Matt Kirkkegaard with Movement Property Group in Nashville talks about the transition from his career as a musician to real estate business. Matt talks about and explains his strategies and tools he uses as a real estate agent that has brought him success. Matt also discusses why he believes communication, cooperation and empathy are very important tools in building relationship with the clients. Last, Matt discusses a the motto “fail big to win big” and its importance.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
from living in his car to build a multi million dollar real estate team, how did he do it? We’re gonna find out today. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcasts made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer Matt Kirkegaard. But before we get to Matt, just a couple of quick reminders one, the best way that you can help us grow is simply by telling a friend this is going to be a tough year 2023 In real estate right read what the economists are writing what we know other agents are experiencing out there. This is a tricky year. Let’s help our fellow Realtors send them a link to this episode and all of our episodes. They can be streamed right at our website, keeping it real pod.com And also if you are not yet a subscriber to our podcast, whatever podcast app you might be listening to us on whether it’s Apple podcasts, Google Play Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, etc. Hit that subscribe button and leave us a review we would really greatly appreciate it. Alright guys, let’s get right to it my conversation with Matt Kirkegaard.
Today on the show, we have Matt Kirkegaard moved to property grid in Nashville. Let me tell you more about Matt. Now Matt Kirkegaard has been a Nashville resident since 2008. As a professional musician, he has lived and worked in every area of Nashville and the surrounding areas. He has a passion for Nashville and a passion for people. Matt and his team bring a deep level of simplicity and honesty to the buying process. They strive to make the process of buying a home an exciting one. Matt also started a program called Lift Up where 10% of his company’s profits go to the lift up Fund, which provides mortgage and rent relief for struggling families and individuals. To learn more about Matt and his company movement Property Group, please visit movement property group.com. And also follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok. Just search for movement Property Group, we will have links to those social platforms in the show notes. Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt Kirkkegaard 3:41
Hey, thanks for having me.
D.J. Paris 3:43
Yeah, super excited to to chat. But right, right before we were going live, I was telling Matt, the last time I was in Nashville was for the Eclipse. And I was like, Oh, were you there and you were in Puerto Rico and I was saying it was really a cool thing because I don’t know that most people knew this I certainly didn’t was that because we were at Nashville which was considered like a perfect latitude longitude, no point to be able to see the Eclipse. We we were able to safely take our glasses off and stare directly at the Eclipse only for a minute or so. But there because we were at that that one space, we were actually able to see it without glasses. And it really was I honestly I think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Aside from being in beautiful Nashville which is also just such a dream place to I always fantasize if I was going to move Charleston or Nashville. Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Thanks for Thanks for coming on the show. And let’s actually I’d love to hear about how you got into real estate. I know you’re a musician, so and still a musician. So I’d love to hear about you know how you had you know the path you had through musicianship and also real estate and how you married the two.
Matt Kirkkegaard 4:57
Yeah, how long do we have I mean, flowers right? I mean, it’s it’s a it’s a kind of a crazy story I obviously as you said, I’m a musician I, I grew up musics kind of been my only most of my life, I started playing professionally I was nine. And so I’ve never known anything else. And so at school for music, I moved to Nashville for music. And, and for all intents and purposes, I really made it the music industry or started you know, kind of my my best selling music career and was on a good trajectory and moving forward really well and met a girl as all of these stories start married, said girl, and in our in our shortly after we got married, actually, we had a family member that basically stole a lot of money from us left us with a pretty intense amount of debt. And long story short, we lost our house, we were homeless for a year and a half and, and I say homeless, my wife’s corrected me many times on this, we weren’t fully homeless, we have lots of friends that offered up their couch or spot in their garage, or, you know, their driveway for our car or whatever. So we had, we had lots of lots of people who stepped in and took care of us during that season. But we were unable to we did not have our own space for a year and a half. And
D.J. Paris 6:09
you were still performing during that time.
Matt Kirkkegaard 6:11
I was yeah, some music was still the primary at that time, which, you know, I made Okay, money doing music, but not enough to recover loss like that. And this was, you know, pretty substantial. So we had, you know, an extraordinary hurdle to get over in order to even get us back to solvent and ground zero and pursuing a music career and a life as a musician of hard enough, let alone adding that to it, it just kind of became a non starter. And so I pivoted, a buddy of mine, at the time worked as a mortgage lender, he’s like, man, you should get your real estate license, and I’ll send you a deal once in a while and do the math and the money. As a musician, the money looks really great. And I was like, Man, I know a lot of people, if you are a musician, and you’ve made it as a professional musician in Nashville, Tennessee, you know how to network like nobody’s business. And so I know people and I’m relational. And I love diving into people in their stories. And so I found a buy or sell a house, I can help them with that. And that’s at least some money that I would not have had any other way. So I was of course, working about five days. And the way to do it really, yeah, just knock it out.
D.J. Paris 7:12
I always I always tell people who are taking their classes, I’m like, You’re gonna forget it anyway, you might as well forget it after the test. So do it as quick as possible.
Matt Kirkkegaard 7:19
There’s not a single thing in that class or in that education process that I’ve actually applied realistically in my career. And so anyway, sorry, State of Tennessee real estate exam, but it ended up just being something I could kind of blow through and then learn the practical side of it on the other side of it. But I just dove in. And again, I tell people all the time, you know, part of part of my success story is a factor when you don’t have another option. But for it to work, it has to work and you figure out how to make it work. And so I got very, very determined, very driven to figure out how to recover from this because the other side of this is, is that I really am passionate about music. And I knew music was where I needed to be in my career path. And, and I don’t have a long time to take my time recovering from this, I need to get to the other side of this and get back to music. And that really was my goal for the whole first part of my career. And then there’s been some shifts and some additions in there, which I’m sure we’ll get to but So ultimately, for me, it was out of necessity that this this kind of came up real estate was never on my on my purview. And it was just a mansion. And, and what’s amazing is, is I’m really grateful for that moment because real estate is such an incredible tool and vehicle as an agent, but also learning the investor side of it and how property ownership leads to wealth building and passive income. And there’s so many pieces of real estate that I never knew super countercultural in my from my world, my parents, you know, people that had given me financial advice up to that point in my mid 20s, I had heard very polar opposite advice from when I started being in the real estate industry watching investors who were making a lot of money. I started weighing those two things and realizing that there’s maybe another path here and a whole bunch of stuff that I didn’t know before that could help me become a little bit more financially solvent and still have the freedom and capacity to pursue music and do what I want to do there too. So anyway, that’s how my real estate career started and how it kind of developed there.
