Ep067: Chris McAllister

Today on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast we're talking with Chris McAllister from Roost Real Estate in Columbus, Ohio, and this show has a really different approach because Chris brings up a really interesting point.

Most traditional real estate companies focus on only part of the picture, the people who are buying and selling. In reality, there's a good percentage of people who are renting homes, so Chris has shifted his focus to not only the transaction of real estate, but the bigger, broader picture of shelter.

We had a great conversation because that opens up so many other opportunities in terms of investors, property management and all the revenue streams that are possible by representing 100% of the shelter business.

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Transcript: Listing Agent Lifestyle Ep067

Dean: Hello, Chris McAllister.

Chris: Hey Dean, how're you?

Dean: I'm so good, how're you?

Chris: I'm doing well, thank you.

Dean: Long time no see.

Chris: (Laughs) 4 days anyways.

Dean: Yeah. Well, it was so great to see you in Orlando, that was really great. I'm glad you were able to come.

Chris: I really enjoyed it and I think I got going forward to getting on with it.

Dean: Awesome. Well, you know how these work. We've got the whole hour here to focus and to hatch some evil schemes here. I'd love to hear your background and what you've got going on cause I know you've been doing some cool stuff.

Chris: Well, my last real job I ran, opened and ran Target stores in Long Island and New York City and that ended in 2000, 2001 and I grew up in Ohio and the kids were small and we were tired of moving every year so, we went back to Ohio to get real estate license. So, I did that for a couple years and then I bought RE/MAX franchises. I had 3 RE/MAX offices and we managed to get rid of those after the crash. And then I worked for a local firm as an agent that I started with for a few years but I knew I had to do something myself and I entered all the franchises that had no interest in doing that again. So, met with a pretty cool branding guy actually, from Springfield, Ohio and after a lot of iterations and research we came up Roost Real Estate Company with the basic concept being smart but approachable.

Dean: Hey Chis, I'm going to stop you for a second. There's something going on with whatever kind of microphone, or how you're using, but you're kind of cutting in and out.

Chris: Okay, sorry about that.

Dean: Yeah. Don't know whether something you can control but if you could that would be great.

Chris: Okay. Is that any better?

Dean: Yeah, much better.

Chris: Okay. Well, in any case, trying to make a long story short I started Roost Real Estate Company in 2014 and the whole idea was we'd build a whole company around working by referral and the core pillars are smart, passionate, supportive, and approachable.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: But the other piece of that puzzle is I never understood why most of us only focus on, depending on the market, 55, 60, 65% of the people who actually live in the house they own. So, how do you decide to build a business that can support, encompass a 100% of the people that need a roof over their heads. So-

Dean: That's a great idea.

Chris: That slowly got us into the whole property management piece and we were able to build a solid backstage accounting support system. I've been in coach for a long time trying to build that self-managing brokerage. For instance, I do have a realtor in Melbourne, Florida, we look after a handful of properties but the fact is as long as that licensee is there to help sign a lease, or she has to show a property, or whatever we do everything else from Ohio.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: And, right now we've got some scale and we can add to it but the beauty of property management, as you know, it's pretty thankless. You really have to have a solid team.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: It does cover a lot of overhead in the dead of winter, which is wonderful.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: But, to be honest with you I have never sold a house to a tenant in my life but I've sold probably a 100 houses, properties, to our property management owners because they know we'll take care of them.

Dean: Ah, yes.

Chris: So, those are the most profitable relationships that we have.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: And property managements about, well, right now it's about 30% of our total gross income. The rest of course is buying and selling. So, I've got about 20, 25 agents but you know we started in this little town in Springfield where I grew up and we have a little traction in Daton but my personal future is in Columbus and Florida and I was able to buy a small property management practice with a couple of hundred doors last fall and get a foot hold and a team in place starting in Columbus.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: My goal however is where is there a way to get traction in a new market within 6 months, a year, year and a half?

Dean: I got it.

Chris: How would you do that?

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Both on the listing side of course but also what's a way to get traction in property management. So, the thing about property management is if you go into a new market and you pick up even 50 doors, that's enough money to pay for getting listing marketing program, right? (Laughs)

Dean: (Laughs)

Chris: It's enough cash flow to make even more cash flow or to invest in more marketing to create more.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: And, property managements interesting because you could get a foothold, you could get some good relationships going and from there you can attract agents and build a better business.

Dean: Yeah. It's one of those things where property management is kind of a hassle if you're going it small and it's very lucrative if you slug through that part to get to the point where it's enough to make it worth it.

Chris: Right.

Dean: And you're doing the right thing. The people who hate that part of it, it's because they're only doing a couple of properties and it's not worth it.

Chris: You're absolutely right.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: We're at 1200 now and we have the capacity to probably do twice that without hiring another person.

Dean: Right and this is really fascinating because you're really taking a thoughtful approach to something that most people don't think about. I mean, you hit it on the head. Almost half of the entire market is renters.

