The 3 Lead Gen Sources Every Real Estate Agent Needs • Jessica Burton

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Jessica Burton with Indyquest Properties talks about what brought her to real estate and how she built her business while having another full-time job. Jess discusses 3 lead gen sources she uses and how she utilizes social media and video. Jess also talks about the the importance of exercise and how it positively impacts her business. Jess discusses current market and describes how is she staying busy and motivated. Last, Jess talks about her processes that help her keep organized and in touch with her clients.

Please follow Jess in Instagram.

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

Jessica Burton can be reached at 281.704.2061 and jessica@indyquest.net.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


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

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 Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer Jessica Burton. Before we get to Jessica, just a couple of quick reminders. Actually, I’m gonna use Jessica as an example. We are always looking for guests. And we’re very lucky that we get pitched by PR agencies every almost every day with guest ideas. But if you’re somebody that maybe doesn’t have a PR team and thinks you have a story to tell, well reach out to us, Jessica did this. And we are having her on her show today. And she is amazing. And we wouldn’t have found her unless she wrote into us. So please let us know if you think you would be a good guest or maybe you know somebody in your office, that would be a good guest, you could just go to our website, keeping it real pod.com. And there’s a little Contact Us form and let us know if we should talk to you or maybe somebody you know, so think of the hero in your area, your local market that you’d love to know how they did this and we’ll reach out and try to get the interview. Also, please tell a friend about the show. And also leave us a review wherever you’re listening to us there. All right, let’s get to the main event my conversation with Jessica burden.

Today on the show, our guest is Jessica Burton from indie quest properties in Houston, Texas. Let me tell you more about Jessica. Jessica Burton is an award winning realtor and continuous top producer she was licensed in 2016. That’s when she got licensed and Jessica draws from years of experience as a communications and marketing specialist and has created a reputation for her friendly client care, negotiation prowess and relentless dedication. She continues to use these professional skills to help her real estate clients find and sell their homes. Jessica is equipped with a deep rooted knowledge of the Houston real estate market always prepared with a local market perspective. And if you ask her what her business is built on, she will proclaim communication and care and dedication to her clients needs and goals. I want everybody to follow Jess on her website which sorry on Instagram, which is at just Kay Burton just GSSKBR to end just like its sounds and that’s Instagram and you can also find her on her indie quest website we will have a link to that on the show notes and by the way before we get started before just comes on or before she starts talking. She is in the process of looking for some assistance so if you are a possibly in real estate in the Houston area or if you are somebody that is looking for maybe an additional source of work while you’re building your business, reach out to Jessica because she may be a good fit for you Jess, welcome to the show.

Jessica Burton 4:24
Hi, I’m so happy to be here.

D.J. Paris 4:26
Can I call you Jess? Is that okay?

Jessica Burton 4:27
That’s what my friends call me so awesome. Well

D.J. Paris 4:31
I am super excited to to have you Jess is one of our listener of ours that has now is on our show and we couldn’t be happier that’s nothing brings me more pleasure than having somebody who has been a listener on the show. It’s really the most fun types of interviews I do so thank you for being a listener number one and thank you for taking time out of your busy busy week and and your mom and your your wife and your got a million other things going on. So thank you yeah, let’s I want To learn about you so and I want our audience to know about you. So let’s start at the beginning. I know you got your license in 2016, what brought you to real estate?

Jessica Burton 5:07
Yes. So, about 10 years ago, I started working in the legal field. So I was working with litigation attorneys in a marketing position. And honestly, a lot happened that year. So I ended up starting with this position was really excited about it had pivoted over from a fortune 500 company so much larger to a much smaller company, I’ve always been more comfortable with smaller companies, and ended up basically, you know, having a good start to it. But realizing really quickly, you know, there was no really upward growth for me, you know, I, it was a family owned business. And, you know, where I was, was, was basically the best that I was going to, you know, to do with the company, so, and that year, I actually, my, my dad passed away unexpectedly, and we were really, really tight. And, you know, it really gave me a lot of, I had a lot of introspection, you know, just about life, and, you know, what I the path I was going down, and you know, just just wanted just had a lot of, you know, insight and time to think about them. So, I had always really liked real estate and found it really interesting. So my sister is actually a broker in Austin. Oh, wow. And, you know, if for years, she would tell me about it, and I was just so fascinated by the stories and the people. I mean, as all of the real estate agents out there know, like, working with people, you just come across all sorts of, you know, exciting and interesting, people and stories. So, so for years, I was like, well, that’s her thing, you know, I need to go find my thing. So I avoided real estate, but then, you know, she encouraged me, she said, Just get your license, you know, I thought more about it was like, Okay, what’s a little bit of extra income, you know, on the side. And just, I started with Keller Williams in their coaching program for about a year and got a lot out of it, while I was still working in my marketing position in the legal field. Wow, yes. And

D.J. Paris 7:16
a lot to manage, and to things like that at once.

Jessica Burton 7:19
Well, I realized how much I loved real estate. So I was working, honestly, two full time jobs, you know, taking really trying to build my business with real estate, doing open houses on the weekends, really, you know, leveraging my my relationships with the my client attorneys who then turned into real estate attorney, excuse me, real estate clients. And, you know, just really realizing how much I loved this business. I mean, I love everything from design architecture, you know, the financial side of it. And then I feel like, you know, on the other side of that, working in the legal field, I really understood the importance about understanding, you know, the contracts, and, you know, the liability that goes along with that. So I was really, I made sure that I was very educated and, you know, knew exactly what was in those contracts. So I could explain that to my clients. And, you know, I was working with attorneys, so they, they have a certain way of thinking and, you know, a certain, I guess, you know, bar that they’re setting and their expectations of who they work with. So, you know, I was trying to keep up with that. And so I, I basically stayed with my, with the marketing position, until 2021. And I was doing around that time, I was doing probably, you know, closer to seven to 10 10 million. And this is all while working in

D.J. Paris 8:52
the two jobs. That’s amazing. And

Jessica Burton 8:55
I got pregnant with my daughter. And this was COVID, too. So I just realized I was like, I do not want to keep doing this. I was nervous about taking that next step. You know, as you know, there’s the security there with the health insurance, the salary, and you know, I just I wanted to, you know, make sure I was gonna be taking care of myself, but I also was ready to take that leap of faith. So I took that leap of faith to dove in 100% real estate in April 2021. ended up doing my best year ever that year, which a lot of people did. And I also was awarded one of the top 20 under 40 Real estate agents in Houston that year. So I think it was a little bit of a god wink like, hey, you know, you, you made the right decision. And yeah, and I was I was like working in the delivery room. I was out at showings three days after I delivered my daughter. So yeah,

D.J. Paris 9:59
Yeah, I

Jessica Burton 10:00
got a wild ride.

