Structure & Discipline From A Veteran Top Producer • Shelby Johnson

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Shelby Johnson the CEO of Five Pillars Nation and former military shares her great experience as military and her transition into a career in real estate. Shelby discusses the importance of rules, structure, discipline and chain of commands and how she leveraged them in her business in real estate. Shelby also discusses the importance of self-esteem and its role in managing clients.

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

Shelby Johnson can be reached here.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Do you struggle with structure and discipline? You probably do. Or at least I know I do. This episode is all about how to fix that. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solutions so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we will be speaking with top producer and veteran Shelby Johnson. Before we get to Shelby, we have just a few announcements. First, please tell a friend about this podcast. That’s the best way to help us grow. We want to reach as many Realtors as possible. So just tell one friend, that’s all we ask. And also please leave us a review whatever podcast app you may be listening to this on. Let us know what you think of the show we really appreciate it helps us also get in front of more listeners. So that’s it guys. Let’s get to the main event, my conversation with Shelby Johnson.

Today on the show, my guest is Shelby Johnson from five pillars real estate with exp in Charlotte. Now, let me tell you more about Shelby Shelby. Now Shelby served in the army for six years before diving into real estate full time as both a broker and an investor in 2018. Now out of the gate, she was recognized at the Keller Williams Rookie of the Year all of North and South Carolina, and I’m gonna guess there’s 1000s of Keller Williams agents in both of those states. In fact, I know there is. So that is a huge, huge deal. She close to 48 transactions in her first year. Let’s just pause and marvel at how amazing that is. Everyone listening knows how amazing that is. Then she went on to move she moved on to create a traditional team called five pillars Realty Group, which and I’m gonna, you’re gonna have to pause again, because I’m gonna give you a number, it’s gonna blow you away. So after her first year, she created this group and then closed 500 additional transactions, in fact, more than 500 in the inner first two and a half years, insane. In the mid 2021. Five Pillars evolved out of the traditional team and to what it is today, which is now called five pillars nation, how exciting to learn about how Shelby has done this and what she can do to help you replicate the same sort of success. Now I want everybody because she is a coach as well. So I want I’m sorry, I have a little bit more to read. For Shelby My apologies. Outside of building her agent business, Shelby was flipping acquiring rentals. She was in the investment space, both short and long term rentals. She founded pints and properties, which is a nationwide real estate investors group and is passionate about helping real estate agents use their active income to build passive income portfolios as well. And for anyone listening. If you aren’t familiar with the investor side of real estate, it’s really a great opportunity. Because at some point in your career, someone will come to you and say I want to invest in real estate. And it’s good to really have that skill set so that you can of course, accommodate that agent as opposed to just referring it to someone else like the Shelby right. So it’s good that she can help teach you all that stuff and just how to be a really successful agent, even if you’re not on the investment side. Because her team and her done. I mean 500 transactions in two and a half years is insane. So amazing. Anyway, follow her on her on Instagram, which is that Shelby show, we will have a link to that in the show notes and also visit our website, five pillars nation.com And she has code thing that she does. And she even has free coaching as well. So check her out. I am such a big fan of you, Shelby, I just learned about you. I’m already a fan. But I’m excited that you’re on the show. So welcome.

Shelby Johnson 5:11
Thank you so much for having me, man, that was such an intro. Thank you, I

D.J. Paris 5:15
get really excited. I just, you know, it’s funny, I was just thinking about this, I’ve done about 500 of these episodes. And I get so excited, because I just love talking to people that are really doing exceptional things. And, you know, maybe it’s some insecurity of myself of not feeling as successful as my guests. But I liked that I liked that I get to talk to people like you, first of all, you served our country. So on behalf of all of our audience, thank you for that, that is the most important, you know, one of the most important things that we don’t often remember as, as US citizens. But um, thanks for that. And then also, you know, you have just had incredible success very early and quickly in real estate. So how did you get into real estate? You know, we know you were in you were in the army. And then did you come straight from the army into into real estate? Yeah, I

Shelby Johnson 6:08
did. So I served in the army for six years. And it was, my first duty station was lovely, I loved it, you know, I was going to be in the Army forever. And then I changed duty stations to another installation. It used to be called Fort Bragg, it recently changed to Fort liberty, North Carolina. And I just had a completely different experience that led me to considering other options. I’m like, Hey, like, I don’t have to do this for the rest of my life. And I would ideally have something where I had control over my time. And, you know, my income would directly reflect my paycheck as opposed to having to work, you know, years to hit the next benchmark to make the amount of money. And so I just started looking around for, you know, what could check those blocks. And it was real estate investing was actually what I stumbled upon first through Robert Kiyosaki, and

D.J. Paris 7:00
Oh, sure. passive residual income. Yeah,

Shelby Johnson 7:04
yes. And then bigger pockets. And so I had this idea, I was like, oh, I’ll just buy rental properties, and then I will make money in my sleep, and I’ll just, you know, ride off into the sunset and never have to talk to a human again, right. That’s really funny. If you have actually been in real estate investing, you know, that it’s not like that. But that was the original dream. And I decided to get my real estate license as a means to generate the active income to pour straight into my investment. So, and I what I didn’t realize at the time, because you know, a lot of people getting their license, they’re just like, oh, I’ll just, you know, I’ll just open some doors, show some houses and clothes and make a lot of money. And I didn’t realize it was like, No, it’s a whole app business. You know?

