S8 E13: The Expired Listings Strategy That Allowed Tom Toole To Close 165 Million GCI In 2021
“Expired listings are highly motivated seller leads, they already signed a contract with an agent, so they believe in realtors, they did all the right things except choose the right agent, so that tells me there’s motivation there.” 🔥🔥 “Real estate is not rocket science, success is all about the people who have the will to win, and the mindset to do it everyday.” 🔥🔥 In this episode we are talking one on one with successful Philadelphia-based ReMax agent, Tom Toole. Tom has been an agent since he was 19, and tells us about his journey as he went from selling a few homes during summer break, to now leading a team that generated more than $165 million in revenue in 2021. Tom has revitalized his business to a ‘call first’ company, and his team focuses on calling motivated seller leads like expired listings and FSBOs, every morning without fail. Tom said he reached a plateau in 2008 when the market crashed, when he realized that calling his sphere was just not generating like it used to. He quickly recognized the success with calling motivated seller leads like Expired listings and FSBOs, and says it has driven his business model as ever since. He credits software and technology, like his Vulcan7 platform, to driving efficiency and really being able to scale his business. Watch this full episode and gain insights from Tom on certain strategies such as :
🔸 The Top 3 Generating Seller Leads Sources
🔸 The Top 5 Pillars Of His Successful Lead Generation Strategy
🔸 How To Prepare and Prioritize Your Call List
🔸 How To Structure Your Weekly Schedule
🔸 The Formula For Becoming A Successful Listing Agent
🔸 Tips For New Agents To Gain The Confidence To Win Listings
Tom Toole (00:04):
The hack there is that studies show if you offer people two appointment times they’re invariably going to pick one.
Ren Jones (00:10):
Tom Toole (00:11):
A lot of people are afraid to get that no. That comes from confidence. It all comes full circle here, because if you’re making these calls every day, and you got someone that’s being so difficult, and they won’t work with you, maybe, you’re better off finding somebody else. The challenge for agents is they don’t work with enough people, they don’t have enough people on their prospect sheet to say, “You know what? I’m good not working with this person, because I got 40 people I’m trying to live their house with right now.”
Ren Jones (00:34):
No. They’re like, I’ll be over in five minutes. They come over with commission breath and they’re like, “Whoa. Commission breath.”
Tom Toole (00:38):
Ren Jones (00:38):
Oh, my god.
Tom Toole (00:40):
Ren Jones (00:47):
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 Principal.
Sarah Close (01:11):
Ren Jones (01:12):
That’s it. Let me introduce my co-host from Beautiful Camp Dennison, Ohio, Sarah Close. Hi Sarah.
Sarah Close (01:21):
Hi, Ren. Thanks for having me today. Happy to be here.
Ren Jones (01:24):
Love having Sarah on here as a co-host. She owns several Keller William’s offices in Cincinnati, five or six hundred agents, and you have a team that sells a lot of real estate.
Sarah Close (01:33):
Ren Jones (01:34):
The goal for sales this year is…?
Sarah Close (01:36):
We’re hoping for 250.
Ren Jones (01:38):
250 and she is…
Sarah Close (01:40):
We are getting out there.
Ren Jones (01:40):
… filing for dollars, expireds, for sale owners, past clients sphere.
Sarah Close (01:44):
It never changes.
Ren Jones (01:45):
Not knocking them dead in all in greater Cincinnati, Ohio, and Kentucky, and Indiana. All that fun stuff.
Sarah Close (01:52):
All that good stuff.
Ren Jones (01:54):
I want to introduce our guest today from Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr. Tom Toole. Welcome Tom.
Sarah Close (02:00):
Tom Toole (02:02):
What’s up Brad? Hey Sarah, thanks for having me on.
Sarah Close (02:04):
Thanks for being here.
Tom Toole (02:05):
Ren Jones (02:06):
Glad you’re here.
Tom Toole (02:07):
I’m looking forward to providing some value. Hopefully, the people watching and listening can pick up a couple things and implement them in their business.
Sarah Close (02:13):
Ren Jones (02:13):
Sarah Close (02:14):
Ren Jones (02:15):
Good. We’re glad you’re here.
Sarah Close (02:19):
Well, let’s jump right into it. Tom, tell us a little bit about you and your foray into the real estate world and you were born, and got your license, and then what happened?
