Now Is The Time To Work On Your Business Plan • Marki Lemons Ryhal

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Marki Lemons-Rhyal has spoken to over 300k real estate professionals about how to grow their business to achieve their goals. In our conversation she talks about the importance of using the extra time we have right now to work on our business plan. Marki provides actionable tips about working from home and how to embrace pivoting to find new opportunities for growth.

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

Marki Lemons can be reached at 773-454-0274 and info@MarkiLemons.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 host and guide through the show and in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with Marquis lemons. Before we get to Marquis I would like to remind everyone to please tell a friend think of one other real estate professional that you know that could benefit from hearing from these types of interviews with top 1% producers and send them a link to our show, send them right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com We have links to iTunes Google Play also Spotify, Stitcher, Pandora, or just tell them to pull up a podcast app on their phone and search for keeping it real and it should pop right up. Also please follow us on Facebook you can find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod or just search for keeping it real podcast. Reason for that is in addition to publishing every one of our episodes there we also show you behind the scenes footage and video footage of us recording each episode in real time. And we every single day we post an article that we find online that is specifically written to help real estate professionals grow their business. So please follow us again on Facebook. Thanks for telling a friend. Thanks for continuing to listen and support our show and hope everyone is staying safe out there and now on to our interview with Marquis lemons.

Today on the show we have Marcie lemons rial Marquis is a sixth time realtor Conference and Expo featured attendee. She is one of 100 speakers selected out of over 500 speakers selected to speak at the realtor Conference and Expo six different times. Marquis lemons is a licensed managing broker, also realtor, avid volunteer major donor and International Best Selling Author of and buy go out and buy this right now on Amazon the modern real estate professionals Guide to Success. Marquis also has a podcast called Marquis lemons rial find it on iTunes or any podcast app you use. Please subscribe to her podcast. It’s excellent. And you can find all things Marquis at her website which is marquis lemons.com and want to spell that m a r k i l e m o n s.com. And you can find her social media accounts there as well. She’s an absolute legend in the real estate coaching and speaking world and a social media expert welcome Marcie lemons to the show. Thank you so much.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 3:36
Thank you for having me. It’s you know the world is in a different place today. I’m glad to see that our spirits are vivacious and lively as we you know shelter in place.

D.J. Paris 3:50
Well, this this is a kind of an opportunity for us because we know how hard it is to get you to even appear because you are so busy. You are on the road. Can you tell our listeners how often you’re out there speaking to realtors,

Marki Lemons Ryhal 4:02
I’m on the road 100 nights a year speaking for real estate associations, banks and title companies. So I get to meet a lot of people face to face. I’ve now been home seven days, and I’ve only left the house twice. So I’m very good at following rules and regulations. But I miss being out on the road with my fellow realtors.

D.J. Paris 4:21
Yeah. Well, we’re really grateful to have you on the show today. Before we get into all the craziness that’s going on, because, you know what we always want to do is give some context around our guests and we’re so honored to have you. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into real estate?

Marki Lemons Ryhal 4:39
Well, I am a proud Chicago fifth generation entrepreneur. I was born and raised in the restaurant business so a third generation restaurant tour. My family owned Chicago’s oldest barbecue restaurant been in business since 1954. And for several years we sold more pork rib tips than any other barbecue establishment in the city. So in 1999, I went through a lawsuit with my family because I own the trademark right for our establishment. And as a result, I told myself that I wanted to do something where I could feel like a stay at home mom, and earn an above average income. So I came into the real estate business July 31 1999, as a loan originator because there were very few barriers to entry at the time. And then I transitioned and got my real estate broker’s license in 2003, and I’ve been full time broker managing broker since July 31 2003.

D.J. Paris 5:41
Incredible I mean, really Marquis is here in our local Chicago community. And we, we have listeners from all over the country who might not yet be that familiar with you. But right here, we’re one of the largest real estate markets in the country, you are known by everybody, we have 46,000 Realtors here, and I bet you’re 45,000 of them know Marquis, or know her name. And I’ve listened to her speak, and the other 1000 had just got their license last week and haven’t yet heard this podcast, but they will hear you very soon. And we’re so excited to introduce you to our audience, because they’re gonna love you. So, so thank you for that, that history. That’s excellent. How did you start to get into speaking and, you know, educating realtors.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 6:25
So let’s go back well, before even the whole restaurant thing happened. I have a undergrad degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and a master’s degree in business administration. When I graduated from grad school, I actually gave birth to my oldest son on that Monday, graduated from grad school back Saturday. So I actually thought I was gonna go back to school and get a PhD. And my grandfather informed me that I had six months to get a job that I would no longer be getting an allowance. And so I started teaching on the collegiate level fresh out of grad school, and I taught hospitality management and marketing courses. But I instantly realized that I was too young, and I didn’t have any real world experience at 2526. And so I said, Oh, I’ll come back to this. And in 2006, when I started to serve on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Association of Realtors, I also was told by my mentor to become a licensed real estate educator. And I did so and they kind of happened at the same time. And I was an instant success, probably because I’m animated. And I had real world experience from being an entrepreneur my entire life. And I was in the top 10% of Realtors in the city of Chicago before I became a real estate educator. And so 2006 was when the real estate education portion of my business kicked off, even though I had already been in education for over a decade prior to that. And what I decided to do, I believe that you should earn the most amount of money per hour work in the fewest hours possible. And so I went from being an educator to a trainer, a trainer to a speaker. And now I am probably one of the top speakers in the real estate industry on social media and technology. I’m just gonna claim it. And I work for the National Association of Realtors, religie, homes.com, Chase, Goldman Sachs, all of those companies. I’ve done some type of consultant training education on behalf of their members of their organization.

