S5 E8: Luxury Listings the Easy Way
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 taking several listings each week, and we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of the 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 (00:39):
Hi Ren, hi everybody. Real estate is great. It’s a really good time to be calling those expireds. I feel like a good time to be a listing agent. I’m very excited.
Ren Jones (00:49):
I think so too. It’s a good market out there. There is a lot of money in the market and people are doing a lot of transactions.
Carley Hathaway (00:57):
Ren Jones (01:01):
Before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everybody, we’re also simulcasting the show on the private Lead Gen Facebook group. They have over 50,000 members, so we have a large audience there today as well. We will be pausing for our commercial message during the show as a thank you to the Lead Gen folks. So let’s welcome our guest today from the D.C. Area, Potomac, Maryland, if I understand correctly, Toni Gage.
Toni Gage (01:30):
Ren Jones (01:31):
Carley Hathaway (01:33):
Yeah. Hi Toni. Thanks for joining us.
Toni Gage (01:34):
Thank you for having me.
Ren Jones (01:36):
Glad to have you here. And if I understand correctly, we’ve only spoken briefly that you’ve been selling real estate for a while. You’re newer to Vulcan7 and having some great early success with it, but you’ve been selling for a while now, is that right?
Toni Gage (01:49):
Since I was 19, and I’m 54 now.
Ren Jones (01:52):
You started when you were 19?
Carley Hathaway (01:53):
Toni Gage (01:55):
19, and I’m going to be 54, April 27th.
Carley Hathaway (01:58):
Ren Jones (01:58):
My goodness, so you have been doing it for a little while, there we go.
Carley Hathaway (02:01):
Toni Gage (02:02):
Easier back then, less competitive.
Ren Jones (02:04):
You sell those little houses, is that right?
Toni Gage (02:07):
Well, years ago I started out in Westchester, which is right outside of Manhattan. That’s when I used to sell the little $238,000 houses. But my sphere of influence and my personal residences have changed, and so that contributes to the situation.
Ren Jones (02:26):
It’s a pleasant problem, Toni.
Toni Gage (02:28):
Ren Jones (02:29):
It’s a pleasant problem.
Carley Hathaway (02:31):
So Toni, what’s your average price point now?
Toni Gage (02:35):
I think the least expensive home I sold this year was 780.
Carley Hathaway (02:39):
Nice. Good for you.
Toni Gage (02:40):
But the average, now my listings, I have a 4 million, a 1.6, I’m getting a 1.4. These were all expireds. I sold a 1.2 and that was in expired also.
Ren Jones (02:54):
Okay. So you started using Vulcan7 and you started calling people, they answered the phone, you talked to them, and you’ve been listing a lot of this property. I mean, tell me what that looks like. You were describing it the other day. If you’ll share with our audience
Toni Gage (03:09):
Well, mostly in the past, I’ve been a buyer’s agent. When I was younger, I was a listing agent, but when I relocated to Maryland 23 years ago, I stopped and I was in the financial services business, but now I’m back in real estate. For the last, say, 10 years I’ve been licensed. I was doing Tom Ferry coaching. I started that in August, but no one mentioned Vulcan7. They were saying just call the expired and call the FSBOs, and I wasn’t having much success. Then I signed up for Vulcan7, I’d say in the middle of December. Within two weeks I had two or three appointments. I got the $3.9 million listing, which was sort of, it was a warm lead, but because I had sold a $3 million house on that street.
Carley Hathaway (03:54):
You could use that as leverage a little bit. Yeah.
Toni Gage (03:55):
So they had heard about me, and my secretary’s husband knew the seller, and he said, “Tell her I want to speak to her.” And so I went in with my girlfriend and we just signed it up. It had been on the market for seven years at 7.5, 5.9, 4.5, 4.25, and so now it’s getting a lot more exposure and we have different ways of marketing it with RE/MAX, and so they’re really happy. So we’re doing a lot of social media with it.
