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 today with a very good friend of mine, Deanna Faucher. She is out of our Lamacchia Realty Worcester Office, and she’s a beast. She’s a beast. I’m very excited to have her on here today. Welcome to the podcast, Deanna.
Deanna Faucher: Thank you, Lindsay, my friend.
Lindsay: I say beast with all due respect.
Deanna: [laughs] I hope so, right?
Lindsay: You crush it. It’s funny whenever I do these I always go in– and especially when it’s our agent. It’s so much easier for me to go and find the numbers and figure out what’s going on here. I am blown away by you’re consistently, year over year, in President’s Club. You’ve been in President’s Club ever since President’s Club started with us, which was back in 2017, I believe, was the first year. You’ve been in it every single year. 34, 35, 36, 37. Last year you had quite the breakout year of 48. I know it was a really good year, so we’ll talk about that for sure. This year you’re definitely tracking to be in President’s Club again. Congratulations, first of all-
Deanna: Thank you.
Lindsay: -because that is quite the run. You started in real estate in 2011. I want you to take our listeners back to 2011, get us a little bit of understanding of why you got into real estate, and so on.
Deanna: I worked in the corporate world. I worked as actually a travel agent for 25 years for insurance, which was a great part of my life, raising my son, being able to do that. Then I felt like I needed a little bit something more. I wanted to get out there and try to not be the nine-to-five behind the desk scene. I wanted to get out there. I was a people person, to begin with. I got my license. I held onto it for a little while, and then I decided, out of this clear blue sky, to reach out to Anthony on Facebook. I messaged him and I said, ”I’m from Worcester. I’ve heard about your company. I’d like to come in for an interview.” He’s like, “Who is this?” [laughs]
Lindsay: You and I have similar stories because I did the same thing.
Deanna: Yes. He’s like, “Who are you?” I told him who I was and he called me in for an interview. I got the job. It took me about six months to get on my feet good enough so I was able to quit my full-time job. About six months into it, working with pretty much nothing of my own business – it was all company business – I worked the leads, I worked the program. I eventually was able to get off the leads and just focus on my own business.
Lindsay: You started at Lamacchia in 2016, but then in 2017 you had over 30 sales.
Deanna: I did.
Lindsay: What the heck? Because that is quite the ramp-up. Most people would love in their first year to get to that level. I know you said it was a lot of company leads, but that takes a lot of dedication and a lot of hours. Tell me what was your mindset that first year of just [crosstalk]?
Deanna: My mindset was I wanted to be able to do real estate full-time. In order to do that you’d have to give your 150%, and that’s exactly what I did. That’s what I continue to do because nobody wants to go backwards, especially in real estate. If you want to keep making your goals higher and higher, you just have to keep giving more and more. I’m really able to do that with the support that I have here at Lamacchia. It takes a ton off my plate. Megan, my paid assistant. I could not do my job without what I have here, the support.
It actually gives me the time to be able to give my clients 150% more. That’s what I feel makes the big difference. I think to answer your question, yes, I just wanted to be in real estate full-time and I had to do it, and I did it.
Lindsay: Yes, and you set the bar high but then you stuck it out. Like I said, you’ve just been so consistently every single year making it into President’s Club. Tell me, what is it that you do with your clients that help you to continue to get that referral business? Because you said, in the beginning, you were mainly company leads, but what’s that split now?
Deanna: I’m not on a lead source right now, which with the changing market I know that I’m going to try to vent out different avenues of lead sources.
Lindsay: Yes. Which is smart.
Deanna: Yes. You’ve got to roll with what happens in real estate. I think we’re going to be shifting into maybe more of a buyer’s market, meaning more buyers out there, so I want to try to get a little bit more lead source that way. I’m still getting referrals from clients from years ago. Those stepping-stone clients five years ago that are rebuying again, selling again. I love when that happens. I love when I get a call from somebody I sold a house four years ago, “We’re ready to move up. We’re ready to step it up.” That’s the best feeling because you feel like you know you did a good job then but you really know you did a good job when they come back.
Lindsay: Yes. You know for sure because you left a lasting impression and four years later they’re thinking of you.
Lindsay: There’s some crazy stat at the Realtor Association, and I read that the majority of sales actually don’t go back to their original realtor. There’s a huge percentage that don’t go back to their original realtor, which is crazy to me because-
Deanna: It is crazy.
Lindsay: -you think once you’ve sold you should have them, right? Or not the case?
Deanna: Right. If you get somebody that reaches out to you and wants to sell a house, and then you go back and obviously look at the house and see, you always wonder why didn’t they go back to that original realtor. They’re reaching out to you as a referral, which makes you feel even better, honestly.
