Melanie Stone

Melanie Stone • So You Want To Buy A Condo

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Melanie Stone is a top 1% producer in Chicago and her business isn’t even four years old! She’s the author of the popular So You Want To Buy A Condo seminar that she hosts every few weeks at various locations throughout Chicago. She also has been named one of REALTOR ® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 and has an impressive social presence (including the hashtag #MSC). She writes a blog post about each of her clients after the transaction closes, and on this podcast episode shares additional strategies that distinguishes her from the thousands of brokers in Chicago!

Melanie Stone can be reached at melanie.stone@cbexchange.com and 630.536.7723.


Melanie Stone


D.J. Paris 0:14
Hello and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the only podcast made by Chicago real estate brokers for Chicago real estate brokers. My name is DJ Paris, I am your host and we have crossed over the 70 episode. I don’t know line now that that really is aligned, but we’re very excited because, you know, our listenership, again keeps going up. So thank you for listening. Thank you for telling a friend. And please continue to keep doing that. Keep listening and keep sending this to other realtors that you think could benefit from hearing interviews with top 1% producers today, we have Melanie stone, we’ll get to in just a minute I have two things I’d like to talk about before we hit the the interview number one, Zillow was kind enough to bring me out to New York a couple of weeks ago and I got to go to their New York offices and see their operation and meet a lot of their staff. And that was really super cool and exciting. And if there are any managing brokers listening, Zillow has a program called premier broker where you can provide leads to your brokers and the back end, to be able to control all of that is incredible. And it’s really an amazing way to separate your brokerage firm from the hundreds, if not 1000s of others in Chicago to be able to actually provide Zillow leads, which number one are a lot more affordable than I had ever thought. And every you know, we know that almost every single person who goes online to look for a home is visiting Zillow in some part of the transaction, they have 186 million unique visitors every single month, right? There’s just no, no way around it. And these leads that they that they provide are amazing for one, really one big reason that separates them from the others, which is their live transfer leads, which means that Zillow gets on the phone and talks to these consumers qualifies them and then passes it over in real time, right to your broker’s phone. So you can set up a number of brokers that all rings their phone simultaneously based on zip codes and things like that anyway, so I don’t want to talk too much about it, but it’s something that you absolutely should look into to again, give yourself a competitive advantage at recruiting or retaining your brokers and also just generating more income right. So if you’re interested in learning more about Zillow premier broker, call Evan at 828-446-6885 or email Evan e vi n, the letter L at Zillow group.com Evan L at Zillow group.com. I’d also like to mention there is an organization that you should be aware of if you’re not already called Real Estate to the rescue. This is a volunteer organization run by real estate professionals in the Chicagoland area to help homeless animals. And if you haven’t learned about them, you can by going to real estate to the rescue.com they have a big event at the Merchandise Mart coming up later this October. And or you can always join the organization right on their website and volunteer as well. I’ve been to their events, they’re fantastic. And if you are an animal lover, you should check it out. So once again, go to real estate to the rescue.com and volunteer some time or some money and go see what they’re all about. And now on to our interview with Melanie stone.

Okay, today on the show, we have Melanie stone. Melanie stone is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker and the girl behind Melanie stone Chicago or hashtag MSC. Her business is built around first time homebuyers in 2015. She curated and launched so you want to buy a condo since then she’s taught this course across the city at places like Uber GrubHub and we work in 2017 Melanie was named to realtor magazine’s 30 under 30 list. She has also is become a member of our company’s prestigious President’s Club in 2018. In 2015, she was named Coldwell Banker city region’s Rookie of the Year. She currently ranks in the top 1% of all brokers in the Chicagoland area. When she is not thinking real estate Melanie writes for her blog and drinks coffee and unwinds and are cozy Linkin Park home. And if you would like to follow Meghan, Melanie, definitely check out her website. I was just telling her offline, it’s maybe the best looking website I’ve ever seen for realtor, which is Melanie stone chicago.com also follow her on Instagram at Melanie stone ch AI. So Melanie, welcome to the show.

Melanie Stone 4:52
Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited.

D.J. Paris 4:55
We are excited to it. I was I was telling Melanie right before we started and I put this on Facebook as well like sheep outside of, you know, sort of the the people that have been like the top top top producers for the past 20 years. Melanie is the most requested person. I think seven or eight people have requested her specifically to be on the show. And in fact, just yesterday, somebody reached out to me after we had already booked you and said, Hey, you guys should have Melanie stone on the show. And I said, Well, we just booked her like an hour ago. So this is a real treat for us. And we’re very excited to have you so welcome.

