The Importance of Mentorship • Caroline Hobbs

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Caroline Hobbs a coach from Saint Jose Broker at Reward Realty talks about her experience in real estate as a third generation in the business. Caroline discusses how easy it was to be driven by this legacy. Next, Caroline discusses how helpful it is working with a top agent and learning from them. Caroline also discusses the importance of having a mentor. Last, she emphasizes the impact of a leading platform that she and her team are working on and how it will help agents in their business.

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

Caroline Hobbs can be reached at caroline@rewardrealty.org.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of mentorship. And by the way, almost everyone I’ve ever had on my show, which are top 1%. Producers have all had mentors. Let’s talk about it 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 in 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. 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 Parris, I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re gonna be speaking with top producer and also software developer Caroline Hobbs. This is a really cool one, you’re going to want to listen to all of it, because there’s lots of great stuff here. Anyway, before we get to Caroline, one thing that you can do to help our show out two things actually is leave us a review. So you might be listening to us on Apple podcasts or any other podcast app. Please let us know what you think of the show helps us improve and obviously meet your needs more effectively. And please also tell a friend about the show. Think of just one other agent that could benefit from hearing from top producers like Caroline and let them know about the show. We appreciate it. Alright guys, let’s get to the main event my conversation with Caroline hops.

Today on the show, our guest is Caroline Hobbs. She is a broker and owner of reward Realty in San Jose, California, which is the heart of Silicon Valley. Let me tell you more about Caroline. Now, Caroline, if there’s anyone who understands the stress of uprooting one’s life, and finding the best place to raise a family, it’s Caroline. She’s the Tao mother of two’s career kicked off with Keller Williams in Palo Alto, where she learned everything that she knows from some of the world’s leading agents, some of them have even been on our show. Using her knowledge and intrinsic passion for helping clients achieve their goals. Carolyn built reward Realty from the ground up. As the team lead and head broker Caroline’s spends her days turning mundane listings into irresistible opportunities for local homebuyers and investors. When you work with Carolina, you can be rest assured that you’ll feel heard supported and respected by somebody with decades of experience. Now to learn more about Caroline’s brokerage, please visit reward realty.org again reward realty.org We will have a link to that in the show notes. And she is currently working on a new tech product specifically for realtors. We’re going to be talking about that at some point in the show today as well. And we’ll give you some information on how to learn more there. Caroline, welcome to the show.

Caroline Hobbs 3:57
Hi, thank you so much for having me.

D.J. Paris 3:59
I am so excited to chat with you. And I don’t get a chance to talk to as many broker owners as I would like. So this is kind of a treat for me, because you really are wearing a lot of hats. Not only are you running your brokerage and your own personal business within the brokerage, and managing agents and doing all of the all of the hats that owners do that were and also working on a tech product at the same time. So I’m excited to talk about that. But why I always like to start off the show learning more about our guests. So tell us how you got into real estate.

Caroline Hobbs 4:35
So I’m actually a third generation real estate professional. My grandfather was a contractor who had his real estate license. My mother has been in the lending industry for over 40 years and is just getting ready to retire. And so while I was in college, I was introduced to a real estate agent who was number one in Keller Williams international and started working for her as her open house host and assistant.

D.J. Paris 5:06
Yeah, what’s it like to work for the number one, I just recently had the number one REMAX agent who happens also in the world who happens to be in California, not not in your neck of the woods down in downtown Los Angeles. But it was interesting talking to like the number one person in the world and he really hearing how somebody at the very tippy top of the mountain does it, not just the people who are just slightly underneath them who are also superstars, but the person at the very top you got you got that experience. So tell us about what you learned from working with some I mean, what a gift that is, I imagine 100%

Caroline Hobbs 5:41
I, honestly, I don’t think I would have figured out my strengths as an agent. Even in tech, without my start working with that agent, I had open houses to host and get face to face connections with clients very, very early, like before I was licensed. So from the get go, she used to joke that I posted more open houses than anybody else in Silicon Valley, because I hosted them every single weekend for years. So learning how to convert clients, talk to them, understand their concerns, hear them out, that was all super invaluable. But in all honesty for running a business, I think I learned a lot because this agent had not only her real estate license, but she also had an MBA, and what is a certified accountant. So she she was like the ultimate business person. So I like to say I stole all the knowledge that I could. I worked with her for six and a half years, and got to see the ins and outs of how she runs her business. How she conducts it, how she talks to clients how she closes the deal. But even more so I was in charge of running her database, which this is in 2008 2007, she had over 10,000 people in her database. Amazing. So this is way before most people even had a database most people were working off of, you know, a notepad, maybe an Excel sheet if you were advanced. Right.

