The Very Best Idea For Real Estate Newsletters • Nicole Hajdu

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Nicole Hajdu with Hajdu Group Dream Town talks about her experience and how she got into the real estate business. Nicole discussed how she got influenced by her father to get her real estate license and how she began thinking about business. Next, Nicole emphasizes the importance of marketing and how it impacts the real estate business. Last, Nicole discusses the importance of sending personalized letters to clients and how this helps maintain the relationship with them.

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

Nicole Hajdu can be reached at (773) 727-2199 and nhajdu@dreamtown.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
Today you’re going to learn my favorite tip of all time for creating amazing real estate newsletters. Oh add a lot of other great stuff to stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solutions so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through this show. In just a moment we’re going to be speaking with top producer, Nicole Heidi but before we get to Nicole, just a couple of quick reminders please tell a friend about this podcast. Think of one other agent that maybe could use some tips from top producers like Nicole or maybe somebody who is already a top producer but is struggling a little bit and wants to hear from other top producers I’m sure you we all know other agents out there who are struggling. It is 2023 and it is a tough year for agents let’s help them out. Tell them about our show. That helps us out we thank you for that. Also leave us a review we really appreciate that whatever podcast app you’re checking us out on let us know what you think of the show. And you know what let’s just get right to the main event my conversation with a friend of mine and one of my favorite people in this industry. Nicole Hi do.

K today on the show we have Nicole Hi do from the high do group with Dream town here in Chicago. Let me tell you more about Nicole. With over a decade of real estate experience under her belt Nicole’s unmatched local expertise and dedication to our clients is evident in every real estate transaction. She provides her clients with highly personalized, collaborative and stress free stress free real estate experience. Nicole takes the time to listen to the needs of her clients and help them navigate the real estate process with ease. She is a highly driven individual and attributes her real estate success with her passion for learning and development. Nicole has also been named a Chicago Association of Realtors top producer and a dream town top producer every single year since 2016. And most recently was awarded at the five star professional. She’s I’m sorry, she’s a five star Professional Award winner and member of the Forbes 500 list as the founder of the high new group. Nicole and her team are proud to offer clients the best in class experience and strategies that they deserve. The height of group brings together the art and science of real estate relying on the tried and true methodologies to achieve success while elevating this process for clients. Please, everyone follow Nicole at the high do group real estate and I will that is spelled H A J D you but I will have a link to that in the show notes. So you don’t have to type it in. Because you would probably not get it through the way I’m pronouncing it. But also follow a goat please visit our website the how to group.com Again, that’s H AJJDUHAJD. You Nicole, welcome to the show.

Nicole Hajdu 4:25
Thank you, JJ. Thanks for having me.

D.J. Paris 4:28
I would like before we get started just to say what a fantastic person Nicole is, at least to me, because this is just what a giver she has. And I don’t know that anyone will even care about the story but it meant something to me. So I’m going to share it. So Nicole is somebody I did not know we had no interaction I believe up until I somehow started receiving some emails from her. I probably signed up for it somewhere. And I started getting these really cool emails that I was very impressed by that she was sending out to her sphere of influence, and just on an off chance that she might want to chat with me or maybe even know who I am. I assume she didn’t. I sent her a message, I think on her email saying, I’m so impressed with this. Could I call you I just have a few quick questions. And she was like, Oh, my God, totally. So I called her she was in the middle of a conference, I think, with Tom Ferry, and like, somewhere in the southwest part of the country. And she just immediately picked up and we were talking like we had known each other for a long time. And here we are today, getting to speak to each other on the show. I’m a huge, huge fan of Nicole. She’s lovely, sweet person. And I’m glad to have you here. So Nicole, welcome.

Nicole Hajdu 5:38
Thank you. And I do remember that I remember, like yesterday, because you’re a bit of a celebrity in my eyes. It was a nice day.

D.J. Paris 5:46
I don’t have any awards, you have lots of awards, you’re the celebrity.

Nicole Hajdu 5:52
But I do remember that. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 5:54
actually, it’s funny, they make up awards for podcasters. And we’ve gotten about 20 different ones, or more than that. And they’re like, they’re not, they’re not really awards. They’re just, you know, somebody makes stuff up, and you know, whatever, but, but you get real awards that you’ve earned in one. So I am very impressed. But let’s, um, let’s, I don’t really know your story. So I’d love to hear how you got into real estate and why and, and, you know, sort of what keeps you going,

Nicole Hajdu 6:21
Okay, well, I got into real estate in 2007, when everybody was getting out of real estate, because it was the crash, right? And everybody was getting out, I got in and I didn’t think twice about it. I took I got my my license when my kids were four and three years old. And I remember that like yesterday, too, because I’d have to put them to bed and study and, and get my highlighter out and do fun stuff to pass that test. And I actually had three different jobs. I had my own business, I had a little print business, I was running, I worked in remodeling. And I was I was starting to do a little bit, you know, just getting into the real estate, right? So I was I was running around like crazy with these two kids. And my my then husband was in the police department and he worked opposite shifts. So it was me alone with the two kids and studying and got my license that way my dad was really influential me getting my license because he had his broker’s license. And but the year before he passed away, he said, get your license, you really need to do this, you need to either get your license become an agent, or you maybe own your own brokerage do something with it, because I’ve always wanted to own my own business. My dad was small business owner had a second generation plumbing contractor, commercial plumbing contractor. So being an old school Sicilian owning a plumbing company from 1929, you can imagine he put me to work when I was 11 years old, doing payroll. And you might remember this payroll was done on a ledger with a ruler, right. And I hate that somebody’s doing that 11 So I was working for him from 11 years old. And it really, really taught me a lot about business, integrity, you know, showing up when I needed to and structure and business planning because I got to live that life for so long. So he’s the one who influenced me into real estate, I got my license. And shortly after that, I had my daughter and about a year after that I ended up getting divorced. So I had three kids that a one year old, you know, a five and six year old and ended up winning my remodeling gay guy was there because I was in corporate and I went to Loyola University and I studied creative writing and photography, nothing nothing used for my career directly. But it was a good legal Critical Thinking type of major I had and gave me the ability to pretty much do anything I wanted in my life, which I’m grateful for, for having that education. But you know, being on my own and I’m glad my dad told me to do that and and get my license, but being on my own and having to have that flexible schedule. Because I needed to pick up my kids, I couldn’t have a nine to five. So it was pretty much baptism by fire. And I did that in 2007 Getting into market when nobody was getting in. I really was getting out so I really had to hustle, learn everything I could possibly learn through not podcasts then but through just training, Googling everything I can classes and I really just immerse myself in everything just to learn so I can be on my own with the with the three small kids. So it took me a few years, a few years to get to that point. But that’s how but that’s how I got started. So

