Chris Linsell TheClose.com

Is A/I Coming For Real Estate Agents? • Unpopular Real Estate Opinions • Chris Linsell

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Welcome to our monthly feature Unpopular Real Estate Opinions with Chris Linsell.

Chris Linsell talks about the current situation in the real estate market. Chris discusses mortgage rates and why this is an amazing time to buy a home. Next, Chris talks about AI and its impact on the real estate market, an agent’s job, and the commissions. Chris also discusses how agents can evaluate the level of service they offer and what they can do to improve. Last, Chris discusses the importance of building a portfolio of expertise.

Please check Chris’ profile on LinkedIn.

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

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.

Chris Linsell TheClose.com


D.J. Paris 0:00
is AI coming for your job? Well, yes, but also No. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Welcome to keeping it real, the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I am your guide and host through the show and today I’ll return to keeping it real as our one of our favorite people that has been with us almost since well, almost since the beginning of our show certainly has been with us for many years Chris Lynn cell and we actually have a new title for Chris’s episodes that he’s going to be coming on regularly with us used to be called closing time, we came up with a with a different and kind of a more fun title we both thought, which is called unpopular real estate opinions with Chris Lin Sal, let me let me actually tell you more about Chris, if you are new to the show, if you are a returning guest or sorry returning listener to our show, you probably already know this about Chris, but let me tell you more about him to everyone who is new. Crystal Ansel is a real estate technology analyst and director of content at large. He specializes in new solutions to old questions, constantly exploring the cutting edge of technology in the real estate space. And Chris also has many years of experience as a licensed Realtor in the state of Michigan, and has worked as a marketer, a digital strategist and a trainer for major national brands like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices of Michigan, and Coldwell Banker Schmidt realtors. Throughout his real estate career, Chris has been part of hundreds of transactions ranging from modest rural starter homes to multi million dollar waterside compounds, and accomplished musician, actor and speaker Chris has engaged with audiences sized ranging from 30 to 3000. Most recently, Chris was just a featured speaker at the 2023 National Association of REALTORS Convention, which he just returned. Many of you listening may have already may have seen him speak there. But Chris, what oh, by the way, before Chris comes on, please follow Chris on LinkedIn, we’ll have a link to his LinkedIn page. He has writes great content there. And also if you are looking for a sought after speaker, either for a brokerage, maybe an association or a conference, Chris would love to chat with you. He is constantly traveling across the country speaking to lots of Realtors, Chris Lynn cell.com is where you can find his touring schedule and how to get in touch with him. Chris, welcome back to the show. DJ,

Chris Linsell 3:57
it’s great to be back, we might have to work on cutting that intro down a little bit, I realized I gave you a lot of info. And you know, most people that don’t care about that stuff, they just want to they want to get to the meat inside of the sandwich. So thanks. Thanks for having me back. It’s really a pleasure to be chatting with you again. You know, when I was or anyone who doesn’t know, DJ and I originally met when I was the senior writer for a website called the clothes and did a lot of content and and professional development for real estate professionals through the close hence closing time the former name of our segment but now that I am have moved on in the next chapter beyond the close, launching some new ideas here Unpopular Opinions perhaps man I’m looking forward to digging into it today. It’s It’s It’s good to be back chatting.

D.J. Paris 4:56
It’s very exciting to have you back Chris is very very important person, I believe, currently in the real estate journalist space. Chris is very, very well informed on what’s going on. From not just from a news perspective, but also from the perspective of working agent. And you’re also in direct communication with working agents as of course, you being a working agent yourself up. So let’s, let’s get right into it. What? Well, there’s a lot to go over. What do you what’s on your mind today?

Chris Linsell 5:30
Man, what’s on my mind today? Well, you know, there’s a lot of stuff, obviously happening in the real estate space right now. I think I think it’s important for for real estate professionals right now, to realize that we are, we’re currently I don’t know if you ever seen the video this, we’re currently standing on the beach, watching the water get pulled away from the shore. Like, like what happened in I think it was in Thailand, when there was this earthquake. You know, out in the ocean, everybody standing on the beach was watching the water recede, like there was waves that were getting pulled back like the tide was going out. And everyone was like, What the heck is going on? It’s pretty quiet in here right now. But there’s no water like we’re used to all of that water. In this video is building to a giant wave that’s going to come crash over the beach. And right now I have this kind of gut feeling that real estate might be going through that scenario. We’re all standing on the beach. It’s relatively calm. There’s, you know, it’s not perfect, but we’re not getting splashed right now. But pretty soon, we’re going to face some challenges as an industry challenges that we haven’t faced in a long, long time, maybe ever. And it is time for real estate professionals to start thinking about this, because we’re about to get wet as as the same would go. But I’m here to talk about why we might get wet and to tell people where they can buy their surfboards, because just because the waves are common doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful either.