D.J. Paris 8:40
Yeah, your your pedigree is incredible. And your reputation is incredible as well, as you already know. So this is a real treat for us to have you. i Let’s let’s talk a little bit about so right now. We were just speaking a minute before we went live and the governor says here in Illinois that we’re on lockdown. And it’s it’s you know, it’s this is not uncommon. California has done it. New York’s done it other states are following suit. So people are at home right now, right? Realtors are at home, their clients are at home. You’re at home, you’re not traveling, of course. What do you have some ideas of what you know what Realtors could be doing right now to stay busy to stay engaged to not, you know, just flip on Netflix and waste away the day binge watching any thoughts of what our listeners could start to do just to stay busy?

Marki Lemons Ryhal 9:35
Well, the first thing I believe that every realtor should have a business plan. And that business plan you should in that business plan you should have a marketing plan and in that marketing plan, you need to have a social media strategy. And so let me be clear, took me about 48 hours just to get home get acclimated and wrap my head around what is going on and every single day. It’s like you have to make an justement, but I want every real estate professional to go back to their business plan. Now, when we think about shelter in place, your day is going to look different. And so my schedule used to be that I was the parent who was late dropping my children off at school every single day, until my youngest son got accepted into what I consider to be an A minus Chicago Public School. And they started school at 730. So I was turning the corner on two wheels trying to get the boy to school at nine o’clock. But then at the moment, he had to be on a bus stop, you know, at 6:45am. I was on that bus stop every single day on time, and I adjusted my schedule. So I’ve been getting up at 5:15am. Well, he’s in seventh grade. Now, he doesn’t need me in the morning. So I said, Oh, I can adjust my schedule. So I was getting up at 6am. Well, since I’ve been sheltering in place, and he’s at home, I don’t need to get up at 6am. So I just did my wake time to 7am. But I still have a long list of things that I need to do. And I need to do those things. Because my business plan said, I need to do them. And so not only do I think that we should have a business plan. Me personally, even though I believe in technology, I keep a journal, okay? And my journal is, is with me at all times people laugh and joke. But I have my little daily, I don’t know if you can see my lists, yes, I love right, of things that I have to go through every single day. And so I have my business plan, I’m looking at this time as the opportunity to outgrow my competition. And so if you sit here and you worry about something you have absolutely no control over. And you don’t position yourself to be better as a result of having all this time on your hands. That’s your fault. And so I want every real estate professional to go back to their business plan. If they don’t have one. I want them to think about as a result of being at home for 30 days, you know what, however many days, what are you going to do every single day that your unique selling proposition is going to outpace your competition?

D.J. Paris 12:17
Yeah, I love that. And let’s be honest, and I’m not saying for you, I’m saying to our listeners, let’s be honest, most real estate professionals don’t have a written business plan. They should they know they should. But life gets in the way, or they just never found somebody to help them do that. You have the time now to actually put one together if you already have one. Put your blinders on and keep working it right.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 12:44
Keep working it I came. One of the things that differentiated me right at the time that I started with the real estate education was I was the queen of foreclosures. I knew the foreclosures and short sales were coming. I had my husband drives me up to Appleton, Wisconsin, in the month of February in a snow blizzard, oh no, so that I could get certified to teach short sales and foreclosures for the National Association of Realtors. And my husband kept telling me Mark, you know, I can turn around, we can go back home and I had restless leg syndrome. I can remember this ride like it was yesterday. And I told my husband, I said no, I’ve been looking at the numbers. And it says, I need to learn this now. And I might not have the opportunity once I give birth to Austin. And so a month later, Austin was born. And within six months, you know, we weren’t foreclosures and short sales were the new norm. And so I encourage every real estate professional to look at the 2019 profile of buyers and sellers and profile of Realtors understand what their competition is looking like. Now, let me keep this in mind. There are some things we can’t predict right now because we don’t know what the outcome is going to be. Okay. But the competition of the realtor two weeks ago, we have that data, right. So I want to understand where we were and what is likely to happen as a result. I have people I was talking to a fellow realtor the other day, her client is a buyer want to go into an intro to an executed sales contract. And the listing agent was like, Oh, let me go to the office and fax you the disclosure. Oh my gosh. And I said how antiquated is that? You know, that realtor should think about what are some things that I can do online that I never have to go to the office to have to do them again, again, since so many offices are closed.

