How To Level Up Your Communication Skills • Cathy LaMon

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Cathy LaMon with The LaMon Team talks about her experience in real estate and how she switched from working in IBM to building her business in real estate. Cathy discusses the importance of having great communication with clients and the role phone calls and voicemails play in that regard. Last, Cathy discusses how important it is for new agents to not stop learning and trying to find what path best suits them in this business.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

Cathy LaMon can be reached at (404) 805-2273 and cathy@lamonteam.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
survey show that the number one quality that buyers and sellers want in an agent is great communication. Today we’re going to show you how to do that. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solutions so that you can easily generate more business. There 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, by the way, we just celebrated the only reason I know this is LinkedIn told me, but we just celebrated our sixth year doing this podcast. So I just wanted to say thank you to everyone listening right now. And of course everyone that has ever listened to our show, we have millions of downloads 10s of 1000s of regular listeners and we could not be more grateful to all of you. When I started this six years ago, I had like three listeners and they were you know my family. So I am glad that it has spread beyond that and we are about to be speaking with Kathy Limon top producer. But before we get to Kathy please help us continue to grow let’s go another six years, but I want to reach twice as many agents as we have. There’s 1.5 million realtors out there not all of them know about this show. So please help us out let it let other agents know about the show. Everybody wants to learn from top producers. So let’s let them know that this exists and it’s free. And also please support our sponsors. They are paying the bills and we love our sponsors so please check them out, buy their products and services and tell other people about them as well. Alright guys, let’s get to the main event happy sixth birthday to all of us and our birthday, I guess anniversary whatever. Happy six to all of us listening and let’s get to the main event, my conversation with Kathy Lamont.

Today on the show we have Kathleen Lemond with Keller Williams in Atlanta. And let me tell you more about Kathy. Now Kathy Lemond began selling real estate in 1992. After leaving the corporate world of IBM sales, where they were offering incentives to downsize their workforce. Kathy took advantage of that and joined a locally owned brokerage with about 500 agents and set to learn all that she could by attending trainings and conferences all over the country. In 2001. She was given the opportunity to invest in a new Keller Williams office in Buckhead where she has been ever since. And she has a small team consisting of herself, her husband, and a full time licensed Operations Manager. And their goal this year is to help 42 families build a life they love. And her average price point is about $750,000. And she works her and her team work predominantly by referral. I want everybody to visit Cathy’s website because not only is she our guest than we should always support our guests but she has a really beautiful looking website, Lemond team.com, L A m o n team.com. You can also find links to all of her social channels there. We will post links to that in our show notes as well. But Lemond team.com is where you go to learn about Kathy and her team. Kathy, welcome to the show.

Cathy Lamon 4:39
Thank you DJ and glad to be here.

D.J. Paris 4:41
Thanks. We’re glad you’re here at well as well. i It’s funny when you were I was when we were thinking about your bio and I actually was in Buckhead in 2001 with Anheuser Busch. I was they were having their conference in Atlanta and they had rented out a good a number of the bucks. had bars for this conference. The conference was at the CNN Center, or I don’t know what it’s technically called. But over there downtown, and then in Buckhead was they had all these fun nighttime activities. And then I went back and visited Buckhead, men probably, I don’t know, five or six years later, and it had really blossomed. And even now it’s obviously blossomed even further. But what a fun area to have an office you picked a great location

Cathy Lamon 5:27
is fun, fun things to do a lot of good restaurants, great people. And never a dull moment in Buckhead.

D.J. Paris 5:37
Lots of fun to be had. And it is really a fun place to visit. So if you haven’t, if you ever ever been to Atlanta, go to the world of coke, and go visit but

Cathy Lamon 5:48
yeah, I think it’s called World of coke. Yeah, it is. It is. There’s a beautiful Georgia Aquarium right next door to that. So it’s a great place to bring families and good place to visit.

D.J. Paris 6:01
Yeah, well, I love Atlanta. So Kathy, I would, you know, I understand you were in really the IT world. You were in sales before when you were at IBM. And and I understand you had an opportunity to take a nice exit package and then decide to switch to careers. Why did you decide to switch careers to real estate?

Cathy Lamon 6:19
Well, at the time, I had little kids and thought, oh, real estate, you know, you can kind of set your own hours do your own thing. I’ll try real estate. Well, anybody that’s in the business knows that, yes, you’re very flexible, unless you have a client and especially an out of town client, and then your time is their time. But it did work out well to just be able to pick up my daughter’s a little bit more often. And just give me the opportunity to be a mom a little bit more often. So it was it was a good move. And I, you know, I loved IBM, it was a great place to learn, it was a great place to start my career I came I went with them right out of college. And what I’ve realized about real estate is there’s even so much more growth opportunity, both personally in terms of training and growth opportunities there, as well as income, IBM kept me, I was on commission. But if you sold too much too early in the year, they would just raise your quota and you’d be back making the same money. So it was it was very tightly controlled and real estate in the US people say the sky’s the limit, and there is no ceiling and no floor. But it’s a great business.

