S5 E4: How a new agent can build business fast
Meet Brad Kiger a Keller Williams Agent from the Virginia, D.C, and Maryland Area. He has been in real estate for 2 1/2 years and was a former school teacher. He earned $60k last year as a teacher and now his average commission check in the real estate business is $13k. In 2018 he did $37mm in sales, 67 units, 52 of those were listings. For 2019 he has a personal goal of 75 units with a $600k average sales price. His team’s goal is 200 units with a $525k average sales price. Brad sold 39 properties in 2017 which was his rookie year. For 12-18 months, Brad used a “premiere service” of another company, a competitor to V7. Four months ago he went on a quest for better data and found V7. In using and comparing the two services side by side, Brad and his VA determined that 80% of the time, the number that reached the homeowner came through V7, so Brad stayed with V7 and dropped the other company. The competitor’s data was “not terrible, just was not as good as V7’s. Using V7 has resulted in an increase in their contact rate, and they listed 6-8 properties in the traditionally slow months of November and December.
Ren Jones (00:04):
It’s that time. Welcome to Roadmap. How to Take three Listings a week until you’re ready for more. Each week we interview a great agent, consistently taking several listings each week, and we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of their knowledge as quickly as you can, and then use the copycat principle. Before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everyone that we are also simulcasting the show on the private Lead Gen Facebook group. They have 52,000 members, so we have a large audience there today is well, and we will be pausing for a commercial message during the show as a thank you to the Lead Gen folks. So let’s welcome our guest today from Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and parts of Maryland. Mr. Brad Kiger. Welcome, Brad.
Brad Kiger (00:59):
Hey Ren. Thanks so much for having me on, I really appreciate it.
Ren Jones (01:02):
I’m excited you’re here. So real estate’s pretty new for you? How long you been doing it?
Brad Kiger (01:09):
Yeah, I was a school teacher in DC. I was there… My wife and I moved up in 2015 and from North Carolina and I taught there for two years. I guess it was 2014 we moved up, I got my real estate license in March, 2016. And from there, that summer, June, I just hit the ground running and decided I wasn’t going to go back to teaching. So here I am, I guess coming up on two and a half years in the business.
Ren Jones (01:44):
Wow. Two and a half years. And you’ve really caught fire up there. So really you didn’t know that many people when you moved up there or did you?
Brad Kiger (01:53):
So it’s kind of… I look at it as a blessing and a curse. I’ve actually had probably sent more referrals to North Carolina that I’ve received in Northern Virginia.
My brother bought and sold a house. My wife’s sister bought and sold a house. My parents are buying and selling this summer. So anyway, yeah, I didn’t know a whole lot of people and I kind of had to be a secret agent with my friends because I didn’t want anyone at school to know that I intended to be a real estate agent and not a school teacher, so I don’t want to get fired, you know? So when I started out… I started with Keller Williams, I went through the Ignite Program and they said, start reaching out to your sphere and let everyone know you’re in the business. And within an hour I’d contacted pretty much everyone I knew in northern Virginia and DC. So then we got to the FSBO section, and the expired section, and I just started learning scripts and… I just started going on to Zillow and calling for sale by owners. That’s how I started.
Ren Jones (02:58):
Wow, wow, wow. And then you’ve risen up from there. So what’s the goal for sales this year?
Brad Kiger (03:06):
So my personal goal is 75 units, 75 listings. Our team goal is 200 units.
Ren Jones (03:14):
Wow, that’s amazing. And an air… I mean you have a great average selling price up there.
Brad Kiger (03:20):
My personal average list price is around 600 and our team average sale… Average transaction price is around 525.
Ren Jones (03:29):
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. And that’s a nice little commission check. Or a nice big commission check. So multiply times three for everybody else. So that-
Brad Kiger (03:39):
Yeah, it’s a really competitive market because of that, I mean we’ve got agents with MBAs, we’ve got attorneys that are agents. It’s a very, very tough market for sure.
Ren Jones (03:50):
Yeah, it’s aggressive. I know some of the people that you’re competing with up there. So it is… And you did like 40 million in sales last year, something like that or something crazy like that.
Brad Kiger (04:00):
Yeah, so I came in right at 37 million in sales. That was 67 units and I sold 52 of those were listings that I sold.
