There’s no shortage of headline-producing news to come out of EXPCON 2020 this week and Day 4 of the conference was no exception.
Today’s news? eXp World Holdings is buying SUCCESS Enterprises.
Before a packed virtual audience in eXp World, Glenn Sanford, Founder and CEO of eXp World Holdings, said “he jumped at the chance” of purchasing the 123-year-old media property because he strongly believes in personal development and feels eXp’s agent community can benefit from it as well.
“We take the personal development side really seriously,” said Sanford. “One of the things we did from Day 1 was to teach classes in eXp World — literally the week we started eXp back in 2009. That has turned into this institution of higher learning for real estate professionals (via eXp University).”
Sanford said during the early years of eXp that he actually toyed with the idea that eXp Realty was actually “a personal development company that just happened to sell real estate.”
SUCCESS magazine was always a passion of Sanford’s and he has mailed complimentary copies to each and every eXp agent, now numbering 38,000 agents in the world.
SUCCESS’s stable of properties will give eXp a valuable print and digital presence with the addition of SUCCESS print magazine, SUCCESS.com, SUCCESS newsletters, podcasts, digital training courses and affiliated social media accounts. According to Grand View Research, SUCCESS was valued at $38 billion in 2019.
Keynote By Former National Geographic Photographer Dewitt Jones
The day’s keynote was by Dewitt Jones, a world-class photojournalist and former National Geographic photographer, whose theme was “Celebrate What’s Right.” His appearance was emceed by Austin’s Julie Nelson, who guided Jones through an audience Q&A after his compelling visual presentation.
Jones said his long career at National Geographic gave him a wonderful mindset to celebrate what’s right with the world instead of wallowing with what’s wrong.
“Why do you think we keep those silly yellow magazines? It’s a sacrilege to throw one away, because they celebrate what’s right with the world.” With that, he shared how his experience at National Geographic changed his life. Here are some highlights:
“Vision and creativity is now more important than ever. It’s your vision which will make you a success. Our vision controls our perception. What is your vision? These are turbulent times. Will your vision allow you to see a world full of beauty, joy and possibility? With National Geographic, the more I celebrated the best in humanity, the more I saw it.”
On being hired by the world’s best photojournalism magazine:
When he was 26 years old, he was hired by National Geographic. He was daunted, feeling very insecure about his ability to be a great photographer with this esteemed publication. On the first day, he met with his photo editor, Bob Gilka, who said to Dewitt, “You’re good. You don’t have to prove yourself. But by God, every day, you’d better improve yourself.”
Dewitt said the meeting and the words were life-altering.
“Don’t prove yourself — improve yourself.”
He understood that life was far more about cooperation than competition.
On finding the right answer
Many times during his talk, Jones said he was always looking for the money shot — the one that he thought would just immediately present itself and his day would be done. He realized he needed to retrain himself on what he could see and how he saw it. “Nature would show me that there is more than one right answer. It is the key to creativity.”
Four steps he takes for each assignment
- Train your technique – “Vision without technique is blind. It’s fine to have a brilliant idea, but if you don’t have the technique and the technology to manifest it, you have nothing.”
- Put yourself in the place of most potential. “If nature is going to open up with multiple opportunities, where is my best chance to find them?”
- Be open to possibilities. “What will I be given today?”
- Celebrate what’s right with the situation. “Then we’ll have the energy to fix what’s wrong.”
To summarize, he said, “We’re all on the same great journey down a river we call life. We can’t see the future. We can’t know for certain whether the way ahead will be calm or turbulent. But if we have the right vision, we can meet any situation. And even if it’s pretty good, we can make it even better.”
Devin Doherty Hosted a Panel on “Serving Humans With Love”
At a time when there is a lot of division in the world, Southern California agent Devin Doherty hosted a panel on “How to serve humans you love?”
David Hill (Massachusetts) said he hosts a few Alcoholics Anonymous meetings locally through an arrangement with a nearby church that is safe during COVID. He also hosts a national podcast to share positive messages and ideas. He said the 12th step of AA is about giving it back. “The only way to keep it is to give back.”
Daniel Askew (Nashville). After losing his father to cancer, he got a lot of clarity, which was to help others succeed and empower other people to live their biggest life possible. He says he has had his team for 8 years and has done $250 million in sales and all of that success can be through investing in other people.
Genny Williams Hosted a Panel on “How to Increase Listing Inventory in a Scarce Market”
Genny Williams (Alabama) hosted a panel discussion on the topic of increasing listing inventory in a scarce market. She was joined by Gusty Gulas, Chad Beasley and Tina Burt — all top-producing agents from Alabama. Here are some takeaways:
Where do you find your leads?
- Gusty said he has 26 lead sources, but says radio has been a great lead source for listings. He advertises on county, talk radio, and local independent stations. He even started a real estate radio show that he says helps his brand.
- Chad says that he takes a more targeted approach. He has built his 23-year business as being the go-to expert in his area. He has tremendous name recognition. Does direct mailers to town, has a couple of billboards, social media. He spends money on generating seller leads and targets a small area. Leads come from word of mouth, community presence and repeat and referral business.
