S7 E6: GEOFF shows us how to take lots of listings virtually.
Closing Listings Virtually
Meet Geoff Hyland who has been in the real estate business since 2005 and in Mike Ferry Coaching from the start. In 2020 his goal was 400 transactions, 15o listings. Currently, he is slightly behind his goal, but he is close to catching up. He let the news of COVID19 get to him the first week, then chose to shift his mindset. He says to control your environment, otherwise, it is going to control you. He is taking listings virtually and doing previews and showing virtually. The increased use of technology is likely to have a long-lasting effect. He uses a showing protocol checklist and has closed 13 deals in the past two weeks and has 7 under contract. For those who insist on waiting, he encourages them to get their home touched up and ready. National inventory is low, there is less competition, and homeowners are more receptive than ever to your recommendations. Geoff is also using this time to strengthen his relationships with those in his database. On calling expires Geoff starts the call more softly with lots of empathy and then moves on to his script.
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 a week. And we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of your knowledge as quickly as you can, and then use the copycat principal. Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego, actually she is from San Diego, but she is working remotely from sunny Florida. Carley Hathaway, that’s carleyhathaway.com. Hi Carley. How’s the real estate business?
Carley Hathaway (00:47):
Hey Ren. Hey everybody. Real estate’s great. I love making my prospecting calls later in the afternoon because I’m three hours ahead over here. It’s going really good and I’m super excited for our guest today.
Ren Jones (00:59):
Wonderful. I am too. Before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everyone 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 commercial message during the show as the thank you to the lead gen folks. Let’s welcome our guest today from beautiful, sunny, warm Prescott, Arizona, Mr. Geoff Hyland. Welcome Geoff.
Carley Hathaway (01:28):
Geoff Hyland (01:30):
Hey, how are you? Thanks for having me on the show, I appreciate it.
Ren Jones (01:33):
Good, glad you could be with us.
Carley Hathaway (01:36):
Thanks for being here. We’re so excited. Let’s start with what’s your goal for the year?
Geoff Hyland (01:38):
So my personal goal was to list 150 resale properties, and for the team to do over 400 transactions.
Ren Jones (01:46):
Nah, what a beautiful thing.
Carley Hathaway (01:47):
I love it. Amazing. And are you on track?
Geoff Hyland (01:51):
I’m a little bit behind, but I’m very close and working towards that goal every day, and keeping it in the forefront of my mind. So I have no doubt in my mind that I’m going to make that goal.
Ren Jones (02:01):
Great. We’re in the middle of April, 2020. How did March go?
Geoff Hyland (02:08):
March, actually, it’s interesting because the showing activity in our market was down by about 60%, but what we found is that the number of homes that went under contract was only down by about 20%. So I kind of spin that as a positive for a lot of my clients where it’s like, “Hey, you’re going to have less showings, more qualified buyers, and realistically, even though there’s less people coming through your home, you’ve got just as good a shot as any of getting it sold, and that’s what we’re seeing.”
Ren Jones (02:34):
Yeah, lot of good filler. No lookie-lous.
Carley Hathaway (02:36):
Yeah, right. No neighbors coming to see what color their carpet is and stuff.
Geoff Hyland (02:41):
Yeah. Thinking about relocating here in three to five years, I mean those buyers are not here right now and that’s a breath of fresh air.
Ren Jones (02:47):
I know. Wow. It’s all down to business. I love it. Well, I mean there’s so much upside to this. That is fantastic.
Geoff Hyland (02:55):
Carley Hathaway (02:55):
So Geoff, let’s talk about your daily schedule if we could. Has it altered at all with not being able to get out and about as much or is your schedule pretty consistent?
