Should Real Estate Agents Join A Boutique Brokerage? • Drew Grossklaus

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Drew Grossklaus the Director of Sales at William Means Real Estate, Charleston’s exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate discusses what’s it like to be an agent in Charleston area especially after Covid. Drew also talks about the importance of getting involved with the local associations and showing your leadership angle of personality. Drew points out the advantage of learning everything about the area you’re working in. Next, Drew discusses what the role of the firm is to the agent and the importance of the non-compete managing broker and also what is the role of the firm in helping agents generate or provide them with leads.

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

Drew Grossklaus can be reached at (843) 576-9483 and drew@williammeans.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks and FollowUpBoss.


D.J. Paris 0:00
On today’s episode we discussed the benefits of joining a small boutique brokerage. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Drew grassless, who by the way is the Sales Director for one of the one of the largest producing small boutique firms in Charleston. But before we get to Drew just a couple of quick reminders, please, as always tell a friend about our show. Just think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing from Drew for example, and send them a link to this episode or right over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done, can be streamed right there no podcast app required, or pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button and last please leave us a review. Whatever podcast system you might be listening to this on, whether it’s Apple podcast, Google Play Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, etc. Let us know what you think of the show leave us a review. This is how we continue to grow and get better and better to help better meet your needs. So enough about that. Let’s get on to our conversation with Drew grassless.

Today on the show we have drew gross class from William means real estate in which is also Christie’s International in Charleston, South Carolina. Let me tell you more about Drew. DREW is the director of sales at William means real estate which is Charleston’s exclusive affiliate of Christie’s international real estate. He also serves as the broker in charge for the firm’s Mount Pleasant office. Now drew brings a wealth of strategic sales, marketing and analytical talent to the firm drawing on more than 20 years of real estate and development sales, also marketing advertising and promotions experience. He’s a licensed real estate agent and currently serves on the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors board of directors, which is he’s also he’s the treasurer actually of his local association, and also the South Carolina Realtors Board of Directors so he’s involved at the local and the state level. Drew graduated from the University of Northern Ireland, Ireland. My apologies drew graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in accounting and received a master’s degree from Western Illinois University not too far from where I’m recording right now here in Chicago, but please everyone visit drew at his website, which is Charleston realestate.com. Drew, welcome to the show.

Drew Grossklaus 4:06
Thank you. Thank you. And I’ve never been to Ireland so I would like to also go there but no, it is Ireland but but thank you for that.

D.J. Paris 4:15
Well, I’ve been to Ireland I’ve not been to Northern Ireland though. And there’s you know, always debate about you know, when when or if you should go to Northern Ireland but I was thinking I just saw the movie Belfast, which is all about Northern Ireland about a week ago. It’s a fascinating movie. So I’ve got that on my brain. So my apologies there But welcome, welcome to the show. Thank you drew very excited to have you here. It was Drew and I were talking prior to us going live here and we were just talking about you know how Charleston is just on everybody’s must visit list and you know right now it’s it’s just been a darling of vacation darling for gosh, I don’t even know how many years but it seems like everybody I know especially Bro bridal parties or bachelorette parties, I should say, yeah guys guys big dude guys trips there, there’s golfing that area, it’s just got about everything anybody would want.

Drew Grossklaus 5:12
Yeah. And it’s really been amazing over the last 20 years. Conde Nast, travel and leisure, we’ve been the number one city in both of those publications for years. And it really it has exploded. And then you know, then we have some famous people Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively got married here. And then we’re a little nervous to say they got married and, you know, here because of the place they got married, but but but had famous people as well. And it really has become just a mecca for tourism. And it’s, it’s understandable, we have the history, the food, the beaches. So, so amazing real estate, obviously, when you combine all those things, but it is a place and it’s a place living here, and I get to visit lots of places, but and I always come back to where would I rather live than Charleston, and it is hard to think of another place. So so it’s an amazing place.

D.J. Paris 6:08
And I would imagine that since we’re we’re also familiar right now with places like Nashville, Charleston, Austin, you know, just just these places now that have been opened up for a lot of us that used to think we were chained to our physical location and through COVID started learning, oh, we can work remote. Obviously, the real estate agents maybe don’t have as much of the freedom there to do that. But as a lot of people are moving to Charleston, even just in the last few years, although it’s been going on lat long time before that, of course, I imagine. So it’s part of me thinks, Oh, it must be a great time to be an agent in that in that area, because there’s so much activity, and then I think, but there’s also got to be a lot of competition from agents as well. So I I’m curious, have you because you’ve been there for quite some time, you know, what’s it like now being an agent in that area, you know, than it was sort of prior to this big boom?

Drew Grossklaus 7:06
Yeah, so it really is, is a crazy situation to be an agent and a difficult one. And I tell agents who call me this all the time. Because it is a very sexy place, obviously to want to be because we do have and over the last couple of years remote people with remote and I’m moving from New York, Atlanta, Chicago, you know, I don’t have to be there, I want this place. It’s great. We have about 7000 agents, and we have a population of about in the Charleston Metro, you know, 400, if we expand it out 800,000 people, so that’s, that’s a lot of agents. And actually, you know, it was kind of interesting, we were up near that number in Oh, 809, the crash happened and we lost half the agents. And that probably is the number that worked out well. And now after the coming years, we built that back up to double again. So it’s, it’s, you know, it’s one of those things where if we have an agent truly relocate from somewhere where like you better have a plan for a year not to have any business, because it’s that competitive. And I will say this Charlson has a tremendous history. And there are a lot of things as far as where you grew up your name as far as the way you mark it here. So if you don’t have that you can be successful. We’ll talk about different ways I see agents being successful. But but but it’s a lot of work in Charleston, it really is. And don’t get me wrong as a real estate agent, you’re like, Well, why wouldn’t I want to sell real estate that has history and beaches and beauty? And I totally get it. But there are a lot of other agents that are saying the same thing?

