Brittany Simon talks about her family legacy how she got into the real estate business. Brittany mentions the importance of relationships with both colleague realtors and clients. Next, Brittany discusses what’s it like working with buyers at the moment and shares advises she gives to her clients. Brittany also talks about the trends has she seen in the last year in the Chicago real estate market. Last, Brittany discusses how she gets in touch with her sphere of influence and shares how she keeps her relationship with her clients after the sale.
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This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.
D.J. Paris 0:00
Today’s episode we talk about how to prep first time homebuyers in this super crazy market. 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 on to 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 Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer Brittany Cummings. But before we get to Brittany, just a couple quick reminders, please, as always, the best way you can help us is by telling a friend about our show. Think of one other agent that can benefit from hearing from top producers like Britney and send them a link either to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Or just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button. And second, we would love it if you would take just a few seconds either while you’re listening or after to leave us a review. And you can do that through whatever podcast app you might be listening. Let us know what you think of the show. It really helps us continue to get better and better to better meet your needs. So that’s all I have. But now on to the main event our interview with Brittany Cummings.
All right, today on the show we have Brittany Simon from the Brittany Simon group with compass here in Chicago. It’s all you about Brittany. Now Brittany Simon is a full service Real Estate Group servicing buyers, sellers, renters, investors and commercial clients in the city of Chicago as well as the western suburbs. She’s a third generation real estate broker following in the footsteps of mom, grandma and her stepfather. Now Britney basically grew up in the real estate industry seeing all the ins and outs of the business from her family. Now she has been licensed for almost 12 years and cannot imagine doing anything else. Having lived all over the city and the suburbs. One of Britney’s specialties is that she has extensive knowledge of what makes each neighborhood special, and can truly guide clients on what area may meet their needs best. Brittany maintains the highest quality service so her clients always feel well cared for and know that she has their best interests at heart. I’d like everyone to visit Brittany at our website, which is Brittany Simon group.com and Brittany is spelled b r i t t a n y Simon group.com. And also please follow her on Instagram which is at realtor dot Brittany. Brittany, welcome to the show.
Brittany Simon 3:48
Thanks for having me. And thanks for also clarifying the spelling of my name. That’s always been a tricky one. So I appreciate
D.J. Paris 3:54
it. Ricky is one of those. Excuse me one of those names that has a lot of different possibilities for how it absolutely does. My first see I go by DJ but my first name is Delphin. And that’s a name that like nobody ever guesses the spelling of it right? No one’s ever heard it really before. And then when they try to spell it, they always put a pH in there instead of an F. So, so growing up DJ. Oh, yeah. Right. So and I sort of not, it’s not irony it just coincidentally, I always forget what coincidence and irony. Coincidentally, Delfin with a pH is actually the Spanish word for dolphin. So it even makes more sense why people always put that in there. But we’re not. We’re not here to talk about my weird name. We’ll talk about your will. Your name isn’t weird. Your name is very normal and cool. But let’s um, let’s put by the way, Brittany and I went to college not together. But we went to the same college so we have a little bit of we were a little late to jump on the podcast because we were talking about Miami University where we both attended a some time ago. But Brittany Let’s let’s start all the way at the beginning of your real estate career, which I know is spanned 12 years now. Yeah. How did you get into real estate? And why? And I understand that, of course, it’s part of your family. Yeah, let’s, let’s hear about, you know, three generations and all of that.
Brittany Simon 5:14
Yeah. So I mean, having my mom and my stepfather have been in the real estate industry. So when I was even in high school, my stepfather is also a builder. So he had at one point built a few homes on the block we were living on. So before, you had to be licensed to basically do anything, I would be sometimes sitting in an open house right down the street, they needed extra hands on deck. So I was kind of just, you know, going into these new builds. And you know, when I was even younger, sometimes my mom would bring me with to showings or open houses, or what have you. So kind of always seen it, those behind the scenes. And then when I graduated college, actually, or kind of unfortunately, we were going through, you know, a recession. So that made things a little tricky. And coincidentally, at the same time, they were, I believe, changing some of the rules to become licensed. So before things, I think it was going to become harder, something along those lines. So I just went ahead and got my license right out of the gate. But I was not necessarily sure that’s the path I wanted to go down on, or in, especially just having family members in it. And you know, kind of wanting to forge my own path. So
D.J. Paris 6:26
what did you study in college? If you don’t mind? me asking? Yeah,
Brittany Simon 6:28
I studied actually broadcast journalism. And I was an English Lit minor. So I really thought, you know, I really wanted to dive deeper into that I’m moving back home to Chicago. It’s obviously not a huge market. And you know, kind of California is where a lot more things happen. So I actually did get a couple of job offers in California, but at the time, I wasn’t sure that’s really where I wanted to go, that was kind of a big leap, not to mention, the salary I was being offered was not really, you know, I think I can measure with housing costs in California, right? So I tried a little bit harder in Chicago, so I was kind of doing some other things independently, and kind of with some other, I guess, techie tests, start things, startup, sure, whatnot. And then I just really started needing to make money. So I got into ad sales and, and from ad sales, I also kind of got into some startups, and then kind of just fell into sales. And through that, that led me to event planning, kind of on a higher level in the ad sales community, or in that job role, which was interesting, and I really did like it. But I felt that you know, corporate structure was still just kind of feeling like it wasn’t for me. So then, I was kind of thought I’d be at this other job for a lot longer, which is going to be delving a lot more deep into the event planning arena. And it was just kind of all over the place. And I kind of thought, it’s I wasn’t still being able to be creative, which I felt like was something that I really had a calling to do. And so I finally decided, you know, If not now When, let’s make the leap. So I finally made the leap into just full time real estate sales, although I also did some, I worked at a bar, actually one like a start. Got up and running, because I did have a mortgage. So I needed to be sure I can pay my mortgage. And then, you know, I really just hit the ground running. I started just, you know, in my mind, you know, I never even having family in the business. never realized how hard it actually is to build a business from the ground up. There’s no one who could really I guess help you do that. And it takes time. So I just took every lead I got I was prospecting like crazy, telling everybody I knew actually my bar job really is gonna
D.J. Paris 9:05
ask about that. Did Did any of the patrons the bar patrons whether they were regulars or people just passing through? Did they were you ever some somebody who was I don’t I can, I guess it depends on where you work and what what’s allowed. But were you ever like, Hey, by the way, you know, here’s your here’s your kamikaze or whatever. I’m just trying to I was trying to get the most ridiculous drink. But but whatever. Here’s your beer. Here’s your whatever. Hey, by the way, you know, this is you know, I do this as well, but I’m also a realtor did that ever come up? And did that ever turn into leads for you?
Brittany Simon 9:37
Absolutely. Actually, all the time. And I worked at this barn Lincoln Park actually called proced.
D.J. Paris 9:43
Oh, sure. Yeah. So just just pull back the curtain a little I’m actually in Lincoln Park right now. So I that’s where our office is. So yes, I’m familiar with process.
