Life Behind The Listings: A Day In The Life With Superstar Agent John Sullivan
Life Behind The Listings: A Day In The Life With Superstar Agent John Sullivan
Welcome to MFTV the week of September 18th. Today we are presenting to you another session from our Vault exclusive series, if you like this series, make sure to subscribe. Ever scroll through those glamorous real estate listings and wonder about the faces behind all those deals? Let’s be real, the world of real estate isn’t just open houses and handshakes—it’s a whirlwind of strategy, charm, and a proven Real Estate system! Enter John Sullivan: our superstar agent, the legend, the guy everyone’s talking about. But what’s a typical day like for someone with such a glitzy title? Today, we’re pulling back the curtain, swapping those polished property photos for a peek into the day-to-day life of John Sullivan (JS).
First 7 Years:
MD: All right. Welcome, everybody. Today, Mike Ferry asked me to interview Mr. John Sullivan from Las Vegas. How are you today?
JS: I’m good, thank you.
MD: Good. So what we want to do today is just kind of give everybody a little bit of insight on what do you do differently. Everybody knows that you’ve been a great Superstar for the, you know, the entire Real Estate community out here for a while. So let me start off by asking, how long have you been selling Real Estate?
JS: I’ve been selling real estate seven years.
MD: For seven years. Okay. And so what was the market like when you started?
JS: I don’t remember too much because at the start I was kind of working with buyers and my first year I did 44 deals and I think 39 were buyers. I just remember there being more houses to go view. Actually, the market I’ve been seeing here in the last two or three weeks seems pretty similar to that first market minus the interest rates that we have currently.
MD: Interesting. So it’s very similar. So are there any differences that you’re noticing?
JS: I suppose the differences now are just recreating expectations for buyers and sellers. Again, since COVID, you know, everything kind of went out the window. Sellers were having crazy demands, buyers were sacrificing their choices for homes. So I kind of like this market now because sellers are still getting great prices if they have the house to deserve it. But the buyers have choices now, which is obviously for me, I think that’s really important for our Real Estate market.
MD: Absolutely. I mean, poor buyers, a couple of years ago, you know, they didn’t have a chance.
JS: It didn’t have a chance. But if they if they bought at the right time, they’re sitting on a lot of equity. So there’s always a plus. But it was, you know, it was crazy. Go see a house, you know, people waiting outside or, you know, you put a house on the market and your sellers within an hour you have four or five offers. So just recreating that, you know, standards of what we bring to the table and the service we bring, I feel now this is a great market for me to really showcase my, you know, kind of skill set that I’ve learned from Mike.
Fast forward to today:
MD: So we fast forward until now. You did 44 your first year. How many are you going to close this year?
JS: Yeah, you know, honestly, this year I want I was my goal was always to do 100 deals a year. I’m definitely behind that in my goals. I would say for me and my one buyer’s agent who just came on board, I think we’ll just pass the 100 deal mark together.
MD: Oh, very good. So you did 39 buyers by yourself? Yep. How much of your business right now is buyer’s?
JS: It’s probably still about 25% is buyer’s. Personally, I have a lot of clients who are either investors or they’re selling and buying, and they’re great past clients that sometimes I just work. You know, for me, if I set it up correctly, I don’t mind. It’s a probably 20% to 25% of my business is buyer’s. I actually don’t mind buyers. I prefer sellers, but I’m not one of these agents who completely will never put a buyer in their car. So yeah, I don’t mind it. So probably about 20% to 25% is buyer’s okay.
Staying Focused as the market shifts:
MD: And it’s a strong number. Yeah. So tell me, why do you think in this market so many agents are focused on buyers?
JS: I don’t really know. I mean, I get the messages from Mike. I can only really go off my kind of experiences of what I do every day. I really try not to see what other people are doing.
MD: I think that what you just said is really important, that you’re trying to stick to your path. You’re not trying to look at what other people are doing.
