In this episode Dan DeCapua from The Spotlight Home Team in Ann Arbor talks about the shift in his career from a successful touring comedian to a top producing real estate agent. Dan believes that being successful in real estate is all about pulling past experiences to breakthrough through into your business. He talks extensively how he used comedy to build his business in real estate. Last he reveals activities that kept his business running while in lockdown and provides suggestions on what agents can do if there will be a second lockdown.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real, the largest podcast made by real estate agents, and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Top Producer Dan to Cabo. Before we get to Dan, I would like to first of all, as always think everybody who is listening or watching this right now, really appreciate your support. And we have grown this thing over the last five years because of you. So if you want to help us keep growing, which we would really appreciate, number one, keep listening. We put out two to three episodes a week, we really appreciate every single one of you who tunes in to listen to these top producers share their secrets of success. And also please tell a friend think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing from top producers like Dan and send them a link to our show. Easiest way to do that. Really just have Senator we’re a website which is keeping it real pod.com We have links for all the different podcast sort of directories and but even if they’re not a podcast person, they can actually stream every episode right on our website. Once again, that’s keeping it real pod.com And now on to our interview with dan de kappa.
Today on the show, we have Daniel de kappa otherwise known as the funny agent from the spotlight home team in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Let me tell you a little bit about Dan. Dan’s goal has always been to get a standing ovation from both his audience and his clients. Before his successful career in real estate. He toured as a stand up comedian performing on cruise ships in colleges and comedy clubs all over the country including Zane he’s here in Chicago and I’ve probably seen Dan we were just talking beforehand about a show that he likely was on many many years ago with Mitch Hedberg. Dan is the owner of the spotlight home team in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which last year sold 287 homes and has over 400 positive reviews on Zillow. Find Dan on his website, the funny agent.com And for everyone listening go there because you can download his ebook which is called laugh your way to six figures which is if you scroll to the bottom of this page, sign up for his his ebook there. It’ll come right to you Dan, welcome to the show.
Dan DeCapua 3:11
Hey, thanks for having me. DJ love the show love coming to Chicago miss you guys would love to be able to come again and when we can travel and this is a nice Comedy Club. Love it up there on Wall Street. So great to be here.
D.J. Paris 3:24
Yeah, it’s it’s we’re really lucky here in Chicago. We have just an old true Chicago Comedy Club. xanies. It is. It is there aren’t as many of those left anymore. And boy, it’s this little tiny room. It’s just a perfect Comedy Club. And it’s probably our crown jewel of comedy clubs in Chicago. So you’ve been there? I guess many times
Dan DeCapua 3:48
it Yeah. If you want to take time travel back to the 80s Definitely go over there and get that feel. We were talking about Mitch Hedberg, just a great comedian, work there with him and just just classic lines if you don’t know him, and I’m sad that my millennial generation doesn’t really know Mitch and you know, his his famous like, this jacket is dry clean only, which means it’s dirty.
D.J. Paris 4:13
Which is such a brilliant, you know, it’s funny too, because guys who can do those types of one line jokes. Stephen Wright obviously kind of paved the way in the 80s. And there and so, and then Mitch sort of really even took it to another level and he was able to do those one line jokes and appeal to younger people were Stephen Wright was really an older person’s comic by that point. And Mitch took it. I don’t know if anyone’s sort of taken that that throne yet from Mitch. But yeah, if anyone’s listening, you know, before we get into our real conversation about Danna Dawson, definitely check out some old Mitch Mitch Hedberg stuff. my boss’s favorite comic is Mitch Hedberg and, and Dan got a chance to work with him. I mean, this guy was an absolute legend, one of the very best that ever graced the stage. But Dan, we’re here to talk about you of course, so Oh, Tell us, tell us a little bit about how you got started in real estate and you know, maybe why the switch or how you switched from from comedy over over to Real Estate?
