Heather Ditlevsen with Lipton Luxury Living in Chicago goes back and describes how her obsession with real estate turned into her career. Heather and DJ discuss the importance of mentorship in the real estate business. Next, Heather discusses the importance of open houses, her follow-up process and and how she utilizes them. Heather also describes how she built her relationship with developers on new construction. Last, Heather discusses how she nurtures her relationship with her clients.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Heather Ditlevsen can be reached at Heather.email@example.com.
This episode is brought to you by RealGeeks.
If you’d like to listen to Josh Lipton’s interview with Keeping it Real Podcast click here.
D.J. Paris 0:00
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 and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer an up and comer Heather debt Lipson. Before we get to Heather, just a couple of quick reminders. First, please tell a friend about our show. Think of one other real estate agent that you know that needs a boost or wants to hear success stories from top agents like Heather, send them a link to our website. Or if they’re a podcast person, just have them pull up a podcast app and search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. But if they’re not a podcast person, send them over to keeping it real pod att.com. Every episode we’ve ever done is there and you can stream it right from a browser. So for those non tech savvy people, we made it really super easy. And also, we ask you to do one other thing which is leave us a review. Tell us what you think about the show. Whether you’re listening on iTunes or Apple podcasts, Google Play Stitcher, Spotify Pandora, wherever podcasts are served, let us know what you think about it. I mean unless you’re gonna give us a one star review then you know then you can ignore my my request but seriously, whatever you think of the show, please do let us know it helps us continue to improve and also helps with our visibility with other possible listeners. So thank you on behalf of everyone at the keeping it real podcast team we have some really exciting announcements coming up very shortly but for now, let’s get to the main event. My interview with Heather didn’t listen.
Okay, today on the show, we have Heather Detlef son with Lipton luxury living which is with compass here in Chicago. And let me tell you a little bit more about Heather. Now Heather grew up as an only child in the western suburbs here in Chicago and move to the city for college. She went to Loyola University where she was studying pre med by the way, I had the same initial path, different college, but obviously did not did not. I did not end up becoming a doctor and neither did you. But after school, she she nannied, I guess right before I got to organic chemistry, I was like, I gotta get out. This is this is.
Heather Ditlevsen 3:45
Yeah, I was my senior year and I was like, nope, not for me anymore.
D.J. Paris 3:48
Well, I didn’t have the chops for it. I’m sure you probably did, but I just didn’t. But anyway, after that, Heather nannied for several years here in the city before finally taking real estate classes two years ago. She’s a very outgoing, outspoken person and has always had an obsession with real estate. So she figured why not just go for it. She knew she had the personality to succeed. She lives in old Irving Park and loves it. She spends her free time binging new shows, checking out restaurants with friends and hanging with her best friend’s baby. Who is also the cutest thing since sliced bread. We should we should what is the baby’s name by the way, his
Heather Ditlevsen 4:25
name is Joey and I’m with him constantly and everyone in my life knows about joey and I’m basically a second mom. So
D.J. Paris 4:32
Joey is is a great that’s a great baby’s name.
Heather Ditlevsen 4:36
I love that and she’s pregnant with another baby. So we’re gonna be Auntie James too. Yes.
D.J. Paris 4:40
That’s amazing. Well, since others already been talking, we we welcome you Heather. Welcome to the show. We appreciate your time.
Heather Ditlevsen 4:50
And true true passion. Mita already be interrupting and chatting. So here we go. So
D.J. Paris 4:55
just just to give everyone a little heads up about what we’re eventually going to get to um, It is. We have some show notes. So we do our research before we bring on guests and zonna, who’s the behind the scenes like she does 95% of this podcast, really. She always does research and she gives me some talking points. And she said, Heather did $10 million in her first year of production, which, if that was the truth, it would be absolutely insane. Turns out it isn’t the truth because she actually did 13 and a half million in her first year, which is beyond sort of comprehension. So we definitely want to figure out how you got there. But let’s go all the way back to the beginning. And, you know, I know we mentioned a little bit about you know, why the switch from you know, pre med into, you know, to nannying to real estate, but what was it about real estate that really caught your attention?
Heather Ditlevsen 5:46
Yeah, I’ve been all over right. Yeah, it’s funny. I always thought I wanted to go to med school from you know, early high school on and just never ended up working out that way. So yeah, I got a job nannying. And, you know, I, like I said, I’ve had this passion for real estate since I was probably 14 years old. I remember, you know, being a weirdo only child looking on realtor.com. And like houses in my parents neighborhood trying to that is when I was like 10 years, 1014 years old. I’d be like, you know, home on a Friday night looking at home, like, you know, what, what am I doing, but I promise I had friends. But yeah, so I, you know, always had this weird obsession with it. And, you know, I was actually at a friend’s extra, my friend who has the baby, I was at her lake house a couple summers ago, and we were drinking beers by the fire. And it was, you know, midnight, and we were just talking and I was like, You know what, I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna sign up for classes. So at, you know, midnight, and sitting by a fire, I saw my career started, essentially. And I actually ended up signing up for the wrong course, because I wasn’t. And I had to call them Monday morning and switch. And you know, that’s how I did it. And I did an expedited six week course, I did it for six Saturdays in a row. And it was, you know, like eight hours a day and knocked it out of the park. And I ended up reaching out to a bunch of top producers that I had already kind of been following and knew the names of Josh Lipton, whose team I work on now being one of them. So I reached out to him on Instagram, because I didn’t have his number or email, you know, so I did a little stalking and I basically asked if he wanted to meet for coffee, and he asked if I had passed, you know, the state test? And I said, No, I’m taking it next weekend. And he basically told me, well reach out once you’re past and I said, Okay, fair, you know, so I took it the next weekend and pass the first try. And so I texted him, I think 20 minutes after I got my test results back with a picture of it and said, let me know when you want to meet. And we did. We met the next weekend. We talked for about three hours. And he had just you know, he had been doing a lot of business and never had anyone and it was just the stars align. I truly believe timing is everything. So he asked if I want to join him. So yeah, I gave the family I was working for some notice and started with him. Actually, tomorrow. We’ll mark two years. Exactly. I started with him February 1 of 2020. So
D.J. Paris 7:58
Wow. Yeah, amazing. Yeah, it’s really funny too. For the audience. We actually have interviewed Josh on our show. So this is just completely a coincidence because Heather has made quite a name for herself since she started as being this amazing sort of up and comer or already arrived, I guess at this point here in the Chicagoland area. And there’s 45 or 46,000 realtors. So it’s not like it would be Oh, we live in this small rural community. Everyone knows everyone and everyone knows each other. Everyone, a lot of people do know how they’re because she’s she’s made a lot of strides. And also Josh as well, who’s kind of a legend here in Chicago as well. But there’s 1000s of other realtors here in the area. And it just so happens that when I was jumped on with Heather, I had, I guess maybe I had known that you were with Josh Lipton, but I had forgotten and so she was telling me about it. And I go, Oh my gosh. And the even the way I met Josh, we were talking about was just, I’m sure we can go back. We’ve actually interviewed and we’ll put a link to his episode, because it was quite a good one. Because his whole thing at the time was he was like, you know, I listen to your show, I think I think this if I remember correctly, he said, and you have all these guys who come on or, but they have teams. And he’s like, I really do it all myself. And I would love to tell people how I do all of the production. And he was so great. And we loved having him on. And he’s such a nice guy. And so I’m glad that you’re with him. And so if you haven’t gone back, everyone who might be new to listening to the show, this is like three years ago probably interviewed Josh. So I’ll make sure we put a link in the notes for Josh’s episode because it was quite interesting because it is true that a lot of the top producers we have on have teams and there’s nothing wrong with that teams are great, but it’s always cool when somebody can do it all by themselves. And now of course he’s working with you, which is amazing. And I’m sure he’s grown, he’s grown to need a team where he’s probably he got to that level and probably said I can’t really do more without a team but boy did he get to that level and just just a great guy. Yeah. So you know,
Heather Ditlevsen 9:50
you have to join somebody great, who has good intentions and can help bring you to that level. I mean, I owe you know almost everything you know to him, obviously I do my own hardware, but you know you have to have somebody That’s in support of you and helps bring you up otherwise, you know, you’re just another fish in the sea. So
D.J. Paris 10:04
it’s so unusual that somebody has as much success as has you’ve had so early on without a mentor, or a team member who can just help you, you know, build your business, which I’m sure again, I’m sure you do almost all of it yourself anyway. But having that kind of mentorship is so important. And it’s really almost a universal experience. For top producers. It’s very rare. When I interview somebody who says, you know, I just kind of did it all on my own without really a whole lot of help from anyone, and I don’t have a team or I don’t have a mentor, it’s really uncommon. So I want to use this as it. And I want to also mention how you reached out to him, which by the way, you would, you would think these top producers get a ton of these types of emails, they really don’t carry McCormick who comes on our show every month. She’s a top producer here. And in Chicago, and as everyone who might be listening already knows her, she she she’ll message we talked before we go on every month, and she’ll say, Oh, I got you know, 10 or 20 different responses from people on your show. But outside of that, she goes, you’d be surprised very few people ever reach out and you had actually reached out to her as well, prior. So I think there’s a tremendous lesson there in reaching out to people who are doing well and saying, Hey, can we talk? I either I just want to get some advice, or maybe there’s an opportunity we can work together. So I just was curious how many people did you end up reaching out to just to sort of talk to them before? Was it just those two? Are there a lot of people?
