Welcome to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast where you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly of how real estate agents overcame challenges and grew their business. Check out the Episode Notes at CrushItinRE.com/podcast. Here’s your host, Lindsay Favazza.
Lindsay Favazza: Welcome back to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast. I am here with a very special guest, Mr. Greg Hamre. Greg, welcome to the podcast today.
Greg: Thank you for having me. It’s a privilege to be in Boston.
Lindsay: It is so funny because you’re coming in kind of a last-minute and I just grabbed him this morning and said, “You’re doing a podcast with me.” Some of the people listening might have remembered Chelsea Hamre was one of our first guests on the podcast almost a year ago now.
Greg: No kidding.
Lindsay: Now you’re bringing it back full circle. I guess it’s an anniversary for us in a way episode. Thanks so much for doing that.
Greg: Privilege to be here from Ottawa. For us to come down and share with our New England fans and friends and counterparts in the business.
Lindsay: I love it. You are with RE/MAX affiliates out of Ottawa, Canada like you said, you’re here because of your son who plays hockey in college.
Greg: Yes, NCAA, Vermont Catamounts.
Lindsay: I love it. Traveling all over to watch him which is so cool but today we’re here to talk about real estate. I want to find out I know you had mentioned to me before we started that this has been a family-run thing for quite a while for you three generations now. Take me back to the beginning when your mom was doing this and then how you got into the business. Take me back to that time.
Greg: My mom was originally a hairdresser got into real estate. My dad was an entrepreneur, most entrepreneurs you know there’s very little income that comes in and that’s a hit and miss. Did quite well but my mom was a hairdresser got into real estate and started killing it right away crushing it really. Just like her granddaughter is doing right now. 20 years into it, my dad passed away unexpectedly aged 56, I was a marketing manager with a company called Thompson we had the RCA television brand was dealing out of Indianapolis quite a bit in and out of the US.
I was living in Toronto, I had a good move back home quick story. I said if I’m going to be in real estate, I don’t want to be an average realtor. I want to go in and raise a needle but that was tough because my mom was the number 60 in Canada.
Lindsay: How are you– and here’s her kid coming and going, “I’m going to do it even better.”
Greg: Yes, we changed it a little bit. It’s very humbling for a founder to have their next generation come in and we’re now three generations in real estate. It’s a little different. It’s not easy. I brought in more of a business strategy so that we could manage the highs and lows of business a little bit better. Then my brother, who’s Steve Hamre is my business partner and has been for 15 plus years. Now Chelsea’s coming into her third year, and just got recognized as a Spirit Award for Canada from RE/MAX. It’s the ultimate in awards.
The young people are the new generation that’s taking this business to the next level.
Lindsay: One thing that she does extremely well, that’s hard to convince agents to do is she’s on video all the time and she does it so seamlessly. I’ve talked to her about that before I said, “How do you like just turn on the camera and just start doing it? She’s like, “You just get used to it after a while.” I think you’re right that that new generation, they see this platform now of social media and being able to drive more business through that. She’s just doing an incredible job there.
Greg: Right, you can look like an experienced agent in six months. If you do enough video and people looking in your eyes, they can qualify you to if that’s their agent. That’s the one they want to work with. It saves us a lot of prep.
Lindsay: Tell me about the team growing the team building the team, keeping the team together. Tell me a little bit about that.
Greg: Our coach is Jon Cheplak, our trainer is Anthony Lamacchia. When I met with Anthony earlier in the year in Florida, I said my biggest struggle is how do I grow the team? We’re a team of four salespeople, one admin, and a marketing guy. Our marketing gentleman’s name is Leif, he’s phenomenal but now do we go to the next level and Anthony said, you have to hire three right away. Three, not just one. That’s the mistake you’re trying to make. Hire three and find out who really wants to be in the business?
That’s what we just did. We just hired three people and I called Anthony right away. I said, okay, I’ve checked off. I listened to you. Here we go. We’re building the walls in our building right now. Expanding a little bit, and we’ll take it– we’re looking for really good people and we want people that really speak our language. I don’t know if that’s the right way to go or not. Well, time will tell.