D.J. Paris 7:15
And we should also mention that this is right at the most challenging time to be a real estate agent. This is when the market crashed. We had all those subprime loans were really brought the housing market down, by the way that is not happening now. Thank goodness. But you were you hurt getting doing this in a very difficult time?

Caroline Hobbs 7:36
Absolutely. Also, with the area that we are selling in our office, we’re with Keller Williams, and our office was in downtown Palo Alto, which is actually the number one office in the country as well. A lot of times, it’s just because of the price points that we’re at, you know, they’re at a much higher level, most people need to sell 510 20 houses to equate the same kind of price range. But just being surrounded by those agents who are really a lot more business minded than I find a lot of realtors to be was really inspiring the other person that was at the office at the same time with me, well known agent who started his own brokerage called Dalian Realty. You know, back when we were at Keller Williams together, he sold the most expensive home in America, which was over in Woodside for about $100 million. And he took that and reinvested it back into himself starting his company. So I like to think that I kind of learned from those around me. And that’s the path I ended up choosing as well. It’s

D.J. Paris 8:43
really, it’s really, again, such a gift, it’s a good reminder to our audience that if you currently don’t have a mentor, or you don’t have open houses to sit on weekends, beg anyone in your office as much as you can to go ahead and sit those open houses, you’re doing the seller a favor. And clearly you’re doing yourself a favor by not only learning how to talk about real estate to people that walk in off the street, but also possibly get some leads as well. And hopefully, you know, show those people other homes to buy. So this I cannot encourage people to do this. More. I think it’s it’s so critical. And everyone who’s listening probably already knows. Yeah, I know. I’m supposed to, you know, sit open houses. But I can’t think of an example. We’ve done about 500 episodes. I’m sure there’s one person that never said an open house on a 500. But that’s about it. Yeah. And I only talked to the top top agents in the country so and the very top agent at Keller Williams was like, oh, yeah, by the way, sit open houses. So yeah. Yeah. So even if you read Gary Keller’s book, it’ll tell you to sit open houses. So anyway, that that is just a good quick reminder. So when did you decide to sort of break off so you learned all this great information from your mentor and got to read really see a lot of high end sort of transactions and sort of the white glove approach, which is absolutely needed for you know, those kinds of transactions. And you were able to take that synthesize what you learned, and then build your own brokerage. Tell us about that.

Caroline Hobbs 10:15
Yeah. So my adventure with reward Realty started about 10 years ago, April was our 10 year anniversary of being in business. So I started this in 2013. And my goal was, I at the time, there was really, really high splits with the the major players. And as a newer agent at the time, well, not new, but like, I was a young agent. So I didn’t have a whole lot of resources. A lot of sweat equity went into it. But I wanted to create a place where agents could come, they could keep more of their commission, they could have access to the best tools, and really find themselves like a home. I very much am very involved with all of my agents at my brokerage. Today, as we’re recording this, this is Wednesday, we call it party day in our office. So we have our local broker tour that we go on. We all go to the meeting together, I actually sit on the board for our Real Estate Association. And we come back to the office, I have my agents in the other room right now kicking off the 100 days, to 100k with Tom Ferry, all the printed out books ready to go for them. So they’re listening to that while we record this right now. But we also do we do lunch, we we invite lenders and we roleplay. So really trying to you know, hone those skills, make sure that my every agent at our office is a beacon of information for all of their clients.

D.J. Paris 12:04
You know, it’s so funny because you say that, you know, this idea of having this once a week, sort of tour, you know, you call it part party day, and you get to go out and see some listings, you get, everyone gets the experience of walking through, there’s information that’s being shared. And then you come back and digest it all and then actually do some additional work with the Tom Ferry program, as well as role playing, which is I think one of the most invaluable exercises. Of course, this is awesome. I I’m thinking here we’re in Chicago, there are hundreds of brokerages here. I am sure that maybe one of them does that I’m sure. I’m just guessing. I don’t know of any personally that do that weekly. Again, I’m sure there are. And I’ll probably get some emails from people afterwards saying, Yeah, we do this, but it is very rare. And so I will, I will really honor you for that. And by the way, I always forget to say this until the end, if anyone is in the San Jose area, and would like that sort of experience as they’re growing their business to learn from somebody who learned from the very best. And also, practices at every single weekend literally teaches you and shows you how to do that. Check out reward Realty against reward realty.org. And by the way, no franchise fee. So how exciting is that? So you don’t have to pay that like mysterious 5% to the mothership, because there was no mothership. It’s just Caroline and her team. So that’s awesome. I love I love this idea of really building the skills of your agents, which is, I think I’ve seen a trend. I’m curious to get your take on this. I’ve seen a trend where managing brokers, people who are in charge of all of the agents, you’re I’m assuming you’re the managing broker as well, that yeah, so you have you wear a lot of different hats. And what I’ve seen over the last probably 10 years is this trend of the managing brokers are now being asked to do more recruiting because it’s getting more competitive, people are moving around a bit. And especially now, and they’re not they don’t have as much time to train. And so I think a lot of the training initiatives are being pushed off to teams, which I guess sort of makes sense in in a way. But I like the idea of joining a brokerage who actually the brokerage itself has amazing training. So I applaud you for continuing to support your agents in that way. Let’s talk about let’s talk about your your other venture because you were a little bit dissatisfied with database stuff. You wanted to do more. You’re right in the part of the country that loves tech, and it all of our tech, you know, sort of breakthroughs you come from your part of the country. So tell us a little bit about what you’re working on. This is actually really cool. Yeah,