D.J. Paris 10:02
I really, it’s really an impressive story. And I think that, you know, as you were saying that I was thinking, we have probably a lot of listeners who have been in that similar situation where they were doing this maybe part time or in your case, you have two full time jobs. But even if you’re doing another job full time and real estate part time, at some point, making that that leap requires a tremendous amount of courage, and sort of willingness to cut that cord of like the salary and all of the benefits of the sort of more stable position that isn’t as risky, as far as you know, jumping off without a net, and you basically cut the net. And I wanted to just honor all of our listeners who have made that journey. And pretty much anyone who gets into real estate essentially goes on a similar journey, but especially if you’re coming from this secure and stable environment, where things are very predictable at least financially, and making that leap. So everybody who’s gone through that I we just built just Can I honor you, but I honor you as well for doing that. I think that again, it’s it’s something we don’t we don’t congratulate ourselves enough for making big steps. I think, you know, that’s sometimes the first step is the hardest, but it’s also the most important one. So congrats on that. Yeah, so I want to know how you grew your business. Because you know, you’re a we’ll call you a younger realtor, I don’t know if you feel young. But I consider you a younger realtor, you’re you’re still new ish in the business, even though you’ve been doing this for seven years now. But you also were 40 under 40. So I would love to know, like how you started marketing, you talked about, you know, hate my previous position, I had access to attorneys. So that, you know, led me I heard that correctly led me to some real estate attorneys and I sort of had some connections, there are just other attorneys maybe you worked with, but how did you build your business?

Jessica Burton 11:52
Sure. Well, I love being around people, I always have since I was a child, I am involved in a lot of different organizations. So always been drawn to just philanthropy and volunteerism. So if there’s an organization out there, I’ve probably been a part of it. And, you know, really, that was me, just I really liked to be a part of my Houston community. So you know, I’m part of the Junior League in Houston, part of the Houston rodeo, try to join my we have a civic association in my neighborhood. So try to get involved there. I’m not a gardener, but I’m in the garden club. And, you know, really what I what I’ve learned over the years, and I really think it takes so much grit in this business. I mean, you really, you have to reinvent yourself, and you have to pivot. And what I’ve determined that works, that has worked best for me is really having three lead generation sources at once. And of course, you know, we’re we’re in a industry that ebb and flows. So you know, just being able to evolve and adapt is is very important. So really, it’s I focus right now and have for a while on when I got started. I’m sorry. That’s what we’re talking about. When I got started. It was mostly open houses. I mean, that was really that was where I got so good with scripting, you know, so good with just talking to people about real estate.

D.J. Paris 13:31
And did you have at the time listings to do open houses for or were you asking other agents in your office?

Jessica Burton 13:39
Yes, so, so about a year into my real estate career, I moved over to a smaller brokerage. And this our brokerage, I’m still there, I’ve been there about six years is we are led by a wonderful broker and his wife, they’re, they’re just a dream team. And he, Creston is my broker, he is a wonderful, just influence and mentor. And, you know, he was willing to allow, you know, agents and myself to go and host these open houses. So, you know, when I first got started, I was really buyer heavy, as a lot of agents are so, you know, I didn’t have the opportunity to have many of my own listings at for sure. So of course, that’s changed through the years. But the open houses and then of course, you know, my CRM has been a really important tool so I actually use follow up boss and I love it. I love I’ve used a few others that one just seems to work best for me. There’s a lot of great tools in it. And you know, really just pivoting with advertising, figuring out you know, when it is tangible, you know how I can how I can use that but I’m also I use social media a little bit more in the big I mean, but I’m really utilizing it now. And so I’ll talk more about that as well.

D.J. Paris 15:04
So your three sources? I hear it, was his philanthropy one of one of your sources, or is that more? Anyway? What are your three? Your three marketing sources? Mine

Jessica Burton 15:14
are open houses, advertising, and then social media at this time?

D.J. Paris 15:21
What kind of advertising are you doing? Just out of curiosity?

Jessica Burton 15:25
So, you know, it really depends on I think there was a show recently, and someone was talking about, you know, understanding your demographics and how they get information. So, I usually I actually send postcards to, you know, the, the older demographic that really appreciates us and doesn’t throw away the mail. Because as we know, you know, the younger generation doesn’t really, you know, appreciate that as much. And, and then advertising in local newsletters, newspapers, some web uses me websites, and really, you know, it’s something that I track for about I try it for about a year. And if I don’t have any tangible return, I’ll usually pivot to something else. But what I’ve realized is that it’s important to be consistent.

D.J. Paris 16:18
Yeah, you’re right, it especially with some of the outgoing mailers, or phone calls, or emailing whatever the out sort of outbound activity is, it seems to, you know, it seems to take a lot of well, this, this podcast is, you know, just something I, I’ve done every, every, you know, few days for the last six years, it doesn’t make me special, but it just makes me somebody that’s done it for six years. And as a result, here we are, you know, talking with you and 500 episodes later, and it’s just about, you know, staying staying on target, but also measuring those metrics. How do you measure? So it is trickier when you’re doing website? You know, what website advertising? Or postcards? How are like, when you do get a client? Are you like, Hey, how did you hear about me? Or Is that how you’re measuring? Or how are you knowing if those those outbound sort of marketing things are working? Yep,

Jessica Burton 17:11
I usually do ask them, you know, how did you hear about me, or they’ll let me know, you know, a lot of people are pretty forthcoming with that information, like I saw you. And, you know, this sounds this advertisement, and I really liked it or, you know, some kind of feedback. And, you know, I’ve been stopped at grocery stores and in public before. So it’s really funny, because I, you know, especially like having after having my children, like you’re a tired mom, and you would run to the grocery store, and every single time you run into someone who knows. So I try to like, I put myself together a little bit more now when I go out because I, you know, have grown my reputation and my community and know a lot more people, as well. So, so really, it’s it’s sometimes not so tangible, but And that’s like social media, you know, sometimes people will see you continuously, but they may not say like, Okay, well, you’ve been showing up in front of me for a couple years on, you know, Instagram or whatever. You know, and that’s been ingrained in my mind, you know, but it’s, I usually try to think about the person. And if I do know them, usually, you know, how I’ve interacted with them.