- Tina says she gets referrals through past business, and via friends. She is going back to old habits of leaving her business card everywhere. Also her car is wrapped, so visibility is effective.
Do you invest in direct mailers?
- Chad sends postcards that are a copy of his billboard. Simple, clear message that touts he is the No. 1 agent in the area. He says his billboards, postcards and yard signs are all the same because consistency is important. They recognize him from the billboard they see every day.
- Tina says she has two separate mails a month from two different databases. One is a jumbo card that is more aggressive and asks the person for their listing. The other is smaller and a reminder of her business.
On the importance of reviews?
- Gusty said he focuses on Zillow, Facebook, Google, Yelp. “You have to be consistent in asking for reviews. Usually around the third week, fourth week and after they move in we ask. We get maybe 10-15% back. People just don’t like doing reviews.” He says Zillow is a necessary evil, but that’s where the audience is.
- Chad agrees that Zillow is a necessary evil but that’s where buyers and sellers are.
- Tina sends out a consumer research report and asks to be graded on her service. She takes the feedback and puts the positive testimonials on her website and puts the “bad reviews” on the top of her repair list.
On the importance of a database
- Genny says she fills out her database with names of everyone she knows and everyone who knows her. She offered ideas for where to get names: Graduation list, holiday card list, wedding list, etc. Add to it daily. This should net you 30 sales a year.
- Gusty says “Having a database is the foundation of your business. You have to consistently add to it. You never will complete it, because it’s constantly growing. Your best CRM.
Modern Team Network Building Hosted by Adam Bailey and Mike Grbic
Adam Bailey and Mike Grbic, two eXp agents who have found success in growing both “traditional” sales teams and “modern” sales teams, hosted panels on each and discussed how to use a traditional team to build for the future.
The panel consisted of top eXp agents Blake Cory, Jennifer Kern, Chastin Miles, Clarence Graham, Chris Gurnee and Jamie Garlock.
Blake Cory pointed out that if you increase your cost of sale (commissions earned by others) then you must decrease your expenses. A modern team network often receives less per sale, but can be expanded without the same level of overhead as a traditional team.
Chastin Miles shared that creating a strong culture is key. The other panelists all agreed and stressed the importance of culture, positivity, and support in building a strong network. Clarence Graham put it this way, “it’s not about getting a revenue share check, it’s about helping them [agents in your network] solve problems and build their business.”
Mike Grbic said, “This is a team of teams. The collaboration allows us all to rise together. We have a responsibility to help our network succeed.” Miles shared that he uses Calend.ly, Kajabi, and Community as tools to serve his network. In Calend.ly, he has 3 types of appointment calls available for his network to select: a 3-way call for attraction support, an “unstuck” call for questions and general help, and an eXp information call for agents looking to learn more about eXp.
The panel wrapped up by sharing that success attracts success and you should be purposeful to share publicly/socially the kind of information and offerings that will attract the people you want to work with. Then support them and build up leaders to create leveraged and duplicatable success.
Genny Williams Moderated “How to Convert Buyers and in a Fast-Moving Market”
Genny Williams hosted a panel about how to convert buyers with Ashley Davis Henderson, Chad Beasley and Gusty Gulas.
How do you find and convert leads?
- Ashley said “We do a lot of business with Zillow. Realtor, Trulia. Those are the people who are ready now. Google ads are colder leads. Then, it’s up to you how to nourish leads and get them to convert. “The first step is to get them on the phone. I’m not trying to sell them, I treat them like any person. Get them comfortable. My first phone call: “How can I help you?” It’s not what’s your price point, etc. No hard sell. Just ‘how can I help?’”
- Chad said “I don’t use a script, it’s about starting a relationship. I’m not militant about pre-approval. Authenticity is key. If you are reading word-for-word through a script, they can smell that a mile away.”
- Genny – “These are people. If they can’t buy today, they can buy tomorrow. I want to serve and help.”
How have you changed your consultations due to COVID
- Gusty – “Not much. Because we’ve always been as virtual as possible. Clients are open to Zoom consultation.”
- Ashley – “My consultation is during that first showing. While I’m standing in the house with them, I share my lender names. I want to make sure they can afford that house, otherwise, it won’t help any of us.”
“This is the great frustration of being a Realtor now — people want to sell but nowhere to go,” said Chad. “In this market, have a conversation with sellers to show them their options. But, this is not the market to try to compete if you have a house to sell.”
“They work, unless you come in with a lowball offer,” said Genny. “But sometimes that works too if you’re a good letter writer. Send a photo of the family. I think sellers enjoy them. It’s another great way to win in this fast-moving market.”
Staying visible to prospective buyers
Gusty – “We just try to be everywhere – radio, Zillow, Google, social media. We take a shotgun approach and just try to be visible.”
EXPCON 2020 is the 11th annual conference where eXp agents, brokers, staff and guests can attend to learn about eXp. For the first time in its history, the event is being held virtually.
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