How To Thrive In Real Estate When Times Get Tough • Phil Byers

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Phil Byers of Byers Home Team at Compass is not only known as one of Chicago’s top real estate producers, he’s also one of the most professional agents you’ll ever meet. After 17 years Phil shares his strategies on what has worked to build his business and what he’s telling his team and clients right now during the stay-at-home order. He also provides actionable tips for real estate agents looking to take their production to the next level.

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

Phil Byers can be reached at 773.980.6683 and phil.byers@compass.com


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 Paris, I am your guide and your host through the show. And guys, we just hit a milestone. Well, I didn’t even know we hit the milestone. Thankfully, zonna, our producer, who’s on top of everything in keeps this thing running notice this and told me this morning. So we actually passed over the 100 and 50th Episode Mark milestone a week or two ago. And so we wanted to celebrate that. And also think take this opportunity to thank our listeners. Because without you we wouldn’t have made it even five episodes. Thankfully, this has become a popular show among real estate agents in the country. And we’re excited to continue to provide this content to you on a regular basis. We’ve doubled down this year and doing about twice as many episodes as we normally do. So we’re super, super thrilled to be able to provide more of that content to you. But we need a favor from you. So continue to support our show by doing really just two things. One is telephoned, think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from hearing from interviews like the one we’re about to have with Phil Byers, who’s amazing. And you’re gonna be so excited to hear from Phil, it’s a great interview. And all of our interviews are good, because the guests we have are so amazing. And we’re so grateful to have them on the show. So tell a friend about our show, send them over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com. And also the second thing follow us on Facebook find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod why? Well, not only do we post all of our episodes there every single day, we find an article written online somewhere designed to help Realtors grow their business. So you’ll get some great tips and advice. And also, you can watch our videos or behind the scenes recordings of our episodes on our Facebook page. So once again, find us on Facebook. And lastly, stay safe and healthy. And when those stimulus checks come in. Hopefully they’ll be coming in this week or next. Put that money back into your local economy. Support your local businesses who are struggling right now just like everyone else, help them out so that they can keep your local economy going. Alright guys, thanks. And now on to our interview with the great Phil buyers.

Today on the show, we have Phil buyers from buyers home team at Compass fuel, by the way, Phil is a legend in the Chicago market. So we’re super excited to have him and actually if somebody else should be hosting this podcast, it’s probably him. So I’m going to tell you a little bit about Phil, if you’re if you’re from the Chicago market, you probably already know him but our listeners of course are everywhere. So for everyone who doesn’t yet know Phil, let me tell you a little bit about him. Phil Byers recently joined compass as a 17 year veteran of real estate in Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods. Formerly in consulting, Phil started buyer’s home team with a mission of providing next level expertise and service to his clients. His favorite part of the business is advising his clients so they make well informed and clear decisions about their home and financial future. Phil’s also served as a productivity coach I could use him and has a true passion for helping the people of the real estate industry succeed. He was also named a 2019 Chicago Association of Realtors top 1% producer and we are thrilled to have him by the way follow find Phil and his his team at buyers home team.com welcome Phil to the show.

Phil Byers 4:41
Thanks CJ. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here. We are

D.J. Paris 4:45
excited to have you I was telling Phil just before we started that we haven’t met in person, but I feel like I know him because he moderates a lot of events and panels all over Chicago and probably elsewhere and he is 1000 times better. In fact, funny story before we get started, I, I was just moderating a panel for the YPN for Chicago Association realtors. Oh, Grant was like I hadn’t done that ever before. And I said, I am going to take the times I’ve seen Phil speak and basically I did a version of you for about an hour. I love it. We haven’t met in person, but I was impersonating you just about a month ago. So

Phil Byers 5:21
Well, I always say when I’m moderating panels are doing that stuff that I’m pretending to be in show business. You know,

D.J. Paris 5:28
you are so good at it. Your note cards. You Phil is super professional. I am not so I love I love. I need to I need to learn from you and do better.

Phil Byers 5:37
My friend Joe Zimmerman did a big panel in a room of like 800 people about a month ago, and he called me a couple of weeks and I’d love getting this call. And he was like, Phil, I need to tips on moderating this panel. And so I you know, coached him up a little bit to get ready for the room. I love it like tonight show if you can.

D.J. Paris 5:56
Well, let’s talk about you. I would love to know since you’ve been in real estate for a long time, but you came from a different background. I would love to hear that story. Can you tell us a little bit about why you got into real estate and how you got it?