D.J. Paris 18:19
Tell me, let’s talk about social media, because there’s so many different approaches to it. I’m curious of what works for you, and what social channels you focus on, and like what types of content you focus on? Sure.

Jessica Burton 18:35
Um, so I actually, I just took or I shouldn’t say, Jess was a couple months ago, I took Kim Berg’s video bootcamp and plug

D.J. Paris 18:46
that plug for. She is awesome. She’s one of our partners, she does episodes for us specifically on social media. She is amazing. She’s the real deal. And I’m so glad that you attended her course. Go ahead. No, I’m sorry. She’s

Jessica Burton 19:00
so great. I’m actually doing her poaching, of course, now. And that’s been wonderful. But she so I have a social media manager. And for probably two years, she kept saying, Jessica, you need to get on video, you know, these carousel picture. Posts, the algorithm doesn’t like it, you know, you really got to, you know, you’ve really got to amp it up, and she would give me these ideas and, you know, try to encourage me and then it really didn’t register until I had a person reach out to me through social media who’d said hey, I’ve been following you for years. I’d really like to purchase this home. I would love to hire you as my realtor. And that was a you know, $17,000 commission. So I thought to myself, like I can put out a few more reels I can, you know, I can do this. So that’s when I really got more serious about it and it first it was really really, you know, I was just not natural, I was just really hard on myself, I’m really in my head about it. And then I was led to Kim’s class and Ken within, like, a couple of days helped me and everyone else in the class, you know, just become more comfortable getting on video, you know, I stopped taking myself so serious and just started to have fun with it. And realize, like, you know, there, people on social media want to engage and connect, like, that’s the whole point of it. And I was doing it all wrong, like I would scroll, I wasn’t really engaging or commenting as much. And she, you know, gave me basically like an Instagram audit, and gave me the tools and courage, you know, encouragement, excuse me to just put myself out there. So, you know, I really I focus a lot on videos, reels. I also, you know, Eric, I’m engaging with a lot more people out there.

D.J. Paris 20:56
Yeah, I want to pause on that, because I want to make sure I get real, real clarity for our audience, when, when you say, engaging you were talking about as a consumer of social media, you would sort of do the infinite scroll, the more entertained by it in what I what I’m guessing. As far as increasing engagement, was you engaging with other people’s posts? Is that my understanding? Yes,

Jessica Burton 21:19
so that, so really commenting on people’s posts, because they’re putting them out there, and, you know, I would like them and move on. I also have been creating more polls, and realizing how much people people love to give their opinion. And I love seeing people’s opinions. So you know, you’re Mindlessly scrolling, and then you’re stopped with a poll, and a lot of times, people will, you know, they’ll tell me what they think or, you know, vote on it. So there’s just a lot more engagement that way. And, and then, you know, I was also I’ve also narrow down the kind of content I’m providing. So I’m a little bit more mindful, you know, trying to educate, but also entertain and, and just, you know, enjoy myself a little bit more.

D.J. Paris 22:03
So let’s talk about your video content. Because you’re right video is everything as as a as a writer, I’m I’m sort of at heart mostly more a writer than anything, and nothing is less sort of exciting for me than people moving away from writing, but I get it, it’s just where we are. So video is super, super important. Um, what kind of video content are you working on? And what do you put out there, I’m, what I’m curious about is, what percentage of it would be real estate focused, versus here’s, here’s what’s going on in my life outside of real estate. Yeah,

Jessica Burton 22:37
so I try to break it down a little bit. Because I did decide to do a, I have a business account, but I also mix in my personal life and there so I really broke it down in like four sectors. And so it’s Family, Occupation, relationships, and dreams. So I try to do 25% Family 25% occupation, you know, my real estate, business 25% relationships, so that’s gonna be like, you know, relationships with the community, or philanthropy or, you know, you know, just family friends a little bit more of, you know, that’s also tying into family, but just a little bit heavier on that side. And then dreams is also going to be a little bit more about, you know, how design or anything I’m really interested in. And that’s, you know, really isn’t mixed up from time to time. But I do,

D.J. Paris 23:31
you sort of alternate them, you’re, like, you know, you’re doing, you know, how many videos a week are you doing these days, roughly,

Jessica Burton 23:38
oh, gosh, I try to focus on like two reels a week, and then stories every day, but what we my social media person and I have organized is a calendar. So we have the calendar of posts of what we’re going to do for the next two months. And of course, that can change depending on if I get a new listing or need to, you know, market something, you know, we revisit that every two weeks and discuss what’s going on in the market. But it’s really that’s my goal, of course, you know, and, but that also comes down to you know, I have to backup and schedule a content, you know, afternoon to make sure that I do have, you know, these videos done so I’ve learned about and it’s so funny because I it makes me sound like I’m like a dinosaur or something. But, you know, like batching has become more popular. So I’ve been doing more batching because I

D.J. Paris 24:29
would let’s define batching for our audience. So batching is

Jessica Burton 24:33
when you actually just take a bunch of videos at once and that you can, you know, schedule for a different time. So it’s going to be as many as you’d like. So you would do like three separate videos that would you would span over two weeks. Got it. So that’s been really helpful because I was literally getting up and getting dressed and tried to do videos every single day and it was stressing me out. And you know, sometimes you wake up You do not want to be on camera. So I would just define, you know, a day a week, you know, for three hours, I’m gonna do videos. And here’s what I have in mind. And then planning ahead and having that, you know, I guess the plan and be mindful about it really helped me.

