Joe Zimmerman with The Zimmerman Group talks about the beginning of his career in real estate and how he built his business. Joe describes how he and his team use evets to build a community with like-minded people to support each other. Joe also discusses mindset and what his approach towards work and life and how disruptors impacted his business. Last, Joe talks about how he built his team.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Joe Zimmerman can be reached at email@example.com.
This episode is brought to you by iGuide.
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 Paris, I am your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with top producer Joe Zimmerman. Before we get to Joe. Just a couple of quick reminders. Well, first, thank you for continuing to listen and support our show. If you’d like to help us keep growing, the best way you can do that is by telling a friend think of one other real estate agent that wants to get to that next level and hasn’t yet done it. Or, you know, it’s funny when I was at the National Association of REALTORS going off script for just a second, I got to meet some of our fans. And surprisingly, the fans I met out at the National Association of Realtors Conference were already top producers. So this isn’t just for agents who want to be top producers. But if there is anyone that you know that is wanting to strive to get to that next level, whether they’re already a top producer, or they’re just starting out, send them a link to our show, send them over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done can be streamed right from a browser, or if the person you’re sending our show to is already a podcast fan, then just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. And for everyone who is listening on an Apple device, if you’re listening through the apple podcast app, we’d really appreciate if you could leave us a review it helps us know how we’re doing and also helps us get more visibility to get more listeners tuned into our show. Hope everyone is having a great end of the year. And now on to our interview with Joe Zimmerman.
Today on the show, we have Joe Zimmerman from the Zimmerman group with Keller Williams one Chicago in here where I broadcast out of Chicago, Illinois. Let me tell you a little bit about Joe now with more than 18 years experience in the real estate industry. Joseph Herman has the tools and resources to provide each client and each agent on his team with something greater during every step of their real estate experience. Now Joe has been consistently recognized as a top producer in Chicago. He’s a he’s a bit of a legend here. He’s also built a team that sells more than 200 homes per year. Now the Zimmerman group continues to rank within the top 1% of the Chicago Association of Realtors, which is a big deal because there’s about 20,000 members so he’s in the top 1%. And he has been personally recognized by the National Association of REALTORS as one of their top 30. Under 30. We’ve had many 30 under 30 people here, Joe, of course has been one as well and the Chicago Association of Realtors has named him a top 40 under 40 list for his achievements in sales. Now as an agent, and as a team leader, Joe brings his excellent client service and extensive industry knowledge to each individual relationship. Above all else, Joe is a family man. And likewise, he encourages his colleagues to prioritize a healthy work life balance because he knows that personal joy yields professional success. Now please visit the Zimmerman group to learn more about what Joe and his team offer at and here’s the website it is the z pg.com. I’m going to spell that one more time. It’s the Z as in Zimmerman, P as in Paul G as in group.com vzpg.com. And by the way, I always forget to mention this until the very end and just in case you’re about to sign off or log off. And you’ve heard of this this far. Joe and his team are always looking for talent to join Zimmermann group. So another reason to visit zpg.com is whether you’re a client looking to work with a top producing team, or if you’re an agent wanting to work with a top producing team, check out The Z pg.com. That will also be in the show notes for this article. Sorry for this episode, Joe. Thanks for I know, there’s a long intro, but thanks so much for being on our show.
Joe Zimmerman 5:10
Hey, DJ, I appreciate it. Thank you very much as well. And I’m glad to be your Chicago representative here today. So thanks again, appreciate appreciate it. I’m honored to get this started.
D.J. Paris 5:20
It’s funny our I was telling Joe just before we started that our producers on a set, I can’t remember the last time we’ve had a Chicago guest. We have a couple of Chicago guests that regularly come on. But but not in this sort of style of episode we’re doing now. So it’s been a while for us. So excited to talk to a local Chicago guy. And you have such an impressive, just history in this industry. And your reputation is incredible as well. But I’d like to go all the way back to the beginning of your real estate career. Wouldn’t I would love to hear in our audience, I’m sure we’d love to hear sort of why you got into real estate and how it happened for you.
Joe Zimmerman 5:59
Yeah, DJ happy to share that. So I know it’s been a while now. It’s actually been 2020 plus years now. So you know, I actually got into the real estate by default, you know, I knew that I always loved the creative aspect of in the architecture and creative aspect of homes and, and things like that. And in you know, law loft, the Chicago loft like almost like this, the movie Big right Tom Hanks, always a dream right, you know, Gago, but that was that. So anyways, I started looking for real estate, you know, I’ve always been a saver and somebody that basically was an entrepreneur at heart, and I never rented right outside of college. So I saved all my money and decided, hey, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go look for a condo, you know, actually a loft in the city of Chicago. And when I started looking for it, I realized the love I had for it. So I was in the medical field. Right, then at that point in time out of college, I was in the medical field, and I did not like hospitals DJs. So obviously, that was not going to work out for me. So anyways, I went to my real estate agent at the time and said, This is really cool. What you do is is awesome. And he looked at me and said, you should get in this, you should do this. And literally, I took the week’s course later, and I jumped right into it.
