Jon Lahey the founder of The Fine Living Group at eXp talks about his transition from IT into real estate business and what kept him motivated to build his career in the business. Jon also describes how he built his team in 3 different locations and gives tips on how to search for the best matching team to join. Jon shares how is he keeping his team motivated, engaged and positive in the current market. Last, Jon shares his tips on how to get your offer noticed.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Jon Lahey can be reached at (301) 900-3178.
This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks and FollowUpBoss.
D.J. Paris 0:00
There are so many real estate teams out there. How do you select one to join? We’re going to discuss that today. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now onto our show.
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 am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer John Leahy from Washington DC. Before we get to John, just a couple of quick reminders for everyone listening right now please tell a friend about the show. That’s how we grow. It’s how we reach more. More listeners and we can do more episodes when we get more listeners. So tell someone else in your office who wants to learn from top producers about keeping it real. And also please leave us a review if you’re listening on Apple podcasts or maybe Spotify stitcher Google Play Amazon wherever. Let us know what you think of the show. We read all the reviews and comments and that’s how we continue to improve hope everyone is having an amazing summer. And you know what you’ve heard enough of me let’s get right to it my interview with John Leahy.
Today on the show we have gotten laid fine living group with exp in the DC metro area. Let me tell you more about John John Lee. He is a best selling author and experienced speaker and the founder of the fine living group at exp. He was born in Indonesia. But John moved to the US as a child in 1990 and was inspired by his parents strong work ethic to achieve homeownership. He earned his BA in information systems and management from the University of Maryland. He launched his real estate company in 2010 and is a certified proctor coach who mentors every single member of his team. Since choosing to focus on real estate. John has consistently finished in the top 1% in the nation. As a realtor selling over 200 homes per year. John’s network has grown rapidly growing from approximately 20 realtors to 60 realtors in just a year. And before I actually bring John on going from 20 realtors to 60. What I do all day is is recruit realtors. That is an incredible feat. So John is amazing. We’re so happy to have him please visit John at his website, which is the Leahy group L A Hey, the the Leahy group.com. We’ll have a link to that in the show notes. John, welcome to the show.
Jon Lahey 3:57
Hey, thanks for having me here. DJ.
D.J. Paris 4:00
So grateful to have you. I first you’re in one of my favorite cities. Oh, and I think most people love, love the DC area. And not just the city is so cool. The surrounding areas. I know you guys sort of tackle all of it. And do you do you end up just had a quick question? Because I know I have friends that are attorneys in that area, they oftentimes have to take the bar in different states because of course the border a border, a few of them is the same The same thing happened for for real estate where you have to get licensed in each state.
Jon Lahey 4:31
So I just laugh because not because of that. But if we were known as like, the area with the most lawyers was attorneys. So yeah, in real estate here, I have to get my license in Maryland, a DC license of Virginia license. And the best part is the continuing education or education for all three, and only a few of the classes like overlap. So most of the time, what are the classes I’ll have to take like the actual classes um Every time I ended renewal is different years. So something I don’t look forward to is that
D.J. Paris 5:05
is it? Is it three different MLS is as well or is it a one is
Jon Lahey 5:09
only 1am? I? Oh, thank
D.J. Paris 5:11
goodness, one. Anyway, I was just curious. I know that that’s not the reason why you’re here. But I did want to I was curious because of course DC is such a complicated area. And they probably should just make it its own state. But we can that’s another conversation for another time. But I would love to talk to you have done so much since since since you started in real estate, but you started out as an IT guy. So I like the I am so always loved some how people transition into real estate. You know, you were you originally when you were at University of Maryland was the thought to become a developer or to work in the tech space, or were you always thinking real estate.
Jon Lahey 5:49
So the funny thing is, real estate was never, you know, in my mind, I remember it was like four or five years after I graduated high school, I came back to my high school for my sister’s graduation. And I met my close friend my like one of my best friends from high school. And he had became a realtor. And I looked at him like what’s wrong with you? Like, why would you give up like your your engineering? He was an engineer, I’m like, Why did you give up your engineering degree to become a realtor? I’m like, That makes no sense. Like, I trashed the guy, right. Two years later, I was licensed. Like, I never had any plans of becoming a realtor. You know, it’s kind of like I don’t want to say it’s by accident. I believe it was my destiny. But it was never planned. It was never planned I, I worked as I work in IT company. And my job was to train like all these end users around the world. So I was working overnight overnight shifts with my clients in Germany, my clients in Hong Kong, and I was just always available on their hours. And then during the day here, I would show houses. That’s how that’s how I was juggling between the IT world and then the real estate world. And then just, I was I just I looked at my numbers couple days ago. And the funny thing is my first four years in real estate, I sold a total of 11 homes. So I had no business like even surviving in real estate because for years, I sold 11 homes. And then on my fifth year, I decided to go full time into real estate. Which if you think about it, it’s crazy, because
D.J. Paris 7:23
that is crazy, based on the previous four years, right? And I’m like,
Jon Lahey 7:27
I don’t know what I was thinking. But something inside me was like, Hey, you should go full time with real estate. And so I did. And thank goodness, I have a family who supported that idea and didn’t call me crazy or stupid or dumb. And my wife’s like, you know what, if you believe that, if you believe it’s time to go to real estate, I’ll support you. And my first year in full full time in real estate, I sold 11 homes and I’m like 11 is like the number apparently, you know and um, and then from
D.J. Paris 7:54
by the way, that’s not a bad number for a first year in real estate. It’s it doesn’t make me feel good from a bank account perspective. But that’s not an uncommon and again, I know you had been doing it for several years part time before but really it’s not a terrible first year but it’s not an easy first year.
Jon Lahey 8:12
It’s not an easy first year and I thought you know I’m sure a lot of the listeners have probably thought the same thing. We unlike that I just need one just like million dollar sales and this will be an amazing year and that million dollar sale never happened and I’m just like I just need one more deal one more deal it was it was like an up and down every two three months. There’s no deals right and yeah, it was a hard first year full time in real estate for me but hey, I survive and that’s where I am today so I’m so
D.J. Paris 8:44
what do you think made the difference? You know having look you had a great job you were well you’re really doing two jobs but But you had a great career in the tech space you know and and certainly that was your your training was was to stay you know stay in that world then you decided to dabble in real estate you know in your in your off hours which you really didn’t have many and then you said I want to try this full time. The first year you know 11 deals pretty good first year not a fun maybe not a fun first year but but you know, numbers wise, not terrible, but not not enough to really you know, maybe replace the income maybe even from that from the other job. So so when you got past that first year, was there anything what kept you motivated? You know, did you just see that this is going to get easier and better? Or was it like I’m just did you try different things? I’m just curious what made the difference for you?
Jon Lahey 9:39
I always believed that failure was not an option. You know, I learned early on that once you made a decision burn the boats you can’t go backwards. So I I’m like alright, well there’s no going back. I’m just gonna have to make this work somehow. After that first year, I met a mentor. And I can tell you right now you know any But who’s listening today? If you want to go to the next level, find somebody who’s already doing and accomplish what you really want to do and just find that person and hang around that person and pick up the clues, because success leaves clues, right? Figure out how to think, figure out what they’re doing, and just copy it. And so that’s what I did. My, my first year, I sold 11 homes for first year full time, I barely survive. My second year, I met a mentor. And then I just spent all my time just learning from this person. Actually, I met a couple of mentors. And so I was I was very fortunate to have met multiple mentors. And, and that really made the difference in that my second year, my third year, I went from selling 11 homes to 22 homes to 44 homes. And then it’s just that’s the rest of you know, that’s that’s, that’s the history is I just kept on doubling my production. But the doubling of the production got XL acceleration in that process, because I met somebody who’s already accomplished it. And all I did was I was like, Alright, let me just copy what you’re doing. Let me just copy how you think. Let me just copy how you troubleshoot things, you know, coming from an Information Systems background, the way my brain works is always like that, you know, if the systems follow the systems follow the outcomes predictable, because that’s the, that’s the that’s the system’s processes, right? So with that mindset, I’m like, Alright, if I just follow their process, my outcome should be the same. And so I started doing that
D.J. Paris 11:27
makes all the sense in the world. And it reminds me of that story of Roger Bannister, who I think it was Roger Bannister, who run the ran the first four minute, mile mile. Yeah. So they’re just not that I’m going to go through a whole story. But my understanding is whatever year that was, I want to say it was in the 70s. But I could be wrong. But whatever year it was that he did that. Nobody had done it prior. And then literally that next year, because he had done it. And he talked about success, success leaving clues. And I’m not sure that people necessarily knew what his regimen was, but just also even knowing that it’s possible, which is essentially what having your mentor was like, Oh, you did 11 homes I did 75 or 100, or 200. And you’re all of a sudden, you’re like, Oh, it is possible. So and then you got to actually watch what that that mentor did. And you know, and you’re so right, success leaves clues. And it probably saved you countless years, I would think of trial and error, because you already had somebody who had been through the war.
