Jake Thomas with Compass in New York talks about the beginning of his career in real estate and his transition from the corporate world of luxury apparel. Jake discusses the importance of direct interaction with the customer for him and how this led him into a career in real estate and his feeling of being fulfilled. Jake also shares his advise to other realtors that are struggling at the moment. Next, Jake discusses how he closes a deal every 4th day. Last, Jake describes how he considers that his background in real estate and all the other career paths have contributed to getting him ready for stage performance.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with New York City top producer Jake Thomas. Before we get to Jake, just a couple of quick announcements. First, thank you. We are so appreciative the entire team here at the podcast zonna. Myself and all the wonderful guests we have, we just always want to say thank you, our numbers continue to grow. And just peek back behind the curtain for a moment. There’s about 1.6 or 1.7 million realtors out there and over 200,000 of them have listened to at least one episode of the show. So we are so grateful that you continue to spread the word and tell other agents about us. Please continue to do that. Just think of one other agent that really could benefit from hearing from top producers like Jake and send them a link to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done can be streamed there. We also have links to all the major podcast apps there. So you can find us very easily right through keeping it real pod.com. And last, please leave us a review whatever podcast app you might be listening to this show on. Let us know what you think of the show leave us a review that helps us get more visibility in the different podcast directories. It also lets us know what what we do well and what we could do to improve. But enough about us. Let’s get to the main event our interview with Jake Thomas.
Today on the show, Jake Thomas from compass in New York City. Let me tell you about Jake. Now in any business and in any field people are urged to read Sun Tzu’s Art of War I know I’ve read it. And a lot of our listeners of course are familiar with it as well. But this is a means to sort of grasp the competitive nature of every industry and learn the art of winning from start to finish. It’s especially true for the real estate world in Mecca is like New York City where competition is fierce and the stakes couldn’t be higher. What happens though, when your realtor is Marine, a former professional athlete and online personality and an Off Broadway actor? Well, you have our guest today Jake Thomas. Jake’s unique upbringing sets him apart in the comparative residential real estate market of New York City. Now Jake is a renaissance man and a unicorn of sorts in the industry built on promises that are rarely met. Now Jake’s eureka moment came in the winter of 2017 when he was employed at the coveted Ralph Lauren, where he quickly realized that his desire to truly work with people just wasn’t being met. So Jake moved over to the residential real estate first with Cooper and Cooper real estate Manhattan more most recently over to compass and from the get go he’s quickly learn the ins and outs of the business while thriving on a competitiveness in seeing clients. big city dreams match the business while Thrive upside the luxuries of their reality. Now last year in Jake’s absence and amongst the COVID 19 pandemic, Cooper and Cooper posted its highest sales figures in its 17 year history. And since his returning to that Firm A month after month, out all of the previous year’s record setting numbers have been shattered. Jake has been a point man to this effort having already brokered and close 60 transactions in 2021 leading the firm’s monthly sales volume several times now the mixture of both sales and rentals sees Jake doing a deal. This is income audible every four days. In fact, it’s actually every 100 hours, 52 minutes and 53 seconds to be exact. And we know that because he’s that precise because oh yeah, he’s an A Marine and an ex professional athlete. So that’s what he knows is precision and hard work, which makes sense. Because of course, he that is his background, please, this is my most favorite inner intro I’ve ever read. By the way, I’m so excited to have Jake on our show. So please, everyone, before we get to his interview, I want you to follow Jake on Instagram, we’re gonna have a link to this in the show notes as well, but I’ll find them on Instagram at life like Jake again life like Jake, Jake, welcome to the show.
Jake Thomas 5:43
How do you follow that DJ, it’s making me smile and laugh all at once.
D.J. Paris 5:48
I love working on the intros. And I’m so grateful to have you because you have such a storied past. And I think there’s probably not a coincidence between the discipline that it takes to be in the military also in to compete in professional sports. And then to take that sort of skill set into real estate. But I would love to find out how you had also being a Broadway actor, just constantly putting your, you know, an actor, putting yourself out there, you know, auditioning, you know, getting roles, practicing and performing. So it’s, it’s so many skills that combined, I could see how you would be a success in any field. But certainly real estate seems to seems to be a good fit for you. But I’d like to start all the way at the beginning and find out how you got here. Do you mind telling us how you got started? Why real estate and take us all the way back to the beginning?
Jake Thomas 6:42
Yeah, I was, you know, like you talked about being at Ralph Lauren. And that winter. I remember being up in the beautiful Madison Avenue office that we had right up there near the United Street and looking down at all the ants running around on the street and snowy day, and I just wasn’t being fulfilled with my work or by my work at the time, great company, great brand I’m wearing and as we speak, the culture, I grew up with that. What it exudes and what you know, the brand really resonates. With my family’s wanted, I’ve always been always be a part of it. But the work itself that I was doing at the time just wasn’t bringing home. And so I was looking out the window one day, and I was like, that’s where I need to be, it was just a really cool, like I said, you read or like you said eureka moment where I said, I need to be on the street, I need to be where I can be more action oriented, influencing and affecting situations in person. Not from afar, not from a terminal, not via a review of an audit or through data, I need to be, you know, my gift is giving. It’s giving of myself, and it took me to be voided to that to realize that. That’s where I needed to be. And so real estate happened to me the vessel.