Tom Toole (02:29):
Yeah. I got licensed when I was 19. I sold a couple homes over the summer when I was home from college. I was a business school student, didn’t want to do journal entries, and financial statements the rest of my life. Once I was able to see what it’s like helping people in the day-to-day and being able to work with folks in these big decisions that they usually have no idea what’s happening with them and they have no idea what’s going on that was really appealing to me. Fast forward, literally, 20 plus years later, last year our team sold 446 properties.
Sarah Close (03:00):
Tom Toole (03:00):
165 million in volume. The reason we even have a team is probably why you guys wanted to have me on is in 2008 when the market crashed all my business was coming from my sphere. People I knew. They weren’t really transacting them because of the financial climate. I made the decision to go out and bring in listings, find people that were really motivated. I was reading a book and it said, “The best places to get your business from the first was your sphere.” I’m like, “All right, great. I’ve already done that.” “Second was expired listings. Third was for sale by owners, because the people were motivated.” Expireds. They sign a contract with an agent, so they believe in realtors. They let people come through their home, which is a total pain in the butt. They had open houses. They did all the things except pick the right agent. That tells me there’s some motivation there. For sale by owners a little different, but they’re literally raising their hand saying, “Hey, I want to go sell my house. I’m just not sure if an agent’s the right move for me.”
When I heard that I put the book down and I started prospecting, expires and for sale by owners. That, literally, has driven our business being a call first company ever since that started.
Sarah Close (04:08):
Ren Jones (04:11):
Sarah Close (04:12):
Talk to us about your lead generation. What does that look like in your team and how are you getting after those targets?
Tom Toole (04:19):
Sure. There’s a couple ways we do that. I was an individual agent in production. I was doing 90 homes a year for 10 years straight. These were pretty much all listings up until jumping out of production last year as our team grew. My day-to-day was expired listings, people that were hot and had some motivation, leveraging the software and technology to make as many contacts as I could. Whoever talks to the most people they go on the most appointments and they sell the most houses. It’s not rocket science here. That’s what I love about real estate. It’s all about the people that have the will to win and have the mindset to do it every day. There’s going to be some days when you don’t feel like making calls. It happens to everybody. When you push through anyway and let that discipline carry you when you’re not that motivated.
For me, and I got hooked up with Vulcan7, obviously, through our coaching organization. They had recommended it that I work. I worked with Tom Ferry and his coach is there. I remember, vividly, the first time I was aware of the software my coach says to me, “You’re not using a dialer. Are you kidding me?” And hung up the phone on me. I was like, “Man, I’m an idiot,” because I’m manually dialing all these people. I was still taking listings. That wasn’t the problem, but it’s an efficiency question. You manually dial someone, and don’t have, and look up the phone number, and do all that stuff. It’s taking you 8, 10 minutes to actually get on a call. That’s one call. That’s not all of them. By utilizing software, and data, and all the different things that are out there, and being able to talk to 15, 20 people in two hours and make a hundred to 150 dials that’s where you can really scale a business.
That’s really what lead generation looks like at our team is we’re leveraging software. We’re creating our call lists in advance. We’re coming in super prepared, because there’s always a prime time to make phone calls. You guys all know this. We want to be ready to execute during that time to make it as profitable and as productive as possible. It’s really about prep software, phone skills, scripting, role play, all the stuff you’ve probably heard before that most people never want to commit to doing.
Sarah Close (06:27):
Yeah. Makes sense. Talk to me about prep. When you guys think about getting your calling list together what does the warmup look like before you all jump on the phone?
Tom Toole (06:37):
Every day our team has an 8:45 AM role play call. That’s the warmup. Shake the rust off a little bit. Not everyone goes on the call, but you get to hear somebody, you find out what’s going on and that helps it scale a little bit.
The prep though should start earlier than that. In my view, you should be going into your CRM or whatever you’re using, whether it’s Vulcan7 or a lot of people have another CRM on top of that. Go in and create your call sheet, so it’s already done and ready to go. You don’t want to spend 20, 30 minutes getting ready to work. You want to be able to go in during that high call pick-up time, because the goal is to get people on the phone, not just make a ton of dials. You want to get people on the phone. I set appointments.
A lot of realtors get lost in that. They talk about all the stuff they’re doing except selling houses and going on appointments, which is the objective here. I’d have that call sheet prepped either very early in the morning or the night before, so I, literally, could walk in my office, open my laptop up, put on my AirPods, and be on the dialer within a couple minutes. Versus, “Oh, well, who am I going to call today? Oh, that person. I talked to them, but I didn’t log it in the CRM.” Having that stuff ready to go in the morning and not taking any appointments in the morning.
