Jasmine Sunkara – Be Your Own Competition

Show Notes

Jasmine sunkara podcast FI

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 your host Lindsay Favazza and I am sitting here today with someone who you guys are all going to get so much from, it’s going to be crazy. Her name is Jasmine Sunkara. She is from Big Block Realty North in Sacramento. I am so excited to have you on the podcast today, Jasmine.

Jasmine Sunkara: Thank you, Lindsay. I am so grateful to be here and I cannot wait to share with you guys.

Lindsay: I think by the time this episode comes out, the cat will be out of the bag that you are speaking at our crush it event, but you know what, if it isn’t yet, then people who heard the podcast heard it first. There you go. We can’t wait to have you on stage at the crush it event in February. You’ll be talking even more in-depth about some of the things that we’ll talk about today. Again, if you like what you hear today, then definitely tune into the February 9th event because you’ll get even more from Jasmine. Jasmine, you have been in the business now for, well, in the industry, since 2001.

Then about seven years ago you started as a new homes agent, which I definitely want to hear what that is because I’ve never heard of that title before. Then five years ago, you entered into being an independent realtor in the business and you have just crushed it. I want to hear from you how you got into the industry in the first place and how those first years went for you as far as getting into being a new homes agent and then getting into being an independent agent as well.

Jasmine: Yes, definitely. I started as an underwriter for Bank of America in 2019. 2021, I became a loan officer, and I did loans for 14 years. Back in about seven years ago, actually, a little bit longer, my husband got really sick and I had joined a new home community for a builder to be their in-house lender. I would go there once a week to take applications for prospective buyers. That new home community was new development in town and their numbers grew rapidly with me getting them pre-approvals and into contract. That divisional president tried to recruit me as her realtor on-site to sell properties because of my conversion with her. I said no way because I did not like realtors.

Matter of fact, hate is a strong word. I pretty much hated them because they thought that they were the baddest people in town and gave me turned-down files that were completely dead and slam it on my desk and tell me that, “Okay, well, if you can approve this, then I will use you as a lender.” I just did not like realtors. I went home and I really processed what she offered me. I was like, “You know what, my husband is really sick and I would work less hours. Let me just do it.” I prayed on it and I did it. Next thing you know, I sold a little over 400 homes for that community in two years with my partner. My husband passed away and my daughter was very upset that I couldn’t attend her game.

I went crying to work and gave my two weeks notice because it was more work, fun as hell. I loved it. I understood it and I knew that this was my calling. I wanted to do the same thing, but I needed to be a mom and I was the only parent to my kids and I went independent. That is the new home sixth person that I was, that’s the title. Then I went independent to work in resale, where I could still work with the new home consultants, but I had my own hours so I could be a full-time parent, only parent to my kids.

Lindsay: That is an incredibly inspiring story. I’m sure, especially, you have a daughter and then do have–

Jasmine: I do. I have a 11-year-old son now and my daughter’s 13 and my oldest is 22.

Lindsay: They got to see you really pivot to help them, to take care of the family. I think it’s really inspiring so you should be really proud of that for sure.

Jasmine: Oh, thank you so much. Absolutely, absolutely.

Lindsay: You’re the kind of person that just does what it takes, is what it sounds like, to be there for your family but also to hit your goals. Tell me about those first couple of years of being a realtor and being more independent and how that all went for you. What kind of struggles did you have? What kind of things did you have to overcome or was it pretty easy for you?

Jasmine: Oh, definitely not. I joined Keller Williams and when I joined Keller Williams, I kept on being recruited by friends that used to come into my community to come to Keller Williams. I joined Keller Williams, I did not know what I was doing in resale, it was very different. I was second-guessing my career. Everybody would seem like they wanted to help you, but the help wasn’t really there. I felt like that I was spinning my wheels trying to figure things out and I just could not figure it out and I really didn’t have any help. It was a team environment. Actually, I remember specifically, one of the team leaders put me through the disc test and I did the test.

He said that, “You know what, you’re amazing and I cannot bring you on, because you’re going to want to replace me based off of your disc test, because you’re a leader.” [chuckles] I thought that was so hilarious. He’s right, I am a leader.

Lindsay: You’re a D, I’m assuming.

Jasmine: I’m PhD. Yes, I am. I can only be with a team that respects and honors that who is more in a masculine place and I can say in my feminine space, which I then started looking for another brokerage because I just could not stay there. I felt like that was not the right place for me. I went to a mixer and one thing led to another, someone was there who I was talking to, and he reached out he was like, “You’d be a perfect fit for the guy that I work for.” I was like, “Okay.” Next thing I know, I left that mixer. I get a phone call and it was my current team leader, Suneet.