Chris: That's right.

Dean: It's people who are living in homes that somebody else owns and, like you said, the ones who own those homes often own multiple homes and you end up with fewer clients but more homes and more revenue because you get an ongoing management revenue for-

Chris: Right.

Dean: Not only selling them the home but also now managing it.

Chris: Yeah. I like to think that we're in the shelter business and at the end-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: Of the day we do a lot of low end stuff, a ton-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: In the markets but I like to believe that we're doing it better than most and taking tentative tenants, and the owners-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: But, yeah. That's exactly right and once you get to scale it's a heck of a lot easier because you can support a team that's big enough that it's not a crushing workload.

Dean: It's almost like the ultimate hedge in a way too in that I think I've been really watching with great interest what Warren Buffets doing and it seems to me very interesting that Berkshire Hathaway Home Services is one of the fastest growing stories over the last 5 years or so and just the conspicuous absence of reality or real estate in the name of it.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dean: But also, it opens up for, no matter even if the dream or the sort of American story of home ownership goes away, that's not going to replace the need to live somewhere.

Chris: Exactly.

Dean: It's like, you got to roost somewhere, right?

Chris: That's right.

Dean: That's the whole point.

Chris: So we're in the shelter business, right?

Dean: Yes.

Chris: I mean, that's really where we're at.

Dean: Really smart on your part. One thing that I've been really interested in too and observed is that there's property management, is so common for investment properties. Anybody who owns an investment property would, most of them if they own more than 1 if they're a serious investor, would definitely have a management company because they don't want to deal with the hassle of it but I think that there's a category that is available as well for managed home ownership for people who are living in homes.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dean: I would gladly, love to have a home manager. And I own my house but I had one situation Chris where my water heater broke one day and I was walking down the hall and I go around the corner to go into my office and squish, squish my feet were getting wet on the carpet and I'm like, what happened here? And I'm looking around and I kind of trace it into the room where the water heater was and there it was. And I thought to myself, when you're a home owner I'm the dude that's responsible for this now. If I was renting the house I would call the landlord and say, "Hey dude, your water heater just broke, right?

Chris: Exactly.

Dean: And you gotta have somebody out to handle it and that's when it dawned on me, I'm the last stop here. I would love to have that kind of thing. I had someone come to one of my Breakthrough Blueprint events that was starting kind of a home concierge service and the way I articulated to him was that what I would really be looking for is I want to live in my house like I'm a guest in your house. That would be the best thing, right? You own it, you maintain it, everything about it. I don't even want to think about it but I would happily pay for it.

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: There's a lot of people like that too.

Chris: That is an interesting niche because you could charge a somewhat modest monthly fee.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: And, you have a problem, you call it in and somebody takes care of it and-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: It's sort of like legit leverage for homeowners.

Dean: Well, that's exactly right.

Chris: (Laughs)

Dean: There is a model, there are some people in North Carolina and I think someone in Texas who's doing something like that around hassle free home ownership. Where you pay a monthly fee based on the square footage of your house so, let's say you have a 3500 square foot house, you're paying let's call it 350 dollars a month and for that, that handles most of the routine and regular maintenance that you would do. That would get you gutter cleaning, and all of your filters always change, and your furnace serviced-

Chris: Yeah. All your preventative maintenance.

Dean: All of those, all the preventative maintenance stuff and yeah, I mean, that way you kind of nip things in the butt but they come every months and there's something maintenance wise that they're doing but they're also doing an inspection of everything so you're nipping things in the butt and what a simple, easy way to do the things that you wish you could do if you could count on you to do them, right?

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: You can't argue that it's time to clean your gutters, and inspect your plumbing, and all the stuff-

Chris: Right.

Dean: That nobody’s really going to get around to until there's a problem which is too late.

Chris: And I like those methods where there's property management or home services of evening out the years cash flow-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: And I think it's much smarter and much more controllable-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: Then the title business or the lending business.

Dean: Right.

Chris: We already have enough risk there's no reason to tie more to it.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: So.

Dean: Is that something-

Chris: No, I love that.

Dean: Are you doing any of the managed home ownership type of model?

Chris: No, no, not at all but I think it's something to look forward to in the future.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: The cool thing is if you have a property management presence and you already have that group of vendors in place you can expand on that-

Dean: Yeah, yes.

Chris: And offer service so that's definitely something to look at especially in these better markets that we're moving to in Florida and Columbus.

Dean: Yeah, where in Florida are you, in Melbourne?

Chris: Melbourne, yeah.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: It's just south of Cocoa Beach, in Brevard county.

Dean: Yeah, no, I know exactly where it is.

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: That's one of the last kind of undiscovered areas of Florida.

Chris: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Dean: (Laughs)

Chris: And, the cool thing is it's all working people, there's so much defense and-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: It's young people, and schools being built. It's not pie in the sky free money let's build a house that happened before.

Dean: Right.