D.J. Paris 7:12
Yeah, it’s funny I that I think that’s a really apt metaphor. And it makes a lot of sense, because it does feel very calm. Right now, certainly, the waters are murky. And, you know, there’s a lot that people are, at least the agents that I communicate with are unhappy about, but not as unhappy, maybe as they’ve been in recent, previous years. But there is obviously there’s there’s challenges with inventory and interest rates. I saw Jamie Dimon yesterday from from Chase, had basically said, Yeah, recession is coming. So um, that was that was depressing to see that usually. I don’t know, whatever Jamie Dimon says, I usually think is probably probably close to accurate. But he is not an economist either. So who knows, but he has a team of them working for him. But yeah, we would love let’s talk about where that kinetic energy is building right now out and out in the surf. And when it’s going to come crashing into us and what we can do sort of brace ourselves for it. Yeah.

Chris Linsell 8:18
Well, let me let me start by giving you an unpopular opinion, but not untrue, about the mortgage rates that you just mentioned. So it’s true that we’ve seen volatility in the mortgage rate sector, significant volatility relative to what we’re used to, right. Like it was not that long ago, that the status quo for mortgage rates was in the threes in the fours 4% for residential loans. What felt high at, you know, in recent memory, so to see rates where they are right now feels volatile, it feels like a shock even for those of us who have seen rates higher than this. It’s just been a long time since those rates have been that high. But let me set some, let me let me kind of set a straight here. It’s not popular for me to say this, but we are going to experience as an industry, a significant set of disruption. When industry went when our interest rates come down a little bit. And let me explain why. Right now, most people in most markets are experiencing what I would consider price stagnation. Relative to the interest rates, these high interest rates are not driving prices down. They’re just generally keeping them pretty, pretty pretty much flat. This is because these high interest rates, which usually would drive prices down are being buoyed by our lack of inventory, as you mentioned before, right like, even though you Interest rates are high demand was so high that now that the interest rates have come up, we’ve just kind of hit that equilibrium. But not down here where we want it, it’s up a little bit higher, this equilibrium is higher than most people are comfortable with. So imagine what would happen. If say, in 812 16 months, the interest rates drop two percentage points, and all of a sudden, we are seeing mortgage rates in the five percents. While all of this pent up demand for home purchases is going to explode onto the scene. And imagine what will happen when the buyer pool literally doubles in two weeks, when interest rates snapped down again, we’re going to see prices pop, especially in on demand markets, like major metros, tourist destinations, anywhere where there’s water, especially freshwater, we are going to see prices pop by 30% 50%, even in the span of a quarter, it would not surprise me to see interest rates go down, and prices pop by 20% 25. This

D.J. Paris 11:12
is a pretty this is a competition thing. We’re talking about 100% competition 100%.

Chris Linsell 11:17
Because you’re gonna have all of a sudden, all these buyers who had decided, I’m going to wait out the mortgage, the mortgage rates, I don’t have to move right now. But I cannot surrender my my 3% mortgage rate on my existing home, I can’t surrender that for an 8%. But I might be able to stomach it for 5%. So all of those buyers are going to flood into the market and all of a sudden, we’re going to see prices on homes skyrocket. And this is not going to be good for our markets in general, we’re still trying to find this balance between supply and demand. So an unpopular opinion, all that to say is the following. This is actually an amazing time to buy a home for buyers. Because if you have the capital to be able to temporarily brace the existing payments, thanks to the mortgage rates that are elevated, you have low competition and flat prices, which means your your your search process is relatively predictable. You could if you bought a house right now, if those mortgage rates like we’re all predicting, popped down by 2%, in the next 24 months, you can refinance that house, but you cannot refinance the price of the house. If you want to wait. If you cannot lock in today’s price, and then wait to buy it for two more years, you got to lock in at both places. But you can refinance that rate, even though it’s a little higher than you’re used to. Now, not everybody has that opportunity. I recognize this is another reasons unpopular opinion. Not everybody has the opportunity to go in at the higher mortgage rate because capital is tight, I totally get that. So this isn’t something that applies for everyone. But if you are working with buyers right now, it is time to start framing this situation as an opportunity because genuinely hate to say it, I don’t think it’s gonna get easier for buyers. In fact, I think it’s gonna get harder. And right now is the time that buyer’s agents should be counseling their clients to say, Now is the time if you want to strike on these sorts of things, it’s time to be active in the in the in the market right now.

