S6 E5: How to take Listings every week – starting your first month!
Meet Jim Fussell a Keller Williams Real Estate Agent from Kansas City. Jim as been an agent for 18 months with 27 transactions year-to-date with year-end goal of 40. He has been in Sales for 17 years and loves cold calling. Success in his first year was due to door knocking, he would door knock for 3 hours each evening. He managed to close 2.5-3 transactions monthly this way but decided he wanted to increase his velocity. Jim now has Vulcan7, which he calls a powerful tool. Jim makes calls 2-3 hours daily and sets 1-3 appointments with expired and FSBOs. In six weeks with Vulcan7, Jim has secured 4 listings. What’s the “secret”? Jim says “get on it, stay on it, it takes discipline, but it works!” The discipline comes easy for Jim, but he’s still perfecting the speed and skill needed. Jim believes in MFO scripts and their “aggressive” sales system. He views social media and easy lead sources to not be fast enough to achieve his goals. Average commission $6500-$7000, he’s making a great living in Kansas City for his second year in the business. Jim plans to shadow Bernie Gallerani in Nashville and Lance Locan in Texas.
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 several listings each month, 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. Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego. She is on assignment in Los Angeles. Carley Hathaway, that’s carleyhathaway.com. Hi Carly, how’s the real estate business?
Carley Hathaway (00:41):
Hey, Ren. Hey everybody. The real estate business is great. I’m at a really cool event up here in LA and still prospecting and making my calls.
Ren Jones (00:51):
Carley Hathaway (00:52):
Ren Jones (00:53):
And before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everybody that we are also simulcasting the show on the private Lead Gen group on Facebook. They have 52,000 members, so we have a large audience there today as well. And we will be pausing for a commercial message during the show as a thank you to the Lead Gen folks, let’s welcome our guest today from Kansas City. Mr. Jim Fussell. Did I pronounce that right?
Jim Fussell (01:19):
It was good, hi Ren.
Carley Hathaway (01:19):
Hi Jim, how’s it going?
Jim Fussell (01:19):
I’m good, Carley, how are you?
Carley Hathaway (01:26):
Good and beautiful, sunny LA so I’m happy.
Jim Fussell (01:28):
All right. You got a little bit nicer place to be than I.
Carley Hathaway (01:31):
Ah, come on. So how long have you been in real estate?
Jim Fussell (01:36):
I’ve had my license for seven years, I got my license just to buy houses for myself to, for investment properties, but I started selling April the ninth of last year. So 16, 18 months.
Ren Jones (01:51):
16 or 18 months. So really, you’re very, very, very, very, very new to the business.
Jim Fussell (01:58):
I wake up reminding myself in every morning how green I am. Yes.
Carley Hathaway (02:04):
You’re still a freshman.
Jim Fussell (02:07):
I am still a freshman.
Ren Jones (02:07):
How many transactions have do you have open and closed so far this year? Open and closed.
Jim Fussell (02:14):
We’ve closed 27 and we’ve got four pending and we’ve got seven active.
Ren Jones (02:21):
So 31 open and closed, and about seven in inventory. Okay, so you’re going to do 45, 50 this year.
Jim Fussell (02:29):
That’s my goal, 42 double what we did last year. That’s my goal.
Ren Jones (02:34):
With barely a year and a half in the business. And you’re already going to knock down 40, 45 a year already out of the gate that fast. So people are going to want to know what your secret is or all of them.
Carley Hathaway (02:51):
Yeah. How to double your business in a year. We need to know. We need to know.
Ren Jones (02:56):
Double it. He is gone from zero to, he’s gone from-
Carley Hathaway (02:57):
Zero to 40.
Ren Jones (02:58):
Zero to 40 and three seconds flat.
Carley Hathaway (03:02):
I like it. Maserati style.
Ren Jones (03:04):
Carley Hathaway (03:04):
So what are you doing to change your business? What was this big epiphany or what changed?
Jim Fussell (03:13):
In the last what timeframe?
Ren Jones (03:17):
Yeah, well tell us about, yeah, give us a progression, tell us what you were doing earlier in the year for business and then you made a switch about six weeks ago, what that process looked like, how many you were getting from that process and how many you’re getting from this process.
Jim Fussell (03:33):
So I spent 17 years in sales selling technology and logistics solutions, but made an abrupt change in that, do some personnel changes in the company. And so I found myself one day waking up and having no job.