D.J. Paris 7:13
Wow, that’s so so what age were you when when you were like right out of right out of school, basically. Yeah. So
Joe Zimmerman 7:19
I graduated college in 20. I was 21, and had a year job in the medical field at 22. And I started real estate in 2003.
D.J. Paris 7:27
Wow, that that, first of all, it’s impressive that you bought a place and never rented and we’re sort of savvy enough to save money at a time when I know at that age, that those ages, I just it wasn’t even an idea that I would own a place in the next, you know, 510 years. So that’s, I would say, Yeah, that’s probably a pretty good indicator that you’re into this industry. And I was as you were talking about the Chicago loft experience and, and like the movie Big and like I remember, you know, it’s funny that you brought that up, because I hadn’t thought about that movie in a long time. But that yeah, that scene where he gets his own his own place is I was like, man that looks like paradise because I was young at the time. And just remember
Joe Zimmerman 8:08
how beautiful that in the continent.
D.J. Paris 8:11
He had like a pinball machine. He had a video game and he had all sorts of cool things in there. But But you’re absolutely right. That’s that’s, that’s a it’s a great first introduction to real estate in a sense. And then, you know, look, I mean, a 23 year old, starting in this industry as a real estate broker is that is a tough, a tough thing, because I’m assuming most of your friends probably weren’t as forward thinking as you at that age for to start home ownership. I suspect you can do some leasing. That would keep you busy. But I am curious, like, how does a 23 year old start to get clients? It just seems like that would be a really difficult task.
Joe Zimmerman 8:53
Yeah. I mean, well, first and foremost, DJ, you know, it was different in tooth away was that 2002? Yeah. different environment than it is in 2022. Right. So, but at the end of the day, you’re right, it was difficult because more people were renting instead of buying right. And I didn’t believe in renting, right. I believed I believe in homeownership. So the hustle was real, right? You know, I’m not I’m not I’m not going to sugarcoat it any other way. You know, how did how did you do it really, really grit? Right? You know, really kind of just understanding that you’re going to have to you are going to have to work hard. Now, you know, that is that that changed, organically changed for me in my life. But in the beginning, I knew nothing other than work hard talk to people and opportunities going to come to you. So at 23 years old, I just you know, I out hustled a lot of my competitors.
D.J. Paris 9:45
Yeah, it’s funny. I’ve been doing the show a long time. And that answer is absolutely the most consistent answer we get about how do you get started? It’s particularly for agents that are that start younger, but even really for At any age at any age, that seems to be the universal answer. And I keep hoping one day somebody will say, No, I have the super secret technique that only I know about, but I’ll share it with your audience hasn’t happened yet. So it seems to be grit. And, and just learning the industry, I imagine. You know, in 2002, there was got there was so much development going on to and, and I know that I do remember those times, there were interest only loans that were real popular. And people were, you know, able to, you know, sort of see do things maybe a little differently than they are today. But you know, how important were like for a new agent like yourself, how important by using grit, were things like open houses Was that was that important for you as an agent who maybe didn’t have listings? But sort of, you know, I don’t know how popular that was back then for new agents to say to a more exist, more experienced agents. Hey, can I come to open houses for you?
Joe Zimmerman 10:55
Yeah, I mean, DJs, a great question. And I appreciate it. And I did open houses and realized early on, I did not like them. So now fast forward through some years, I’ve had some coaches in my career and stuff like that, and who have basically said to me, Hey, do what you want to do, right? Like build, build the business that you want to bid build, buy stuff that you will absolutely do? Well, I realized early on that I was not going to be doing open houses, right. So I left but I did leverage other agents that I worked with, you know, at the brokerage I worked with, to get opportunity to go out there and show places, right and build relationships with people. So I educated myself, but really what I what I did at a high level was just contact people, right, which we now know is, you know, kind of categorize in my world is the 33 touch with Gary Keller, you know, the real estate agent book. But I literally came up and grew up in, in, in a culture that my parents taught me, I’ve just, it’s a contact sport, no matter what you’re doing, as far as sales is concerned, it’s a contact sport. So just talk to people, right, and talk about an opportunity for them.