D.J. Paris 25:14
Curious, do you ever share and there isn’t a right or wrong answer here. I’m just curious, how do you ever share failures or mistakes, or I’m in a rough mood today, or this happened in my life? Obviously, everyone has personal boundaries. And those are everyone’s personal decision. But I’m just curious, I’ve started to notice a bit of a trend, at least here in our local market where I’m seeing Realtors start to talk a little bit more about, hey, this didn’t go my way today. And and there’s like a lesson that can be learned from that. It’s not just I’m complaining because it’s raining, and I wanted it to be sunny. But but you know, are you are you thinking about? I don’t know, do you share some of the some of the harder parts? Or is it? Is it more about all like, the fun stuff? Because people I think, like to see both? Yeah,

Jessica Burton 26:00
they do. So I think I share more of family life, you know, and sort of the Juggle juggling act,

D.J. Paris 26:09
or there’s lots of challenges.

Jessica Burton 26:11
Yes. So you know, I’ve done some, like days in the life of a realtor what people really like, and I’m like, you know, at first I was like, Who wants to see this, you know, who’s interested in this, but people really do want to connect with you that way. So I know, I kind of, I’m pretty light. You know, as far as like, the videos that I do, I’ll make jokes about like, you know, I mean, every realtor out there has probably experienced this where you can’t find like a key, you know, because it’s like the, the listing agent put it like two houses down, like behind a tree or something, you know, or you can’t unlock the door. And, you know, I’ve I’ve made jokes about that. But as far as like, you know, talking about the current state of the market, or, you know, being a little bit more vulnerable, I’m working on it, because I do think that it’s it’s good content, and it’s, it’s honest.

D.J. Paris 27:03
It is it’s it’s always to me, I’m always so impressed when somebody’s willing to share a difficult part of their life. And again, it’s not for everybody, for sure. And of course, we need to keep our privacy’s and, and things but I always encourage our audience to, you know, and again, I don’t think people ever want to hear you complain about stuff. But But sharing like this is, this has been a challenge today, because this this, and this happened, I think that would be really cool. A lot of times for audiences to know, like, Oh, these are the challenges Realtors face do, because of course, we know just how challenging it is. But I will say this, this is funny, I wanted to mention this, we were talking about video, we’re talking about video, and we’re talking about social media. And I was at a Zillow conference in the last few months, and they did a presentation and one of their presentations was like a two day thing. And they said, the headshot is dead. And I was like, Oh, I gotta go to this presentation. Because that sounds cool. So the headshot is dead. And what they were explaining is based on all their data, and they have more data about home buyers than anybody, of course. And they what they found is that with people who advertise on their site, meaning realtors who pay for leads, and that kind of thing, that if the headshot is if all things are kind of equal, meaning like the realtor is kind of about the same number of reviews. And you know, they’re looking at like three or four agents on a page when they’re looking at a listing, and they have to click one to ultimately decide on who the lead is going to go to. A lot of times, they said they have a 30% chance higher of being clicked. If it’s not a headshot, if it’s an action shot, I was like what’s an action shot, which basically just means the camera catches somebody doing something that’s not necessarily like staring at a camera looking perfect. And everyone’s you know, all filtered up. So this would be like catching you laughing or catching, you know, somebody smiling or, you know, whatever, making a grimace or some sort of silly thing, but when they’re not looking at the camera, so just a little tip there for everyone that just came to my book, but this is what we’re talking about sharing your life, right? Like the perfect headshot, nobody cares. But what people do like is they want to see the real person, you know, the real person behind it. So that’s where you can get videos of our real stories, that is such a great

Jessica Burton 29:10
funny because, you know, my corporate training really programmed me to try to be perfect and have it together and look, you know, look a certain way. And that’s, you know, I have fun, I bonded so much more with my clients and the people I’ve met when I’ve been vulnerable and real. You know, I mean, it’s not always sunshine and butterflies and you know, so it’s it that’s how you know I’ve also bonded with other realtors and you know, it’s beneficial for sure.

D.J. Paris 29:42
Yeah, I agree people connect to to imperfection and and challenge a lot more than they do to perfection because none of us can really connect with perfection. Unless we’re narcissist. If we’re narcissist then we think everything we do is perfect. So if that’s the case, you should go get help. But if you’re not if you’re a non narcissist This, what you find is you connect more with with people’s challenges. So anyway, I want to switch gears because there’s so much more to talk about. And I want to talk about how do we, you know, so we’re talking about, you know, building a brand, utilizing video and social media and other things that you’re doing. But you aren’t getting leads, leads coming in. And you know, what we know is getting generating leads is challenge number one, challenge number two is, oh, I have leads now, what do I actually do so that they don’t fall through the cracks? And then I don’t sort of, you know, not give that them the attention I need. So how are you staying on top of leads?

Jessica Burton 30:35
Yes. So I am really big on processes. I think that that was something that I realized early on, because I had both jobs, I didn’t have time to, you know, to go in and try to, you know, get organized every single day. I mean, I really, a CRM was something that I invested in early, because I knew that I needed to keep information in one place, I knew that I needed to figure out processes, and I couldn’t just like, you know, fly from the seat of my pants, which I did do for, you know, the first year. And, you know, so I am really big on processes, I follow the, like effective time management. So I think Rob Dyrdek is, is a big advocate of that. And so basically, what that is, is, is defining what you’re going to be doing basically every hour of your day. So it’s easier said than done, especially with having a family, especially with being in real estate, because you could have an email come in, or a call or anything that just, you know, steers your day in a different direction. So

D.J. Paris 31:43
you have to, you have two little ones that are, which you’ve said earlier, but we should also say are under the age of two. So you have you have a two year old and a nine month old. So you are you are crazy. This is like peak mom time right now fair to say

