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, Anthony Lamacchia.
Anthony Lamacchia: Hey everybody. I’m excited to be here with Denill who is in northern New Jersey in Hoboken and he is on the Gerard Mattera group. Hello Denill.
Denill Grimaud: Hey, Anthony. Thank you so much for having me. I’m humbled and really appreciative of the opportunity to be here and share the platform with you.
Anthony: Well, Denill, I’m thrilled to have you. I remember back, what was it? Two, two and a half years ago when Gerard was coaching with me and you guys were just getting started on our training platform and you came in and he was telling me, “This guy is going to be good.” Maybe it was three years. When was that? I don’t remember.
Denill: It was in 2018.
Denill: I started on his team and I had gone from just being a strictly renters’ agent and obviously, I’ve only been in the business four years but my second year in the business, I jumped on his team. In my first month, I put five deals on the contract and he was ecstatic. He’s like, “Who is this guy?”
Anthony: He was very excited and he still is. The thing that I mentioned to you before we came live is, I pointed out how Gerard’s a team leader that gets it. He wants you, the person on the team to be highlighted as well. He wants to raise you up as well. That’s why he was so excited for me to have you on this, Agents Who Crush It podcast. We put up a lot of content here with in real estate and real training and system as you know and for me, it was exciting to have you on.
I mentioned something to Lindsay a few weeks back. I’m like, “We got to get Denill on. He’s a good man. He was one of the first buyer’s agents to be involved a few years back.” I started this training in ’16 but in my head, you’re one of the originals.
Denill: Yes, thank you.
Anthony: I’m thrilled at your success. Let’s break it down. You started in the business in when? 2016?
Denill: I started in 2017.
Anthony: ’17 and you were working rentals for the first year?
Denill: I did four rentals in my first year. I was part time. It was a nightmare because I was by myself. I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know, I was just going off. Before I started real estate, I was a barber for 20 years. I knew how to deal with people but not on that level. When you’re dealing with people’s finances, it gets a little bit sticky. [laughs]
Anthony: Well, you’re right about that. I actually forgot that you were a barber but I always say barbers, bartenders, waitresses, people that are on the front line of dealing with consumers tend to be very good at real estate and you’re an example of that. Let’s continue through the story. You spent about a year doing rentals on your own. You had about five rentals. Then you got into sales with Gerard and I know you were off to a very quick start because that’s when he was telling me he was all excited to have you with him. At that time, you had what? Five?
Denill: No, 2017, I did four rentals part time, then I went full time in 2018. I was on a different team. I did about, 2018, I did 16 transactions. 14 of them were rentals, one buyer, one seller. I literally walked into an open house and they’re like, “Can you sell my house? I hate my agent.” I was like, “All right. Sure, I’ll take it.”
I started to get a taste of that. Then I was getting tired of rentals. I searched for a different team and someone in the office said, “Hey, go see this guy. He’s really good and he’s building his team over from scratch.” I’m like, “Okay.” I went and I talked to Gerard in 2019. That year, I did 18 transactions, all buyers.
Anthony: 18 transactions, all buyers. Then last year in ’20, I believe we had a little bit of a slower year with COVID.
Denill: 2020, COVID hit and that put it down. I was on track when I started the year. I was in a rhythm and I ended up, unfortunately, doing only six transactions because of COVID but during that time, I was pounding the phone just seeing if people needed even if it was a roll of toilet paper, I’m like, “I’m here for you.” I just needed my spirit.
Anthony: Well, I love that you did that and we’re going to talk about that more in a minute. You had just six transactions last year but I want to point out to our listeners, he’s in Hoboken, New Jersey and that’s an extension of New York City and everybody remembers how bad COVID was on New York City and how long you guys were locked down.
We were locked down a good amount of time in Boston but you guys were way worse and you didn’t really start coming out of it till late last year. That makes sense. What I love is, well, there’s two things I love, one, year today, you’re already at 10 sales closed. You got two more pending and you have a ton in the pipeline and you were talking to me about how when COVID hit and everybody was on lockdown, you picked up the phone, I want you to elaborate on that. I want you to tell that story, please.