Caroline Hobbs 14:53
absolutely. So we are essentially tied to Other some of the leading platforms follow up boss and open to close and building our own customized client portal, which will be client facing. So between the follow up boss and the open to close, we’ve actually created full cross functional usage of it. So currently they’ll link during Zapier, but we have a much more robust way of doing this, essentially allowing agents to solely work out of follow up boss, admins and transaction coordinators to solely work out of open to close and have everything sync all of the information showing up in the client portal to be accessible to your clients. And also be able to invite agents from the other side of the transaction to access the documents and things like that. So we can do an AI transaction management, kind of scanning the documents, reducing risk by by making sure that there’s not any kind of missing signatures missing, you know, questions skipped anything like that. And really having everybody worked together to get that file completed without a whole lot of trouble going back and forth.

D.J. Paris 16:10
So let me see if I understand because I think I do although I am a little bit under the weather. So I may just be making this up in my head, and you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I understand. So the problem you’re solving is, hey, clients oftentimes don’t really know where they are in in a, in a transaction. There’s no real portal for a client to go in and say, Oh, this is exactly where we are. Currently, they’re waiting for communication from their broker, their agent. And maybe their agent is good at doing that. Maybe they aren’t. But there isn’t a place where they can just go and see a snapshot of here’s everything that’s currently going on. So you built that solution. It was really actually, I don’t know that that solution. Does that solution exists before yours? Because no, you shaking your head? No, no. That is a brilliant idea. Because I was thinking about this, I bought a place a few years ago, and I hadn’t bought a place in a long time. So I sort of forgot the process. And now with like getting a loan and dealing with lender stuff, it was all that way, it was all online, they would they would ping me, I need this, this this but it was all through a portal, it made perfect sense. And then I could see the status of it, as well as the updates as they rolled in. I love that you’re doing this, this is really, really smart. So it’s a client centric approach to really keep them in the loop. And then also utilize existing systems that agents are already enjoying.

Caroline Hobbs 17:34
Yes, so that is definitely a major portion of it is I felt like there was always a client version or like a client facing part of this that was missing. Also, another thing that inspired me to do this, especially on the listing side, is a lot of times when homes are sitting on the market for a little while and not moving, they want to see like a whole tracklist of what you’ve done to market their home. So this allows you to make those notes in their follow up boss and have them sink directly into the client portal, where they can see every single action that you’re taking at each step. But furthermore, and I think this is where an agents will be a little bit more interesting is that all of your follow ups, all of those special touches, whether it’s gifting, marketing, all of that is going is a custom build out that we do for you and your follow up boss account and you’re open to closed account. So let’s say that a new company starts up for home valuations. And they have an open API and you want to incorporate it into your account and your client of ours, you’ll tell us open your account, we’ll set it up for you, we’ll help you know test it out to make sure that we’re using it at the highest and best level and help you get all of the Automate nations set up so that way it is just incorporated, you’re not going to another place to go make a change another place to go send out postcards, another place to go, you know, create your Commission’s or anything like that.

D.J. Paris 19:05
So there’s really there’s really two components here, there’s the client, the client facing side, which is going to give them updates, they can see your activity, they can stay in the loop and get notified when there’s when there’s new activity. And then on the other side, there’s the the agent facing side, which is going to link up with many different tools all in one so that you’re not logging in and out of all these different systems. And I don’t think anyone’s built that either. I guess Salesforce would be the closest thing to that. But it Salesforce is a giant massive tool that isn’t specifically real estate focused. So you’re basically taking existing tools and really hyper focusing them to the real estate agent experience. Yeah,

Caroline Hobbs 19:46
if you can imagine a tool that combines like disclosure IO, but for both sides of the transaction and compresses all of those files together for the most complete one and marking what’s missing. That’s kind of that’s the workflow that we’re, we’re building towards.