Dan DeCapua 5:09
Oh, yeah, great question. So doing comedy on the road, not as glamorous as it might seem. So real estate was always something like a lot of listeners, a lot of real estate agents, something that’s in the back of your mind, you love to help people service, you can make your own schedule, and all those things were always in the back of my mind. Plus, at the time, I stopped and switched over to Real Estate I had had a baby and, you know, babies, they don’t have the same appreciation for nightlife that we do. So you know. And one of my last shows I remember doing Dave Chappelle is huge right now. Right? Sure. He’s listening to love Dave. So I went into a comedy club that’s close to his hometown. I’m supposed to do a whole week there, set
D.J. Paris 5:50
out in rural Ohio. Out in
Dan DeCapua 5:53
rural Ohio comedy club in Dayton, I show up Dave Chappelle had just been there a couple of days before the place was upside down, like New Year’s Eve happened the night before. So I show up there, and the staff had been fired. The manager comes in. He’s like, everybody’s everybody’s gone and fired everybody. And people were stealing money and do it that and I was like, Oh my God, no, I’m here to do comedy on a Wednesday night after Dave Chappelle. This is the
D.J. Paris 6:21
person to follow. Oh, yeah, easy person, this
Dan DeCapua 6:24
place is gonna be packed. But I mean, the comedy club was just just a riot had occurred. And usually they give you a little bit of money at the beginning of the week. And the guy was like, Well, I don’t really have any money but I can pay you and you want to boxer case, Diaz. Like I got a review at home. Boxer case a Diaz is like okay, go back to the condo after just a terrible show, like six people showed up. And they were seventh floor, replacing the windows in the condo in February. It was just saran wrap around. I was like, Oh, this is the last week with my box a case to do is I’m going home to zip it. Yeah, that’s a really depressing sort of scenario.
D.J. Paris 7:03
For everyone listening what Dan says condo with a lot of comedy clubs have are they own or rent these condos. And it’s just cheaper for them to do that when comedians come through town instead of putting them up in a in a hotel. So lots of these comedy clubs have these condos and from what I understand I’m not I’ve never been a comedian. But I understand some of these condos are just disgusting.
Dan DeCapua 7:25
Oh my god, you know, you’re sleeping the bed and you look who is who is here the week before Pauly Shore Great. Sleeping and Pauly Shore is bad. So yeah, I mean, it was different. There’s a lot of parts of fun, a lot of parts I take and I love to teach Realtors about the marketing I took from there the branding, because we’re coming from this industry, what is the failure rate in in real estate 94 95%. So stand up comedy, it’s 99.999%. So I figured, you know, I’m really improving with coming to real estate. But of course, we learned all these lessons from failing and so much from stand up comedy that I took just like I know, you had an MMA fighter on you’ve had teachers on TV show great agents, and it’s all about what we pull from our past. The most successful agents came from other industries where we could say, you know, who’s measuring failure, but maybe you failed in that industry, but you always will take something with you to real estate to break through because it makes you stronger. And really, for me, I mean, it’s just been amazing what comedy is done.
D.J. Paris 8:30
Well, and what people who watch it appreciate, you know, stand up comedy probably don’t understand because they’ve never done it. And I’ve never done it either. But I’ve been a fan of it long enough to understand that in order to create an act that has a pretty, you know, reasonable sort of applause and laughter like you’re going to work for years and years and years. It’s not something that usually can crank out within the first few years. So you’re used to putting a tremendous amount of time in just to even build your build your comedy career. I imagine you have a lot of patience when it comes to building your real estate business as well.
Dan DeCapua 9:05
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Right. You know, nine out of 10 jokes you’re gonna write are gonna fail. You’re gonna sit there, I tried to bring guitar playing into my act. I remember that I was so nervous to do it. Finally, I just strapped a guitar to my back. Got onstage. I’m like, I’m gonna do it. I went for 45 minutes with a guitar strapped to my back. I was too nervous to pull it out. I just walked off the stage and this guy sitting up there, but what I did learn is and what’s great for now in real estate is that the most successful comedians are people that are bringing their audience they’re showing up to see that comedian, right. So if you go like when I was opening for Dane Cook, and DJ come up and be like, Okay, everybody ready for Danka can get 5000 drunk college students. Yeah, we’re ready for gay cock. Yeah, but first, here’s the handicap up. Throw it, you know. So if we can create our audience as agents with people that we want to interact with, with our passion, you’re going to be successful. Right? If you show up to see Dave Chappelle and Gallaghers there, that’s not the audience, right that you’re looking for, you’re just gonna be sad and you know, covered in fruit or whatever. So if we can create our audience, bring the people that we like, with our passion, you’re going to be so successful in this business, and there’s ways to do it. So yeah,
D.J. Paris 10:26
and one of the ways that comedians do it these days in the past 10 years has been to create a podcast. So what Dan’s mentioning is, is in Dane Cook, really paved the way for creating an audience outside of of his standup, where he had from a branding perspective, really, nobody had done what he had done. He was right at the right when social media and instant messaging was starting to really hit, he created this massive community. And then he would go on tours and sell sell out arenas. Because he would be able to, they wouldn’t have to promote, he would just say to his audience, here’s where I’m coming. And now, comedians can do that, through podcasts and other ways. And agents can really learn to build a brand the same way.