I joined his team because he definitely knew how to sell me, but he was smart because he put me on the phone instantly with his heaviest hitter, which was his top agent. She was a woman and she was a single woman, a single mom and I related well to her and she was very transparent. I’ve learned over the last five years I’ve been with him, going on five years. I love his honesty. He’s very clear of who he is and how he runs his team. I am on his team and been there since then.

Lindsay: We love Suneet. Suneet it’s awesome. Hi, Suneet. If you’re listening, I’m sure he will, because he probably is loving the fact that you’re doing this in the first place. We’re big fans of him. He’s been a big partner with us and I know he has done a lot of stuff with the community and with the community. He’s definitely been a huge advocate. Hi, Suneet. That’s so good to hear that you found a place that you knew you could be supported and that it worked out for you like that. That’s fantastic. Tell me, back in those days, when you first started getting into being an independent realtor, how were you getting your business?

When did you start to see that switch? Because we talked at the beginning of this, you have 76 units that you’ve sold in 2022 so far, and we are not even through December yet. You still have time to make more, which I’m sure you will. You 44 out of those have been your sphere of influence, which is just crazy, crazy impressive. Tell me a little bit about when you got into being an independent realtor, how you started to gain momentum with a sphere and didn’t just rely on other people’s leads or team leads or whatever the case was.

Jasmine: I would say for me coming from Keller Williams and being stuck in this cubicle of not knowing what to do and how to do it, the one advice that I can give any agent out there today, today I am that realtor that I would want as a lender when I was, when I didn’t like realtors. I am the realtor and I’m still licensed mortgage loan originator. I kept my license up-to-date because you just never know. I crushed it in that as well because I loved it. I kept it in case I ever want to go back and do it and I keep up on my lending guidelines because it helps me with my current clients. What I would say, is number one join a team. Number one. If you’re new, join a team. Join a team that is home to you.

Don’t just join a team, join a team that fits your non-negotiables. To me when I joined Suneet, what I love about our team is that the leads were there, but then you take one lead and you get a self source business out of it also by giving them the experience. You don’t just take that lead, sell them the house, or sell their house and then move on to the next lead. You nurture that lead and you give them the best experience ever because you’re coming into this industry probably besides your sphere, nothing else. If you have multiple streams, it’s only going to help you grow. What I did my first year at Keller Williams, I did 12 transactions and they were my database from my new home sales.

They wanted to sell their property with me again. They were my clients. My second year in the business was with Suneet. I did 38, and then I did– I did 12 my first year with Keller Williams, then 38, then 48, then– I’m sorry, then 78 and then 111, and then this year I’m probably at what I think like 76.

Lindsay: People can’t see my face right now, but my jaw is on the floor. That’s so crazy impressive.

Jasmine: It does take a lot. When my husband passed away it was unexpected. There was no life insurance. Literally, I did not know how I was going to pay my bills. My why is my kids. My why is a lifestyle that I have created and a lifestyle that I want my kids to have. A lifestyle where I want to leave generational wealth. It’s not just about that sale, it’s about really, really, really understanding my clients. It goes back to again, losing my husband connecting with people. If that loss taught me anything it’s about connecting with people on a human level that we lack.

When you really connect with someone, you really truly want to help them, it’s not even about the sale because you’re really trying to help them and sale comes in second.

Lindsay: It goes back to what you said in the very beginning about not liking realtors because I think so many are just attached to the number of sales that they do and not the people that they’re helping, and I think that that’s what really sets a great realtor like yourself apart, is that it’s not about those numbers for you. It’s about making sure that you’re building connections and helping people. It speaks a lot to your character, but again, I think you’ve made a better name for some realtors out there because of the way that you handle your business, and maybe there’s one last person that thinks realtors suck because of you. [laughs]

Tell me a little bit about now, today, you’re building off your sphere of influence, you’re doing great on the team, you’ve established yourself in that area. What are some of the things that you are non-negotiable when it comes to your marketing practices or things that you do for your day-to-day?

Jasmine: Number one, and I know this is everyone’s song and dance probably of saying it, but it’s actually really connecting and doing it. I had to hire a trainer, and a trainer is basically holds me accountable of getting in there and doing what needs to be done without thinking about it. I can just go to the gym and do a stair climber, walk on the treadmill and leave, but when I have a trainer, I wake up in the morning and soon as I wake up I have my cup of coffee, and I’m out of the door. Before that, I have a journal and I put my five things I’m grateful for.

The reason why I do that is because there’s a section on it that things that you just didn’t like that you couldn’t release, and once you’ve released it you’ve put it out and it’s gone and you’re done with it. Then the gratitude comes in. It puts you in a whole different mindset. I could have had a deal fall through, or I could have gotten into a car accident, or I could have– Something could have happened the day before, but once you wake up and you put those five gratitudes down, it changes your mindset. Right after that, you go to the gym and the trainer makes you do that extra rep or that extra weight that you couldn’t do.