JS: Yeah, no, I don’t really know what anyone else is doing. You know, I see Mike’s daily messages, so I kind of get a feel from his messages because Mike’s speaking to so many agents per day. I just think it’s harder to get listings now. You know, it’s a bigger challenge. They’re talking to more people, setting their expectation on price. They have more options with realtors. So I think that it’s just harder to get listings. It’s a bigger challenge. But what I’ve learned in the last especially last 60 days, is if you take a really good listing, which is priced, you know, right where it needs to be, it’s going to sell, you know. So that’s exciting. Exactly. Yep.
MD: All right. So since we’re talking about that a little bit, what do you think is the biggest challenge in getting a seller to price the home right?
JS: Biggest their motivation if they’re motivated like I had a clients this week they’re selling and buying a house. They know that they’ve got to price it right to buy their new house. They’re motivated. But as Mike always says, if they just want to test the market or if they just want to go on the market, if they get their number, that’s probably not the seller you want to take in this market. During COVID, you would take them because they were going they were going you know, they were saying, we want 700 for our home. The comps were 650 and then they get 720. You know, so it’s kind of hard to go through. So now it’s really down to the motivation. That’s if the motivation is there, everything else kind of falls into place, you know?
MD: Right. So would you say that you’re on pace to do a little bit less because you’re being a little more strict with who you’re working with or what would you say that’s to?
JS: I’m on course to do less because I would say the last 18 months I’ve kind of drifted off what I did good the first five years, and it’s only now that I’ve really started. Putting the foundation again to be a great listing agent. You know, I have a very good database. A lot of come list me’s and stuff like that. And I think I’ve just got a little bit complacent, you know, after COVID, I just got complacent. I was still making great income because my paychecks were big because of the price points. But I think I’ve just re kind of configured my team. I got a new admin assistant, I’ve swapped out my buyer’s agents, kind of freshened it up and I feel like I’ve got a new lease of life.
MD: Wonderful. So you’re human. Okay. You’re selling machine. You’re still human. Yeah. So the question for you is, how do you personally how do you handle the price objection when you’re in front of a seller?
JS: It doesn’t it’s not really a challenge for me. A bit like when Mike says, you know, asking for a signature is a natural way, you know, it’s a natural ending to a great presentation. It’s just something you talk about. I mean, the presentation there, you go through it and you show them the facts. And I’m happy just to have a conversation. If they say, well, this is what I think it’s worth, I just say, well, why do you think that? And then as that goes on and you let them talk, it all comes back to the facts and figures and they kind of work it out themselves most of the time. But, you know, I work with a lot of past clients and database business, so I think a lot of them already kind of respect my opinion. A lot of them say, John, whatever you tell us to list for, that’s what we’ll do. And sometimes.
MD: Wouldn’t that be great?
JS: Well, sometimes it’s hard because sometimes then I say a higher number than what they are thinking. And then I put myself under pressure. But I always set the expectation at the first two to three weeks is going to tell us where we’re in the market, especially right now. But yeah, it’s not I don’t think it’s that I think we overthink it as agents. Like we don’t determine the market. The market is the market. Our job is to provide as much information as we can, study the market stats and you can see from your other listings like I put three on the market last week and all of them were already pending. So now I’m going into appointments excited because they think it’s doom and gloom, but I’m saying, no, this is great. The market’s really picking up because I don’t watch the news or any of that, but they seem to always be about 60 to 90 days behind. So I think it’s fantastic right now, you know.
MD: Right. I always thought it was interesting. The news is always 60 to 90 days behind and then the consumers are usually 60 to 90 days behind that.
JS: Yeah. And it’s and it’s hard being a consumer. There’s so much information out there. You know, I never force someone to sell a home or buy a home. I just always give them the options and it’s up to them what they want to do. You know, we can’t create motivation. Like the motivation has got to be there.
Then vs Now:
MD: So when you were a new agent, where were you getting your business from? And then today, where are you getting your business from? Yeah, so when.