D.J. Paris 12:01
Yeah, I mean, it’s funny, that probably is. It’s funny, I have a personal trainer. And I asked, I asked her, I asked her recently, I’ve been with her for a few years. And, and I said, boy, what’s I said, you know, it’s funny, people are always looking for like the fountain of youth. And, and, you know, maybe there are some some particular lifestyle habits that will prolong people’s lives, obviously, diet, exercise, various things to prove happiness, and etc. And she goes, you know, what the real fountain of youth as she goes, it’s a strength training. And she goes, it’s, you know, that’s actually, you know, sort of what science has said, is one of the most beneficial ways to sort of slow down the aging process. And, and, you know, I wish it was something that was took a lot less effort. But But I think contacting people is, is maybe that same thing for real estate agents success, and it really is about your sphere of influence. And like, I’m a huge, huge fan of Gary Keller, and, of course, you are to your work work at his company. But Gary Keller, of course, with the Millionaire Real Estate Agent, which is, I haven’t found anything better written about how to be successful. And I know it was recently updated. But, but yeah, the 33 touches is everything, right? It’s making sure everybody you know, doesn’t forget what you do, and why they should contact you. So I’m curious, too, because I know that there’s a lot of our listeners who think, well, I don’t, yeah, I know, I should be talking to my sphere, and just, you know, you’ve mentioned presenting them with an opportunity. If you don’t mind, you know, and I don’t want you to share, you know, too much of of, you know, your, your team’s sort of secret sauce, but when you when you are talking about an opportunity, you know, what, what are some of the things that you mentioned, to to your contacts,
Joe Zimmerman 13:45
ya know, in DJ were myself and my team are open book and transparent, you know, so we will, we will share everything that we can because we believe that with each you get the industry better together, right? And, and, you know, not not become competitors, right? And just go around. So, you know, it’s to that point, what do we do? Well, you know, now in the world of social media, right, and LinkedIn and, and Facebook and all that people typically know what you do, right? And that’s a fair statement to say, right? So what what our strategy now is, is really building a community of like minded people. And we do that through events, okay. And I want to define events for you and events, your call to action. It’s not necessarily a lot of times you hear events and you think, Oh, I gotta throw a party or I gotta do something that’s gonna cost money. That is part of it. But it’s also a call to action thing, right? You know, something call to action to bring value to your clients to build a community of like, like minded people. So at the end of the day, right, it’s easy to call people up or text people in today’s world or whatever your preferred method of communication is, and just say, hey, DJ is Joe Zimmerman call I just wanted to let you know about an event that we’re having would love to invite you and see if you and your family will be welcome to come you know, are welcomed. However, that is right. If so, at the end of the day, we’re not doing the, you know, never too busy for your referrals or anything like that. We’re really just building a community of like minded people who want to help support each other.
D.J. Paris 15:11
Yeah, I love all of that. And I will just say, This is my own personal preference. And there’s of course, no right or wrong answer this, but please don’t do the I’m never too busy for your referrals thing that is that has been played out 3040 years ago. Nobody wants that. Nobody wants to read it say something different. But But I think what Joe said is great. So I asked Joe, just to recap this question, you know, what, are you reaching out to people? What’s the opportunity and just said, Well, I create an event with an opportunity, I invite, it gives me a perfect reason to reach out and say, Oh, by the way, I’m posting this thing if you want to show up great. Now, I suspect with you know, I don’t know are you guys going back to doing in person? Are you still staying virtual for now?
Joe Zimmerman 15:52
You know, the day we’re doing a hybrid of both? Right? You know, sometimes it’s, Hey, come by and pick up, you know, a bottle of wine from us. Or sometimes it’s, Hey, support this local charity like paws in Chicago. We just didn’t, yeah, where we supported paws in Chicago, it was outside, right. But one of the better ones that we did DJ, which I would encourage everyone to do was last year because you couldn’t visit Santa. Right? We’d like to send it to them via zoom. Right? So we have really, yeah, absolutely. Right. We had we sent it out and sent ahead had timeslots registered zoom was Santa. Right. So we have prior to Santa had the playa Santa background, we have probably 150 families registered for
D.J. Paris 16:32
this. Why? I’ve never heard of anybody having done that it is seems like such a no brainer. And wow, what is what uh, so I love this too, because this isn’t necessarily a, you know, hey, and again, in no way am I suggesting that having events that are like first time homebuyer webinars or not, or seminars are not a good idea. Those are great ideas. But I love the fact that you’re having other types of events, social events, fun events, volunteer events, like with pause, the Santa thing is amazing. And what a great, so basically, you’re just providing value to people.
Joe Zimmerman 17:12
Yeah, just letting them really, you know, in today’s world, people want to know who you are, right? They want to know what you stand for and who you are. Obviously, now being in the real estate career for 20 years, I you know, as you said, it’s the reputation is yeah, I could sell a home, right? I could find a home for someone. But at the end of the day, people want to feel good about what you stand for and who you are. So having these events is, you know, is something that we do at a high level and do well to let them know who we are that we care about them.