Heather Ditlevsen 11:40
Yeah, I reached out to about five or six agents Carrie McCormick’s one of them. Hi, Carrie, and for listening, but she, I ran into her at an event that actually just brought me to my first week, there was like this fancy dinner, it was like a top agents panel. And he goes, I’m gonna bring you with I’m like, I don’t, I don’t think I belong here. Like, nobody knows who I am. And he’s like, No, you’re coming. And Carrie was there. And that was our first time meeting face to face because we had only talked to you like texts on the phone. And, and, you know, maybe now she wishes as with her just kidding. But yes,
D.J. Paris 12:11
she she doesn’t she does everything herself to that. But it is it is it is interesting that some people just function better as individuals. And and and she’ll talk about that I can see I’m like, you should have a team. And she goes, I know, but I’m too controlling. And then there’s other people who are willing to say, you know, hey, let’s let’s work together and it works for them. And but I think just this idea of a mentorship is so important.
Heather Ditlevsen 12:35
It’s everything. And I knew I didn’t want to be on my own. I knew I wasn’t going to succeed that way. I had, you know, high hopes for myself. And like I just said, like you anybody? Listen, Josh and I say it all the time, anybody can get a real estate license, right? We’re not performing heart surgery here. If you study and you pay attention, anybody can do it, right? But not anybody can succeed in it. So there’s a difference, right? My entire family can go get a real estate license, that doesn’t mean they’re gonna be good at it. I think a lot of it’s internal, I think you have to have the personality and drive. And I think a lot of its external. And you have to know, you know, who to join and who to talk to and swallow your pride a little bit and say, Hey, I’m brand new, nobody is going to hire me. When I don’t have a name for myself, right. So yeah, like I said, I reached out to Josh on social media, and both him and Carrie said the same thing that, you know, I think his exact words were, wow, it takes a lot of balls recharges. And I was like, yes, thank you. So I think he saw a lot of passion in that. I think he was that he was literally sitting on the couch with his wife like watching Netflix when my little message came up. So it really has worked out well. We are two peas in the pod, we’re very similar. You know, we’re like brother and sister that way we fight sometimes and talk but it works well. And I think our clients appreciate that, you know, we play a lot of bad cop, good cop, and we really bounce off of each other. You know, it’s just, it’s been a very good relationship and very, very grateful. So
D.J. Paris 13:59
I’ll tell you a quick story. This just happened to me. And this has never, almost never happened to me. And although I think I’ve been doing this 11 Not this show 11 years, but I’ve been in this industry for 11 years, and I had a guy come in, he had just passed his real estate license, and he was interested in possibly joining our firm, or I’m not even sure if he was interested in joining our firm, but he somehow found my the podcast and so he’s been listening to it. But he set up an appointment to learn more about what our firm offers. And he came in and he goes, You know, I absolutely need a mentor, I need a I need somebody who I can go out in the field with and you know, they can sort of be there with as a partner. And even though we have like 800 agents in our firm, I sort of thought you know, I don’t we’re probably not the right fit as much as I would love to say we’re the right fit for everybody. But anyway, I said you know, I said I can bring you on board and we’ll take great care of you and we have amazing we have all these great trainers and whatever but the coaching piece or sorry, the mentorship piece, we don’t really have a good structure for that. I said, you’re really probably better off going to these top producers, who you know, we have some top producers too but But, but we said, you know, why don’t I go through my list of people that I know. And I can give you some suggestions of who you might want to reach out to? So he goes, Oh my gosh, that’d be amazing. So we came up with 20 names that that he had already made a list of people. And I went through it. I said, here’s 20 people that I sorted, no. And I said, he goes, I’m going to take them all out for coffee. And I said, I said, I promise you, if you do that, you will have so many opportunities, because everybody wants to get that call that goes, I want to, I want to learn what you I want to he goes out, he goes, I’ll work for like, maybe I’ll just work for a small salary for now. And I was like, I go dude, in two years, you were going to be crazy successful, because he had the courage like you to reach out to people who probably don’t really have time to respond. And and people who do and because so many generous, wonderful people in this industry, and you just reach out. But I think that’s when people say I’m looking for a mentor. My thought is well, I mean, I can try to help you do that. But are you doing that on your own? And you did that? And I just think that’s so, so awesome. And that’s
Heather Ditlevsen 16:03
what we did. I took him for a coffee at Starbucks. And I remember I was so nervous. And he walked in with a giant Dunkin Donuts, coffee and true Josh fashion sticking out. And I remember being like, this is gonna go really well.
D.J. Paris 16:14
Yeah. So So you grew up here locally? So I’m curious out in the suburbs. I’m curious how your how you nurtured your sphere of influence? How important is your spirit now understanding that your sphere might also know that you just got a license, because you just recently got a license and last few years. So was that difficult, because I know, we get this feedback a lot from new agents who listen to our show, they say, I know I’m supposed to work my sphere of influence. I know I’m supposed to stay in touch. But I’m really timid about asking for business, or rather even just sort of reminding people that I’m looking for business because they know that they know me, it feels weird to ask my friends. And then also, I also feel kind of like a fraud, because I don’t know enough yet to really do a good job. But I don’t want to screw something up. I’m curious if any of those things sort of happened to you, as you were starting? Like, did you have any of those concerns about reaching out? Or how did you?
Heather Ditlevsen 17:08
I wouldn’t say it concerns I’m probably more confident than I should be. But um, I wouldn’t. I mean, if any friends or family end up listening to this, this is no offense, but I didn’t really tap into that, to be completely honest. I don’t really have. Listen, everybody has their own sphere of influence. Right? Some people have a lot of really wealthy friends, like good for them. I don’t, right. So in for me, you know, I’m not, you know, I’m 28. So Oh, my God, I’m 29 I just forgot I had a birthday. Sorry. I’m 29 Happy birthday. Thank you. A few weeks ago, when I started, I was 27. Right? Like, a lot of my friends aren’t necessarily buying yet. Or like, yeah, they are. It’s not like, you know, not enough to like really, like, make my career go wild. Right. So, I mean, I have sold a couple of friends places and a couple, you know, an ex boyfriends play stuff like that. But I wouldn’t say that was my main
D.J. Paris 17:57
source of business. reliabilt.
Heather Ditlevsen 17:58
I know, it was not. And I did you know, of course, I posted on my Facebook and Instagram when I first got licensed. And I, it’s one of my big 2022 goals is to market myself more because I don’t you know, it’s worked out fine. But I did not nearly do it as enough as I could have. Because you don’t want to you don’t want you know, your family is going on stuff to like see how your life as you don’t want to be like, do you need to buy herself by herself?
D.J. Paris 18:19
Nobody wants to be that person. Right?
Heather Ditlevsen 18:21
No. And it’s, you know, you do it occasionally, I would say maybe quarterly, right? Just remind the people you know, and what I what I’ve taken away from it is it might not be your friends and family that are binary sign but maybe they’re like, Oh, well, my neighbor is you know, so like, it’s more stuff like that, that I think could give me business because you know if it friends or family they know like my closest people they know I don’t need to post it on Facebook. Like they know what I’m doing for a living. So yeah, I mean, we can talk about it now or whatever. But I got most of my business through doing open houses. Because believe it or not, I would.