D.J. Paris 8:42
Sure. Well, I think you brought up a really good point, I sort of started want to go back to it, because I think it’s not just applicable to the Charleston market, this this advice that you gave about, if you’re moving there, or you’re a new agent, for example, you know, you better have a plan, or you better be prepared to, you know, just work for a year or maybe without a whole lot of income, if any. And I think, you know, that’s probably not dissimilar from and, of course, increased competition where you are, but just in general, like newly licensed agents, of course, you know, probably no matter where they go, unless they join a team where there’s a lot of leads, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s important, as people ask me all the time, they just got their license, you know, when When can I start making money? And it’s like, just sort of depends, but, um, but I’m curious. So when you do have somebody who, who is relocating and isn’t, you know, somebody who was born raised has a great sphere of influence. And again, I think just talking about this relation to Charleston, I think is is applicable to a lot of our listeners for wherever they live. How what do you tell them to coach them to keep them motivated and sort of keep them engaged, even though it might be kind of a depressing, you know, first year or two? Sure. How do you do that?

Drew Grossklaus 9:59
Yeah, well, you know, Real Estate is sales. And so a lot of that you really got to understand a lot of things you’re doing may not show right away, right? We’re not making widgets, so you can make 10 of them and sell them right away. So I like to talk to people about building their real estate resume. And I think people, there’s a lot to that. And one of the things here, right, so an example with Charleston would be, you know, do you understand historic architecture, there’s books, there’s tours, there’s a lot of things that you can really learn a lot about historic architecture and historic real estate. And then you can obviously apply that further on to Okay, let’s talk about Beach Real Estate, it may be newer construction, but you’ll understand what to understand about hurricanes, Hurricane rated windows, and all that type of things to me, then you’ve got to figure out how you let people know that you’ve gained that knowledge. Again, I call it a real estate resume, it can have your bio of where you went to school, because again, all those little things that people find out that you know, have knowledge of or connections to you are things that you can use to help Garner business. So I usually tell them to add as well, when they go somewhere new, go to your local association and become involved in that as well get knowledge about what’s going on. You mentioned I served as treasurer, I’m actually currently First Vice President, I’ll be president in two years. Wow. I’m also on the South Carolina forums Committee, which isn’t necessarily a sexy committee to be on, when you deal with forms, but boy, do I get a lot of information knowledge about why we’re changing things that I can convey to the agents that we can talk about when they’re conversing with their clients about language and a contract. I was just at the NAR legislative conferences in DC two weeks ago, too. So and seeing kind of the whole process again, those things are time. And that’s not necessarily time to get business. But when you convey to people that you have a knowledge of the industry, it’s just huge, and it sets you apart, right, that’s how you really set yourself apart, obviously, then you add all that and if you get that resume, then it’s communication. And so, you know, I’m always however you have it an Excel spreadsheet, all the names, as much information about people as you can have, and that communication with those people. And again, then as you go to an NAR conference in legislative and you talk to people about what’s going on in the bigger world of real estate, you know, those people remember you more so than then maybe just receiving a postcard that they see from a lot of different agents that you have knowledge. So, you know, I just think doing as many things as you can be involved in to garner that knowledge that you can pass on to that client to show them hey, this is a person that knows what they’re talking about. I want to work with them.

D.J. Paris 12:50
Yeah, I boy, I couldn’t agree more, I just recently got involved. This is my second year of participating with committees at the local level. And I Boy, I wish I had done that a long time before. And just because, well, there’s a lot of reasons why but but I think you get connected to not only the probably the movers and shakers of your local market, or at least a lot of people, you just get access to people. And then also, I get connected to people who like to volunteer and also make things better. And that’s a fun energy to be around when we’re, you know, thinking about competing for deals nine hours a day, and maybe we’re in listing presentations, and we’re up against three other agents. And there’s just a lot of that competition and you know, cooperation thing. But getting involved is great, because, for me, I’ve just got access to to people who I wouldn’t have got had access to before and we get to share ideas and create plan events. And, and it also, one thing you didn’t mention, but I want to because you’re probably too humble to say it, but it also makes you look like a leader. I mean, if you now do have additional knowledge that someone else wouldn’t have who isn’t involved. And that goes a long way. I know our managing broker is very involved at the local level, we have some people involved the state level here at our company to and that does not go unnoticed by the community. And so I I could not agree more strongly with you to get involved. And it’s just a lot of fun to write.

Drew Grossklaus 14:25
Yeah, well, and I think any industry that you’re in, you know, you really shouldn’t want to engross yourself in that industry. Right? And so being a real estate agent, okay buying, selling, you know, customers, clients who get that, but to understand everything that goes on because it is your life, right? You are your own company, and you’re a company in this industry. So understand it the other the other great thing I would say and you make a tremendous point about showing that you’re a leader. It’s agents who can do this not just brokers, you know, that type of thing, but really agents And I think then that passes and shows leadership when a client wants is really looking for a real estate agent, they’re looking for someone to lead them with knowledge in their purchase. And so getting that experience as well and leadership, it shows your client that you’re, you’re a leader in getting their deal done as well. So it’s to me, it’s something that I think a lot of real estate agents maybe don’t think about and think of Morrow, okay, kind of the ball up the hill of making sales and getting listings. But But again, that bigger picture thing can really help expand your business.

D.J. Paris 15:35
And I think he brought up a good point, a really good point, too, I’d like to go back to about learning about your local market, of course, any reasonably decent real estate training program would tell you to learn your local market, but I liked what you said, which was even going sort of a step beyond and Charleston’s kind of known for all of this amazing history. And so there’s a lot of real obvious things to learn about. But it is really important that you know that history because of course, clients may ask about it, Charleston is rife with history, and to spend a year in not that you’re not also looking for business, but to really spend a year immersing yourself in that knowledge is going to make you so valuable, especially if people are moving from out of out of state, and maybe they’re not as familiar with the area, you now have this wealth of knowledge, I think it’s something that doesn’t get talked about as much as it probably should, for agents who are struggling, it’s like immerse yourself in this knowledge of the area, whether it’s historical or current knowledge, or just even studying the MLS, you know, of course, is important.