D.J. Paris 9:58
it’s fine. I love the expression, if you want something done, give it to a busy mother or just give it to a mother, because it’ll get done. And I always find, you know, I’ve had a lot of moms on the show who started their career while they had children, like you did. And you know, you just think about how challenging that must be. And yet, people do it. So I always I applaud the mothers who take this as a career because I, I am a single person who does not have children, and doesn’t have a lot of responsibilities that I’m absolutely tied to. And I find it much harder to even, you know, stay on track myself, but boy, moms are really impressive, with, of course, everything they do. And so also, I was thinking too, that you got in the business 22,007, right, when things were not looking good. After the height of the market, like 22,005, and then 22,008, everything started to crash, maybe even 2007 A bit. And that is a very challenging time, at least, a lot of our agents today, or a lot of our listeners rather, they may be feeling a similar sort of way. Because of course, the market is a little challenging. Right now we know, interest rates are gosh, I was seeing today, like 7.2 is the average for a 30 year fixed, which obviously is much higher than anyone would would like. But it’s just a tough time right now, there’s a lot of people sitting on the sidelines, not a lot of listings, as well. So I think this is a really good timing for to have you on because we can talk about how you sort of persevered through a very difficult several years. So how did you start prospecting? Once you were, you know, getting into this career? What worked for you then? And how did you sort of start finding clients?

Nicole Hajdu 11:50
Well, I had to really think about how I wanted to do this and get the word out. And why would people trust me, especially with selling their home? Like buyers? Sometimes when you’re starting out, we all get more buyers than we do? listings, right? It just the net, just human nature for people to trust you maybe to drive them around and purchase a property more so than just that. So I’ve really kind of dug into, okay, what are my skill sets? What do I do? Well, what would make a difference in this industry? I always knew that I wanted to own a business, run a business and act like a business and not just have it be maybe like a you know, like a hobby. And I think people sometimes forget that in real estate, and forget that they have to run a business. So it was it was something I was doing at the same time like okay, business mind, and what are my skill sets and I looked at, okay, my college education. I started my own businesses from when I was younger, different little things I was doing. But I also worked in corporate. So I worked in TV production, I worked in advertising. We had big clients like Pillsbury, and Air Transat. And then I, and then I worked in. So I was first a print company, they knew a lot about print, then I worked into advertising, and then I went into TV production. So it was all aspects of marketing. So I took my background in marketing, and business development in terms of like project management. And I moved into real estate. So I wanted to get that out there. Yes, I know a lot about marketing, and I can market your home. And there’s I know about print and I know what quality is. And I started elevating that and reaching out to people through really just meetings like my neighbor. My neighbor told me that was my first deal with my neighbor. He’s like, we’re gonna look at building a home. I said, Listen, I’m getting my license right now. Please, please do not list with anybody. I’m going to list your house and sell your house. And every day I saw her I might almost I’m getting my license give me like two more weeks, two more weeks. And she was my first client. And she ended up we ended up selling to a really wonderful couple who I’m still friends with to this day. And that was 2007 was my first my first deal. And then I started marketing to my blog. Okay, well people know that I’m here. They know that I’m in real estate, or they heard that I’m in real estate because I’m telling them. We had black parties had mentioned that. I would send out postcards around the block. I would make phone calls. And I know right now I’m at Dream town. Uvalde Danny, who is the founder of dream town, he is really, really big on pick up the phone. If you just pick up the phone and call people. You never know it’s such a great opportunity to hear what they’re saying. Talk to them about whatever how’s the kids now we have we have access now to people’s lives that we never had before in 2007, right? Like I can See what you’re doing. I could see anything about your life and people could see about my life and pick up the phone and call and ask, right. And sometimes it leads to the best conversations or a connection. Or, hey, you know what I was just thinking about selling my house or my mom needs to sell our house, whatever it may be, it’s usually just organically happens if you reach out. So that’s what I started doing. I just started putting myself in opportunity in the way of opportunity. And I think people forget that too. You got to get out there and put yourself in that space to receive some opportunity.

D.J. Paris 15:36
You said a lot there. And a lot of great things to unpack. One of the things that I wanted to touch on was the phone that you mentioned, being that you and I are in a in the same generation. So we grew up with the phone, you and I grew up talking on the phone to friends, you were probably asked out on your first date via telephone, or at least that’s how it worked for where I grew up. And it was it was a lot of phone phones were really, really important. And of course to people today, anyone under 30, or even probably under 35 even, just don’t, they didn’t grow up using the phone. It wasn’t it wasn’t significant to them. And so as a result, they’re not really in that habit. However, I find that people are often very impressed with getting phone calls, as long as they’re, you know, not salesy, and whatever. But it just isn’t that common anymore. So I’m a huge fan of that to even talking to younger people even having, you know, the Gen, the Gen X Gen Z, people who aren’t really big on the phone curious to if you still are doing as much phone calling as you as you were before.