Ren Jones (04:13):
Love it, love it, love it. So you’re really focusing on the listings and your recent customer with Vulcan7, so obviously you were using somebody else. Why did you switch to ours?
Brad Kiger (04:26):
I’ve gotten on this quest lately for better data. You know, skip tracing numbers, and I took this investor… This wholesale training and it was… They’re doing stuff on a totally different level. So I had the premier service of another company and it’s… Up until about four months ago and I said, “well, what I can do is I can get both.” So I had both and seven and the other company and then my virtual assistant would basically match numbers so that we could get the golden number if it was in both systems. We figured that was probably a good number. And then what we found is that the right number about 80% of the time was coming through Vulcan7. So we ended up dropping the other company.
Ren Jones (05:16):
Yeah, well did that make a difference in your sales?
Brad Kiger (05:19):
It’s really picked up our contact rate and we are now… Going through October, November, and December, it’s really hard to tell. It’s not the hottest time in our market to be listing properties, and yet we’ve probably listed… Probably about six, eight properties in November and December. So still not too bad, just a little off of what we usually do.
Ren Jones (05:47):
Not at all. That is great. That’s fantastic. And I was milking that for was worth. That’s a good plug. I love it when somebody goes from something else and comes to ours. And I mean, because you’re in a unique position to make the observation of the difference. Apparently there is a good-
Brad Kiger (06:04):
No. And the other company I was with for probably a year… About a year, year and a half, and it’s not terrible. It’s just not as good.
Ren Jones (06:12):
Yeah, there you go. So I appreciate that a lot. So what’s the day look like? How do you start the day?
Brad Kiger (06:19):
So it’s a little bit different now. I had a daughter six weeks ago right at Thanksgiving, so that’s changed my schedule up a little bit.
Ren Jones (06:29):
That’ll do it. That’ll do it.
Brad Kiger (06:30):
Yeah. But I’m getting back into my daily routine. So I read a book called Miracle Morning when I… So basically-
Ren Jones (06:39):
Brad Kiger (06:39):
So my start in 2016 was like I said, I called the FSBOs and I would do four or five open houses every weekend. I would find vacant houses and do them during the week, do them on the weekend. And then I sold about 10 properties, but they’re good price points. So I did 6 million that first six months, and then in 2017 I sold 39 properties for like 22 million. So that was my rookie year was rookie of the year then. So yeah, it just kind of started snowballing. So in the very beginning, my schedule, because I was a school teacher, I was used to getting up at 5:30. 2016 end of the year I hired a coach through maps and the first book I read was Hal Elrod’s book, and so I started waking up at 5:30, I’d go through the savers, go through the steps of the morning. I’d get in the office around 7:15, I had a script practice partner, and then I would start dialing right at 7:50 and go through until around 11 o’clock. And then do an hour of follow-up and then go eat lunch. And then I’d come back to in the office and if I didn’t have appointments, I’d start going back to the dialer again.
So my day was pretty much lead generate and if I wasn’t out on an appointment, I’d be lead generating. And some of my first listings I would go on… I remember I went on it for sale by owner appointment and didn’t get the listing, but I went out and I door knocked the neighborhood after I finished the appointment and ended up signing a listing… I took the paperwork from the listing that I was trying to get and went out in my car and grabbed it. I said, “Hey, are you looking to sell?” She said, “Yeah, I’m looking to sell.” And I said, “When?” She said, “Now,” I said, “Great, I have the paperwork in my car.” So I went and grabbed it and we sold it and… I sold it in two weeks, so-
Ren Jones (08:34):
Brad Kiger (08:35):
Just constantly… You know, just being aware. And so getting in the office, and I treated it like a job from day one. I mean, I’d get in at 7:15, I worked till seven o’clock at night. I’d work on the weekends and really just hustled.
Ren Jones (08:51):
Nice. I mean when you look at it… And I don’t know what a teacher’s salary is, but if I’m guessing 75 transactions times… What’s an average commission check?
Brad Kiger (09:04):
My average commission’s around 13,000.
Ren Jones (09:07):
13,000. So, well, if it was 10,000, it’d be 750. So about $900,000. Is that more than you were making as a teacher?