Lindsay: Absolutely. Tell me what it is that you do with sellers and buyers that would make them want to continue to work with you year after year, or refer you to their friends and family because I’m sure that that happens too. What are some of the things that you do to go above and beyond for them?
Deanna: With my sellers, from the very beginning, obviously meeting with them face to face, but explaining the process to them, having a seller checklist with me, and letting them know exactly this is what’s going to go down. This is what’s going to happen in the next 30 to 45 days. Honestly, when they look at that it’s overwhelming because they really don’t know the whole process, but I’m there every single step of the way.
Then also added services. If you need to get your smokes up to code we can help you with that. If you need a cleaning lady. If you need somebody to help you pack boxes. If you need a referral in a state sale. It’s more than just selling the house. It’s just being there for my clients for whatever they need, honestly.
Lindsay: You really, truly go above and beyond.
Deanna: I absolutely try to.
Lindsay: Makes them remember.
Deanna: Yes. I sold a house last year, or at the beginning of this year, and off that one sale I’ve gotten three referrals.
Deanna: Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Lindsay: Was it their friends? Was it their cousins? Was it their neighbors? Who were they?
Deanna: Neighbor, friends, and then friends of friends. It was the same thing, “She did a great job. You should give her a call.” I felt like that’s just such an honor to me honestly. When something like that happens you know that you’re doing a good job.
Lindsay: Absolutely. Tell me, without getting specific into numbers, but tell me, you end up with one lead. You work that lead, you close the deal with them, and it’s, let’s say, X amount of commission. We’ll just say X amount, right?
Lindsay: Then you get three more referrals. Sometimes those can be even bigger commission checks, even bigger home sales, so sometimes too I think a lot of agents are like, “Well, I don’t think that they have as much money as someone else,” and they want to cherry-pick their leads, but explain why that’s not a good idea.
Deanna: A lead is a lead. A commission check is a commission check. A transaction is a transaction. Everything is one. That’s what it is; it’s a transaction. If it’s a $200,000 price point or a $1 million price point, I’m still going to do the same thing for each client. It doesn’t matter to me honestly. If you work your business the way it should be you will keep getting referrals. Reputation in this business is 150%.
Announcer: Let’s take a quick break to hear from Greg Janian, a prominent real estate lawyer who represents buyers, sellers, and lenders, as he shares his latest tip.
Greg Janian: In a previous clip I had talked about turning one deal into three or four. When you take on a client in real estate, you don’t want to just take on that client. You want to take on their family, their friends. The way to do that is to be around, meet them. Ask them about their kids. Ask them about their family. Which most of you are probably doing anyway, but are you meeting their kids? Are you finding out are they 22, 23, about to graduate college in another state and move home?
You have an opportunity to turn that first client into not just two or three more deals with that client, but two or three more family members in their future deals. The way you do that is to learn about them and meet them and talk to them. Go out to dinner with them one night. Don’t just treat this as, “I’ll meet you at this house and we’ll take a look at it,” and then you go home and they go home and that’s the end of it. Create a personal relationship with these clients because they have personal relationships that they will turn on to you.
Announcer: Thanks, Greg. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: That reputation can be damaged if someone thinks that you’re trying to cherry-pick or that you didn’t want to work with them-
Deanna: Yes. Exactly.
Lindsay: -or someone. That’s really good advice. Now, tell me about some of these reviews. We were talking earlier before we started recording this about reviews and the importance of reviews. Explain to the audience why you find reviews to be so important for you, for your business, and so on.
Deanna: To me, I love sending them out. I wait about two weeks before I send them out because I want my clients to get situated, moved in, and then actually they probably really sit back and think about the experience at that point. “I’m all settled in. This was a great experience.” There might have been a couple of bumps in the road. Nothing is ever smooth in real estate. [chuckles]
Lindsay: No. They have a short-term memory, so then they forget about it once they’re sitting in the house and they’re loving it so much.
Deanna: Yes. When you get that review and you look, sometimes it brings tears to my eyes because I’m like they really remembered I did that and they appreciated that, and they know that I was a professional throughout the transaction, which is very important to me. Just being able to put them on my website so other people can see them and make their decision. It makes you feel good.
Lindsay: They’re extremely powerful. As I was telling you earlier, I have this email folder in my email where I put in anything that is a positive note from anybody. I don’t have a public “Google my business page for reviews,” but that’s just my place. If someone sends me an email saying “Your team crushed it doing this,” or, “We love having you guys helping us with this,” or, “Your training was great,” or whatever these things are, I put them into this little folder. It has a little heart on it. I do. Sometimes you’re right. It makes you so happy to just be able to just glance at them every once in a while and make you feel good.
Know that you’re on the right track, especially when things get tough, because sometimes you get those clients that you’re like, “Oh my God, I’m getting out of the real estate.” [laughs]
Deanna: Yes, exactly.