D.J. Paris 7:44
It is. And I also to want to put this in perspective, because when you started the world, I mean, obviously the world changes every year. But it really has changed since when you started you were pre internet. So we’re talking 1992. I mean, technically the internet was sort of around but not Yeah, certainly wasn’t adopted by the by the public. And I remember I went to college in 1994. And that was the first time that we started seeing web browsers, and the ability to sort of and it still wasn’t widely used. So you were I’m guessing we were on the phone a lot with people who did not grow up pre 1994. They don’t know how to use the phone, they don’t use the phone today, they don’t communicate that way with their friends, I still think the phone is a really great way to communicate with people. And it’s kind of a bit of a lost art now. But I do think that and even though people may not be as accustomed to being on the phone as they once were, I think we have this yearning to actually interact of voice to voice. Obviously, we could do FaceTime. And there’s ways to do voice and picture at the same time. But I imagine you probably still pick up the phone quite a bit is that is that

Cathy Lamon 8:58
I do. As a matter of fact, I’d set a goal to make 10 calls every day. And a lot of those end up being voicemail and you know, there’s always this question, Should I leave a voicemail? Should I not and I just choose to leave the voicemail. I think if someone does take the time, it’s nice for them to hear my voice and maybe it’s a little more personal. I also I use text a lot too, though, you know? Yeah, there is

D.J. Paris 9:27
something to be said about a phone call. And that’s also one of the nice things about being on the phone these days is you are going to get a lot of voicemails because, you know, you get to choose now who you want to speak to and, and it’s it’s really I think made the phone a lot easier to use as because you’re like, well I’m probably gonna get a voicemail and then you get to leave the lovely message and my thought and Kathy, I know you’re right. It’s like are they even going to hear the message? I think most people listen. I don’t know. I mean, I’d be curious to see stats on this because maybe I be wrong, but I Oh, it depends on the age range, I think, yeah, well, if you’re listening to our podcast, you’re a realtor, you should be listening to your voicemails because there may be some business in there. But I understand the idea of like, God, am I just wasting my time leaving voicemails? I don’t think so. Because, for example, Kathy, if you called me on my birthday, to wish me a happy birthday, for example, you just came up in your CRM, I probably wouldn’t answer the phone, not because I don’t like you. But because it’s my birthday. And I probably don’t want to answer the phone. But maybe the next day or later on that day, when I go back to listen, I would I would very much go. That was sweet of her. That was Yeah. So for those that are like, Ooh, I’m a little nervous talking, most people aren’t going to pick up but you can still leave them a nice, thoughtful message.

Cathy Lamon 10:43
Well, what I realized to DJ is, when I do get people, I find out things that otherwise I would never have found out, you know, somebody has been sick in their family, or they’ve just gotten some kind of news. It’s, it’s amazing. And, you know, that’s one call, maybe out of 20. But if I hadn’t made the call, I would never know. So I’m always like, Oh, I’m so glad I made that call today.

D.J. Paris 11:11
Well, it’s true, too. Because a lot of times, you know, we think Well, how else do we get our news about people in our lives? While we might look on social media, and you know, when things are maybe not going well, for a family, or they’re going through some sort of, you know, difficult time, maybe they’re not posting about that on Facebook, some people do, a lot of people don’t. And so you might not know, unless you picked up the phone and reached out. So let’s talk about how you did get started. Free Internet, right, like you still had to go out and prospect. And obviously, you know, we’re talking about a long time ago, but I think, you know, a lot of the ways in which you probably prospected or built your business, then still are applicable today. Because I think fundamentals typically don’t change. So I’m just curious, you know, back in, in the early 90s, when you were starting this new career, how did you grow your business, where you didn’t have a background of being in real estate?

Cathy Lamon 12:05
Well, that’s one of the first things I did when I got into the business. Even before I got in, I had an IBM discount to buy a laptop, and I bought a laptop, and I loaded everybody that I knew into a database. So just you know, that’s the bare fundamentals. And that has not changed today. If people that’s how you get started as you build a database, so I did that, you know, we, we had computers that would access. So I, when I started, I called expired, listings for sale by owners, those were out on a computer, you had to go to the office to get it, you know, to key it in, and you could see the listings that are coming up, but you had to go into the office to do it. So that that is very different. But a lot of it was the same same old, same old, get on the phone and call those expireds. I eventually got to the point where I decided that really wasn’t what I wanted to where I wanted to live. And that expired for sale by owner world. So I ended up doing much more of a referral based business once I got a little traction going.

D.J. Paris 13:14
Yeah, I have. But I think even though you’re like oh, the expireds and for sale by owners aren’t for me. And I think most agents probably have a similar experience with for sale by owners, you have to be a special kind of personality, I think to be able to withstand some of the difficulties of calling expireds. And, and for sale by owners. They are tough calls, or they can be tough for us. But certainly the Kinder are students and kinder I’m sorry, the gentler approach is the working by referral, made, you know, famous, made famous by a lot of people. But in the real estate industry, Brian Buffini is sort of associated with working by referral live the easy life is one of his slogans. I know you’re a fan of Buffini systems, I am as well. And you’ve not just worked with the Feeny and his company, but other other systems too. But how important was it because I know you really dove into this, probably I’m guessing, getting the training at IBM where training is so important. And there’s such a white glove firm, that you probably sort of thought I gotta I gotta get my knowledge up. And so talk about going to conferences and the importance of that for you in those early days.