This to me is as critical as anything else, because when you’re in this zone of trying to set appointments and trying to be a high volume agent, meaning you’re listing a lot of homes, you’re selling a lot of homes. You are only going to have a finite amount of time to make these lead generation and prospecting calls. Too many agents have lost sight of this. If you were looking for me when I was in production I’d be at my standup desk, sitting on a dialer, literally, calling through people until I got appointments. My goal was two appointments a day, two listing appointments a day. That was it. If I did that I knew I’d be in good shape, because 71% of the time the appointment would show up or happen and 72% of the time I’d walk out of there with a signed listing contract.
My business was predictable, because I’d put the work in and I knew my numbers. You can’t let anything get in the way of that, because if you’re dealing with a client, or an agent calling you, or something else that’s taking your time away from building your pipeline. Which is the most important thing in any sales business.
Ren Jones (08:51):
You said… I’m glad you said that, so many people will call in the morning and they’ll set an appointment at 9:30 in the morning for the next day and they’re like, “Hello.” “Well, that’s the time they wanted.” “Well, who’s in charge?”
Tom Toole (09:03):
Ren Jones (09:06):
You can all morning look for a business and meet with people in the afternoon. It works. You can do it 99% of the time. This idea that you’re going to have a day where you’re not going to make lead generate doesn’t make any sense.
Sarah Close (09:22):
Tom Toole (09:22):
A lot of people don’t time block and put stuff in their calendar. They’re freewheeling it and they don’t have a schedule or a discipline. I couldn’t agree with you more, Ren. Where I’ll take that one step further is, of course… Do you sometimes deviate from that once in a while. Yeah. But, here’s where I would deviate.
Ren Jones (09:38):
Once in a while. Once in a rare situation where you’ve gone through all the other times and there’s no way and they’re going to list with you then maybe.
Tom Toole (09:48):
Well, let me give you the situation. It’s got to be, “Hey, unfortunately my parents passed away and I live out of state. I’m flying in and I’m only going to be in town from 9 to 11 on Wednesday. My flights at 12 o’clock and I got to be at the airport.”
Ren Jones (10:00):
Exactly. And the only other one I had was a similar one that. They go, “Well, we go to work at 11:00 AM and I work all evening. Or I wake up at 8:00 AM, so I can meet with you at 10:00 AM.” Finally, after I’m like, “All right.” Not many cases.
Tom Toole (10:21):
There has got to be a condition.
Ren Jones (10:22):
Otherwise, you’re not good at setting the appointments. If you go round and round somebody will give you… If you have to go to see the dentist you’re going to go at 2:30. You’re going to go at 2:30 it’s not going to be six at night. Everybody has that flexibility.
Tom Toole (10:44):
The hack there is that studies show if you offer people two appointment times…
Ren Jones (10:48):
Tom Toole (10:48):
…they’re invariably going to pick one.
Ren Jones (10:49):
Tom Toole (10:50):
A lot of people are afraid to get that no. That comes from confidence. It all comes full circle here, because if you’re making these calls every day and you got someone that’s being so difficult and they won’t work with you, maybe, you’re better off finding somebody else. The challenge for agents is they don’t work with enough people. They don’t have enough people on their prospect sheet to say, “You know what? I’m good not working with this person, because I got 40 other people I’m trying to list their house with right now.”
Ren Jones (11:13):
No. They’re like, “I’ll be over in five minutes.”
Tom Toole (11:15):
Ren Jones (11:15):
They come over with commission breath and they’re like, “Whoa. Commission breath.”
Tom Toole (11:18):
Ren Jones (11:18):
Oh my god.
Tom Toole (11:20):
Yes. Well said.
Sarah Close (11:21):
Yeah. You mentioned that you’re preparing your call list ahead of time. Do you have a specific criteria that you use or hierarchy that you use to put together that list for the morning?
Tom Toole (11:30):
The hottest people you are closest to the appointment with should get the call first. We know usually you don’t get the appointment on the first call. It’s call number 7, call number 15. That’s where the conversion happens. I always look at who am I closest to getting an appointment with, then any new leads that need to touch. You could interchange those. I’d be good with either of those. Some days it depends on how many’s on the list, but closest to an appointment then the people that are brand new. That’s one A and one B.