Melanie Stone 5:27
Oh, thank you. Thank you. I hope I live up to these people’s expectations. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 5:32
you just have to be perfect. So just be get give a perfect interview and just say all the right things. Anyway, let’s talk. Let’s talk about how you got into real estate, because you got in at a pretty young age. So tell us that story.

Melanie Stone 5:46
Yeah, for sure. So I was a senior, an incoming senior at DePaul University. And I was studying journalism. And I’ve basically been obsessed with like writing and journalism and blogging since I was really young. Like I had a blog since I was maybe 13, or something like that. And my whole life, I had these dreams of moving to New York and becoming a magazine writer, or maybe staying in Chicago and working for the Chicago Tribune or something like that. And that was really, really what I wanted in life. So as a college student that summer between your junior and senior year is super important for internships. And I just knew that if I wanted to succeed in that industry, then I needed an amazing one for that in between summer. So I applied for only one, which was probably my downfall. But I thought I had it. I put all my eggs in that one internship basket, and it was in New York City for the summer at Huffington Post, which at the time, was like my dream company. And it’s funny because now I don’t think I’ve looked at health posts website. And so So, so long, I don’t even know if it still exists. But back then that was all I wanted was that summer job at HuffPo. So anyway, so at the last second I like got through all the interview stuff, and I thought I had it and then they ended up saying, Hey, we’re so sorry. You know, call us next summer, I actually don’t think it’s gonna work out for you this summer here. And I was devastated. I cried. For days, I felt like such a failure. And in kind of like a bout of immaturity, I basically just decided to quit journalism, and do something else for the summer. So it was really like a foolish response to like a normal life event, aka like not getting what you want, or not getting the job you want. And the way I responded was by just straight up quitting the field that I had been pursuing for many, many years. So it was kind of silly. But anyways, what ended up happening was, I took a couple weeks off, and I was like, What do I want to do in life? I don’t know. I considered like waitressing or getting a job like that. And I really just had no leads didn’t know what the heck to do with myself. And I remember going to Chipotle with my dad for dinner one night, and we were sitting across from each other. And he was just like, You know what, like, why don’t you try real estate? You know, I think you like houses a little bit, right? Like you you like people, at least a little bit, I think you could make it work. And he he’s a like an entrepreneurial guy. He’s run businesses for his entire life. So he’s just very into the whole, like, work for yourself mentality. And so he was really, really just kind of pushing the idea. So he’s not a real term. My mom’s not a realtor. But they definitely moved us around a lot when we were young to different houses in Hinsdale where I’m from. So from that, both my mom and my dad kind of developed a love for home and you know, interiors and stuff like that. So that’s kind of where the idea came from, to get into real estate. So it was really random shot in the dark. Basically, just going off a suggestion from my dad over burrito bowls, which is kind of funny now, but

D.J. Paris 9:08
so you got your license at 21. Is that Is that right? Or right around? 21? No, so

Melanie Stone 9:13
I wasn’t 21 Yet, I was still 20 Because this was like, couple months before my birthday over that summer. And you have to be 21 to I think, take the test or start the class or something like that. So in the meantime, before I turned 21 I went and started calling managing brokers and I called Andy Shep PARSKY, who at the time was managing the Coldwell Banker Goldcoast office and he brought me in, sat down with him and it was like an instant connection. I felt so comfortable. I felt so safe. I felt really accepted and encouraged talking to him. And he was a Christian as well. So we really connected on a lot of levels. And he said, You know, I think you’d be great at this. In the meantime while you’re studying for your tests. Like I’ll connect you with a with a bro broker that needs help. So he ended up connecting me with Hunter Andre, who was also at that office at the time. And Hunter. Hunter is a top producer, new construction luxury. He’s an amazing agent. And he really just took me under his wing. And honestly, everything I know about real estate, for the most part came from Hunter, so I owe him so much. And I still call him to this day, like whenever I need something. But in those first couple months, I started working as his assistant in the office. And then I will also come out with him on showings or inspections or whatever he wanted me to tag along for. And it was just in those moments when we’d be driving in the car. And he’d just be telling me this or telling me that crazy story about different clients or situations or whatnot, that I really like soaked in as much real estate knowledge as I could. So I loved working for Ontario, it was just very educational. And it was a blast, honestly. But anyways, so then once I turned 21 I spent a couple of weeks studying for the test and then took it at like that end of September. I think I took it the last day of September in 2014. And I was the only one in the room. I started like bawling crying during the tests because I was so anxious about passing it sure came out and then they said okay, you pass Good job. And I was like overjoyed. And then basically a couple days later sat down with Hunter and was like I loved working for you. But I don’t want to be on your team. I want to do my own thing. And he was like, okay, and everybody else was kind of like okay, you know, do whatever you want to do. But you know, it’s it’s a big risk to try to go out on your own. Sure, but I was like, I don’t know. I was probably crazy. I don’t know why I just, I probably should have stayed with hunter. I don’t know. But um, yeah, that’s what I ended up doing. And so I was in college that first year, I was a senior at DePaul. So I was taking classes at night and taking classes online. And then during the day, I was basically hustling my butt off trying to build a real estate business. Wow.

