Tony Giordano (agent/coach/author) joined Firepoint/Realvolve for a webinar to teach agents how to evolve their businesses to become recession-proof. The following article recaps key takeaways from the webinar.
Tony begins the webinar by discussing the importance of mindset:
There is a very significant difference between thinking and believing.
Do you THINK there is business out there right now, or do you BELIEVE there is business out there for you to get right now? Which one do you think is going to attract business to you? Do you think you want a new car, or do you believe you're going to get a new car?
You have to believe in positive, positive things. The more you believe that everything will be okay, and focus on that, the better you'll be and the more likley it will be that you'll act on it. I want you to remember, believe what you need to believe right now to be able to gain more success and be able to get through everything we're going through at the moment.
When we believe, and we believe on a positive level, we're creating a mindset of mastery—a strong, powerful mindset that can achieve anything.
If you’re already looking for an exit strategy or going back to a previous job, you’re already done. You’re thinking negatively.
Let's not forget, shifts are very temporary, and they are a mere blink of the eye when you look at the overall big picture of how real estate changes. Even the crash in '08, '09, when you look at it, that shift lasted maybe three years before — BOOM— a 10 year run of productivity and production happens.
Next, Tony explains that the key to a strong mindset is figuring out your WHY—why are you in this business?
When you think of a strong mindset, it starts with your why. You will not be able to have a strong positive mindset unless you know why you exist, why you wake up every morning. Why do you even want to be a real estate agent? Why do you want to do the average 450 tasks that an agent does on a 30-day deal? Why? Why do you want to deal with people yelling at you? Why do you want to deal with sitting in an open house for three hours for one couple to come in, and tell you that they already have an agent, they're just looking?
Tony’s philosophy is, “If you don't know your why, you will never find your what, how, when, where, and who to help you achieve whatever you want in life.”
See, because I know my why and I finally figured it out a few years ago, because I know my why, I'm able to find my, "WHAT are my goals? HOW am I going to achieve them? WHEN am I going to achieve them by? WHERE should I achieve these goals? And more important than anything, WHO is going to help me achieve my goals?"
So, what is Tony’s why?
Every morning when I wake up, I want to try to help someone start approaching life with this mindset: “Stop trying to prove the wrong people wrong in your life, and focus on proving the right people right.”
One day in 2009, after 18 months of struggling through the financial crisis, Tony received two pieces of sage advice from his grandfather:
I was complaining to him because of everything I've just gone through in the financial crisis and losing everything. I was practically in tears.
In his Bostonian voice with his hardcore Sicilian accent, he goes, "Tony, shut up. I'm tired of listening to you mope and whine and, oh, play the victim. It's your fault. Get up. Dust yourself off. Smile and step forward.”
He says, "You need to become recession proof,” and I go, "Awesome. That sounds fabulous. How does one become recession proof? Because I could have used that in the last 18 months"
He goes, "There's two things. These are the only two things you need, and if you just have these two things, there's not any recession that you can't actually not just survive, but actually benefit and grow in that recession."
"Number one, liquid assets (meaning, money in the bank). Number two, liquid knowledge.”
Tony took this advice on becoming recession-proof and expanded it to becoming SHIFT-proof. He identified five steps agents can follow to be prepared for any shift that might occur in the real estate industry—even something as unprecedented as COVID-19.
Too many agents, Tony says, don’t take the time to research. They just regurgitate whatever they hear other agents saying. If you do your own research, you can rise to the top and become a power agent in your market.
To illustrate this point, Tony shared a story of a listing he won. There was a seller in Chicago who was convinced that he needed to market to China, because every agent had told him that China was the number one foreign buyer of luxury real estate in Chicago. Tony did some quick research to find that, while China was the number one foreign buyer in the U.S. overall, the top foreign buyer in Chicago was actually Norway.
He goes, "Norway? Why is Norway number one?"
I say, "Because Norway has massive organizations that have direct ties with organizations in Chicago, and they're constantly moving back and forth and growing. And so they have been number one multiple times in the last 18 months."
"And where did you hear this? Where are you finding this out?"
I go, "A website called Google."
Tony tells us that agents have three jobs: marketing, sales, and real estate agent. And marketing has to come first.
What are you doing to market yourself to your community as a respectable business person, to be worthy to ask that person the lead generation question of, "Do you know anyone who's looking to do something with real estate this year?"
Are you worthy to ask the CEO of your local hospital that question at a networking event? Do you come across as the CEO of your business? Do you give back to your community? Do you donate, kiss babies, shake hands (not right now, but when we get back to normal)? What are you doing to remind people you exist in your community?
Tomorrow morning, ladies and gentlemen, when you wake up, if there's anything you remember from this presentation, don't wake up saying, "I’ve got to figure out how to move a house today."
Instead, ask yourself, “What do I need to do today, whether online or offline, to remind my community that I am a respectable business person who cares about our community first, and that I exist and I'm an agent?” Watch what happens to your business if that becomes consistent.
This is where lead generation comes into play. Here’s Tony’s take on it:
Lead generation is not door knocking. Lead generation is not mailing. Lead generation is not emailing. Lead generation is not calling on the phone. Lead generation is not texting. Lead generation is not social media messaging. See, those are all forms of communication to talk to another human being.
Lead generation is one thing and one thing only: Getting 20 people to tell you yes or no every single day when you ask the question, "Do you know anybody else who's looking to do something with their real estate this year?”
Of course, you do have to choose a form of communication. Tony believes the “cold” part of cold-calling (or cold-door-knocking, cold-texting, etc.) is dead.
Instead of door knocking, I knock on the modern front door, social media. It's called “door-clicking.”
With door-clicking, you instantly know something about a person by looking at their online profile. You can see your mutual friends, shared interests, that you both graduated from the same college, etc. When you reach out to them, it isn’t cold.
“No one succeeds alone.”
You need a team—for example, you might leverage a transaction coordinator to do all of your paperwork so you can focus on lead gen and building your relationships.
You need to invest in your own technology instead of relying on your brokerage-provided CRM—”you never know what's going to happen tomorrow, and the last thing you should ever do is rely on your company’s system, because what if you leave the company? You'll have to implement a whole new system. I have searched so many systems out there, and nothing comes close to everything Realvolve and Firepoint, especially with the merger.”
Finally, make sure you’re leveraging services to help you manage your money: “What are you doing, especially now, to look at your expenses, to hire an accountant, to start saving money, to move money around?”
Tony encourages agents to embrace innovation:
Don't say and do what every agent says and does. It drives me nuts. Innovate. Be different. I have coaching clients who have come to me before and said things like, "There are agents in my office telling me I shouldn't play my guitar in the open houses " I'll look at that coaching client of mine.
I'll go, "First of all, don't ever listen to what other agents are telling you to stop doing, just because they don't know how to do it." Number two, is it giving you success? "Oh yeah, my clients love it." Then do it.
If you approach your business goofy, be goofy. If you approach your business being a big charitable person, be charitable. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, be you. We are all creative. We all have amazing ideas. Implement those ideas. Show your personality. That's why I think building your own story online, your own websites, let that come out of you. People are attracted to it, because when you're telling your story, you'll be passionate about it instead of telling someone else's story.
Whether dealing with coming recessions or even sudden shifts caused by forces like COVID-19, coach Tony Giordano is showing agents across the country how to adapt and thrive. To learn more, watch the full webinar.
Sammy Harper is a content writer at Firepoint & Realvolve. Her nine years of digital marketing experience include SEO, email marketing, social media, and blogging. Fascinated by the real estate indust...Read More