Then your normal follow-ups. Then I’d put your past clients in there too, because that’s got to be a component of your daily lead gen no matter what. Then whatever older leads are in there that may not have as much heat as some of the others. The goal has to be around an action or an activity and an objective. Meaning the activity should be how many dials you’re going to make or how many conversations you’re going to have. You can control that, pretty much, a hundred percent of the time. The objective is the appointments. You can influence the objective. You can’t walk in the door and say, “Hey Ren. Hey Sarah. I’m going to set two appointments today.” You got to actually do the work and do the activity to get to the objective.
Sarah Close (12:36):
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You’d mentioned that your objective would be two calls a day. Or I’m sorry. Two listings appointments a day.
Tom Toole (12:42):
Two appointments. Yeah.
Sarah Close (12:42):
Two appointments set and that you’re reaching 15 to 20 within that two hour timeframe. How do you work? Do you go objective first and then action then? How do you win the morning?
Tom Toole (12:54):
Always action. Yeah. Always action. Even the objective you can’t decide… You might not have a… Look, appointments come in bunches. Sometimes you don’t get any for a couple days and you set three out of nowhere. It’s what happens when you’re working numbers. It’s always activity based, because nobody can stop you from doing that except yourself. That’s the thing, Ren you talked about. Scheduling an appointment in that time block that’s going to stop you. You’re stopping yourself at that point. That’s one example. Or you don’t get up early enough or you don’t do the prep beforehand. It’s always activity based a hundred percent of the time, because when you focus on what you can control then the objectives and the results come after.
Sarah Close (13:33):
You’ll have a call… A two-way conversation goal is how you’ll start the morning.
Tom Toole (13:37):
Sarah Close (13:37):
Tom Toole (13:37):
Exactly. You got to know your numbers. You got to track and measure, because if you don’t track and measure then you have no idea what you’re trying to hit. I know that when I was heavy in production every 12 people I talked to I’d be setting an appointment. Basically, if I went on the appointment I had a 1.2 to one ratio. Meaning every 1.2 appointments I went on I’d sell a house. If I can get in the door there’s a high probability that’s happening. It’s about knowing your numbers. Some people don’t get excited for appointments, they get nervous. I’m getting jacked up, because I know I got, basically, a three quarters percent close or three quarters close, roughly. A little less than that. I’m walking in the door I’m selling a house today. Let’s go.
Sarah Close (14:17):
Tom Toole (14:18):
If you don’t know that you’re not going to have that confidence walking in and you’re guessing. It’s like watching the Super Bowl and not knowing what the score is. You have no idea what’s going on.
Sarah Close (14:27):
Right. No, it makes a lot of sense. Obviously, you’ve been at this little while. You started off as not even drinking age.
Tom Toole (14:36):
Sarah Close (14:37):
That’s a long haul on this. Not everybody has that same confidence that you’re referring to and that killer, I got this swagger. How do you get there? How do we go from zero to I got this mindset?
Tom Toole (14:55):
Well, that’s a great question and you got to start with small activities. You can’t expect to, “Oh I’m going to go from zero to selling a hundred homes a year.” That’s not going to happen. Everyone looks at these people that are successful and they’re like, “Where did that person come from?” They don’t see literally the 20 years of work that it took to get there. Right now, I’m a very different version of myself than I was even when I started doing this in 2008. Where I really made that commitment to outbound calls to take listings, because that’s what we’re talking about here. Every day it’s getting a little bit better.
Role playing goes a long way if you can get the script down and not have to look at a piece of paper. Even though you probably should have your scripts in front of you when you’re doing this. It makes it easier. If you can get it down and internalize it then you’re able to add inflection, be a little more confident. Then you got to look for those small wins along the way. It might not be, “I’m going to make 150 calls the first day.” It could be, “Hey, I’m going to make 50 and I’m hoping I can get 10 people on the phone. If I can get 10 people then maybe tomorrow I’ll go for 11. Then in three weeks I’ll go for 15.” It’s small progress over time.
Part of the confidence thing too is taking care of yourself. Having some physical health and vitality routine like working out in the morning. Or doing something to get your head straight. Along with that role play call we talked about… Imagine you get up, you have a killer workout, you got everything prepped, you got all your call sheets ready, and then you did a role play call, and you’re warmed up. Those three things alone you’re going to be way more confident than if you did none of those and try to start making calls.
Sarah Close (16:24):
Yeah. It makes lots of sense.
Ren Jones (16:25):
The mindset piece, exercise, the role play warmup. The whole thing’s a recipe isn’t it? Isn’t it a well-tuned recipe, this whole… It’s a formula. Did you ever shadow people to watch them and then copy them? Or did you hear about it on stage, and different things, and put it all together?