Jon Lahey 12:29
Exactly. I don’t have to I didn’t have to recreate the wheel. And I didn’t have to go through all the failures. I mean, I failed a lot to you know, that’s the other reason why I was successful. I don’t mind trying. Other people are telling me, Hey, don’t do that don’t do that’s not gonna work. And I’m like, Well, how would I know? It’s not gonna work if I don’t try it? So I’m like, let’s try. And so I realized that the more successful the person is, if what they don’t tell you is all the failures that they have along the journey that they don’t, that’s not don’t go on social media, by the way, I don’t post my failure stories. My close friends know my failure stories here on this podcast, I’ll tell you my failure stories. But it’s not something where we just tell you stuff on stage, like, oh, yeah, by the way, let me tell you about how I felt on that one, and that one and that one, but all the people who are successful in life, I bet you there’s a boatload of boatload of like less successful stories along the way that they keep on getting up from, you know, and
D.J. Paris 13:26
I was gonna say, I actually, I actually think I actually think really successful people fail more. And meaning there’s just because they’re doing more, they’re failing more. And as a result, they’re learning because you only learn when you fail, or when you make a mistake. I mean, it’s really the only way we learn. And so the idea of failure is the feedback loop. I mean, you’re a systems guy, you know, failure is is the way to improvement. And so it’s sort of the irony is failure stinks. And it’s not fun, but it really is the key is fail as much as you can just learn from it and make adjustments.
Jon Lahey 13:58
Tony Robbins said this, right, Tony, I’m sure you know who Tony Robbins is awesome and never ending improvement, which is part of the never ending improvement. It’s also there, there’s gonna be failures and stumbles and, and other things along the way where it’s not perfect. So, I mean, I love it. Somebody says, If you want to be successful, fail, and when you fail, you’re gonna, you’re gonna fail, you’re gonna fall forward, you’re not falling backwards, you know. And so every time you’ll fail, you’re just gonna get there, get back up and fail again, get back up again and fail again. And you know what, I’m more sick. I’m more proud of my failure stories than where I am today. Because the failure stories defines who I am, because I have every single one of those failure opportunities. I keep on getting getting back up and everybody who’s successful has those in their, in their part of their process. It’s like, alright, where is this part of the journey? And you just keep part of a
D.J. Paris 14:49
part of the deal. As part of that. Yeah. And and also, resiliency is what you get when you bounce like you were saying, you got back up, you kept going, and all of a sudden you build the Those muscles in those calluses where it’s like the failures, don’t, you know, you’re like, Oh, I survived that. And then it’s like, Oh, it didn’t kill me that I lost that client. Okay, I guess I’m okay, I can dust myself off and keep going. And then those failures get easier and easier to handle, because you’re building that resiliency muscle and I talked to, I talked to had recently talked to a therapist about this. And she’s like, the most important skill that she thinks people don’t often develop when they’re younger is resiliency, it’s this idea of being able to fail, and then learning how to, like, soothe yourself so that you go, Okay, it’s gonna be fine. You’ll you’ll you know, and then you make some adjustments you try again, and, but the resiliency and also I love the fact that you cut off any other option to which which we don’t ever, we don’t talk about that much in our at least in our society of cutting off, like you said, burning burning the bridge behind you. It’s like, you didn’t really burn a bridge, but you’ve just like, This is it, this is what I’m doing. Of course, you I’m sure could have gone back into the IT world if you really wanted to, because of that’s your training. And that would have been a fine career too. But realizing like, I’m going to figure this out, people figure this out. And probably people a lot less intelligent than you figure this out, too. So it’s like, wait, I can do.
Jon Lahey 16:15
Exactly. And I just wrote on my paper, you know, the failure makes the success sweeter. It makes it so the celebrations much sweeter when you remember where you came from. Imagine you just get into real estate and boom, the next thing you know, you already made a million dollars, but there’s no journey to the story. What do you celebrate, you just celebrate getting there. And then you’re like, Alright, so what’s next, but the really the success, the happiness, the satisfaction is in the journey of getting back up, up and and trying something and not working. Just keeping keep going at it. You know, the determination of thinking Grow Rich, one of the first thing they said is the reason why Henry Ford, Henry Ford is successful, is because of his his determination. That’s really the secret. Yeah, determination.
D.J. Paris 17:01
Yeah. And Henry Ford would say I’m not the most intelligent person. I’m not the smartest guy in the room. In fact, I think he would have a panel of buttons on his desk that would summon you know, this is before the internet, but he would summon people from from other departments. He says I don’t need to know everything. Because I have people in my life that I just push a button. I mean, you could call that a mentor, you call that a co worker, whatever I can I can get the answer to anything by pushing this button. He but his point was like, he’s like, I’m not the smartest guy. I’m just maybe really determined. I’m going to figure it out. And I love I love that, that you have that. And I because you’re a systems guy. Our audience loves hearing about systems. So I’m curious if you know, we’re not asking you to share your secret sauce, of course. But any system ideas, you have that agents when you’re coaching agents, when you’re talking to him that you feel, gosh, I see this a lot where they’re just not they don’t have this part of their process really well defined. Or I’m curious if you have any suggestions for our audience for systems?
Jon Lahey 18:02
Oh, absolutely. So it was maybe like eight years ago, and I had just fired my third assistant in like, two months. And I was standing outside the restaurant. I’m a foodie, right, I’m sitting I’m standing outside the restaurant and my third assistant called me and I think she’s, I forgot if I fired her or she quit. And I thought to myself, I’m like, that’s gonna be a better way. Like, why am I why am I attracting the wrong people? And then I realized it’s probably me, like, I didn’t
D.J. Paris 18:28
have a common denominator.
Jon Lahey 18:31
Them it’s me. I’m the reason why it’s not working. It’s not so. So I realized I didn’t have a system, I didn’t have a process for people to follow, which means I can’t leverage the things that I shouldn’t be doing to grow my business to the next level. So I can focus on the high dollar productive, productive activities, because I’m doing everything right. And I realized that I’m the reason why this is all failing. I remember I got on a plane the next day, and I was in DCAA, Reagan National and I was flying to LAX. So it’s a good five and a half, six hour flight. I was sitting on the second second row, middle seat. So I was stuck in the middle. And this is before like internet was like common on flights. So I can’t get on today. I can’t get on the internet. And I was I was stuck in the middle seat and I pulled up my notepad, my yellow notepad. And I thought to myself, Okay, what would have to happen what happens every single time I get a client I start writing it down paperwork and sending an introduction email and making sure the listing agreement gets sent on to this person and that person and this person and I created an actual checklist system for my processes, the things that are the lowest dollar producing activities I put on paper and then when I got back home I put it all into a checklist system in my in my I use Infusionsoft. So I put everything into Infusionsoft that triggers automatic emails and you know when people follow the checklist, What I did is I can,
D.J. Paris 20:02
I’m sorry, I’m just gonna say, it’s so funny because as you were saying that I was realizing, and I hope our audience was thinking the same thing that I was thinking in my own business. And again, I’m not a Producing Realtor, but I do other things, very similar to what Realtors do. And I was thinking, Oh, what are my low income producing? Or what are my non income producing, you know, process or sorry, tasks that I have to accomplish that I should consider giving to someone else? So I’m sorry, go ahead.