Phil Byers 6:07
Yeah, yeah. You know, I grew up in a family where my dad worked for the same company for 35 years. And which is great today is his birthday actually, which is Wow, happy birthday. Yeah, happy birthday. 77 years old to my dad. He wants to go grocery shopping either this is Coronavirus, driving my brother and I nuts anyway, he, I just sort of had it in my bones to be at a big company and to sort of like climb a corporate ladder. And I was doing that for a while. And I just kept kind of bumping into hating it. And just really feeling trapped. Real Estate interested me I didn’t know anything at the time. But my now wife and my girlfriend and soon after this, my fiancee at the time, we looked for a home and we bought it together. And I think the process was just confusing and overwhelming. And I was so interested in real estate that I thought I think I can do this better. So I got to leave that nine to five, you know, commute to the suburbs and sit at a desk job and get to do this carnival job that we do. But I really wanted to just serve people i That’s my first impressions of the business is that I just get to really take a process that can be confusing and overwhelming and just help them get through it easier and set expectations better.

D.J. Paris 7:22
Yeah, I would say that that’s a very big reason why people get in this idea of serving that is certainly something that comes through in your personality, when I’ve seen you speak I think that’s something that is that is definitely you. And can you tell us so we have a lot of listeners who are either newer to the business and right now, obviously, everything’s upside down and difficult. But you know, even in more normal times, when we’re not stuck at home, you know, a lot of the listeners are always looking for tips and advice. And do you mind sharing sort of how you got started? And what did you do 17 years ago, you know what, what was what was what, what helped you build your business. And the thing I

Phil Byers 8:01
I always remember is there was an agent and my first office and this is a little bit of background on sort of sort of where I was at the time. So I come into sales, I’ve never sold anything before I quit my job. I’m in this new office, I don’t know anybody. And it was I don’t think of it today as being scary. But at the time, I’m sure I was scared, right? I mean, I don’t I don’t make a living anymore. I don’t have that income coming in benefits, all that stuff. And there was a woman that used to walk around my office going, it’s just a numbers game. It’s just a numbers game. And I always make this joke, although it’s not really a joke. I didn’t really understand what she meant, right? I remember her telling me just go to Starbucks in the morning. And when you’re waiting in line for your coffee, handing out your business card to all the strangers in Starbucks. And my first reaction was I’m doomed because there’s no way that I’m doing that guy, right. I’m too nervous. But I read The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, which is Gary Keller is broken. In it, there was this thing called a 33 touch. And it was a math formula. And I really attached to it. And it said if you meet people, and you put them into this machine, and you touch them a certain number of times per year, and you have a plan. So it’s thought out it’s businessy, right? It’s, you know, you have a marketing plan, and you have a touch plan and you’d seek to stay in in contact with this group of people. It also taught you to not judge the relationship. So if you meet somebody, let’s say at an open house, which is where I cut my teeth, I used to sit open houses all the time. Because I had been taught reading this plan, like meet people, put them into your thing. Your thing being your marketing plan, make sure that you’re touching them 33 times a year, four of those touches were personal and my business just grew and grew and grew and grew and it was just on the backs of, hey, I met you Do you need anything? Hey, I met you, here’s the thing that you might need, and then people would eventually call you and then that’s what my career has been for 17 years I say now, I really just have a Rolodex business where my clients are just kind of a natural churn all the time but it was do open houses and meet people meet people meet people meet people meet people is all I I was obsessed with for, really, for the first five years of my career, that’s all I did was just obsessively go to open houses, go to networking events, meet people that could potentially be buyers and sellers. And then stay in touch with them. Even if they didn’t give me any vibe that they necessarily wanted to stay in touch with me, I still stayed in touch with them. And then a lot of those people became my clients and then told them and when you do the good work on top of that, you know, you do the fun part, which is actually work with them, then they refer you and come back to you and all that stuff, which is really great. And that’s how I started it was just go out meet, meet me do open houses and build your database. I’m obsessive about names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

D.J. Paris 10:39
So that was the seed that started my business. And now is such a great time. While we’re you know, a lot of us are working from home, the vast majority of the country to really go back through your CRM or just your database of your contact list your sphere of influence, and make sure you have all of that information filled out and you you should know, your clients birthdays, their anniversaries, where they work, all of those things so that you can have a reason to reach out to them. And you have things to say you could call them on their anniversary. It’s my it’s your father’s birthday today. It’s my parents anniversary. And I don’t I’m curious on my parents have lots of service providers in their life financial planners, insurance attorneys, whatever, doctors, etc. And Realtors as well. And I’m wondering how many calls they’re getting today from other people who know it’s their anniversary aside from friends and family? And I bet it’s zero. Yeah. And so what a great opportunity right now for us to fill in those holes in our database.