Dan DeCapua 11:08
Yeah, and they pave their own way for a Dane Cook was huge in my space. Right. So that was huge. Yeah, yeah. So he, and I remember, Dane Cook got paid, we got paid together, he got a check for $50,000 for one show. And I got a check for $500. And I was like, oh, man, well, 500 was a lot to me at the time. But sure, Dane Cook, those are his people he’s showing up, that’s where I want to be. So you gotta go out there. And everybody has a different avenue, a different path. To get there. I’m not necessarily huge on social media, I do social media. But from the beginning, I’ve sent out funny postcards and different kinds of business cards, and in ways to bring humor to couple into my business. So that always stay fun for me.
D.J. Paris 11:51
And, and also, you know, we do the same thing. So I’m on the recruiting side of real estate, I don’t practice directly myself. But we’ve added humor into our recruiting website, when we looked around at all of the other recruiting websites, nobody had put any humor into any of it at all, it was great. Join our company, here’s all the stuff we offer. And that was kind of it. And so for everyone listening, who’s a realtor, if if you are a naturally funny person, or somebody who really appreciates comedy, you can bring that into your business as well. And, and you can do it in an authentic way that’s not cheesy, or that goes against sort of what you’re comfortable with. And really, there’s not that many people being funny in real estate. And so it’s not like this is something that you know, every other realtor who’s who’s successful in town is doing and, and then you’ve done that, and you’ve been able to bring that to your audience. And at the same time, of course, providing incredible service and support to your clients.
Dan DeCapua 12:45
Right. Yeah. And I think that that’s what makes agents afraid it’s going to cut into my luxury brand are people going to take me seriously. But you look on the outside, it’s not just about your, I mean, insurance companies use humor all the time, right. And there’s nothing more boring than insurance. So you can’t be afraid to do that. But it’s going to make you a better leader. It’s going to make people listen to you, I wrote a blog about how you can have difficult conversations by adding humor into them. And you know, there’s just so much that humor, bring to your relationships, to your marketing to your branding, bring it in there. And if you tie in your passion, if it’s cooking, or bike riding or surfing or whatever you want to do your tie your passion into real estate, you carve that path for yourself, you’re gonna get up every day and love it, because there’s no right direction to go or wrong direction to go. You know, you can listen to all the coaches out there, but if you carve your own path with your passion, you’re gonna stay engaged.
D.J. Paris 13:41
Yeah, I was in. I was in Laguna Beach, three or four weeks ago on a vacation and the surfing community is just massive, there must just be perfect conditions for surfing. And they have like the National surfing teams, and I noticed as I was driving around town, there was one realtor who is like the surfing realtor. And it wasn’t even a cheesy sort of thing. He was like, This is my passion. This is what I’m into. And I thought boy, you know, that’s, that’s kind of a goof. I’m in, you know, Chicago where we don’t have any surfing Of course. And I thought, oh, that seems cheesy. And then when I saw the sheer number of people who were locals who are into surfing, which is Gosh, 1000s of people. I realized, oh, okay, so he’s using his passion. He’s not afraid to talk about it. And he probably attracts a lot of surfers who I mean, I don’t know for sure. But that’s my guess. And I thought what a what a smart idea. He’s he’s already passionate about something. He’s part of that community, and he’s not afraid to talk about it.
Dan DeCapua 14:37
Right. And that’s so great surfing, if you’re into tattoos, do not be ashamed of it tied into your business, right? It’s just like the open mic. I’m talking about versus open mic and creating your own audience. You have to start with people you know, and people who are passionate about you know what they do. So if you show up like I’ll show up at a conference, and everybody gives away their business cards right? So I just I was create a plenty of business card like I have REMAX REMAX deep space is what one I’ll give away or I’ll give away one with like my baby picture on it or Yeah, real estate taxidermy, I do that. So it covered that in my ebook. But that’s something memorable. Something will people will also tie into your clients will tie into it. And, you know, for me, my team really ties into the humor and they love it that when they come into here, if we have to have a difficult conversation, they know that I’m always coming from a place. That’s true, I might be a little bit funny, but I’m not going to come hard on him. So it’s easier for us to have that conversation together if you’ve just bring humor into your personal life, too.