D.J. Paris 7:50
It is, and it is, it is funny, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot of people get into real estate as as agents, or like you said it on the investors on the investor side, you know, and not always understanding the amount of work and effort it takes. Because really, it’s no different really than many startup businesses. You know, there’s this learning curve, there’s time to generate, you know, enough income to keep the business afloat. There’s lead generation, there’s all of these, these pieces of really any business, that and it’s sometimes you know, the schools who teach the pre licensing classes, they don’t really talk about any of that. They just go, let’s help you pass the test. You know, the rules and regs stuff, which you forget about anyway, at the moment you pass the test. But, but this idea of really understanding like, it’s kind of a trial by fire in a lot of ways. And you You did it, and you were very successful. I’m curious, I’ve had a lot of military or ex military on the show who have gotten into real estate. And, you know, I am sure there are some non success stories. But boy, there’s a lot of success stories. I suspect. This is a guest, but I suspect the discipline and the structure of being in the military, I’m guessing was really helpful to then when you’re on your own and not really accountable. You know, assuming that you don’t have somebody looking over your shoulder every few minutes going, what are you doing right now, most Realtors don’t have that in their have to really be self sufficient and self starters. Did what you know, can you talk about what you learned in the military? And were you able to bring some of those skills over into real estate?

Shelby Johnson 9:27
Yeah, my military experience was absolutely huge in the ability for anything that I’ve done so far. And I didn’t even realize it at the time, like how impactful it would be for me. But like you said, with the discipline and the structure, for sure, that was a thing I was already used to getting up early and attacking my day. And also the military instills the sense of urgency within you because there’s so much there’s so many levels of like, you know, leadership and ranks and there’s like a lot of pressure all the time and Little bit of fear from getting yelled at or, you know, getting negative counseling or whatever. And so I still had that, like, deeply ingrained in me. So like, whether or not I had anyone over my shoulder, there was just the sense of urgency like, I have to do this, like now, like yesterday. And the other piece of that urgency also is the fact that in the military, you can’t, if you care at all about your survival, you can’t say I couldn’t do it, or I couldn’t figure it out, or it didn’t work. And so that idea of like, there is a way you just have to find it, no, is not an answer. That is incredibly helpful. Your one

D.J. Paris 10:41
it is, boy, I don’t know that anyone’s ever said that exact thing on our show. And if they have I forgotten it, but that is a brilliant thing to really, it’s simple. But this idea of learning, you know, learning to how to process and know, and learning what to know, really, really is and having it not feel like the worst possible thing to happen. And also, I mean, it’s like, I always think really successful people just fail more. So they’re just used to the nose and I say fail, I mean, they just don’t get their outcome most of the time, but they just keep going. And of course, military works all on, you know, there’s, there’s a chain of command and you are not to really question and I kind of it’s kind of like, I don’t even know, now in this country, we sort of like you get to question everything, and you get to just, you know, be an individual, and there is no rules. But in the military, there are rules, there’s really specific reasons for that. And it’s not because they want to control and punish, they just want a really effective military to actually keep the rest of us safe. And so there are processes that are tried and tested. And and you have to just trust that the people you know, that have put these rules in place, know what they’re doing. And you’re right, you don’t get to probably say no, as much as you do, you know, outside of the military, especially when someone’s asking you to do something. But there’s a reason for that. And it’s not because they’re evil people. They’re like, No, we know how to do this. And we want to teach you so that we can keep you safe. And you can keep everyone else safe. So I love that. And I imagine, you know, yeah, I’ve never met somebody who is ex military who was like, you know, I just can’t seem to be as I’m not a self starter anymore. It’s like, they all just learned it. So well. So I think amazing. And you’re right, like, again, not not hearing No, just going okay, well, I’ll figure out a different way around this. And the cool part about real estate, there’s a million ways to do it.