Phil Byers 11:35
Yeah. And people, it’s a weird thing. Because one of the things that interests me as I always try to refer to myself as a citizen of the industry, like I really like being in, you know, you mentioned at the top of about doing, you know, the panels and speaking engagements and stuff, I really, really love the people of our industry. And I always say that you don’t even have to be that best friendly with everyone what they really want you to be as an expert, and they want you to be a really solid agent. And they want you to be able to answer their questions. I mean, the number one question that people have, you know, today when I get from clients is what the heck are you guys doing? Yeah, can you show a thing, can you and sometimes people just want to connect with you. And there were years where I felt like I do a deal. Going back to that point of like really liking to be a citizen of the industry in talking to people over the years. When I say this, people attach to this, I go for years, I thought everybody hated me at the end of a transaction. And I’ve been proven wrong, literally almost 100% of the time, then they call me three years later, but it’s like you have this big relationship and you’re with them. And so that self doubt that you have, can really mess with you. And so sometimes if you’re if you feel uncomfortable calling a client saying, Hey, happy anniversary, because you don’t have that kind of relationship, call them up and say, or don’t even call them, send him a note and go, Hey, just checking in with your DJ thought you might want to understand some metrics here. showings are down 55%, the last three weeks, and the number of contracts are down about the same, the number of listings are down about the same. So roughly half the markets disappeared. In case you’re wondering, and gee whiz, if you have any questions just about the market in general, or your home, just call me that’s people love that. Yeah. And they don’t necessarily even need to be your best friend. I’m not one to like, bring a pie at Christmas and short over the birth of a new child. But I am the person that’s there. They know the relationship they have with me. And they, they like it. And I like it too. I want to be there for them. And that touch doesn’t even have to be so gooey if you don’t want it to be. It can just be is me checking in. You’re so

D.J. Paris 13:34
absolutely right. And it doesn’t have to be as personalized. But it does, I think you either have to go the GUI route, or you have to go the expert route. And ideally, you’d have a combination of both. So you have great relationships, but really, at the end of the day, that knowledge is probably probably wins in trumps everything. Because right now I have a friend who’s a financial advisor, he is of course, just a last couple months, it has been you know, it’s been crazy. You know, obviously every day is crazy now with the market. And I said what are you telling your clients? I’m not one of his clients. And he and he just immediately rattled off about 10 things. And I was like, That was a great answer. Because he immediately had that answer. So I think what you just said is so important is have an answer. Do your research know what’s going on and know statistics like, by the way, showings are down, you know, cancellations, and temps are up and, and being able to have an intelligent conversation. You don’t have to know everything, but you certainly have to know more than your clients.

Phil Byers 14:32
You got it. You got it. And sometimes the best answer is I don’t know the answer. It’s Yes. And I don’t mean like I’ll find out for you. I mean, when I had I have you know, I coached 40 people for a year. I have a lot of colleagues, I have a real passion for young agents. And it was funny like day three of the lockdown. I’m getting phone calls from my colleagues and I would start answering the phone going. Hey, I’ve also never been through this. So I know you’re calling me to ask me what to do. But I don’t know. Because we just don’t know and when clients are gone Hey, What do we do with this? I go, double your building. Let us do showings, if so we can do this or that. And if you live there, we can do this or that. But it’s it’s a challenging time. But yeah, I agree. Or I think that summary is really good knowing an answer. And being able to tell your client something is so important. That’s what they want you for. That’s what they want you for. Yeah. And

D.J. Paris 15:19
that’s also your job, right? And not your job. And I’m not referencing you, but I’m saying it’s a real estate professionals job is to have answers. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to know everything. And again, the I don’t know, answer is perfectly acceptable. And then if it needs to be followed up with, let me do some research and get back to you, which is a perfectly acceptable answer, especially if you’re new, or let me check with my team and get back to you. But yeah, there’s off. Authenticity, transparency, and especially right now, everything is so so different. To be able to say, I really don’t know exactly what the future holds. But here’s what we can do today, or here are some options or ideas and, and let’s work together to figure it out, I think, yeah, I think that’s a really good. I want to also say something about you specifically, that you talked about being a citizen of the industry. I also have seen the way how enamored you are with other real estate professionals that you admire. And I’ve seen you do this in moderation. You know, it’s not an act, but when you’re talking to your guests, or the people that are sharing their secrets or their success strategies, you are, you are as interested as the most interesting person in that audience. You are that person. And I wonder how much of that has helped you even in your business over the years? You seem like somebody that’s always been interested in other other agents and how they’re how they’re doing?