Cathy Lamon 14:29
In the company that I was with had good basic training, in terms of you know, when you’re getting started, and what’s the contract and what do you need to know. But for anything more advanced, I found I had to travel somewhere and learn and that suited my personality. So well. I I’m very learning based. I love learning new things. I think if if I didn’t if I stop learning in this business, I would not want to do it anymore. But even after all these years, I feel like I learned something new every day. A but I would go to conferences I went to there was a guy named Howard Britton that assembled all these top agents from all over the country and I went to that I went to the Feeny I went to some other trainers as well, just learning and trying to figure out what fit me and what felt right. And then my style now is a mixture of a lot of different trainers that I’ve heard over the years, my core is Buffini that just working by referral, that’s the core and I still love that system. And, you know, you can add on top of that, add the videos add add all the fun things, but at the core, it really needs to be in my opinion, it needs to be about a relationship. And digging deeper and going deeper with with people serving them at its deeper level as we can.

D.J. Paris 15:56
I could not agree with you more. I apologize our internet, it may be a little choppy. So if anyone’s if I’m chopping anyone, I apologize, but I absolutely agree with you, Kathy. You know, I was thinking about Brian Buffini, when what I liked about what I liked about Brian Buffini is he came up the idea basically it and there’s a lot of different principles of his teachings. But I’ve always loved the idea of sending an item he calls them item items of value, right. And he he says basically, you know, you really should be giving your your prospects or clients something of value, every single month, or whatever the time commitment is or the duration is. But it’s really important because you really always want to be sort of giving people things where they’re like that was thoughtful, that was helpful that that really is something information or something I can use. And he was a little bit ahead of the curve on that because now we know that like social media is all about providing content use, you know, it’s all about sorry, all about providing value through content. And like, you know, if we expect people to watch our videos on Facebook or Tik Tok, or wherever they may be, they better be pretty, at least nothing else entertaining. But better than that, hopefully providing some actual information that people can use. And Buffini was was one of the first people I saw a sales trainer that was like, this is the way to people’s hearts. Obviously, there’s more to it than just that. But I have always been a huge fan of that. I’m curious to get your thoughts on the items of value.

Cathy Lamon 17:29
Yeah, I mean, I think now most of us have transitioned into more of an email and or, as you pointed out social media, video messages. He still provides monthly mailers, things you can mail out. Yeah. So you know, that can be layered. It’s a bunch of layering. I think, you know, you never know what, what works for certain people. So

D.J. Paris 17:58
will you have built a referral based business and everyone now, I shouldn’t say everyone, I would say most agents I have spoken to during my career in this industry, about 13 or 14 years. Almost everyone I meet says they want a referral based business. So that is obviously a common goal for a lot of agents. How long did it take you to do that? And what were some of the ways in which you began to transition away from making the cold calls to how do I get other people to market for me?

Cathy Lamon 18:31
Again, I think it goes back to building relationships. When someone knows and trusts another person they are, if they have an opportunity, they will, you’ll be the one that they recommend to their friends. So I think it it it’s nothing magic about it. It’s just getting in front of people. To this day, we still do a lot of lunches. I have lunch with someone almost every day of the week. Coffees, just you know, just being in relationship with people. And when

D.J. Paris 19:05
let me drill down on that. I apologize. Kathy, this is real. This is really great. Because having lunch every day with somebody is something that all the hundreds of episodes I’ve done, I think you may be the first to talk about that specific, specific sort of strategy. And can you talk a little bit about who you choose to take to lunch what you talk about, because this this would be super helpful to our audience. Yeah,

Cathy Lamon 19:27
yeah. So I would say those that falls into two camps number one is past clients or prospects somebody that I’m working with or or have worked with so that that is one whole group that’s a pretty easy group because what do you talk about? You talk about their life, their their families, you know, the old Ford Family, Occupation, Recreation and dreams, you know, it’s all about getting to know them better. So that’s, that’s one bucket. The other bucket is trusted advisors. and this has been a focus of mine over the last few years to try to get to know more estate attorneys, more Wealth Advisors, CPAs divorce attorneys, so those people have the opportunity to refer multiple people. So to the extent that I can build a relationship there, the the opportunity is just much greater than, than an individual who might have a friend who needs to buy or sell real estate. So I really do a lot of both. The Trusted Advisor is a really fun thing to do, once you kind of get your feet wet with it, and they, they get my same marketing that I’m sent to everybody else. At first, I was like, Okay, I’ve got to send something just for them. And yeah, just for them, that’s real, you know, that’s real professional or real business. Not fun. But they like fun things too. So I kind of had to get over that. Next, it’s just too much work to do two different things. When I meet with them, I may bring something more professional, some statistics or questions for them on on their business. But the basic, the basic marketing is the same. So that’s been fun, I’m actually getting ready to start something I’m really excited about, I’m starting a group of women, who are what I would call trusted advisors. And I’m hoping we’re having our first meeting coming up. But I’m hoping to meet once a quarter with this group, and really build strong bonds. There’s a there’s a financial advisor, there’s a high end insurance broker, a state attorney, CPA, so there, it’s I think it has a lot of potential and recommend anybody could do that. Whether it’s women or men, or both.