D.J. Paris 13:35
I agree, I think that I would love to see a calculator. And by the way, if one of our listeners is so skilled in their in math to create this, but I would love to see based on some of the assumptions you just mentioned, what that breakeven point is for when it doesn’t make sense to purchase in a higher interest rate low competition environment like now which because and then assuming that at some point in the next several years, you may be able to refinance down to a lower rate if if rates do in fact decrease, which which we would hope they will. But you’re right, that the as the value or as the price. As the interest rates come down, of course, competition will be increased. So I think you’re right, this is, I think a huge opportunity for agents to just explain to their buyers money is just more expensive right now. It’s just a little bit more expensive. And here’s the good news. The bad news is yes, it’s going to cost you more to to you know, get a place currently, as far as the if you’re borrowing but you have not only less competition, as Chris said prices are relatively flat and a less competition. And then you know, as interest rates of course increase you’re able to or decrease you’re able to refinance hopefully in the future, but you know, you’re basically going to get a better price today. Just based on competition,

Chris Linsell 15:01
yeah, 100% 100%. Now, I want to layer in another unpopular opinion that goes along with this one we’re talking about, I mean, it’s easy to talk about the mechanics of our market. Because we’re all kind of watching we’re I mean, most most MLS is you can see what’s closing, you can see when it’s closing, you can understand the volume of your market, you can understand it relative to the historics. So most of us can see that stuff pretty pretty evidently, if we’re looking for it. But let me add in a layer of kind of unpopular opacity, if it will, something that kind of cloud things a little bit, which is the the added element of technology, specifically AI in this conversation. I know it’s unpopular to say this. But AI is common for your job. And let me be more specific, you’re not going to get replaced by AI, but you’re going to get replaced by somebody who uses AI very soon. Like, I’m not kidding, in the next 36 months, this is going to be a real consideration for people. And let me tell you why I think that this is true. We have seen an unprecedented acceleration in terms of the the path of AI, DJ, I don’t know if if you saw this or not. So if you if you did, I’m gonna give you a gimme here. And if you didn’t, then we’ll we’ll go from there. How long do you think we’ve been talking about chat? GPT? How long do you think this tool has been on the scene for us? How

D.J. Paris 16:38
long has it been on the scene? I don’t know. Yeah. How long is it? How long has it been in the zeitgeist? I’d say, year, maybe year and a half. It

Chris Linsell 16:50
just chat GPT became available to the public, just barely a year from when we’re recording this. It’s been available to the public one year and one day from today. It feels like we’ve been talking about this for a long time. Because I mean, a year is a long time. But we’ve also been really intensely talking about it. And one of the reasons we’ve been really intensely talking about it, is because it has developed so fast. Think about where we were a year and a half ago, nobody was using it was even thinking in the context of technology, how can I use AI to improve my real estate business? And now, I mean, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, I have spoken to literally 1000s of Realtors over the last just three months about how AI will affect their real estate business. And let me tell you, things are not slowing down, things are speeding up. It is very reasonable to believe that a year from right now, AI will be unrecognizably powerful relative to what it is right now. So if you are thinking to yourself, This is a technology that will not affect me and my business. You are akin to the realtors, who in the early 2000s thought now, there’s just no way that a company like what are they called Zillow, Zillow, zili, there’s no way a company like that could affect my real estate business. Of course, people are still going to want to come in my office and flip through the phone book that was the MLS, then if you are one of those people, you’re fooling yourself AI, and somebody who’s using it is coming for your job. And if you’re not prepared for that three years from now, you’re going to be doing something else.