Then there was one gentleman, I hate to digress, but he lives on the West Coast, Pebble Beach, and his house has been vacant for two or three years. When I called him the first time, he hung up the phone on me. So I kept calling him, I kept on, kept on him. I kept sending him videos. Then he replied back to me at 10 o’clock at night, I guess at seven o’clock West Coast time, and he says, “I guess I have no choice but to list with you.”
Carley Hathaway (05:00):
Toni Gage (05:04):
He said, “You’re so persistent.” He said, “You’re so persistent.”
Carley Hathaway (05:06):
And he was an expired that you called.
Toni Gage (05:08):
He was an expired. I had shown the house six times. And it’s funny because I had made videos to my client saying how great I think that house was, what a great value I thought it was when it was listed with another broker. I actually got fired for my other RE/MAX because they didn’t like that I was promoting another listing. So that’s okay, god had better plans for me. I love my RE/MAX office now. So I said to him, I said, “I know the code to your front door.” And I told him, and he’s like, “You really do know the code.” I said, “I know the code of the front door, I show it all the time. I don’t even make appointments.”
Ren Jones (05:40):
There we go.
Toni Gage (05:42):
Yeah. I said, “I’ve shown your house so often, I know the code to your front door. I don’t even make an appointment anymore because I know it’s vacant.” And I kept sending videos every time I was about to show it and whatever. I had another one, I had a client, we had 12 inches of snow in the beginning of January, first week in January. They came into my open house. They were very hot and heavy to buy in a certain neighborhood. And I said, “Have you seen everything?” And they said, “Yeah.” And I said, “Well, have you seen this house? It was an expired.” And they said, “No.” I said, “Well, this is your lucky day. We’ve got 12 inches of snow. My fiancé is going to plow the driveway and the walkway and we’re going to go see it.” And they came out in 12 inches of snow, it was still snowing, and it was 1250 and they paid 1180 for it.
Carley Hathaway (06:31):
Nice. Good work.
Ren Jones (06:32):
Good job. So people watching this show, they’re trying to get where you are. I hear two fundamental things that you do that they can do. One is energy and enthusiasm. And number two, you’re sending out, you’re persistent-
Carley Hathaway (06:51):
Yeah, your lead follow-up is on point.
Ren Jones (06:55):
… in a different way and your lead follow up. You’re sending out videos, you’re being persistent in your follow-up and you’re being strong and you’re being energy, energy is attractive.
Toni Gage (07:03):
Yeah. Well, sometimes. Sometimes I get these exhausted sellers, they’re just so monotone. And I’m like, “Good morning, how are you?”
Carley Hathaway (07:13):
Toni Gage (07:13):
Good morning, and they’re like, “Who is this agent?”
Ren Jones (07:18):
So one of the things, because a lot of people, it’s not their natural inclination. Now, I’m starting to get the idea that it is your natural inclination, and it can be a learned style. We call it it’s showtime, where the moment somebody says hello, you start marry and matching them, and then you start leading with enthusiasm and you have a great call. So I mean, if they learn anything from you, they’re bound to be feeling right now the energy that comes off of this conversation from you. If they will just emulate that when they are working with people, when they’re reaching out to people in sales, energy is attractive.
Toni Gage (07:55):
Absolutely, and that’s very kind of you to say that. Thank you. But I think that the … I don’t always have this level of energy. I have a crazy morning routine. I’m not sure if anyone’s interested in it.
Ren Jones (08:06):
Carley Hathaway (08:06):
We would love to hear your morning routine.
Ren Jones (08:08):
We want to hear the morning routine.
Toni Gage (08:10):
Okay. This is the Toni Gage, Tom Ferry morning routine. I wake up at 5:00 AM or 5:15, 5:30 the latest. Sometimes I’m up at a quarter to five. I wake up, go down, have a few sips of coffee at the gym. I have a community center. I belong to a fancy gym, but I go to my community center because I don’t want anyone to see me in the morning. I don’t look like this. So I go to the gym for 30 or 45 minutes, elliptical or treadmill. And that gives you, that’s the mental advantage that I have over every other agent here that’s exhausted, hates calling. That’s the only way I can pick up the phone and get rejected about 30 times without killing myself. I told my broker I have very low self-esteem, but thank God I run and I buy myself lots of flowers.
