From Microsoft Employee to Closing 30 Deals Per Month – Interview with Mark Pattison
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The Mark Pattison Interview
In this episode, Oliver hangs out with one of the most successful realtors and team leads, Founder of Porchlight, Mark Pattison.
Mark was a Microsoft employee and traveled the world for 10 years with a superstar in the music industry before deciding he needed a new challenge. He chose real estate and hasn’t looked back. Mark has developed a systematized approach to building a real estate team that sells a lot of real estate.
Mark Pattison began his career as an employee at Microsoft, but it didn’t take long for him to get bored and move on. Four years ago, he moved to San Diego (on a moped that didn’t belong to him) and started selling real estate. He did nine deals in his first year before starting his own team, and since then, he has grown like crazy, logging 73 transactions in 2017 and 116 in 2018. Mark’s team has closed 100 deals so far this year, putting them on track to do 250 deals in 2019. In March alone, they did 30 sides!
So, what’s his secret? Mark is the founder of the PorchLight Real Estate Team, a group of seven top agents set to sell over $100M in volume this year. He is a graduate of Seattle University’s Albers Business School and among the top 1% of realtors in San Diego County. Today Mark sits down with Oliver to explain how his approach to managing a team has changed over time and discuss how educating his agents has led to their exponential growth.
Mark walks us through his team’s approach to generating leads, discussing how he uses Facebook to engage with his sphere of influence and how he converts prospects at an open house. He also describes the free online tools he can’t live without and the organizational habits that contribute to his success. Listen in for Mark’s insight on surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up and learn how to take your real estate career to the next level!
Today Mark and his team at Porchlight are on track to close over 300 deals this year. Mark has a team of 7 Realtors that work with him and he helps them get more leads, more buyers, and more listings. He’s also done an amazing job marketing to his sphere of influence.
To learn more about Mark, visit https://www.porchlighthomesearch.com/…
Here is how the Mark Pattison Interview interview breaks down:
[0:45] Mark’s impressive exponential growth
- 30 deals in March alone
- On track to close 250 in 2019
[2:12] Mark’s approach to building a team
- Find key players
- Provide value so don’t leave
[4:04] How Mark educates his agents
- Streamlined, consistent processes
- Create classes with AdaptiveU
[10:59] Mark’s role on the team
- Empower team vs. star of show
- Mentor in generating long-term wealth
[16:00] Mark’s shifting approach to managing agents
- Eliminate morning huddle, weekly meeting
- Downsized from 20 to 7 based on commitment
[21:02] How Mark got started in real estate
- Buyer’s agent on Jesse Zagorsky team
- Sold 9 homes in first year (August to December)
[25:51] Mark’s experience with starting a team
- Share ideas, network with other team leaders
- Not profitable at first
[28:35] What makes Mark’s team profitable today
- Find out what online leads work in San Diego
- Measure and double down on what works
[31:29] The breakdown of Mark’s lead sources
- 95% of individual business from SOI
- Online leads + open houses
[33:15] How Mark earns new clients at an open house
- Educate in fun way (e.g.: schools, tax rates)
- Create doubt in process (i.e.: off-market binder)
[41:46] How Mark’s team handles portal leads
- 3-hour lead shifts routed through Boomtown
- 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday
[43:26] The value of having a coach
- Flesh out ideas and hold to it
- Share what’s working for others
[47:15] The tools Mark can’t live without
[49:20] How Mark engages with his sphere
- Monthly Facebook ad to custom audience
- Events (e.g.: shows, Padres tickets)
- Private Facebook group
- Quarterly Happy Hour at office
[55:45] The habits that contribute to Mark’s success
- Color-coded calendar (block time for to-dos)
- Define 3 things must accomplish each day
- Surround self with good people
- Utilize free resources
[1:02:54] Mark’s insight on overcoming objections
- Know answers, be ready with referrals
[1:10:31] Mark’s advice for taking it to the next level
- Surround self with successful people
- Don’t compare self to others
- Find niche + double down
Mark Pattison Interview Key Takeaway:
Mark Pattison went from bored Microsoft employee to successful real estate team lead, closing 30 deals in a single month! Today, he joins Oliver to explain how his approach to managing a team has changed over time, what free resources he uses to implement systems, and how educating his agents has led to exponential growth.
Links to your favorite other players:
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🎥Watch Full Video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/Utn9ttIemjM—
Mark Pattison Interview Full Transcript Below:
Oliver: Welcome to Founders Club, the show for real estate entrepreneurs.
Mark: My motto is you got to be a landlord before you own the Land Rover.
Oliver: I love that.
Oliver: Welcome to another episode of Founders Club. Today I’m in Storyhouse Spirits in San Diego and we’re going to be talking to Mark Pattison about how he started in the business doing nine deals a year and now he runs a team of seven doing 250 deals a year. How he manages everything.
Mark: Utilizing three resources. Don’t think everything you have to do is costs money. Yeah, there are some things that are not as expensive that are actually better.
Oliver: All his favorite tools and systems and how he works Facebook and his sphere of influence to gain a massive number of referrals. Looking forward to jumping in.
So sitting here with Mark Pattison, very excited to have you on the show today. He’s a top producing agent. I want to kind of dive in with you, get to the nitty-gritty. You did over 30 deals in one month, which is really unbelievable. I think a lot of agents would aspire to do that kind of business. So I want to talk today about kind of how you do that, how you manage it, the tools and systems that you use, but first kind of why don’t you just tell me a little bit about what that month was like.
Mark: Yeah, so I think we did 31 in March, so it was one a day. 30 in March yeah, 31, and so just the basics is just, it’s all about the month prior or even two months prior, and it’s all about prospecting. So if you’re not prospecting, if you’re not making the dials, if you’re not doing the open houses, and you’re not doing the follow-up and providing value, you’re not going to have a stellar month of a stellar two months later.
Oliver: So what are you on pace to do this year?
Mark: I would say I think we’ve closed, I was trying to look before but my sheet wasn’t working. I want to say we’ve closed a 100.
Oliver: A 100.
Mark: A 100 deals so far this year, or closed and pending, and so we’re probably on track to do 250.
Oliver: That’s great.
Oliver: So that’ll be a big year. That’ll be the biggest year ever for you, correct?
Mark: Yes, yeah. My two years ago is when I started my team, we did 73. Last year we did a 116, so we’re almost to our last year’s mark.
Mark: And this year we’ll do 250. So growing by double almost every year, or almost double.
Oliver: So you’ve doubled. What would you say is the cause of how you’ve been able to grow so fast?
Mark: I would say finding your key players. When you’re having a team or if you’re a solo agent, finding what you’re good at. So for my example now is with my team, I got to find the ones that are good and know what they’re doing. I also have to provide my team value so that when they get good, they don’t leave. So that’s what I’ve just been really focusing on, and I had this mindset of growing so that we could do massive amounts of numbers, but it almost becomes too much to handle and unobtainable, so I went really big and then I kind of went back down to a smaller size. So for the last like three or four months now we’ve been a really small team.
Oliver: So how many people are currently on your team?
Mark: We have seven agents.
Oliver: Seven agents.
Mark: Yeah, seven agents and one admin staff that’s our transaction coordinator.
Oliver: Okay, and so how does that, how does that break down? Is there different responsibilities for different agents or?
Oliver: How do you set that up?
Mark: Yes. So we, some teams will be listing side, buyer side. There’s definitely a different personality type for that, but with us what we do is we’ll have someone go on and start a team, they’ll be starting with buyers. After they’ve done six transactions, we allow them to start studying listings, and then once they pass the listing, kind of the listing presentation, listing consult, we’ll let them take on listings.
Oliver: Oh, that’s interesting.
Mark: So it’s really you can do buy side or listing side, and I don’t take all the listings. I actually don’t like listings, so I’m probably the only team leader you’ll ever meet that doesn’t like to have listings.
Oliver: Wow, yeah.
Mark: And I always thought that people thought I was, or I always thought I was crazy because I didn’t like them, but do what you’re good at.
Oliver: So just so I’m hearing you correctly, you have seven agents and they kind of are split between buyers agents and listing agents.
Mark: For sure, well they’re all buyer and listing agents except for maybe one right now.
Mark: One or two, have all had … One maybe hasn’t had a listing before.
Mark: The rest have all had listings.
Oliver: And then when they come on your team as a new member, then they’re going to start buying. They do six transactions. Then you said they can study listings.
Oliver: What does that mean?
Mark: So I’m a nerd when it comes to figuring out processes, and I always want everyone to do the exact same thing. So with our buying process, everything is the exact same throughout every single transaction. Why throw in curveballs when there’s already going to be a curveball with the real estate transaction. Just make everything else the same, and I can go through the buyer process. Then for the listing stuff, we actually have an online portal that it makes it so that if you’re a new agent, you do six transactions on my team, you then go to our online portal and start studying the listing side. Before you do the buy side there’s also a buyer section as well.
Mark: And you just do everything that we do and it’s textbook, so it’s for the buy side, once you get an escrow, the admin schedules your inspection, they contact the buyer. At the inspection you review the disclosures with your client right there in person. Then you walk around with the inspector. We do the exact same thing every single time.