Lindsay: Absolutely and there’s going to be times where there’s someone that doesn’t fit within that mold. It’s going to be some uncomfortable conversations that you have but that’s part of growth too is that some people will fit some people won’t fit. Or some people that you thought fit will end up leaving to go to do something else and you say, “Fly-fly, and maybe you’ll come back someday.
Greg: I prepared for that risk but I had to be prepared for that risk. You’re always like, “I’m going to train them. How long are they– Are they going to–” You can tell everybody how to be successful in real estate in a room of 100 and 1 person will listen to you. That’s the oldest cliche in the business. People just don’t get it. We’ve been doing video like Chelsea’s been doing since ’09. All the trainers and everybody’s talking about you got to do video now. Are you kidding me? It’s 2022, where have you been?
Lindsay: We’ve been established. Exactly. That’s so cool. What is one thing that you train these agents on when they first join your team? What do you get them? How do you get them up to speed on what you guys do? What’s that initiation process look like?
Greg: We do our own coaching every morning at 8:30 AM Monday to Friday. How do I train them? We go, here’s the Crush It Real Estate connection. These are the videos, start by watching this.
Lindsay: We are talking about, we have an online training center, where we have videos about buyers, about sellers about conversion. About getting the appointment about Facebook. About all these different things, that’s what you’re mentioning.
Greg: We couldn’t grow our business without that. I need another person to manage a new person coming in. Now I’ve got this training program, which is phenomenal and my guys love it. It’s just an easy step to go, okay, here’s what I want you to do day one and I want you to take your time. Go through these, and then we’ll dialogue with it. Then every day in our morning meeting at 8:30 per we say to whoever’s just come on the team, “What did you learn?” Then even the experienced agents on my team are going to go, “Okay, that was key to us,” and then they can talk to it.
The foundation of the Crush It Real Estate, it’s the foundation, that’s where you start. Without it, it’s really hard to expand your team.
Lindsay: It’s nice that you have the ability to show them those videos, they’ll learn from that but then the fact that you regroup and have them tell you what they’ve learned will really solidify that in their head.
Greg: Coaching every day and communication with your team. When COVID hit, it was a real back to the start line. How are we going to do this? What are we going to do? Everybody was at the same level. We really educated ourselves. We started doing zoom meetings, I remember the day one, it was March 13th, or something that week, and we’ve done one ever since. That kind of communication, I think was the quote of 2021, those that communicated with others. Even doing offers, you have to communicate.
If you’re just sending your offer in, forget it. You got to communicate, you got to find out what the empathy of the seller is what the empathy of the buyer is. Let’s talk, talk, talk. Then sometimes you’ll just get a deal because the buyer, the sellers, agent, just has more of a relationship with you in the last 12, 24 hours because you were talking to them.
Lindsay: Imagine that.
Greg: Yes, it supersedes a letter that they never read and it’s not written properly. It’s all about the buyer instead of the seller, whatever. Just communication was the word of 2021. Where do we go now? We’re doing video instead of letters. We’re doing videos, right to the buyer.
Lindsay: Tell me what those videos look like. What’s an example of something that you would put in a video to them.
Greg: We do a 30-second video and I tell my buyers, I want you to tell the sellers exactly how you felt about that house when you walked into it. I want you to tell them how you want to live their lifestyle. I want you to talk to the sellers. A 30-second video on your phone, you send that in. Well, tears roll down their eyes. They just it was a family that lived there since 1970. They raised all their kids had all their memories in there. Now they’re moving on and there’s a new generation coming in with that. They got to see and hear the story.
It puts price aside sometimes, it can really nudge the deal to go your way.
Lindsay: That’s so cool. I love that.
Voiceover: Let’s take a quick break and hear from the number one loan originator, Shant Banosian of Guaranteed Rate, as he gives us his monthly mortgage tip.