Shelby Johnson 12:33
Oh, my God, so much. It is the land if you’re creative, the world is yours in real estate, which is just such a beautiful thing. And one of the things I love about it so much, it’s like there’s never one way to skin the cat. There’s like 75 The the military in general, like besides those aspects, though, there was also the aspect of the organizational side of it. So like I worked in human resources, and I oversaw 700, you know, men within a soldiers, but at the time it was infantry was all guys. So it really was men. And I was in charge of seeing people come into the unit, leave the unit, go on deployments, redeploy award ceremonies, promotions, retirement ceremonies, and then also like, making sure that that aligned with all of the other operational things that were happening in the unit. And so the fact that I could, you know, I worked with the operations and looking ahead on the calendar and making milestones and benchmarks and sticking to timelines and the calendar being like a Tetris, you know, all of this stuff, directly ties into real estate, in addition to in the military, that people move duty stations all the time that they, yes, they change duty stations. And so everything has to be documented. Because when you leave, oftentimes, there’s not even a handover. So your replacement will come two weeks after you’ve left. And if you don’t have your operating procedures documented, so that way someone could pick it up on a third grade level and figure out how to do it. It’s unacceptable. So those were things that really helped, you know, documenting so that way I could automate and leverage and use my time wisely, those really impacted throughout everything that I’ve done so far in real estate.

D.J. Paris 14:16
Yeah, it makes perfect sense is having the standard operating procedures and this this tight, tight organization, so that things don’t fall through the cracks. Because, you know, like you were saying, you know, somebody somebody leaves, you know, a particular area where they’re deployed, and then their replacement comes in, but it’s weeks later, and they’re million things that happened in those two weeks and you’re like, Okay, now I have to figure out you know, how to keep this all all straight, it kind of similar in real estate, right? Like, deals fall through, things happen. And you know, it’s or even just, you close a transaction, and then you’re like, well, that person is probably not going to buy or sell another property for seven years or whatever the statistic is these days. How do I make sure that they don’t forget it? About me during that time, but I want to find out. What do you think was the main reason that you got to 48 transactions in your first year? I mean, you know, that’s insanely impressive. I don’t suspect there’s any magic sort of formula that you know that no one else knows. Maybe there is. But you know, what do you think made that difference for you? Why do you think you did that? Well,

Shelby Johnson 15:22
yeah, that one of the reasons is because I didn’t know how good it was when I was doing it. And that is one of the things I didn’t go in with the expectation of like, you know, an average Asian and a good first year closes, like, I don’t know what like six, I actually

D.J. Paris 15:36
maybe six, yeah, maybe, maybe six. And so I just

Shelby Johnson 15:39
went in knowing that I was gonna go absolutely as hard as I could. And the results followed from like, the input of the work, but I didn’t realize until literally, they were like, Oh, you’re a rookie of the year. I’m like, what? So I think that honestly, having my mind’s not constricted to what was possible. Helped. That was one thing. And then there’s, there’s, yeah, there’s, there’s a slew of other other reasons. Like I stayed in the local city that I knew all of the people that I had a relationship with, within my organization, they already liked me and trusted me and I was so annoying on the way out, like, I’m getting into real estate, tell everyone, you know, here’s business cards are like, so annoying. Um, that was a piece. And then I think the the cash, I don’t know, there’s, there’s a million pieces, there’s the sphere of influence that I had, the way that I aggressively tapped into it, the organization and the ability to, so what I did, also, I know I’m a little all over the place, but like, I, I am very impatient. I want, I don’t want to spend the year learning how to do something, I want to learn it in a condensed manner as efficiently as possible. So I, after a frickin day of going to my Keller Williams class and sitting in like, the class, that was a nice little slow pace, and we learned some things, whatever it was like, this is not going to cut it. So I went to the the owner, what are they called it Keller Williams, I don’t know, the like CEO, basically. And I was like, who are the top five agents in the firm, and I got their contact information, ran them down, I was so annoying, but into like a nice, pleasant way. Because, you know, new agents are a dime a dozen. They don’t pay attention. The first time you ask, it’s the 12th time that you asked to shadow them, that they’re like, Fine, just get in my car. And so I did. I literally shadowed every single one of them. And I asked, I pulled as many systems as I could from them. And I let go, the ones that I didn’t think worked for me and I implemented that.

D.J. Paris 17:43
I would what how much so by talking to those top five agents, and again, this is just a guess. But you’ll you would know this better than I could guess. How much time do you think you saved in? I mean, are we talking years maybe?

Shelby Johnson 17:57
I would say so I’m talking year especially since like, they were so kind once I first when I finally got around them and show them that I was like really valuing every minute, every second that they put into me, literally they sent me the email templates for contractor clothes, they sent me checklist. Here’s my buyers packet. Here’s my listing packet, like I I learned more in that first month than most agents learn in their first five years, I swear.

