S5 E7: Hire for the Season
Ren Jones (00:05):
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 who’s consistently taking 2, 3, 4 listings each week. And we have an exciting guest today. He beats the heck out of those numbers. Anyway, we encourage you to take notes and apply as much of their knowledge as quickly as you can, and then use the copycat principle. Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego, Carley Hathaway. That’s carleyhathaway.com. Hi Carley, how’s the real estate business?
Carley Hathaway (00:43):
Hi, Ren. Hi, everybody. Real estate is fabulous, super focused on being a listing agent.
Ren Jones (00:51):
I understand you set six listing appointments last week.
Carley Hathaway (00:55):
I did. I’m so excited. It’s the most I’ve set in a week. There were four expired’s and two FSBO’s.
Ren Jones (01:01):
Good job. Good job. Well, before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everybody that we are simulcasting the show in the private Lead Gen group on Facebook. They have over 50,000 members and we have a large audience there today as well. We’ll be pausing for our commercial message during the show as a thank you to the Lead Gen folks. All righty. So, let’s welcome our guest today from Champaign, Illinois, you know that town, university of Illinois, Mr. Ryan Dallas.
Ryan Dallas (01:32):
Thanks, Ren. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
Ren Jones (01:34):
Glad you’re here. Ryan runs one of the largest real estate teams in the country. I mean, you’re way up there.
Ryan Dallas (01:42):
We’re getting up there. We’re continually growing and hiring and expanding, for sure.
Ren Jones (01:48):
Carley Hathaway (01:49):
So, how big is your team right now?
Ryan Dallas (01:52):
We have 12 agents right now, licensed agents, that are practicing sales. We have five administrative assistants or support team. I have a president that runs the company and I have one inside sales agent as well.
Ren Jones (02:06):
Does your president tweet?
Carley Hathaway (02:11):
Let’s hope mot.
Ren Jones (02:18):
What’s the goal for sales this year?
Ryan Dallas (02:20):
650 transactions this year. Last year we were at 474. And so, compared to most teams, we have a high per agent sales count. So, we’re happy with that.
Ren Jones (02:33):
Nice. And it’s a small town, what percent… So, your percentage… You must be a significant percentage of the town now.
Ryan Dallas (02:42):
Yes. Our population is 280,000 people. So, we’re a small, close-knit campus community. We’re running about 10% market share right now. So, that’s where we’re at.
Carley Hathaway (02:54):
Ren Jones (02:56):
And then 10, and then 12, and then 15 and 18. We’ll check back with you next year.
Ryan Dallas (03:01):
We’ve actually just begun the expansion piece. So, we moved to the next town over, it’s about a 40-mile drive. And so, just started that in January. So, we’re excited to see what the year brings with that.
Ren Jones (03:12):
What is that next town?
Ryan Dallas (03:14):
That’s Bloomington, Illinois. Home of the Illinois State Red Birds.
Ren Jones (03:18):
I see. There we go. Red birds. All right. Well, good. Well, have fun with that. That’s going to be a lot of fun. And you should, that’s just right down the street. That’s like the other side of town in Cincinnati. That’s all.
Ryan Dallas (03:31):
Ren Jones (03:32):
It’s like the same city for us.
Ryan Dallas (03:34):
Ren Jones (03:36):
So, one of the things we want to accomplish on this call, and Carley, help me here, is we want to get, as a business owner like that, and you’ve been in the trenches for a long time and you’ve built this great business, one of the ways that agents can grow the business, it’s one of the easiest ways yet it eludes them every year. What happens is the last week of April till about right after Labor Day. Basically, May, June, July and August, they stop looking for business when business is easiest to get and they are overwhelmed with their pendings. And so, they need to hire for the season. Like Macy’s does, hire for the season. What say you, Ryan Dallas?
Ryan Dallas (04:20):
Yeah. We constantly see that, and it’s definitely a battle within our industry. What we’ve noticed is… And prior to us having an inside sales agent, so when I first started my business, it was myself, right? And my business was built, the foundation of my business was built on prospecting, expired’s, withdrawn’s, for sale by owners. To this day, that’s still the foundation of our business model because it’s the most consistent model to have because we control that. And that us controlling, it’s a good thing and a bad thing, like you just said. When we control something, we can also stop it. And that’s a big thing that we see in our industry. So, what we found is, like you said, when the business is pouring in, people forget what’s that most dollar productive thing that I’ve done in the past that has helped to cause this business to pour in.
And so, they begin dealing with the pendings and the home inspections and all of these other things that aren’t dollar productive. The dollar productive activities were when you made the call and set the appointment and converted them at that point, that’s where you’re making your money. And so, we see people forget that base, if you will, of that lead gen. And oftentimes, it’s because of a lack of people. And like you alluded to, the way we look at it in our company is our agents need to always be selling and prospecting and lead gen. And so, we need to have support so that they can continue to do that in the extreme high times of business because you forget where that business is coming from.