D.J. Paris 17:41
Right. Sure. And being passionate, like pauses is such a great example of a a charitable organization that it I think they’re nationwide, I believe, but certainly they have a huge presence here in Chicago. And they’re, you know, they’re basically an animal shelter adoption center. And, you know, it’s funny, I’ve always thought volunteer efforts really don’t get utilized enough by real estate agents as an event. Because I think most people are very busy in their lives, especially if they have families and children. And maybe they have this aspiration to volunteer more, but they’re probably busy, they’re working a job, they’re also doing home stuff, and you know, everything else that is included and just living a life. And sometimes volunteer stuff doesn’t always make the top of that list. And so here you are giving them an opportunity to fulfill maybe even that part of them that doesn’t always get to be able to do that. So they’re gonna feel good about themselves, they’re gonna feel good about you also for introducing them to it and who doesn’t like animals, right? So like not to say that that was a calculated thing. I’m sure you’re super passionate about paws. I have I adopted a pet from actually from anti cruelty not paws. But But, but I’m a big believer in that stuff, too. But again, people just love animals and they love to, to want to give back. And so it’s really such a smart, smart thing to offer. Because it gives people a reason to feel good about themselves. And at the same time go, Hey, Joe put this really cool event together. So I love that I absolutely love that
Joe Zimmerman 19:09
opportunity, right? It’s an opportunity to feel good about yourself, right to go out and go get weather, no matter what it is. It’s some sort of opportunity to do something. Right.
D.J. Paris 19:18
Totally. I’d like to talk I know you are very extremely passionate about mindset. We talk about this a lot on the show it comes up a lot but I think it can never be talked about too much until are told my audience tells me no more mindset stuff because your five years they just asked for more and more discussion on mindset our audience they love it. So I’m just curious on on what that means to you and how you think about, you know, getting yourself in the right headspace to not only lead your own business, but you’ve got a team to lead you’ve got a lot of responsible you’ve got a family to take care of as well and children. So let’s talk about mindset and sort of what how you think about it.
Joe Zimmerman 19:57
I mean, honestly dj, i I couldn’t be more passionate about mindset, right? Because at the end of the day, you know, my belief and our belief, with a lot of people that we surround ourselves around is, you know, 90%, of center of success is mindset, right? And I’ve been passionate about around the Millionaire Real Estate Agent book, I referenced it already once. And at the end of the day, the first half of that book is about mindset. Right? And it’s about you need to think it first, right? You need to think it and believe it before you start to implement it. Because at the end of the day, if you don’t think it and believe it, you’re, you’re, you’re not going to succeed, period. Right? So it’s the same thing with so much, it’s just the passion around that around with also raising children. Right, that, you know, just talking to them about what their mindset needs to be, you know, in removing those limited beliefs from their life of, oh, I can’t do that or no, and, you know, and really kind of, you know, leading with Yes, and how instead of No, because, right, you know, and really, you know, the plans, the plans, and the strategies can always be there, somebody has already done this before you, right, whether it’s in real estate, building, a business, parenting, whatever it is investing, somebody has already done it, the plans are there. But the first domino is believing that you can do it, right. And if you don’t believe that, you can do it, you’re done. You’re toast, right? So so having that mindset,
D.J. Paris 21:21
or even just, you know, if you’re brand new to the industry, and you’re like, Well, I don’t really have any confidence, because I don’t know enough to be confident, I would say, if that’s where you are, maybe just have the belief that you can become competent, that you can learn this stuff, that thankfully, success does leave clues, and there are boy just almost an infinite amount of resources these days for successful agents, including just listening to this podcast, but certainly, there’s a million books and YouTube videos you can watch about, about sort of the skill set and just, you know, if you don’t work at an office, where there’s training or support, you know, it’s amazing, now you can actually get that. So I, I almost think you’re so right is just believing that either you have the skills already to do it, or that you can get develop the skills to be able to do it. And, and thankfully, we’re in an industry where there’s so many members, so many real estate agents that there’s just so much material out there to learn from.
Joe Zimmerman 22:19
Yeah, no, absolutely, you’re, you’re spot on what you say there. And like I said, you know, be strategic as far as how you’re going to think and what your mindset is, and then again, just just emulate somebody’s business that you want, is what I would suggest to, you know, to to others, right, there are the people that are out there that produce big numbers with big teams, you know, and, you know, they might, that might be their life by design that they want, I have chosen over my career that, you know, time is more important to me now than money, right? You know, at the end of the day, I’ve I’ve made some investments and done some things that you know, and have some some income coming in that I have funded the life that I want with some of these investments in time with my family, and the people I care for, and my team is more important. So that was a mindset shift for me. Right, you know, so again, that’s, that’s the beauty of mindset of of choose it, and then go for it.
D.J. Paris 23:15
Yeah, it’s it. Boy, you said a lot there. This idea of emulating success is it’s so interesting, I asked a lot of times are the top producers that are on our show, how often do newly licensed agents or agents that maybe they aren’t even newly licensed, but just you know, agents who are struggling or looking to sort of get that, that next level of business, how often they’re reaching out to these because we only interview top 1% agents from all over the country. And they and almost exclusively, they say, you know, I don’t get that many requests from other agents that say, Hey, can I take you out for a quick cup of coffee and learn a little bit about what you do? Or can I just sit in your office while you’re doing some stuff? It’s it’s, it’s surprising. And I’m not suggesting every one of our listeners immediately message Joe to take his time, because we know how important time is for him. But it is something that that I’m sure you’d recommend to agents is find somebody that that you admire and reach out. And I bet you’d be shocked how many people say, Sure, I’ll give you a little bit of time.