Jessica Burton 31:57
I have mastered the art of delegation, I mean, that has just like, that has been a game changer for me. So, you know, we have you know, I’ve thankfully, and I have a very supportive husband, I mean, he’s just, he’s wonderful. So that, you know, that helps so much. But, but really, you know, getting, making sure that my processor processes are in place. So, you know, I start I know, we were not talking about data, you know, the hours of every day, but something I do want to mention is, you know, we’ve got to have a lot of energy in this business, you know, we’ve having big energy, you know, and making sure that people know that we are prepared, and we can keep up, and we’re going to be there to, you know, provide the knowledge and, you know, make sure that we’re on top of, especially in the last couple of years, when things were moving so quickly. So I try to start every single day by working out before my kids get up. And then and that’s, that’s a, you know, hard and its own, but, but also, you know, trying to take a few minutes to have quiet time, like meditation time, I don’t want to call it meditation, because sometimes I can’t get out of my own head. But, you know, at least so I can set my day up and you know, have a clearer mind. So I can go into it, you know, really concentrating on work. So staying in front of clients is you know, been about my processes, but it’s going in, I try to contact at least two, two of my sphere, my that can be past clients, or, you know, clients I’m currently working with, and just just anyone that’s in my database, and I try to connect with them through a text message. I’ve actually since I took Kim’s class, I’ve been doing videos, like video text, sure. And people love it, you know, it’s really as something as easy as, like, Hey, I’ve been thinking about you and just wanted to say hi, or, Hey, like, I saw this, and, you know, I just wanted to see how everything was going or even, you know, if something has happened in someone’s life, that may not be so great, you know, you can give, you know, a nice message that way as well. So really trying to stay in front of people that way. But until I defined that I was going to actually follow up with two people a day, I would say and made sure as part of my processes, I would say I would do it but I wouldn’t do it. So now you know understanding from nine to 10am I’m following up with people

D.J. Paris 34:29
time blocking got you to actually complete the task correct. And, and and setting up your day before the day starts.

Jessica Burton 34:38
Yes. So I spend the last hour of my work day and I usually am in the office like nine to five I get home around 530 And of course you know, I try to devote that time when I get home to my kids but as we all know that doesn’t always work out. But at least you know have those couple hours before they go to bed. So if I know I’ve really concentrated and really put my head down at work and gotten through what I need to get through makes me feel so much better, you know, getting home,

D.J. Paris 35:09
how I want to go back to exercise for saying, We never talked about this on the show, and I just want to get your take on this, obviously everybody knows they need to act they should exercise for, you know, just for all sorts of reasons that are beneficial that I don’t need to go over. I’m curious on how important exercise whether it’s strength training, or cardio or accommodation, it’s, I’m curious, have you talked about needing the energy to do the job and we know this is a high energy job, how critical and you’re busy mom, you’ve got two little ones, you’ve running a business, you’re also running a household with your husband, you’re busy, yet you’re making time for this. And a lot of for a lot of us, exercise is going to be the thing that first goes when we get busy, because number one, it’s painful and hard. And you know, sweating is no fun. And but how important is that so that you can do all of your time blocking? In other words, I’m curious to know just how critical it is for you. Because I suspect it’s it’s obviously so important that you’re putting at the very front of every day. Yeah.

Jessica Burton 36:12
Well, it’s for me, you know, when, when I am exercising, it’s helping me create more energy because I’m in better shape. I you know, in addition to exercising, that’s also trying to eat clean. I definitely love my occasional glass of wine or a beer. So, you know, everything in moderation, right. But, you know, just trying to live a healthier lifestyle, so that, you know, it really helps me clear my mind. I mean, and I also, you know, after you have, I guess going back to having children, you know, they just they suck the nutrients out of your body. And you’re kind of weak for a while. And I noticed that. So even before I had children, I was like, you know, running half marathons. I did a half Ironman. But so and I’ve always been in when I was growing up, I was a competitive speedskater Yeah. Oh, wow. Yeah. So So physical

D.J. Paris 37:11
fitness is is always been important to me. Yeah, you’re very humble about it. But you’re clearly this has been a big part of your life. It

Jessica Burton 37:19
has been. But I also realize how you know, it helps with your endorphins. And it helps it has so many positive stress release. Yep. So and I feel like I mean, I so I’m a runner. So I usually run like three times a week, and then do like strength training two days a week. But I have just, that’s my, I call it my church, like, that’s when I can go out, I don’t have to think about the stresses of my day, or you know what I have going on, I can and sometimes I do, of course, but I can just really be out there and just be with myself and have some quiet time because you really don’t get that quiet time with kids or being in real estate. And usually my phone doesn’t start ringing until seven, you know, on most days. So it’s really, it’s been very important and impactful. So I still am a goal setter. So I’m still like setting goals, you know, to look forward to. And it’s another way to bond with people too, you know, trying to get into golf, my husband loves golf. And I found that that’s another you know, anything that I can that I have made. And I’m interested in a lot of different things. But I also feel like there’s a benefit to it. Because you know, you’ll be able to get out there be with people relate to someone, and just have a good time. When

D.J. Paris 38:35
also you have that athlete background. So this competition part is is sort of hardwired into you. It’s clearly, you know, works for your business as well. But yeah, I agree. I really would encourage everyone if you’re not currently exercising, we all struggle wanting to exercise. Nobody really wants to x at least I’ve ever met. Actually, I’ve met a few people that like exercising, but I certainly don’t. But if you can just force yourself to do it. If there’s other there’s lots of ways to force yourself. And I hate to even say force yourself because your personal trainer, I do have a purse. Yeah, I just actually came from her right before I come here. So sadly, I the only thing that works for me is the most expensive way to do it. But to do it, so whatever exactly

Jessica Burton 39:16
whatever works for you. I mean, I’m not the thing. Like there’s so many different ways to exercise like dancing. And, you know, I mean, we’re exercising every day. I remember when I was pregnant, I was like walking up four flights of stairs, and I was like God, I’m glad I’m exercising because I would have never made this.