D.J. Paris 18:51
Let’s talk about that. So how important were open houses while you know then and how important are they now to your business?
Heather Ditlevsen 19:01
It was everything. I remember I did my very first open house. I think the first weekend I joined Josh it was a listing he had and he was doing X it’s like I’m not doing it by myself. So I went with him and I I was in charge of making sure people signed it and you know, on your on your first time. It’s like, oh my god, do I talk to them? Do I not talk to them? How? Like, there’s a like, looking back now two years later, I’m like there isn’t there is a formality. It’s just doing open houses, right? Like some people are just not better than like Joshua man, like he’s not good at them. Right? Like he doesn’t. You have you have to have the person typed to like want to talk to people without being too salesy, but like aggressive enough, and I will admit like, I’m very good at doing them. So I I do an open house every weekend if I can, like obviously if I’m out of town or sick, that’s different. But in the beginning, I was doing an open house every weekend. I mean, Saturday and Sunday and I still try to that’s you know, that’s what you’re meeting a lot of unwrapped buyers at least for me it was I don’t know, I don’t know for everybody but you know you want to go after if you don’t have your own list. seems to do you know, there’s a million agents out there that don’t want to do their own house, open house, especially big top producers carry Josh whoever, like, that’s the last thing they want to do, you know, so they’re more than willing to let you do it. You know, you say you’ll do it for free and your price is keeping enriched buyers, right. So you know, in some open houses are fails, I’ve done some where literally nobody comes, you know, or one group comes in, they have an agent. So it’s, you know, you don’t know what you’re gonna get. But I did an open house for one of our listings two weekends ago and ended up selling the next day. And I met
D.J. Paris 20:32
one of the people that came to the opening one of the people that came they had an agent, so what actually carry on so
Heather Ditlevsen 20:38
sell your house? Absolutely. Yeah. And we got 10 grand over list, but you know, just a little bit, but yeah, there was, we had 35 groups come through, it was absolutely insane. Nine groups were unwrapped buyers. And out of those nine, I am now working with four of them. So to me, that was an I did it, you know, it was there two hours. So two hours on a Saturday now Oh, my
D.J. Paris 21:00
God. So So you have four clients out of it? And if we say let’s just say the average commission, I don’t know, like 10 grand or seven grand, something like that price point. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s like, 30k right there for two hours. Now, there’s a lot more work that’s gonna go into
Heather Ditlevsen 21:17
it. And some might not buy for six months, right. But I don’t care. I mean, I don’t, of course, not. My clients are long term to me, right? I don’t, I’m not gonna sit here, like you need to buy in the next 30 days. You know, so if they’re, if they buy in a year from now, whatever, they’re my clients, and they will send me referrals. And that is all that matters to me. So, you know, I’m just saying, where anyone listening do open houses, it is, by far 100%. Besides Josh, obviously, helping me tremendously, you know, with leads and stuff. That has been the number one way, and now I’m starting to get to the point where, like, they’re giving me referrals. Again, you know, I haven’t been doing this that long. But I’ve already had a couple of buyers give me multiple referrals, you know, and now they give referrals. So at some point, and that’s how these top producers get big, right? Especially the ones who’ve been doing it. 20 years. It’s just at that point, it is it’s just referral after referral after referral. So yeah, you know, if you’re looking for a way an easy way to do and, you know, for me being single and having no kids or like, you know, now’s the time to hustle.
D.J. Paris 22:11
I’ve got more time. Yeah, yeah.
Heather Ditlevsen 22:13
I mean, my friends always like, does that what you want to do on a weekend? I’m like, what else? Am I gonna do? Just sit on the couch, you know, drinking like, I might as well make some money. Yeah, yeah. I love open houses.
D.J. Paris 22:22
Yeah. And let’s, I want to drill down just a little bit on open houses, only in the sense of, when do you have I know, this sounds so sort of like, inconsequential. But we get these questions a lot. People will want to listen to the show. And they’ll go, Well, you guys talk a lot about open houses, but you don’t get too specific. And I only want to ask you just a couple of questions about it.
Heather Ditlevsen 22:42
And I will talk about it forever.
D.J. Paris 22:45
So when somebody walks in, are they signing in right away? Or are you leaving them alone?
Heather Ditlevsen 22:49
Okay, I have a you know, every agent does it their own way. I learned what works for me and my personality type. And I you know, it’s funny because clients I have gotten from open houses, like we will laugh and talk about the like, yeah, you know, some open houses we go to it’s like, hi, welcome. Sorry. That it’s like when you go to a car dealership, and they’re like, Hi, I’m Jeff, can I help you? Like, can I just frickin look around for a second? So
D.J. Paris 23:12
you walk into Banana Republic, and you like the salespeople face they seat? Yeah, right. They see it. And they’re super helpful. Nice, lovely people. Me, I’m like, I already know what I want. Like, if I need help, I’m coming to you. But you do get that little bit of like, Please don’t come over and talk to me.
Heather Ditlevsen 23:28
But I do make sure so Compass has an app, that there’s an open house, you know, section on it. And you can sign in sometimes I bring the iPad so that I can have it say now, but usually just use my phone that you know, we all have our phone in our hands constantly. So I don’t do the old fashioned pen and paper. I did that for a few months in the beginning. And I realized I couldn’t read anybody’s handwriting and I Yeah,
D.J. Paris 23:47
that’s a that’s a real problem. Yeah, it really is, I
Heather Ditlevsen 23:49
would look back. I’m like, I don’t even know what this says. And it sucks because I can’t follow through. So compass for any if compensations listening, use that on your app, because it is amazing. And it’ll automatically go to your CRM anyhow. So at some point, I will make people sign up. And usually when they’re about to leave, or you know, I’m a very good conversationalist. So like we’ll be talking and, you know, kind of make a joke, like, don’t forget to sign in, so I can stalk you later, you know, like, I’ll make some kind of joke and like, they laugh and they like it, you know, so, yeah, I’m very non aggressive about it. And, you know, I would say, you know, if it’s slow, or it’s only one group at a time, I obviously always get them to sign in. But every now and then a couple will slip through where I know somebody came in and out, I didn’t get them to like at this one. I was telling you, it was insanely packed. I mean, at any given time, there was five or six groups and you know, I’m trying to talk to them and, you know, you know, you see a couple come in, they do a quick walk and you see them leaving I’m like, dang it, I think up in the sign it but, you know, it happens so rarely.
D.J. Paris 24:44
But people like that might not have even become a client anyway. Right?
Heather Ditlevsen 24:49
Right. Or like, you know, a lot of times people come in, they have agents, there’s the thing on the AdWords is like, are you working with an agent? Yes. So those ones I don’t even follow through? Well, you know, obviously they’re not they’re working with somebody. So it’s really on They’re the ones that aren’t represented, obviously. But yeah, you have to know the fine line of not being too aggressive. But making sure you get it like, and there are a lot of agents that are too timid. I mean, I was at the beginning. You know, I remember doing my first met Josh was like, make sure they sign it. And I was I was so awkward. I was like, what I do is go to Nick, hey, can you sign in, but just make it part of your conversation? And then make it funny, you know, and or just say, you know, if there’s any other questions I can answer for you. A lot of times, they’ll ask certain questions, and maybe I don’t know the answer, you know, what’s the edge of the room? Oh, I don’t know, if my client makes sure you sign in for me. And I’ll follow up with you. So,
D.J. Paris 25:30
you know, and then and then what’s the follow up process for you? How do you do it?
Heather Ditlevsen 25:34
Um, so I always do it the next day. I don’t like to do it right away, because it makes me you know, it’s like going on a date and text them five minutes. Too much. You know, I
D.J. Paris 25:43
had a great time. Let’s get together again. Yeah. Yeah, it’s breathe a little. Yeah.