You just did something that you didn’t think you could do, and it again changes your mindset, and then from there, and it’s all about mindset. The market is crazy currently today. The interest rates are high, prices are coming down. I’m high on the listing side. I’m having to have these uncomfortable conversations with my stubborn sellers that don’t want to match the market. It’s about me and having my mindset right. I wake up, I journal, I have my coffee, I am out of the door, and I listen to my podcast that gets me updated on the market, how to change my playbook. Just keep on top of it. What I’m feeding my mind also.

Then I go work out, and then once I’m done working out, I come home, I have breakfast, I say bye to my kids, and then my day starts. That is my Monday through Friday, and it does not change.

Lindsay: You’ve mentioned a lot about physical training, but you do a lot of mental training when it comes to real estate stuff too. Tell me some of the ways that you get training, even though now people would consider you with these numbers to be a very experienced agent, which you are. Why is training important to you? Why do you continue to do it? Explain that to us.

Jasmine: I really think that, again joining Big Block Realty North with Suneet, he has exposed me to some quality individuals that I have mad love and respect for, Anthony being one of them. Anthony didn’t even realize it probably, but I just I loved all his content. I loved him teaching. As soon as he logs in, I have my– My Instagram tells me when he posts something because he brings in so much understanding of really what’s happening in the trenches, even though he’s a leader. A lot of the times leaders are leading, but they’re really not aware of what’s happening in the trenches, but he is so well-rounded that he does, and he gives us those insights even before they hit the market.

Same thing goes with Jon Cheplak. When COVID hit, Jon and I spoke and everybody like went in their bunker and he is like, you’re going to go opposite of where everybody else is going. I was the one out there, and that’s why I ended up doing 111 units is because I don’t have fear. I wasn’t careless, I protected myself, but I followed every step that he said and I followed Anthony’s listing presentations of how to navigate the market. Just as hard as I train my body that’s how hard as I keep up and train my mentality and mindset. It goes down to even getting people out of my life that are energy leeches.

It could be someone I truly love, but I cannot put them on my plate because my bandwidth can only handle so much.

Lindsay: It makes sense as to why you’re successful because you continue to do the things that you need to, to stay ahead. Whether it be get a trainer, get a coach, get a mentor, whatever those things are. The next thing I want to ask you about is you had mentioned to me before we truly started, be your own competition, that that is something that you live by. I want you to talk to our audience about that because I want you to explain what that means to you and how you actually put that into play because it could mean that you hold yourself accountable and you do those things, but then you could also swing to the other side where you beat yourself up.

Tell me about the balance of be your own competition and getting your mindset like you were saying, but how do you use that to drive you forward?

Jasmine: I have learned to honor myself and what I’ve been through in my journey, and even my small wins, I celebrate them and I follow so many successful realtors in my industry, and to me, if they can do it, I can do it. I follow someone in the East Coast and what they’re putting– The content that they’re putting out, I’m going to put out because we’re on two separate parts of the world. I don’t look at people in my area as my competition. I feel like there’s so much business to have had, and the more you give, the more God gives you. I stay in my lane and I do better than the day before. Let it be in my gym. Let it be in my business. Let it be in me as a mom. Let it be me as a human.

I try to do better every day to improve myself and be happier with myself, and every day is, to me, this world is my playground. I try not to take anything really serious. Again, it goes back to losing someone so near and dear to me and I know how short life is.

Lindsay: Yes, life is too short.

Jasmine: I’m very competitive. I’m very competitive, but I’ve learned to be competitive with myself, and that’s where I am my biggest critic. I’m going to say that is probably why I am as successful as I am because when I even say that, I’m unapologetically proud of myself and my success because I’ve been through so much in my last 20 years that anybody next to me, I don’t even feel like that they’re my competition because I’ve surpassed so much more in my own journey.

Lindsay: It goes back to what you said, you’re your own competition, and you can’t compare yourself to someone else because you don’t know what they’ve been through, and they don’t know what you’ve been through. You’re absolutely right that people– I think in this business, a lot of people do compare themselves, they see someone on Instagram or they see someone that looks successful within their market or whatever the case is and they get jealous and they want to know how they achieve that. They spend more energy worrying about that than just putting the time and energy into themselves.

It sounds like that’s what you do, you spend all your time worrying about how do I get to the next level. How do I move myself up? I don’t care about everyone else.