Mark: So it’s very cookie cutter. After that happens you walk around, do you AVID, and then you walk out, you’re done. You send an email to the admin and say, “Hey, I reviewed everything with the buyer, we’re good to go and here is my AVID.”
Oliver: Very cool.
Mark: So that you’re not like oh, on the 29th day of escrow. Oh my gosh, I didn’t do my AVID or whatever you like to even call it.
Mark: Oh, I didn’t do it. No, you did it because you were there at the inspection.
Mark: It just happens and then it makes everything super streamline.
Oliver: So I want to get back to the processes in a minute because I think that can help a lot of people and I think that’s something that you are really good at, but tell me about this online portal that you just mentioned. You said they go into the online portal.
Oliver: What is that?
Mark: So it’s free. It’s called AdaptiveU, if you Google it, and the U is just literally a U, like university. You go on there, you can create an online class, and people have to pass classes. So you go through it and then I give them tests. So I would say at the end of every single meeting I say, “Which test do you want to take?” I already have tests created so it’s like the contract. So I want to know everything about the RPA. You better know that paragraph 14B is where all the timelines are because if you don’t know that when you’re selling a buyer, you got to have that down.
Mark: Allocation of cost, paragraph seven. You got to know exactly where, what’s normal for buyer, what’s normal for seller. What is a transfer tax? How do you calculate that for the buyer?
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: Is it normal for the buyer to pay? Is it normal for the seller to pay? So you do all of that on this onboarding process, and I even do it for agents that are experienced if they join my team just because some agents will say, “Oh, no that’s that.” I’m like, “I don’t think so. I think you’re wrong.” So I always make sure that new agents and experienced agents if they’re joining my team go through the same kind of classes.
Oliver: The classes. Very cool.
Mark: It’s all online, so that I don’t have to sit there [crosstalk].
Oliver: So did you create all these classes?
Mark: I did, yeah.
Oliver: So you created the classes and how many are there roughly?
Mark: There’s probably like 20.
Oliver: 20 classes.
Mark: Yeah, and videos, everything. So we go on and we, say someone asked me a question, I would just video myself, upload it to YouTube, upload the link there, or upload it to our Facebook group, and then we have a private Facebook group between the team, and then we’d upload the link to the portal. So then they just click on that and it says, “How do you do a buyer consult?” Then there’s a video of me doing a buyer consult with a buyer.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: So, and then they just sit there and watch that video over and over again.
Oliver: Until it’s ingrained.
Mark: Yeah, exactly. So they’ll listen to it in their car, and so they’re hearing the audio on repeat.
Oliver: That’s really smart, man. That’s really good.
Oliver: And I love the idea that you can test them. How does the testing work? So they watch a module with videos?
Oliver: And then at the end they have to pass or fail?
Mark: Yes, yes. So I’ll do a paper test. So it’s not, you could do testing on there if you paid for the upgraded version, but I like to keep my cost very low, so I have the free version of AdaptiveU.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: So at the end of a meeting I’ll just say, “Hey.” And right now all my team is pretty trained up, but one of the things that we’re going to train on this week is we’re doing a lot of listing side stuff. But I’m doing a 203k loan, and I’ve never actually done one before.
Mark: And I’m representing a buyer and we’re doing, and I just got a buyer offer accepted about 20 minutes ago and we’re doing that.
Oliver: Awesome, congrats.
Mark: So I’m going to teach the team what that actually means because I’m learning it right now.
Oliver: So as you’re going through you’re adding more content all the time.
Mark: For sure, yeah. So then I will then create a test for a 203k kind of how to do that loan or what you need, and then I’ll have everyone test. Then once someone test on it, and they force themself to study because it makes them say like, I got to know this stuff. It’s pretty ingrained, and then they go out.
Oliver: That’s interesting.
Mark: If you ask any one of my agents about a 1031 they’ll be like, “Oh, 45 days to locate, 180 days to close. You can do a 200% rule or you can locate three properties.” Every single one of my agents is going to know that.
Oliver: And they know it.
Mark: Yeah, and they know the 1031 exchange rep, it’s in their phone. So if they ever get it, they’re in a listing, oh, I got to do a 1031, what are the rules? They’re not like. No. They’ve been tested on it.
Oliver: You already know the rules, you know who to talk to.
Mark: You know everything, and you don’t have to be the expert, but you got to have the basis down.
Mark: You got to have the little bit of it down and then you got to have the people who you can call.
Oliver: You got to know enough to be dangerous.
Mark: Yes, or to know enough to be, act like you know what you’re doing.
Mark: But don’t like.
Mark: That’s what I always say. Don’t lie. If you don’t know, tell them you don’t know.
Oliver: It’s actually very interesting, that approach, because something that we, me and Sam talk about all the time is the lack of real quality education in real estate.
Mark: For sure.
Oliver: I think that even getting tested, it just seems like the stuff you’re tested on is so out of date and so not relevant to the business. When you’re talking about 1031 exchanges, and how to do a listing presentation, and what’s up with the contracts and this and that. The stuff that you’re actually using.
Mark: For sure.
Oliver: And you’re just adding that missing piece, and you’re able to train and keep talent by doing that.
Mark: That’s why I think my agents do so well, is the education aspect because in life, people that do well are highly educated.
Mark: Usually. It doesn’t have to be across the board. I’m not saying people have their master’s, I’m saying that they studied something.
Mark: Whether it’s a trade and they’re a plumber, whether it’s a pilot, they focused on one thing and they knew everything about it. Those are the people that do really well in life.
Oliver: Totally agree. Totally agree.
Mark: So, master real estate,
Oliver: Because it’s a profession, right? Be a professional, act professional, and know your stuff.
Oliver: And it’s a pretty simple formula.
Mark: For sure, and I think just having your clients back, knowing exactly. There’s nothing worse, and it creates anxiety. If I didn’t know the answer or if I didn’t know where the question was going to come from next, it would always give me anxiety. So I’m like, I’m just going to know everything.
Mark: I’m going to try to learn as much as I possibly can about real estate and study, study, study.
Oliver: Are you an analytical?
Mark: No, I’m not. I actually have like no C at all.
Mark: Yeah, so the DiSC profile I have like zero C, and I’m kind of weirded out by it because I feel like I’m just a perfectionist, but I think it’s more of I went to a private Catholic school and the nuns would beat me.
Oliver: That’s interesting.
Mark: So they made me-
Oliver: Because based on everything what you’re saying, you sound like a.
Mark: I think they forced me to be an analytical.
Oliver: Prototypical analytical, yeah.
Mark: No, I’m not very organized. If you go to my desk, my desk has stuff everywhere. I’m totally like CEO, messy.
Mark: I need a rockstar assistant that can organize my life.
Oliver: Make sure the trains run on time.
Mark: But I’m never late. I don’t know, it’s like the things that I’ve, you’re trained on. I can learn those things.
Mark: So everything is a forced analytical.
Oliver: Being late is an easy one. Picking up the phone when it rings is an easy one, right?
Oliver: There are certain things that you just-
Mark: You just do.
Oliver: Can do that are, separate you from everyone else in the business, which is kind of wild. So tell me about, so the 250 that you’ll do this year, what of that is your production verus the team production?
Mark: Yeah, so I’m probably like, out of seven I’m probably fourth or fifth. I’m bad.
Oliver: In terms of volume?
Oliver: Or number of deals? Okay.
Mark: I think I’m like fourth place right now.
Mark: So my agents all beat me.
Oliver: Wow, good.
Mark: But they, yeah. I definitely am not someone who wants to be the one that’s like the team leader, or the one doing the volume.
Mark: I actually don’t care to do that.
Mark: So Ally on my team, Josh on my team, who else? Joe. Joe is brand new and he’s done like 15 or something.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: And this is his first year. So they’re killing it.
Oliver: What is your role with them? Is your role to provide leads, and training, and guidance? Or what, what is your?
Mark: For sure, yes. So we, I like to think of our team more of as a family. So because, like I said earlier, you coach people and then you either coach them out or you coach them up and out. So my thing was hey, let’s turn this into a process where we become a family and we work together for the rest of our lives, or on some aspect or another. So how do I get it where people don’t leave?
Oliver: I love that.
Mark: So I’ve never had anyone, like a high agent, ever leave me because I’ve really planned it to be more that we’re a family and we take care of each other. I don’t want to get rich off my agents, I want to make my agents rich.
Mark: I want to take over, like I said, I moved to Kensington. I was like, “Let’s take over Kensington. Let’s change the neighborhood.”
Mark: Not saying in sales but like.
Mark: Just the people that are there, I was like, let’s just change it up.
Mark: Let’s bring some new agents in here and make it fun.
Oliver: Honestly I think that’s a critical part of being a good leader, because something you just said that’s so important is as a leader, to be a good leader, you’ve got to bring your people up. So many people they want to be the star of the show and they kind of have people that help them be the star of the show, and then there’s really great leaders like yourself that are all about empowering the team and are okay with their agents doing more business than them because for you, it’s more about how do we all rise together.
Mark: Yeah. There’s a girl on my team, she’ll sell 60 houses this year. She put her wife through college, they’re having a baby, like in a couple of years.
Mark: She bought her first house and investment property, she bought a triplex. She’s buying another one. She’s killing it in life.