Jon Lahey 20:30
Oh, so So that’s exactly what I did. And then I get back home, I put everything into Infusionsoft which is our CRM slash data process systems and, and I called the local high school. And I said to him, like, connect me to the counselor, and the counselor, but then I said, Hey, can you get me a student who needs extra hours, and I want to train her to run my system. Because I looked at it, as you know, McDonald’s, McDonald’s is run by systems. And the thing with McDonald’s is, no matter which McDonald’s you go to, you can go to McDonald’s in Chicago, you can go to McDonald’s, in Rockville, Maryland, you can go to McDonald’s in LA, you get the same stuff, you get the same process, you get the same output, because the system is predictable, right, the, the outcomes predictable. And so I called the high school, and I said, Send me a student, a smart girl or a smart person. And I’m like, Just give me somebody who needs extra hours. And so I gave her mice the key to my kingdom, which at the time was we had like four or five agents. And I said, All right, you’re gonna run my system, this is how I know if the system is going to work or not. Because when a system is followed, regardless of skill set, the outcome should be predictable. Right? And so I gave the keys to the kingdom to a 17 year old. And I said, I’m gonna train you to run my company, based on this checklist that I created on a plane. And I know it sounds funny, right? But I said, Alright, let’s try it. And then I went on a trip. So November, December 2020. What is it 2015. December 2015, we flew to Bali, we actually went to Bali. And we left and we stayed in Bali, for four weeks, flew back home. And we had $7.9 million in ratified contracts while I was out in Bali, because one of the systems follow the outcomes predictable. And I look at it, I’m like, did a high school girl just manage my team, and we just had our productive month ever. It’s incredible. And, um, and so that’s my system story. If there’s one thing that somebody who wants to scale up and first off, find out what, what things are bogging you down, that’s not really high dollar producing activities. And give it to somebody else and create a checklist system that checklist ism is the easiest way to do it. Just make a checklist of the things that has to happen every single time. Something happens, right. So that’s what I created, I gave it to somebody, and I taught her how to do it.
D.J. Paris 23:04
I love that because and also back to the McDonald’s sort of reference is McDonald’s Restaurants are essentially run by 17 year olds. Exactly. So so that’s sort of the genius of it is like, well, if they can, you know, and I’m not here putting 17 year olds down, they’re just you know, they’re just 17 year olds, they, they, you know, they can follow processes, they’re probably not great innovators of that age, or who knows, but they’re able to follow instruction. Clearly fast food restaurants know that. And so that is an incredible, I’ve never heard of anyone. I’ve heard of people hiring like an experienced person to then run their systems. But I love the fact that you’re like, I want to see, the probably it was the most sort of true test is like, I want to get somebody who really has no business running any of this. And it works. And that’s incredible.
Jon Lahey 23:53
We’ve always had good agents, but I didn’t hire a high level director, leader manager, until we were selling like 150 homes. 180 homes at that point, I’m like, All right, for us to go to the next level, I do need somebody who’s actually a high level like leader, because at that point, we get a double we need I need I need leaders because at that point, it’s more than just a system. We need leadership to go with it. Right. But until we were selling 150 homes, 120 150 homes, all of my all of my stuff was run by just systems and and assistants.
D.J. Paris 24:31
I love that and we’re so lucky now in this time to be able to with technology now we can get connected to help from all over the world and we can we are not limited. You know, simply to like local high school kids if that’s not what what somebody wants for their business. I mean, you can hire people from all over the world to assist and we’re I feel like a lot of realtors have yet to really adopt that and they they I think it’s scary to give up some of that control was that hard for you to even though you knew that this system likely should work was It was scary for you to then hand that over to somebody because I know a lot of our listeners, that’s that’s the feedback we get, as we say we should hire an assistant for and you can hire them relatively inexpensively if you look globally for people, but they’re like, Well, I just don’t want to I’m afraid they’re gonna say or do the wrong thing. I’m curious if you had those fears as well.
Jon Lahey 25:30
Obviously, I didn’t, because I hired and fired fast and then realized it was my fault, right? I really the thing is, if you have a at least a checklist or a process in place, you can you should be able to plug in any individual to help you with those processes is the key is you just have to know what needs to happen every single time. That’s really the key if you have the system and process in place, finding a person to plug in there shouldn’t be a hard thing. Right. And the reason why I did it that way is like I know some people like you should just hire somebody high level in the beginning. Well, the problem was I didn’t have any money. It’s not like I started and I was successful immediately right there. Another reason why I started this way was because we were limited in budget. I was reinvesting I was reinvesting a lot of the money that we were making on commission to for systems and technology and also for lead generation. So it’s not like I had a lot of leftover money to just hire a high level assistant. That was the thing. And so when COVID happened in 2020, we were very fortunate because we had been running in the cloud since 2015. Like all of my assistants, were in the clouds we were we were in the Philippines, we were in South America, I hadn’t we had zero like we didn’t have any transaction coordinator that’s local, we have nobody on Listen coordination, that’s local, all of my assistants, were running oversleep, everybody was like somewhere else. We were always running in the clouds based on systems COVID happen office shut down,
D.J. Paris 26:59
I was like, system doesn’t change anything
Jon Lahey 27:03
was the same, we have all the processes in place already. So I can say, you know, I’m very fortunate that that was the route that we took back in 2014 2015. As we were building the systems out, that we took that way instead of, you know, the paper,
D.J. Paris 27:21
I am such a big fan of, of hiring virtual assistants, for all sorts of areas of life, I actually have somebody that I hire, and I, which is basically she goes through all of my to dues with me every morning for an hour, we categorize them because I’m not good at staying on target with my two dues. She also helps with I mean this, I’m only saying this because I think this might be helpful for audience I have. So it part of my you know, my struggles is my work life. I’m pretty well, on top of things. But even in my home life, that’s where I struggle. And so I even have somebody or I say to them, can you come up with like 10 date ideas for this week. So I can then you know, organize something for my girlfriends, so that come up with like, restaurants that we should go to. And since she sends me a list of things, and it’s it’s the it’s some of the best money I spend, because I just Yeah, so it doesn’t even have to just be work, I have systems, I have systems to make sure because I won’t remember to do anything. So I have to have those kinds of systems. So I love that But enough about me but I want to tell talk you talked about, you know, you’ve become not only a top producer, but really a leader in the field. And, and I have to give you a huge shout out because you were a panelist at Rizz. Ras media’s 33rd annual CEO and Leadership Exchange, by the way rismedia We are i We’re in communication with them right now to to work on a project together as well. So I’m very excited. When I saw that I was like, Oh, that’s so cool. I’m a big fan of them. But I would love to hear about how you moved even from just, you know, hey, I’m just you know, I’m a Producing Realtor. I’ve got a team, too. Now I need to share some of this with with you know, the broader a broader audience.