D.J. Paris 14:44
Right? Yeah, if you’re not taking advantage of dot loop or DocuSign are one of the many e signature platforms and if your affirm that your ad doesn’t offer that you really need to step up because that is that is a basic thing because you’re time is valuable Mark, he said, the beginning Hey, I my time is worth X amount per hour. And you know, nobody wants to spend an hour dropping off a check or running to get a signature when it can all be done electronically.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 15:11
You know what I did today, I looked at a couple of different platforms that will take our videos and basically transcribe them. So I looked at a system called wav. I looked at splashy, EO, I looked at headliner, and I looked at subtitles, okay. And at the end of the day, I actually made the commitment to pay $99 a month to have someone to do the four videos for me, because of the value of my time. And of course, I didn’t want to make that financial commitment now. But then, at my brokerage, I have revenue share, actually, I’m one of the people who left kW who still gets profit share. So I got profit, share revenue share. And I said marquee, what’s something you can implement that once again, I want, I want my competition, I want to be blowing dust at them, right? That I can do to differentiate myself. Instead of using the free tools, I decided to make the financial investment of $99 a month and have someone do it for me, based on the value of my time.

D.J. Paris 16:16
Yeah, I can agree we did this podcast, I started it. Myself, I did 100% of the work for the first two years, and I was really burning myself out. Because this is just something we do for fun, more more than anything. It’s not really a business of sorts, although it’s turning into one, which is very exciting. But it’s a tremendous amount of of effort and energy. And I know how to do everything. And so finally, about two or three months ago, I said I need a full time assistant, we had some part time people helping. And now we have zonna. And I have now transferred about 90% of the work that I used to do for the show to her. She does it it’s the best investment I’ve ever made. It frees up my time. It wasn’t very expensive. And it was absolutely worth every penny because now I can go out and grow the podcast as opposed to just working for the podcast, which is which is what I was doing. So I applaud you for continuing to increase, you know, your your effectiveness by outsourcing, right?

Marki Lemons Ryhal 17:15
Yeah, we have to outsource you have to realize what you’re good at what you aren’t good at. But you really have to go back to that business plan. Need to understand the value of your time. Yeah. And and I’m always going back even now, I’m looking at marquee, what are some of the things you can hire, outsource with this time off? Because I could spend more time help. We’re homeschooling now, right? I could spend more time in the homeschooling process, which is something I’m not good at. However, it’s something that I have to do to ensure my child’s future, right. And guess what, he’ll have an online tutoring session tonight because I know I’m not good at it. So I need some help.

D.J. Paris 17:54
I love it. And you know, for everyone out there thinking, Well, gosh, I would love to hire, you know, assistance or to help with my real estate business. But I knew I don’t have the income to do that. I completely understand I did this for absolutely free for the first two years generating essentially no income from it. And even the little income that was generated through sponsorships was gone went right back into the podcast. And but I then I had hit me like, oh, wait, we live in a global economy. There are this is a gig economy. And we have people from all over the world that are now connected through technology that will tell me how much their time is worth. And I was able to find help outside of the United States. As much as I would love to have somebody sitting in here with me. The reality of it is I couldn’t. And so now I have people from I’ve several people from different countries who help with this. It’s very cost effective. And it works really well. So for those of you out there thinking, Well, gosh, I can’t hire a full time personal assistant, maybe you can, you just might have to expand your reach or your search rather to beyond just the borders of this country.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 19:03
Yep, that’s true. And let me say this, a lot of them right, also sheltering in place right now. And you’re looking for work.

D.J. Paris 19:14
That’s absolutely true. And they are sheltered in place. I have zonna, who works for me is in Kosovo, and she’s incredible. I couldn’t do this without her. She is sheltered with her family. She’s been sheltered for few days. I have people in the Philippines that help they’re also sheltered as well. So we’re all in this together, I guess. But what you know, I want to talk a little bit about YouTube because you’ve had tremendous success there. And I know you speak a lot about this with respect to realtors can can generate an ROI on YouTube which by the way, could also be a free thing right? We you know, we don’t necessarily need to hire a production crew and a director and and camera, people in lighting people and if you can do that great. But you don’t always have to right. So can you talk a little bit about about you To Have and your thoughts.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 20:02
So my YouTube strategy is actually more of a Facebook Live strategy. When Facebook Live first came out, I was late to get it because I am not an apple girl. I’m an Android user. And so it came to my device late. And when it came, I was so frantic because I’ve never had that level of engagement on any form of video in the past, that it basically consumed me. So we have some tools like blab that I am where Kerry Liddell and I were over there, and we were doing a weekly show on Blab. And we were downloading that video and repurposing it. So I love to really start my video as a Facebook live video, because I create video sales funnels over on Facebook for lead generation purposes. And so what I do is then download that video content and repurpose it Oh, into almost 200 Different forms of content. But I’m taking I have two channels, one where I’m taking my Facebook Lives and repurposing them. And then another one kind of like you do as I’m taking my I record my podcast and video. And I’m building out a separate YouTube channel just for the podcast. And if you know YouTube is the second largest search engine, you can take that video and embed it essentially anywhere that accepts embed code, whether that’s your, your blog, or other platforms like LinkedIn. And so I am taking video content for lead gen downloading it and then placing it over on YouTube and taking the embed code from YouTube and placing it back into my WordPress blog. And then also for articles over on LinkedIn.