Carley Hathaway (09:02):
Good for you. Good for you.
Ren Jones (09:03):
I love it.
Toni Gage (09:03):
So I come home. After that, I come home and I do a shower, quickly, quick shower. Then I sit in stillness and quiet and I read my, this might not appeal to everyone, I read my Jesus calling book. It’s about like a little paragraph. It’s just like a spiritual thing to kind of let you know the universe has got your back. Then I do a gratitude journal. I know that’s like something for people in rehab, but I do a gratitude journal and it always changes my perspective. If you are ever feeling bad, or down, or negative, you just turn it to a positive. Just turn it into I’m happy and grateful that the universe is bringing me so many opportunities today. I’m happy and grateful that I’m signing three contracts today. I’m happy and grateful that I … It always has to be I am. I am.
Ren Jones (09:56):
Right, it has to be present tense.
Toni Gage (09:58):
Yes, I am.
Ren Jones (09:59):
It can’t be negated. You can’t say I won’t, I don’t.
Toni Gage (10:03):
Ren Jones (10:04):
Toni Gage (10:05):
I’m happy and grateful that I am getting 10 appointments this week. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I’m happy and grateful that … So after I do that, then it’s a whole two hour routine. Then I listen to Quantum Success, Christie Whitman.
Ren Jones (10:24):
Toni Gage (10:24):
Have you ever heard of her? I listen to her meditation. I pay, I spend a lot of money, but I get lots of great results. So I don’t mind spending money.
Ren Jones (10:31):
This is wonderful.
Toni Gage (10:32):
250 a week, I mean, 250 a month, and her meditations are so grounding. It’s not Headspace, it’s not garbage. It’s you really feel that there’s like this light coming through your head and grounding you. She just gives you this feeling that you have light emitting from your body. If I wasn’t getting great results, and then she sends you a replay so you can keep it. I’m still doing November, it’s peace. So if you have peace within you, then everyone you encounter, you’ll give them some peace or some kind of joy. That’s what I feel, that everyone that lays eyes on me is going to have joy in their life and peace in their life. That’s what I say.
Ren Jones (11:12):
This is huge. Now, I mean, because let’s pretend. Let’s say you didn’t go to the gym, you didn’t read your inspirational book, you didn’t do all the other pieces of that, and then you called expireds. How would that work if you just did it without any of that? No exercise, no inspiration.
Toni Gage (11:32):
You would call five, and then you’d hang up and go get your nails done, your hair done, you’d go grocery shopping, you’d go to Costco.
Carley Hathaway (11:38):
Toni Gage (11:39):
Everything but call. So when you have that, the gym, and I tell my fiancé that it’s kind of gives me the crazy juice, the crazy juice to just keep going.
Ren Jones (11:51):
I love it. You keep that crazy juice going because in the … And if people will get this, you guys are watching this, and you have to understand that calling is simple, but it’s not easy. By all her preparation, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and now she makes her calls and then she rewards herself after and gets her nails done or whatever she wants to do. Then a reward at the end. If you guys use that format, you’ll win like Toni.
Carley Hathaway (12:21):
Yeah, definitely. And Toni, once you get through your morning rituals and your positive affirmations, how long are you on the phones for?
Toni Gage (12:31):
Well, I stay on the phones. I stay on the phones till I get two appointments a day. So sometimes it’s two hours, sometimes it’s six hours. So I can break it up, I can do two … Definitely it’s two hours in the morning and two hours sometimes in the afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00. So I do 8:00 to 10:00 or sometimes 8:30 to 10:30. And Monday is not such a good day to call in the morning. That’s why I find that I get better results Monday afternoon after 3:00 because they’ve gotten their stuff out of the way.
Ren Jones (13:01):
So you have quite a work ethic. What inspires you to be so successful? I mean, is there a why here or something? What drives you, or is poverty not something you’re interested in?
