Michael Thornton – Thank You For Your Professionalism 

Show Notes

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Welcome to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast where you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly of how real estate agents overcame challenges and grew their business. Check out the Episode Notes at CrushItinRE.com/podcast. Here’s your host, Lindsay Favazza.

Lindsay Favazza: Welcome back to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast. I’m your host, Lindsay Favazza. In case you are new to us at Crush It In Real Estate, we’re dedicated to helping realtors achieve their highest level of success. On this podcast, every two weeks, I bring you a new realtor who brings with them new insights, strategies, and inspiration to help you stay ahead of the competition and crush your real estate goals. As long as you aren’t driving, grab a notebook because you will want to write down as many notes as you can on this episode today. 

My guest, while in college, obtained his real estate license, but more into pastime than anything else. His father was a realtor, but he hoped to go a different path. After college, he started his career in supply chain management, but that entrepreneurial itch was still there, so back to real estate he went. While doing a flip in 2015, he decided with the approval of his wife to jump in full-time. 

He made a two-year plan, they saved, and within two years, his team was up and running. When he isn’t working in the business, he’s spending time with his five kids. Yes, team leader and dad of five. Whew. Without further ado, my guest today is Michael Thornton of the Michael Thornton Team at Compass serving the suburbs of Chicago. Welcome to the podcast today, Michael. 

Michael Thornton: Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for the invite. 

Lindsay: I am so excited to talk to you and learn more about your backstory. Why don’t we jump right in? Take me back to when you started this two-year plan that you had and how that all went for you. 

Michael: Yes, so I grew up in Michigan. I moved out to Chicago for a job with Kraft Foods. Kraft is headquartered here in Chicagoland. I ended up working nine years, but about five or six years into that, I think I had that moment like most entrepreneurs have where they look around and I was like, “I don’t know if I can stay here forever. I don’t know if I can do that job, that job. It’s just not exciting and I want to be so excited about what I’m doing.” I came to the realization that I was wasting time. I was wasting time where I was. 

It wasn’t going to be my forever career, so then why waste time? I needed to start building something that I was truly excited about. My father was in real estate back in Michigan and I’ve been around it my whole life, kind of always thought I would never do what Dad did, but I was always interested. I have memories of being 15 and 16 watching Flip That House or all the real estate shows. I’ve always been obsessed with how you can add value to property, things like that. 

Initially, I thought maybe investing would be the way to go and so I got my real estate license about five years into Kraft. I did end up doing a flip, partnered on a flip. Ultimately, after that, I realized that investing would be part of what I wanted to do and would be something I would continue, but working with buyers and sellers was something that was viable as well. I think the broker in that transaction made the most money out of all of us. I think we made a little bit, but I was like, “Oh, man, I don’t know. I think–“ 

Lindsay: You’re like, “I want to be him.” 

Michael: Yes, there’s something there. He put in very few hours and did fairly well. I love people and I just think it’d be a perfect fit. Of course, like a classic male, I thought about it for a long, long time. Never mentioned a thing to my wife and then sprung it on her at the worst possible time. I think that my words were, “I’m going to quit my job.” That was the nice soft entry into– 

Lindsay: Not a good way to start that. 

Michael: Exactly. The transition into real estate, so I just blurted it out with no context. After she said, “No, tell me more about that,” I told her what I was hoping to do, and then we built a plan. She said, “You know what? I trust you. I know that if you’re going to put your energy into this, it’ll work out, but I just need to know a little bit more about what the plan is. When are we going to transition? What does it look like? What are you going to make?” Of course, I said, “We’re going to make about 25% of what I made last year at Kraft my first year if we’re lucky.” 

Lindsay: Buckle up. 

Michael: “Maybe 50% for the next year and then, hopefully, by year three, we’ll be whole, and so we better start saving up.” At that point, we just had our third child, I think. Let me think. We just had a third child because that was 2016. 

Lindsay: You know you have a lot of kids when you forget. [laughs] 

Michael: I really don’t know. I really have no idea. I remember we had Ellis, our third, in November of ’16. Then I transitioned, gave my two weeks’ notice, and transitioned full-time into real estate on the brokerage side in June of 2017, and then had a fairly quick start, but I would say that my mentor was very wise and said, “You need to save, so make your time at Kraft worthwhile because you need to save money. You need startup capital.” 

I said, “Okay, that makes a lot of sense. How much should I save up?” He said, “Well, you look at six months of expenses. That should be a good place to start.” Looking back now, I probably would tell somebody probably nine months because I wasn’t factoring in the money you would spend to get your business off the ground. Yes, I had six months to float expenses, but I really needed some more money to get the business started. 

Lindsay: You needed marketing dollars. 

