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 Paul Lykins. He is with KW Innovations down in Boynton Beach, Florida. Welcome to the podcast today, Paul.
Paul Lykins: Lindsay, thank you.
Lindsay: I want to talk to you a little bit about all the different things that you’ve done in your business, but let’s start at the beginning. When did you get into real estate and why did you get into real estate?
Paul: I got into real estate back in around 2012. Right when we were coming out of that whole crash that happened. Actually, back in 2003, I went and took the course and went and took the test, but I didn’t pass. At that time, it wasn’t on a computer. You literally had to drive all the way down to Miami and take the test. I just wasn’t ready for it. I thought I was, but I didn’t pass. I said, “Okay, it wasn’t meant to be.” I went back to my regular job, which was telecommunications. I was selling phone systems and stuff.
Then that little bug just kept tapping me on the shoulder or whatever. I said, “Well, let’s give it try.” I went and took the course, passed. Went took my state exam, passed. It took two tries, but I got it. I was pretty excited and I said, “Okay, let’s give this thing a try.” I started out as part-time for about six months. Then I realized that that wouldn’t work. I jumped in at first feet first, however you want to say it, and I was a full-time agent.
Paul: Yes. Now I’m going nine years.
Lindsay: Nine years now that you’ve been in real estate. Tell me how your business has evolved over the years compared to what you were doing in the beginning when you first got in, how are you compared to that now?
Paul: Yes. When I started, in the beginning, like any agent, it’s like, “Okay, how do I find business?” Tell all your family, friends, all your past coworkers, anyone that you have a connection with, your sphere of influence, “I’m a realtor.” Phone calls, open houses, all that, to now social media is my number one source of business and referrals. I’ve had the best year ever in nine years and majority of that is because of my social media presence.
Lindsay: Your biggest social media platform is truly your YouTube channel, correct?
Paul: Yes. My YouTube channel is one of the greatest sources of business. This year alone it was the number one source for leads that came in. I mess around with a little bit on TikTok and I’m slowly trying to do that, but actually, I’m using that to drive business or more leads to the YouTube channel, which hopefully turn into more business. I’m using it as a filter, which is something I’ve seen other people do. Then I’ve done Facebook and Instagram and stuff like that.
Lindsay: Why did you get into doing YouTube videos? Why YouTube and how do you strategize what to do in these videos, because your videos are really great. Let me just, actually, before we even go into that, let me just explain to the audience. You have to go on and check out his YouTube channel. What is the actual name for your YouTube channel?
Paul: The channel is the name, the marketing name I came up with, which is called Palm Beaches Paul. Like Palm Beach, but it’s Palm Beaches. That’s because the area I live in is called the Palm Beaches, which is Palm Beach County. It’s a pretty big county, so they call the Palm Beaches.
Lindsay: You got to go on and you got to check out his channel because it’s not video updates about how to buy a house for– how to get the best deal or how to sell for the most money. It’s not videos like that. It’s videos about his community. He goes so heavily into the community. You actually had a Pedaling with Paul series, right? Where you would take your bike around the different communities, which living here in Boston just makes me jealous every time I see any of those because I’m like, “I want to pedal around town all year round.” But tell me a little bit about the strategy of this channel and how you came up with this whole concept.
Paul: Sure. Like I said, back in the beginning, all agents, I was trying to do the basic things and the flyers and the stuff and referrals and having a little bit of success. I knew social media was big. I’d already seen people starting to grow on things like TikTok. I already saw a bunch of people growing on Facebook for a while there, you saw a bunch doing Facebook videos. They were getting thousands of views and it was driving revenue. I wanted to try YouTube.
I just thought it’d be a little bit different. I said, “Let’s go create a channel about what it’s like to live in Palm Beach County.” The idea was that I’d show people what it’s like to live here, the different parks, the different neighborhoods, the beaches, all the reasons why people move to south Florida, right? Mixed in with a little bit of other stuff, which I learned as I went on, but in the beginning, it was really just showing parks and beaches and stuff.
Then my thought was if someone was looking and researched that they’d go, “Hey, this guy’s an expert on that area. He’s also a realtor. Let’s give him a call.” It wasn’t instant. It took a while. It took a year actually of doing this. Consistently putting a video out. I wasn’t consistent at first, there’s a lot of things I learned as I went on, but I would do a video and wait a while. I’d do a video. Once I started to realize that if you’re consistent and you do it every week, that’s when it started to build.