D.J. Paris 22:00
Those are all amazing professions to consider to add to to your professional, you know, sort of services or professional network, I should say, because you’re absolutely right. Those are people that are oftentimes dealing with life events, which typically may result in a transition of home, people moving in people moving out selling buying. divorce attorneys are the most obvious example of that. And but you know, you’re right estate planning attorneys, as you mentioned,

Cathy Lamon 22:30
some of my best business in the last year has been from estate attorneys. So

D.J. Paris 22:34
such a smart idea and oftentimes a overlooked specialty for realtors, we think divorce, divorce, divorce, yes, and estate planning attorneys as well, because of course, those are and you know, you could also too, I think possibly, there’s just a weird idea that maybe isn’t a good one. But people who work in mergers and acquisitions as well may, if it’s they work locally, they may be having companies that are moving in moving out. So there’s maybe some opportunities there as well. But I agree that having that professional network is awesome, because you can basically share clients and refer and say, I’ve got a great estate planning attorney. And by the way, everybody needs a great estate planning attorney. It’s a really important thing. You know, and and when somebody’s going through a family change, having a good divorce attorney, obviously is important as well, and a good accountant and all of these things. So Kathy is so this is such a great point. I’m sort of sticking on it for a moment because I really wanted to sink in. Kathy, thank you for that. I really everyone out there. Yes. Have lunch with your clients and your prospects. And yes, yes, yes, always do that. And let’s add in some professional people where you can actually help their business. And I think the best way to have those conversations is say, Hey, I would like to learn more about your business, Mr. or Mrs. Estate Planning Attorney. What can I do I have clients, here’s what my clients are like, here’s what they do. Would they be of benefit to you? What can I provide to you first, and then hopefully, it becomes a reciprocal scenario. Exactly.

Cathy Lamon 24:08
Yep. Yep.

D.J. Paris 24:09
What else? What else did you do too? So we talked, we talked about sort of this networking, staying in touch with your sphere, taking them out, seeing them face to face, also doing the same creating this networking group that you have, and also just these trusted advisors. What I want to ask because we talk about this a lot and I know this isn’t there isn’t a probably a really easy answer for this. So I’m going to give you a little bit of a tougher question only just to see what you might answer because we talk about in real estate we hear this phrase a lot people who know like and trust us are the ones most likely to work with us. This is working by referral know like and trust. We hear that over and over again. But I also think that I believe that trust is earned. So I’m curious on Yes, you have to earn the know like and trust part. How are you cuz you obviously do earn it and you have earned it. What do you do during when you’re working with a client that would eventually get them to say, not just, you know, hey, I had a good transaction to closed, etc. But I really, really like Kathy, I really felt she did a good job for me. I imagine you have certain standards in your business that lead to the know, like and trust, I’m guessing.

Cathy Lamon 25:24
Yes, I know that we do. And we’re always working on trying to improve that. I mean, it’s boiled to me, a lot of it just is so basic, it’s communication,

D.J. Paris 25:36
and pick up the phone when it rings.

Cathy Lamon 25:38
Yeah, it’s being in touch, it’s making sure that the client needs are answered. And my husband and I work together, he works with buyers and I work with sellers and I do most of the lead generation, he is incredible about being patient. And spending, I hear him spending hours and hours on the phone with people explaining things in the inspection or explaining, you know, the appraisal issues or you know, whatever it is, it’s that taking the time with them. And he’s, honestly, he’s much more patient than I am. So he’s in a good role. But I think that that’s what people need. And it’s not, it’s not necessarily the first time buyers, some of the high end buyers need just as much as anybody else. So I think that that’s part of it, just taking time and building building that trust and doing what you say you’re going to do I have a great assistant who is there in the she ever dropped the ball, do I ever drop the ball, of course, occasionally, but for the most part, we do what we say we’re going to do. And then we love to stay in touch with people afterwards, too. And I think that’s really a lot of times where you build referrals is you know, it’s not just one and done. And you know, you’re you’re on to the next you’re, you’re calling them and checking on them and making sure we we, we love to stay in touch with people on an ongoing basis. I always say, you know, once you get in our web, you can’t get out