Geoff Hyland (03:04):
Yeah, I had one week early in March that I came back and that’s kind of when all that Covid stuff was really coming out and I made the mistake of not maintaining my media free rule, and that week was really hard for me. And I had the news on in the background, I’m in my home office and everything. And after that week I just said, “That’s enough. I’ve got to make the choice and go get back into my routine.” And so I started getting back into my normal routine of exercising, rolling the alarm clock back to where it’s always been, getting up, doing the exercising, spending time with the kids in the morning and that sort of thing. And then getting into the office by 7:30 for role plays and practice, and then hitting the phones. And when I started making that mindset shift is when everything kind of started to fall back into place, and I thought, “Control your environment, otherwise it’s going to control you.”
Carley Hathaway (03:57):
I love that. Control your environment or else it’s going to control you.
Geoff Hyland (03:59):
Carley Hathaway (04:02):
And so since you got back to your regular routine, you’re back on track, you’re doing great.
Geoff Hyland (04:05):
I am. And I had some hesitations, to be honest with you, about taking things more virtual, but honestly that’s a mental hangup that’s on the part of the agents. When I started taking all these listings virtually, they’d walk me through their home with Zoom or FaceTime or one of those platforms. My photographer would go out there, take all the photos and everything, and then in many cases we put them on the market and within the first day we’re getting multiple showings. There are still buyers out there. They never left the market, they’re still here. And once I got past that, it was just off to the races.
Ren Jones (04:37):
You think that it’s possible that a few months from now or a year or two from now we could just make it almost all virtual, all the way through from now till forevermore? Forget having to drive across town, meet with them in person, just do it all virtually.
Geoff Hyland (04:56):
Absolutely. No, I think we’re definitely going to see some changes moving forward. I think that this is educating a lot of people about what’s really possible. And without having that intrusion, we’re having virtual showings and virtual previews and that sort of thing and really stepping up our game on 3D walkthroughs and all that stuff. And that proved to be invaluable and I think a lot of people, agents and consumers, are going to see how valuable the technology really is. And I think there’s going to be some long lasting effects, for sure.
Carley Hathaway (05:24):
Yeah, I agree with you. Good for you. So it was just kind of a mental block, but then once you did your first virtual listing appointment and virtual showing, you were fine?
Geoff Hyland (05:34):
Exactly. It was really more me, and at first you had that hesitation, they’re going to wonder why I don’t want to come to their home or this, that, and the other. But as a real estate agent, we’re out in the public a lot more. And so a lot of times I’ll just say, “Hey, I’m in the public a lot more than you are, and for your safety and to do as much as we can to protect you, I’d like to offer this service.” And I mean it was crazy. They were just, “Yeah, that sounds great. How do we do it? Let’s do it.” And then from there it was a mental block and as soon as you get past it, you just keep on going.
Carley Hathaway (06:05):
Ren Jones (06:06):
Carley Hathaway (06:08):
Let me ask you the though. Obviously the person that really has to get into their home and really touch everything is the inspection. So how has that changed? Do they have hangups? Are they trying to clean everything after or what’s different there?
Geoff Hyland (06:20):
So for showings and stuff, we implemented some protocols, a little checklist that we ask the buyer agents to go through with their customers and avoid touching as much as possible and that sort of thing, for inspections and that sort of thing. The inspectors are wearing personal protective equipment for their safety and for the seller’s safety. And it really has been a non-issue for us. I mean everybody’s taking every precaution that we can. We always want to do everything that we can to keep everybody safe, but the inspectors are continuing to go, appraisers are continuing to go, and it hasn’t really been the impact that you might have thought. Yeah.
Ren Jones (07:07):
Carley Hathaway (07:09):
Taking listings without even working.
Geoff Hyland (07:11):
There we go.
Ren Jones (07:15):
I love it. So now I don’t know if this is a question or a comment or what are your thoughts on this? I heard today that when the number of active cases dropped way down in China, all of a sudden they had a 30% increase in real estate sales, sort of a boom, if you will. And what we know will happen if that, or when that happens here in a few weeks, that all of a sudden roofers and painters and repair people and carpet and moving and storage people are going to be running short. So anybody that’s going to be putting their home on the market in the next few weeks, they better get with these contractors now or they’re going to be out of luck.