Anyway, after doing a lot of different things like that, the phone started ringing or the email would come in and they’d say, “Hey, I was watching your video and we’re thinking about moving to South Florida. Could we meet with you?” From there, it’s just exploded in my business. I always– going back to your original question, I wanted to be different. It wasn’t like this when I started, but right now we have 42,000 agents in our MLS. That’s a lot of agents to be competing with in South Florida.
Lindsay: You know what, Paul, most of them will not go on video. They won’t do it. They refuse to do it. I try to coach agents all the time on doing video and they look at me like, “I can’t do it. I can’t do it.” You’re one of the very few you that are doing it and doing it consistently, like you said, so yes, of course, you’re going to see your business grow. You’re doing something that others aren’t willing to do.
Paul: Yes. Once I realized that and saw the power of it, and then I started getting those phone calls, I was hooked. Then from there, I learned more, I found support groups on Facebook, different people to follow, and I just really started honing in on it. Now, I treat my videos the same way someone will treat any marketing plan. I know every week I’m going to produce a video. I think about what the video’s going to be. It has to be something, as you said, it’s not market reports. I’ve done some videos like, “How to buy a condo.” My number one video is titled, “Don’t buy a Condo in Florida.” Which obviously gets everyone’s attention. “What?”
Then it goes into it and it talks about all the things you need to know about buying a condo. Assessments and the HOA, and the fact that most condos don’t take FHA loans down here. That video has done very well for me. I started to just build on that, and then as you said, the Pedaling with Paul came out of COVID when everything was shut down and a lot of the clubhouses and community clubhouses, everything was shut down. I still had to make videos.
I said, “Well, let’s get on your bike and ride through a neighborhood, show people what the neighborhood looks like at a slower pace, take the camera and just talk to them and say, ‘Hey, this is a blah, blah, blah. This is a Maple Tree Community, and homes in here sale for 300,000 to 500,000 and the HOA is–” and that just really took off when people love that video. I need to get back on my bike, especially now, since it’s not as hot out and make some more of those videos.
Lindsay: I love it. I look forward to seeing them, for sure. I think that it’s such an awesome concept, especially, like I said, for people that don’t live in Florida that are Googling and they’re searching, and then your YouTube video pops up. I don’t know if a lot of people realize that that YouTube is a part of Google, so of course, YouTube search results populate when you search on Google.
If someone searches for what to do in South Florida, or in what to do in Palm Beaches, or where to buy in Palm Beach, those are the things that you want to populate for and your videos, because no one else wants to do video, are going to be one of the top ones that populate. It’s just such a smart plan and the fact that you thought of it, and then even if you weren’t consistent with it in the beginning, you didn’t give up on it. Talk to me about that. Even though you weren’t necessarily seeing immediate results, did you have it in the back of your head like, “I know eventually it’s going to work for me.”
Paul: It’s a little bit of that and a little bit of, I knew I didn’t want to make any more calls on expired listings. I know, listen, for those agents that are killing it and any coaches and stuff. I understand. I’m not trying to badmouth it. Keep doing it if it’s working for you, but I didn’t want to be the 15th call to that house that morning. I certainly didn’t want to get up at 5:00 AM and start dialing. It’s just not me. I wasn’t going to do that. I would make a video. I would spend time making a video. I just knew that, if I stuck with it and start seeing some other agents that had success around the country, that it would work and sure enough, the call started coming in. The past two years of– last year, 2020 was great and 2021 was even better, and 2022, I think I’m probably some things that I have planned is really going to explode. I’m looking at trying to double my business this year.
Lindsay: You’re definitely going to snowball what you did this year into next year, because of the videos are just going to continue to get– That’s the other thing that’s so good about YouTube video content is that it is what we call evergreen. It’s something that you can put up that will be found forever. As long as YouTube is there, it’s going to be found, and because your videos have been there for the amount of time that they have, those ones are going to be the ones that get found, because they’re long-lasting and they’ve been viewed over and over and over again so you put yourself in just the right position to now get that traffic for a long period of time. Expect it to just keep doubling up as you go on.