D.J. Paris 9:11
Wow. Well, there was lots I’d love to unpack some of that. So number one, I when you were talking about I know you’ve recovered since Otherwise, I wouldn’t make any joke at all, but I was like, well, at least it was a family member. Right? Sure. What if it can’t be family stealing? I don’t know. No. It’s awful, awful, awful.
Matt Kirkkegaard 9:32
It was it was really heartbreaking. And it was it was on top of a lot of other things. My wife and I there’s like the Barna statistics of the top 20 stressors and marriage experiences in a lifetime and we hit 18 of them our first year of our marriage. And so it really was just a hellish, hellish season for sure. And I can look back at that now and there are actually a lot of beautiful moments in there. My wife and I feel like we’ve been married for 40 years when in reality we’ve only been married. It’s probably
D.J. Paris 9:55
brought brought you both a lot closer together because you had to be Bantu Gather as a team and really, really figure life out when you were at this huge disadvantage. So in some ways it again, not that there’s that it’s a good thing. It’s not
Matt Kirkkegaard 10:08
the ideal. But the result of the less than ideal is that We clung to each other for survival, and we figured out how to move forward. And that doesn’t mean by any stretch that it’s been easy. And we’ve had an immense amount of hard in our marriage, I think they’re just too hard. Every everything worthwhile is hard. Yeah. However, through a lot of counseling, a lot of therapy, which we’re still going through, I need to proponent of therapy. We are recovering from the trauma and we are still married and still trying to fight for something we believe in. So, but I do think that that that early part of that definitely. It got us real real fast with each other got us real with ourselves real fast. And I figured out what it looks like to believe in yourself when honestly, no one else does, or no one else can, because there’s nothing to believe in at the moment in that way. So you just kind of just charge forward. And again, when you have to do it, you don’t have an option but to do it, you do it, you figure it out. You know,
D.J. Paris 11:05
it is it is like that. It’s that expression, what is it necessity is the mother of invention. In which is absolutely, it’s it’s it’s like it’s so interesting when, because people will call me a lot who are in the process of getting their real estate license. And they’ll ask that the biggest question, I think that people like me who are recruiters get from people who are entering the business is, well, I, I want a steady income. So I’m gonna stay part time for now. And what do you think about that? And I, it’s I always say, well, nobody can give you the right answer. I said, however, people will tell you that there’s no way to do it part time. And that full time is really the only way. And while in theory, I think that probably is the right approach for most people. I have seen people do it part time, but the people that do it part time because they want that steady income from their previous you know, their current job, I understand that I get that. But I think what you’re saying actually does so tend to bring out the best of somebody when you cut off the the the lifeline and you’re like, I’m just going to make this work. I’m going to figure it out like you guys were in that forced to situation. It does actually seem to get make people more resilient, and they’re able to sort of find resources, when they have that lifeline. It’s harder, I think to access that drive, when you’re trying to do two things at once. Not to say that you can’t be done. I’ve had people on the show, who started part time for years and was able to then eventually become a top producer. But I think that I think that extends the journey by doing
Matt Kirkkegaard 12:37
my argument therapy is that those years that they weren’t a top producer would have been erased had they just gone full in parallel to music per minute. I like I said, I’ve done music my whole life. So that really is my background. I went to school for music in Los Angeles. And my first day of freshman one on one class. This was a commercial commercial music business class, I was a commercial music major with a piano performance emphasis. And first day music business one on one, there’s 68 freshmen in this class. And the professor comes in kind of blows through the doors, doesn’t really even introduce himself just kind of sets his briefcase down and says how many of you guys have a plan B. And my immediate thing is, oh, well, this is where I get the lecture about how I need to have a plan B because music is so unstable, and you’ve got to have a backup plan, blah, blah, and I have a vendetta against Plan B’s. And that has never been me. So I didn’t raise my hand really ready to fight this fight. Like you don’t have a plan B when you’re a musician. And And oddly enough, 38 kids rose raise their hands with their Plan B’s and he dismissed him from the class. He said, If you have a plan B, you will end up taking it you probably should end up taking it and honestly you’re wasting my time and yours. So there’s the door. And obviously a little nicer than that. But at the end of the day, he he made a comment after you’re left, but the people make it music are the ones who will make it or die trying. And those are your options. There’s no option. There’s no other plan D because music is a notorious notoriously difficult career to enter into. And it’s going to take everything you’ve got to get there. I would say that’s true with entrepreneurship, with leadership with ownership with any company, any of that, that’s the reality is that if you are not willing to literally risk it all and put 100% of it on the line, then that doesn’t happen. And it’s not going to happen until you’re ready to do that. And so trying to weigh some sort of safety net of steady income or whatever, and then still trying to start something else. Even if you’re one of the lucky few who kind of balanced that and get to someplace where that happens. It’s going to take an extraordinarily it’s going to take a much longer period of time to get there than if you just are 100% You’re going to get it down here and move on, which is why entrepreneurs, clinical entrepreneurs, you know, Elon Musk’s and Steve Jobs and these big folks, clinically, they do something they started, they get it running and they move on to the next thing and firing people to run the thing for them. Because at the end of the day, the folks that are able to do that, or the ones that are just 100% they’re gonna establish something and then I can move on to the next thing. And so I think that I think for me getting thrown into that, already having my background in music my wife and I are both notorious risk takers as is so we’re not we have no risk aversion anyway. But there was just that was an easy transition for us to be right in that right in that mix and just go for it
D.J. Paris 15:07