Michael: I needed marketing dollars. Exactly right. I remember we were doing a church plant. We were meeting at the new church and we were sitting there praying over it. I was praying for myself half the time. Literally, next week, I’m out of money. I couldn’t focus. I was like, I was out of money. That month when, literally, the reserves went down to zero was the month that my business took off. It was really to that point when things started to sustain itself. 

I think I had six closings from the month I transitioned until called seven months in. Then that seventh month, I had six closings that month. It really, it really started to escalate at that point and the ball started rolling downhill. There’s ups and downs every day and week since, but it’s been a wonderful journey. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I’m doing what I’m passionate about. 

Lindsay: I love that. Of course, it would have to wait until the last penny to kick in. Of course, why would it not do it sooner? [chuckles] 

Michael: Exactly. 

Lindsay: That’s how it goes. You and I were talking before we started recording. I think it’s really good advice as far as having that nine months and maybe even a little bit more just depending on how much you’re going to put into it, but be prepared that it is going to get to that last minute because that’s how these things work. 

Michael: Stage of life is important to consider as well. If you’re single and you don’t have dependence in kids, you might have a higher risk tolerance than already having a mortgage. It was not an extravagant lifestyle, but we were making decent money. We went from, again, 25% of what I was used to making. I had kids to feed, so my risk tolerance, maybe I should have saved up more where somebody else could maybe take a little bit more risk because their expenses are so, so low. 

It wouldn’t impact other people as much as maybe my situation did. I wouldn’t say too that having that healthy amount of pressure, knowing that I had to make it work, I really had a burn-the-ships mentality. There was no way I was going back to the corporate world. I needed to feed the kids. That really motivated me to work my butt. Nobody had to tell me to go work. Nobody. 

Lindsay: I think getting down to the end of that budget too is going to motivate you that much more. Sometimes that is just what it takes to get it to really kick into gear. Tell me how you stay up to date with market trends, things that are changing. It’s only been a couple of years, and yet it’s been a roller-coaster ride, I’m sure, for you because of the pandemic and all the craziness that’s gone on. Tell me how you stay up to date and how you keep your team up to date as well. Because it’s one thing for you to sit and do all the research and do training, but then how do you make sure that they have that same knowledge and information to help them? 

Michael: There’s a few different resources. I would say one resource that is available to everybody listening is Altos Research is a great resource. They have YouTube videos that are free. You can also subscribe if you’re an agent and get more localized content. What I like about Altos is they look at data that’s forward-looking. They say, “Okay, if we have–” For instance, showing activity would then be an indicator where demand’s going to be and where closings will be a few months down the road or they might say, “What’s the percentage of sales that are immediate sales,” which is another indicator of how high demand is. 

What I like about that is it’s not just looking at past sales and what happened yesterday. It’s actually looking at what’s going to impact future numbers. It’s a much more intelligent conversation to have with sellers and buyers, so I really like that. To go to more localized data, we still use InfoSparks and things like that to know what happened in our local market. Then I would say, just like your podcast, there are so many great podcasts out there that you can hear from the best agents around and what they’re doing. 

I do like to fill my day with that a little bit. There are some great coaches out there that have free resources like Mike Ferry Organization. I think, in my opinion, it puts out a lot of great stuff. Then people associate with that tend to spin off like yourself and have great content that you can tap into. I podcast a lot. Whenever I’m in the car, I try to make use of that time. I’m either making calls or listening to something about our industry to stay up to date. I’d say Altos, local MLS data, and then just tapping into some of my favorite coaches and agents around the nation on social media. 

Lindsay: Then how do you keep the team up to date? How do you transfer that information that you’re learning over to them? 

Michael: That’s a great question. We have one-on-ones every other Monday, then we have full team meetings the other, so we alternate. Maybe we’ll adjust that, but it works for us now. I love having the one-on-one time with folks, but we also like to have that team build that team atmosphere as well. I know it’s really important to some people, so I like to share with them things that I’m seeing out there in vice versa during those Monday meetings. 

Lindsay: What sets you guys apart? What do you guys do differently than the rest that it’s helping you guys to be successful? Is there anything that you could identify specifically or do you think it’s just being consistent with these three things? What are the things that really have helped to make you guys successful and get the team off the ground? 

Michael: There’s a couple of things. My mentor that I had my license with when I was part-time when I just got my license during my Kraft days, he built an incredible business around customer events. He had a boat in Chicago where he took 10 people out at a time. He did great parties at his office. The whole point of that wasn’t like, “Hey, I’m just going to throw great parties.” It was, “I’m in a relationship with you and it’s more than a transaction.” He was so good at that, but he was truly who he was. 

