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 sitting here today with Lisa Gray. She is out of our Lamacchia Realty, Chelmsford office. She has been in the business now since July of 2018. She’s licensed both in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts, and so far this year, 26 sales, three pending, and we are recording this in mid-September. I am so excited to have you on here. I just want to say before you even say hello that when I asked her to be on the podcast, she was so humbled. I was so shocked because you absolutely deserve to be sitting in that seat today my friend.
Lisa Gray: Well, I appreciate that.
Lindsay: She’s already, she’s still, she’s humbled and she’s blushing.
Lisa: I’m literally blushing right now.
Lindsay: Welcome to the podcast. Super excited to have you. You have four kids.
Lisa: I do.
Lindsay: You have three children. You have quite a lot going on. Let’s back up into why you decided to get into real estate in the first place and when that happened, what was that transition like for you?
Lisa: Like you said, I got into the business in July of 2018. Prior to that, I was a real estate paralegal, off and on for about 20 years. Had the kids, so touch and go with that. Off and on for 20 years, I was a real estate paralegal. I was not a fan of just sitting behind a desk all day because I am a super people person. I would love these clients, talk to them on email and I felt like I was helping them with a really important part of their next chapter. I would meet them literally for five minutes to put them in the conference room to meet with the attorney.
Then I just felt like there was no connection and like I said I love people, I love helping. I just decided one day that I was going to take the jump and real estate, obviously working off straight commission is very scary but I was like, “I’m just going to go all in.” Obviously having my husband was good because I was able to do it.
Lindsay: You had that support at home.
Lisa: I had a little bit of that support so I was able to take that leap. It was scary but I was happy with it. I loved it and no looking back.
Lindsay: Absolutely. We are very glad you didn’t look back. 2018 in July, you’ve started. You started here with us in October of 2021 so coming up on a year. Tell me about these first couple of years of real estate for you and how it went, how you navigated getting into the business.
Lisa: Actually the brokerage I started with, my real estate agent that helped me buy my house, she was actually, honestly, the reason that I did take that plunge when I did, because she kept saying to me throughout our whole transaction, “Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you sell?” I’m like, “I can’t work off commission.” I joined the brokerage that she was at but she was not hiring a team. I was a solo agent and they do a lot of training but I just felt like for me, I didn’t really know that many people. Even though you feel like you know a million people but when it comes down to buying and selling real estate, you’re like, “I don’t know anybody.”
Lindsay: Crickets, yes. [chuckles]
Lisa: I just struggled for a while because I just was taking everything in, training, everything I could. I always have the mindset of staying a student still even to this day, because I feel like it’s not that I’m learning necessarily from the person that’s training, but you’re hearing the experiences of others. For me, it’s like I go to every training. You can never be too good for that. I struggled, went through all the trainings, and then I did have some sales. I think my first year in 2018, I had one sale and I was so proud of it.
Lindsay: You were so excited.
Lisa: Literally, I remember it. It was December 20th and it was like I literally still to this day, we’re friends on Facebook and I’m like, “They were my first people.” They had no idea that I was brand new but that helped me know, “Okay, I can do this.” Then I think I said earlier too, my first listing was actually in January of 2019. It was literally a person that I would see every day in the coffee shop and I would wear my name tag.
Lindsay: So important.
Lisa: Which was dorky but I didn’t care because I was like I didn’t know how else to market myself.
Lindsay: Let your dork flag fly if it means you’re getting a listing. [laughs]
Lisa: Exactly. One day he was like, “Are you a realtor?” I was like, “Yes.” Then basically I got his listing. I ended up selling his house and then I did actually, I had a rental in the winter of 2018 and that person referred me to their uncle. That’s how it started being word of mouth, but then I just felt like I was stuck and I was alone. Even though I was in a brokerage, it wasn’t like a team motto. I was lonely, you know what I mean? I just felt like I [crosstalk]
Lindsay: You’re a people person and goes back to having these connections.
Lisa: I’m a people person. It literally was the same thing. I felt like I would just go and other people were already very established and here I am like, “Hey.” You know what I mean?
Lindsay: Can I hang out?
Lisa: I ended up joining a team within that brokerage and I was there for about nine months. Unfortunately with that team, it was so far away that she was actually based out of the Leominster area. It was just too far of a drive for me, I live in Tewksbury. For me it was great. I learned a ton from her but then I was going further and further and further out west and I was like, “I cannot be driving an hour and a half to her showings.” It just wasn’t possible.