Chris: I mean, you can still see evidence of that in Palm Bay but it's just such a nice place to be, it's not fancy it's down to earth.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: It's full of beautiful beaches and just lot of people who-

Dean: You can almost call it Rural Beach, yeah.

Chris: (Laughs) Yeah, but I really, really like it there so we bought a house there 2, 3 years ago and we manage a handful of properties there, and 1 beach house we do on Airbnb so far. I love that area, I just like to spend their time there personally.

Dean: Awesome.

Chris: So that's why we're there.

Dean: So, what was your take away from this weekend, or what were the things that kind of were attractive to you, or the things you're going to focus on?

Chris: Well, I want to invest in the Getting Listings program.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: So, I want to use the easy button as much as we can. So, I'm hoping to get an appointment with Diane but I want to get that started in the Short North area of Columbus and I just would want to do a quick call with her to decide if we should be doing it specifically like Harrison-West and Italian Village, just some of those details versus Short North. I did buy a URL, Short North home value last weekend while I was there. I want to start the postcard program, the yellow cards, I'm just going to surrender.

Dean: Right, right, exactly cause you're a branding guy, right? Yeah, no I understand.

Chris: Exactly.

Dean: It's difficult.

Chris: But why not? If it works we'll do it there. I'd like to do it in Melbourne as well. So, that's pretty cut and dry but the then the other question is that my struggle has been, how do you get in front of owners and at one point we were able to buy a list of people who owned X number of houses and didn't live in the area but the problem is the lists that are available are for people who own homes in their name. If they hold property in an LLC you don't get that list so, what I wanted to try to brainstorm with you today. Maybe because if you go with the unbranded idea, I don't know if that's a fair way to put it but if you go with the yellow card idea, maybe you do blanket 20,000 or whatever it is addresses, I'm sure we could get a list for every single address and mail to the tax mailing address as opposed to the address.

Dean: Yes, that's exactly what you do.

Chris: And you end up with overlap of course because you're going to hit a lot of people who live in that house but I think you could still change it so if it's different we ought to be able to find that list.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: And maybe it's just a simple as blanketing that giant list of absentee home owners with a monthly offer of some point in an unbranded, getting listing fashion.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: I guess that's what I was thinking about all week after the weekend.

Dean: Uh-huh. Well, sometimes when you play the long game with this, when you're looking for the long term you come at it from all the different ways, right? You start looking now and paying attention to constantly building that list. So, I'll be paying attention to all the rental adds that are out, all the properties that are coming out for rent so that you know. You continue to build out that database of all the homes that are investor owned and that list is going to be a valuable thing.

Chris: Well, from a practical standpoint, and I don't think this is a bad thing, but let's say we find whatever number of names that I'm comfortable starting with. So, say it's 2, 3, 4, 5000 addresses, what's interesting is some owners are going to get several postcards. (Laughs) Every month.

Dean: Now-

Chris: I mean, we could fix that of course.

Dean: Right.

Chris: I think that list is the way to go, I don't think you need to get fancy about it.

Dean: Right.

Chris: I guess when websites talk about it, wow that's the way to go because we could call that list and get rid of duplicate addresses, so-

Dean: That's exactly right. That's the simple thing.

Chris: I don't know why I was making it so hard as I hear it said out load.

Dean: No, you know it's really fun. One of my favorite episodes of the I Love Marketing podcast that Joe Polish and I do is we had Richard Viggery on the podcast. You may have heard Dan Sullivan mention him as well, he's a strategic coach but he is the guy who basically started Conservative fundraising by direct mail and-

Chris: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah and he built that list. Yeah.

Dean: Hand built the list of the very first time that the rule became law that anybody that donated 100 dollars to a political campaign had to be recorded and so, through freedom of information all of that was available to anybody, that list. And so he, in 1962 or 1964 whenever the political campaign was, presidential campaign, he went in and took 6 ladies with him and hand wrote the names and addresses of 12500 people that had donated 100 dollars or more to a conservative candidate. And back in 1962 or 64 100 dollars was a lot of money and so that list formed the foundation of the entire empire that he's been able to build now because they took that model and started doing that for all the campaigns, whether it was governors, or senate, or anybody who was fundraising and they built the largest and for a long time only list of Conservative philanthropists.

Chris: Right, yeah.

Dean: Or donors.

Chris: What a brilliant idea.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: Truly brilliant.

Dean: That's kind of the thing where because it will take a little effort to build that list. If you've got the definitive list of the tax addresses of investors, owners in Columbus or whatever market, that's a valuable thing and the cool thing about it because it's not really easy to get the list you're often the only one that's mailing them of anything of interest.

Chris: I would honestly believe that's the case.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: I mean, there are a couple of property management franchises out there in the world but not where we're doing business.

Dean: Right.

Chris: And as you know, it's basically mom-and-pop, or people hire their own staff, et cetera.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: But I think now it seems simpler. You pick an area, you buy every single address, you sort it first by tax mailing address, and then you sort for duplicates, and bang, you have a list.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: I don't know that it's any harder than that.