D.J. Paris 8:05
It’s interesting, though, because it is a extremely competitive market. Obviously, in New York City, of course, everything’s competitive, but certainly real estate is as well. It’s just a crazy market. Because of the cost, the pricing, the way that rentals are structured is very different from most cities, where oftentimes for our listeners who may or may not be familiar, oftentimes, and I don’t, not in every case, but if you use a realtor, oftentimes you ended up paying the realtor commission if you’re the tenant in like here in Chicago, it works the opposite where the landlord pays the commission. So it is extremely challenging in New York, but everyone’s got to live somewhere. And so I love the fact that you went from having this great sort of corporate job. Prior to a million years ago, when I first got into the, into the working world, I worked with Anheuser Busch, which is another brand that that, you know, despite of what people might think of their product, it is it is sort of the king or it was, you know, the king and so I, I really learned a lot about precision, and how every detail is important. And I’ve learned as I’ve interviewed hundreds of Realtors over the years here that attention to detail is really important. Ralph Lauren is no stranger to that, of course, every single person in this country knows that brand. And so I imagine you probably learned a lot of great just sort of practices and processes in addition to the other, you know, sort of backgrounds you’ve had in the military and professional sports. But when when you made that switch over from, you know, sort of the, the apparel world into into real estate, how did you start because, to me, that would seem so daunting. How like, how do you find clients? How do you How did you do that? So I’m just curious on on how that transition was for you.
Jake Thomas 9:58
Well, it was first Having a sneak out of and don’t say anything to anybody, you know, having to leave work early from from Ralph Lauren, to go to night school at the New York Real Estate Institute to get licensed first, you know, so it was finding the time just to do that. And then, you know, walking into the classroom one evening, the first evening and I was, you know, suited and booted with company attire on and sure, you know, real estate licenses were available to anyone above the age of 18. And you know, this DJ above the age of 18, without felonies on the records, no college degrees, no, not even high school diplomas are required, right, as those are the minimum requirements, 18 years old and no felonies. So there are a myriad of people from all walks of life, ages, everything that come to those courses that take those courses. And I was that was the first thing that I was gassed to walk into the classroom and thinking, Am I in the right place? You know, it’s like, he does not look like I do. She doesn’t look like I do. They none of those people looked like I mean, I was like, I don’t know, if I’m in the right place. I’m just like, okay, just stay with it. Just stay with it. And then Jordan Cooper, one of the cofounders of Cooper and Cooper came in and was guest lecturing, and spoke just so warmly, so confidently. If you’re this kind of a person, if you’re looking for whatever you proceeded all that with, my name is Jordan Cooper. I’m a co founder of Cooper and Cooper, I went to Harvard, study economics, I worked at Goldman Sachs, during this time, I worked on these deals that a lot. And I was like, okay, you’ve got my attention, that, you know, those facts, and then everything else about I’m just exuded, like I said, confidence, and honesty, integrity, and exceptional service, which ended up being the pillars of their firm. And those three things connected with me from the Marine Corps of, you know, our core values being honor, courage and commitment. So there’s a lot of similarities that I saw right away with him. And with their firm to where it seemed like, just that alone was enough to Suevi. But thinking about the action oriented element of it, you know, being a competitor than I am, and being able to see like, okay, literally the difference, being able to give someone what they want, or need or looking for can be determined by whether I can run faster on the street than the, you know, someone else, man put me in that job, right, like being able to be selfless and providing inimitable service to someone else, against a competitor who might be a little lazy on the wheel, or just doesn’t have it in them that day. Put me in that job. Right. So I just started to find all these little edges to me, that were more more assets or more attributes or attractions, you know, like, hearing the daunting 90% washout rate of first year agents in New York City 90%. I was like, Man, that’s all me, right? Like, that’s a marine thing, or, you know, the running to gunfire kind of joke, but like, hearing that immediately made me even just want it that much more.
D.J. Paris 13:10
Yeah. And it’s also true, like, so we have a, there’s a real estate school that that teaches out of out of one of our offices. And so I tend to see the students as they file it, and, and you’re right there is it is a wide berth of different types of people who come to those classes. Some of them, you know, are just investors, they just want to save on commissions, and they’re not going to do traditional realtor stuff, then you have the more sort of people who may be more polished come from sort of that maybe corporate world, and then you have people who are, you know, you know, just trying something new, and it is very, it’s attracts a lot of different types of people. And I suspect, I’ve talked to a lot of people who are in the process of getting their license who have gotten their license. And it’s also a lot of people who go, Well, I used a realtor for buying or selling something. And I was like, Oh, I could do that. Because, you know, there is this, you know, there isn’t a sort of, in Illinois, we have what are called minimum standards of sort of, you know, minimum standard practices. But they’re pretty low. It’s a pretty low bar to hurdle. And so for those that are willing to go that extra mile or to realize that, yeah, there is there is competition here and all you have to do, it’s not that it’s easy. Of course, nothing in life is easy, and it’s worthwhile. But this idea that if I just work a little harder and a little smarter, and I’m, you know, I’m going to be a client’s choice, and understanding that that is absolutely possible. And you know, that competitive nature I’m sure is really keeps you driven but it’s exciting to hear that that the idea that 90% of people fail like excited you because you’re like why I you know, you’re not afraid of failure. Failure is like, just part of the deal, but you’re like I’m just gonna keep getting up and keep going But how was that first year? Was it difficult to find clients? And? And how did you get your name out there?
