S8 E2: Tools to Dominate your Inventory
Managing Real Estate Inventory as a Team
Meet Real Estate Agent Trent Mathis from Savannah, Georgia. His personal goal for this year is 72 listings closed. He has been in the real estate business for nine years. Trent states if you are not talking to people, you are not going to create transactions and sales. When working with a team, accountability needs to be really high. You have to keep your team on pace, let them understand the numbers and know what is required of them. As well it is important to determine how many contacts they are going to make, how many listing appointments they are going to go on, how many listings were taken, and how many days they are going to work that month.
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 is consistently taking several listings each month, and we have an exciting guest today. We encourage you to take notes and apply as much of their knowledge as quickly as you can and then use the copycat principle.
Let me introduce my co-host from San Diego, Carley Hathaway. That’s CarleyHathaway.com. Hi, Carley. How’s the real estate business?
Hi, Ren. Hi, everybody. Real estate is fantastic. Being a listing agent is definitely the way to go in this time.
It really is. Wonderful. Well, 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 about 60,000 members, so we have a large audience there today, as well. And 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 beautiful Savannah, Georgia, Mr. Trent Mathis. Welcome, Trent.
Thank you for having me, Ren.
Thanks, Trent. We are so excited to have you. This is going to be awesome. Thanks for being here.
Thank you for having me.
Yeah. So we hear a little echo. Was is that? Are you in one of your listings? You didn’t furnish it? What’s going on here?
So I actually just bought a commercial space, so everything’s getting moved in. Just the timing, I guess, didn’t quite work out. So there’s nothing on the walls, so that would be the reason you hear the echo right now.
Okay. Well, I mean, you purchased an office. That’s actually really incredible.
Yes, thank you.
What a great way to start the new year out.
Great. Okay, so let’s talk about some goals. So what is your goal for this year?
Goal for me personally this year is 72 closed, and the majority of that is going to be listing, about 90%. And then I also have three team members, as well, so with their production, as well, we’re going to push well past that mark.
And what’s that number for you and them?
So me is 72 and it’s… We have a standard of a minimum of 12 transactions for the other agents, so they have to put at least 36 out.
Oh, okay. So a hundred and…
108, 110, somewhere around there?
Somewhere around there, yes.
So a team goal around 110 minimum, 108 minimum.
Minimum of that, yes.
Okay, so you’ll probably do 120 maybe?
Yep, 150, 200. Why not?
Somebody’s got to pay that office mortgage.
Good, good. Okay. So how long have you been in real estate, Trent?
So I’ve been in real estate for nine years.
Okay. And you’re already doing almost over a hundred deals in only nine years. Where does majority of your business come from?
Currently, past clients center of influence is a large majority. And part of that’s due to dealing with them a lot better, right? Actually reaching out to them like we’re supposed to, and having those conversations and having the ability to create the additional transactions from that. I wasn’t so good at that earlier in my career.
Okay, so you’re really reaching out to your past clients in your sphere. How often are you reaching out to them?
It depends on if they’re an A past client center of influence or a B. So the As are the ones that have the high potential or do refer a lot of business. They’re getting contacted at least once every 30 days by phone from me personally.
And then the Bs are everybody else, and they get a phone call from me once a quarter. And then everybody else is getting mailings, as well, at least once a quarter.
Okay. And you said, in the beginning of your career, you weren’t really reaching out to them. So the first couple years, how many deals were you doing, say in year two, year three?
Year one, I did 24 transactions.
That’s not too shabby.
Not bad. And then, after year one, I kind of told myself or I looked at it, I was like, “Well, I know how to do 24. If I knew to do more, I would have done more.” So that’s when I reached out to the Mike Berry organization and signed up for coaching that day. And just everything shot up from there. From 24, I went to 43. And then to 56. And then, before I moved markets three years ago, I was at 85.
Okay, wow. So it sounds like-
And that sounds like it has to be a little bit more than just your database.
What percentage is your database and what percentage are the people you don’t know?
So back before I moved, it was 90% was expireds or sell-by-owners, just old. It was very small from the database. I did not do a good job with it.