Brittany Simon 9:54
So it was great. And actually at the time, which was kind of ironic. There was actually like a hand For all of us who were actually transitioning in two different careers in life and trying to find like our path, so it was actually really enjoyable to go into work. And actually, really quickly, there’s kind of some turnarounds. So I came into like, kind of one of the lead like servers. And so I was on all the time. So I was like, you know, if I have to be here, a lot of time, I am trying to make the most of it. So I actually would have a lot of people I had in my little, I guess, I don’t know, my little server Abran stack of cards as handing them out like crazy. But also the other people that I was working with, I actually, you know, did some things with them. And some other people that came in said, hey, you know, do you want to work on my team wasn’t really what I wanted at the time, but I felt like I had options. So it was really nice. And I will say, I probably only worked there for I want to say maybe five months until I felt like okay, I really just need the time to dedicate to this. And I felt from a financial standpoint that I was ready. So it was really interesting. But I had worked in the service industry a little bit during college. So I also felt like stepping back into it really was probably one of the best roles to kind of really prepare me for going into real estate full time because you so you know, customer service for work, you really have to deal with, you know, so many different personalities, and so many different types of situations, the emotional ality of it all is high all the time. So I feel like that, especially at you know, maybe 2am on a Saturday night, when you have your section fall, and people are getting a little rowdy. It was, you know, really going to help me hone those skill set.
D.J. Paris 11:45
Yeah, it makes so much sense. I mean, I was just thinking about these skills that that you sort of either developed or had in your, in your history, which is, hey, I have a family who’s into this, and I was I was sitting at showings when I was younger. And, and I’ve been around realtors, and it’s certainly you know, three generations. And then I studied broadcast journalism in college, and which, of course, I think teaches a lot of skill sets. But most importantly, be able to present and be able to talk and interpersonal communication, or even just, you know, monologue, like presentation style. One way communication sometimes is, is is great. And then also the ability to then do customer service when working at at and food service and, and, you know, bar stuff, it’s like, that’s a that’s a true customer service position. So all those skills together to me, you know, and we haven’t talked anything about well, of course, growing up with with family that was in real estate, you probably had, you know, some knowledge of of real estate in general. But you know, that all can be learned, you know, over time. So I think, you know, those skills make perfect sense why you would go into real estate. Yeah,
Brittany Simon 12:55
and you know, I always, always kind of guessed against it in a way just because it was like my family was in it, that’s was their thing. I wanted to find my thing. And I feel like almost what I wanted to do, like broadcast journalism, this event planning, I really fell into that I loved it was all really creative, and allowed me to kind of just come up with things be myself not necessarily fit into, like this little corporate box, I guess. And real estate really allows me to do that, you know, talking here with you today. Marketing listings, trying to get new buyers, you know, social media, everything you really need to do to kind of brand yourself even is allowed me to pull it all from all these areas that I feel like I do have expertise in and kind of group it all together. So actually, you know, I fit better than I thought. Which is ironic, because yeah, having not ever wanted to do what everybody else did and falling into it and really feeling like it is my passion because I do you know, love real estate itself. I love design, I love architecture, I love just neighborhoods and knowing the ins and outs of them and you know, just being able to go into some of these awesome places. It’s awesome. It really is. And it’s nobody’s the same. Whereas sometimes with that corporate structure, too, is finding myself pulling away and just felt like you know, okay, from 830 to 530 this is what I do, and then you can turn it off whereas real estate’s on all the time, but I don’t feel like I’m you know, my personality has been sucked out. I mean, right.
D.J. Paris 14:33
Yeah, I used to I used to work in corporate, the corporate world and I used to I was a I consider myself a creative person as well. And so, I was a bit frustrated with the inability unless you specifically once I got into marketing specifically, then I was able to express myself but I was in non creative roles for some time and, and so I used to have to do things outside work to fulfill that creative itch. And, and now I, you know, and again, I’m not I’m not a practicing realtor, but I get to work with my creativity inside of real estate. And I think I think what you’re you’re talking about is just taking all of these skills that you enjoy and that you’re passionate about, and putting them together. And yeah, maybe you’re working later hours than the person that clocks out from their, you know, from from their corporate job at at five or six, but it’s probably more fulfilling and enjoyable. And you’re helping people buy and sell homes. I know, it’s not always easy. In fact, it’s never easy. But especially right now, and I know that’s going to be a focus of our talk today. But back to just being fulfilled and sort of the maybe I’m replying to a text it at 9pm at night, but I’m choosing to do that, and I want to do it and it’s still fun. And, you know, and all of that. And it seems like most of the people I’ve not most I would say everyone I’ve interviewed on the show over the years, kind of has like they really like it. And and I always just take it for granted that we all like our jobs. And I always forget that man. Don’t Yeah, it’s very sad. And I don’t have I have empathy for people who because I’ve had jobs that I didn’t like, as well. And I don’t think it’s like, well, you just quit and find something you love. And it’s like, yeah, maybe. But not everyone can do that. But I think if you can find a place where you you’re happy at work. Boy, that makes life a lot better. And so let’s talk about something that’s that that is very difficult right now, which is of course working with buyers. And the we’re still in a, you know, despite what what the what the news headlines are saying, we’re still in a pretty low interest rate environment. Yeah. Lots of people with a lot of spending power, you’re in competition to try to buy properties that are at exceedingly high values. And just, you know, people making decisions sight unseen. Yeah. And, and so I we have almost 800 Realtors at our company here. And that’s our most common question is, what do I do to get my offers noticed? So I’m just perfect timing, because I really wanted to talk about that. Anyway. But I’m not out there in the field doing it. You are. So I’d love to hear your advice about what’s been working for you. Maybe also what doesn’t work or what you see not working? Yeah. Any advice that you have for our listeners? Yeah, absolutely.
Brittany Simon 17:30
Well, I think it also comes down to you. And I always, you know, check in with my buyers first, you know, hey, when there’s a will there’s a way and I know the strategies that we can win, but it also has to depend on? Are they willing to go there? Because not everybody is. So I think it’s also important to understand, you know, really the goals of your clients and let them let them choose. Because sometimes maybe, you know, after the analysis, the numbers don’t really make sense. But if this is every single thing they want, and there’s nothing else out there, and they’re going to be in this home for the next you know, 10 plus years. I mean, then maybe it’s really time to go for it. So I would say one of the things that I see working out there, I think most people are using escalation clauses and if you’re not you definitely shut are also called an escalation writer. And what that can
D.J. Paris 18:19
we can we define what that is just in case anyone listening isn’t familiar exactly
Brittany Simon 18:23
what an escalation writer or clause is, is it really allows a client and I will say, to kind of go to their max, without initially going to your max unless you have to. So you still, I still always recommend going strong on that number on the contract itself. But an escalation writer can then say, hey, let’s say just make the numbers easy, you know, house is listed at 475. But we’ll go to 500. Because it’s worth it and they want it and this, they already have multiple offers. So but they’re really they’ll go to 525. So on the escalation writer, we have a max price of 525. And we also have an ability to say they will go X amount over the highest competing offer. So let’s say $1,000. So if highest competing offer then comes in at let’s say 510 Well, then the person who used the escalation writer for 525, it would be 511. And they wouldn’t even go to their max. So it allows them to almost not bid over yourself. I will say sometimes that’s making it tricky in today’s market is if a house has let’s say 30 offers and 25 of those offers are including escalation writers, sometimes listing agents are asking for them to be withheld because it gets too crazy. And I can understand that were the numbers are just really nuts. But I will say I have talked to some listing agents too. And sometimes if you don’t ask and they’re not telling you not to use it. You can use it Some people are asking, and they’re saying, you know, I’d rather you not know. But you know, if you have a good number on there, that’s gonna kick it in, there’s a good chance you’re gonna win. So I try not to ask unless it’s clearly noted that they’re not accepting them because I want the offer to not be considered, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t consider a great offer. You know, if it’s right there in front of them,
D.J. Paris 20:22
do you? Do you worry that the listing agent might miss the fact that there is an escalation clause in your offer? In other words, how do you make that really evident, so that again, in the case of getting 30 offers, where, again, I know escalation costs are quite common, but let’s just say they weren’t common, or you would just be worried, gosh, I’m only still going up to 490. We’re really we could go all the way to 525. I just want to make sure that that the agent, are you calling the listing agent and going, Hey, I know you’re getting a lot of offers, just FYI, this has got escalation or you just assuming that they’ll they’ll review that in the in the document.
