Matt Wagner: Work/Life Balance for an Entrepreneur
Guests: Matt Wagner, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: January 25th, 2019
In this webinar, MyOutdesk CEO/Founder Daniel Ramsey has a conversation with the CEO/Founder of Radio and Television Experts (RATE Group). Matt tells us a story about how his business has changed the lives of Top Producing agents in their market. We’ve helped so many agents get busy with phones ringing off the hook now. So let’s get you some knowledge on continuing your success and maintaining a good quality of life.
[00:05] (Daniel) Alright, everybody. Hey, Daniel Ramsey here with MyOutDesk. I am very excited. Today we have an exceptional guest on our webinar series. Before we get started, I’d like everyone to say hello in the notes. One of the most awesome things in the world is we’re going to ask Matt Wagner of Radio and Television Experts questions that he’s never been asked before, so this should be a fascinating webinar.
My name again is Daniel Ramsey; I own a company called MyOutDesk. We’ve had the pleasure of serving over 5,000 real estate professionals, just like you guys. Today, we’re going to dive deep with Matt. He’s got this marketing mind that, honestly, over 10 years of being friends with him, I just see him keep upping his game, upping his game every year.
[00:57] (Daniel) In fact, one thing that Matt has done is he’s made more realtors over a million dollars in actual trackable GCI. So, guys, trackable multimillion-dollar real estate agents are Matt’s clients. He’s got over; I think there’s a couple hundred that just make millions with him every single year.
[01:17] (Daniel) So, if you’re listening today, you are going to get a lot of value. I want you to stay the whole time. We’re live on Facebook, so that’s awesome. If you’re here on the webinar series, that means you can chat; you can ask questions. We’re going to be happy to take some of those questions and kind of weave them in as we go. Matt Wagner. Thank you for joining us today.
[01:37] (Matt) Thank you, Daniel. It’s been awesome to watch your evolution. I remember when you were an agent that was selling it a couple of hundred homes and then discovered the virtual assistants. You really ventured into an area that really nobody was doing, and you really revolutionized it. You’ve grown a tremendous business, and I love entrepreneurs that think outside the box. You certainly did, and kudos to what you build with MyOutDesk.
[02:04] (Daniel ) What’s cool is we’ve been able to watch each other grow. I am honored because, guys, I’m 17 years a real estate broker. I love this business; it’s mean; I can tell you it drives my wife crazy. I still stop it at open houses every once in a while, and my wife sits in the car; why go and look. But, I love this business. I love the clients that we mutually serve. A lot of our clients are the same folks.
But we’ve been able to grow up in this industry together. Both of our companies are over a decade old, and today we’re going to talk about some of the cool things that Matt’s got going on some mistakes. I mean, he’s in the top 200 markets across the country. So he’s got some breadth of knowledge about what’s going on. So we’ll hear some stuff from him. Also, dude, you just became a client of ours.
[02:55] (Matt) Yeah, absolutely. And in fact, it’s funny. We’ve talked over the many, many years, and I almost had a, you can say, a limiting belief. I needed to see the people I worked with and meet them in person, and you changed my mindset on it. I actually began to use MyOutDesk, and simply put, in 2018, It was one of the single best decisions I made last year to do it. I think what people sometimes forget. It’s not just the immediate benefit that, as an owner, that you get, but it’s also the ripple effect.
What was probably most satisfying to me was to see the effect it had on my team members that were being overworked, and then now to see the relief that they got, how that helped the culture of the overall company by bringing quality people and well-researched people that you guys found for us. It’s kind of like discovering your love through a dating website, right? You guys have been fantastic! I was happy.
[04:04] (Matt) When you mentioned this, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I can’t sing your praises enough. If you’re in business and you’re not interviewing Daniel… And I think it’s not just a service, but I think sometimes people forget that you’re talking to somebody. I love being able to talk with you one-on-one, just from business owner to business owner, about good business advice that you gave me as well, and I appreciate that. I’m happy to do this.
[04:29] (Daniel) Yeah! Yeah, I’m glad you said that because one of the things that you’re going to get if you’re with us today is just an understanding of the process that Matt and I went through to help his company scale. So I think that’s really important, and also if you stay to the end, we’re going to be giving away.
[04:51] (Matt) A million dollars! A million dollars worth of advice.
[04:51] (Daniel) Yes, yes! Well, we’re giving away this thing called the sticky challenge.
[04:57] (Matt) It’s good stuff.