Paul: Yes. Lindsay, you said the magic word. Evergreen content is what you’re doing when you said the market reports. Nobody goes and search, “What’s the market report for what’s Palm Beach Florida?” Someone will go and search, “What is the cost of living?” That varies. You can make a video one year, maybe make another video down the road, but that one video, if you talk about basic things, cost of gas, whatever.
Rent, insurance, those things, people will look and research that, and then they may reach out to you and say, “It was four years ago. The cost has obviously changed,” but you’re right evergreen will go– and it’s funny because the condo video was done a year ago. Some of my other videos that I get comments on are from three years ago, which I’m surprised to get comments on the ones from three years ago because those are really bad videos. They’re really bad.
Lindsay: It can be embarrassing too, because you like, “No, no, no. Don’t find that one anymore.”
Paul: Yes. Those are very similar.
Moderator: Let’s take a quick break and hear from Dave Karoly, the master of objection handling, as he teaches you how to overcome buyer and seller concerns.
Dave Karoly: How to handle a conversation about showings when a seller has multiple children or pets. As a father of two young children who just sold their home not that long ago, with a dog and a cat, it can be a difficult time. My best recommendation to people always if possible, have them take a long weekend away, board the dog in the cat, grab a hotel for a long weekend. It’s been a stressful time getting your home ready to go on the market. Take a long weekend to enjoy it, that way I can block showing into that particular weekend.
You want to talk to the seller about strategies you can do to reduce the amount of headaches they’re going to have, block showings, open houses, all those types of things, but you want to make sure to have the conversation if we’re too strict on when we let people see the home. If they can’t get in after work or in the morning when they’d like to see it, they’re going to move on to another property. Again, can we find certain a few hour window, one evening or one morning, or some weekend times when we can let people in during that point, because we just need to be too careful, because if we’re too strict and telling buyers no too often when they want to see it, again, they’ll move right onto another property, and we don’t want that. Right, Mr. Seller?
Moderator: Thanks, Dave. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: I remember I did, “How to share a post from your business page on Facebook to your personal page.” That was literally the video. I think I did it just for our own agents, and then I thought, “You know what? We’ll put this out on Crush It. It’ll be a good how-to video for people.” I put it out on Crush It. Do you know that that is our number one video on our YouTube channel because that is just something that people search for? Then they end up coming to our website and they end up coming to the page and whether or not they’re realtors, I don’t care, we’ve helped people. It’s just a really cool way to get your name out there. Just think about all those different things that people search for and then make the video content about that.
Paul: That is awesome. I will tell you, this is what’s really cool about it. I met with a client about two weeks ago, she came down from the Northeast, she’s looking to move to South Florida. She had been watching my channel for a while. When we sat and met for coffee, she basically had told me, “I’ve already taken the car and driven to the different areas where I’ve seen you make your videos.”
Now think about there a second. She didn’t ask me to be her tour guide. We get those calls, especially anyone that deals with out town guests. They ask you, “Hey, will you show us around the area. We’re not sure where we’re going to live.” It’s like, especially if you’re busy, it’s not productive time for you. Yes, we have to build a rapport of people, but to drive them all around a county as big as Palm Beach County could be all day. She did all the leg work. She knows. She did it, and then she goes, “Okay, based on your videos, here’s where I want to live. I’m coming back in January. That’s where we’re going to look.”
Paul: My videos did all the leg work for me.
Lindsay: You went out and you drove around and you recorded it once, and then now you have that, that people can go and do that research for themselves.
Paul: Whatever city it is because I’ve done multiple videos. She looked at a couple of videos, but yes, she looked at the different videos, the different cities and made a decision based on those videos and then driving there herself. She goes, “Okay, I don’t want to live here, but I do want to live here.” I was like, “Wow, that’s awesome.” When she told me that, I was just like, “Wow, that’s really cool. Thank you.”
Lindsay: I feel like there’s even more ideas now that you could generate from that, right?
Paul: Oh yes.
Lindsay: Just introduction to different towns and comparisons. There’s just so many different things you could do. Highest price point towns, lowest price point towns, highest tax towns, lowest tax. There’s all kinds of things that you can do. Once the ideas start to come, it really can– people feel sometimes that they get a little crippled by, “What do I post about?” Go on YouTube, do some searching. How do you come up with some of your? Do you do any research to figure out what you’re going to post about?