Nicole Hajdu 16:46
I am in fact, I’m doing more of it. Because I’m really big into coaching, I love coaching, I’ve hired coaches, and they all say the same thing, personal notes, send out the marketing, the postcards, newsletters, or personal notes and phone calls, I think those make the most difference in, in our business. There’s, I’ve been receiving a personal personal note in the mail, I feel like it’s a lost art.

D.J. Paris 17:16
And it’s it’s one of the right, it’s one of the greatest feelings. And it only happens to me, I actually have one right here that I just got that was like, from the or the association, they wrote me a nice, thank you, I get maybe two or three of those a year maybe. So it does, it really makes makes me feel good at least.

Nicole Hajdu 17:38
And I’ll write them you know, like, I know, Ninja says, you know, get out there and write five note cards three to five a week. Different coaching programs have different recommendations. But I started that maybe 12 years ago when I was doing Buffini. And in sometimes I get off schedule on that. And I just have to sit, you just have to sit down and prep yourself, you have to have your note cards there and know what your routine is every day and do the time blocking and the scheduling. I mean, it’s really all hands on deck when you think about marketing, because marketing is everything in business. And you know, it’s like gets your name out there.

D.J. Paris 18:15
100%. And also, you were creative writing major, or that’s what you studied in college. And that too, is not obviously not everyone has that kind of background or that skill set. But if you have the ability to write, and you know, you’re somebody that that has, you know, that is an avid reader or an avid writer, and you sort of have an awareness of of, of how to construct sentences, you can really make yourself stand apart even just in your listing descriptions. And for anyone listening who’s like, I’m not a good writer, that’s not what I’m good at chat. GBT is here to help, and they can you just throw in your existing listing and say, make this more emotionally appealing. And they’re gonna it does a pretty good job, you know, people like you and I have to, we would always do that manually. And that was something that that you know, you and I are skilled at. And then other people now can sort of catch up a little bit. So that’s just a little little tip for anyone out there who doesn’t feel like maybe there is skilled at that. But you really do. You are an excellent marketer. And I want to just highlight one of your things. And I’ve talked to you about this ad nauseam, I’m sure and, but to the audience, they don’t know this. So I want to just to talk about this one thing that you do, and I know you do a million other things, too. So I just want to focus on this because this is how I got really impressed with you and and I should mention, like my role here at our firm is I recruit realtors, and I I’ve never thought for a second that I would be able to recruit Nicole because it’s just not the kind of realtors that we really recruit. She’s a total superstar and we don’t oftentimes get you know superstars like that. But I was so impressed with this. I thought man this is this is so wonderful that I wanted to mention it just because I don’t think anyone’s ever talked about it. I on my show, in the six years I’ve had it. So I know it’s just one thing that you do. But can you talk about your email newsletter that you do every week, and sometimes even more than once a week, I feel like you do other things. But let us tell our audience what you do and why you do it.

Nicole Hajdu 20:15
Sure. So I do I do a, a postcard version, and then like a newsletter version. So the postcard version that I send out, which is an E blast, it is what things to do in the city, and things to do in the suburbs. And I send it to, I send a suburban one once a week, and the city one wants in or certain one, once a month in the city one once a week. Because people want to know, hey, especially if they have kids, family, people visiting, they want to know what to do in the city. And it’s something of value. So I want to be at top of mind all the time, I want them to think of me as their go to real estate person. So in order to do that, you have to touch them so many times a year. And part of that touch strategy, or is or campaign, if you will, is to do these newsletters, you know, let them know what’s going on in the neighborhood, what we’re doing as a team. And we’re even revising our newsletters and sending out letters now, handwritten sign letters, that state you know, what we’ve been doing as a team, what we’re looking to do in events. And we’re also going to then make that into the newsletter that we send out once a month. And we have a great marketing team that puts it together. And it’s very professional, and it goes to our out to our sphere. So we have multiple touches a month, throughout the year, where people will not forget that okay, Nicole Hyde, who does real estate, let’s call him the call. He’s that are you know, finger on the pulse, she listed this, she’s in our neighborhood, she’s doing this, her team is doing that. You know, and, and we talk about how our team is growing. And for people who are just starting out, you started out, you know, you start out, however you can, I mean, I I remember I lost a listing, pretty big listing early on. And the woman had a quick fact sheet. And the the seller said it was between you and this other person. But she had all her information on a quick fact sheet that just had bullet points, right, of what she’s doing, and what she’s accomplished and her credentials. And I’m like, Oh my god. So I started that, you know what, I only had like three things on it. At the time, it was very sparse of a quick fact sheet. But over the years it grew and grew. And now it’s over a page, right? And I use it all the time. And it’s the same thing. Just start it. Even if you don’t have a lot to put in an E blast or a newsletter, just start it and it will naturally just unfold and and create into something beautiful, that you can use and be a value. Totally