reminds me speaking of like a musical metaphor that I think speaks to what you were just saying I was, I don’t remember who the musician was who did this. I don’t know if it was a violinist, and I don’t know if it’s at Pearlman or I don’t think it was him. But if somebody else some super famous violinist considered best in the world, you know, 2030 years ago, whatever. Anyway, so there was that somebody was at a party in New York, ran into this person, and was like, Oh my gosh, I’m such a huge fan. I wish I could play the violin like you are. I think it was violin and maybe it was cello, yo, yo, Ma, or something, whatever. It doesn’t matter, somebody super famous. And you know, I’m totally miss remembering who the person was, but doesn’t matter. Because what the person said was, so So the someone went up, I wish I could play like you. i Oh, no. He said, I give my life to play like you. That’s, that’s what the fans said. And he goes, No, you wouldn’t? Because he goes, Yeah, exactly. He goes, No, you wouldn’t, because I did. And he goes, You don’t, you aren’t. And he wasn’t trying to be mean, he was like, You don’t understand, like, this is all I do, this is what I do. And, you know, I, and he’s like, if you’re willing to give up everything else, then yes, you could probably play like me. And that’s, and that’s not to say that you can’t have balance in your life. Obviously, everyone, we should strive for that. And having, you know, personal and professional, you know, balance with with our activities. That being said, it is like one of those things, you dive in you, you cut off all other options. And even if it doesn’t work, I still think the lessons learned from putting in a solid, you know, attempt will then lead you to the next thing, even if that
Matt Kirkkegaard 16:43
failure is never an it shouldn’t be a negative. No, you’re it’s just simply a stepping stone, it’s a learned how not to do something when they go do it differently and do the game. And I think you said balanced. And I’m definitely a big proponent of balance, I am anti workaholic, for sure. And you have I think you need to really align your priorities and figure out what takes priority in your life. And of course, for me, my family is a huge priority my kids and and that there’s nothing real estate or music, actually, that will ever take precedence over them at the end of the day. But, but in that, I think that you, I still think that the things that you’re going to put yourself to, you’re going to find more success in those things, if you’re willing to put yourself 100% into those things and be fully present and fully there. And 100% committed. And taking the safe route almost always keeps you in the safe zone, which is which is some sort of a mediocre, not mediocre in a bad way. But mediocre mid level average zone, the people that get above that are the ones that are willing to kind of take risks to get there. So I think risk is the key component to this no matter where you are. And that doesn’t mean you don’t prioritize things that are important. It just means that you’re willing to jump into those things. Those other things that you do full, full force at first.
D.J. Paris 17:53
I think too, there’s there’s an aspect, I’m curious to your thoughts on this. There’s an aspect of getting comfortable with failure. And I don’t mean failure, obviously, we’re talking about feedback, you know, things that aren’t the ideal outcome that you’re shooting for, you know, just doesn’t work. I call it failure. But I don’t put a connotation on that that’s a bad thing. I just call it all that didn’t work. Well, it’s called did things that didn’t work, I’ll say that. It’s Oh, I think the most successful people I know are ones who are like, Well, that just like you said, it didn’t work, I learned from it, I’m going to try something else. And it’s a really simple idea. But it’s very difficult for a lot of us to sort of get comfortable with that discomfort of like, Oh, I really went for this and it didn’t turn out. So now I have like you were saying with your business and you’ve pivoted multiple times, and you’ve had to pivot obviously, with your living situation. And that’s, you know, that’s obviously a very, very serious and difficult stressful thing. This idea of being able to, to just be present for some of these, these feelings, and then go oh, okay, I’m sad that something didn’t work out. And, you know, the in the way that I wanted, but I’m going to really take it as feedback. And then and then just keep going forward and moving, I think is, you know, into a different direction, possibly. But I think it’s important to get comfortable with, you know, things not working out the way that you would anticipate them. And so that way, you can just, you know, I mean, probably 80% of the as a marketing guy 80% of the things I do don’t provide the results I’m really looking for. But yeah, it but I think
Matt Kirkkegaard 19:23
it’s a numbers game. And at the end of the day, I think you have I think I think far too many people give far too much time and emotional energy to a failed attempt. Yeah. I think that I think that those things come and oh, man, that stings. Okay, back to the drawing board. It should be a pretty quick roll off to keep going forward and move forward. And I think if you devote a lot of time and energy, you lose any momentum you did have and then you’re always starting from square one or you’re square zero. Whereas if you can roll that off, you can still capitalize on some of the momentum and keep moving with that death. And I think that becomes and again, it doesn’t matter who you are you ask anybody in the world who’s found any measure of success in any discipline, they’re gonna say that their path to that success, has 80% of the time been, oh, I failed. And I kept going. Like, that’s the that’s the point, right? It’s how it works. And again, I think part of me as a musician comes with that. And it’s such a natural thing because I was in front of juries, and on stage getting judged for my playing since I was nine. Right. So I, I there was always that, Oh, that wasn’t great. Here’s how you do it better. Oh, great. I’ll go learn to do better and blow you away next time. I mean, there’s just never, that was never a problem for me. I have a colleague, I won’t mention his name. I say colleague, because he’s, I’m not a huge, huge fan, per se of some of them. But all that to say he went bankrupt a millionaire three times, and to get to his multimillion dollar world right now. He was bankrupt three times back to millionaire and so he did the bankrupt to millionaire low three different times. And third, fourth time theoretically, got to millionaire and a stay there. But I appreciate that story. Because at the end of day, that’s just kind of what it is. It’s a numbers game, you’re gonna fail, it’s gonna happen fail big win big. Yeah, as an investor, I buy a lot of we do a lot of investments. And I challenge champion a lot of clients to be investors in the market. And I always say two out of 10 times, I’m going to break even maybe make a little bit of money. Five out of 10 times, I’m going to make some money, and three out of 10 times, I’m going to make a lot. And so then overall, in the course of 10 deals, I’ve made a lot of money. And I find that a lot of my investor friends tend to, I’m going to have one investor right now he’s been wanting to invest in Nashville for four years and hasn’t pulled the trigger on anything yet, because he’s too scared to lose any money. And I’m like, bro, you could have bought anything four years ago, and you would have made money didn’t matter, like so I think that at some point, you just gotta go for it. And man, you win some you lose some, but as long as you grow and learn and win more than you lose, yeah.