Mark: And the coolest thing about it, she traded her BMW in for a cheaper car, because I’ve brainwashed them.
Oliver: That’s good discipline.
Mark: So my biggest thing is you have to have, don’t buy a new car if you’re on our team. New cars won’t sell you houses. Buy houses, buy investment properties, focus on things that are going to make you rich.
Oliver: Great motto.
Mark: So my motto is you got to be a landlord before you own the Land Rover.
Oliver: I love that.
Oliver: I love that.
Mark: But I have like seven or eight tenants, so I bought myself a Range Rover.
Oliver: Good for you.
Oliver: Good for you.
Mark: I was driving a really crappy car for like five years.
Oliver: Which I mean, in reality, right? That’s the rich dad model, right? Buy the assets first, get the cash flow, then buy the toys.
Mark: Because everyone wants, it’s like that study that they did where they said, “Do you want one cookie now or two cookies in 15 minutes?” Every freaking adult wants that car now.
Mark: They want that new pair of tennis shoes, they want their nails done, they want their cellphone, but they don’t want to wait one year and just bite their tongue for saving their money to get a condo. It’s crazy.
Oliver: That’s really cool, man.
Mark: You can buy one condo for 250 in Mission Valley, it’ll make you $70,000 this year.
Mark: It just goes up like crazy.
Mark: And of course I bought my first place, immediately dropped down, I bought it in 2007.
Mark: But I held on to that sucker and I made over 100 and something thousand dollars and I just sold it.
Oliver: Over time, it brought cash flow the whole time.
Mark: It did, yeah, and it was tenant occupied the whole time.
Oliver: Right, so who cares what it’s worth?
Mark: I always talk to the clients about that or just agents. I’m like, just get in on anything, live there one year and rent it out. Who cares about the countertops?
Oliver: That’s a good philosophy.
Mark: You mention countertops to me when I’m selling you a house, I’ll shake you. It’s not about the countertops.
Oliver: I really love that. That’s a great motto too. Honestly to just be telling people to stack the assets first, get the money, then get the toys.
Mark: Buy all your clients Rich Dad Poor Dad, Real Estate Riches, and then they start calling you and start buying tons of houses from you.
Oliver: There you go. That’s a good piece of advice.
Mark: That’s your secret.
Oliver: Yeah, there it is. We’re done here.
Mark: You get hugged on [crosstalk].
Oliver: That’s really awesome. What would you say back to the 250, what would you say is your ratio of listings to buy side?
Mark: Definitely buy side heavy.
Mark: Probably 75% buyers.
Mark: So we’re a younger team, maybe that’s an excuse. I started as a buyer’s agent on a team for two years, my first two years in real estate, and then I started my team. I had done one listing when I started my team. So I’m very buy focused. We definitely have agents on our team that love listings, and so when I have a listing opportunity and I know it’s going to get knocked out of the park like a referral, I’ll give it to her, or I’ll give it to the guy, like whoever the person is that’s [crosstalk].
Oliver: So you’re not even taking your referral listings.
Mark: No. I just gave, like I’ve given probably four or five of them, like from other agents from out of town.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: To other people on our team this year.
Oliver: Good for you, yeah. Okay, so buy side heavy. How are you managing all these people? How are you holding them accountable to making the calls or whatever your guys’, your teams.
Mark: Yep, so when I had my team growing to where it was like 20 something agents, I was holding them accountable, doing a huddle in the morning, doing a meeting every week, doing hey, why aren’t you in at the office at 8:00 AM? Babysitting. When I decided hey, this is not the route I want to go. You either want to be on the ship and become rich. So you manage your own schedule, you do your own thing, we don’t do a huddle anymore. We do a training every week or every other week. It’s suggested that you come, nothing is ever mandatory, and there is no accountability. So if you want to make money, if you don’t and you’re around us, you’re going to leave the because you’re around a bunch of people who are just starting to get rich and.
Oliver: So how are you tracking their production, or if they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing? Or are you just not.
Mark: All up to them.
Oliver: And giving them time, and if after 90 days they don’t have the numbers, then.
Mark: Yeah, so I’m not recruiting anyone, so there’s no one is allowed to join my team right now. So there’s definitely no 90 day period right now. Everyone that I have, my seven, I’m sticking with, so there’s no, they’re no adding, there’s no subtracting. The people that are there, are there.
Oliver: So you have your core group set up and that’s.
Mark: That’s it.
Oliver: You’re going to ride with them for a while.
Oliver: Okay, cool.
Mark: Yeah. So I mean, I was doing the 90 days no sale, you’re gone. CTE, which is continuing excellence, I believe it stands for. They logged their numbers, they logged their calls. You got to have a 100 dials minimum every day, blah, blah, blah.
Oliver: And you stopped all that.
Mark: Stopped all of it. I just basically said, “Hey, do you guys want to, do you guys want to do what it takes to become rich? If you are one that same ship.” And then the people who I didn’t invite to the team version two were people that I felt that weren’t committed, they were just interested in real estate.
Oliver: I love that.
Mark: I just wanted people that were committed.
Oliver: So you downsized your team. You were at 20, now you’re at seven.
Oliver: How did you determine who was going to make the cut and who wasn’t?
Mark: Interested versus committed. So biggest was personality types, who would blend in, because you never know people’s work ethic when you start out, and then once you kind of see what’s going on. Also conversion, like if you’re not converting and if you’re not knocking it out of the park every time, is not that I didn’t invite them, but it was more that it was just, I think they kind of saw it coming.
Oliver: So was it like you looked at your roster and the seven people at the top were the ones you’re taking or?
Mark: No, I took my top agents and I asked, who would you take? If you had to have a team that you knew everyone had their back, who would you take? And I knew that there was a certain amount because of coverage for leads and the other things that we had to do. So I knew that there was an amount that I had to have, but I mean, there was times when I’ve had a low newcomer and I would be giving them a layup to try to help their career start off, when I should really be giving the layup to the top dog who is going to close 60.
Oliver: Who is going to close it.
Oliver: And they deserve it.
Mark: Right. So that’s who I, I started seeing that I wasn’t paying enough attention, and 20 people are, even managing over 10 for me was too much.
Oliver: So you let these 13 people go?
Oliver: How was that?
Mark: It was fine. Yeah, I didn’t have any backlash. I just kind of said, “Hey, look, I’m either going to have a breakdown and the whole is going to be gone or I’m just going to just train.” I basically turned it into I’m just coaching, so it’s no longer like a team, I’m more of like I said, the family model where we just take care of each other. So they’re not relying on me for everything, whereas I felt like everything was on my shoulders.
Oliver: So now all you’re doing is one training a week.
Mark: Yeah, and it’s been almost every other week except for this week because we took Schron’s listing presentation. Thank you Schron, it’s the best listing presentation you can possible have.
Oliver: It really is. It’s unbelievable.
Mark: We took that. We’ve been dissecting it every single week. So we’re listing to audio that I have from when I was in South Carolina. No wait, I was in New Orleans. I listened to … We went and saw Schron there, and I have all of it typed up and we’ve been reviewing that every single week.
Oliver: It really is unbelievable.
Oliver: What would you say from that was the biggest difference maker?
Mark: A lot of pre-listing stuff.
Oliver: It’s great, right?
Mark: So making sure that you have all the stuff done prior so that you’re not showing up to the house like, oh, oh my god, I haven’t confirmed with this person. There will be days when I’d show up to a listing presentation and I’m like, “What’s the address? What’s the name of the person?”
Oliver: Yeah, and I love how he talks about asking them if they opened it and either way they say you’re going to get basically the same answer.
Mark: I love people that break the rules.
Mark: You and I are going to get along right.
Oliver: Yeah, we’re going to be just fine. I like you, I like you. Okay, cool. Well, before we get too far I want to give a shout out to Storyhouse Spirits and the, I’m not going to even try to pronounce this. U-I-N-T-A the West Coast style IPA. It’s actually fantastic, and Mark is having the.
Mark: I think it’s just-
Oliver: House, house vodka.
Mark: Yeah, the house vodka soda.
Oliver: Which they brew right there behind us in this really badass distillery. Anyway, if you guys like the show, give us a like, give us a comment. If you have any questions for Mark, just reach out. I’m sure he’s happy to answer them as well and we’ll keep on rolling. So tell me about the beginning. Tell me about how you got started.
Mark: I started real estates, I was, I moved to San Diego for my real estate license. I didn’t know a person here. I just moved here for the weather, and I said, “I’m going to move here.” And my brother said, “Good luck. You’re not going to succeed in real estate.” And so now every time I have a closing I take a picture of the check and I send it to him.
Oliver: Oh my god, I love that.
Mark: So yeah, I definitely am not the nicest to him, but hey, that like digged into me where like someone says you’re not going to be able to do something.
Mark: So I started real safe.
Oliver: And not to cut you off there, but an interesting thing about being an entrepreneur is how sometimes the people closest to you are going to be the biggest haters, which was a big adjustment for us at first too, is just dealing with that negativity and just pushing through, and just seeing your vision and just.
Mark: For sure, well and I didn’t have the best track record.
Oliver: Grab it by the horn.
Mark: I think I worked in Microsoft for six months, I got bored. I was just like the corporate world just was so boring to me.