Phil Byers 16:41
Yeah, I mean, I sometimes joke that I miss my calling. I mean, I You joke to the top two that I you know, maybe I should host a podcast. I mean, I would love it. I it’s so much more interesting to me to be curious about people. The other the other reason I think that you see that come through, is because I think our industry doesn’t tell the story of what it’s like, very well, the story gets told in whatever movies or reality shows, or whatever. I mean, I was just watching Ryan serhant, watching a bunch of his videos and really loving that I understood him. And I didn’t know much about Ryan serhant and really liked the stuff that he’s doing. But it spoke to me as an agent. I think from a consumer standpoint, it’s a little tougher. And so when I’m I’m doing those events, or I’m getting to interview, Jenny Eames are sure you know, the completely insane, Frank Montreux or whomever it is, I just want to know what they’re about and what makes them tick. Because I’ve been through it, I’ve, you know, anybody that makes it, is gonna cry and crumbled to the ground at some point from the pressure and stress, you know, ideally in the early part of their career. And I always say I can smell if you’ve done that yet. You don’t I mean, and if you’re talking to Melanie stone, you know, she has, if you’re talking to Jenny Eames, you know she has, and then I just want to hear about you and what it’s like for you. And I’ve, in some of those interviews, gotten answers that took my breath away. Yeah, and how honest and real they were not even about the like, what are your best tips for open houses, right. But this is how I feel sometimes, because this business is hard. That’s I like the opportunity for us to tell that story to each other because it makes us feel a bit more connected. Because the rest of the time, we’re mostly wrong running around going, Hey, look at how great I am. And look how many houses I sold. And, you know, we all look at each other with tears in our eyes. Sometimes we go I can’t do this another day. You know, and that’s what interests me is, is that part of the connection, the League, the consumers and the real estate sales, but what makes Matt literacy tick, or what makes Frank Montreaux tick, you know, Jenny Eames, or whomever it is, I just, I do love that process. And I don’t know it interests me and it helps me connect to the people of this business and it makes me like it more to

D.J. Paris 18:55
ya, I agree. And those those agents who are often featured on these types of panels have such interesting stories and they have there’s a lot of commonality in their discipline their the fundamentals they use to build their business there tends to be a lot of that is the same but but you know, when you were talking to me mentioned Frank Montero, who’s another Chicago legend, Southside Chicago guy, and, you know, you would asked him at this panel about the way you’d asked everyone on the panel, what would their morning routine was, and he had the most interesting morning routine. And it was very surprising because he’s kind of a gruff, you know, sort of type of guy. And he said, Oh, no, this is this is what I do for the first hour of the day, and it was all about, you know, taking care of himself. And I thought, Oh, my God, what a great you know, it’s I love hearing stuff like that. From and you’re able to bring that out of people. I’m curious to know what you are. What you are telling people on your team right now to stay busy. How are you staying busy and productive during during the turbulent times that we’re in?

Phil Byers 19:58
Yeah, few more Single I made a transition to compass and just really fun and exciting. But I admit that, you know, after 15 years with a different company, I rested for a little too long. So what I’m doing, and then I’ll answer the part about what I’m telling people to do, what I’m doing is catching up, I’m using it as an opportunity to get to all those things that I haven’t been getting to. I’m typically in touch with my clients pretty regularly. And we’re continuing that people on my team, it’s keep doing what we do every day, which is connect with our clients, the way that we’re connecting might be a little bit different. What we’re talking about might be a little different. I have a philosophy that we can go and share information with our clients, even if they didn’t ask for it. So I mean, two and a half weeks ago, I wrote a big email to my clients about you know how this is affecting us thus far, just so that something could get in front of them, and so that they could start hearing us talk about it and know that we’re connected in reality. But the answer whenever anybody asked me how to build their business, or what we’re doing now, or your question, which is what are you telling your team? Or what are you telling people to do now, is what you should always be doing, which is being in relationship with your clients be asking them what they need? To my clients, the big advice that I’ve given is if you’ve started, and this is a little bit of lead generation, right, but if you started thinking about selling this year, what an amazing opportunity for us to do all that homework that we hate doing. Everyone gets really excited about putting their place on the market doing showings getting offers the part about like, Okay, send me conodonts, okay, send me all this information, get me this, we got to get the photos scheduled. That’s the part that people hate. And right now, it’s a little more doable, because you have more time. And so I’m trying to line up for D Day, basically, at some point, it switches gonna flip and we’re all going to be back at it run around like crazy people. And I’m putting listings in the chamber ready to go. I talk to a client today where the only thing holding us up is that the building won’t let anybody in to do anything. A lot of older people live there. It’s 90 Lakeshore drive. And nobody, they will let anybody in there. They weren’t like cleaning people. And they weren’t let photographers in. So I talked to my client today. But she just appreciated hearing from me, and having me push just to go, Hey, can we get in there? And don’t get me wrong. I’m not being dangerous. In fact, we’re trying to let people in without even me going shake, can they meet, get the keys of the desk or whatever, we’re not being irresponsible. But hey, if it’s a vacant unit, if I can get a cleaning crew in there, can I and we can’t in this case, but my client really appreciated me thinking about it and continuing to push. And that’s what we’re doing is just staying in front of everybody and moving the ball where we can move it keeping our closings going, you know, there’s been deals I’m sure you’ve heard that have fallen apart during this time where buyers have gotten spooked the stock market spooks everybody, for good reason. I mean, I’m not even arguing that they shouldn’t be spooked. But I’m trying to focus on all the things that we can do. Which is kind of how I run life anyway, I don’t really get stressed out, I just go, okay, the world’s burning. Where’s the path out of the woods? You know what I mean? Or how can I get some rest for a day? Or how can I throw some water on this fire? That’s right next to me for a minute. So I can clear my head to get to the next thing that’s just try to stay focused and and do more. Being funny, your clients? Yeah, I