Drew Grossklaus 16:38
Well, and to add to that, right, what I say too, is think about that knowledge that there’s a tremendous amount of knowledge on the internet, right? And so these these clients now, yes, they’re going yes, they’re saying, think about what they can’t find on the internet, learn those type of things, right. So and that’s where, again, with Charleston, again, some historical architectural points, you’re probably not going to find that on MLS description of a home. Or even unless somebody digs really deep again, think about the information somebody can’t find on, you know, we won’t name the big name sites, but but something that’s in a description, that’s the type of information that people are looking for. And that doesn’t just apply to historical right, it can be okay things about a neighborhood. Sure, you know, some of those little factors of oh, there’s a great little wine and cheese place down the street. And again, that type of information where they can’t find it on the internet, and they hear you tell them information about that. And give that knowledge man that just goes so far to showing them that you know, more than again, they can just just find from typing into Google.

D.J. Paris 17:44
Right. And that’s, you know, those those big firms, or those big tech firms, which have, you know, our public and client facing that, you know, the entire MLS is not under lock and key. And it’s, it’s kind of neat, I think, and I’m curious to get your opinion, because clients, of course, now we’ll find their own properties, they don’t really need us to unless there’s something that isn’t listed. And of course, we have a mate, if there’s a private network of listings, they would need to use you, but But you know, really, you can bring all this additional knowledge that it frees up the time, I think for the agent, often, if the clients are already looking for properties on their own, they already have their list, they probably know those properties, maybe even better than the agent by that time. But they you’re right, the things they don’t know are that you know, those intangibles like what what’s it like to live in that area? You know, if you have a family and what’s, you know, what is it like for school? And what’s it like for socializing? And just having all of that knowledge is something that isn’t as easily find findable online?

Drew Grossklaus 18:43
Sure, no. And you know, a great a great one here in Charleston obviously talked about the story, but it’s travel time, right? Because you’ll see a lot of websites that say, oh, it’s eight miles. Well, you know, how is your life going to be right? Is that time taking kids certain places have you really looked at and you know, a real estate agent can say, Okay, well this is this may look like it’s a further distance away. But where are you the roads you have to travel in in Charleston where you need because we have a lot of water. So it’s very limiting. And so when you have that knowledge as a as somebody Yes, but that’s a that’s a 45 minute drive during prime time, versus this other area. That’s a 20 minute drive, but it may be 15 Miles versus eight miles, right. So because a lot of times people don’t know the weeds of kind of travel time and to me anywhere in most places we were everybody cares about travel time and that type of hiring. So you know, having that inside knowledge and say, okay, and or it might be Hey, you know, if you’re a retiree, and you really don’t need to travel these times, here’s a great area to be but boy, if you’ve got to get the kids to soccer, to valet, to those type of things, maybe we need to look in a different area, again, knowledge that you’re not just going to pop on Google, right and see that about an area.

D.J. Paris 19:58
I think too, you know, We’re sort of talking about it casually as having this knowledge. But I really think that knowledge, at least from my perspective, is maybe the knowledge that makes the difference. Oftentimes, it because I suspect many agents don’t. And again, I can’t speak for any agents in your area, but even we have about 800 agents in our company, and I’m just trying to think about how they, how many of them might go about it, and many of them aren’t going to have that knowledge. I think, I think if you go that extra mile to learn that information, and then be able to have those conversations, oh, my gosh, you are so valuable to somebody, it’s almost a guarantee that somebody’s going to go wow, I, I will gladly pay you or, you know, the Commission’s maybe aren’t going to be as important. If you can give me things that will save me 20 minutes a day on the road. You know, that’s a big thing. And it sounds like a small thing, but it’s really a big thing. buying the house is a huge thing. But all of those little things that you know, it’s like, here in Chicago, we have to think about, you know, when we buy like for buying here in the city, I thought about this, what I recently bought my places, and I’m gonna go buy, because I’m in this really high traffic, very social kind of area, very hip and trendy lot of bars and restaurants that stay open late. And I thought, I’m gonna come by before I buy this place, and see what it’s like Wednesday at 10pm. You know, is it? Is it crazy? Or is it totally quiet? And I wouldn’t really have known unless I did that. And so but you know, and I was my own agent. So I didn’t have somebody to ask, but but boy, that would have been great information for an agent representing me to be able to tell me, let’s I would love to talk about because of course, you you guys are facing the same inventory shortages, maybe even more so than then some other parts of the country because of how popular Charleston is. But I’m curious on how, you know, rising interest rates also are becoming a challenge. What are you doing? What are you saying to your agents to keep them motivated to sort of keep their business moving forward? Even though despite these real obvious challenges?

Drew Grossklaus 22:02
Sure. Well, you know, one of the things for me is with the agents is being optimistic. And so I just find negativity never gets you anywhere. So you know, one of the things in these times, because we hear a lot of the woe is me as real estate agents, and no inventory and whatever it may be. But But now, it’s such an amazing time to show your client, why you are so good at what you do. And so yes, with inventory, it is a little bit more of maybe knocking on doors and really, you know, under rocks, and really trying to find properties for somebody and really explaining to them how to make the best offer and how I can help you structure that to make the best decisions to try to get home. Now is such an amazing time again, for agents to really show because it’s, it’s showing them the value of an agent, it’s not just we go look at 10 homes, we narrow it down to five homes, we do second showings on three homes and, and we write a contract and we get through it, it’s really okay, I gotta dig in and work, we got to talk about maybe making some concessions on what we want. How, you know, how are we talking with the mortgage? And we structured it for us? Things like, you know, and sometimes difficult conversations like, Okay, we might need to remove appraisal, do you have cash on hand to do that? Okay, are we going to try to do an inspection report before we write a contract, which is typical here. But you know, it’s those type of things now, where if I’m an agent, I go, okay, now’s the time where I really get a shine and be amazing to my clients. And the other thing and jumping back a little bit to to, again, that knowledge that you have, and now these type of things. Those are then when the person calls you back in three years and says, Hey, we’re ready to change. And you were the one who knew the ins and outs, and you were the one who worked hard during the tough market, that now you know, we’re ready to upgrade or we’re ready to downsize. Our kids are ready to buy a home they’re calling you and that a big part of our firm is referral and repeat business. And it’s those things. Those are the reasons that people come back to us.