Mark: So that was my first job out of college. I worked for Groupon as a startup, got bored. It was just very stagnant and I just wanted something, and Groupon was something, it was a brand new startup so it was like go, go, go.
Mark: And I still was bored.
Mark: The thing I love about real estate is there’s like you said, always something to learn. The education process I think is huge and I think that’s why I’ve done so well, because I just want to know more. I want to know more information. Now, I mean think about it, you can learn about apartments, you can learn about commercial, you can learn about multiplexes, you can learn about whatever you want.
Oliver: Yeah, short sales, wholesale, and this, that, the other.
Mark: Yeah, and I don’t know anything about half those things.
Mark: I know like 10% of what you can learn in real estate, and I think that’s why I’ve kind of loved doing it. It’s just the constant education aspect.
Oliver: Constantly growing and doing better.
Mark: Yeah, constantly improving yourself.
Mark: So that’s where I started, was just as a buyer’s agent on a team here in San Diego. Worked for him for two years and he was like, “Hey, you’re doing so well, you should start a team.” And started up a team kind of small.
Oliver: Wait, hold on. I want to stop you right there. So first two years, tell me about that first two years.
Mark: Yeah, so I sold like, started in August I think and between August and December I sold nine.
Mark: My first year. Sold my first house two weeks in the industry.
Mark: The home didn’t-
Oliver: And this is not knowing anyone.
Mark: Now knowing one person. Met the person on a dating site and then sold them a house.
Mark: Then I, my broker, it didn’t appraise, the house didn’t. Our broker was like, “Oh, that’s never going to work. No way that will work.” It was a $75,000 issue on like a $600,0000 home on appraisal. The house was in Temecula. They’re like, “Hey, can you sell houses in Temecula?” I’m like, looking at my phone I’m like, “Yeah, of course.” I’m like, “Where is Temecula?”
Oliver: You’re like, “I think so.”
Mark: I’m like, two hours away, I can do that.
Mark: So the first house I ever sold was in Temecula. And whenever I’m going outside Palm Springs I drive by the house. I always like go and look at the house that I first sold.
Oliver: Yeah, nostalgic.
Mark: It’s really pretty.
Mark: It’s probably worth like 800 now.
Oliver: Oh, it’s probably worth way more that when you sold it.
Mark: So I’m still friends with the people, and keep in contact so if that ever goes up, I’m going to list that house. Then sold eight other houses that year, and I just set the can do attitude. I just like, go, go, go, and after that first one, they were like, “Oh, this house isn’t going to appraise.” Or it didn’t appraise, it’s not going to go through, and I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll make it work.” The sellers lowered the price by 75 grand and it went through. Which apparently now I know, that’s not going to work. I’d say the same thing.
Mark: But it worked out for me. Then another thing was I was selling a house online on Facebook, and they were like, “Oh, you’re never going to sell a house on the internet. You need to go out there and meet people.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t know.” Sold a house on Facebook. So after that I was like, “Okay, I’m going to work for this team.” The team I actually joined.
Mark: So that’s where I kind of learned everything, and you might know him, his name is Jesse Zagorsky.
Oliver: Jesse, yeah. Jesse, good guy. Shout out to Jesse. What’s up, dude?
Mark: So Jesse Zagorsky is one of the smartest people in real estate.
Mark: I learned everything I know from that guy, so I owe him my life.
Oliver: Very cool.
Mark: I was on his team. I think I was probably one of his best buyer’s agents.
Mark: Learned every day from him.
Oliver: So was that the first nine were on his team?
Mark: No, well the first three were probably at that brokerage, like a big company.
Oliver: Okay, okay.
Mark: They’re no longer around.
Oliver: Got it.
Mark: But it was Downtown in San Diego. Worked for them. It was kind of, you know when you see the really nice office and you think the big name and all that stuff, well they’re no longer around and it’s not about the big name, it’s not about the office.
Oliver: Yeah, and the fancy office is gone.
Mark: And the fancy office is gone because their rent was probably 30,000 a month.
Mark: And I went to this place that had no office, Jesse, but he had all the brains and he taught me everything, and I just was a sponge, and I practiced, and I role played, and I script, and I studied, and I just did everything he told me to do, and I’m still, like I’m super stubborn to Jesse. I’m surprised I was actually that coachable, because I’m always like, “Well, we could do it this way.” And I’m like, “What do I know?” But Jesse and I together were like really created, and I always want to say, like I want to work with Jesse in some form another again in life, but he’s a great guy. After that I worked with him, started my team underneath him, and then I moved it to Big Block.
Oliver: Okay, cool. So how was it starting your team?
Mark: If I look back now, I actually ran into a girl that was on the first like, so I’ve had one team this whole time, but of the people I think, like I don’t think one person is still on the team that was.
Oliver: From the original.
Mark: From the original crew. Yeah, it definitely has changed, and adjusted. I think the biggest thing that I learned from it was just learning from my peers who have done it before me. So some of my best people that I know is through my coaching program, and I just meet other team leaders that are just crushing it and have been really just, been focused on networking with them and just saying, “Hey, what’s working for you? What’s for working for you? Hey, this is what’s working for me.” And sharing ideas.
Mark: And from that I’ve really revitalized my team, changed it. It’s probably on version six.
Oliver: And it sounds like now maybe you found the formula.
Mark: For sure, yeah. In the beginning it was really tough because if you’re the one that knows how to sell and you’re trying to teach people how to sell, it’s not like a teachable thing.
Mark: It’s a personality type and it’s the skills, and it’s the education. So it’s like, who do you hire? You don’t know.
Oliver: Right. So what was the decision process like for you? Because I know a lot of people, they kind of question the do I want to do the solo thing and just have an assistant, versus do I want to have a team and have to manage, and train, and all that. What was the decider for you to go one way or the other?
Mark: If I, it was actually someone that I met at a conference. She joined our brokerage and started a team, and then she’s like, “Hey, you should be doing this with us.” And so I kind of jumped in and I kind of inherited a team, I didn’t even started really.
Mark: That’s how I got kind of, I want to say like finagled in. If I had to do it again, I don’t think I would. I think I’d be a solo agent because there were so many months in the very beginning where I was negative, where I was … I mean, I was making my own money and I was covering the bills, but the bills were being a lot more than what my sales were, so I was only making like a part of it.
Oliver: So the team wasn’t profitable at first?
Mark: No, not at all, and I think a lot of people focus on that and they’re like, “Oh, this team, this team.” And I’m like yeah, but are they profitable?
Mark: Show me their numbers. Oh, they spend that much on Zillow and they have that conversion? I mean, they’re losing money on that. I know the numbers now, but when you start out you don’t know. So now I’m crazy profitable, it’s like through the roof on profitability, on what it was though is like, because also as agents look how many calls we get from different companies, and oh, this is the new platform, and this works, and you’re just trying everything, and you pay the $600 sign up fee, and you try it out, and you’re like, “Oh, this sucked.” Why did I do that?
Oliver: And they get three softwares that do the same thing and you don’t, you know?
Mark: Yeah, exactly, and then you don’t know it. So now I’m like in my groove.
Mark: I’m excited. 2019 we’re going to kill it, but I wonder like 2020, I don’t know. Who knows.
Oliver: What was the difference maker and the shift that made you more profitable versus just getting by or maybe even being negative?
Mark: Yeah, so one is conversion. So definitely online leads is still a big huge part of us, but also finding out which online leads work for San Diego. So when you’re in these cities, and you meet people, and they’re in random parts of Texas and they’re like, “My number one thing is Zillow, and blah, blah, blah, and Facebook, and pay-per-click.” And you’re like, “Okay.” So you try it out, and then you realize pay-per-click in San Diego doesn’t work, and I don’t have SEO like five other, the five other people that have been doing this for years, and to compete with them is just unreal, but when you don’t know, you don’t know. I mean, I’m a real estate agent. I’m not head of marketing and I don’t [crosstalk].
Oliver: And you’re an entrepreneur so you’re just going to try stuff.
Mark: Yes, I want to, but also I can’t have the money to hire someone for marketing that knows it. So I’m just doing everything on a whim, and then finally something sticks, and I look and I, the biggest thing is tracking and measuring. So finding what works and then just double down on what works, and things are going to change. Zillow changed their platform, so I pulled all my money from there. Realtor.com I think is changing their platform, so I mean, I don’t have anything there, but if the different ways that they’re always changing. So just stay on top of your game and just measure, and just be like hey, am I profitable? If I’m spending $15,000 a month on Zillow, which I was spending 18,000 a month. We were making money, we were for sure making money, but if you’re looking at it and you’re like, “Wow, if I took at 18,000 and put it towards this, I could be making 75,000.” So let’s do that. And this is just my split, because the agents are getting a split, and then I’m getting it but I’m having to pay for something. You got to take that all into consideration.
Mark: And then the ones you close on your own, it’s like well, if you’re going to start closing your online leads on your own, go be a solo agent, you know?
Oliver: At that point I don’t know if you need me.
Mark: If you’re running around.
Mark: Yeah. You shouldn’t be running around doing sales if you’re at that point.
Oliver: And what was the tipping point where you were like, “Wow, now this is really happening, and we’re making money, and things are looking good”?
