Kirsten Evans, Agent K, with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group talks about the beginning of her career in real estate and how she grew her brand in the business. She attributes her success in changing her attitude and getting involved in the community and giving back. Kirsten also discusses the mistakes that agents make when getting started in the business and how you can avoid them. Kirsten also describes how she structures her day day in order to stay efficient. Last, Kirsten discusses how to set boundaries for yourself/clients in order not to burnout.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Kirsten Evans can be reached at (309) 824-1001.
D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real, the largest podcast paid 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 Kyrsten Evans. Before we get to Kiersten couple of quick reminders, please tell a friend about our show. The best way you can thank us for enjoying this content is by telling other agents about keeping it real. And there’s couple ways to do that. You can of course send them right over to our website where they can listen to every episode we’ve ever done right from the browser, which is our website is keeping it real pod.com. And also leave us a review. Whether you’re listening on iTunes, Google Play Spotify, Pandora, anywhere you’re listening to this podcast, let us know what you think of the show. Leave us a review. Tell us what you like. Also let us know what we can do to improve. And last if you have a guest that you want to hear interviewed and 2022 it could be you too. It doesn’t have to be someone else. But if there’s someone whether it’s you or another top producer in your market that you want to hear us talk to let us know you can just message us through our website or through Facebook. And you can also follow us right on email@example.com forward slash keeping it real pod But enough about all those announcements. Let’s get to the main event. In my interview with Kyrsten Evans.
Today on the show, we have produced an epic Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group in Bloomington, Illinois, which is, by the way very close to where I grew up about maybe 35 minutes away in Peoria, Illinois. This is very exciting for me because I feel like Kiersten and I have this connection. But it goes actually beyond where she lives now, because we’re actually born in the same town and well as well, which I’ll get to in a moment. But before we talk about me, let’s talk about Kyrsten. So she has been licensed for four years in Illinois. In addition, she worked as a real estate assistant for a real estate mogul for two years in the suburbs of Milwaukee while attending grad school. Now something no one knows about her is that she was adopted. She was born and raised in Arlington Heights me me as well. Not adopted but but born and raised in Arlington Heights. We probably were born at the same hospital and she was given us Yeah, we she was given a second chance at life overcoming many setbacks and obstacles. And she attributes this life event to her success and can do attitude every day. And her burning desire is to change people’s perception of the average real average realtor. She is known for giving fabled service that people believe is unheard of. And she tries to train change perspectives that Realtors don’t work hard and are not full time positions. Now her secret and key to success is very simple. She works hard. She is strong, direct, upfront and honest, she is not lucky. And I love that too. She is not lucky she is always seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities that come her way and working really, really hard by putting her client’s needs above her own. Now in addition to being a top producer, she was also a Coldwell Banker national 30 under 30 winner in 2020. And in 2019, she was she was given a as for her realtor association was called the mid Illinois realtor Association. She was KRISTIN I’m so sorry. I don’t have it in front of me. What was the award you won? It’s a Rising Star Award. Which makes perfect sense because of course she is. Which is why we have her on the show. My apologies for getting that wrong. So 2019 She’s the mid Illinois realtor Association rising star, but you can follow her and find her on the web, please visit her website, which is sell with K That’s the letter gay sell with k.com. Kirsten, thank you so much for being on the show.
Kirsten Evans 4:29
Thank you, I’m so excited to be here. Really excited to
D.J. Paris 4:33
talk to you. So when you and I were born in the same town, and then we ended up being sort of raised very, very close to one another. So I love that that you and I have a lot of sort of things that we know because of where we grew up. But I would love to start all the way at the beginning, which I know is not a long time ago for you. But you know, tell us sort of you know, you went to grad school. You know why? Why did you get into real estate? What was the impetus there and Then how did you get started?
Kirsten Evans 5:01
That’s a great question. So I went to school for clinical exercise science for my undergrad at Illinois State University. My dad had a heart attack Christmas Day, actually when I was in high school. So that was my mission in life was to help people. When I went to grad school, I needed to pay for it. So I got a job working for a real estate mogul Richard Newman. He built the vice president of Harley Davidsons house and was on the Parade of Homes. So that’s his claim to fame. In addition, yeah, he owned his own real estate brokerage. And he had investment properties all over the Milwaukee area. So since it was a private brokerage, I learned so much from him. Right off the bat, I was literally his executive assistant. So I learned a lot. I never thought I’d use any of the information since I was working in a cardiac field. But when I finished my undergrad, sorry, my stepsons coming home. So anyways, when I finished my undergrad, I was my masters back up, I moved back to Bloomington where I went to school and met my husband. And there was no jobs for me down here. And I wasn’t going to sell for like a $40,000 job. There was absolutely no way not with working that hard. So I’m with my real estate knowledge. I’m like, Screw it, I’m gonna get my real estate license and never looked back. I mean, most of the realtors I met in central Illinois, it was a by chance transaction, right? They went to school with someone it was a family member. Bloomington Normal, if you’ve never visited, it’s like the biggest smallest town you’ve ever seen in your life. And so everyone knows everybody. So being new, was it was really crazy.