D.J. Paris 27:19
until you until you say stop. Exactly, exactly. And nobody probably ever does that. Because I never has. Yeah, of course, of course, if you don’t, it’s really important to you said something very profound now, which again, it’s back to a fundamental of in between the sales, what are we doing in between sales to stay in touch with that client, because they’re probably not moving for another, I don’t know, seven years, five, seven years, whatever. You’re more and, and but we want to make sure that when they are ready, and we won’t know when that is necessarily we want to make sure we’re top of mind. And so this idea of reaching out in between is is really it’s I think it’s a lot simpler than people make it because it could be as easy as somebody bought a home from you call them a month in Hey, how did the move and go How was everything you’re good? Any problems? Just want to be Call me if you have any, if you need anything, I’ve got a network of people I can connect you to it really that could be almost the call every year if nothing else you want to talk about is how’s the home? How’s everything going? What’s going on with the family? Everything good? It just, it could just be a check in really? And really Yep. I used to I remember I this is I’ll make this story very short. I will tell you this sounds really silly. But it made me feel very special. When I was in high school, I had a friend who had an older brother who went to MIT for college. He was like the genius of all of our friends. He was anyway, so he went to MIT and he says, Oh, I’m taking a class by Dr. Amar or Amir Bose the guy who created Bose sound. So Bose speakers, and he said, If you want to buy any Bose speakers, we get a discount. So anyway, because he was in the class, so I bought some speakers through my friend and whatever cheap speakers I mean, great speakers, but inexpensive. It wasn’t like a big purchase couple 100 bucks, whatever. And every year after that for five years, Bose would call me once a year and say just checking in, how are the speakers performing? And I was like, it blew my mind. Amazing doing it. Amazing right now I’m sure probably because it was purchased through his class. Maybe I got put in a special category of like, make sure to take care of these people. But it sounds silly, but it really made me feel important. I don’t I have never met another company that does that. And that was 1993 Maybe so so anyway, it’s this point back to call. Yeah. Lying about the house, all you have to do is contact how’s everything going? What’s going somewhat simple, but But you said I’m so okay. So in between sales. We want to stay in touch. When you’re working with a client when you’re in a transit Action, let’s say nothing’s happening. You get no activity on a listing, let’s just say as an example, no new interest, let’s say a week goes by, what are you doing? Are you doing anything to talk to the seller to say, Okay, here’s what’s happening, or, or what is your philosophy around that?

Cathy Lamon 30:18
DJ, that is the worst. That is the worst time when nothing’s happening in Atlanta, the market has been so good that we haven’t, we’re still not experiencing that. But I believe me, I’ve been through that I’m sure lived through it lived through the recession. So you know, I think that in normal times be before too many days go by, you’re getting a message from the market, the market, I always say the market will talk back, if we’re not getting showings, if we’re not getting offers interest, then the market is telling something telling us something. So I think just planting the seed obvious, maybe this isn’t obvious, but it goes without saying that, okay, here’s what I have been doing. You know, what, here’s where your listing has been, how many hits you’ve had on the website, etc. So a report to them. But then I think even after a week, we start planting the seeds for pricing, a pricing adjustment, unless it’s just like the recession or something like that. I think that normally, if a house isn’t getting any activity, it’s that’s that’s the message we need to be getting to the client. That makes sense.

D.J. Paris 31:38
It does it makes perfect sense. And are I know that there can be some call reluctance, or reluctance to pick up the phone? When nothing is happening? Even, you know, a few days, maybe we’re nothing’s happening. What are you doing to keep the buyer or seller informed, even when there’s not much to report? Because I know a lot of agents don’t maybe aren’t as proactive when things aren’t happening. I once asked a top producer here in Chicago. So silly, but I said, Why do you think she’s number two in all of Chicago? And I said, Why do you think out of 40,000 agents, you’re number two, and she goes, I call my clients every week and tell them what’s going on? I said, well, and she goes, that’s that’s kind of it. She goes DJ, you’d be surprised very few agents do that. Really.

Cathy Lamon 32:30
And I would not claim to be perfect at that by any means. But again, just picking up the phone and touching base. And even even when things are happening, I think that people just want to hear from you. I listed a new house yesterday. And you know, we’ve got some showings lined up and I plan to just touch bases with them and say, you know, they’re out of town actually. So they don’t know precisely what’s going on. But just to just to say you know, we’ve we’ve had these showings this first one said they weren’t interested but we know we’ve got some more lined up for the weekend. Just Just stop communication and honestly, I’m not always the best at it. But it’s a goal to to be more in communication and I think people appreciate it they they never mind when they when you’ve got their house on the market or a house for them under contract. I don’t think you can call them too often. I don’t think you can over overdo it. Or they’ll

D.J. Paris 33:29
let you know if you’re overdoing it odds are you’re probably not going to say stop communicating with me about this transaction.

Cathy Lamon 33:37
And so that brings up a point that you know, the best thing to start off with is to ask how you want to be communicated with I want to see you want to have a phone call Do you want me to text you do you want me to email you? So then the person who says I want you to call me they’re not gonna mind if you’re calling so we need to we need to continue to do that we kind of come in with sometimes we kind of forget on that but