D.J. Paris 23:11
think I think that’s right. And it’s it, this is a great time to go back to those fundamentals and to maybe cultivate the habits that you didn’t have time to do when you are running around working, you know, insane hours, because everything is normal. And, you know, now it’s opportunity. Like for me when I was thinking back to that conversation that you had with Frank Montreux, where he was mentioning his morning routine. And I was thinking, you know, I was like, I gotta incorporate that sort of thing into my life, and I hadn’t, and now it’s like, okay, I actually have time to put that into place. And that’s going to reap dividends as well. Same thing with, you know, deepening relationships with clients, if there are people that you’ve worked, not you, Phil, but anyone listening who has worked with in the past, and maybe you’ve lost touch, what a great opportunity to reach out, just check in, see how they’re doing. Maybe give them some ask them, you know, you can always ask them if they have any real estate needs as well. But even just the reach out and saying, hey, you know, I sort of lost touch, I apologize for that. But I wanted to reconnect and just see how you, you know, you and your family were doing or I have this idea for you, you know, or hey, by the way, it might be a great time to refinance. Because of course of the rates being so low. And if you don’t want to go the touchy feely route, that’s a great value add, say, Hey, if you don’t have a great lender, I’ve got one for you. If you know that sort of thing. So lots of great opportunities to to, you know, to stay connected, I think, which is, as you said, the kind of the name of the game.

Phil Byers 24:31
Totally. Yeah. You said, you know, it’s a good time to get back to fundamentals. And I’ve said for years, the best thing to do is just get good at fundamentals. That’s the whole business. I say this a lot is just dribbling and passing. Forget you. You can make a ridiculous living just knowing how to dribble and pass really well. And dribbling and passing to me is staying connected to the people that you’ve met, bring them value, do good work, stay in touch with them. I mean, the number of times it’s funny I fill out a thing for You for funny story, one of my favorite stories in the business is different than the one that I gave you. But Phil, it’s, it’s years ago. So it’s probably it was probably 2010 ish. I don’t remember what year the, or the Olympics were supposed to be in Chicago. 2016. Number one, the bid for the Olympics. Okay, so I’m sitting at this networking Christmas party at this woman’s house. And for some reason, this woman, she was a patent attorney, she just didn’t like me. I was in a, I was in a networking group, kind of like a BNI. Group. Okay, yeah. And she had hosted this Christmas party for all the people of the thing. And I’m not a very social person. So I don’t want to be there. But I’m a professional. So I’m there. And our wives and spouses are all there. And so we’re sitting there talking, and I ended up engaging her and saying, Oh, your house is so beautiful. It was in River North. She had a big townhouse. And I said, Oh, I’m curious to know, when you got it or who your age was. And she was kind of like, talk to the hand like, oh, here, do you have an agent, and I was like, Alright, I’m gonna try to pitch anything, I just want to know, so she’s going on and on about how great her agent is. And she’s clearly uncomfortable with me just having any conversation with her because I happen to be a real estate agent. And she says, Our agents really great, our agents really great. We actually just bought some new property on the south side, because the Olympics are definitely coming to Chicago in 2016, which is, you know, remember the Olympics when they were here. So it went great. So she had gone out and bought some stuff. And I said, Oh, I again, I asked her who her agent was, because I want to know if I know them, right? Finally, after pressing her. And after she’d been raving about her agent, she goes, I don’t remember their name. And she, I was that day was such a huge aha for me. And when you look at the statistics of our business nardus is great report every year, the profile of home buyers and sellers. So awesome find is 74% of people never hear from their agent again. And then remarkable. And that’s the whole that’s the dribbling and passing thing, right? Like forget shooting, like you can dish it to be shoot, just dribble down the court, and you’re gonna make an insane living, just keep in touch with people offer yourself to be available. She couldn’t remember the name of this agent that she raved about. And that’s not the first time in my career. But I just always remember that as a reminder, that’s why keep in touch. That’s why we as agents should keep in touch because literally people forget our names.