D.J. Paris 21:44
Well, that and I think there’s, there’s really even something deeper about the example you gave about the gentleman that that went broken millionaire, you know, three, three different times, is you could take all that person’s money away tomorrow, it’s already happened to him several times built, and he’s built it back up. And so he he is not worried about well, he’s probably worried about failure in the sense of he doesn’t want to lose what he’s built. But it’s happened to him. And he’s like, Oh, I know how to do this. I know how to build up from nothing, you know how to build from nothing, you have done that. And that is I mean, that in and of itself, it’s not something that can easily be taught, it sort of has to be lived and
Matt Kirkkegaard 22:22
exiled, or cut through it. It just says exactly that. But what it does is there’s a ton of freedom in that. And I wish I could communicate that freedom to someone that hasn’t experienced it, because that would allow them to launch without having to go through it. But I’m not totally sure that’s actually possible. But that is a huge part of where my story is, is the fact that I’m actually not scared of losing it all. Because I’ve been there done that. And so I lose it all. I’ll figure out how to figure it out again, like I just I’m not scared of that. Therefore, it allows me a lot of freedom to go take those risks and dive in headfirst into things that I believe in. And, you know, so I think that’s a huge part of it. I think you’re absolutely right. If you can get past the fear of losing it all and understand that there’s there’s freedom and safety in the fact that you’re gonna be able to keep going. There’s no, the worst case scenario is not really worst case right now. Like, it opens, it opens you up to keep going forward, you know?
D.J. Paris 23:09
Yeah, well, at least in this country, we have a lot of opportunity. And we’re very fortunate to live in a country where there is a lot of economic opportunity for people that absolutely are disadvantaged, not that it’s easy, of course it is not. And we should have empathy and compassion for people who don’t, you know, have have a lot of resources. But but the but it is amazing. I’m always so amazed at people who just do it. And you’re right, it seems I’ve had a lot of them on my show over the years, you’re not the first person that has told me they slept in their car. And when I mean, it’s, it’s like, they just go well, I just didn’t have another option so that I just put everything I had into it. And and it’s it’s that it’s that gift of desperation. It really is, in some ways a gift. Not a fun ride. But it is it is a ride that’ll get you there. If you can stay in the car the whole time.
Matt Kirkkegaard 23:57
I think it usually proves something about yourself to yourself. When you’re in that desperation place, and you get out of it, you look back at yourself, and you’re like, oh, I don’t I can do that. I’m not scared of my own ability to do that anymore. And I think people I just was having conversation with one of my one of my girls that works for me yesterday. And we were just talking about how sometimes she she second guess herself, she’s wildly skilled, she’s wildly talented, but she doesn’t necessarily believe in herself a lot. And that hinders her from really stepping into some of that and knowing her value as she presents herself. And I was like you’re wildly valuable. You have a ton of skills, you know, you’re you’re you have to believe in yourself. 100% Even if no one else does, and the gift of desperation. I like how you said that oftentimes give someone the ability to believe in themselves. Because you did no one else was going to do it at that point. Right? You have to believe in yourself to get there. So and
D.J. Paris 24:48
I want to I want to honor you for something that you just said because I think what you just said really highlights why you’re I would assume a very effective and a Boston mentor, because it’s something you just said that I wonder how many of our audience members have heard this from their managing broker? Where use you sat somebody down, you know, this, this woman who works with you, who is maybe not feeling super confident or struggling with, you know, her own capabilities? And you’re like, oh, no, you’re super talented. You’re super skilled, like you can do this. I don’t think that’s all that common. I think there’s a lot of training that goes on at brokerages. I mean, we we certainly do it at our brokerage, there’s lots of training, and there’s lots of here the skills, here are the activities, but to be put to put to actually say to somebody, you’re super talented, you have this, I actually think that’s pretty rare. And I want to honor you for saying that, because I bet that was exactly what she wanted or needed to hear in that moment. And for you to, to to give her what she needed. I think that is a very special thing that you say I think it’s very vulnerable to say that, and I think that probably meant a lot to her. And I would encourage anyone who’s listening, who is a managing broker who runs a team who has people, right now we know it’s a tough time, you know, rates are up, inventory is down, people, brokers or realtors are struggling. So this is a great time to make sure that people that are struggling on your team do know how valuable they are to you and how skilled they might just be. Maybe they’re feeling down, but you could maybe lift them and I think I just want to honor you for doing that. That’s that’s,
Matt Kirkkegaard 26:20
that seems so obvious to me. Maybe I suspect, I figured you would say right. But But that being said, I’ve watched a lot of team leaders bulldoze their their teams before and have the looming boss mentality and squish you down until you submit and do it. And I just think that that’s not ever working. I take leadership actually is the lowest position on my team. So we usually invert the whole org chart, and I’m at the bottom, and my team’s at the top. Because at the end of the day, they at the end of the day, I’m not going to be able to do what I do without them at this point. And I think one of the things you have to understand about people in general, and maybe this is where my this is probably where I’m I know that I’m a little bit unique in this aspect, because I get told that from my partners on a regular basis even but I I am wildly empathetic, I’m very much a relational person. So that’s what I do, I dive into relationship and I will I will give my I will give myself under the bus to ensure that someone else thrives. And in stepping in with people listening to their story, hearing where they’re at hearing who they are, I would challenge anybody trying to build a team or any brokers, managing individuals, leaders, anybody leading anybody else. Understand that the people and you not only are wildly talented and really skill set, actually really skilled, their skill set their talent, their value is something you could never bring to the table. At the end of the day, I have a skill set that I bring to the table that’s very valuable. I don’t doubt that at all. However, the other people that I work with have a skill set that they bring to the table that I do not have. And I need to know that they do something better than me, and that’s okay. My team members under me do things better than I do. That’s okay. That’s not that’s the point. That’s why teams work at the end of the day is because other people do things better than you do. Everyone did everything as good as me and I just happen to be the one in the driver’s seat just a matter of time before someone jumps in the driver’s seat and takes over me.