Carley Hathaway (03:51):
That’ll do it.
Jim Fussell (03:53):
And so I looked and said, hey, how’s the fastest way to build this? And so I’ve always been a cold call salesman, even in high-end sales, I found that I could go to trade shows and do other things and get my own leads faster than I could get them out of a database. So I took that principal and just apply it in the residential real estate. I’d take the car at four o’clock in the afternoon. I’m pull in a subdivision and I wouldn’t let myself go home until I knocked on, well till I had knocked on three hours where the doors, whatever that was. And so I had my first closings, two or three closings in June last year. And I got it to where I was just consistently putting in two a month, two and a half a month. And I got to where I knew I could get it to 30, 35 transactions a year.
Ren Jones (04:52):
So door knocking in Kansas City, you got it down to where you could do three transactions a month, roughly?
Jim Fussell (04:58):
I did two and a half to three. Two and a half to three?
Ren Jones (05:01):
Yes. Okay. Door knocking.
Carley Hathaway (05:01):
Ren Jones (05:03):
Correct. Then you decided to change?
Jim Fussell (05:07):
Yeah, when I got into this, I basically pulled the top five real estate agencies in Kansas City and said, how many agents are on their team? Divide the number of transactions by the agents. How many is a really good real estate agent doing? And I said, well, they’re doing 30 to 32 to 35 transactions a year. I’ve never considered myself to be average. So I said, well, I at least want to first year, I want to at least get on that run rate. And I hit that run rate at least. And then I said, well, I want to increase that.
Carley Hathaway (05:36):
What change did you make to do that jump? Were you door knocking six hours a day or what did you change to go up to 30 deals?
Jim Fussell (05:45):
So I did 21 in eight months, and on a run rate, a 12-month run rate, that was about 30. So, which is what we’re doing this year. But then I wanted to increase that by 50%, get to 40 to 50, and I just realized I couldn’t do it no matter how many doors I knocked, I couldn’t make it go any faster. And so just got the researching, how do I get the velocity up? And that’s when I learned about Vulcan7. Actually, I heard about Vulcan7 from someone else, and I called Ren one Saturday or texted Ren one Saturday morning and said, tell me about this. And he picked up the phone. We had a conversation and I’ve been on it for a couple months.
Carley Hathaway (06:27):
Ren Jones (06:29):
How’s it going?
Jim Fussell (06:33):
I wish I could tell you that it’s perfection and I’ve mastered it. I can’t. I can tell you that I know I’m using a powerful tool. I’m going to keep using it, but I’m rest-
Ren Jones (06:44):
Give me some hard numbers. Have you gotten an appointment out of it?
Jim Fussell (06:49):
Yeah. So if I get the dialer for two hours, I’ll set two to three hours. I’ll set one to three appointments, I’m averaging one to two right now. But I’m getting one to two hours on the phone every day.
Carley Hathaway (07:01):
And you’re calling expireds or FSBOs or both?
Jim Fussell (07:04):
Calling both. So I’m trying my hardest to do the expired first thing in the morning and then do the FSBOs after that.
Ren Jones (07:12):
And then how many listings have you taken in how many weeks?
Jim Fussell (07:16):
Yeah. I’ve taken four listings and I’d say I’ve been using it a month and a half. I’ve taken four listings, closed, one, two pending and one’s active.
Ren Jones (07:25):
So you’re basically running almost one listing take in a week.
Jim Fussell (07:31):
Ren Jones (07:32):
Yeah. When you look at that, that’s pretty darn good for being brand new on it.
Jim Fussell (07:38):
It doesn’t feel that way. I feel really a bit rusty. And it’s frustrating a lot of days.
Ren Jones (07:43):
What are you noticing that works after you have six weeks? You start noticing, well, that didn’t work well. That didn’t work well, that didn’t work. Oh, this works. Anything, any observations?
Jim Fussell (07:57):
The things that you all teach people, if you just come in, get on it, stay on it, discipline yourself to stay on it, it just works. I can really see the facts of that.
Carley Hathaway (08:10):
Just staying on the phone and doing it consistently five days a week, six days if you want, it’s, it just all starts to fall into place.
Jim Fussell (08:18):
It does. My frustration is just the, it’s with me and it’s the discipline. It’s the discipline it takes to become more mechanical. I’m a high eye personality.
