Vickey Barron goes back to the beginning of her career in real estate. Vickey describes how honesty played a very important role in the process of getting her first clients. Next, Vickey extensively talks about the importance of authenticity and honesty. Vickey also shares her tips and advise she gives to newer agents. Vickey also talks about how she keeps in touch with old clients and the importance she gives to this part of her job. Last, Vickey talks about the biggest mistake she’s made in her career that she would change if given the chance.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide, and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top 1% Producer Vicki Baron. Before we get to Vicki, just a couple of quick reminders. First, thank you for continuing to support our show. If you want to help us grow. The best ways you can do that is first by telling a friend to think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing these episodes and send them a link over to our website keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever produced can be streamed right from a browser, no podcast app required. And of course, we’re also on all the podcast apps so feel, feel free to subscribe if you haven’t done that already. And also, please support our amazing sponsors theory they are the reason we can keep paying the bills and keep the staff happy and keep everything running. So please check out their products and services. Consider investing in them. I promise the products and services that are talked about on the show will help take your business to the next level. Okay, let’s get to the main event my conversation with Vicki Baron.
Today on the show, we have Vicki Baron compass in New York City. Let me tell you more about Vicki. Now when Vicki Baron talks the real estate world listens she has earned the respect and admiration of her fellow brokers, along with an impressive base of buyers and sellers. Vicki has been featured in leading trade press articles and network TV shows including Wall Street Journal, the real deal, New York Times HGTV selling New York she’s also played a key role in the dramatic growth of the new development market in New York City by commanding and achieving record breaking sales prices, some marvel at how she is able to get it all done. Her answer is if you want something done, give it to a busy person I could not agree more. And by the way, Vicki’s super humble. She’s also been one of the top agents in New York City by volume, probably she is already as well. She’s been doing that before also in the country. She’s been one of the top agents, she is a very, very big deal. And we are so honored to have Vicki on the show. Vicki, welcome.
Vickey Barron 3:56
Thank you. And thank you for having me. And that’s a very nice introduction. And I just truly believe that if we all come together and just share, I tend to get involved a lot in our local board and helping agents. Some of them are new, some have been around for a long time, but kind of stumbling trying to figure out what to do and how to pivot. So anytime I’m invited to where we can have a candid conversation, because it’s not an easy business. But it can be a fun business if you don’t take yourself so seriously. And you just keep your eye on the ball and and remember that whatever you do, it’s all going to be fine. I just think there are too many people that end up with too much stress because ego gets in the way and a lot of pressure and I think that slows them down. So if I can do anything today is we’ll have a conversation and Share kind of how not to get into that trap, and a authentic and just have fun. And there’s a I’m a believer of abundance. So there’s enough business to go around, you just have to figure out what part of that business makes sense for you.
D.J. Paris 5:18
Well said, and I also want to just peel back the curtain for our listeners for a moment when I was chatting with Vicki just before we started, the very first thing she said, which, which is just really indicative of your character and, and, and your motivation, you were like, I just want to provide value to your audience and maybe help them I, I enjoy helping other realtors learn to do better. And obviously, you just said a version of that right now. And it is not always the case that when I have these types of interviews that I that I that people are as willing to to be helpful. So I think that is probably not a coincidence why you’re so successful. This act of like givers get to kind of kind of philosophy. So. And we should also mention, too, that Vicki is in the process of writing a book. And it’s not out yet. But I would encourage all of our listeners to make sure that when Vicki’s book does come out, we will be promoting it on our show, we’ll be promoting it on our Facebook group. And we will also anyone that’s interested can reach out to Vicki. And I’m sure she can put you on a list or or at least make you aware when the book is available. Because she is she is somebody who instructs agents. And so this this should be a very, very interesting and exciting book. So we’re happy to promote that once that happens. But Vicki, I’d like to start all the way at the back at the beginning to hear about how you got into real estate and why?
Vickey Barron 6:45
Well, when I was 2021 years old, I was not in real estate. But I did buy a very, very small piece of real estate in Southern California, because I realized, you know, why rent if you could buy. And to this day, I’m kind of confused why Bank of America gave me a mortgage, but they fortunately did. So I was able to put down a little down payment and and and got started and I bought it and I fixed it up, lived there for 10 months sold, it made a decent profit, I think I paid 59,000 and sold it for 79,000. So
D.J. Paris 7:32
like, Oh, that’s a nice return for 10 months
Vickey Barron 7:35
or so. And then I bought another one. And I kind of kept doing that. And people in California say you should get into real estate, you know, I just love looking at a property and seeing the potential. So I moved a lot, because this is kind of my hobby, so to speak. But I never really got into real estate, I worked in health care until I moved to New York City 22 years ago. And I thought I was coming to New York for two years. And I wanted to get to know the city. And I thought wait a minute, if I’m going to be in New York for two years, what better way to get to know the city than to get a real estate license and literally get to know the city. So I went and interviewed, my resume was not so impressive because no one wanted to hire me. And my favorite is a very large firm. The manager said to me, we don’t have a desk, call us back in a year. And I said, Wow, that’s so exciting that you don’t have a desk, you must be doing really well. And I’m thrilled to hear that. I have one question for you. She said, What’s that? I said, it’s very important for me to really find the right match the right house, if you will. So if you would be so kind to give me 10 minutes out of your day just to have an idea. I sit down quick chat, because if it’s the right fit, I’m willing to wait. And if it’s not, then I’ll accept a desk somewhere else. Does that make sense to you? She said yes. She invited me in. And when I sat in front of her. I seriously had a lot of questions because I had no idea. I didn’t know my way around New York. I didn’t have friends in New York. I didn’t have I mean, I used to come to New York, I worked in healthcare. So I would come for a lot of medical conferences, but I didn’t know anyone in New York. So I didn’t understand the lay of the land, period or real estate. So I said to her like, I have a question. You said you don’t have a desk but as I look around, I see a lot of empty desks. So where are these agents? Are they out selling Are they sleeping in or they will like can you help me understand how it works? And I must have had 20 different questions for her because I was really curious about how it all worked. And then I asked her, describe to me the top five agents in this office, who are they? What makes him tick? How do they function? And she answered it. And then I said, Now talk to me about the five agents that you’re contemplating getting rid of that a desk may open up that someday I’ll get to have, tell me about them. And she’s just started laughing. She said, You are hilarious. Like, you. You just first of all, she asked me if I had a resume. I said, don’t have a resume, you don’t have a desk. I thought, We’re doing an eyeball thing I didn’t, I wasn’t coming in for an interview, because you didn’t have a desk. I just wanted to meet you and say, Hello. So anyway, she offered me the position and I got started. And in that interview, I felt kind of bad. Like I tricked her because she offered me a desk after she said she didn’t have one. So I said, I should probably disclose it. I do not have any connections in New York, never sold real estate. I don’t. And Harriet on Park Avenue is not going to call me to sell her seven room. She said, Well, how are you going to get business? And I said, that is a very good question. And, honestly, I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t. But what I can tell you is I do understand people, and I understand business, and I’m confident I’ll figure something out. So fortunately, that really stupid answer, still got me a desk, because it didn’t sound very smart. Like I’m over here. No idea. Oh,
D.J. Paris 11:25
I want to jump in for a second. I actually do think it’s incredibly smart for one particular reason is it was it was honest. And I think this is an industry especially around the recruiting realtors or interviewing part where honesty doesn’t always flow both ways. And it doesn’t even flow one way sometimes. And I think I recruit realtors. And so I was just trying to put myself in the position of the woman that you were referencing. And I was thinking, I would love to have somebody come in with those with those kinds of questions. I would love it if people were asking, and that and being that honest, going out. Yeah, I don’t have in here’s what I don’t have. But I’m confident that I can get it figured out. So I actually think those were amazed. I mean, clearly they weren’t good answers in the sense that, you know, they wanted you on the team. But yeah, I know, you were sort of joking by saying they’re stupid answers. But I just I think those were great answers personally.