Tom Toole (16:46):
I am one of the most coachable people you’re going to meet. This comes from my coaches that I work with, not me. They’ve called me like Forrest Gump. They’re like, “Go run.” Then I go run through the wall. I mean this seriously, because success leaves clues. If there’s these people that are doing this sort of stuff… Literally, you had the copycat sort of thing… I call it R&D, Research and Duplicate or Rip off and Duplicate. It’s the same thing. The point is that this business is not filled with people that are innovating constantly. There’s some innovation that goes on, but 2/3 of the time the stuff that’s worked for a long time still works and people aren’t consistent with their action. That’s the biggest difference.
Ren Jones (17:27):
Some of your friends are heavy hitters. You were talking about Carolyn Young, so you learn from each other.
Tom Toole (17:33):
For sure. I mean Carolyn Young and I we would text back and forth. It was a casual thing, but it’s like, “Hey, try this objection handler. Try that.” There was a point where it was, I think, a four or five month period a few years ago and little things. She had a script that said when someone was talking about using another agent and she said, “Hey, I think you’re making a mistake.” I’m like, “That’s awesome. Let me try it” and tried it out and it works. You don’t know if you don’t try it.
Ren Jones (18:03):
Tom Toole (18:03):
You always got to ask yourself what’s the best thing that happened? What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen and what’s the likely outcome? Usually, the best thing is you get the business. The worst thing is you don’t get the business, which will be the case if you don’t try it anyway. The likely outcome is you got a 50/50 shot. If you’re doing things and testing, but you know have to be confident enough to even do this. Some of these things that you say to people are… It makes you a little uncomfortable, but then you do it once or twice and then it starts to feel better. That’s what real estate really is having difficult conversations with people tell them make logical decisions.
Sarah Close (18:37):
Yeah. That’s an excellent way to put it. Talk to us a little bit about the cadence of your week. Your Monday through Friday. Are you working any weekends or what is your schedule look like?
Tom Toole (18:47):
As a team leader it’s a little different now to be super clear. It’s very different, but I was in production up until about April or May of last year. Let me give you the before.
Sarah Close (18:56):
Tom Toole (18:57):
When I made the commitment to lead generate for listings on a daily basis I got my nights and weekends back. Let me be very clear on this. There was a point where it was 2012, I just had my son, my wife’s working, she was a nurse, so she’s working on the weekends. There’d be weekends where I have him. I’m trying to deal with business. I’m having people cover buyer showings for me. It was myself and one assistant and it was way too much. That’s when we decided to really scale our team and realize that we couldn’t service everyone properly.
In order to do that and keep the same income you can’t pass off the sales. That doesn’t work. You got to do something to and have a plan. Even though I was prospecting for listings for about four or five years at that point I made the commitment, “Hey I’m not going to work with buyers anymore.” That’s a hard thing to do for a lot of people. It’s scary. You’re looking at your income and saying, “Well, I don’t know if I can do this.” By almost going cold turkey and making the decision that’s how it had to go. Life circumstances and my dad’s a realtor. I’ve lived through it as a kid. They didn’t have electronic signatures running at this stuff that we have now. Very different times. I made the commit- I had no choice It’s like burning the boats with Cortés. He got here, burned the boats, he’s it’s never going back.
I had to show up every day. Lot agents… Most agents don’t get to the office at 8:30, 9:00. They show up like 12, 10:30. They don’t have that daily schedule and that’s where a lot of them fall short and that’s why they’re running around with buyers and doing business by default instead of design. It had to be that day-to-day. Once I made that commitment, unless it was the… Ren, the guy that’s in town because his dad died or something. Or “Hey, this is the only time my ex-wife is willing to meet with you, because we’re divorced, and we hate each other, and there’s going to be a mediator there, and it’s Saturday at 2:00.” Those are the appointments you bend the rules for, because there’s motivation, or there’s something going on there, or a condition if you will.
Ren Jones (20:57):
Tom Toole (20:58):
If you put everything in your schedule, you put everything in your CRM, you treat everyone like a client, and you follow that schedule, and do it every day you’re going to be able to get time back. You’re going to work way more efficiently than a lot of other people.
Ren Jones (21:11):
Yeah. When you talk about burning the boats with and not working buyers anymore. I think, that’s an easy boat to burn. Buyers take so much time.