Geoff Hyland (08:03):
Absolutely. And that’s some conversations that we’re having too. You do run across some sellers that are saying, “Hey, I want to postpone. I want to hold off until some of this blows over.” And there’s some hesitation there. And obviously we’re sensitive to what their needs are first, but it is important to have that conversation and kind of future pace, because I do think that what we’re going to see is that if you want to call it a spring selling season, if anything, it’s just going to get a little bit delayed. Again, we’re still transacting. I mean, in the last two weeks I think we’ve closed 13 transactions, put seven more under contract. So there are still lots of activity in the market, but you want to get ahead of that and kind of future pace that a little bit to make sure that when they’re ready, that you’re going to get on there before the onslaught of people that have been waiting on the background and ready to do it at that time.
Ren Jones (08:51):
June and July, we’re going to have 10 inches of water trying to go through a one inch pipe. It’s going to be a pleasant problem for us.
Geoff Hyland (09:01):
Ren Jones (09:01):
But it will be a problem on moving and storage contractors, lenders, all the people involved with us are just not going to be enough of them. So the more we can plan ahead and get that done, whatever we can get done early, get done early.
Geoff Hyland (09:16):
Carley Hathaway (09:19):
And Geoff, when you’re making your prospecting calls, do you kind of talk about that with them or do you say, “Hey…” Is that an objection handler you use?
Geoff Hyland (09:27):
Well, I kind of just let them guide what direction they’re… Kind of get a sense from them what their timing is and that sort of thing, and then address it from there. Like I said, we want to be sensitive to their needs and their timing and everything. But certainly let them know that at some point in time, probably in the very near future, we’re going to be looking at this more in the rear view mirror than front and center, and we want to stay ahead of that.
So yeah, I mean now is the time to get those final projects. Everybody’s home, you got to do that touch up or do whatever, now is the time to do it. And then let’s go ahead and get everything ready. And in some cases that means photography and everything else, so that the day that they feel comfortable, we’re on the market and rolling. And that’s just going to give us more of a leg up on the competition because inventory on a national level is very, very low. And so anything that we can do to get ahead of that and be ready is a huge asset.
Carley Hathaway (10:23):
Yeah, good. And when you are making your prospecting calls, are you noticing a difference in, number one, the agents, the amount of agents that are calling, and number two, the mentality that the seller is bringing, the mindset that the seller’s bringing?
Geoff Hyland (10:41):
Yeah, there’s certainly less competition, which I welcome. There’s a lot of people that they don’t control their environment and they are susceptible to the media and feeling like what they’re seeing is reality. And so yes, what I’m finding is the people that absolutely need to sell, they’re way more willing to work with you. They’re much more pliable in terms of what your recommendations are, because more than in recent times, they really value the service that you can provide. And so they’re all ears and they welcome these responses and recommendations from us, which is great.
Carley Hathaway (11:21):
Cool. And they’re probably happy to talk to someone besides their family members.
Geoff Hyland (11:25):
Absolutely. And that’s a great point, calling your past clients, I mean, calling your past clients and just a simple check in goes such a long way. And I know that there’s been talking about that in various shows, but it goes a long way. People are shut indoors and different things. And a call to just say, “Hey, I’m just checking in. I just want to see that you’re healthy and how you’re doing,” and building those relationships in your database right now is huge.
Ren Jones (11:50):
And it should come pretty quickly because we’re at the time of the year that agents say, when we get too deep into this time of the year, they go, “I can’t handle the amount of business I have now,” because this is that time of year when everybody wants to do something.
Geoff Hyland (12:09):
Ren Jones (12:09):
What do you, looking at some of your structure pieces? Because there are a lot of people on here that don’t have the structure and the discipline you do. You’re tracking numbers? Do you have accountability partners? Well, you’ve mentioned role play, but so you role play. Do you have accountability? How do you do it on the days you don’t feel like? How many people do you talk to each day?