And then, when I moved markets three years ago is when I decided to, of course, change that and to really commit to building that database. So now, this last year, that accounted for probably 60% of the transactions.
Wow, good. So you’re trying to keep it half people you know and half the people you don’t know, something like that?
Good, that makes sense.
And I like how you’re saying, in the beginning when you don’t really have much of a database or past clients, you weight heavily on those expireds and you can build business from there, correct?
Correct. Yeah, it was a lot of hours on the phones.
What’s a typical morning like for you?
For me, right now? I’m in at 7:30, and that is getting a coffee, getting all my numbers in order, preparing for the day. 8:30 in the office, we’re doing well-planned practice with my other agents. So we’re getting in, geared up, and then we all start hitting the phones at 9:00 AM until noon.
I wish I could take the camera around and kind of show you the set-up we have now. We’ve got a prospecting room that is set up for prospecting and production. We’ve got a bell on the wall-
Is it on a laptop? You could do that.
It’s not. It’s a desktop with dual screens right now with the camera on top.
One of the things we planned for this show was to look at a few of the pictures of your set-up. So let’s look at this first picture. What are we looking at?
Well, this is where the agents come to be productive.
This is solely for prospecting. It is geared towards that.
Wow, that looks sharp.
Yeah, that’s awesome. You have a room dedicated to prospecting. That just shows how important prospecting is to your entire business.
Absolutely. Yes. I mean, it’s the lifeblood of the business. If you’re not talking to people, you’re not going to create transactions and sales. So we’ve geared our business to doing just that so our agents can be the most productive and prosperous they can be.
So we got to see his prospecting room, which is great. Fantastic.
And I love how you’ve dedicated such a beautiful space to just prospecting, because like you just said, we have no business without prospecting.
And you know, the more I think about it, Trent, one of the biggest no-nos was to do lead generation in the same area where you’re working on your pendings and your routine business, your administrative stuff. They always said, even if you had to turn 90 degrees to the left, you need to have a separate area because, as human beings, when we’re busy doing some lead generation, we might get distracted by an email or something else that pulls us away from the task at hand. And if we have, like you have set up there beautifully, and it looks beautiful, by the way
Yeah. And what I found out is-
Because you have to go to a lot of trouble to leave your lead generation area to go do something else.
When you look at that, that is a powerful piece because it… And many people watching right now do not have a separate area for lead generation. It’s all together. And so what happens is they make a couple calls and then they get pulled back into whatever they were doing. Probably Candy Crush.
Trent, how do you keep your agents and your team focused on prospecting, like what Ren is saying, and not distracted by emails or files they need to take care of or whatever?
By creating that space. Because, as Ren was saying, even 90 degrees, if there’s something else, they’ll stay at that 90 degrees because they’d prefer to that over prospecting, which odd since that’s what makes them money. So I had to create that separate space.
So there’s another office room that’ll have the desks and stuff set up for them to work their transactions. Very little, though, because we have a transaction coordinator to handle that for them. But that prospecting room, nothing else gets done there.
And one of the other things that you have that’s a real thing, when you were solo, you’re your own accountability… Or maybe you have an accountability partner or somebody in another city in your timezone, but now it’s you and three other people. Talk about tracking numbers, goals, accountability, morning routines and all that. How does all that tie together in building a team and making something amazing happen?
So accountability needs to be really high when working with a team. You’ve got to keep them on-base and you have to let them understand the numbers, as well, and what’s required of them for them to accomplish their own goals. How many contacts they’re going to make, how many leads they’re going to generate, how many listing appointments they’re going to go on, listings taken, how many days they’re going to work that month. And we all do that together and then it gets posted on the board.
So everybody can hold everybody accountable.
So you can see what everyone’s goals are, and if you are like myself, everyone’s competitive, “Okay, this person’s got this, this person has that.” It’s almost like a fun game.
That’s a great… Yeah.
Tell me about your end zone dance. Because one of the challenges is you’re all making calls, you’re all… If somebody sets an appointment, they’re pretty excited. And then there’s this need to do the end zone dance, and the problem is everybody else is on the phone and then they come around like, “Hey, I just set a great appointment. Let me tell you about it.” “Hey, I just a great appointment.” How do you work with that so they can have a moment of victory and get back to work?
