What it Means To Be a Real Estate Leader

Welcome and good morning to Mike Ferry TV. It is Monday the 24th of February … almost 2 months gone from what is going to be, hopefully, your best year of your entire career.

You know what’s interesting? A great week … a great month … a great quarter always starts with a great day … and I really push all of our Coaching clients always to think about what you’re going to do on this day to produce something of value for a potential Buyer or potential Seller. See, the real goal we all have is to have a certain number of qualified appointments with Buyers or Sellers on a weekly and monthly basis. It starts with what you’re doing today.

Second thought … You know, for the last 45 years that I’ve been doing training and coaching for the Real Estate industry, I’ve been labeled with a lot of funny labels and one of the labels that I get is I’m too controversial … and I’ve always been amazed at that because I never thought, quite honestly … and I think you understand this … that common sense shouldn’t be considered controversial … common sense … because what I really teach is common sense.

If you, as a Real Estate Agent, is never going to talk to people under any circumstance … never going to be involved in prospecting … lead generation … common sense says you’re never going to do a lot of business. Or, even if you’re buying leads off the internet, which so many of you do, you still have to talk to them. You can’t avoid that … you can’t sell them a house by email. You’re not going to list a house by texting and tweeting, so at some point we have to learn to communicate … to talk to people.

We can’t talk to people because often we don’t know what to say … and if we don’t know what to say, then we’re hesitant to pick up that phone, knock on the door, be in a car with a Buyer, go on a listing presentation with a Seller.

So, the truth is, I’m not really sure that I’m even the least bit controversial, but what I’m real sure is … is that if you have common sense, then you can make this business work for you in a very, very strong way. Our goal has been, for 45 years, to help every individual that wants to succeed at a level above where they are … succeed at a level above where they are today.

So, one of the things that I’m doing … and I started doing this several months ago … is we started doing, about 6 times a year, what we’d call “Team Training.” I don’t get it. I don’t understand it … and I know that I’m controversial when I say it … but I don’t understand why this industry thinks that the magic formula of the moment is for every Real Estate Agent to be involved on a team … to have a team … to build a team. I mean, folks, it doesn’t even make a whimper of good sense when you think about it.

I got an email from one of our clients recently and the Broker/Manager stood up in a sales meeting on a Tuesday morning and said, “I want to introduce, you know, Bob Smith, brand new licensee … got his license … we’re so excited to have him and we’re so excited because Bob is going to be hiring an assistant and a couple of Buyer’s Agents this week to help him build his business.” That is stupid. Let me repeat that … That is stupid.

Now, you’re going to say, “How can you say such a thing?” Watch my lips … That is stupid. A new licensee that doesn’t know anything about listing and selling Real Estate is going to build a team? That’d be like you getting in the front seat of the cockpit of a 747 and never having flown a plane and decide to press the button and take off … It doesn’t make sense. It’d be like you trying to perform open heart surgery on yourself … It doesn’t make sense. You’re thinking … jumping off a six-story building and landing comfortably is going to make your health better? It doesn’t make sense. Some things don’t make a lot of sense.

Now, are there people that should have a team in Real Estate? Yes. And, some of the people in Real Estate that have built very effective teams … that are non-ego-based teams, but production, listing and profit-based teams … do very well. But is that really everybody? And the answer is “no.”

So, I want to share with you what I do in the opening 15 minutes of my team training. Like I said, I do it 6 times a year here at our office in Vegas … we normally have 40 to 50 people in attendance. It’s a really interesting meeting because what I’m really trying to do in most cases is help them understand what it means to be a leader … because building a team is all about being a leader and about having leadership skills to develop the people that work with you.

So, I’ll say to the group when I start a team training … What is your purpose in having a team? And I ask them to raise their hands and share what their purpose is … and it’s fascinating to hear some of the things they say … because one of the things people are trying to do with a team is they’re trying to avoid having to work themselves … and trying to figure out a way to make money without working.

Gee … if I have 5 people on my team that are all doing 2 deals a month … that’s 10 deals a month … and if I get half their commission … Well, let’s stop for a minute. Why would they work for you? What are you, as a leader … what are you, as a boss … what are you, as a motivator … recruiter … a trainer … a coach … somebody that can hold them accountable and confront them … where do you have the skills to make this happen? And the truth is, you don’t.

See, here’s what I point out in the first few minutes of the team training … You have a team at your disposal, whether you know you have a team or not. So, here’s what I did … when I started in Real Estate … and I always feel qualified by saying it was a hundred years ago in Huntington Beach, California … the first thing I did was say to myself, “Okay … if I make a Buyer-controlled sale or I get a listing and that listing sells, what happens?”