D.J. Paris 18:25
Yeah, no, you’re right. And, you know, this whole show was was predicated on the idea that top producers are actually really generous with with their processes, their systems. I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case, when I started the show, like five or six years ago, and I turned out I go well, I just hope people like are willing to be on it. Well, now I mean, we haven’t had to ask for a guest in years because they they want to be on the show. They they they appreciate giving back. You are you are obviously no exception to that you’re doing the same thing. And it is it is amazing. If you just ask But you’re right, you do sometimes have to ask a few times, and maybe more than a few times, because top producers their biggest challenge is time. And honestly, they don’t have time for yet. So you really have to make it a priority. To really, really just like just like how you would prospect a client. You know, like, you know, you’re saying obviously you don’t want to be super annoying, but you want to be pleasantly annoying in a sense where you’re like, you’re like No, I really respect you. I just want to take you out for 15 minutes for coffee or something. And even even if you just do that once a week, you’ll probably get just incredible like you were saying you got all sorts of handouts and guides and checklists and gosh, I can’t even imagine how much time that is. And you also worked at a at a firm Keller Williams is got some of the very best training on the planet. I mean, we you know, it’s kind of what they’re known for Gary Keller and that whole thing and so you’re already getting good training or like I’m gonna go out and find other stuff to really applicable stuff. Yeah. And so really

Shelby Johnson 19:57
something that like helped though if you you know if listeners You’re sitting there like, I’m gonna do that. I think that this tweak and how you ask is made it made a huge difference. It’s not, hey, will you teach me? Hey, you know, can? It’s Can I just sit and listen? You don’t even have to look at me. You don’t even have to talk to me once. Can I just sit while you make your calls? Can I guess it’s the difference. It’s like, I don’t want to teach you man. Like they’re thinking I learned this on my own. It’s not my responsibility to teach you. But you can sit there, that’s fine. Sure. Yeah.

D.J. Paris 20:29
Or like if someone’s doing an open house, say, Hey, can I just shadow you at the open house? I’ll go around handing out refreshments or something. But I just want, I just want to hear how you talk to people who you don’t? Yeah, you’re, you are so so right. And what I think you’ll most of our listeners would find, if they feel self conscious about asking is you to talk to your managing broker and say, Hey, can you help make an introduction to me? Again, I don’t want to be annoying to these agents. But I would love the opportunity just to like be a fly on the wall. Listen, maybe maybe they even take you on a listing presentation, right? Like I just want let them. I mean, I can’t imagine what you would have learned on a listing presence. It must have been just like, well, this is pretty awesome. Like you must have just learned. That’s amazing.

Shelby Johnson 21:17
Yeah, it was super helpful. Love them to this day. All of them are out there still slinging. So. But yeah, I would say that that was really helpful.

D.J. Paris 21:27
Let’s talk about systems because you scale, you didn’t just stop at 48 transactions, you scaled to, you know, hundreds of transactions per year. So what how do you think you made that because there’s only so much time you have and there’s only you know, so much of anything. So you have like you were saying you have to leverage resources time, you know, what are some of the systems that really made a huge shift for you to allow you that to get to that next massive level?

Shelby Johnson 21:55
For sure. Yes, the fact that I immediately had systems from these top performing agents that I was able to tweak and make my own and implement that was me still, as a solo agent, you know, I was still doing every piece of the puzzle by myself. That one of the big pieces that was my first like real step up, was hiring the transaction coordinator. And not just I actually hired and fired to before I got to the one that it was actual true leverage, you don’t have that fear in the back of your mind, what’s falling through? Are they telling people the wrong thing, like when you finally find the true piece of leverage that lifts it all off your shoulders, and then that piece was huge. And at the time, that transaction coordinator owned her own business. And she was managing several agents files, but she and I hit it off. And I think there’s a lot that goes with that, too. It’s like, you know, respecting communication being the agent that she wants to work with to not just you work for me working together. And because of this, by the end of that first year, it’s when I was starting the team. And I asked her, I was like, Hey, you are amazing. I love working with you. What would it take for you to be mine? Forever, leave the business and five come with me, you know, let’s build the paint the whole vision. And she did. And so that having an she was an agent for years longer than I was before she even started a transaction coordinator business, she was super detail oriented, where I’m more of like, sales and vision and all that stuff. So our powers combined, had a really good foundation for being able to take on more and more volume, and also have a lot of value to provide new agents as they joined our organization moving forward.

D.J. Paris 23:45
That’s amazing. Yeah, I feel like you just said so much there. No, no, no, no, no, I’m just processing it. It’s, it’s, it’s so it’s so impactful. This idea of it, we should also just mention what a transaction coordinator is just for anyone who isn’t familiar, which is basically you’re hiring somebody, they could be a virtual transaction coordinator that could be somebody local, like Michelle be, you know, was an agent that that wasn’t practicing and but knew everything. Some of the challenges with virtual transaction coordinators is that a lot of times, they’re from other countries, and they represent, you know, realtors in many different states or many different markets in the United States, which means they have to know a lot of different markets, and it’s just harder for those agents or sorry, those trends, transaction coordinators to really fully know exactly what you would need as as you know, the realtor to help their clients. So not all transaction coordinators and not all transaction coordinator companies are created equal. You as you said you hired and fired a few of them because I’ve seen some agents who just have the amazing transacts quarters and others are like you know, it’s not that helpful. So but but at Every successful really, truly successful agent I know pretty much has one has a transaction coordinator. So I mean, if you think about it, they they really do more than just doing the paperwork, they can create timelines for you, they can remind you, Hey, it’s 10 days before closing, here are the things we need to do. They remind the client, it’s a lot of just process.