Dean: Nope and now you just mail the same postcard that we would mail to the homeowners that live in there so you're mailing basically, it's the way you're talking about, everybody who owns the homes in a certain area is getting the postcard.

Chris: We'd still need a message, I don't know that the Getting Listing messages, the right message but maybe it is.

Dean: Sure it is. Yeah. I mean, the Getting Listing message is addressing the genesis thought that anybody who's considering selling would have which is how much is this worth right now?

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: And it's doing it in a way that's not, "Hey, let me tell you what your house is worth." It's doing it in a way that feels like they get to voyeur in on the information-

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: That's already been prepared.

Chris: But maybe it is tweakable though because I don't want them to sell their house. I just-

Dean: Right.

Chris: Want them to get help managing it. (Laughs)

Dean: Right, right, right. And that's kind of-

Chris: So, that's where I want some expertise for what's okay to tweak, you know, I don't want them to sell it.

Dean: Right, exactly.

Chris: I want them to keep it, I want to add value to that. I could help you do profitability analysis, maybe versus an analysis.

Dean: And maybe that's it.

But that may be the way to position it, in a way.

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: The, "Hey, look at what your investment is doing, you're doing well, keep it up. And this is what the protections are." Kind of thing. But now, instead of the next steps that we offer of the room by room review, or the silent market, or pinpoint price analysis, you could have investor friendly, or related, next steps for people. So, if we look at it what would be a next step that you're looking for the outcome of?

Chris: Well, it is a profitability analysis-

Dean: So, you want somebody that could be it. Or, when you start to think, "What would be?" The way we came up with the 3 offers that we have for the Getting Listings next steps are because we thought about the genesis of the thought for somebody thinking about selling would be, how much is my house worth? And then they see the offer for the winter haven, lake front house price report, right?

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dean: So, I got a lake front house, that feels like that's going to give me an insight into what my house is worth. So, I call for that but now I'm going to be motivated by 1 of 3 things, I either want to know specifically what my house is worth, or I'm going to want to know what I should do, or not do, to kind of get it ready to sell cause I might be that type of a person that wants to get all their ducks in a row kind of think. Or, I might just be the kind of person that, "Well, not really ready to sell yet but if you had a buyer I might sell. Maybe if somebody really wanted it I would sell." Those are kind of the motivations that are on a macro level somebody might be having and so that's why we position them in a way that sounds like it's something that we normally do, right? Like a forming name things or like a dancer would say, a unique process.

Chris: Totally.

Dean: And so, we would have the pinpoint price analysis, or the room by room review, or the silent market. So, all those things sounds like they're already done and it doesn't sound like they would be imposing on us to take advantage of those. So, I like that idea of the profitability analysis.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, our process is called the Roost-Landlord advantage so, maybe I need to go back and redo those 8 things and figure out what part of those 8 things could we create an offer from to get to the 3.

Dean: Yeah, what are some of them? Maybe we can brainstorm a couple.

Chris: Well, a lot of it is screening.

Dean: Uh-huh.

Chris: Screening the right people in is how we go about making sure you're not going to get ripped off by a contractor. So, I don't know it's still pretty Roost specific.

Dean: Okay, yeah.

Chris: So, I don't know that that's necessarily the right way to go cause it doesn't sound like, based on the Getting Listings, you necessarily want to call attention to the brand just yet.

Dean: Right, what you want to do, let's think through what would be the thought, the conversation, the worries, the hopes, the fears, or whatever, of the person who owns an investment property. So, certainly they want to get a sense of the price, right? Like knowing how is the asset doing? And-

Chris: Yeah, we can still offer them a value.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: You could still offer them a CMA as one-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: That's for absolutely sure, 100%.

Dean: Yeah. So, the pinpoint price analysis would be good.

Chris: And then it becomes, "Look, you've done so well and look what the rest are doing. Why would you even think about selling this? You should keep it but we'll do it for you so you don't have to worry about it, roll with it."

Dean: Yes, exactly. That's exactly right. Yeah, yeah. And maybe that-

Chris: So, it's the same product offer but it's different reason to use it, or whatever, spring from.

Dean: Yes. Yeah.

Chris: So, when I go through the 8 things I've got rent with Roost, how we treat tenants, the advertising solutions, tenant selection, the rent maximizer. There you go, that is the rent maximizer.

Dean: That's great language and that might be the kind of thing that you're-

Chris: It's profitability, yeah.

Dean: Giving them the prices of the asset but if they're an investor what they really want to know is what's the maximum that I could charge here.

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: That's a good idea, yes.

Chris: So, the rent maximizer, I already have the profitability snapshot so that's basically better words then the profitability analysis. And then maybe it is the value of your house but we just approach it from, "What a great asset-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: I understand this is taking a lot of your time, you could sell it and cash out but man, if I were you I'd pay us 10% and I'd just enjoy it."