Vickey Barron 12:18
Well, thank you. But you know, what you just touched on that’s very important, is what I’m about to share with you next was truly the cracking the code, if you will, because so one would ask all right, so you got your desk, then what? Why was in a training class and I was sent home to do homework by calling three for sale by owners. And I procrastinated. I had an 11 year old at the time, and I was nine o’clock at night I went, Oh my word. I forgot my homework. And I can’t go in the class and lie and say I did it if I didn’t. And it’ll look disrespectful if I don’t do it. So I do quickly hop on a phone. And I got machines answer machines. And it was a woman that said, this is John and Mary. We’re not home right now, if you’re calling about the apartment, no brokers be. So I just instinctively I just wanted to get through my homework. I wasn’t trying to sell her apartment. I was like two hours in the business. So I said to her, Mary, hi, it’s me, Vicki. And here. Here’s the truth. I heard the part about no brokers, and I am an agent, but don’t hang up. Because the truth is, I just simply have a quick answer. I mean, quick question for you. And if you would be kind enough to call me back tomorrow before preferably before two o’clock. I promise it’ll be painless. Here’s my number look forward to the call. So then I went through and did my other two calls. And when I got in the class, they called upon me, how’d it go? I told them what happened. The whole class laughed. They said, you’re from California. This is New York, they’re gonna eat you a lie. You don’t leave a message. She’s never calling you back. And I kind of sunk in my seat. And I thought, Why is she not calling back? I was really kind on the phone. I think she’ll call me back. So it was so long ago, we really didn’t even have cell phones. And so I went back to my desk at lunchtime and the little red light was on. And sure enough, it was Mary. And when I called her back, she wasn’t so kind. She said you had you have a question? What is it? Well, I didn’t kind of think it through so I wasn’t sure what my question was. So I had to quickly I had to quickly come up with a question. So I just started asking her questions about her apartment. And I realized instantly she loved talking about her apartment. Like she just lit up like this lady’s went from Maine to nice and in a flat second. So then when she went on here, come To your point, the honesty, she said to me, I suppose you’re gonna tell me now you have a buyer for my apartment. And I said, Mary, honestly, with the windowed kitchen, the South views, the granite the subzero, I honestly wish I could tell you, I haven’t buyer for your apartment. But the honest truth is I, I’m thinking, I don’t even have a business card lady. I’m more or less a buyer. But I said, I don’t. I do not have a buyer for your apartment today. But Mary, doesn’t mean I won’t have one tomorrow. But I have to ask you one more question. She said, What is it? I said, You have been so generous with your time and so kind with your description of the apartment. First of all, I’m confused that it’s not sold. But that’s another story. I have one other question. Do you mind if I just poked my head in? I just want to see that kitchen with the window and that Southern view. I promise I won’t bother you. I just want to quickly look at it that way. If I come across a buyer, at least I can say I’ve seen it. She said okay, sure come by at 430. And when I went by all I had was a tablet and a pin. I mean, again, I was now maybe eight hours in the business. So I walked through her apartment, and I just had an honest conversation and I didn’t try to sell her I in fact I encouraged her I’m like you are going to sell this winter, next open house, how’d you get your pricing? And do you mind if I give you a few tips and I took notes about the apartment and then I gave her a few tips, open your blinds, pick up that pile of stuff and you marry you are going to have to So next week, I gotta go. And she called me within two weeks. And she woke up and said, I have I don’t want to be a realtor and I want to hire someone and you were so kind and so honest, that my husband, I would like to meet with you. So that’s how it started. It was I got started through the for sale by owners. And then one would refer another refer another and then I just kept calling fizz bows. And that’s how I started.
D.J. Paris 17:10
So it’s really an incredible story for a lot of different reasons. But again, that authentic honesty, all radical honesty, maybe we’ll call it although I just think honesty would suffice. I know there’s a new term radical honesty, I think, what does regular mean? If not, if not fully honest, but but that’s a perfect example of telling the truth, and really appealing to somebody from a non sales perspective, which I think not, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not like to be sold, I like to be explained, I like information, I like to also make my own decisions. And I don’t like to feel pressure. Now there is a certain subset of the population that likes to be persuaded. And that’s fine. But I don’t think that’s the majority of people. So I actually think that is a great approach for all arrow all of our listeners to consider and clearly it worked for you. And so from there, you you, you got your license, you started finding clients, and and then, you know, you continued to grow and you didn’t just grow in a small way you grow in a very, very, very, very big way. So why do you think it was that that you got to be one of one of the very top producing agents in New York City when there’s 1000s upon 1000s? What do you think it is that maybe you did differently than, than the other brokers or agents that you know?