Jon Lahey 29:07
You know, it’s a it’s exactly what you just said, How do I share this with a broader audience? My vision, you know, since like, 2017 2018, I was attending a conference, I was attending a Tony Robbins conference, and it was the last day and Tony was like, he shut the lights off, right? It was dark, pitch dark. And he’s like, alright, imagine where you are in five years. And I’m like, Oh, well, what’s Alright, let me imagine that. It’s like dream bigger. Like, is that it? And so, first, I was like, Yeah, I’ll sell like, 400 homes. And he’s like, dream bigger. And I’m like, Okay, I don’t know what that means. But he kept on challenging me to like, expand, like the goal and I was like, Alright, maybe I’ll open up and I started naming cities. I said, maybe I’ll open up in Florida. Maybe I’ll open up in San Diego and I started naming places that I want to like expand my brand might want to find living brands who which We never had that vision until like that conference. And that he’s like, where do you want to be? And I’m like Toronto, New York, Chicago, and I started naming like major cities. For out like West Palm Beach, Miami, San Diego, guess what? We’re open in San Diego. We all know, and thank you. We’re open, finally meaning group, Miami slash West Palm Beach, like that whole area, we have a team down there. We have a team in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland. And we’re and we’re continually expanding. And so it’s it started with that, that dream, that vision that was just birthed out of a moment where, where he challenged me to dream bigger, and I’m originally my dream was, I’m just gonna sell like, a few more 100 homes, which is like, alright, we can just do that. But it’s like, Is that all you want? And so, and I think that’s what the moment I knew what we want to do what, what the vision was, it was a year and a half ago, I realized my old brokerage was just not the right model for that, that really fit that vision of expansion. And the reason we want to expand is not just to make money, it costs money to change people’s lives. But we want to expand for like, more than that reason, right? We want to change people’s lives in these marketplaces, we want to have more influence over over all these other people’s lives, and over the market, in all these markets, and and so realizing that I was not in the right brokerage, we had to make a really big and hard decision, because I had been at my old brokerage for like 11 years. And we had I had grown from like a nobody to ranked number 23 In the world of brokerage, and I’m like, gosh, like, my ego is kind of hurting here. Like I, I’m not number one, yet, I really my ultimate goal is to become number one in the world. And I’m like, Yeah, I think it’s time to go, you know, I think we found a model with exp where expansion was possible, where growing in San Diego was actually very easy to do and opening up in Florida was gonna be very easy to do. And we had the right people in place in those two markets. And so just having that vision aligned with the model in place, and the company that have the same mission, everything is accelerated. And this is pretty cool. Because media, they they saw what was happening. You know, they know they saw that the number one REMAX broker owner team in Maryland shut down. And then the next thing, like six months later, we have two other teams, which even I couldn’t have predicted that was, I had no idea it was gonna happen that fast. You know, it was a vision. But what was cool is, it just happened so fast that the people were ready. The vision was there, we have a system that we’ve been testing for, like ages, you know, with our team locally, and then we just planted the system in Florida, we planted the system in San Diego, and then boom, now we’re opening three locations. And then rismedia saw that and they’re like, Wow, I guess we should see what’s actually happening here. Because we went from 20 to 65. In 65 Real estate agents in such a short period of time. I’m very fortunate. I’m grateful for that. And I have amazing people. I’m really fortunate because I have amazing people with me. Hang around people who believe things are possible, by the way. Like if there’s one thing just will just hang around people that believe that there’s nothing impossible and impossible things will start happening. If you hang around people who just will put you down and be like, hey, that’s impossible. That’s stupid. Don’t do that. Then you’re just gonna be stuck not growing. So if there’s one thing I can like, share today, like my vision was my vision. But hang on people who believe in that vision. Hang on people who believe in the impossible, because they’ll you’ll go far with those people.
D.J. Paris 33:51
Yeah, it’s really interesting. I, I think you’re right. It is Oh, I know. You’re right. It’s this idea of being around people who go Oh, yeah, there’s a way to do that. Instead of Ooh, that seems like oh, my gosh, that’s, you know, that seems tough or not possible. Just somebody who goes, Oh, yeah, that can be done. And that’s why being around people who are doing better than you is always so encouraging, because you’re like, oh, oh, that person figured it out. And there’s a way to do that. I want to talk since your team has grown substantially. You have 65 agents. Now. You know, last year you were at 20. So So again, as somebody who spends eight hours a day recruiting agents, I know and that’s I know, you’re not spending eight hours a day recruiting because you have a million other things to do as well like running a team and doing your own production and all of that, but and speaking and writing and all of the things you do, but I want to talk, we’re going to take just a quick little commercial break for one of our sponsors. And then when we come back, I want to ask about how you go about finding people to attract to the team because there’s so many of our listeners who are looking to either join a team or maybe start a team themselves. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on, you know how they should select a team if they want to join an existing one, or maybe even create one of their own. And before we do that couple, just a quick quick note about our favorite sponsor, which is called follow up boss. So, I want to this is my favorite CRM that exists. And I’ve interviewed hundreds of top Realtors like John in the country for this podcast over the years and the CRM that is used by more than any of our guests follow up boss. Now let’s face it, following up is the key to taking your business to the next level, we all know that follow up boss will actually help you drive more leads in less time with less effort. Don’t take my word for it. Robert slack, who runs the number one team in the United States use his follow up boss and he’s built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with 250 different systems so you can keep your current tools and processes in place. Also, the best part follow up boss has seven day a week support. Realtors work on the weekends, right. So this is this is great because you can get the help you need when you need it and get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that they’re for a limited time they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial, which is twice as much time as they give everyone else who visits their website. So but you have to go Oh, and by the way, no credit card required either free 30 day trial, no credit card, so you don’t have to worry about them charging you on day 31. Just but you do have to go to a special link to get the 30 day trial, which that link is follow up boss.com forward slash real again, follow up boss.com forward slash real, you have nothing to lose your check out their CRM, they’re so confident you’re going to keep using it that they’re giving it to you totally free for 30 days, follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And but now let’s get back to John. So let’s talk about recruiting, and also retaining. But we’ll start with recruiting because and I don’t know that that’s even the right word, but how we attract talent to the company. And that’s maybe a word I would suspect you would probably use over recruiting. So if someone’s out there, and they’re listening, and they want to join an existing team, maybe maybe your team even how would you recommend that they might start to explore existing options teams like yourself?
Jon Lahey 37:17
You know, there are different kinds of real estate teams, right? There are different kinds of things that they offer. Some teams offer lead some teams over appointments, some teams offer support, some teams offer system, some teams, offer coaching, some teams offer everything. And of course, depending on what you need, you need to know first of all, what do you need to take your business to the next level? Because just because there’s an awesome team out there doesn’t mean that fits what you need. And then you need to know also like, ultimately, what you want your business to look like long term, like, is there a growth potential or growth opportunity for you to join that team and actually see you hit your vision, your goal long term? Or is this going to be like a temporary stay where you learn for next six months to two years, and then take what you learn and build your own team elsewhere. So kind of like know, first off, know what you want, know what you need. And then if you have that, the next part is not as hard. The hard part is if you don’t know what you know, you don’t know what you want, and you don’t know what you need, then really, there’s no good fit out there. And it’s just gonna be like, you know, you just have to test different teams. Okay. So that’s the first thing from the perspective of the team leader. For us, or for me, at least, what I’m looking for are agents that fit our core values, you know, because like I said, I have competition out here, if we have competitors that offer the same thing. So just because they fit me doesn’t mean they’re going to fit the other team and vice versa. And so looking for agents that fit our, our core belief, our core, our core values, to me is more valuable than the skills the skills I can teach. I can I can teach them scripts, I can teach them how to overcome objections, I can teach them kind of like some of the mindset things that we believe in. But if that’s not their core, it’s not sustainable, long term. Like they’ll, they’ll go back to like who they really are long term. Right. So like, for us, the number one rule that we’re looking for, or like the number one kind of like, core value we’re looking for is we love, we care we serve, we love we care we serve, we’re looking for agents that just embodies that and live and breathe and believes that the most important thing to do to one another, and to their clients is to love care serve. And it’s really easy to it’s a really easy way to measure that. Those agents that believe in loving and caring and serving, you can see their success because they’ll get more referrals. They’ll get more repeat clients, and they get more five star reviews. And then you have the other agents who just sell, sell, sell, sell, and they get none of those things. Right. So that’s something that that just we just learned along the way that there’s a lot of producers out there and there are probably other agents that do They don’t fit our culture, but they can sell a lot more with us, but they just don’t fit our cultures. And we don’t really want those agents. We’re looking for agents who love care. So like, that’s our number one and most important role on the team.