Dean: That's a great idea and I wonder if there's a way. Would they be interested in sort of an inspection type of thing?

Chris: Yeah.

Dean: Because the last thing they would want is to get blindsided by something that they could avoid.

Chris: Like a house call. (Laughs)

Dean: I mean, something right? I did some work with financial advisor and we did a book called How Much is Enough and the postcard that we did was, the headline was 3 avoidable surprises that can derail even the most cautious retirement plan. And, I'm wondering if I really like this idea of avoidable surprises that eat up an investor's profitability or something like that if you're saying from the lens of the investor here, that these are the things that could surprise them that could nip them in the butt. Like it's a lot less expensive to repair a roof, or a something that's about to be a problem.

Chris: Right, right. Right, that's a better offer. At some point we were thinking what if we did postcards and they were like, "Another Christmas eve, another Barbie doll down the toilet." Things that no landlord wants to deal with.

Dean: Right.

Chris: I think that's nearly as impactful as what was happening, at least it wouldn't be for me.

Dean: Yeah, no, you're on the right track because you don't want in any way, you don't want to put the blame on people. One of the popular things I see among realtors looking to convince people to buy a home is for years there was a postcard or add that people would send that said, "Your landlord and called said thanks for paying his mortgage again."

Chris: That's just hateful.

Dean: It really is.

Chris: (Laughs)

Dean: Almost in order to respond to that you have to admit that you're dumb, really, right? And that's-

Chris: (Laughs) Exactly.

Dean: And nobody wants to admit that they're dumb. And so, that's why even... Instead of saying for people on the financial side, instead of saying, "3 biggest mistakes investors make." Mistakes are that you have to admit that you're fallible, right? And so, the word surprise is a much better then because nobody can be to blame for a surprise, right? Well, nobody saw that coming but when you modify it and say, "3 avoidable surprises." Avoidables a responsibility word and everybody wants to be responsible, not blamed and so-

Chris: Yeah, yeah.

Dean: That just subtle language shift makes a big difference and I think that there's some language that we could use in that kind of situation where 3 avoidable surprises that whatever, however would finish that for-

Chris: Yeah, that's perfect.

Dean: Investors.

Chris: Yeah. I think that's brilliant. Now, would that be part of, I guess you call it the super signature or would that would that be part of body of the body of the message?

Dean: No, I think if your addressing these avoidable surprises in a way specifically for investors that it would lead to that. And I think you could probably think about a long term vacancy could be a problem, that puts a damper in stuff, right?

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Dean: Any unexpected repairs that have to be done that could've been avoided if you had done, known about it and done the maintenance. Often I think most property, even if they are using a property manager, it's not really a property manager proactively as much as it's something to collect the rent and fix the problems. If there are problems. But not somebody taking a proactive approach to avoiding the problems by taking a long-term thing, that could be a differentiator in the way that you position your management versus just somebody collecting-

Chris: Or even not going through the proper steps to select a tenant.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: Who's getting surprised that the person you put in there didn't pay the rent, or tore up the house or whatever.

Dean: Right.

Chris: This is how you avoid putting the wrong tenant in your house.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: But again, you're not blaming them for not doing the screening properly-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: You're coming up with an avoidable problem. That's a subtle distinction that It's just one of those things that's never clear to me, obviously, so I really appreciate this.

Dean: Yeah and that's good. I mean, that's the way that you want to think about that and once you get it it's like you've got 3D glasses now. You see it. And so you're looking for those things so I love that. I have no doubt that we'll be able to get people to call from the postcards cause it happens all the time but I think crafting the specific offers for the landlords is going to make a difference. It's really cool that they're whatever it takes to build that list is really going to be an asset for you because they're-

Chris: Yeah, I think so too.

Dean: They're visible prospects.

Chris: Yeah, I think they can be found. It's sort of a leverage project, honestly is what I'm thinking.

Dean: Yes, that's exactly right. So I think that's a good start. Now how about on the residential side of your operation?

Chris: Well, I want to do the Getting Listings program-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: I just want to spend a little time with Diane and help picking the places, county addresses, and sort of the practical parts of what that investments going to be upfront and how we get started.

Dean: Okay.

Chris: And I'm doing these parallel.

Dean: Yes, of course. And you know, any neighborhood, wherever you're choosing, you'll be able to have both because you'll get the tax-

Chris: Yeah. Honestly-

Dean: Addresses for those.

Chris: I don't mean to interrupt but think about this though, we're going to buy every address right?

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: We're going to sort it for owner occupant and then we're going to sort it for non-owner occupants.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: And we're going to mail Getting Listings to the owner occupants, then I'm going to mail the property management to the absentee owners.

Dean: Yeah, right.

Chris: It's that cut and dry.