D.J. Paris 12:11
Well, let’s talk about doing that while in college because it seems very difficult because you speaking of a gold, an ex Coldwell Banker, broker, Nikko apostle, we had him on the show, I’m sure you know, Nikko and he Yeah, he’s great. He was talking about when he first got his license, he was probably 20 to 21. And he goes, or maybe he’s 23. But anyway, he was like nobody was going to give me their million dollar home to sell. So he talked about doing a lot of open houses. He said he would do open houses for anybody just to get something going because he goes I had no leads I you know, tell us about your first year like what did you do to build business? Especially being still in college? Did you work? Did you do a lot of rentals because your friends were still in college and renting? Did you go right into sales? Like Like, how did you? How’d you build that business?

Melanie Stone 13:01
That is a great question. So I first started doing an insane amount of rentals. And this was four years ago, and the rental game was very different back then it was like you could find something on Craigslist, or you kind of did have to use a realtor. Whereas now it’s like, there’s all these rental buildings, there’s PadMapper there’s all these different like online sites where you can go and find apartments and you don’t need a realtor anymore. So I really had the upper hand when I started. Because all of my friends were in college or like recently out of college, everyone was trying to move to Chicago. And it was just like, so much so much rental business all at once. So I really kept myself busy running around the city doing rentals, learning a lot learning how to drive clients around learning how to parallel park while holding a conversation with somebody sure, like learning all of the little ins and outs of the city and different streets and whatnot. So I did mostly rentals from about October until December. And then on Christmas Eve I remember a lender that I had been becoming friends with his name was Chris consola. He is still my number one go to forever lender. I really don’t refer anyone else business. I give it all to him. Sure. So I definitely am super super loyal to Chris but honestly him giving me my first buyer was a huge break for me. He like referred us or connected us over email on Christmas Eve and me and Brian that was the buyer. We had our phone call. And then I started working with Brian and Brian didn’t care that I was young. He just liked me and we got along and it was just an amazing first experience, I think in sales and he bought a little condo in Rogers Park and it was adorable and I just I loved being a part of that transaction. And after that, I was like, wow, I want to get more buyers. How do I do this?

D.J. Paris 15:08
So, so tell us, how did you do that?

Melanie Stone 15:13
Oh, gosh, well, I did everything that they tell you to do. And your first year I did open houses. I did, you know, build my database and send out emails, I would create little gifts and little pop by type things. And I would give them out to people. Oh, what else did I do? I did Facebook marketing I, I texted everyone I knew and I asked for for help. And for them to put my name out there and stuff like that. And also, again, in 2014 2015, Instagram was a big thing. But it wasn’t as big of a thing as it was now. So I was really like, trying to cultivate my brand as much as I could by posting pictures at open houses or posting pictures on showings and stuff like that. So I definitely like leaned into social media right from the get go. And that helped me a ton with getting the word out. But really, the biggest turning point for getting buyers was in the fall of 2015. Chris consola, the lender I was telling you about him and I sat down and we decided that we are going to do our own homebuyer presentation out there. And these existed, I knew. Yeah, I knew a lot of agents had done these. And you know, the first time buyer seminar was not a new concept in 2015. But I wanted to make it relevant for young people, I wanted to make it something that people would want to come to. So we created so you want to buy a condo, and we wrote the content for it. And we booked a bar one night and invited everyone we knew, and people came out and we did our homebuyer presentation, and it was probably the scariest night of my life. And I will never go back to that day, even if you paid me it was so frightening. But it really worked. And after that, we planted another one. And then we planted another one. And now we teach them once a month for the public, and a couple times a month at different companies in Chicago. And I really get a ton of business from them.