D.J. Paris 6:48
Yeah, it makes sense, because I’m from Peoria. So I can absolutely relate to this idea that everyone knows everyone. And it is something that but you’re right. There’s so many realtors who get their license, because they have a few people in their life. That’ll probably use them because friends family, but they don’t really turn it into a full time business. Right? And yeah, and you can tell yes. And my
Kirsten Evans 7:13
mission was I can do better.
D.J. Paris 7:16
Yeah, well, let’s talk about how you got started. So. So yes, you did have a sphere of influence, or at least you had, you know, a good contact list from you know, where you grew up. But how did you start sort of letting people know that you now can help them buy sell rent, invest? What was sort of how did you get your name out there and sort of curious. So
Kirsten Evans 7:36
that’s a great question. And actually going back moving to Bloomington Normal. I didn’t have any family here. I just went to school here. And like, Oh, I’m
D.J. Paris 7:43
sorry. You’re right.
Kirsten Evans 7:45
So I only the only person I knew is my husband. And most of the people he knows weren’t moving or selling, right. And I was such a rookie, that they weren’t going to hire me.
D.J. Paris 7:54
And you know, this is really important too. Because like I’m from I’m from Peoria where I was raised, and I’m thinking it was me, and I don’t practice real estate myself. But if I did, and if I lived in Peoria, and I, and again, I know a lot of people that are because I grew up, I actually don’t know how easy it would be for me because a lot of the realtors in in those, you know, sort of midsize cities or even maybe they’re considered small cities now. You know, the people that are really dominant in the real estate industry have been dominant forever. They’re, you know, it’s like, oh, we know those, we know that the 10 realtors that that are just you know, kick kick, you know, killing it. I imagine Bloomington is absolutely the same way. So so it didn’t have
Kirsten Evans 8:35
the spirit paper intimidating. So literally my first year in real estate, I joined a team because I’m like, I don’t know people and they’re gonna feed me leads. They don’t. I sold two homes. And I figured out within four months that the team was just not for me. So I left I went over to Coldwell Banker. And the second year it was pretty much just my attitude. I changed my attitude. I started getting involved in the community. I went from selling two homes to 38 comps. My second year in real estate that’s,
D.J. Paris 9:03
that is incredible. Two homes. How did you how did you do it? So so it was it getting involved? Was that sort of the the big reason?
Kirsten Evans 9:13
Yeah, no, it was just getting involved in the community. So I joined Lions Club, my dad’s ally, and my grandpa was a lion. So that kind of helped just to give back. But they did tell me they’re like don’t join for business because we’re not giving it to you. Right? They have now but I also joined the Chamber of Commerce. So if you don’t know a lot of people, I think that’s a really great one to join. I was scared and intimidated because of all the realtors, but honestly, they’re not all there. Wanted to get into. We have something in town a chapter for BNI networking. So that’s for sure. Yeah. And that’s pretty much about it just started meeting people. And just being genuine and nice and doing the things I like to do and not just doing things to do things because you’ll waste your time. Yeah, and I
D.J. Paris 9:58
think it’s really important. So you talked about giving back. So all of the associations or organizations you just mentioned are philanthropic. And, and not only does that, of course, you know, give you a sense of pride and, and sort of, you know, just accomplishment and, and, and helping others, which of course, is wonderful for your own personal sort of satisfaction. But it also does demonstrate to other people that you’re willing to help. And I think, you know, that is it’s, I cannot tell you how many people we’ve interviewed on the show that have very similar story where maybe they didn’t have a large sphere of influence. It wasn’t like anyone handed them deals. So they didn’t know what else to do. So they were like, I better just get involved in your case. You’re also you’re part of the the Illinois Association as well.
Kirsten Evans 10:49
You’re serving on a state level, and I’m co chair of our PAC. Yeah, so get involved with your local association, too. I think that’s probably the smartest thing I did when I was a new agent. So I’m happy you brought that up. When you first joined, that’s how people are gonna know your name, and you send them an offer. Now I’m sure Chicago’s a little bit different, right with like, more people, but Bloomington Normal is still pretty big. And we have over 500 agents here. So the fact that when I send offers people know who I am, that’s what’s nice. Well,
D.J. Paris 11:19
it’s funny, you ask that like is Chicago. So we have about 46,000 agents here. But yeah, but which sounds like a lot, I guess it is a lot. But I will tell you to your point, I interviewed somebody from our from here in Chicago, who is very active in our local association. And he said that 30% of his business, and he did not get involved with the Association, so that he could get business because there’s probably no real direct way to get business there. But he just wanted to help. And he was part of the YPN, the Young Professionals Network. And he did some other things on other committees. And he told me that now 30, and he’s probably, let’s say three years in the business, he says 30% of his business now comes from other people who just happen to know that he’s involved, like his name got out there simply because he was part of the association. You know, the, the leadership and yeah, so I’m really, really applaud the fact that you do that, because number one, it’s just doing a lot of good work for all realtors. But also, it does get your name out there. And that was really, really, really smart.