D.J. Paris 20:07
Awesome. When do you anticipate? Is it in beta testing now? Or how far is it ready for for

Caroline Hobbs 20:13
development. We have partnered with Bara agency, which is the number one real estate development company. There are CTOs. For this, we have evolved, who is helping us with our onboarding, Jackie, is a superstar and well known among a lot of the execs in real in real estate technology companies. And then, you know, so we really have partnered with some of the best of the best, we have regular meetings with open close and follow up boss, to make sure we’re all building alongside one another, to really create a super system. And I think a lot of our vendors are really seeing the value in what we’re doing. Being able to extend their client lifecycles, because they’re actually utilizing the tools that they’re paying for.

D.J. Paris 21:00
Right. And the reality of it is, and we all know this, who are practicing Realtors is there’s just too much to do in any given day, to really manage your entire business as an individual, it’s just too much. It really is. And so you need to leverage tools. And the problem with CRMs is I mean, certain CRMs are wonderful, but you really have to, if this is the era of integration, so we’re going to start to see tools combining lonewolf is doing this a lot. If people are following lone wolf, they’re purchasing lots of little tech companies and trying to create some sort of eco sphere to sort of suck you and Caroline is doing the same thing. And she’s she’s doing it with some of the biggest players in the space. So because it’s not, it’s still in development, you guys are working on it. Now, if somebody wants to sort of be informed of the updates, and you know, once it’s ready, where should they should I should they go to reward realty.org send you an email just to put on a list, that

Caroline Hobbs 22:01
would be fine, or use the link below to just go ahead and book a 30 minute consultation with me, we are getting ready to start onboarding people onto our open to close and follow up boss built out system. So basically all the action plans, all the touch points, all of that gets customized to the user, all the verbage we give you video scripts to go and record to put into your transaction emails, as far as updates go, and then those will sync to the client portal, we are expecting to we’re expecting we’re hoping to finish the client portal by end of q1 and 2024. So for anybody that is already on our platforms, they will automatically get you know first dibs and likely some beta testing on it. And then we will be selling it as a part of the tech stack that we’ve developed, as well as an individual product that people can access and use on their own transactions.

D.J. Paris 23:03
I love it. So stay tuned, but get on the mailing list. So we are I forgot Caroline mentioned that there is a link. So if you’re a brokerage if you’re a team, if you’re an individual that has many systems you want to integrate, you can schedule in the description below, you’ll see a link to schedule time with Caroline and her team to learn more. Also, you can also go to reward realty.org and shoot her message. I want to talk a little bit about the state of the market. Because of course this is a different year than last year we have our interest rates are different. Our inventory demand is different. And and I don’t know what it’s like in in the San Jose area, but I suspect it’s it’s similar to what we’re experiencing in other parts of the country. So basically, what I’m saying is the vast majority of agents, I talked to their businesses down. Occasionally I run into somebody who’s crushing it. But that’s an anomaly. It’s not as common as anyone would like. So how are you keeping your agents motivated? Obviously, I love the party Wednesday idea of going out and doing skill building. What else are you telling your agents to do right now to help you know, keep their business rolling.

Caroline Hobbs 24:17
Um, we do a number of things. So we do a lot of online marketing. So we do have new leads that come in every single day through several different programs. In addition to that, I do have all of my buyer’s agents, because I do run a small team within the brokerage as well. They host all of my open houses. I have built up a pretty strong stream of listings and reputation in the area. So fortunately, we’ve been able to keep business coming in and and you know, focusing on that way, but really we’re leveraging our systems to help differentiate ourselves be the first to contact And then with the roleplay, making sure that we make every single conversation count. You know, it’s fine in a busy market when you’ve got 100 leads coming in a day to, you know, mess up on a couple, but this is the roleplay. And we want to capitalize on every single opportunity. And so we want to make sure that our agents are ready to go. The second opportunity arises and that they’re able to have that persuasive conversation and help their clients understand what a good time it actually is to purchase.

D.J. Paris 25:36
Yeah, and let’s, let’s talk about rates. So interest rates are higher than than anyone would prefer currently, although historically not that high, but it feels high. I think now, even though it’s, you know, it doesn’t really, if you look at the numbers, I don’t think it’s too awful. Just it’s awful in comparison to 3%, which was an anomaly as well, a couple of years ago. So but it is an interesting conversation, because I think I’ve some friends that are lenders that I’m probably I’m getting the statistic wrong, but it’s something like 85% of us homeowners have less than a 4% mortgage. So we’ve, I don’t know, really created a challenge for realtors now to unless you have to move, it’s tough to ask somebody to give up their 3% rate for possibly, you know, a 7% rate. So are you? Are you coaching your agents on how to handle that particular conversation? And what would you recommend in those cases.