D.J. Paris 27:12
Well, yeah. And that’s, and it’s probably a lot of it’s just, you know, and there’s no judgement to this. But I think all of us think we’re just a little bit more important than we really are. And that’s, that’s not because we haven’t. But, well, I’ve always said as a joke to it. Phil just said, I’ve always said, you know, if you’re just posting on Facebook just listed and just sold, nobody cares. Nobody cares. The person who you just sold the home to or sold the home from cares. Other than that, nobody needs to see you. Right back. But but the point is, is that we all think well, I sold you know, in your case, in this story, I sold this person in beautiful river North townhome, which is probably not inexpensive. And then I also sold them a property on the south side for you know, maybe multiple properties. Yeah, well, maybe. And and of course, they’re gonna remember me, they love me, I’m great. And here’s an example of them not remembering.

Phil Byers 28:04
So great. And such. It shows up in the numbers. Yeah, Darren does a great study every year, it says most people are going to forget about you, most people aren’t going to keep in touch. And to me, that’s the whole opportunity of the business. And the coolest part about it is that if you just stay in touch with people authentically, you get to mostly be yourself. Like I don’t have to pretend to be anything else. I’m filled. This is how I would say to my clients in the way I’m talking to you right now. Unfortunately, it’s the same way I talk to my wife, like we have the same cadence, right? Like there is no different speed or different version. And I think if you can systemize it, you know, I love that you mentioned Frank Montrose morning routine, right? Like if you can systemize even just a portion of your day, right? And I don’t even care what portion of the day it is. But if you can just get really on purpose about a couple of things. You don’t even have to be that again, you don’t have to be good at shooting you just have to dribble and pass.

D.J. Paris 28:58
Yeah, it’s funny that it’s I think it was Scott pack or somebody wrote the it’s never crowded along the extra mile. Somebody wrote that but it’s not even the extra mile. It’s not even crowded mostly around the highway. If you’re just actually doing the fundamentals, you’re far ahead of most sadly and unfortunately, but the good news is you don’t have to necessarily be the very best you just have to do really great customer service. And if you’re in and that extends you know before the sale and well after the sale,

Phil Byers 29:30
especially after the sale for sure. These people are not checks their relationships and part of the joy of the business is having trees of friends that have bought in referred to me and had kids and then had other kids in the bigger homes and bigger homes, bigger homes. I mean, I know some people that are you know for 15 years and I’ve helped him buy and sell three homes and I’ve watched them go from dating to married with three kids and the part about doing the business isn’t that fun after a long time you don’t hate it, but it’s just what you do. But the part about knowing those people and knowing about their lives and them honoring you, and wanting you to be part of their life is great. And it makes it worth it. Because the rest of the time, we’re just pushing papers, you know, right? The human part, if we’re not making it human or or humanistic. It’s just, like I say, then we’re just brokers.

D.J. Paris 30:21
And it is it is remarkable that in our narcissistic, you mentioned about most clients don’t hear from their realtor after or forget their Realtors name. It’s a very sad, sad thing. But it’s also what an amazing opportunity for anyone who’s new to the business to understand that, you know, just doing that staying in touch is a good, a good chunk of the way to success,

Unknown Speaker 30:44

D.J. Paris 30:46
Yeah, it’s, it’s, as Phil said, at the beginning, you know, look, whether you’re going what look if you if you work at a firm, and Phil said, he cut his teeth on open houses, which almost every we’ve interviewed almost 150, top 1% producers for the show so far. And basically, every single one of them started out doing open houses. And so for everyone listening, and I just want to quickly get back to that, because it was such an important thing. And we just we’ve sort of moved past it. But I want to go back because this is really important. So if you are a lot of people might say, well, I don’t have any listings, well, this what a great opportunity to develop relationships with other real estate professionals in your office, and just beg them ask them, Can I please please, please do an open house for you? Oh, my God. Yep. Yep. And, and if you don’t have that, then you know, you know, then go to Starbucks, like Phil was told, and just start handing out your cards, meet as many people as you can do it in an authentic way. Be yourself and add people to your database. But yeah, open houses are right now, obviously, a lot of places aren’t able to do that. Here, of course, in most states, but but once that, once we get past that, you know, beg people I’ve even had top producers on my show that have said if somebody’s a top 1% producers who say if somebody in my office asked me to open house, I turned them down two or three times. And I wanted to see if they keep coming back.