Vickey Barron 18:33
Well, I think what I really think about it, which I have putting this book together, you know it, it’s the best therapy ever, because you you take the time to reflect and try to, you know, look at where you were, where you’re at and where you’re going. And when I really think about it, I think for me, it was almost a breath of fresh air because the people responded well, to just someone that saw them and cared about them. And I was curious about so much that. I mean, I really didn’t know what I was doing. So there was no ego because how can you have an ego when I truly note when I think back and I’m like how did I even do? And I say this not Not to brag only to encourage anybody because I swear to you if I can do it, anybody can do it. So I think I did like 20 deals in my first nine or 10 months and credible and it was you know, they were all lower price because most for sale by owners are not, you know, $5 million. So they were all you know, I think when I got started, they were three four or $500,000 and I just kept going and going and I worked really hard. But I loved every moment of it. Because each opportunity, I believed in my heart, that they would be better off. And I do believe this for for sale by owners, they think it’s better to sell on their own. And I really believe they will make more money if they identify the right agent to partner with. Because that agent, if they do what I know they’re capable of doing, when it’s time to close, whatever that commission check is, will be less. If you get the right agent to partner with you, I really do believe that I don’t think they make more money trying to sell on their own. So I believe that and I think they just learned to trust in me. And that’s I started to get 96% of my business, all referrals. So I am not the agent doing I don’t do postcard mailers, I don’t do I sometimes I think I’m a little lazy, because maybe I should be doing that. But I don’t, there are only so many hours in the day. And I feel that if I take the time to really care about someone and take care of them and go the extra mile, then they will tell their friends and their neighbors and and then the phone will ring and then I can take care of that next person. So that’s been my model, although I do have colleagues that are very successful on the marketing campaign that do mass mailers. So I applaud them and everyone has to find the lane that makes sense for them.
D.J. Paris 21:38
Yeah, it’s it’s interesting. I was thinking while you were saying that about demonstrating care, I always think that’s maybe maybe the most one of the most important parts of the job is demonstrating empathy and also managing not managing your clients, fears or anxieties, but But understanding them and being able to counsel them through large financial decisions buying selling maybe the largest financial decision they’ve ever made, certainly one that comes with with a lot of a lot of unfortunate stress, even in the best possible two types of transactions. It’s still stressful. And I’m I’m curious because you are such a student of human nature and just people how you went about trying to make sure your clients were as comfortable as possible throughout the process? Because of course there are ups and downs and most transactions if not all, and there are going to be times when when the clients, you know, dealing with some some undue stress or just freaking out. But how do you how do you do that? Because I suspect you do that better than a lot of other agents?
Vickey Barron 22:48
Well, first of all, that’s a great question. Because the truth is, and I say this many times agents, you can have seller A is a banker, seller B is an artist and seller C is a widow that never had a day job. If your conversation is exactly the same with all three of them, you may get lucky and hit one. But you have to in an authentic way. And I tell people this when I’m on Park Avenue selling a $12 million listing or I’m in the village selling a really cool fifth floor walk up. I’m still Vicki present at both of them. But one may be an artist, one may be a banker. My choice, you know, the power of words is one of the classes I love teaching that you have to know how to communicate with someone and what their needs are and how they’re going to hear you. And it’s always good to ask people how do you like to be communicated with? What is your and here’s another thing talk about honesty. There was a pretty big listing and a woman said to me, Vicki, I have I shouldn’t be admitting this, but it’s the truth. She said fishy. I’ve noticed that the other two agents for interviewing when I emailed them, they respond like that. And when I email you, you take a really long time to get back to me. And I said to her Oh, Nancy, you know what, it’s honestly the truth. What you’re saying? And I would love to tell you right now, like if you hire me that that’s going to change but it may not change. So she looked shocked. And I said like can I explain why? And she said Why? And I said you know I’ve been in your living room for 45 minutes. I haven’t looked at my phone once. I said so when I’m with you. You have me 100% And when I’m with a buyer they have me 100% When I’m showing someone through your apartment I’m not Looking at my Instagram, I’m not looking at my email. I’m looking at them. I’m listening to them, I’m answering their questions, and they have me. So unfortunately, some people, maybe I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, I’m not good at that. I just can’t do it. It’s not my forte. But if you ever need me, I have someone at the office, you can call they know how to get a hold of me. But please know that I’m here and I care. But I’m not going to win the contest of getting back so quickly on that email. And she hired me, but it was the truth. It was just, you know, and another one talk about truth. I was on a townhouse listing. And this is actually funny, the woman said to me, you know, Vicki, I really, really in my heart, I’d like to hire you. But I think I’m gonna hire this other agent. And I said, Okay, well, if you feel that that’s the right fit for you, then I’m sure. You know, I’m sure that they will do a great job. She said, Because the other agent specializes in townhouses. And I and she pointed out to me that on your website, you have things for sale for $350,000, like studios and stuff like that. And she only has really expensive townhouses. And that’s what he specializes in. He’s a vice president, and you’re whatever I was at the time,
D.J. Paris 26:26
what are you associate or whatever? Yeah.
Vickey Barron 26:30
And I said, Oh, I am. So you know what you just made my day? She said, I did. I said, Yes. I feel so good. Right now you have no idea. She said, why I said, Because I said to myself, when I entered the business, I never want to become that person that feels that there’s so important that they, they forget about everyone, because everyone needs a place to live. And I want to be able, if you call me and your knees once that fifth floor studio apartment, I want to be able to take care of them. So I hope 20 years from now, you’ll see a low end apartment for sale, which today, if you get on mine, I’m sure I have one right now. So I said, it just means a lot to me. But thank you so much for sharing that. Well, then I went back to my office and I told my manager what happened? And he said, Vicki, you’re a senior vice president. I said, I am. He said, your numbers, you don’t have that on your website. I said, What does it even mean? I don’t understand what are these titles? And he said, No, you’re a senior vice president. So I call the woman back. And I said, Listen, I just wanted to tell you, I not only do I appreciate your comment about the lower end apartment on my listing, but then that whole scene, apparently I’m a senior vice president. And so I didn’t even know that his titles are rotten. Not really that important to me. But apparently they are to some people. And thank you so much for bringing, so she called me and hired me.