Geoff Hyland (12:32):
So I have a role play or practice session each and every day of the week. And usually they’ll start at 7:30 in the morning and they’re 15 to 30 minutes. Of course, I’m professionally coached by Mike Ferry. I’ve been with Mike for 15 years now. The other thing that I find a lot of strength in and a lot of accountability in is my mastermind group. So that’s once a week, every Friday, it’s like minded people that are positive, that all care about one another, whether it be professionally, personally, the whole thing, but you’re late to that call by a minute, it’s a hundred bucks. If you’re not-
Ren Jones (13:05):
Wow. I love it.
Carley Hathaway (13:06):
I like that accountability.
Ren Jones (13:08):
That is great.
Geoff Hyland (13:09):
Yeah. And then there’s a shared spreadsheet and each month you’re posting, how many listings am I going to take? How many price reductions am I going to take?
Ren Jones (13:16):
How embarrassing that could be.
Geoff Hyland (13:19):
And you don’t want to be on the call and be the one that’s pulling everybody back. So I’m a somewhat competitive guy, so that’s a really good structure for me.
Carley Hathaway (13:28):
So you use your competitiveness. That’s good. That’s smart.
Geoff Hyland (13:32):
Yeah, just a little bit
Carley Hathaway (13:34):
Yeah. And then obviously you have great mindset and we know now you’re not watching the news, you’re not plugged into any of that. How else do you keep your mindset right?
Geoff Hyland (13:43):
Yeah. So I mean, obviously with Mike, you’re getting daily messages of positive quotes and positive thoughts and that sort of thing. Your coach helps a lot with that. But then just every day, just in the background, whether it’s listening to Earl Nightingale or Zig Ziglar, or podcasts, there’s so many positive and uplifting podcasts out there. And then-
Ren Jones (14:05):
Like this show.
Geoff Hyland (14:06):
That’s exactly right. No, and so all of those, whether it’s just in the background, your subconscious mind is so powerful, and then just taking little mindset breaks throughout the day. I mean, I’ve got a three, five and seven year old at home, and daddy’s working upstairs, and they kind of understand why I’m not leaving the house every day, but I come down there and give them each a hug every time I see them. And the other thing I think is really important for mindset is we do have an opportunity right now with our families at home, many of us. Take advantage of that. Work really hard with purpose when you’re working, but then schedule some time in to be present with your kids. Leave your cell phone down and just be present with them and your spouse, and it goes a long way for your family in these times, and it goes a long way for me. And I think-
Carley Hathaway (14:54):
Yeah, because if you work strong with purpose, you’re not going to feel guilty when you’re having family time.
Ren Jones (15:00):
I had this funny feeling, Geoff, and maybe it’s in your case or maybe it’s not. Sounds like you were working from the office before and now you have this home office upstairs. Is that right?
Geoff Hyland (15:11):
So I’ve always worked in the home office for the first part of the day until about 11:00. I knock out all my prospecting and everything at home and then I would leave. So they were always accustomed to me leaving before-
Ren Jones (15:20):
Geoff Hyland (15:21):
Dad gets to come down and have lunch and be a little bit more present, which is great.
Ren Jones (15:25):
So I’m just wondering, I mean, they’re going to be some people that we’re working, they’re like, “I like this new home office idea.”
Geoff Hyland (15:31):
Yep. Absolutely. I think you’re going to see some changes. I really do.
Ren Jones (15:36):
I do, especially with video. I think the efficiency piece with our business is all of a sudden going to be there because you don’t have to drive across town. They’ll go, “Well, can’t you do this virtually?” ‘Well, sure.”
Geoff Hyland (15:51):
Absolutely. It’s just like with DocuSign and everything else. It’s like, “Oh, we don’t have to meet. I can just do it on my phone.” Absolutely.
Ren Jones (15:57):
Click, click, click.
Geoff Hyland (15:58):
Carley Hathaway (15:58):
And so you start prospecting by 8:00 AM after your role play? Has the people you call changed? Because I know I always try to call new expireds first and I haven’t changed that. Have you?