D.J. Paris 23:01
agree. And I want to spend a few moments on the what to do this weekend newsletter five things to do this weekend. Because this is a decision that literally, I’m just making this up every human being pretty much on the planet who has, you know, their weekends free is thinking about at some point during the week, oftentimes not until Thursday night or Friday night. Oh my god, what are what am I doing this weekend, at least that’s how I oftentimes feel. And what’s really amazing is it’s a decision or it’s something I have to think about every single week. So the genius of this to me is that you are basically filling the need. So she sends out this newsletter with the things to do in the city. And if you live in the suburbs, she sent you the suburb one. This is so easy to put together while it takes work, of course, but it’s so easy because we can just go to there’s websites that accumulate this and Nicole actually has a tough, difficult job. Because here in Chicago, we have hundreds of things going on every single weekend. She picks five things that she thinks is really interesting for the city. And it’s it’s so useful. And it condenses because there’s hundreds of things going on, I can see what she thinks are the top things to look at this weekend. And I use this and I think this is so brilliant. Because I get to look at this ever. I have always been somebody who thinks, gosh, I just want more suggestions in my life. Like I just want people to say you should go do this or you should like I did this with the US Open. I’m a tennis player, but I don’t watch tennis on TV. Well enough people over the years said if you ever get the chance to go to the US Open you should do that. I was like okay, I don’t I wouldn’t normally think to do that. And I just did it and because people told me to because it was a suggested to me so this is exactly right in that wheelhouse. Well, but people do this every single week. So they have to make these decisions for their family for themselves. what was gonna happen on the weekend our Realtors we don’t often think about the weekends because realtors are working oftentimes during the weekend but everyone else is trying to figure out what they want to do socially. So this is such a great idea. Hey, guys, I’m so impressed with Nicole, and she never miss it. She never misses it, she always gets it out. And it’s just something you and I’m sort of hooked on it. Like, now I’m hooked on it. I would, it would be strange for me to not see it once a week. And I might even think, Oh, I wonder if something’s wrong if she didn’t send it. So that’s really what you want is you want people hooked on your content, so that they’re waiting for it and anticipating it. And I just really applaud you for that as a really smart idea. And I don’t it takes it takes consistency, of course to do it. But over time, people just I’m sure you get a lot of feedback from people saying, Wow, that that’s so great.

Nicole Hajdu 25:37
We do it, we get feedback saying hey, listen, can you can you send me the magnet, I send them the magnets, they have it on their fridge when you walk into the house. And and I’ll go to events and people will say oh, thanks for sending its thank you for sending me what to do this weekend, I always look forward to it. Because I never know what to do. And the suggestions are right there or you forget you forget the date you forget the festivals going on or whatever it is, you’re not going to you just people just want easy, they want the easy button. And it’s just an easy way to provide value and, and let people know like, Hey, I’m here for you, you know, I got your back on what to do this weekend.

D.J. Paris 26:12
It’s really, it’s, it seems so simple. And I guess it is a simple idea. But it is a very important one to consider doing something that people are going to consistently need even between transactions, because you know, people are only buying or selling a home, I don’t know, every 710 years, whatever the stat is. So of course, they’re not going to really probably need your real estate newsletter every single month. Although it’s nice to do that, and certainly not a bad idea. But if you also can send them something that they do need every single week with like, if I was a mother, for example, or if I had small children, and I had a lot of people in my sphere of influence that had children, I might do a thing for kids, you know, here’s some cool kids events or whatever. And Nicole does things like that, which I think is so so smart. So there’s there’s that. And I also, this is Oh, we should mention too, that if anyone is listening, who is an agent who is looking to maybe join a team or maybe move from their existing brokerage or just explore other opportunities. This is the year we’re seeing a lot of agents move around to from offices. And it’s a great time to consider what other options exist. So Nicole, not only is Nicole a coach, and she really enjoys coaching, and she coaches her team, she also is coached herself. So I always think the best coaches have coaches. So Nicole and her team can do that. So if anyone out there thinks they might be a good asset to Nicole’s team or really is looking for more of that coaching. From you know that they’re not getting at their current firm to call what’s what’s the best way that an agent should reach out to you?

Nicole Hajdu 27:48
Either phones 773-727-2199, or my email, which is n hi, do H A J? Do you add drink? town.com?

D.J. Paris 28:00
Awesome. Did I did I spell that incorrectly? Any? Right? It’s a wonderful Hungarian name. So yes, let’s talk about this year. So let’s talk about the challenges of this year. And love to hear kind of what your team is how you’re keeping your team motivated, what you’re sort of having them do today, or while things are a little more challenging to just stay productive and stay moving forward.