Shant Banosian: As a first-time homebuyer, you may be wondering what to expect during your pre-approval consultation. A mortgage company or bank has three qualifying factors when considering your mortgage pre-approval and loan product guidelines. Credit, income, and assets. Those are the three factors that we’re going to discuss with you. We’re going to ask you to run your credit report and identify all the information on there. Not just utilizing your credit score, but also the kind of liabilities that you currently have when considering our decision.
Secondly, we’re going to determine your income source that will help us determine how much you can afford on a new house. Lastly, we’re going to go through your assets and determine what kind of down payment options you have in reserve. That’s what we’re going to discuss during your pre-approval is your credit, your income, and your assets.
Voiceover: Thanks, Shant. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: What other things do you do as far as video goes? Do you do stuff for sellers? What kind of videos do you guys do?
Greg: We do a storytelling video. It’s called a storytelling video on every one of our listings. When the listing goes live, we’re doing a storytelling video which tells the buyer exactly how that house feels. What the neighborhood’s like. The direction of the backyard, where the sun comes up. We’ve been doing those since ’09. We were selling houses virtually and we didn’t know it. Virtual selling is a COVID phenomenal. We were selling before. People were buying from their home on the East or West Coast to buying in Ottawa sight unseen.
We didn’t even think about it because they were watching our video. In our video, we’re doing a standup, not just a slide show of the pictures. Boring. We’re using our photographer’s photos, but we’re actually narrating here’s what you’re looking at.
Lindsay: Wow. I love that.
Greg: On top of the description that has to be accurate. On top of the pictures that have to be the best, we’re doing a storytelling video that walks you through that house. Here’s how I felt when I walked into it and here’s what you need to know. If you’re a realtor, by the way, it’s really selling yourself. The house sells. If it’s got to sell anyway, it’s an opportunity for you to talk.
Lindsay: Absolutely. They start to learn your voice. On top of that, let’s say that that seller number one, I’m sure is thrilled that you go and beyond and do something different like that. That’s just another way to market the property. Then other sellers see that and go, “Oh, well, I want him to market my property because look what he did.” It’s just all around makes sense.
Greg: It just happened one of our homes last year, the people came in from Montreal. A European couple came in from Quebec, saw our videos, decided that Ottawa wasn’t for them. They were going to move back to Europe and said, “We want our house to be marketed by the gentleman that we saw last year.” They called us up and we did really well for them.
Lindsay: I love that.
Greg: It was great.
Lindsay: That’s so cool. What other tips and tricks do you give some of these agents? You had mentioned before that you had hit a certain level and then you got some coaching and now you’re hitting that next level self. What things do you coach other agents on to get them into that next level?
Greg: You have to be out there on social media. You have to be out there and not just once a day, probably twice a day. I just finished a meeting with my team this morning. I said, guys, the first thing you do in the morning is get a post out there. Talk about the market. Be the news. If we’ve done a marketing post on it, talk to that. Get four paragraphs on the top of it. Talk to it. The other good time a day is when people check their Facebook or social media’s noon. At five o’clock make sure you’ve got another post out there.
You’ve got to be the one when they think of real estate, they think of you. 95% of those people don’t need real estate that day but the 5% of them that do, you want them to think of your name, make it happen.
Lindsay: That’s awesome.
Greg: You have to be out there.
Lindsay: Yes. I love it. What other advice do you have and for just agents in general, as far as growing their business or getting through some of the struggles? Are there struggles that you’ve dealt with that you’ve said, I dealt with it and I got through it, but here’s what I would’ve done differently. Is there anything or advice like that?
Greg: Yes. I would’ve signed up for coaching and I would’ve signed up for training much sooner. You get to a level that you can’t get– we’ve been at that level. I talked about it earlier with you when we’re having a coffee, but you get to a level that you can’t get by and you just go, I don’t know why I can’t get over this. If you get the right training and the right coaching, we’ve got over that level. We went three times over that level that we couldn’t get over before.
You have to align yourself with the best photographer, the best stager, the best video editors, the best teammates, the best brokerage. The people that are going to energize you, and then the best coaches and the best training. Nobody thinks of training, like why reinvent the wheel?