Geoff Hyland (16:09):
No, I’m still calling new expireds first. My approach has changed a little bit. Instead of delving right into logistics like I might have in the past, it’s a little bit more of a soft approach. “There’s been some interesting things going around in the world right now, and I know that these are uncharted times for us, but I saw that your home has come off the market as a canceled or expired listing, and just wanted to get a sense of if there’s anything that I could do to help. Do you need to still get that home sold?” And try and come at them with empathy and understanding, not that we didn’t in the past, but really making that the forefront of the discussion so that they lower their guard and realize, “He really is just trying to help.”
Carley Hathaway (16:46):
And then you dive into the script?
Geoff Hyland (16:48):
Then you dive into the script. Yep.
Carley Hathaway (16:51):
Soften it a little. All right. I like that.
Ren Jones (16:53):
Yeah. Thumb a contribution make.
Carley Hathaway (16:55):
Ren Jones (16:57):
Good. Yeah, I mean you have to still… Even though we’re mid-April, you still have to address that.
Carley Hathaway (17:06):
And I think too, once you just do it and get it out of the way, you can get on with your call because otherwise in the back of your head you’re like, “Oh, are they going to…”
Ren Jones (17:15):
The elephant on the table is still there. Yes.
Carley Hathaway (17:19):
So may as well just get it out, get it over with the first thing and then you can jump into your script.
Geoff Hyland (17:22):
Ren Jones (17:23):
Carley Hathaway (17:25):
And so the objection that I’m getting the most, and let me ask you how you handle it, is, “I just want to wait till all this is over.”
Geoff Hyland (17:32):
Yeah. It really boils down to their motivation. And I mean, in some cases, I personally am not somebody that wants to force anybody obviously into having them have their home on the market if it’s uncomfortable for them. But the other thing that I do want to counsel them on is that I’m hearing that from a lot of people. And so, how important is it for you to get the most amount of money out of your home? And obviously they’re going to say it’s important. They want to get every dollar that they can.
And so that really boils down to, do you think that you’re going to be in a better position to do that if you’re competing against, say, three or four homes that are similar to yours, or 10 or 12 homes? And kind of just educating them that we as real estate agents are hearing that from a lot of our clients right now. And in many cases, having your home on the market now with lots less competition than what we anticipate later in the year is going to be-
Carley Hathaway (18:29):
I love that.
Ren Jones (18:32):
Good point. And I’m glad we addressed this issue because that’s the point. The supply is coming.
Carley Hathaway (18:38):
And they’re going to understand that and they’re going to get it. They’re going to be like, “Yeah, I do want to be the only house on the market.”
Geoff Hyland (18:43):
Ren Jones (18:44):
Carley Hathaway (18:44):
Good. Love it.
Geoff Hyland (18:46):
But in many cases, the properties that we’re putting on the market, I mean, are unique for one reason or another. Maybe it’s multi-generational, maybe it’s that single story with the oversized garage. And when we look at the market and there’s such scarcity… I had one where it was a California g, but as soon as I put it on the market, within eight hours we had a showing and an offer because there was just market scarcity. And I don’t know if that would’ve happened three months from now when there’s 15 more homes like that. In fact, I can pretty much say it wouldn’t have happened that way.
Carley Hathaway (19:16):
Ren Jones (19:17):
When you look at it, look at what’s going on in the world and paychecks and this and that, this is probably one of the safest jobs in the world if we’re willing to work and maybe double down.
Geoff Hyland (19:31):
Yeah. I started selling real estate in 2005, so I went through the last recession, and with Mike’s help and coaching and everything else and just opening my mindset, there was always people, even equity position, albeit small in that market and in that economy, that absolutely needed to sell and buyers that absolutely wanted to buy. And no different than in that market than now, I just adapted. Whether it was 20% of the market that was equity sellers, that’s what I chose to go after each and every day. And as soon as you make that mindset shift and say, “Look, these people are out there, my job is to find them,” then the world is your oyster and you can go after them.