I was a new agent, I was on Craig Tann’s team, obviously, who Mike knows well. He’s a great broker here in town. So a lot of the early leads were, you know, Zillow leads that he had or team leads or his past clients. And then I generated a few referrals in there. I think the five or six listings I did my first year were just people who were simply selling and buying. And then, yeah, and then about a year in Craig’s team, I said, I think I’m ready to go off on my own. And he said, okay, let’s hire an assistant and then let’s let’s create a three-month plan where you build an inventory. So, you know, from day one, though, I was on the phone from I remember my early days, I was on the phone six, seven, eight hours a day. And that’s why sometimes I say I was a better agent back then because it’s very easy when you get to a higher level of production with distractions to just make excuses. Whereas I think the last 60 days especially, and especially the last 30, I’ve just simplified everything again. And when you really simplify it and go back to just my simple system and you focus 75% of your day on lead generation. It’s not that difficult. It’s not easy, but it’s not really that difficult if we just manage our time.
MD: Right. So what do you think that you had to cut out to keep you focused?
JS: Looking at my emails during prospecting, you know, given my. One day letting my staff come talk to me during prospecting and me not saying anything and accepting it, then it happens. It’s not their fault. I need to tell them, you know, this is. Setting my appointments too early. So instead of I used to set them at 3:00 PM, I started setting them at 1:30 PM. So your day gets compressed. Um, just those little things, you know, getting to the office at 7:30 AM instead of 7:00 AM where you lose 30 minutes. Just all those little things that just lead up. So really for me, if I get to the office by 7:00 AM every day, which I’ve been fanatical about, especially again the last 30 days, I think everything else seems to fall into place.
MD: So. Going to the questions I had written down. You said that you started with an assistant and you’ve got one buyer’s agent. How big is your team to do 100 deals?
JS: Well, yes. So our best year, which was 20. What would that have been, everyone? 2021. Yeah, we did 146 deals with two admin and one buyer’s agent. Last year we did 101 with one assistant, one buyer’s agent. So now we’re back to two admin and one buyer’s agent. But I’ve swapped out the personnel of the buyer’s agent and they can still take their own listings, but generally a buyer’s agent. So yeah, I like it small. You know, it adds more pressure to me being the kind of rainmaker, as Mike says, which is probably why the last 18 months we haven’t done as well, because I haven’t been performing as well. Like my system only works if I work kind of thing, you know, just like Mike’s system only works if you work. So yeah, it’s a small setup. I think we can do 150 to 160 deals with that setup over the next couple of years. A year. But it means I have to really go take 80 to 100 listings a year.
MD: Right and you definitely have the skill to do it.
JS: Yeah, I have the skill. I have the dedication. Now I just need to put everything into action and also be not picky about, but be careful who you say yes to. Right. Because I’ve got in a habit before of like wanting to take loads of listings and you end up taking not great listings or you know, and you’re just taking it for the sake of taking it. So the quality is really important. So when I work with Mike directly one-on-one for six months, he was always said to me every day quality over quantity, you know, get that quality in there, you know, you need the quantity, but the quality is where it’s at.
MD: So there’s other trainers out there that would recommend people start a team from the very beginning. What would you say to that?
JS: That just doesn’t make sense. I mean, my advice to everyone is start on a team, right? You know, actually start on a team, not start as a team. And I think we’ve just got so far away from what’s going on. So another great thing I did this year is 90 days ago deleted all my social media.
MD: Good for you.
JS: Not really because Mike says it in that. But I just I was so consumed in it. You know, you see all these teams and you see other agents selling houses and you just waste time. And I just I’m just simplify of the life. And I think that’s why Mike is so great is because it’s so simple, you know, It’s just so simple what he does and he does the same every day. So if you’re getting in the business and starting a team, then that’s a recipe for disaster. You know, one, it’s going to cost you a bunch of money. Two, how do you even attract people when you don’t have a track record? You know? So I would just say that probably wouldn’t be the best decision. And you’re probably if you start with a team, you’re probably one or two years away from being out of the business. Probably.
No social media:
MD: I agree 100%. So I’m going to really emphasize this for a second. You deleted all of your social media. You’re going to do 100 so deals. I mean, but everybody says social media is the next big thing. So what do you say to that?