Mark: When my checking account just started going crazy.
Mark: I’m just kidding. No. When I was like oh wow, this is great. Probably like a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago.
Mark: But yeah, just realizing that your actions are finally paying off, because for a while, you know when you’re doing something and you’re like, “Am I doing this right? Am I doing this right?” You mind just wants to kind of doubt you and make you quit, but you just stick to it. I mean, if you ask any of the agents or like the big teams at Big Block, ask Christy, and Phil, and them like, ask them how many times I was like, “Do you want my team?”
Mark: I’d call Christy and be like.
Oliver: No, I believe it.
Mark: “I’m done.”
Oliver: Yeah, because it’s tough, and then there’s baby sitting, there’s accountability, there’s them calling you with questions all the time and all of that that you don’t have to deal with as a solo agent, and worrying about providing them leads, and does this all cancel out.
Mark: Make sure everyone is happy.
Oliver: Yeah, is everyone happy?
Mark: Are people going to leave and then it’s going to make you feel depressed because it’s like you’re getting dumped, and you’re like, “Well, wait. Didn’t I provide value? What’s going on?”
Oliver: Totally. So how do you deal with that when that happens?
Mark: Thankfully I’ve never lost, like I said, I’ve never lost a huge key player.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: I mean, but I never.
Oliver: That says something about what you guys are doing.
Mark: But I also never had really any huge key players. I do for sure, but I mean, I didn’t have very many in the beginning because we were all new, and I wouldn’t even consider myself like a huge key player. Like I said, I’ll probably only sell like 20 houses this year.
Oliver: Okay. You’re doing 20 out of the 250?
Mark: Yeah, probably.
Mark: I sold one today.
Oliver: Good for you, congrats.
Oliver: Cheers to that.
Mark: Mine’s all, The biggest is your sphere of influence. Keep in contact with your sphere of influence, provide value to them, using Facebook. Facebook is key, keeping in touch with people, doing a letter.
Oliver: Okay, so I was actually, the next question I was going to ask you is where is most of your business coming from?
Mark: All mine is almost like 95% of my business is past clients, sphere of influence.
Oliver: Is that for the whole team-
Mark: That’s just time.
Oliver: Or is that just you personally?
Mark: That’s just me personally.
Mark: I would say that my number one agent, her business is for sure sphere of influence. She was taking, so one thing is you’re on a team, promote the team. She was taking sales from the team, posting those, she was posting hers. She is very popular in San Diego. I think she’s born and raised here, but everybody knows her and everybody loves her. So her sphere of influence is just buying houses like crazy left and right, and selling houses. So she’s really milked that.
Oliver: So for you it’s your sphere, for your top agent it’s sphere.
Oliver: What is it for everybody else?
Mark: Online leads and then open houses we’re really good at. So we would definitely have a high conversion. If you have five people come to your open house, we’re going to have a closing.
Oliver: Five people and you’re having a closing.
Oliver: Wow. Okay, let me-
Mark: That’s the best, when I have agents that are new and they’re like, “Only three people showed up.” I’m like, “How many escrows do you have?” And they’re like, “Well only three people showed up.” I’m like, “I would’ve had three new clients.”
Mark: So you’re doing something wrong. Three is great.
Oliver: So tell me about that, because I think that’s really impressive. What are you doing at the open houses that’s helping you do that?
Mark: Education and doubt.
Mark: So educating the client in a fun way and doubt, if they have an agent, because more than likely there’s however many agents in San Diego County, they have an agent, or they’ve spoken to an agent and it is their agent even though they don’t even know their last name. Doing that and providing doubt about their process will really make them like you but without being condescending to them or the other agent.
Mark: Never talk crap about another agent at an open house.
Mark: It makes you look bad, it makes the industry look bad, and it makes you look bad.
Mark: So it just makes you look like an idiot. Talk bad about the process. Make them fear the process of losing their EMD, or choosing the wrong bank because that, getting their offer accepted.
Oliver: So walk me through how you do those things.
Mark: So first keyword when they walk in, say, “Hey, how did you hear about the open house?” I don’t care how, well I mean, I care how they hear about the open house because I want to know if they’re a neighbor, if they’re a seller.
Mark: Because if they saw the signs. If they said, “Oh, I saw it online.” Usually that means that they’ve been looking while because they’re actively looking on the apps, and more than likely [crosstalk].
Oliver: And actually showing up.
Oliver: Not just looking, but they’re there.
Mark: So they’re pretty far along in the process. They’ve been looking, they probably have an agent and their agent doesn’t come. Then the other one would be signs, that just means you’re kind go walking around the neighborhood and that’s more like looky-loos, like, “We were grabbing brunch and we say your sign.”
Oliver: Right, okay.
Mark: So those are the kind of three indicators and it knows what level they’re. So if they’re looking, they’re like oh, well you have, you found it online but you probably know more about this house than I do, and then don’t be a helicopter parent. Don’t follow them around the listing. Just let them go be their thing and just say, “Hey, just let me know what you think when you come back.” I usually will have great conversation with people and get them to warm up immediately. So body language, NLP, if you’ve ever done NLP, if you don’t know what it is, look it up, neuro-linguistic programming, so open body language. Smile, using your hand for, I probably just hit my microphone. When you find an agent to work with, you’re saying me. So that kind of thing.
Oliver: When you find a great agent to work with.
Oliver: Not one of those other agents.
Mark: Yeah, when you find a San Diego agent, one of the top San Diego agents, which I don’t even think I am, but.
Oliver: Love it, love it.
Mark: No, so you do that kind of stuff and that makes someone want to work with you, but I would say like, “How did you hear about the house?” Or I, oh, so you’ve probably been looking a while. If it’s been someone shopping on Redfin. Great, oh, six months? Wow, that’s a long time. Three months, wow that’s a long time. It’s creating doubt. They’re like, “Shit, well is that a long time?”
Oliver: Yeah, wow, wait a minute. Okay.
Mark: So you start that off and then you’re going to go into more, you have a book, so you’re going to take a book and it’s a binder, and you’re going to have every single flip property in the neighborhood. So get together with all the flippers in San Diego. You’ll print off all their weekly inventory, and you’ll have a book that says, “Off market inventory.” And you’ll put that on the counter and say, “Well, so are you just looking at staff at the app or is your agent sending you properties or what?” And they’re like, “Oh no, our agent is sending us properties.” And be like, “Oh, just like MLS sheets or what?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” So is your agent not showing you any properties that are off market?
Oliver: Oh, that’s so good.
Oliver: Love that.
Mark: And they’re like, “What do you mean you have off market?” And you actually, this is NLP. Sorry, this is his book, but.
Oliver: Love it.
Mark: So this is my off market book, and I would take it from the counter and be like, “Well, this is all of our off market properties. So we can’t give this out, but I would love to share it with you. I mean, what kind of house are you looking for?” And then you just look down and start flipping through all of the pages of all your off market houses.” And they’re like, “Wait, those are houses I haven’t seen?”
Oliver: Wait, you have all those? Right.
Mark: Because I’ve been on Redfin for 17 hours a day flipping through the same houses.
Oliver: Yeah. That’s a great tip.
Mark: So that’s your key. Another one is that they say which bank they’re working for, or working with, and I’m like, “Well, have you written any offers?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” And I’m like, “Well here is the thing. If you work with X bank, if I’m the listing agent, I don’t know the banker or that loan officer there. It doesn’t look good. A big bank is not necessarily a good thing, so make sure you take that in consideration. It’s not just about rate, because you’ll be shopping for six months and the rates may go up and you just lost out on buying a house six months ago which could’ve been 3% less in a increase in pricing. So your rate that you’re curious about at Bank of America may not be the best rate for you.”
Oliver: That’s good. That’s more doubt.
Mark: I do that kind of stuff. Then definitely never helicopter, never tell them about the house. It’s not about the house, they’re not going to buy that house. Maybe the will and someone’s going to write, “Oh, I sold a house in an open house.” Great, but 99% of the time it’s just getting that client to go to somewhere else.
Oliver: And then, that’s what I was going to ask next, is what’s your conversion process from taking them from a looky-loo in your open house, they know they’re not going to buy it, you know they’re probably not going to buy it.
Mark: So it’s LP MAMA. So if you know the script for LP MAMA is location, price, motivation, agent, or they have an agent, mortgage, do they have a company that they’re working for a loan, and then appointment is the last A. So you always want to have that appointment. So at the open house, I will know of three to four other vacant listings in the area or ones that I could possibly show, and they may not be the similar. So if I’m doing a three bed, two bath, I’ll have a two bed, one bath, and I’ll have a four bed, and I’ll have another three bed. And I’ll be like, “Well have you seen the one on 123 Main street that just came on?” And they’re like, “No.” I’ll be like, “Well I’m done here at 4:00. What I’ll do is I’ll close up this, I’m going to meet you down at 123 Main street at four o’clock.” You’re not asking them to meet them. Oh, are you free? Pause.
Oliver: Assuming a sale.
Mark: Yeah, you’re just like, “Well, I’m just going to meet you there because you’re going to want to see this house. It’s freaking awesome. It’s better than this one, but I can’t say that because I’m this seller’s house.” And then you meet them and then be like, “In the meantime I’m going to set you up on some search because I love those sites that you’re looking on, but they’re not a 100% accurate. My search is syndicated with the MLS, it’s going to send you listings ever hour or whenever. If you’re looking right now I’m going to send them the second they hit the market. It’s going to tap you.”
