Why Staying Hyperlocal Is The Key To My Success • Jan Morel

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Jan Morel began his professional career as a civil engineer and over time transitioned to become a residential real estate broker. He had immediate success in his first year (5-6 million in production) and never looked back. In our conversation Jan discusses the importance of branding and why he hired a marketing firm to help identify his strengths. He also discusses the importance of think-local-act-local and why almost all of his business is within a few miles of his home.

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

Jan Morel can be reached at (630) 624-6100 and jan@morelhomes.com


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 am your guide and host through the show, and we have a new website, which we completely redesigned from the ground up to help make it easier to find episodes to find specific categories of episodes in case you’re into a particular series. And you can check out all of that at keeping it real pod.com. So if you’ve never visited our website, please do you might find it pretty useful and helpful. Obviously, most of our listeners subscribed via their podcast app probably don’t even know we have a website. So check it out, keeping it real pod.com. And also, please follow us on Facebook you can find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod not only do we post an article every single day that we find online written to help you build your business. But also we post live recordings of our episodes that you can watch in real time as we’re recording them, so you don’t have to wait a few weeks to listen to our finished product. So again facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod and now on to our interview with top 1% Producer Yan Morel.

Today on the show we have Yan Morel from Morel homes with at properties. Yan prides himself on putting his clients interests before his own. He’s committed to helping his clients stay informed every step of the way by easily accommodating and being accessible, giving them what they need to make the best possible decision he provides his clients with creative solutions and fresh ideas to any obstacle that arises. And when you work with Yan towards the sale or purchase of a home, you have a real estate partner for life, whose integrity and commitment will garnish you the attention and focus you deserve and the expertise you need. In a market where no two homes are identical. The skill makes Yan an invaluable resource to home sellers and home buyers, you can rely on his thorough understanding of the market and how properties should be priced to maximize your ROI. And as an expert marketer, Yan combines the latest social media opportunities with traditional strategies to provide maximum exposure for his listings, please visit Yan and his team at Morrell homes.com. That’s m o r e l homes.com. Yan. Welcome to the show.

Jan Morel 3:28
Well, thank you very much for having me. I’m super excited. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 3:31
us too. This is you were recommended by actually several of our guests. So we’re excited to meet with you and have you on the show. And I know, our listeners are interested as well, to hear, you know, sort of how you grow, how you’ve grown your business, and even what you’re doing now, in light of, you know, our current climate, but we’d love to start at the beginning. You know, can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved in real estate?

Jan Morel 3:58
Sure. I so I’m, uh, I’m actually a civil engineer undergrad. So I went to University of Illinois, I have an engineering degree. And as I graduated, I got into the field of engineering helping developers design their roads and sewers for new construction. And it was really exciting. But over time, I realized that my what I did was just one small piece of the of the puzzle related to how development works. And, and it was a exciting time, there was a lot of activity, this is in the late 90s. And so there was there was really a lot of opportunities, but I was kind of only one small piece and my career kind of developed into project managing for developments. And there was still more that I wanted to do. So I ended up leaving kind of one of the larger firms joined a smaller firm. And what we realized is is that one of was needed to get their broker’s license so that we could have access to information that is only available to brokers regarding land opportunities.

D.J. Paris 5:08
Oh, interesting.

Jan Morel 5:10
Yeah. So I went off and in one month I learned, you know, studied and passed the test. And, and so I had my license. And so for about four years, or No, I guess it would have been more like six years, I had my license, I didn’t do, I wasn’t spending, there wasn’t my core competency. I was still project management development. But what happened in 2012, was I made a personal decision that I did not want to be working in X, Urban Development’s any longer. I wanted to do live and work in the same town that I live. And I wanted to control my destiny. And so I knew that I knew that I had a really good reputation in the town that I lived in terms of what people thought of me, their trust level and me. And so I decided to just dive headfirst into residential real estate in 2013. So it’s only been seven years. But I had a pretty fast start, let’s just say that.

D.J. Paris 6:22
Now, when you I mean, it is a huge shift to going from working for someone, obviously, to yourself. And also, I guess your background in civil engineering would give you, you know, a good understanding of real estate, or at least that part of it. But when you got started, was that difficult for you to make that transition?