D.J. Paris 40:13
Yeah, I love that. And it’s not just a slogan, right? It’s like is ever you probably put every process and every action through that filter. First, I imagine is does this does is every action we take under that love care surf umbrella, which probably helps, it probably makes your life your job a little easier. Because sometimes when we’re not sure what to do, if we push it through that filter of that’s my highest value, that’s it probably makes it more clear what to do. I imagine that really brings things into focus about what to actually do.
Jon Lahey 40:53
Exactly, we hire we fire based on that value of love care serve, and we make decisions and we implement programs and systems based on that core value. Will this help us love care serve our clients more? Is this going to help us show that we love care? And so let’s somebody said this before and Maya Angelou it was Maya Angelou, Maya Angelou said, people don’t remember what you say, people don’t remember what you promised them. But but people will remember how you make them feel. And I was like, you know, that’s genius. Just make people feel special, will be super successful, because people will just recommend us everywhere. They’ll remember us, they’ll recommend us. It’s and I I was in line at Disney World. You’ve been to Disney. I have it’s like 105 degrees in South Florida, right? And the line few hours long, two hours long. And it was like, Oh, I know, two hours long. And I’m like, why are all these people like smiling and happy and they’re willing to line up for an experience that they’ve experienced before. It’s because they don’t remember the line. They remember how they felt. They didn’t remember how Disney made them feel. And so they keep on coming back. And I thought to myself, What if we create a process and a system where our clients feel the same way, where they don’t remember how much money we sold their home for, they don’t remember how much savings they get from us. They don’t remember how much more money they got from us because of our amazing systems. But they remember that we carry
D.J. Paris 42:28
Yeah, I one of my favorite little Disney things. And I don’t know if this is still in effect, but it used to be a rule and probably still is at on at the park down in Orlando, which is if anybody from from staff, whether it’s the person sweeping up the, you know, the cigarette butts on the or the wrappers on the floor, to the people in the Mickey Mouse outfits walking around taking pictures, anyone on staff, apparently, if they came within if they come within, now, if you have the Mickey Mouse head, this wouldn’t work. But for people that you can see their face, who work at at the park, if if if a guest if one of you know, a visitor comes within 10 feet, they have to smile at the person, they have to make eye contact and smile. And it really goes to what you just said, it’s like that’s such a simple thing. And you don’t really think about it, except that makes people feel good. It’s it’s pretty easy to do. It’s doesn’t cost anything, it’s you don’t even have to talk, you just have to smile. It’s this idea of We’re glad you’re here and we want you to feel good. And so you’re essentially doing that same version of that with love care serve. And it’s it’s really it’s again, it sounds simple, it’s actually pretty hard to do. But when when you do it, it probably just ultimately makes everything a lot easier.
Jon Lahey 43:47
It’s easy to do when the things are good when you know, easiest situation when somebody that left your team and try to recruit from your team. Like I found out 24 hours ago. And then I had to go through that. And at the end I said to my staff and my leaders, I was like hey guys, we love we care we serve. Just don’t forget that. That’s not easy to do. No, it’s easy. When things are easy. It’s not easy. When it’s a really, really tough situation. You just have to remember your core value and as a leader, like I have to remember that you know what? People look at me and they’re waiting for me to fail to they’re like, let’s see if John’s gonna embody this love care serve belief? Or is it gonna go the other way and start like trashing someone else? And I’m like, I gotta make sure that if I preach it, and if I tell people hey, we’re all about loving and caring serving, I have to keep on showing that. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 44:45
yeah. And ultimately, you know, by focusing on your core values, and again, you know, if your processes weren’t strong, you know, then then when things shake up the business, you know, the top producer on the team leaves and if tries to recruit or or you know, people away, and there’s there’s a shake up. It really helps to, to be able to go back to that because that love care serve model because it really goes, everything’s gonna be okay. This is this is you know life has ups and downs and people are involved. So you know, people are the most random things on the planet, we don’t know what anyone’s going to do at any given moment. But but you built something without any any agent, right? You were just you. So you’re like, well, I already know I can get more agents. And so but yes, it’s not doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it’s certainly, I’ve had that exact experience that you’re referencing so many times. So it’s one of those. And I used to get very, very upset about it. And then I sort of went, That’s okay, it’s all gonna be fine. But it is it certainly can be challenging. So I would love to talk when we’re talking about challenges here a challenge that most everyone is facing. And I know you can’t solve this problem. But I’m curious how you cope with this problem for you and your team. Since you are the leader, we’re dealing with a shortage of inventory pretty much everywhere. Rates, of course, are rising, they’re still pretty historically, they’re still pretty good. But they don’t feel good in the moment because of course, rates were so low before. So you have this sort of, you know, difficult time for agents that don’t have a lot of listings, and maybe are working with buyers. So I’m just curious, what are you? How are you keeping your team motivated, engaged and positive?
Jon Lahey 46:33
I tell my, my client, my agents all the time, be be the resource, educate your clients, and, and regardless if they’re a buyer or seller, position yourself as the expert by providing valuable, valuable information, right, whether it’s through videos, whether it’s through social media, don’t just be like any other realtors saying, oh my gosh, we’re in a crazy market, they already know that. But instead, how do you educate them that how do you prepare your offer so that you win. And so we do videos, every single every week, we have a new video that we send out to all of our whole database. And we treat everybody the same we I mean, we segmented the database, but we get our whole database I treat as if they’re gonna buy and sell today. Because all these people who are afraid right now who’s hesitating, they’re looking for somebody to tell them what to do. Right? People love being told what to do. People love that the decisions are made for them. And so we tell them like, Hey, if you are still thinking of moving, here’s five costly mistakes that you need to know this week, so that you don’t end up losing your dream home. Here’s the 10 things that you shouldn’t do if you’re thinking of selling your home. And so we just become a resource, right? Because you know what, if they do want to buy and sell, you have to educate them anyways, you have to tell you need to show them so that they listen to you. And so we we believe we come in with the belief that hey, just be a resource.
D.J. Paris 47:56
You demonstrate you demonstrate that you have that skill on social media and also to your existing sphere of influence your contactless. You’re consistently reminding them we have information not so much, hey, if you’re ready to buy or sell where you’re at, I’m sure you, you say that too. Or maybe you don’t but but that’s not the main message. The main message is I have something you need to hear, I have something you need to read. And so it’s amazing how few realtors do go that route and become the place that people will tune into to get knowledge versus Oh, I’m thinking it’s time for me to sell my house. I need to find a realtor versus I’ve been following this guy for a while. He’s great. And he’s constantly telling me what to do and what not to do. I’m just gonna go with him.
Jon Lahey 48:46
Exactly. And so we’re getting, we’re getting clients are buyers and sellers calling us. They’ve been on our database for ages. And they’re finally like, coming back. They’re calling. They’re like, Hey, I’ve been watching your videos, I’m ready to go now. So we treat everybody the same. And then every seller, oh, well, not every seller, but the majority of sellers are buyers. So if you have a database of buyers, essentially you have a database of potential sellers in that database. So we just, we just educate them as if they’re buyers. Because most people don’t wake up in the morning. They’re like, I gotta sell my house. Most people wake up in the morning, like this home is too small. I need another house. So that we create a video Hey, if you’re waking up this morning, and you realize that your home is too small, you need to watch this video. Here’s three costly mistakes, people have people and we give them content based on that and because it’s their thought people don’t wake up in the morning saying I gotta sell my house.