Dean: Very efficient. You got it all. (Laughs)

Chris: For other people they may mail to all of us because they're sending the same message I'm done, I don't want those non-owner occupants to sell their properties which I know if sacrilegious but I surely don't.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: If they made a great investment, I want them to keep it for the rest of their lives-

Dean: Yeah, I got it. I got it, that's valuable. So, part of the thing for choosing the areas, I mean, I can walk through some of the thoughts with you cause it's pretty easy logistically once we know the area where you want.

Chris: Okay.

Dean: It's about looking for and kind of having an awareness of the potential total yield for the area. So, we look at the turnover rate and see the price range of what's going on if you're kind of evaluating one area versus another to choose an area to focus on.

Chris: Well, my thought on that was we have an apartment right in Short North it's called, in the center of Columbus so you go north a mile you're in Ohio State, you go south a mile you're right downtown at the capital.

Dean: Mm-hmm.

Chris: So, Franklin County is a pretty good sized county. My thought was, I'm going to draw a circle basically from my office in the Short North and encompass all the neighborhoods that make up the Short North area of Columbus.

Dean: Perfect.

Chris: That was what I was thinking of as my target.

Dean: That's good. And so, what we're looking for within those would be the named communities so that people-

Chris: Right, so there's Harrison West, Italia Village and so my question is, should I try to buy URLs for each neighborhood or-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: Okay. I can do that but I don't.

Dean: Yeah, because that's what we're looking for is to trigger what I call the horoscope effect, that people are going to look down and they’re going to see, "Oh, that's me, I live right in there." And that's what's so valuable this recognition part. The interest Columbus, the February or March report on Columbus house prices is not quite as relevant as is it is for the River Run report.

Chris: Right.

Dean: If I live in River Run, yeah.

Chris: So really, I'm not even going to talk about Short North because technically the area that is Short North is really all commercial-

Dean: Right.

Chris: But, on either side its street it becomes a neighborhood.

Dean: Right.

Chris: So that's what we're going to focus on.

Dean: That's what we want. And that way people feel like that they're exactly getting the information that relevant to them.

Chris: And then you can micro target those neighborhoods on Facebook like you showed last weekend.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: I just need to pick the neighborhood, buy the URLS today and get started.

Dean: Yeah. Yup. And then we can do everything else in terms of the mailing and printing, doing all the stuff, the logistics of it so you just respond when people ask for the report and just stay the course. It's pretty exciting for me and that's-

Chris: Let me ask you one thing-

Dean: I mean, you were there.

Chris: I mean, I really think about this because if I can figure this out in Columbus we can duplicate that anywhere.

Dean: That's exactly right, that's the whole point. I mean, everything that I've done has been with that in mind. My whole approach to this, to creating the whole Getting Listings program and all of the programs is with an to duplicating it 5000 times. It's gotta be something that is not so uniquely focused on one market that it can't be duplicated but definitely take the franchise sort of approach.

Chris: Yes, and that's how I try to look at everything.

Dean: Yes. So, that's awesome. I'm super excited about that. Tell me about your relationship with the agents that you have. How do you run the brokerage part of your business?

Chris: Well, I went through the whole RE/MAX experience where it's all about recruiting, recruiting, recruiting.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: And they basically have the right to bill you to quota if you don't get to quota and that's no way to live because you end up becoming a body shop and you're just bringing people in. Our approach is that we charge a full split that we offer more marketing services than anybody else does.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: So, the fact is it's like, for instance, I mean, obviously you're familiar with this, I've been working with the Fini for a long time and basically, I don't bring anyone in unless they buy into working by the firm. So, I provide a CRN and I also do, I have a printer that does personalized items of value that go out every month on their behalf to their database. So, they always have one along the water. And then, we do training constantly. Well, once a year, twice a year to reinforce working by referral. Granted, there's still phone calls and pop bys and it's not waiting for the phone to ring but we take the approach that relatonships as definitely more valuable than transactions.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: And the fact is, I may only get 5% of any given agent population. So for instance, in our little town in Springfield I've got 10 fabulous people but there's only 200 people on the board and in Springfield I'm not going to get anybody else because there's not that many people who buy in to how we're approaching things, right?

Dean: Right.

Chris: And so a lot of them, bless their hearts, they wouldn't be happy with us.

Dean: Right.

Chris: So, if you take that approach, let's just say 5% might be right and you go to a place like Columbus, Ohio and there's 5000 agents, what a business. If you have 200, 250-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: Of the people that buy in and think like we do.

Dean: Right.

Chris: So, you can't force anybody to do anything but that doesn't mean that you can't screen in people you who hopefully see the world as you see it.

Dean: Right.

Chris: So, I've done a couple of score cards, coached score cards and I haven't done anything dramatic to get enough people to see it yet. (Laughs)

Dean: Right, yeah.

Chris: But my approach to the agents is we want people that think like we do and we'll never, ever be a body shop. We want people to care about their clients so they're constantly trying. There's no accounting for people, right?

Dean: Right.

Chris: I guess that's what it really comes down to-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: And I learned this the hard way the past couple of years as I went through the science group that I have beat my head against the wall for years trying to attract column 3 people-

Dean: Right.