JS: I’ll be honest for a for a short time, I got some you know, it was a great way to stay connected with my database. You know what? Then I learned is I was connecting with them or liking stuff on, say, Facebook or Instagram, and then they would come up on my email to call them the next day. I was like, Wow, I can’t really call them now. We just like, you know, it’s kind of like a bit. So I like the fact now that every time I reach out, it’s a genuine connection, you know, which I think is really important with your database. But I just think for the deals I may lose on social media and I’m sure I’ll lose two or three a year just from not being in their face all the time or not being top of mind or sometimes just being in the right place. One, I’m happier. And two, I just have so much more time on my hand, you know? I mean, even the other day my wife said, Hey, did you see her friend bought a new house, which is really saying, Hey, did you see her new house she just bought? I was like, Nicole, I’m not on social media, you know, I mean, send it to me. So it feels kind of good, actually. I feel free. I feel very free.
MD: Interesting. So you lose maybe two or three a year. How many do you think you’ll gain because you’re not doing it?
JS: I think you gain a lot of happiness and you also gain, you know, more time. So if I gain an extra two hours a day, which is probably realistic with how much we’re consuming, I’m probably gaining an extra workday a week.
MD: And an extra work day. A week translates to about how much more business do you think?
JS: Well, probably 25 to 30 contacts a day. So then if you work that out, it’s probably an extra it’s probably an extra 1200 people I can speak to. There you go. So, you know, then if I take a listing every 60, I think it is right now, which is a little high for where I want to be. I could probably in essence get an extra 10 to 15 listings a year just by not doing that.
MD: Amazing, right?
JS: Yeah. And being free and not having the pressure of having to show everyone what you’re doing or having to take the 20 minutes to post a Just Listed or whatever. And I think some people do a really good job with social media like Lee Marcus and stuff like that. I think they do a phenomenal job, very unique. But just for me personally with how simple I want my business, I just want it to stay that way, you know?
MD: So I think this is something that’s very interesting is this is a business decision, right? We’re removing this distraction for the sole purpose that you can feel happier and at the same time close more deals.
JS: Yeah. And on the flip side of that, for me as a dad. And a husband is just sometimes in the evening, right? I’d be at home with my daughter and I’d catch myself on Instagram. That’s not I’ve been working all day and I get, you know, it’s just never nice. And every time my wife looked over, I seem to be on Instagram. So. So it was kind of a mixture of things. Yeah. I mean, I think social media has been great for the world, but I also think it’s been not so good for the world, you know?
MD: I agree. So what would you say in terms of professionalism? Where would you say that you see most Real Estate agents headed?
JS: Yeah, I don’t know really. I mean, I’m not in a tie today, so Mike would probably say, I’m here, I’m heading for the ditch, you know? So hopefully he doesn’t watch this.
MD: Lee didn’t wear a tie either.
JS: Okay, cool. Okay. So where do I. I don’t know. I think that as an industry, we’ve got to get back to actually doing our job. I think there’s a lot of fluff out there right now. Actually, it was a really nice compliment. One of my best clients just got in the business and I and I helped kind of recommend a few places to go. And she just messaged me last night saying, I now appreciate how good you were at your job because this is really hard, you know? And I think sometimes it takes people to get into the business to really see how hard it is, because if an agent goes in and does a 20-minute presentation. Right. And gets the listing. And then they go and make, say, $15,000 on a sale. You’re paying them for their experience of how they can do it so efficiently. Right. Where another agent may be there for two or three hours. Right. So I don’t really know what other agents are doing, but I feel like as an industry, when I’m negotiating deals with other agents or calling, we’ve got to get back to returning phone calls, returning emails like, you know, like negotiating correctly, like not negotiating on behalf of your clients, actually transferring the information. So the amount of times we’ll send an addendum to change something and the agent just responds immediately, This won’t work. Well, have you presented it? What did your client say? The reality is we’re just in the middle of a buyers and sellers. We’re just in the middle, pass along information and guiding them. And so I think we just need to get back to that. I think too many people want to get want to be “famous” kind of thing. And I think that’s, you know, a lot of these TV shows out there and stuff, I think are portraying Real Estate, not actually as it is, where it’s a very hard career. It gets harder every year.
MD: Yeah, that’s entertainment. Yeah. That’s not reality.
JS: No, it’s not reality. I mean, there’s I mean, in Vegas we have some phenomenal Real Estate agents. You know, I would say out of 22,000 … 500 I think are really good, good agents. And then the rest are kind of, as Mike would call them, skimmers, right? They’ll do two or three deals a year. They skim from the market. But that’s just that’s just the industry we’re in. It’s very easy to get your license.