Oliver: That’s great. And what about if they say, “I have an agent?”
Mark: Then it’s more doubt stuff. So like using the off market properties. Wow, you’ve been looking for four months? Wow, that’s a long time. Where is your agent right now?
Oliver: Great question.
Mark: So I would literally be like, no, I peek out the door.
Oliver: Great question.
Mark: And be like, “Is your agent coming in?” And they’re like.
Oliver: I don’t see them behind you anywhere.
Mark: And mind you, I send people to open houses all the time without me, but I act like, “Why are you here without your agent? Is your agent not working for you?” Yeah.
Oliver: That’s good.
Mark: So, I mean, sorry, I’ve probably stolen some of your clients.
Mark: No, just kidding, no.
Oliver: Maybe you should’ve gone with them to the open house.
Mark: Exactly. Well, that’s the best is like, so the off market property thing and really setting that appointment right then and there. You cannot be pushy, you can’t be asking for the appointment because that’s pushy and salesy. You have to just assume the close and just say like, “Hey, you know what? At four o’clock I’m done here, I’m going to pick up my signs and I’m just going to meet you at 123 Main street. It’s a three bed, two bath. It’s super nice. I’ll see you there at four. Sound good? Perfect.”
Oliver: And you know it’s vacant so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Mark: I would have it already ready.
Oliver: And just it’s ready to go.
Mark: Yeah, and you print all the inventory out so it shows, and you’re actually tour it and know it. So if you’re doing open houses without love is like, you’re an agent in San Diego and you live in 92101 downtown and you’re freaking doing an open house in Ocean Side just because, I’m like, “Why?” You just wasted freaking eight hours of your day. Do you know the inventory? I don’t know, the only road I know in Ocean Side is I-5. That is the only road I know that’s up there.
Mark: So you’re not going to know the schools, you’re not going, and an open house is about education. Oh yeah, Alice Birney is right there. That school is a nine out of 10. This one over here, if you go in that side of the 805, it actually the schools drop to about a four.
Oliver: Oh wow, that’s good.
Mark: It’s definitely changing, but if your kid is two, I would say go for it, if your kid’s five and has to go to preschool there, I don’t know. You got to take that in consideration.
Oliver: That might be a different story.
Mark: But if you have that information and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, we got to buy a house.” Other one that’s really good if you’re a Temecula agent, use your tax rates. So you got to know, because in Temecula taxes can be different across the street for the schooling. One will be 2% and one will be like 1% I think.
Oliver: That’s good to know, yeah.
Mark: I don’t know Temecula all that well, but it was an agent telling me about that. Here you can be like, “Well, the taxes in this area are 1.25. The taxes over there, especially knowing which neighborhoods have Mello.”
Oliver: Mello-Roos or not. Yeah.
Mark: Yeah, and knowing the story about Mello-Roos. I went on a listing appointment, I think it’s Jim Mello and Mike Roos. Knowing those people and knowing the little history behind it, it’s fun.
Oliver: To spout out a little bit.
Mark: Yeah, chat with, the guys was a freaking, what was he? He was a lobbyist and he was friends with those guys and he was friends with someone else. Oh, Jim Mills, like Mills Act.
Oliver: So we can thank them all for higher prices?
Mark: Well I was thinking, I was like you want to be Jim Mills but you don’t want to be Henry Mello or whatever his name. And the guys was laughing.
Mark: He was like an old like 80-year-old man.
Mark: So I did not get the listing. Damn.
Oliver: Well, can’t win them all, I guess.
Mark: I know. I hadn’t sold a house in Coronado before and he was set on having an agent that sold a home in Coronado. I was like, “I’ll cold list it. Let’s do it.”
Oliver: Well, that’s a good shift.
Mark: Yeah, I was like, “Well let’s just cold list it. I’ll find the best agent in Coronado and then I’ll tell you everything that they did wrong during the transaction.”
Oliver: And then we’ll take over from there.
Mark: Yeah, I’ll split the commission.
Oliver: Yeah, of course, of course. So what about some of your processes on the back end? Like you said sphere of influence is your biggest source for you.
Oliver: And for some of your team members, and then portal leads for the rest.
Oliver: And is that just mainly leads you’re buying?
Mark: No, online leads, randoms. Yeah.
Oliver: To Zillow, Red. Okay, cool. How are you having them, because it sounds like you’re really big on conversions.
Oliver: So I’m guessing you are tracking phone calls, appointments.
Mark: No, not now.
Mark: We were though.
Mark: But now my top sever are pretty good at it. So what we do is really is just like, if you are on … So we do lead shifts. So because there’s a way that you can distribute leads and it’s not necessarily the best way to do it because someone may be at the gym, someone may be driving and then they’re going to answer and they’re not going to do what they should be doing. So we do lead shifts so that when someone answers the phone they’re at a desk and they have their computer open and they can create the search for them, they can talk more about the situation versus doing other stuff, and our conversion has gone up a lot. So all of our shifts are covered from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday. So we do three shifts a day.
Oliver: 9:00 to 6:00 Monday through Friday, and those are four hour shifts ish, three hours.
Mark: Yeah, it’s like 9:00 to noon, noon to 3:00, 3:00 to 6:00. Three hour shifts.
Oliver: And how are you facilitating that?
Mark: So we let best agent that has the most closings go first. They pick five shifts and then the next person picks five shifts, the next, and then whatever is left.
Oliver: Okay, and then is there like a company phone that’s getting handed around?
Mark: Yeah, well that and then also there’s a, everything is routed to them through our CRM.
Oliver: Okay, cool. And what CRM is that?
Oliver: BoomTown. Okay, cool.
Oliver: You also mentioned that you have a coach.
Oliver: Who’s your coach?
Mark: Tom Ferry.
Oliver: Tom Ferry, okay.
Mark: So he’s not my actual coach, he’s the coaching company.
Mark: But I did text Tom that I bought my new house that he told me to buy.
Mark: And he was like, “I’m so proud of you.”
Oliver: That’s the one in Kensington you were telling me about?
Mark: Yes, yeah.
Mark: So just closed on that house on Wednesday. But yeah, he’s our coach and that’s just through our network that we’ve received ton of just feedback, and networking, and learning from your peers.
Oliver: Yeah, yeah.
Mark: Sharing. If you share, people will share with you.
Oliver: Totally agree, and we’re also big on just the continued education thing, right? Just get a coach, whether it’s Tom Ferry, Buffini, Mike Ferry, whoever, Kevin Ward, whoever it is.
Oliver: But plug into something that you can network with other people, refer deals from other areas, share kind of secrets and help each other grow with that, so.
Mark: And I’ll say like a lot of people will complain about their coach. They’re like, “I don’t like this coach.” You’ll see it in the forums occasionally, and I go, “I don’t like this coach.” And not the coaching program but the actual individual coach, and I’d say like, stick with your coach for a while and then kind of go from there because it’s definitely like a.
Oliver: Thank you, appreciate it.
Mark: You never know who you’re going to learn from, and my coach at first I was so scared of my coach. When they assign they’re like, “Well you’re going to get this person, this person, or this person.” I was like, “Oh please, don’t be the guy from Long Island the scares me.” And he’s the sweetest guy in the world. I’ve had him as a coach for two years. Yeah, so just let your coach, I don’t know.
Oliver: And what is he coaching you on now?
Mark: Now it’s more of the ideas that I have and then just holding me to it, and then what he does great is like, he’s coaching tons of teams all around the country. He’s going to take whatever is working for them and share it.
Oliver: Right, yeah.
Mark: And so when people are like, “Wow, I can’t pay.” I was paying 2,500 a month and people are like, “I can’t pay 2,500 a month.” And I get it, you don’t start there, but you graduate into it and your level of coaching gets higher and higher. So I mean, like the Tom Ferry coaching or Mike Ferry coaching, I mean, it’s like 500 bucks or 600 bucks when you start out. Hire a coach.
Mark: If you don’t have a coach right now and if you’re like, “I can’t afford a coach.” You can’t afford a coach because you don’t have a coach.
Oliver: Yeah. It’s true. Because they’re not, to your point, they’re not only going to push you and hold you accountable to doing what you’re actually supposed to do every day, but they’re going to be taking that information that other people are winning with in different markets and being able to give it to you.
Oliver: To implement in your own market.
Mark: Why test everything like I was doing in the beginning when you can have 70 other team leaders that I’m like best friends with? I mean, since I’ve gotten my house, I have a few guest rooms and they’ve been hitting me up like, “I’m coming out.”
Oliver: Yeah, totally.
Mark: So my friend Adam has 30 something units and he lives in the Bay Area. He has 30 units in the Bay Area.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: And some of them are like … I’m sorry, 30 buildings. Some of them are like 30 units. The guy is killing it, and he comes down, he shares me all of his freaking analytics of how he analyzes a property.
Mark: And half the time it’s over my head, but.
Oliver: Yeah, you got to be around people that are doing bigger things than you is the bottom line.
Oliver: In my opinion.