D.J. Paris 24:10
I agree. I think that’s very well said, I’m curious with your agents, because of course inventory is in short supply, as you mentioned, you got to, you know, be maybe sometimes more creative now to find some of these properties. Are you finding that any that agents are, for example, people that aren’t reaching out to their agent to say, I think it’s a good time to sell, I’m ready to sell. Maybe there’s, you know, there’s obviously people that need to sort of be prompted right and sort of need to be told a it might be a good time to sell and of course it might not be as well. But are your agents are you finding success with getting listings with people with homeowners that aren’t necessarily chomping at the bit to list a property?

Drew Grossklaus 24:57
Sure. It’s overdue. humming the issues that they have, right and how you do that. So, you know, a lot of people say, oh, you know, it’s great time to sell and I get it. But where will I go? Right? Okay, well, you know, let’s talk about that. And you know, there is some conversation to say, okay, but you always wanted this. And don’t get me wrong, we’re not going to be a sell high buy low situation. But it may be a great time for you if you really want it to be an X, Y, Z, and that we’re going to get the most for your home, and maybe I can find you this property we’ve always been looking for. So let’s try to create solutions or right, it’s the people who say, Well, I don’t have anywhere to go, Okay, well, right now we can get clients to really give us six months for you to stay in your home. So during that six months, we put on the push, and if we get to month four or five, we say okay, let’s go rent somewhere, right? Yeah. But you’re always in a better position to have that home sold, rather than trying to do the whole contingency, right? Because a lot of people don’t, that’s a scary word right now, and they don’t want to share it. It’s coming up with those solutions to people the obstacles to sell. And so that’s really again, where, you know, an agent can shine to say, Okay, there’s always a solution, right? The solution may not be great. And they might say, okay, that’s that, that makes me too nervous. But there are a lot of different ways we can structure things to say, Okay, let’s, let’s figure this out, we really can have some ways where we can design some things to get this done for you, during this time in this crazy market.

D.J. Paris 26:30
I’m so glad that you brought up the rent, you know, maybe sell high and rent if if you can’t find something to purchase, because it at first glance, I think that’s something that owners might have a visceral sort of negative reaction to, oh, I don’t want I don’t want to rent I’m, I’m an owner, I have this beautiful home and I don’t, I don’t want to go into a condo or you know, whatever else I might be able to rent. But it is kind of a, I think agents that bring that option to the table. I don’t think most agents tell homeowners that who aren’t necessarily looking to sell, I don’t know how often that’s brought up. And I think it’s a fantastic option to bring to somebody, whether they want to do it or not. I think just bringing that option saying, hey, there’s some luxury apartment buildings down here that would be you know, similar to your current lifestyle and in your, in your, you know, whatever type of home you have, or, you know, luxury or non luxury apartments, but there are options, like you said, Where let’s if we, if we run the numbers, I mean, my boss just did this, he had a home. Well, I won’t give specifics, but he had a home somewhere in the country who which appreciated an insane amount, like an insane amount where he, he’s like, I probably need to sell he had nowhere to buy. And, and he finally found something sort of last minute, but he was like, I guess I’m just gonna have to rent for a few years. But it was it was such a profit to him to do that, that and he has three kids and a wife. So, you know, but but they explored that. And I think that agents shouldn’t be afraid to have those conversations, because that that may be the best solution right now for someone.

Drew Grossklaus 28:11
Right? Right. And well, and it puts someone in a power position, right? It’s a low stress power position, especially again, in a competitive market of competitive offers, you know, not having again to have to sell that house or worry. Again, a lot of people in more normal markets fear that that to mortgage situation. But even if this, you know, okay, well, what if, you know, I get one under contract and the world changes quickly. And I have two mortgages. All right, well, if we sell, right, and we go to that rental option, you don’t have that concern anymore. It’s low stress, you’re in the power position. That’s a very big thing once people start to hear that explanation. Are there some inconveniences? Of course you know, if you have kids dogs, but you’ll find we always find it and we have a tough rental market too. I mean, don’t get me wrong, people are paying high prices. See that peace of mind and when we’re talking the amount of appreciation that extra little bit of rent per month really in the grand scheme of looking at numbers is not anywhere near but to be in that power position of being like at the snap of fingers say okay, yep, now we can move on this house that we do want you know, it’s it’s just a great position for them to be in a lot of people don’t think that way. They do think well, we got to stay in the home. We got to have the next home. Right. ready right away. We got to do a dual closing when we’re closing the same day. No, we you’ve got some options.

D.J. Paris 29:34
Yeah, I think that’s a really, really smart and this really brings me into this question that I would love. I very rarely get to speak to. While in Illinois, I always call everyone a broker because that’s the only designation we have here. So So I apologize for the people who are listening who might be confused. I’m just gonna say realtor just to make it easy, but I very rarely get to talk to broker owners or people in management like yourself, because I we traditionally We just talked to, you know, really just producers who are not in management. And I know you do both. I am curious to hear because again, from a, you know, not just an agent’s perspective, but somebody in management, what you think the role of a firm is to the agent? Because I know that, you know, our listeners are are always thinking, Am I at the right firm? Should I consider another option? Am I getting what I need and deserve? Or am I asking too much for my brokerage? And of course, we know that brokerages oftentimes can promise things that maybe maybe are exaggerated or whatever. But I’m curious to hear your thoughts, because you guys have this wonderful boutique firm, you had a very successful office. And I’m curious on what you think the role of the office is to churches? Sure,