Shelby Johnson 25:20
It was everything. And especially since exactly like you said, so the transaction coordinator, she was an agent in North Carolina, which was my state, and she knew the contract inside and out, and was like, over communicating with communicating with the clients. And the thing that I think is really cool is that I was so proud that she was an extension of my business, I was able to manage expectations with the client and truly mean it when I say hey, look, after we go under contract you get to work with her name is Megan, you get to work with Meghan, and she is a mazing, she is going to handle you know, work with you from contracts, I’m going to be there every step of the way. But I promise you want her on the timelines, you want her on the paperwork, because she gets it. And by able to manage the expectations there. And then she grabs it, and she outperforms even my raving excitation and like that extension of your business. And now Shelby and Meghan are phenomenal together. Does that make sense?

D.J. Paris 26:21
Absolutely. And transaction coordinators can be as inexpensive as I’ve seen, you know, TCCs, pay a charge like $300 on the low end, probably up to like 1000 bucks, I’m not even sure what what the most expensive ones paid. But even if you were paying $1,000 per deal, if you could save 20 hours of work, that might be worth it, you know, it’s certainly worth it for $300, I think it’s probably still worth it. If it if it’s $1,000, whatever it is, I mean, it allows you to not get bogged down, unless you like being bogged down in those steps if you’re an agent, and that’s what you do best, great. But then you’ll probably need to have somebody help you with the prospecting and all the other things. So you can’t do everything right or you, you can try to do everything, but you’re not going to do everything well. And, you know, figuring out what you what you don’t enjoy, or what you’re not good at is where you can off offload it and transaction coordination. Coordinators are the easiest, most obvious way to just free up some of your time. And you know what, it’s worth the money, it just is, in my opinion. So we tell all of our agents, not all of them do, but we tell please get a transaction coordinator, like we’ll help you the best we can. And we do help a lot. But you really want somebody who just is this is all they do. So

Shelby Johnson 27:40
I totally agree. And for new agents, if you’re out there thinking and you’re like, Man, I can’t, you know, I don’t want to pay for a transaction coordinator or whatever. This has worked really well for some of our agents where they’ll actually hire a transaction coordinator on their very first transaction, and then pay them a little offer to pay them a little extra and be like, Hey, this is my first one. I know you know exactly what you’re doing. Like if I give you a little bit of extra, you know, money, is there any way that you could like handhold me and teach me throughout the process, and the right transaction coordinator will teach them way better than you know, the Rockstar agent who already uses a transaction coordinator so probably forgotten how to go to contract to close anyway. So that’s been working really well.

D.J. Paris 28:24
God, I love that that is so that is so smart. Another thing too is ask the top agents in your office who their transaction coordinators are. And you know, that way you don’t have to, you know, spend as much time you know, getting going through, you know, ones that maybe you know, haven’t been a referral or so I love that. So transaction coordinator. I mean, guys, I know it sounds so silly. It’s so simple. But it really is you just got to think about where am I spending a bunch of time on my business. That’s not really what I like doing. That’s not really what I’m best at. And if if those those two things can be offloaded, you’re going to you’re going to be you know really, really going to have a lot more more freedom and fun because you just can’t wear every single hat effectively like you can wear some hats, but don’t try to wear all the hats because none of us are good at everything. Despite my what my mother told me growing up that I was being good at anything I do turns out she’s was wrong. But good retention was good. But turns out her boy can’t do everything despite despite me wanting to be good at everything. What what other systems are you utilizing? I’ll hear I’ll ask you have a better question. What systems are you using to stay in touch with your clients after a sale because this is a huge opportunity that my parents you know you you work in North Carolina but in Charlotte North to North Carolina I forget because I used to go to South Carolina so often I only think South Carolina because my parents had a place in North Myrtle Beach and when they sold that place, reason I’m bringing this up is took me years because it was kind of just bad time in the market and they went through a bunch of real Tourism finally somebody got it sold. And like a year or two later, not even two years. One year later, I asked my dad, I was like, Oh, hey, by the way, who was that agent? Because I think I had a referral, maybe for the agent out there. And my dad was like, I don’t remember. He’s like, I can figure it out. I can go back and like, and I go, You’re kidding. He remembered, my dad is a really smart guy. And he’s not a he’s not like somebody that just wouldn’t think about. He was like, I don’t, I don’t really remember. And I thought, boy, what, what a what a terrible thing for that other agent to like, did a great job. My parents were like, so happy that they got the place sold. And now they don’t even remember that person’s name. Crush it. And that’s a missed opportunity for that agent. Now, my parents don’t live there. So okay, maybe there’s a little bit of like, well, they live in Illinois. So maybe they’re not going to buy another property. But they might know people that are buying in that area are selling. So what do you do to sort of make sure your clients don’t forget about you?