Joe Zimmerman 24:18
Absolutely. DJ 100%. I mean, that’s probably the one thing that I would like everyone to hear on this right is find, find the person that’s business you want or life you want to emulate, and then reach out to them. Right? Because at the end of the day, if you don’t hear their story, or hear how they approached it or their failures, right, you know, as long as well as their successes, you’re just assuming that how it went. And we all know what happens when you assume right? So at the end of the day, you know, you need to hear it from them, you know, and they will be willing for the most part. They’re they’re going to be willing because they don’t want you to have the same struggles that they had. They’re gonna be willing to share all of their six test says all their failures with you.
D.J. Paris 25:02
And they also might overtime say, Hey, I have a team, I have a group. You know, I’d love to talk to you about about joining forces. So I know that there’s possibly some even aside from all the skills you’ll learn, and the habits, you’ll learn, might have some business opportunities there as well. So don’t be shy reach out to these top agents. When we first started the show, the show is all about talking to top producers. And we just reached out to a bunch and eventually some people said, yeah, and now we don’t really have to do that. But but it is something that we were shining, and we were nobody, and nobody knew us. And we just said, Hey, can we have you know, on the show? And would you be willing to tell, you know, our non existent audience at the time, all about your business, and they said, Sure, and I don’t think I don’t know that we ever got turned down maybe once or twice, but hundreds and hundreds of episodes later, it’s, it’s it’s pretty, pretty amazing that most top producers, like yourself are so generous and willing to share a little bit of their knowledge with other agents. And I also know, disruption is is your is very interesting to you, as well. And we hear about the real estate industry being disrupted. I suspect since the beginning of your career, even, although maybe that word wasn’t used as much. But really, there’s been a huge evolution in technology since he started and to where we are today. And there’s new players in the space all the time. Some make it some don’t. Some are profitable, some aren’t. But it really has changed the way the real estate agent or broker here in Illinois, we call them all brokers, but how they interact with clients and what their responsibilities are, you know, probably when you started, I imagine the MLS wasn’t easily available to people outside of this industry. It was really behind lock and key, the Zillow is of the world hadn’t really become a thing yet. And so it wasn’t as easy to find the inventory if you were not working with an agent. Now, of course, anyone can get to the MLS without without an agent. But let’s talk about about disruptors and what that means to you and how you found that impacting your business?
Joe Zimmerman 27:09
Well, the reason DJ, thank you for asking me that, because the reason I’m so passionate about it is this this business This industry has been. So such a such a blessing for me and my family. Right. So I’m passionate that I that I do what I can to keep the agent as the fiduciary and keep the agent in the center of the transaction. Now, you know, in my opinion, this, the fundamentals are always going to win. Right. I’m a big, I’m a big reader of John Wooten. And, you know, oh, sure, right, you know, the fundamentals are always going to win. So master the fundamentals is what I want people to hear. And by doing that, it’s it’s time on task over time with these fundamentals, right. So you know, to go out and play in the NBA and play on an all star game, and you can’t dribble you right? You’re not going to you’re not going to do very well. Right. So at the end of the day, master that but when we talk about disruption, that you’ll agree with me DJ, I mean, there’s it’s complete chaos out there, right? I don’t know if we’d chaos. I don’t know if the consumer knows who to you know, go to or trust anything anymore. Right. So, but the reason that I see what’s what’s going on, and why I’m so passionate about it is because we can remain as a fiduciary if we’re if we all do it on a united front, right. And my suggestion is that we master the fundamentals of running a business, we don’t get attracted to those shiny objects. We use technology to enhance the experience, but we remain the judiciary in the center of the transaction, if that makes sense.
D.J. Paris 28:39
It does. I’d like to hear a little bit more about what you see the role of the agent as today, and maybe how that shifted a little I think you’re right and, and I’m a huge coach. I don’t I know nothing about sports, truthfully. But I know who coach John Wooden was and he was the UCLA coach. And he basically was the winningest coach in NCAA history. I don’t know if that’s changed, but I think he won seven NCAA championships in a row or something like that. And then I think he won like nine over 13 years or whatever, something that’s never been replicated and he was only a fundamentals guy. In fact, one of my favorite John Wooden sort of stories was I heard him interviewed once and they said you really never look at the scoreboard so you talked about shiny objects, you know, maybe getting that million dollar listing or, or whatever that that just amazing client that’s going to take your business to the next level. I thought that way when when we partnered with Facebook and Zillow to be come on our show. I thought, oh my gosh, this is the shiny object. This is going to take my podcast and I love both Facebook and Zillow. I’m in no way suggesting that they weren’t great partners. They are but did not take my take my podcast to the next level. But Coach John Wooden said I never looked at the scoreboard. And so I went okay, he looks at the scoreboard and he was like No, I legitimately never look at the scoreboard because it doesn’t matter. He said I don’t care if we win or Lose. Because if you know he would tell his players if you just, if you just exercise the fundamentals, you’ll walk off the court. And you’ll know if you if you tried your hardest, if you tried your hardest, you’re going to feel good no matter what happens to the scoreboard. And if you if even if you do win, but you didn’t try your hardest, you’re not going to feel good. So I’m such a big fan of that. I apologize for going on a little, little tear there. But I’m such a big fan of John Wooden. So anyway, but yeah, let’s talk about the the role of the agent, you know, how is it shifted? And and how is technology made part of the agent, you know, sort of responsibilities easier? Even?