Nicole Hajdu 28:33
Sure. So this year is different, very different than the last two to three years, right. I mean, I always say the last two to three years were just a complete anomaly. And they gave us momentum and more clients to build on. But yet very, very hard to look at the last two, three years in terms of numbers and think that that’s going to be just as easy to replicate going forward. It really I mean, I’ve never been busier than I was in the last couple years. I’ve done more real estate, hired and fired and hired new people and people laughed and just you know, a lot of changes a lot of changes in everybody’s lives. And now we’re up against another change. But you’ve been doing real estate for a while, you know, every year it changes no year is ever, ever the same. And I think when people first get into real estate, they don’t realize that I don’t think I even realized that that every year is different. There’s so many challenges there’s so many things in and economics that change politics, you know, depending on whether or not it’s a a year for office, it just there’s so much that goes on where it’s human nature for people to pay attention to these things and then react with everybody else reacting to if everybody else is holding off. Well, there must be a reason I’m scared. I don’t want to make that change. Right. So Oh, during COVID? Nope, we just stopped. I don’t think I mean, I didn’t list properties I say for probably about four weeks, right and COVID started. But I was still working. And I was reaching out to people. And I said, this is a great time to catch up on everything that I wasn’t doing. Making my phone calls, sending my letters, doing social media, thinking out of the box about, okay, how am I going to survive during this? Because we don’t know what’s going to happen? And are we going to have a job in two months, right, three months next year. So what did I do, I listed my house in the first four weeks at COVID. I said, if I’m going to tell everybody else to do this, I gotta do it. So I listed my house figured out how I was going to manage photography during COVID, how he’s going to manage staging, how he’s going to manage the entire transaction showings everything. And if I could do it, and successfully do it, I could tell my clients to do it, right, if that’s what they desired, because there was a great opportunity there, for people who were saving and ready to move, jump on it, get that low rate. So and that’s what I did. And then over the years, as things change, I knew things were going to change too, wasn’t always going to be just low hanging fruit. So now we’re into that change. And due to rates, rates are kind of putting a little bit of a hold on the market. There’s not as many people we’re listing properties, but there’s not as many people looking and there’s not as many offers, the offers aren’t, sometimes aren’t coming in where we want them to come in. So it’s it’s a shift in our thinking, a shift in our marketing shift and our pricing. And our team has seen it, we see it, we hear it on the news, we you know, podcasts that we listened to like everybody’s talking about it, it’s a change. So the team, it’s really important to keep up with the coaching and the training and educating yourself. But with my team, we’re constantly talking about what can we do to add value to our clients? What can we do to be there for our clients, and keep getting better at what we’re doing and know the market and know what’s happening and be able to guide our clients in a way where they understand that they can still get to their goal. Maybe it’s now maybe it’s in you know, six months or a year from now, but we’re here to help them. And we’re doing it by still showing our properties that we’re listing and selling, sending out the postcard sending out the newsletter, the five things to do this weekend. events, events are a really nice thing that you can do to your, for your clients, and get people together and have that community. Especially for people who want to get to know you more get to know what you do, or maybe a buyer seminar, there’s so many things that we can put out there. And we’re looking at putting it out there monthly, and quarterly and then once a year or two. So I think that really helps in a changing market, you have to be super creative, willing to spend money, when you don’t know if money is going to be coming in at the same rate. Or if you’re just starting, you got to spend the money to make money. And I think people forget that too in a business because so many businesses are brick and mortar and you have to get a business loan, we don’t have that it’s credit card, put on your credit card, write a check, we have to invest in ourselves. So I keep telling the team and myself like I need to sit down I need to invest in myself. And to give back do volunteer work get involved in things that you like, I do volunteer work for Maryville, I love it. And it’s something that I take time away from real estate in my family to do to give back. But it’s that experience that motivates you to do more in your business and more in your personal life and, and share things with the people around you. So I think it’s just, there’s a lot of things that go into being successful during a changing market. And I think you have to touch on all those things and really sit down and think about what do you want? What is the message you want? What kind of branding Do you want? Who’s your ideal client? That’s a big one too. And when that always changes? I remember I worked with six week for six weeks with a coach just having me write down my ideal client. Because at first you’re not getting your ideal client. You’re like, oh my god, do you want it? Sure. Yeah, let’s go out 700 times to go look at a house because your first deal right? And have it go south like three times before you close down. That’s how real estate ends up and then you know it starts off. So I think there’s just a lot that goes into it. And as you do this longer and longer you learn that it’s not just marketing. It’s getting yourself out there for events and being creative and giving back to your clients and giving back to the community and doing things at the school promoting. I have a big banner in the school I’m part of the faster Okay, on the school website, I mean, that was consistent for like eight years, and I get a lot of my business from the kids school. So it’s, it’s reputation, it’s doing the best that you can and keeping your being into it and having integrity. So then people can pass on your name and trust you, right? Oh, no, I have somebody for you, I have somebody for you. Because 90% of my business is by referral. And I think that’s what we really need to do and focus on building those relationships. So every year that the market changes, you got to analyze it and look at okay, what do I want? Do I want higher price point? Do I want more people? What kind of people do I want? And how am I going to do that, through marketing through events, they’re getting out there in the community, you can do all of it. And, and what you do now happens, you get you see the reward and about three months.

D.J. Paris 35:52
Interesting. So I want to say that so you see the reward in about three months, can you just say a little bit more about that?

Nicole Hajdu 36:00
Whatever we do now takes about three months to show the results. So if I make a phone call right now, and I have my list of phone calls to make, but make a phone call, I might not see that listing or that closing for about three months, that’s the timespan from speaking to somebody to actually having something come in place. Now it’s a numbers game, you got to talk to maybe 100 people to have X amount of deals. But it’s about three months.

D.J. Paris 36:33
Yeah, I agree. And I guess, really, what I’m hearing you say is a lot of just consistency and making sure that you’re not too heavily influenced by sort of what’s out there in the ether or in news media about how challenging this market could be, or even other agents talking about it. That is obviously a big topic. When I talk to other agents, when I see them socially or at events, I, you know, people just they’re struggling, it’s, it’s it’s a tough market right now. So it’s easy to, to think, Well, gosh, everyone’s struggling. And when we feel that way, oftentimes, that’s going to decrease motivation to continue doing the sort of normal building business building activities that that we should be doing. And I think it’s really important to know what’s going on, of course, in in the, in the industry and in the market, but also to not be too influenced by it. Because like you said, you know, yeah, today might be a day that isn’t great because of rates and but in three months, we don’t know. And we’re going to start to see people, you know, the results of our of our things. So you really, I always think it’s like you’re just doing your future self a favor, like whatever you do today, you’re doing us a favor for your future self. And, you know, the good news is, it can be a really crappy day today, because it’s not going to matter. In three months, we’re gonna have a different set of challenges and a different set of opportunities. And if I can just continue working today that’s going to bear fruit, you know, here in the near near future, not even a year from now, two years from now. So I think that’s a really important thing for people to think about today is know what’s going on, but don’t get too caught up in it. Because what you’re doing today isn’t about today anyway, it’s about three months from now. That’s right, or,

Nicole Hajdu 38:24
yeah, and it’s a numbers game. That’s why you have to write notes and call people because you have to reach out to as many people as you possibly can daily to, to be to be making a living when the market takes a step back, right? Because it always does. It’s always up and down, up and down. And if you look at the statistics over the last, you know, 75 years, you could see it going like this all the time. So it’s just timing. And I’ve been doing this long enough where the timing just was perfect during COVID for me to move, and for me to really start getting my name out there. It was just perfect timing. And there’s nothing I could control about that except my, my everyday actions. And it just hit that level of that opportunity. Just hit at the right time for me, and for my team. So and I mean like you like you just, you didn’t all of a sudden just start interviewing 20 people a week. That didn’t happen you it was hey, I have this idea. Everything is an idea. Got to get it out of your head and implement it somehow. And yeah, you gotta remember to be you too.