Carley Hathaway (05:51):
Okay. It sounds amazing. You have this amazing machine set up. But let’s go back to agents, for example, myself. I have a TC, that’s about it. When did you start hiring and how fast did that process go? I’m sure you didn’t have 15 employees your second year.
Ryan Dallas (06:09):
Yeah. No question. So, it’s awesome that you have that transaction coordinator because that’s definitely the first step and the first hire. I looked at that person as more of an executive assistant. So, they weren’t only dealing with my transactions, they were dealing with new listings that I brought in. They were that support team, if you will. They were all in one at that point. And so, the second I started switching my focus to sellers, we all know in real estate that those who have the inventory have the control. And so, I made that mind shift in my mind that I’m going to be comfortable spending the majority of my time prospecting and going on listing appointments and I’m going to let a buyer agent handle all the other stuff. And so, I went out and hired a buyer agent pretty immediately actually, because I found the more effort and time I could put in prospecting for seller leads, the faster my business was able to grow.
Carley Hathaway (07:06):
That makes sense. So basically, an executive assistant and a buyer’s agent to start for the first and then you just slowly built from there.
Ryan Dallas (07:13):
Absolutely. So, I was my own listing agent and I had five buyer agents, I believe. And I was still the only listing agent because my capacity was very high. It’s crazy how the more you do something, the better you get and more efficient you get and more money you make. And so, if you really spend your time focusing on that, and for me, I’m a believer. Every single morning I had an accountability partner, Adam Merrick, who’s also a very top agent in the country. And we talked to each other every morning on our way to the office. And then, guess what? We hit Vulcan7 and crushed it. And then, we talked to each other at 11:30 and said, “How’d you do?”
Carley Hathaway (07:51):
That’s amazing. And I think it’s so crucial to have that accountability because it’s way too easy to not get on the phone. It’s way too easy.
Ryan Dallas (08:00):
Very easy to not get on the phone.
Ren Jones (08:02):
God has accountability. Going back to the higher piece, one of the things that a lot of people are… There are people watching right now and they’re going, “I’m nowhere near where I can hire somebody.” On a way, you can. Because even if you were newer to this and you weren’t doing that many transactions, you could take somebody that came in four hours a day, that’s 20 hours a week, and share them with one or two other people. Now, you’re putting in $600 a month for sharing an assistant that comes in every day with one or two other people and you’re going to win because you’re going to do an extra transaction that month, at worst. So, no matter where people are on the scale, whether they’re sharing a part-time person all the way up to hiring a full-time person for the summer, this, quote unquote, “summer”, four months. Almost everybody on here can do this. They can hire for the season.
Ryan Dallas (09:00):
No question. And it should be scary to make that first hire. It should feel a little bit uncomfortable because you want to be out of your comfort zone, and it’s amazing what you can do when you get out of your comfort zone. And the first person I hired, actually, was just as Ren said, it was, quote unquote, “temporary help”. And guess what? My business grew in such a way that I needed full-time. And then, all of a sudden, things start clicking and you need more and more help because you found that leverage piece and the magic behind it.
Ren Jones (09:30):
You’re like, “How am I going to pay for them? Well, I better talk to 30 people today.”
Ryan Dallas (09:34):
That’s all it is.
Carley Hathaway (09:36):
Ren Jones (09:37):
Carley Hathaway (09:38):
That’s great. And I think sharing, around what you said, is a really good idea too. I mean, obviously, makes sense.
Ren Jones (09:45):
Right. You can start down to… When you’re sharing a part-time person, the secret is don’t have them come Tuesday and Thursday, have them come five days a week, from nine to one o’clock, five days a week. I mean, all the way across. And then, share it with one or two other people. And then, your cost is the small, but the relief, the ability to lead generate every day goes way up.
Ryan Dallas (10:12):
And you can’t forget that’s the reason you’re making this hire, is to free yourself to be able to lead gen when you don’t think you need lead generation. Because we all know, as real estate professionals, what it feels like to not know where our next transaction’s coming from. And the biggest way to keep that from happening ever in your business is to lead gen every day.
Carley Hathaway (10:37):
You’ve obviously set high goals for yourself. When you’re starting out and you’re making the calls and you’re getting rejection and you’re getting no, and you’re getting your no. What kept you going? What kept you on the phones? What kept you in lead gen?
Ryan Dallas (10:51):
Yeah. So, I refuse to lose and that’s just my mindset and the mentality I’ve always had. I’m not going to lose. And so, I would take no as a temporary answer and I’d put them in a new folder in Vulcan7 and I’d call them again. Because until they’ve re-listed or sold their home, it’s just a temporary answer, and eventually I’m going to win them over. So, it was a game to me that I refused to lose. And I think if you can game-ify this business, really life in general, it’s way more fun.