Denill: So yes, so COVID hits and I’m in a rhythm and I’m a very anxious person by nature. I can’t be inside the house. My wife complains all the time, she’s like, “Just chill and watch a movie.” I’m like, “I can’t sit down for an hour and a half and not do anything.” I talked to Gerard, I’m like, “What are we going to do?”
I talked with Gerard and he said “Start picking up the phone,” and then he was speaking to you through our COVID too, I know. You were also recommending certain strategies, so I’m going to go ahead and start hitting the phones.
I opened up my dialer, I grabbed all my buyers that I have. I had about 400 and some odd buyers and I just start picking up the phone and calling every single one, every single day and five days a week. I would give them a break on Saturday and Sunday, because I didn’t want them to get too sick of me.
It’s funny the call that you make is a call of care and nurture, so you take yourself out of the equation. Now you’re thinking about someone else. When the call wasn’t a real estate call, it was a, “Hey, how’s everyone doing? How’s your family? Call me for anything, even if it’s a roll of toilet paper. I’ll go to the store and bring it over and I’ll go back home.” People were just, so happy to hear from somebody.
Anthony: These people that you would call them when you say 400. It was not just your sphere of influence, your friends, your family, your past clients. It was leads too?
Denill: Yes, everybody. It was no real estate-related call, no real estate-related, anything but real estate. It’s how are you doing? How are the kids? Do they need crayons? Do they need anything? Just being there. When COVID comes out, now all these seeds that were planted now, the call becomes, “Hey, I know you were searching last year. The market’s really hot interest rates are low, are you still looking for a home?” They’re like, “Wow,” and they know me by name because I was there, the emails that I sent and–
Anthony: The thing is, for the listeners, I can speak on behalf of Denill to tell you that, it’s genuinely in his personality, in his DNA to give a damn about people. That’s just it, he’s making those dials and though it was a lot of work and though he knew it would help his business later. He just wanted to check in with people. He picked up the phone and dialled. At that time it helped on a personal level and later obviously, it’s paying business dividends as well.
Anthony: No, I love that you did that. You’ve been a great student of our training and you are a hustler and I love that, you did that, it’s so funny to hear you say, I gave them Saturdays and Sundays off because you did that for a few months, just dialing and checking in with people and you guys were on lockdown worse than anywhere in the country.
Denill: Yes, yes. “Listen it’s getting a little bit better. Let’s try to get out there and show a couple of buyers.” I’m like, masked up and I got hoodies and I looked like a surgeon going to show properties. If someone’s willing to come out, but I would come home. I would have to strip down at the door, take a shower, put my clothes in a bag. Again, I cannot be inside, it’s not in me to stay inside and roll over and let the wave hit me. I have to go ahead first and plow through it.
Anthony: I love that you have that attitude because that also lends itself well to being a realtor. Because one of the things that I tell agents Denill is, especially new agents. Sometimes I’m like, “Guys, stop thinking so much, just get out and show properties.” I’ve had agents, ‘Well, the system–” Because you’ve done our training pack. You’ve done it like four times, different parts of it and sometimes they’ll get a little too by the booklet. “Anthony, you said, to get them pre-approved,”
I’m like, “Okay, of course that’s one of the goals, but don’t stop yourself from getting out and just showing homes, get out there, be active show homes.” What I say about the pre-approval is don’t make too much of it on the first phone call and you know that.
Denill: I pre-approve very little and I try to ask as many questions as possible. Just to make them understand that I care about what you are looking for. It took me a while, Anthony, and then the day that Gerard handed me your playbook and I read it. I read it literally seven times back-to-back because I had to have it ingrained in me that the outcome is a result of the value that you’re providing to them.
If you focus on showing them 20 homes, if it takes 30 homes, build a relationship, bring a coffee one day and that changes. If you’re showing them 20, 30 homes, you’re definitely doing something wrong. Because obviously you haven’t pinpointed something, but when you get to a point where you detach from the outcome, everything starts to fall in place.