Toni Gage (13:16):
That’s definitely a driving factor because I did my profit and loss for my coach this week, and I spend a lot of money on my business. I spend about 13,000 a month on my business.
Carley Hathaway (13:26):
But that’s a good thing.
Ren Jones (13:27):
Toni Gage (13:28):
That’s a good thing, but-
Ren Jones (13:29):
Because she can.
Carley Hathaway (13:31):
Yeah, my coach is always trying to get me to spend more money and I’m always like, “Ah.” She’s like, “You better be spending more money. You better raise your budget.”
Toni Gage (13:39):
Yeah. Well, I just … No, I’ll tell you what drives me. I got divorced about seven years ago, and I was in the financial services business with my ex-husband. We grew a business like a mom-and-pop business that was acquired by a publicly traded company, City National Bank. I have a non-disclosure, non-compete, so I can’t be in financial services. So I love proving that I can make my own money, and it’s been wonderful because I have been making my own money and his alimony is just like gravy.
Carley Hathaway (14:16):
That’s a great one.
Toni Gage (14:16):
It’s just gravy. I hope he sees this video.
Ren Jones (14:16):
I love it.
Toni Gage (14:18):
Thank you, darling.
Carley Hathaway (14:20):
That is such a great why. I love it.
Toni Gage (14:22):
That is a great why.
Carley Hathaway (14:24):
And making your own money and not needing anyone else is the best feeling ever.
Toni Gage (14:27):
Well, because we had a very high lifestyle with private jets. So my sphere of influence knows my background, pretty much it’s common knowledge. It’s a pretty yucky story. It’s not so great, but it’s kind of I’m going to be the heroine of my own story. I don’t need to be the victim. I’m not the victim. She actually did me a favor by taking him off my hands. So we can focus on my real estate. I really focus on my real estate and it’s my life and I love it.
I think people know that wherever I am, if they see me in the supermarket, in the nail salon, the hair salon, and that’s where I do get people, I get business there. Wherever I am, I’ll be waiting on line in Whole Foods and people say, “Where do I know you from?” I’ll be like, “Oh, from Facebook.” Because I do these live Facebook stories saying I’m doing an open house at 111 or 877 Belmar Road in Potomac, Maryland. It’s a great house. It’s steps away from the CNO canal, steps away from the capitol. If you’re into hiking, biking, or jogging, you need to come out and see this fabulous house. It’s the best value in Potomac. So I do, I go live a lot. So it’s a combination. It’s not just the running, it’s not the gratitude, it’s not the meditation, it’s not the calling. It’s a whole …
Ren Jones (15:43):
You’re putting yourself out there in a big way.
Carley Hathaway (15:45):
Toni Gage (15:46):
Ren Jones (15:46):
And with a lot of energy.
Carley Hathaway (15:47):
Toni, I’m guessing …
Ren Jones (15:48):
Carley Hathaway (15:49):
I’m guessing, Toni, when you’re going out, getting your nails done, going to the store, doing whatever, you’re wearing sweats and a t-shirt and flip flops, right?
Toni Gage (15:55):
Absolutely not, nope. Nope. I will never give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me looking like hell, maybe at 5:00 in the morning at the community center when there are three old men there, that’s fine, that don’t even have a computer. It’s fine. But I just never leave the house without my diamonds, or my nails, or my hair and I’ve got my boss bitch pumps on and there’s an attitude that goes with it. It just works. It’s just the whole package.
Carley Hathaway (16:27):
Yeah, because you’re on display all the time. You are your brand.
Toni Gage (16:30):
That’s my brand, and my-
Ren Jones (16:32):
You are the brand. Yeah, you are.
Toni Gage (16:33):
Yep. I get out of my Jaguar and I say, “How can I help you today? How can I help you today?” Let’s make it happen.
Carley Hathaway (16:38):
Good for you. Good for you.
Ren Jones (16:42):
There are a lot of people watching that the energy is attractive and they would love to send you a referral. And you’re in a market where people move in and out of a lot.