Lindsay: Then you look at those other ones and you’re like, “Okay, no. This is just a one-off and I’m going to get through it.”
Deanna: Yes. It’s nice to give yourself a pat on the back sometimes. Even if you have a really hard transaction, because they’re out there all the time, and you’ve had a great experience with the client, but at the end it’s over and you’re just like, “Phew,” but everybody is still happy. Things happen, and we just get through them.
Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. Tell me a little bit about that. I know that there’s a lot of agents out there that are newer to the business and they are maybe navigating some more difficult waters right now. What are some of the things that you do when you are faced with some difficult or challenging transactions? How do you get head down and go through it? [chuckles]
Deanna: First of all, pick up the phone. Texting, to me, when there’s something going on is just you can take it the wrong way, the client can take it the wrong way. An exclamation point and something, that might just be how somebody types, but to somebody else that could be like, “Why are you yelling at me?”
Lindsay: Yelling at me. Yes.
Deanna: Exactly. My first thing is pick up the phone. Try to get through it that way, talk through it. Some clients will get hotheaded. It’s fine. I listen. I do guide them through it and just let them know, “Things like this happen. We’ll get through it.” Just pick up the phone and talk to them. That’s my advice.
Lindsay: I think that’s very solid advice because all too often we run from that. We get that like, “Oh God, I have this bad news. I’ll just wait until later,” and then it makes it worse that you waited and that you didn’t just say it. Yes, I think that that’s fantastic advice.
I want to pivot for a second here, and I want to talk about culture a little bit. I know that you joined our office with a couple of people that you were already friends with, but I feel like you’ve deepened those relationships that you have within the office, and then with all the new agents within the office that you’ve met since you started. I wanted you to talk a little bit about how that culture has helped you because, like I was saying to you before, I feel like a lot of agents don’t necessarily want to be friendly or friends with other real estate agents because it’s their competition, but in the end of the day, we know that that’s just not the best place to go.
I want you to talk about this because I know you have some really strong relationships within the office, with other brokerages. You have strong relationships with other people, so talk to me about culture and what that’s meant for you and for your business.
Deanna: Everything. When I started at the Worcester Office, I think there was only five of us back then. Can you believe it? [laughs]
Lindsay: Yes. That was a small office. Now it’s the biggest office. [laughs]
Deanna: Now it’s the biggest office. One of my best friends in the world, Michelle Wesson, I actually grew up with her. We were besties in high school and have been since. She’s been a big supporter of me. I’m not going to name names, but I have a large group of friends within other Lamacchia offices, and like you said, other offices. Going back to what I said earlier, reputation is huge. You got to hold your head high and just be that agent that picks up the phone. Be that agent that communicates. Be that agent that is going to work with the other agent neck and neck. It’s so important. We’re both doing the same job, and being able to have friends outside of Lamacchia as well is important. Very important.
Lindsay: Absolutely, and it helps you. You can be at different brokerages but still be friends.
Lindsay: People join different brokerages for different reasons and so on, but really when it comes down to it, like you said, you’re all doing the same job. You’re in the same boat. You’re literally rowing in the same direction. Now, obviously there’s negotiations that are a part of what you guys do, but once that negotiation’s done you’re on the same path. You literally have the same exact goal, so yes, it’s crazy to me when I hear that agents don’t want to be friends. Then I see people like you who are just so embracing of any new agents that come in the offices, or friends with the people that you’ve worked with for a while, and I just think that that’s super powerful.
Thanks for being my friend. I appreciate that. You’re the best.
Deanna: Aww. You’ve been mine as well. You started around when I did, didn’t you?
Lindsay: I did, yes. What month in 2016 did you start? It was within a couple of me starting.
Deanna: It was February.
Lindsay: Yes. Okay. We probably have the same start date.
Deanna: Yes. In that little meeting room every Wednesday for training.
Lindsay: That little meeting room where we’d all be just pouring out of the room, but I’m so glad we have the training center that we have now. It’s so much better.
Deanna: Oh yes.
Lindsay: All right. Last thing I want to ask you before we wrap it up is I want to talk to you about– you had mentioned really briefly about getting on leads and stuff like that potentially again just to help supplement your business a little bit and make sure that the change in the market doesn’t affect you as much. I want to talk about the change in the market and what other things that you’re doing to prepare yourself. Like I said, we’ve had a lot of discussions around the fact that price adjustments will become more of a thing again.
Just reverting back to not necessarily a slow market, because it’s not slow. It’s just that it was really fast before. [chuckles] Really, really strong, and now we’re just leveling down a little bit. Tell me what things you’re doing to prepare yourself for this change.