Advice to new agents?
MD: So if you if someone was a brand new agent, what kind of advice would you give them?
JS: Yeah, I would say join a team straight away where you’re going to get leads. I just think that’s very important. And not so much paid leads online. Maybe like, you know, the listing agent generates something and they hand it down. So for me, I haven’t bought a lead in five years. The first couple of years I did. So everything I give my buyers lead is organic. And it’s basically a handoff, like it’s fully approved, like go take this lead. So I think if I was starting again, I would do the same thing. I would join a team where the main person takes a lot of listings. So when I join Craig’s team, he was probably taking 150 listings a year. He was a machine. Yeah. So he did that for years, right, being taught by Mike. So I think that’s really important. And then I wouldn’t, wouldn’t worry about the splits. Everyone’s so worried about the splits now, right? Like what am I being paid? You know, like if you’re in a team and you get a 50/50 split, that’s a great that’s a great split, you know? So I think that’s what I would worry about and then not worry about price point. I think too many people are coming in trying to be luxury agents, like a deal’s a deal. You know, if you get a $400,000 buyer in contract and you make 12 grand in a week, it’s better than having a listing for 4 million, which lasts six months, in my opinion.
MD: Six months to two years depending on.
JS: You know. So obviously we all want to aspire to do in the big luxury Real Estate deals. They feed our ego a little bit, but it’s also, you know, a phenomenal paycheck. And you get to meet very interesting people at that level, but just focus on the transactions and the rest will take care of itself.
MD: So a lot of the people that are coming into the business right now, they’re being told social media, they’re being told, you know, start a team, they’re being told do farming. And, you know, what would you say is the number one thing? They should focus on?
JS: Morning schedule. Get to the office same time every day. No distractions before 12:00 PM. Make 30 contacts a day.
MD: So simple, right?
JS: Yeah, that’s honestly what I would focus on. I wouldn’t worry about anything else. Because when you’re new, you have so much time on your hands. And that’s why people say, why don’t you take appointments in the morning? Well, if I take a 10:00 AM listing appointment, I can’t really do much before that because I’m preparing. I go on the appointment. What if they don’t show up? What if I don’t get the listing? It kind of ruins your whole day, you know? So set your day up for success. Get to the office or by 7:00 AM and I think 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM, you have to completely block out. You know, for me, it’s four. I get up at 4:00 AM and I’m not working at 4:00 AM, but I am kind of working. I’m looking at my emails, I’m seeing what I’m doing for the day. I’m maybe preparing my numbers and stuff. Like I’m thinking about the business, you know? So by by noon, I’ve already got like eight hours on the competition, you know. So not that I see it as competition, but, you know, as a figure of speech. But I feel like I’m ahead of the game. Like I can finish my day at 12:00 PM. And I know that I’ve I’ve been productive. And again, this will last 18 months. I haven’t really done that. So I’ll be the first to admit I’ve definitely been off schedule, but I definitely feel a really good rhythm coming back right now.
MD: Very good. So going back to the idea of professionalism, the majority of Real Estate agents right now we’re seeing are headed a direction where they don’t necessarily act or behave or even dress like a professional anymore. Have you noticed that? And what advice would you give them?
JS: So I don’t have much interaction with people. I kind of have an office in the corner where no one really bothers me, so I don’t really know.
MD: And you’re at a really good office.
JS: I’m in a really good office. So everyone’s at least in a suit like this with, you know, with a, you know, at least a shirt. Not everyone wears ties, but I would just you got to just pick one person and follow them, you know, if, if that’s what some coaches teach and they say be casual, just follow them. But then don’t confuse yourself by then following Mike, who says don’t do that. So I think that’s where, you know, I think the best thing I’ve ever done since joining Real Estate, apart from meeting Craig Tann, is I only followed Mike. I have never followed anyone else. I’ve never been to any other conventions or events. So the message has always been clear. But it’s different. And people say, Why do you keep going to Mike’s events? It’s the same material every time. I’m like, Yeah, but you’re in a different space in your life. What Mike says today hits me different than what it did the first time where he was talking about prospecting, you know, back then, what’s prospecting? What do we do now? He may be in a, you know, in an event and he may say something like, you know, team leaders, you know, you got to delegate more to your assistants, Why are you doing this? And that hits me different because back then I didn’t have an assistant, you know, So it’s kind of just follow one person, you know. And so in terms of the professionalism. I just just pick one way and do it. If you want to be professional. Be professional. And everyone’s views on professionalism is different. But I know that if someone turns up to my house to sell their house, to sell my house and they’re not, they don’t know what to how to act, they don’t know how to speak. They’re not at least they’re in jeans or t shirt. That’s not a very good image to have. You know.