Kirsten Evans 12:31
While you’re young and have the energy, I don’t want to be doing this. Like when I’m older. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 12:37
Well, let’s talk about mistakes. Because I know that you have some thoughts about what mistakes do agents make when they’re, you know, getting started? Or maybe they’re trying to get to the next level? And they’re just maybe they’re just getting in their own way. So what what do you see out there as mistakes that agents make?
Kirsten Evans 12:56
One wouldn’t be stopped learning. Like they get their real estate license, they don’t keep up with like, the market and trends. So yeah, never stop learning. Another one is you don’t have to spend gobs and gobs and gobs of money on advertising. I think the best advertisement that you have is yourself. And like I said, being part of those groups, I’m literally advertising myself every day. I also think Another mistake that people make is not getting involved in your association. I think that’s really played a key in getting my offers accepted and playing nice in the sandbox with other
D.J. Paris 13:35
people know people know you. Yeah, other agents know who you are. And they probably Oh, she’s the one who does all the different committee stuff. Yeah,
Kirsten Evans 13:43
right. I think another myth is I know, there’s great teams out there, don’t get me wrong, there’s, there’s not a problem with teams, I just joined a one. But the fact that leads are just gonna come to anyone that promises you that like run away,
D.J. Paris 13:57
run, run the other ways, really quickly. Either way, I
Kirsten Evans 14:00
think we’ve all been there. I don’t care how seasoned you are, if you hear that, you’re gonna get a bunch of leads. It sounds exciting, and I don’t think that ever pans out and I don’t think you should have to pay for business that you can easily get just by being out in the community and being yourself.
D.J. Paris 14:15
Yeah, I agree with that. It would be very, very difficult for a team or even a broker. I mean, brokerages are probably the worst at at promising things like leads, teams have now kind of, you know, started to do that, too. And, and it’s possible, I guess, but I mean, I’ve been here 11 years, and I’ve never met an agent that really got enough leads by joining a team or a brokerage. Again, it’s I guess it’s possible, but I’d like to see it. And and, and the reality of why that doesn’t work so well. Is is really, it’s a very simple reason. It’s that the vast majority of buyers and you already know this. I’m not speaking to you, but to our audience, but the vast majority who they probably know this already, too, but it’s a good reminder, the vast majority of buyers and sellers choose somebody they know I choose somebody they know is their agent. Yeah. And so they’re just, you know, if you’re buying Zillow leads, for example, if you can convert 5% of those leads, you’re a superstar. And that’s, you know, so out of 100 people, you’re going to only convert five, because they don’t really know like, or trust you at that point. And so, you know, when if you can work your sphere of influence and meet people, and you’re doing that through all you know, your BNI group, you guys are sharing referrals and doing all and by the way, we should, that’s a nice little plug for BNI rarely gets, it rarely gets brought up on our show. And and I do encourage for everyone that’s like, what is I think it’s called business networking. International. Yeah, you got it. Yeah. So so look for your local BNI chapter. And basically, how it works is they put you in with, you know, like a financial advisor or mortgage person or an attorney. And then you basically are just there to say, Hey, does anyone do you guys have clients that need help? And I know it’s more than that. But you meet in the mornings and, and you get to do that once a week, or whatever it is. Yeah. And it’s just a really great way to meet people and you know, start to talk to
Kirsten Evans 16:04
it right? When you start to that’s another thing. I know, people who are like, Oh, I joined BNI. And I can anything, I don’t think maybe I got like one lead my first year in BNI. Again, like Bloomington Normal, being a tight knit community, you can join a group, that doesn’t mean you’re just gonna get business from it. And honestly, there’s a few people might be in a group that I don’t know if it’s, I don’t know if I’d send them business. So people’s trust, that’s for sure.
D.J. Paris 16:28
Yeah, well, let’s talk. Okay, so those, those are a few mistakes people make not not getting involved not treating it like a real job. But the fact is, this is hard to sort of treat like a real job for a lot of people. Because, you know, like, I know, for me, I go into my office every day, because if I work from home, it doesn’t work that well, for me, structure or structure is important for me, and real estate’s really a business as a realtor that there isn’t always structure. And your days change, of course, all the time. I’m curious, how did you How do you think about structuring your day so that you stay like efficient?
Kirsten Evans 17:05
I don’t know if this is a good example. I don’t know if it’s gonna show up on here. But I color code the crap out of my calendar. I don’t know if anyone else does that. But
D.J. Paris 17:14
I love it. Yeah. So what are the what are those colors represent? Sure. So
Kirsten Evans 17:19
I have an email that my selling clients that’s like aging KSL with k.com. And then I have an email for like, at FBI with k.com. So that when I set appointments, I know what they’re for. There’s like very little taking time for me, which I could be better about that in the new year. That’s what colors up. I think it’s purple.