D.J. Paris 49:42
That is that is a I’m gonna pause for a second that is a brilliant insight that you just said that I’ve done about 400 episodes. I don’t think anyone specifically ever said in that way and I want to I want to sort of just go over that again because that’s really important. Yes, people might look up their home value on Zillow. Lower that, you know, they might do little things like that. But you’re right day to day people aren’t thinking about whether they want to buy or sell, but they are thinking about whatever challenges they’re having. And so you’re basically saying, Hey, if you have this challenge, I’ve got a solution for you. And that’s, that is a great way to think about creating content, thinking about what are the actual challenges that my audience is experiencing, and then here’s some knowledge or some solution. Boy, that’s a brilliant strategy, I love that.
Jon Lahey 50:31
Just be a resource, provide information, provide solutions, and then when they’re ready, they’re gonna raise their hand, they’re gonna be like, hey, DJ, I’m ready. I’ve been watching you for the last eight years, I’ve been in your database, you’re, you’re the man like you have all the content, I’m ready to go now. Right? That’s how we do it. Now, we do create that database, we do have, you know, we generate a lot of buyers, a buyer leads and seller leads, but not everybody’s ready. Most of them just goes into our database. And then we put them into our follow up process, including content, videos with content and things like that.
D.J. Paris 51:06
I love that any make you try to make a new video weekly? Is that’s that’s the schedule.
Jon Lahey 51:11
Yep. Every single week, we’ll have a new content coming out. And my assistant will make sure I do that. She’s like, hey, you need to do more videos for for next month. I’m like, Alright. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 51:25
just out of curiosity, how long do you do you have a specific length that you try to hit your videos? Do you not worry about that? Is it more about the content? Or do you try to just because I know you’re a process guy. And I know you’ve looked at all the all the data from your videos and all the engagement metrics, curious if you found shorter videos, or longer videos tend to work better for you.
Jon Lahey 51:45
I use right now all my videos are usually between three to five minutes long. But my ironically, the video that has the most views is like 15 minutes, which I can’t figure out, but that one has, that video, I think is how to sell your home without an agent. And that one has the most views. But that’s like a 15 minute video that I can’t redo. It’s just too long.
D.J. Paris 52:09
But it works. And that’s that’s the other thing too is, is I think when you’re when our audience is trying to put out content, you can experiment, experiment with long form, experiment with short form, you know, and see what what works. But I love that you’re you’re you’re really you think of yourself, I imagine you consider yourself more of a consultant than a realtor is would that be fair to say?
Jon Lahey 52:31
Very, very accurate there. I see myself as a consultant to agents, and I’m the consultant and the content for homebuyers and homeowners who’s thinking to sell. And then oh, by the way, I do sell houses like I am a realtor on the side. But I, I provide information and I consult and that’s what I do. Advisor, I’m an advisor.
D.J. Paris 52:53
And you’re always tracking with how your agents are feeling and how the clients are feeling right. Because that you were talking about making sure that there’s as many positive feelings associated with the process as as possible. And and that can be tough, right? Because with every single real estate transaction, there’s some wrinkle that’ll happen, or we can assume there’ll be a wrinkle that will cause some stress and frustration. Right now a lot a lot of that right. We’re still in a high bidding situation, lots of multiple offers. And I’m just curious if you had any quick tips since only because you mentioned it about getting an offer noticed, is there anything that you’re doing that you could share with our audience a simple way that they can, you know, have more success, having their their offers highlighted, I guess versus
Jon Lahey 53:42
I think the first part is building rapport with the listing agent. Like if there’s anything you hear from what I say today regarding like, offers, that rapport with the listing agent goes a long way that actually that report will get you a call back versus a straight on rejection. Right, you could be the second third fourth, like on the actual chain of offers, but if there’s a report and they like and trust you, you’re gonna get a call back and a lot of times you’ll get an opportunity to get to up your offer. Okay, I tell my my agents that all the time build rapport, the most important thing in your offer is you have to build rapport with the person in charge of presenting the offer. If you have a poor you have a chance if you have no report, you can be the best offer but they don’t like you who to say the agent wants say one tell their their seller and and say hey, I don’t mind this agent. Don’t work with this agent. Right? And who does say that that agent that listing agent won’t call the second highest offer and say hey, listen, I don’t like the highest offer. Can you beat it? So that report goes a long way. There Yeah, that’s my that’s my one tip.
D.J. Paris 54:57
It’s It’s the greatest tip you could have given because Um, and I just I’m 45 or 45, I think about my age, but I really just, I didn’t figure this out, I read it. But being likeable is really a lot of what we’re talking about when you’re talking about rapport. It’s like, well, how do you build rapport with agents? Okay? Well, if you there’s a lots of different ways to do that. Lots of books, and there’s whole fields of study on rapport. But if nothing else, if you’re just a nice human being, and you are authentic, and genuine and a good human being, and you are pleasant, and happy and excited, that works for the vast majority of people in this, you know, in, in society as if you’re just a nice human, it’s kind of like, about twice a year, I’ll pass somebody on the street, and they smile at me. And I noticed that it only happens a couple of times a year. You know, it, but when it does, it’s such a magical moment where I’m like, I don’t even know that person. And I liked them, just because they smiled at me, we’re talking about the Disney thing, right? It’s, it’s but it’s like, you know, even just being a good hey, I’m so excited to be able to give you this offer, I think it’s pretty solid, I don’t know you but I want to I want to get to know you, Mr. And Mrs. Other agent, you know, Listing Agent and, and, you know, you can build a relationship, a professional friendly relationship that way and, and just be a good human. And they have to deal with so many other stressed out realtors who are not super pleasant, who you know, don’t smile, don’t do the little fun things when they’re emailing the offers. And it’s just here’s the stuff, you know, and and it goes a long way just being playing nice in the sandbox, they say,
Jon Lahey 56:34
right? You never know when you’re going to encounter the same agent again.
D.J. Paris 56:39
If you will, well,
Jon Lahey 56:41
you know, as the market turns, the good agents are gonna stay, you might as well make friends of those good agents, because you’re going to see him again. And it might be if you’re the listing agent today be nice to those buyer agents, because there’ll be a time when that buyer agents now the listing agent, and you need your offer to be reviewed. And if you’re a meeting before they’re going to remember because people remember how you make them feel.
D.J. Paris 57:06
I would love to just just ask you because we asked, we do a pre interview with with our guests, and they send us some some stories, and I rarely ever get to them. But I love this one, I would love to hear about where there was we’ll just I’ll just tee it up by saying this is that you have a long lost family member, can you tell us that story with real the real estate story?
Jon Lahey 57:27
Oh my gosh, the long lost family member. And then this has nothing to do with love care. And so this is the this is I think maybe eight years ago or so. And I was at the time we were a small team. I was the buyer’s agent in this transaction, and I was showing my buyer homes all around like gaithersburg. And I got to this one house and this long lost family member that’s related to my wife. We hadn’t seen in years, just disappeared. We didn’t know where that person went. Wow. Like, I mean, we knew he was alive. But we didn’t know where he went just like disappeared. And so this Saturday morning, I put the key in the you know, in in the key and the door handle I open and and this man was trying to behind the door and he tried to open the door for me. And I looked at was like, Are you freaking kidding me? This is your house?
D.J. Paris 58:19
It was you had no idea. I had
Jon Lahey 58:21
no idea because I don’t go out there. I don’t ask the buyer agent. I don’t I’m not researching who owns the house. And I didn’t know where he live. I thought he moved out of the area. And and yeah, he he appeared and he stuck around after that, like we read you know, we we got reconnected and now we’re you know, we’re all good and fine again. But that was Saturday morning. A long lost family member that we hadn’t seen in years, was behind the door not knowing that I was the buyer agent that was going to show his house. And then we got reconnected and I remember calling my wife was like you’re not gonna believe who I just found?
D.J. Paris 58:57
Well, and there’s only millions of homes in your immediate area. So the odds of that happening are so astronomical. It’s it that’s never going to happen. Except I did.