Heather Ditlevsen 25:48
So but if you wait too long, then maybe they really wanted you to follow through. And now they’re like, Oh, well, she doesn’t care. So Right. Always do it the next day. Usually, it’s, it’s always be attacks, I don’t like to do email. I’m a very, I’m a much more informal agent than probably most, which I think, you know, we can get to that later. I think clients that I worked with appreciate, I think I’m very relatable. And you know, I’m not the suit and tie, I’m not going to wear stilettos every showing obviously, of course, you can tie but you know what I mean? I’m not the, you know, I, I dress presentable, but I dress comfortable. And if I do a showing, and sneakers, I do a showing and sneakers, you know, but so I send a text, you know, when they sign in, they have to give their name, their number and their email. So I always send a text and I just say, hey, you know, Jessica, this is Heather. And I usually put something funny, you know, the awesome agent you met yesterday at the address. So they remember they maybe they met five agents yesterday, you know, if they went to multiple open houses, they might have signed in multiple places. So I always say the address they met him at and I’ll usually be super, you know, super chill, like, hey, you know, let me know if there’s any other questions you had about the listing. If this isn’t the place for you, you know, happy to help you guys, you know, find something that fits, would love to set up a phone call this week. And we can talk next step. And that’s it. It’s super casual. I don’t say I don’t ask them, you know, so what are you guys looking for? You know, what’s your price? Right? None of that right off the bat. If they want to work with me, they Well, again, I always relating to dating, but it’s like, you know, if a guy or girl wants to see you again, they’ll respond. You want to work with me? They’ll answer and listen. I’d say 75% of time, they may not respond. So you got probably about a 25 to 30% chance of those buyers actually responding. So, you know, if they
D.J. Paris 27:22
don’t respond to your text? Do you text them again? Or do you just let it go?
Heather Ditlevsen 27:27
I do well, so it depends. So I I’ll give it a bed. I don’t text you know, if they don’t respond the first couple days, I don’t respond again. I usually wait a few weeks, I do another very casual follow up like hey, just checking in. You know, if there’s anything I can do, let me know. Like, it might be two sentences. Yeah. And then after that, if I don’t hear from him, I usually let it go like a girl can take a sigh, you know, so. But I will say I actually have a client right now. And I met them through an open house over the summer, sent her a follow up, we were very chatty at first, and then they kind of, you know, went quiet and just whatever, maybe they’re not looking, maybe they met somebody else who knows, right. But I’ve continued once a month for the last four months, I’ve sent an email checking in, they reached out about three weeks ago and said, we’re ready to start looking seriously. We’re so sorry, but am I dealing with a lot. So you know, it happens. So I would also tell people, just because somebody’s not responding, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to reach out ever. I would keep sending those monthly follow ups don’t do more than x, you’re gonna annoy them. But monthly follow ups very simple. Just hear if you need me, you know, don’t do anything crazy. And they’ll remember your name, and they actually appreciate it like Sharna has been like, yeah, you’ve been following up. We like that, you know, so
D.J. Paris 28:35
do you and you can do only do it with taxi. It’s so interesting, because we think especially for anyone listening that might be middle aged or sorry, no, by all means, people who are middle aged or you know, even not necessarily that that old. But I know for me, I just I just assume people read their emails. And of course they don’t. Most people don’t read there. It’s like, I’m shocked. Now texting is really the only way I’m, I have a much higher probability to getting a response just from my friends even. And it’s funny we have, like I said, we have about 800 Realtors at our firm. And today we had a, we had to send out a policy update. We just made this like new rule about something. And so we needed to make sure that people knew about it. So of course we sent out emails to their work email, and also their personal just because it was important enough that that they really see it and then and then we’ve done this long enough to go we also need to text everybody because it’s it’s it’s just you know, people don’t read their email. So that’s another you know, suggestion.
Heather Ditlevsen 29:40
Yeah, and I just my friends and marketing extra she just told me this literally this week that 95% of people open their text within the first two minutes of getting it so that’s why if somebody doesn’t respond to me right away, like I know they probably see on it, and they either just don’t want to respond right now. Or like I said, same thing. I’ve had people respond a week later, you know, a month later You know, months later, so I would just say don’t give up. Just because someone’s not responding doesn’t mean they won’t don’t want to work with you. You never know what somebody’s going, you know, you don’t know somebody could have lost their job the next day after you met them, somebody could have had a death in the family the next day. And now here you are, like you want to buy a house, you know. So, you know, you have to take it with a grain of salt and know that they’ll reach out if they want to.
D.J. Paris 30:19
Let’s, let’s talk about new construction. Because I know that for a lot of newer agents, that is just a foreign sort of thing. It’s like I know, I know, top producers can sometimes get these sort of relationships with developers and, you know, they get to sit at you know, maybe there’s a sales center and a particular development or, you know, I just get some other listings or whatever. It’s not that common for a new a newer agent, like yourself to the, to the industry, especially for as young as as you are. It’s really impressive. So I’m super, I know, our audience is really excited to hear about your take on new construction and how you sort of got involved with that.
Heather Ditlevsen 31:00
Yeah, I mean, I’ll contribute it to Josh. So Josh is a for everyone listening, Josh. And hopefully me one day is a developer as well. So I kind of walked myself right into it. And that’s a huge reason why I reached out because I knew he was kind of just starting his developing developer part of my role as I was, as I joined him, he did his very first project. Literally, it completed a few months before I joined him. So I really joined him at like his peak time. And now, if you guys can see behind me, all of these pictures are actually all of our projects, our buildings that we have built. So it’s, it’s been crazy. We have like four just this year coming up for new buildings. So it’s, it’s wild. But yeah, you you know, for me, obviously, I, again, I kind of walked right into it, right. So Josh, and I do a ton of new construction. Like I said, He’s developer on them. And then obviously, also, we’re the brokers. But I have, because we work hand in hand, and he’s the developer. Like, I have a lot of hands on experience that I know, I’ve talked to plenty of agents who’ve been in his 1520 years that still are kind of, you know, unfamiliar with new construction, because it is it’s completely different than your average resale, right. There’s developer contracts, you know, that you put offers on versus your regular, you know, car contract, or, you know, it’s just it’s a completely different ballgame. So, you know, it’s been really, really cool to be a part of that. And to see on the back end, I mean, again, I still don’t know everything, trust me, I don’t, but I know a lot more than probably your average agent. And there’s, it’s been cool. There’s agents in my office that have even come to me and been like, Hey, I have clients buying a new construction. Do you have any suggestions on what we should look for during, you know, showings or final walkthroughs and, you know, it’s cool, you know, you don’t want a developer that’s, you know, you always want to look for a one year developer warranty, you know, there’s a lot of wear on here. There’s a lot of bad passwords out there. There’s a lot of bad developers out there. And so you know, you want to look for certain things and, you know, the reality is a lot of new construction is sold before it’s even, you know, on the market. Right? A lot of I’d say I don’t know, I’d say 50 to 60% of our stuff has sold while either it’s in the framing stage or the drywall stage so you know and for that for buyers that’s scary right? Because they might see renderings you know, we hire we hire you know a person to do renderings for us to show you know, buyers what’s gonna look like because we see the vision right? I can tell you Okay, yeah, powder bath kitchen, whatever. But a buyer is like what the hell is this well for so you know, but it’s still hard for them on a rendering to see that so you know, that’s a huge part of it. You gotta sell the image to people right and that’s that’s it’s you takes a special person to sell that because you know, we walk into a builder selling the dream. I’m selling Yeah, I’m selling an image that they can’t see. So you know, Josh and I, I think we stand out because a lot of developers that you know, we know personally and this is no you know, nothing bad against them. But a lot of developers will hire an actual you know, interior designer or whatever to do seven Josh I do all that ourselves, from the tile to the paint colors, the type of baseboard, you
know everything about the property, I know everything I can tell you where to go get counters, I
can tell you what lights to do. Like we pick everything literally everything we don’t hire anybody so you know, we’re both very hands on I mean, I’m at Studio 41 with him, you know, multiple days a week when we get to that phase of the project like Plumbing we pick it all so when our projects are done, I can truly say like we designed to this like not a single other person besides him and I has a say in any of that stuff. And we we know what buyers looking for, right? Like I know what’s in I know what’s going to sell. So why would I hire somebody else to do it when I know better than anyone.
D.J. Paris 34:42
So I’ll have to ask because I just bought a new a new construction place. So I went I went basically all white like ever white walls, white quartz countertops, white cabinets, or you know all variations of whites and then then all of the fixtures are all dark and black, matte black gap. So I, you know, it’s funny that things, especially fashion and just sort of aesthetics, of course rotate and change and evolve. And so, you know, I was thinking like, it’s so cool. What I like Now the way I think of it, knowing a little bit of a tiny little bit about interior design. I’m like, Oh, this is so cool today. And I want I go, I wonder in 10 years, is are people going to walk in and go? What were these people thinking? And then I realized, of course, they will, of course, they’re going to do that. That’s the nature of evolution of of aesthetics. But that’s why it’s really important for I think, agents to know what’s in now or how to correct what was in 15 years ago,
Heather Ditlevsen 35:44
which Yeah, we saw obviously, we shoe other, you know, resales and stuff. And a lot of the early 2000s Is that cherry color, right? You all know, I had my first place. Yeah, and the cherry cabinets. And when you walk in, you’re like, holy shit. It’s not what I had. Yeah. And the granite, the dark granite counter. So I had
D.J. Paris 35:59
a dark granite countertop.