D.J. Paris 21:52
We do we have the exact same strategy. So I love that and, you know, this is something that now if you’re a real estate professional, and you’re like, you know, I would like to start creating a hyperlocal content, maybe you want to start to create neighborhood videos or, you know, city wide videos or suburban videos or anything that that you think yeah, that your your clients are not even necessarily your clients, people who are searching on YouTube are interested in learning, now’s the time to learn how to do it. And you don’t have to have ultra professional equipment, you know, you just have to have really good content. And now’s the time to learn how to actually market that content. It’s not enough just to put it up there, you need to know how to how to make sure it’s it’s easily searchable. And that hopefully shows up at the top of YouTube. And and there are strategies to do that as same with Facebook.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 22:45
Well, you know, it comes back, you were talking about hyperlocal content. And so those key words, whether you’re using those in the title, whether you’re using them in the description, whether you’re saving the video and have the alt text, you want to talk to people the way that they’re searching, and then you do want to provide valuable content. And a lot of times we as real estate professionals, we will go spend two $3,000 on a video and not generate any leads, right? Why I like live video is because I don’t like to edit. And so I don’t have to edit that live video and I’m 100% Okay, with making mistakes, I don’t make a lot of mistakes, because practice makes perfect. And I’m consistently creating video content. So it tends to flow for me, I don’t like to edit. And when I’m taking these videos and downloading them minimum, I mean minimum edits, you know, I might trim the the beginning and the end of the video and then add an intro and an outro video to it. And so I love video because it is the only form of content that you can repurpose without recreating. So the email marketing is coming from the video. The blog post is coming from the video, but I like to generate those leads initially and then take the video content and repurpose it. Yeah, that’s

D.J. Paris 24:09
a boy I mean we are we are so simpatico on this we do the same thing we stream this live we of course when when when we produce the audio version, we trim it up we polish it we it’s not much editing, but we make it sound a little bit better. But when it comes to the YouTube videos, yeah, we we chop off a little bit the beginning in the end, we put an intro to it and call it a day. But the most important thing is then marketing it and making sure that we are getting in front of enough eyeballs. And we just launched our YouTube video so we were really getting very little eyeballs at this moment. But on Facebook, we started doing video a few months ago really and it was silly of me not to have done it before but I just really didn’t think I wasn’t sure that it would work. I was I’m an audio podcast guy. And all of a sudden each video we do now gets well over a couple 1000 views is usually within a couple of days on Facebook. And it’s amazing and our listenership, and our viewership now, I guess, has increased. So this is such a great time of all the real real estate agents out there to learn how to do this stuff. Marquis teaches this, this is part of what she does. And we always encourage everyone to visit our website, there’s so many amazing resources there, which is marquis lemons.com. And but you speak about this all over the country. What are you hearing these days? Obviously, right now we’re in the middle of a crisis. I know you’re not necessarily speaking as much during the crisis. But prior to the crisis, what are you hearing out there from realtors? I mean, what are they? What are they struggling with?

Marki Lemons Ryhal 25:44
Well, one, they are struggling with the utilization. So when we think about real estate, it is often the second third, fourth occupation, we do have an older entry age than other occupations, this is something people always wanted to do, they would do it in their retirement. The problem that I’m seeing is if that person is let’s say, 40 years or older, if one they’ve never been an entrepreneur, and B, they’ve never had any tech training ever, in their previous occupation, they’re struggling, because not only do they need to learn real estate, they need to start to learn social media and technology. So millennials, we’re seeing have an easier entrance, only because they understand technology, because their generation of people who’ve never lived without it. And so I’m seeing that those that are coming in, if they’ve never had any entrepreneurial entrepreneurship training in the past, and they don’t have any tech experience, I don’t know how they’re going to survive, because the first thing they have to do is change their mind. And the mind is, is actually their barrier. Because they will say, Oh, I’m too old, it’s always a negative when they need to start talking about, you know, I am a lead gen magnet, I am a wonderful entrepreneur. I have technology skills that will sustain my business. And they aren’t saying their affirmations, and they don’t even know what to say. Because there are so many things they didn’t get before they get here.