Brad Kiger (09:18):
Yeah, I would say so. Actually I’ve had transactions where I made more than half of what I made in a whole year. So I sold a house was 1.4 million and that check was like 35,000. My last year teaching I made 60. So yeah-
Ren Jones (09:35):
It’s A whole new life, isn’t it?
Brad Kiger (09:37):
It’s a different ballgame. Yeah, for sure.
Ren Jones (09:39):
So you’re looking in the camera and there are a lot of people. They are taking one listing a month or two listings a month at best. And usually it’s random. They find a buyer, they sell them a house and they have to sell a house. They aren’t going through that morning routine, calling expireds, for sale by owners, past clients, people they know… They’re not going through that. What can you share with the people watching if they want to change their life a little bit and get to where they’re making an extra couple hundred thousand a year by developing that? What would you say to them? To nudge them in the right direction?
Brad Kiger (10:25):
So 2017, I went to my first Family Reunion and I heard Dianna Kokoszka… At that time I was doing mostly buyer business from my open houses. And she’s talked about compound interest. And it was like you’re in a room with 500 people and… I’m sure of Dianna, and when she talks you feel like she’s talking right at you, I had that moment, you know? And she’s talked about being consistent and doing the activity every day. And then the ball ball, what you focus on expands. So she said, if you’re going to be a listing agent, you need to focus on listings no matter where you’re at. If you’re in an open house, if you’re following up with a buyer lead, you need to ask if they’re looking to sell also. And so I went through every class through that week was only about listings. I started doing a ton of script practice, like an hour and a half a day.
I had three or four or five different script partners and wanted to go through it. And my scripted open houses was… When someone would walk in, I changed it and I would say, “Hey, my name’s Brad Kiger with Keller Williams. Are you folks here to buy a home today? Or are you one of the neighbors that are looking to sell?” And so just started getting really intentional about finding sellers, staying consistent with the activity. A lot of people will make the calls that first round of new calls, but they don’t follow-up. And most of the listings I take are on about the sixth, eighth, 10th follow-up. I just talked to a guy this morning that I’ve been talking to off and on for over a year now, and we’re going to meet next week. It’s someone I’ve been trying to get an appointment with for an expired for over a year.
And so I would say consistency along with follow-up, good follow-up systems. So I basically have… Sorry, I have an A, B, and C folder. So if I talk to a lead and they’re somebody that I think is going to be doing something in the next… You know, now I put them in my A folder that’s like my hot leads and I look at them and call them every day. And then I have a B lead and that’s people that are a week or two out. Or a week, two weeks to 30 days out and I call them once a week. And then my Cs I call once a month. So I’m just constantly following up with the leads that I have in my database.
Ren Jones (12:53):
Perfect. And you make some good points. Really good points. One of the challenges, a lot of the people out there is they have a poor lead follow-up system. And what happens is they forget and they’re like, “Oh my God! I forgot all about such and such.” And they drive past the person’s house and they see a sign in the yard. So having a good lead follow-up system. I like your A, B, and C. The consistency is important as well. And how do you handle the trap? And I always like to call it the trap. What happens is you get in a groove, you’re in and every week you’re taking a listing or two. And then what happens as we know is they go down like dominoes, they all go under contract at the same time. All of a sudden four those people say, “I’ve got to pick out a house immediately,” somebody’s got to take those people around. Somebody’s got to work the pen-to-close and then the agent feels full and they stop looking for business. Does that sound familiar in the process you’ve been through?
Brad Kiger (13:53):
I mean, absolutely. And I see it all the time. And so what I learned very early on was to leverage different activities to other people so that I could always focus on taking listings. So I’ve always had a transaction coordinator and there’s tons of companies out there that will do contract-to-close for a few hundred bucks a file and you only pay them when they close. So that was my very first… I’ve never actually coordinated my own transaction. I’ve always had that leverage.