D.J. Paris 28:10
Well, normally I wait till the very end to say this, but I want to say it now. While I think the iron is still hot. Basically, I think what you’ve demonstrated to a lot of our audiences Boy, I wish I had a managing broker or a team lead like that. So if anyone is in the Nashville area, I you know, might as well do it now because I honestly think, you know, you spoke from the heart I think I think it was a very unique sort of value proposition in a sense and and talking about how you relate to your team members and the support you provide to them. If anyone out there is working in the Nashville area, and maybe you feel like you’re not getting that kind of support, or, or encouragement or empathy or help from your existing I guess they’re called Managing brokers in Tennessee, I’m guessing, but whoever team lead, whatever the person in charge, if you’re not getting that, you know, reach out to Matt, you can go to movement property group.com He would love to learn more about you and see if you might be a good fit for his his company. I know we haven’t talked much about the business yet. But what you just said was was a lot of really impressive things. And right now we know realtors are in recruiting mode because the markets down they’re starting to look around, maybe see what other options exist. So if you’re in the Nashville area, go to movement property group.com We can learn more about Matt and his company and maybe be a good fit for them.
Matt Kirkkegaard 29:27
Yeah, absolutely. Well, come on. I’m a huge coffee fan. So I’ll buy you a cup of coffee every time. Just let me know.
D.J. Paris 29:34
So speaking of being the market being having shifted, of course from 2021. We noticed here we’re in Chicago, we noticed that we have about 700 Some realtors that are at our company and we had a pretty good first three quarters of last year and then the final quarter was kind of where everything changed and fell apart and we’re now you know doing about half of what we were doing prior a year ago, which again to be under to be, you know, that seems like it makes sense based on what happened in the market, but certainly an uncomfortable place. And I, I’m pretty active with the realtor community here locally and I talked to a lot of agents outside of our company. And there seems to be top agents seem to be like, everything’s just gonna be fine. agents who are struggling or newer are feeling a little discouraged and down, I think right now and also isolated. And I that was another reason why I want to add that back to the sort of commercial I was giving for free for your group, because I think you probably you would be an amazing boss to work for. But I also think that if you feel alone right now in this industry, and you’re not getting that personalized attention, this would be another reason to maybe reach out, because you seem like you’re able to provide some guidance, not
Matt Kirkkegaard 30:47
on my team just have a cup of coffee, I’m all about it. I think that’s important to someone else, you know.
D.J. Paris 30:52
So how are you keeping your agents motivated? Right now, obviously, the market has shifted, it’s changed. It’s not quite as as busy as it was, although we hope that that changes this later this year. So what are you telling your agents to keep them you know, sort of on track?
Matt Kirkkegaard 31:12
I mean, I come at this, I’m a very bullish person in this type of a market. This doesn’t scare me at all. In fact, I’m really I’m actually great with it. Me and one of the other partners I have, we were both very tellers, top 100 agents. So we’ve spent a lot of time in the room with Gary Keller, if you don’t know, Gary Keller is Keller Williams, Millionaire Real Estate guru, a billionaire real estate agent, but brilliant, brilliant, brilliant businessman, and he has a really good pulse on things. And he thinks outside of the box. And I always get a lot from those times with him. But he wrote a book called shift and he talks about shifting markets and how basically, there’s just as much opportunity to capitalize on business now as there was a year and a half ago, like there’s it just as a different business, it’s a different type of market. And you’re you’re looking at a different skill set a different, you know, your day to day looks different. For our team, I you know, Nashville is unique, I have to give that preface because Nashville has its own ecosystem anyway, doesn’t rise with the rest, the country doesn’t follow the rest of the country. And currently, Nashville is the number one market in this country to move to. And so we’re a little bit insulated from some of that. So to be honest with you, we, we felt a little bit of a slowdown in September and October, we were back up in November and December to our normal numbers, and we’re, you know, exceedingly beating those numbers this year. So I don’t see. So that’s also that’s part of this. However, the conversation rates and stuff is is right now we have. And I think in any market, you’re gonna have a lot of real estate agents that exit the business, which for anybody that staying in the business is fantastic, because it just gives you awesome, right? Yes. So the people that are going to be able to stay in the business and watch all the people leaving and make sure you will call their friends and say, Hey, I do you have an agent, because your your previous agent may have left, and I would love to buy your coffee and take over and you take over that business and take that market share. So we’re really preoccupied with taking market share this year, as a lot of folks are leaving. I think the conversation is also I try to somewhat control the narrative a little bit. When the rates started going up, and inflation started going up. And things were kind of having a heading down, there was a good half of the community builders, bankers, you know, ellos, and real estate agents that are the sky is falling, we’re heading towards total economic collapse, and they just read all of this massive amounts of fear that the sky is falling. And what that does is that that that spews all of that to clients and buyers and sellers, and they’re like, Well, I don’t need to move and I’m too terrified, because everyone’s saying the sky is falling. I try to be a little bit of a voice of reason and and bring some data to support the other side of that and say it’s not falling. We’re in this type of a shift. And this is what it looks like we’ve done it lots of times in the past, we’ll do it again. And we’re fine. We’re not on the bar upgrade brink of global economic collapse, we’re just not there. I have I can’t tell you the amount of my daily conversation has been with people who are basing all of their fears on a 2008 meltdown. And I continually try to bring data to the table again and be the voice of reason in 2008 was not due to an economic recession. It was not due to to, you know, massive inflation or any of this other stuff. 