Lindsay: Absolutely. To get training from someone who already is doing it already has something established is a no-brainer. Now you can do plug into some of that and use it for your team. It’s like, you don’t have to spend all the time making the videos and having all that content put together. It’s super helpful.
Greg: I’ve been in the business 20 years. I learned by those. You just use the same dialogue but it’s so well done and it’s such an easy program.
Lindsay: I’m sure there’s a lot of your agents. I know Chelsea has mentioned that she’s like, I’m watching this course again. Even though now for the last couple years she’s probably watched it three or four times but you always pick up something new and something different.
Greg: It’s very affordable, first of all. I’ll talk to other new agents in outside lying areas and they’ll say, “How long do I have to be on the program?” Well, how long do you want to make a lot of money? How long do you want to be successful? There is no exit plan for us on the training, you just got to stay on it.
Lindsay: A lot of our agents will put on just the audio file or we’ll just play the videos while they’re headed to a listing appointment. The listing appointment video, they’ll listen to it. On the way to the listing appointment, it’s really ingrained in your brain.
Greg: They have the dialogue.
Lindsay: Absolutely. While you’re working on the treadmill, you’re listening to it or whatever the case is. Once it gets ingrained in your brain and you can do it without thinking about it, then that’s when maybe you can take a little break from it.
Greg: No, but you need to be in the game. When we’ll talk in our morning meetings and some example will come up and we’re like, “Wow, how did you do that?” They were like,”Well, Anthony said that and Anthony said this.” I’m like, we just did a radio script. We’ve got two radio stations that we deal with in Ottawa and we just did the radio script. All I did was watch Anthony’s video earlier this week when he’s saying, “I just want to reach out to you guys.” I said, there’s five lines in there that we just grabbed those five lines, put it into a radio. Sick.
I haven’t told him yet, but, he’s up in Canada on the radio but it’s my voice. Sexy Steve’s voice is on the talkRADIO and Chelsea’s on the Country Western radio.
Lindsay: I love it.
Greg: Country, yes.
Lindsay: That’s perfect. We’re all learning from each other so we have no problem with that.
Greg: You find someone who speaks your language and really has the same vision as you and that’s putting people first, making sure that– Our mission is to inspire dreams of others and business real estate. That’s what we do. Inspiring dreams. How do you make it a wonderful experience and to make sure that your clients win? If they do, great chances are they’re calling you back.
Lindsay: Absolutely. Well, your clients are lucky to have you. We are lucky to have you and thank you so much for doing this today. Anything else in closing that you want to?
Greg: Privilege is mine. I would just say, as we say to everybody click in at Crush It in Real Estate. Make sure you’re following it. I don’t think there’s a better leader, better trainer out there in Canada or the US right now. There isn’t any. He’s a special guy, special team. I could see it in the office this morning. I’ve met you guys down in Florida before and was supposed to be here in February but you guys, you’re just miles ahead of everyone else.
Lindsay: It’s so funny you’re walking around this morning going, “Wow, this is so impressive.” I’m like, “What, would you not expect it to be?”
Greg: I know. I’ve taken pictures and I already sent them back to my team and they’re like, “Yes. We get the paper and [crosstalk]. The wheels are rolling already. We’re still learning from you guys.
Lindsay: Well, I can’t wait to come and visit you guys, especially after the now new office.
Greg: We’d love tourists in Canada, all the truckers. You probably heard about the protests, but they’re all gone. It’s a beautiful city. We’d love to have you.
Lindsay: Can’t wait. Awesome.
Greg: Please come and visit us.
Lindsay: Thank you so much to you and to your entire team. We really appreciate the partnership and we hope to see you guys on the next podcast of Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate.
Greg: Appreciate the privilege. Thank you.
Thanks for joining us on the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast. We hope you’ve learned some valuable takeaways. Be sure to take action and grow your business. You can check out the Episode Notes and more content from the show at CrushitinRE.com/podcast. And if you’d like this episode, and you’d like to hear more stories, please share with others, post on social media or leave a rating or review. To catch all the latest from Anthony you can follow him on Instagram at Crush It In Real Estate on Facebook and YouTube. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.