Paul: Oh, absolutely. First, never be afraid to get ideas from other people that have had good videos, just don’t blatantly rip them off, but the same concept, Lindsay, for where you are doing a cost of living for your area, I’m not going to do the same thing because I live in South Florida. The concept is the same. I’m going to be, “What’s the cost of living here?” Or as you said, “What are the five most expensive zip codes in South Florida?” That would be something in a video, which I’ve never done. Which thanks for the idea, I’ll have to give you credit.
Lindsay: Go for it.
Paul: Those are all the things. You got to remember, as you said earlier, YouTube is a search engine. It is owned by Google. When people go on there, think about how many times you wanted to figure out how to do something. I know that I had to change the air filter inside of my wife’s car because I didn’t want to pay the mechanic $50 for something that I could do in five minutes. Googled it, searched it on YouTube. Boom took care of it. I was a hero to my wife. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s a search engine.
You have to think about what people are searching for. What is someone thinking about if they were going to move to a different place, and that’s how it works now. I’m not doing the listing side, but I have some friends that do the listing side of the videos and that is something I’m slowly starting to work towards. That’s a whole different idea there because people maybe don’t search YouTube as much for how to list the house. They may, but it’s a whole different marketing way of doing it.
Lindsay: Tell me a little bit more about what differentiates you. What ways did you while you were getting started and you were figuring out you how you were going to get business, I know you and I are speaking in the beginning and you were building connections with people. Talk to me a little bit more about that.
Paul: Yes. People like people who they can– not necessarily agree with, but see themselves. Like you have your drive. One of the things I did when I was networking– it’s funny, but I’m an avid craft beer guy. I like craft beer. I don’t like much, but I like craft beer. I tended to go to a lot of different microbreweries around here. One of the things I did was I started my own networking event called brews and business networking. We would meet at microbreweries and I met like-minded people. Now, I did help meet other people that I got along with as far as Morgan lenders and insurance, but I also met clients who are that.
It’s funny my clients, even from YouTube, they know that are like craft beer. I have so many of them stay, “Hey, when we move down there, we can’t wait to have a beer with you.” That’s one way that I connected where they felt like they knew me because once people realize you’re just a person too, they want to connect with you. Whether that’s being a boater or even we have dogs people who have dogs, those people dogs it’s just a way of connecting. That was one way that I did it trying to connect with people. When I was doing the videos, at first, I was wearing suits and stuff. I did a couple of videos like that, and I said, “Why don’t you just be who you really are?”
Living in South Florida, I like the skateboard. I like to ride my beach cruiser, I love fishing, I love the South Florida lifestyle. I started making my videos, just being like that. I wear baseball caps. If you guys look me up, you’ll see my videos. I will wear wine shirts. Everyone knows it. That’s not going to be for everyone. I’m sure some people are going to go, “He doesn’t look professional. He couldn’t sell me a house.” That’s fine, you’re not who I want to work with.
The ones who have connected with me and saw that and love the beach vibe guy, they connect with me and that’s hard for me, and I’m very comfortable with that. That has been one of the best things I ever did for my business was it’s truly me and people can read what’s truly you, and they can sniff out the other stuff in a heartbeat.
Lindsay: What’s really funny that you said, is you said something about, “I’m more than a realtor. I’m a real person and people get to know me on a regular level.” I can’t agree with that more. I think people get so caught up in their social media, being filled with realtor, realtor, realtor, realtor, realtor, or just all real estate testimonials. “I help this client. I help that client.” I think that those posts are great, but if they’re not seeing who you are, then there’s not a true connection that’s being made. I love the beer connection. I think that’s fabulous.
A couple of episodes back, we interviewed a woman, her name is Maura Allard, up here in the north shore in Massachusetts. She loves ice cream. She always posts about her love for ice cream. Now she’s like the ice cream realtor. She gets gift cards for ice cream, because they just know that she loves to get ice cream all throughout the year. It’s stuff like that, that really sets you apart. You’re right, people want to build that connection and work with a person. Imagine that.
Paul: It’s cool because I have people coming down now from the winter who bought– They bought their homes down here for their winter vacations and I’ve got multiple lunch– I don’t want to say lunch dates, but I have drinks with friends.
Lindsay: Bear dates.