D.J. Paris 39:37
That’s it and, you know, clients do really like to see the agents doing things that seem authentic to that agent, and seem that you know, is is doing something of value. So I agree it’s I always like when people ask me like, boy, what’s your do right now. And like, I don’t think it really matters, just do, you know two or three things every day that are, you know, specific to getting your name out there in a way that’s comfortable for you. Like, for me, I’m, I’m not somebody, I’m not a practicing agent. So I don’t have just listed just sold kind of experiences in my life because I don’t do that. But, but there’s other things I do that I want to highlight on social media. So you know, depending on everyone’s whose listings personality, what you’re willing to share what you’re willing not to share, what we do know for sure is that your, your sphere of influence, and clients want to see you doing something that you enjoy, whether it’s being a realtor, or even maybe being being a mom, or just being a good citizen, or doing something that that is, you know, not a hey, look how great I am. Look at how much I contribute. But more of a just, this is what I’m really into, like when you started talking about the school, like you got a little bit excited, you were like, I like doing that. And, and, and I like participating. And I like giving back and you know with Maryville, you’ve dimensioned. And so, those those things are you, as soon as Nicole said that, if you’re watching it, you can see her face lit up, and that I feel the same way about some of the things that I’m involved with, and you can see it. And so that’s the kind of stuff that you want your clients to see as well, that like, you know, I have passion for the industry. And you know, here’s a little bit more about what you know what I’m into outside of the industry as well. And here’s how I help the community because real estate is hyperlocal. And we need to think about the community. I also wanted to ask you about, about, gosh, I just I just lost what I was going to ask you, but I will ask you about coaching. Because I know that is obviously something very important to you. You’re a top producer, you have a coach, and you also coach, your team, and maybe even other agents. Tell us a little bit about how important coaching is to you today, and how you like what you go to your coach for what does the top producer bring to their coach. So

Nicole Hajdu 42:03
interests so the coaching has developed over the years, I’ve got my first coach when I was getting divorced, I had no idea if I was making the right decision how to navigate it. So I hired a coach. I said this is I need to know this. I don’t know what I don’t know, right? So I put it on my credit card. I still remember it’s $3,000. And I was like, oh my god, I’m getting divorced. I have these two, three kids, not

D.J. Paris 42:27
the time to spend $3,000 $3,000

Nicole Hajdu 42:29
in a horrible market. So I did it though, and I was hooked. I’m like this woman is telling me and giving me information that I didn’t know I didn’t even know about this stuff. Like she’s putting things into my head and telling me I can she’s motivated me and giving me the support and, and making me courageous and telling me I’m I’m doing the right thing. And and then you’re like No, I am doing the right thing. This feels good. And I liked this. And I liked the information I’m getting. And I ended up getting divorced, and being able to be the breadwinner. And my family said to get remarried again. And I because because we didn’t have kids together. It’s just my three children. But I’m able to put them through private schools and have buy my own house and do all these things with this real estate career. And I owe a lot of it to the people who’ve helped me. So you’ve all helped me in my career. He’s owner and founder of dream town, he helped me quite a bit. He gave me so much opportunity. But he gave me opportunity because he saw that I showed up. And I showed up because I had the coaches behind me and information and the motivation there. And I was seeking help to become better. Because there’s I have blind spots. I can’t see everything I sometimes I do things and I don’t know that maybe that was not correct or wrong or not the best way to do it. And so I started with blue Feeny, then I then I went into the core coaching, then I did I’ve ninja done ninja, and back to core again and then I just got my coaching certificate. So I can eventually step into coaching to on a full time basis as I get older and don’t want to run around so much showing homes. But that’s not for another like 1015 years, but I’m preparing so I’m preparing for my future by getting my coaching certificate now and kind of dabbling with it and at least having a door open and be able to take that on. So with coaching I asked my my coaches that you know, you got to be upfront and honest and open. And you got to pretty much lay it all out there. Like they had a look at what I was spending and they’re like, Oh no, no, no, no. No, like, what are you doing? Because I like to spend money and I like to give money away and like donate and do all these things. And they’re like, whoa, you need to have some better business practices. And I knew that too. I just didn’t know like, Well, how do you do that? How do you do that? Show me how you do it. What do you do that works? What do you what am I doing? That’s not working? Tell me I want if you just told me, I will do it. And I think a lot of us just need that. Just tell me like what you’re saying. Just tell me make it easy. And I will go do it. And let me know what works and doesn’t work. I don’t want to find out and take five years to figure something out. That could take me three days with coaching. So I and as I started getting more and more coaching, I learned about what I needed from a coach. So I was able to ask for Tom Ferry, like it’s a Tom Ferry coaching when we talked. And I asked for a very specific coach, because I knew where I where my deficit was, what did I need help with? I needed help with time management, and I needed help with like, organizing, what am I spending per listing? What am I spending per buy? Where’s my money going? Those are the things I needed help with. And I had to ask for that specific coach. But to ask for a specific coach, you have to prove yourself and do the work prior to have that, you know, to have that luxury to do so. So I love coaching, it’s helped me greatly, and it helps my and there’s a lot of stuff I learned that I pass on to my team, and they don’t even have to pay for it. They just get it because they’re on my team. Right? Yeah. And I love sharing and they love hearing it. And they take some of it and some they don’t it depends on what you’re ready for. And when you’re ready for it.

D.J. Paris 46:44
Yeah, I agree. I wanted to ask I remember now what I had forgotten earlier, which is I want to just really quickly touch on open houses, I feel like newer agents, maybe aren’t as familiar with the importance of those. I’m curious to get your opinion on open houses, for new agents, and really, for any agent, but specifically newer agents who might be listening. You know, so we’re gonna have people of course, who are listening, who maybe are newer, who don’t have listings, they don’t have open houses to do for them their own clients. But what you know, but you you know, you can always ask other agents in your office, if you can sit for some of their open houses. Are you seeing open houses still having success for your team? And if so? Or if so, or not? What would you recommend instead?