He said, “Mike,” he’s like, “if you hold people’s interest in your highest regard and you take care of them and you’re competent and you can be pretty concise, that stuff all matters too, but if you can just show them that you actually care, you’re going to rise to the top.” It’s a fairly low bar from that standpoint in this industry, unfortunately. It’s getting better, of course, and there’s always good and bad, but he’s like, “Just show them that you really care and that you want to be in a relationship with them and everything else will work out. Just put their best interests in your highest regard.” 

That was a profile moment, so we treat our business that way. When I’m calling people, I’m hoping that’s because we’re inviting them to something. We’re trying to be in community with them. We do a golf outing. We do happy hours. We do these things like these– we might do items of value. We literally drop off something to them. We do birthday cards, handwritten notes. We show them and it’s real because we want to be doing that stuff anyway. We want to be a community. 

It shows them that they’re more than a transaction because they are. We want to be their lifelong real estate advisor, so that’s one thing. Then I also look back to the number one compliment that I’ve received. This isn’t good or bad. It could be any terms that would be valuable, but it’s been, “Thank you for your professionalism.” It hasn’t been, “Thank you for being nice or a great realtor,” even or a great negotiator. 

Hopefully, they believe some of those things are true, but professionalism, I think that speaks to systems a bit. We really value that where people are going to get the same experience every single time, so we have a very detailed checklist. I think they do feel that we’re fairly buttoned up and that this isn’t a hobby for us. This is a very important transaction and we’re walking alongside them. 

A pretty even keel as far as I know they’re highly emotional, so I try to really not be. I think that’s part of the blessing too of getting the ball rolling down hills. I’m truly not that emotional about the transaction anyway. If it closes, great. If it doesn’t, I just want my clients to feel like they’ve been taken care of. I’m not conflicting with their best interests and they’re never thinking like, “Oh, he wants this to close so bad,” but we feel differently. 

That’s the worst possible place to be. When you’re first starting out, you’re tempted, you really are, but the nice thing is once you get that momentum going, it’s easier to detach from the outcome and to just do the right thing and everything else is going to work out. I think the professionalism, the systems, and then the relationship building is what sets us apart. 

Lindsay: One of the questions I was going to ask you is how do you build trust and maintain relationships with the clients over time, but it sounds like that’s how you do it. It’s building that system, being professional, but also just showing them that you care. Then you mentioned a checklist, so tell me a little bit about that and what that kind of system is that you guys have that you work with. 

Michael: We just have a very detailed checklist, whether they’re a buyer, seller, landlord, or tenant as far as the introduction and all the way down the list to how we stay in touch with them. Then they roll back into a touch program like at Keller Williams where I was at previously to Compass. They would call it a 36 Touch system. It’s just, what are the ways that we’re going to touch these people? 

Then we try to look at it as, “I don’t want those touches to be Happy Memorial Day email.” That has no value to me, so how do we make it more worthwhile? Again, we do events. We do birthday cards. We do handwrittens. For Thanksgiving, we would drop off pies to them because we know nobody wants to come to the office to pick them up. It was a pain, but we knew that nobody would come pick up a pie, so we delivered it or– 

Lindsay: Then you’re getting that face-to-face time, which is so valuable. 

Michael: Exactly. Hopefully, you run into them, get to say hi, and all that good stuff. We just have a very detailed checklist. I think handwrittens are really something that more people should be doing. I think as more high-tech as things get, which are great, that personal touch and just when somebody opens one of those– When I get one of those, I still have a different type of reaction than an email or a text, so we’d like to build those in as much as possible. It’s just how we operate. It’s everything. It’s every touchpoint in the transaction that you can think of. There’s a million different things that we assign who belongs to what task basically. 

Lindsay: I was at an event a couple of years back and there was a gentleman that was on stage and he was excellent. He said, he was like, “How many of you guys have received a handwritten note in the last year?” Half the room at least put their hand up, which was cool. Then he said, “Out of those people with your hand up, keep your hand up if you kept it and it’s still on your desk.” I would say only 25% put their hand down. 

They’re the people that are probably minimalists and clean up their desks every two minutes, right? Everyone else still had their hand up and it was like, they keep it. It’s not something that they throw away. When you take the time and you put it in there and don’t just send them a postcard or a stock thing, they do. They keep it. It’s worth your time to have that because then someone else sees it on their desk too or someone else sees it on their refrigerator or wherever it is kept. 

Michael: They get our Christmas card that my family sends out that I just give my wife another set of addresses. It’s nothing to do with real estate. It’s just our family and it’s more personal. I get more reactions from that than anything else. We do a farming mailer and they’re included. All past clients are included on that and that’s great too. It helps them get stay reminded, be top of mind because all that is important. They probably know three or four, five realtors. The reality is they get bombarded. A new relationship start. 