Anthony: Correct. When you detach from the outcome. That’s important because instead, too many agents obsess with what’s my commission going to be? What am I going to make? I’ll give you an example, Denill. We have agents in the company who sometimes when they’re newer, we’ll call them with a lead or our relocation department will call them and say, “Hey, I’ve got a lead for you. It’s an employee referral or an agent referral or something.” Sometimes it’s, “Oh, what, how’s the commission going to work? How much are going to get paid?” I hear those stories and I say, “What’s that you’re doing? You’re shooting yourself in the foot.”
You want the person in the relocation department to want to recommend you, to send you deals. You’re obsessing about the money. It’s like, take the lead, sell them the house, whatever the money it is. It is obviously we’re not going to be unfair to one agent over another, but too many agents obsess about that. They’re not paying attention to the big picture, which is do more sales, show more homes, be with more people because the more people you’re with, the more sales you’re going to do and the more past clients you have.
Denill: 100% and the more sales you do, the more confident you become and at that point, then you start to feel like, “All right, but it’s weird.” Sometimes we have to go through the pain in order to understand that. It happens. I still struggle with it, sometimes you get on that roller coaster, which I’m trying to level out which I’m doing this year.
Thankfully I was able to break down. I was mentioning to you earlier breaking down my goal into quarters because now I don’t focus on a whole yearly goal. I focus on a quarterly goal. If I know that the quarter is about to be over, I need to make it up on the next quarter. I just grind till I get there. I don’t come up for a breath of fresh air until I hit that quarterly goal.
Narrator: 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: Hey realtors, it’s Shant with Guaranteed Rate. I wanted to give you guys a quick tip today. One of the things that’s been a massive help for me over the course of last few years, as my business has grown, as I take clarity breaks, what that is, is you’ve heard that old cliche, don’t just work in your business, work on your business.
Once a week, I spend an hour by myself, no phones, no computers, no nothing, just me and a notebook. I come up with ideas that I’m going to implement that I think are gonna help move my business forward. Make sure you’re planning one hour a week for yourself. Book a clarity break, you got to put it in your calendar and walk away from that meeting with 10 new ideas that you should implement in the future.
Narrator: Thanks, Shant. Now let’s get back to the show.
Anthony: That’s correct and that’s important that you’re doing that. You also told me that you got things a lot more organized in the last year, and I’m interested in hearing more about that. What did you mean by that?
Denill: Just my numbers, tracking my numbers. I think it’s so important to track your numbers because although I closed on Gerard’s team, the first team I did the first year, I did 18 transactions. That was just me getting out there and showing everybody that came in, showing them properties and just moving forward with very, very, very little skill. Just being there was half the job, just opening the door is half the job. Tracking my numbers was a big, big eye-opener as to where you really are. It’s reality. It’s a reality check, numbers don’t lie.
Anthony: It’s funny you say that. Last week I was down in South Florida, we opened there and I was talking to one of our agents and she, every time I asked her, how many deals do you have going? “I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to my numbers.” When I mentioned our President’s Club and what it takes to get in, all of a sudden now she’s focused on her numbers.
I said, “Listen, what isn’t measured can not be improved. You have to measure where you’re at and where you want to go. Just like you said goals. Now you’re measuring the goal and you’re measuring, but what do I need to get there?”
One of the things that I said to her that I’ll share with the audience and you might be doing this is I said, “I want you to take an old fashioned piece of paper. You write down, you want to make President’s Club and in our company, that’s 33 settles. Every time you have a sale, I want you to put a cross mark, look at that, look at that written down. I want you to cross out. Now I need one less. Now I need one less to get the President’s Club.” I said, put that right on the wall, on your desk, or put it on your desk and a place that you’re going to look at it multiple times a day. Now, as I’m explaining this, you just pulled up a sheet of paper on the Zoom. Can you please explain what’s on that to everyone?