Ren Jones (14:24):
Brad Kiger (14:25):
I don’t want to be… You know someone that is a good transaction coordinator is probably not a great real estate agent. So I gave that job to them. My very first hire was… After that was an administrator. 20 hours a week, I paid them something like $12, $15 an hour or something like that. And then also they were licensed, so I used them as my showing assistant. So what I would do is I would sit down and have the buyer consultation and then I would introduce my showing specialist as the buyer specialist. As someone… You get two agents for the price of one, we’re always going to be here for you. We can always get you access to properties. And I would pay him a cut of the transaction, a fairly high cut, I’d pay him 25% because I wanted him to be incentivized to provide great service and service those clients. And now we have agents that work with… Now we have full-time two buyers agents, and that’s what they do is they work with buyers. I’ve got a full-time administrator and full-time marketing person. So figuring out in the very beginning that this was going to be a business for me and I was okay with delegating other tasks. And I always say, if you ever find yourself saying that so-and-so… That no one can do X as good as you can, then you’re talking like a FSBO, right?
Ren Jones (15:55):
Brad Kiger (15:56):
So start acting like a sale by owner.
Ren Jones (15:59):
I mean, yeah. And to be fair, Brad, on the pen-to-close, you’re talking to them every week, correct? You’re calling saying, “Hey, I just want to make sure so-and-so is taking good care of you on our team…” Whoever your closing coordinator is, and then ask for referrals, right? I mean, you still talk to them once a week. Same with the buyer. You’re working with your buyer’s agent, you’re calling them once a week to touch in, correct?
Brad Kiger (16:27):
Yes and no. I mean, yes, I communicate with them, but right now the transaction coordinator that I have is absolutely phenomenal. I mean she… I actually have it in her checklist now that she asks for the referrals and she says the referrals to us.
Ren Jones (16:48):
Okay, so she’s asking every week.
Brad Kiger (16:50):
Yeah, she’s asking-
Ren Jones (16:52):
You may want to also. To be fair, if you call up and say, “I just want to make sure that…” What’s your closing coordinator’s name?
Brad Kiger (16:59):
Bailey. Yeah. “I just want to make sure Bailey’s…”
Ren Jones (17:02):
“… Bailey’s taking good care of you. Is she, and do you have any questions?” And then they go, “Yeah, do you know if they’ve done their appraisal?” “Let me write that down. Where can Bailey reach you to get that to you?” And then, “By the way, who else do you know that we can help?” When you think about it, pen-to-close, more people send you referrals than they will after you close. They’ll send you more referrals during that pen-to-close period. They just do.
Brad Kiger (17:25):
Yeah, I’m definitely going to write that down in appointment that… That’s something that going forward, we’re looking… We’re basically doing so much new business, like 90% of our business last year was new business and we’d love to get that shifted more towards 50/50, get some more of that referral business coming in.
Ren Jones (17:45):
Well, you’ve only been in two and a half years, you got to build up that database.
Brad Kiger (17:49):
Ren Jones (17:50):
I mean, here you are close to making a million dollars a year and you’re two and a half years in. That’s amazing. So staying on it, continuing to set listing appointments, even though there’s all this pen-to-close business and all these people that need to buy something immediately. And sometimes agents get greedy. They go, “Well, I sold their $800,000 condo in Alexandria and they want to buy a 5 million house in Bethesda. I’m going to work with them.” What say you? Are going to work with them and stop looking for listings? Or are you going to just change what you pay? Or how do you do that?
Brad Kiger (18:30):
So right now, what I’ve done to this point, I’ve said no to that business and pushed it to my team and I take 50%. So actually on a buyer appointment set where you get the team gets 60% and the agent gets 40%. So I more than happy taking my fair share of the 60%, letting that agent take 40% and letting them go do their job. And then I can keep doing my job.
Ren Jones (18:55):
Good. Because I mean, it sounds tempting for an agent yet, as you know, you would rollercoaster and would take a long time to build the momentum back up to get into that stride. So as tempting as it is for agents, don’t do it. Folks don’t do it. Just do what-
Brad Kiger (19:15):
I’m 5 million though. I mean maybe for 5 million I might take that one myself.
Ren Jones (19:19):
Yeah, either that or you say, “Listen, there are four homes you can show them. Take them out and show them the four homes. I will pay you $5,000. You’re going to make five grand. Just show them the four homes. Either that or I’m taking them out, which…” I mean you may have to cut a deal. So good deal. Good deal. Well, this has been very, very, very helpful. Any last thoughts for that person out there that wants to make it? That wants to get to that level where they’re taking a couple listings every week? Any last thoughts?