D.J. Paris 39:33
What I will tell people is if you do nothing else in your business, if you change nothing else about what you’re doing, but you just get in physical shape. And I mean working out to a maximum intensity of about a seven out of 1010 being oh my god, I just collapsed. You don’t have to do that. But if you can get in. Look, I’m no expert, but I’m just telling you what I’ve heard. If you can do a seven out of 10 three times a week for you know, however much, many minutes it makes sense for you to do that. I bet you your business will increase because your energy will increase, your stress will decrease, you’ll have more time to put on your business. And just try it. And let me know if it doesn’t work for you. But it is it is a hard path. That’s the challenge with with with exercises is, of course it, I think it’s

Jessica Burton 40:16
really you can relate it to your business too, because you know, everyone started somewhere. So everyone was at the beginning of you know, their fitness journey, or their real estate journey. And then, you know, if you look at it that way, like it’s not going to be, you’re not going to go from zero to 100 in one day, like set those small goals. And then you’ll just get you’ll improve over time. I mean, that’s, it’s helpful to look at it that way. I

D.J. Paris 40:41
had to do earlier today, I had to do push ups until I collapsed three different times. Yeah, now, we don’t always do that. But, but I will tell you, that never gets easy. That’s never fun. It’s always super painful and brutal. But you know what, it’s a it’s a good idea. So if anything, we just encourage you to get physically fit for all the other reasons that you should, but it will help your business, I want to talk about delegation. And then I want to get into managing the roller coaster that we’re currently on. Right, we’re maybe we’re down in a dip at this point with rates and inventory. But before that, let’s talk about how you delegate because you’ve had amazing success once you started delegating. And let’s first define like delegating means taking some, you know, some activities off of our plate that we think could be better suited for someone else, maybe because we’re either not very good at it, or we don’t like doing it or takes up too much of our time. But something that if we didn’t have to do it ourselves, but still needed to get done, that we could pay somebody or or maybe team up with somebody to do so let’s talk about what are some of those tasks that you decided to delegate? And then how did you delegate them?

Jessica Burton 41:47
Sure. So I currently have a virtual assistant, she is so wonderful, I’m so in. There’s a company in Texas that actually trains these virtual assistants, she’s in the Philippines, on Texas real estate contracts. So this was like, you know, I had wanted an assistant for a couple years, I actually got her in 2021 as well. And she’s wonderful. And I wanted an assistant but I wasn’t ready to commit to, you know, the cost of having one, you know, I was worried that maybe I would get this assistant in, my business wouldn’t do as well. And of course, when I was ready to take the leap of faith, but hadn’t, but when I did, it was just a wonderful decision. So she handles everything from, you know, all the admin responsibilities, communicating with clients through email, setting up meetings, who does personal stuff for me, you know, personal stuff for, like, needs for my family. And, and then I also realized, I mean, it was taking me like two hours to do like a social media post. And I just didn’t love it. I, I was I mean in the generation of tech, but I just, I was in my head too much about it. So I, that was the, that was actually the first thing I delegated. I’m now that I’m thinking about it. And that was a godsend as well. So what I realized, like going through this, and having the time that I’ve gotten back, is that I want to delegate everything, you know, everything other than being in front of clients, because that’s what my strong suit is. I do love the marketing side too. So I really, you know, doing some of that as well. But that is time consuming, but really been out there, you know, lead generating and having client, you know, being in front of my clients. That’s what I really want to focus on. So I was able, when I really when I implemented both the Social Media Manager and the VA assistant, I grew my business about 30%. And it was, you know, I wish I would have done it sooner. So that’s why I’m currently looking for someone in person because I still have, you know, I do drop offs for clients, quarterly. So I hire like high schoolers in my neighborhood to go and do this. And that’s been you know, they go off to college. So you have to find, you know, new people every few years. I also, you know, have someone who puts out open science, Open House signs for me, you know, people who go and put suprise and these are all people that I have found, you know, and so having, I would really like to have an in person assistant who I can ask to do all of these things. If you’re

D.J. Paris 44:38
in the Houston area and you’re looking to also learn from somebody, maybe you’re a realtor and you’re newer to the business or you’re just looking for some additional work, but you want to learn from somebody who’s crushing it, reach out, reach out to Jessica and we’ll give her contact information will be in the show notes. We’ll give it out at the end as well. I’m curious about one another question about delegation. So you talked about a lot of times that the objection to that will be, oh, I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive. And I’m certainly not going to ask you what you spend on that. However, what I’m curious about is how long it took you before you broke even with your, in other words, you know, you have somebody as an assistant, that you’re paying them, whatever, whatever you’re paying them at point, you know, where you’re like, This is now working, and I’m actually making money more money, because you increased revenue by 30%. Did it take a long time for that 30% to kick in? Or was it was it pretty quick, or in the middle? It

Jessica Burton 45:36
was very, it was very quick. I mean, I’d say within a matter of months, wow.

D.J. Paris 45:40
It’s a pretty amazing return. Actually, if we think about think about, like, if you could get 30% return on your money in a couple of months, that would, that’s probably not exactly what happened for you. But whatever, 10%, even in a couple of months, you’re like, a financial genius. So this is clearly the numbers make sense. And thank goodness for virtual assistants, for people that agents that are listening that maybe, you know, can’t afford to pay somebody, you know, locally, maybe the, you know, the salary will just be too high. There are virtual assistants, Philippines is a huge source of that. So you certainly can find people and you’re going to be giving work to people who want work, and they are going to tell you what they would like to be paid. It’s not like you’re deciding, they are going to tell you, and then you can determine if that makes sense. But you can find people for really inexpensive. Well, and

Jessica Burton 46:30
I’ll add to that, too, because I came up with every excuse, you know, there was I was like, Oh, God, it’s gonna take me so long to train someone, and I just don’t have the capacity for this. And yes, there definitely was, you know, that the couple of months that we had to, you know, get adjusted, but, you know, she was the, the benefit that she gave to me and, you know, to my business was was well worth it. And, you know, she’s come up with other ideas for the business and have has continued to help threads. So it was a great decision. That’s

D.J. Paris 47:06
awesome. Let’s talk about where we are currently in the market. So well, we know where we’re are for listening. This is 2023 October, we’re getting towards the end of the year, we know what kind of year this was for most agents, and it wasn’t the easiest year for most agents. So how are you staying motivated? How are you staying? Busy? Are you changing any of your activities? Did you change activities this year to kind of meet the market? Or was it I’m just going to put the blinders on and do what I always have done? Because that that continues to work for you? You