Drew Grossklaus 30:51
yeah. And we have a probably a different thoughts in a lot of places. So you know, the big thing to start with is actually me, I am not, I do not sell real estate whatsoever. I am strictly Sales Director broker in charge. And to me, that’s very important. We have a lot of firms in our market where, honestly, the broker in charge is trying to get as many sales as the agents and to me, you know, that creates kind of a conflict. And I’m really available 24/7 to our agents, right? Because I’m not trying to work a deal. I’m not, hey, I’m in a closing right now. So I can’t get to your question. Because I’m having a problem with my deal. I’m helping with everybody’s deal. So and then I can also give perspective on pricing. And, you know, if they have trouble, or if I need to meet with clients to help them understand how our firm will help our agent, that’s the other big thing that I would say that I think an agent should really look forward to firm is somebody who can give you answers. You know, we tell our agents all the time. Never be somebody who goes and gives an answer that you hope is right. Always say, let me let me find out. That’s a great question. Let me find out. I’ve got someone I can call right away me. We have an attorney on retainer that I can call or we have state attorneys, like like other people. But I found as a homeowner, too, right? I had an issue recently, right? Where I had a pipe break, right? And if you’re a homeowner, and you go, Okay, wait, I’m in real estate, but I don’t know who to call right now. I need somebody to help me. And I need somebody to help me quick. And I need somebody who can give me an answer. And that’s the one of the worst feelings is when you don’t know what to do, who to call. And so for our agents, we give, hey, client, I know who to call, if you have a problem. They call me I know who to call, I have a problem and kind of on down the line. We also are a full service brokerage. And again, other business models are big smiles in great, but what we do, we have a marketing director, marketing coordinator. All we want our agents doing is working with their clients and listing and selling, we don’t want them writing anything for the MLS, we don’t want them taking any pictures for the love of goodness. You know, and so we just want them to focus on you know, that client, and we also are brokers, we don’t have a closing coordinator, because we’re like, we need you as an agent needs to be with that person all the way through the process. And actually, most of their clients become their friends. And you know, they’re having dinners with them after closing. And again, this is the referral repeat business. So our model is really give the answers have someone you can call at any time who can answer questions and be there. And again, I’m also then try to do things that show him on the local, the state and even the national level of being informed on how this business is going to operate. In unique times, like we have no,

D.J. Paris 33:47
I think that was so well said. And I’m going to unpack just a couple of things in in what you just said, because I want to make sure our audience understands. One of the things Drew said that is incredibly powerful. And also, and I’m curious to I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I’m gonna I’m gonna call it rare here in Chicago. I’m assuming it’s rare in Charleston as well, though you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, which is Drew said, Hey, I don’t go out and sell real estate and you have in the past but your role now is I am 100% dedicated to assisting my agents, which means I’m not out there working with clients, I don’t go to closings. You know, I you know, maybe if it was you buying or selling your own property, but but that’s probably about it. And and the idea is no, I need to be here for my agents that is often the term that I hear sometimes use, they call that sometimes a non competing managing broker or a non competing management team. These is incredibly rare. And I only know and I’m pretty well connected here in Chicago with lots of the different offices and I only know two offices. Aside from ours. We have the same philosophy that I don’t go out and practice as well. That is a huge thing. And it doesn’t get talked about enough because most firms don’t do it that way. But the fact that you are Non practicing or non competing is a enormous benefit to your age.

Drew Grossklaus 35:05
It is rare. And I will say this, we’ve had a couple other firms in Charleston, who have who followed our model. Right. And which, which is great, because that shows success when people imitate. The other funny thing that I will say about me that I think is important maybe to the listeners a little bit is I actually have never sold real estate now. I’ve never okay, I apologize. What and that’s, and that, I think the interesting part, and trust me, I’ve been so involved and so entrenched with agents, in getting deals done that I have worked with clients I have dealt with and, and but the other thing too, that is, in some ways, I bring a perspective also to the clients, right that there is someone when they have a problem that I am there, and I’m on conference calls, Zoom calls, right at their home, that they feel an assurance of that firm, they just don’t have a real estate agent, they have a firm that is working with them. And so that’s the other thing, not just about non competing and but but that there is somebody there with them who are helping them that are giving them advisement and again, using my education level experience level, right, that they go, okay. You know, even if our agent is saying the exact same thing as he is, you know, it gives them an insurance that, okay, they know what they’re doing. And I give the same answer. If they asked me a question, I don’t know, I said, I don’t know that, let me find out. Because always, you know, and we always do want to go to attorneys if we get in certain situations. But I can tell them, you know, even give them a pretty good idea through through my years of experience that this is probably what the attorney is going to say, we’re going to talk to him but but this gives you an idea so you can be prepared. So again, it’s that it’s that next level that you can add to somebody. And when you go on a listing presentation, whether you have somebody you can take with you to do that, or you just let them know there is this person. And we’ll have a lot of times where an agent will call me and say hey, I just had a listing presentation, I talked about you, the person like to talk to you give you a call, great haven’t given me a call. And then when we talk, I’ll be honest, pretty much 10 times out of 10, that person years uses our firm after they talk to me because I have that confidence level.

D.J. Paris 37:17
I’m almost curious if you see yourself more relating more to since you have have not been in sales, and I apologize for MS speech earlier. I wonder, because I’m the same way I’ve never practiced. I’ve been here for 12 years, I recruit agents, I consider myself a marketing guy. That’s my background. I know you’ve done marketing as well, and your background prior, which we didn’t we didn’t get into. But I know you’re a marketing guy, and then also an accounting guy. And so I’m curious, do you I always because I don’t practice real estate directly. Even though we have hundreds of agents here at our firm, I connect, or I see myself as relating more to the to the customer. So I think that and I’m not in the same role that you have where I have to provide that level of support. We have people, other people here on staff to do that. But But I always think I’m always more connected to the consumer experience. And I think that you feel I don’t want to put words in your mouth. But I’m curious if you feel connected to that consumer experience, because you consider yourself a bit of an outsider, even though of course you’re not really.

Drew Grossklaus 38:18
Yeah, absolutely. Look, I think, you know, from a real estate agent in this day and age, right, where they’re psychologists to their clients. I’m sort of a psychologist to all of my real estate agents, and then to sometimes to their clients. But one of the things I find and I try to make sure agents remember is what it’s like to buy and sell a home when you’re the person doing it. Right. So yes, I’ve got a showing and remember what it’s like when you had the two year old and the four year old and the two dogs and had to get them out. Remember that when you’re talking to a client remember the idea of okay, clutter, and how do I want to hear about okay, we might need to take down some of those family photos that line the stairwell. Right. And you can’t even see that there’s a wall behind an amount of pictures, right? So it’s kind of that, hey, you’re a real estate agent, you’re trying to get a contract, you’re trying to negotiate a deal, but but remember the humanity of it too, and the scariness of it too. And again, going back to those questions that you you, you don’t think of that you’re trying to help them remember, and be relatable to, hey, this process isn’t easy. But if that’s why you have me here to help you. Again, a little bit of psychology that you’re doing with your client and again, as me as a as a as a manager as a non selling broker, then don’t get me wrong. I have two agents who come in and sit down in my chair and literally we’re going to do a 30 minute talk just for them to vent about about a client and that’s you know, and that’s kind of so so maybe in the realm also, hey, it’s really hard to be a real estate agent to write I have to kind of help them through that. And again, that’s where some positivity comes in to get around that negativity and be like, we’re gonna get through this. And there’s options and there’s solutions, and we’ll figure them out. But do I gotta be, I don’t have a couch, I have a nice leather chair. But I probably could have that couch as well to kind of get get through some of those times. But but it really is that that psychology and remembering what it’s like to be, you know, that customer client and buying or selling,