Jan Morel 6:43
Yeah, so one of the things that kept me from doing something like this earlier was this belief in my head that I don’t, I don’t know how to be a salesperson, I’m not a salesperson, I’m an engineer. And what it turns out is that I don’t I’m not sure that anybody can be a salesperson, I think is the main message I wanted to make about that. Because it seems like the it seems like it’s a hard shift. But if you if you look at sales, not as like trying to sell something to like earn money, but as in sales is as creating a solution for somebody, then the transition is much easier, because essentially, what I learned to do was that there’s a lot of people that I knew, that had that themselves, their friends or their family all had a problem that they needed to solve. And that problem was housing, in one shape or form. And one thing about being an engineer, you know, a train engineer is, I’m incredibly good at problem solving. So I look at the transaction process as actually just getting from point A to point B, and always tackling issues head on. And and so that was that was the aha moment for me was when I realized that actually, I know exactly what how to do this. The hardest part for me was convincing people that while they can, while my friends and family and my sphere of influence, could trust me with, you know, a school board issue at my church, or a zoning question at my at the village halls and things I’ve been doing before I became a real estate agent. You know, did they, you know, was I ready for them, and as a real estate agent, and luckily, I had some people, you know, believe in me, and and then things really took off. So, I mean, my first year, I think I had about five and a half or 6 million I think in volume, something like that.

D.J. Paris 8:57
I’m gonna pause just for a moment to to really honor that to to have done five to 6 million in your first year of production is an incredible success. For all of our listeners, they already know that. But I just wanted to pause. And you’re, you’re too humble to really spend much time on that, I’m sure but I want to I want to spend a moment just recognize that that’s an incredible first year for anybody, whether you have a background that’s loosely related, or adjunct ly related to, to, to real estate or not. So congrats on that first theory been

Jan Morel 9:31
Well, I appreciate it. And I didn’t. I didn’t I didn’t really understand that I think as I was doing it. And like I said it, it required a few key people to trust me till launch me. And there was another you know, I don’t know if you want to talk about it now. But there was a really another major moment in my first year. A few months of, you know, diving in headfirst into residential real estate that really set me on a great path and I can share that with you if you’d like. Please. Okay. So you know, my this fantastic managing broker name’s Nina Fatah Poulos. And she is She was our managing broker for probably about four or five years a coal banker then she went into becoming like a vice president, like a larger role. But she She said, Yeah, and I’m really believe in you. And I was like, Well, I don’t know if I believe in myself. She’s like, well, I, like I interview people time, we want to, you know, take this on as a career. And I just know when I when I when I feel and I said, Okay, that’s really nice to know. And so it’s important for someone to, to help you by telling you that they believe in you. But I said, Listen, I I know who I am, and my friends know who I am. But I feel like I need to have something that’s recognizable by myself. This is a highly competitive market in the Hinsdale Clarendon Hills area. There’s a lot of really good agents that are that are around here at my firm and other firms, and I enjoy working with them every day. But their brands already existed, and I was newer. And so I, I went off, she recommended that I enquire with a real estate marketing company out in California, Back Back then it was called Hobbs herder. Okay, and the guy who was running it was Greg herder. And at this point, there was no Hobbs left, it was just Greg herder. But I, I decided to essentially, I hired them to help me create a brand. That was exactly who I am. Okay, so one of the biggest mistakes I think people make in any any type of business is having a brand that doesn’t actually match who they are.

D.J. Paris 12:06
Yeah, that’s such an interesting statement. And I fully agree with you. And I think we’ve done 165 episodes, I think, and this is the first time we’re really talking about branding. So I appreciate that.

Jan Morel 12:20
Yeah. So Well, here’s the everybody has a gift to share all of us. And so, you know, leaning into that gift is the way to unlock your potential. And so this real estate company was like, they essentially said, okay, they interviewed me, I had to fill out like pages and pages of questions. And then they said, Okay, we’ll see you in a month. I said a month. They’re like, Yeah, our writers, they need a month to think about this. I said, Okay, that’s interesting. I didn’t, I never thought about that. Writers and creative people, they need to be left alone, you can’t pressure them, right. Because if you pressure them, you squelch their their creativity. So they came back with this brand. And you can see it on my ribbon on my YouTube channel or on my Facebook business page. And it’s your morale committed to your success. And people at first, like when and so when I read it at first, I’m like, That seems kind of it’s like not like the most like

