S8 E1: The Mindset of Wealth
Real Estate Mentorship & The Mindset of Wealth
Meet Real Estate Agent Shonna Ruble from Billings, Montana. Her goal for this year is to finish out with 120 units. She recommends having a coach that will help you grow your business and hold you accountable. Having that extra set of eyes so that they dissect your business is essential. The key is it’s important that no matter if you are day one in the business or if you’ve been in it 20 to 40 years, everyone should invest themselves by having a coach.
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 two, three, four listings each week. And we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of their knowledge as quickly as you can, and then use the copycat principle. Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego, Carley Hathaway. That’s carleyhathaway.com. Hi, Carley. How’s the real estate business?
Hi, Ren. Hi, everybody. Real estate is great, as you know. It’s such a good time to be a listing agent. Love getting those multiple offers right now.
Before I introduce our guest today, I want to remind everyone that we are also simulcasting the show in the private lead gen group on Facebook. They have 52,000 members, so we have a large audience there today as well. We’ll 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 Billings, Montana, Miss Shonna Key Ruble. Welcome, Shonna.
Hi. How are you? Thank you.
Hi, Shonna. Thank you so much for being here today. We’re so excited to talk to you.
Thanks. Thanks for having me.
Yeah. So Shonna, again, thank you so much for being here. What is your goal for the year?
Our goal for the year is to finish the year out with 120 units.
That’s a lot. That’s a big goal. Are you on track?
We are on track to hit that goal this year. Yes.
That’s exciting. Okay. So that’s a huge number. Where is your business coming from?
So most of our business is actually coming from just really a lot of things, but we actually believe real estate is pretty simple. So we are a real estate team, so we do have buyer’s agents that allows us to hit those higher numbers. But I still am production, so therefore, I am getting on the phone every single morning and making those calls, and we’re following up with our database. But then real estate, like I said before, is really simple. So we focus on open houses for sale by owners, expired listings, just really those basic things. Of course, you have leads from listings, but we do not buy any leads. So every lead we have is organic.
That’s really cool, and that’s exciting. So your profit margin’s going to be a lot higher, right, because you’re not spending money on buying leads that don’t really work.
Absolutely, yes. And also, I have a phenomenal coach, Steve Powers. So he’s constantly making me go and just making sure that we’re in alignment because even if we make $1 million in a GCI this year, if we didn’t have the profit, I wouldn’t even be able to go buy a Twinkie. So we’re just going to keep those numbers down as close as we can so we are having a good profit each year.
That’s amazing. And so it sounds like you know what you’re doing. You’ve built a team, you make your calls, but you still have a coach. Why do you feel like you need a coach still?
Well, I feel like we have to have a coach in every aspect of our life, but definitely in real estate, I mean, one, so as being a team leader, the broker and someone who’s been in the industry for 17 years, I think oftentimes we know what needs to be done. We’ve heard it so many times, but we do not have anyone there to actually hold us accountable. So when you’re at the top of the team, your agents aren’t really going to hold you accountable. Your admin are not. But if you have that coach that you’re paying all this money to that’s helping you grow your business, then they earn that right to hold you accountable.
And I think also it’s good because we’re in it. So we’re in the business, and sometimes we make bad decisions when we’re in it. We’re not from the outside looking in. So having that extra set of eyes of someone really dissecting my business and just bringing it back to reality of, “Shonna, don’t chase this shiny object, but let’s go back to the basics. Pick up the phone. Work your expired listings. When’s the last time that you caught expireds?” So for me, I think it’s important that no matter if you’re day one in the business or if you’ve been in it 20 to 40 years, I think everyone should invest in themselves by having a coach.
Yeah. And I like how you say it’s like having a bird’s-eye view to help you in that way.
Carley, of all the guests we’ve had on Roadmap over the last few years, 120-plus guests, there have only been about three that didn’t have a coach because in their case, within two weeks, they paid for a whole year of coaching, and then it’s all plus return, somebody that holds them accountable, somebody that makes them so powerful, they’re taking an extra two or three listings a month, which if an average listing’s what, $7,000, $8,000 times three, it’s an extra quarter of a million dollars a year. So I can’t speak highly enough about one-on-one coaching that everyone should be involved in.
I mean, I know Mike Ferry and Ron Kernan always say, look at professional athletes. They’re the best in the world. They still are coached.
Yeah. I agree with Ren. I mean, it’s… Yeah.