D.J. Paris 40:28
I have to pause for a quick, quick break for one of our sponsors. And but I’m going to ask a question that I’d like you to think about. And we’ll we’ll break well, once we finished my little live spot here, we’ll we’ll answer, which is about leads. I know, as you know, you get that question, I’m sure when people are inquiring by agents, maybe considering joining your firm. And I know I get that question a lot, especially from agents who are struggling or newer, and of course, leads being one of the scariest parts of the business not having enough, where do I get them? So I’m curious to get your thoughts on what is the role if any of the firm with respect to helping an agent either pass leads to them, or help them generate leads, or a combination of both. So before we do that quick message from our, our, our amazing sponsor, which this is one of our favorite companies in the real estate space, which is called follow up boss. Now I’ve interviewed hundreds of top Realtors from across the country for this show. And this is absolutely true. The CRM that is used by more than any of our guests. Of course, it’s follow up boss and let’s face it, following up is the key to taking your real estate business to the next level. Follow up boss will help you drive more leads in less time and with less effort. Now don’t take my word for it. Robert slack who runs the number one real estate team in the United States use his follow up Boss, he’s built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 existing systems so you can keep your current tools and lead sources. And the best part they have seven day a week support. So you’ll get the help you need. Does Drew was mentioning he has seven days a week support for his agents they have seven days a week support for their agents as are their customers who are agents follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time, they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial. No, this is twice as long as they give everyone else so but you have to follow this special link to get the 30 day free trial. And by the way, no credit card required, they’re so confident you’re going to continue to use their service, you can totally do this risk free, but only if you follow this special link, which is follow up boss.com forward slash real, again, follow up boss.com forward slash real follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And now back to our episodes. So Drew, wanted to talk about how do you answer the Hey, I’m thinking about joining your company? What kind of leads do you have? Because I know you must get those calls just like we do.

Drew Grossklaus 43:05
Of course, of course. And leads are very important and follow up is very important as well. So you know, I would say and where we as a company know more and more of our money goes to the technology, right? It is it is the getting lead generation. Now, and especially given our market, we are a destination market. So a lot of people are searching for us, there’s no doubt about it, whether they intend to move here or not. Trust me when when it’s January, the lead numbers from New York and the Northeast are through the roof of people who are ready to get out from the snow and Chicago. It gets windy there I know. So but but what I would say to the to the lead, you know, the pie is only so big. And the competition for that pie gets more and more. So any in my opinion, these firms that promise you a huge amount of leads, that’s pretty difficult, because we’re all trying to get them in spending money to do it. We then say though, the leads we do get, you know, you’ve got to have the plan, right. So we have a whole plan that we give you of how to foster those leads, how to communicate with them. One of the things that we do that’s kind of unique and I think more and more people are aware that when they go to a website right there, we’re a little big brother ish, and that we can see what you looked at. When you you know when when you sign up. And so what we want to do, yes, we have the Hey, with the email that goes out to thank you for registering for that. But our agent gets that notification right away. We definitely are on the hey, you need to within an hour you really should be contacting them because those statistics are true, right? The sooner somebody gets to someone, the more likelihood they are to get them. But also you know, what is that first communication and what we kind of tell them Miz for example, you know, we can see where that lead came from, right? There’s IP addresses. And so if it is a lead in January from New York, your response might be the climate in Charleston, is, you know, we’re at 68 degrees today on January 3, right. And you might see also that they’re looking at a lot of four and five bedroom homes, you know, our schools important to you, ask them questions that make them want to communicate with you. And then with those leads, if you don’t hear anything, have that plan, right? And schedule it so that you’re not constantly looking through your leads list going, Okay, who do I need to communicate now, every time make a schedule, so Okay, two weeks, I’m gonna reach out to this person again. And again, with our system. And with lots of systems, right, you can go on the back end and see if they’re coming back what they’re looking at that type of thing. The biggest thing I would say, though, is have a plan so that you can limit your amount of time during the week, because really, our plan is that if you have two hours, one day a week, you can foster your leads and do a lot of communication that looks like you’re constantly looking at it. But if you don’t do that system, well, you’re going to be you know, we all get busy than with a listing or a buyer. And then it’s two weeks later, if you haven’t done it, you go God, I don’t know, I don’t know who to communicate with what to say, who to look at. So the planning portion of leads is really where it needs to be to be successful.

D.J. Paris 46:29
I agree. And you just said something that was very important, which was two hours once a week can really plan out your follow up protocol, whether it’s, you know, you’re posting on social, whether you’re writing personal notes, whether you’re phone calls, text messages, maybe you’re checking LinkedIn to see if any of your you know sphere of influence had anything major happen this week with professionally. And and but there are there are it what’s interesting is I think agents don’t realize that they can do it in a couple hours a week, they think, oh my gosh, I have so many other hats I have to wear. And now I’ve you know, I’m I don’t have any inventory. I’m trying to find properties and rates are going up and everyone’s freaking out. I don’t have time to follow up with people. I don’t even know what to say to people. Because you know, I don’t have a whole lot of great news right now. And I think that’s where someone like you or is so important way more important than, hey, I’ve got leads for you. Not that there’s anything wrong with getting some great leads from your, your managing broker, if that’s if that’s a possibility. But I think most agents know that that’s not really, for most firms where the value comes in from the firm itself that comes from having somebody like Drew who’s like, I will help you once you get a lead. You know, make sure we have solutions for your clients. And I’ll be there to guide you and them through the process. And let’s just be honest, too. I mean, not not that we’re not honest. But let’s just say it like it is most firms don’t have leads. So be very careful. Right? Anyone listening? Right? Yeah, Andrew, I don’t mean to make you agree with everything I said. But I’m curious if you know, people dangle the lead carrot, but some firms will dangle that,