Shelby Johnson 30:54
Yeah, so back in the day, I don’t do this anymore. I’m actually not closing transactions at the moment. But one of the other main pieces of leverage that I immediately implemented was an operations manager, or ops. And so she took all the systems that I was doing internally, and made them a team wide system to execute for all the other agents, which was really helpful because I, my first year, I was an Excel girl from from the army, I had all my people on Excel, I knew my little. And even that’s like, where I thrived. And I knew, you know, I need to do a CRM, I need to do our CRM, I wasn’t doing the CRM. So our ops, thank goodness, we had it set up. So that way, when the contract would close, the transaction coordinator would have a whole handover process with our ops. And they would, you know, take the client, and if they weren’t already in the CRM, put them in the CRM and put on the, you know, one week, check in one month, check in six month, check in happy home aversary In a year, and then also add us add them to our local events. So one of the things that we’ve done, we had the CRM but really baseline. But we invite people to our local events, we did the pints of properties once a month. And I love events as a way to constantly invite people to come hang out with you. It’s an in person drip campaign, they’re reminded in a non salesy way that you exist, and you are the real estate person. So we did that. And then we also did socials. So I really love social media as a way to nurture I have this whole thing about like, lots of agents will use it as a way to like, generate new leads. But to me, it’s really like social media, for most agents is a cultivation, it’s a nurture, it’s a reminder, as opposed to like fresh leads is a whole nother conversation. But those were kind of the three main things. We had the CRM in person events, and then social media.

D.J. Paris 32:49
That’s awesome. And we should also talk about, I want to talk about five pillars coaching, because this is you know, you’re basically taking the systems that you’ve put together, and really helping other agents kind of learned from, from your, all your knowledge. And so tell us tell us about what five pillars is and how you help agents.

Shelby Johnson 33:07
Yeah, so five pillars, is is founded on all of the systems that we use in our traditional team. So all of the systems that you know, I built your one, and they evolved over the years with our amazing transaction coordinator, Operations Manager and all these agents who were constantly providing feedback to adjust and evolve with the times. And it worked well for traditional get Millionaire Real Estate Agent Gary Keller model team. And then when I didn’t want to do that team model anymore for a whole nother conversation. I was like, we have all these tools and systems. What if we were able to, instead of charge 50%, for for doing all of the overhead? What if we were able to provide all of these systems to the agents, not take any splits and allow them to build their own businesses in the way that made sense for them. The other thing that we did when we changed the model is we had we had transaction coordinators, listing coordinators, we had a whole staff, and I helped them start their own businesses. So that way, the agents in turn, could have the systems to build their empires, and the same leverage that the team was paying for before now they could hire out directly and cut out the team as the middleman. So everyone got more money, but everyone got to keep the same systems and run their own play. Does that make sense?

D.J. Paris 34:32
Absolutely. No, that makes perfect sense. And if anyone is interested in getting some coaching, you do have you have a community that they can join, you have coaching that you offer? Can you just tell us a little bit about sort of how that works?

Shelby Johnson 34:46
Yeah, so the community is where agents go to stop being agents and start being business owners. So we’re all about building an actual business where you know the gold at the end of the rainbow is it sellable. If if they do want to sell, whereas most agents, we just live in this constant state of like chaos, and whack a mole. And so the whole intent is it’s a community of entrepreneurs who are building their own empires, alongside peers. And the way it’s set up is we have classes throughout the month on the different pieces of building a real businesses. And we also have what we call pods, which within our community, their small groups of peers, four to five people. And there’s like a schedule, they go through with goals and accountabilities. So they, it’s kind of like a self sustaining incubator for entrepreneurs. Does that make sense?

D.J. Paris 35:38
It does, because I think, you know, even more so than not learning how to be a great agent by going through the licensing classes, which I think all of us know, is not the purpose of the licensing class. But then, you know, you’re you’re thrust into becoming an agent, you join a firm, hopefully, there’s some good training, but the training is mostly going to be around how to find business, close deals, you know, it’s going to be about how to be how to do production. But it’s not necessarily about how to actually run a business. And that’s a totally different skill set. And quite honestly, I find that that, that, that those skills, unless you come from a family of all entrepreneurs, and you just sort of know that world, it’s a totally different world and a differently different skill set. And it’s not always intuitive. In fact, it’s oftentimes counterintuitive, right? Right. So so this is where I think we think about oh, I need training for like being a great realtor. But you also need training about how to actually treat it like a business. So I think it’s probably the biggest missed opportunity for agents out there, like agents know how to get realtor training, because there’s so many great sources and places and, and, you know, Shelby’s got got great training as well. But that’s actually not that uncommon. There’s lots of training facilities, but to actually learn how to be an entrepreneur in real estate. And more importantly, she said, something that I should have highlighted, I’m going to highlight it now, Shelby said something about making creating a sellable business 99% of Realtors do not have a sellable business, maybe 99.9%. So Shelby actually wants to teach you how to create something that will continue to add value and continue to be something that you can get paid on either indefinitely, or you can sell it at some point, somebody, this is not the what most agents know how to do. And it’s not the kind of business that they set up. And they can go their entire career 30 plus years, and still be successful, but not have a sellable business. So this is an incredible thing to actually, you know, give you almost sort of something to consider as like almost a retirement kind of thing, where you can actually take all this great work that you’ve done over your career and actually then make it there’s, you could assign a value to it and sell it.