Joe Zimmerman 30:36
Yeah, I mean, so, again, my my coaching and my training has always been, hey, the business has always been agent led and technology enhanced. Yeah, that has now shifted where it’s going to be now it’s now going to be technology led and Agent enhance. So at the end of the day, that experience that needs to be given to the to the consumer has never been more heightened than it is right now. Right? People want to feel good. They want to feel communicated to right. So the disruption, I personally think that you have all of the focus on the technology disruption. And at the end of the day, really the internal agent is really disrupting the industry as well with with teams and expansion. Right? Yeah, you know, so, you know, at the end of the day, like I encourage everyone to go at this at your you know, if you want to do it by yourself or build your own team. And you should also consider joining a team as well, because the service that these teams are providing now to the to the consumer is at the highest level, right. And in, you know, in, there’s an expectation now from the consumer, that there’s an instant response. And there’s a great experience and things. So using technology as that tool, right to help it’s to help the people and the systems and the tools, right as any business model people systems tools, using the technology as the tool to help communicate better is important, but giving that experience and my opinion is is the disruption that is happening and needs to happen. Right? And we are we are giving that in now. The real estate industry is just upping their game, right?
D.J. Paris 32:12
Yes, I agree. And I’m you know, I just went through a buying process myself. And even though I’m in the industry, and we have what 800 Realtors here at our own firm, and the firm you’re at there was more than that here in the Chicagoland area. And I thought, Oh, I won’t go through the emotional ups and downs of the buying process. I had been through it before I thought oh, I not only have I been through this before I’m in the industry, this is not going to be emotionally challenging for me. And it was, and I was freaking out the whole time during the process from start to finish, I was completely stressed. I was you know, going through that emotional roller coaster of, you know, well, they want this and we want this and just, you know, oh, is this gonna fall apart? Can I afford it, etc. And I really relied upon my boss who helped helped me through it to really just talk me off the ledge a bunch. And I realized, you know, the average consumer I mean, I’m I’m a little high strung, but I’m not, I don’t think I worry more than the average person. But I said, if I’m in this industry, and I’m freaking out about a purchase, and it isn’t even my first purchase, this has got to be something that I don’t think technology has solved for yet the sort of emotional intelligence that an agent can bring to sort of keeping their client, you know, the user said, feeling it at least if not good neutral, or at least if they’re feeling negative, they are there to hear that and help them and empathize and tell them you know, what is needed to so that they can relax a bit. And that’s something that I think, you know, if technology ever figures that out, I think we’re all in trouble one day, but But it’s probably not going to figure it out because it is a human to human sort of thing, empathy, sympathy connection. And just problem solving, you know, is really a still a face to face or human to human interaction. So I’m curious and how important that is for your team when you talked about, you know, the role of the agent shifting a bit. And technology is kind of leading the way but I don’t know if technology can can can solve for that yet.