D.J. Paris 15:39
Yeah, I have a question. And this just sort of occurred to me, I’m curious to get your opinion on it. So I have never done any improv comedy. Here in Chicago, we have Second City, which was an improv Olympics. And we you know, we’re sort of known for improv comedy in Chicago. However, listeners we have from from all over the country, and there are improv classes anywhere. And you might be thinking, Well, why would I want to take an improv class? If I’m not looking to go into comedy? And I know a lot of people that have done this. And I said, Why do you do that? And they and I said, Are you trying to break into comedy? And most of the most of the times they say no, but what they do say is, it’s such a great communication skill building tool, that even though yes, maybe I’m not always going to be cracking jokes, I now know. You know, if I’m in an open house, I’m no longer nervous about somebody walking in. And I know how to talk to people on the fly. And I was just curious, if you had any thoughts about, you know, improv classes, you can take probably just about any, you know, reasonably sized city as them.
Dan DeCapua 16:38
That’s a phenomenal idea. Hire an improv coach to come into your office to your team. And what it does is it makes you think on your feet, we I do not like scripting, I don’t like cold calling. I’ve gone away from those forge my own path. Because if you can improvise, if you can talk, you’re going to feel real to your client when you’re speaking with them. But also, the biggest thing is, and you’ll know this from doing the improv classes, it forces you to listen, you have to listen to your client, you aren’t going to come out as a new agent. Well, you want to spew all your information about this house about the disclosures, about the bylaws, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all you are doing is creating a wall between you and your client with the improv. It helps you listen, what’s the next slide, I’m going to tag it. So it makes you such a better listener, you’re open up to your clients and you’ll feel more real I think doing an improv class is a great idea. A great team building.
D.J. Paris 17:34
Yeah. So tell us about spotlight home team. This this is this is your company. So tell us about it.
Dan DeCapua 17:40
Well, it’s my company and we service Ann Arbor Metro Detroit is fun as six buyer’s agents to admins were very diverse and who we serve, we have a very diverse community. Customer service is really what we’re all about. You know, not everybody on my team is a comedian. I’m the team leader. But I have strong agents, a lot of them come from different backgrounds, just like myself, I’ve got a guy who was selling used cars, a guy who’s working at Apple Store, some people did things that can’t talk about but they are different. They come from different backgrounds, and taking that background with you and bring it into your into your business, you have an appreciation for customer service, you have an appreciation for real estate, you have a level head on your shoulders. So spotlight how timber great we work with clients, you know, anywhere from $50,000 to 1.4 million. average sales price in Ann Arbor is around 350,000. But we find people grant programs, our service providers are great. So we’re just out there, if you provide great customer service, right, which are all our goal in real estate, the clients are going to find you word of mouth is going to be out there. And then our marketing takes a humorous tone. And we get a lot of calls from that too.
D.J. Paris 18:57
I have a question. So when was it in your real estate career that you decided it was time to build a team? What was the impetus for that for you? Yeah, well,
Dan DeCapua 19:07
I went I knew I had a quite a few leads. So thinking alright, I’m gonna go to the office manager, find somebody my first buyer’s agent, I talked to the top of that broker. He said, I got a couple people that are thinking about getting out of the business. Now they’re just not making money somewhere. Okay, that’s that’s what I need to do. And I think that the team model is great for new agents coming into the scrape from new agents coming into the business. It’s good for agents that know how to write contracts and serve people but maybe they can’t generate the leads. Let’s face it teams or many brokerages now, right? Right. So I tried to get in front of the broker and say, Hey, if you know somebody new who’s coming into the business, you see some potential, I want them to come to me first because they’re going to last in this business. So I feel a lot of people need to if you’re new in the business need to start getting on get on a team train. And if my people leave after two years, that’s okay with with me too, you know, at least I can train them they’ve, they’ve brought value to the team and I can learn from them as well. But you know, when you have too many leads, you’re ready to go. The first person you need to add though, right after that buyer’s agent, everybody needs an administrator, somebody to set up the systems for you. So doing this testing, finding IT administrator, do 3040 interviews to, to find somebody or share administrator, transaction coordinator, whatever you call it in your market, they’re going to help you build that team too.
