast is when you do qualify to have both mortgages debt to income ratio wise. But you do have to have the minimum downpayment saved outside of the equity of your home. So 5% for conventional, okay, you would put down the minimum even though you really wanted to put down 20%. That’s what you’re gonna get when you sell your house. But if you have to buy without selling your house, you put down the minimum 5%. When you sell your house, the one time recast, will allow you to make a one time lump sum payment. It refigured all your numbers just like a refinance would but you’re not having to pay for a refinance. Yeah. So you may have a higher note until you get that house sold. But then once it does sell and you recalculate, it goes down. I’m also reminding my clients that when you buy a home, your mortgage skips a month. So if we close in May, your first mortgage payment isn’t due until July. Yeah. So we have until July to get that house sold. Yeah, to give you some buffer period of hopefully not having to pay any or many double notes like that. The recast the recast, ask your local lender. Yeah. And like if you’re going to do the home equity line of credit, you actually can’t do that while your house is listed. So you need to know the rules of what is the plan? I think we found a way to do that. You did. We did a HELOC. I mean, this was a long time ago. But we there wasn’t a recast at that time. And we did a HELOC we borrowed the house we loved would not take a contingency, right, we did qualify for both. And so I took a HELOC out to have my down payment. And then when I sold my old house, it just was paid off.

Katy 52:20
But did you do the HELOC with a sign in your yard? Yeah,

Alissa 52:24
interesting. Check your banks. And it doesn’t so much matter as at the sign because the appraiser is looking in MLS. They’ll see it right I was meaning like yes, it actually listed or not right. It was not physically just the slip. Sometimes people hide their signs is why I say that. No, I was I’m with you. Sometimes people really do think if I hide the sign, they won’t know. Yeah, that’s not gonna work at all. Okay, anything else on leads, leads leads? If you had it your way.

Katy 52:55
What would people do right now in this market to get business?

Alissa 53:01
They would educate themselves and work on their confidence and professionalism. And they would work on their database. They would all go by build your own business when I’m sorry. Right. I just feel like they need it. I mean, it tells you how to you were struggling with this specifically. You need BYOB because it walks you through I need people for business I cannot pay 1000s of dollars a month for people what about the people and sphere I already know what about those people? I love the none solicited market

Katy 53:39
report for your house like yes, you know people that live in houses simply be like hey, it’s the beginning of the year or whenever just it’s springtime just checking in with everyone on my list to make sure you know what your home is valued currently in case you want to take money out for spring projects or like make it not valuable, right? It’s not about you trying to sell there’s so many good valuable campaigns you can use to talk about like knowing the value of your home is never a bad idea. This is yours right now. Or hey, I’m just following up with my updated vendor list for 2024 In case you’re doing any housecleaning or painting for the spring.

Alissa 54:20
Yes. Oh my gosh, so easy, Katie so easy. So he’s Hey,

Katy 54:25
I just updated my resume and I’m so proud to still be serving repeat referral clients here’s a copy beautiful have a nice spring

Unknown Speaker 54:36
it’s so scary Katie It’s

Unknown Speaker 54:37
so scary. Have a nice spring

Unknown Speaker 54:39
so afraid of people

Katy 54:42
you’re afraid of people it really let’s take some stuff right?

Alissa 54:46
Do we need a little bit of so don’t pay to play work work go to work it’s

Katy 54:51
all work anyway.

Alissa 54:52
Yeah, you’re gonna you’re gonna work yourself to the bone on those gosh, so much work. It’s not fun play. No, they’re

Katy 54:57
not free leads. They may have the time. If time is your currency, those are taking those are sucking you dry. Yeah. It doesn’t matter if they paid for themselves. At what cost? Yes to your life. Do you even want to be an agent anymore? No, at the end of the day, right, like, how do you get through positively? Are you ready for the toast? Yeah. Okay, good news today. I know who the toast is. Do you want to say Do you remember whose toaster Julie Ray, I love to lay MCL yod is in San Diego and we love her. And she helped with our meetup. In California, California. We’ve met her and she’s so great. And so you’re gonna hear from Julie Ray toasting to Shannon Dempsey. Perfect. I know. So y’all have a great day and go get those leads. Were don’t they’re still leads. Even if they came from your database. It’s oily. Yeah, for sure. Like, but the reason why we don’t like the name is because of what I just want leads. Yes. Right. Yes. You just want business call it a business for heaven’s sakes, yes.

Alissa 56:03
I’m looking to grow my business. I’m only sad. I didn’t say I hope they’re still listening. Maybe they are. If you’re still here. If you are not taking care of the business that you already have, you do not have the right to ask for more before another lead comes through that source that you are paying for. How are the dozens hundreds 1000s of leads that have already came in? How are they doing right? Check with them?

Katy 56:29
Mind your business. Mind your own business, not your business. Okay. Sounds good. Great. Did you get everything out that you wanted to say about Leads Leads?

Alissa 56:39
Do you share my story about the panel again about how I was so excited to be on that panel and talk about relationships? It was long Oh, okay.

Unknown Speaker 56:48
Well maybe value

Alissa 56:55
questions and put it in that episode and then we can clip out the panel story and put it in this. Whatever you want to do.

Unknown Speaker 57:05
Those are the mugs for the people in the

Speaker 1 57:09
money mindset. money mindset brands get a mug

Speaker 2 57:14
all 16 of them. I don’t know why because it wasn’t a very expensive thing and packaging up all of these phones.

Katy 57:24
Thankfully, there weren’t more than 16 people

Unknown Speaker 57:34
I have to show you what it looks like there was an extra one

Two Realtors fostering community over competition through light-hearted conversations.



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