Joe Zimmerman 34:11
No, I agree with that. There’s nothing like communication. Right? You know, so what’s your communication strategy? Right? So, you know, in my opinion, our team goes to, hey, what are the what are the systems that need to be that need to be running right for the people to implement? And then the tools, right people systems and tools, but when you ask about our team, it’s what is the communication system? Right? Because at the end of the day, like if you’re, if you’re a top producing team, and you’re holding, you know, 50 to 150 listings at a time, you know, some of these teams are now well, the one clients waking up that it’s only their home, right? Yeah, they don’t care about the other. They don’t care about honor. And 149 Right, they’re waking up. So what is the communication system so that these people are at ease all the time, right, you know, and you you mentioned something DJ And I’m gonna I’m gonna go back to it. So think about that anxiety, right? Have that in your in the industry, right? Yeah, at the end of the day, I, myself, my wife and I purchased a home a year ago actually, it was about a year exactly a year ago, couple days ago. And my sister in law, who’s a great real estate agent is on our team. She was our agent, like, I wasn’t, I was I was not dealing with and I couldn’t deal with it. I was like, No, this is this is, you know, this is on her. So, you know, a real a top producing real estate agent hired a real estate agent to buy to buy the home. So well,
D.J. Paris 35:35
all professional athletes have coaches, right. So it makes perfect sense, I did the same thing I was, was I technically, I think I was technically the agent on my deal. But really, my boss did everything because I said, I don’t know what I’m too emotional about this. And I also, I’m not thinking clearly and I don’t want to they sort of they say like a lawyer who represents himself as a fool for a client or something. And that’s not to say that people can’t do their own transactions, but but just the idea that it can be that stressful and emotional to have, you know, an objective third party come in and help. Again, that’s not something technology could solve or but But what use are not yet at least, and hopefully never. But what I what I what I did zero in on is something that that you said, that I think is so important for agents to hear, which is having a communication strat, like, most people don’t have a well defined communication policy or, or platform, like you were saying 33 touches, right, that’s a communication problem, strategy and process, and it’s difficult to implement that. But at least you know, that every single person in your sphere is going to get touched that, you know, whatever your, you know, team’s policy is, but they, they already know that, you know, before they’re even a client, they’re never going to forget me, they might maybe they’ll might choose one day not to use me, but they’re not going to forget about me because they’re gonna get touched by me all of these different ways. And, and I think most of our audience, you know, could if you don’t already have some sort of communication, strategy, or policy and Millionaire Real Estate Agent gives you a great example of how to set one up. That is something to consider for 2022 is, you know, don’t leave it up for chance that the people in your spirit is going to instantly use you just because you’re their friend, they might forget that you’re a realtor, or they might just out of sight out of mind. And having a communication strategy, whether it’s an existing client, I’m sorry to monopolize this, but I just was reminded of a top producer and in Chicago, I can’t remember exactly who it was. But it was somebody within like the top 10 or 15 producers and all of the Chicagoland area out of about 44,000 realtors, and I asked her, What’s the secret to communication? And she said, I’m embarrassed to say that she says, but I call every one of my clients every week and give them an update. And I said, okay, and and what else and she goes, that’s pretty much it. And I said, That’s it. And she goes, Well, I do other things, too. But she goes, that’s the one thing I do that most Realtors won’t even do is call my client every week and say, here’s what’s going on. So I just was reminded of
Joe Zimmerman 38:12
the day Think, think about think about what we’ve covered here, right? It’s like we’re talking about the workout in your trainer, right? You know, going back to that it’s like, Hey, pick something and do it right in the problem with the entrepreneurial real estate agent sometime is we think that we’re going to do it all and all at once. And we don’t do one thing and do it. So you work out as your strategy. Right with your right, this agent says, Hey, ya know, this is my system, I call them once a week. And that’s it. Well, that works. So you know, so don’t reinvent the wheel, keep doing that, right? If your trainer said to you, Hey, you want to lose some weight, you got to go run five miles a day, and you’re not a runner, you’re not going to do it. Right? So but they’re building a strategy for you that you’re going to do.
D.J. Paris 39:00
And I think too, in business, as you’ve done with building a group and building a team, which is so important, not that everyone has to do that. Of course, not everyone does. But think about it from a customer perspective. If if all of a sudden I’m going to hire Joe and get access to the resources that Joe’s team provides which Joe has a large team and they all have different skills. And Joe’s you know, going to you know, charge a particular fee for his services and say, Oh, by the way, you get access to my entire team versus just the solo practitioner. And that’s not to say that you can’t be a successful solo practitioner of course you can. Lots of people are but this idea of leveraging and what Joe said is, you know, hey, maybe you’re not good at something Well, maybe you can partner up with somebody who is good at that other thing that you just aren’t you just don’t want to do or you’re not good at or you don’t care about but you know should get done that fundamental of you know, I should be at open houses, you know, and and I’m gonna hire someone else to help do all That was or to partner with me, and maybe they’re not good at things that I am good at. So I do love this idea of, of working together and, and, and but at what point in your career did you find that it was time to start a team? I’m just curious. Yeah,
Joe Zimmerman 40:13
no, I appreciate that question, TJ. Because at my previous brokerage, I did a lot of development sales, right. Yeah. And I was juggling development, sales and outside brokerage at the same time. So again, by default, I had to just build a team before I even knew there was a strategy out there, or it was going to become a thing. Right? You know, right. I just, I had to find the leverage right away, because there weren’t, there wasn’t enough time in the day, right? You know, so, um, so you know, I now coach and know, the proven strategies a win the build the team, and I’ll get to that in a second. But I just find a fault just had to say, Hey, I needed to, I need help, right? I need leverage, I need somebody to take these buyers out, things like that. And I just did it. So I did that early on. And it was a mess. And it was chaos, because I wasn’t following a plan. So I learned a lot. But at the end of the day, when when I got when I when I walked into an environment, where it taught the fundamentals of how to build a team, and what the actual data was, and people weren’t pontificating their opinion, you know, follow the plan, right. And I follow the plan. And I would tell any realtor right now that leverage is key. And depending on your market, and where you’re at, you can do zero to about 30, maybe 36 homes a year with 36 Homes is a lot by yourself, you know, three homes a month, but when you’re tracking to do 24 to 30 homes a month, you need to start looking for leverage right away.