Phil Byers 32:07
I love it. Yeah, love it. One of the things if I could talk about that open house, minute and what I did, I’ve given this suggestion to agents, there’s an agent who’s still active in our market. Her name is Nancy Finley, she was sort of my first mentor. When I was at my first office, and I remember that there was a listing at the New York billing 3660 lecture that she had on the 25th floor had a great view as a one bedroom, there’s no big deal. And I basically just adopted it. I mean, I said to her, she wanted to do this. I mean, this is a while back. So I mean, she wanted to do open houses literally every single weekend. Yeah. And I said, I will do an open house here every single weekend for you. And what I would say to her, as I’ve said this to new agents, I can Oh, don’t just call up. Somebody says can you do an open house? What I remember saying to Nancy is, the only thing you have to do is leave keys in my mailbox on Sunday morning, I will handle everything else, I’ll bring a sign. I’m not going to ask you all the inane questions about how many units are in the building or, you know, whatever, I can find all that stuff out on my own. I’m gonna make this. So two things would happen. One, she was thrilled because there was an open house happening every week and you were earning your keep, right? She didn’t have to do it. I would leave a note for her clients at the end of every open house. Hey, we had you know, 14 groups through today, contact Nancy, if you have any questions I obviously wouldn’t get in front of her client. But I met so many people doing the same open house every weekend was great, because then I was able to go, here’s everything on the market in the building, here’s everything on the market in the nearby buildings. So I started to develop sort of those first shreds of expertise. Yeah, and the other thing I say to agents a lot is you if nothing else, let’s say nobody comes or very few people come or you don’t, you know, add 20 people to your database are all they’re all represented you you at least get to start understanding the rhythm and the language of the business. Yeah, open house is so important for that listening to consumers that are scared walk in the door, and start asking the questions that they’re going to ask you start to learn, oh, this is what people are taught to ask or this is what people are concerned about, or this is what people wonder. And then you start to develop that way too. You know what I mean? And it’s so it’s not just go to an open house and meet some buyers. It’s go to an open house, meet a bunch of people you can add to your database, run your marketing machine that gets in front of those people all the time, but also learn the language of the business. To your point I love develop the relationships with the other agents in your industry. Nancy Finley loved me. I remember she needed to Colas something back then. And the first time my name was on a listing was because she was like, Look, I’ll put you on as a co Lister Can you handle all the showings and I’ll give you 40%. And I was like, great. Yeah, just because I did good work for her. But it’s the one other thing I’ll add before I go on is the other tip I would give to agents that are looking for open houses don’t go up to an agent necessarily and say can I have an open house go to your office’s listings? Yes, little ones that have been on the market three weeks that are in really good spots that you know we’re going to have good traffic that you would like to stand in and tell all your clients about and go to an agent and ask specifically, hey, I notice you haven’t done an open house in a couple of weeks, this thing’s been around, I’d love to host an open house on this specific property for you. And by the way, if your clients want it, I’ll do it every single weekend. And now you pick what open house you want, instead of just going up to an agent and saying, Can I have an open house, please? Because we all know as agents, what happens is they go, cool, cool. There’s a one bedroom condo out. And yeah, who knows were in this really crappy apartment building that I can’t sell. You can do an open house there all day long. And that might not be what you want. But you take it because they said you can have this one instead. Maybe you go and ask them for some specific ones.

D.J. Paris 35:38
Yeah, it’s funny I had very early on when I started doing this podcast, just to piggyback on the stories as I’m not a Producing Realtor myself, I have to steal the stories of others that I’ve interviewed. But I had Nico apostle, who of course, you know, and he was on and he, when he got his license he was I think it is early 20s. He said, None of my friends were buying or selling homes, rentals, working with agents at that time wasn’t as popular. So he said he really had nothing going on. So he would beg people for open houses and Linkin Park, which is where he’s from, and obviously, where his family’s from. And when he talked about, I said, Well, how did you get people to come to open houses when you were 23, or whatever he started. And he said, this is one of the smartest things I’ve ever heard. So for anyone listening, I’m just going to repeat this tip. And if you want to go back and listen, that’s years ago, I did this interview, but it’s a great one. But he said he would show up an hour early. And now this won’t work in a high rise, of course, but for single family homes or three flats, he would knock on the doors of all the neighbors. And he would say, Hey, I just wanted to let you know, I’m doing an open house down the street. If you want to come check it out. Here’s my car, just come on by. And I said well, that’s interesting. I said, did people ever come he goes, people came all the time. Every neighbor is nosy, and they want to see what’s going on inside that unit. And I thought that’s one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever heard. Yeah, simple, but it works. So yeah, as Phil was saying, call your call your clients, call your buyers, let them know about these open houses, or get creative and get somehow get people to show up. Because as Phil was saying, you get to learn the rhythm of the buyer, thought process, the language, the questions, you just get used to talking about real estate in a social and informative way. And also hopefully get some some leads out of it or at least adding people to your database. So yeah,

Phil Byers 37:25
if you’re scared, like if you’re new and you’re scared, there’s no risk. You can flub your line you can be scared you can not answer the question the right way. And it’s all good.