Carley Hathaway (08:30):
I did pick up on that a little bit.
Jim Fussell (08:33):
It’s hard to manage me. That’s my biggest frustration of all.
Ren Jones (08:36):
Carley, I’m going to let you go because I know they want you on stage in a few minutes.
Jim Fussell (08:41):
Ren Jones (08:41):
So I will, although the ratings are going to drop instantly.
Carley Hathaway (08:46):
No, come on. You guys can do it. Maybe you should do a role play. Thanks for tuning in you guys.
Ren Jones (08:51):
Good? All right. So right out of the gate, brand new to take one listing a week is pretty marvelous for somebody new on that system because it takes a little better. It’s so skill-based when you’re talking to expireds and for sale by owners, unless they’re older expireds and those are a little easier.
Jim Fussell (09:14):
Yeah, that’s the part, at least where I’m at. That’s the part that’s hard. I’ve been in sales 17 years, I’ve always been a top producer in what I was doing. And actually real estate is more simple than what I’ve done in the past. However, the skills that’s required, the speed, the skills, learning that, that’s been a challenge.
Ren Jones (09:37):
Right? There’s a recipe.
Jim Fussell (09:39):
There’s a recipe. I can see it.
Ren Jones (09:42):
Yeah. And based on what we know from what you’ve done, door knocking and running at a rate of three a month and trying to get to five or six by now talking to people that have a home for sale and no agent. Sounds like you’re going to get 50 or 60 or start operating at a rate of pretty quickly, more like four a month.
Jim Fussell (10:07):
That’s the magic of this. My attraction is when I first started doing this, you know, have a wow moment when you’ve knocked on as many doors as I’ve knocked on and you have to go through, I’d knock on 30 doors and I’d walk home with two prospects and you convert those to probably a third to a half of a lead every day. That’s what you would find.
Ren Jones (10:29):
I know I’ve done that door knocking. It takes a lot. It’s, although you’re in such good physical shape, all that door knocking, I mean, you’re out there walking for a mile, so that’ll keep you in shape. And we don’t want to eliminate door knocking altogether. One of the nice techniques is to put a little dot on a map of all the for sale monitors and expireds and draw a linear line and go knock, stop, drive a little bit, knock on a door, drive to the next dot, knock on a door, drive to the, and knock on all the expireds of FSBOs. Go to 11 of them. You’re probably going to meet three of them and set one appointment, maybe two.
Jim Fussell (11:17):
I have not done that. Matter of fact, I printed out through everything I called on today, I printed out with some intention of doing that.
Ren Jones (11:23):
That for folks, if you guys can’t reach them on the phone, put a little dot on a map, put it in a little circular shape. So you start here, you go out here and then circle back around in a linear fashion. And the numbers are good. They have a home for sale and no agent. So the odds of door knocking that for the same amount of time, if you door knock those for three hours, the yield is there. So just a thought with that. So what else are you doing? So now you’re going to go shadow some people? It’s my understanding you’re going to be doing a little bit of shadowing?
Jim Fussell (12:02):
I am. So I think Monday I’m going down to see Bernie in Nashville.
Ren Jones (12:07):
Bernie Gallerani in Nashville, great. That’s fantastic. So there’s a lot to learn. We used to have a thing called the Vulcan7 challenge in the earlier shows where we would encourage people to every four to six weeks go shadow somebody. Because at the end of the year you’ve met, you’ve shadowed 8 to 12 people and you become one of them. You become one of them real fast. Where do you get your scripts from?
Jim Fussell (12:36):
I use Mike Ferry’s sales system. And so I’ve been doing that and I like it a lot. I like it that it’s aggressive sales. And in the real estate industry, there’s advice from everywhere. And I’m my attraction to Mike Ferry’s. It’s just hardcore sales and yeah, it’s hard. It’s not easy.
Ren Jones (13:00):
Right? Yeah. It’s a little more effective than just dropping off some forget-me-not seeds with your business card stapled to them.
Jim Fussell (13:07):
Ren Jones (13:08):
Which agents do.
Jim Fussell (13:10):
Right. And I’m not opposed to social media, but I’ve just never found any of those types of things that are easy to be fast enough.