Mark: I’m always the loser in my group.
Oliver: Yeah, and that’s the best person to be because then.
Mark: It’s funny but then you start growing, and you’re like, “Oh man, I’m growing with them.”
Oliver: Yeah, it’s interesting how that works.
Mark: People bring you up, for sure, and people love having people. Like if I have people that are willing to learn, there’s nothing better than that.
Mark: Bringing people up around me, or helping someone new out, like a young person who wants to learn about real estate. If they really want to work their butt off, I’ll teach them everything.
Oliver: Yeah. Yeah, once you get to a certain stage, you’re almost looking for people like that. You want those younger, hungrier people, not even younger necessarily, but just that have the hunger and want to do it.
Oliver: And if you’ve already done it and you can show them the way, I mean, it’s a no-brainer.
Mark: The coolest thing is I was like, I was hearing a conversation going, it was one of the agents on my team and he was talking about me but I don’t think he knew I was there. He was like, “Well, my real estate mentor.” And I was like oh.
Mark: I’m like his mentor, like teaching him life in real estate.
Oliver: Yeah, that’s pretty cool, right.
Mark: Which is I’ve had so many people do that to me, it feels great, and if anyone is not willing to share.
Oliver: Change your situation.
Mark: Get a different mindset.
Oliver: Change your team, your broker, whatever you got to do, get out of that.
Mark: For sure.
Oliver: So right now in your business, what are like your top three or top tools, softwares, kind of things that, apps, that help you run your business that you just can’t live without, or that you love, or you’re excited about?
Mark: Yeah, so for organization or my to-do list I use Trello.
Mark: A lot of people actually use it for transaction management. So you can put on templates and everything, it’s free. I love free stuff.
Oliver: Love it.
Mark: Because when you start a team, all those expenses add up.
Mark: Another one is Brokermint. We use that for more transaction management.
Mark: It’s kind of like BackAgent but I would say it’s more … It’s smaller. It’s like for a individual, and you can set dates and timelines. Really helps out with staying on track of that.
Mark: BackAgent probably does the same things, I just keep looking at it.
Oliver: So is that the software that is helping you run your transactions the same way every time?
Mark: Yeah. So it’ll tell us, like you type in a date and it auto inputs all the dates for your escrow timeline [crosstalk].
Oliver: Got it, cool. Okay.
Mark: Yeah, so that’s called Brokermint. And I’d say like Facebook. Sounds cheesy, but you got to use Facebook, and I’m not talking about paid ads, I’m talking about sphere of influence and not just going on there and just trolling at nine o’clock at night till 3:00 in the morning. I’m talking about like going in and having intention. So on my calendar, every single Monday, I believe it’s Monday morning, or no, Tuesday morning. It says, Facebook, Instagram stalk, and I know that hour, all I’m supposed to do is go to this group and find these certain people that I work with that are kind of like mentors and also … They own really big companies.
Mark: So I just need to go on there and comment on their photos. So that’s all do for an hour every Tuesday morning.
Mark: And I, it’s an intent. I know exactly whose pages I’m going to, I know whose Instagram I’m going to and I’ve got my list, and I go on and I comment and like photos, and I’ll do it throughout whenever I’m on there, but I for sure touch those people every single time.
Oliver: So are those your As, would you consider?
Mark: Yeah, like your clients and your people that are like your big referrals partners. Yeah, you [crosstalk] on those.
Oliver: So I want to talk more about this because this is the third time you’ve brought up Facebook and your sphere of influence. So I want to talk about how you’re doing that, right? With the intention that you just mentioned. What are some things that you’re doing to leverage Facebook to get business from your sphere. So the liking and commenting.
Mark: Another one is a custom audience. So you would take every email of your past clients, your clients, your sphere of influence and you upload it to Facebook and then you create an ad, and you would do that every single month, change it up, provide value, do a video, do a thing. So you’d see me following you around for a month. And it’s super cheap.
Oliver: And what does that ad look like or what does it sound like?
Mark: One would be like, “Thanks for making me top 1% in San Diego county for SDAR, San Diego Association of REALTORS, I look forward to helping you in 2019.
Mark: That was my 2018 January, or 2019 January post.
Mark: And that follow all my SOI around for a month.
Oliver: And so you’re doing-
Mark: And people would be like, “Oh my gosh.” They’d the like, “I was you on Facebook.” People don’t even realized it’s sponsored sometimes, because it’s just like a headshot of me.
Oliver: Yeah. So you’re posting that on your business page.
Oliver: It’s a video.
Mark: It’s just, well it’s in my ad.
Mark: So it’s like you go to your ads on your personal page. I rarely use my business page.
Mark: I just go to my personal page and I create an ad, but my Facebook guy does it for me.
Oliver: Okay, cool. It sounds like it’s not really buy or sell.
Mark: No, no, no, nothing.
Oliver: Type pitching.
Mark: I’m not salesy at all.
Oliver: It’s more like okay, so tell me more about that, what?
Mark: I just come from service, so I’ll be like, “Hey.” A lot of times, I have a meeting today, they were first time buyers, they bought a house from me three years ago. They’ve lived in that home and now they’ve been kind of questioning me about investment properties because they see all my investments, and like, “How do we do this.” So we’re sitting down and putting together a plan.
Mark: So that’s just someone who they’ve been targeted to for three years.
Mark: I also take them out on events. My A clients, the ones that are referring people, I make sure that I invite them to either shows in the city, or Padres tickets. I’m like, “Yeah, I’ve got this extra Padre tickets.” And I will just shoot them over to them.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: So just taking care of your clients.
Oliver: And are those one-on-one style? You go to Padre game or are you taking a big group of people?
Mark: No, it wouldn’t even be with me. I’d be like, “Hey, I have two tickets. Go.”
Oliver: Oh, okay.
Mark: They don’t want to go to the game with me.
Oliver: Okay, cool. So it’s more just gifting.
Mark: They’d be like, “But we love Mark.”
Mark: Yeah, no, I don’t want to go.
Oliver: But Mark hooked it up, so he’s my boy.
Mark: Yeah. So I’ll just give tickets out or to different stuff.
Oliver: Okay, and anything else on the Facebook note?
Mark: We do, so I have PorchLight preferred clients. So it’s a group that’s just our past clients. So say my client needs a barbecue that he’s going to get rid off. I’ll post in there, be like, “Hey, who wants a free barbecue?” So it’s giving it to our past clients.
Mark: So like, “Who wants this TV?” Or hey, anybody know of a good service for this? And then people chime in.
Oliver: So that’s just a private network of your-
Mark: Of all of our past clients.
Oliver: Past clients. And that’s just a Facebook group?
Oliver: Okay, cool. It’s another good tip.
Mark: And then another one is we do a happy hour every quarter.
Mark: So we’ll do a happy hour at our office and we do like, one thing that’s huge is reviews. So we’ll have people that’ll come in and for a drink ticket they’ll get a review. You have to write a review and then you get a drink ticket.
Oliver: Oh my god, we’re stealing that. That’s so good.
Mark: Yeah, so you, if they’re like, “But I’ve already written a review.”
Oliver: So when they show up.
Mark: And I’m like, “Use another email.”
Oliver: No way, that’s great.
Mark: Or write a review on Facebook, or write a review on Google. If you look at our Zillow, we’re the fifth most reviewed team in all of San Diego County.
Oliver: So you’re actually having them do it in, they come to your event.
Mark: There’s iPads. Well, we want them-
Oliver: You’ve got the ethical bribe. Hey, do this for a drink.
Mark: Well, we want them to use their phones because it’s all based off IP address. So don’t have them do it on an iPad, and don’t write the review for them, and these are all past clients. So like, “Hey, write us a review.” Oh, I never did, because they’re moving or something. Best time to ask for a review too is after contingency removal period. It’s before they start moving. Don’t wait too close of escrow because they’re busy.
Mark: So you ask them after you removed contingencies, then you ask them for a review. Hey look, now we’re at the finish line, we’re just waiting for those last seven days or whatever amount left.
Oliver: They’ve gone through it all, they know the drill.
Mark: Will you write me a review on Zillow?
Oliver: They’re not dealing with the craziness of moving quite yet.
Oliver: Love that.
Mark: That’s the best time. But if they didn’t write a review then, hit them up again, and I always feel bad. I’m like, “Could you write us a review on Yelp, and Zillow, and Facebook, and Google and.” What’s the other one? Realtor.com.
Mark: We have yeah, five sites now. So I took them all and put them all up, and so when people come in they can write us reviews.
Oliver: That’s great. We’re stealing that. That’s really good. Right.
Mark: But if you work on one little part of your business every month, little by little you’ll be a badass.
Oliver: Just keep getting a little bit better.
Mark: And then it’ll change.
Oliver: Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Mark: Yeah, and then it’ll be like oh, you can’t do that anymore. You’re like, “Jeez, I just got that system down.”
Oliver: But so those are some great tips. I think the private client Facebook group is awesome, past clients in your Facebook group.
Oliver: I love the idea of ethical bribes for testimonials, and I love the idea of running an ad every month to your custom audience of sphere and past clients.
Mark: It’s super cheap. It’s like you can run an ad to like a 150 people for like a few dollars a day, like a dollar a day or something.