2008 was due to wildly unethical lending practices subprime mortgage fraud at the end of the day, and it finally caught up with everybody and we had to pay for that. And so that’s what 2008 was. This is not 2008 this is a typical market shift. And in six of the seven last, the previous typical market shifts, properties are still appreciated, houses still sell, and so I just am not. So I try to arm myself with as much data and facts as I can to bring those conversations to the table bring a little bit of balance and reason to everybody. I have a few people in the market that are experts that I usually I always stayed very very finger on because they’re always going to bring a lot of really good data to the table that is above and Beyond my, above my paygrade, but good data that I can then bring to my clients and I say, Hey, listen, here’s some really, really great financial advisors, economic experts that are saying, This is what we’re looking at, here’s what you can expect. Here’s what this means for us. And then the second piece of that is then I pitch why I pitched in this season, what that means for you. So while right now for Nashville, what that means across the board is that while yes, rates are higher, and you will pay a little bit more sellers are getting mask mass credits and mass discounts right now. So while you might pay a little, so I’ll take that right. And I’ll say, Sure, we were 3% last year, and we’re at 8%. Now, the difference in that is going to cost you an extra $10,000. This year. However, the seller of this house that I’m selling right now that we just showed is willing to give you a $35,000 credit, which means that that would never have happened six months ago, six months ago, we were eight months ago, conceptually, we were pricing above market value, things were selling $100,000 higher than that with no appraisal, zero concessions and 00 movability from a seller. So at the end of the day thing, your foundation is broken, sorry, it’s on you to fix like at the end of there’s nothing and so I’m telling you, I’m telling my buyers, right now, it’s fantastic time to buy, because the rates are gonna go back down, you’ll be able to refinance in a year and you get a property for the actual market value with the $35,000 seller concession. And they’ll probably fix all the stuff that comes up on the repair proposal. Let’s buy the house now, refinance next year, and you’re gonna be in a better situation in a year than you would have been if you’d bought eight months ago. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 36:37
yeah, because number one, it was probably certainly overpriced because or most likely would have been overpriced due to multiple offer. Yeah, and, and even though, like I’m locked into a 3% rate, and I need to, I need to make sure that I don’t think of myself as well. Now, I can never move, because and I think, I think I think Realtors would do themselves a huge favor in really understanding the mentality of the 3% mortgage. Because most of the people who own a home refinance in the last several years or purchased a home at a low rate, those people are thinking, I don’t want to move because I don’t want to lose that rate. You as a realtor like you need to be armed with data, and in and just education to say, here’s how it could work if you were to move. And here’s why it’s not quite as ugly as it might appear
Matt Kirkkegaard 37:27
well, and understand all of the other nuances that come into play. One of my favorite things that has worked so well is I have really fantastic partners. So I have four different lending partners that I refer to all the time. My primary lender guy is one of the top in the southeast, but I have local banks and the credit union and another banker that do really specific things. So I go to a lot of my sellers. And I’m like, Okay, let’s do this, let’s turn you into a real estate investor, let’s keep your 3%. Right, let’s pull your money out on a HELOC. Let’s go buy another property that you want to buy. And this property is going to pay for that property. And you’re gonna refinance the property here, how to properties cash flowing, paying for your to live for free. And there’s so many of those opportunities right now to tell people about what it means to become a real estate investor. And now, yes, you have one property at 3%, which you get to hold on to that rate. But there’s all of this other opportunity to still do what you want to do to move forward in life to get the next house to become an investor to build whatever it is. There’s all those opportunities that you can do. And some of that’s being armed with the right tools and understanding what those tools are that you have at your disposal, which sit down, I do this probably on a two by weekly basis, I sit down with my lenders with my bankers, and I say, tell me what you’ve got right now. And all of them have really unique opportunities and unique products right now to meet the market demand. One of my one of my lenders, and this is great, is offering basically they prepay for the refinance, ultimately. And so I’m offering so they’re buying the property and they’re getting a free refinance within the next two years. That’s all we’re planning on. We’re planning on rates being down in the fives this year, I think and probably for us next year. And that’s kind of iffy, but that’s probably where we’re planning on. So at the end of the day, you can ultimately get your get your house now get the seller credits to cover all the difference and then some and then you you have literally have a zero posture refinance, when the rates go,
D.J. Paris 39:09
that’s amazing. That isn’t and and that’s just you staying in touch with your lenders going Hey, guys, what do you got right now?