D.J. Paris 17:42
I don’t see that’s. So that right there tells you you need to take more time because I use purple for my own private stuff. Because you don’t take enough time for yourself. But you don’t
Kirsten Evans 17:55
have to follow my lead that way. I know people who time block out, you know, money making activities, which would be networking, you know, and so forth. But I think having a structured schedule, so you can look at it. And it’s not just a jar of hoopla. I think that would help you. Another way that I’m structured is keeping clients top of mind. I mean, how often have you not talked to a client, and then you see a house and you’re like, oh, this would be perfect for him. But you haven’t talked to him for six months? Or something like that?
D.J. Paris 18:23
Well, let’s, let’s talk. I want to pause out there because I think that’s a great, and maybe one of the biggest missed opportunities is staying in touch. And so So okay, so you see a house for somebody? How do you make sure that it hasn’t been six months? Or if it has been six months, since you’ve last talked to them? You’ve sort of dropped the ball on you know, staying in touch, you know, how do you reach rekindle that sort of, you know, connection,
Kirsten Evans 18:48
I’m gonna keep going back and preach to like all the new agents or people just starting out, or maybe starting up again, please don’t spend lots of money on software and things you don’t need for lead generation. The real estate mogul I worked for in Milwaukee, he had the system that I used to make fun of it was just pen and paper and a few different like pen colors that all met something. And so on my wall, I’d love to share it with you if you ever want to see it on my office, I have a hot and I have a warm sheet. And they’re literally just strips of paper that I made with timeline, all their information, what they look for, and I go through it on a weekly basis, my warm, I’ll probably go through like every two and a half weeks, but
D.J. Paris 19:29
you have a bit like that. I think that’s like there’s a Japanese word for that called Kanban where you’re seeing this visual sort of display of an
Kirsten Evans 19:40
end, nice little sheet of paper blank on the back so that I have them in my car. I have them in my office. I have them here in my home office, but you just put that baby out and then I add it with others and I go through it on a weekly basis.
D.J. Paris 19:56
Now what about if once the transaction closes So somebody buys or sells and yeah, then what do you do?
Kirsten Evans 20:04
I have an Excel sheet. Our company actually, it’s really nice. Everything’s set up there to where I can just export it. Just say that right? Okay. I don’t know why that standard funky. But anyways, I afford it and I go through everyone, I probably touch them about four times a year past clients. And the best way to do this is set up what your touch dates are going to be like in December, right? So the calendar, reach out Yeah, and the new year and just let them know that I’m here if they ever need help with a, you know what affiliate or contractor, one I did was a client appreciation party, which was super fun. They really liked that instead of like going out and dropping off gifts. Once you get to a certain amount of clients. You can’t you can’t do that. Don’t do that to yourself. So I had a client appreciation party where it was catered drinks are provided, it was really fun. And I did that by Thanksgiving, not by Christmas, since everyone has a Christmas. Yeah. Just curiosity letters on the market two other times a year and that’s it.
D.J. Paris 21:08
So newsletters twice a year client appreciation event, once a year or so. And then you’re calling them what quarterly? Or just checking in how’s everything going about you? What about like, anniversary dates for like the buyer. So
Kirsten Evans 21:24
that’s another that’s another good one. So with my Excel sheet I have the year and the month that they bought. So I just organized it by month and I write the cards out the beginning of the month and send them out.
D.J. Paris 21:36
I love that. And it’s it’s great because it really again, it’s a very low tech solution, right? Like what you’re doing. And there’s lots of great tech providers, and some of them are nice enough to sponsor our show. We love our partners, but I know a lot of top producers that literally use an Excel spreadsheet for everything. That’s their entire CRM,
Kirsten Evans 21:56
and don’t spend a ton of money until then you don’t need to spend a ton of money.
D.J. Paris 22:00
Yeah, and odds are you’re whoever you work for Coldwell Banker, of course, has amazing technology, because of how large they are. But odds are the I mean, I know, you know, we we have a moderately large firm here in Chicago, and the technology that we provide to our agents, they don’t use most of the doesn’t get used. So you. Yeah, so you probably don’t have to spend too much just make sure that, that six months don’t go by where you haven’t talked to somebody, especially somebody who’s looking but but it may be even more importantly, somebody who was a client in the past because, you know, I think I forget what the statistic is. But a good percentage of people forget their Realtors name after like, we’re
Kirsten Evans 22:45
so bad. It’s so bad. I think if you live by the motto like I do every day, you get up and work hard, you’re going to make an impact. You’re going to be sincere and just stay in touch with people be ethical and moral and you shouldn’t have any problems.
D.J. Paris 23:00
And also, the playing nice thing is really important too. And I think there’s a gender. There’s a gender conversation there. And I’m not the right person to have it because as a as a man, I can’t really relate to what is but I talked to so many women who are top producers, who are nice, lovely people, and they say You wouldn’t believe how the way other realtors speak to me. Oh, and I’m
Kirsten Evans 23:23
terrible. It’s terrible. It’s terrible. And I never want to be one of those people now.