Okay. So what we’ve created for that moment of victory and get back to work is I have like a maritime bell mounted to the wall outside my door here, which is directly into that prospecting room. So on the whiteboard, it’s got their names, they put a check mark for that appointment set, they hit that bell and they get back on the phones.
Wow. That works. And because that is the biggest challenge. When we have that victory, we’re so excited and we want to tell everybody, and then you can spend 10, 12, 15 minutes saying, “Look what I just did.” But if you do that and you get it done in about four minutes, then the other people, they hear that bell ring and they’re like, “Well, I guess setting appointments today can be done,” and it renews in their mind the belief that appointments can be set and they go and they set one.
Isn’t it kind of funny, when you do a system like that, how easy it is for the next appointment and the next appointment and the next appointment?
Yes. And I learned that back in my days at Parsons. You had the bell when you made the sale, and if you were left there not ringing the bell that day, it kind of felt like you didn’t do your job.
Yeah. And when one person rings the bell, it’s so much easier because it breaks the spell that appointments can be set. And it shifts your mindset a little bit, and the next thing you know, you find it so much easier for you to set it.
And then that bell just keeps ringing.
Once it rings once in the morning, it just keeps going and going, and it’s an exciting feeling.
Right. That’s it. That’s it. Good deal.
I love that. Okay, so getting back to the whole prospecting, your team, I’m sure, is still calling expireds and FSBOs and FRBOs and all those. Do you have them stick to a script or do you just free-for-all?
That’s a good question. Absolutely they are very scripted. So we utilize the Mike Berry scripts for everything we do. At each prospecting station, there is a binder of all the scripts. So they have no reason to go anywhere else, whatever they’re calling, it’s right there for them. Like I said, it’s built to be very productive.
Awesome. Wonderful. Wonderful, wonderful.
Yeah, those scripts are just so key because you can get thrown off with a potential seller’s objection or whatever it is, and you can always just go back to the script and get right back on track and still keep closing for that appointment.
Absolutely. That’s what they’re intended for.
I have an idea, what if Trent does a… Because you call expireds and you call for-sale-by-owners and you call for-rent-by-owners, which are investors. You call around to recent listing or a sale. You call your database. You’re calling a variety of people. What if you did a role-play of some category, whether it’s for-sale-by-owner or expired, whatever, with Carley? Just for fun.
Okay, you want to do a role-play?
Let’s do a role-play. We’ll put you on the spot.
Okay. All right, which one do you want to do?
Let’s do expireds.
Expireds. All right. Ring, ring.
Hello, I’m looking for Carley.
Hi, Carley. Trent Mathis here with the Mathis Group. I’m calling because I’m sure you’ve figured out the listing for your home had expired, and I was just calling to see when you plan on interviewing the right agent for the job of selling your home.
My god, you’re the 15th person that has called this morning.
The 15th, really?
Would you like that to stop?
Yes, I actually would. Can you make that happen?
I can. Can I share with you how I can do that?
I just need you to sign a listing agreement and all those calls will stop immediately.
Sign a listing agreement? Okay, I don’t know about that. My last agent did not do a great job, so I don’t know. I just don’t know what to do.
Okay. What’d that agent do that you liked?
They didn’t do anything you liked? What should they have done?
Sold my house.
Sold your house, right?
So if I’m hearing this correctly, Carley, you just really want somebody who’s going to get your home sold, right?
Okay. So why don’t we just do the right thing and set an appointment for today at 6:00, and I’ll take care of all of your problems, no more phone calls and your house getting sold. Fair enough?
No more phone calls?
No more phone calls as soon as you sign that agreement.
And you’ll get my house sold?
And I’ll get your house sold.
Okay, Trent. Let’s do it.
All right. Sounds great.
I think that was a lay-down.
That was good. I liked that… Sometimes I like when you just… You closed after the first question, you closed after the second question. That’s a great way to do it. That’s why you make so many appointments, I’m sure.
Well, what I love is when people say they’re tired of the phone calls because I would say, 80% of the time, I’ll close right there to get it to stop, and they’ll say, “Great. Send it.”