D.J. Paris 20:30
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think the team model is just, it’s obviously so popular these days. And but Dan just said something very important. He said it from a team leader perspective, and I want to reverse it for four team members. And he said, you know, you want to interview if you’re the team leader, you wanna interview a lot of people before you make a decision. And, and really the same goes for an agent, if you’re looking to build a team, or sorry, join a team, then you’re going to want to interview with a number of different teams to really make sure you get the right fit. And obviously, depending on the size of your market, and the size of how many agents there are, might dictate how many of those interviews you can do. But boy, you know, really, really try. I know when people reach out to us to join our firm, they’re, of course, reaching out to three or four other firms as they should to figure out what’s the best fit for them. And you should be doing the same thing just because somebody’s in your office and has a team that might be a great fit for you. It might not. And so as Dan was saying, Please, please interview out with a number of different teams. Because if you get in the wrong team, or a team that isn’t really best suited for your skill set, or they’re not able to meet your needs, it’s going to be uncomfortable, and it’s not really going to help your business progress. But once you find that right, team, boy, everything can really explode from there.
Dan DeCapua 21:42
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Right. You share the same values. We asked our clients to go out there our clients are interviewing three or four people you know, as a buyer’s agent as a seller’s agent, don’t just go to one place, find what fits for you too. And I encourage that people that interview is this the right atmosphere that you does this fit your style here, because it might not be for you.
D.J. Paris 22:02
Yeah, I want to switch gears I have a question for you about we Dan and I prior to starting we were I was mentioning to Dan that it here in Chicago, our mayor just a few minutes before us going on the show had instituted while an alert not not an actual stay at home order but really is suggesting to everyone here in the Chicagoland area to to only go to work if you’re what’s called an essential worker where she’s discouraging people from basically saying please do not celebrate traditional Thanksgiving with friends and family. So we’re starting to head down an unfortunate path but understandable path of possibly going back into into a full lockdown, which of course we hope doesn’t happen but but might be inevitable. And I’m just curious, Dan, um, since we we’ve we you and I have already been through one lockdown everyone listening on the show has and we may be headed there again. Do you have any suggestions for our audience for what maybe they could do now or what they could do during the lockdown to keep their business rolling, despite having these limitations?
Dan DeCapua 23:06
I love this question. Because I made so much money coming out of the last lockdown with a few things that I did that I wanted to pass on. Number one thing is we we got locked down in the spring here. So you know those, those seed packets that you can order that are branded, right? So I said, Well, everybody’s going to be at home. We’re going to get the seeds, we’re going to get it. And so I mailed seeds and a handwritten note to each one of my clients in my my immediate sphere, which was about 300 people. I said, I hope you’re doing okay. Please check in with me if you need anything at all. I’m here to help. Here’s a seed packet planet with your kids planted out there. So many people planted the seeds, they were outside with their kids, they took pictures, they sent it back to me. We partnered with peace Neighborhood Center, which is a local charity here to went out there and we did a GoFundMe to raise utility bills for people that couldn’t afford to pay their utility bills. So we did that as a team. But one thing that I do the seeds I just did this year because it was an impromptu thing is I always whenever I see a client has a baby I keep a stack of these little blankies in there in my office and my son had this ever since he was a kid and we used to take blankies all tattered now the one that he has, but we would take blankie and we have pictures of blankie all over the world. So I would whenever one of my clients has a baby I sent him a blankie with a little funny story about how my son this is what he got when he was a baby and here’s all the places that blank he has been to Paris on the floor of the mall, lost in an elevator places like that. So do that. And then I also took the time to go through we have next door I don’t know if you guys use next door or yellow or whatever for contractors compile the contractor list because a lot of people are working at home right when contractors can come out and work so I send out a list of recommended contractors In magnet form that people can stick on there, of course, on the recommended realtor on here, right. So send that up. And people are so appreciative of all of this, and they’ll stick it in a drawer. And they might call you six or seven months later. But I say, you know, here’s my handyman, give me a call, before you call any of these contractors, so I can get you to the front of the line, I can get your estimate out there. And it’s just a way for them to come here. I don’t cold call my clients, I feel like, you know, that’s not my strong point. But I’m always in touch with them providing value, providing something really personal to them. And if you set that on your calendar, and you do the seeds every year you do the blankies, you do I have a little book for when people’s pets die, because they’re on their data, set that out, you’re they’re thinking of you, I send out joke books to to kids that are out there and the right age. So there’s all these little things you can do. You can’t do them unless you have a database. And it’s really easy. Go, you’re 100 closest people, even if you’re brand new to the industry, set up your database 100 people, though, that’s your open mic Crover. De, they’re going to love you, they’re going to call you, you’re going to set it up, they’re going to refer you to your friends, especially if you can say, hey, I’m on this high producing team, I have people looking over me, those are your people, that’s your fan base, they’re going to always be there. It’s really easy to set this up. Just take the work to do it.