Matt Kirkkegaard 39:16
Absolutely. And then helping present that to my clients because they don’t, usually lenders are a little more data driven, they’re a little bit more numbers, so they’re a little bit less personable. So then it’s me being able to interpret that data and walk through it really slowly and gently with my my buyers or sellers and say, here’s some opportunities that we have. We we’ve done a lot of right buy downs, we’ve got three to one buy downs right now happening. So rates are at seven, you buy down 3% For the first year 2% For the second year, 1% For the third year, and that’s all part of something the seller pays for. And then you refinance by the time that that goes back up and again, you save yourself money. So at the end of the day, the rate doesn’t have to be a scary thing. There’s lots of ways around it. Having a house with a 3% rate doesn’t need to lock you into that house for the rest of your life. There’s lots of ways to still make the moves you need to move your house I had one of one seller climb and they would they called me actually to list their property because they have grown out of their property. And they actually love their neighborhood there. They love their kids school, which they can walk to from their house, they brought other kids home to this house, they absolutely love this house. And their dream would be to be able to renovate it, add a little bit face to it, but they just can’t afford it. And so I talked myself out of the job, and I sat down with him. And I said, Hey, here’s, here’s, here’s what I think. I think you take the $500,000 in equity you have in this house, I think you get that and a HELOC. And then I think we’re gonna go buy some investor properties, that’ll cash flow that you’re going to take on and 50 of that and do the renovation in addition to your house, and these investment properties that you’re doing are going to pay for that renovation, and you’re going to be at the same cash monthly cash flow that you are right now. Long story short, that’s the that’s the route we went. So I talked myself out of a listing, but I talked myself into three investment purchases, and they get to stay in their house, they get to do the addition. And who are they telling everybody about, you’ve got to go talk to Matt, he has options you don’t even know exist. So it’s about arming yourself with the options and how to creatively get around people’s problems. And that starts with listening to people knowing their story, knowing what their pain points are, but then figuring out creative solutions to be able to get around those pain points and knowing the tools you have in your your back pocket. And by way of lenders and banks and options for them to be able to do the things that they need to do this market this is the perfect market for that.
D.J. Paris 41:15
Perfect. Yeah, yeah, I could not agree more. I think what we’re really talking about is education and real Realtors realizing the marketing and branding. That’s one part of your business. But continuing education, I don’t mean to be every two years thing that you have to do for your state your license, I mean, regular studying the market, and also studying what other people are doing to pivot and, and compensate for some of the deficiencies in the market. You know, and it’s really as set I mean, this podcast was birthed out of me think look thinking of, you know, top Realtors in the country going, I wonder how they did that. And I said, I wonder if I ask them if they, if they tell me on a on a podcast, there’s really nothing in it for them other than the time when I first started, right, like no listeners. Now we have, thankfully a lot of listeners. But back then I was like, I don’t think anyone’s gonna want to do this, because there’s literally nothing in it for them. And sure enough, I was I think we got turned down once or twice out of hundreds of times. So it’s one of these things where anybody could you can reach out to the top agents in your area, not everyone’s going to reply, but say, Gosh, I really admire you, I admire what you do. I would love to take you to coffee, and just get a better understanding. And you will, I think what you’ll usually find is that they have more information than you have.
Matt Kirkkegaard 42:31
And here’s what I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you that if if someone turns you down for a coffee date like that, at that type of request, they’re not actually a top agent in the area. They’re a mid to high level agent. But mid high level agents tend to be like no, my business I do it. The top agents are like, yeah, let me help you. There’s no secret. All of that. Yeah, we’ve been through this long enough that we know there’s plenty of business for everybody. Let me sit down to help you figure out your business. Oh, and what does this relationship do for me as well? Because I can, you know, you never know who you’re gonna meet and what that’s gonna lead to as well, either. So,
D.J. Paris 43:01
yeah, it’s a, it’s a great thing. Because number one, you’re not really bothering them. If they don’t want to go to coffee with you, they won’t. But the ones that do are smart, because they’re going to think, well, maybe this person might join my team, or this person might join my brokerage. Or maybe I can just be of service to this person and give them something and then they’ll have a positive feeling. You know, it’s just, top agents are generous. In my experience, this whole podcast, for the most part, for the most part. Yeah, there’s
Matt Kirkkegaard 43:26
exceptions. Absolutely true.
D.J. Paris 43:28
Yeah. And, and, you know, I think this is actually a really I know, we didn’t get to as much of your story as I as I would have liked to. However, I think this episode in particular, we’ve done 400, and I don’t know, 50 episodes or so. This is a really good episode. And I hope i Yes, because I think what what we talk, what I think came through very well and very eloquently, was how you think about the industry, how you think about managing your team, how you think about working with buyers and sellers, investors as well. It really just sort of your overall attitude approach and strategy, I think came through really, really well. And if for nothing else, listening to Matt say I am not worried about 2023. And you probably shouldn’t be either, but you should be paying attention to what successful agents are doing in the area. This is this is a great opportunity, when times are slower to reach out to some of those agents and really get some of those those coffee dates set up. And even even if you just want on one of those a week. I imagine if that I mean, that’s so funny. You’ll appreciate this. But back when you were not a top producer and you were not you know running your own business. Can you imagine the amount of of information you would have gotten just once a week you would have taken a top producer for a year to to launch it, it would have been incredible.
Matt Kirkkegaard 44:49
Oh, for sure. Well, I tell people, I tell people my team all the time. One of the things that I did do that I create a lot of SSS for is I probably took about 60 Coffee days a week. I would go to a coffee shop and I would sit there, and I would introduce myself, everyone in the coffee shop. And I would do that multiple days, multiple times a day, every single day of the week, just because I want to meet people. And so now, to your point, had I gone back and taken one of those days and actually met with other top producing agents, that probably would have been wildly valuable. But at the end of the day, meet people meet everybody you meet, because they’ve always got something to offer, everyone has something to offer, everyone has some piece of wisdom, everyone has a story. And at the end of the day, there might be business or there for you there as well. And it always begins with this relational kind of organic level. But um, everyone’s got something to offer and that space for sure, too. So yeah, go to coffee dates with everybody, you can go to coffee dates with for sure.