[04:59] (Daniel) It IS good stuff. I did it with Matt and his team, and it added a lot of value, and we’re giving it away for everybody.
But before we do, Matt, you’ve made a ton of people over a million dollars in trackable GCI. You’ve done that on radio and TV. You’ve added movie theaters. You’ve also added, like, what I love is this new digital thing. So we’re going to talk about what you think is going on in the world. I don’t think anybody else understands marketing at a national level as well as you do. So let’s talk through some of that. What would you tell real estate people in this world are the do’s and don’ts, and some common mistakes and because you’re doing this at a high level? And guys, if you’re listening, Matt, you have Barbara Corcoran endorsing people, and it’s insane.
I just have watched you get better and better as an organization over the last decade. So yeah, jump in and tell the audience a little bit about what they should look for and watch out for as we enter the new year.
[06:06] (Matt) Well, I think first of all is, anyone that knows me or has worked with me, here are the simple two words that will change your life. It almost seems like a cliche, but it’s always truthful whatever the year is, and that’s “humble implementation.” What does it mean? It means you’ve got… And I had to take my own medicine. I mean, I had actually to take a fresh look, and I’m still taking a fresh look. The way we’re approaching 2019 Is different from how we approached 2018, different from how we approached 2017. It’s a changing world, and you have to embrace change. The people that are growing are embracing change. The people that are still living in 2010, even 2015 or 2017, are seeing dips in their business. So it’s very, very important to really listen.
First, see what people are doing. See where we are right now. Be humble enough to admit; you know what, maybe I don’t have all the answers. Learn from other people, and then implement. Oftentimes we make excuses. We say, “Yeah, but, or I can’t do that or I have limiting beliefs.” That that lack of humility holds us back from implementing and making the changes that we need to.
[07:31] (Matt) For example, look at how important it is… There’s one straightforward technique that you see so many agents fail in today. Pick up your phone, Google Search yourself. I tell you, I do this. It’s appalling what you see, and if it’s not, fix it. Very, very basic. You got to realize people are going online now. Very, very few phone calls are happening in people’s offices. If you’re simply sitting there waiting for the phone to ring, I mean, that’s ancient school. You’ve got to be internet savvy today.
That may mean hiring some more people. But the fact is, (Referring to Daniel and MyOutdesk) that’s where you come along and can help people in many key areas.
[08:20] (Daniel) Yeah. When you think of our industry, we talked a little about Zillow and the first billion-dollar real estate firm. For everybody listening, that’s a big deal, and you guys kind of jumped into it. What are some of the common mistakes that you see out there in the world as you survey, really, real estate marketing?
[08:44] (Matt) I think being able to be set up to handle business. I think there’s a lot of poor foundations. You can dump a lot of money into lead generation, but you’re literally throwing money away if you don’t have the right foundation.
[09:01] (Daniel) And you see that time and time again. So what’s cool about us is the top 10 real estate companies in the world we serve. Matt does too. So when we’re talking about this advice, it’s legitimate. So talk to the audience. What foundation needs to be in place for a real estate team?
[09:22] (Matt) Obviously, I’ve been able to watch a lot of agents grow from the point of doing, say, 50 transactions to a hundred transactions to 200 to upwards,1,000 to 2,000. At the very core of it, some people want the magic pill that will transform them. They see the jump that my agents have had from say 100 to 200 to 300. They go, “Do do for me what you did for them.”
Well, I would love to say that Radio and TV is a magic pill. But what I liken it to, it’s kind of like gasoline on a fire.
For gasoline on a fire in a factory that’s already churning out product, and it makes it better. You could also pour gasoline on a fire to a house and burn it down if your foundation isn’t in place. Or, it’s kind of like having a great grill. I remember the very first time I had a grill, and I put about 12 fat hamburgers on it. I went back in the kitchen, came out, and the thing was like exploding!
[10:27] (Matt) That’s no different with business. You could put you could dump a lot of money into Zillow or to a lot of other lead-gen sources, but if your foundation Isn’t there to handle the business… What I’ve likened it to is its kind of like going into a busy restaurant on a Friday night. You see all these people, and there’s no hostess. Well, what happens? How long are you gonna wait in that restaurant until you say, “You know what? Forget this. I’m going to go down the street.”