And same thing now. It’s a little bit different. It’s like, “Hey, there are people out there that absolutely need my help today for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because they’re in tough times and they’ve closed the business down. Maybe they’re worried about that, or they have a family member they need to get closer to.” Or on a buyer side, I mean people that their home is sold, they have to buy something now. And that’s what I’m telling my team, my staff, come at everybody with empathy and understanding. There are people there that need your help now more than ever. And so we need the help.
Ren Jones (20:42):
I know it’s surprising how much now business there is. Yeah. Most of the country, according to Zillow stats, we’re running at about 80% of normal volume, with exception of New York area, New York City area. They’re running closer to 50%. But 80% is not a bad number considering how many agents are sitting on their hands at home.
Geoff Hyland (21:07):
Carley Hathaway (21:08):
And that’s the best internal dialogue to have, what you just said, before you get on the phones, because they do need me, they do need to sell. You’re coming from a positive place and I think that’s so important.
Geoff Hyland (21:19):
Yeah. I mean, coming from a position of earnest where it’s like, I truly do… There are people out there right now and I got to tell you, the people that you put their home under contract right now, they are so appreciative and so grateful. I mean, it’s really fulfilling as an agent to be able to say, “Hey look, I helped this person in this time of need and they needed me more than ever.” And it’s a great feeling to have.
Carley Hathaway (21:41):
That’s amazing. Good. So good.
Geoff Hyland (21:44):
Ren Jones (21:45):
Wonderful thing. This has been wonderful, Geoff. I appreciate it so much. This helps a lot. And you’re having a great year.
Geoff Hyland (21:55):
Hey, we’re doing everything we can. It’s all about mindset. You get to make the choice every day. Is it going to be positive or negative? And you got to make the right choice.
Ren Jones (22:03):
Carley, that sounds like a good place to live. Maybe you should move there.
Carley Hathaway (22:06):
You know I’m never leaving California. He always tries to get me to leave.
Geoff Hyland (22:09):
You can come visit and think about.
Carley Hathaway (22:15):
I’m here in Florida, I’m visiting. I can’t wait to get back to California.
Ren Jones (22:17):
She flew on a plane last week through the largest airport in the world, Atlanta, and it looked like a ghost town. How many people were on your flight, Carley?
Carley Hathaway (22:30):
10 people. It was so weird.
Geoff Hyland (22:33):
Did you get to sit in first class?
Carley Hathaway (22:35):
I tried and she said no.
Ren Jones (22:38):
You would think they would-
Carley Hathaway (22:39):
Like, “Get back there.” So anyways, well thank you so much, Geoff. This has been great. I’m going to rewatch it every morning before I get on my calls. Excited.
Ren Jones (22:46):
There you go.
Geoff Hyland (22:48):
Well, thank you. It was a pleasure being here today. I really appreciate it. I really appreciate everything that you’re doing out there, helping these agents, helping me. I mean, it’s a great mindset break or to have on in the background, and I really appreciate everything you’re doing.
Ren Jones (23:01):
Good. And thank you for being here, Geoff. And so folks, if you’re watching on Vulcan7 and you want to get involved on the Lead Gen Facebook group that simulcasts the show, they’re at facebook.com/groups/gotobjections. 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. And finally, the secret you wanted to know, how does Geoff Hyland sell all those homes in Prescott, Arizona? Is it the sunshine? Is it the home office? Is it, he’s just got it together? Is it his poaching property? Is it all the activities he’s doing?
No, he goes at lunchtime, before he goes downstairs, he has a little freezer in his office there. When he gets up, delicious Graeter’s Mint Chocolate Chip. This is the one for listing. Rocky Road is the one if you’re working buyers, for obvious reasons. But the mint chocolate chip, it’s the power you need. If the listing is slow to sell, you just dig a hole in the front yard, bear down, bury it under and the listing will sell just like that. Go to graeters.com to find a store near you, all over North America. Thank you. See you guys next week, where we have another guest. Don’t miss it at our new time here Wednesdays at two o’clock eastern, 11 o’clock Pacific. And I don’t know what time it is if you’re watching in New Zealand. See everybody next week.
Carley Hathaway (24:28):