D.J. Paris 28:00
Hilarious. That is and and I think there’s there’s sort of two, two lessons to learn here, which is number one, to have an answer. Ready. That’s an authentic well, to have an answer ready. If somebody were to say something like that, like, oh, this other agent, you know, thought maybe they’d be a better fit because they thought you specialized in this and we really have that and maybe you’re not. And your answer was was beautiful, and also honest. And I think again, that sort of ego less approach, and that full honest approach really resonates with people who don’t want to be sold. And also, you know, like, it’s funny, my my title is President of Sales and Marketing. And people go, Ooh, that sounds impressive. Like I made that up. Like, it’s not a real thing. It’s, you know, I guess if you say it long enough people think it’s something but but but it’s it is it is true. Like every lender is a vice president, every loan officer right now is vice president. And so yeah, but but it’s a really good point. And I think it’s also a lesson of playing nice in the sandbox, this idea of putting other firms down or other agents down whether it’s, you know, subtly like maybe this person did which was which you know, really rubs me the wrong way when people people do that. But there are people out there who will and so I appreciate that and I’m sure you know you teach agents to to be their authentic selves and to not and like you said there is no competition so there’s enough business for everyone there’s there’s the right fit for anyone. And And I’m curious on you know what you’ve what you’ve seen new agents do because you had pretty immediate success with no sphere of influence, no understanding of the New York market, limited understanding of real estate, you know, you did your own buys and sells which is amazing. And that is that is legitimate experience of course. But doesn’t necessarily translate to helping other homeowners as easily as Oh, look at my resume of all these beautiful homes I’ve listed and sold. But I’m curious on on what you tell agents who are entering the business who, you know, really want to have, you know, quicker success. there any tips or advice that you might give them?
Vickey Barron 30:21
Yes. Here’s, I feel very strong about this. I see a lot of agents that have analysis paralysis, you know, they, they, they look great. They come in the office, they sit there there, but they don’t move like what are you doing? I walked by, what are you doing? They’re thinking and they’re paralyzed of not making a move, because they’re afraid they’re gonna do something wrong, not to a right. And they also go after the other thing I say, here are things that I see that I wish I could say just stop that. One. They don’t shoot for the moon, like, why are you been in the business a month, and you’re going after 10 $15 million listings? Like your why just go sell 10 In a price point that you probably don’t have a better chance getting because those 10 15 million are going to have agents with a resume on arm or street long. So why would you put that pressure on yourself? Number one, number two, no, get to know property. Go look at every property. So when I was relatively new, the manager that didn’t have a desk that hired me, asked me to give a tour. She said, Vicki, we have a van, we’re going to go out and look at like 10 properties. And I just think you would be really good at giving the tour. So I have a problem saying no. Like I had zero what? I don’t know why she asked me but I just said yes. So on the tour. We were going I said, ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to go to 103 is 73rd Street and it was built in 1929. And you’re gonna see that, you know, 40% of the apartments have double height ceiling. And what I love the most is the bay windows and what and the doorman is amazing. And the tile in the lobby is gorgeous. After that, we’re going to have the opportunity to see bah, bah, bah, that was built 1960. And people said, what firm did you work for before you worked here? I said I didn’t work at any firm. They said how do you know that? I said because I would walk up and down the streets. And I look at the buildings I talked to the doorman then I go back and I’d ask how many apartments are in there? When was it built? So I tell agents start if you’re going to get one listing. Let’s say it’s a one bedroom, prewar apartment, you should know as the the if a buyer is out there today looking for the one bedroom, if there are 10 available, you should go visit every one of them. And today, if you can’t physically get in, at least get online and study your competition, study those apartments, so you should know them inside now. So I was actually successful at converting. When I’d have a listing buyers would come in, and they’d be without an agent. And I’d watched them walk around and I’d ask them questions I’d say talk to me. I have a question for you. How long have you been looking? Has it been two months? Six months? Are you ready to jump? Or where are you at? Oh, no, we just started. Well, how many apartments have you seen today? Three. Interesting. Have you seen the one on 79th? Street? They said yes. They said Don’t you love that view out of the back? Was that not special? Love that. And the herringbone floors? Love that. So then what else? Have you seen? No, we wouldn’t saw this other one. What did you like about it? Well, we like this, what did you hate about it? I like you have a conversation. And they know that you know, the lay of the land. But I have agents that when you go to show an apartment, they don’t even know the building and the they’re selling an apartment, but they don’t even know the answers to simple questions. So you have to do your homework. And you have to be interested enough to know you have to be knowledgeable.
D.J. Paris 34:28
I have a I have a yes, I have a question with respect to showing a property to a buyer. And I know this isn’t always going to be the case where you as the buyer’s agent will be able to see the property ahead of time but how often do you say hey, I’m bringing a buyer here tomorrow I want to get a lay of the land. I want to come in and see the property so that when I my buyer does show up, I have a better understanding of what is the is that I don’t know how common that practice is for Go ahead
Vickey Barron 35:00
I’m gonna another, you ask really good questions. See? Why, okay, I told you I didn’t know my way around New York, I had a buyer came into a place I had listed. And he this had never happened. And it’s never happened since. But he asked me to go to his office, he wanted to interview me. Now normally you get interviewed for if you’re going to be the listing agent not to work with the buyer. But he wanted to interview me because he wanted to find the right agent to help he and his wife buy an apartment. So I’m sitting in Midtown. And he said, you know, my wife and I are kind of thinking about Tribeca. Now I was maybe four months in the business. I Tribeca, I heard of it, but I never sold in Tribeca.
D.J. Paris 35:50
Was there a film festival there that?
Vickey Barron 35:53
He said, I’d like to go out next week and look at places in Tribeca. Are you for? Or have you? What did he say? Are you familiar? Have you sold in Tribeca? You don’t need to lie. But there’s a way to answer a question with confidence. I said, Oh, I love that idea of Tribeca. Love that idea of Tribeca, I didn’t say I had sold in Tribeca, I didn’t know say I knew were Tribeca was I said I love the idea of Tribeca and let’s plan on Saturday. So what I did is I did the search, I went out early the day before went to as many of them that I could. And then what I did is I hired a driver, because in Tribeca, it’s not like Midtown, where it’s all numbers. Like I thought, I’m gonna look foolish when I walk out of one building, not know if I should turn left or right.
D.J. Paris 36:52
So yeah, that’s a great point.