Lindsay: With gas prices the way they are now too, you definitely wouldn’t have been able to.
Lisa: Well, it would have even been crazier. Exactly. I did learn a lot and I felt like I liked that team setting. I knew at that point, that’s what I was looking for. A friend of mine was on a different team closer to home. She’s like, “You should come just talk to these people.” I said, “Okay, absolutely.” I was there for about a little over two years and I loved the team aspect of again, the people, the connection, the culture. Then I felt like after the two years, I got so much experience that I almost felt like I needed a little bit more and I almost felt ready to go back on my own. It was like–
Lindsay: You outgrew it at that time.
Lisa: It was like full circle, which is crazy to me because you think, “Okay, I’m always going to be in this team setting,” but then you realize that– Again, not saying you’re the smartest person in the room, but when you’re doing trainings for people and people are coming to you to ask the questions you think to yourself, “Okay, I’m not going to learn anything more if I’m the one–“
Lindsay: Did I outgrow this small pool?
Lisa: Yes. If I’m the one who’s answering all the questions. I want to be the one asking the questions again so that’s why I– Another person who came to Lamacchia around the same time as me, she is the one who introduced me to Lamacchia. I will honestly say I didn’t really know much about it because I was tunnel vision with, I was just doing my work. I met with the recruiter here and everything that I was missing and everything that I thought would help me as far as becoming a solo agent again was here. I was like, “Okay, I can do this. I still can definitely do this on my own.” Here I am and I absolutely love it.
Lindsay: You’re doing it.
Lisa: I am doing it on my own and it’s crazy to me because I think everyone, I don’t care who you are, everyone has self-doubt and feels like, “Oh, it’s–” I almost had the feelings of when I left being a real estate Paralegal, coming to working off straight commission. I felt like that again. I was like, “Okay, this is going to be scary but I know what I have to do.”
Lindsay: How quickly did that subside because you started to get a lot business and sales? When was your first sales here?
Lisa: It was funny because I had a listing pretty much right away and it was somebody, again, word of mouth. I listed it pretty much as soon as I got here. I did have one in December of– When I first got her in December of 2021 was when that closed. That just helped me to just be like, “Okay, I can do this.” Then in that time, I feel like I was a little bit lucky when I joined because I joined in October, which to me sometimes can be a little bit of a slow period anyways. I gave myself a little bit of slack knowing, “Okay, it’s the holidays.”
Lindsay: It’s slow season.
Lisa: It’s slow season, it’s the holidays, I’m just going to learn all the systems and figure out how I can do this on my own. Then come January, it snowballed from there. Just the calls I was making for those two months and the people I was trying to connect with. Then my January I had two, February I had one, March I had one, and then my April, it was like boom. That’s the one thing that I feel like I struggle with. If there’s anyone out there that struggles with this, the whole rollercoaster. If you look at like my dashboard of sales, it’s like boom, boom, boom. Up and down, up and down, up and down.
Lindsay: Up and down.
Lisa: I would love to just be that ceiling agent that just does like, I do five this month, five– It was like two, seven, one, nine and I’m like, “What is–?” You know what I mean?
Lindsay: You’re happy, you’re sad, you’re happy, you’re sad.
Lisa: Exactly. I feel like for me too, I actually thrive off of chaos and I’m a really good multitasker. I was a single mom of four kids. It wasn’t just like I had four kids, I was a single mom of four. My life was constant chaos and I had to keep it under control. I do feel like those busier months, I actually feel like I’m calmer. In the slow months, I feel like I’m stressed out because I’m like, “Oh my God, what am I doing?” You know what I mean?
Lindsay: What’s happening in the pipeline? How do I build it up?
Lisa: I feel like when I have more time to think, it’s dangerous.
Lindsay: Exactly, because you can get into your own head too.
Lisa: I definitely have. That’s why I like meeting other people, not necessarily here but just in the business. It’s good because everyone struggles. It’s always good to find someone else who, I feel like, who you look up to. I do have somebody that I look up to, that I talk to her and vent and she’s also here with Lamacchia. To me, I want to be like her when I grow up. She’s amazing.