Jake Thomas 15:07
First, I mean, forget the first year just those first few days, hours, weeks, you know, of coming to terms with myself and I just gave up salary and benefits and like getting through that, that doubt wall that fear filled, scrutinizing doubt wall right that we all have and that is inevitable if you ever really go for it, you know, anyone that’s ever really gone forward, especially on any type of entrepreneurship knows that wall well. And if you don’t, I don’t know, maybe, maybe you’re missed it or you Blaze past that or you haven’t really gone for it, because it’s hard to not see that. And that was tough was first few hours, I’ll just say oh my god, I can’t believe I did this. And I remember I went home that afternoon after I punched out and submitted my resignation. And one of my windows that actually opened up my apartment and blown open and it was like feet of snow. feet of snow in my apartment, like all over the place. Oh, no, I remember my concierges calm like, Hey, man, I think there’s a draft in your place going in there. And I was like, oh, that’s why so it was a very funny little paradox. Maybe, you know, or foreshadowing. And I was like, Is this an omen of some kind? Let’s pull it on. But no, it just it was grunt work. It was conviction, it was just, you got to get those reps. And you got to just keep going back to it, keep going back to keep going back to it and just believe in the purpose, you know, remembering where I came from why I left wife, you know how I felt the way I did when I was there. And what it was that I was after knowing that it wasn’t going to happen in a day. You have to work and struggle and fail and fail and fail and fail until I found it.
D.J. Paris 16:50
Yeah, yeah, it’s boy, I could that was so well said. And you talked about that sort of pit in your stomach I was reading. I can’t remember who said this. And I wish I could. But it was some entrepreneur who’s who’s had a bunch of successful startups and said, If you don’t have a pit in your stomach, when you’re starting something, your goals, probably not big enough that you’re shooting for. And that pit in your stomach. If you don’t want to throw up at least a little bit of the time when you’re trying to figure out whether to go for it or while you’re going for it, then you’re probably not doing it right. So basically, he was saying become friends with that feeling because that feeling is totally normal. It’s totally okay. And you can still persevere despite that, that feeling. I think that feeling gets a lot of people though, I think it stops a lot of people it’s like they don’t realize like, it’s like being in the gym, it’s no fun to do a rep that goes to failure, and I just came from the gym. So I’m thinking about that. And it is no fun for me to to do any exercise that I have to sweat or, you know, you know, I went down for my last deadlift today. And I was like, Oh, I can’t get back up on this last one, which a deadlift is very short x small exercise range of motion is so tiny. It’s not that it’s easy. You know, it’s like, not as challenging as like a full squat, as far as amount of energy it takes, but I couldn’t do it. And I just didn’t want to do it. And I said, Well, I just got to do it anyway. And by doing the work, as you said, you know, putting in the reps, you know, eventually, if you’re doing it the right way you end up getting there. And most people I think they just give up because the reps or maybe they’re boring, or they’re hard, or they just can’t find the discipline to do it. But you obviously have been trained, I imagine in the military discipline is everything and process. Right. So can you talk a little bit about sort of how you pushed through, you know, when you got started having you know, maybe oh my gosh, now I have snow in my place and and maybe I just quit this amazing corporate gig with a huge brand. And, you know, how did you get yourself those that first year or two to keep going? Because you I’m imagining you could have easily Trent, you know, transition back into into that sort of corporate world with your background, but what um, what kept you going, you know, in those those early days
Jake Thomas 19:08
honestly, it was the people. The customers, you know, like, I worked with a great team at Cooper and Cooper, from top to bottom from Jeremy and Jordan, co founding brothers, to everyone on the management staff to the rest of my peers and colleagues. I mean, they’re a boutique firm, a very handpicked, and polished and selected people. So it’s very familial, very cohesive, small unit leadership again, a lot of things that I remembered from from the Marine Corps, so I was really well surrounded and insulated with positivity and encouragement. And that was critical. They never made me feel like I was not going to do it. It was always motivating and you can do this you can do this and just helping and assisting with with whatnot that it was the customers it was my interaction with customers and feeling their needs and doing my best to fulfill Hold their knees. And that satisfaction was what I realized I’d been missing. Previously on the elbow, the days where I would walk to Central Park from, from the Office of Ed Ralph, and spend my lunch on a walk and literally cry. And I’m in tears, like cry, trying to keep sunglasses on, so people can see me. But there were lunches where I would walk in the park. And I can cry, man, because I was like, this cannot be it. This can’t be it, I couldn’t have come this far. stayed alive. This long, not lost all my fingers and eyes. And, of course, you know, This can’t be it. And so remember those days, I’m like, not crying anymore. You know, we’re, we’re here, we left that. And then the more I was working with my customers and hearing their stories, meeting their parents, and feeling the reactions that took place from how relieved many of them were to work with someone who seemed to care, and how much that meant to them who seemed to listen, right? And how much that meant to people. Because clearly, there had been a big void of that. So that that really hit me hard. And I was like, Oh, man. So that was the first well, that I kept going back to. And still, I mean, it’s the well, I keep coming back to him while I still do it.