Shelby Johnson 37:52
Yeah, exactly. And that’s something that I actually, it took me a long time to realize, because my first couple years of going through agent life, it was exactly what you said, it’s like I’m doing the things, I’m doing all the agent things. But what I didn’t realize is that there’s like, you know, you have to have a strategy within your business and like and development for your company, and you have to have, like, a marketing is an actual whole piece of the business that you need to develop into a systematic machine that can repeatedly bring in business into your business like, and, you know, most agents, when it’s like, Hey, I’m gonna go lead gen, and they pick up their phone, and they call five people or they post once on social media, and they’re like, I did it. And it’s like, if you’re building an actual business, if you go out and you talk to any real business, they have like a marketing budget, and they have a whole team dedicated to strategy and, and it’s just thinking about it from the lens of an actual business will totally twist in in a good way, the way that you think about your agent life and and the potential in what it holds for you in the future.

D.J. Paris 39:00
Yeah, it makes makes perfect sense. And so this is a it’s a good, you know, thinking like an entrepreneur entrepreneurs, typically start businesses, and then they also have an exit strategy. That was the thing that I didn’t know, when I started studying entrepreneurship was, oh, yeah, there’s this whole thing called an exit strategy where you actually, maybe you don’t maybe you want to do this forever. And you just want to do it until you till you fall over and they put you in the ground, and that’s fine. But for those of us that have like this idea of we want to retire or we want to pass on and maybe do this for a certain amount of time, and then move on, you know, you really have to have some pretty serious processes in place to be able to market the business to make it sellable. And then also to create so much value, that people will come to you and say I want to buy this business. And that’s again, a whole different level of skill that people like Shelby can teach you shall be right now, you know, it’s tricky time in the market. You know, rates are still higher than anyone would like, even though historically it’s not so bad. But, you know, in the short term, it feels Looks like they’re really high lending rates, of course, inventory tends to be down in most, most markets. So it’s an easy time to get discouraged, maybe even a little depressed. What are you telling your agents? Or what are you encouraging them to do? While the markets a little tricky right now and just keeping them everybody motivated and working?

Shelby Johnson 40:21
I think that this is the best time for them to double down, because of exactly what you said, it’s a lot of agents, the ones who are not so sure one foot in one foot out, are gonna get out, which is fan tastic.

D.J. Paris 40:34
It’s actually a great thing for everyone else.

Shelby Johnson 40:36
Oh, my gosh, it’s so great, because now those sales that they would have gotten, you know, from the few sales that’s out for grabs. And if you’re able, in your in your market, to be able to double down on building out your business, and especially marketing, in general, just eat away at the market share, get as much as possible, because when if slash when the market does turn, you will absolutely explode. So I think that now is the time if you’re in it, you friggin go hard. And if you’re not in it, please, just goodbye. That’s also bad. But like, you know what I mean? Does that make sense?

D.J. Paris 41:15
It makes perfect sense. And I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing it now we have a holding company, which is for agents that aren’t actively practicing. And I think two years ago, we had were the largest holding company in Illinois, I think we had maybe 600 agents. And then when the last two years, no, in the last year, we’ve added 150 agents, these are people who fight us, they’re like I’m getting out. We’ve never had that many people join our holding company in a given year. So lots of people are getting out. And that is a great thing for everyone else. So they can gobble up market share. So what are you telling your agents to double down on? Like, what are they actually doing to help take advantage of the fact that some agents are stepping off the gas?

Shelby Johnson 41:55
Right? So a lot of them are just walking in their specific marketing strategy, and going hard at whatever that strategy may be. And that’s a part of like, within five pillars nation, we’re not we’re not teaching you one specific way. It’s like, hey, there’s many different lead generations and marketing strategies. And depending on your own personality type, what’s an authentic fit for you, what you actually will put the time and effort into, and sometimes you don’t know starting out. So it’s really good to like test in the beginning. But as soon as you find that thing, whether it is door knocking or, or cold calling or content creation, or maybe it’s you know, YouTube ads, or direct mail, it does not matter. Everything works. But when you find that authentic fit, and you put the blinders on, and go all in on whatever that marketing strategy is.