Drew Grossklaus 48:17
of course, of course. And we don’t, you know, our firm is very much we’re trying to get you leads to supplement, right for our success. Again, we’re at Christie’s affiliate, you know, part of the reason you join us is for that name as well. But again, we want to give you tools and knowledge to help you get things the leads are just something that hopefully come in and we have had people who are very successful with leads, we have plenty of agents who don’t take leads, right? They’re like they we’ve got our own way we do business, that’s fine. The people that do have leads, though, we try to really give them okay, here’s communication plans, here’s timing plans, that you don’t get snowed under by leads, and you keep going well, every lead I get. Nobody calls me back. Nobody communicates with me. Okay, well, how are you communicating with them? What are you saying? What can you give them? Right? What kind of questions are you asking them that makes them want to interact? Not just the How soon are you moving? How much can you afford? Right? Those type of things are things that look like they were generated by a bot, right? And so it’s just like this form letter back to them to go, okay, you know, show you’re a real person. And again, that jumps back to what we talked about before the knowledge and those things they can’t find on the internet that information, ask them if they’d like to know more about that type of question. And that’s where you get those leads interacting with you. And again, you can show them, this is somebody that I want to work with.

D.J. Paris 49:42
I was just thinking while you while you were saying earlier about really immersing yourself in the local knowledge, right, making sure whatever area is your you know, area of serviceability that you know, the history and you know, a lot of facts and sort of day to day A few things that that, you know, somebody who’s might be moving into that area should know, I just had this thought and I’m curious if any of your agents have have started to do this. And I know we’re, this is kind of out of the blue. But I was wondering, you know, as you start to learn, like if I was to move to Charleston, and as I wanted to be a successful agent, they’re not knowing anything about Charleston and starting from scratch without any sphere of influence. I know one of the things that I would want to know, if I were moving there, just as a, somebody who is moving to the areas, I’d want to know more about the history. So I was thinking, Boy, it’s a great opportunity for agents to, you know, talk about this stuff on their social platforms, to, you know, if they learn a really interesting fact about Charleston, for example, in your, in your case for your agents, or a certain neighborhood, or really, they can, now they can, you know, we all have those the really professional recording equipment in our pocket, we can turn around and do a Facebook Live and say, I just learned the most interesting fact about X, Y, and Z, and be able to really share that knowledge with their social followers.

Drew Grossklaus 51:02
Yes, I mean, it’s become huge now to be able to show those pieces of information to people that make them want to use you to help them with real estate, again, they can get so much information. And that’s, that’s really the thing that people have a hard time with is okay, well, but I don’t know what to tell him. I don’t know what to show him. Well, that’s where, you know, one we do live in a great area where there’s a lot of things to do, but this is where planning comes into place. Right. And even if you we like to tell our agents, right, you put things in the can, right? And so Hey, one day, it’s a beautiful day, you might shoot three things, and you’re not going to use those three until the next month. Right. But you know, you’re always thinking about that, that. And again, the amazing thing that people really love about social media that we try to say, and don’t get me wrong, high production is great. And we do luxury, but more and more people really want authentic, right, and they don’t need you to look dressed to the nines, or, you know, they like that you’re you are out for a walk, and you saw a beautiful flower box on a home. And you say this is an amazing, you know, piece of art. That is a flower box, right. And again, thankfully, we live in a beautiful place. There’s lots of things here, but also the being authentic, because we have a lot of agents who say, Well, I’m not an actor, or an actress, you know, I don’t do well on camera. And it doesn’t have to be some high produced, we and we do do some high production things we do, you know, have a company that will do the fly throughs, and the intro videos and all that stuff. And we do that a lot of times with some of our higher listings, but but the more of showing that you’re, again, down to earth person, that you see beauty in some of these things, and alley, a brick sidewalk, you know, those type of things. And you can take it in and show someone some things and again, any information that they may not know and give them a little bit of information. But this can be your kind of communication calendar to say, okay, hey, I’m going to walk on Saturday with downtown for an hour. And you might get eight things that you can use over the course of three months. So

D.J. Paris 53:16
yeah, yeah, you know, Drew, you just said something that’s so valuable to our audience is walking, walking in your local community. I mean, it even if it’s okay, so we don’t all live in beautiful Charleston, of course. But even if it’s your local community, and you go well, there isn’t a whole lot of beauty right now in my community. Okay, well, how about featuring local businesses? How about saying, oh my god, this is the best restaurant in this neighborhood, or this is my favorite, and let’s go talk to the owner, or let’s just show you what the inside of this, you know, whatever, you know, might might be interesting to the audience. And I think it’s a real cool way to show how dedicated and passionate somebody is it doesn’t mean you have to act passionate, but being able to say Look at this cool thing. In my in my area is very exciting to people and really demonstrates that you’re you’re all in as an agent.

Drew Grossklaus 54:13
Right? Right. Well, and and to that point, right, you know, you’re selling someone a house, but if you can show them where they live, right, you have your house, but you live well around the shops around you Around the restaurants around you around, it might be a lake or a water feature, you know, to be able to show them some of those things in a neighborhood or an area or downtown a place they can easily walk or bike. Again, those are the things that I know I’ve gotten back to this point. But again, people think they get so much information now. But when you show them where you really didn’t have all the information, they go, you know, this person gets it right. I have to I don’t always just live in the home. Oh, I don’t want to live, I want to live. You know what’s around me too. And they show me what that is.