Vickey Barron 36:55
And then if he starts asking me questions about where the local grocery store is, I don’t know I don’t just my first time there. So I hired a driver that knew Tribeca, like the back of his hand. And I said to him, here’s the drill this what’s going to happen, I’m gonna have a buyer in here. And he or his wife may ask questions about Tribeca. And when those questions come up on you, and you’re gonna be answering them, get it, he’s like, good. I gave him a high five. I’m like, we’re gonna have fun. So when we got in the car, we went to the first lesson I said, Now the first listing, I love the lobby, you’re gonna love them mosaic floor, and I introduced myself to the doorman the day before. So when he saw me, it was like a familiar face. So when we walked in, we showed the apartment, you just do your homework and spend the time without being, you have to be honest, but you it’s okay. If you’re new, they’re not asking no one asked me, How long have you been in the business ever? Well, no, that’s not true. Actually. Someone asked me when I got a listing, why would I give $2 million to someone that’s been in the business for 14 days? did ask me that? And I said,
D.J. Paris 38:12
which which I think is a reasonable question.
Vickey Barron 38:14
Yeah. I said for three very good reasons. He said, he said, why? I said, Well, number one, I I’m on, you’re under a good umbrella, meaning the firm, we we have all the tools in the tool box that you need. Number two, I am willing, because I knew he was insecure about me. So I said, I am willing to bring on the number three agent in my office for you as insurance. And number three, I will be holding that umbrella and I simply bring magic. And he said, You didn’t even blink. And I lean forward and I said nor did you and he gave me the listing. So sometimes you just have to have confidence. And if he doesn’t hire me, I’m not going to die. Like nothing bad happens. And when I’m changing listings, why can’t you celebrate them? Like send him a note and say I’m so happy for you that you got that Listen, you’re gonna knock it out of the ballpark.
D.J. Paris 39:20
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You know, they don’t know how to respond to a question like that. Do you rehearse in your mind answers to objections? I don’t even want to call them objections, questions. We’ll just call them questions.
Vickey Barron 41:20
Never. Never. In fact, an agent had invited me on a pitch, which I was confused about also, because I wasn’t sure I didn’t know what I was doing. But she said, I think you should come with me. I’m trying to get this listen, I think you will help. I said that. So kind of you grave. Tomorrow, we’ll go. So tomorrow came, we get in the elevator, and she was really nervous. Like I could tell she was really nervous. So she said to me, are you nervous? And I said, No. But why do you ask? She said, Well, I always get nervous before I go on a pitch. And she said, Did you rehearse? So then I said, rehearse what? She said, Well, did you rehearse your pitch? Well, I didn’t know. That’s a thing, like rehearse a pitch. So I said to her, Well, no, rehearse a pitch. So then she looked even more nervous, like he or she invited me on and I didn’t rehearse. So I said, I was serious. I said, you rehearsed a pitch. She said, Yeah. I said, How could you possibly do that? She said, How could you not? I said, Well, how do I know what I’m going to say? If I don’t know who’s behind the door? Like I don’t? I don’t understand that. I said, I mean, I look at comps, but don’t rehearse, like what I’m going to say because I don’t know, when she opens the door. How do I know? How do I? So then I got nervous, because I thought if this is what I’m gonna have to do like to be in the business. I’m not sure. Like, I cannot memorize a script or I would, it would be horrible. So anyway, when we went in, the woman opened the door. And she had a storyboard from the Micronesia Island, which I had worked for many years. And I was familiar with it. So it was unbelievable. Like the door opened up. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, is that from the Micronesia and
D.J. Paris 43:20
I know what that is. Yeah. Storyboard. So started the conversation.
Vickey Barron 43:23
And then there was a book on the shelf that I we started talking about that. And then we left the woman said, you, you never really did a pitch. And I said, Well, I asked her, I asked her a lot of questions like why are you selling what’s important to you? Talk to me, have you gone through the process before? And she just felt comfortable? And she hired us, but I didn’t do No, I don’t rehearse?
D.J. Paris 43:49
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s, that’s really true. So you, you would you go in and meet someone for the first time. You’re just looking to get a better sense of who they are, maybe by scanning kind of the room scanning, who they are paying attention to what they say, how they talk about and then just asking a ton of questions. And it is, it really is, I think the biggest compliment you can give someone by is by asking them about themselves. Not everyone. Now, some people are more closed and are want to just do business, and that’s fine. But I think the vast majority of us, especially this time, as we’re now sort of being able to get back together in person over the last year. I think people are hungry for you know, interaction, and we I don’t think we asked each other as much about our lives anymore, because social media sort of taken that part of it away where we now if I want to know if my friends been on a vacation, I don’t have to ask him I can just look on Instagram or Facebook assuming that they posted and I think that it’s taken away some of that. Some of the inquisitiveness that that We used to have about each other. And I think that that’s that that’s a really an important skill to to cultivate, if you’re an agent is, you know, really being curious about who that person is, how they, how they tick, what’s what’s, you know, important to them. And and, and it seems like that’s something that you really sort of plant your flag firmly in the ground, if it’s like, I want to get to know you. And that seems to be very effective for you.
Vickey Barron 45:25
And also, I think when agents go in to do a presentation, I think it’s so unfortunate that they spend the majority of their time doing an infomercial, they spend the majority of their time wanting to talk about how great they are, and what their numbers are, and why they’re the best and why they need to hire them. And instead of taking that precious time to really understand who this person is, and what their needs are, and, and are you the right fit for them. Because sometimes we’re not, like there’s sometimes like they, they shouldn’t hire me like it is not the right fit. And why not just say that? You know how powerful that is. If you say to someone say, You know what, I? I’ve heard you today, and it’s and then repeat. This is what? And I have to tell you, as much as I’d like to do this, I’m not sure if I were in your shoes, I’d hire me I actually, I have someone in mind, I’m gonna have you, you should call them. They’re like blown away by like, yeah, what is that, but I think I’m not gonna have fun on this assignment. We don’t connect. I don’t like your apartment, and I don’t understand it. And why did you buy it in the first place is what I’m thinking, but they have to sell it, but I don’t want to be the one selling it. Because it’s, it’s, there’s someone else that could sell it, that might be a better fit.