Lindsay: I think technically, if we’re looking at the timeline, she was our last podcast guest –
Lisa: I think she was.
Lindsay: – or two podcast guests ago. We’re talking about Angela Harkin, so Angela, thank you.
Lisa: Yes. Thank you, Angela.
Lindsay: She’s the best, and she actually told me when I did the podcast with her, that she was excited to talk to you because she wanted to learn from you. Again, humbling moment for you.
Lisa: That’s crazy.
Lindsay: The person that you look up to is actually looking up to you a little bit too, to get some advice and stuff like that. I’m excited for that. I want to dive into a couple of things that have worked for you. We had a quick discussion here at the beginning, so we talked social media, we talked about dials. We talked about postcards and billboards so start at the beginning. Let’s talk social media for a minute. I know you and I have had a lot of deep discussions about it, even at 5:00 in the morning. I texted her one morning. I’m like, “I’m sorry if this is too early.”
She’s like, “No, not too early. I’m already up,” which I should have known that. We’ve had some deep discussions about social media and I know that you’ve put a lot of emphasis into Instagram lately. Tell me how that’s going for you. Tell the audience what things you’re focusing on and how that’s panned out for you over the last few months.
Lisa: I was never honestly, an Instagram person. I’m in my 40s. My kids make fun of me because they’re like, “Mom, that’s so stupid.” What I learned was just going to different trainings, whether they’re here or wherever, you have to do what other people are doing. That’s the thing, and whether I’m 40, 50, 60, 90, I have to do the things that’s going to help me with my business.
Lindsay: I cannot wait till you’re 90 doing Reels. That’s going to just
Lisa: I’m going to. [chuckles] Basically I scroll and I would look at other realtors, whether they’re here or all over the country. It’s called R&D so I would basically rip off and duplicate what they’re doing.
Lindsay: Imitate sounds bad too.
Lisa: Imitate, but the thing is I try to find real–
Lindsay: Be inspired by. There you go.
Lisa: It’s inspiration, definitely, and it’s not like I’m completely ripping their stuff off. It’s just more of like, it’s the ideas because I feel like, I think all of us struggle about, “What am I going to talk about? What am I going to do?” You follow the market so obviously you want to make sure your Reels are about the market or what’s happening.
You can’t talk about, “Interest rates are so low today.” You know what I mean? You have to just pay attention to that. Then I just find people that I feel like are like me, and I try to imitate what they’re doing. It’s definitely helped me but I think that it’s a mixture as well. If you see my Instagram, I put a lot of my personal family stuff, because my kids are important to me and my dogs.
Lindsay: It shows that you’re a human being.
Lisa: Yes, and I’m human. I want to work with people who want to work with me and who are like me because at the end of the day, all of my clients do become my friends. You’re not a transaction. You’re a person, and it’s a relationship. I want somebody who I’ll call them in a year or two years and five years, and we can catch up. I think that just my Instagram, I try to make it educational. I try to make it fun. I try to make it funny and personal, and I definitely knock off other people’s because I feel like when I run out of idea.
Lindsay: Honestly, those people that you are emulating–
Lisa: They did it.
Lindsay: They did the same thing. That’s pretty much what content is. It’s just, you see an idea, you go with it. That’s what trending stuff is, so you’re taking what someone else has done and you’re doing it for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think sometimes it becomes overwhelming to an agent that they think, “I have to do Reels and I have to be so creative.”
It’s like, we really don’t. Just look and see what you like, and then don’t do the dancing if you don’t want to dance. Don’t do the voice-over if you don’t want to do that. If you don’t want to do those kind of things, that’s fine, but do something, and definitely be on Reels specifically. We’ve put such a big emphasis into it because it is literally the only place that people are seeing content now on Instagram. If you are on Instagram, that’s where you have to be at this point.
Lisa: Make everything a video. Really, even, and I learned from a training about live photos can then be made into the video so it’s like, you don’t necessarily have to have yourself on the camera. A Reel isn’t necessarily about you. If you are uncomfortable being by yourself, have somebody with you. Find another agent, find a friend, a family member, somebody who’s willing to be that person in the video with you.
Because I just think putting it out there, I’ve gotten so many clients from referrals, from people that I don’t even really connect with necessarily on Instagram, but that will say, “Oh, so-and-so gave me your name.” I’m like what?
Lindsay: Who is that? Thank you.