D.J. Paris 42:48
Yeah, you know, I’m glad you said that there are a lot of different ways that you can do it. And I think you’re so right about find something that you enjoy doing that you can step on the gas, whether it’s, you know, I talked to a compass agent the other day, who said, he goes, You know, every day, I make 30 comments on people’s posts on Facebook and their authentic comments, I used to spend about half an hour, I see when someone goes on vacation or whatever. And I write them say, Hey, that looks really fun, or a great dinner or whatever, you know, whatever. And he goes, I cannot tell you just doing that alone. It really, really works. You know, because people feel appreciated, they feel seen and heard. You’re not just somebody asking for business, you’re actually commenting on their lives. And it’s like, oh, yeah, of course, that makes sense. But he’s like, he gets really into that. And so for people that really enjoy celebrating other people’s successes, social media is the place to do it, right? Because it’s everything’s a win on social media with what people post, it’s, you know, it’s not usually like, well, I got into a fight with my husband this morning. And, you know, it’s like, my husband and I just went on this great vacation or whatever. So these are think are huge opportunities to demonstrate care that you actually care about the people in your life. So that’s just one way to do it. There’s a million different ways as well. But whatever you’re doing, yeah, double down on it right now, because most most agents are not. So if somebody wants to really learn about five pillars nation, join the community, maybe get some coaching, possibly even join your team, because you have you have agents in every single state. What are are you can take on agents from every state, I should say, what are you You know, what’s the best way they can learn about five pillars and get involved with you?

Shelby Johnson 44:29
Yeah, five pillars. nation.com is the website and on Instagram is where I would love to, you know, shoot me a DM or reach out because I would love to talk to you about whatever you have going on in your business and see if there’s something that’s something too, it’s like everything that we have is documented. So if there’s a piece of the puzzle that you’re missing, it’s just as easy as sharing, you know, a link. So I’m more than happy to share any of our tools and systems and it’s at the Shelby show with us. or scores on Instagram. And then also if you are out there and you’re thinking about starting a meetup meetups have been wildly successful for my business and branding and lead generation and all of these other things we didn’t talk about today, but pints and properties.com, you can check that out and any of those and I would love to talk to you. So hit me up.

D.J. Paris 45:20
Yeah, pints and properties.com is a great resource five pillars nation.com and the Shelby Scott show with two underscores, we will put links to all of that, that’s Instagram, by the way, we will put links to all of that in, in the show notes. So you can, you know, dip your toe in the water start following what Shelby’s doing. But guys, I mean, there’s got to be some part of everyone who’s listening is business that you’re like, I could really use like a different listing presentation, or I don’t have a good buyer checklist, or I don’t really know the pathway to closing and I could use some some tips. Shelby’s got all this stuff. And she’s just nice enough to just say here, let’s let’s teach you how to do it. And, you know, she’s all about giving, and she served our country. So let’s help serve her and help her business as well. And she’s just a heck of a nice person. So, I always love you know, when our guests are so generous, and they all are and so Shelby is no exception. So I want to support Shelby, I want you guys to support her. So definitely check out five pillars, nation.com, pines, and properties.com, and also the Shelby show on Instagram. And you will learn all things Shelby and gosh, she her and her team are just skyrocketing their success. And she is a lot of fun and very, very sweet. So please reach out to her. She loves to help. And she’s helping you right now by being on our show. So let’s help her. So Shelby, thank you so much for being on our show. I can’t wait to have you back in the future, we can do a deeper dive into some of these amazing systems that you’ve put together. But guys reach out to her ask her for help. She and her team will definitely be in touch with you, Shelby, on behalf of our audience, thank you, thank you, again, for your service to the country, and for your service to this industry and helping our listeners too. That’s really super appreciative. I don’t have all those resources to give our listeners so thankfully you do. So don’t ask me you guys, because I’ll just go I don’t know. But Shelby has everything that you need. So reach out to her. She’s super great. So on behalf of the audience, thank you, Shelby. And on behalf of Shelby and myself, thank you to the audience for sticking around to the very end, visit all the Shelby websites and follow her on Instagram, and reach out to her with what you need. And again, a thank you for making it to the end. Please tell a friend about this podcast. Guys, this is a tricky year. Let’s help all of our fellow realtors. Let’s give them you know, some more resources to help them stay afloat. In this tricky time. Send them a link to this episode. You can find us at keeping it real pod.com Every episode can be streamed live, or if they’re a podcast person, just pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real. Hit that subscribe button. And also, if you can leave us a review. Whether you’re on iTunes, Spotify, wherever you’re listening to this YouTube, let us know what you think of the show. We take that feedback very seriously. And we always are here to modify to get better and better to make you guys appreciate us even more. So let us know what we can do to help make the show better. And let’s also reach out to Shelby Shelby, thank you so much.

Shelby Johnson 48:12
Thank you so much. So fun being here. Thanks for having me.

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