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’m your host, Lindsay Favazza. I am sitting in front of someone right now who was licensed back in 2003, in 2007 became a broker, and in 2020, she sold 20 homes. In 2021, she’s on track to sell 40 homes. I introduce you to Kelly Dimbat from Lamacchia Realty. Welcome, Kelly, to the show.
Kelly Dimbat: Thank you, Lindsay. I’m excited to be here.
Lindsay Favazza: Our audience is going to learn a lot from you because you have had some big shifts in your business. Take us back to the very beginning, Kelly, and tell us a little bit about getting into real estate and that transition for you and then getting your broker’s license and so on.
Kelly Dimbat: Sure, I’d be happy to. When I first got my license, it was something I knew I wanted to do and sometimes the opportunity just appears. I got laid off from a job and the timing worked out great. I really enjoyed selling. I also did rentals. I worked for another broker for a few years, and then when my husband and I moved, it was no longer convenient to drive to that location, so I had to make some changes, and that’s when I decided to become a broker.
I got my own license. I didn’t have to work– I interviewed at a few places, but I always felt like I had better answers. I wanted to just have more control of when and how I helped consumers, clients, be able to maybe give a rebate or do something. I spent 10 years being a broker. I had a few different agents that trained and worked under me, but I always loved selling. Yes, in 2018, December 31st, 2018. 2018 was my best year ever. On my own, I sold 18 homes that year, but I was intrigued by the things that Lamacchia was doing. I knew if I wanted to help more people, I couldn’t be a broker because I was doing everything.
Lindsay: You have to wear so many hats.
Kelly: Yes, I was tired of the accounting, all the admin stuff. I liked training and helping newer people and giving advice and stuff like that, but I preferred helping consumers.
Lindsay: Absolutely. You joined on December 31st of 2018, and when this actual episode airs, we’re recording this a few weeks earlier but when this actually airs, you are truly on your three-year anniversary, so thank you so much for being with us for the last three years. We love having you, you’ve been such an awesome addition and you also help other agents with mindset and things like that. Tell us a little bit about 2020 and 2021, because obviously those have been kind of your breakout years for your business.
Kelly: Yes, sure. Oh God, where to start? 2020, obviously the year of the pandemic, so everything had to change.
Lindsay: Crazy year.
Kelly: We shifted. I didn’t sell a single home from January to May of that year, so those 20 sales came from June to December. At the beginning of 2020, I started with the mindset like, “I’m going to sell three to five homes per month every single month. Leads are going to flow to me endlessly. Sellers and buyers are going to love my gift of–“
Kelly: Yes, I had lots of affirmations and then I was three to five. Then I was like, “Why just five?” I set a goal.
Lindsay: Even if you get three, at least you’ve–
Kelly: Exactly. I was really excited to have sold 20 homes last year, but with that said, I had the momentum coming into 2021. Felt like I had everything lined up and closing started at the beginning of the year rather than halfway through the year. I also still help many of my clients rent apartments, so in addition to the 40 sales, I have almost 20 rentals. Transactionally for sides, I think I’m going to close out close to 65 sides for the year. Yes, unbelievable.
Lindsay: If I can clap on this podcast without having it sound really loud and crazy, I would, well, that’s amazing. Tell me about that mind shift in what you were thinking prior to that and what you think now and how that really has helped you to grow your numbers.
Kelly: Sure. Having put the time into learning the skills of what to say and what not to say based on who you’re talking to and how they’re going to receive it is really important. You don’t say the same thing to everybody. You have a seller who needs to buy, you don’t tell them you’re going to sell their house in a day because then they’re not going to list their homes. You have buyers who want five bedrooms and three bathrooms for $400,000, you don’t tell them they’re never going to find it or they’re not going to be your client.
Kelly: Learning that has been an ongoing improvement and you have to kind of always remind yourself of that stuff. Then, personally, writing out some goals, some affirmations, recording sort of a life script where I say, positively speaking in the future, “By this date, I’m going to sell this many homes, and I’m going to have this much income.” By doing this, I’m going to be able to, and you always lead into helping other people with that. “I’m going to be able to help other people prosper, other people get what they want. Therefore, the gifts will come to me because I have gifts to give.”
Lindsay: Our mission statement here at Lamacchia is we will guide you to your success, and it sounds like you really embody what that means, is I will help you to get where you want to be because that will help me get where I want to be. It’s really what it comes down to.