Good. Okay. So you said you get in the mornings, you start calling. Can you just give us your morning routine breakdown?
Yes. So again, it goes back to having a coach. For me, I am a real estate agent, and we’re really great at sales. So we’re really not good at holding ourselves accountable. If you’re great at sales, most of the time, you’re not organized and sticking to a schedule is painful. So you actually have to learn those things. So before, I’ll be honest with you, before Steve, I’d be like, “Okay. Well, I own the company. I’ll just come in this time.” But you really cannot do that. So my coach, Steve Powers, has really worked on my schedule, and that is getting up at the same time every day. It does get easier over time.
90 days was a struggle. But getting up at the same time every day. And so for me is listings because I am still in production. So my morning, I would like to say that I go to the gym and work out. I do not do that, but I should. But once I get to the office, everyone in my office knows that for the morning, I am going to actually be hunting for leads, just during that. So I come in. I immediately pull up our expires through the Vulcan7 we actually use and I immediately get on the phone to start calling because-
What time do you start calling?
I start calling about 8:30, and the reason being is I come in, I talk to my agents, just really quick emergencies, “What do you need?” So for me personally, I love to focus on my business and systems because our company’s only as great as our systems, and our people are only going to be as great as our systems. So in order for me to earn the right to actually do what I love and the fun part of real estate, I have to do the boring part of it. And that’s actually make calls and up the phone.
So I come in at 8:00. By 8:30, I am on the phone calling my expireds. And the reason we do that is, I mean, there’s going to be others in the market that’s going to be calling them as well. So I want to be the first person to talk to them about their expired listing to try to set that appointment. I’ll then call the for sale by owners. Then we’ll go through my database, our evaluations that have came in from our website. So my morning is strictly all about lead generation. If I get an appointment set, then I earn the right to work on my systems and coach my team in the afternoon. But each morning, Monday through Friday, it’s all about lead generation.
That’s amazing. And how important is it that it has to be [inaudible 00:08:47]? Why don’t you just do it Mondays and Wednesdays? What do you think the importance is of doing it five days a week right away in the morning?
I’m sure there’s some great true real estate answer out there that if you watch videos that someone’s going to be really intelligent when they say it. For me personally, it is one, I am a leader, so I need to show up every single day for my team, and I take that very seriously. So for me personally, if I skip a day, we get lazy and we think it’s okay, and we justify it. And then next thing you know, you’re going to be missing on two days or you’ll be scheduling appointments during that time when you shouldn’t be.
But also, it’s really about being a leader. And so if I want my agents to be consistent and accountable on what they say they’re going to do, then I also need to be accountable of what I say I’m going to do. And so that’s coming in, showing my team and my agents like, “Hey. Even though it’s painful, I don’t enjoy it either.” I want to show up every single day and do what it takes to be a real estate agent. And that’s essentially getting an appointment every single day. That’s the minimum standard. And if I expect my team to do that, I have to do it as well.
Yeah. You’re right. If you expect the whole team to do it, you have to do it as well. You want to mirror and model a way of being. If you’re taking that extra listing it, when you get down to it, what’s a better use of your time than taking one listing a day?
Right. So I tell our team, it’s… We actually just did this on our team meeting on Tuesday. You come into real estate and you think like, “Oh. I’ve got to be good at marketing, I have to do all these things.” We actually have one job. Real estate agents, your one job is to get that one appointment every single day. Everything else is busywork. But if you don’t grow your company and you’re not from the mindset of being in production, then what you’re doing is you’re failing your teammates. I tell people I have to show up every day so my admin and my agents can afford to put food on their table or they can afford braces or glasses for their children. And that means I do the one job that I’ve done for the last 17 years that I love, and that’s go after one appointment.
And that’s the power of doing it five days a week. It develops that muscle memory. So if you miss a day or you start to miss a day, you’re like, “Oh. I’m supposed to be doing something.” By doing it five days a week versus two or three, as Carley was talking about, that makes you powerful. That’s the power of it. That pulls you in place.
I cannot agree with you more on that. Actually, it’s funny. Once you have a few days of not actually doing your lead gen, like on a Monday, it’s hard to remember your scripts. But when you do it every single day, as soon as someone opens their mouth on the other end of that phone, I already know what my rebuttal’s going to be because we only get so many actual rebuttals that somebody’s going to throw at me. And soon as they’re talking, I already know what I’m going to say. And that just comes over time, and it’s going through the pain of saying it over and over and over, and just actually knowing what to say and when to say it and having enough people to say it to.