D.J. Paris 18:54
Yeah, I mean, it’s even AI has even changed the way that I searched the web because now for the most part, I will well, I’m trying to think of if this is a true statement for me, it’s close enough to true most of the time, I will go to chat GBT with my query before I’ll go to Google. And that is only going to in Google’s developing their own. They have barred, they have their own AI. But eventually, we are going to stop submitting even search queries the way that we’re doing now. It’s it’s chat, GBT already has voice input, and that’s going to continue to develop and people are going to just start getting accustomed to talking to their devices and asking for information. I do it almost every day. i The way I think about it is you know, I don’t know if it goes back to the Odyssey but but this whole or wherever, whatever mythology this is, but the oracle at Delphi, this Greek mythology thing I have that now and or at least a version of that. And I speak to it all the time. And I’m curious and how Do you think that may impact a realtors job? Well, you mentioned? Yeah. Like how? What? Yeah.

Chris Linsell 20:07
Well, I mean, I’ll start off by saying, This is not an exaggeration. My children speak to and I don’t want to say it out loud. Our smartest speaker. Yep, my children speak to our smart speaker literally daily. And they ask it the sort of things that would have taken me a minute to get for them using the internet, and would have taken me at their age going to find somebody who just physically knew the information that I was asking. So my kids, this is this isn’t a learned behavior. This is an organic behavior for them. And it is for anybody who grew up using this technology. And the emergence of of artificial intelligence to pair with that sort of interface is going to, like I said, completely revolutionize the way that we think about information and execution of tasks. How will that affect real estate professionals? Well, there are two big things that I think we should consider. The first is, and I know, unpopular opinion here. But the first is if your value as a real estate professional is based on your access to tools, or your ability to execute procedural things, you’re screwed, I hate to say it, but this is going to change the way that we conduct real estate holistically, there will be no longer there will no longer be hours necessary for editing photos for writing listing descriptions for inputting and updating the MLS, there will no longer be hours necessary for sorting through and prioritizing communication on platforms like CRMs, there, frankly, will be no longer a need sooner than later to, to automate and even generate the sort of passive communication that just two years ago, I was on the close, trumpeting as an absolute necessity for building your real estate brand. Having email drips, creating the right social media content, making sure your website stays up to date, these used to be jobs that we did with our own fingers with our own precious hours, this is going away. In fact, I would be willing to bet 30% of real estate hours in our job will be gone and dedicated to machines. Within timing, I want to say 24 months, but maybe more like 18 months, 16 months even. I mean, it’s going to change the way that we think about this business, it is no longer going to be a to do list, it is going to be a list of important commitments. It’s no longer I have to do these 20 things to get my listing live, it is just two questions, how can I serve my clients and what is in their best interest? Those are the things that you will be responsible for. Can you imagine a world where you don’t have to post to Instagram or update the MLS? Or think about filling out the forms for your for your, for your local boards, license renewal, you don’t have to do any of that stuff any longer. Great, but also terrifying for those of us for those of you frankly, who hang your hat on the ability to do that stuff, because you’re not going to have to do it anymore.

D.J. Paris 23:39
Yeah, I sort of I sort of have a few thoughts about that. So what Chris is saying is absolutely right, it’s going to be wonderful thing for agents in particular with MLS input for listings and just you know, photography all of that is going to be much much simpler and it’s going to just be automated you’ve talked about you know, email marketing and different sorts of ways that that agents are spending their their man hours you know working on responses to clients a lot of that casual stuff or operational stuff will absolutely be automated I’m curious do you think Commission’s will be affected as a result of a lot of a realtors operational tasks being, you know, auto generated or automated to some degree is that going to squeeze commissions because typically when I hear about any when I hear about efficiencies that are, you know, technological efficiencies that are coming, I wonder how that’s going to impact the public’s view of a realtors worth and are they going to want to continue to pay you know, five to 6% to sell their home?