Brad Kiger (19:57):
Ren Jones (19:58):
What do you do when you don’t feel like making calls? Brad?
Brad Kiger (20:01):
I mean, look, what I would say is get… Figure out why you want to make the money. For me, it was that we couldn’t afford to have a child whenever I was on my salary. And then we had some fertility issues and then we definitely couldn’t afford that. So that’s when I started getting into it. And now that we’re rolling it’s like I’m addicted to it, right? I’m super, super competitive. So when I see someone else take a listing, not that I’m… Envy that it’s just… When I lose an expired or if someone else gets a FSBO it’s like I should have had that right? And so for me it’s just being super, super competitive and building… I find it to be a fun game, just building as big a business as I possibly can. So for me that that’s what kind of drives me at this point. And then what I would say is practice your scripts. Do it consistently and follow-up with the leads that you have. I hear people complain all the time that, “Oh, we only get two expireds a day in my market. Oh, we only get five.” Well, well then you got two leads to focus on. So focus on them. Right? We do other lead generation as well.
Ren Jones (21:19):
I mean for sale owners. There’s plenty of other things to call.
Brad Kiger (21:23):
Right. I mean there’s lots of other avenues too, but it’s taking that lowest hanging fruit and not just calling them one time, but following up. Because that sixth, eighth, 10th follow-up is where I generally list most of the properties that we list.
Ren Jones (21:41):
The money’s in that follow-up.
Brad Kiger (21:43):
It’s in the follow-up. Yeah, you hear it all the time, but it’s absolutely true. And we started doing some different little things with send out cards where we send out five postcards, five weeks in a row for our expireds that are in our farm area so that they can get a little… They see the Kiger group five weeks in a row. So when we make that follow-up call, it’s a little bit more, “oh, I’ve seen some of your marketing….”
Ren Jones (22:07):
They don’t know why, but they feel like they know you.
Brad Kiger (22:09):
Right. I mean it’s a little bit more like branding and awareness and we just started doing that maybe two months ago. So I mean that’s not something that I would say start right away. You can make plenty of money through the phone calls.
Ren Jones (22:23):
Yeah. They don’t want to start with that. They want to start with taking two listings every week.
Brad Kiger (22:27):
Two listings a week. Yeah. I mean that’s pretty much… My goal each week for my personal production is four appointments and take two. So that’s what I focus on every week is just getting those four appointments and getting two unsigned.
Ren Jones (22:44):
Well, congratulations. I appreciate everything and thank you for being here. And I’m going to run the… Read this little commercial piece.
Thanks for watching everybody, and I have these reminders. Brad, if you’re watching on Vulcan7 and you want to get involved with the Lead Gen Facebook group, they simulcast our show. They are at facebook.com/groups/gotobjections. And I want to thank. Aaron Wittenstein who runs that. He has a program called trajectory-now.com. And finally, if you’re watching on Facebook and you’re not yet involved with Vulcan7, make sure to sign up at Vulcan7.com/leadgen for a very special deal.
And I’m going to give you a secret that Brad didn’t give you and Brad knows it. He just didn’t want to show all his secrets. He, at 11:30, after he returns his calls, he goes to the freezer and gets some delicious Graeter’s mint chocolate chip. It’s the one for listings. This is the one for listings. There are other flavors. Those are for working with buyers. Buyers take time, listings take skill. So you’re going to want the one for listings, Graeter’s mint chocolate chip go to graeters.com. You’ll find it in your grocer anywhere in North America. Just put in your zip code, find out where you can buy it. If the listing is slow to sell, dig a hole in the front yard, bury it upside down, and that listing will sell just like that. I want to thank everybody for being here. Thank you, Brad. And we’re going to check back with you in six months, see how you’re doing. So thank you again for being here. Appreciate it so much.
Brad Kiger (24:19):
Yeah, it’s my pleasure. Thanks so much for having me on. I really do appreciate it.
Ren Jones (24:23):
Thanks everybody. We’ll see you next week while we interview another great agent, taking 2, 3, 4 listings a week. See you then.