Deanna: Like I said, trying to get out there and maybe get on some different lead sources. I have a great marketing team where I send out a lot of mailings monthly just to keep my name out there. Social media, that’s another avenue. I do have to get better on that though. I’m trying, but you feel like sometimes do you post too much, not post enough? I got to get that happy medium. [laughs]
Lindsay: Here are my thoughts on it because I totally understand where you’re coming from. A lot of agents have this blockage of they’re like, “I’m being too braggy,” or, “I’m doing too much and people are annoyed by me.” There’s very few people that post on social media that I watch and I follow that I think to myself, “God, I wish they had not posted today.” It happens but it’s very few, and it’s never someone who is posting about their success or posting about their day or just having fun on social media. I don’t mind when people do that kind of stuff at all.
Now, that’s just me, but I’ll tell you there are some people who get sensitive about it. At the end of the day, if you don’t post because you’re afraid of pissing off, I guess, that 1% to 2% that just get annoyed when someone posts too much, then you’re going to miss out on the business that you could get from the 20%, 30% that are wanting to see that message. Do you know what I mean?
Lindsay: Honestly, at the end of the day it really just becomes a personal thing. How often can you post, how often do you feel comfortable putting something out there, and what’s the mix of stuff that you’re putting out? If you’re only ever saying, “I have a listing. I have a sold. I have a listing. I have a sold,” then that’s going to become like, “Okay. Fine, Deanna. We get it.” You know what I mean?
Lindsay: If it’s you’re posting nonstop but then you’re also posting your favorite recipe, or you’re posting that you have something going on in the community, people aren’t going to be annoyed by that. It really comes down to the quality of what you’re posting and whether or not it’s engaging or not. That’s my tip, I would say. Just don’t worry too much about annoying people, and just annoy them. [laughs] Go for it.
Deanna: And also the chair, which I’m pretty proud of. I was nominated to be co-chair for the Membership Engagement Committee. I have been involved with that committee for four years, and it’s been a great asset to just my overall business relationship with other realtors. It’s networking. It’s getting yourself out there.
Lindsay: This goes back to being friends with the realtors, yes.
Lindsay: Absolutely. That’s fantastic. Well, good for you. I’m excited about that for you. That’s fantastic. I know that there’s been a lot of people on this podcast. A lot of very high-producing people on this podcast. Angela Harkins, Lee Joseph, and I sat down a couple of weeks ago, and there’s been quite a few that have said, “You have to get involved in your realtor works-
Deanna: You have to.
Lindsay: -in any way, shape, or form that you can.” I think that that’s fantastic. Awesome. Well, what are your goals for the rest of this year? Are you pushing through? Do you feel good about it?
Deanna: Yes. You can’t compare this year to last year or the year before. You can’t do it. Have I been busting my tail? Yes, I have.
Lindsay: Absolutely. [chuckles]
Deanna: I’m almost to President’s Club. I’m almost there.
Lindsay: Almost there.
Deanna: That’s my goal. I’m sure I’ll do it because I have that mindset. Then next year, just consistency.
Lindsay: Consistency. Well, if I was to put any word next to you my friend, that is truly how it is, and that’s consistently at a high level. It’s not just consistency at 10 deals a year. It’s consistency at 30-plus deals a year, so you should be really proud of that. I think our audience has learned a ton from you today. What we’ll do is in the Show Notes we’ll link to some of your social media and things like that. If people want to reach out, ask you questions, I know that you’re an open book and always willing to share. I think that that would be awesome. Thank you so much, Deanna.
Deanna: Thank you, Lindsay.
Lindsay: Really appreciate you taking the time, and on such short notice. I think it was last week I was like, “We have to do this. I don’t know why you have not-
Deanna: I know. No. Like, “Can you do it tomorrow?”
Lindsay: -but I can, so we’re doing it.” I know. She was like, “I went out for my birthday last night, so probably not.” I’m like, “I totally understand,” so I’m so glad we got the chance. I’m so glad everyone got a chance to hear from you.
Deanna: Thank you, Lindsay.
Lindsay: Yes, that’s it.
Deanna: Thanks for everything.
Lindsay: Absolutely. All right, everybody. We will see you on the next episode. If you have not yet subscribed, please hit the Subscribe button because you want to make sure that you never miss an episode. These are so packed with knowledge and straight from your peers, so I think it’s really valuable. Hit Subscribe. Make sure you listen to all the other episodes that we’ve had. We have almost two years’ worth of content now, so pretty awesome.
Deanna: That’s awesome.
Lindsay: Definitely pay attention and get all the training that you can into this changing market. I think that’s going to help everybody. All right. Thank you so much.
Deanna: All right. Thanks, Lindsay.
Lindsay: We’ll see you on the next episode.
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.