Heather Ditlevsen 36:01
I can picture your place. Yeah. Another thing Josh and I are really good at is, you know, because we work with a lot of contractors and stuff, we have people for everything, you need new counters, I got you. You need to know where to get lights, I got you, you need a guy to paint your cabinets. I got you like I literally got you covered on every fret. So I think that’s another big thing we bring to our clients that, you know, I’ve been able to like, you know, that’s scary for a client. You know, we a lot of clients who buy, you know, obviously not only new construction, but they might buy something that needs a complete gut, and they’re like, holy crap, where do I start? Like, I don’t even know how to get tile. And like, it’s, you know, what do you do like Google, like best tile person in Chicago? That’s overwhelming. So, you know, I, that’s a huge selling point. For me. I think that’s a huge thing that stands, myself and Josh out for compared to other agents. Because if you don’t, if you don’t do that a lot, like not only do we do new construction, but I’d say I would constantly say 80% of listings we get we convinced our sellers to do some sort of work whether in some of its like total Reno, like kitchens, bathroom floors, like everything, sometimes it’s maybe just new counters, sometimes it’s just painting, like whatever it is. And every we’ve done, you know, every level of it. But like I said, I’d say 80% of our listings we do because again, we know what sells So sure, could we walk in and say you know, don’t do a liquor thing, we’ll schedule photos tomorrow, we’ll list it, but it might sit for a little bit because guess what people don’t want to do work. That’s the real Oh, are lazy, and they don’t want to do work because they don’t know where to start. They don’t know who to call to run a bathroom, they don’t know who to call for new countertops, they, they just don’t know what to do. So, you know, when something’s already done, it’s that much more appealing. And alleging sellers, you know, they get stressed out, like, especially if they’re living there, you know, if they’ve lived through the construction and the dust and don’t get me wrong, it is a pain in the ass. Like, I’m not saying it’s not, but when your house sells for 50k more, you’re gonna thank me. So, you know, that’s another thing that I think stands myself out is, you know, being so new in the industry, because we do so much of that on listings, I have a plethora of contractors I can give you, like I said for anything, and I myself being a licensed interior decorator, but you know, I have a good eye for staff. So I’ve had clients come back after they’ve moved in and asked me for my opinions on stuff and asked what paint colors should I do? And they you know, they actually listen to me. So it’s nice.
D.J. Paris 38:11
Well, I just, I just think how valuable that is, when you’re going around showing older properties to your your buyer clients and they go, I hate those cabinets and you go no, no, that’s it, then you get to say, oh, that’s just gonna cost two grand, and it’ll take a week or something I never said and, and then all of a sudden, you’re like, Don’t worry, I’ve you know, or you know, that old sort of goofy granite countertop that has the weird colors in it, don’t worry, we can swap that out with something different, like a white one or whatever. And that’s, you know, that’s another to grant like, Don’t worry, like, we can fix all this stuff. And I hate that. Yeah, it’s and it’s and I don’t think a lot of realtors have enough knowledge. They know that that can be done. But you have the ability to really say, hey, we do this kind of stuff for our own developments. We know how to how to get this done for you. Like really, it’s no big deal. Don’t let that stop you from from this particular property because we can we could swap all that stuff out. And very few, very few agents have that knowledge. Great. And
Heather Ditlevsen 39:11
we you know, we’re paying, you know, maybe 6070 cents on the dollar for a lot of stuff too. And that’s appealing to them like hey, you’re not paying, you’re not gonna get ripped off by somebody walking into some, you know, granite place and picking out counters and they’re up charging, which I can guarantee you every place does because you’re a new customer and what do you know, you don’t know how much a slab of granite costs so right how much you know, and it’s funny because we had a client actually this summer, she redid her master bath, right? And it was beautiful. She did a great job. And you know, we asked her how much you know I’m like curious how much did you spend on this? And she told us something wild like 30 grand and it wasn’t that big of a bathroom and I go 30 grand. I go Are you kidding me? I go this should have cost at most eight to nine. I’m telling you that and she looked at me and she goes seriously I go oh no probably should have told you that because now you’re gonna kick yourself in the butt but I don’t know who the heck you hired but like, and that’s the truth though. Like People will pay it because they don’t know what it was oh, 2525 No, it doesn’t cost. So
D.J. Paris 40:06
and ultimately, even if it’s after the fact, I think most people, this is just the psychology. I think most people want specialists in their life, even if their specialist is going to tell them something that they can’t change or fix. But the specialist like you goes, you know, you, you, sadly, I think we could have done this a lot cheaper and right, I would think next time, there’s any sort of opportunity, you’re going to be the person they contact because now they trust you. You told them something that that, unfortunately, maybe wasn’t like, for somebody who’s worried about offending somebody, they might say, and I’m just gonna keep that to myself. But you, you said, No, that’s the truth. And you need to know this. And I’m sorry that you sort of maybe paid more than you should have. But next time, just call me because we can we can do this better. And of course, the average person’s never I’m not I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t know if I was getting ripped off.
Heather Ditlevsen 40:54
And you don’t yeah, you’re not gonna question because then you look like you’re being cheap. Right? Like, Oh, does it cost that like you just, you know, so
D.J. Paris 41:00
I, before I bought the condo I live in now. Yeah, I actually reached out to several of the people I’ve interviewed on, we have 800 agents at our company, like I’ve said, so i There are plenty of people to ask here. But I said, you know, I want some outside opinions. And I literally, because I’m like, I don’t know. And I literally reached out to three or four producers that have been on our show, and I go, I’m thinking about buying this, is this a good price? Or like I don’t know. And, and, and I’m so grateful I did because they told me. And, and, and I as somebody who’s I mean, I’m technically a realtor, too. I’ve never used my license, but but the reality of it is, is I’m like I better ask around. And so I think this is the value of hat of gaining this knowledge is you get to become really valuable to people.
Heather Ditlevsen 41:44
Yeah, you do. And that’s, you know, it’s funny, I was interviewed by Chicago agent magazine last month. And there was a question, I think in there that said, you know, like, you know, everyone asked them, What makes you stand out, right? And it’s true, because there’s so many agents, right? Why would Jessica hire me over somebody else? Right? So you, you have to, you have to bring value to somebody’s life. And I was listening to this motivational speaker that compass had a couple of months ago. And, you know, he said something along the lines of so many agents and anybody in any sales job really make it about them, right? Like, what are you doing for me? How are you making me money? Right? And yes, at the end of the day, your clients are making you money, right? This is our job. This is how we make money. However, like, that’s not the that’s not the tactic, you have to go into it, you know, you have to change your entire mindset. And he said something that really stuck with me. And it was, you know, he was basically saying, find something that your client likes, enjoys over the course of showing them, right, you get to know your clients, right? Are they into gardening? Are they a good cook, whatever it is, and he goes, even after the sales done, you know, when you send your quarterly follow throughs or twice a year, fellas or whatever, bring up something that is applicable to them, right? You know, if they’re really into dogs as other dogs doing, maybe send a treat to their dog like, that makes you that think, wow, she actually listened to me, and I’m not just another, you know, and the reality is DJ, a lot of agents send out these, you know, not to shoot on agents that do this, but like, the postcards that like Merry Christmas, and it’s like, let’s be honest, nobody gives a shit about this postcard, right? They’re looking at it. Oh, cool, Alex, I’m gonna post our trash like nobody cares
D.J. Paris 43:11
along with along with 20 others that I received from different other people who want my business for others.