Now, think about it … what happens? All right … you write a contract for a Buyer … and you give it to the Listing Agent and they get it accepted. What takes place next? What are the steps that take place? And who’s involved in those steps? All right … you get a listing and an offer comes in and your Seller accepts the offer … what are the steps that take place?

Now, depending on where you are in North America … there’s some pretty fundamental, basic steps that takes place in every case, but in each part of the country, there’s a few things that are a little different. So, the first thing I thought to myself was … “If I want to do a volume of business … if I want to do 3 or 4 transactions a month … if I want to do 10 or 12 transactions a month … if I want to do 15 or 16 over the course of my learning process and in a couple years be at 50 … 75 … 100 deals a year … I need to find out exactly what takes place and who does it. So, I figured out that as soon as I take a listing that sells … in almost every case there’s going to be a mortgage company involved. Now, if it’s my Buyer-controlled sale … I’m going to be in touch with my mortgage representative to help my Buyer arrange a loan. If it’s my listing sold, I would recommend to the agent who sold the Buyer … do you have a good mortgage company at your disposal to help you with your Buyer and the process? So, the mortgage company becomes part of my team.

Well, depending on where you are in the U.S., the title insurance representative becomes part of my team because the title insurance representative is going to work with the mortgage company … work with the attorneys … the closing officers … the escrow people in the West … so the title rep will become part of my team.

Now, let me ask you a question … What are you paying the mortgage and title rep personally to have them on your team? Zero. But they’re vitally interested in your transactions because their living is made from the successful closing of your transactions. Well, on the West Coast we have an escrow company … they’re the person that really coordinates the entire process between Buyers and Sellers … they become part of my team. Northeast … we have an attorney … or a closing officer that becomes part of the team.

I got together with a State Farm insurance fellow that was a neighbor of our Real Estate office and I said, “Don’t my Buyers and Sellers have to have fire insurance on their homes in most cases?” He said, “Yes.” He became part of my team. The home inspector … I said, “You’re going to do the inspection and I’d like to recommend you because you’re highly recommended to me.” He became part of my team. And then, of course, I hired … which I did in the very beginning … a part-time … listen … part-time … worked from 1:00 until 5:00 … after going to college classes in the morning … assistant to assist me.

My only expense when I started my Real Estate career, outside of joining the Board and NAR, etc. … my only expense was paying for a part-time assistant, so therefore, people would say to me, “Okay … if you take a listing … and you get a sign call … shouldn’t you have a Buyer’s Agent?” No … because you don’t really have enough listings to keep a Buyer’s Agent busy.

So, what I did was I asked my Broker, “Are there two or three agents in the office that really do a good job working with Buyers?” And he identified a couple good people and so I sat down with them and said, “My goal is to take a lot of listings … when you have a lot of listings, you get sign calls … I would prefer to keep working on listings than working with Buyers … would you take care of the Buyers for me and just pay me a small 20% referral fee?

Now, people say, “That’s not very smart because how do you know what they do?” Well, how do you know what your Buyer’s Agent’s doing all day long? See, what I’m trying to avoid, as an agent, is the management and leadership of people … and for some reason, so many people in Real Estate today are saying, “Everybody should have a team … everybody should get two assistants … everybody should get three or four Buyer’s Agents … everybody should … everybody should,” but let me tell you what makes a team work.

If you are a person that should have a team … what makes a team work is your personal production … the personal production from listing property. When you’re taking 20 … 30 … 50 … 60 listings a year and you’re getting a multiple number of sign calls and probably ad calls and internet calls from the listings that you have … should you then consider having a Buyer’s Agent? Possibly. But see, the truth is … then you’re no longer just an agent … now you’re also a boss … you’re a leader … and that requires communication, motivation, accountability, confrontation.

If the goal is to make a lot of money … this sheet of paper where I just shared with you the different aspects of who handles the transaction … if the goal is to increase your income and make a lot of money, this program really works best. And when you’re at 30 … 40 … 50 … 60 listings a year and you’re getting an abundance of calls, then you can come to us and we’ll help you take and build a team to the next level.

In the meantime, today is the day you have to go out and find a listing. How many listings are you going to take in the last week of February? How many listings are you going to take in the month of March? There is a big need … huge need … in North America today to have good Listing Agents and I’m convinced that only a tiny percentage of all the agents are qualified … motivated … and capable of taking listings. We want you to be one of those people. Talk to you next week.



Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!