Toni Gage (16:50):
Ren Jones (16:52):
Can you cover all the areas you serve and then how they should reach you when they have a referral?
Toni Gage (16:57):
You can call. Here’s my phone number, (301) 919-1886. But it’s very easy to find my website, it’s dcsbestagent.com.
Ren Jones (17:12):
Carley Hathaway (17:12):
Love the website.
Toni Gage (17:14):
Dcsbestagent.com. I have someone else working on a different website for my Potomac Prestige, for my mansions, but DC’s best agent. I do Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Georgetown. But I seem to have gotten into a little niche with the 1 million and above, and I sort of like it.
Carley Hathaway (17:34):
Yeah, I think so.
Toni Gage (17:36):
Right in my own backyard, I don’t need to take a metro. I don’t need to take Uber. I don’t need to get stressed. I just leave my house. I meet a client. I could tell that my kids went to this elementary school and I’ve been to a party on every street in this community. My kids are 26 and 20. I’ve been to a party on every street in this neighborhood, and I can tell you who lives here. We have in our little billionaire quadrant, I think we’ve got six billionaires in a two-mile radius. So it’s a very desirable neighborhood, and so people are buying a $1 million house or a 1.2, and they know that Mitch Rails lives right down the street. It gives them bragging rights and they love that. We’ve got lots of celebrities that live here. It’s not Hollywood by any stretch.
Ren Jones (18:27):
What a lot of fun. And folks, if you’re watching, notice that she has a keen knowledge of her market. So she’s indispensable. And there her phone call, there’s somebody calling.
Toni Gage (18:38):
Nope. Money never sleeps.
Ren Jones (18:41):
Right. So she knows her market so well backwards and forwards. And if you know your market that well, you become indispensable.
Toni Gage (18:49):
That’s the value that I bring. That’s my value.
Ren Jones (18:51):
And that is huge value.
Toni Gage (18:52):
And no one can ever, my husband, my ex-boyfriend, no one could ever take that from me. That’s in my brain. That’s my personality. Those are my experiences, and no one can ever take that. I want to be an inspiration to other women who are going through a difficult transition in their lives. You can turn your life around and you can make yourself fabulous.
Carley Hathaway (19:10):
Toni Gage (19:11):
I wasn’t always this fabulous. You can turn around, turn your life around. And you know what? People will regret the day that they left you.
Carley Hathaway (19:21):
I love that.
Toni Gage (19:22):
Every day that I put my feet on the ground, the devil says, “Damn, she’s up again.” I say, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you.”
Ren Jones (19:30):
I love it. I love it. Last thing, I forgot to bring it up. I noticed it. Horses.
Toni Gage (19:36):
Oh yeah. We spend a lot of money on horses out here.
Ren Jones (19:39):
Okay. It just says you are passionate about all things equestrian.
Toni Gage (19:43):
All things equestrian. Well, that was. My daughter went to a boarding school here in McClain, the Madeira School, which is very prestigious, and now she’s down in South Carolina. But when my husband left and I got custody of my daughter, I thought this is an opportunity for her to go off the crazy train. All of my other friends that were in the psychiatric or therapeutic industry said, “You need to do something for her to focus her energy.” So I put real estate on hold for a little while, and I took her out to the barn every single day. I’d pick her up from school at 2:15 and we’d be at the barn, she’d be mucking on 80 acres, and then she’d go to her … I bought her a horse, we made a deal. I bought her a horse, and she went from being a B student to a 4.6 student.
Ren Jones (20:30):
Carley Hathaway (20:31):
Toni Gage (20:33):
So, I said to her, “You are not going to be a failure. You’re not going to be another Potomac casualty, so you are going to be out there.” I took her to Poolesville. I’d drive 15 miles one way, 15 miles another way, and it changed her life.
Ren Jones (20:44):
Toni Gage (20:44):
She realized that whatever she put her mind to, if she really focused on it, and it applies to competition, it applies to everything. Actually her focus and her tunnel vision, it was very encouraging for me. I learned a little something from that experience myself. I thought, you know what? If she can regain composure after having her dad walk out of the house, and sit herself on that horse and have three or four judges looking at her and judging her, and she can remain totally calm on this 1200 pound beast, I can do it too. I can do it with a billionaire or a hockey player or a basketball player.