Lisa: I’m like, this is great, so people are watching them and it’s like, you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay.
Lindsay: Yes, and that’s totally fine.
Voiceover: Let’s take a quick break to hear from Dave Karoly the master of objection handling, as he teaches you how to overcome buyer and seller concerns.
Dave: All right, Mr. And Mrs. Buyer, I can certainly understand looking at what’s happened to rates can be a little frustrating, and it sounds like maybe causing you to second guess potentially buying a home now. Look, I’m not going to force you to purchase a home. I’ll be just fine, but I want to talk through a few things with you.
Number one, I know you mentioned so far you’re renting and your rent’s about $2,000 every month. If you wait another year to purchase, that’s about $24,000 in money you’re certainly going to lose. Equity you’re certainly paying for a landlord. No way you’re getting that money back, so think about that part of this. Also, think about what if rates go up another percent? What if they go up another half of a percent? What’s that going to do to your mortgage payment every month?
One thing you can do, and one thing you may want to think about, if you purchase a home now and rates go down, you just refinance. If you purchase a home now and rates go up, fast forward a year, you’re going to be glad you did and you’re really going to feel like you win, because rates are going to be higher than where they are now. Also think about these increased rates, what it’s done to the number of buyers you’re competing with.
When we were looking for homes in February, you were one of 10, 15, 20 offers. To seriously be considered for the home, many buyers were waiving a lot of their contingencies, not doing a home inspection. How about now? Instead of 10 offers, maybe there’s 1 or 2. Instead of having to go $100,000 over asking, maybe we can go asking or potentially even a little bit below. That wouldn’t have been possible earlier in the year. Certainly not going to force you to buy a home, but I think you should at least consider keeping looking.
Voiceover: Thanks, Dave. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: Okay, so let’s move into dials because you had talked to me about how you do some, you called it circle dialing. Explain what that is and explain how you’ve done it and how that’s worked for you.
Lisa: Yes, so like I said, when I came here being brand new, not really having done this again on my own, I thought about what’s something that a lot of people maybe don’t do or are uncomfortable doing? The team I was on, we did do a lot of phone calls. I was already a little bit comfortable with the phone.
I will say that sometimes I know people are uncomfortable about it, but the way I look at it is I’m calling basically whether it’s an open house, or if I have a potential buyer looking at a specific neighborhood. I have a dialer account which again costs me money, but it’s pennies compared to the business I’ve gotten. I basically just, my mindset with it is I’m just calling somebody and they’re going to pick up the phone.
They’re going to either talk to me. They’re going to hang up on me. They’re not going to pick up the phone. They’re going to be mad. They’re going to be happy. It’s okay. If you get rejected, it’s okay. I don’t let any of that stuff bother me because to me, every no is closer to a yes, and it really takes one person to answer, one person to be nice, or one person to refer me, or one person who wants me to come over to list their home.
That’s why I think doing the circle dialing has helped me. When I do have an open house on my own, or if I’m working on somebody else’s open house, I will call a few days before to say, “Hey, we’re having an open house at 123 Main Street this weekend. We find that you as a neighbor probably know somebody, friend or family, who might want to live into this neighborhood so we always like to call to let you know that you might see a lot of traffic and also find out if you know of anybody and also want to invite you if you want to come a couple of minutes early.”
Then sometimes they’ll either talk with you or sometimes they’ll hang up on you. Then what happens is if they start to talk to me, I’ll basically go into like, “Well, why do you love this neighborhood? What are your favorite things?”
Lindsay: It’s research if anything.
Lisa: That’s how I go about it. I’m not salesy. I am not a salesperson. I know I sell real estate. I am absolutely not a salesperson. I’m a person. I’ll say to them, “Hey, what do you love about this neighborhood?” Then my other thing that I do after that is I will actually send them a gift card. Literally, I have the note cards with me while I’m making the calls.
Because at that point you’re not talking to more, I’m probably not sending more than maybe 5 at a time because not that many people are going to want to talk to me. I’ll send them gift cards, like just $5 coffee shop, whatever, and just say, “Thank you so much for the conversation. I will be there Friday whatever, love to see you.” I’ve actually had people stop by to thank me for the gift cards, and talk to me and it’s just like–
Lindsay: If anyone is listening that is in the Northern part of Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, if Lisa calls you make sure you answer because you might have a gift card.