Caroline Hobbs 26:33
So there’s a few different things. Regarding the market here in Silicon Valley, we’re seeing a lot of cash offers come through. And I realized that it’s just because we get a lot of money from investors, and we’ve got engineers with RSU money and things like that. But what that indicates to me is there’s blood in the water. And if you’ve been in real estate long enough, you know that prices, home prices and interest rates have an inverse relationship. So what some of our partner lenders have been doing is they have programs where if you purchase now, they in six months, they’ll refinance you for free, no cost at all, very patient, but there’s always going to be I think that this reaction to the interest rates is a little bit of a generational thing. It’s less so with the move down clients, which is a lot of the people that we’ve served this year, I think younger buyers and their 30s, which is the majority of people buying and selling right now as people starting to have families and moving up in their careers and starting to move into a home that they might stay in for a little bit longer. They’re not going to stay in a townhouse. Because that’s what they could afford when they’re 2030 years old. And when they have two kids and need a backyard, no matter what their interest rate is, right now, will they hold on to it as an investment property and turn it into an investment property. That’s not a bad idea. But I kind of stand by the fact that there’s always going to be a reason to buy and sell. And in California, we are seeing a lot of people. Again, not as interested about the interest rates, but like acknowledging that the cost of living is so high here and moving out of state.

D.J. Paris 28:29
Yeah, that makes sense. And you said something very powerful. About the good thing to remember I sort of had forgotten this, that interest rates and home price is they have like a negative correlation like as one one goes up the other goes down so that that is a conversation to have with with buyers right now and sellers just say hey, yeah, you know, and there’s other other options too. With mortgages you could do buy downs. So by the way, if anyone’s not familiar with a Biden listen to our we do a monthly episode with Joel from guaranteed rate he talks a lot about Biden’s those are very common right now to help ease some of that, you know, that sticker shock of seeing the larger number on on that monthly payment. So but there are solutions, but I think you brought up a really good point is let’s talk about home pricing. Because at the end of the day, if pricing is coming down, because rates are high will ultimately that could be a good thing for both sides. But the math needs to be there right? So people agents need to I think do a little bit more math these days than perhaps they had to do before when when rates were so low that it and let’s also remember to when rates were in the threes and even the twos a little bit. Think about how many buyers flooded the market and how much how people were overpaying for some of these, you know these homes, so this is a time where there’s less buyers. So in a way that’s less competition, that’s good. And now you know, you might get a discount on the price.

Caroline Hobbs 29:58
Well I think that’s very true in other markets. Here’s the problem. Buyers and sellers in Silicon Valley are very spoiled. So it’s, I mean, can you imagine being an engineer you make, you know, $500,000 a year, including your stock income, and somebody tells you, no, you can’t have that house because somebody’s been $50,000. Warren, well, let us $50,000 equate to 200 bucks a month, 300 bucks a month. So they’re not gonna go out to dinner two times, you know. And so I think that’s one of the reasons why we see our prices go up at such a rapid rate. We are seeing multiple offers still. So there’s homes in San Jose, especially, that will have three, four or five offers after a week on the market. South County like Gilroy and Morgan Hill, there’s are expanding neighborhoods that are kind of hit or miss on the multiple offers, but we aren’t really seeing as much of a dip in pricing. But people are a little bit more conservative. So it just it makes pricing that much more important. So what I always say like, if you have tours going on for your area, put it on tour, get the feedback from other local agents and see what they think. I know when we put our I put every single listing of mine on tour, we usually have anywhere from 55 to 75 agents come through on that day. Wow. Which is amazing. Because you really get good feedback. Everybody in the area knows about your listing, they’ve walked it. And one of the things I encourage my team to do as we’re doing the tours is take pictures, it’s a great opportunity to make content, talk about what’s going on in the market that week. You know, people love video. So getting out in front of your audience and your sphere is amazing. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 32:02
let’s let’s talk about the role of video. Because I think you know, agents are going on tours, they’re going to broker open opens, they’re obviously doing showings with their clients and whatever listings they may have. So there, if you’re in a home, you have the opportunity to make a video even if it’s 60 seconds short form video, by the way, has, by about a foot I just did a presentation on this. So it depends on what stat you believe, but about a four to five times multiple. I think that’s the right way to say it four or five times more, maybe it’s not a multiple then even image posts and short and long form video. So actually people aren’t I mean, we look tick tock, this is a crazy statistic, just to show you the importance of of short form video and I know tick tock skews to a younger audience. But this is a crazy statistic 1.6 7 billion users Tiktok has, there’s only 8.1 billion people in the world, they have one out of every eight people going there at 1.1 billion of the 1.6 7 billion go there every single month. And it’s probably even more often than that. Because if you’re on Tik Tok, you’re not just going once a month, you’re going every single day. So short form, video is key. And it’s the easiest type of content to create, because it’s the shortest amount and it’s what people want to see. So I think there’s, you’re right, I think there’s so much opportunity going in anytime you go to a listing or any sort of property and just doing a quick little, it doesn’t just have to be showing your audience that you went to the gym this morning. And you know, you’re committed. And that’s fine, too. But yeah, create this great real estate content, just simply by going to a listing and saying, Oh, look at this cool thing in this house. I want to show you.