D.J. Paris 55:06
It’s funny, I was thinking about this, as you were talking, as I didn’t realize that. And again, I’m not a practicing agent, like yourself. And so I was, I always think about this from the consumer perspective, when I, when I got my most recent place, there is a target a mini like a smaller target, not a full size target, but a mini target, we’ll call it right downstairs, it’s me know, 20 steps away from where I live. Now, that’s a real obvious thing to people who shop at Target, I think women tend to be a bit more connected to target than men, just generally speaking, of course, you know, just sort of speaking with stereotypes. But as a man, I, somebody who didn’t shop at Target before, I didn’t realize the value of having a mini target, which has a full, really nice, fresh produce section as well. I didn’t realize the value of having that right downstairs. And then once I moved in, I was like, Oh, that’s really important. Because if I need anything, I have that right downstairs. And it sounds silly, or not silly, but sort of obvious, but I didn’t think about it until after I’d already bought the place. And I that would have been really important to have an agent come to me and say, Hey, let’s just imagine it’s Saturday night, you’re making dinner for someone and you you missed an ingredient, or you need to run out and get a bottle of wine or whatever. Right downstairs is a target with a fresh food place. Like that’s, that’s valuable. That’s important. And it’s more of an intangible, a little bit. But boy, I’ve lived there for a year now. And I go there like three, four times a week, just grabbing things that I missed. I don’t normally shop there. So I’m just making that point that like, that was really important to me. i And and the person who was showing me that property. I mean, they mentioned it, oh, there’s target here, and certainly didn’t walk me through a real sort of scenario. And I think agents can do that. They get the ability to say let’s think about what it’s like to have this nearby and why it’s important, not just that it’s convenient and grab your stuff there. But let’s think about why that’s actually really helpful.

Drew Grossklaus 57:09
Well, think about doing that in a listing presentation. Right? So your listing presentation, and everybody wants to know how much you think it’s worth. But say you ask that seller, the question of why do you love it here? What differences does it make? Because I want to convey that to other agents and buyers that come here? Think about in a listing presentation, what that may mean to a seller and going yeah, you’re right. It’s not just my house, here’s why this was great. And I love walking here or riding my bike here doing this. And you can say, You know what, I’m going to do a video showing me riding from the house to hear and show how great it is. You know, that’s the type of thing where somebody in a listing presentation sets you apart from other people and those other agents doing that listing presentation.

D.J. Paris 57:54
Drew, I could talk to you all day about this, you and I are, are you and I are kind of marketing guys at heart. And when we think about it from the clients perspective, and I think for everyone who’s been listening, Boy, you’ve just demonstrated some tremendous value and given our audience a lot to think about, especially during those listing presentations. I think that is such a great point to end on. Ask the seller when you were there. What what is really cool about living here, yes, the interior we can we’re going to market the heck out of that. But I want to know what’s the what are things that people don’t know about living here that are really cool, because I want to make sure that anyone who comes in knows about I think just in I use it way more elegantly than I did. But whatever however you say that that not only is going to separate you but it’s really some of sometimes those are the little things that make the difference. Absolutely. Well, Drew i So boy, I could talk to you for hours. i But of course Drew’s busy running a massive, massive brokerage, a boutique brokerage, but with massive, massive sales, and drew is a busy guy. But I want to also tell anyone who is in the Charleston area who maybe you’re not getting everything that you feel you deserve from your current broker. And if you’re looking to see what other options exist, you know, you should consider speaking with Drew now of course, they’re not everyone is a fit for his company, but he would love the opportunity to chat with you to see if there would be some synergy there. So Drew Drew is by the way with William means real estate, also Christie’s affiliate Christie’s International, very white glove, luxury brand, Luxury Firm, boutique office. Drew’s a non competing managing broker, he’s literally there to help you succeed, and that is his only job. And that is a great position and 99% of firms are maybe I’m sort of making this number up, but it’s probably about 95 to 99% of managing brokers do not operate the same way. And I know this drew knows this. So this is a really cool thing. So if you’re feeling like you’re not getting the attention you deserve at your current firm Do you want to explore another option? DREW? What’s the best way an agent should reach out to you?

Drew Grossklaus 1:00:05
Sure. It’s just drew Dr. Ew at William means.com. And I’m happy to talk with people and I, I will add in this, this is for anyone, not just, you know, make sure you interview a firm. They’re not just interviewing you, you are interviewing them. And that’s what I always say, when people come in to talk to me is this is a partnership, you’re an independent contractor, and we don’t have success unless you have success and vice versa. So you know, remember that, that, you know, I feel like agents sometimes when they come in, they feel like their interview and in no like your interview the firm have questions, we find out how they’re really going to help you so and that’s what we like to do. I love to talk to anyone also, even if they have questions for me, that’s not related about joining William means please feel free to reach out to me, again, Drew at William means.com. And I’d love to chat with anyone.

D.J. Paris 1:00:58
And if there’s anyone that’s either moving to the South Carolina area, or sorry, well, I’m sure Drew can, agents can assist many different areas around Charleston. But if you have clients that are moving to that area, or if there is someone listening, who is themselves moving out there and wants to work with a top agent in the area, please consider reaching out to Drew he’s got an amazing team of Realtors, that William means. They are just some of the very top producing agents in that area. And they’re all helmed underneath drew who is going to help them as well as you if you are an agent. So Drew, thank you so much. Oh, by the way, everyone visit Drew’s website as well, which is Charleston realestate.com. Again, Drew would love to chat with you, whether you’re an agent looking for another office, or maybe somebody who’s looking to move or if you’re an agent and want to refer business to you know, my parents had a second place in South Carolina for many, many, many years. And so, you know, referrals are a thing, let’s, let’s build our referral network everyone and Charleston is a place where you should have some brokers that you can refer to because guess what, a lot of your peak clients might end up moving there at some point. So Charleston is a great, great destination. As Drew said, it’s a destination. Let’s build that referral network reach out to Drew and his team reach him at drew his emails drew at William means.com, or visit Charleston real estate.com. Drew, thank you so much for being on our show this You are wonderful guest and really provided some great insight for our audience. So thank you. You’re welcome. On behalf of our audience, we thank you. On behalf of Drew and myself. We also thank our audience for continuing to make it to the end of the show and continue to support us best thing you can do, or the only thing we ask our agents to do aside from supporting our amazing sponsors, is also tell a friend think of one other agent that could benefit from hearing this exact episode withdrew and send them a link. You can send them right over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done, you can stream right from a browser. They don’t need to be a podcast person. They can just pull up a browser click play right at keeping it real pod.com DREW thanks so much. And we will see everybody on the next episode. Thank you

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