The other important component about five days a week is in the lead follow-up. If you’re not doing it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, it breaks your stride and lead follow-up breaks down. So it’s really important to do that. Shonna, can you comment on a hunter mindset?
Oh, yeah. So sorry about that. So my coach, Steve Powers, has taught me that there’s two personalities or two roles in a real estate team. So you have the hunter that goes out and they kill the buffalo every single day, and they bring it back to their team. And then you have the skinners. So the Skinners are my admin, like my transaction coordinator, my listing manager, and they take care of it so that my job every single day is to feed my team. So I go out, I get that listing, I bring it back to my team. Our systems, our models, our customer service space of who we are is all ran by my admin team. Then I just go back out, I get the listing, I bring it back in, and then I allow the skinners really, which is my admin team, to do the work and offer great customer service. And if I am successful in hunting that day for the listing, then I get or I earn the right to work on our systems and our growth model.
Carley, you can tell this analogy is designed for Montana.
It’ll work in all 50 states. I promise.
There’s not a lot of skinning going on in New York.
You talk to Steve about that. I don’t know what he uses for his New York clients.
Hunting pigeons. So I think it’s really cool that you’ve built a team because it almost seems like because you’ve built the team, that helps you be held accountable as well. Like you said, “Oh. This person needs their kid needs braces, glasses,” whatever. So the accountability is a huge aspect for you, right?
Absolutely. It’s in our value statement. It hangs on the wall as soon as we walk in the office. It’s just one, we hire accountable people, but also I need to be accountable, and we do what we say we’re going to do. I tell my admin, “If you tell someone that you’re going to get them a listing to packet out that day, I don’t care if you remember at 9:00 that night, it needs to be dropped in the mailbox, because we really do what we say we’re going to do.” So accountability is a huge part in our team.
That’s great. That’s amazing. Let me ask you this. What do you put in your listing packet? Will you give us the secret?
So my listing packets, I wish I had some big fancy thing that I said we use. Our listing packet is a very basic listing packet. So you’re going to laugh and you’re going to judge me while I say this. I write a handwritten note in the listing packet. And I’d like to say that I do it, but my admin team does it and I sign my name. But I just wrote a handwritten note talking about their property and a little bit about who we are. So I’ll share what that card says. It’ll say like, “Hi, my name’s Shonna Ruble. I’m with the Shonna Key Team. We believe in national exposure. There is a thing called a local market and a national market. We also believe in being 100% transparent and we’d love the opportunity to sit down with you and show you how we do real estate differently than most real estate agents and brokers in the area.”
“Most real estate brokers and agents that you interview are going to rely on the five Ps, which are, they’re going to place your property on their website, they’re going to place it on the MLS, which will go to Zillow and realtor.com. They’re going to place it in the local paper, put a sign in your yard and pray it sells. We do the five Ps, but a lot more. We are more of a marketing and technology firm. We just happen to be in the business of real estate. So if you’d like to learn more about our company and our team and how we’re truly different on getting your property sold, please give us a call.” It’s really simple, not rocket science.
I absolutely love it. I love it.
Sign me up.
And you’re the first one I’ve ever talked to that does handwritten cards like that. And everything you said is perfect. You’re knocking out your competitors in one little letter.
Right. So what happens is when I go on that listing appointment, they’ll have a whole stack of mail-outs and people had hung things on their door. But sometimes, you have to go back to the basics, and real estate’s super simple. But we truly at Shonna Key Team are all about customer service, and we truly love our clients. And everything we do, it shows. But I want them to trust me to sell their home. And I really want them to understand I’ve taken the time to know their home, write this letter, and I want them to feel important. And another thing. When’s the last time you’ve actually gotten something in the mail that someone actually hand-addressed your name and your address to? Rarely do we get it. And so when they get it, they’re like, “Well, what’s this?” And they open it and it’s a card that somebody actually took the time to care to write them a letter. So they read it. And so it’s just a different way of marketing that we do.
So I’d love to tell you, Carley, that I have a bunch of flyers and pitchers and this really awesome marketing, but it works for us. I am a real estate worker in four states. It works in all four states so far that we have done it in, and it allows us to take listings, like this month alone, we’ve already taken 24 listings.
You’re talking about a high level of personal touch. Is that what we’re saying?
I like it.
I agree. And you said it works in all four states. I’m going to try in California and I’m going to let you know.
What four states?
Okay. Sounds awesome.