Lisa: I might buy you a coffee. Exactly.
Lindsay: I love it. So have you gotten deals from that before?
Lisa: I actually have. I was doing an open house for another agent. That’s the other thing too, when you’re doing somebody else’s open house, I do let them know, “Hey, this is what I’m going to do.” I called this one woman and she literally was like, “Oh, this is crazy that you called. I actually have been thinking about selling my home.” Then I said, “Well”–
Lindsay: Imagine that. [laughs]
Lisa: Exactly. I said, “Okay, well, I’ll be there Sunday between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.” She said, “Well, can you come over Sunday at 1:30 PM?” I said, “Absolutely.” Signed that listing. Million dollar [inaudible 00:20:25]
Lindsay: Walk across the street.
Lisa: It was literally I walked to the house. I feel like people need to do things and you need to get a little– Sometimes it’s okay to get rejected, but you’re looking for just the one. Really it’s all about finding the one.
Lindsay: It’s a numbers game.
Lisa: It really is. It has worked. I’ve gotten a listing. I’ve actually probably gotten like three at this point from my circle dialing. I don’t just call about open houses. Sometimes I’ll call a specific neighborhood or a specific town about– If I have a lot of buyers that are looking in a town that’s really hot, I might call them to say, “Hey I have a ton of buyers. Do you or anyone you know that is interested in selling or potentially selling?” Then, again, you might get you get a lot of rejection, but that’s okay.
Lindsay: That’s okay. They weren’t going to sell anyway.
Lisa: No they weren’t.
Lindsay: Or maybe they have someone already, and that’s fine too. It is what it is. I think a lot of agents or anybody in sales, takes rejection as a really sensitive thing. You just can’t.
Lindsay: You just got to be able to be like, “Okay, bye.”
Lisa: Yes. Or I laugh when some people be like–
Lindsay: “Why the heck did you call me?”
Lisa: Some people will be very vulgar.
Lindsay: Expletive, expletive.
Lisa: Yes, very vulgar and they’re like, “Do whatever,” and I’ll be like, “Thank you. I will. Have great day.” I laugh it off because I’m like I feel bad for that person who’s clearly that upset and angry because I called you. It’s okay. You know what I mean?
Lindsay: I would love a recording of the conversation when someone says, “Go F–” and then you say, “Yes, I will. Thanks.”
Lisa: Thank you so much.
Lindsay: I really appreciate it.
Lisa: I do. I laugh about it because I’m like– I’ll say to people who are afraid of the phone like, “People are not going to come through their phone and hit you. They’re not going to show up on your doorstep.”
Lindsay: There’s nothing they can do.
Lisa: It’s okay. Actually, the way I prep for my calls is I’ll say, “Okay, how many people are going to tell me to go F off? How many people are going to be nice?” I go for the ones who are like, “Don’t call me again, I hate you,” and then I’m like, “This is great,” because I know it’s closer to the yes.
Lindsay: Getting close to the numbers. It’s really funny that you say that, because I worked at a different sales a while back in a different industry, but that’s what they would do. They would have a breakdown of how many, and they would tally based on, “Okay, this person said no, that’s part of my tally.” Then they would say, “Okay, only two people are going to say yes out of this 100 people that I’m going to call.” So they would have their tallies there, and it was almost always within just a small margin of error. It was always accurate. That’s really funny that you say that. Have that idea of how many people are going to say no so you can be accomplished. One no, moving on. [chuckles]
Lisa: The stats for this anyways, I think it’s 1 out of 100 people will say yes, so if you make 100 calls, know that you’re probably going to get 1 good thing out of it.
Lindsay: You’re going to have maybe 30 people that don’t even answer. You’re going to have 25 that you can leave a voicemail or some that you can’t. You know what I mean? Have some stats so that that way you’re like, “Okay, that’s one for that column.” I love that. Tell me about postcards. I know we have our marketing services here, so we do a lot of the postcard mailings for you. I just want to talk strategy because you are the one who drives that strategy with us.
Just for the audience, so you guys are aware, some of the girls on my team will send out postcards on the agent’s behalf. They pay a service fee for that every month, and then they pay for the postcards. We do Just Listeds, Just Solds automatically for whenever you have listings or whenever you have Just Solds, but then on top of that there is also monthly mailers to sphere or farm or however they want to figure it out. What is your strategy when it comes to postcards and how has that been also working for you?