Caroline Hobbs 33:42
Yep, totally. And, you know, you really should be doing that. Even when you’re taking buyers out on tours, take pictures of cool things get on front while they’re upstairs living in the master bed, bathroom, and just be like, hey, when I just came by this listing, this is amazing. Come and take a look scheduled showing with me now.

D.J. Paris 34:03
Yeah, even if you’re with a client, what here’s what I would recommend because obviously you want to support that client, you don’t want to be doing other work while you’re doing that. But if you have a few moments, take a video of something cool in the house. Don’t say anything. You can always add your your commentary in later. But get that video so that way the client doesn’t necessarily know that you’re creating content for something else. But but create like just just even if it’s 10 seconds, show something and then you can always do a voiceover it’s a huge missed opportunity for agents and then posting

Caroline Hobbs 34:37

D.J. Paris 34:41
let’s um, I want to talk to about about new agents because we do have a lot of new agents that listen to our show and are want to hear from top producers about what they should be doing right now. Well, we already talked about open houses. That’s an absolute no brainer. Aside from open houses, how should somebody be working their sphere of influence, especially if they’re new? What are the things that you would recommend to a new agent to make sure that the sphere of influence starts to now associate the new agent with being an agent and not you know, the person that used to work in tech, for example, and now he’s doing real estate and people still think of you as the tech guy. So how do you really begin to condition the people in your life to know that now I’m the real estate person.

Caroline Hobbs 35:30
First off, real easy. There’s a lot of tools like this like home bot, there’s a new one called fellow which I really like a lot. And I’m going to be integrating into our systems. These automated value tools. Get everyone you know, your whole Christmas card list, get them every single person on one of these AMV tools, you will immediately be associated with good news about their house. And you know, they’ll get a monthly email with updates on their home value, and they’ll know that you’re the person to go and talk to about it.

D.J. Paris 36:06
That is funny. It is funny. I’m sorry to interrupt. I was gonna say I love getting that Zillow email once a month. And look, don’t don’t kill me, everyone. I know not everybody who listens to this love Zillow. And I’m not saying this is a love Zillow thing. But you know what is cool about Zillow is that little Zestimate email once a month to tell me how if my home is appreciated or depreciated, whether it’s accurate or not another question, but just getting that it’s kind of like getting your FICO score every month for the credit, because it’s like, even though it doesn’t really matter. For me, I like knowing if my score went up or down or if my home price went up or down. And this is something that you can do to anybody whether they’re a client of yours or not. And odds are their own agent isn’t doing that.

Caroline Hobbs 36:48
Let me give you an idea to just go over the top. And for all the new agents listening, this is what you want to hear is go on to Zillow, screenshot your friend’s address with there’s the estimate, perfect love, shoot him a text and be like, hey, look how much your home is worth. Values are still up, people are still moving. Do you know anyone who’s in the market? I love it. It’s easy. It takes you three seconds. And it’s it’s one of the things that’s included in the 100k and 100 days for the Tom Ferry program is a Z estimate printout and you can mail these to people as well, you know, circle the price interested in actual value because we all joke, you know, it’s or off depending on the area.

D.J. Paris 37:35
But now, I will tell you by the way I got a chance to to spend some time with Zillow this year. And last year, I was very fortunate to be able to spend time with their senior leadership. And their their data engineers and their economists will tell you with with absolute honesty, I believe unless they’re unless they’re not being honest. But I believe they’re being honest, that that they’re within you know, 3%, give or take plus or minus, right. So they will say we actually check our data. And we are now so close that word about a 3%. One way there. Now I know everyone out there might feel differently. It’s

Caroline Hobbs 38:12
funny that you mentioned that. If you go on to Zillow into the agent toolkit, this is one of the things you’ll see there’s a Z estimate section and they have a graph, which shows exactly what you’re talking about based on. I don’t know, there’s probably about 26 cities listed. The thing about that, and some are there are some that are very close. And I think it really just depends on the market. You know, how much is the average? You know, at like over asking kind of price? Because really it comes down to like how are people bidding 5000 over are they bidding 200,000 over? So one thing I noticed on their chart is cities like San Jose are missing? Sure, because it’s just their numbers are not going to be anywhere as close since you have more of that emotional factor that comes into play with our buyers and their pricing decisions.