Carley Hathaway (11:21):
Yeah. I like that. Game-ify it.
Ren Jones (11:23):
I’ve learned so much from Ryan because Ryan has taken an interesting path. He hangs around with people that do more than him and always has. And now, he’s one of them. He’s always been part of masterminds, formal and informal, good friends. One of his best friends was number one in the country out of Atlanta. Always hanging around with people doing huge amounts of business. And then, it was a matter of time he became one of them. You’ve always been a mastermind kind of person.
Ryan Dallas (11:57):
Always. And you can always learn from everyone. I mean, to this day, you and I, Ren, we still get together and have breakfast and learn from each other and pick each other’s minds. I’m a huge believer you’re the sum of the five people you hang out with and pick them wisely.
Ren Jones (12:14):
Yeah. I’m glad I don’t have to write you a check. The ideas I’ve gotten from you have really worked pretty well.
Ryan Dallas (12:21):
Likewise. It goes both ways.
Ren Jones (12:23):
Carley Hathaway (12:25):
So obviously, in your team now you have people that are doing the lead gen and prospecting and calling. How do you keep them motivated? Do you train them? What’s your strategy around that?
Ryan Dallas (12:37):
Yeah. So, we definitely train a lot. We have ongoing training, takes place every week. That’s my role in the company now, is I’m the trainer. And so, I meet with our listing division every Tuesday. I meet with our buyer division every Thursday. Our ISA’s are part of the listing division, of course. And so, we’re going to train on common objections, what the market’s doing now? How can you look at today’s market and always create value for a seller? Because I think that many people, they lack that skill. Regardless of the market, there’s a value proposition for a seller, why they should be listed with you, why the market’s good for them the way it is today. And so, that’s the kind of things that we train on.
Ren Jones (13:18):
And you have one of the best. I went through one of his listing presentations and I’m like, “Oh, my God. You can’t say no.” It’s that good. It’s that polished, it’s that well honed. It’s that good.
Ryan Dallas (13:30):
Yeah, it is. We have good scripting and good training for sure. And I’ll tell you, one of the best voicemails that we’ve ever used for expired’s that gets returned calls is our ISA will say, “Hello, Mr. And Mrs. Seller, this is Chris with Ryan Dallas Real Estate. Ryan asked that I give you a call to see if you’re still accepting offers. If you’re accepting offers, please give us a call back.” Simple.
Ren Jones (13:59):
Yeah. They’ll always call for that one. That’s true.
Ryan Dallas (14:01):
Of course we’re accepting offers. So, great. And if you’re fine-tuned and trained, you can convert that to an appointment.
Ren Jones (14:09):
Good deal. Well, I appreciate… I know you’ve got a pretty tight schedule, so I really want to thank you for popping on here for a few minutes to go over that point, because if we can get a portion, if not every single one of you out there to hire for the season, to bring in and then continue to lead generate May, June, July, August, you win. You win. Anyway, I want to thank Ryan. And also, if you’re watching on the Lead Gen Facebook group and you want to get involved with them, because we simulcast on there as well as our own network, they’re at facebook.com/groups/gotobjections. And I want to thank Aaron Wittenstein, who runs that. He has a program called trajectorynow.com. And finally, if you’re watching on Facebook and you’re not yet involved with Vulcan7, make sure to sign up for Vulcan7 at vulcan7.com/leadgen for special deal.
Can I share my Ryan Dallas’s secret? His real true secret? His real true secret is right here. At noon, he goes and gets some… After a powerful day of lead generation, he gets some delicious Graeter’s. Mint chocolate chip is the one for listings. If you like Ryan Dallas, want to run a seller driven business, get the mint chocolate chip, that’s the one for listings. All the other flavors are for working with buyers. Now, his buyer teams have a totally different flavor of Graeter’s that they eat. But if you’re on the listing side of the business, it’s the mint chocolate chip. If the listing is slow to sell, do like Ryan does, dig a hole in the front yard and bury it upside down, and that listing will sell just like that.
Carley Hathaway (15:57):
Ren Jones (15:58):
Want to thank everybody for being here, and we’ll see you next week.
Carley Hathaway (16:03):
All right. Ryan, thank you so much.
Ryan Dallas (16:06):
Yeah, nice to meet you. Hey, Ren, what is the ice cream thing?
Ren Jones (16:11):
What’s the ice cream thing? It’s for listings.
Carley Hathaway (16:17):
If you eat it, you get listings.
Ren Jones (16:18):
That’s how you get listings.
Ryan Dallas (16:20):
Ren Jones (16:21):
All right. We’ll see you next week, everybody.
Carley Hathaway (16:22):
Ren Jones (16:25):
Have some fun, Ryan. I’ll see you in two weeks.
Ryan Dallas (16:27):
Two weeks. Okay, sounds good. See you, guys.
Ren Jones (16:29):
All right. Bye-Bye.