Denill: This sheet basically it has in the morning, every morning I wake up, it’s a sheet that tracks everything. I have my gratitude list, up top. That’s 10 things that I’m grateful for every morning. That’s the first thing I write down. Then I have script practice. Did I script practice and then I appointment practice. I have a yes or no, I circle which one. Then I have eight little blocks, which are my lead gen sessions. I write down how many hours or which hours I lead generated for new business.
Now my whole thing is I know a lot of people preach, “Get up in the morning, eight o’clock hit the phones.” My life changed the day that I read this book called Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount. Amazing. The guy says, “If you’re a fanatical prospect, there is no time block. You fanatical prospect, you are fanatical, you’re all day prospecting.”
What I do is I hit a goal of contacts per day. I don’t care if it’s 6:00 PM. If I didn’t hit that contact goal, I’m on the phones until I hit that contact. That’s how I go. If I have 50 contacts a day, and I only did from 8:00 in the morning, I hit the phones from 8:00 to 11:00. If I only did 30 contacts, which is rare. Especially if you’re using a dialer, you will hit the 50, you’ll do in about a $100, you’ll probably contact about 30 but if from 8:00 to 11:00 I don’t hit my 50 contacts. I know that at three o’clock, if there’s no appointments, I’m on the phones again.
Anthony: That’s right. The name of the book is Fanatical Prospecting.
Denill: Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount.
Anthony: I need to look that book up.
Denill: I read that book once a quarter because it revamps you. I do Audible because while I’m driving to work I get to listen and do that. I don’t even listen to the radio anymore. To be honest with you, I’m all Audible books.
Anthony: I don’t mind either. Because I’m usually making calls but it’s funny what you say, because for years I was a preacher of a no, not years, but a few years I was a preacher over power hour every day, half an hour or every 2 or 4 times a week, half an hour that you focus solely on dial-in, but it’s hard to get that in your schedule.
What I find works better is I just dial throughout the day. I also keep a stack of calls and in my world I’m calling realtors, but I keep a stack of realtors MLS, printouts, their info sheet on my console and I just call as I’m driving. I find that works better. It’s funny that you say that I’m going to look, I’m going to get that book.
Denill: It really is. It’s a game changer. It really changes your mind just because for years I was– You listen to so many different superstars like yourself and you never said this to me obviously, but I’ve listened to others and they always, “Oh the best time to call is 8:00 AM, or 8:00 to 10:00 or whatever.
It is a great time to call in the morning because everybody’s getting up, they’re on their way to work. You get a lot more contacts at that time, especially if you’re focusing on and things like that, there’s little key times, but there’s other hours of the day that if you’re not doing anything pick up the phone, look for business.
Anthony: It’s not that hard. It’s funny. I actually have said 7:45 in the morning to 8:15 is the best time. It’s funny that you mentioned that. You were 100% right about that. Now also I want to point out, I want you to talk about your getting listings now and I will venture to guess that some of them are coming from past buyers. Am I right? Absolutely.
Denill: It’s the return business from two years ago.
Anthony: I always tell new agents that start. I say, guys, the buyer leads. They’re harder. There’s conversion involved but they are your future listings and you’ve got to grind out the buyers sides first. Why don’t you elaborate on that and elaborate on how they come back to you and what you do to stay in touch with them.
Denill: Actually I know we had mentioned earlier that this year has been completely different for me in terms of organizing myself my numbers, but also in terms of organizing my past sphere of influence, it’s a gold mine. It’s literally a gold mine and it’s easy business because the relationship is already built. What I do is every quarter I have reminders that I set up and every quarter I just reach out to him, “Hey, how’s everything going?”
I always remind them also something else that I implemented this year I was reminded when I say, “Hey listen if anybody that’s looking to buy or sell real estate let me know,” at the end of my conversation. Every quarter I always ask them that. Then what I’ve also implemented now is once these clients go on to contract every week on Monday is my follow-up calls.