Jessica Burton 47:37
know, yeah, there’s definitely been a shift, I think it’s something like 80,000 agents have left the industry this year. And I mean, the Houston market has just been saturated with realtors the last couple of years, which, you know, I’m sure that’s the same story elsewhere. But, um, but really, it’s made me focus more on my processes, and, you know, really try to be in front of people. So delegating even more responsibility for, you know, administrative work to my assistant so that I can go and, you know, have more lunches, or more coffees or stop, you know, drop bys to my clients. So, in addition to calling two clients a day, I’ve increased that, you know, some days it’s four, sometimes it’s five. But I’ve really, I have, you know, I’d make sure I’ve and I’ve had this in place for years, I’ve made sure that I send you know, handwritten birthday cards and handwritten notes. I every Thursday from 10 to 11. I do that. And, and then really just, you know, scanning social media see if or LinkedIn to see if there’s anything exciting happening in the clients life, so I can congratulate them. I think, you know, I mentioned the drop offs as well. So gearing up for my, you know, Halloween drop offs and Christmas. I also do a breakfast with Santa, then this will be my fifth annual. And it’s really grown. I mean, we are we I should, it’s my team. But me, I’m the person that puts it on, I just have a team that helps me to organize it. But it started during COVID and 2020. And, you know, we had like 20 families who came on like time blocks because we didn’t want to, you know, expose people. And now it’s like 200 or 250 people. And it’s become like a, you know, I’ve seen these kids take pictures with Santa through the years. So I’m like a big grown up with me. And I’ve just, I really, I think that there’s a lot of myths. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what’s happening in the market. So I’m making sure to research and educate myself. So when I talk to a client, for instance, I have a client who has been they’ve been looking for a house they have two small children. They outgrew their three, two and they want to move to for three, we just found the perfect house yesterday, it’s gorgeous, it’s priced well, and there are multiple offers on it already, because that’s still what we’re seeing in some of the markets in Houston, because inventory is still so low. And they just, you know, they just like everyone else there, they refinance the last couple years. And they said that they’re nervous, and, you know, don’t know if this is the right time, and what do they do, they think the prices are going to come down. And, you know, it’s just me, calming them down and explaining to them like, you know, we have the higher mortgage rates right now, but there are a lot of people who are on the fence and waiting, and you know, when those mortgage rates come down, it’s going to open the floodgates. And, you know, it may not be, you know, that may not be the best time to buy your, you know, it’s economics, you’re not going to be in a low mortgage, you know, low price point market at the same time. So it’s, for me, it’s just really, in social media has helped with that, too. So me just making sure people know, hey, I’m still in real estate, I’m still here to help you. And then trying to just make sure that I’m in front of people more than ever, and showing, you know, I’ve really, I think something else that set me apart, as a realtor is just really showing people that I care. I mean, these are people that I meet I, my clients become friends for life, because I genuinely do care about, you know, where they are in their life and this exciting milestone. But really, I’m just, I’m continuing and being consistent with what I’m doing. Because I know, you know, oftentimes, when people get nervous or theirs, they can feel a shift, a lot of people go into themselves, and they don’t stay consistent. So you know, more than ever, I’m just making sure that I’m on top of, you know, what I need to do and taking care of people.

D.J. Paris 51:56
And let’s talk about encouragement. Because you this is a business that is a sort of, it’s funny, because it’s an interpersonal business, we’re doing face to face interactions, at least thankfully, we’re able to do that, currently. And, but we oftentimes work alone, and we work in a silo, most of our day is spent, you know, maybe working from home, and we’re not as maybe connected, real estate offices are emptier than as technologies improved. It’s just people don’t have to go in as much. And so it’s it’s created a lot of I think, a lot of isolation. And I’m curious on you know, isolation is good, but it can be challenging when it’s a harder time, like maybe now and it’s easy to, to just, you know, not feel the best. And so how do you set up encouragement to? How do you like, what is your support system look like? So that you’re getting the encouragement you need, when times are maybe more challenging?

Jessica Burton 52:54
Well, um, you know, it’s, I think it’s about community in a way. So like, I go into my office every day. I mean, I really can’t work from home, because of the kids. But yeah, a lot of loud dogs. So, so I go in the office. So I’m there, you know, with some of my, my team members. And, you know, I think everyone has downside, so I make sure that I’m working out because I know that’s gonna help me and I listened to your podcast religiously, you know, in other podcasts, like, I think another person mentioned, Ed, my let love him. He’s just very encouraging. And, and that’s the thing I, I tried to, you know, surround myself with positive people, you know, people that are like, feeling like, it’s doomsday. I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want that to come into my space. Because, you know, that’s what you think is, is usually, you know, what is the expression like how your reality is. So I just really try to stay positive. And I also tried to get creative, you know, this is the time, like, who cares? You know, try something out. You know, try to make sure that I’m staying within my budget, but, you know, it doesn’t hurt to just, you know, try different things out or get creative or brainstorm with other people. So, you know, I also have a good team in my office, like I mentioned, my broker’s super encouraging, and, you know, I have a group of other realtors in the office that we, we just all sort of are there for one another. And also, my sister is wonderful. But really, it’s just, you know, making sure that I’m taking care of myself and staying consistent, like I mentioned.

D.J. Paris 54:42
I like that. You know, one thing you also had mentioned your husband earlier is obviously being an incredible amount of support. It was one of the first things you said earlier in the episode. And you know, for those of us that don’t have a partner who you know, is either is supportive or we don’t have a partner at all, this Here’s where it becomes really important if you do work from home, to have a support system and have people like you were mentioning your sister, co workers, etc, that, you know, if you are somebody that you know gets bummed out working at home, then find find someone, a realtor,

Jessica Burton 55:14
I will talk to you, and encourage you. I mean, we’re all you know, that it ebbs and flows. And sometimes we have good days, and sometimes we have bad days. But I mean, it makes such a difference when you like, whenever I’m in a down mood, and I call a friend who I know is gonna be in a down mood, like, nothing is good, nothing good comes from that conversation.