Kelly: Right. If you focus on service, the money will follow. I’ve always had that philosophy and you have to spend money. I did hire a full-time admin in 2021 to help me with typing things, to help me with gathering lists. My daughter is a teen now, so sometimes extra money for her, I’ll be like, “Okay, can you handwrite these envelopes, I’ll pay you per envelope or pay you per–” I take off the small tasks that I can pay someone else to do so that I can have more time doing the things that actually close the deals.
Lindsay: My next question to you is really about your work-life balance. Be honest, have you noticed that your life has become crazier with the 40 deals compared to 20 or do you feel that you have more time? Explain to us the work-life balance that you have in your life now.
Kelly: Sure. One of the things that happened in my career throughout the last, let’s see, I licensed in ’03 so that’s almost 18 years, is dips and waves, dips and waves, dips and waves. Sometimes you have money, sometimes you have a lot of money, sometimes you wouldn’t. I did start paying myself weekly and keeping big chunks so that when things weren’t coming in, I still had the same amount every week.
Lindsay: So smart.
Kelly: That was number one. I think I forgot the question.
Lindsay: No, no, you’re fine. Work-life balance.
Kelly: Oh, yes, work-life balance.
Lindsay: Do you feel like your life is crazier now? Like is it doubly crazier than when you were doing 20 sales compared to 40?
Kelly: No. That’s the thing, is I’m much more efficient. One of the things I learned, I listen to different videos or different podcasts, and hopefully people listen to this and learn something from it.
Kelly: From The Buffini Podcast to Bob Proctor stuff, different mindset things as well. Making a list the night before of the most important tasks for the next day I think is something I’m really going to try to do moving forward for 2022.
Lindsay: It does, it helps a lot. There’s a lot of us that took Bob Proctor’s class as well here in the company, and that’s one of the things that we took away from it. It really does help, the next day you feel such a lifted pressure off your shoulders because you already have that list, you know what you should tackle right away, and you feel accomplished before the day even starts. That definitely is great.
Kelly: Having the full-time admin– Like I was getting home on a Sunday where I had five or six buyers who were out looking at property and then there were deadlines of Monday and Tuesday, and I was writing tons of offers. I definitely like that we have templates. If you have the ability to create your templates where you already have it filled in, your broker name, your license number, that kind of stuff, it’ll make it easier, but I was tired of working till 10 o’clock at night on a Sunday typing offers, so having the admin help with that and being more prepared, I feel like I actually have a much better balance than I’ve ever had in my life.
Moderator: Let’s take a quick break and hear from the #1 loan originator Shant Banosian of Guaranteed Rate as he gives us his monthly mortgage tip.
Shant Banosian: Hey realtors, it’s Shant from Guaranteed Rate. I just wanted to give you a quick tip about what I was doing back in the day when I was a solo practitioner, a loan officer by myself. One of the most important things I did is I focused on growing my support staff. I hired an admin. I hired support staff.
What it allowed for me to do is focus on the things that are the best use of my time, which are, bringing in more business and creating new relationships and prospecting, which is the same things that you’re doing. You got to make sure you’re not getting caught up in operational and support and administrative type duties, because if there’s somebody you can hire and invest in that is going to handle that stuff for you, do an amazing job at it, that way you can go out and sell more houses and do some more prospecting and business development.
Moderator: Thanks Shant. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: That’s amazing. It’s inspiring I’m sure to people that are maybe really grinding at 15 or 20 deals right now to hear that if they make some small shifts in their business that they can grow, but not only grow, actually feel like they have more time.
Kelly: Oh, yes, and like, oh, you got to deliver the check and oh, you got to do this. Taking out some of those things and being like, “Okay, Mr. buyer you need to drop this check off at this address.” That can save an agent an hour to two hours of their day. When you’re not so busy, it makes you feel busy, but it doesn’t make you money. If you really want to focus on money-making activities, make sure your list of five includes 10 prospecting calls a day or whatever those things are that actually will produce outcome.
Lindsay: Yes, it’ll get you where you want to go. All right. Tell me a little bit about one of your keys to success. I know we were talking a little bit in the beginning about social media. Tell me a little bit about your social media strategy and what you do to keep yourself top of mind to your potential leads and prospects.
Kelly: Yes, sure. I did start doing live videos in probably 2019,-
Lindsay: Live, great.