Chris Linsell 24:52
Yeah, I actually think it’s gonna bifurcate commissions and if my broker is listening I I apologize in advance for the argument, I’m going to start in the office in just a second. I think that Commission’s AI is going to affect Commission’s the following ways it’s going to make, it’s going to drive down the cost of somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 to 70% of real estate professionals, I bet you in three years, I bet you that most real estate professionals, 70% of them will be operating in the realm of what discount brokers operate in right now. flat fee, hourly, that sort of thing. I genuinely think, because there’s so many real estate professionals, frankly, who hang their hat on their ability to access the MLS and schedule showings, that sort of thing does not, that is not a resume skill anymore. So I bet to a whole chunk of those people are going to go down to the discount brokerage level. The other percentage, the other 1520 25, maybe percent of commissions, or a commissioned agents are going to get paid more. And let me tell you why. Because right now, these agents are kind of in the mix with everybody else here, it’s difficult to separate this wheat from the chaff. But AI is going to make it abundantly clear, who has the skills necessary to really serve their clients and their clients needs. On a personal and dynamic and individual basis, it is going to be the difference between a dedicated, like think about it this way, they like the agents who are going to be in this top performers. These are your personal physicians who know that your health and wellness inside and out, they know every square inch of your medical record, and all the rest of these people are going to be WebMD. So you are going to have the opportunity to either have the most premium service available, or you’re going to essentially have a self service experience where somebody is just facilitating access to the platforms that you need. Now, what are the downstream effects of that? It could be hate to say it, it could be a bifurcated experience for a lot of consumers, that only the rich get this premium hands on experience. And the whole, all the rest of us get the self service experience. But let me unlock this as an opportunity for anybody who is thinking about where they fall in here. There is an incredible opportunity for anybody who wants to provide that five star service to those who don’t think that they either deserve it or can afford it. Yeah, you have a chance to bridge that gap to become all of a sudden like, like think about when luxury brands all of a sudden create a line of products that are accessible on multiple price levels, but with the same level of service and integrity. It is it is a transformative moment for those businesses they quadruple or sometimes 10x their business, you could do that. It’s just a matter of understanding, how do I provide that level of service? How do I make it accessible to other people within the market? How do I make it so I am not just serving the elite of the elite? There’s so much opportunity there?

D.J. Paris 28:48
How would you recommend somebody Mayst would start to think about providing or increasing the amount of service they provide. We talked about, you mentioned the sort of white glove service this this five star service? How does an agent start to evaluate? am I providing that? And if not, what steps should I start to take to improve? Well,

Chris Linsell 29:12
I mean, I think honestly, this kind of dovetails very nicely with some of the conversations I’ve been having and other people have been having around the effect of these lawsuits that have recently been levied and, and, you know, I’ve hit inflection points against the National Association of Realtors. If you’re not in the loop on that you’re I don’t know where you’ve been. But long story short, National Association of REALTORS was found liable for promoting practices that were seen as uncompetitive or that were uncompetitive. That’s what that’s what the verdict was essentially that collusion essentially correct collusion collusion, a tie tied to the way that we pay by IRS agents specifically and just the Commission, the commission structure in general, promoted by the National Association of Realtors.

D.J. Paris 30:09
And let me see if I understand because I have a very rudimentary understanding of of why this system was set up the way it was, why it’s a problem. Now, I guess that’s maybe where we could start. So my understanding is that the way that this was set up for to encourage homeownership was to say, Okay, we’re going to, we’re going to do a basically you pay it when you leave scenario, so that as a first time homebuyer, which we want to encourage, in this country, we’re going to you’re the buyer technically isn’t going to shell out write a check for the realtors commission for to their agent, when they purchase a property that is going to be paid, technically by the seller who is going to write that check to both agents, if there are two agents, and then when that home buyer goes to sell their property, they’re then going to pay back into the system that they So my understanding is, it was a way to encourage or incentivize homeowners who didn’t want to or weren’t able to bring, you know, this commission to the table to close to buy a home, and then they’re gonna basically pay back into to it when they sell. Yeah,

Chris Linsell 31:18
that’s that’s certainly the the kind of the, that’s the National Association of REALTORS explanation for sure. Not to say that you’re, you know, like, you know, puppeting that, that viewpoint, but that’s definitely the argument that they used. I don’t think that that’s a perfect argument, nor do I even think it’s a really a fair characterization, frankly. Agreed.