What are your four states?
We are Virginia, West Virginia, North Dakota, and Montana.
All places with buffaloes.
So Shonna, are you going to fill in the states in between those?
That’s always the goal. I mean, becoming complacent is like a slowly terrible form of dying. So to me, I want to grow as much as I can and as much as my coach feels that we can do, then that’s our goal.
Good. That’ll be fun. So do you track numbers? Do you have a way you’re measuring your business?
I’ll be honest with you. So I’m 100% transparent. I truly believe the success is in the math. There’s a saying. I’m sure I’ll mess it up, so I’m not even going to try it. But I think it’s something like success is in the math or something. I don’t know. So to answer your question, Ren, at first, being new into… So you got to remember, we’re just a little over two years in a real estate team. So to me, at the beginning, numbers was not that important to me. What was important is getting one listing because I know if I can get one listing, I can usually turn that into two or three listings because it allows me to call the neighbors. So if I get one property, I can call the neighbors like, “Hey. We just listed your neighbor’s property.” I can door knock that neighborhood to invite them to open houses.
My goal out of open house is yeah, I’d love to get the home sold, but let’s just be honest, the reason we have open houses is to get listings. So everything I do with an open house is geared to me getting listings from it. And then once we sell that listing, now I get to say, “Hey. Guess what? We sold your neighbor’s home. We have other people that’s looking in this area. Do you plan on selling your home? If so, will it be in a month, two months, six months, a year, three years, five years? Are they going to take you out in a pine box?” So it allows us to have these conversations with them. And so what we’re going to do is at the beginning, numbers, I know this is going to sound horrible and people are going to disagree with me, the numbers was not my focus. Listings was my focus. I had to build our inventory.
Now our goal is to double each year. And so we’ve been doing that. So going into 2021, my goal is 240 units. And how we get that is one, I have to have the admin and systems and model. So we really focus this year on systems, and then we focus on our customer service. And we also brought in new agents, and we’ve also launched an ISA department. So right now, we have four ISAs that have been going through training for the last 60 days. We also have seven new buyer’s agents that are coming on. So we need to make sure they are trained because I need that support in order for us to hit that 240 units. So now, tracking numbers is very crucial to our business. But in the beginning, I’ll just be honest with you, the only number I cared to track was how many appointments I was setting a day, and was those qualified listing appointments? And what was my close rate? I know for me, if you put me in front of a listing appointment, I have a 98% success close rate.
Good. That’s what I wanted to find out. So you’re pre-qualifying the appointment before you go out or you just don’t go out.
Well, everyone looks at pre-qualifying differently. So I feel like pre-qualifying is asking the right questions on the phone. And so over time, we ask those. In a conversation, you learn how to make it natural and you ask these questions that you know now like, “Is that appointment I want to go on?” And when I’m doing that, you also need to know your market. So when you are new in the business… I came to Billings, Montana. I knew no one. So I require everyone in my office to come in and join our team with 200 people to add to their database. I couldn’t even add 12. So I did not know anyone at all in Billings, Montana. But I knew one thing, I wanted to grow a team.
So with that being said, I had to go around and I would go to businesses and be like, “Hi, we have a lot of people moving in from outside the area and they want to know where they should take their pets or they’re asking me where they should get their hair done or they’re asking me which dentist they should use. Can I have your business card to add to my packet for our closing packet?” And everybody like, “Yeah. Absolutely. So I’d get their card. And then what I did is I’d go back two weeks later and I’d say, “Oh. Thank you so much. I did get that card put in there. Here is my card. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate.” So then I start nurturing those people. So I came into an area. I did not know anyone. So for me… And I can’t remember why we got on this tangent.
Keep going. It’s great.
Okay. But what I was going to say is, so when I did that, I would bring… That’s how I built my database in an area that I am not from and-
But it’s smart. People want to help people. So when you’re like, “Hey. If you need a hairdresser, if you need this…” You’ll help people that. What a great idea.
Well, I don’t know no one. So you think about it, when you move into an area and you do not know anyone, you don’t know who’s the best dentist, who’s the best place to go for grooming my dog. Who would you recommend to change the oil on my car? All these are businesses that was around town. So what I did is I actually started building rapport with the business owners. And when you really send business to them, then they all send business to you. But we also have a phenomenal CRM. What happened is it allowed me to take those 200 business cards and nurture them every single week with something. And once we did that, what happened is they were just like, “Hey, Shonna. You’ve been sending me this market report,” or, “Hey, Shonna, thanks for the pie on Thanksgiving.” So it helped us grow our business.