D.J. Paris 27:20
Well, and the beauty of it is this is all teachable. All of this is learnable. It’s not age specific. It’s not like, oh, because you’re, you’re 24, you you inherently get this, you’ll probably have an easier time adapting it because you grew up with it. But I assure you, you know, people sometimes ask like, DJ, how did you start a podcast, I was like, Well, I read a bunch of stuff online, I took some courses. And then all of a sudden, I knew how to do a podcast I had no and I’ve never been in radio, I’ve never done anything like this. You know, I just learned it’s all online. And a lot of it’s free. And now’s a great time. And if you say well, I don’t have time. Now you do have time, I’ll have a little bit more time. And unfortunately, and it’s a bit sad that we have this time, it’s unfortunate for the whole country, and a lot of people are struggling. And yes, that’s true. And, and, and but here’s an opportunity for you to start to cultivate those habits. And if you give yourself and you say, Well, I don’t know anything about YouTube, great opportunity to start now spend 30 minutes a day, for the next month, you’ll probably be inside for some of that time anyway, whether you like it or not, and spend maybe a couple hours, whatever you have time to do. And also, let’s not neglect our sphere of influence everyone, let’s not neglect our clients. The people that are most freaked out are the people that are we’re already working with. But in addition to that, you making sure that you’re staying in communication with them. And I’m going a bit off 10 Off topic, but let’s make sure that we’re reaching out to everyone in our sphere and just letting them know we’re thinking about them during this time. But also remember, this is a time to go back to your business plan and say, you know, my YouTube game right now is a little weak, my Instagram game is weak. How would I increase that? Well, you might not know you can learn there’s so many resources online available and now’s the time right?

Marki Lemons Ryhal 29:10
Well, there are two things in regards to what you stated one, I’m going to be 50 on my birthday. And so definitely there’s no age limit, ending or start right. It’s I had I changed my mind and that’s why I embrace technology and the changes you must you must dedicate yourself to becoming a lifelong learner. So I am going to be that 80 year old cute granny with the hottest technology you know what my grandkids talking about? Oh, our grandma, we’re gonna run this by her or the one who’s the 80 year old tic tac sensation. That’s gonna be me. I’ve already claimed it right. So that would be number one, but then notice this during this Coronavirus scare everyone we’re getting emails from people we have not heard from in five to 10 years. I don’t need To know where these people get my email address from. So email is still relevant. And we’re sending consistent emails like I send an email every single week. Now I am going to go to every other week, because I want to get a higher open rate. And I’m starting to think maybe I was sending too many emails. But some of these people, I have not received an email from I know in the past five years, but they’ve been hearing from you. They’ve been hearing from me, but I’m talking about all the different businesses that have people’s email addresses. And this is the only time I hear from you. Like, I’m like, I’m like, please do not send me Do not send me another Coronavirus email. I’m okay. I every update every tip, every website, someone has already communicated it to me. Because every day probably for the past week, I’ve received 10 to 15 emails from people who have not been in communication.

D.J. Paris 30:54
Boy, I could not. There’s that is such an important point. You know, it’s it’s the same. It’s a similar point to Don’t, don’t be like everyone else. And also everyone’s already oversaturated with this information. And also don’t make it the only time you ever reach out, right. I get this a lot I am I was absolutely shocked how many emails I received from businesses that I forgotten about, because they hadn’t communicated with me. And all of a sudden they’re telling me what their CEO thinks about the Coronavirus, which, okay, fine. But it’s one of 60 emails I got yesterday. And yeah,

Marki Lemons Ryhal 31:33
yeah. Some of these organizations I’m like, and who are you? And when did I sign up? I mean, I’m really questioning the whole process. And so email marketing is effective. People are now sending emails as the result, I hope it’s not the only email they send. But at the end of the day, if we were to come back to the fact we have podcast and we have video content, and we have a YouTube channel, I’m basically doing audio to text transcription. And so now I have content in order to sin, ongoing communications and post that blog. But guess what, it was all in the business plan. So I had half a podcast, probably four or five years on my business plan, when it was in its infancy. And then finally, in January of 2019, I launched social selling made simple. And so you know, but it was on the business plan. I was a little slow to react and respond. But finally he got done. So yeah,

D.J. Paris 32:31
yeah, you know, it’s so it’s so true is everyone now, you know, it’s time to revisit the business plan, time to come up with that those daily actions, those disciplines, because we all know, it’s not about motivation, it isn’t about waiting for inspiration to hit you. Those may happen, they may not meet in my case, they don’t happen most of the time. But if I wake up at at the time, I’m supposed to, and I look at my business plan, and I say, What am I supposed to do today, and then you just chip away at your goals, you just chip away and just start chipping away. And all of a sudden, you know, one day you’ll wake up and you’ll be you’ll be a YouTube expert, because most people aren’t going to go that whole marathon, they’re going to peter out after a few miles. Because it’s hard. It’s not fun sometimes to wake up and do your homework. But that’s what a business plan is. It’s not something you’ll look at once a year and write once a year and then forget to look at you have to look at it all the time. I would recommend daily just to remind yourself, what am I doing? What am I supposed to do today, especially when all the noise is happening? Right?