Brittany Simon 21:00
So unless they don’t say that they’re not accepting them, and there is an understanding that they are accepted. Yeah, I usually always do call the listing agent just to find out hey, you know, also, what about what are they looking for in terms of a closed date? Do they need a lease back? Or post close possession? What is you know? And I also to ask to, you know, you, you never know, if you ask what they will say so I also say, Hey, what are you seeing things coming in, I just did this for a multiple offer. situation, I said, anything you could give me to help. And he said, You know, I’m not going to tell you numbers. But what I will say wonder strong to a lot of people are waving, inspections are going as is. And a lot of people who are going above list price, or including escalations are including appraisal waivers or appraisal, gap guarantees, and my client at that point, we did not have an appraisal gap guarantee. So we did include that. So and with that escalation to to prove to go back to your point of how to make sure it’s been included, I always send everything, all the documents over one PDF, so I include that right before the offer themselves, they can’t miss it. And then in my email summary over to the list agent, I always write that out as well. So hopefully they’re reading it. But you know, it would be hard to miss. And I will say also with the escalation writers and clauses sometimes clients worry, well, how do we know they’re telling the truth? Well, there is in at least in the one I use, there is a section that says they have to show us the highest competing offer at contract acceptance that made that clause kick in. So we know that they’re very smart. And it has to be an offer. That’s kind of you know, it can’t be another offer that has a home to clothes or home to sell
D.J. Paris 22:47
your company. You got to be apples
Brittany Simon 22:48
to apples. Yeah, exactly, exactly.
D.J. Paris 22:52
So that’s, that’s really smart. So for anyone just missed that. What Brittany does is at closing, if she’s if the escalation clause is being utilized, her concern as a fiduciary for our client is, I just want to make sure that the offer that we just beat is a real offer. So once it once once we go to closing, I need to see that you have you had a legit offer here. Otherwise, you know, who knows, maybe somebody might take advantage of?
Brittany Simon 23:18
Yeah, and you’d hope not because of ethics and everything, but I mean, also for your the, you know, the buyers are usually nervous too. So that also helps them like okay, you know, trust this process. And I would always expect, you know, the best from other agents. So, and I do have some clients too, that say, well, let’s use one right off the bat. And that doesn’t, that’s not really a good strategy to use, unless, you know, there are multiple offers, and they’re calling for highest and best because if not, if you’re just submitting it, they don’t have other offers again, they’re probably going to wait until they get other offers. So that will go into effect. So at that point, you’d rather you shouldn’t just probably offer stronger initially and wait to see if they then do call for highest and best.
D.J. Paris 24:01
I wonder if any MLS in the country and maybe I’m just not understanding why this doesn’t exist. But just to get off topic for because I think it’s an opportunity for I mean, unless there’s some compliance reason why this shouldn’t happen. Why MLS is don’t have their own system for receiving you know, offers and being able to categorize them and that the listing agent would say, you know, checkbox I showed this to the to the seller, and that way the agent would get maybe notified your it has been presented to the seller. Yeah, you know, like you would think that and maybe again, maybe smarter people than me have said there’s a good reason why we don’t have that. Yeah, it just seems like in this environment. I imagine things have just got to fall through the cracks sometimes too and I’m sure you know when 30 offers come in the list agent is you know, overwhelmed and phone calls and texting emails from agents. So I just the fact that you call the list agent and just make sure that they received it and that they
Brittany Simon 25:07
Yeah. And I always, always include either on my email or on my attachment, you know, whatever it is, like, Please confirm receipt. And if I do not have a confirmation, I follow up, because that’s, you know, at least you know, okay, they got it, because sometimes, yeah, you know, an email could be missed. So I definitely want to make sure they are can or you know, can they not open the PDF? What is it, I want to make sure that they got it, and especially they got it by before the deadline. But I will say some people, you know, in this market are throwing out crazy numbers. And for like a finance deal. I’ve actually talked to some list agents who said, you know, for numbers that are kind of way crazy, they sometimes throw those those ones out, because there’s gonna praise out Yeah, exactly. So it you know, you kind of have to also be realistic here. And I also think if you had a conversation with a list agent prior, they might say, hey, you know, what, if you are going to do that, it’d be a really good idea to include an appraisal guarantee or gap of some sorts. Writer.
D.J. Paris 26:08
Yeah, I think that’s really, really smart. And I know that that’s, it’s funny, it’s like, the concern of the of the seller is, hey, it’s great that we got 100,000 over ask Yeah. Yeah. Is the buyer gonna come to the table with $30,000? Cash, because that’s what they’re going to need? You know, and so if you if you have that that gap, you know, sort of, you know, honor or that that gap, sort of yes, then then it? So that’s really smart. So escalation clause, Gap coverage. And, and then how I’m curious on and, and, and the answer really should be it doesn’t matter. But but we all are, we’re interpersonal, humans with connections important to us. We like people that we like, and we tend to treat people better that we like, yeah, yes. How important relationships are with the within, of course, you can’t be friends with everyone. We have 46,000 realtors in the Chicagoland area. But I bet you run into a lot of the same people over and over again. And how important is it to to? You know, be? And again, the easy answer is? Well, yeah, you should be friends with everyone. Yeah, does it ever move the needle for you? Do you ever feel that like, it probably helps me, you know, if I have a good relationship with, you know, the listing agent, maybe helps, you know, if two offers come in, that are similar, maybe they’re gonna choose mine, because they know me. And they know that I would only bring a legitimate offer to the table, like how important are those relationships
Brittany Simon 27:35
extremely. And I think not only for the fact is, that’s the person that even the agent on the other side, you know, that’s okay, I’ve worked with them before, or I like them. Or, at the same time, if maybe there’s a hiccup within the transaction itself, I have confidence in them that they will help move the needle along. So we can, you know, work to a completed transaction. Whereas you know, they’re not going to get caught up in the emotionality of it as well, and take it personal. Because too often I think clients take there are I mean, I’m sorry, agents, take their clients, you know, stress on and make it personal with the other agents. And I always try to focus on you know, we all want the same thing here, we all wanted to close, nobody wants to work for free. Your clients want to sell a house, or my clients want to buy a house or vice versa. And we all want the same goal. So you know, I’ve actually been in some pretty intense and crazy situations. And I always try to keep my cool even when maybe I’m not receiving it on the other end from the agents. But I think you know, this is not going to help. And especially before you’re have an offer accepted, I think it is so critical. Because I think, you know, I’m on both sides as a listing agent, and as a buyer’s agent. And on the listing agent, you know, there, you’re getting inundated with, you know, calls and questions, did you get this what you know, showing requests or phones blowing up? So sometimes, you know, you have to have a little patience on the buyers, as a buyer’s agent to realize, you know, they are, you know, getting filled in so many calls and text messages trying to answer everybody’s questions. So if you take a little bit longer, just try to give them a little bit of grace. And on the list agents perspective, you know, as a buyer’s agent, I’m trying to get my client to win, you know, we’re probably, you know, they’ve maybe lost a few times we’re trying to get them in, I want to try to know, you know, what should we have in the offer that might make us win? What do you the seller is looking for? So kind of goes both ways here, but I think too, if you could kind of just remember that everybody is working over time right now and is trying their best. I think it was a strong way. Yeah, because I’ve actually been hearing of some agents doing some crazy things and I think to them, like you’re not starting on a good foot And, you know, I would be nervous to have my clients accept an offer where the agent, the by their buyer’s agent is already kind of acting a little nutty, and, you know, taking things up a notch, and I actually, my clients actually lost a deal over the weekend to multiple offers, but things went crazy. But it was okay, because my clients actually, given the numbers, this was going to be the most expensive sale in this particular town on thus far,
D.J. Paris 30:32
you don’t want to be the most expensive sale and
Brittany Simon 30:35
this was not their number one town. So closer to the list price are over, they are willing, but much further over. And with that appraisal gap, you know, they’re just like, you know, it comes to a certain point where that amount of money we can wait and maybe be in the town we want to be in which I think so again, it’s always important to know, you know, your clients true goals, because you never want them to end up winning a situation and they actually kind of feel disappointed that they won. You want them to be half Sure.