D.J. Paris 46:52
I almost wonder if you’ve ever turned down and a listing or a buyer and had them. So because again, I think back to the times where I’ve worked with salespeople or service people who are vying for business. And the number of times somebody has said, I’m not the right fit for you. But I know someone else is a one maybe one time in my life, but probably zero. I can’t think of any instance. But it is it is such an important again, it goes back to this honesty thing. I was like Sorry. My question was going to be I wonder if you’ve ever turned someone down who has then gone on to refer business to you even though you didn’t necessarily help them. I? If that hasn’t happened? I’m sure it will happen at some point.
Vickey Barron 47:35
Yes. And you know, what else happened that I think could be helpful for any listeners is there was a for sale by owner not willing to pay a fee at all, he was not going to pay $1. But my neighbor wanted to see the apartment. So I said to him, do you mind? Can my neighbor come tonight at seven o’clock after work to see your apartment? He said Do you understand? Let me repeat this again, you are not going to get paid $1 I am not paying any commission to any agent. I said, I have heard you loud and clear. Do you mind if I just bring her in at seven o’clock? He said why would you do this? And I said Well, number one, she’s asked to see it. Number two, she wants my opinion. And number three, if she buys it, you will never forget me. Yeah, good point. And he so I went in and met them. And my neighbor called me she worked at McGraw Hill. And she said she was like 45 minutes late. And I called her and she said I’m so sorry, I had a client come in, I’m not gonna be able to make it. Well, you know what, that forsale better?
D.J. Paris 48:49
Sure I know what you’re doing. I see what you’re doing.
Vickey Barron 48:53
I was mortified. mortified. So I made her get on the phone with him. I’m like, Okay, you need to talk to him right now because he’s gonna think I made you up. So they talked so then he he left a message on my phone that night at midnight. And he said, We want to give you the listing. I was shocked. And I said, Why would you do that? He said you were so brutally honest. Like you i We couldn’t believe how honest you were that he? And I said, Well, the truth is so then my neighbor got mad that I got the listing. I said, Don’t worry, I carved your name out if you buy it. You don’t have to pay me a penny. But she didn’t buy it and we sold it. And there was another example with him paying us our fee. He still made more money. So I really do believe for sale by owners should call every one of you on this call.
D.J. Paris 49:46
I love that because those are expireds for sale by owners. Those are tough calls and you do deal with some abuse when you make those phone calls and but I think that’s also a good thing to go go through, just to get some battle wounds because you realize, oh, that didn’t kill me, somebody yelled at me told me to eff off or whatever they may have said, they may just hang up, or I said, No agents or whatever it happens, and then you realize, oh, I survived that it’s okay. And, you know, I authentically tried to help this person they weren’t interested, not the end of the world. And what most for sale by owners do is they inflate as you know, I’m not telling this to you, of course, but to our listeners, for anyone that is scared for sale by owners tend to inflate their their property price without realizing that they don’t know they’re doing it. They think it’s worth X. And by the way, we all do this, I think even realtors can do this. And they, they’re probably not going to sell it because they’ve inflated the price. So at some point, I think the stats aren’t they don’t have them in front of me is that the vast majority of for sale by owners end up hiring someone anyway at some point, and it ends up selling for more if they hire a good agent. So that’s not really a great pitch. I think I don’t think somebody would be receptive to saying those kinds of things on on the phones. Did you know that if you hire me, you’re actually going to sell it for more, they’re not going to believe you. But if this idea of Radical Honesty is Oh, my gosh, that’s I just I just love it. I I’m curious if you’re willing to share any of the book that you’re currently working on? Because now I’m super interested in, in what this book is going to be? Do you mind just giving our audience a little taste of what’s coming?
Vickey Barron 51:27
It’s it’s really just a it’s no surprise? Yes, it is. I don’t even i i Sometimes I think why am I doing this because I’m just telling stories from early on my my life journey, if you will. And what I do hope that a reader gathers after reading it, is you start to see I’m very consistent. So what I did when I was 14 2240s 50s, I It’s hasn’t changed, like the recipe is pretty consistent. And it doesn’t matter where you are in life. It’s just caring about the other person, and being brave enough to ask the question, and also being aware of your weaknesses, because we’re all not super man or super women, you know, we’re just, we’re just people, and we’re flawed. And we’re not so special. And we’re not, you know, it’s, it’s okay, like, just accept who you are, and, and do the best you can, and try to be the best version of you, but care about other people. And you don’t need to bump them and step on them to make yourself feel better and get ahead. And if you actually don’t do that, somehow you you end up in a better spot.
D.J. Paris 53:00
Yeah, well, I agree with all that I have three final questions for you, I think three things I wanted to get to, but forgot. And so I just remembered. So want to get a get your perspective on these. You are very active in, in, in the in the community, you you participate, you give back, you volunteer at the local level. I don’t know if you also do the state or the national level, I suspect those opportunities come your way as well. How so? I’m going to preface before I get to my question by saying I avoided really being part of our local association and giving back in that way for for many, many years I’ve been doing. I’ve been in this industry since 2011. Or Yeah, somewhere around there. And anyway, I, I thought to be sort of bit honest, myself, I thought, well, if I do get involved, and I serve on some committees, well, you know, I’ll be doing good. And that’s a good thing. And I’ll be contributing and that’s good. But also, you know, maybe more people will know heard or hear about our firm just by nature of me being part of this, you know, committee and maybe that would ultimately help me indirectly in recruiting. Not that that was the primary reason. Well, I’ve been participating at the local level for about three years now. It really has not helped me in recruiting because but I continue to do it and now I’m even getting more and more involved. For one reason and I’m curious to get your thoughts on this. Which is that I have tried I get a lot of fulfillment from participating at the local level being part of the industry being being in community with with other agents that are trying to make things better. And even if it never results in somebody coming to our firm going oh I know you from the association I should join your firm which by the way has never happened and probably never will. But I I am so happy to be around other realtors who are all trying to you know to do the best they can and do the best for other realtors and I’m curious if you get a tremendous amount of fulfillment in the same way that I just mentioned for being part of giving back to the local associations.