Nicole Hajdu 47:34
Oh, open houses for for newer agents and seasoned agents. Definitely open houses, Tom Ferry is big on Mega open houses, where you invite a whole block or two to the open house, there’s so many things you can do to be creative and make it a big, a big deal and, and really get your name out there and also meet other people. And you have to learn about how to communicate with people when they come in. Because I think it’s a little bit of a trial and error thing. If you’re newer on you know, you don’t want to be like, Hey, are you approved? Are you this? Are you interested in this house like you there’s a way of doing it, right. And that takes practice. So there’s a lot of opportunity open houses. So we just brought on my son who’s at not him, but his friend. And he was amazing go getter going to college, he would do open houses, and he just sent me he’s like, I’m going to college tomorrow. But I just got this lead from a $2 million open house, I was sitting at his team. And he just closed his first deal in the first 30 days because he I sent him on showings rental showings, he could literally called every single followed up with every single person that came through for the rentals and got his first deal. So the open houses are a huge opportunity. If you you just have to put yourself in the place to receive those gifts. And you got to get out there. And it’s a great opportunity my entire team does it.

D.J. Paris 49:03
Yes, agreed. And thank you for that. And okay, so let’s I’m curious when you because people, I think oftentimes, I mean, we do this with people who are at a certain what we believe to be a higher status than we are with respect to maybe they’re at a different stage of their career. They’re, you know, bigger producer or maybe, you know, they’re just have some skills that that you feel that we don’t currently have. We looked at these people like I was at the US Open, I’m watching these, some of the very best tennis players in the entire world. And I’m like, well, it’s so easy for them. And of course it isn’t, and they’re putting in the work to get to that level. But it’s important to remember that even top producers have challenges as well. So when you find yourself unmotivated, maybe you’re maybe maybe even you have a little bit of sadness or fear or depression or whatever anxiety whatever you know is is is preventing you from being at your best? You know, how do you find the motivation to continue on despite, you know, because we all know that life gets in the way and life has challenges. So when challenges hit you, how do you persevere through them? Like, what what do you do to continue? So you’re not, you know, holed up in bed in the fetal position for weeks at a time which, and again, I’m not I’m not here to criticize anyone who is in that position, I have a lot of empathy for people that struggle that way. But when you’re feeling down, I really should be asking this question more often in my interviews, because I think it’s it’s really interesting, like, how do you stay motivated when when times are tough?

Nicole Hajdu 50:42
Wow. And I’ve been in that position, actually, when I was getting divorced with three little kids and had no money and was figuring out how the heck am I going to do this going from?

D.J. Paris 50:51
That’s a pretty depressing position. Yes,

Nicole Hajdu 50:53
it was pretty bad. There are a lot of not getting out of bed days. But I had to because for me, and I know, this isn’t for everybody. But I had three kids that were relying on me, so I had to get up and I had to pull myself together. And I think, to be in this business, you have to be a little bit outgoing. And maybe you’re an extroverted introvert, like me, I like to like my alone time. But I also like to be out there and talk to people and be social. So I think this could go for everybody who’s listening to, to this right now. That if you’re you are in this business, you’re going to be social. And that’s probably where you get a lot of your energy from. And just remember that if you’re going through a tough time, and it seems hard right now, get yourself out there go to events, I just went to a chase event last night, it was great made a new friend, talk to people we had a lot in common with. It just felt good to get out. And I remembered that’s how I also built my career was going to events, car events, the the coaching events, the seminars, just getting out there, and it kind of motivates you and pumps you up. And then you make those connections are like, oh, wait a minute, those connections, are you gonna feed my business later? Getting out there and meeting new agents and looking and hearing other people’s stories. Because everybody has a story. Every house has a story, every agent has a story. Everybody started from here, you know, to get to what we’re talking about now, especially the ones who share their stories. And I think that helps motivate people. I listen to audiobooks. So I’m on Audible on time driving in the car, I listen to so many people tell their stories about how things were not great. But guess what, when things are not great, that’s who makes you who you are. That’s what, that’s where you prove yourself to yourself, you know, your self worth you, you start to learn about a lot about yourself when things are bad.

D.J. Paris 52:51
And so I didn’t mean they’re up, but I was gonna say also you build resiliency during during challenging times, and you actually become stronger by facing, not necessarily conquering like things that are challenges because we can’t conquer our challenge all of our challenges. In fact, we can’t even conquer most of them. But we can learn how to cope with our challenges. So that they don’t completely, you know, remove us from what we know is going to be beneficial to you know, our actions. And you said something very, very powerful. I just want to say this, if anyone out there right now is struggling with you know, the markets tough and you know, everything’s about this year is a little bit more challenging, and you’re feeling demotivated or unmotivated. Rather, you said something very, very important, which is be sociable. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you know, if it’s an introvert, if you’re more introverted, you maybe are just going to go out with the people that you’re closest with, that you’re most comfortable with, that aren’t going to zap your energy. But getting out of the house and being around other people that you enjoy, which is another great reason to give back and volunteer. Because if it’s something you’re passionate about, you’ll find like minded individuals. And I have the same philosophy. I have a goal every week of doing at least two but hopefully three social events a week. Now I’m a single guy, it’s easier for me to do that. I don’t have three children, which of course would would prohibit that, but if I did, I’d say okay, I want to just do one social event a week. And that could be going out with a friend, it could be going to an event hanging out with other realtors maybe volunteering something where I’m literally out of the house because I know for me, I’ve done enough social activities and other things out I know if I’m in my apartment, or in my condo, I will I can I can. I can start chasing my own tail, I can start ruminating I can start really getting into you know, the just feeling down and that’s fine. It’s okay to do that. But if you have scheduled activities where you’re forced to get out of the house and go be social, I scheduled them because I have to. I won’t be motivated to schedule them when I’m down. So I scheduled them when I’m not done. And so I try to like every week say, Okay, I got it, I want to go out and do something with somebody this week. And then, which is just how it works for me, and I always feel better. When I’m coming back from from those activities. I’m like, Oh, I’m so glad I’m not alone, you don’t have to suffer alone, I guess that’s the point is being around other people. And this is such a business where I think most Realtors do work in a silo, you know, we’re most aren’t even working in offices anymore, they’re working from home. So it’s, it’s really easy to just get trapped in your own thoughts and not realize that like, you know, there’s, there’s a sort of other world out there that can really help give you some of that motivation to then, you know, give you that extra energy to maybe even, you know, go through some of those harder times.