D.J. Paris 31:03
Yeah, that’s a really good point. I have a question. So when you first are working with a buyer, before you’ve taken them out? How do you prep them? Assuming that they are not familiar with the craziness of today’s market? What are you saying to them to let them know about the urgency about the creativity that might be involved? You know, what’s the education process look like? Because I imagine that’s going to be a huge component for you just to keep your clients from freaking out. Yeah. And because they’re gonna freak out anyway. Yeah, I’m curious on on what you say to them to sort of prep them for the environment that we’re in?
Brittany Simon 31:39
Definitely. Well, the good part is, in a sense that most people right now are aware that it’s a little bit challenging right now, for buyers. So I think one of the most important things that we talk about is their timeline, because having flexibility is pretty much essential right now, in terms for sellers, because a lot of sellers need time themselves, either to find gain, or a lot of sellers are relocating, or some are building or some are relocating and building in that new state, and they need a little bit of time. So I think, knowing that also, you know, you might close, and it’s still going to be a little bit of time. So having flexibility is really key. And if you don’t have flexibility, maybe let’s try to find some options where we can try to work that in somehow. And the next thing really, you know, going over what it takes, and what it takes is, you know, having strong financials, and you know, not everybody has that and if you don’t, there still is a way but you know, we probably want to be looking a little under than what you’re actually qualified for. Because if we’re looking around your max, and that’s really the type of home you want to be in, and you don’t have extra padding outside of that, then you know, we’re probably going to be in more situations that we lose than we went. But sometimes, you know, I will say there are certain areas that still are not always getting everything over asked and some pricing that started too high, that now there’s some wiggle room or, you know, sometimes when properties have a little bit more time on market, there is the you know, hopefully, the ability to negotiate a little bit or so, you know, sometimes those are the things that I’m telling clients that we need to look at, you know, not the ones that are just coming on the market, because they’re probably hoping to get multiple offers, or they’re probably more hoping to get the price that they listed at, they’re hoping not to negotiate. So the properties now that have been on the market for maybe 30 days, plus, the market has kind of spoken that I don’t think that that is the price they’re probably ultimately going to get. So those are the properties we should probably be looking at. So it really kind of depends on the buyer and what their financing is, you know, do you have conventional, are you cash? Or are you FHA or VA, and, you know, unfortunately, in our, you know, people who are not putting as much down are looked at as not as strong as buyers even though that’s not always the case. And there’s many reasons you’re not putting as much down. And also given that rates are so great right now, sometimes your money is doing better in other places, you don’t want to pull it out. But there is something that a lot of people feel that there is strength in the amount you’re putting down. And sometimes that’s true. So it’s it’s a lot of things that you want
D.J. Paris 34:30
it is really interesting to sight I’m sorry, didn’t mean interrupt. You’re just just as you said that it really did occur to me like I have a very I kind of just got lucky accidentally with timing when I when I bought a place about a year ago and I just kind of got lucky with with rates and you know, it is funny like I had to put a significant amount down, but I was I mean if I could take that cash and just beat under 3% Which is pretty not that difficult to do with a not as much risk, I do understand people wanting to put as little down as possible at the same time. It’s nice that you, you can lock in or you know, these rates, which are probably now hovering around the 4% range. Yeah. But, but you’re right, I think so you’re doing a lot of education. I imagine you’re Are you having the conversation with your buyers about speed? In other words, we’re gonna go see properties, there’s going to be some that you immediately know, that you’re interested in, maybe you’re not sure if you want to put an offer? And do you do give them sort of any guidance around timeline? In other words, hey, you know, in the past, you could maybe sit and think about it for some time. It’s a different environment today, or, you know, how are you educating them around the speed to decision?
Brittany Simon 35:48
Absolutely. So speed is incredibly important. And especially if something just hit the market, and I say, it’s great, you love it, it seems priced? Well, other people probably going to think so too. So I always suggest not waiting, let’s go in immediately. Or if there’s offered deadlines, so know how sometimes homes are hitting the market. And right off the bat, they’re saying, If multiple offers, they will be due as Sunday at 5pm. So there’s an expectation that they’re have a pretty good idea they are going to get multiple offers. So I try to you know, absolutely, if you’re interested and it checks a lot of your boxes, the price is right, there is really no room to wait.
D.J. Paris 36:32
I was just with a bunch of my friends at the Chicago Association of Realtors. We serve on a committee there and we were out doing a thing last weekend or two weekends ago. And we were we were laughing. And again, I’m not a practicing agent. So I’m always like the last to hear about this. But we were talking about this idea of in the MLS putting and I imagine this happens all over the country. And I’m not exactly sure why we’ve all decided that highest and best offers need to be in by Sunday at five o’clock. When nothing happens between then and Monday morning. Why not? Monday morning at 11am. Totally. Like can we all agree as Realtors like let’s it the right thing to do for our clients? I mean, five o’clock on a Sunday is a bad deadline. As far as like that’s like a day where people are well, realtors are working, everyone else is relaxing. It’s not a great day, in my opinion. And again, as a marketing guy, I’m always thinking like, give your clients the best opportunity. And I’m not saying for anyone who does highest and best it might do five o’clock on Sunday, and it works for you. Great, but I have heard so many Realtors pull me aside and go can you believe realtor? Like why are we doing this to ourselves? And I’m just, you know, but but it is it is funny. That’s the environment we’re in now. So yeah, so this education of of your buyers, it’s like, Hey, we got to make a decision quick. We have to have all of these sort of creative, ancillary or sort of conditions set up, and then we’re just going to kind of see what works and what doesn’t.