D.J. Paris 26:25
Yeah, and for everyone listening who thinks, Well, gosh, how will I know when one of my clients pets passes away? Well, a lot of times people post that stuff on social media. So you can if you’re a realtor, and you think you know, I like to keep my private life private, I’m not really somebody that is really active on social media, that’s okay. Because you can still use social media as research and development for what’s going on with your sphere of influence. So unless you have such a great relationship with your clients, they’re going to call you with these big life events. Typically, they’re going to talk about it online. And so that’s a great place to find out what’s going on. LinkedIn does a really neat job of telling. Every day if you log in it shows who’s celebrating work anniversaries who’s got a new job, those are things that people should be checking every day just to give him a reason to pick up the phone or to drop a little handwritten note in the mail or a little gifts congratulating somebody, or in the case of obviously, more of a tragic event to offer condolences. So that’s a great opportunity to utilize social media just to know what’s going on and, and provide support or cheerleading.
Dan DeCapua 27:32
Yeah, and I’ll tell you what, snail mail is back. People are looking at it, you know, they’re looking for something to do, they’re getting to a break from New Math or whatever they’re teaching their kids you know, virtual math just walking out to the mailbox. And so you can provide value to sending out postcards, I send out these these tiny little postcards right here too. And I can tell you, it’s about 45 cents with stamps and printing and everything that you can send to your sphere you can change up your just listed just sold campaigns, make them fun, and you can do it on a budget, I don’t hire anybody to do it. I do this in house, eight and a half by 11. My staff cuts up these postcards and send them out and the ROI is huge. And it’s really easy to do
D.J. Paris 28:17
yet you really only need one person to respond you know maybe even if you’re doing it monthly maybe you only need one person to respond per year for it to pay for itself and and you’re going to probably get a lot more than that. The key I’m sure is consistency if you just send out one one mailer one postcard campaign, you know, you might not see those results, but if you commit to doing it once a month, or you know even more often than that you’re going to start to see results and and Dan noses as well as anyone that branding, it requires a lot of consistency.
Dan DeCapua 28:51
Yeah, so much consistency. And don’t forget about postcards to your sphere to just so real easy touch to go there too. If you connect with a contractor, a new landscaper in the area, they’ll probably even pay for it. But say hey, here’s a discount if you give this person a call. You have to start well the farming start on your street, start with your sphere, pick the area, and I calculated it’s $4.50 for me to send up six postcards a year to person $4.50 I touch them six times. It’s crazy, right? You can’t get that anywhere else. So
D.J. Paris 29:25
yeah, and also, you know, we it’s something easy to sort of forget, but everyone looks at a postcard before they throw it away. You don’t people don’t always open the mail, but they will always look at the front and back of a postcard. And yes, of course of course 99% of people are going to discard it in the trash and that is not the point. It is okay for them to do that. But they’re going to see your name before they’re going to okay that was that was nicer. I now have thought about Dan once again. And you know, that’s a good thing for consistency. And, Dan I have I really I’ve got to I never get to the stories we always ask To pull back the curtain just a bit on on our process, we always ask for some funny stories. It happens to be of course, Dan’s a comedian, so no pressure here to be funny. But Dan happened to share a story with our, our, our casting director about it. It was a story that we’ve just so incredibly interesting to me that I really would love you to share about the time you were chased down the street by by a homeowner.
Dan DeCapua 30:23
Oh my gosh, yes. You know, it’s, I don’t know if my real estate stories are more interesting, or if my comedy stick because I can go back and you know, comedy stories are great, but in real estate, so many interesting things happen to us. So I had met a buyer for the first time and he was an investor. And I got up to the we got up to the house and the key wouldn’t work. I was like, Oh my gosh, this keys not working. He’s like, Don’t worry, Dad, I own 12 rental properties. I’ll get it. He puts the key is like magic. The door opens. I’m like, Oh my gosh. Okay, so we’re here. But you know, when you’re at a house and things just they don’t feel really right. So I’m like, Yeah, sounds like kind of feels off here. And then he’s like, Well, let’s go check out the upstairs. He starts walking up. I’m scared. I let him go first, right this guy’s go and he’s a muscular guys like going up the stairs. And then all of a sudden, he turns around and he starts screaming around for your life Run for your life. Oh my god. We ran out the front door. A guy must have been 400 pounds stark naked with a shower curtain rod is chasing us down the stairs and into the street. He’s just like, oh, what what happened? I got in my car he got in his car. We both took off. Well, it turns out nobody told the renter somebody was coming to look at the house. Oh, God in here. Like, oh, yeah, this guy was screaming. It was a very interesting thing I never talked to that buyer get I was just so so shaken up by it. But
D.J. Paris 31:49
oh, that is that is hysterical. Yeah. You know, the story we get the most is when we when we do these pre interviews is is oh, I walked in on a couple having sex. And it almost seems like every realtor has done that. But I have not heard the 400 pound naked man swinging a curtain robotic.