D.J. Paris 23:29
Yeah, it’s and it’s not just men being mean to women, but it is one of those things where it’s like it is a cooperative Commission. It is cooperative. So we can all win
Kirsten Evans 23:39
here, please. Yes, please.
D.J. Paris 23:44
So it sounds like for you, if I’m hearing correctly, you just have processes for everything. So you wake up and you you know what you’re doing every day. And you know, when your day starts and what’s really cool about the color coding thing, because for those listening, you wouldn’t see but her calendar each day it has, you know, different events that are color coded. And the reason she does that as she knows, okay, I’ve got a buyer thing tomorrow, here’s my all my buyer stuff, here’s all my seller stuff. You know, I don’t know if rentals are big in Bloomington, but maybe some rentals or investment stuff. But she knows by looking at her calendar, how much time she’s putting into her business. And she knows that every one of her clients is going to get called a certain you know, amount of time per year and and it’s again you’re treating it like it’s an actual job because of course it is and but yeah, let’s um I would love to talk a little bit more about you know, you’re you’re in a community where there has to be agents. Look, you know, Bloomington Illinois is not a destination where people necessarily go you know, I’m when I grow up. I’m going to live there, right i right out of college, I lived in St. Louis, a much bigger city. Not too far from Bloomington. And people. People don’t do that in St. Louis either they don’t they don’t go. I mean, I happen to but I was, I mean, everyone else was born and raised there. And so you are in a really tough environment because you didn’t grow up in Bloomington. Everybody already knows the top Realtors in Bloomington by the time you’re there. And it’s not like it, there’s this huge influx of young people who are moving to Bloomington. So you know, you’re very modest about how you, you know how you grew your business. But you really had to work hard. Like I was saying, if I went back
Kirsten Evans 25:31
really hard. So that’s why I said earlier, the luck thing I don’t like when people tell me I’m lucky, I’m not lucky, I work really hard. A lot of people tell you that. But also, I think a lot of it’s your mindset, right? Like my first year, I think part of only selling two homes was my mindset was, I don’t know anybody you know, what I’m doing is real estate for me, like I didn’t really have a purpose. And honestly, that’s when I really didn’t have a plan, the moment I felt I had a purpose, and I was gonna get a plan in state, that’s when everything kind of took off, I could either stay here and say, I’m not from here, I’m never gonna get business, or I could use it to my advantage. Since it’s a small town, if you look at it on the opposite way, if everyone knows each other, they don’t want you to know their financial situation. Worse, or I feel like here everyone knows, like 1015 20 realtors. So to be like, that’s easy pick me, you don’t have to pick between, you know, your your other contacts in town. So I really just tried to focus on what I could control and how I could switch it to make it work in my favor.
D.J. Paris 26:38
I want to back up for a moment because you just said something really profound that would not have occurred to me, if I were in your position. When you started, which was talking about changing your mindset, you said two things that I think are really, really important, especially being in in a smaller community. Because you’re absolutely right. I have a friend who’s a financial advisor in Peoria, and he’s he’s one of the you know, I don’t know if he’s the biggest one there. But he’s certainly as a lot. And I bet even though of course, you know, he would never disclose anyone’s financial situation. There is something about oh, that’s my friend, or I don’t really maybe not me personally, but but I know that he runs into this where it’s like, maybe he was, you know, somebody who he’s known since he was five years old. They might not go in and I don’t you know, you’re right. So this idea of them going with somebody they don’t know, is, in some ways, maybe an easier proposition, because there’s no baggage associated with that. And so that’s really interesting. How did you? And then the so how did you come up with that? Did that just occur to you? Or did someone give you that sort of insight, because I’ve never heard anybody say that before. And I think that’s brilliant.
Kirsten Evans 27:53
No, I was just, I was sick of feeling like I was in a rut. Right. And I feel like when you get backed into a corner, you’re either gonna figure it out, or you’re not like, something that’s always been a pet peeve of mine, is when people complain and do nothing about it. Yeah. And then I literally found myself doing that. I was being a big hypocrite. And so I needed to change that I really did. And that’s when I had kind of my aha moment. I feel like everyone’s had one of those.
D.J. Paris 28:20
It’s a big aha moment. That is a huge one, because now all of a sudden, it’s an old. So there’s this old marketing. My background is in marketing. There’s this old bat marketing philosophy, which I think is still applicable today, which is said if you can’t fix it, feature it. And so that’s exactly what you just did. You couldn’t fix the fact that you didn’t grow up there. You’re not on every billboard in town when you’re first starting out. Everyone already knows all the top realtors and they’re all friends with each other. So you’re right there is like, oh god if I go with so and so then the other person is going to be upset. I know my parents. If they were buying or selling in Peoria, they know all the top Realtors they’re all friends with them your exact situation, they’d be like, Oh my god, somebody’s gonna get upset. And you know, I don’t know what they would end up choosing to do. But there is sort of a I love the idea that, hey, you know, you go with me. At least
Kirsten Evans 29:13
not forget real estate is sales. Sometimes I feel like people forget it’s sales, it’s cutthroat. So when you’re in that situation, like work it, like, show your value of why they should hire you and not someone that they just went to school with, you know, part of your job.