Brittany Simon 38:07
Yeah, and you know, I also talked about obviously, escalation clauses are writers and the ability to prep them also that there’s a lot of sellers who need time either you know, as a leaseback, or post closed possession, or just extending because the expectation of when you do that, as opposed closed possession or leaseback is that the seller is now going to pay you rents. But now some sellers are even trying to push that as part as much as possible. So they pay as little as possible. So having longer close dates, I think. And I, if I’m not mistaken, I think 90 days is about as long as a lender will lock without having to extend that rate lock position. So then it’s kind of a detriment to buyers, because now you might have to pay more to keep the same rate you initially locked at. So just kind of prepping them that sometimes though, that’s is what sellers looking for, and or these reverse home to buy contingencies, where you know, it’s just crazy time. So again, having that flexibility but knowing that there’s different things going on. So the more that the as much as we can try to make things easy for the sellers and kind of give them what they’re looking for that just really makes you come to the top of their list because not everybody can people are under deadlines other people need to be in by certain time. So hopefully that kind of weeds out some of the competition too. But I will find, you know, more than likely right now, most buyers understand that and are knowing they that’s part of basically playing ball. You gotta give the sellers what they’re looking for or else you don’t have stand a chance even despite what the number is because they have to find something else.
D.J. Paris 39:57
It’s so funny that you do Funny only because it makes perfect sense to me as a non practicing agent, that you contact the listing agent and say, Hey, what are you looking for? Or tell me what you’re seeing because we want to be competitive and we want to get your, your seller the exactly what they want. I, I would imagine most buyer’s agents don’t do that. It’s the same thing with like, I recruit realtors, that’s my job. So often, I talked to realtors all day who work at most, most of the time they work in other firms. And I say, Oh, well, if you’re thinking of maybe switching the first question, and it took me a, I’ve been doing this for 12 years, this is kind of embarrassing, because I knew better, but I didn’t put it into effect until several years in. And I really encourage everyone listening to to to do this. But, again, you’re not recruiting realtors. But what I what I do is I say, Hey, before we get started, and I start telling you about why our firms the greatest firm on the planet, which of course nobody really wants to hear anyway. But I’ll say, Hey, what are you looking for? You know, if you’re going to switch from XYZ firm, to another firm, like, why, like, what are you looking for what’s important to you, this is just sales 101. And it’s the same thing that Britney is doing with her with with these listing agents is calling them and saying, hey, I can put an I can throw an offer at you. But I want to know what the what your sellers really want. Because then I can maybe give you a better offer as a result of that. And, and also it’s you have a fiduciary responsibility to your buyer. And so it’s so it all of this is but it can be tricky, right? Because getting the listing agent on the phone is not easy. Yeah. So how do you do you have to be very persistent. With that, or or is it is that can that be challenging to even get in touch with the listing agent?
Brittany Simon 41:48
I will say it sometimes sometimes it is, sometimes it is. But I will find you know, the great agents know they have to answer the phone. And that you know, to get the best price for their sellers. And for them to choose help them choose the right buyer that it would most likely make sense to have that conversation if they’re getting that call, because it also will help, in my opinion, for the transaction to stay together. Because if the buyer didn’t realize that the southern needed this much time, that could be a deal breaker, and then you pick that offer, and it falls apart only to go back to market. And now what if 10 of those are offers you first have now you only have maybe two, and they’re not as good as the ones you originally had. So I think it’s really important for the agents to talk if that’s something that they both do.
D.J. Paris 42:37
Yeah, it is. And it’s just I really, it’s funny, we buyer’s agents, you know, are stressed because they’re trying to rise to the top of the pile of offers, list agents are stressed because they’re dealing with all of the communication. And there isn’t a centralized sort of way of distributing offers. And I was saying that earlier, like somebody really should, should should create some sort of system that we all agree to use, and yeah, you know, maybe streamline just a bit, and I’m sure that will likely never happen. But But this idea of understanding the other person’s pain, I think is really important. Because, you know, and Britney sort of said it without saying it is is reaching out and saying, Hey, I’m not just going to throw some offer that you know, because I know you’re getting a lot of just offers thrown at you. And you know, I want to I want to get a little bit more specific about about what you need to make this close. I would also like to hear you know, what, what trends have you seen because you work in the city, and the suburbs, and I know that we have listeners from all over the country and rural and urban areas, of course, just added just generally speaking, are you seeing a migration? And I know during COVID, we saw here in Chicago, a bit of a migration from from the city out to the suburbs. Are you still seeing that the movement there? Or are we seeing a return to more urban environments? Or? Or is it just too tough to tell? Because I’ve read because inventory is so low right now,
Brittany Simon 44:08
you know, we are seeing a return. And it’s interesting, but the city is, in my opinion, behaving different than the suburbs. So the rental market in the city is insanity. I will say really, I’m part of what we’re seeing in terms of the suburbs with buyers. But the rental markets crazy pretty much everywhere. Because I do believe that now that some offices are not maybe requiring people to be back five days a week, but maybe it’s two to three times a week. So there still now needs to be a present back. And maybe people are also I feel like switching jobs and finding jobs now that they got used to not being home and now they’re relocating so they’re renting because they’re not sure how long they’re going to stay. But with that said that I do see like a return back and I will think that I’m seeing that high rise CES are having a slower return, I’m not necessarily seeing the market be crazy for them right now, as opposed as I think Westown, in my opinion, is nuts, things are going really quickly. Whereas, you know, I think you can get a bit of a deal in a high rise right now, if that’s something you wanted. So like areas like the Gold Coast, or it’s taking a little bit longer to recover, I truly believe they rail because the location is phenomenal. And you’re right by the leg in your in many cases walking distance to you know, the loop to work. But you know, it’s taking a little bit of time, so it’s behaving a little different. And in my opinion in the surrounding suburbs, I feel like they’re all pretty much knots right now. Unless somebody I think, really missed the mark and pricing. Most of them are, you know, you’re getting multiple offers in a very short amount of time. So it’s, it’s interesting, and at many different price points, so I’m seeing it across the board. Whereas, you know, it’s almost, if you’re moving to the city, it might make sense to maybe buy something you might have the ability to rent, if you don’t think you’re going to stay or you might switching a job in the future. So then at least because some of these rent arounds are they’re crazy. I in my mind, of course, I’m like, Why pay that when you could just buy for less, but I get it, the uncertainty of not necessarily knowing you’re going to stay and not wanting to lock yourself in just in case, I guess the market changes, which, you know, there’s a lot of people that feel like in mites. I don’t think we’re going to see some type of mad rush, like, if there is some type of correction or, or balancing that comes but because comps are kind of where they’re at, and it’s gonna take a little bit for that to, you know, fade down, I guess. But
D.J. Paris 46:52
it actually might make sense, although I sure very few people would ever do this. But right now, if if you’re living in a place that’s appreciated, substantially, selling it, and then renting for a few years until the market redirects is not it’s not a bad idea, per se, practically, practically, it’s not a very easy thing to do, either, especially when there’s children in their school. Yeah, there’s, you know, the space and, and it’s not something that but, but I as a marketer, I love the idea about bringing those, I love the concept of bringing that to your client, not because they’re going to do it, but just because just because it makes you I love people who bring ideas. And yeah, this is kind of what we’re talking about. You’re talking about bringing creative ideas to the to the offer table. And you know, this, this can be the same thing. I think there’s a huge opportunity right now for you know, people to who are listening who maybe aren’t as busy with, with, you know, clients, this is a great time to reach out to every single person, you know, who owns a home and say, Hey, let me just just out of curiosity, I bet you’re curious what your home’s worth right now. Yeah, run a quick comp for you. And whether or not you’re going to move like, of course, that’s up to you. But I just want you to know, because it’s something that I think the vast majority of us outside of the industry never think about until we’re ready to move. And we go, Oh, I wonder what my home’s worth, but we all sort of, it’s kind of it’s like looking at your stock portfolio, or your your, your securities portfolio. Like I don’t exactly know what’s going on. But I kind of like to see the bottom line and my upper my down. And, and, you know, I’m, we’re not financial advisors unless we are. And so, you know, we just get a little app that sort of tells us but there really isn’t an app like that for our home. I mean, Zillow is probably the closest thing to it, but we know that the Zestimate, you know, may be accurate. So this is I think, where realtors can really demonstrate value is they can you know if you’re struggling, and I’m sorry to get on a bit of a soapbox, but I’m just curious to get your thoughts about if you if today, if you didn’t have any clients, let’s say you were just everything when you were starting fresh. What would you do to generate business? I’m just curious.