The challenge that many agents don’t recognize right now is that if you don’t have that hostess, which really is like your ISA, it’s your website, those other people, you don’t realize how much business is walking out the door that you’re missing. It’s like pouring water into a bucket with a big hole in it. Fix the hole first. Because otherwise, you think you see water in the bucket, but there’s a leak, and that water is leaking out, and you never seem to get ahead.
[11:28] (Daniel) That’s right. One of the first things that we did with you, and if you’re listening today, we’re going to go through the process you would get if you were to call us and do a consultation. So we need to tell you. What Matt and I are talking about is exactly what we do here at MyOutDesk. The very first thing I asked you for was your org chart in your current business. Now you happily provided that, and then we work through exactly what we needed to do inside your team.
I think that’s what you’re talking about. A foundation. Understanding who is on the team, what their strengths are, what they really do well. In your case, you guys are just growing like crazy and just scaling fast. So we actually stepped in and just took things away from your most important players on the team so that they could focus on helping and serving their clients at a high level. And I think that was a big deal.
[12:26] (Matt) The other thing I’ll add to that is where I see many teams implode. It’s they ignore their culture. Everybody has a culture inside their business, and then when you sometimes see great teams, they might lose a big producer or lose a key person. They may have their eye on a different ball right now. When they take their eyes off the ball within the culture of their team, that can be just as disruptive as losing a deal because these are the people that are influencing the overall effect of your business. So that’s really, really critical.
[13:05] (Daniel) One thing, we talked about this. You and I are unique in that 99% of our people are actually in a virtual office, meaning most people work from their own home or whatever in our company and your company, and real estate professionals. So what we’re looking for is a blended model where your salespeople are in the house. They’re the ones driving people. They’re the ones knocking on doors. They’re doing open houses, and they’re talking to sellers. They’re the ones doing all of the hard work of getting real estate deals.
But we have a virtual team. So how do you keep your culture good? Because let me tell you, your clients are all pleased, and that is because your team is happy, because they serve your clients. Tell us about that. How have you done that?
[13:55] (Matt) Well, we call it The Virtual Lounge. That really was a game-changer because early in our process, it was through daily conference calls and talking to different team members throughout the day. But the bigger you grow, it becomes really a lot more difficult to talk to everybody over the phone every day. You go crazy. But by having the virtual office, by having what we call the video lounge, It’s kind of like Hollywood Squares where you see all these squares up with people. The value of that is that now you can not only hear them, but you can also see them. So by being able to talk with them face to face, it’s no different than if you FaceTime them.
[14:39] (Daniel) Right. So with a blended team and the way our offices both… We’re always on video. I’m constantly on video. I’m talking with my people. I’m helping them through any problems or solutions that they might need, and you do the same.
Your team’s excellent. When we first started talking, we got an org chart. I understand your product line. That’s how we started the conversation. Then you introduced me to three key players on your team: the people who really understand your clients and the core vision of where we’re going. So how do you keep those guys fully engaged? Because turnover in the real estate world is the enemy of growth, right? If you lose the most important person on your team, now you’ve got to rebuild, and that takes time, and you lose energy and effort. So how do you keep your culture strong at RATE?
[15:34] (Matt) Still being able to communicate with the key leaders is very important, regular communication, because it has a trickle-down effect. Having a clear pecking order to know that this person reports to this person, this person reports to that person, and I think knowing having that…
It’s funny, and I watch The Profit a lot. I’m a big Marcus Lemonis fan, and that’s one thing he really preaches a lot too. When you’re looking at your business, who do you answer to? Who do you talk to? So everybody knows who they should be answering to, that’s really important. And so if I make sure that that person who they’re answering to is happy, and they know clearly and…
The one thing I think I really appreciate, and this part of the hiring process too, is making sure you have people that when there’s confusion, when there’s a challenge, that rather than just make assumptions, they’ll pick up the phone and call or they’ll text and say, “Hey, can you talk?” So that’s really a little critical button, and also asking them how you vent when you’ve got concerns.
[16:38] (Matt) If somebody says they keep it to themselves, that’s a red flag, especially when you’re virtual. It’s now like a normal office when you can kind of tell. You walk in, you see in someone’s body language that they’re just not happy. So you say, “Hey, come on. Let’s grab a cup of coffee.” You don’t have that luxury. So you’ve really got to be able to know by looking at people’s facial reactions. I like to see their eyes in the lounge. So I can see their eyes, I can see how they’re doing, but then also just being able to pause and say, “Hey, if you’ve got a problem, like with me, I really keep an open door policy. Please call me, even if it’s what you don’t think I want to hear. I want to hear it.” Because I would rather deal with it that way than have to deal with the aftereffect.