D.J. Paris 21:18
It’s nice that you know, that that feeds you because I don’t know, oftentimes, when when I have guests on the show, they will talk about the sort of personal interaction and but I don’t know that anyone said it quite quite as elegantly as you just did. And I think that’s really important, because you were talking about having this corporate job where you worked for this amazing company, and and, you know, had this incredible sort of job and but, you know, you didn’t have the direct interaction with the consumer, I’m guessing. Right? You were you were working on the corporate side. And you didn’t get to talk directly to the, you know, the people needing that particular product. Or at least that wasn’t your day to day job. And so this idea of, oh, that’s the part that feeds me, I like going direct to the consumer and saying, I want to help you, you know, one on one, or I want, you know, this most basic need to, you know, shelter, I need to live somewhere. And then you can make that happen for somebody and I just went through it myself, buying the place I’m sitting in now, like, last year or so. And I’ve been through that process before. And even though I had been through it before, and I’m in this industry, and we have 800 Realtors at the company I work at. I’m not a practicing realtor, but I’m among Realtors all the time. In fact, I have a license. So I really should be used to this whole thing. And I wasn’t, and it was emotional. It was scary. It was in the middle of a pandemic. So I was like, Am I making a horrible buying decision? You know, is everyone leaving the city I didn’t know. And I needed I my boss was my realtor, even though I could have technically done it myself. But he was a nice guy and said, I’ll help you manage your emotions through this. And and that’s really a cool thing that Realtors get to do. They get to help people manage this stressful experience of even just finding another apartment much less buying a place. And in New York finding an apartment is just as stressful sometimes, and certainly as competitive. My sister and I’ll tell you just a funny story. My sister and I back in 2005 We both bought a place for approximately the same amount of money. Hers was in the West Village on Barrow amazing location. It’s just like one of the best areas to live I think great location, great location. It’s like everywhere I turned I saw like I’m like I think that’s a professional model whether it was a male or female like everybody looked like a model. jailhouse. Yeah, yep. Yep. And, and then I bought a place here in the city in Chicago. And then, I think four years, five years later, Dana, my sister sold her place because she was dating a guy who lived in Queens and shows us moving out to Forest Hills. But anyway, so she sold her place for it was a fight you’ll appreciate this a five story walk up, no elevator. Or maybe there was but maybe just like a service elevator but certainly couldn’t use it to go up 500 square feet one bedroom, which is amazing. And no air conditioning and all that stuff. And she sold her place. I think it appreciated $200,000 like just an insane number. Mine depreciated by that time. But but that’s how crazy New York purchased in 2005.
I think so 2000 sold sold it in what sold it in when I’d have to ask or maybe five years later, somewhere in that neighborhood.
Jake Thomas 24:38
Oh then is appreciated. Over 40% Because from 2000, roughly 2000 to just post 911 to like 2018 the median appreciation for condos in Manhattan alone was 167% over that amount of time. So using that math and be scaled back, you know, years I’d say it’s at least 40% appreciation.
D.J. Paris 24:58
Yeah, well, and I think that’s That’s about what she got. And what was interesting about that is, that’s great. And if you cash that out, it’s a nice win. However, if she priced herself out of her neighborhood, right, she now no longer could it could afford to live in the neighborhood. She wasn’t going to anyway, she was moving to Queens. But the point was that that’s how crazy New York real estate is, of course, that’s a simple example, you have a million of those stories. So it is very difficult to as an agent, to really be able to meet a client’s needs strictly because there’s a limited amount of inventory, of course, so much competition, and it’s just so incredibly expensive. So I applaud you because you really are not not that it’s necessarily any easier in a rural community, those have their own challenges, too. But certainly, New York is known for just, you know, chewing up and spitting out realtors, and the fact that, that you saw it as a challenge, but a challenge to meet a really important need for you, which is I want to connect with people and I want to help them. You talked about giving, giving to me, is seems to be the most discipline and giving seems to be the two most common attributes people on the show talk about is being a giver, and then just cranking through it. So I’m curious, you’ve seen a lot of people, I’m sure come and go in the industry as well. Do you have any advice for people that are struggling right now that, you know, they’re realtors, they’re trying to get to that next level? Of course, we’re in still in the middle of a terrible pandemic. It’s still tricky, it’s still tough out there. A lot of competition rates are low so people can afford more than they could before. So there’s there’s just a lot going on. What would you what would you say to somebody who’s like oh my gosh, this is so hard right now.