D.J. Paris 29:29
So let’s talk about that. So, so I think what you’re talking about is having some sort of presentation, whether it’s, you know, an actual PowerPoint slide, Slide thing or whether it’s just, hey, I’m talking to you one on one and I’m going to tell you everything I’m doing or you know, you have, you know, some other material you might be presenting, but how do you approach that so you’re going to meet with a buyer or seller, you you maybe they haven’t worked with you before, they already know all the other top Realtors in town who had been doing it 3040 years. So what do you do? that you think helps when you that business,
Kirsten Evans 30:02
I think the best thing that I’ve done was really getting to open houses. And just being in front of people, I think I’m pretty good on the phone. But in person, I feel like it can really capture us. Right? And it gives you a good practice to. I’ve even had people where they said, you know, they didn’t really want to tell you if they’re working with a realtor or not, you know, those types of people are open houses. And so when I opened the door, I made sure that I said, you know, hey, welcome, come on in. You know, if you could give me some feedback at the end, that’d be great. But I’m not going to be a helicopter agent. Right? And
D.J. Paris 30:38
right, nobody wants that you they were like,
Kirsten Evans 30:42
right. And so at the end, I would try, because they would actually come back to me, then I didn’t have to be like, Hey, can you fill this out, and they wanted to learn more. So I mean, just by that statement, take it, use it, whatever. But it draws people to you, because they don’t want to be sold. And then right there, I felt like you kind of captivated them. Like, every other agent who’s like
D.J. Paris 31:07
most people do not want to be sold, there’s a small percentage that do but that’s a small percentage. And I’ll tell you the win. Sometimes, we have a lot of agents in our firm. And my job is to recruit agents. And so I talked to agents who are at other firms all day long. And the first thing I say, exactly is what you were talking about, as I say, I’m not going to try to persuade you to join us, I mean, I’m just want to tell you everything about our firm, because you’re an adult, you’ll be able to figure out if we’re the right fit for you. But you can hear it in their voice. When I say, Look, I’m legitimately not going to try to persuade you, but I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. And I’ll I hopefully, you know, give you all the info and you can make the right decision for yourself. And you can hear this audible like, Oh, thank God, you know, because people don’t like it’s like when you go into a retail store, and the salesperson comes running over and you’re like, I don’t even know what I want yet. And they’re very nice. But you’re like, just get away from me for a while. That’s the same thing with open houses. And for people that think open houses don’t work? Well. So do like what, what? So they don’t necessarily work to sell the home, although I guess it could happen. But they’re wonderful opportunities to meet other buyers. Do you? Did you? And do you continue to literally how
Kirsten Evans 32:23
I got started. Just that one year when I wanted to act more on purpose. Even if no one came to the open house or a couple of those? I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sure. I wanted to start getting in the houses and learning something that I didn’t mention earlier, as you know, with the non helicopter agent, at the end, I’d say something like, direct the conversation. So it’s not a question, right? And so I’d say look, I don’t know if you’re working with an agent or not. But here’s what I have to offer you boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And then I just Yeah. And that’s it, because then I’m not asking yes or no. So they kind of don’t want to know. So I’m just like, look, I don’t know if you’re working with an agent or not. But here’s the services, I can provide, you know, call me if I can do anything. And then you don’t know,
D.J. Paris 33:08
I used to work with a finance. I used to be a financial advisor a million years ago, and one of the top financial advisors in our office used to say, if you have to ask for the business, you’re doing it wrong. And so Kristin Kyrsten really just said essentially the same thing, which is, if you ask somebody a yes or no question number one, you probably may or may not want to hear the answer to they might not want to give you the answer because you’re not putting them on the spot. And it’s like they just came in to look at a house, right? And so but you can say, hey, so you what you just said was so elegant. Can you say that again? So I don’t know, if you’re working with an agent? Could you repeat that?
Kirsten Evans 33:45
Like no, oh my God, who actually say, I say, Look, I don’t know if you’re working with an agent or not insert value proposition. You know, here’s my card, call me if you need anything.
D.J. Paris 33:54
Yeah, it’s, it’s and again, people will relax. They won’t feel like they’re being sold because they’re not. And you are trying to provide value to them. And it’s it’s huge. It’s so huge. But what you just said was was so like this idea of don’t ask questions before you need to I guess at some point, you’ll have to ask why.
Kirsten Evans 34:17
I’m happy to share all this stuff, by the way is because when I first started, I felt like nobody wanted to share information. It was like they had a mind of scarcity. If I share something with you, then you’re gonna take it and be more successful than me. It was horrible. And so I feel like now that I’ve gotten to a spot in real estate, it’s my duty to give back and help people have a good start. Because if I would have been around different people who could help me change some of my mindset and what I was doing wrong, I think I would have sold more than two houses my first year easily.