MD: I couldn’t agree with you more.
JS: Yeah, but that’s where kind of, you know, that’s where people seem to be leaning towards that way. No idea. You know.
MD: What do you think that does to the industry?
JS: Well, I think our industry is always under scrutiny because of the paychecks we get. We get huge paychecks for what we do, you know, for the good agents. They deserve it. But a lot of bad agents do get 6% commission and do a not a very good job. So I think we’re always going to be an industry under scrutiny because we’re also in an industry where people talk about Real Estate every day. So I don’t see too much of that because of I’m over in my office or I’m with Mike, and you can’t be around any better people than that, you know?
MD: Right. So, again, something very important is you’re surrounding yourself with the people that are like-minded.
JS: Correct. Yeah. I mean, I don’t you know, I very rarely speak to, you know, I have a few referral agents who are not part of the Mike Ferry system, who are great agents across the country. But in general, you know, the people I connect with kind of have the same mentality. And at this point to like, I kind of I’ve, I haven’t got to figure it out, but I know what I need to do. You know, I know what I need to do every day. So when I have my coaching calls, it’s not a sense of, John, you need to do this. It’s like, John, why haven’t you done this? You know, I know what I need to do. It’s just about execution.
MD: So a few years ago I remember you got out of coaching for like 48 seconds.
JS: Oh, it was like three weeks. I didn’t I didn’t take a listing. I didn’t sell a house. I was freaking out, you know? Yeah.
MD: So there’s a lot of people who do the same thing. They get out of coaching for some reason. Why did you decide to get back in so quickly?
JS: So the reason I got out of coaching, honestly, was it Mike when I started in 2015 and September, my first event was Production Retreat, I think at the Mirage 2016, and I had a 15-minute breakout session with Ramona. That’s what really got me into Coaching. And had a great first year in Coaching. I think my second year I did 56 deals, so that was as an individual agent. So it was a good, a good year. And then my Coach, who was Mitch Choboian, said Mike’s pushing younger agents. You know, he wants to push younger agents and he’s thinking about putting you on stage. And I never went on stage, but then I had all this guilt come over me because I’m like, God, what if he puts me on stage? I don’t do everything he says? Like, I don’t do 100% of what he teaches and stuff. So then when I told.
MD: But by the way, nobody does.
JS: And, and now I know that, right? But at the time I freaked out, right? So the year came up, I left, came back and I told Mike and he goes, Listen, even the best agents in the front of the room do 30% to 40% of what I teach. But that 30% to 40% makes us the best in the nation. So once I got over that kind of mindset, I got straight back in and it wasn’t a case that I thought I knew it all. I just I kind of freaked out that I would ever have to go on stage because I’d like to think I’ve always just been very honest, you know, even with Mike, if he asked me a question and I’m, you know, like, do you always use the listing presentation.? Mike I don’t always use it. I try. I try to stick to it. So do I always use it verbatim? I don’t like even when I’m prospecting, I always try and stay the scripts verbatim, but sometimes I veer off. I feel comfortable now where I can be honest with that. But we always try and get back to what Mike teaches us to do, you know?
MD: So like everybody else, how much of the system do you think you use?
JS: I think at this point I’m using 35% to 40% and mainly it’s just the discipline of talking to people every day, delegating to assistants. I’ve always delegated well to my assistants, you know, just I feel like I use a lot of what Mike teaches. Maybe it’s more maybe it’s 50%. You know, I’d have to probably go through that. But I definitely do a lot of what he teaches, and I feel that that’s held me in good stead.