Dan DeCapua 32:08
Yeah, sure. It was yeah, that was crazy. But a lot of fun. So you know are right now people marijuana is legal. You walk in, you’re like, oh, my gosh, you know, Snoop Dogg’s pat around here. So. But it’s such a fun business, you just need to keep the fun with you. It’s easy to get burnt out, right? get burned out in the business contract writing, dealing with appraiser so I was trying to keep the fun in it. Keep it in perspective.
D.J. Paris 32:31
And do you have any suggestions for any agent? Who’s I mean, you’ve given a lot of great suggestions already. But anyone who’s who’s newer to the business, who you know, doesn’t again, we talked about maybe finding a team, we talked about, you know, gosh, doing some postcards, which are very inexpensive, to your sphere of influence to remind them, but any other suggestions? And somebody who’s newer, who is like, I don’t? How do I go out and grow my business?
Dan DeCapua 32:56
Yeah, I mean, if you can tie in what you’re doing your passion with the business, you’re going to do it. So like I said, if you’re if you’re bike riding, go join a bike club. If you’re cooking, go get there. And then the things that I’ve come up with the business cards and postcards, and those are all icebreakers if you’re a shy person, and you don’t really know how to approach people. But if you got something funny on a piece of paper, it’s a lot easier to handle it. If you want to start you know, I’m the president of the PTO with the school, that’s good, too, are really involved in there. But think about it from a comedian perspective, you have to build your open mic crowd, you’ve got to go out there. And you’ve got to have the raving fan base. And it all starts with already what you love to do. And the people that are closest to you, you got to go to your parents, you know, people whose parents selected a different realtor, because they were like, oh, man, what the heck. So get in touch with the people that are closest to you create that 100 person database, make sure you have their addresses. So you should be friends with them on Facebook or Instagram, or places like that, because people aren’t going to call you that don’t know you. You have to build from an open mic crowd and they will be your cheerleaders. Throughout your career, people love to watch people succeed, and especially their friends, they’re going to be close. They’re going to be your constant sphere that you’re going to lean on throughout your career and you’re going to go back to him don’t lose touch of people that are close to you because you don’t have a pool of 200 sellers or buyers. Right. And then when you start out, you know, your business is going to flip at some point you’re gonna have 10 buyers and you have 20 and 30. And then in three years, you stick with it go with the long term, you’re gonna have 30 listings because those buyers were out there. So
D.J. Paris 34:42
yeah, my boss is an avid hockey well, he plays a number of sports. He’s real active, but he’s been a hockey player for a long time. And several years ago, he doesn’t really practice anymore and he hasn’t for a long time because he kind of runs our business now. But he was saying he was you know, I was just thinking about He’s been playing hockey with the same group of guys for gosh, I don’t know, 15 years now. And he said, I thought about how many homes I’ve sold to them, I counted it up because he was like, just interested in how many homes he sold to them. And he counted 20 homes sold to them in like 10 years. And he said, The funny part is, I never really ever promoted myself, I was just part of the team. He said, I never said, Hey, by the way, guys, if you need help buying or selling a home, I’m your guy, because he’s just not that guy. And he was my realtor, because he was my friend. He never asked me for business. I just knew he was a realtor. And I knew that he was probably pretty good. And I went with him. And so for those of you listening that say, Gosh, I don’t really I’m not really into self promotion, well, a lot of people aren’t into self promotion. But as Dan said, Look, Dan’s head of the PTO that doesn’t necessarily guarantee in business, and it isn’t the reason he’s head of the PTO. But it’s it people will naturally, you know, find out what you do just based on your passion and interest. And you know, I’m sure business comes to you as a result of that.