D.J. Paris 13:29
tangible, the most

Jan Morel 13:32
easy to remember thing, right? Yeah, there’s no, there’s nothing in it about real estate. Right? Okay. And they’re like, yawn. We’ve listened to you. We’ve read about you. You’ve written us, you’ve told us about yourself, and everything that you’re talking about, and is all about how, essentially, you don’t you take something from start to finish, you never quit. You’re committed to seeing a positive result. And that’s why people are gonna want to work with you. And I said, I think you’re right. So I included in that marketing package was a website, which I’ve subsequently gotten a new website, but back then, I had my own personal website. I wasn’t using Coldwell bankers website. And the idea was I needed my own brand outside of Coldwell Banker. And now since then, you know, seven years later, everyone has their own brand, but I it always cracks me up. When I see brands where there’s always a key or a house shape. It’s like that that has nothing to do with, with who you are. You’re not You’re not telling anybody who you are. And so I’m the one who was I had I had real estate agents, I heard them making fun of my brand. At first it was hilarious. I was like, Okay, make fun of it. That’s fine. You know, you know, a year later, I was selling more homes in them. And, and so the the way I I guess in a nutshell, what I would say about about having a personal brand is that just have your brand match who you are, and then live it every day. So if you’re like, if you’re a crazy person, but but that’s who you are, like, lean into your craziness, there’s gonna be other people that like that craziness, it’s always more important to have, you know, a dedicated group of people that would want your type of service, even if that means that some groups won’t, then being being unnoticeable.

D.J. Paris 15:38
I couldn’t agree more. And I think we don’t talk enough about branding, we talk a lot about service. And we talk a lot about what we do for clients in either a general or specific way. But to have your own brand and your own sort of small mission statement that you’re able to articulate to to your customers, and to have it authentically reflect who you actually are, as a human is, in the strengths that you possess is a really important thing. Because you know, I’m on your website, now I’m looking at it. And it right, right up front does say your morale committed to your success. And if that’s true, if that’s, you know, if I’m thinking of hiring yonder to help me buy or sell, or rent, and I know that that’s who he is, well, that’s really all I need to know that somebody is committed to my sex success, because actually, that’s what most people are looking for. They’re looking for somebody who is actually committed. And the fact that that reflects, you know, you as as who you are inside is a great match. And so I would say that was that was a good project to have a third party company help you with that, and, and drill down and identify

Jan Morel 16:47
that it’s not cheap, I’m sure, yeah. But you have to invest in yourself as a real estate agent. And so the I had, I’ve had this discussion with a lot of new new people that have entered the business, I’m always willing to talk to new people that are looking to get into real estate and share with them. Some of the things that I’ve done, I’m not scared of that at all, I think, I think there’s plenty of room for all the competent agents, you know, if if schleps want to come and go from this business, they will that’s going to happen automatically. I don’t have to do anything. They won’t try. They don’t work hard, that’s going to automatically happen. But you know, new young up and coming agents that are dedicated to elevating the craft of being a realtor, I’m all for that.

D.J. Paris 17:42
Yeah, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of people come and go and in seven years, and it’s, it’s amazing, you know, you’ve had a tremendous level of success. I wanted to ask you specifically because you’re you’re west of the city of Chicago. For our listeners. Yan, of course works, you know, in many areas, but he hyper focuses and in his hometown, he talked about that earlier, which is Clarendon Hills in the surrounding communities. Can you talk tell our listeners how how, how important was it for you to pick a geographic location and sort of make that your TrueNorth? Again, not to say that you won’t help outside of those, those boundaries, but but making the majority of your focus that area has that really helped your business and also from a branding perspective, is that helped as well?

Jan Morel 18:27
Well, okay, so, it’s, it’s a good question. I as I mentioned at the beginning, my goal was to work and live in the same area and but I talked to other agents and I and I listened to my managing broker, I listened to her experience, and I trusted in her and, you know, all signs pointed to to the fact that, um, you know, whatever you focus on gross, okay, so if you want to focus on real estate all over Chicagoland you’re gonna get more real estate all over Chicagoland. Okay, good point, you’re gonna focus on only doing business within a five mile radius of Clarendon Hills, then that’s the only place you’re going to get new business. But there’s plenty of business there. Yeah, there’s plenty to go there’s plenty of people wanting to buy and sell to to make ends meet for me. And so, um, there was a time I remember there was a time where someone you know, I had a I had a roof someone had recommended me to a friend who lived in Elmhurst, right and some people would call me crazy, but I said I don’t take listings in Elmhurst,