D.J. Paris 34:04
you know what I love about top producers is they say these really profound things but to them it’s like like

that question said something incredibly important, which was ask your clients how do you prefer to be communicated? Would you like a phone call? Would you rather have a text you know, is it okay if I leave a voicemail you know, what, what are the hours you want me to call you? When do you not want me to bother you? These

important of the just this is what she knows, but a lot of agents don’t know this. So remember the problem. There’s the golden rule, which is the way you want to be treated. The Platinum Rule is like others how they want to be treated. That’s, you have to ask questions to get that. So Kathy, again, seems like a small thing you said maybe to you, but really, really profound. Don’t just assume everyone communicates in the same manner because they don’t. What? What are we doing to celebrate our What are you in your? Oh, I’m sorry, I wanted to mention this other thing you said that was really, really important because Kathy, is very self aware. She said at the beginning, you know, there’s certain things I’m not as strong at, which is why her husband spills in those, those challenges. So she talked to Kathy had mentioned, she maybe isn’t the most patient person with, and that’s not a negative, that’s just part of your personality, you’re good at some things and other things you’re you’re weaker at and maybe patients isn’t always something that you can just learn to be more patient. So a Kathy says, instead of just well, I’m going to fight against this and do it, I’m gonna get somebody who’s really, really good at that, because it is important that I have somebody that’s super patient, and she has her husband step in. So what is the lesson from this? Well, we know that teams are on the rise. And look, the truth is, you just can’t do everything, you just can’t, you’re not going to be good at everything. So I love the fact that you have I mean, your husband, Great Good Thing that his his skill set is different than yours. Because you guys can then complement each other and you go, Oh, you know, this person is gonna need some patients, you know, husband, you take care of this one, and, and it works works really well. And then that client gets everything they want.

Cathy Lamon 36:33
Right? And we intentionally when he joined me in the business a few years ago, and I never wanted there to be a situation where we would be like, Oh, you said you were going to call them? No, you said you were going to call them and nobody’s called them. So we have a very, very clear definition. Bob works with buyers, I work with the sellers. And occasionally we still are talking about our clients. And we know what’s going on. And occasionally, we’ll we’ll be involved in in the other side. But for the most part, it’s very well done, delineated. And that has worked very well for us. And I’m fortunate that he loves doing the bonfire. Not everybody does.

D.J. Paris 37:20
Well, and typically people who who are working agents that are working with buyers typically do need more patience, because those transactions tend to take longer. And obviously, there’s a lot more that can go wrong. On the buy side. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And it is it is great, though, that you do have somebody your husband, of course, in this case, that’s able to step in and and help out in that way. And make make it so that you don’t say, Well, I’m not really a buyer’s agent. No, I’ve my husband, he’s, he’s the buyer’s agent, and he’ll take awesome care of you. What, what are you do you do any client appreciation events? I’m curious if you’ve started doing that, or if you’re working on that, or if those in your business,

Cathy Lamon 38:03
we love parties. My husband says that we are a an event company posing as a real estate company.

D.J. Paris 38:15
You know, it’s funny, I asked that question. I was like, I hope she’s doing client appreciation, right? She’s gonna be like, Yeah, we we don’t do that. Because I had no knowledge. I’m like, I she has to do this. And so I’m so glad. We love it.

Cathy Lamon 38:25
We love it. And we do all kinds of things. We We love having dinner parties, we love having six people around the table and just breaking bread. That’s really where you get to know people and and we like mixing people up that don’t know each other. And sometimes we’ll have people that know each other. So we do all kinds of things. We’ll do some medium sized parties where maybe we’ll have 20 people over for drinks or something. And then a few times a year, we have a big event. We’re planning right now, a big pizza party. We have a person that a company that comes with this big wood, wood fired grill and they grill the pizzas. They’re delicious. We’ll have wine and beer. This year. I’ve got a gelato company coming to serve gelato, and we have a DJ and it’s all in our driveway. So it’s we’re praying for good weather, but um, it’s, it’s lots of fun. We’ve done a few we’ve done it several times before and it’s always a fun party. So that’s one of our biggest parties. We will probably have 200 people here altogether and my husband doesn’t know that yet. So don’t tell him but you know, we do pies. We do a pie party at Thanksgiving and we’ve done movie parties. We’ve done a little bit of everything. We love to travel and when we get back from a trip say to France for example, we will last year we had a French wine and cheese party so you know some things like that,

D.J. Paris 40:01
that’s a great idea. So you go on a trip, and I wasn’t sure where you’re going with that. So that’s amazing. You go on a trip, you know, you experience the culture of another country, and then you bring that culture back with you. That is, I have never heard of anyone doing that. That is a very,

Cathy Lamon 40:16
it’s very fun. Yeah. Oh my

D.J. Paris 40:18
gosh, brilliant. What a great, what a great. I always love these. It’s always I’ve been doing this for five or six years. Anytime I hear something new. And I know it’s not new. It’s not like you’re the first person to ever do that. I just have never heard of it. And so it’s new to me. And I love it. So that it’s a lot about activity, right? It’s it’s just like you were saying, I make 10 phone calls every day. I bet most Realtors don’t even do that. And I’m not here to criticize everyone. I’m just here to challenge people to realize this is what top producers do they pick up the phone or some version of that. Are you? Are you doing a lot on social media? Or is that something that you know, you’re not as connected to?

Cathy Lamon 41:00
So almost two years ago, I hired a marketing gal who was helping me and she is guiding me. She does, she actually does most of the posts. I’ll do I’ll do some myself just personal ones, but she’s doing the business ones. And I originally came to you through camera Berg. And Kim is helping me with video trying to get me we’re going to work on messaging this fall and really trying to create messages that resonate. And that going back to your original point of value. It’s not just about nothing, it’s about something that hopefully will, no message is going to appeal to everyone all the time that if we can just make it something that’s, that’s interesting and informative to a number of people. I think I’m really excited about that to try to kind of take it to the next level.