D.J. Paris 34:51
That’s a really, really good point. And
Kirsten Evans 34:55
go around. We don’t have so much. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 34:58
I used to I’m the same firm, where it’s all about financial advisor, there was another guy who was the top guy in the office, and he would say, I’m going to tell we were all like 2022 23 years old, he wants me to tell you exactly what I do every day. And you can do that. And you can have the same success I have, none of you are going to do it. But I’m gonna tell you everything. Yeah, and he was right. None of us did all the work that he was willing to do. We didn’t have the success that he had. But he was it again, even if you’re in a super, super small community, there is plenty of business because there’s a number of people that are going, you know, with a discount broker, or maybe they’re going there for sale by owner. And that’s doesn’t work for most people. And so there even if it’s not, you know, you, you just have to get creative, and
Kirsten Evans 35:48
personalities, right. Like, I’m a person, like, that’s just who I am. I love when I have clients who are those two, so you can’t win them all. And you’re not going to we could give the same pitch. And it’s going to have a different delivery. If you’re being sincere with your personality, like my dad’s an electrical engineer, and he’s like, I don’t even know if he could sell me on it. You know? And yeah, you know, and there’s literally a place for everybody in this industry, for sure.
D.J. Paris 36:16
Let’s talk about because you are so incredibly busy. I was asking Kirsten before, if she went to the NAR conference, and because she’s so involved in the community, or in the real estate industry. And she goes, Oh, my gosh, I don’t have time. So I am curious, which I definitely can feel for you there. I’m curious on what what you are doing to set boundaries for yourself or for your clients. So that you you do you aren’t going to burn out and I’m not suggesting you are going to burn out. But for our listeners who might feel like oh my god, I’m responding to at 12am taxed for from one of my clients, you know, I can’t seem to escape it, you know how to use try to maintain that balance?
Kirsten Evans 36:55
That’s a great question. So my rule for last year was that if I sense like a little bit of Crazy, right? Obviously, we have to do our due diligence, and there’s ethics involved with real estate, and you have to help people. But when they’re also not respecting you, as a realtor, as a person, it’s time to just be smart about it, why not refer them to an agent who’s new and has like nothing to do, I’d get a 25% referral fee, you know, or just, what I would do to protect yourself is I have a buyer console and a seller console, and I let them know the services that I provide the times that I’m available, which for the most part, I’m pretty amicable about it. And the minute they don’t respect that, I’d be like, Look, remember when we talked about this, and if they’re not going to respect it, like let them go. So I’d rather be making no money sitting on my couch hanging out with my dog than being like in a vicious cycle with someone that’s like going nowhere, who doesn’t respect me? Like that? Yeah, time for that, like, go read a real estate book on how to be successful? Like, I can think of no, it’s nothing to do.
D.J. Paris 38:01
It’s funny, because you just said something really profound. And I want to make sure the audience heard it, which was she tells her clients, here’s what I’m available, here are the services I provide. Here’s what I’m available. And that is so smart, because she is setting the correct
Kirsten Evans 38:18
expectation. Yes. My favorite one, I had a lady real quick. One of the services when I go on a listing appointment, I let him know, flat out open house probably isn’t going to sell your house, right? Like we do want to show that we’re motivated. So we always do an open house when we list it. And if we do a price drop, otherwise, I’m not going to keep kicking you out or house or an open house. And I have an initial it at the bottom. And she was like, Well, why aren’t you here doing it open house blah. I was like, hey, remember that she from our initial conversation that we spoke about? I mean, all this stuff protects you shows your professional and keeps your people in line. So if you’re ever at a point in a transaction, where they’re asking a lot of questions, you might want to turn around and ask yourself, like, Did I not do a good job of setting the expectations? Because I feel like if you set them, you’re not going to run into a lot of those headaches later.
D.J. Paris 39:10
Yeah, it’s so gosh, it’s so important. And having people sign off on the expectations is is a great idea. Because it again, it’s not to rub it in their face when they need something and you’re like it’s outside of it. I’m just not going to do it. It’s more about just reminding them, you know, here’s what I do. Here’s what I can do. I don’t want to disappoint you. And so I want to make sure that you understand this is what I’m capable of doing. And
Kirsten Evans 39:38
on your listing appointment, they’re going to be so impressed with you not even just impressed. So you have a plan.
D.J. Paris 39:45
You have a plan and also you’re dispelling myths you’re saying here’s the deal with open houses. Really what they’re great for is for me to get more leads to sell more homes to people and maybe we’d get lucky and somebody might buy this property actually just about it
Kirsten Evans 39:59
shows that it no Have a few as a seller, because then you can still do them and they don’t seem off.