D.J. Paris 37:35
Very good point. I want you to share your other your other funny story about the balcony and getting stuck if you don’t mind. Oh, yeah,

Phil Byers 37:42
this was this is a perfect for what we’ve talked about, too. So I was doing this open house. This is one of my first memories. I don’t even think I was a full time agent yet. I had asked for an open house, I might have actually been a Nancy Finley open house too. And it was on Damon. And so I’m doing this open house. It was a windy day it was in the fall. And I’m out on this back deck. And this is a building that was a it was like a fourth floor walk up and there was no staircase down from the balcony, it was all interior. And so we go out there and take these people out. And we’re looking around, and the door from the wind slam shut from the master bedroom and locks. And so now we’re out on this balcony, myself and two strangers are out on this balcony and I have no way to get us out of there are down the keys. Were inside I think on the counter or they were on course thing. And the best part about this story is you know they had signed in. So 15 minutes later, a neighbor think I’d left the unit door open, somebody in the building was coming up and I yelled down, the guy came up, open the door came in the unit, let us in. And so we got in had a laugh, they laughed, and I put them in my database. Of course I sent them and I do this with open houses even now. Sure I sent them a thank you note on Monday, hey, great to meet you, whatever. And they never respond to that. But you know, they’re in my marketing. Now they get a postcard from me, whatever. And like 90 days later, they sent me a note and said, Hey, we’ve been looking for an agent, I remember they said this, they go we’ve met 40 different people, and we just remember you the most, and we really liked you. And then to jog my memory, they said we were the people that got locked out on that balcony with you that one day, which is really funny. And we and I’m still in touch with them and we laugh about it. That’s how I met them. And it’s I think if that would have happened and they would have liked me which is very possible and I think this happens to a lot of agents like you put on a good show you’re at an open house the people like you You make a good first impression but you don’t follow up. Yeah, you drop the ball, it doesn’t go anywhere. And I didn’t remember them specifically until I got that note and of course then I can check on their name and it’s in my database because I took good notes and so on and so forth. And I don’t know it’s especially people that don’t have an agent yet that are or that are just starting the process. They just want to meet somebody that they like your job is really just to make a good first impression and that for some reason, because I’m sure I was nervous. But making jokes the whole time to spoke to them and they remembered me.

D.J. Paris 40:03
So I love that story and probably a good a good place to wrap up. I mean, I think you know you, in this conversation have really given our listeners a lot of great advice. And also, you know, we we have a lot of people who are buyers, sellers, investors, renters who also listen to the show. And if somebody out there is looking to work with you or your team, do you mind sharing what’s the best way that they should reach out to you?

Phil Byers 40:30
Yeah, I mean, there’s it’s all the ways buyers home team on Instagram and Facebook. www dot buyer’s home team.com buyers is my last name, b y ers. I mean, all the socials everywhere. I mean, just ping do fill buyers Chicago, you’ll find me. Yeah, that’s true. I usually say Instagram or Facebook are the best ways. Wonderful. Well,

D.J. Paris 40:53
Phil, I want to thank you for being on the show. I know how busy you are even in this, you know, challenging time that we’re all in. And to take time to do this is really well appreciated by not only myself, but the listeners. I think this this will go down as one of our more popular maybe most popular episodes. So I appreciate all the advice and just sharing your story and, and Trent your your authenticity and your transparency is going to be really well valued by our listeners and our viewers. And also on behalf of the film myself. I want to thank everyone for either watching or listening to this. We’re going to ask everyone for one quick favor, actually two quick favors. One, please follow us on Facebook. So you can find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod or just search for keeping it real podcast, you’ll find it on Facebook. Reason for that is we broadcast the behind the scenes the making of these episodes, the videos in real time there so you can watch them. You don’t have to wait a couple of weeks for us to produce the episode. But every single day, we also find an article online designed specifically to help Realtors grow their business and we post that there to help you. So please do that. And the second thing if everyone out there can think of just one real estate professional that could benefit from hearing from this interview with Phil, please pass that along. You can send them right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Or you can find us on anywhere. Podcasts are served iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play wherever Pandora, we’re everywhere. Just search for keeping it real podcast. But Phil, thank you so much for being on the show. This was a lot of fun. And you were one of the first people when we we first started doing this. I didn’t mention this earlier, but that we put at the top of our list of some people that we wanted, and we finally were able to find time.

Phil Byers 42:34
I appreciate that so much and I had a lot of fun. TJ I really really appreciate you having me on.

D.J. Paris 42:38
Thanks so much and continued. We wish you continued success. Not that you need my well wishes because you’re doing everything right. But Thanks and we’ll see. I will see everyone on the next episode. Thanks Phil. Thank you

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