Paul: I have beer dates. Bro dates. It’s their husband or wives. They want to go out, and they’re like, “Have your wife come.” It’s fun because it’s not real estate. We’re just going there to be like, “Hey, let’s have a beer and talk,” but you know, they’re thinking, “What a good person?” They’re always telling me, “Hey, I have friends that are thinking about moving down, Paul, I gave them your name.” Yes, it’s building that. That’s going back to that question that that’s how I’ve maybe been a little different, at least by how I’ve worked myself to be the agent that I am here and I keep working on it every day.
Lindsay: What are you going to do next year? I know you said in the beginning, you really want to double up on your business. What things have you thought about doing next year that you’re going to try to implement?
Paul: Yes, so I’m a single agent. I have a transaction coordinator. This year I did 13 transactions and most of that came from YouTube, which for me is pretty good. I’m a single agent with a transaction coordinator. I’m not part of a team but I want more and so I’m working on it. My goal that I’ve given myself for 2022 is I’m going to help 40 families.
Lindsay: Love it.
Paul: More than double it. I will do 40. I’m not going to say I want to, I will. I got to get through my right. I’m going to do 40 transactions. Also, grow my channel to 5,000 subscribers. I’m working on that. I have things in place to do that. Not just the marketing and all that, but with YouTube and the efforts and stuff. I’ve got some other cool things that I’m working on for YouTube, which is going to be exciting. I’ve been wanting to go in towards the luxury elevate the level a little bit, which by the way, when I started YouTube, I was the person that was an agent doing $250 to $300,000 homes.
The videos brought me, clients, into $750 to $2 million price range. I never worked with clients like that before YouTube. YouTube opened the door to that and I had people reaching out to me in surf shorts and stuff, and they didn’t care. That’s what I plan on doing. We can talk next year, maybe I come back and we’ll recap on it or something. That would be cool.
Lindsay: I was just going to say, you were brave enough to throw your number out there. Maybe next year we’ll have to have a reunion tour and get you back on here to talk about where you’ve made it and what’s worked and what hasn’t worked if you’re going to put new things in and figure out what’s got you there and what at least got you closer. When you say 40, you might hit 35, but that’s still a big improvement. It might just be that that’s– and now the next year that you got to hit even higher than that. I’m excited for you, Paul. It’s been such a joy talking to you today. In closing. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our audience or anything else you would like to say to them?
Paul: Don’t be afraid of social media. Those of you who’ve been thinking about doing the YouTube, look, I’m a 56-year-old guy started a while back still. I was in my 40s or 50s when I started, I’m sorry. I’m no supermodel and I’m not some super funny guy. I’m just a realtor, a guy who makes videos. Find out what you’re passionate about, where you’re at. Maybe you’re a bicyclist, or maybe you’re a yoga person, whatever it is, find something you can connect them, but don’t be afraid to make the videos.
It takes a while. Sure. It’s awkward. People stare at you. You get used to it like anything else, but it will work and just get out there, record something, put it out there, and then see if the phone rings. I’ve done it, and I self-taught myself. If I can do it, anyone can do it. You got to remember, guys, I’m older. I grew up and we still had dial-up internet and it’s like, welcome to AOL and that annoying sound.
Lindsay: Oh, I can hear the sound. As you said that, I can hear the sound, the ding, ding, ding in my head.
Paul: Don’t be afraid to try it. Because as Lindsay said, I threw it out there. I’m going to do 40 homes. If I don’t hit 40 homes, the failure would be not setting that goal and trying. That’s the real failure by not trying. I’ve put a challenge in front of myself. I’ve at least taken that step. Now it’s up to me to get there. I think I’ve already won.
Lindsay: I think, yes, absolutely. You’re going to totally get there. You might even surpass that. We’ll be talking to you and you’ll go, “I actually did 52,” and we’ll be like, “Woohoo.”
Paul, thank you so much. I really, really appreciate your time. I am going to put in the show notes, all the links of where you can find him because you definitely want to check out his YouTube channel for sure, but definitely connect with him and watch the rest of the content that he puts out over the year. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome. Thanks again, Paul, so much for coming.
Paul: Lindsay, thank you so much. It’s been a blast. I really appreciate the opportunity and happy holidays to everybody and happy new year.
Lindsay: You too.
Announcer: 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. If you 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 @crushitinrealestate on Facebook and YouTube. Thanks again. We’ll see you next time.
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.