Ren Jones (13:20):
Right. Well, there are a lot of ways to work to work, and as long as we’re communicating with people on some format live, some live format of communication. If you had 25 live Facebook chats a day, you’d make some headway. Although it would be like door knocking because they don’t have necessarily have a plan to move. But it’s those live contacts, it works. Good.
So you’re doing some shadowing and you’ve got some scripts and so now it’s just a matter of practicing and then shadowing people that are doing what you’re doing, who are doing it at a higher level. What do you do on the days? I already know the answer to this. What do you do on the days you don’t feel like doing it?
Jim Fussell (14:07):
Probably my psyche doesn’t give me that option. Yeah, I like sales. And then for whatever reason, I don’t know. I like what I do. I enjoy it. I enjoy the battle of the wit. So sales is, that piece comes relatively easy for me. Now, are there days-
Ren Jones (14:32):
See, I already knew the answer. You’re the one person not to ask that because you’re like, what do you mean I want to go do it?
Jim Fussell (14:42):
Yeah. Now if I’m honest, I will say still, this is so new and it’s enough challenges to it and I haven’t mastered it yet. But yeah, I still get the jitters, you know, pick the phone up in the morning and you know, stumble over the first couple. You don’t have the right answers, the wrong questions. Yeah. So I still deal with that for sure.
Ren Jones (15:04):
Let me ask you the areas that I know you struggle with, structure?
Jim Fussell (15:07):
Ren Jones (15:08):
What about lead follow-up? What kind of lead follow-up system do you use
Jim Fussell (15:14):
Right now I just put it in my calendar. So if I get on a call and I find a really good lead and I say that’s a good one, I’ll just go out a few days and I’ll put it on a calendar and try to touch them a couple of times a week. I’m envious of those people that have the high seed personality and they put it in the system. I listened to someone on your Roadshow recently and they put it in a spreadsheet and it’s just very mechanical. I’m envious of that. That’s harder for me.
Ren Jones (15:39):
Well, there are simple mechanical ways to do it as well as technology so talk to your coach. Just say, I need a simple lead follow-up system that’s more effective than a calendar.
Jim Fussell (15:53):
I will, I will.
Ren Jones (15:56):
And here’s why. Think about it. You’re going to get to where days you’ve got seven leads, two or three appointments. I mean, you’re going to get lots of them in one day. And there’s circumstances with each one. And you can’t just draw that on a calendar or you have to get a calendar this big one of the two. And that’s hard to carry around. So talk to your coach on a good lead follow up system. A simple one, because there are a couple simple, simple ones. How do you track numbers?
Jim Fussell (16:29):
I do. I haven’t gotten this down enough yet, Ren, that I’m systematic enough to even start tracking numbers. Like door knocking. I’ve done it so long. That was just easy. I knew what the numbers meant. Here, the mistakes I’m making as I’m taking too long in my listing presentations, I’m going on listing presentations not prepared enough for what the house should be. So sometimes I’ll go on a listing presentation and I had my admin assistant print out a CMA for me, but I haven’t studied the subdivision of the neighborhood and things in as detail as I should.
Ren Jones (17:06):
Okay, so you guys marked it. But to be fair, you’ve only been doing this for a year and a half. And to be fair, you’ve only been doing Vulcan7 for six weeks, of which you’re now running at oh, I’m pretty close to taking one listing a week, which is huge. So I’m just is it’s going to look, I’d like to have you on here a year from now.
Jim Fussell (17:26):
I feel like I’m starting-
Ren Jones (17:29):
A lot of fun stuff.
Jim Fussell (17:29):
… Starting to just figure out what to track and what to do. I’ve been, for the six weeks I’ve been doing this. I’ve been in the I’ve felt like I’ve just been in the clouds. I really don’t know what I’m doing. But I’m starting to figure out, okay, here’s something I’ve seen repeat itself three times. Okay, I’m going to make a system out of that and improve it.
Ren Jones (17:47):
Jim, you got a pleasant problem. Folks so I asked Jim yesterday what an average commission is? An average commission. Jim is?
Jim Fussell (17:54):
Between 6,500 and 7,000.
Ren Jones (17:57):
All right? So if you take $7,000 and you do 40 transactions this year, that’s 280. And I said, that’s a pretty good number. And he said, well, I also do investment. I make money on investments. So he is, he’s really making about 350 this year. That’s not bad for pretty new in the business, is it?