Lisa: I love postcards as well. I actually knew nothing about postcards before I came to this company. In January of this year, when the marketing team started a new postcard campaign, I was like, “Let me try this.” Because, again, not knowing what I don’t know, I was like, “I’m going to go all in on everything.” Like you said, it’s monthly where you guys prep it and everything, but I actually send them my postcards to my sphere of influence, those people that know me, like me, want to work with me, including my past clients. Then I try to do a farming area. Basically, I think I upped it to 300 of my neighbors pretty much. Which is good.
Then I have another little lead source that I tapped into. It’s basically someone could put in, “What’s my home valuation?” It’s a nurtured lead. I decided recently when talking about changing it up, I was like, “I have literally 115 names and I don’t know–” Because you can’t really call them because they don’t really know that you’re– it’s kind of creepy honestly. I’d be like, “Hey, I know that you checked.”
Lindsay: I saw that you were on my website.
Lisa: Yes, it’s very creepy, so you can’t really call them, and I was trying to figure out how I could obviously still touch these people. That also sounds creepy.
Lindsay: You’re making it weird, Lisa.
Lisa: No, I’m sorry. Welcome to Lisa’s
To make it all weird. I think I’m up to like 500 postcards a month that I’m sending out to people. Again, yes, it costs money, but it costs money to make money, and for me, financially, I look at it as if I get one listing out of it, it has paid for itself for the year. Really if you think about it. Literally one commission will pay for my postcards for a year, so I don’t look at it like, “Oh, this costs me money.” I look at it as, “This is making me money.”
Lindsay: You’re getting a little preemptive glimpse into my training on Friday because we’re having the Crush It event down in Florida, and I know you’re going to be in attendance, which I’m super excited about. Part of what I was going to talk about is the top five ways that agents can market themselves in this business. Not just their listings, but themselves, right?
Lindsay: We’ve talked now about the website of things and social media, which you are doing. We talked about phone calls and being on the phone with them. They’re hearing about you on the web, they’re hearing about you on the phone. They’re also hearing about you in their mailbox. They’re also hearing about you in their neighborhood, either you’re wearing the name tag or you’re calling the neighbors within the neighborhoods. You are doing all these things so well and the last thing, that is one of the things I’ll talk about on stage on Friday, is being present within the community in a big way, which I know you’ve just recently signed on to do that. Tell us about that a little bit.
Lisa: Again, it was odd for me to even talk about this, but I saw another agent here who had a billboard in my area, if you will, and I was like, “Oh, I don’t like seeing that.”
Lindsay: “I don’t want to see them. I want to see me.”
Lisa: “I want to see myself.” I opted to do a billboard. It’s in the area that I already farm in, and so for me it’s not like, “Hey, I’m on a billboard. Look at me.” I want people to be driving and subconsciously see me, and then they’re going to also now see me in their mailbox, and then I might happen to call because I have a potential buyer in their area. It’s really just recognition of my name, and unfortunately there is another person with my exact same name, who’s also a realtor, who lives in my town.
Lindsay: Oh man.
Lisa: It’s good because we’ve talked about this and it’s a joke. I was an agent first, so I always say to her, I’m like–
Lindsay: Please tell me she’s blonde or something.
Lisa: No, we actually look alike.
Lindsay: Oh man.
Lisa: My own mother saw this girl’s sign and she was like, “I saw your listing, Lisa.” I looked at my mother and I was like, “Mom, did you look at the picture?” She’s like, “I didn’t even.” I’m like, “Yes, I can tell.” Because we do look similar.
Lindsay: I’m glad you guys are friendly though. That’s good, yes.
Lisa: No, actually, we do talk to each other. It’s like a joke. Actually funny, I’ve gotten a couple calls for her, and then I’ve gotten a couple of buyers from it because they’re looking for the listing agent and I’ll–
Lindsay: Hey, all is fair. Guaranteed she’s getting something you too.
Lisa: I asked her and she said she does get calls for me as well.
Lindsay: All is fair.
Lisa: That’s also why I really do try to push out me and my name because I want to own that.
Lindsay: You want to be the more popular Lisa Gray.