Helping your mindset:
MD: So there’s a lot of agents right now who are they’re veterans. They’re struggling a little bit, you know, because whenever there’s a shift, there’s always the big mindset shift that has to happen. For those that are veterans have been doing this for a bit, but they may be struggling a little bit. What advice would you give them?
JS: Just get back to the basics, get back to what they were doing maybe in the 80s and 90s when life was a little bit simpler. Get back to the three-by-five cards. You know, I have a daily prospecting sheet that I just, I keep it on a holder all day long. It’s in my car and I it says contacts leads appointments set and then like to do lists tick it off as the day goes on. Just I think we need to get back to basics. You know, someone calls us, call them back, you know, like, you know, I think we’ve technology’s been great, but I think we’re just way overuse it. I think we just rely on it too much. So I’m not a veteran, so it’s hard. But I was saying that those veterans just get back to what you were doing in those early days with Mike, where it was so prosperous because everything’s changed, but not much has changed, you know, I don’t think so anyway.
MD: There’s a lot of agents out there who think that the idea of even making a phone call is going to be gone in a matter of a couple of years. What do you think about that? I mean.
JS: I love my database. I’m one of them sick puppies that likes people like Mike says. I have great conversations with Mike even last night at a client call me at home and he’s a great client. And he said, Hey, John, I have a favor. It’s nothing to do with Real Estate. So I called him. I said, My friends need a house venue to take some wedding photos. Do you know anyone? Just a random. But the fact that he thought of me when he has other Real Estate agents as friends was a big compliment. And we stayed on the phone for seven or eight minutes at a conversation. That’s. That’s a building. A database. You know, that’s I just I love the human interaction, you know, and like Mike says, like the 180-degree rule. Right. So if everyone doing that, do the opposite. I actually think people are craving conversation.
MD: I could not agree more.
JS: I think the worst thing is when you call someone, they send you straight to voicemail and then you listen. Please text me for a faster response like they’ve seen it. They’ve sent you to voicemail. That’s rejection, you know. So yeah, I think it’s I think people are craving conversation, you know.
MD: Right. And so many agents are doing that right now. Text me for a faster response.
JS: Yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me. We run a business, you know, and we charge huge commissions, you know, and there are instances where texting is easier, right? So say you’re showing a home. And, you know, for me, I think it’s better to let it go to voicemail, take the voicemail, get back in the car, call them back. You know, that’s what I think anyway, right?
MD: I mean, you’d think for the amount of commission that we receive, you could answer a phone.
JS: Yeah, it’s. It’s just the way the world is. People like to text. They’re keyboard warriors. I don’t. I don’t really like to text because a 20-minute text conversation could be handled in a 45-second phone conversation, you know? So I think it’s all about saving our time as well. And I’ll tell you another thing I started doing is every day I’ve always deleted my emails every day. So I leave the day with no emails. But I also started deleting all my texts every day. So I handle it, delete the text, you know, handle it, delete the text. So it just again, from my mind makes me feel like I’ve done everything. So I feel so free. And instead of having that long list of taxes that I did, I respond, didn’t I? Kind of like gives me gives me anxiety a little bit, you know.
MD: That goes right back to what you were saying earlier is just simplify.
JS: Just simplify everything. I think we’ve just got way we’ve just complicated everything, you know?
MD: So let’s say five years from now, where do you see yourself?
JS: I don’t know. I’ve always said people always say to me, what’s your goal is I just want to be happy. I feel very happy right now. I feel like I’ve got a great business. I feel like I’m relying on my database a little bit. You know, 70% of my business is kind of database, so I need to get back to that hunting and grinding, which I’ve honestly, the last few weeks I’ve really seen a lot of opportunities with the expireds and for sale by owners. I just want to have a business that I’m proud of, that’s profitable. I know that I’m not the best agent in Vegas. I know I don’t do the most numbers. I don’t sell the most, but I’m probably one of the most profitable because I don’t have the only expense I have is my admin, you know, And that just buys me time in anything. So in five years, you know, a couple of years ago you asked me that I probably would’ve said 300 deals, you know, because that’s what I think. I like that. Now I think personal 100. And if I can do 100 to 150 deals a year personally.