Vickey Barron 55:06
I do I you can probably tell I’m a storyteller. I love stories. I think that when stories are being shared and told, there’s value in those stories, so when I’m able to get agents up on stage to do role playing, by the way, some if we could film them, we could have a sitcom because some of them are hilarious. And one of my favorite, which I’m going to share, because I don’t want anyone on this call doing some of this is hilarious. I said to someone, what do you take, if you’re invited into someone’s home there? You’ve never met them before. And you made a cold call for an example. And they invited you in? What do you take with you? And here’s some of the answers I’ve gotten. One said, I take flowers. So flowers Interesting, okay, flowers, someone else said, a bottle of wine. Okay, you take a bottle of wine. Someone else said candy. Someone else said a pitch packet. So I get them all. And then I get to come up on stage. And I say, Let’s roleplay this. So you’ve never met this person. You knock on the door, you ring the bell, they open it, and you say, here’s some flowers, or here’s a bottle of wine. It’s like it. It’s It’s awkward. They don’t awkward. Why are you bringing them these? They don’t know you? You know, it’s it’s just now personally, this may be shocking, but I do not give closing gifts. Never. I feel that’s awkward. I do not. I feel like I just sold an apartment. And you know, you can get a good size check. And I’m going to give them a bowl, or a keychain awkward. Like I don’t do it. I know a lot of people do and good luck. And I think it’s fantastic. Keep doing it. I’m not suggesting that you don’t. But for me, it doesn’t feel right. However, they get stuff from me for 10 years in a row like we’ve closed on the apartment. And I am known for sending handmade cards and unique gifts. But I don’t go to Tiffany’s and buy 200 Anything. I think if I sold your house and your pianists in fact, this happened, a woman was a pianist and I found a vintage scarf with piano keys on it. And I bought it and wrote a note and sent it to her. So you have to really another one’s a golfer and I found a bronze little golf statue and it’s on his fireplace. So I’m thoughtful in stay once I sell you something you don’t get rid of me. So you will hear from me consistently throughout the years.
D.J. Paris 58:01
I’m curious, how do you stay in touch with with clients in between transactions so that they don’t forget about how wonderful you are?
Vickey Barron 58:12
I that’s probably my it’s what I do like the like Halloween was just here. So I went through my list. And I’m like, All right, let me look who has kids between the age of two and 12. And this year, I had custom cookies made and mailed them to the kids. And all I write on the card by the way is boo, there’s no compass, like call me for, you know, if you
D.J. Paris 58:43
best compliment is your referrals.
Vickey Barron 58:47
None of that ever, ever, ever. So another year on Halloween, I had custom little pumpkins may with the child’s name embroidered on it so they could put the candy in it. And then I get photos of their kids with the cookies or the basket. And you know, it’s it just I I find small businesses and I like to smart support small businesses. There’s a peanut butter company that has and I had custom boxes made and put the peanut butter in there. And I said the markets nuts spread the love and a little handwritten note, but never like call me for free market analysis. By the way, I think I want to start charging for market analysis.
D.J. Paris 59:27
Don’t you think that’d be interesting.
Vickey Barron 59:29
I like that. Like everyone’s like here call me for a free market analysis. I might send a mail around say for $1,000. I’ll tell you what your apartments were. When That’d be funny. I wonder if it’s legal?
D.J. Paris 59:42
I don’t know. It’s an interesting idea. I know that people don’t value free things like they do things they pay for I mean that’s but I picked up on something that I’m sure audience picked up on is you said and this is such a great a great, small thing that I want to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked by our audience, you said, I think, you know, our Halloween came was coming up. So I went through my CRM or my database. And I wanted to find out who has children that are between the ages of two and 12. I wonder what percentage of agents even have that information? And I’ll bet you it’s under 2% of the of the realtors out there have that information on their clients. And that is important critical information to be able to think of a reason to stay in touch, right? If you’re just going, Wow, they sold their home four years ago, maybe they’re in the market to maybe I should reach out and see what their plans are. Okay, fine. But what are you going to do year two, year three, where you’re like they’re not moving, you have to have reasons to reach out. And the more opera, the more data you have, the more information you have, allows you to think be fun and creative and go, Oh, it’s back to school time. Maybe I’ll put some a little, you know, kids who are entering, you know, grade school, I know that. So maybe I’ll be able to, you know, put a little care package or whatever it could be anything. Knowing knowing what holidays people celebrate, right? If you’re going to be doing things for the December holidays, there’s several of them. You know, and of course, in New York City, there’s so many different cultures melding together, you can’t just blanket send out a Hanukkah card or a Christmas card. I mean, you need to know these things.
Vickey Barron 1:01:19
Okay, you just struck something. So here, there are two categories, you’re absolutely 100% Correct. If just like you need to really study that, that building, like if you’re at a cocktail party, and they bring it that address, you should say built 1927 46 units, majority, two bedroom, blah, blah, blah, when you have your buyers, I learned this when I took a acting class years ago, the the teacher asked me a question. They said, you know, the character, was she a vegan? Like, and I’m thinking myself going through the plate and talk about that. And he said, You need to know everything about that person, you need to know where they shop at Kmart or where they shop at Bergdorf? Would they ride a bike? Or would they get? Would they get a private car? Would they go hiking? Would they go to the theater? You need to and that’s what I do with my clients. So if I meet a client, I think to myself, I’m, I’m asking questions and learning who they are. And what’s important to them. I watch if they drink coffee or tea if they don’t you go out? No, no, they only drink tea. You don’t send them coffee. If they have pets, write the pet’s names down. I one year, I had custom things done with the painting of their animal on it and in the name and sent that out. So whatever it is, like you, you listen, you know, I had one client that was allergic to nuts, well, don’t send them the peanut butter. Right? So you’re
D.J. Paris 1:02:51
sending them, send them an epi pen, but send them a peanut butter on top of
Vickey Barron 1:02:56
medicine. So anyway, it is important to even here’s another thing, my cards, I have different cards. They’re like there’s let’s say a war. Warhol, you’re not, that’s not I may not send that to a certain group, I may send a foil stamp beautiful, elegant stationery to one and a really artsy to another, they don’t get the same thing. My clients do not get the same stuff. Because they’re different people.