D.J. Paris 17:24
Yeah, I there’s such a great idea. And I will tell you. So my background prior to joining the firm I’m at is I was at a technology firm in River North. And so I worked there for many years. And it was 120 or so of us there. And I was one of the old guys at like 30, and everyone else was in their 20s. And so most people were renting, but they were starting to make money. And I think there is a good chunk of those people that would be condo purchasers probably in the next year or two. And I thought you know what a huge missed opportunity. And this is something where somebody like you would come in, and I thought, you know and do a presentation. And I What’s what’s I think brokers often don’t think about is I know, so we had an HR department at this company, and there was a head of HR. And I guarantee she would have been thrilled because would have made her look good to have somebody come in and say, Hey, I know you have a lot of people that are renting. So I can talk about that I can talk about people that are looking to transition and I’ll bring in lunch. And it’s one of those things that I bet you no one ever asked her to do that and there was such a huge opportunity. And so you’ve actually done this, you’ve gone to companies and done these presentations directly for their employees. Can you talk a little bit about how you built those relationships? Or is it as simple as asking your friends? Hey, where do you work? Can I talk to somebody who might be able to greenlight that?

Melanie Stone 18:50
It’s literally, of course yes. It’s great. Yeah, I just I, I don’t harass people. And you know, I’ll ask somebody once or twice, and then if it doesn’t work out, and I drop it, but I definitely lean on my connections so much for the seminars. So you know, what I’ll do is like, I’ll go on Facebook, and I look people up from high school, and I’ll see what office they’re at right now. And then I’ll send them a Facebook message. And I’ll be like, hey, you know, I would love to teach my seminar at your office. Do you think there’d be interest kind of thing. And then they’ll either write back and be like, yeah, shoot me an email, or they’ll say, hey, you know what, I talked to this person. We don’t really think it’s something that we do here, XYZ. So it’s really as simple as just asking people, but I do have a pretty big network just because I went to you a VI for a couple years. And then I went to DePaul for a couple of years and I went to, you know, grade school through high school in Hinsdale in the western suburbs. So because of that most of my network is working in Chicago, so that gives me a ton of different friends. To contact and ask about the seminars,

D.J. Paris 20:02
and also for all the brokers out there who are listening. And Emily talked about partnering with a lender who helps not only share costs, but also has, you know, the ability to send it out to their database to maybe possibly get some some people to show up. And also you can have other ancillary you know, professionals there, too, you could have a financial advisor, you could have an attorney, you could have a title company, I mean, there’s, there’s a number of people that could share the stage, and also the cost. And, you know, they’ll also have the ability to potentially market the seminar, too. So it’s such a smart idea. But I think what you’ve done so well is not just done at once you’re consistent, you’re constantly giving the seminar, which I’m sure is huge, because people oftentimes probably can’t attend until maybe the sixth one comes around, and they’re finally free. I’m sure that happens all the time.

Melanie Stone 20:53
Yeah, totally, totally. And I never thought if you asked me that first time, the first thing we did the seminar, like, I never thought we would be doing it as often as we do now. And I’ve really grown a lot as a person through it, cuz I hate public speaking, I get so embarrassed and anxious and self conscious. And I just, it was, I think my biggest fear in life was standing in front of a room and having to talk. And now not to say it’s easy, I still have a lot of fear right before I go up there. But it has gotten so much better. And I just really has shaped me as a person.

D.J. Paris 21:35
And I’m curious outside of referrals, because at this point, I am sure you work a lot of your businesses, referrals from previous customers, but outside of that, what percentage of your clientele that is not referrals comes from these seminars.

Melanie Stone 21:50
I don’t track it, but at least 50% Probably more.