[17:21] (Daniel) I love it, I love it. Okay, so we get your org chart. You’ve introduced me to the key players. You mentioned that you had some limiting beliefs about hiring virtual assistants, even though we’re friends. In fact, maybe seven, eight years ago, every time we’d go to a conference, we’d text each other, and then we’d meet up for coffee and chat. So I mean, we are friends, and yet you didn’t want to move forward and hire us. So talk about that, like what had to get out of the way for you even to have the conversation with us?
[17:57] (Matt) Well, I think sometimes there’s a limiting belief that says “I don’t know,” because they don’t understand our world, or like, they might not speak English, for instance. Is that is that going to be a hindrance? Because so much of what we do is over the phone. Sometimes when you deal with people, that may be a factor. But when I got past that belief, I began to realize that, you know what, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on that doesn’t require you to have to pick up the phone and call someone.
I know that there are ISAs that sound great, and they do really well for you. But in my particular case, limiting belief that I should hire outside the people, friends, or friends that I’ve built. They’re not going to know anybody in our group. Is that going to be a hindrance? But when I got past…
[18:53] (Matt) What I really appreciated was the in-depth research that you guys did to understand what’s important to our culture, the values that are important to our culture, and then find the right match, even the right personality. It really was kind of like a dating service. I’ve never done a dating service, don’t get me wrong, but it was really matching the right fits. You forget that whereas you don’t really know who you’re going to get when you throw something out there on the internet. But then you guys have a vetted process. That really was key.
The other thing that I really liked about it was when you guys are also checking up on them, almost like a temp service. I told my team, I said, “Look, Daniel’s got a vested interest because A; he’s got a follow up on how they’re doing but also; he knows that I talked to a lot of agents and that if they screw up, I’m going to be vocal about it.” Well, I’ll do what I’m doing now. Brag about you guys right now. I think knowing that really changed my mindset was. It was beneficial.
[20:03] (Daniel) I would say too is when you guys came in, we knew that you guys needed help, but we weren’t super clear on the outcome, meaning what you were paying for. Where we landed was we needed a free some time up of two individuals on your team. That was our first hire, just two folks, and now we’ve done another, and another. But, the first outcome was to save time for your most important, highly-paid, really professional… The people who are rock stars on your team. They need an assistant so that they could go out and add more value to their clients.
That process of discovery is what’s so valuable for our clients. We hear it time and time again. “I wasn’t sure, but I knew that I needed help.” Or, “I had this obstacle, and I wasn’t sure what it was.” So in our process, we’ll go through, and we’re like, what’s the one obstacle so that you can grow your business? What’s the one obstacle so that you can double? Nine times out of 10, it has something to do with time.
[21:09] (Matt) Excellent point.
[21:10] (Daniel) So we saved you guys a ton of time while also reducing your overhead. That’s another piece. Let’s talk a little bit about that.
[21:19] (Matt) I love that topic because sometimes we think instinctively, “I’ve gotta hire another position.” Sometimes, if we hire an assistant to a really good person, they can do the work of two people. Or because you freed up many mundane things that are holding them back, now the price of a VA versus having to go out and hire a secondary person saves you a lot of money. Because it also lets that person that’s doing really well at what they do help even more people do what they do really well. And I think that’s a very, very good point when you’re looking at adding new hires.
[22:01] (Daniel) And your people are so freaking good. I was working with Julie and Lana on your team, and what I got out of our first couple of calls was these people have such an attention to detail. They were super talented. They knew exactly what needed to happen, but they just needed more time. They’re motivated. They were smart. So for us, it was just, okay, we’re going to get you an assistant, you’re going to give them all the tasks that really you shouldn’t be doing because they’re $10 an hour tasks, and then you’re going to focus on the several hundred dollars an hour tasks and go out and rock it from that. So that’s exactly what’s happened, which is really cool.
[22:47] (Matt) Absolutely.
[22:49] (Daniel) Okay, so we saved you a ton of money. We’re giving you back time for your most productive people. We also trained your folks on the personality profiles and the differences in the culture of somebody in the Philippines versus somebody in the US. Let’s talk about that. Like what is some of the feedback that they’ve gotten? How have the virtual assistants integrated into your team?
[23:15] (Matt) I could say “lovely” because that’s literally who gave me!
[23:21] (Daniel) That’s her actual name.