Marki Lemons Ryhal 33:32
Yeah, it’s very, it’s hard. And like I said, I’m not getting up at 515. I’m not getting up at six o’clock. I’m getting up at seven now. So I’m well rested. And the goal is that once I get up, I come in my office. Well, one, I bathe and I brush my teeth because it’s very easy when you’re working from home to not do either, right. And then I come into the office. And I have that checklist. And I just start with that checklist every single day. And amazingly, even though I took all my travel dates off my schedule until June the first, it’s now filled with video production online course development. I’ve come back and that schedule is now full, because I instantly knew if I couldn’t be face to face, and I still need to pay a mortgage and take care of children. How can I do that? Oh, what you’re providing face to face you now have to provide online. And so what I think real estate professionals need to understand anything that you do face to face, there is an online solution to deliver that content to meet. I mean, anything you do face to face today has an app or method of delivery online. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 34:48
yeah. And you You are the you’re the I’m gonna call you the queen of pivoting I’m gonna give you a new title because I think in some ways that might be your secret sauce. Far be it for me to tell you But you have throughout your entire career, you’ve consistently saw where things are and where things were going and adjust it. And you’re even doing that now in this immediate time where we’re all sort of freaked out about what to do, and that you’re such a shining example of consistently being a lifelong learner. And just pivoting, changing, going, you know, I’m going to just slightly adjust, my messaging is still the same, I’m just maybe going to deliver it in a different way. And all of a sudden, new opportunities arise out of that. So

Marki Lemons Ryhal 35:30
thank you, I wrote the wrote, well, you know, what I have wrote the word pivot probably five times in the last 24 to 48 hours. Because that’s what we have to do as an industry. Instead of having a regular open house, we now need to do a virtual open house. Can we come in and see a house? Yes, the problem is that we touch everything. So can you go in? Yes. But now you need to safeguard. So that means don’t touch people stuff. Imagine that. Keep your hands to yourself in someone else’s house. Right? Which is kind of like common sense. But people come in, and the first thing they do is they touch right? They gotta touch everything. This is someone’s house. Yeah. You know, it’s so some of the changes. I think a great changes, I think that we should have always since video is on essentially, it’s on every mobile device. Right? Right. We should have been doing open house previews for years now. Someone sent me a video from four years ago, I was at the Chicago Association of Realtors and I did a walkthrough on Facebook Live on why you should do virtual open houses. Right? So it’s, it’s not new. It’s cost effective. And it gets you in front of the world’s largest audience online.

D.J. Paris 36:53
Yeah, it’s, it’s awesome. And you know, it’s another thing to even if you’re not broadcasting on Facebook, which you should be. But you know, when things get back to normal, and we’re going out and doing normal showings, you should still video then because you can send those at the end of the day to the client, say, Hey, here’s all the stuff we saw today. I know your heads, probably spinning here with five videos for the five places we went through just to refresh your memory so you can review them. But yeah, doing those on Facebook too, is super cool, because then people can follow along with you. And, and even if you if it’s just you, I want to show you my new listing because what I always think I’m gonna get your opinion on this. And, and, you know, you may disagree with this. And that’s okay. I always think Realtors do themselves a disservice when they only post a static image of I just listed or I just saw, it’s the most nobody cares. Nobody cares. The only people that care are the people you just sold the home to or sold the home from they care. Nobody else does. And it’s boring. And nobody wants to see that.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 37:57
We are in agreement 100% Every, every listing has three disqualifiers location, price point bedroom bathroom count, if that’s all you’re doing is posting that photo, and you don’t have anything to talk about the neighborhood or how to finance getting into that home, you have added all the disqualifiers for reason to not engage with that photo. I have a private Facebook group. And in that group, if you only post a photo, we take it down. It’s called the is real estate live. So you have to either have an event, which we will accept a photo. But if you post the listing, and it is not video, we take it down. We were so tired of just the photo, right? I mean, like it’s, it’s nothing unique about it, it has the three disqualifiers in it, do something different. And so I am 100% in agreement with you. But I wanted to go back, because I was talking about using the system that I was paying for. So when we think about YouTube, all of those long YouTube videos I take, I take an aha moment, three minutes or less. And I’m taking that over to have them do the audio to text transcription. So that I can now come back and either use that on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or even IG TV where it meets the time limits. And so you want to think about giving people content the way that they desire the content. Some people still like to read some people learn audio, some people visual. And so I’m always thinking, you know, how can we take this one piece of content and give it to people the way that they desire because what you’re never going to do is change how the consumer desires to consume information or their preferred communication style.

D.J. Paris 40:00
Right. Yeah, I mean, I love the idea of doing a virtual walkthrough and posting that on Facebook. And even if I’m not in the market for buying or selling a home, at that time, I might want to see what’s inside that house. And the static image, as you said, has disqualifiers and also doesn’t really tell me anything, I want to see the inside. And if somebody who I follow on on social media, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, you know, goes, you guys got to see this, come on, and I’m gonna show this to you. And then you walk into the home all of a sudden, now I’m engaged, I think it’s cool. I’m interested, even if I’m not in the market, and I go, wow, that was really, that was really neat. And I, I’m always amazed that that real estate professionals don’t do that as much as they should, you’re going into the house anyway, take a 30, take a two or three minute video and share it with the world.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 40:49
There are two things with that, I believe anytime you take a listing, you need to act, that home owner for access to their Wi Fi. So get the code because it allows you to market the property more effectively while you’re there, whether it’s photos or videos, there’s just going to upload and download substantially faster, very smart. But if you are a broker, or managing broker or whatever they might call it in your state. What I highly recommend now is to get a Zoom account. Because essentially, every camera you can have up to 100 cameras or more contingent upon the package, you get each camera, essentially a mobile device, an iPad, a computer as a camera. I’m thinking that offices need to do their own virtual Open House tours. And zoom would be an excellent platform where they could either stream that live to Facebook, or stream that live to YouTube, or just record it and download it and then repurpose it. So it’s so many ways to get things done. But I’m thinking if you have a great team or you have an expansion team or you’re an office, you provide that as a tool to the team or to the office. And now you are you have your own virtual open house tour. And all your agents need is a mobile device.