Jon Lahey 59:08
What’s the first time I met my niece was right there when he opened the door. I was like oh, well, hello.
D.J. Paris 59:15
Yeah, yeah, it’s it’s I just had an almost identical very similar experience, not with a family member, but I was at a party this week. And this made a little bit more sense. Yours is like amazing that that ever happened. I was at a party and an old fraternity brother of mine who I didn’t know knew the new the people that were having this party. I didn’t know they were connected in any way he walks in and I and and and we reconnected and so it this really is a it was a kind of a business II sort of thing. And so it was fun. It’s like this is such a cool business because there’s so much good feelings between agents. You know, it is called a cooperative commission when agents work together when the clients get their needs met. When people are moving into their first and Home ever or their next home when they’re selling. There’s so much excitement and yes, it’s stressful too. But boy, are there some some wonderfully great feelings that go along with this business. And I, I think agents maybe could focus on like you do focusing on the feelings really helped get you through the tough times and it is it is challenging right now it’s it’s it’s tough. But but if you if you focus on those feelings and I know your team does that I’m curious, are you guys doing anything to to help owners understand the market right now meaning, right like great time to sell tough time to buy because not as much inventory. So I’m curious, how are you coaching the sellers or your agents to coach the sellers? What are you telling them to do? Because there’s probably just a lot of people who are scared, like I want to sell and make a big profit. But then I don’t know where I’m going to live.
Jon Lahey 1:00:56
We give them market data, right? We can, we can’t change the facts. But we can help interpret the data. So we give them the data like, hey, markets are increasing. Right now. That’s one of our last messages. We actually just picked up a listing this morning, I did, where the seller said, Well, I don’t really want to move until maybe October or maybe next year. And I said, that’s fine. I’m just here to be a second opinion for you. And I said to him, I’m like, alright, well, let me just tell you about the current market conditions. And then you can decide whatever you decide, I’m not emotionally connected to the outcome of what you decide. I’m just here to provide you the market information. And but because if I don’t give you the market information, and then you realize three months from now that the market has shifted, and you just lost the opportunity to sell, then it’s my fault, right? So we just come in from the perspective like, Hey, we’re just here to provide information to educate to give you all the all the latest, and then you decide what’s best for you, including staying. So I said, Alright, here’s the here’s the truth. rates have increased, the number of buyers that used to be able to qualify for your home have also decreased. And so if you sell today, here’s the current market price here we saw in October, I really don’t know. And I said, if but you can see visually, because it’s a very visual person. I said, Imagine the pool, the circle of buyers decreasing from this big to this big. And the more demand for a home, the higher your price is going to be now that that number of pull buyers now smaller, what do you think’s going to happen to your price, and of course, I’m not going to tell you, it’s gonna go down, but you can figure that out yourself. And he said, Oh, that makes sense. And his need and again, his need was he needs to sell his home for a certain number. And I said, Well, if you sell it today, I know I can get you that number. If you sell in October or next year, I really can’t guarantee that number. Because we don’t know what’s going to happen with I mean, the stock market’s crashing. You know, rates are, who knows how high it’s gonna go, I can tell you what’s happening today. And I’m here to provide you information based on today’s data. Tomorrow, I’ll give you tomorrow’s data in next next month. I’ll tell you next month’s data next month. But today, I know what’s happening today. You know, so that’s, that’s how we come in. That’s how we we provide information to our sellers. And then of course, if the end of the day, they’re like, Well, what do I buy? Well, let’s talk about what you need to buy. Let’s see if what you want is there. Because if what you want is not there, we’re also here to provide that information to you. So that’s really the angle we come in. It’s not we’re not there to make decisions, we’re there to provide the information so they know how to make the right decision for themselves.
D.J. Paris 1:03:37
Let’s deconstruct let’s just I want to just step on this a little bit, because you just said something so incredibly valuable. I want to make sure our audience got it. Number one. Here’s what I heard. When John goes into a listing presentation or a buyer consultation. He’s like, hey, almost not that he doesn’t care what decision they make. Because of course he does. And he’s running a business and he wants clients. But the message he gives across is, hey, you get to make the decision. If you want to list your home, great if you don’t define I’m going to be with you regardless, I’m not I don’t have any particular feeling of disappointment, should you decide to sit on the sidelines for a while I’m still your guy, I’m still going to hang out with you and give you anything you need. That is a really different and if we think about it from the customer perspective, because I am not a Producing Realtor. I’m thinking myself as a customer. I would go Oh, thank God he’s not trying to like he’s not going to be upset if we don’t move forward. I just because there’s pressure there as as a consumer to go, Oh God, no, I have to pretend like I’m going to do this. And then I have to think like I would I love it when sales quote salespeople unquote, say I don’t care whether you buy or not this product. I just want you to have all the information so you can make the right decision, which is exactly what you’re doing. And that is such a simple answer. subtle but crazy powerful thing for customer experience. It is. It’s also by the way. It’s it’s also very, very thoughtful. And it’s empowering to the person because you’re like, I’m going to empower you to make the right decision, Mr. or Mrs. Client. And again, not every client wants that, but most of them probably do. I just wanted to sort of take a minute to talk about that. Because that was that is so important. And again, I know it’s just part of your process. But boy, is that a powerful thing to to be able to get across? Somebody is, yeah, whether you buy or not, if now’s not the right time, no problem. I just want you to have all the data so you can make the right decision.
Jon Lahey 1:05:38
That’s exactly what it is. And so, when when nobody wants to be sold, right? I mean, do you ever go to the car dealership to be hated? No, you go to the dealership, to test drive the car. Just like the people, when they call us for a listing appointment, they’re testing you out. But at the same time, they don’t really want to be sold. If they feel like they like you, and you give them enough information, maybe they’ll want to be like, maybe they’ll come into that agreement. But the moment you just tell them upfront, like listen, and they can feel it. By the way, if you’re going out there to close, versus you’re going out there to provide information. Regardless of what happens, I’m just here to help you, they can feel that, right. And the moment they know that you’re not out there to sell them and chase them and close them hard. And you’re just there to provide information, their guard goes down. Because before that they’re all guarded up. They’re like, I don’t really want to trust you. I don’t really want to open up really what’s important to me, because I don’t want you to sell me anything. I just want to get information. So if you just upfront be like, Hey, I’m just gonna provide you information if you decide to move with me to move and sell with me. Love to. But if you’re not ready, I’m here to provide you information today. And I’m going to help you come to an agreement as to what’s best for you, whether it’s buy, sell or stay. People like that.
D.J. Paris 1:07:00
They absolutely do. It’s respectful to it’s it’s this i i You know, yes, I will be able to provide ideas and suggestions and I have guidance and I have opinions. But Mr. And Mrs. homeowner or potentially homebuyer, I want you to make the right decision for you. So I’m here as as a knowledge source. I’m here to make sure you have everything you need. That is very different than I have to win this listing presentation. Right, which is how most, not most I don’t know what what most agents think. But I think a lot of agents go in going, Oh, my God, I hope they like me, I hope I am. And the way that they’ll they’ll like you is treat them as an equal. Show respect. And also say, here are all of your options. And you and you have opinions about those options to Well, here’s what I think makes sense. Here’s what might not make sense. But this idea that hey, if by the way, if you decide this isn’t the right time, that’s totally cool. Like, you’re not disappointing me, we want you to do the right thing for you. So we’re going to be with you regardless. And then you end up getting the sale anyway, whether it’s right then or two years from now. That’s that’s the genius of it is it works every time. It just doesn’t always work instantly.
Jon Lahey 1:08:16
D.J. Paris 1:08:19
Yeah, boy and I for anyone listening who might be thinking, well, easy for John to say he’s doing 200 sales a day 200 Plus homes sales a year he can afford to not win every listing? I bet you were doing that at the very beginning.