[23:23] (Matt) That’s really her name. That’s the funny part. They’ve been a beautiful mesh. I regularly hear for my team, “Man, you made a brilliant move. We love them.” They’ve worked out great. They’ve been a perfect complement. It was a good match, I think. But prepping them too? They’re very eager.
People sometimes forget that when you find somebody, you really vet your people really well. You find hungry people that want to learn that want to get better. Sometimes you associate $10 help with unmotivated people who just are happy to have a job. When you find quality people-driven, want to learn, and want to get better? Boy, that just gives a nice surge of fresh enthusiasm into a culture that it’s a welcome addition, and that certainly describes how they are.
[24:17] (Daniel) Well, you know what’s cool too is one of our hires, you guys are implementing an increased new system to serve your clients at a higher level. I think this is another mistake that agents make. They go out, and they get sold on a new marketing platform, or they get sold on a new transaction coordination platform, or a new whatever, listing coordination, whatever it is. So they get sold on a new system, and then they implement it in their team, and because nobody is assigned to it, they screw it up a little bit. So let’s talk through… Because you hired us to help you implement a new system. Why did you do that? What do you think the value is going to be, and where are you with that?
[24:59] (Matt) Oh, advantages. The service that you recommended? Great product and I think that saved so much time because we are doing many things. We might have somebody that might literally be on three radio stations, two TV stations, two or three movie theaters, doing digital. One person can’t handle all of that. Back in the day, I used to be Superman and handled one or two stations for somebody, maybe a TV station.
But now, with a lot of moving parts, having that all compressed into one report where now when we are having discussions, we can kind of look at all the different layers of what they’re doing and have that quarterly discussion. So now, it’s all right in front of you, instead of you having to grab here, grab there or try to ask, “Hey, can you gather this report?” That’s just how big companies operate. So I think from the standpoint of an agent, when they can have at their fingertips all the necessary data that they need in one place, that’s also a system that should be there.
[26:03] (Matt) That goes back to, “Do you have the foundation ready to be able to handle more business?” It’s funny. One of the questions that we ask people a lot, you know, is could you handle another 10 to 15 listings a month. Of course, the natural answer is, “Sure!” So I ask, “Really? Can you use a service that? Is your main function to do that?” Probably one of the early on mistakes that I discovered working with agents is that if they only had, say, one listing agent… Or not even one listing agent, a buyer agent, and like one admin person, all of a sudden they get 50, 60 listings in a month, they can’t handle it.
They’ll say, “Well, I’ll hire.” We go, “Well, no, because if you got a stack, a leads on your desk. What’s going to be more green to you?” What’s more green to you? All that business or interviewing potential people to handle it. People always gravitate to the green, and that’s where you’ve got to plan properly and lay the right foundation.
[27:08] (Matt) It’s kind of funny. I would give props out to Mike Ferry because when I used to prospect in the days, whenever I’d run across a Mike Ferry agent, I would always get shot down. After all, Mike would always shoot down things like Radio and TV, and I didn’t understand why. When I finally attended a conference, and I realized why, it wasn’t that he was down on advertising because Chris Heller was one of my best clients, top spending clients, and here he is a poster child for Mike Ferry. So I asked Chris, ”Why is Mike so down on Radio and TV for Agents?” Chris is always great for short, quick answers, and he said, “Because most of them don’t have the foundation to support it.”
Then I realized that it’s like that, that makes sense. Most agents don’t have the right foundation in place so that if you get that fixed first, start selling 100, 200 homes a year effectively and have your foundation there; now, when you add on other elements, you’ve got the right, the right pieces in place.
[28:16] (Daniel) Okay, if you if you’re listening to this… And first, I want to shout out to Tara. She shared our video, and then Ryan Yardley is here. Greg is here. So it’s great you guys are watching.
What I heard one time, and I think it’s 100% true. Learning how to sell real estate and really be in that world is like getting a bachelor’s degree or a high school degree. But building a team and that foundation that we’re talking about? It’s like going and getting a Masters’s or Ph.D. and maybe another Ph.D. because it’s hard. You and I have the unique privilege to have views into the top teams around the country, and everybody who’s listening is like, yeah, yeah, yeah. But what you’ve just dropped in value is the thing that differentiates people who are making a million dollars in real estate and those who are not. That’s it. It’s building a great team, tying that team to your vision for the future, and then getting them motivated and adding value to them over time. The best real estate people you know…
[29:26] (Daniel) And that’s why Mike ferry didn’t do it because he’s right. It’s, it’s not the 80-20 rule in real estate. It’s like the 90-10, and really of the 10%, there’s only 1% that could afford what we do for them. So it’s essential if you’re listening that “build the foundation” is key.