D.J. Paris 42:11
Yeah, I was I was telling you Marquis offline that we’re doing this via zoom as well. And one of the best qualities or features zoom has it’s with the paid membership, but it’s not expensive. It’s really inexpensive, is you can broadcast live on Facebook simultaneously. And I wasn’t even sure when we started doing this, because this is an audio podcast. Is that going to how is that going to confuse people? Is it going to make the distribution a little trickier? And I thought and Will anybody here does anyone wants to see these interviews? And we did one and it got like 1200 views within 24 hours. And I was completely shocked. And I went well. Of course I wasn’t thinking clearly. And of course that makes sense. And so everyone should go out and get a Zoom account. They’re free for the basic package. And then you can always upgrade. But boy, they are so helpful. And there’s so many cool features. I’m a big, big fan of zoom. And that’s what that’s what we’re using right now. I would like to ask you a question. You were saying you don’t get asked too much. So I love this. Tell me about you said your funniest real estate experience was not knowing about your MLS ID. And so and by the way, you’re not alone on this one. But you tell us about that. Can you mind sharing that story.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 43:26
So when I came into real estate, I came in as a broker, I was never a sales agent. At the time, if you had an undergrad or master’s degree, you could just simply sit for the state exam and never attend pre license school. So I’m one of those people. So one that’s a problem all by itself. The second problem was due to the fact that I decided to be my own broker and hold my own license right out the gate. You don’t have anyone to ask anyone to ask. So when I go to schedule my first showing appointment, the young lady asks for my MLS ID number and I’m like, Well, what is the MLS ID number and where do I get one from? And she tells me I have to go to my local association. So I go to the Chicago Association of Realtors. And when they give you the sheet of paper, it’s not like you just get an MLS ID number right? You have to pay the Chicago Association of Realtors, the Illinois Association of Realtors, the National Association Association of Realtors, you have the one time setup fee, and you have the MLS dues. So let’s say it was $1,200 So I’m like $1,200 That wasn’t in my business plan to start my business, right. And so when she gives me to be I’m like, I’m gonna give you this check and we’re gonna be done. We choose she said, Oh, no, honey, you’re gonna have to pay us every single year. At that moment. I knew I didn’t know nothing. That is really one of the pivots in real estate, to dedicate myself to being a lifelong learner because what I love about it the Chicago Association of Realtors I I felt like a complete idiot. I say, Who was this organization just took all my money, and it wasn’t on the state licensing exam.

D.J. Paris 45:08
Yeah, yeah. And you don’t have a choice. It’s not that you can choose not to do it, you choose not to do it.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 45:15
And so keeping that in mind, I always accept the fact that I know I don’t know. And that was my first experience as a licensed broker. And at that moment, I said to myself, you need to get in every single class humanly possible. Because clear, you don’t know nothing. You don’t you don’t know nothing Marquis.

D.J. Paris 45:40
Yeah. It’s funny I, I I’m always shocked so So Mark, and I are here in Chicago and Chicago Association. Realtors is the local city Association. And they’re excellent. I actually was just, I got to moderate a panel of top producers a few weeks ago. And for the YPN, and the YPN. Here in Chicago, it stands for the Young Professionals Network. And a lot of associations have some version of that. And it’s an excellent little subset of the of Chicago Association realtors, where they have these great breakfasts at a local restaurant here in Chicago that’s famous called Manny’s, and they bring in top producers, they bring in speakers, Mark is spoke at it a million times. And it’s a great thing. And it comes with your membership. And I cannot tell you, we have 650 Realtors at our own firm, almost all of which are members of Chicago Association of Realtors, and a lot of them don’t even know this exists. And so this is such a marquee set as a big thing. So all of us out there are probably a member of some local association, I guarantee there are classes, there are benefits, because you’re paying them a lot of money. There are things that you probably aren’t that familiar with, contact them and say, Tom, can you send me a list of the classes? Where do I go to find out what’s going on? Because you might as well get your money’s worth, and there’s so much great value in those trainings.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 46:57
You know, I just thought about it. And as a result that first year, I don’t, what year did you come into real estate?