D.J. Paris 31:41
Yes, it’s but I would say that was the idea, right, that the National Association of REALTORS will say is, is Hey, and the challenge with that is it’s not really how it works. Because the way that Commission’s yes, technically the seller is going to pay the Commission’s however, it’s all baked into the price anyway, so it really is being shared by the buyer and the seller, regardless of who’s actually writing the check. Right,

Chris Linsell 32:06
right. So, so thinking about this scenario, we can go, you know, into the lawsuits. In fact, maybe we have an entire episode where we just shrug into lawsuits, because I got a lot of unpopular opinions about both sides of this lawsuit. But as far as applies to kind of our, you know, anyone who’s listening to this, if you’re in the real estate space, and you want to think about how you can start preparing yourself to be on the correct side of that bifurcation of commissions, and make sure you’re not relegated down to the hourly employee, essentially, who’s just pushing buttons. One of the things that you can do right now is to start thinking about not just not just your Commission’s and your lead, you know, lead database, and the clients that you serve, not just thinking about these things as individual transactions, but about thinking about them as an overall building of your portfolio of expertise. And let me let me give you an example of what I mean here. It is rare, that you have a successful attorney who has on his card, something like John Q, attorney, good at law, all of it, you know, like, they don’t just that’s not the way that expertise is built. Same with your doctor, frankly, you do not have a doctor who’s like, John Q. MD, I know the whole body. And now you know, doctors they need to know the whole body. Generally speaking, lawyers need to know the whole law, generally speaking, but these are not the people you pay the big bucks to, nor are they frankly, the people that you would go to if you have a very specific question about a very specific thing, lawyer, medical or otherwise, you as a real estate professional should be thinking about this to each of the clients that you take right now should be a part of building this portfolio of expertise. Such that you have a reason to say I am John Q realtor expert in blank. It is no longer excessive or acceptable to say I am John Q realtor expert in real estate. We’re all experts in real estate. We all have a real estate license. You’re an expert, I’m an expert. We’re all experts. Okay, whether or not we actually have the definitional knowledge that’s a different story. But as far as the public goes, we’re all experts. What you need to start thinking about is separating yourself and your expertise by building a portfolio business the debt bounce traits, what the heck you’re actually good at. Yeah. And one way, a quick and easy way you can start doing this is when you take on new client conversations, let’s say you’ve got a lead who’s interested in buying a house, maybe an interested person is interested in selling a house, the first meeting that you have with them, and this is going to feel so unnatural, I realize this is going to tell me I’m crazy for this. But you need to say something along the lines of, well, I’m interviewing you, too, I haven’t decided whether or not I’m taking you on as a client, I need to make sure that your needs make sense for me as well, to start thinking about every client as an opportunity to build your portfolio of expertise. And if you have potential clients that are not going to work towards building your portfolio of expertise, these might not be the right clients for you. And again, I recognize this is this is first world problems, if you are in a situation where the rent is due, and you’ve got to get a transaction closed, by all means. This is a place where you say you know, I’m going to prioritize this next month. But if you are not in an emergency situation like that, if you if you believe that your expertise, for instance, is in waterside condos, and somebody comes to you with a piece of vacant land out in the middle of the woods, this is not your client. This is not going to help you build that portfolio.

D.J. Paris 36:31
I think you’re right in real estate. Real estate agents seem to be it seems to be we’re a little bit behind on some of these other specialized professions where, you know, yeah, you pass the bar, you get get your law license, and then you are really specializing in some version of law. Yes, there are general practice attorneys, and there’s general, you know, physician, physicians, general practitioners, and they can do some basic things. And what what they what they will almost always do is is refer out when it comes to something specialized. So I think you’re right, you know, I wouldn’t go to my estate planning attorney, if I had a, you know, a civil matter that I wanted to get resolved or criminal, or, yeah, I would, I would go somewhere else. And I think the opportunity is for each agent to really start to think about as, as you said, very bluntly, but I think elegantly at the same time is what are we actually good at? Right? Not not the collective we the individual, I what am I actually good at? What what service Can I can I provide? And how do I increase? Not only how do I increase my knowledge of that service? But how do I start to rebrand or, you know, just evolve my brand, to really start to focus in one to two sort of specialties. Yeah,