Heather Ditlevsen 43:17
And I don’t, I will never quote me now, I will never send a single client a merry christmas postcard a Happy New Year, I would rather send them a personal text ASCO, their daughter Marianne is doing or whatever it is, even if it takes me 10 times longer to send out individual texts versus just like, you know, somebody printing cards and having my assistant mail it. Like, that’s the reality of it. And a lot of these top agents, they don’t make time for it. And I think that’s sad. I’m not saying all of them, trust me. But I think the busier we get, we become less and less personal. So like, for me, you know, I’m not, you know, at that level yet, but it’s nice because, like, make the habits now you know, I, I am on one on one communication with every single client I’ve helped in the last few years, you know, I’ve never had somebody else send a letter for me or a text. And I think you just have to, you have to keep it personal. And otherwise, they’re gonna forget about you. And they’re not going to refer you out, right? Because they’re, they’re nothing about you stuck to them. You’re just somebody who helped them buy a house. So
D.J. Paris 44:12
do you do you store personal information about them in your CRM, where you can go in and say, Oh, this, this person has two kids, and they’re this age, and they’re into gardening and,
Heather Ditlevsen 44:23
and I’ll tell you what, it sounds dumb, but people appreciate it. So for example, in the open house app, and I have people sign in, there is a note section. And I will put in there, you know, lives in, you know, Roscoe village now about to get married and daughter started new school, like I’ll put little stupid notes. And so when I go to follow up with them, it comes in play like hey, you know, it’s Heather. I know you guys are looking for new school for Maryann, you know like personal things and I’m telling you, they’re like, holy shit, she listen to me, you know? So it takes two seconds to write a note make it personal, make it seem like you’re there for them because you are at the end of the day you are there for them. So you know I think that’s key.
D.J. Paris 45:02
Yeah, I 100% I couldn’t agree. I couldn’t agree with you more, I think I think it’s what really talking about I think is fundamentals, right. It’s so much about doing the personal fundamental stuff that people feel special once it’s been done to them. And, and there’s, there’s, I think it’s not, it’s hard work, like you said, it might take 10 times longer to send out personal texts or even people, but they’re not getting that many of those. They’re not.
Heather Ditlevsen 45:37
Yeah, and for me, you know, I might only have 3040 clients. So it’s like, not that much. And obviously, when you’re been doing this for 20 years, you have 5000 clients, or whatever the number is, like, that’s a lot of work. And I get that, but like, you’re not texting everybody every day, you know, and that’s why you have a CRM and I really started to use utilizing that the last like, four or five months only, I’ll be honest, I was really bad at it. And now it’s very organized, I put everybody’s birthday in there, you know, just, you know, the stupid stuff that you want to tell people that you’re like, I simply cannot keep a track, you know, in my head, obviously, if so,
D.J. Paris 46:06
I mean, I was thinking, you have everybody’s birthday. So you know, every day you probably wake up and it tells you this is so and so’s birthday. I’m curious. So So obviously, we all have birthdays, I’m thinking about now I’m in this industry, but there’s a lot of other industries with salespeople who are trying to get business could be a financial adviser, an accountant, it could be anything, any lots of insurance, a million types of people who would probably like to have someone’s business. And I’m thinking about, I never get prospected by almost anybody. And not only that, I not only almost never get prospected I never get text messages. Certainly I never get personalized text messages. I don’t even get personalized text messages. And nothing against the people like in my life that my accountant and my financial. Like they’re all wonderful. I love them. I don’t expect anything from them. They’re great. They’ve earned their place, but I’m but I don’t even get text messages from them. Yeah,
Heather Ditlevsen 47:06
I’m not sad. Yeah. Well,
D.J. Paris 47:08
it’s not that it’s not that I need it. But I’m just saying. It’s not that I need it from people I’ve already hired, but I do love it. But what I’m saying is it’s not crowded along. What’s that? It’s that book, Scott Peck I think wrote in the 70s called, it’s never crowded along the extra mile or something like that. It legitimately is never crowded along the extra mile. Because people Yeah, people are gonna send postcards at Christmas. They’re gonna send me they’re gonna send these monthly email newsletters about real estate that their company I mean, yeah, and that’s fine. I mean, whatever, that whatever. But But how many times did somebody during COVID? Ever? Who wasn’t my close friend reach out to me and say, Hey, man, how are you doing? How are you doing right now? Like, how’s your everything? Okay? Yeah, other than my friends and family, not zero, a one person, the person who cuts my hair who I’m seeing tomorrow night. She is the only person I’ve been with her like, 10 plus years, and she absolutely does not have to do it. And she’s the only one that said I was just thinking about you. How are you doing? How’s everything going? And it really meant a lot to me. And right now, guys, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, like this is still an opportunity where you can demonstrate care and compassion, and just go hey, I’m just checking in how’s everything going? Are you still working from home? What’s going on? And and develop a deepen those relationships? I love the fact that that you do that? I think that yeah,
Heather Ditlevsen 48:26
I’m definitely overly communicative. And that’s something I think that stands out. I always tell people, I never want my clients to have to reach out to me. And so everyone should take that advice. You never want your client to have to text you and say, what’s the status? Yeah, what’s going on? Yeah, if they text you, you’re doing something wrong, you need to be on top of it and say, Hey, morning, just wanted to let you know, inspection report just came back, let’s hop on a call at five o’clock today and go over everything, whatever it is, my client should never ever, ever, ever, unless it’s something random or things like that. They have a question. But if it’s something regarding this, you know, the normal sale process, I should be letting them know, like, and I am definitely overly communicative. But I’d rather be that way. And for any clients of mine that may listen to this, you know, I’m gonna send them this little podcast. They know like, I will send them messages just randomly be like, hey, just checking in. I know the market Secretary now and there’s nothing but just saying hi, you know, like, I’m still here, and I’m still here for whatever you need. They need to know that, you know, it’s important. They don’t You don’t want no one should feel like you just forgot about them ever.
D.J. Paris 49:27
I think you’re also talking about anticipating needs ahead of time and realizing that the process for buying or selling a home no matter how if it’s somebody’s first time or their 10th time it’s still incredibly stressful. It’s still a roller coaster. something’s gonna go wrong at some point in the process, something some wrinkle is going to happen where people who are your clients gonna freak out because of course they will. And and, and this is where I think anticipating in advance. Oh, this is the part I just got some news that I have to give to the client. They’re going freakout so now I have to make sure that I already have a sort of a pre conditioned response to say, Hey, I know you’re gonna freak out right now, but don’t and here’s why. And, and, and this way, because I think so many clients, and I know this is for me, too, I’m in the industry. And when I just bought a property was not my first property. And I was freaking out. I mean, everything was going well, and I was freaking out. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, am I making a big mistake? What’s going on? And, and ultimately, I had to ask people, and I’m in the industry, and I had to ask, and I’m like, Man, if I sort of know what’s going on, and I was completely freaking out, the average buyer and seller, no matter how successful or not they are, whether they’re a top CEO of a company, or if they’re, you know, have a more normal blue collar job, whatever the situation is, they’re probably freaking out, too. And if you come and say, Hey, I was just thinking about you, here’s what, here’s what’s going on. Because you’re right, my, I now work for him. But but many, many years ago, when I bought my first place, I wasn’t in this industry. And my, my friend was my realtor, because we work with our friends. And Nick had that same pot in the Nick, who was my realtor was, he had the same policy, we’re afterwards when I started working for him. I go, boy, you are really great realtor. And he said, he said, Oh, no, no, because it’s a lot about just customer service. And he said, he goes, he had the same exact goal that you had, he said, I never wanted my clients to have to call me first. Because that was my only real goal. And he goes because of that. People just thought I was right on top of things. So
Heather Ditlevsen 51:32
you have to be and you know, you should be sending me updated email, like, yeah, I could talk about it forever. But always be
D.J. Paris 51:39
asking for referrals. Do you do it or not? Curious?
Heather Ditlevsen 51:43
So I don’t and I should, it’s another I
D.J. Paris 51:49
think your show?
Heather Ditlevsen 51:50
I think I listen, I am not the pushy type of agent, salesperson, we’re going to call it there are agents that will do that you’ll finish a transaction will be closing day you say thank you so much for your business, whatever. And a lot. I mean, I know agents who they put, they kind of send like a, you know, formal email at the end. And like, there might be a thing that says, you know, obviously, keep me in mind for referrals, you know, it’s a casual, it’s not like pushing you to do that. The way again, back to what I said earlier, the way my head works is, if they were impressed with me, and they think I did a good job. If they’re out at dinner one night, and their friends are talking about buying a place, my name is gonna come to the head. I’ll give you Heather’s number, it already has happened. If they weren’t impressive me, and they’re probably not. And guess what, I don’t want their clients business if they weren’t president, because that’s not a good way to meet somebody. Like she did a shitty job for us. But here’s her number, you know. So, I mean, I don’t push it as much as I probably could, you know, maybe, you know, I could start giving prizes. You know, you get $100 gift card, if you remember.