So that plays real well in Georgia, huh?
It does. Yeah. I’ll send it to their email, and they’ll sign it and it’s done.
Just to get the phone calls to stop. Okay, that’s really good advice, because if you can close after the first question, you’re in.
I love it. Great.
Trent, you’ve been doing this for a while. You’ve probably done a lot of things, in retrospect, as a Monday morning quarterback that you’d say, “I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m going to do this instead.” If you’re looking at the camera and you’re looking at somebody… Or somebody’s watching this and they struggle to take one listing a month, much less five, six, seven a month, what would you tell them if you wanted to give them a piece of advice that could help them? What would you share as a thought or two, if you’re watching this, that you would suggest that might help them get their stride and get up to where they’re taking at least a listing every week, maybe two?
Okay. So the number one thing I would tell anybody in this business is to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Because that’s where all the growth happens, and if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing. And you’ve got to get comfortable with that feeling or else you’re not going to be able to go out there and take multiple listings per week or month.
And that’s a mindset piece. And that said, I am sure that, over time, you developed some softening approaches to where, when people do get a little sideways, you’re able to soften that. Any thoughts come to mind with that? When somebody gets a little wired and you’ve found that, “If I say this or I say that, they soften a bit”?
Okay. So you mean not to get strung out on the uncomfortableness?
Yeah. So you’re way in discomfort and somebody’s hollering at you for some reason or another, no matter what it is. Anything come to mind that makes it a little easier?
For me, dealing with, I guess you could say conflict then, right? They’re being very aggressive or something?
Yeah, well, whenever you’re talking to people you don’t know.
Both sides are a little uncomfortable until there’s some rapport and some warmth that’s established. Just in case anything came to mind. I didn’t know if it did.
Okay. Yeah. A situation like that is let them be right, at least in the moment.
Oh, that’s huge. That is huge.
Especially if they’re for-sale-by-owner, right? How many agents call a for-sale-by-owner and make them wrong?
You’ll start an argument. I don’t think you’re going to get a listing when you start arguing.
Right. So there we go. Folks, there’s the magic answer: just let them be right. They don’t know you, you don’t know them. Let them be right.
Yeah. Let them be right, listen to them. Listen to understand, not listen to hear. And ask a lot of questions.
Always ask a lot of questions.
Yeah, because you can win the battle and lose the war, you know? You make them wrong, but then they’re not going to invite you over.
Right. Yeah. You can’t take that to the bank.
Great advice. That is great advice, Trent. I appreciate that.
I agree. And like you said, just get comfortable with the uncomfortable because then it will start to not be uncomfortable, right? You only hear the same five objections. And once you’ve heard them all enough times, you’re like, “I’m ready. Yeah, give it to me.”
Yeah, right. It’s like Pythagoras. You remember Pythagoras? He was a realtor in Greece, I think, back 2,000 years ago. No, this is true. You remember Pythagoras and triangles and all that stuff. Pythagoras said, “Take the road that’s best, no matter how rough, and soon it becomes easy and agreeable.” The more you keep going down that same path, after a while, it just gets easy. It goes from being rocky… Unless of course you’re working with buyers, and then it’s always rocky road, right?
Yeah, that’s true.
We got a good system for all our buyers. We don’t have that problem.
You don’t have that problem? Oh, you know why? Trent’s secret for buyers-
… he only works with homeless people. He sells their house, they have nowhere to live. Sunday night, they’re under contract. Monday, they’re panicking, and he goes, “Let’s go out Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon and sign a contract on one.” Poof.
Help the homeless-
… isn’t that right, Trent?
Right, yeah. Yeah, your sellers are going to be homeless.
Right, and if you’re only working with-
Great plan. I love it.
… listings, all your buyers are homeless.
It’s a wonderful problem.
Yeah, they’re highly motivated.
Right. Yeah, that is the buyer. That is the best buyer. You don’t even have to take them out on the weekends. Because they’re under contract, they’re going to go look Tuesday at 1:00. “I got to find a house. I have nowhere to live.”
So what’s Savannah like? Is it a lot of escalation clauses and things like that? Multiple offers?