Jim Fussell (18:18):
I’m satisfied for my second year. I just, I’m anxious to get this steady and repeatable. The traction-
Ren Jones (18:31):
You notice folks, when I said that to him, he is clenched face and it wasn’t a big smile. He’s not satisfied with that number, are you?
Jim Fussell (18:41):
For whatever reason, I’m not. And I’m practicing.
Ren Jones (18:45):
I love it because he’ll be doing 175 2 years from now when we call him.
Jim Fussell (18:53):
I’m probably more satisfied with the dollars than I am the lifestyle I hear you all talk about. I mean, I hear people talk about that come 6:00, they go at a home, they turn it off and come back and start it. That’s the number one thing that pulled me to Vulcan7 was, yeah, I was knocking on doors starting at 4:00 in the afternoon, not even finishing till 8:30, 9:00 at night and then working all day and just.
Ren Jones (19:16):
So why did you decide to knock in the evening?
Jim Fussell (19:23):
My logic was that the average person that’s should be working during the day and they’re at home after hours after work.
Ren Jones (19:32):
You didn’t want to know what the daytime numbers and door knocking in Kansas City would be?
Jim Fussell (19:36):
Do I know? I don’t.
Ren Jones (19:36):
Okay. So let’s say you decide to knock from 9 to 12. Okay? One out of three will be home, one out of four will come to the door. Huh? High number. It’s a high number. Because there’s the philosophy of all morning look for business. When you get on late in the day and they’re tired, it’s a little harder. Right?
Jim Fussell (20:02):
Ren Jones (20:02):
And you’re tired.4, 5, 6 at night knocking on doors. I know you’re probably getting two out of three. And kids. And kids, right?
Jim Fussell (20:15):
I do. Yeah.
Ren Jones (20:17):
Just a thought, just a on the doors. Jim doesn’t have, he is a self-starter and he is, he’s not happy with where he is now. Even though there are a lot of people, Jim, that would be excited to take one listening a week. They would love that. So thank you so much for sharing what you’re doing because for many of us watching the show, they’re going to look and go, gosh, if he can do that, I can do that.
Jim Fussell (20:41):
And I do think this is a heck of a business.
Ren Jones (20:42):
Jim Fussell (20:47):
I’ve been in more than one business and this is a good one.
Ren Jones (20:50):
Good. I know there’s no ceiling. Yeah, there’s no boss that says, ah, you’re making too much. We’re going to cut your, cut things back, change it around.
Jim Fussell (21:02):
That’s the good part of this.
Ren Jones (21:04):
So may we check back with you in about a year and see how it’s going?
Jim Fussell (21:07):
You can, and thanks for the help you’ve already provided along the way around Ren. I mean that, I don’t take it for granted.
Ren Jones (21:13):
I’m, I’m excited. And then you’ve got another shadow coming up after Bernie. So folks go shadow top people. You’re going down to Houston, right?
Jim Fussell (21:21):
I am, yeah we’re going to go down and see what Lance Loken’s group down there, see what they’re doing.
Ren Jones (21:26):
Good deal. All right. Well have a great…
I want to thank our folks. If you’re watching on Vulcan seven and you want to get involved with the Lead Gen Facebook group, they’re at facebook.com/groups/gotobjections.
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 not yet involved with Vulcan7, make sure to sign up for at vulcan7.com/leadgen for a special deal.
And finally, people have been wondering what Jim Fussell’s secret is, why he’s relentless, why he’s not satisfied with where he is now. Because you can see it in the face when we talk about what he’s accomplished in such a short time. He’s not satisfied, he’s driven. Why he doesn’t have to struggle on the days he doesn’t feel like it. He has the power. He goes down, he goes online to graeters.com down and finds out what store near him carries the delicious Graeter’s mint chocolate chip. This is the one for listings. If you’re listing property, it’s the mint chocolate chip. The other flavors are for working with buyers, like Rocky Road. If the listing is slow to sell, just dig a hole in the front yard buried upside down, and that listing will sell just like that.
Thanks everybody for being here. We’ll see you guys next week when we have another exciting guest. And thank you, Jim. This has been wonderful.
Jim Fussell (22:53):
Ren Jones (22:53):
Jim’s like, I didn’t know that was my secret.
Jim Fussell (22:57):
Thank you Ren, bye bye.
Ren Jones (22:59):
Thanks everybody. See you guys next week.