D.J. Paris 40:04
Yes, I was I was saying it in a way that you shouldn’t say, but but the point is, is that you should be explaining to people, Hey, if you’re meeting with other agents, and they’re promising, you know, they’re going to do an open house every Sunday. That’s great. And I respect that. But the reality of it is, is there’s probably a less than 1% chance that we’re going to sell a home that your home that way, we do want to show the community that we’re engaged, like you were saying, we want to we want to do these, but we want to make sure the expectation is set correctly. And I love it. I love it just you have processes for everything. And I could see do you anticipate in the future like building a team? I could see you doing that? I don’t know if that’s what you want to do or not. But I’m just curious what’s next for
Kirsten Evans 40:46
you? Maybe one, I’d love to just write a book on how to motivate people, I think coming from my adoption, we all come from different experiences, um, either write a book or do some mentoring. And I just I love that sincerely. Yeah. And it really does line with what I went to school for, like, I’m not helping people with their hearts, I’m helping them with their home. So I do have that sense of altruism, right, naturally. But yeah, I mean, just being sincere.
D.J. Paris 41:15
And I didn’t really get into to giving back until maybe 15 years ago in my life. And I’m just curious, this is not a real estate necessarily related question. But I can honestly say that that was a significant shift for me, was realizing how much joy I would receive
Kirsten Evans 41:37
from so good, it feels so good. It is the
D.J. Paris 41:40
surest way to increase that I found it to increase one’s self esteem. By just going you know, I’m not gonna make it about me right now, for the next hour, I’m gonna go help next, or I’m gonna go serve on this committee or, you know, whatever it might be. And so even if it doesn’t give you business, because in my, in my instance, all the things I’m with have nothing to do with real estate. So they don’t help you know, my business. But boy, they help they make me feel good about myself, and, and if nothing else that is worth doing. Even Yes, helping other people is really the goal, but you are gonna feel so incredibly good. And odds are it probably will help your business. Oh, yeah, you’re totally right. Well, Kristen, Kristen, this was an awesome conversation. I know how busy you are. So I want everybody to check out Pearson’s website. And by the way, reach out to Kyrsten. Tell her, she is so nice and sweet and generous. But visit her website, which is sell with k.com. It’s a great brand. By the way, I was telling Pearson ahead of time. What a great brand I love that sell with Kay, that’s an easy,
Kirsten Evans 42:46
first name. And for anyone wondering, yes, it’s here like beer. So yeah, Kirstie did that. And if I can help you in any way, send me an inquiry, and I’d love to connect.
D.J. Paris 42:56
And by the way, you know, she has lots of clients that are that retire and move away. And so, you know, if you wanted to, you know, work with her on some of those referrals. She’s not licensed in every state. So that’s another great reason to reach out.
Kirsten Evans 43:12
Again, yeah, I actually send a lot of referrals out, especially having StateFarm here, too, and referrals coming in. So yes, I’d love to collaborate and pay a referral fee as well. And I apologize towards the beginning when I got lost in my words and translation. It was like dragging the recycling bin. And it was really loud and slammed. Well, I have about that towards the end,
D.J. Paris 43:36
no, nothing, nothing to apologize for. You did great. And we are just so thrilled to have you on our show. And we’ll love to have you back in the
Kirsten Evans 43:44
future as well. I’d love to do this again, so much fun. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
D.J. Paris 43:49
Oh, you’re so welcome. So on behalf of our audience, you want to thank Kyrsten for being just an amazing younger agent. Although it’s so funny you don’t seem young in the way you’re presenting yourself which is even more impressive. Because just how incredibly professional you are. So really, really impressed with with her everyone should be following Kiersten check her out at cell with k.com and by the way, if you live in the Bloomington Normal area in central Illinois, essentially. And if you are looking to work with one of the top Realtors in the area, I know that’s how I would choose. So you know for for everyone out there who might be listening who’s looking for an agent, reach out to Kiersten she’d love the opportunity to earn your business. And on behalf of Kiersten and myself, we want to say thank you to our audience, because you guys are the reason we can keep doing these shows. So thank you, thank you for continuing to listen and the best way that everyone listening can help support us is to tell a friend think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing this great conversation with Kiersten send them a link to our podcast. The best way to do that just sending to our website which is keeping it real pod.com Or if they’re already a podcast kind of person. They just have them pull up a podcast app on their phone and searched for keeping it real and hit the subscribe button and Oh and one last thing. If you are listening on iTunes or Spotify or Pandora or any of the other places you might be listening to this podcast. Leave us a review let us know what you think of the show that helps us improve and also tells us what you like. So anyway, Kiersten thank you so much. We are honored to have you I love talking to young superstar agents because you just yourself You guys are so full of energy and you’re just crushing it. And you know, your mission about wanting the public to see professional, responsible Realtors is obviously coming through for you and I love that so keep up the great work and Kiersten is going to keep also volunteering and possibly even wanting to be in leadership for the state of Illinois with wheelchair stuff. So we are excited to watch and your continued growth there. So thank you so much for being on our show.
Kirsten Evans 45:55
Thank you have a blessed new year everyone.
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