Brittany Simon 49:11
Definitely. Well, I think, of course your sphere of influence. It becomes neglected over time. Or sometimes people just they assume that this person knows me. They like me, why wouldn’t they think of me or asked me or use but people forget or just last words? Yeah. Or people also think that okay, maybe you are too busy? Or maybe you’re not doing and I don’t know. So you definitely have to be vocal and I think more often than not ask for the business but I think you’re right. If How about hypothetically let’s say this is what I’m showing, it’s worth what if we can get a little bit more would you sell then and some people you do have secondary homes or they do want to maybe travel you know, I do know of some of my friends that are currently staying in, you know, they have the flexibility with their job. So they’re just staying in Airbnbs in different parts of the country right now because it can. So you know, maybe you do have that flexibility. And you know, hey, if you’re you don’t have to worry about it, you can get this much more, you know, money in your pocket, would you? And I think a lot of people would actually say yes. Now, I mean,
D.J. Paris 50:19
I didn’t mean to interrupt you, I was just thinking I was chatting with, with a friend of mine, I’ll keep keep her name anonymous. But she’s a realtor, very successful here in Chicago. And she was saying, she goes, You know, I was just thinking about what’s my number? And I said, Well, what do you what do you mean? What’s your number? And she goes, What’s my number that if somebody offered me in, you know, she was not looking to sell her home? Yeah, she lives on the North Shore? And she said, would it be 500,000? above asking, would it be a million? Would it be whatever the number is? Would it be 50,000, above, above what I think it’s worth, whatever that number is, that is kind of a fun exercise to do. Because, you know, like, I had never thought of that. And I just bought a place a year ago. And I’ve never, I don’t know what my number is. But that is kind of a fun exercise that you can do with people and say just curiosity, if you weren’t given a number, would that encourage you to maybe move maybe rents, maybe buy another place, maybe move to another part of the country? So I imagine you’d be doing things like that as well.
Brittany Simon 51:22
Yeah. And I also think, you know, just having those conversations almost maybe for fun, but you know, if you have enough of them, you’re probably gonna have a few that are serious. And now you’re talking real numbers and what their plan is, and now all of a sudden, you’re busy. And you’re, you know, so I think you have to create opportunity for yourself. But I think don’t neglect your spirit, your sphere of influence, because, you know, people aren’t thinking about this all day long. They don’t know what you’re doing. So unless you’re telling them they forget until all sudden they have the need. So you have
D.J. Paris 51:54
to create, what do you do to stay in touch, because you talked about that spirit sphere of influence is easy to neglect, because you’re caught up in the day to day things are flying at you, and sphere of influence. You know, what we’ll talk about people, these are not current clients, these are just people that are close to you that hopefully would think to use you. But we want to remind them over time, consistently over time that oh, by the way, when you’re ready, I’m here. What? What are you doing to stay in touch with those people? Or what advice do you have?
Brittany Simon 52:25
Definitely. So I will say, you know, first of all, what I think most people have, and can be an easy way to start is, you know, social media, you know, you’re probably friends with most of the people who are in your sphere of influence, if not everybody, especially maybe even some people who are past clients, or people have referred you. So I think letting people know what you’re doing. You know, I think I’m trying to be better at this. But you know, creating video, you know, everybody says it works. So, you know, sometimes I think you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and just do it. But also, aside from that, I also do pot buys, actually don’t always go there. But there’s ways you know, to do things that they mail things and just say, hey, you know, here’s like a, some type of gift or it doesn’t always have to be or, you know, handwritten notes or something just to say, hey, and a Starbucks card. It’s easy enough. And you know, kind of gets people thinking about you, again, without being
D.J. Paris 53:21
a couple other things, too. I want to talk about that. Because you’re really these are, these are very, this is like straight out of the Brian Buffini playbook, which is pop buys handwritten notes, items of value. What we’re talking about really is, is earning someone’s business. And I don’t mean you have to buy someone’s business by, you know, giving them extravagant gifts. Of course, you do not have to do that. But you do have to earn someone’s business and especially people in your sphere, we think, Well, those are people that know like, and trust me already. Yes. And you still need to earn their business, which means they already they already love you. And you have to remind them who you are and what you do. And then because people are people and we have a million things going on in our lives, and we I always say the best assumption you can ever make is that everybody you knows forgets that you’re a realtor. Yes. Yeah, yeah. And so and so it’s like, okay, well, that’s kind of a bummer that no one’s gonna remember what I do for a living well, okay, but you know what, that that that’s a pretty easy solution. Right? I mean, Coca Cola certainly operates out of that same mentality of we better promote ourselves a lot or in and you don’t have to be the realtor that has the billboard on the side of the highway. If that’s not your personality, you don’t have to have the bench back ads, or be in the, you know, the grocery store, shopping cart, you know, thing what, but you could just pick up the phone in contact or text or, or send items of value. So absolutely curious what I’m curious how do you what advice do you have after a sale? So this is a thing that I think Realtors often really miss you know, their their previous clients just get completely lost. So what what are you doing after the sale, you know, years down the road so knowing that these people they just I just bought them their their forever home or rather we just bought they just bought their forever home they moved in, they’re not going anywhere for the next 20 years. But I want to I still want to stay in touch. What are you doing to make sure that they don’t forget about you for referrals or whatever?