Chris Linsell 37:55
100%. And let me let me bring this analogy, full circle, the those like just kind of general practice attorneys and general practice physicians, those people play an important role in their field, I’m not gonna I’m not discounting that. But those folks are more akin to that bottom portion of real estate professionals that I was talking about, they are hourly, or flat fee, they are not going to do something specialized for you, they are not going to do they’re not going to execute a specialized task. And that is, Okay, if that’s the kind of real estate you want to practice, there’s ways to be successful there, too. You just have to ramp up your production, you got to be able to close, I mean, seriously, I think in four years, if you’re on the, on the lower side of that bifurcation, you’re gonna have to close 100 transactions a year in order to, to make this you know, a real, a real career that you can scale and be successful in, relative to the, like, 11 that most people do right now. I mean, 10x in your business is not an easy feat. And we’re not going to have 10 to 10x number of transactions in the country. So you’re not just going to have to increase your business, you’re gonna have to take it from somebody else, which, you know, not an easy task either. So, all this to say, don’t be a real estate professional, who is just satisfied, filling out the boxes on the MLS, and just taken every opportunity that comes along. Like you know, and treating them all the same. This is your time right now. We are we are in relatively consequence free zone. We’re on the beach. The wave has not come in on us yet. This is the time to be figuring it out right to be putting sandbags up around the beach house so that when the wave does come in, it’s not going to wash you away. We have the time right now. If you’re not doing it right now. Uh, I mean, I guess, thanks for, you know, for me and mine, you know, we’re gonna be more prepared than you will be. But there’s room for everybody here if we can all get on if we can all get on board for sure.

D.J. Paris 40:14
Yeah, I’m just trying to think now of what are some practical action steps agents can take one of courses is defining what their actual value is for themselves, you know, really to sit down on a piece of paper and say, Why would I hire me? What is it that I can actually provide? And then how do I market that or two things? How do I improve those skills? Or continue to evolve those skills? And how do I? How do I market that and really start to get people to associate these particular skills, not just I can help you buy, sell rent, etc. But I am particularly good at x. And, and you know, you maybe you’re right, as you start thinking about, if anything is outside of that, it’s tough to say right now to people to do this, to maybe turn away business when the market is is, you know, not as apt not as active as anyone any realtor would like, at this time. But maybe it does make sense to start to think about what might I turn away? That doesn’t necessarily fit into my skill set? And and where can I refer that and still get paid a referral commission? Of course, just like, attorneys do this. I don’t know if physicians operate that same way. But certainly attorneys do. And, you know, just something to think about. Yeah,

Chris Linsell 41:32
for sure. I mean, one, one practical step you can do right now is, and let me be totally clear, I’m not suggesting that when I want, you know, my this strategy, I’m not suggesting that the strategy is exclusive, meaning this is the only thing that you should do. But one thing that you can do right now, is get together a collection of your colleagues who all specialize in different things to essentially create a referral chain, to be able to say, I’m good at condos, you’re good at vacant land, you’re good at luxury, you’re good at for at first time buyers, you’re good at first time sellers, we need an opportunity to create these referral relationships such that we don’t lose. It’s not about losing business. It’s about appropriately allocating the people who need a podiatrist, to the podiatrist and the people who need an optometrist and the optometrist. It is not a matter of like, of giving up business, it’s a matter of getting it to the right places. And if you find yourself in a situation where you’re like, Well, nobody’s sending me referrals. No, I don’t have anybody to serve us right now. It’s an indicator that your niche is too small for your market. If you do not have anybody that you are good, if there’s no clients for what you’re really good at, you have a skill that nobody is utilizing, that is not necessary for your market. And that’s a clear sign that you need to either switch, expand, or team up with somebody. And this is the kind of the last thing that I would add in the situation is I think we are going to see the emergence in the next three years of I don’t want to say a run, well, maybe I do. We’re going to see an emergence, a renewed importance, emergence of real estate teams, and how teams address the needs of their of their clients, both because it allows a real estate professionals to work together to be able to offer that premium service in a way that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to do individually. And we’re also going to see these teams emerge as vehicles for stability to be able to generate leads together to be able to use technology tools together to be able to share the burden of the business across multiple, multiple people. I mean, teams are pretty popular model right now. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a dramatic increase in these people are calling team ridges, like brokerages that just focus or function as big teams. I think that might be a thing pretty soon.