D.J. Paris 47:03
Oh, just about 10 years ago? Yeah. Okay.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 47:06
So I’m taking you back to 2003 2004. So what I decided, well, I didn’t decide this. But at the time, because real estate was so hot, you would have all of these open houses where at the time, they would give you like $100 Marshall Field gift card or Saks Fifth Avenue gift card or the new $20 bills came out. And I remember, they were given away the new $20 bills at an open house. So what I strategically did was, I went and got all my money back by attending these events and ended events, right, this is crazy, where they was given a gift. And I was going to eat because I wanted it to cover the cost of my meal. Because I said if I got to spend this $1,200 I didn’t know nothing about I need to recoup my money out here in the streets. And I actually recouped my money by doing what I was supposed to do. And that was attend open houses. But at that time you would have and you had to get there early, because they would run out of the money of the gift cards. So it’d be like the first 50 the first 100 people I was I was on my mobile device. I’m pretty sure it looked like a brick at the time. I had my no pad had my big bag, and I was going standing in line doing all of my calls my scheduling, but there was gonna feed me and give me a gift card. Yep.

D.J. Paris 48:21
Well, I actually Marcie, I saw you speak not that long ago, maybe a month ago over at. Oh gosh, the new big apartment building Nima real producers at Neem, I should know that one of our brokers works there. So I should know that. Yes, at Nima. And boy what a cool building. So this is the largest apartment building now in Chicago. And I want to tell you just a quick funny story. So Marquis was there was all top producers I write for the magazine that was that was sponsoring it. So they let me come. And I was sitting there watching Marquis speak. She’s, of course Excellent. And as we were going down, and this goes back to lifelong learning and pivoting, and this is of course before before the virus hit and things all change. And I was writing down that this is the hottest apartment building in Chicago. It’s gorgeous. It’s beautiful. It is so cool. And I’m writing down with with a top producer who I did not know. And she goes, I just hate these apartment buildings. And I said, oh, and I was curious. I said, oh, oh really? Are they overpriced? Like what? And she goes, I just think anyone who rents is a total moron. And I said, Oh, okay. And I said, Well, you must have, I’m sure you have clients that must be renting at places like this. And she’s like, Yeah, and I tell them, they’re stupid, and they should. And it was very interesting. And I thought, wow, boy, you know, and that’s fine. And I’m not here to to, you know, be pejorative towards this realtor. But I thought push, she’s kind of missing out on an opportunity here because a lot of realtors have pivoted. Now things are all up in the air. But we’re pivoted to like starting to think about rentals, rentals, you know, might make sense in some certain circumstances for some clients, and I thought, Boy, what a missed opportunity. You were at this beautiful Building, they were doing tours, you might have one person, you know, that actually could have been a good fit for this place. But that attitude Just Shut, shut it completely down. And I’m sure that she has missed opportunities. As a result,

Marki Lemons Ryhal 50:12
she has an abundance of missed opportunities. If we were to look at Kevin Rocio he’s one of the top commercial guys in the multifamily market here. And because he owns so much real estate, he does not own where he lives. But because he has all of this other income producing real estate, he pays a very, he’s in the ideal community, he pays top notch rent, because he wants to be serviced when he’s at home. And so, you know, owning and living in owning might not be your cup of tea, right? When you come home, you want some we want you want to bring your car down warmed up, right, you want him to have a grocery store in the store and bring your food up. And that for some people, that’s the lifestyle, and he can afford that lifestyle. And he has all the tax write offs. And so I would say definitely, that person is missing out. They let me say this, I look at life as not black and white, but all the shades of gray. That person was looking at life as black or white.

D.J. Paris 51:12
Exactly. Yeah. Well, I couldn’t agree more. And I think this is such a great place to wrap up. Mark has given so much value on this episode. And I want to make sure that our listeners know how to to get engaged with Marquis. So obviously her website for everything you want to know when you can hire her for speaking engagements, although obviously immediately, but but you can reach out to her and find out her schedule, bring her to your city, bring her to your your audience, and it can even be done remotely as well. But definitely visit her website Marquis lemons, that’s Mar K i l e m o n s.com. And also everyone should be reading her book. It’s an international best seller. It’s called the modern real estate professionals Guide to Success and also subscribe to her podcast. If you just go to any podcast app you have a by the way, you can go to Marquis website, you can subscribe right there. Just go to any podcast app though and type in marquee lemons, it’ll pop right up, hit that subscribe button and see what she’s all about. Because her content is excellent. She’s excellent. And she’s always evolving. And it’s great just to be around that energy to understand that you as a real estate professional, you need to keep evolving. So Marquis lemons for all things. And she has all sorts of great resources on her website as well. So marquis lemons.com, Marquis, on behalf of all of our listeners really appreciate you taking time. I know it’s a crazy day in particular here in Chicago. But I appreciate you taking some time out from being superstar mom superstar business owner and and all the other things you do to share it with our audience. So thank you. And on behalf of Marky and myself to our listeners We also thank you for continuing to listen to support our show everyone we would ask you just to tell one other real estate professional about the show and about this interview. And anyone you think could benefit from hearing from people like Mark you let them know about our show. And that’ll help keep us rolling as well. So Marquis, thank you so much. Let’s all stay safe and wash our hands and don’t touch things when you go into a listing. No touching.

Marki Lemons Ryhal 53:18
No. Thank you. All right, thanks Marcie.

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