Chris: Conventionally successful people and they don't connect with us.

Dean: Right.

Chris: And that's hard for me to get past in some respects because how can anybody not love us, right? (Laughs)

Dean: Right, right, right. (Laughs)

Chris: But the fact is, we need people that are struggling and don't know why but are committed and have the right bodies and we need people who are constantly want to make sure they're never becoming a commodity.

Dean: Yes, I love that. Have you seen the listing agent lifestyle scorecard that I've done?

Chris: Yes. Oh yeah. Yup.

Dean: Yeah, okay. And that model, you're absolutely right. I'll just say that for the benefit of-

Chris: How often to you get people to take those scorecards?

Dean: Often. I mean I mention it in my super signature of every email that goes out.

Chris: You do.

Dean: And I mention it at the end of every podcast. I model completely Chris, everything that I talk about.

Chris: I think I filled out you're score card in order to get the book.

Dean: That'd right. You have to fill out the score card to get the book but you may have gotten that for my-

Chris: I got the book because I filled out the score card. (Laughs)

Dean: Right, exactly. (Laughs) We offer the way so our business works. I run Facebook ads for real estate agents, offering the agent listing lifestyle book and people download that and then I send emails announcing our podcasts, I do a new podcast every week and at the end of each of those emails is the super signature that offers the next steps.

Chris: Okay.

Dean: So whenever you're ready here are 4 ways we can help you. Number 1, be a guest on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast or try our Listing Agent Lifestyle score card at listingagentscore.com. And, so people-

Chris: So you're doing it there? Perfect, perfect.

Dean: Yeah. What you're mentioning is you understand the behind the scenes workings of how a score card works and so each of those elements the we have for the agent listing lifestyle, the 8 elements of getting listings, multiplying your listings, getting referrals and converting leads, finding buyers and then the lifestyle elements of daily joy, abundant time, financial peace, each people rate themselves in one of each ranges.

Chris: Exactly.

Dean: 4 columns and you're talking about that basically they go from failing in column 1, frustrated in column 2, frustrated but hopeful that's what we really look at in column 2, column 3 is winning successfully and column 4 is transforming. And so, often you hit it on the head that it's often the more open people are the ones who are frustrated but hopeful-

Chris: Right.

Dean: For looking to transform in each of those things. And it's kind of interesting how often that's the first time that anybody’s had words to really articulate what they're experiencing in each of these.

Chris: Yeah, I am a huge fan of the score cards.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: The reason I joined 10 times was because you wrote the scorecard book.

Dean: Right.

Chris: And I spend an entire Christmas vacation trying to understand it, searching on the internet for the videos, listening to the book, reading the book and I just haven't had huge success yet testing it on cheque writers so I apologize for interrupting. I have-

Dean: No.

Chris: A scorecard that I've reiterated and I actually had Catherine Zamora look at it-

Dean: Catherine Zamora, yeah.

Chris: For investors and it's called the Make Real Estate Work scorecard.

Dean: Ah, yes.

Chris: And I also wrote what I feel is a very unbranded book around the scorecard. So, it's kind of a cross between how you have a system where somebody fills out a scorecard and then you email them a book about it and it's sort of so what I wrote was sort of like how you did but I sort of did it sort of like Dan and his scorecard in that it starts off, "before we get started please turn to page 57, fill out the scorecard, and then let's come back and talk about it."

Dean: Yes.

Chris: So, I have something that if you ever have a chance to look at it I'm sure it could be better but is that something suitable in the super signature?

Dean: It would be great.

Chris: Because it doesn't have to be a book, it could be a download.

Dean: It could, absolutely.

Chris: And I would kill to get more people to do the scorecard-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: Because for 1, it's going to help us screen in people that want to be with us but 2, it's going to help us find tune the business.

Dean: Yes, that's fantastic. So absolutely have em put them on your super signature.

Chris: Okay, so it could be.

Dean: Mm-hmm. So that we use the scorecards on the entrepreneur side of my business as well because our Profit Activators scorecard is the 8 profit activators and it's just such an awareness. Our ideal client, the ones that we can help the most, are people who are crystal clear in profit activator number 1, on who they want to attract, and they're crystal clear and are able to deliver a dream come true experience for people that they're able to get the result but then they fall down in profit activator 2, 3 and 4 where they generate leads or making offers. And we can definitely help those people.

Chris: Your concept, and I don't mean to sound overly dramatic, but your concept of the before, during and after unit-

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: Which I think is in profit activators-

Dean: Yes.

Chris: That crystallized my thinking and allowed me to distill what I'm trying to do to fewer and fewer words.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: So, I look at the before, during and after unit as I want to offer a company to franchisees that is going to take them over the top compared to everybody else in all 3 units. Not just say, the after unit, or the before unit.

Dean: Yeah.

Chris: And I just want to thank you for that because that really transformed my thinking and my ability to explain to somebody what we're up to.