Dan DeCapua 35:59
Yeah, absolutely. Everybody’s going to carve their own path, you know, the fact that I tie humor into it, don’t be afraid to go out there, market yourself the way the truer you are to yourself. This is a person to person business, they want to deal with somebody who’s not putting up a facade who doesn’t think that they’re the luxury agent and only dealing with people because you don’t Well, I’ll tell you why you don’t want to work with luxury buyers all the time, you want to work with real people, they’re gonna move up, they’re gonna buy a $250,000 house, then they’re gonna win the lottery, they’re gonna fight a Bitcoin, I don’t know what they’re gonna do. But you know, they’re gonna go out there and you know, just constantly have fun, have fun with your peers, don’t make enemies with other agents. Stay lighthearted, and, and the business is going to come what a great business to be in, what a great time to be in this business. And I know it’s hard if you’re just starting out, you can do it Tiger passion into it, you’re gonna love it,
D.J. Paris 36:50
that’s a perfect place to to wrap up. This, this, this interview with, you know, find your passion, tie it into your business, and have fun with it. And and I really that boy, Dan, that is such a great, great message. So whatever it is, you’re passionate about, just keep doing it and somehow bring your business into it. And if, for example, if you’re somebody who volunteers, you know, invite those 100 people in your sphere of influence for a volunteer event at that organization, if you’re part of one or find one that you’re passionate about, people love to volunteer, and they typically don’t do it themselves. But when they’re asked to do it, they oftentimes well, that you were just talking about working with, you know, the food pantries and, and other volunteer opportunities. So yeah, find whatever you’re passionate about in life, and then tie it in is Dan’s is comedy and giving back and service. And of course, that’s really working for him as well. So we want to thank Dan for being on the show, I want to remind everyone to visit Dan’s website, which is the funny agent.com. And there, you can also download his ebook, which is called laugh your way to six figures. And Dan, on behalf of our audience here, we thank you, our viewers and our listeners, we thank you for being on our show, taking time out of your busy day from running a successful team and your own personal production, to share our audience with our audience, some tips and strategies for growing their business. And for everyone out there listening. By the way, if you are a an agent, maybe looking to join a team. Certainly, you know, you could check out Dan’s team, but maybe you’re a buyer or a seller or renter and investor who is in the Ann Arbor or Detroit area who’s interested in working with a top real estate team like Dan’s, what’s the best way they should reach out to you? Yeah,
Dan DeCapua 38:36
they should reach out to spotlight Home Team Dan at the spotlight home team, they can find me there. My phone is always on. They can call me just don’t send me a fax man. I’m not going to check that right.
D.J. Paris 38:46
We it’s amazing. We still get a few we have 700 agents at our company. We still get a few faxes a day. And I’m like, Who is? Who are these people? Who is sending these faxes? What’s the best phone number someone should reach out their
Dan DeCapua 38:59
best phone number is 734-730-7061 and check out that ebook. Thanks so much. I got funny articles on there like the onion style tell you how to stage vacant land if you want to. I’m creating a diaper. I got a diaper for realtor called open houses. So I’d like to really
D.J. Paris 39:17
I love that Dan, Dan’s website, the funny agent is great. Definitely check out his blog, download his ebook. And on behalf of Dan and myself to our audience, to our listeners and viewers, we want to thank you for continuing to listen, watch support our show, the best way you can help us grow is to tell a friend so just think of one other agent in the industry that could use that could benefit from having heard this great Interview with Dan and send them a link to our show. The best way to do that. Or there’s two easy ways to number one, ask your friend to pull up a podcast app do a search for keeping it real will pop up. If they’re not a podcast person, send them to our website, keeping it real pod.com We have every episode we’ve done there. You can stream it right from the website. You don’t need a podcast app And also please follow us on Facebook, we post every article sorry, every interview we’ve done in real time. We also broadcast them live as we’re recording them. And also we find an article every single day online that’s written specifically designed to help you guys grow your business. And we post it and that is all we post there and a few funny memes hear in there. Other than that, it’s it’s just good information to help you grow. So find us on Facebook, which is facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod. Dan, thank you so much for being on the show. This was such a fun time. I appreciate it. And we realized I’ve probably seen you so I’m not gonna say it’s nice to meet you. It’s nice to see you again. Because I probably saw you at Zanies back with Mitch Hedberg just 10 years ago or so. But thank you so much. It was a pleasure. And for all of our viewers and listeners. We will see you next time. Thanks, Dan.
Dan DeCapua 40:50