Jasmine: Just a little bit of that, the only time I can’t work out is in the morning, after eight o’clock, forget about it with my business, with my kids, with their sports, with my energy level, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t workout in the mornings because when I would get there, I wasn’t pushing myself, I felt lethargic. My trainer was actually getting pretty annoyed with me because he’s an aggressive trainer. In his head, I think he was thinking that I’m not getting enough sleep or not eating enough or not doing my part. When I show up in the mornings, he would almost like not even want to train me because it’s weight training.

I was getting frustrated while I went and did a panel and I figured out what was wrong with me. That goes back to doing the work for myself. Then I had to go and I researched and I knew what was wrong with me, I set myself up to get this treatment and it’s called NAD treatment. Basically, it’s like getting an IV therapy that goes into all your cells and thins it out and freshens it up. When you put the nutrition in your body, it functions better. Now I can work out in the morning. Those are the little things that you have to be aware of about your body, about yourself. Then the same thing applies to my business.

I cannot use the same scripts today that I used six months ago because the market has shifted so tremendously. That’s why I think that having a business coach, a personal coach, just improving. You have so many– If you can’t afford a coach, there’s so many self-help books out there. There’s so many YouTube channels, I would follow Anthony and John without paying them on a level of where people pay them because I followed all their free content.

Lindsay: There’s so much to learn. There’s so much that you can pick up on if you block out all the other stuff and just focus on yourself and focus on that advice. I think that that is incredible advice. I really appreciate you sharing that. The next thing I want and the last thing I want to ask you is about what kind of advice would you give? I know this whole thing has been pretty much advice that you’re giving and saying how you’ve overcome things and so on. What would be the advise, I’m going to get very specific, what would be the advice that you would give to someone who maybe had some kind of trauma?

Maybe they were already a realtor or maybe they just got into the business but they’ve had something traumatic, like what you went through in their life and they’re trying to overcome it and become the best version of themselves. What kind of advice would you give that person, if they are sitting in front of you based on what you’ve been through?

Jasmine: The number one thing that I think is really, really important for the individuals to do today is, be so clear on your value proposition, know your value proposition, understand what a value proposition is. Once you know what value you have to give to your community, then honor yourself and do what it takes to stay there. Like why are you selling real estate? Why are you here? What kind of lifestyle do you want? For example, if you want to house, if you want to put your child in a private school, if you want to live a certain lifestyle. It all boils down to is like what are you going to do today to get there in a year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?

My advice to you is just to go micro, look into your community, see what teams are doing what, see what value they’re giving you, join a team. It’s no good to get 100% of nothing, while you can get a 50% of something. Join a team. It’s not always about how much revenue are you going to get. It’s about how you’re learning, how you’re navigating, who’s guiding you. Where are you an asset to individuals in your community. It goes down to joining a team.

Lindsay: Yes. You said that before, join a team and then that way they can help support you through that beginning portion. You’re still on a team now, correct? You’re still on a team, you’re just doing more on your own?

Jasmine: Yes. As you grow and as you educate and people are always asking me, I’m probably the oldest person on my team. Actually, there’s a couple of other people but they’re asking you, “Why aren’t you doing your own thing and you’re on a team?” As you become more and more successful and as you become more knowledgeable, can I go independent? Can I be individual? Absolutely. This is a two-way street, Suneet and I make a great team. You know what, as you grow, you can negotiate how much you’re getting paid on deals, on properties that you are converting and you have multiple options. I’m not just on a team for that reason, there’s a lot of other value that I bring to my team.

It’s not what they’re doing for me, it’s what I’m doing for them.

I feel like that when I first started, I really needed certain things in my life and Suneet really helped me. Today, it’s not just about okay, let me go shop around and join another team or do my own thing, we bring value to one another.

Lindsay: You found that support system, so why leave it if you’ve got the support and you’ve been successful and it’s mutually beneficial for you guys, then you’re in a good place. I think that’s amazing. Loyalty in this business is not something you see all the time. 

Jasmine: Absolutely.

Lindsay: Thank you so much, Jasmine, I really appreciate it. Is there anything else you want to say to close this out?

Jasmine: No. I’m really excited. I don’t want anybody to feel like they’re afraid of what’s happening in the market, the changes that are happening in the market was needed. I’m super excited for 2023. I’m so excited to come to crush it. I’m so excited for Inman and so there’s a lot of great things that’s happening and I’m ready.

Lindsay: Hey, if any of you listeners are out there and you go to Inman, make sure you catch up with Jasmine, she’ll be there for sure. Make sure you say that you listen to her podcast and that you’re excited to meet her. You’ve been just an absolute joy today. I really appreciate it. We have another meeting in just a little bit about our crush it event. We just get to keep chatting today. [laughs] Thank to you again, Jasmine so much. I really appreciate it. Thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in. Make sure that you tune in for the next episode of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate. 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.