Brittany Simon 55:39
Yeah, absolutely. So I will say what I always do is I do do like Christmas or like holiday gift to pretty much everybody. Everybody who buys with me and gets like a customized ornament. It’s not It’s like Christmas either. I know some people say Oh, I am I put up on my shelf. I love that. I mean it just and again, I feel like you don’t have to spend money, but I do this is I like to. And then also for the my repeat people I always do or not my repeat people on people outside of my first time buyers that year or who bought something that year, I was kind of have like a theme that I do. And like this past year I did like customers mugs, but then I got like hot cocoa bombs and like gourmet popcorn and customize box. And I really take my time with Christmas cards and I write a personal message in every single one, every single one. It’s not just not sign my name, because I think that’s important because that’s so easy to do. And I can’t tell you how many people respond back to me how thoughtful that was thank you for reaching out or in you know, you’re always at the forefront of we ever know somebody who’s going to buy or sell will think of you. And that’s just one of the things I do that year or you know, at the end of the year. But I definitely think even if you just send a Christmas card with a nice message, it also goes a long way. I also do you know Starbucks gift cards to to you know, depending on who everybody is and where they’re at. Sometimes it doesn’t always make sense to do the box. And sometimes I say that for more of my I guess they say you’re a sphere. Because they do do Brian Buffini. So I need to separate it. But, but I like to hit everybody because sometimes I don’t always like categorizing my sphere because sometimes just because you don’t know somebody’s you’re a sphere yet, and you don’t want to lose anybody out. And something I also do and I’ve started doing more and more lately is I do send out a newsletter and I know not everybody likes it. And it’s kind of you know, sometimes just junk in your inbox. So I’ve really tried to really personalize it write something personal about what’s going on, kind of curate it a little bit, I always try to have kind of a subject line that will stand out or use an emoji that’s just who I am. So you know, I definitely try not to make it like March newsletter, because I get a lot of those myself and I don’t care and it’s just you know, I know a lot of brokerages to have really kind of just like boiler plate stuff where it’s like everybody can send out the same thing if they wanted I was trying to change it. So and I will say that I’ve done that first this year, I’ve actually gotten a handful of business from it who people sent from the news. I got two listings and one buyer from my from actually my February and March newsletter and what
D.J. Paris 58:33
type of content you’re mentioning you weren’t using the boilerplate content are you doing what type of content
Brittany Simon 58:40
some of it because sometimes it’s great but stuff that I think is kind of like a filler kind of cheesy I take out but you know I look at what’s going on right now. So people want to know Okay, springs coming How can you make your and I don’t I don’t know if I did do this or I’m planning on doing this but for instance, how some quick easy inexpensive things to you know, to create curb appeal now that we’re heading into the warmer months or you know, things going on in the neighborhood that are more specific to you know, the time I also just tried to write a message of just my you know, general thoughts on what’s going on. And I begin it with that and sometimes I include just more pictures or that are personal you know, I really just trying to make it maybe my personal newsletter not too much. This is my real estate newsletter because I can give holds more value to people and they’ll read it.
D.J. Paris 59:34
I think you’re right. I wrote an article once called nobody wants to read your newsletter for a magazine because nobody wants to read a newsletter that isn’t personalized, that doesn’t have content that is of interest to that person that’s being sent to and realtors oftentimes I mean look we’re busy you know realtors are busy they don’t have time to to write but but you have that background you have that broadcast journalism background, you’re creative person And so that fits neatly into your, into your skill set. And so you get to sort of be creative in that sense. And so Oh, by the way, maybe it’s like it’s National Women’s History Month. And here’s some cool things to know about that. And maybe it’s even outside of, of the world of real estate, but it’s important to you and you can express yourself that way or hay as as the, you know, as the spring is rearing its head now we can start talking about you know, things like front doors, front doors are becoming important and things like that. And so you could you can bring that into real estate. And I think that newsletters, it’s such a great opportunity that I think Realtors Miss oftentimes, which is I’m just going to pay a service to send out this newsletter, and that’s fine. And honestly, it’s fine. And no one’s going to read it, but that’s okay. Because at least they’ll see your name. And that sort of level one level one is just I’m gonna push something out there, my name is at the bottom, nobody cares. But it’s but it’s better than nothing. Level two is I’m going to put some actual content in here that I think is cool. And, and if I think it’s cool, that’s are my clients will be connect with that as well. Because like, like attracts like, mostly. So I think in social media is the same way I think we can get really, you can be creative and fun and passionate without being salesy. And I think the best realtors are, I think, the best, the best realtors that I’ve ever met are the least salesy people. They’re just extremely competent. And they’re passionate. And they’re like, well, here’s what I do, here’s how it works. And they talk about it. And I think that’s, that’s, you know, we were sort of really fortunate that we have the ability to find yourself, and the technology exists to express yourself in a way that 15 years ago, you know, didn’t really didn’t really exist. And so now there’s so many different ways where we can say, This is who I am, and this is what I’m into. And I think people connect with that.
Brittany Simon 1:02:02
Exactly. And you just have to actually, like, do it, I find myself sometimes getting in my head. And I sometimes bring it back to even when I was in college I was in. I was on Miami television news, I’m TM. And I remember sometimes when we were getting ready for camera, and they’re like trying to test your microphone to like say something, say something I always remember thinking like, well, what should I say in my head, but I’m like, I’m supposed to be like an anchor, or they don’t want to, they don’t know, I have to know. So sometimes it’s just just say it say something, say anything, that’s what they’re looking for. And definitely, to your point to connect, because again, what differentiates Realtors from each other is your unique personality, how you what your thoughts are your opinions, I’m sure we collectively share a lot of the same thoughts and opinions, especially with this market. But your style, your attitude, your enthusiasm, you know, I find myself able to adapt different personality types, maybe not everybody is so sometimes I can be more buttoned up, or sometimes I will be a little more loose. And you know, either with my clothing or you know, just the discussions we have, you know, maybe it’s about life instead of just real estate and other people just want to stick to real estate, which is totally fine, too. But I always find, you know, when I started thinking about it too much, just do it. Because at the end of the day, nobody’s thinking about it that much where they’re going to critique you to think that I think like you’re awful, I would never use you. I think at the end, I find this when I see other people doing it. Wow, they put themselves out there. That was cool. That was unique. I wish I could do that more. And then I think, well, I can’t lie, all I have to do is do it. So I think a lot of realtors just need to do it. Get out of your head. It’s not that deep. It’s not that serious. And that you know, you’re just wanting to people to kind of know who you are. And that’s where you built the trust, you can build rapport and the credibility so they can use you. And everything else, like you said can be learned but to adapt your personality to connect with people and to know that okay, I’m going to enjoy talking to this person on the phone for the next few months or whatnot. You got to show them who you are.
D.J. Paris 1:04:11
Yeah, my final question is, imagine you could go I’ve never done this before. And I just think it would be interesting. Maybe we’ll make it a recurring feature on the show. If if there’s no pressure that make this go well, but no, I but I’m genuinely curious if if the if you now you’ve been doing this 12 years. So if you could go back to your rookie self and give your rookie self some advice. What would you tell your first year realtor self? That of what you know now that she didn’t know back then?