Dean: Yeah. Well, and one of the things that I would recommend to go that way is to establish and use our proprietary metrics where you can really quantify something for people in the right way. So if you're recruiting agents and trying to establish what the value of being in your system, your ecosystem, would benefit them. If you were to show them even the language we use are the Listing Agent Lifestyle that if you're showing that your agents have a return on relationship of 20%-

Chris: Yes, yes, yes.

Dean: Of their top 150 and you're sitting down with someone and just sort of evaluating and looking at what's going on in their business then you establish that they've only got 7% ROI or, return on relationship. Or if you lay down the parameters for the listing multiplier index then if you show them that our agents have an average listing multiplier index of 2.5 and you're sitting down with them and they see that they've only got a listing multiplier index of 1, then that's valuable for them.

Chris: Right.

Dean: That-

Chris: I think that's brilliant.

Dean: Those are things that you can kind of quantify to make it real how you're going to help them and benefit them.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Fantastic. I just need to stay focused on the first step and the first step is getting those people, getting listings established and getting the other pieces with voters established and if I can get that done in the next 90 days and get those mailings started I'll be a happy guy.

Dean: Literally I mean, you can get that done in the next 90 minutes. That'-

Chris: Good.

Dean: How easy it is. Because-

Chris: The other piece is a little bit harder but yes, you're right the Getting Listing could start today.

Dean: You could get that done in 90 minutes, we got everything already done so, yeah.

Chris: No, I'm so excited I was very, very impressed last weekend it exceeded my expectations and the people there, obviously, know I'll tell yeah, you have people in that group who are focused on building a sustainable business, taking care of their clients, and taking care of their team members.

Dean: Yes.

Chris: There wasn't one person in there I saw that was in it for the status or being a celebrity realtor.

Dean: Right.

Chris: I thought that was incredibly refreshing.

Dean: Well that's awesome. That's cool and what I'm really excited to see is the more people who are starting to embrace this idea of remote teams that you don't really have to live where you are focused. That we had John and Jason there, one living in San Diego running a team in Phoenix and the other guy living in Nashville running a team in North Carolina and here you're essentially looking to do this same thing. You're intention would be to spend more time in Florida, right?

Chris: Absolutely.

Dean: Yeah, so running the whole thing from Florida-

Chris: Anywhere.

Dean: Yeah, from anywhere. Exactly. That's all very exciting. Well, Chris I really enjoyed our conversation, it went so quick but I think-

Chris: Yeah, I can't wait to listen to it.

Dean: Yeah, I think we had a few really great actionable ideas there come out of it so I'm excited to watch it all unfold.

Chris: I really appreciate the opportunity to thank you very much.

Dean: Perfect Chris, I'll talk to you soon.

Chris: Okay, bye-bye.

Dean: Thanks.

And there we have it. That was a really great conversation it kind of opens your eyes to maybe a whole other avenue of business that you might not be thinking about but that if you're intentions to be in the business long term might be a really good piece to look at. So I hope that was an eye opener for you. One of the things that I really enjoyed in that conversation was our talk about scorecards and because scorecards are really great way to further a dialogue with prospects, with people who are entering the process of doing something and I can tell you that scorecards work. Your best prospects are people who are happy to go through a process of going through a scorecard to get the insights that are going to come to them.

A great example of that is the scorecard we have for our Listing Agent Lifestyle and you can try that out at listingagentscore.com and I think there's room for you to do that same thing with home buyers, or with home sellers, or investors, or people who are relocating. There are lots of different uses that you could use for something like that. So if you're going to go and check out listingagentscore.com you might go through it with that in mind of seeing not only how that specifically applies to you but how you might be able to use that sort of a model for your own purposes. Lots of opportunity there.

Chris mentioned that we were together in Orlando, he was down at our Go Go Agent Academy which we do once each year in Florida and in the fall in Toronto and so, wonderful group of people that we are building. I mean the community of people who are going through and pursuing this agent listing lifestyle I'm so amazed and enjoy being around them and if you want to be part of this community or at least check it out come on over to gogoagent.com and all of the programs that we talked about for reaching the objectives of the listing agent lifestyle, getting listing, multiplying your listing, getting referrals, converting leads, finding buyers, all of those programs are at gogoagent.com along with all the tools that you need to do them all with landing pages, and auto-responders, and your CRM, and recorded messages, and texting. All of those included in 1 Go Go Agent membership and you can get a 30 day free trial, no credit card required, you don't need to do anything to come in and take a look. So, I would encourage you to do that at GoGoAgent.com.

And, if you'd like to be a guest on the Listing Agent Lifestyle podcast you can go to ListingAgentLifestyle.com, you can download a copy of Listing Agent Lifestyle book and if you'd like to be a guest just click on the be a guest link, tell me a little bit about your business and maybe we can get together and build a plan for you. So that's it for this week, have a great week, and I will talk to you next time. Bye-bye.