Mark: Versus doing a blanket ad to people that don’t even know you, or to other real estate agents. I get other people’s ads and I’m like, “Why are you targeting me?”
Oliver: That’s hilarious, yeah. I get a kick out of that too. Are you putting any calls to action in those at all or is it very?
Mark: No. I never.
Oliver: I’m just here.
Mark: They always have the CTAs, the call to actions, but I mean, I’m not, like that’s what’s told to do. That’s just not my personality. So I’m more of like a hey, I’m just here, I’m just kicking butt. Subtle and [crosstalk].
Oliver: And then here I am again, I’m here again. Still here.
Mark: Just sold this house. But I just want them to think real estate, Mark Pattison.
Mark: They all want other agents to think that too.
Oliver: Yeah. And then any other tips just on, like posting? What people should be posting, what they shouldn’t be posting?
Mark: Yeah, don’t get confrontational on Facebook. You’re never going to change someone’s political views. Don’t post things that you don’t agree with. Don’t write negative things on Lab Coat Agents, because people see that, and clients see that, and it just looks really bad on your behalf.
Mark: You’re never going to … I don’t know. And when people call people stupid or that, it just makes you look like an ass.
Mark: And don’t do that.
Mark: Yeah. If you don’t have anything nice to say.
Oliver: If you wouldn’t do that in an everyday conversation, so you probably shouldn’t do it on Facebook either.
Mark: That’s something my coach taught me, is that Facebook is an everyday conversation, so if someone says, “Hey, great view or whatever.” You don’t like it because you’re never going to be like, [inaudible] “Great shirt.” And you’d be like. You comment back and you get more engagement that way.
Mark: So that’s something that you can do.
Oliver: Cool. Well so speaking of Facebook, I actually, like I was telling you earlier, I posted on Facebook that we were going to be doing this interview and let people see if they had any other questions and this one came from Keri Shull, she’s a really badass agent in DC, and she asks, “What would you say are your daily habits for success?”
Mark: Yeah, one of the things that I would say is that I use my calendar. It is the back of my hand. So I’m going to be on that thing 300 times a day checking it, making sure that I’m on it, and anything that I need to do, and I color code my calendar. So if it’s something I have to be somewhere it’s red, if it makes me money it’s green, and then if it’s just something that I have to do that day, if it’s not for sure I have to do it that day I’ll put it on my calendar, I’ll allocate time, and if it’s not there, it’s like my to-do list. So I take my Trello items, like my items that I want to do, and I move them to my calendar. Because if you’re not blocking time off for these things that you have to do, your thinking things don’t take as much time as they truly do.
Mark: And then you never get anything done.
Mark: The other thing is I’d say is take three things a day and make sure you accomplish them.
Oliver: I love it.
Mark: So if you’re working on projects or building something, and reading, educational, all that good stuff, but take three things a day and make sure you accomplish those at least.
Oliver: I love the three things a day because it’s so easy to do. Anybody can implement it, and speaking of Schron, something that Schron taught us is planning your day in advance so.
Mark: Yeah, the night before.
Oliver: The night before.
Oliver: Just write down the three things that you’re going to do tomorrow and make sure you’re getting those done.
Mark: Mine is definitely, like this is my calendar for today. So like every single thing.
Oliver: There’s a lot of green, so those are making you money.
Mark: Well, this is actually not the green. This is just the way Apple does their thing, but on my desktop it’s colored.
Oliver: Got it.
Mark: So once I finish something though I delete it off my calendar, and at the end of the day if I didn’t finish something, I drag it over and it goes to my next day. And so then like, yeah.
Oliver: Makes sense.
Mark: Until I can fill it up or until I can get it all done. So there’s times when people are like, “I don’t know what to do.” [crosstalk]
Oliver: It’s just going to linger.
Mark: It is just always there.
Mark: And so if I know, if I look at the next day I’m like, “Well, I got to wake up at 4:30.” I need to hit the ground running at 5:00 AM because I’ve got so much I need to accomplish.
Oliver: It’s a really good way to do it.
Mark: So by 8:00 AM I can probably get like 30 of those things that are on there just off my calendar.
Oliver: Yeah. Love that, great tip.
Mark: And then you time it so that if it’s something that has to wait till 8:00 AM, I had to call a pool guy and I had to call a landscaping guy because I moved into a new house. I had to wait till 8:00 AM.
Oliver: You’re not doing that at 6:00, yeah.
Mark: So I move that, so right at eight o’clock I called them.
Oliver: Yeah, good. I love that.
Mark: So you just have like, just make sure you do that kind of stuff and [crosstalk].
Oliver: And who’s managing your calendar? Just you or?
Mark: I do, I don’t have an assistant.
Mark: So we have one admin on the team and she’s not even an employee, she’s just RTC. So all of us do our own stuff. So we’re doing that many deals and managing it all on our own.
Oliver: That’s incredible.
Mark: Yeah. But I am looking for an assistant, like I said.
Mark: I’ve been interviewing, but I’m going to be super picky this time and really go with the right hire.
Oliver: I think you should.
Mark: Sometimes I’m too empathetic and I go for it and I’m like, “I’ll try to help someone out.” And change your life.
Oliver: Never do that.
Mark: I do love changing people’s lives though. That’s the best feeling.
Oliver: I do love changing people’s lives as well, but I’m going to share one Mike Ferry quote that’s one of my all-time favorite quotes, it’s, “We’re not saving the manatees.” So when you’re looking to hire people, we’re not saving the manatees. You need to find the best person for you that’s going to add the most value, that’s going to buy into your vision, that’s going to fit the culture, and don’t think about anything else.
Mark: No, yeah. My last hire didn’t know anything about real estate. I taught her everything and now she’s killing it, and now she’s going to be an agent on my team. So she’s our eighth agent that’s going to be.
Oliver: That’s great.
Mark: She’s our transaction coordinator.
Mark: One thing we talk about every time is credit scores. So we’ll go in and every meeting we know each other’s credit scores.
Mark: Yeah. It’s voluntary, but everyone volunteers.
Mark: We’re a family. One girl’s credit score is going up like a 100 points since she’s joined, and she’s been on the team for like six months.
Oliver: And why are you doing that?
Mark: Because credit score is the easiest way to wealth. If you have bad credit.
Oliver: Totally agree.
Mark: You’re going to pay more for everything. Yeah, and so I-
Oliver: Car loan, cellphone bill.
Mark: Everything more, and so get your credit score in order because you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do it. You just have to pay attention, and if it’s something up and visual in your face every day, improve my credit score, improve my credit score, improve my credit score, your credit score is going to go up.
Oliver: Who’s got the highest score?
Mark: I probably do. No. I have like eight something.
Oliver: That’s great, yeah.
Mark: 840 was my last one, but when they pulled for the thing it was like 800.
Oliver: Very cool.
Mark: For my house. But no, the agents all actually have really high credit, because none of them have car payments. They’re all paying off their cars, yeah.
Oliver: I love it, and I love how you’re kind of doing the completely approach for your agents. It’s not just about the business, it’s about.
Mark: What’s your split? I’m like. If you ask me what my split is, you’re the wrong agent for the team.
Mark: Trust me, I will make you rich.
Mark: That’s all you have to worry, is like if you put the effort in, I’ll teach you how to be rich.
Mark: Rich, relative word. I mean, we’re making good money.
Oliver: Yeah. It sounds like you’re just laying the complete financial picture for them.
Mark: I want to help, if they’re willing to do it, I love, it’s.
Mark Pattison Interview Pullout Quotes:
“Do what you’re good at.”
“You don’t have to be the expert, but you’ve got to have basics down.”
“That’s why I think my agents do so well is the education aspect.”
“I don’t want to get rich off my agents, I want to make my agents rich.”
“You’ve got to be a landlord before you can own a Land Rover.”
“Double down on what works.”
“Never talk crap about another agent at [an] open house. It makes you look bad. It makes the industry
“Off-market is a gold brick. It’s something you have that Redfin doesn’t have, that Zillow doesn’t have,
that their agent doesn’t have.”
“An open house is about education.”
“If you share, people will share with you.”
“You can’t afford a coach because you don’t have a coach.”
“You can run an ad to 150 people for a few dollars a day [on Facebook].”
“If you put the effort in, I will teach you how to be rich.”
“Surround yourself with good people. If you surround yourself with five people that are doing what you
want to do, you will become them. It’s inevitable.”
“You don’t have to BE the answer, but you’ve got to have someone who does.”
Mark Pattison Interview Resources:
- Big Block Realty
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Real Estate Riches: How to Become Rich Using Your Banker’s Money by Dolf de Roos and Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Mischel’s Delayed Gratification Study
- Sharran Srivatsaa
- Jesse Zagorsky
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming
- Tom Ferry
- Mike Ferry
- Buffini & Company
- Kevin Ward
- Keri Shull
- Mike Cuevas
- The CORE Training
Connect with Mark
Connect with Oliver
Other episodes of founders club you might like:
Kent Clothier – How To Find Off Market Properties
Cory Boatright – How to Make Big Profits Wholesaling Real Estate
Thank you for watching this Mark Pattison Interview!
If you’d like to see all the episodes go to: www.OliverGraf.tv/FoundersClub
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas contact me here.