D.J. Paris 19:49
in for our listeners, we should break in for a moment and say Elmhurst is not that far away from from McLaren hills. I mean, it’s it’s a distance, but we’re not talking about joy. IT giant distance but but this is

Jan Morel 20:02
five miles away, or six or something or I don’t remember it’s about 15 minutes, okay, but here’s the thing, buyers buy I’m in a homeless all the time with buyers because buyers look in larger areas. So like, it is totally normal for me to have buyers say I want to look at Elmhurst, Hinsdale and Downers Grove, or something like that. So I’m in a homeless all the time now. It doesn’t mean I have to take listings there, right. And the reason this is going to be this is the main reason I can’t service my clients with the effort that I promised them, when I have to drive 1520 minutes to get there, I won’t do it. I won’t. Like I just, I know that I’ll take a shortcut and like not not do the thing that I would do for the local closer listing. So why I’m doing them a disservice. So why why would I want to do that? And then another thing is, so let’s say I sell that house and owners, that’s just gonna get me another listing and owners.

D.J. Paris 21:03
So that’s a good problem, but still a problem, right? Yeah.

Jan Morel 21:06
And now I’ve got another listing and owners that I don’t want. So and I’m not trying to pick on owners, I think the idea is that is that, and I’ve watched some like awesome younger agents come in with who have just focused so heavily on one area, and I drive around that area, and I see your signs everywhere. And I’m like, That’s awesome, you’re dominating that area, I don’t see the sign anywhere else. But it doesn’t need to be anywhere else. Right.

D.J. Paris 21:32
I’d say that’s a super powerful statement. We’ve talked a lot over the years with with episodes or interviews with agents who pretty much all say focus in one area. But this idea of what you focus on, you will get more of is really important. So So you’re saying well, even though Elmhurst is five miles, you know, 15 minutes away, and knowing yourself saying, you know, I might not actually go above and beyond to the extent that I would for someone here in my local community. And it’s better for me to refer it out to someone who specializes there and, and maybe that broker in in Elmhurst would think about you the next time they have a Clarendon Hills client.

Jan Morel 22:13
And that has happened, that has absolutely happened. The I also don’t do real estate in in the city of Chicago. I, in fact, I just made a referral this morning, to another broker in the city, because I’m just I’m not an expert there, all I would be doing is my client a disservice for my personal gain. And that is the beginning of the end.

D.J. Paris 22:40
I get a sense that integrity is very, very important to you, it seems that you have you have your business and your practice set up with with a very specific set of, of guidelines and rules. And again, related to your your tagline committed to your success. And if you feel like you’re unable to give that highest level of service simply because it’s not your area of focus, you’re willing to, you know, to refer that to another agent, so that client can get can can achieve success.

Jan Morel 23:10
Yeah, yeah, I mean, I, I’m sorry. I meant the home office, it’s, uh, everyone is I know, I know. The but, and I’m trying to remember where we were, but I forgot where we were at.

D.J. Paris 23:30
Well, just the idea of, of being hyperlocal. And I also imagine that from a branding perspective, and you being able to be out in the community, it’s much easier when you’re focused in one area to make yourself more visible and, you know, be it be more active in the community when it’s just one area.

Jan Morel 23:50
That’s right. And so, all of my marketing is centered around my, the core area that I need to maintain a base of business in. And, um, I tend to, I want to be the main sponsor of anything that I’m involved in that if that means not sponsoring something and you know, at all, then that’s fine. Like, you can’t you can’t sponsor everything. But I think one of the, you know, one of the things that people do that I just think you just have to you just gotta be smart about how you spend your money. And so the idea of of quarter page ads, every issue that that makes no sense. I watch agents do it all the time. I when I started my first year, I part of my branding idea. Again, I needed to get people to know who I was in a in a sea of sharks. Okay. Sure. Um, and so I was in every other issue of a very popular magazine. People didn’t know that I wasn’t in every issue. They had no idea, right? They can’t remember that they but they get every issue But they, they just but they see me every other one. And then I would flip through that magazine and I would see the small little ad in the corner, you know, every single episode I’m like, I mean, I might be the only person who noticed it only because I was looking for who else was advertising in there. But the average person isn’t seen it. And so and the same goes for events, sponsorships, all that type of stuff. It’s that I’m, I want to be the main sponsor, and I am in most cases.