So what would you tell somebody trying to build a team and has not heard of MyOutDesk, or never hired a virtual assistant and doesn’t really understand the blended model? For example, where some people are salespeople, you’ve got some people in your office, and then your operations team is delivering virtually. What would you tell them to get over that hump of actually just trying it out for the first time?
[30:15] (Matt) I would say the first thing is to understand. It’s funny. We go back to this whole dating thing or marital advice. Before you can be a good husband, or before you can look for a good wife, you’ve got to be a good husband, in the sense that you need to know yourself. You need to know what you need, where you want to be, and what’s important. Because if you don’t know those questions, now you really are striking into the air, and you’re going to go through a lot of turnover.
It’s okay to have weaknesses, and I think some people are afraid of exposing their weaknesses. You made a perfect point, and I didn’t even think about it. You said I was willing to turn over my team to you and really analyze the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I embraced that. I want that. Because otherwise, how am I going to get help?
[31:13] (Matt) So the advice that I would really give somebody, for one, take an open mind. The fact is, you could say, “Yes, I’ve helped more agents earn over a million dollars in trackable GCI at Radio and TV.” That’s true. I know the advice that I’m giving is based on hundreds of agents, hundreds of markets, all different types of situations. So if somebody said, “Matt, I’m doing X amount of volume. I’ve got x amount of team members.” I actually asked for a huge snapshot first of the team and then said, “Where do you want to be? Where do you want to grow?”
Until somebody has that figured out, it doesn’t make sense to give them advice because what if I blow them up and their team implodes? Now I’ve got to explain to Barbara Corcoran why she got a complaint, or why somebody canceled a Sean Hannity, or they got in an argument. I don’t want that. We secure so many high-profile personalities because we can tell them we vet our agents that we work with that we give to you, that you represent. We vet them just as carefully as we vet you as a talent to them. They never hear that, and that’s why we built a reputation with them.
[32:39] (Matt) So I would say, going back to your original question… What I would ask you, and this is something that I really did ask you, I say, “Here’s where I’m at right now. What other teams have you worked within my situation that wanted to get to the next level?” I think people would be surprised at how much knowledge you have, and they might forget, you were a real estate agent that started as an individual agent, that had an admin person, that built a team. Don’t forget that, and being able to ask those questions and then make a decision.
The good news is you don’t have to sign up and sign a $10,000 check to start up to get that kind of advice. What I really appreciated is not only did you help us with talent, with good people, but even as business to the business owner, is telling me what I should be looking for in my business at this level to go to the next level. I think people forget that when you talk to somebody with experience, you’ve been there. You’ve dealt with people that have gone there.
[33:49] (Matt) That’s what actually gives me peace of mind. Even though I might not be working with somebody that may be selling 1,000 homes anymore, the fact is, we helped someone get to 1000 homes. We know what it takes to get them there. Nobody can ever take that away from us. No one can ever take away the fact that you have helped hundreds of people go from 50 to 100 to 200. You may not necessarily be a lead generation force, but what I love about you guys is, you guys are perhaps one of the most important pieces. You’re that foundation piece that, if missing, could be throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars away. Nobody gets to the top without a great team, without a lot of great other partners that help you along the way, and you’re certainly one of them.
[34:34] (Daniel) Well, you know you have a client that we are currently helping, and it’s a great story because I think it helps people understand what we do. You referred them over, and we thought we were going to hire ISAs. We thought we would plug like three to five ISAs into his business because he’s doing millions of dollars in revenue like most of your clients are. So when I first jumped onto a consultation with them, we’re looking at whatever every…
So real estate people, the beauty of them is you can make a lot of money really quick, and you have no inventory, you don’t have to build an office space. You don’t have to build a factory. So it’s not really cash-intensive. But the thing that you are building is leverage, people. Your team is your product. That’s your service. Your service is how good your people are with the community that you serve.
[35:34] (Daniel) So we thought we would go in and add three to five ISAs and then call it a day because you generate a ton of leads for this guy and whatever. But when we stepped in there, we found that he had some major gaps in his internal talent. He had some major gaps in his lead generation. He didn’t have the right measurements in place for his team. I mean, we found all of these gaps in his business that will allow him to double once fixed. We’re not talking about going from 100 transactions to 200. We’re talking about going from like 1,000 transactions to 2,000 transactions.