Jake Thomas 26:45
In a sentence it’s never the markets fault it’s never don’t don’t blame the market or if that’s your if that’s your reason. It can’t be right you know, good good economy, bad economy, pandemic nonendemic doesn’t matter there there is always there’s always opportunity. There’s always a deal to be had. There’s always a deal to be made. Maybe it’s not where you want maybe it’s not you know, maybe you’re a buyer by heavy broker. Maybe it’s on the sell side you don’t like selling well maybe that’s where it is. Maybe you’re buying and selling isn’t working out too much but you’ve got rental clients but you don’t like renters but maybe that’s where it is you know, maybe it’s a different URL. It’s a different part of town. It’s about being you know, maybe it’s in most places you don’t want to be and you don’t like being at you know, people that only want to look at night people that only want to look early in the morning people that only want to look on the weekends, holidays, afternoons. There’s so much opportunity around if you can have a macro, I believe perspective of of all of it as opposed to where I specifically am trying to find for me because maybe it’s the most convenient there. I’ve found the lowest hanging fruit. And don’t get me wrong. It’s great when that works out like that. But if you depend on that, and you grow to learn that that’s how it happens when you get that taken away from me. There’s a joke about handstands doing handstands and learning handstands. And you may have heard this talking about the gym. If you learn to do a handstand on the wall, you’ll never get off the wall. It’s a good point. And I’d say so remember that metaphor.
D.J. Paris 28:30
Yeah, I have yet to, to get. It’s funny, even doing doing pull ups, I can relate to that. Because we use a band to help sort of, you know, because, you know, there’s just so difficult to do a pull up, as you know, but, but now when I do try to do one or two pull ups without the band, you’re right. It’s very, it basically, it’s better if I really, if I don’t have the band to some degree, because then I learned that, you know, I don’t have a helper here and I can just power through and eventually I’ll be able to do that pull up. But but you’re, you’re you’re so right about the you know, it’s the same argument, I get, I get these calls I do recruiting for our real estate company. And so I’m talking to realtors, and I don’t hear it as much anymore. But when I started 11 years ago, there was a lot of like, what kind of leads Can you give me and that’s really what what you’re talking about is, you know, being unfortunately, a lot of realtors probably think that’s that’s the solution. And and of course, that’s wonderful if you can find a firm that can fire leads over to you. Wonderful, good for you. But what happens when that those lead sources dry up or when the firm decides we don’t want to spend that kind of money anymore on that. You’re right and and also the fact that you’re you’re you’re a hustler in the most, you know, sort of complimentary way I can say hustler in a good way. Somebody who doesn’t give up somebody that understands, hey, I can just pivot and rentals are something that a lot of realtors ignore and now New York City probably not as because they’re so prevalent, but a lot of realtors, even here in Chicago are like, Oh, I don’t want to do those. And I’m like, Well, where do you think buyers come from? Like, they come from people who used to rent unless they’re super lucky. And they just, you know, have, you know, a trust fund where they can put a downpayment down when they’re 18? Most people don’t do that. So this idea of doing rentals, you know, I love that idea. And I’m curious, how have you found a lot of clients that have transition New York’s a whole different animal, because the barrier to purchase is so high, but I imagine that happens, right? That transition from I’m renting now, and I want to buy in the future.
Jake Thomas 30:36
So funny, you know, these last few years, basically, since the end of 2019. Definitely 2020. So everybody that was benefiting on the COVID deals, you know, whether it’s on the renting side, or on the buying side, because throughout 2020, there’s massive inventory. Normally, New York City sits around healthy market 6000 to 6600 available apartments, that number got up to almost 10,000, or just over 10,000, I forget by the close of the third quarter of last year. So huge bubble, and an already very large market space, right. But the demand, the normal amount of demand, which is always 98 102% Wasn’t there because of the Exodus taking place. So there was a huge amount of inventory, not a lot of demand. So of course, centers paribus, prices fell, renting, and buying. So everyone that could finally afford to live in New York, many people had been dreaming. Finally, buy could finally rent, etc. Well, now that all those renewals are coming up for renting, many of these clients are seeing 20 3040 50% increases on their rents because the rents don’t have to be fixed to the normal per annum inflation rates because the landlords can say, hey, we gave you a great deal, we did our part. Now we’re only returning the lens to fair market prices. So you have to do your part and either pay the new price, which is the normal technical price, or, you know, pack the bags. So because of that, there’s a lot of opportunity for current renters seeing these enormous inflation amounts to become buyers, you have liquidity, if you’ve got the means and liquid cash upfront, to be able to put down and buy and show money in reserves, if need be for Co Op, you can actually become a buyer and be spending what you’re spending currently, or certainly not nearly what they’re asking in the inflation amount. And you’ll be owning equity instead of paying someone else to rent their asset of which maybe you can’t even afford the new price. So this is gonna be a whole nother year of opportunity the same way, you know, 2020 was very opportunistic for the new comers to the city for for buyers, getting great deals on the sell side, and then 20. Later on, throughout 2020, it became you know, the ship, the demand went through the roof, the inventory went back down, everything got swallowed back up by by April. And now we’re seeing just kind of the elastic response of okay, I don’t know what to do. And there’s a lot of people that are stuck in the middle. But Dare I say the same amount of surge we saw on the renting side for COVID deals, there’s gonna be a lot of new buyers this year that are already happening.