D.J. Paris 44:21
Yeah, it seems like it should be and this idea of just sub specializing and merging, you know, different practitioners together into a team. It’s already happening. It’s been happening for years. And now with the additional sort of pressures of technology that are coming to sort of reduce the need for the general practitioner and increase the need for the sub specialist. I think you’re right that teams are going to start having it’s it’s, it’s going to be a lot of yes on my team. This is the first time homebuyer here’s the condo person Here’s the renter or the rental, you know, agent, etc. and commercial agents and all of that. That’s very, that’s very interesting. I do, I do see that coming, because we’re starting to see that even in our own brokerage, we’re seeing a lot of people starting to team up just to offer a wider breadth of services. And, you know, they’re basically their Commission’s are staying the same, but they’re able to provide better service to their agents. So I think that that’s a lot, you know, I think is a great place to sort of stop for today, because it’s really a lot for our audience to think about is really to start mapping out. What does if I were to specialize in in a couple of areas of real estate, what would that what would that look like? Where and what would I need to adjust? In my business right now to find more of that? How do I find more clients that are first time condo buyers in my market, or, you know, it could be also to like, I work with young families, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific type of transaction, it could be a specific type of individual or group of individuals that you enjoy working with, but But creating some sort of specialty, and really thinking about how do I, how do I penetrate that market, through my expertise, and through marketing. And, you know, I also think, too, if you’re not sure what you’re best at the best, because I think a lot of us, you know, we we may have either an inflated sense of self or deflated sense of self, but it might not be always the most accurate sense of how the world perceives us. So if you aren’t sure what your skills actually are, ask your clients, ask them, you know, in a way, say I would I’m trying to revamp my marketing, I would just love to know, if you were to think about why you chose me? And what was it about your experience with me that you know, that that led you to have a happy experience? I think if you ask them for that you will find out very quickly, you’ll start to notice patterns in the way that people respond. And you can start to organize that into a thought of okay, how do I specialize in these kinds of skills? I guess?

Chris Linsell 47:09
Yeah, 100% 100%. And, you know, the long the short of it is you can strip all of this conversation down to basically a single axiom, which is, do something really well and do it for your clients. If you can do that, you’re gonna be okay. But I know easier said than done. Reminds

D.J. Paris 47:31
me about something Adam Carolla has been saying, his whole life, he says, I never met a really, really skilled carpenter because he comes from the carpentry world, who was ever out of business, or was ever was ever lacking business. And he said, in really good carpenters are rare. And as a result, they are in high demand. And they are never, never at a loss for work. And you know, that is something to consider as well, as you were saying about, you know, if you have this specialty, but it isn’t being appreciated by your community, or you haven’t maybe effectively marketed it. Or maybe it’s just not that useful to your community. This is where you can start to think about, if I specialize in something, yes, it’s scary to then think I maybe I’ll turn away certain things. But maybe I’ll attract a lot more of my audience who really just wants X, and I’m the person that provides x. And I think that’s true. Like, if you’re good, it’s anything, you’re unlikely to ever be really out of work unless you’re you unless you have some particular skill that’s just not valued in the workplace. But certainly for realtors, everyone’s got to live somewhere, almost 93% of all homes, I believe this is accurate, as a whole. All homes sold, are sold through a realtor in the United States, something like that. So they’re still utilizing realtors. So now it’s time to think about what can I specialize in? And how do I get so good at it, that I’ll, I’ll never have to really worry about being out of work. It’s kind of like becoming become unfavorable if you have a boss. And the way that they say that is provides so much incredible value. I mean, it’s so simple, but it’s hard to do. But if you provide so much value at your company, even if you get fired, you’re going to get picked up by someone else who sees your value. So I think that’s just a really great thing. This time to increase skills, I guess is 100%.

Chris Linsell 49:23
And you said it perfectly become on fireable guys, we are our own bosses in real estate, become unviable from your own business. That’s that’s the I love it. That’s the best way to leave those blank.

D.J. Paris 49:37
All right. Well, Chris, we are so so happy to have you back. And we’re Chris is going to be coming on regularly as he was for unpopular real estate opinions with Chris Lynn. So for all things Chris to see his touring schedule to learn more about what his current thoughts are. Go to his website Chris Lynn cell.com You can also book him he you know if you work in particular if you are volunteering at your local association or state association or you’re part of the National Association. Chris has spoken to too many, many associations all over the country. So consider him for your next speech or if you have a brokerage. He would be happy to speak with you about that as well. Also follow him on LinkedIn crystallin Sal, just find him on LinkedIn. We’ll have a link to both of those his website and LinkedIn on the show notes. Chris, welcome back. We are so happy to have you. And we will see everybody on the next episode.

Chris Linsell 50:32
Thanks DJ

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