Nicole Hajdu 55:44
Well, yeah, you’re not alone, nobody is alone. In this, we all, when people are really truthful, you find out that we all are very alike, and suffer from the same things and, and, and get down. And if you’re social, and you’re out there, and you’re you’re gonna learn like, oh, wait, this person was feeling like I was and, and now look at them, and they got through it. And you do build resiliency through it, which we need in this business, because you’re like, sometimes it’s a really rough in this business, you get what

D.J. Paris 56:13
and there’s so much that there’s so much that happens in every transaction, there’s some something unexpected is going to happen in almost every real estate transaction. And usually, it’s going to be something that you news you don’t want to hear, because that’s just kind of how these things go. So you’re going to have these speed bumps, you know, life is going to throw these these challenges at you. And, and yeah, I think you’re right, like don’t don’t suffer in silence, you know, get out there, talk to other agents have people that you can call, because, you know, one of the things that really bothers me is is the you got this, you know, thing, and it’s like, no, you don’t always have this, and it’s okay to not have this. And that’s when you lean on other people. And you’re like, I don’t have it today. Like, I just need somebody to give me a hug, or I need somebody to tell me that I’m a worthy person, or, you know, to sort of, or I just want to go hang out with somebody and take my mind off my challenges, or I want to go to a or I want to hang out with a realtor who’s who’s crushing it right now and maybe learn a few things. You know, there’s lots of different options. But for me, I have to I have to get out of my my condo, I have to go somewhere. And I have to be very intentional about that. And I have to sort of force myself to do it. But it always works for me. So if anyone out there, we’re getting a lot of a lot of fan mail recently about people feeling depressed and alone. And I encourage you to really make those connections in the industry. Because number one, your realtor, every other realtor is probably going through similar things. And you can, you know, you can work together to keep each other to keep each other spirits up if you don’t, for example, have a coach currently. But Nicole, I think that it’s really a great place to kind of wrap because you gave so many amazing suggestions and tips. And I am such a fan of yours. And I know you have a busy team to manage and a busy business to run as well. So I want to for anyone listening out there who is really, really sort of captured by by what Nicole’s philosophies are and how she runs her team and her business. And if you think Boy, that sounds like I would like more of that. And you think that you might be a good addition to her team. Or maybe you’re an agent and another part of the country who has clients that move in and out of Chicago, you know, maybe they have you know, they’re transferring here for business. And maybe you’d want to, you know, have a referral agent that you trust. Obviously, Nicole is an excellent agent, you can chat with her about that. But if you’re local here, and you’re not getting the coaching that you deserve from your firm, and guess what, guys, most firms aren’t doing a great job of coaching, not because they it’s just firms, it’s just a difficult thing for most firms to be able to provide. Even though every firm says they do it. Most firms really struggle with that. So a lot of times now, the teams are taking over those responsibilities from the firm itself, to you know, then free up time for the firm to do other things. So Nicole is that person at her company? She works for great company as well. But you know, a lot of times let people flocked to teams just to get more individual attention. So if that is you or you just think you want to join a really great team, Nicole and hydro team would love the opportunity to chat with you again, Nicole, best way for anyone to reach out to you.

Nicole Hajdu 59:26
Sell 773-727-2199 or my email, which is n hi, do ha J Do you edrington.com Awesome.

D.J. Paris 59:36
Well, Nicole, thank you so much for your time. Today I am I’ve said this a number of times. I’m a huge fan. And I’m really really always loving what you do with marketing to so by the way guys get on her mailing list, even just to see what she’s doing. So that maybe you are in a different part of the country and you could sort of take that as inspiration to do similar marketing out firts so go to her website, you can sign up for her newsletter there as well, or reach out to her but follow her on Instagram, the Heidi group real estate, again, H A J. D, you will have links to her website, Instagram and all of her social stuff in the show notes. But check her out. She does cool stuff. And I’m a huge fan and, and even though she’ll probably never be one of our agents, I love the fact that she is doing what she’s doing at her firm. And I’m I’m going to always continue to support and follow you. So please, everyone, let’s, let’s do Oh, I’m going to ask our audience for one quick favor, please tell a friend about this episode. Think of one, one agent that could really benefit from some of the things that Nicole mentioned today. Again, staying motivated, understanding that, you know, life has its challenges too. And but what you do today is going to bear fruit here in the next quarter. So let’s let’s definitely a telephoned about the show, because it might be just what they need to get motivated today. So we appreciate that. And also one other thing, leave us a review. We really appreciate the reviews, whatever app you’re listening to us on, just let us know what you think of the show good and bad. You know, we want to hear you know everything so we can keep improving. So anyway, Nicole, thank you so much. Amazing. Hi, do group. And thank you. So glad to finally have you on the show. And we will say on behalf of the audience. Thank you to Nicole and on behalf of Nicole and myself, thank you to the audience for sticking around to the very end and supporting our show. Also check out our sponsors. We love our sponsors. Thank you, Nicole, and we will see everybody on the next Yeah, we’ll see everyone our next episode. Thanks. Thank you

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