Tom Toole (21:18):
Oh, I enjoyed it.
Ren Jones (21:20):
You have to write the contract. If it doesn’t work you have to write another, then you have to write another. They do all of the hard work in the transaction. It’s five times the amount of labor. If you go out of town, and you’re a listing agent, and you come back you’ve sold four or five homes. Try that with buyers. I don’t think so.
Tom Toole (21:39):
Ren Jones (21:40):
That’s a happy boat to burn.
Tom Toole (21:42):
Well, that’s how we train our team members too. I think that’s one of the disconnects with a lot of the teams in the industry right now is they don’t take the listing training seriously enough with their people. We really believe in transfer of skills here, because… You mentioned having to run around and things are out of your control. Think about the current market climate right now. If you’re training people on how to list, and I’m trying to transfer my skills, and showing how we did it, here’s the results you can expect. All you need is one listing lead pillar. Expired listings were it for me. You don’t need 10 of them. You got to be an expert at one. That’s what I did. I became a specialist at expired listings.
If you do that and then you work your sphere, which you guys mentioned at the beginning of the show. Everyone should do that, because that’s the easiest lead pillar to work. Then you have some internet lead play, whatever that might be. That’s all you need to do. Obviously, there’s going to be other lead pillars that help. Three lead pillars will give you a sustainable business. Whether you’re on a team, you’re like a husband and wife team, you’re a single agent, whatever it is listing lead pillar, some online presence, because that’s where all the eyeballs are, and work your sphere. That’s the formula. It’s not that hard.
Sarah Close (22:50):
No. That makes a lot of sense.
Ren Jones (22:51):
Sarah Close (22:52):
Back to your schedule, you’ve got, before you were able to jump out of the production role you’re doing your calls in the morning. What time are you generally getting up? What’s your energy plan? How are you keeping all the plates spinning?
Tom Toole (23:06):
A buddy of mine, Byron Lazine, he’s in Connecticut. I met him at a coaching event and our other pal, Scott Comp. These are all guys that have… Scott was an expired guy. They’ve all had the same plan. We started doing this thing called the 5:00 AM call. It’s on the East Coast, so 5amcall.com. It’s a five-minute accountability call. It started a couple of us on the phone and these calls are horrible. It’s like, “Hey guys. You up? What’s going on?” Then we said something at a coaching event and then everyone’s like, “I want to get in on this.” I’m like, “Wow. Maybe we got something here.” Now, we run the call. We got about 2,000 realtors up and down the East Coast to jump on.
It’s not really about the message on the call. It’s a five-minute motivational call, which is great for a lot of people. It get some pumped up. For me, it’s the accountability of having to be on there. Then what happens after that, because it’s great to be up. But, one, you got to stay up. You can’t go back to bed after. We had Byron on our radio show, that was one of the questions that came up. Then after that you talk about prepping call sheets, or prepping your day, or prepping your business. That’s the next hour. It’s that airplane time before airplanes had wifi where we can get a lot of stuff done. Then from there I’m doing some sort of physical activity. I’m working out six, seven days a week. Then all that happens and it’s seven o’clock. Most people are still sleeping.
I’ve already prepped my day and I’ve worked out. You talk about mindset, Ren, that’s… Movements going to go a long way for you. It’s going to feel a hell of a lot better.
Ren Jones (24:32):
It does. Yeah.
Tom Toole (24:33):
Then my kids wake up and that’s where everything goes bananas. They’re still all single digits, they’re all in elementary school. One of them not even in kindergarten yet. There’s all that situation going on, so it’s real easy to fall into that as a dad and a working dad. Or we had two working parents for a while in our household, so that it gets a little crazy then. That’s where a lot of people are like, “Oh, I can’t deal with it.” You got to get up before them. If you want to have that strong morning routine. Then they got to get them out the door to go to school. That’s a whole situation. Any parent out there knows what I’m talking about.
Once you get through that you got to get to the office and execute. That’s why the prep is so important, because I don’t have that extra time in the morning. Once I became a dad. That wasn’t an option. I think, that’s where people fall short. What’s as important is the nighttime routine. Going to bed at a reasonable hour. You don’t see any high achiever staying up to 1:00 AM during the week. You never hear this. Stay off screens, don’t work out within three hours of trying to go to bed. All these hacks that are out there. You’ve got to have the right nighttime routine, so you can have a strong morning routine. Otherwise, you’re going to be dead exhausted and not be able to execute when you go on appointments and make calls.