All I did, and all our team will do for anybody who basically goes through our website or gives us a call and does a consultation, is looking for those gaps, and we look, who is the right person to bring in and hire to fill that gap. That’s what we did for you as RATE. It’s what we do for every single client. The concept isn’t difficult, and it’s simple business blocking and tackling, nothing else. What’s cool is that client has gone down the road and made several shifts, and I think I talk to him tomorrow to find out how it’s been. It’s been a couple of months.
[36:51] (Daniel) But dude, I’m so thankful for not only the trust that you gave us to refer one of your clients, but also the opportunity to help somebody double. That’s what we want. We call our business strategies a “double your business, business strategy” because that’s what it is. It’s like, well, what do you do?
[37:07] (Matt) You know, that’s interesting, and you make a perfect point about that. I often use the term “I’m not the magic pill. But I’m a pretty good drugstore.” One thing I’ve learned over 14 years of working with top agents is that I can get business for people. I can create opportunities, whether it’s through the phone or the Internet. But if they don’t have that foundation in place, if they don’t have the right coach, if they don’t have the right you know systems in place, they don’t have the right admin people in place, they don’t have the right website in place, all of those things. If those aren’t there, all the time, energy that we spent trying to create business for that goes out the window, and we got to start all over again.
We may have done our job. But the problem is if they don’t have the right foundation, it all falls apart. That’s why I love turning over clients, and I would tell anybody in RATE. Anyone not at RATE should least have the conversation with you because I think people forget that it’s those little hires.
[38:13] (Matt) The other thing, I was thinking of it, the thing that people often say about me when I tell them not to do something, is that there’s a difference of when you’re a company that needs money, that’s starting versus someone that’s established that will weigh in, “What’s my time worth?” into a decision that’s being recommended. For example, I could give somebody bad advice. I can’t conscientiously do that, but it’s not just the fact that I’d be taking their money, but I’ve got an answer to them in two or three months, and I have to spend more time undoing the damage that I’ve done. Versus tell them, “You know what? Don’t spend the money.”
People think on the surface, Wow, you’re turning away money you could have made. Yeah, but you know what, a bad reputation takes a lot more time to undo, and I’d rather help you save money now because eventually, you’ll spend more if you’re making money.
[39:00] (Matt) I think that’s something else important about what you guys do that’s really, really valuable. It’s probably why I wasn’t afraid to talk with you because I realized you’re not just trying too hard to sell me into hiring somebody. We’ve known each other for nine years, and we’ve never exchanged dollars, and we’re still friends. So that’s very important to know, trust somebody going in, that maybe you haven’t found the right fit, you’re not going to hard-sell them on to us just because you need the money.
A lot of other virtual assistant companies. I don’t know, since I don’t know many others, they may pressure you, or you may internally think, “I better hire this person because if I don’t, the damage is going to happen.” You’re not going to push someone into a bad decision. That’s a very, very important factor in choosing a partner.
[40:03] (Daniel) Yeah, you’re spot on. We’ve got hundreds of referrals and recommendations online and video testimonials like this, and nobody’s angry at us because we don’t make bad decisions. We work with the top 10% in the real estate market, people who are building teams and growing teams, and people who want to double their business.
One thing, on the notes of the call in the comments, we’ve just put a link together. If you register, we will give you away from the same sticky challenge, and I don’t think we talked about it yet. I love the name, right? Sticky challenge. Here’s what we did with the math team. He introduced me to Pete. Pete and I went through an intense dive into the business. We got the org chart. We understood the systems. We understood what their challenges were, and then we narrowed it down to saving time.
Then we went to Julian and Lana, who, if you’re listening and you’re in RATE, you know these women. They are the bread and butter of what happens at RATE. They’re super talented. They did the sticky challenge, and this is what I’m suggesting for you guys. Every day, they wrote down whether they were doing dollar productive activity or non-dollar productive activity, and the amount of time, and what you do over time is you just hold on to these stickies for a week or two. Then you start looking at what your day looks like, and I tell you if you’re building a team or you have a team, and you haven’t done this, it will unlock hundreds of thousands of dollars for you in saved time because your team is going to get focused on what’s important. The things that are going to grow your company. So if you register for a free strategy call, we’ve got a four-page kind of series fully explaining it, with how to do it and what to do. Plus, you’re going to get a business strategy. You’re going to get that secret sauce that Matt is explaining happens when you work with us. We also have a webinar on 12/12.