Brittany Simon 1:04:47
That is a great question. And what I think I would say is for one, you know, I always kind of felt in a way I connected better with strangers. I don’t know if I felt like intimidated from other people or my sphere, or just a little bit that at the beginning, I didn’t know as much, obviously. So I didn’t feel confident. And until I felt confident, I didn’t want to feel, I guess, embarrassed or something to people I already know, I’m gonna pause
D.J. Paris 1:05:15
you for a second, this is a very, very common thing. So people get into real estate. And we, you know, we read books, and we go to trainings, and it’s like, put your sphere of influence together. And, and that’s a great thing. And you should do that. And I’m in no way telling people what they should or shouldn’t do, I’m just explaining that it is a very common occurrence where somebody goes, I don’t really want to deal with my friends right away, because I’m afraid I’m going to screw things up. But I’m not that I don’t really know that much. And I feel like maybe I’m not going to do a good job, this sort of imposter effect. It’s not even an imposter effect. It’s just, I just don’t feel competent. And I don’t want to be with my best friend. And what if I screw something up? So so this is really, really important. So go ahead, I’m sorry, I just wanted to pause because this is, this is a big thing,
Brittany Simon 1:06:02
totally. But I think I would definitely go back and put myself out there to the people who know love and care about me, way more. So I mean, it was great that I was able to connect with I feel like so many people who didn’t know me and really build my business, to where it is. But I also if I put as much effort into that to the people who, you know, I already know, my sphere of influence, I maybe would have had, it would have been a little bit easier. I don’t know that it would ever be easy. But maybe it would have been a little bit easier. Because I did was kind of, you know, they always say don’t be a secret agents. And I kind of was because I was I did feel this little tinge of embarrassment. Because what if they asked me this? And I don’t know, and, you know, almost to strangers, it’s like, they don’t know that I don’t know. So I felt more confident to tell them whereas, you know, my friends and family knew I was just really starting to get into real estate. So there was probably things that I didn’t know, and I still don’t know things, and I’m still learning. But I think that now I realize that, you know, you need people that who know you to help you people generally do, you just got to ask, and I didn’t really want to ask, and I would definitely go back. And I would ask and I would let people know, and I would have more of those real and genuine conversations with them, like, Hey, I know that I’m new. And maybe you have questions about that. But I also have, you know, family, who’s in this, we’ve been in a long time and is supportive of brokerage, so I can find out the answer. But why would you give me a shot? You
D.J. Paris 1:07:39
know, that that what you just said is I personally I love I love this honesty and vulnerability. And again, I know we’re kind of going back in time, but but the willingness to be vulnerable is an exceedingly attractive quality that and I think it’s because vulnerability is so scary. That it is it is so difficult for us to say, here’s here’s something that that I feel very exposed. And I feel like I’m letting you down. But But I do have a solution. So hey, I knew I just got my license. And or I’m, you know, in the first few years of my business, there’s going to be questions, I am sure that you will ask me that I won’t immediately have the answer for but what I will promise you, Mr. or Mrs. So and So, is that I will get the answer for you. And I will come back to you with the answer within, you know, a day or so or whatever. Yeah, absolutely. And I and you know, the funny thing about working with with friends and your sphere, is those are the people, I mean, just sort of practically those are the people are going to forgive you the most anyway. So even if you do screw up, they’re most likely but I think having that sort of vulnerable converse, like, like you said, Give me a I would love the opportunity to earn your business and I get it. I’m not 20 years in the business, but maybe that’s a benefit in a way because I will work maybe harder than somebody who’s so busy.
Brittany Simon 1:09:07
And I have the time to give you that specialized individual attention. And I want this and I want to prove myself so allow me whereas somebody who’s maybe been in the business a longer time and or maybe has more clients, they just can’t do that. So sometimes you might actually have a way better experience anyways. But yeah, vulnerability is hard. And it’s, it’s taken, it’s still hard. I’m still trying to put myself out
D.J. Paris 1:09:35
worse, but of course it is it’s hard because people can hurt you with it. I mean, people can reject vulnerability, they can they can they can damage you with it. But what most people end up doing with vulnerability is it actually vulnerability leads to intimacy and intimacy is what what we’re sort of bred for as, you know, as as a as a species. This idea of, of we’re in summit people. And so this idea that we want to be with people who we trust, we know we like. And the surest way to do that is to, to open up with, with, of course, appropriate boundaries, obviously, making sure that that, you know, you do have personal and professional boundaries set. But but being able to say, here’s what I know, and here’s what I don’t know. And here’s what I’m going to do about what I don’t know. Yeah. And and I think most people go, okay, that makes sense to me. You know, we don’t expect perfection out of anyone other than ourselves, mostly, we don’t expect our friends to be perfect. And our clients don’t expect us but they do expect us to work hard for them. Yeah. And, and, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s all, I think that is really required. Or that’s the most important thing that’s required. So this is this has been such a fun conversation, I’m grateful to Brittany for going going a little deeper than sometimes we do on on on our show here. But I think it’s important because what we’re dealing with, throughout whether it’s, you know, you’re buying a toaster or a million dollar home, we’re talking about, you know, people making buying decisions that are and of course, in the case of a primary residence, this is a very emotional decision. It’s one of the largest, maybe the largest financial decision at that time that person might be making, it’s, what is it is it buying, buying a home, kids in school or college and then retirement, those are kind of the big, the big ones. And so this is something that, that if you can hone your skills and be willing to connect with your, your, your your clients, at a, at a deeper level, you’re going to you’re going to really have some raving fans. And I think also, you know, the the being very disciplined, as Brittany, you mentioned about always consistently not neglecting the people in your life. Because, again, it’s a relationship. And if you don’t, just like anything, if you neglect anything in your life, it’s going to suffer. It’s just going to suffer. So you are obviously doing an amazing job. I very excited to continue to watch your your progression as you continue to, to do more and more. But if there’s anyone out there who is either interested in buying, selling, renting, whether it’s residential, I know you also do commercial, you know, whether it’s the city or the suburbs, and there’s looking to work with a top realtor. What’s the best way someone should reach out to you?
Brittany Simon 1:12:31
Absolutely. Well, they can definitely call me My cell phone is usually i i am a person who answers your phone and I always get back to people. So my cell phone number is 630-936-2930. Or you can reach me on social media. Like you said, my my handle is on Instagram at realtor dot Brittany with a TT a NY or Facebook and I’m under Brittany coming Simon that was my maiden name, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org But I always answer my phone. So if I don’t get back to the second you call or text it will be same day for sure.
D.J. Paris 1:13:11
Yeah, and definitely check out Britney’s website. She has a really cool logo. I’m a big fan of the Britney Simon logo. So visit her on her website, which is Brittany Simon group.com. Again, Brittany is dri two T’s a NYBRITT a NY Simon group.com. And then Brittany dot realtor and our sorry, realtor.on. Instagram, we will have links to those in the show notes. So you don’t have to type that in. We’ll have direct links. Brittany, thank you so much for being on the show. We really, really appreciate your time. This is a lot of fun for us. And maybe you and I one day we’ll go back to to our alma mater. And visit because Brittany and I were saying she has not been back since college. I don’t know if we said that on the show or off off air. But I’ve only been back once. So we’re probably both due for a visit, for sure at some point. And I do want to find out where you worked as a server in college because I’m curious if I frequented one of those establishments wasn’t when you were there, of course, but But anyway, on behalf of Brittany and myself, we want to thank our audience for continuing to listen and support our show, please tell a friend I think of one other realtor that really needs to hear what Brittany talked about today specifically around how to get offers noticed some good marketing ideas as well. And just you know, constant communication with with with your clients and send them a link to our website. Our website is keeping it real pod.com and every episode we’ve ever done can be streamed right there or just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. On behalf of Brittany and myself. We thank our audience and on behalf of our audience, we thank Brittany for her time today. We will see everybody on the next episode and Thanks Brittany. It was a real pleasure.
Brittany Simon 1:14:59
Yeah, likewise Thank you so much for having me.
D.J. Paris 1:15:02
Thank you. We’ll see everyone next time.