Sarah Close (25:39):
How much sleep do you try to get every night? If you’re up at five, what time are you guys to get down?
Tom Toole (25:43):
I’m usually getting seven hours of sleep. Somewhere around there.
Sarah Close (25:47):
450 units and seven hours of sleep. Nicely done.
Tom Toole (25:51):
Well, we’ve got a team. The team makes it all go. There’s no way one person can handle all that, but you get the point though. Everyone’s got the same 24 hours. This isn’t anything that anyone… Everyone’s equalized here. It’s are you using it efficiently?
Sarah Close (26:06):
No. That’s very helpful. If you were getting into the business today, you’ve been at it for a while now, what would be kind of the first three things you were to make sure that you are doing to get your business launched? What’s your best advice for a newer agent right now?
Tom Toole (26:22):
When I got out of college I was very fortunate to have a mentor and my dad had mentored him. There was a relationship there. That wasn’t a big thing back in like 2004. There wasn’t a lot of the organization that we see now. If I’m a new agent the first thing I’m doing is I’m interviewing teams in my marketplace, because they’re going to have all the resources and they’re going to be able to get me down the road quick. Meaning while you build up… You’re talking about how long it takes to build these skills and execute listing expireds and all those things. It takes time. It’s not a quick thing. You don’t see a lot of new agents have success with this, but over time they can like anything else that that’s worth doing.
I’d be interviewing teams in my marketplace to see what training they have, finding out if the leadership’s in production or not, because you don’t want to be competing with the team leads and you’re going to get all the bad leads. They’re not going to give you the layups or the good stuff. And if they’re training you on listings. All the stuff we’re talking about here. They’ve got to be giving all that to you, because that’s what a team should do. It should enhance your business. I’d be interviewing teams, number one.
The second thing I’d be doing is I’d be making sure I’m role playing my scripts on a daily basis, because that’s the only way you’re going to get better. Especially, when you’re a new agent. You got to work on your… It’s not just knowing what to say. How fast are you talking? Are you mirroring and matching?
Ren Jones (27:37):
Are you role playing with somebody else or with yourself?
Tom Toole (27:40):
I think you want to do both at the beginning.
Ren Jones (27:41):
Okay. Got you.
Tom Toole (27:42):
You want to chant the scripts to get them down and then find a role play partner that’s going to push you.
Ren Jones (27:46):
Tom Toole (27:47):
Meaning they’re not just going through the scripts and saying, “Oh, great job. Here’s the appointment, Ren.” Or “Yeah. Great job Sarah. I’d love to work with you.” It’s, “Hey, I’ve got a concern and here’s what it is.” Then you’re actually going through and practicing the objectives.
Ren Jones (27:58):
They give you feedback and they say this part was good, but I wasn’t convinced on that. Okay. Got you.
Tom Toole (28:03):
Absolutely. Role play. Get the scripts down first and find a role play partner that’ll push you.
The third thing I’d be doing is I would be making sure I’m working on building my sphere business. Right now, all these companies are out there and they’re trying to take your database away from you. They’re attacking your database as we speak. Whether they’re marketing to them on Super Bowl commercials or Google Pay Per Click or whatever else. I would work on organically building that, because that’s always going to be your best lead pillar as long as people know you’re a real estate agent. You can’t expect them to come to you. You have to actually make the outreach and do that.
I’d be building my sphere from the beginning, documenting it on social, making the calls, doing the outreach, all the stuff that everyone… You can Google this and it’ll tell you what to do. Interviewing teams in the marketplace and working on my skills every day. You do those three things and focusing on outreach attempts, because that’s really the one thing you can control, like we talked about, you’re going to have a great career. You got to be ready to do the work. If you’re not ready to do the work you’re going to find a place that has all the resources… You still have to do the input to get the output.
Sarah Close (29:08):
Yeah. Makes a lot of sense.
Ren Jones (29:08):
Sarah Close (29:10):
Makes a lot of sense.
Ren Jones (29:10):
Great advice. This is a great plan. Tom, this is good stuff. This is great stuff. I know some people are going to want to watch this four or five or six times. By the way, if somebody wants to, they’re in the Philadelphia area and they want to put their home on the market or they want to move to Philadelphia, because they’ve heard about all the wonderful things in Philadelphia what’s the best way for them to reach out to you?
Tom Toole (29:34):
You can check out our website, it’s tomtoole.com. It’s got an E at the end, Tom T-O-O-L-E dot com.