Lisa: I do. I want people to Google Lisa Gray and it’s me, it’s not somebody else. That’s where I think all of this stems back to, is like with the billboard. Obviously with billboards, you have the marketing team here, but then the marketing team for the billboard company, they all give you some ideas and everyone critiques it, so it’s like I know nothing about what it should look like, and so less is more. I’ve had people literally who send me pictures of my billboard. They’re like, “Oh my God, I just saw you on the billboard.” It’s crazy to see, but again, it’s more so just that recognition, knowing that someone’s going to see that, they’re going to get me in the mailbox, they’re going to get me on a phone call, and they’re going to be like, “Okay, who are you going to think of when you’re going to buy yourself a house?”
Lindsay: It’s top of mind. Top of mind awareness.
Lisa: Lisa Gray.
Lindsay: You’re doing it great, my friend.
Lisa: Thank you.
Lindsay: All right. I want to switch gears. We’ve talked about marketing, which is great, and I’m sure our audience is like feverishly writing notes. If you’re not, you need to be. Re-listen and feverishly write some notes. I want to talk to you really quickly about some difficult situations in this business. I know we’re coming into a time where now more price adjustment conversations are prevalent, and more things are happening with sellers that are things you haven’t had to deal with in the past. Which is definitely going to weed out some realtors.
I know that for sure because it’s going to get more challenging for listing agents especially. Where you have only been in the business since 2018, things have been pretty good for you as far as those couple years. I know that you had told me earlier that you are already starting to have some of those conversations about price adjustments. You did in the beginning of your career and you’re having them again now. Explain to me, or explain to the audience, how they can overcome some of those difficult things that are coming up with pricing and with sellers in general.
Lisa: I think that you have to be confident as an agent first and foremost, because for me– I think I said this earlier to you. I do not want my sign in a yard for six months because that actually does not look good for me. That doesn’t look good. I’m not doing my job. My job is to sell somebody’s home and help them out.
Lindsay: Unless it has a sold rider on it, then it can stay there as long as it wants.
Lisa: Exactly, but a lot of the times what I’m finding now is that I’m trying to have a really good price conversation at the listing appointment. Honestly, I know it sounds bad because I feel like with the way the market’s so tough, everyone just wants the listing no matter. So some agents will over promise like, “Oh yes, we can get you X, Y and Z.”
Where I’m the opposite. I’d rather walk away from something knowing that I am not going to change the seller’s mind and I’m going to do them a disservice if I take their listing because I know that it’s just going to be disappointment. They’re going to be mad at me. I have a couple of sellers now, we’re not even on the market yet because we really haven’t come to terms. I’m telling them like, “Hey, I’m just going to talk about your property and see what we can find at this price.” Because again, I don’t want to make them upset, so for me I’m trying to weed it out before I even go on the market because again my job is to help sell their house, not to just sit there and have price adjustments, because I think it’s tough.
I think just being confident and knowing your numbers and knowing your stuff. When you go to your appointment, and for me I think I’m overly, I bring everything. I literally bring so many reports, market reports, I bring everything because I think if I give them more information, they’re more likely to listen to me and understand and also it shows that I do know what I’m talking about.
Even with my buyers, it’s the same thing, especially same thing with this market with buyers. You have to bring the reports. You have to bring what’s happening because no one’s going to believe you unless you show them. I’m just a person. They’re not going to necessarily believe what I’m saying is true.
Lindsay: They’re going to try to challenge it and then you have proof.
Lisa: Yes, and they don’t really trust you yet.
Lindsay: Yes, they don’t trust you.
Lisa: For me it’s just really about like being educated, being confident and just knowing your value and knowing what you’re willing to do and not to do.
Lindsay: Tell me about buyers in this market now with things being a little uneven. You’re not sure, certain markets are still getting over asking and then some markets are not getting that anymore. Tell me how you handle it with buyers when you’re putting in offers to make sure that you balance that a little bit.
Lisa: As I said, I’m licensed in both Mass and New Hampshire, so both states are actually pretty different. I feel like New Hampshire, the margins are a little bit smaller, but you still don’t know what it is, so what I’ve been utilizing a lot with my buyers is escalation clauses. For those that don’t know when an escalation clause is. I always say to my buyers, “Listen, this house is going to probably appraise around–” let’s say, we’ll just use 500 for example. “This house is probably going to appraise around 500. However, I don’t really know if it’s going to sell for 520, 530, 540, 550.”