D.J. Paris 21:56
Unbelievable. Like, that’s a lot. Yeah, that’s amazing. So it’s, it’s yeah, the trick I think with all of it, is consistency. Everybody can do it once, but to do it constantly and have a whole rhythm. And, you know, it’s so smart. And again, I think the big opportunity is getting in front of employers who will have you come in around lunchtime, and just give a little presentation, there’s, there’s so much opportunity. So all you have to ever do is ask all your friends, hey, where do you work? Hey, can I talk to the person in charge of HR or whatever? There’s so much it’s so congrats to you, that is really cool. The other thing I really want to make a big, big deal about because I’ve literally never seen anybody do this. I was telling Melanie offline and as somebody who Melody’s been a writer for a long, long time part a good part of her life, she’s already been she’s been publishing online. So this is not new for her. But I’ve yet to see anyone else do this, everyone should go visit her website for a couple of reasons. One, it’s absolutely gorgeous. And it’s it’s got a really nice design to it, which is a Melanie stone chicago.com. But also, the one thing she did that I think is particularly brilliant from a marketing, I’m a marketer. So from a marketing perspective, I want to talk about it. But it’s also just really cool thing to do. She writes a blog post for every single one of her clients after the close. And she tells the story of how she met the person, the process of finding the home or selling the home. And then she has pictures of the happy person or couple or family in the blog post. And then I’m sure she publishes that all over social media. And I’m sure tags people in them, assuming they want to be tagged. And then that also is an amazing marketing opportunity. Aside from being a really cool thing to do and nice. I am sure that, you know, generates a lot of goodwill as well, because she is now then those people are then promoting a link they probably never been written about before in a blog post. So that’s particularly cool. So do I have that right? Or do I have some of that wrong or

Melanie Stone 23:55
No, no, you’re totally spot on. I love doing that. And I really, genuinely do enjoy almost every single person that I get to work with. And I say almost because I you know, you don’t get along with everybody out there. But for the most part, I become friends with, you know, a good majority of my clients. So to be able to write about them like that. I mean, it is honest, and I want to tell their story. So it’s definitely, it’s not like it’s 100% a marketing ploy or anything like that. To you know, to what you’re saying like, you’re right, it is so fun for me to then be able to share that. And then people, they read those posts and they say, oh my gosh, this girl’s 27 and she works at a marketing company like I’m 27 I work in a marketing marketing company. I could buy a condo, she can buy a condo, so it kind of like it puts the idea in other people’s heads and they’re like, oh, wow, if that person can do it then so can I.

D.J. Paris 24:55
Yeah, and I want to make a point that it is 100% sort of sincere are no warm and her voice your voice comes through in these blog posts where it is absolutely not a marketing, you know sort of tactic, it just happens to probably generate a lot of, you know, goodwill in business sort of just by default of being genuine, because your voice really comes through is like you are excited to tell the story. And I’ve always heard if you have to ask for the sale, or if you have to ask for referrals, you’re probably doing it wrong. So this is a good way to generate a lot of value and just tell people, Hey, I’m going to tell your story. And again, I’ve yet to see anyone do it. And it’s so smart. Because I always I always say like, and this is just my little personal Bugaboo is like what Realtors often do with social media, or at least sometimes what they only will do is like, Hey, I got a listing, check it out. I’m like, most people probably don’t care that much. Unless they’re in the market, they probably don’t care that you got a listing. But hey, I just wrote the story about one of my clients, you should check it out. That’s pretty cool. That’s worth checking out. So I always say like, provide additional value. And that I think really hits the hits the check marks there for that. So check out her website. It is it is super cool. But I want to also ask you, because speaking of marketing, because I loved seeing this, I couldn’t believe that this happened. You got booted off a dating website for marketing reasons. So could you could you tell us that story or dating app rather?

Melanie Stone 26:19
Yeah, yeah. So this is great. That was the first year when I was kind of trying everything just looking for business in any way. And I joined Tinder and my whole Tinder profile I decked out to be like, professional pictures of me or like pictures of homes. And then my bio said swipe right. Or I think swipe right means yes. So it’s like swipe right. If you’re looking to buy or sell in Chicago, I’m your girl would love to talk to you, blah, blah, blah. And I would just go in and click Yes to everybody. So I was getting all these matches and people saying like your new windows related to housing or whatever. But eventually, Tinder headquarters caught up with me and I probably got reported too many times. And they banned me from from Tinder and I was like, Haha, it was funny back then. But then I decided that I genuinely did want to start dating and taking dating seriously. So I tried to rejoin Tinder later, and they wouldn’t let him in. And I had to send them a pleading email, like saying look like I’m ready to look for love this time. Like, I’m not gonna market anymore, blah, blah, blah, and they roll back. And they’re like, sorry, like, you missed your chance.

D.J. Paris 27:31
You have soiled the good, the good name of Tinder, which is by the lake. Already, it doesn’t have to. It’s like that’s like, it’s like getting kicked out of a strip club. Like that would be the worst part. If you get kicked out of the strip club. You know, it’s, it’s a bet you’re in a bad place. But that’s, that’s really funny. And then But then you ended up meeting your fiancee on a different app. So it all ended? Well,

Melanie Stone 27:54
it did. I met my fiancee on hinge. So thank you hinge for letting me on.