Jon Lahey 1:08:34
Is this a mindset I just believed that was the right thing to do from the beginning. Now, not to say that if I realized they’re actually ready to go, and you know, they’re financially able to buy or sell, they’re interested in working there, realistically, they’re motivated, I’m gonna close them, surely I will close them. I don’t, I will not walk out of the room without a present without my paperwork sign. You know, but that’s secondary. The first part is like, I’m just here. Number one, I also get to gauge if I want to work with
D.J. Paris 1:09:01
them. Right? If I right, so if you’re interviewing them to
Jon Lahey 1:09:05
me, I’m like, I don’t want to close somebody that’s gonna give me nightmares. So I want to make sure they’re the right client that I can help. Just because they’re a client that can be helped. That doesn’t mean they’re the right client for me. So I want to make sure they’re the right client for me that I can really help and support and, and provide all the information they need and all. That’s the first part and then of course, then I do close up. Otherwise, if you don’t close them, we have no business.
D.J. Paris 1:09:33
Right? It just makes it a lot easier to close. Once you’ve given them all the information that they that they want, because you’re not restricting information. A lot of realtors do that they sort of, you know, they sort of say, well, you know, they have their own secret sort of processes to restrict information and as opposed to giving as much as possible so that the client feels informed, engaged and then you can make the decisions together. It’s really, really brilliant. Well, I feel like we’ve talked about this enough. But I want to make a point as this is not only what John does with his team, so the other agents in his company, but also he, this is what he teaches the, you know, the, to the consumers, too. So this is a great thing, if you are not getting this kind of coaching and support from the firm, or from the team that you’re currently with. John’s going to train you, that’s what he does, he’s going to teach you these systems, all based around these values that he’s developed. And he he’s been attracting agents at an incredible clip based on some of these values and processes. And John, can you talk a little bit about that? Like, what when an agent joins you sort of how what you do for them, not so much like leads, and, but just teaching them processes.
Jon Lahey 1:10:58
So we do some processes, we teach their mindset, we teach them scripts, and we coach them. But really, we we start with core values. And then we ask them, What do you actually want, this time next year, you’re smiling ear to ear, and you feel like there’s the best decision in your life? What just happened? And I’m like, write it down. Because if I don’t, if they don’t know where they are, and they don’t know where they want to go? Like, then how are we going to get them there? Right. So we help them with goal setting, we help them figure out alright, my currently my production is at this level. And I want this quality of life and this quality of production, this level of production, let’s put on paper and let’s create a roadmap from where you are now to where you want to go in the next 12 months. And let’s really break it down how many appointments you need, how much how much, how much growing, you need to do, how much time how many times you got to make phone calls, how many appointments, you have to go on how much what your conversion rates going to be, and we start tracking that. That for me is measurable, because those are all measurable numbers. But if you don’t know where they are, and you don’t know where they want to go, and they don’t tell you where they want to go, I did tell you, Oh, I just want to give me one dollars. Okay, well, I do you wanna make a million dollars, right? And then what does that give you? What will you do with a million dollars you go deeper, and this, you have to go deeper with the questions for those agents. So goal setting, and really, like planning for the future vision, vision casting with them. And then we also show them our processes and systems, okay, and show them also how to we call the fine living system because we’re called fine living group. So we have our fine living system on the first part is our lead generation system. Show them how our lead generation system work. We show them how our social media system works, we show them how our inside sales department will help make phone calls for them and convert the leads into appointments. And then we teach them the actual part of the process where our agents step in, which is the face to face consultations. So we teach them the presentation, how to build your poor, how to connect how to educate and how to close. That’s it?
D.J. Paris 1:13:07
Well, I think that a lot of our audience is going to want to reach out to you to learn more about your processes, your team, and whatever coaching opportunities exist, and maybe even joining your team. So for anyone out there who is interested in working with a team like John’s, or maybe you have clients moving to the DC metro area, or San Diego area now and as John’s fine living group continues to expand, you know, they would love to talk to you too, because again, there’s referral opportunities there. So John, what’s the best way that our one of our listeners can connect with you and either to get advice or maybe just to find opportunities that would work for both you and the end listener?
Jon Lahey 1:13:51
Send an email to John Jalen at the fine living group.com, J O N at the fine living group.com. All right, and send an email there. And we’ll connect or you can go on Instagram. My Instagram handles foodie realtor. Alright, I’m the only foodie Realtor in the world. So go to Instagram and send me a message there. And we’ll connect. And if you’re local, we’ll meet up somewhere for a drink, or grab lunch. And we’ll we’ll we’ll talk and see if what I’m doing is a good fit to help you grow your business. If you’re not local, no problem. We’ll zoom we’ll connect on Zoom. And we’ll do a zoom call and we’ll talk and we’ll do a consultation. I’d love to see what I can do to help grow your business. And really, I didn’t talk about this earlier, but it was one of our mindsets from early on. If you help enough people get what they want. You get what you want. And it’s just been our process. Our whole process is based on just help people get what they want. You want to attract good agents, figure out what that agent want and give that to them. And if it’s money, if it’s a feeling if it’s accomplishment, if it’s whatever they Want to figure out how to give them that, and you’ll attract the right people?
D.J. Paris 1:15:05
It’s really funny. I was I was with my parents in just recently a couple weeks ago. And we’re my mom has recently retired. And she was very successful in her her career. And I was asking her, I said, you started a curiosity, what was the most important part of sort of you feeling? Like, you were happy in your job, and she said, you know, it never was the money. Now, some people it is money can be the, I’m not putting a judgment on whatever anyone’s motivators are. But for her, she goes, it really wasn’t the money. I mean, the money is nice. And I’m glad that they paid me well. But she goes, you know, what I really cared about more than anything was recognition from the company that I was doing a good job. And she goes, I know, it sounds kind of silly, because the money’s the more sort of exciting thing that you can, like use this buy things with, but she goes, I really just care that they that they thought I was doing a good job. And so John, what John’s talking about is really important, right? Because that’s a great way if you have a team out there, or if you’re looking to join a team, or even just for your clients, understanding what they really want and need. And then like John said, then you give that to them, you give them what they actually want and need, and everybody’s different. So you get to sort of make that distinction between each interaction you have. And, and so anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there because I was like, Mom, you the money wasn’t the number one thing she was like, nope. And it wasn’t like they were throwing millions of dollars at her it was she had a normal salary. But she goes, you know, what was bro more important was recognition. It’s like, oh, okay, cool. So if you know that about somebody, then you can you can give them the recognition they deserved thing. Yeah. It’s so funny. Well, everyone out there who is listening, and I mean, think about the feeling you got from listening to John, during this this last hour, you probably felt great. John is a happy, positive person he doesn’t he deals with adversity. It’s not he’s not immune to challenge. But think about how he made you feel during this interview. Did you feel good? Did you feel power empowered, maybe a bit resilient and motivated? Well, that’s a feeling that you’re getting from listening to John, imagine what it might be like working with John or being one of John’s clients, right? So this is a great opportunity to to reach out and find people if it’s not John, like John to be hanging out with and learn from, but John is all his team is always growing. So check them out the fine living group, again, the fine living group.com Also the Lahey group.com. We’ll put these in the show notes. So you can find John, he just gave his email address, please reach out to him, he would love to talk to you, John. It was a pleasure. On behalf of our audience, we want to thank you for spending an hour with us today. This was incredible. What a great episode. And on behalf of John, we want to thank our audience for getting all the way to the end here. And we asked everyone just to do one thing. Number one, checkout follow up boss, two things. I’m sorry, one first checkup follow up boss free 30 day trial. Second, tell a friend about this episode. Just one other realtor that you know that could benefit that needs to hear what John said today, send them a link to this episode. Easiest way to do that keeping it real pod.com that every episode we’ve ever done is there. Or you just pull up a podcast app, send them a link to our you know our channel. So John, on behalf of everyone, thank you. Thank you, and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, John. Thank you
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