D.J. Paris 25:31
Yeah, I think that’s really important. Also, from a just a knowledge perspective, you I’m sure feel that that you know more about real estate in Clarendon Hills in the surrounding areas than then the rest of it, you know, obviously, you’re you’re a humble person, but but just sheer knowledge, objectively, you must have more and even doing the seven years you probably just know more than other brokers who who may be dabble in and out of the area?

Jan Morel 25:59
Well, I mean, every every agent has their their main focus area. And for me, it’s Clarendon Hills. And so what has happened is that so over the last, you know, from, for the last four or five years in a row, I’ve sold the most real estate in this town. And what has that garnered me that means that when I have other top agents in the area, who know me and know that I focus in this in this neighborhood, they come to me with their buyer needs, so they, hey, I got buyers, what else? What listings do you have coming on, that aren’t on the market just yet? Or vice versa? I have a listing coming on? Do you have any buyers, I’ll get you in first. These are all things that now you know, that over the last, you know, four or five years have put my clients in a position to outperform everybody else because people know who to call when they have a potential client they want they want to get they want insider info, and I have it and be in a smaller town. Remember Clarendon Hills only 8000 people. So this is this is a small town with a it’s a it’s a 1.5 square miles. And in 1.5 square miles, I pretty much know all the tricky spots in town. I know the good streets, I know which areas have had water issues. Let’s just say that, um, why because during major storms I drive around. I want to I want to see it with my own eyes. So yes, I mean, hey, by the way, the agent that I referred the the this business to in the city this morning, who’s in Chicago. He’s like, he’s like, this is perfect. He goes, I know all the buildings, I know all their assessments. I know which buildings have problems, which don’t which have special assessments coming. I’m like, That is awesome. That’s exactly what I don’t know. Right?

D.J. Paris 27:59
And nor nor could you easily even get that information, you’d have to do a tremendous amount of research. And maybe even then you still wouldn’t, because you wouldn’t have had all those years of experience. So Right. Right. It’s funny I was I was thinking back I live in the city here in an area called River North and obviously you know that but just to our listeners, it’s a little part of our city here. And I remember about maybe even before I got into this business, I was I saw a billboard. And it said, No, it was before I got in this business. I was in it. And I was looking to live in River North. And I saw a billboard and it said, and it’s actually subsequently this gentleman’s been on our show is Michael, his name is Michael Rosenbloom. He’s, I forget if I think he’s at Berkshire Hathaway anyway, doesn’t matter. But really nice guy. And he, he had a billboard, and it didn’t even say his name on it. It just said, Mr. River north.com. And I don’t think it exists anymore. But it said underneath it. I’ve sold more homes in River North than any other agent. And it was a huge number, like hundreds of homes. And I was thinking and of course, I at this time didn’t even know any real estate agents. And I said, Well, if I was going to buy a place in River North, I guess I’m going with that guy, because he is like, that’s his brand. He clearly is having success. And unless he’s lying, he sold more homes than anyone and, and I just remember thinking at first, like I sort of thought, Oh, that’s a really in your face, sort of ad and then I went, Yeah, but it’s a really smart branding play, because that’s who he is. And, and again, I think he’s expanded a little bit since then. But I thought, you know, sort of, to your point about you know, being the clarinet and clarinet nose is a much smaller area. I’m good first, when I saw the Mr. River North ad, I thought well, he’s really limiting himself. I mean, this is I didn’t know anything. I thought, well, that’s kind of it. And then I thought, oh, no, actually, that’s really, really smart. So you would think also in an area of 8000 homes, I think there’d probably be a lot of listeners maybe who live in more rural areas where there aren’t large populations. And you know, Yon lives not very far from the city, he’s not that far away. And he’s obviously there’s a million other suburbs bordering where you are as well. But just to hyper focus in that one area it takes really takes a lot of courage, I think to think, well, this is my area, there’s enough business for for him, you know, for me, and I’m going to be able to make a name for myself. How long did it take you before you felt like you really had a good handle on on that on the real estate? Just information about real estate in Clarendon Hills? Did it take years? Or was it quicker than that?