Matt, something that’s different about your business is that you guys are almost exclusively referral-based. Talk a little bit about how you’ve cultivated that. You teach your clients to do the referrals. I appreciate how you go grown with a very tight-knit group of agents over the years. Talk a little bit about that in your business.
[42:41] (Matt) When you say that, as far as the referral, meaning?
[42:45] (Daniel) Most of your business comes from referrals. I mean…
[42:47] (Matt) Well, it’s interesting. When I first started this 14 years ago, it was kind of cool because, from day one, I didn’t need the money. I never wanted it to be about just a dollar figure. I wanted to grow by building the right pieces in place. I really like what Will Smith said about “You don’t build a wall overnight. You take one brick. You lay it perfectly. The next brick, you lay it perfectly,” and before you know it, you have a wall.
So from the get-go, what I learned was great agents attract great agents. So at the water cooler. When people wonder, you know, what are you doing, they’re going to share, right? So at conferences, I began to realize that the best agents hung out the bar after midnight because they’d be talking shop all night. So all I would do to recruit is I would go hang out with some of my clients. I didn’t say who I am, and I was kind of like the crack dealer.
So yeah, here’s my, here’s my source for business. Then they’re curious, “Hey, can you do this for me?” Or, “What about my market?” So what progressively grew is that culture attracts culture. It’s kind of interesting because of Dave Ramsey, no relation.
[44:06] (Daniel) He’s not my uncle or my dad. Yeah.
[44:11] (Matt) Dave Ramsey actually said the best hires he’s had have come from friends of the culture. Friends of friends that work for him understand their culture because if their friends, you know, you would really fit into this culture.
That’s kind of how I’ve grown the business. I mean, that’s how I’ve grown team members, that’s how I’ve grown other clients. They go, “I know somebody in Saskatoon that really gets this,” or I know somebody in Alberta. Or know somebody in, you know, Florida that that man, they’d be a great fit. In our culture. So that is really how we’ve grown it. We didn’t do a lot of mass advertising. I don’t have the money when I first started. But that’s okay because what I found was, and I let the results speak for themselves. So many of our clients were on stage plugging this, or they would hang out with other successful people.
What I did learn, and I would tell this to any vendor you could say, is to make friends in many conferences because if you’ve got a good cheerleader that in that group, they will spread the word. Smart agents want to learn with other smart agents, so you attract that kind of person. So that’s really honestly how we’ve grown it.
[45:34] (Daniel) I love it, dude. The reason I brought it up is that you guys have built a business like that. On 12/12we will do a webinar series, breaking down the actual referral strategy, review strategy, and recommendation strategy to help clients implement. So most of their business can come from referrals, and they’re already existing client base, and they’re already existing sphere of influence. So if you’re around on 12/12, we call it the Three R. There’s a link down here.
Matt, thank you for your time today. What do you want to leave the audience with? What’s the one thing you would tell them?
[46:12] I would just say, really realize that business is done differently in 2019 than it was done three years ago, and just take a real good look. And it’s funny, and we talked about referral business, right? If nothing else, communicate, play. Ask your clients what they want, and ask your team what do you want. I love Marcus Lemonis’s Three Things, you know, People, Process, Product. Really look at your people and ask them about your process, about your people. Are they happy? And if they’re frustrated at all, hey, don’t talk to you. They’re missing a big opportunity because you’ve helped my team with their culture.
Before you go out and quickly hire someone, find out first about what your needs are. You can even help them analyze that on their own, and then as you grow, you are ready for more lead generation… I mean, of course, I don’t need the money, but I love hitting home runs, and I love helping people grow. But so often, before they’re ready to grow, they’ve got to fix their house first, and especially right now, with where the market is right now, you’ve got to fix your house first. Are you making outbound calls? Do you do have an ISA in place? Even calling your past clients. Just communicating with them. Having that system to do should be in place before you even think about going to the next level with marketing and wasting money.
[47:48] (Daniel) Yep. And if you call us, we’ll help. And guys, we’re going to end there. Matt, thanks again for all of your time today. You’re awesome, a rock star. So again, get your free “double your business strategy call” with us. We’re happy to help. Thanks again for your time today.
[48:04] (Matt) Thanks, guys.