D.J. Paris 42:02
I also think too, and by the way, I plug for Kim Rydberg she has a her own series on our podcast. We love Kim. She’s our social media expert. And I didn’t realize that you were you came through by way of her so I am so excited because Kim is one of my favorite people I think I’ve just about ever met. So I am I just absolutely adore her and I encourage everyone to listen to her series on our show. Just look for Kim’s Kim’s episodes, she is a real gem. And it Yeah, you’re talking about value I think because I know there’s this. A lot of us in this industry have a perfectionist mindset. We want our headshots to look perfect or we want our by the way, I’m going to divert from my what I was saying I was just a zillo conference of the last two days I showing time, which is owned by basically by Zillow. I was at a conference for them, I was fortunate enough to get to go. And they said they showed a statistic that is so interesting speaking of headshots, and it just came to me I totally forgot. This is amazing. And I wish I could show people this, although it’s a podcast, so wouldn’t most people wouldn’t be able to see it anyway. But they showed some data that suggests that headshots are done. Nobody wants to see headshots anymore what they want to see as a still a professional photo. But what they actually want to see is you being captured, doing something that you enjoy something that is a passion for you, whether it’s real estate, maybe you play guitar, or maybe you’re into whatever, maybe you just want to you know, you’re a great mom or whatever you’re into. They actually people they had data to support this. They said, Nobody wants to see the perfect airbrushed photo anymore. They want to see you in action, which makes sense because we follow people on social media and we see them doing what they do. So for anyone out there who’s thinking about getting a new headshot, guess get a new headshot, obviously get that and get some shots of you doing other things. And people actually find that to be more inviting and more real and more authentic. So just a little little plug from something I learned from from Zillow last couple days but Kathy, sorry to

Cathy Lamon 44:14
interrupt you’re really interesting. Really interesting. Yeah.

D.J. Paris 44:18
Oh, here’s another one real quick. Sorry, just because it’s coming to me use white linens if you can, on your listing presentations for the master bedroom or I’m sorry for the primary bedroom. Use white linens if possible because Zillow has found that by using a white like a do they are white you know comforter 30% more clicks versus a colored different color than white. I mean, crazy weird thing. So if I was an agent, I might just buy like a king size comforter, keep it in my trunk. So anyway, okay, back to Kathy. I’m so sorry. I just I got

Cathy Lamon 44:57
I got loaded up with ideas, your ideas

D.J. Paris 44:59
I think well, I need to learn from you because you’re you’re really, so much further along the path. And I’m Kathy, what? Let’s talk about boundaries. In the sense of, you know, we know that mother’s parents know this as well as Realtors know this, if we don’t set some sort of boundaries for our, you know, for our people in our lives, especially if we have children, they may challenge those boundaries. Clients can do the same thing. How do you handle a 10 o’clock? And then that not everyone? Do you set certain expectations for your clients so that they know what to expect? If they reach out at like an odd hour?

Cathy Lamon 45:45
I wouldn’t say that I typically say okay, you can call me for between eight and six. I don’t have that. I know agents have some agents have that on their voicemail and all that. But honestly, I usually got to bed around 10. And I’m not answering the phone after that. Yeah. You know, and but I do think that it it’s for me and my husband, it’s it’s more event or situation driven. I answered the phone last night because I just got a contract worked out at like eight o’clock. And the guy had a question. So I answered the phone at quarter of 10. And my now my husband has been up to midnight with people going, you know, when there’s a deadline on inspection or something like that. So we I wouldn’t say we have any hard and fast. Okay, these are our business hours. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing that. We’re at a point in life when we don’t have any kids at home. So it really takes the pressure off of sure of that. And we are working on no phones at the dinner. You know, that kind of thing. That’s that’s sort of basic but

D.J. Paris 46:56
but if if a message comes in late at night that you don’t want to handle you’ve been a realtor for a very long time. Can we tell the rest of our audience that in most cases, it can wait, it can wait till the morning?

Cathy Lamon 47:12
Yeah. Oh, yeah. There’s nothing wrong with voicemail. You get it tomorrow?

D.J. Paris 47:16
That’s absolutely right. And the problem with text messages is there’s no end to a text message conversation, right? Yes. Phone calls have a start. And yeah, text messages haven’t started. They don’t happen yet. Yeah.

Cathy Lamon 47:27
That’s a very good point. I never thought about that. But yeah, if you start it, unless you say, I’m sorry, I’m going to bed no, no night.