D.J. Paris 39:11
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. So so the the Z estimate is is going to be contingent on the area. But the good news is it’s probably better that it’s off than it’s, you know, I talked to somebody at Zillow once and this is many, many years ago when it wasn’t as accurate it is now and the guy goes, agents should be thanking us that it’s not that accurate because we’re making we’re making you more important because and so what Caroline is saying is is actually absolutely of such a great idea. Everybody in your database, especially if you’re new. Hey, I just noticed Zillow was saying your homes that circle it. I think I can I want to I want to double check those numbers. I want to see would you be interested in getting a more accurate quote or a more updated quote? That is a great who wouldn’t? And it’s going to give you the opportunity to really understand how and values. If you do enough of those, you know, you’re just going to start start to get what’s going on in your marketplace. And everybody always wants to know what their home is worth, whether they’re moving or not. We all want to know it. What are possibly our largest asset for most people is the largest asset. What that if it’s appreciating or depreciating? I love that idea. Well,

Caroline Hobbs 40:19
it also creates, I think, earlier in the call, you’re asking me about how I’m helping my newer agents stay busy. It creates conversations. So for internet leads, the average are, you know, you’ll typically sell maybe 5%. If you’re, if you’re good at converting on the low side, it’s like two to 3%. So what that tells me is that I need to have more conversations in order to produce more transactions. And sometimes, you know, internet leads are not the best. So you have to go outside the box. Circle dialing can work with the Z estimates as well.

D.J. Paris 41:02
What is circle dialing? Can you explain that to our audience? Yeah, circle

Caroline Hobbs 41:05
dialing is choosing a farm area. A lot of people do this with postcards, and mail marketing. Circles dialing is essentially taking that physical mail farm that you’re used to reaching out to and calling their phones. So there’s many different companies out there that will give you access to the phone numbers like red X Vulcan seven. And then there’s other companies that will link in and you can actually do like voicemail drops. Hey, this is Caroline Hobbs, your lantana Wisteria neighborhood realtor just wanted to give you a call this home just closed escrow and I thought you might be interested, they received multiple offers, give me a call if you’re curious and want to learn more. By the

D.J. Paris 41:52
way, this is such a great idea. I got very excited, I was waiting for her to finish, which is not what you’re supposed to do as an interviewer because I’m so excited. This is such a brilliant idea. Because think about this, you sell a home in a in a subdivision or neighborhood, right? And you want to you want to blanket the neighborhood by saying hey, by the way, it just sold so and so’s home. I’d love to chat with you. That’s that’s challenging to do unless you’re knocking door to door and I don’t even think people really appreciate that. Mostly, I mean, it’s pens, I guess where you live and make it the worst. That’s true, too. But if you have the fortitude to Dornoch, I applaud you. I just I think that that’s going the way of the dodo. So one thing that you can do is start to call but you know, maybe there’s 100 homes in that subdivision and yeah, you know, that’s kind of a lot of work to call 100 people using something like Sly dial where it’s going to drop right into their voicemail, you know, just say, hey, you know, and you wouldn’t say their first name, of course, because you would just record at once. But hey, this home just sold down the street wanted to, you know, suggest, you know, exactly, we actually Carolyn said it much better, and I won’t try to do what she said. But it’s such a brilliant idea, because everybody is interested also in their neighbor’s properties, because that’s gonna affect their properties, you know, that activity. So. And the other thing for open houses, you can do this with open houses, too. You can start, you know, schedule an open house and then blanket the neighborhood a couple of days before. Yeah, because everybody’s nosy. They want to see what’s inside of their neighbor’s home.

Caroline Hobbs 43:19
Well, you know, it’s funny, and it happens all the time. I get realtors that come or not realtors, but I get neighborhood homeowners that come in. And they’re like, we just wanted to creep on the house and see what it looks like inside. We’re not really in the market. We’re just or it’s like somebody will text me. Do you know what this sold for? I was creeping on Zillow and I see that it’s pending. Just don’t know those are like my star people. And now they have my phone number from the voicemail drops, and they know that I’m the person with the information about sales in the neighborhood.