So how much do they love the house? If they say to me, “I want this house I don’t want to lose it.” But I don’t want them to put all their eggs in the basket. I’m going to utilize an escalation clause. We’re basically going to say let’s say it’s listed at 475. I know it’s probably going to sell around 500, but I know they’re willing to go to like 515. We’ll say, okay, we’ll offer 500 and we’ll do an escalation clause. I always do odd increments so I’ll do like 2,750, 3,250 because most agents will do 1,000, 1,500. I make it an odd number.
Lindsay: It’s a good strategy.
Lisa: Basically that way I’m saying to the client, “Listen, we’re not going to put all your eggs in the basket yet, but we want to be aggressive and competitive so let’s go this route.” Then with the escalation clause, that other agent has to actually show you that competing offer. If they get an offer for we offered 500 up to 515, but they get an offer 509, they have to show me that offer. They can’t just say oh yes [crosstalk].
Lindsay: Oh no, it’s higher.
Lisa: I have to see it and I’ll say okay, “That’s great, but I’d like to see the redacted copy of the offer,” which just means that they cross out the person’s name and all their personal information and we just know what the terms were. It’s honestly helped me I’d say in my last three instances of offers accepted, it’s worked. Another thing I actually do that I forgot to mention to earlier, is I also, if we’re not utilizing an escalation clause, I just put in, “Buyer will counter any other offer.” So listing agents will call me just to find out what I mean.
Lindsay: Just to see if you can get the counter. That’s so smart.
Lisa: They’re like what do you mean by that? I’m like, “Well, we’ll counter any other offer.”
Lindsay: Let’s chat, yes.
Lisa: That’s also helped me when a couple of offers for my buyers because of that. I just think it’s being unique and being a little bit different and don’t be afraid. Again it’s going back to circle dialing. Do not be afraid of rejection, do not be afraid of no, do not be afraid–
Lindsay: What’s the worst thing that happens? They say no.
Lisa: Or someone yelling at you. It’s okay. Your clients, whether they’re your sellers or your buyers, are going to appreciate you and they’re the ones who are going to love you for it and refer you for it.
Lindsay: Well, this has been like knowledge packed which is awesome so like I said, I hope that there’s pages and pages of notes on every listener’s notebook right now. If you’re driving, make sure later you’re writing all those notes down.
Lisa: I was going to make a joke and say, “I feel like it’s like Lisa Gray’s ADD in her head.” Because it’s like I do so many different things.
Lindsay: That’s so good. You’re in so many different places and you have some really good information. This has been awesome.
Lisa: Thank you.
Lindsay: Last thing that I want to always ask is what advice would you give to someone who has been in the business maybe the same amount of time as you have, but hasn’t had this kind of jump in sales. What would you tell them? What would be your advice to that person?
Lisa: I think that, again, I’d say the same thing. Do not be afraid of rejection and you have to get out of your comfort zone. You don’t know if something’s going to work unless you try, and so try as in, don’t just give up after one no or one rejection. Keep on trying and keep on going for it because you just never know. Also like your mindset is super important. That’s the other thing which we didn’t talk about, but I always wake up and I try to find something to look forward to, something to be positive about. Even when trust me, there’s days where I’m like, “Ugh.” But I just–
Lindsay: This is not the day to–
Lisa: Exactly, but I just try to be grateful and know that let’s try to turn it around. If you’re having a bad day, go with other people, meet somebody else who is maybe not struggling. Find your yin and yang. You know what I mean? So get support.
Lindsay: I love it. Well, thank you so much for doing this with me. I’m so grateful.
Lisa: I’m really so honored.
Lindsay: I know, right? Well, you shouldn’t be because after listening to all this, I should have had you on a while ago. Thank you very much. If you guys want more information about Lisa, we are going to put in the show notes all the links to all her different social media. You can go watch all of her Reels. You can see all her stuff and that way can get a little bit more familiar with her.
I know she’s the kind of person that would be happy to answer any questions, so we’ll put some contact in there, info in there for her as well so you can reach out and just say what’s working for you now. Thank you guys. Thank you so much Lisa. I really appreciate it and thank you guys all for listening. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure that you subscribe to the podcast so you never miss one of these awesome Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate. Thanks so much. 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.