Ren Jones (29:41):
Tom Toole (29:41):
We cover the entire metro Philadelphia area. That’s the best way to connect with us.
Sarah Close (29:45):
What else would you like to make sure that you get communicated in this forum that you think an agent really needs to hear? Anything else that we haven’t asked you that you wish we would’ve?
Tom Toole (29:57):
The best thing I can tell people, if you’re watching this, one, congratulations because you decided to invest in yourself and gain some knowledge, which is first and foremost. This year, 2022, it’s going to be the tale of two agents. There’s going to be two kinds of agents that are out there. The first agent is going to be the ones, and you guys have probably heard this before, they’re going to say things like, “There is no inventory on the market. I don’t have anything to sell my buyers.” It’s going to be all victim language. They’re going to be the people that might be out of the business at the end of the year. Realtors have gotten to the highest amount ever. There was a new agent getting a license every seven seconds last year. That’s the first agent.
Then there’s the agent that said, “Hey, I’m getting back to basics. I’m focusing on contacts. I’m focusing on door knocking. Reaching out to these old school lead pillars that still work like expires, for sale by owners, working my sphere, circle dialing.” All the stuff they told you in all the real estate training before the internet blew up and people and now people want to be Instagram stars instead of salespeople. The folks that commit to their skills, that commit to the daily actions every day they’re going to be the ones that win. It’s really that simple. You hear this all the time, but inventory it’s a competitive market…
Ren Jones (31:07):
Right. Tom, you can be a whiner about anything, because when you started in what, 2005 was it?
Tom Toole (31:15):
Ren Jones (31:17):
Tom Toole (31:18):
I was in the business full-time in 2004 when I graduated. Then the markets crashed.
Ren Jones (31:21):
You could take a listing, but you couldn’t sell it. Now, you can now you can’t keep it. They go under contract too fast. “Oh, darn. It went under contract too fast.” So what. It’s a wonderful problem.
Tom Toole (31:33):
Ren Jones (31:34):
If you get the listing you’ll sell it. All you have to do is find it. It’s actually easier.
Tom Toole (31:42):
I totally agree. People have-
Ren Jones (31:44):
It’s actually easier, but people want to complain about something.
Tom Toole (31:48):
It’s about personal responsibility. It’s either you’re going to commit to this stuff that nobody wants to do, because they don’t think it’s fun, or they don’t want to do it, or it’s too hard. Or…
Ren Jones (31:57):
Servicing the listing for five minutes with it not selling is not a lot of fun either.
Tom Toole (32:02):
I’ve been through that. 2008, 2009, you carrying 40 listings at a time. That’s hard work. You got to call those people every week and tell them, “Hey, the economy’s not great. Your home’s probably not going to sell, and here’s why, and we got to drop your price.” Those are tougher conversations.
Ren Jones (32:17):
Oh, they are.
Tom Toole (32:18):
It’s all about identifying the opportunity, understanding the market. The same skills in 2008 that worked work now. It’s just a different market. I agree with you it was harder then, but it doesn’t matter. The best agents are formed during times these when the market’s really hot or it’s really challenging in some way. The ones that succeed they’re going to have great careers.
Ren Jones (32:38):
Sarah Close (32:38):
That’s awesome. Very well said.
Ren Jones (32:42):
Yep. It’s a great time to be in this business that’s for darn sure. Great time to be in this business.
Tom Toole (32:47):
Couldn’t agree more.
Ren Jones (32:49):
Thank you. This was a lot of fun. A lot of people are going to learn a lot and I have a feeling somebody’s going to play this four or five times and internalize it.
Sarah Close (32:59):
Tom Toole (32:59):
Ren Jones (32:59):
Let’s go. I appreciate you being here, Tom, and Sarah as always. We will see everybody-
Sarah Close (33:03):
Absolutely. Tom, thank you so much. Great information. That’s really fantastic to be able to share that with everybody.
Tom Toole (33:10):
Thanks Ren. Thanks Sarah. It was an honor. If you guys want to reach out to me a great place to connect with me it’s going to be on Instagram at @tomtoole3rd, Tom Toole the third. I respond to all the DMs I get, so if you have questions or anything happy to answer whatever people need.
Sarah Close (33:22):
Ren Jones (33:22):
tomtoole3rd on Instagram. Good.
Tom Toole (33:26):
Ren Jones (33:27):
Good. Thanks everybody. We’ll see everybody next week.
Sarah Close (33:29):
Thank you Ren. Have a great week everybody.