D.J. Paris 43:54
Absolutely. It’s such a great idea and I actually think this is a great place to wrap up because you just gave our audience a really amazing couple of suggestions for how to stay busy. I mean guys, let’s just recap some of them number one if you’re not doing open houses, beg beg everyone in your office who has a listing Can I please please please come sit in open house for you Saturday, Sunday, whatever, and do as many of those as possible because not not only will it get you familiar with talking to buyers, it will also possibly get you some leads as well and just a lot of experience so that’s that’s a no brainer. We all know that. Now this idea of the Zestimate or as Caroline says the Z estimate I it’s too much work for me to say the estimate so I’m going to say is estimate I’m under the weather so I’m going to try to conserve my energy but but anyway, her idea is an amazing one. So if you’re new everybody you know just you know if you’d if you don’t know if they own or rent call them and say hey, do you do on your property? I’m, I’m you know, I just got my license can I I want to practice on on you and I want to, I’m going to send you something, you know, again, this is we want to condition these, these, these, your sphere to know that this is what you do. And by the way, it’s great experience as well to learn about pricing, learn about what Zillow sends out there. So that as an agent, because we know the number one place, consumers are going to see their value of their home is Zillow, like that’s where they’re going. So it’s a real good idea for you to know what theirs estimate is so that they don’t call you and say, just notice my homes at like 500 grand, you know, what I would do, I would put everybody’s address in there. And I as an agent, all my clients, everyone in my sphere, so that I get alerts for their homes, so that I could be the one to contact them and say, Oh, I just saw Zillow updated their estimate for your home, I want to take a closer look at that myself and see if it’s right. Brilliant idea. And we also talked about, you know, doing things with inside of neighborhoods, you can get these phone numbers, circle marketing, you can get these these phone numbers, and you can, you don’t have to call everyone if you don’t like cold calling, nobody likes cold calling, you could do a slide I’ll drop it in, hey, we got an open house coming up, or I just sold the home down the street. If you’re and we had multiple offers, and it sold for above listing, if you’re interested in seeing what your home might be worth right now, give me a ring not are you looking to sell? Because they’re they’re looking to sell or they’re not. But would you be interested in finding out what your home value is worth? Who wouldn’t say yes to and you know what? I’ve lived in a new development for two and a half years. And yeah, I’m in the business. But I’m not a practicing realtor. So I don’t think anybody thinks of me as a realtor, because I’m really not. Not one agent has ever called me to go, Hey, I know you bought a couple years ago, would you like to know what it’s worth right now? Now I know because I look at Zillow or whatever. But most of my construction

Caroline Hobbs 46:43
are like my hidden. Yes, like hidden source for new seller leads. You know, most people are going to move between years two and four in a new home development, and then it starts to kind of trickle and become more random. But you’re 100% right.

D.J. Paris 47:02
Not even one postcard not a full mile, not a postcard, it is wild. So and we have 45,000 agents here in Chicago, not one of them is doing it. So or at least it made my development. So great, great stuff from Caroline. And by the way, guys, she has leads. And that’s not the reason to go to her firm, because that is never a good reason to go to a firm, it is a nice thing that she does have leads now. So definitely reach out if but I think more importantly, is the skill building. And she actually does that every single week with her agents, she learned from the best. So why not learn from her, and she’s crushing it as well. So please, everyone go visit, especially if you’re in the San Jose area, reward realty.org see if you might be a good fit for Caroline and her brokerage. And for those of you that were really interested in some of the tech stuff she’s doing, where she’s integrating a client portal, and an agent portal with all systems sort of talking to each other, so that you don’t have to go in and out of various solutions to do your work. Reach out to her as well. And there’s a link in our show notes where you can schedule time to chat with her about whether this would be a good fit for your team, your brokerage, or just yourself. So Caroline, thank you so much for being on the show You were amazing. I really appreciate your your insight. And the advice you gave to our listeners was incredible. So we on behalf of the listeners I thank you for coming on the show on behalf of Carolina and myself we think our listeners to you guys are the reason we continue to do this, please we ask you to do just one thing, but I’m going to ask for actually two things. One, the most important thing is telephoned think of one other agent that you know isn’t maybe doing as well this year. By the way, that’s just about everybody. Maybe they’re a little dejected, a little down maybe they’re not at a firm like Caroline’s where they’re not getting as much skill training as possible. Shoot them a link to this. It’s gonna give him a couple of great ideas to stay busy. Please do that for us that will help us get in front of more more realtors. And also leave us a review that whatever app you’re listening to us on, let us know what you think of the show. We appreciate that as well. Caroline, thank you so much. You’re amazing. And I’m excited to hear more about the tech development as it goes. And maybe we’ll have you back when it launches and we’ll do a demo and have some fun. So thanks. Thanks. And everyone else we’ll see on the next episode. Thanks guys. Awesome.

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