D.J. Paris 45:35
And I want to I want to back up one second, because what you just you also just said something that is very, very profound. And probably people’s anxiety spiked when you said it, because it is kind of a scary idea for a lot of us, which is you when you go to a coffee shop, and you introduce yourself to all the patrons there, in which by the way, not an easy thing to do, like we can be, you know, we can pretend that it’s easy. But for most of us, that’s a very, very scary proposition. Because we’re like, we don’t want to bother people. We don’t want people to yell at me, we don’t want to be rejected, etc. But if you can get comfortable with the fact that approaching somebody and saying, Hi, I am always so impressed when I go to a party, or when I go to any sort of social event, and somebody comes up to me who I don’t know. And it’s like, Hi, I’m so and so and they don’t know me. It’s not like they know me from something else. They just may right, randomly come up. And I was with a friend of mine last night who we were at a an event for the local Chicago, or association of realtors. And I asked her I said, Amy, I haven’t seen you all night. Tonight, she goes, I’m walking around talking to people who are standing by themselves. And I was like, that’s amazing. Because amazing, amazing. That amazing. Love that. And and so the point is, you guys can do this. And it’s a good idea doesn’t mean you have to pitch your services and your products. And you know, nobody really wants to be pitched in a coffee shop, or has an
Matt Kirkkegaard 46:52
idea. Here’s an idea. And this is what’s your idea. And I’ll put it out there. I think it’s I think it was one of the best moves I made is you got to spend money to make money, right? So spend a little bit of money, but I would go on every three or four times a week, I’d go to a coffee shop and I talked to the barista who know me because I’m in a coffee shop every day. And I’d say for the next two hours, I’m buying everyone’s coffee, and I’d give them my card and said hold my card and everyone that comes through the line. They’d say, Hey, your coffee is covered by that guy sitting over there. They’ll come introduce themselves to me. I didn’t have to introduce myself anyone anymore. They came in introduce themselves to me and we talk and I’d say man, I just love my community. And I love my neighborhood. I want to know the people in it want to serve my community? Well, oh, by the way, I’m a real estate agent. Here’s my rental car. Let me know if I can help.
D.J. Paris 47:30
That’s huge. Yeah, not not that not that you you, you know, it’s not easy necessarily to always draw straight line to business. But any idea about how much business that might have generated for you.
Matt Kirkkegaard 47:44
obscene amount of business.
D.J. Paris 47:47
It was a great return on investment.
Matt Kirkkegaard 47:49
The ROI was very high. For sure. Oh, my gosh,
D.J. Paris 47:53
I got to have you back on the show this this is incredible. Because let’s, let’s, let’s do it. Alright, so I want everybody who lives in who’s a realtor in the Nashville area, you got to reach out to Matt Now, understand, he’s a busy guide, and he will get back to you when he can. But if you are not getting this kind of attention from your team lead, you need to reach out property, man. He’s incredible. He’s done an incredible job on the show. And I want to make sure anyone listening, you should reach out to him. Oh, and by the way before, before we end I do have to ask you before I’ll give your your plugs here in one sec. But who’s your favorite pianist? Who are your favorite pianists of all time
Matt Kirkkegaard 48:30
highs? I’ll give you my first two hours.
D.J. Paris 48:33
I’ll give you mine first. And I only have one. I mean, there’s lots that I admired. The only one that ever really was do Bill Evans. I’m a bill up in the sky.
Matt Kirkkegaard 48:40
I was gonna say Bill Evans is one of my tops. I love Bill Evans. He’s just I mean, he’s essential though. And he’s kind of made he made like Michael Jordan. Yeah. Right. He’s the Michael Jackson, the jazz pianist. He’s amazing. So he’s, yeah, Bill Evans is great. I will go probably a little bit old school. I’ll go back to the Romantic Period say Rachmaninoff Rachmaninoff’s, my favorite composer. Oh, and, and just I think the hit the brilliant, brilliant composer always played with passion. You know, you know, 10 fingers and he would write 12 notes at once. Like, I know the amount of passion that came into his writing. And so yeah.
D.J. Paris 49:11
What was the what was the movie? The Rachmaninoff 90 shine. So everybody you need to see the movie. It is well, it’s kind of a sad movie. It’s very sad, actually. But but it’s somebody trying to attempt Rachmaninoff second,
Matt Kirkkegaard 49:27
third, third, which is the hardest piano piece in the world of all time. Yeah, there’s only several dozen people that have ever played it successfully. One of which is my teacher, actually. So I grew up. I grew up with that. And she played all while she taught at Juilliard. And
D.J. Paris 49:40
she didn’t go crazy as as in the No, I mean, everyone goes
Matt Kirkkegaard 49:43
a little crazy when you get to that level. So she was a little eccentric, but she didn’t lose it for sure. But um, but yeah, shines the David helfgott and it’s about the
D.J. Paris 49:50
David helfgott. Yes, yeah, that was the story of David helfgott The Oh my gosh. Oh, right. Gosh, I could talk to you forever. For everyone, everyone. Listening, I want you guys to check out and also support Matt’s music too. I want everybody to go to movement property group.com If you’re a Nashville agent reach out to Matt he’d love to chat with you see if you might be a good fit for him and his team or maybe he can just provide you some great advice about how to continue on in your business. And that what is your music website as well?
Matt Kirkkegaard 50:16
Matt Kirk music.com So macro music.com for music movement Property Group for real estate I have instances and Facebook’s and tic TOCs for both and and personal as well. So finally follow me connect with me. I’ll buy a cup of coffee and all that.
D.J. Paris 50:31
Yeah, yeah, in fact, maybe I’ll move to Nashville just so I can get a free cup of coffee from from time today. Let’s
Matt Kirkkegaard 50:36
go. I know a great agent. I gotta
D.J. Paris 50:40
love it. All right, Matt. On behalf of everyone listening, we want to thank you for being on our show your amazing, great, wonderful energy. And on behalf of Matt and myself, we also want to thank our audience and make make sure that they feel appreciated. We just ask everybody to do one thing. telephoned think of one other realtor that is struggling right now. Guess what a lot of realtors are struggling. Tell somebody else in your office who could use a little encouragement, maybe a boost and just wants to sort of know that the sky isn’t falling send them a link to our website and keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done can be streamed live, or, or right from the browser rather, or they can just pull up a podcast app search for keeping them real. Hit that subscribe button. So Matt, thank you so much, and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, man.
Matt Kirkkegaard 51:22
Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.