D.J. Paris 52:43
But some people do that. I mean, it’s it’s obviously there’s, you know, different approaches, but But I, I used to work in a sales capacity in the finance world a million years ago here in Chicago, and we talked to the one of the top guys in our office, and it was a very top tier sort of white glove type of firm, which is very professional and not super salesy, however. And anyway, I asked the one of the top guys there, I said, How do you ask for business? He goes, if you do it, right, you don’t have to. Now I’m not saying that this is the answer for everyone. But he said if you do it right, you don’t have to really ask because you have to demonstrate value. And if you can demonstrate value, eventually people just go Oh, yeah, of course I’m gonna use you, you know,
Heather Ditlevsen 53:26
100%. And even like Josh and I more so Josh than maybe like, hello, clients or clients, friends that will ask they know, he does a lot of new construction and rehab. So if they’re doing they might not be looking at yourself, they just want to hear their bathroom. Right? They’ll ask him for his opinion. Well, guess what? Maybe there’s some three years and they remember Josh being helpful during their bathroom. So and I have that too. I have my one good friend actually. She’s like, trying to buy her place. And she’s like, if I redo everything, I’m hiring you because I know you know what you’re doing? And I’m like, yes, thank you. $100 an hour but yeah. But yeah, it’s very it’s nice to have know that you bring some value to somebody’s life. Everybody in every field should feel that way.
D.J. Paris 53:59
So what is your policy? So after the sale, you still have their you have their birthdays, you those are obvious times to reach out. Are you considering doing other things like some people call on the anniversary of a buyer a sale and be like, Hey, it’s your anniversary?
Heather Ditlevsen 54:14
Yeah, I mean, I, I haven’t done that part of it. I haven’t done that yet. You know, all my sales have been last year. So I haven’t hit like the one year yeah, I mean, some of them are coming close. So I guess I could I never really thought about that. I just, I stay in touch with everybody, though so frequently, that I don’t feel like you know, the agents that do that are usually the ones that like they won’t talk to you. They send you this like robotic email or something like, I don’t know, like I am in touch with. I’ll just text him for the heck of it. Like hey, just checking in everything good. Like, you know, I’ll randomly ask them like, hey, you know, everything’s set up with the HOA, like, I might remember a problem that came up, you know, it’s like, I don’t know, for me, I feel like I talked to them enough like randomly that I feel like I don’t need to send some robotic like happy one year you know, I mean, it’s cute and all but like, do they really care like You know, but birthdays I think are smart. And even even on my CRM, you know, it’ll send me an email a day before so I set it up, let me know if so and so’s birthday is tomorrow, but I won’t send like I’m not gonna send to the, I’m not gonna send it to an email, like, I’m going to still send you a personalized text. The CRM just reminds me like, again, the email, like who wants their realtor send him an email, like that’s so impersonal. So yeah, for me, texting is everything, especially you know, myself being a millennial, I attract a lot of millennial clients. So I feel like let’s be honest, we’re all on our phones all the time, and we checked instantly. So you also have to know what clientele works for you, I’m not going to go after, you know, that’s another big thing I would tell new people like know what works for you, if you’re new in the business and your 60s, like, go after that sphere, they probably you know, they’re probably they’re not first time buyers in their 60s, they probably have a higher price point, like good for you, like go for it. For me, you know, it’s friends family, or like I said, people at open houses or that I feel like I connect with are the ones that usually the ones that reach out, are the ones that I connect with, right? I’ve, I’ve talked to a million people, open houses, you know, older couples, couples that maybe we have a little language barrier and everything, you know, seems nice, but they ended up ultimately, they’re not going to be the ones that work with me because we’re interested in connect on that level. Right? You know, if someone mostly speaks Spanish, I don’t speak any Spanish, like they’re not gonna want to they want somebody they can speak Spanish to right like so you have to know your you have to know the clientele that binds with you.
D.J. Paris 56:26
I want to ask too, about rentals, because as you mentioned, a lot of your your friends and people you’re in your age group, maybe aren’t yet buying I know, like I bought my first place I was one of the last people with my friends to do it. And I was I was 30. And at the time when I bought my first one. So I would have been a renter. And I never used a realtor when I was a renter, because I just found things on it. I didn’t really even think about it. But had I had used a realtor when I was a renter. And if they would have stayed in touch and said, Hey, you should be buying a place. And quite frankly, being that I was sort of in the finance world at that time, I was embarrassed to not really understand how buying a home actually work. And this is really sort of pre even YouTube being a big thing or it even it just we weren’t as conditioned to go online and really learn as much as we are now where now I just I mean, my whole home is is connected with Google, I just I literally we just asked out loud, hey, what about this or that? And but but that didn’t exist back then. And so I know I was a little embarrassed to even reach out to find out and I’m thinking I’m just curious. And I know you do mostly sales, of course. But we don’t you know, I I think we I think agents miss out on rental opportunities, not as a way to get by to become wealthy and rentals. I guess you could be but rentals are a great way to start a relationship. I
Heather Ditlevsen 57:54
think 100%. And actually, that’s how Josh mostly got started. Because back when he started he went to like, forget what he says I’m gonna butcher the story about he went to like his old college campus. And basically it was like helping people find rentals. And yes, that’s right, that. Yeah. So yeah, I haven’t done a ton of rentals. I mean, I’ve obviously done some. Yeah, I mean, I regularly reach out to them, you know, and just say, you know, let me know, when you’re ready to buy and a couple have and I know a couple will, you know, on the lease is up next year, and I’ve listened a lot of agents, you know, especially their top producers, and I can’t blame them. Like, they don’t want to do it. Because it’s like, you’re not making that much and you’re doing kind of just as much work. Like that’s the reality of it, right? But you have to think big picture. And for somebody who’s newer, like myself or anyone else, though, renters eventually turn into buyers, right? Whether it’s in a year, three years, five years, and guess what, then they sell and they buy again and they refer you so you know, you kind of do the big picture like okay, I might only make $600 on this. And if they buy in a year good for me, you know, so yeah, I like I said, I’ve I’ve done maybe five or six rentals, which is hardly anything but those ones that I have done. Yeah, I do. I stay in regular touch with them. And they know I’m here when they’re ready to buy and we talk about it, you know, and I when they’re ready. Again, I’m not that pushy, and I’m here so yeah, I think it is a great way to do it and people who choose not to or just missing another opportunity, honestly.
D.J. Paris 59:14
Yeah, I think sounds like the main theme of what you do is is personal connection. It’s a lot
Heather Ditlevsen 59:19
of percent it’s everything. Yeah. Yeah. And really
D.J. Paris 59:23
sort of anticipating someone’s someone’s needs through the process and sort of understanding. Okay, I My job is to make sure this goes as smoothly as possible. So I’m going to, I’m going to be the problem solver, which by the way, it takes up a huge part of an agent’s day, right like, oh, yeah, finding new business. You know, that takes up some part of the agent’s day, maybe that’s an hour, but I always Brian Buffini was sort of famous for saying if there’s an eight hour day, he said if you could spend one hour looking for business, you’re a superstar because you’re going to be spending at least Six or seven of the other seven hours working with your existing clients, but so yeah, so it doesn’t you don’t have to spend all day looking for business. But if you can just do a few things, hey, I’m thinking about you text or happy birthday.
Heather Ditlevsen 1:00:16
Yeah, yeah, I don’t, you know, I’ll Josh kind of helps bring in leads and stuff only because he’s been doing it longer, you know, hopefully in another five years I’ll have the same thing. But most of your day, yeah, I mean, I focus on the people you do have as clients, right? So many agents are like, How can I find more? How can I find more? And it’s like, well, you’re not even, you have 10 buyers you’re working with and like, maybe start, you know, I’ve, you know, as we all know, agents listening, there’s no inventory right now. So I have like six buyers all ready to go pre approved, ready to write tomorrow, but we can’t find anything. So like, maybe spend your days you know, Josh and I are, you know, a top 10% producing team. So we have access to off market stuff, which any other chat producer also does, but not everyone, obviously. So we utilize that. I mean, I found a lot of clients in the past properties via off market stuff, the reality is all the good stuff will sell off market. So, you know, focus your time looking on those to find the clients, you do have stuff or like, you know, I really, I’ve knocked on doors before, you know, I have clients who only want to be in a certain building, okay. You know, use your marketing dollars with your brokerage to get postcards made, and literally spend four hours a day and most slide I’m under the door. I’m about to do that this week for a client. So like, you know, do like spend your time on the people you actually have as clients like, the new ones will come organically at least that’s my mindset. And that’s how I want them to come. Right. I mean, there are agents that spend 30 grand a month on Zillow, which, you know, I can’t even financially do that right now. But even if I could, it’s like, there’s no connection. It’s like they meet at the property. You know, they know nothing about that. Yeah. It’s like, Hi, I’m Heather, you know, it’s not, that’s not the type of client I want. I’d rather.