MD: That’s all.
JS: Yeah. No, no, it’s a lot. Right? But when you build that up, like there’s a I mean really, when you work it down, that’s 10 to 12 listings a month. Right? And selling, you know, which there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be doing that. And it may be supplemented with a couple of agents who do 20 to 30 each. You do a couple of hundred deals. And that’s probably where I see myself. But mainly, you know, the investment side, I think more, you know, how many more houses can I buy in the next five years? How much more money can I save? And then you really just use Real Estate as your vehicle to get there, you know, and that’s probably when people ask me those questions. I probably more think about that like in the next five years, can I buy another? Can I buy ten more houses? Can I buy two every year? You know? So probably that’s where my mindset is at.
MD: So one of the things Mike’s talked about for years is be your own best client.
JS: Yeah, exactly. You know, Mike, he’s never really wrong. You know, he’s. I’ve been very lucky to get to know Mike. He’s a big influence on my life, not just in Real Estate, just as a person, but if you really just listen to him and watch him and just watch him. He’s so smart, but it’s so simple. It almost doesn’t make sense. It almost doesn’t make sense how he’s in his position based on what he’s taught over the last, what is it, 48 years? It’s unbelievable.
MD: Said for years. It’s just a system based on common sense.
JS: Yeah. And we don’t have much, so I don’t have any. So, I mean, it took me seven times to pass the test, so that’s clear there, you know? So yeah, I just think back to everything. We’ve just got to simplify everything again, you know? And I would say the one thing I haven’t done well this year that I used to do is I haven’t I’ve only been to one of Mike Ferry event. You know, I used to go to three or four a year, like be with him. And maybe that’s because I spend a bit of personal time with him on the golf course and stuff. But I think I’ve got to get back to those four or five in-person Mike Ferry live events, you know, So the Production Retreat right, Maybe go to the Management Retreat. Superstar Retreat maybe I’ll go up to Canada for one of the Retreats, the Toy Drive, which is a great event. You know, I’m doing the Think Big trip this year in Ireland, you know, so I think I need to be a bit more. Not so much of a secret Mike Ferry agent. I need to be a bit more mixing with these people again because I felt like the last year I haven’t done that enough, you know?
MD: Well, I mean, we’ve got Superstar Retreat coming up. You’ll be at that. We’ve got a Retreat in Florida coming up in October. You should be at that. Okay. And then whatever else, let us know, because, you know, we love having you there.
JS: Of course, the Toy Drive for sure. I think that’s one of the best events every year. It really sets you up for next year. And then I think the only other advice I’d give you mentioned about the veterans earlier, but last two years I’ve gone into the years not as busy as I had before. And you’re you’re you start chasing the year a little bit, you know, like Ron Cronin used to teach me like the contact game, stay ahead of the contact, you know, So if your goal for contact for the year is 6000 January and you’ve made 250, you’re really behind the eight ball, you know so I think again like this year I’m really going to focus at the end of the year on getting into next year with a lot of escrows, a lot of listings. So I have momentum from day one because I haven’t done that the last two years, you know, just haven’t done it. Take my foot off the gas.
MD: Who’s going to hold you accountable to that?
JS: My wife, my bank account, my broker and obviously Mike and you and everyone watching. So yeah. So if you don’t see me at the Production Retreat, I’ve quit. I’ve retired. Yeah. So I’ve quit.
MD: Well, awesome. Thank you so much for coming in and doing this. I hope this was helpful for everybody here. Thank you again for coming.
JS: Thanks so much.
JS: Cheers. Thank you.
And there we have it—a day in the life of the iconic John Sullivan. From sunrise to sunset, listings to closings, it’s evident that the world of real estate isn’t just about property; it’s about passion, persistence, and the people you serve. Whether you’re an aspiring agent, a superstar agent yourself, or just here for a behind-the-scenes scoop, we hope you’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the daily grind in the realty realm. So, the next time you spot a breathtaking listing or hear tales of a superstar agent, you’ll know there’s a rich tapestry of stories, just like John’s, waiting to be told. Until next week, keep exploring the MFTV and The Vault!