D.J. Paris 33:08
That’s really that is really exciting. And I just love the fact that you seem to you see the opportunity versus this struggle, right. So the struggles there. Of course, this business, having to wear all the hats a realtor has to wear is of course, a very daunting task. And I applaud everyone who does it professionally. And that’s their full time gig, because it is not easy, of course. But I love the fact that you’re just a guy who pivots. I don’t mean to say you’re just a guy, but you’re a guy who pivots. When you see something not working you’ll you’ll move to something else. And you just look for the opportunity. And there’s always, as you said, always opportunity. But you’re absolutely right, you just painted a very rosy picture of this year. Whereas I suspect if I asked other agents in your market who who maybe aren’t doing as well, they might have a different opinion, right? They might see things in a more negative light. And they might say, Oh, well, gosh, I mean, you know, people are still freaked out, no one’s coming back to the city or whatever the the story, they’re telling themselves to keep the they’re sort of idea of why things are so hard in alignment. And I love the fact that you just gave us some really, you know, exciting news. And you also by the way, we should talk about results because it’s one thing to just have a rosy perspective on on where things are headed. But you you’re a results guy and you know, that’s you know, being in the military, being in professional sports, of course, it’s all about results, the discipline that to get those results, and you’re closing a deal every four days, you know, whether it’s a rental or a sale, that is an incredible feat for anybody in any market. How do you manage all of that? That traffic right so there’s just a lot of to dues on your plate. Every couple of days. There’s somebody closing, how do you keep that all organized? I I’m just always interested in in systems. So I’m not that you need to get too too granular with it. But But tell us a little bit about how you how you organize all that information.
Jake Thomas 35:09
That’s so funny, you know, between their own, you know, client management system. I had my own simple Excel doc that I set up and had various formulas throughout to sort and itemize and you know, Salman, configure some quant tips and COUNTIFS and other things, for me to just to be able to see kind of a pattern of consistency and like probably, really probability right? To where I could say, on Wednesdays, between three and 5pm, I need to be in the West Village business, my highest probability of success based on where I’ve been the deals I’ve done, what size I’m looking for, this is likely the profile of the buyer or the renter, he or she is going to probably be at this age are probably gonna have this budget. And this is the ideal move in date. And I had that dialed in based on everything that I put into this. And I had some friends helped me out with the algorithm. But that’s when I was drilling it as specifically as I possibly could that way to where and it was every four days, I had it at one point it was less than 48 hours, which is fun, because when I watched the numbers preflop I was like, No, you know, like I wanted to stay at one point it was less than 36 hours. So it was it was fun, because it was a big I kept it as a game. You know, it was it was playful. Like I kept that exciting. I kept it kept me interested. And at the same time, I was really doing what people wanted, or what we’re asking of me, right? So I was just running to the calls running to the to the springs running to the fires, right? And just saying, Give me more, give me more, give me more load me up. And for me, the more they came, the more they asked, the more it motivated me. So it was it’s again, really I think the consumers I like the people who I’ve been able to serve, because it’s them that that give me this drive like to me it’s reciprocal, you know, I I play off of what I’m receiving. And like you touched on with people seeing this and the negative. Yeah, I’m sure that’s true. I’m sure there’s truth to a lot of the fear and the doubt and uncertainty and speculation. Maybe I just, I don’t subscribe to it. You know, I stay with the surety that what I know and what I can affect and influence right here, from an arm’s length away. All that might be true. But in the time that you’ve spent talking about that thinking about that scuttle butting about around the water fountain, you know, it’s not going to feed out at the bar, because you’re fearful whatever, that less than four days clock has been rather than the whole time. So in your time of doing that. I’ve been on the meter doing otherwise. Yeah, yeah, you’ve
D.J. Paris 37:37
been getting your rep set. And, and I love that because at the end of the day, you know, the 24 hour news cycle is available to all of us, and we can entertain ourselves and keep ourselves busy with things that will satiate us in a sense and entertain us. But someone out someone out there is practicing while while we’re absorbing. And of course everyone should study their markets and do the you know, do that kind of work and and read the news about you know, what is important to them for for their business. But it is very easy to get caught up in what’s happening, versus charting your own path. And you are somebody of course, who doesn’t seem to subscribe to I’m going to let things happen to me. And I would love to talk about social media and the role that’s played for you because you have an impressive social media following which is is, you know, not as easy I think it and not to make this agender conversation because, of course, we’re two guys and we could talk about guy stuff. But it seems that guys have a harder time building a social media following. You’ve built up an impressive following your social media, your Instagram account, for example, is about 16,000 followers, and you post a lot about your life on there. And you’re really sort of show who you are and I wanted to curious on how that has impacted your business. You know, do you find that obviously, you have a following you have people that are interested in your life. But can you talk a little bit about how that started and how you decided to what you decide to put on on social media and how that helps your business?