Kelly: -not a ton of them, but I remember the first one walking out of a big auditorium that Lamacchia put together with a big guest motivational speaker. All our assignments were to go do a live video. I remember the first one. Then, trying to do those more often and being both personal and professional, giving that balance, but marketing is really important and then commenting on people stuff and messaging them and letting them know you’re out there, because then they think of you more.
I did get a bunch of referrals this year, a few on social media from friends that I hadn’t seen in 5 or 10 years, but they told somebody to call me, because they knew I was in real estate based on the things I’ve done online.
Lindsay: That’s the beauty of social media, is that as long as you’re putting the effort in on it, you don’t have to really ask for business. It kind of comes to you because you’re just staying top of mind, again.
Kelly: Right, and people love houses, so some of the best things to post, and you have to remember when you’re at someone else’s listing, you can’t just take a live video and not mention who’s listing it. Those are big no-nos. I see that sometimes, and I’m kind of like [crosstalk] Yes, but they are lessons learned, I might have done it once or twice before too, so always make sure you say, “Oh, I’m at 134 Fuller Street. This is RE/MAX, so and so, this bathroom is amazing” or whatever it may be.
Sometimes taking the picture of the carpet in the bathroom or the toilet that’s in the basement that’s in the middle of the room, and you’re like, “What is this?” I remember I took a picture, I think it was in Fitchburg or Leominster, and I was like, “Is this the tiniest bathroom?” I literally sat on the throne with my knees touching the vanity and my hand on the tub, like selfie, “The world’s smallest bathroom.”
Lindsay: You are very petite for it to be a small bathroom for you.
Kelly: Thank you. Yes.
Lindsay: That’s small. That is so fun. I love that. As far as your social media, it’s proven to be a valuable resource for you?
Kelly: I mean, for the most part it’s free.
Kelly: I’ve done the mailers. I’ve spent the money on different things, lead sources, people posting things for you, all that kind of stuff. Passive is not necessarily going to give you the best return.
Lindsay: I couldn’t agree more, especially on social media. I feel like if you have someone doing mailers for you, fine, but if you have someone that is doing your social media, it is more difficult. You still have to be involved. Even if you have someone that just posts but then you still involve yourself, I think that’s okay, but I get concerned when people just want to hand it off to someone, because you’re not going to get anything from it. Like don’t even bother them.
Kelly: Yes. It’s kind of one of those things where you know the calls come in, the telemarketers call you. As soon as you make a couple sales, they’re like, “Oh, buy this, do this, do that.” Really self-action is the best way to get the biggest return.
Lindsay: Absolutely. You also mentioned your online presence, your Google My Business page and things like that. Tell me a little bit about that and what you’ve done to increase that presence online.
Kelly: Sure. I’ve been on Zillow for my entire career. Making sure you claim your sales there so that it registers under you. Actually, their system has gotten better where it automates it a little better than it used to, but when you ask for reviews, the Google, claim your page. Definitely make sure your website address is on there and your phone number is on there, and that’s probably the easiest one to get reviews on.
It gives you I think the biggest boost of traffic. Even people who know that you do well and even though they haven’t done business with you, they don’t need to sell or buy, but they’re like, “God, you’re such a hard worker.” Maybe it’s your friend’s sister, brother, mother, or whatever, but that’s okay.
Lindsay: All is fair in love and reviews.
Kelly: Yes, exactly. I’m working on that. I think I have 30 something reviews on Zillow, and I’m just under 20, but God, if I could get up to 40 or 60 reviews. Those are some of my goals for 2022, would be I want to make President’s ELITE. I think I’m just going to be a couple sales shy. Not sure yet, I’ve got three weeks left. We’ll see what happens.
Lindsay: Explain what President’s Club ELITE is and what that means.
Kelly: Sure. Here at Lamacchia, if you do $16 million in sales or 33 transactions, you make President’s Club. If you do $24 million or 50 sales, you make ELITE.
Lindsay: The highest level.
Kelly: Right. There is a nice big party annually-
Kelly: -on an island.
Lindsay: We can say, we’ll go to Aruba. It’s awesome [laughs].
Kelly: Yes. I’m excited for that. I like to say, “I earned the trip.”
Kelly: “I didn’t win it. I earned it.”
Lindsay: Definitely did.