Ren Jones (21:24):
There you go.
Carley Hathaway (21:25):
Toni Gage (21:26):
Ren Jones (21:26):
Wonderful. This has been a real treat, Toni.
Carley Hathaway (21:29):
Yeah. Thank you so much.
Ren Jones (21:30):
And you’ve shared some information that can help people, because the mental side of it, knowing your neighborhood, energy and enthusiasm, the mental side of preparation before you make your calls, rewarding yourself afterward. There’s so many, and powerful, powerful, powerful, persistent lead follow up. I mean, you’ve got all the ingredients
Toni Gage (21:50):
Do you want another little tip?
Ren Jones (21:52):
Carley Hathaway (21:52):
Toni Gage (21:53):
Another little tip. Okay. I keep a legal pad, I’m old school. I keep a legal pad right by my computer. So on this side I have easy text. So these are the numbers that are going to get easy text, that’s group texting. Then these are the people that my secretary’s going to follow up with with a series of three or four letters.
Ren Jones (22:11):
Toni Gage (22:12):
So if they want the letters, just reach out to me. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Just send me say, “I saw the podcast, and can you send me your PDFs of your follow-up and the text messages?” I’ll send you the script for the follow-up. My secretary types it in, so it saves you time. So have you ever heard of EZ Texting?
Ren Jones (22:38):
No, but I know, I understand ABC, which is always be closing, and you are closing for future deals right now.
Toni Gage (22:45):
Yes, I am.
Carley Hathaway (22:46):
Follow up, follow up, follow up. I love it.
Ren Jones (22:48):
I love it.
Carley Hathaway (22:49):
Thank you so much.
Ren Jones (22:49):
Carley Hathaway (22:51):
You know what? I think my favorite takeaway was I’m going to start wearing my diamonds to the grocery store.
Toni Gage (22:54):
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Living well is the best revenge, baby.
Ren Jones (22:59):
That’s it. That’s it.
Carley Hathaway (23:00):
Toni Gage (23:01):
Be a money magnet. Money magnet.
Ren Jones (23:04):
I want to thank everybody. I want to thank you, Toni.
Toni Gage (23:06):
Ren Jones (23:07):
Thank everybody for being here. We’ll see everybody next week when we … Every week we bring someone who is powerfully listing a lot of property every month. Toni, this is a wonderful, wonderful.
Toni Gage (23:18):
Thank you. My pleasure. Hope to see you guys soon. God bless.
Ren Jones (23:22):
Well, let’s sell some spots here. If you’re watching on Vulcan7 and you want to get involved with the Lead Gen Facebook group, and some of you are watching on there as we simulcast, they are at facebook.com/groups/gotobjections. And I want to thank Aaron Wittenstein who runs the group. He’s a real giver he’s got 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 at Vulcan7.com/leadgen for a special deal. Some of you are wanting where Toni gets all her energy, and enthusiasm, and power, and her ability to close. She goes at the end, just before she goes and has her nails done, she goes and gets out of her freezer some delicious Graeter’s mint chocolate chip. This is the one for listings taking. You want the mint chocolate chip. Go to Graeters.com. You can find it, and they’ll tell you where you can find it anywhere in North America. And if the listing doesn’t sell right away, dig a hole in the front yard, bury it upside down, and that listing will sell just like that. They have other flavors, but those flavors are for working with buyers. But if you’re listing a lot of property, you want the mint chocolate chip. We’ll see everybody next week. Appreciate it. It was a lot of fun, Carley. And we had a great guest, didn’t we?
Carley Hathaway (24:48):
Yes. Toni’s amazing. And thank you so much, Ren, for having me, and thanks everyone for watching.
Ren Jones (24:54):
All right, go take three more listings this week, Carley.
Carley Hathaway (24:56):
I will. I will.