Jan Morel 30:36
Well, again, I was on the zoning board here in my town for six years, I knew the lay of the land, and I’m an engineer. So like I maps are, like, ingrained in my head. Um, I think the so that part wasn’t difficult. I think that I didn’t believe I had truly kind of created a sustainable lifestyle. It took it took, I feel like it was the end of the so my first year was it was really only like eight months. And then at the end of the second year, when I when I had 13 million in volume the second year. That’s when that’s when I was like, Okay, I think, you know, like, I think this is gonna work out here. And I was like, boy, you know, and I was looking up at some of these people that were selling, you know, 2030 40 million. I’m like, I’m never gonna get there. And you know, it’s, it’s gone. It’s gone. Well, I I will say this about Mr. River North. And this could happen, this can happen to anybody. Sure. The Where’s Mr. River North today? Right. So the question is, did miss her River North burnout? did miss her River North? You know, is he still around, maybe he’s around, I have no idea. But there are, there are stories out there where sometimes agents can burn out, or if they’re not actually living up to the, to the expectations they’re setting. Things things can can can fall apart. In rep, all you have is your reputation. So while it may be limiting to focus on on an area that has 8000 residents and 2000, some homes or whatever, it does allow me to provide that level of effort that you can only do when you know you have a two minute drive to your listing, right or a walk to your listing. And then, but that’s what the that’s that’s what they tell their friends and then they’ll they tell their friends. And that’s the level of service that then kind of make sure that you have consistent business.

D.J. Paris 32:57
Yeah, I could I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s it’s a bit of a misnomer to think well don’t limit yourself to working in in in an area that’s not as heavily populated as maybe a neighboring community. Because if you think about it, you know, it’s easier to be the big fish. And in the smaller pond, it takes a lot more work to become that bigger fish, of course, and you have to out no, your knowledge has to your skill set knowledge has to be higher than anyone also playing in that in that community. But boy, that’s I’m so glad that you shared that because I think there’s a lot of our listeners who think well, maybe I should start expanding my geographic area. And until you’ve even mastered one area, you know, you can be that big fish and it takes time it takes years even even for someone obviously like Yan who’s who’s had tremendous success, you know, pretty quickly, and obviously, continued success. I would love to ask you how things have changed. We are now as the time of recording this, you know, we’re still at a stay at home environment here in Illinois. Realtors are deemed essential. So thankfully, they can still work to some extent other states. It’s not quite that way. How is your business shifted? Or are you still as busy as you were? Are you busy in a different way? You know, what’s what’s shifted for you?

Jan Morel 34:18
Okay, so good question. And I get this question a lot, like pretty much all the time. Sure. I’m from friends that are in town, you know, I’m walking the dog. That’s the first thing someone wants to ask me. But, you know, luckily, so far, my family is healthy. Who knows, we could have had this thing and it’s just asymptomatic. We just don’t we have no idea. Okay, so, um, what the bottom line is, is that showings are down 50% Sure, but contracts are not they’re down 25% or something like that. So So what’s happening is is that the ie the buyers that are coming out to look at homes, they’re, they’re motivated, they’re serious buyers. They’re not tire kickers, no one’s tire kickers in. So it’s actually a little bit nicer for the list for the sellers to not have randoms walking around that really aren’t serious, um, the I am selling about a house a week right now. But the average price of what I’m selling is lower than what it has been in the past. Meaning that there, there’s, my lower, my less expensive homes are still selling at the same speed that they have in the past. What’s more difficult is the higher end homes. So those are taking more time. But that’s been happening. But that’s been happening. For years, we’ve had a slow you know, upper end market here in Clarendon Hills and the western suburbs for the last four or five years, it’s been slow, because we have net negative migration out of the state. And so as the prep property taxes go up, and our state’s condition goes, gets even more difficult to deal with people everybody’s trying to get into in into taxes, or 10,000 or less and stuff like that. And that means that we have a lot of downsizers that are looking to get down and we have a lot of first time homebuyers. So that 400 to 700 range is getting is like totally fine. Like it’s like there’s plenty of buyers. It’s above that that is more difficult. And so but nonetheless, we were still transacting, we’re following all the rules, we’re not having open houses, although I’m using Facebook Live for virtual tours, or in virtual open houses, excuse me. And so if anybody goes to my my business page that you’ll see, they’re all there. And then I’ve been posting them on my YouTube channel after because what happens is, is that when somebody calls about wanting a showing, or like, Hey, tell me a little bit more about that house, I’m like, hey, just go to my YouTube channel, or send them a link. So here you watch my, my Facebook, open house, it’s 30 minutes long. And so they’re their clients can look at it. So we’re all creating new normals of how to function. And, um, I think it My opinion is that are real. For as a profession, real estate is doing better than a lot of other professions. Okay. And so when I’ve talked to some of my attorney friends, and they have nothing to do, because nobody’s suing anybody, okay, and you can’t go to court and everything’s been postponed. So like, they really can’t, they’re not able to function as is it, you know, as well. And so, real estate, being an essential business in Illinois was a critical part of that state order. And don’t get me wrong, like, I don’t really like going on showings right now. Like, every time I got to put a mask on gloves, I’m sanitizing my hand. And I have to come back home to a house with a wife and three daughters and say, I hope I didn’t bring it home with me. Sure. I don’t want to do that. But, but I’m doing it because I want to earn a living. And it’s it. It’s a it’s a core function, I guess. So I’m doing it.