D.J. Paris 55:34
Very, very true. Yeah. So find, find people that that of course, share your worldview. And, and we all we all need support, that’s another thing. So if you don’t have a good support system, make 20 the rest of this year, the way that you find your support your tribe, find the people that are like you that that will encourage you that you can encourage, and you’ll help each other kind of that’s that, you know, rising tide raises all ships kind of kind of analogy. This has been really, really interesting, I want to just also talk, I want to end with just a little bit about process, because I know you’re a process person. So tell us a little bit about what process means to you. And maybe if you could share one or two of your processes that are really important for you. I know, we talked about time blocking, obviously, that’s one, but we’d love to hear any others.

Jessica Burton 56:22
Sure. So you know, I’ll concentrate on marketing a little bit. So I make sure that whenever I’m gearing up for you know, my client interaction that I stay in front of my people at least once every two months, and that’s really dependent on the tier. So follow up boss again, going back to that, I have broken out my people into different tiers. So this is going to be you know, my referral partners, there’s a great function like you can add tags to your people. So in that can group them in their different categories. So, for instance, I’ve got, you know, my people, my million dollar plus clients, you know, or in one tear, and then I’ve got my referral group or, you know, which is like my top 20 People who refer to business to me, or clients who, you know, have been past buyers, and, you know, did it’s really broken down into, like the price point segment. But having that there, because that also includes their birthdays, so I know that you know, I can see when their birthdays come up, so I can make sure that that card is sent out and they know that they’re cared for. I also am collecting information throughout the month to put into my monthly newsletter. So a new the newsletter, I’ve actually done this the cheaper way, I use MailChimp. So it’s like $10 a month. And and then I go to a website called lighter side of real estate, lighter side of real estate, they have all of these really helpful, like articles and like memes. And, you know, and if you cute and funny based, yes, yes. But it also has a lot of, you know, home related articles, or just like, you know, even like mortgage, what’s going on with just homes in general, like the market. And so I will build my newsletter throughout the month out any Houston happenings. And then make sure that, you know, each day, I’m really trying to focus on what’s happening in my clients lives or what’s happening, you know, throughout a process. So every Tuesday and Thursday, I do check ins with my active clients, just just, you know, even if I had nothing to say to them, I usually just say, you know, here’s what’s going on, here’s what we have to look forward to. I also have a timeline that is sent out to them whenever a transaction begins. So that’s going to tell them the important dates. So I’ll go back, I’ll reference that when we’re talking on the phone. A lot of these people, you know, are busy professionals. So I’m texting with them a lot. And that’s when also I’ll do a quick video and just say, hey, here’s where we are, just so they know that I’m there. And I haven’t just disappeared, even if nothing’s going on. So really, those are some of the processes. I don’t know if there was anything specific. No, no.

D.J. Paris 59:20
No, of course. Of course you can. No, that is that is I think incredibly helpful. I mean, we did we did a lot this is we’re coming up on an hour and we did a lot I mean we I could talk to you all day, and I would but then you wouldn’t get any you then your time blocking would really really get screwed up and I don’t I don’t want that in my conscious as affecting your day in that way. So you have been amazing and I will absolutely love to bring you back because justice is on. She’s on the rise. I mean she’s been doing this seven years but she is consistently growing her business year over year even in these tough markets. So she is in the process of looking for some for an assistant so In person, a local assistant, just what are you looking for just for any of our audience who is might be considering wanting to work with you, I’m

Jessica Burton 1:00:06
sure. So I’m someone who is comfortable with administrative work. So you know, there’s a lot of compliance documents and contracts. So if you have real estate experience, that would be helpful, if you’re licensed, that would be even better. But I’m also happy to help with that. And then someone that is comfortable with client interfacing, and communications, someone that also has marketing experience, social media, I mean, just to, you know, well rounded, but also, if you don’t, if you aren’t strong in one of these areas, I’m also really open to mentorship and just helping you grow. I truly believe that if someone is a rat, round me, I want to see them succeed. And you know, want to help you and you know, whatever capacity that I can, so, you know, it’s kind of a, I also just want someone who can keep up with me.

D.J. Paris 1:01:04
Well, if anyone out there feels like this could be a possible fit, what’s the best way they should reach out to you?

Jessica Burton 1:01:10
Sure. So um, I’m on Instagram at Jess K. Burton. Or you can call me at 281-704-2061 or email me at Jessica at Indie quest dotnet.

D.J. Paris 1:01:26
Awesome. Well, also, everybody should follow Jess at just k Burton on Instagram. And you can find her on all the other social channels as well. But she talked a lot about what she does for social media. So if you would like to see what somebody who’s got a pretty good handle on social media, what they do on a regular basis, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, see what she’s doing. And guess what you can, you know, inspiration, you can take her inspiration and actually duplicate hopefully some of her success. And she’s just a heck of a nice person. So let her know that you appreciate it are coming out on the show reach out to her we are I just had a guest. No, I never tell her audience to do this. But we just had a guest reach out. She said, I just was on your show. And I got over 100 emails. So and obviously. Yeah, I don’t want I don’t want to bombard you with our audience emails. But if you did appreciate just in the show, let her know she she said something very kind to me, which reminded me to do this. Before we started, she had said something that that was very impactful to me. And so please let her know how much you appreciate her being on the show. So on behalf of the audience, this is a great place to wrap up. Thank you. We appreciate you Jesse are a wonderful person. You could tell it comes through in the way that you communicate and obviously your great realtor as well. And you’re so generous and willing to share exactly how you grow your business. So we will definitely want to have you back on you know when when things are even more crazy and impressive for you because of course they will be. And so on behalf of the audience thanks Jess. And on behalf of Justin myself, we do this because everyone who is listening to our words just in my words right now, this is all for you. So thank you for taking time out of your day to listen and try to improve some part of your business I hope you got some value here I know I did. So again let just know that you appreciated it follow on social shoot or a quick message she’d she’d appreciate it too. And again, thank you for listening. We just asked our audience please tell a friend just was telling me she does this with realtors that for this podcast which Thank you just for that. Please do the same. We appreciate it. let someone else know especially there’s so many great things that just said to do practical things that you could do just by listening to this particular episode. So shoot a link over we would appreciate it and we will see em Thanks, Jess. We will see everybody on the next podcast episode and Thanks, Jess. Thank you

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