Yeah. So our goal for-
How big is your sphere, your database now, your personal…
So my personal database, we have actually grown in the last two years to about 4,000 people. Now, a lot of those are… There’s the difference between database with past clients or sphere listings… I mean, buyer leads. But mine has grown really quite a bit, and the reason being is word of mouth goes back to customer service. So we do great things for people, and it’s amazing how many people are actually sending us business. But again, those are also buyer leads. So I just want to be honest with you guys. I don’t take buyers. So I don’t believe in competing with my agents. However, I do sometimes get some buyer leads in there. So we just nurture them through our system.
So you got 4,000. Of those, you got your A clients. You’ve sold them a home or they’ve been proven to send you business. And you’ve got your B clients that haven’t proven themselves, but they’re strong. And then you got a bunch of people that are suspects that may buy something or sell something. Something like that. Would that be a fair statement?
Yes. Absolutely. So yes, you are absolutely right. So you have your A buyers. You just know that soon someone says, “Hey. I want to do real estate,” they’re going to have you on the phone. They’re not just going to give away your card. Prime example would be my massage therapist. She will call me, “Shonna, what are you doing right now?” “Well, I’m kind of working.” “Great. I have someone in here that wants to sell their home. I told them you’ll be down here in 15 minutes.” I will stop and I’ll go down to her place. She gives me great business.
But then you have your B clients and your Cs. I often tell people my C clients are the clients that oftentimes are my cousins and family members that you just have to hang out with at Christmas, but you only see them once a year. But you still want to nurture them, and you want to make them B clients and A clients. But yes sir, we do the ABC.
I’ll tell you’ve got some good systems in place. And with the goal for your growth, working your way up to 240 and the plans in place, it’s an exciting time going on in Billings, Montana and your other 4 states
It is. Yes.
Yes. Those are brokers, so yes.
Gotcha. Well, what your team is doing is doing great.
Seems like you’ve built an incredible life for yourself and it’s just only going to go further and further. So it’s wonderful. And thank you so much for sharing. Sorry about my-
No. She’s having a lot of fun, that’s for sure, and making a great income too. So..
How do we send you referrals? Where do we send info to you?
So you can always pick up the phone because I think if you’re going to be in real estate, that would probably be my number one suggestion. Our office number is 406-591-6519. You can always go to our website at shonnakeyteam.com or you can send me an email to Shonna, and that’s S-H-O-N-N-A, at, and then Shonna, S-H-O-N-N-A, Key, K-E-Y, Team, T-E-A-M, dot com.
Fantastic. Good. This has been a real treat. There are some great ideas on here. And if we can help some of the folks out there figure out how to get this done where they can be on that listing side of the business and build up that, and have a week like you did where you had 17… Were they 17 appointments or 17 taken? What was that? Something like that.
So we ended up taking those listings. So yes.
You took all 17. Can you imagine that, taking 17?
Yes. We did.
That is fun. You’re having too much fun, Shonna. This has been great
Yeah. A life design.
Good. That’s it. So folks, if you’re watching on Vulcan7, you want to get involved with the lead gen Facebook group there at facebook.com/group/gotobjections. And finally, if you’re watching on Facebook and you’re not yet involved with Vulcan7, can’t imagine, make sure to sign up at vulcan7.com/leadgen for a special deal.
And you all want to know what her secret is? How do you take 17 listings and sell them? How do you do that in a week’s time? How does Shonna do it? Well, she makes the calls, but she has this power. She goes to the freezer and gets out Graeter’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. This is the one for listing. You can buy Graeter’s at all over North America. Just go to graeters.com To find the store nearest you. The mint chocolate chip is for listings. If you’re working with buyers, obviously you know the flavor for working with buyers, Rocky Road. But this is the one for listings. If this listing is slow to sell, dig a hole in the front yard, bury it upside down, and that listing will sell just like that.
Glad you guys were here today. We really appreciated Shonna for all the tips and ideas and thoughts and mindset because you exuded the mindset. I think that’s apparent. And as a hunter, what do you have? Hunters and skinners. Love it.
Hunters and skinners. I love it.
I love it. So much fun today.
Thank you so much. Shonna, we so appreciate you.
No. Thank you guys so much for having me on today. I appreciate it.
I do too.
Bye, everybody. Thanks for being here. We’ll see everybody next week.