Yeah. So the last seven days… I pull my reports every Monday for what happened the last seven days, so I’m able to have these conversations with potential sellers about what the market’s doing. And when I pulled this report on Monday, we had seven new listings in the last seven days. And in the same amount of time, 411 went under contract.
Wow. That’s incredible.
So we basically have two buyers per listing, right? We’re selling twice as fast as we can list them. So it’s always multiple offers, it’s always coming to the terms, so we do a lot of escalation clauses.
God bless. Wow, two buyers for every offer. That sounds like Surf City. Goodness. That is wild.
Good time to be a listing agent, huh?
Great time to be a listing agent.
I know. Wow.
Good for you.
That is great, right? So it’s a wonderful thing. So now you’re just in the mode over the next four or five years. I mean, where do you want to be five years from now? At the rate you’re going, because you’re on a good track now because people have been noticing… I’ve heard your name so much because people have noticed that you’re on this track that’s kind of going like this. That’s the word on the street.
That’s the word on the street? Alright
Where do you want to be five years from now?
Five years. So it kind of goes both ways. One part of me wants to keep a small team that’s easily manageable, and then just coach all them up to giving high levels of production each so our average person productivity is very, very high.
But then another part of me would like to bring in more and have more of a burning team where there’s a lot of agents, but doing the same functions, going after listings.
So how are you going to resolve that? Or are you just going to stay a Gemini and have these two halves?
They’ve got to converge at some point. And right now, we’ve just started this, bring these people on and getting everything going. So I would say, in about a year or so, I’m going to make that decision.
Okay, so we just need to check in with you a year from now.
Yeah, check in with me a year from now. Absolutely.
Good. Well, really appreciate the nickel tour, seeing your prospecting area, and I know everybody enjoyed looking at that. And the advice, don’t make them wrong. Because when we’re talking to the people we don’t know, in order to get a rapport, you can’t make them wrong. So it’s great advice, and there’s a lot of good things you’ve got going right now, and we appreciate some of the ideas that you’ve shared with us.
We will check back with you in 12 months. And hopefully, you’ll have some furniture and you won’t have that echo going on because you’ll have furnished that brand-new place you have.
The furniture’s all coming in, so by the end of next week, I should have it all set up.
Yeah. Well, congratulations-
So if somebody wants to send you a referral to Savannah, Georgia, what is the best way for them to reach you?
Okay. So email is Trent@MathisGroupUSA.com.
And then my cell phone number, write it down, keep it, call me anytime, 912-755-9932.
Wonderful. Good. We appreciate the advice and the tips here today. This is great, Trent. And based on what we know, we’re going to want to check with you a year from now, and then five years from now, we want you to invite us out on your boat.
Yeah, I want to go on the yacht.
I’ll invite you on the jet.
Yeah. Trent, thank you so much.
There’ll be a jet?
Thank you for doing a role-play and thank you for rolling with the punches today. We really appreciate it. I know myself and a lot of other agents are definitely going to re-watch it and get more and more takeaways every time we watch it, so thank you so much.
We appreciate that.
Yes. Ren and Carley, thank you very much, and have a good day.
Thank you. And folks, if you’re watching on Vulcan7 and you want to get involved with the lead gen Facebook group that simulcasts this show, 60,000 people, just go to Facebook.com/groups/gotobjections.
And finally, if you’re watching on Facebook and you’re not getting involved with Vulcan7, I can’t imagine, make sure to sign up at Vulcan7.com/leadgen for a special deal.
And then, the secret of Trent Mathis that makes him powerful that you probably don’t know, after he does his lead generation, it’s around noon, he goes and… It was actually the first thing he moved into the office, the only piece of furniture other than the chair he’s sitting on, is a little freezer. He goes into the freezer and gets his crew this delicious Graeter’s mint chocolate chip. This is the one for listings, the mint chocolate chip. You can buy this all over North America, just go to Graeters.com and get the flavor near you. I mean, find the location near you to buy the mint chocolate chip. The other flavors are for buyers. Careful, this is the only one for listings. Remember, if you’re working with buyers, you want Rocky Road. It’s a match.
So we’ll see everybody next week.