Jake Thomas 39:20
Yeah, I’ve always been very inclusive of other people and to what I’m doing like I’ve always been a fan of sharing, you know, like, Hey, man, met this movie like who wants to go to the movies Harry? Oh my god, you guys have to come to this restaurant or oh my god, this this place was so cool. This is like, I always want to share it with someone so that not that I’m pushing it on you but like if you can feel it, I’m feeling it’s gonna make you feel great or if wow, if I could share this feeling with someone else, like maybe the world would be a better place. So for me, I’ve never wanted my work to dominate what I broadcast I want it to be about my the experiences that I have and trying to share those the places that I’ve gone, the foods I’ve eaten the things that I’ve seen people I’ve interacted with, you know, like right now, at this little Mexican restaurant in Williamsburg. I’m the only one in here. And conversing with the hostess and the owner and my mother’s from Mexico. They’re both from Mexico here. And I immediately started speaking to them in Spanish. And they both looks to me like, like, most people usually do it, like, Why do you speak like this, you know, with this accent and everything. And this is a million dollar moment that no one’s gonna see that no one’s gonna have that I’ve just bathed in and then just glowing from it. You know, that’s how I feel. And so that’s what I try to put out. Trying to get caught up in too much of the other stuff in there, there’s, there’s enough negative in the world, and I don’t need to personally feel that I need to add on to that people are going to find that wherever they want. There’s no shortage of it. So if I can get a little bit more smiles and Christ the world, that’s it, it’s a win for me, you know, my mission statements is, for me to find an outlet in life that permits me to give everything I have of myself away. Real estate is my way of doing that. And whether it’s a specific transaction, or just the kind of nuance of the business. Yeah, because it is lifestyle oriented, it is about people and experiences. And that’s what I’m trying to pump out. And you know, if people like it, cool.
D.J. Paris 41:18
Yeah, and I like that you’re, you are willing to share it, everyone’s got different boundaries around what’s comfortable for them and sharing on social. And I like the fact that you, you know, like, you have this incredible tattoo, sort of, you know, I don’t know if its sleeves, the right word, but one of your arms is just this really impressive, full design, it is super cool. And, and you show it and you’re like, This is what I this is, you know, you show yourself working out, you show yourself, you know, playing sports and just being active, and even just at a cursory glance, as I’m looking through through your, your, your social feed, it is, you know, what, what really comes across is your character, because I’m seeing a guy who’s who’s in an incredible physical shape, who really seems to be a giver, as well. But I’m seeing somebody who’s disciplined and seems to have their their life together as well, which is also like, why wouldn’t you want to show that? Of course you would. So I imagine a lot of your clients, you know, probably even look up to you in a lot of ways for you know, how fit you are, and, and how positive you are. And just how professional, right, it’s, it’s this willingness of showing like yourself, as you are. And you do that. So I really encourage everyone to look at subscribe to Jake’s Instagram, which is again life like Jake, but I love that and, and you also have fun with it, too. You do a lot of funny things, too. So but but I, you know, I suspect you have a lot of people follow you because you’re willing to put yourself out there and say, here’s why I’m this is me. And here’s what I’m into. And it doesn’t it’s not always real estate related. It’s like, here’s my, here’s some stuff going on in my private life. And here’s what I do when I’m not, you know, closing deals. And I think
Jake Thomas 43:06
I’m really I don’t always play to the crowds man, like, I’ve learned like anybody, people love to see me with not a lot of clothes on by what the engagement statistics which show on my analytics show. And then you know, I’ll go and talk about something that is near and dear to me. Whether it’s a play that I saw, or just an article that I read or an experience, and no one cares, but I don’t care either. You know, like I’m saying this because it’s honestly feel this is how this thing made me feel and like you go, but for sure, there’s clearly a trend of what is preferred from the audience side. It’s which makes me laugh a lot. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 43:53
Well, talking a little bit about the performance side of you with your your background in theater. We’re very lucky here in Chicago, we have so much great theater. Some people argue we might even have the best theater in the country. I wouldn’t I wouldn’t want to start that argument because I don’t know enough. But we to that to make that argument. Of course, New York City is is
Jake Thomas 44:13
fine pizza is a different story.
D.J. Paris 44:16
Pizza, yeah. Well, that’s true. We don’t have John’s like we do here. But we do have Lou Mel noddy’s and a few others, you know, Chicago, Chicago, New York have a friendly rivalry there. But it is let’s talk about about theatre and performance because I’ve interviewed a number of successful realtors who they are authentic. And I’m no way suggesting that that there’s no there’s not authenticity. But this idea of no this is still a performance. It’s an authentic performance, not not social media. But when I work with a client, I consider that a performance where I’m going to be presenting to them I’m going to be you know also listening and doing a lot of interaction, but has your you know your your background on the state Ah, has that helped you with the way you interact with the public because of course, on stage, you’re directly communicating with every single one of those audience members.
Jake Thomas 45:10
That’s funny, because it’s actually the reverse. So I only recently acted the very first time. This past year was my stage debut on Broadway or Off Broadway. Wow. Yeah, so it was really more of like, all those reps with clients, and interviews, and just different professional places or sex that I’ve worked in, you know, between the military are going to fit that was a great one, a talk about a learning experience, working in the oil field and are working in a bar and working throughout, like, all those places were different, you know, still being me in every sense, but really just observing and learning so much more about other people and the environments that I was in. So when the stage opportunity came, I was just like, oh, this is we can do this, you know, humbly, of course, and excited. But at the same time, I was like, Oh, this is what we’ve been practicing our whole life for this, you know, this is just just let it rip. Now. Let them see it, you know, and so like, it was me. Yeah, that’s, that’s what it was like, it was more of just like, Oh, we’re finally getting seen. Okay, cool, you know, and so for me, it was it was very much like a childhood. excitement about it and your eyes wide open?