D.J. Paris 47:36
Yes. Which by the way, is it absolutely reasonable thing if the person is expecting some sort of response, you can just say, Oh, I’m I’m headed to bed first thing in the morning, I got it or whatever. What who can who can you know, argue with that? Um, Kevin, we should also mention, too, that, you know, our show is an a show for agents by agents listened to by agents as well. So you know, we also want to promote referrals. And we know that Kathy works in downtown Atlanta. She is in the nearby surrounding suburbs as well. But Atlanta is a hotbed for people moving in and out. Lots of big companies are there. And if anyone does have people moving into Atlanta, in particular, the metro area and the close suburbs, you know, Kathy is a great resource. So Kathy, if there are agents out there that either maybe want to connect with you, because you might have people that are moving from Atlanta, like Florida, or wherever they may be retiring to. Yep. So what’s the best way if somebody wants to connect with you that they can reach out?

Cathy Lamon 48:38
My website is just simple Lemond team.com, Li Mo n dot, hope sorry, la mo n team.com. I’m Cathy at Lemond teen.com on. I’m on Facebook, Insta, all those all those good places. And I think you said you’re gonna put it in the show notes to say, Well,

D.J. Paris 48:58
absolutely. But we I really, you know, Kathy, it’s funny. I was just sort of reflecting on what we’ve talked about today. And there are lots of great tips here that Kathy provided. So on behalf of our audience, I mean, really, this was a chock full episode of actionable strategies by somebody who’s been in real estate for over 30 years now. Congratulations, by the way, they do the math right on that. Yes. Yeah. That is That is impressive. And not and Kathy has seen oh, by the way, Kathy, you’ve been through some ups and downs. Last question. Are, are we worried right now about the market at all? Are we worried about interest rates? Or are we like we’ve seen this before, it’s going to be fine.

Cathy Lamon 49:41
We are going to be fine. And as you’ve pointed out, I’m a big follower of Brian Buffini. He is very optimistic about what’s going to happen with the rates and the market. His message right now is to focus on listings we need to be listing listing listing and learn You know, if you don’t have listings, go to a class and learn how to do them better. So just invest in yourself, invest in your people. And really, he says, we’re going to have a great 2024. So good things ahead.

D.J. Paris 50:16
And for anyone out there who’s like, how do I get more listings? There’s a million ways to do it. But one way that I think would be particularly applicable today is and Kathy can tell me if I’m not wrong, because I might be, but Well, I’m definitely not. But I’m also I may be wrong. That’s for sure. I’m definitely crazy. But, you know, people are always interested to know what their home value is, right? This is why Zillow became Zillow. It was the Zestimate it wasn’t the home search, it was actually the Zestimate. And this estimate then gave birth really to their home search. So you know, people, whether what, whatever we think of the Zestimate people like to see the Zestimate, whatever, however accurate we think it is or not, this is a great opportunity to take a lesson from Zillow playbook and maybe reach out to people who, whether they were your client or not. Hey, I thought I would show you what I believe your home is approximately worth right now. Would you be interested in seeing that? I mean, I would always be interested in seeing that. So I don’t know if you do CMAs for your clients. I’m sure

Cathy Lamon 51:20
I did one yesterday, as a matter of fact, yes.

D.J. Paris 51:23
And by the way, as much as I love, I think Silla is a great company. And I like so a lot of agents do not I understand and respect that as well. But if I’m looking for an actual CMA, I don’t, I don’t use best I use estimate as like a starting point, like, okay, that’s what Zillow thinks, but I want somebody like Kathy showing me exactly what she thinks after 30 years of business because she knows the market better than, you know, an algorithm likely could. So um, this is a great opportunity guys to exercise your your experience, and you know, show people hey, this is what I think right now. Great opportunity there. But on behalf of our audience for all the great tips and advice that Kathy provided, we say thank you to Kathy and her her, her team and her husband’s not on the call. But we we say thank you to him as well, for some of the tips that you mentioned that he has. And on behalf of Kathy and myself, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say thanks to the audience. Thanks for listening. Thanks for making me to be Thank you. And thanks for making it to the end of the episode we just asked everybody do two quick things for us. I know it’s a lot to ask. But just tell one thing, tell a friend. Think of one other realtor that could benefit. This is a great episode, send it to people that are struggling right now. agents that are like, What do I do? It’s a tough, yes, send this to them. They’ll get some great ideas. And also, please leave us a review. Wherever you’re listening to this podcast. Let us know what you think of the show. Construct constructive criticism is always important to us. We write we do this episodes, we do the show for you. So please let us know how we can improve it and also what you like as well. Kathy, thank you so much. We are so honored to have you. You’re a big deal. And you didn’t have time to do this. And you found time. So thank you, everyone. Yes, thank you. Oh, well thank you visit Lemond team.com L A m o n team.com Links to all of Cathy’s websites and email and social media in the show notes reach out to us she’s a lovely things she has wisdom guys learn from people who have been in the business 30 years. That’s the one thing they have that new agents just don’t they don’t have wisdom yet you don’t have it. That’s something that comes with time and people like Kathy, I don’t want to make you sound like you’re older Cathy that is not what I’m saying. I don’t think you’re older. But just being in the business this long is really a treasure and it’s no surprise that Cathy’s a top producer.

Cathy Lamon 53:40
So most people in this business love to share so absolutely reach out with questions I’d be happy to to have a dialogue.

D.J. Paris 53:49
Awesome. Lemond team.com is where you learn all things Kathy and her team. Kathy, thank you and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thank you, DJ

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