D.J. Paris 41:39
Yeah. And, yeah. And so it is it is one of those things where we’re now and think of it too, for our listeners on just how well that looks in a listing presentation, that you’re basically you mean, maybe you can even charge more if you have a team because you can say, well, I’m we’re have more mouths to feed here. And we’re offering more services that the individual practitioner, you know, maybe just can’t do, because we’ve sort of scaled this up. But yeah, having having people to leverage, you know, you also said something that I just was curious, this is a completely sort of off not off topic, per se, but off the the conversation we’re having. I’m just curious if you had a general thought you talked about working with developments. And that is a lot of our listeners dream situation is to work with developers, of course, every realtor wants to get chosen, maybe not every realtor, but a lot of them want to get chosen to be to represent certain projects. Do you have any suggestions about somebody who goes, you know, I’ve never really done that. But I would love to learn sort of how to develop those relationships.
Joe Zimmerman 42:47
Yeah, I mean, so I know, I sound like a broken record, and there’s no sexiness, DJ. But there’s no difference than staying in touch with your it’s building relationship. There’s no difference than staying in touch with your sphere. If this is a if this person just develops more homes than selling one, it’s really it’s the same strategy as far as forming the relationship with them. Now, there’s a second step to that, right, you know, and that you have to educate yourself on how to how to help market a building or a development and things like that, and how to price it out and all that jazz. But again, go find somebody who’s done it and ask them for their advice, you know, ask them to help you ask them for you know, you can do a referral fee from them, or some sort or partner up with them, which you said earlier, but the beginning of your question is, pick who you want to be in business with, and then go talk to them and build a community with them. Right? That’s, that’s again, there’s no no sexiness, it’s just the fundamentals.
D.J. Paris 43:46
Well, I think I almost think that’s a great place to end because it is that is really the the lesson of we’ve done cash 300 And whatever episodes of the show now, and that is that is always been a consistent message. And I think it’s a good one for people to hear. And, and yeah, maybe it isn’t sexy, but you know, when I go workout at the gym, and my trainer has me do push ups. That’s not sexy, either. But it’s, it’s a heck of a good idea. And so, you know, I think fundamentals are what win the game most of the time, sometimes you get lucky. But most people I don’t think can sustain luck over too long of a period. But certainly, fundamentals can get you through and mindset being one of those fundamentals. So I think what a perfect message to end on. I do want to mention for any of our listeners, a couple of opportunities for you with Joe and his team. If you are an agent here in the Chicagoland area and maybe you’re not getting the assistance you need from from your company or you just want to see what other opportunities are out there. Joe and his team would love the opportunity to chat with you. They are a top top top producing team here in the Chicagoland area so you can always find them at Joe’s and you can reach out to them via Joe’s website. which is the z pg.com. And also, if you’re an agent from outside of Chicago, of course, we have agents from all over the country and be in other countries. And if you do have clients moving to the Chicagoland area or you have referrals that that you are looking for a good Chicago agent to work with. Well, yeah, check out the Zimmerman group again, the zpg.com. Joe is here, I can vouch not that Joe needs me to vouch for him. But here in the Chicagoland area, Joe and his team are very incredibly well respected, and you probably won’t be in any better hands. So definitely reach out to him. And if there’s any buyers and sellers out there that also just want to work with a top producing team, or renters or developers reach out to the Zimmerman group at the z pg.com. All their contact information is there. Well, Joe, thank you so much for being on our show. I know you were on when I first started the show, believe it or not, four or five years ago, you were on my list of like people to introduce our people to get on the show. And I’m glad we were able to grab a few minutes of your time. So thank you for being on the show. And every one of your messages, I think will resonate with our audience because well, clearly it’s worked for you. And it seems to be a common sense approach. So for on behalf of the audience who want to thank Joe, and and for for coming on. And I know how much free time Joe has and isn’t much and so I appreciate you jumping on for for some time with us. And also on behalf of Joe and myself. We want to thank our listeners and our viewers for continuing to support our show. In addition to checking out Joe’s website, definitely check out ours as well, we have all of our episodes are streamed right from our browser if you go to keeping it real pod.com You can also subscribe to our show with any podcast app that you might be using, including iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, you know all the different places to listen to podcasts. So please tell a friend as well about the show. Think of one other agent that you know that could benefit from hearing from this great conversation with Joe and send them a link to this episode. We would appreciate it we’ll help continue to keep our show running. So Joe, thank you so much for being on the on the podcast. It really was about four years that I wanted to get you on here. So I’m so grateful that we finally did. And we thank you and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks,
Joe Zimmerman 47:21
Jay. Appreciate it very much.