D.J. Paris 46:28
Well, it’s nice to see, at least here in Chicago. The Steppenwolf and the Goodman are sort of our two most most famous theaters here. There’s a lot of other ones, of course, but I don’t think we’re back to in person yet for any of those, which is a bummer. But I know that theaters are starting to open back up. So if you do live in a community with some with some, some theater stuff, please support that. That is those those actors, directors, the stage hands those those theater owners, that’s it’s been tough. And, you know, I prefer to go to the theater over movies, almost almost. I mean, I live in Chicago, we have a lot of great theater here. But I love that you’re trying that. And I just assumed you’d been doing it a long time. So I’m, and you’re probably you probably like scary things you enjoy. And I don’t mean, so scary that they would be dangerous, but just you like difficult tasks. That’s that’s where you get a lot of satisfaction from.
Jake Thomas 47:23
Like, do I look at it as difficult? Or? I don’t know, if it’s the fact that it’s tough that I look at it as an attraction or that maybe it’s not what everyone else would pick and that I see something as unique or that it’s weird. And that it’s not normal? I don’t know. Maybe that’s more attractive to me that I’m like, it’s more about what if I don’t, as opposed to the one? Yeah,
D.J. Paris 47:49
yeah. Do I want to get to the end of my life and go, Oh, I should have done that. I should have tried. You know, whether or not you went to Tony, is is another thing, of course, but But it’s like I could have gone for that I could have tried that. And then if it ends up not being the thing that you like to do? Oh, well, yeah, I tried it, I got to do it. I was we were talking about my dog who’s had some heart issues at the moment. And the cardiologist that I saw recently said something very similar. Just a couple days ago, in Florida, he said, he goes, I want you to think about how you, you know, we have a certain amount of time left with this particular animal. And I want you to get to the end of this animal’s life. And I don’t want you to have any regrets about how you treated this animal. So he said, you’re already doing all the medical work, you’re going above and beyond there. But I want you to make sure that and this was such an unusual thing for cardiologists to say, although I suspect maybe it’s not unusual, but I wasn’t unexpected, unexpectedly hearing it, where he said, I want you to feel good at the end of as best you can at the end of her life. And I was thinking what a great metaphor for all of us to really think at some point we all you know, we all traverse off this mortal coil. And you know, to think what are some things that would really be fun to try and maybe a little scary, too. And I love the fact that you don’t even think of it as scary. You’re just like, well, that’s just what I wanted to try. And so of course, why wouldn’t I do it? And I love that, that you that you have that attitude. And it is clear to all of our listeners, I’m sure well how that’s translated into your success. But I know you’re a busy guy. And we have gone a full hour and this has been such an insightful conversation because I think for everyone listening, they got a real sense of how your beliefs and your attitude which you have full control over. Or at least you know, if you pay attention to them, and you obviously do, but for everyone listening, if you pay attention to your beliefs and attitude you can you can make things mean anything you’d like. And you can look at go jumping on stage, which is most people’s number one fear is, you know, public speaking and say that sounds cool. That sounds fun. And if it doesn’t work out, who cares? It’s going to be fun. and enjoy that. And you chose to look at things that way you chose to look at leaving a probably safer path in the corporate world with with Ralph Lauren and other you know other companies and said, I want to try something else. And that’s going to be more fulfilling for me and I’ll figure it out, I’ll make it work. And you have and not just made a living, but also made a huge splash in the New York real estate market with how successful you are. And I imagine you’re the kind of guy you could probably just drop you off in any industry, maybe you wouldn’t be as fulfilled, but you’d be able to get it done, because you just know about getting things done, and moving forward. So I really, really applaud the success you’ve had. And I know our audience really appreciate it. So on behalf of the audience, we want to say thank you for spending time with us inside a restaurant where I know you don’t have time to do this, and you found time to do it. And I really, really can’t thank you enough. And on behalf of Jake and myself, we want to thank our listeners and our viewers. for continuing to get to listen to our show. The best way to help our show is to tell a friend think of one other real estate agent that could benefit from hearing this amazing interview with Jake and send them a link to our website. If they’re not a podcast person. They can stream every episode we’ve done right from our website, keeping it real pod.com Or just pull up a podcast app, hit search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button and also one last favor. We’re asking please leave us a review whatever you’re listening through, whether it’s iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora or whatever, let us know what you think of the show. Good and bad. We’d love to know how to improve and also what you like that really helps us continue to make the show better for everyone. So thank you on behalf of the audience again, Jake, thank you so much everyone go I want everyone to listen yeah and by the way if you live in New York City and you are looking for an agent Jake is your guy best way to reach him currently find him through Instagram which is life sorry life life I’m sorry Jake. I just lost my notes just went down. And like Jake sorry life like Jake So Instagram life like Jake also look in the show notes for this episode. You can link directly to it, but you can contact him through there and he would be happy to talk real estate with you. So Jake, thank you so much for being on our show and we will see everyone on the next episode. Thanks, DJ.