D.J. Paris 38:17
Well, that’s great. Are you spending more time on video chats or Zoom meetings with clients? And was that something you were doing prior? Are you doing more of it now since there’s less outside activity as opposed to inside the home?

Jan Morel 38:31
Okay, so what I so I’ve never really used kind of the zoom or GoToMeeting stuff before it didn’t really use it. And there’s two h ri. So now when people like, hey, let’s have a conference call, they’ll be like, Hey, let’s just do a zoom call. I’m like, Okay, so now. So now we have some people that are using Zoom when they couldn’t, you could still just do a regular phone share. Okay. But the other thing is, is that so like for instance, tomorrow I’m taking out some clients in Hinsdale to go look at six homes. And on Monday, this week, I had a we had a zoom, we had a zoom, too, so I could show them the neighborhoods and talk about it and I can draw on the map and this is all stuff I would have done while we were driving around. Except I won’t be in the same car as them. Right. I can’t do that. So Zoom is used. I’m using it for neighborhood tours, I guess for all intents and purposes to visually show somebody when I’m saying when I when normally I would have done that in the same vehicles then.

D.J. Paris 39:37
Yeah, how are you staying in touch? I know a lot of I mean you’re busy you’re you’re selling a home a week which is absolutely incredible. But in in your in your downtime, or in the more time you might have now from from not running around as much outside. Are you staying in touch more with your clients? are you how are you using some again, I know you’re busy, but in some of that addition Real Time, how are you spending it?

Jan Morel 40:01
So I’m, I am, I’m trying to stay in touch with my I’m trying not to change my marketing plan that I set last fall for 2020. Okay, so all of my touch points are the same. The only difference is that some of the events that I normally would be talking to people at I can’t do that. So I’m trying to keep touches going in different ways I walk my dog, I see people around town, it’s a critical part of my job, believe it or not. Sure. So the I have been shooting some videos to explain how I work. And I’ve been posting those on my on Facebook, I’ve been posting those on my YouTube channel. I recently posted a video about what the MLS private network is. Sure. And, and how why it’s important specifically right now and and, and how it’s going to be important moving forward. And so I’m trying to provide content on on social media. And I’m trying to but but I’m not. One thing I’m not great at is sharing every little thing about my family on Facebook, right? Like, I have never typed into Facebook, something like this, which is like my pet peeve like 13 years ago today, I married the most wonderful person in the history of the world. You know, I’ve never done that I can’t stand those things. And so like i That’s probably one of my biggest bugaboos is that like I just, I like conversing with people. But that’s just you’re just showing off. You’re just you’re just telling people stuff. It’s brutal.

D.J. Paris 41:49
Look at my Look at my beautiful meal. I made it. Yeah, yeah.

Jan Morel 41:54
So that’s, that’s been that’s been our but it’s actually pushed me to use social media, which is something that I just haven’t wanted to do much. But it’s this, this situation has forced my hand. So like, I always think that you can always learn something from every situation. And this is what I’m going to learn how to do. Because eventually we’re going to go back to more of a regular reality, it might not be till 2021. But we will. And hopefully I won’t forget to use some of these new channels that I’ve learned.

D.J. Paris 42:23
Well, it is an opportunity, I think, to develop additional skills right now. And I want to just honor you again for or not again, but but honor you for what you said about creating content, because I think ultimately, you know, that’s that’s maybe the best use of social media is to connect with people, of course, but also to provide content to the people, especially if you’re a business and in this case, we’re talking to realtors who are a business. You know, Yan mentioned the private listing network or you know, these private that’s what we call it here in the Chicagoland area. Not every area has has one of these. But this is really important because you created a content, explaining it to people and I’m guessing 99% of the public has no idea what that is. And from watching your videos, they’re going to learn and it’s a relatively newer thing for real estate here in Chicago. And it’s very important, especially as you mentioned right now, and just educating clients on things like this, I guess now we have have a little bit more time to help create some of this content that maybe we don’t when when we’re running around as much so yeah, that’s awesome.