D.J. Paris 28:00
That’s really funny. Um, so I want it let’s talk about sort of what what you think has made you successful? And maybe what separates you from other other brokers are things you think you do differently? Can you are you able to sort of verbalize that?

Melanie Stone 28:17
I’m sort of I mean, I mean, not not that I don’t believe in myself, but I do everything that other brokers do I communicate, I’m honest. You know, I’m very much myself with my clients. So in a lot of ways, I don’t think I’m super different from a lot of other brokers in that regard. But, I mean, my secret sauce, I think is totally my faith. I mean, like, Jesus is the backbone of everything I do, whether it’s social media related, blogging, related working with a client, teaching a seminar, like that’s where I get all of my motivation and my hope from and it just kind of is so integrated with every aspect of my business that it’s like impossible for me to talk about MSC without talking about my faith. So I don’t know if that’s really the answer that you’re looking for. But I would say that’s what makes me different. And not to say, I’m the only Christian Realtor out there. I know I’m not but it definitely helps guide my business in every single way.

D.J. Paris 29:26
Yeah, and you’re and you’re a you’re just a hard worker, too. And of course everyone in the top 1% is obviously they wouldn’t be there. It’s not by accident. But you know, you just keep puts you sort of put your head down and keep grinding. I mean, the idea of doing a seminar you say you do the monthly or so.

Melanie Stone 29:46
I do the seminar for the public once a month that we work where I have an office and then every couple of weeks basically whenever we can get into a company we go in so it might be like two company seminar. was a month in one public one, or it could be one company a month in one public one. It kind of varies.

D.J. Paris 30:06
Yeah. And again, it’s just just continually hitting. It’s funny I was interviewing, I probably told the story on a fact. I know I’ve told it, but I’ll tell it again very quickly. I was interviewing for the podcast and you should listen to this. Everyone should listen this episode, if you haven’t already. It was Josh Weinberg of the Weinberg Choi group. And I was asking Josh and I think this made it onto the podcast if it didn’t know, I’ll repeat it here. But he I asked him what his goals were, what his team’s goals were like, financially. Do you have financial goals? And he goes, Yeah, we don’t really think like that. He said, But if Tom, what if Tommy, who, by the way should congratulate he’s now going to be the president of car next year, which is very, very cool. Yeah, go Tommy. And, but anyway, they said of Tommy meets 365 people, which is his goal, we will hit all of our financial goals. So they have this grinding mentality to which is like, you know, God knows how long they’ve been in the business. 10 years plus, and they still go, Yeah, every single day, he has to meet one new person he’s never met. And that feeds everything else. Right. And so for you, obviously, you’re getting 50% of your non referral business from the seminars. So you’re doing them all the time. And I think that is just such a smart way. You’re just constantly, you know, getting the next one booked, and very, very smart. So keep congratulations on obviously, doing all of that. What else? Is there any any advice you have for newer brokers, or brokers that are looking to increase production, anything you see that you feel that maybe brokers aren’t doing that they ought to be thinking about?

Melanie Stone 31:45
I mean, I definitely think being yourself in real life and online is really important. So for me, my brand is so consistent, whether I’m on Facebook, or Instagram or with somebody, I just, I try really hard to be as me as I can, if that makes sense. So like, if you go and look at my Instagram, it’s not a business, Instagram, it’s my personal account. But my personal account is my business, you know what I mean? So like, everything is on the same thing i’ll post about my personal life, I’ll post about MSC stuff I’ll post about literally anything like it’s just kind of all a hodgepodge of life and work and life and work and life and work. And I like it that way. And I don’t think I would ever want to separate myself were like, over here, I’m, you know, real estate, Melanie, and over here, I’m actual Melanie, you know, so I’m pretty like, I’m definitely a big advocate of making it all one as cohesive as possible. And then the second thing I would say is, my big tip for new brokers would be to rely on other people around them. So for me, I rely on my family and my friends and my fiance, I need these people they are. They’re really like the backbone of my business in a lot of ways. I have a newsletter that I send out once every couple, once every two months. And it’s a huge arduous project and involves printing and folding and labeling. And it’s just, it’s too much of a task to do on my own. So what I do is I have all my girlfriends over, and I get wine and snacks, and they come over and they sit on the floor. And they helped me put the newsletter together at night, like you know, once every couple of weeks. So I really, really, really would be nothing without the people in my life. And I would say new brokers should ask others for help and don’t think that you can do it all alone. Because if you try that, I think inevitably you’re burnout and just lose interest.