D.J. Paris 1:01:56
And also, there’s a thing to that. And I look, Zillow has has been a guest on our show, and we’re actually hopefully going to be bringing this a little back as a little sneak for everyone. We’re in discussions with them. We’re big, big fans. But but that there’s, I mean, there’s a thing too, about being a woman right, and your pictures there. And sometimes people might choose you for maybe not as completely honest of a reason. Right? Or they might happen. I’m sure that’s happened and, and there’s safety considerations with that as well. And there’s, there’s just a lot it’s not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s certainly cost. We have live interview tons of people who buy Zillow leads, and I think it’s great. I mean, bad I wish I could No, no, I know you weren’t but but it is, it is like something that would Heather’s would have they’re saying is, there is no, you really have to work to build that connection with this stranger. And typically, you’re gonna meet them for the first time at the property. And that’s just tough to do. It’s just
Heather Ditlevsen 1:02:55
tough and you’re trying to sell them on your personality. And listen, the reality is, even if you got a zillo lead, they have no commitment to you, you might spend a whole day showing them 17 properties and if they didn’t vibe with you, guess what, they’re never gonna call you again. So, you know, I again, would rather have it organically and referrals, obviously.
D.J. Paris 1:03:09
Awesome. Well, I think that’s a great, great place to wrap up. Heather, you’ve given so much great value and I want to definitely invite you to come back on the show or maybe in a few years when you’re just like you know, when once you hit 30 and then I want to see where you’re at because the fact that you did 13 and a half million your first year and it wasn’t like business was really just handed to you. I I know you’re you have a great mentor and Josh is a lovely guy and and certainly helped along the way but but you really it’s it’s really clear that that you’ve put the work in and which is I’m sure why Josh brought Yan and I think that well together. Yeah. And I think it’s it’s just about fundamentals, hardwork discipline, staying in touch with people showing that you care about them and providing incredible value and I think for everyone listening you know, make this the year that you develop relationships with contractors developers, go spend, you know, an afternoon in a contractor’s office and just say I just want to talk to you about I come across buyers all the time I show them places the cabinets suck the you know the granite sucks or you know, what should I be quoting them as far as time money How easy is this to do and then oh yeah Mr. or Mrs. Contractor I’m gonna give you all the business once that happens but I want to learn so that when somebody walks in they don’t go oh that kitchens really gross. Be like no problem for 20 grand and we can maybe we can even work it into the deal somehow we can get that fixed out or maybe it’s five grand or whatever the amount is. That is an incredible value that most agents
Heather Ditlevsen 1:04:48
don’t have and I’ve had almost every seller and buyer mine I’ve used you know, I’ve given that speech to and they’ve all utilized it so it’s never gonna go anywhere. My last little base is always have more than one contractor because contractors can be flaky just like anyone else can be. And you never know. And a lot of times clients want more than one quote. So you should try to make connections with multiple people and just have you know, multiple resources you can call when you need to.
D.J. Paris 1:05:12
Awesome. Well, Heather, oh, how do you know we didn’t mention how there’s social media? What’s the best way? If anyone, audience wants to learn more about you and follow you? What how should they do that?
Heather Ditlevsen 1:05:22
Yeah. My Instagram, my gosh, I need to get better. It’s just my first and last name put together. So Heather Detlef, then maybe I’ll put the handle in the buyer or something. My last name I know, is a million letters long, but it’s just first last name smushed together. They can also reach out to me directly. You can put my number in here if you need. I’m always happy to like meet a coffee. If you’re buying if you’re selling if you’re in the industry, like whatever you need. I’m here. I love making new friends. So
D.J. Paris 1:05:47
whatever. Yeah, Heather’s extraordinarily generous with her time. She’s She’s a lovely person. And you just got back from vacation, right? Yeah, I
Heather Ditlevsen 1:05:53
don’t know. You can tell me I’m hopefully a little tan. Yeah, you look really tan. Where’d you go? I was in Tulum for six days it where I have. I have.
D.J. Paris 1:06:01
I’ve only been to Tulum as a day trip from Cancun.
Heather Ditlevsen 1:06:06
Yes. So to lose about two hours away from Cancun? Yeah, it’s its own little. I kept calling it an island. My friends. Like we’re not on an island on the mainland. But yeah, it’s one strip of road and everything’s on that road. And if people have been they know what I’m talking about, but everyone should go. I went with a couple girlfriends. It was by far the best week of my life. I’m already depressed. I’m back here. I just got back late yesterday. So yeah, it’s been it was an amazing week and ready to dive right back in now.
D.J. Paris 1:06:35
Did you go to any of them? I think they’re called snow days. Yeah.
Heather Ditlevsen 1:06:39
Three of them. Yeah, that’s a no days for anyone listening is kind of like, there’s different kinds. But yeah, you kind of swim.
D.J. Paris 1:06:45
Underground. Rock or water was?
Heather Ditlevsen 1:06:48
Yeah, we did a tour on the one we went to three different ones. Yeah. They’re very inexpensive. It’s like 20 bucks to go to them usually. Yeah, it was very cool. And whoever decides to follow me, I’m sorry, but you’ll see a million pictures for the next month until
D.J. Paris 1:07:02
you have to next time if you’re in that area should go to cheat sheets as well.
Heather Ditlevsen 1:07:06
We wanted to but we did. Yeah. There’s also like the Mayan ruins. There’s just Yeah. Then you also just want to lay on the beach and be lazy. There’s a lot to do I could honestly two weeks would have been amazing. But you know it’s very very expensive down there way more than you thought to so oh really is it’s expensive. The food the drinks, the there’s a lot of cute boutiques, I bought some clothes down there. Everything is very, very pricey. Just keep that in mind for anyone going. But yeah, it was it was absolutely amazing. So everyone should
D.J. Paris 1:07:34
get well, great. Well, we appreciate and Heather was so sweet to to be here basically on our first day back, which nobody, nobody wants to do this on their first day back. So
Heather Ditlevsen 1:07:43
I appreciate it. I’m very grateful. Thank you so much for having me.
D.J. Paris 1:07:47
We’re so excited. There’s you have such a great energy to you. And I love talking to new agents who are so happy. And they’re excited about this industry. And really, our audience loves it. So for everyone listening, please follow Heather on Instagram, we will put the link to her Instagram had their debt Lipson in the show notes, so you can click through right there. And check out what she’s all about and reach out to her. She’s a super generous person. If you have questions or just suggestions, she would be loved to talk with you as well. So yes. Let’s do it. Wonderful. Well, Heather, thank you so much. On behalf of our listeners, and our viewers, thank you so much for being on our show. We appreciate it. We know how busy you are, and really honor you for taking the time. And on behalf of Heather and myself. We want to thank our listeners and viewers for continuing to support our show. And we are at an all time high as far as downloads. And that is not anything other than because our as our listeners tell other people about our show. So thank you so much. We are I think our fifth or sixth year of doing the show, and we have more downloads than we’ve ever had. And so please continue to tell a friend if you could just think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from hearing this wonderful conversation with him either send them a link to our website is probably the best way to do it. Every episode we’ve ever done as you can stream right from our site, which is keeping it real pod.com Or if the person you’re referring to or is already a podcast listener, just have them pull up keeping it research for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button. And one last thing that we’re asking everyone to do, please leave us a review, you know, whatever type of app you might be listening to our show through, whether it’s iTunes or now called Apple podcast, or Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora, you know google play any thing just let us know what you think of the show. This helps us improve and also helps us get in front of more people to to help so thank you so much, Heather. We appreciate you. This is a great a lot of fun. And we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks other Yeah, thanks. Bye, guys.