Jan Morel 43:27
I’ll say this about about our local MLS. You know, the National Association of Realtors, I think was was established here in Chicago. I think it was created here. And I think the MLS was invented here. I think we Chicago has been at the cutting edge of that and one thing that’s really awesome about our MLS here is that we have one huge MLS for everything yeah, we’re lucky you go to like New York, I think they have like multiple different MLS is in the same city.

D.J. Paris 43:57
So So New York doesn’t even have a real MLS, but Atlanta has like two or three. So New York doesn’t even have one. I mean, they have they have other things, but they don’t even have an actual it’s crazy. Yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah. And it makes it much more difficult to to see it organized, you know, list aggregation of all of these listings, it’s it makes it almost impossible to figure out.

Jan Morel 44:23
Yeah, well, and that’s that’s why I thought that the like the topic of like the private MLS was, you know, people people need to know how, how it works so that it can be used to their advantage.

D.J. Paris 44:39
Yeah. Well, I think this is a great place to wrap up. You’ve provided so much value to our listeners, and I really appreciate all your guidance. I know our fans are going to be huge fans of yours, just from listening to this interview. But I also want to mention that obviously Yan is never too busy. to talk with you, if you are someone who’s looking to work with him, or his team, he’s got a team, his wife’s on his team. He’s got other team members as well. And young, if there are any buyers, sellers, investors, renters, that are out your way or looking in your area, and the Clarendon Hills and surrounding communities from there, what’s the best way someone should reach out to you?

Jan Morel 45:23
I, the best way is to text me or call me my number is 630-624-6100. I just think that’s the easiest. It’s my personal cell phone. I give it out to everybody. And so I try to turn I try to turn it off. Lately, I’ve been trying to put it on airplane mode at 10 o’clock, and then I turn it back on at seven but I’m the that’s the easiest way to reach me. And thank you so much for having me on your show.

D.J. Paris 45:53
Yeah, and also you can email Yan directly at Yan, which is j n at Morrell again, m o r e l homes.com Please visit his team’s website which is Morel homes.com. And also follow Yan on both Facebook just search for Yan morale, you’ll find his business page there, as well as on YouTube just do a search we’ll we’ll post a link to it. But Yan morale at YouTube you can watch some of these these videos that that Yan is creating and has has created and you know that is consistent with his brand and his level of success. And I’ve always said success leaves clues, you know and our listeners they do that when they hear an interview they like they go follow people’s YouTube and Facebook and they want to see what you’re posting. So now the pressures on to keep pumping out that content just for our listeners. But on behalf of our listeners yawn we want to say thank you, I was telling you on before that I grew up in an area that morel mushrooms were a big big deal. And they very rarely came around. So I was joking with him about that. But if everyone listening, if you ever get a chance to have a morel mushroom, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say, like, run headfirst towards it, because it’s a very, very big deal. And also so on behalf of the listeners yawn thanks for everything you’ve shared and, and also on behalf of Yan and myself to the listeners, we want to say thank you for continuing to listen and support our show we really appreciate everyone tuning in. And then we ask just that you do two quick things for us for everyone listening before we sign off number one, think of a telephone think of another real estate professional that could benefit from having heard this particular episode with eon and send it over to them if you know another agent, that’s whether they’re struggling or new to the business or just wanting to get to the next level. Send them over, we actually just revamped our website, you can send them you can send it right over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Or just pull up any podcast app search for keeping it real will will pop right up and then let the second follow us as well on Facebook you can find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod not only do we post links to all of our episodes, but every single day we find an article that someone’s written online designed to help you grow your business and we post it there so there’s no filler, it’s all I guess all fat they say all fat no filler. And, you know, please follow us there as well. So Yan, thank you so much. We really appreciate your your participation. You’re a great guest and we wish you I wish you continued success but you don’t need it. So just keep doing what you’re doing and are we’re excited to continue to watch your progress.

Jan Morel 48:26
Thank you very much. I really enjoyed this. Thank you

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