Kelly: If you get ELITE, you get an extra day. Yes, so my goal is definitely– I actually would like to do 60 next year. That would be great. Then, what else are my goals? Yes, get at least 50 reviews on that Google page as well.
Lindsay: That’s amazing.
Kelly: I started thinking about, next year, and incorporating that now. New year’s resolutions are great, but if you’re thinking about them now, start them now, because if you start them in January, it’s going to be March [crosstalk] before you get your sales.
Lindsay: Yes. It’s crazy people are always trying to start their goal-setting as of January 1st. If you’re doing that to lose weight, then that’s one thing, but when you’re doing it for your real estate business, you really have to start in like November, December, early, because [crosstalk]
Kelly: In 2018 when I decided to come to Lamacchia, I had had my busiest year, best year ever. I was exhausted come September. From September to December was sort of that education. I got a couple more designations. I went to the National Association of Realtors Conference. I heard Anthony speak. I went to the Broker’s Meeting, and it was like, “If you’re a broker, you want agents, you need technology, you need this.” I was just like, “That’s not me anymore.”
I thought I was going to have this great legacy to pass on to my kids and whatever, but it’s kind of like, “You know what? I need to think about now, and the more people I help, the better off my family is going to be.” Come January of 2019, those first three months, I really didn’t have anything in my pipeline, because I was going through that discovery phase. I’m excited that I’m now on a rolling path for greatness.
Lindsay: Yes, absolutely, and you’re going to get there for sure. I mean, you’re already there. You’ve already hit President’s Club, which is one of your goals for this year.
Kelly: I know, and it felt easy.
Lindsay: It feels easy once you get there.
Kelly: Yes. Once the sales start happening and you’ve got that momentum and you have good habits, everything falls into place.
Lindsay: It’s not to say that you won’t have still those like ebbs and flows that happen, but at the same time, you know how to pick yourself up, you know what to do now, and it’s going to click so much easier for you, because you’ve already done it. What advice do you have for someone who’s listening who maybe was stuck in that 15 to 20 mark, and they’re like, “Man, she did it. What can I do to make that jump into the 40 deals a year level?” What advice would you give to them?
Kelly: I would say you really need to put pen to paper and set goals. I think they say less than 3% of the world population actually have goals. Setting your goals and reminding yourself of them, keeping it posted on the board, and work one day at a time. Don’t try to do next week’s work now, don’t try to squeeze it all in one day and then make sure that you’re focused when you’re supposed to be focused, and when you need that downtime, you don’t multitask, and you actually take the downtime.
Lindsay: We are reading, there’s a bunch of us reading right now the Good to Great book. One of the things that they talk about is having big, hairy, audacious goals so that, again, you aim as high as you can so that you can land higher than you would have expected kind of thing. When you are thinking about making these goals, make sure to not make them 5% higher than your previous year. Really set that bar and go after it.
Kelly: A, B and C goals.
Kelly: “A goals” are the goals you know how to do. B goals are the goals you think you can do. C goals are the ones that you don’t even know where to begin. The C goals are the best goals, because B goals you get bored with and the A goals are really just a task list.
Lindsay: Sometimes too, if you think about it, a lot of people can put it in the mindset of hitting a weight goal. Everyone has had that time where they try to do a diet, and if you set a goal for yourself and it’s a smaller goal and you hit it, you almost feel like, “Well, I made it, and that’s good enough.” If you set it bigger, you’re going to land so much closer to where you truly want to be. You’re absolutely right. You got to really aim big. You have aimed big my friend and you have nailed it. Congratulations on just an awesome year. I’m super excited for you. I’m excited also for your three-year anniversary. It’s been awesome having you here with us.
Kelly: Flew by.
Lindsay: If people want to find you or learn more about you, tell us where they can do that.
Kelly: Sure. My Facebook is kdsellsma. My website is kellydimbat.com. I am licensed in Mass and New Hampshire. With all the resources I have available to me, I can really help anybody anywhere and find me online and call me, message me. Love it.
Lindsay: She’s also one of those agents that is always willing to help out, so if there’s questions that you guys have for her, I’m sure you’d be open to helping people out. Kelly, thank you so much. We will put in the show notes all links to her places. If you do want to reach out to her, feel free to do so. Thank you again for coming on here today. I really appreciate it. It wasn’t that scary, was it?
Kelly: No. It was actually really exciting to be here, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Lindsay: Awesome. Can’t wait for everyone to hear.
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.