That’s my day. I let them know. I’m just checking up on you, just making sure my team is taking care of you. Is there anything on that that you know that you need at the moment and when I’m finishing the call, “Hey, listen if anybody that’s looking to buy or sell real estate, please feel free to reach out.” I already go training them.
I don’t wait till they’re close to then ask for a referral and ask for the Zillow review. After they’re already, by the time they close they’ve already been drilled for 6 weeks straight every week. I’m practicing that and that’s been working good. It really, they appreciate the fact that you call once. Especially if they’re new buyers, they don’t know what’s going on. You give them that weekly update and they really appreciate it.
Anthony: When I started in the business, I used to be a big follower of Craig Proctor and I still very much respect Craig. Craig used to say for years, agents miss the boat during the transaction. People are full of excitement in there and they’re talking to their friends, their relatives about their purchase or their sale. Other people are talking back to them about potential purchase or sales. He’s like, that’s the time to talk to them about referring you. Honestly, I don’t think I did good enough on it when I was selling. I don’t, so I’m thrilled to hear that you’re doing that. I think that’s fantastic. I’m proud of you, man. Honestly, I’m thrilled to see how well you’re doing and Gerard was right.
He told me when you started, he was all pumped up. He told me that you were someone that was going to be real good and that’s obviously proved to be true. I love the way that he is even this podcast– There’s a lot of team leaders out there. They wouldn’t want the agents on their team doing the podcast. They’d be saying, “Let me do it.” He didn’t do that. He goes, “Have him on.” I think it’s great.
Denill: Gerard’s not, not like any team leader I’ve ever met at least. I was only on one other team, but I’ve heard the stories of other team leaders and it’s just Gerard genuinely cares, especially me and Gerard who have built a relationship that goes beyond just him being my team leader. We’re more friends. I’ve invited him over to my house to celebrate my wife’s birthday. He knows my kids.
It’s different, he’s become more of a brother, a brother figure to me. Especially a mentor, a big, big mentor for me, and even the introducing me to you and things like that. He’s not like everybody else. He really wants to see you grow and expand and get to another level and it’s just rare to find people like that.
Anthony: No, I agree with you and the reason I’m bringing it up is there’s a lot of team leaders that listen to our podcasts. I want them to hear this because some of us, I try to tell them it’s not all about you. You got to make it about the agent too. You got to help the agent grow. With the agents growing, they’ll be with you long-term if they’re not the lead. It’s good that we’re talking about that. Now I believe you’re coming down to our I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I believe you’re coming down to our real estate event in South Florida in August, right?
Denill: I’m trying to make it out, my wife’s pregnant. She’s due in September.in the family.
Anthony: Good for you. Wait, wait. She’s due in September. She’s due in September then I don’t want you to come, come to the next one. [laughter] Come to the next one. I’m sorry. I misspoke. I got mixed up. I was texting with Gerard last week about it and I know he signed up and he’s a part of the event and he’s going to be one of the panelists and so he’s obviously coming, but I thought he said you were, and that’s why I was mistaken, but we’ll catch you on the next one. You’re not leaving town when she’s due in the next month.
Denill: I love going to your events. I’ll definitely be if I don’t make it to it, I’m going to try but if I don’t make it to this one, I’ll definitely be– if I don’t make it to this one, I’ll make it to the next one definitely.
Anthony: We have the next one in February. Well, listen, my friend, I’m proud of you. I’m happy, you’re doing all you’re doing and now for all the listeners out there, you know, Denill, where can they find you? Can they look you up on Instagram, on Facebook?
Denill: They can find me on Instagram, I’m on all platforms, this is my first and last name, Daniel Grimaud and you’ll see me on all platforms then our website is the email@example.com. So you can check us all out there and see all our listings and you know what we’re doing in the community and things like that.
Anthony: Fantastic. Thank you sir. Good talking to you.
Denill: Thank you, Anthony.
Anthony: Appreciate you being on.
Denill:: All right. Thank you. Have a great day.
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.