D.J. Paris 1:03:30
Because you know enough about them to be able to compartmentalize them into or individual individualize them, I guess it’s better the better way to say it to say, Okay, this person’s into this and everybody. Everybody wants to feel special. Everyone wants to feel like a celebrated individual. And it sounds like that’s, that’s part of part of how you operate your business. Boy, you’ve said so much. I just have one final question. I was going to ask you about 2023. But I actually, I don’t want to do that because I want to I have a different question I wanted to ask, which is what mistake What’s the biggest mistake you made in your career? Not necessarily the biggest, you know, maybe you lost a listing or I’m not talking about that, but what what, what’s something that if you could go back to your earlier self as they, as you started in real estate, what’s advice that you would have given yourself that maybe you didn’t know back then
Vickey Barron 1:04:22
I allowed my business to drive me instead of me driving my business. And what I mean by that is I got I mentioned to you the volume early on with the fizz bows. And I didn’t stop to really plan and pivot earlier on I could have gotten to a certain point earlier on. If I had taken the time to methodically think about where I wanted to be. Instead I was kind of buried in weeds in the in the trenches. And I just kept plugging along plugging along without stopping to make adjustments. So
D.J. Paris 1:05:11
working working in the business versus working on the business kind of scenario, right?
Vickey Barron 1:05:15
Correct. That’s what I’d say. If I had to do over again, I would have done. I could have, I could have done that better.
D.J. Paris 1:05:27
And I think it’s a really what’s a wonderful answer for the time of year we’re at. Because I think this is a time when often sort of activity slows down transactions slow down holidays are here, they’re taking a lot of our attention. And it’s a good time to reflect, I think, on sort of where we want to go for 2023 and beyond. But just to sort of, I think that’s a great point, for anyone out there that’s immersed in their business, make sure that you carve some time out every so often to really reflect on because you are running your own business.
Vickey Barron 1:06:00
Right? And here, can I give a couple other tips, please, you’re running your own business. So one invest in the business, I find agents don’t want to spend money investing in their business, that’s crazy. What kind of business doesn’t like put money in capital up? Number two, everyone on this call, especially with 2023 Coming, save money, save, save, save your money, because what happens is when the market gets tough, the agents that were able to prepare and have a nest egg, have less pressure when those deals fall apart. And buyers walk. They don’t freak out. You know, so many agents, I always say like you see them and sellers and buyers, they need a grounded person, they don’t need someone on the edge that’s worried about paying their rent or their mortgage, and they can’t make they’re so focused on the commission, that it kills deals and you will lose the trust if if you’re not prepared. And you should never be thinking about the commission check. In fact, I t’s agents. That is probably you can see it. It’s almost like their commission check is on the forehead. And all they care about is money, stop caring about the money and care about the assignment. Just you know, I see the end before the beginning. So when I’m working on something, I keep my eye on the end result. And I’m I visualize a lot. And the other tip I’ll give an agent is decide where you want to go visualize what you where you’re going to be, and then work backwards. How are you going to get there? So for an example, one day, I woke up and said, I want to be a townhouse specialist why and sold any townhouses. But I walked in the office, I said, we’re going to be townhouse specialists. Okay, how are we gonna do that? Well, let’s just do something different and be creative with it. So I ended up doing little books that told stories about the townhouse. And it caught on and within a period of time, I was getting some listings and townhouses. And then but I again dove in and studied and became kind of a specialist in that pocket. So you have to put the time in.
D.J. Paris 1:08:22
Yeah, and I think that’s a really, really great point, we’re talking about sort of proactive thought about where you want to be, irrespective of where you are today, right? Because today, we’ll be going back in your history. But today that one day, you weren’t the townhouse specialist. And you said, but I’d like to be so i You didn’t wait for townhouses to come to you, you you figured out a way to actually build that skill set. And, and that’s, it’s, it’s being proactive, and we live in such a reactive world now where our phones are demanding our attention every few seconds with notifications, and our clients are demanding it every, every so often with texts and emails. And it’s easy to not be as proactive and to be really good at being reactive. And that’s good, too. But then to be able to step back and say, Who do I want to be? Where do I want to be? How many people do I want to help? What kind of people do I want to help? And then you know, we’re like you were saying working backwards? Boy, I could Vicki I could talk to you all day. And I wish I could be and I know that you are busier than me. So I am going to let you get on with all of your busyness because and by the way, this is how this again, speaks out. I’ll book end of this with with another thing about Vicki’s character. If you go to her compass page, you see a list of accomplishments that are really it’s about a mile long of just incredible feats. She has not mentioned one of the most today because I don’t I suspect not that important to her and also just not who she is and I just I really risk back that I have, I have interviewed people on the show who do have some pretty impressive credits as well who love for other people to know about those credits. And I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with that either. But I really love the fact that you have this, you have a tremendous track record. And that you don’t feel the need to share that which is again, probably goes to your success, as well. So anyway, Vicki, on behalf of our audience, we want to thank you for being on our show, you gave so many unbelievable tips and advice I, I was almost thinking during and I’m like, boy, if I could, if I could have Vicki on like once a month giving these tips, that would be amazing. But regardless, even in this episode, you provided so much value. So on behalf of the audience, we say thank you. And also on behalf of Vicki and myself, we want to thank all the listeners. And our viewers this is, you know, we are so grateful that you made it to the end of the show. We’re hope that this was helpful. I know that it was but let Vicki know, you know what’s Vicki, if anyone out there wants to share their appreciation, what’s the best way that another agent might be able to say thanks,
Vickey Barron 1:11:05
probably email me at v firstname.lastname@example.org.
D.J. Paris 1:11:10
We’ll put that in the show notes too. So if you want to say hi to Vicki and say thanks. And I really encourage people to do that. Because she she spoke from the heart today. She is an incredible again, I didn’t really read her credits, which are unbelievable. If I were to read them, you you would be paying attention to every single word she says because she is a very, very important person in the New York industry for real estate. So Vicki, thank you. And we will oh one last thing, we ask all of our listeners and viewers just to do one thing, which will help us continue to grow because we don’t spend money, too much on marketing. Pretty much no marketing money. But the best way you can help tell us help us rather is by telling a friend. So think of one other realtor that could benefit from hearing this unbelievably candid and authentic interview with Vicki and somebody that just needs to hear a couple tips that might turn their business around, or get them to the next level 2023 It’s going to be a difficult time for all of us. So let’s, let’s share Let’s share the good here and send this over to Vicki. The best way you could do that is just gonna have sent him over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Every one of our episodes can be streamed right from the website. They don’t even have to be a podcast person. Or of course, they can always subscribe to the podcast, but tell a friend that would really they would be one good deed of the day. And it would really make make me happy because then we can reach more people. So thank you in advance for that. Vicki. Thanks for being on the show. And we will see everybody on the next episode.
Vickey Barron 1:12:37
Thank you. Thank you so much. And thank you for all the time I appreciate it. Bye bye