D.J. Paris 33:52
Yeah, I think that is really well said and I think you know, again, your voice and your personality comes through in your social media and also your website, which is I would say most people don’t do a great job of integrating anything outside of their business life into it. And I think that you’ve done that in a way that’s pretty unique. So everyone again, if you haven’t yet checked out her website, it’s Melanie stone chicago.com also follow her on Instagram, which is Melanie stone, CH AI and you can you know sort of see how she weaves both her personal and professional life together in a way that seems really authentic and genuine. And also not super salesy, which is again I think a delicate balance and something to like check out because you do it. You do it very well. And you’re also we should mention you’re working on I don’t know if you if you want to talk about it much but you’re working on a new seminar, obviously as a complement to the buyer seminar. We’re working on a seller one as well.

Melanie Stone 34:54
Yes, yes, I am. So I’ve been thinking about this and what to do. about it for a while, because I definitely I love buyers. But I also love sellers and being able to market someone’s home and tell the story of where they live is really, really fun for me. But a lot of people, they look at my social media and they’re like, Oh, she doesn’t work for it, she doesn’t work with sellers, because all I see is the kind of seminar so I’m not totally sure how it’s going to look yet. But it won’t be a seminar, it will be called. So you want to sell a condo, and I’m thinking it’ll be either an ebook or an actual book or something that people can get their hands on and learn all about the ins and outs of selling because for a first time buyer, they don’t know anything about first time selling. So I really, really want to fill that gap too. And I’m still trying to like iron out what exactly it will be but hopefully, somewhat consistent with so you want to buy a condo?

D.J. Paris 35:50
I do not think it should be a book if my opinion is worth anything. And it shouldn’t, it probably isn’t. But my suggestion, do it on video at all, like videos, like a series of videos. Well,

Melanie Stone 36:03
being just as much as I get nervous in front of crowds. I get nervous in front of video.

D.J. Paris 36:11
I do.

Melanie Stone 36:11
I definitely welcome that that input so much.

D.J. Paris 36:15
Only because I just know, you know, like, nobody reads anything. That’s the problem. If people read the exhibit, I guess if you write something really awesome, people may read it. But I always I like videos, just because I know but the attention span of the average person is pretty low. But But yeah, I mean either way, having this much putting material together for people to learn is so important. And I think oftentimes Realtors forget that that is that they know so much more than the average buyer seller who’s got their own professional life and career and doesn’t think about real estate 24/7. And they don’t know any of this stuff. So when they go to sell the property, really, they may have only bought a property once and then the now they’re selling it and they do not understand that process any more than you know. Anyone else really. So yeah, having that being that educator, I think is so important. And then they they’re with you forever. Once you you know, once you establish yourself as the knowledge source, so that’s really great. And Melanie’s obviously done a great job of that. So I think we covered it all. So once again, everyone should go visit Melanie stone chicago.com Follow her on Instagram, Melanie stone, shy she ch i. And also if there’s any buyers or sellers out there that want to work with you, what’s the best way they should reach out?

Melanie Stone 37:36
They can send me an Instagram DM, how about that?

D.J. Paris 37:39
Yes. And very few people use that feature. It is a cool feature. So visit her at Melanie’s shy and send her an Instagram direct message. Also, what’s the best way they can reach you and tell them

Melanie Stone 37:54
they can call me my number is 630-536-7723.

D.J. Paris 37:59
Or they can send you a message through your website as well. So again, Melanie, thank you so much for being on the show. I mean, again, remember, you’re only what four years in the business so far. Is that right? Four years five?

Melanie Stone 38:14
Yeah, literally my business turns for this month. So four years on the diet.

D.J. Paris 38:19
Yeah. And already a top 1% producer and 30 under 30. So keep up the great work and we’re so grateful you spent 30 minutes with us when I know you’re too busy to do that. So thank you. Thank you. And

Melanie Stone 38:31
no thank you. I appreciate the ask you so much.

D.J. Paris 38:35
You’re very welcome. And on behalf of Melanie and myself, we thank you for listening and we will see you on the next episode. Thanks Melanie.

Melanie Stone 38:44
Thanks DJ

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