They start on a team with somebody and the coach is a realtor. You never know. It’s easy to fall into second place and so you really got to stay top of mind. The harsh reality is that they’re not really loyal to you unless you build such a really solid relationship, which is what we tried to do. In a way, they’re loyal to the standards and what you represent. That’s why we’d like to represent that we care about you as the person because we do. These are all things we want to be doing anyway, so why not incorporate it into our business and everything else will work out? 

Lindsay: So smart. Talk to me about your listings. What do you guys do to market your listings? Is there anything special that you do to market your listings or what kind of steps do you guys take as a team? 

Michael: The two most important things in real estate, supply and demand is number one, and then leverage is number two. We always think about how do we keep the leverage. It’s evolved over time where when there was more inventory and it was pre-pandemic, the leverage might be a coming-soon campaign and we’ll get you in early. The pressure is that like, “Hey, maybe you can get in before the market, whatever.” Then it got to be where it was such few inventory that almost was shooting your seller in the foot to do that. 

It’s like, “No, no matter what, we’re going to the upper market.” I can get you 10 showings the day before, but I can get you 100 the next day. Let’s keep the leverage. Let’s go live. Generally speaking, we do beautiful photography. We do video on a lot of listings. We do staging. Staging is the secret weapon. If you’re not doing that, you’re just missing out. My team member, Lindsay, who does our marketing, is also a certified stager. 

She’s doing what I feel like there’s a little niche for that I’m not seeing it in the marketplace. You can find somebody to do a design console for $200. You can find somebody to bring in everything for $2,000, but what about all the accessorizing? We do that almost every single time. It’s like, “Okay. Well, you already have furniture here.” Lindsay is going to go in and tell you, “We need to take out 25% of it,” and then she’s going to come back a second time with some of her own stuff and really optimize it. 

Getting the staging right, beautiful photos, video, and then we hit it from all angles. We’re pretty aggressive. We’ll do paid social media stuff. We do the normal open house and all that. My job is just to get an unfair share of eyeballs on the property. That’s what we do. The best thing to do is to have something so beautiful where people want to stop and look and set something up. 

Lindsay: Love it. What do you do for your buyers? How do you guys dig to find them? Especially this day and age when the inventory is still so low, you would think that by now. I remember a couple of years ago, our broker-owner coming to me and being like, “Oh, my God, we have to put out a press release. I’ve never seen the inventory so low.” If I was to look that day at what we have now, [chuckles] we would be crying. [laughs] 

Michael: It keeps crying to go lower. 

Lindsay: It just keeps going lower. You don’t think it can and then, all of a sudden, it’s lower. Tell me, what are you guys doing to get fine properties for your buyers in this crazy market? 

Michael: I’ll be really honest. It’s super tough because the exact reason I just outlined, if you have a solid agent you’re working with, they’re not going to let you go snag it before it hits the open market. I’ll say that first. It’s really tough. You almost have to have somebody be willing to do something that’s not going to benefit their own client, which happens because people are strategic sometimes. 

What I like about being with Compass and part of why we moved over is all the big hitters are here. Everybody that’s doing business in our market is in our office. We all have a text chain of what’s coming before it goes on the private. We all are having those conversations. The second biggest office is a place I just came from. I’m still very close to those agents. I always value the agent-to-agent connections. Those relationships are so, so important. 

Hopefully, we’re finding out about stuff there. Then we just try to do a little bit more matchmaking within our own team too. “Hey, what do we have coming up? Who do we know as a trade-up buyer that is just waiting for that house to pop up and then they’re going to sell their starter home and then who can we fit into that?” We’ve done a decent amount of– I don’t do any dual agency, but we can have two people from the same team work on a transaction, which happens quite a bit for us. 

Because we’re doing that matchmaking where Alison might say, “Hey, I know this is coming up. It’s nowhere else yet. Who do you got?” Then we can try to make something worth work for both parties. That little bit of matchmaking is something we’ve been focusing more on. We’re always talking about needs and wants near our team meetings so that we know exactly what people have and what we can try to match up. 

Lindsay: I love it. Just communication back and forth within your company, within your old company, within your team. I love it. How do you market your team outside of transaction? Forget about listings. Now, you guys have to focus on getting more leads within your team. How do you guys market yourselves? What kind of avenues do you use? What kind of channels? I know you’re on Instagram because that’s how I found you, but what are some of the other things that you guys use and why? 

Michael: I’m like death by a thousand cuts. I feel it’s like certain things I want to have be– Some things are high touch but high impact, so they take a lot of time. There’s other things that are set and forget it and that’s good too. I want to balance both of those things. I could have, basically, a targeted ad on Facebook that you set up once. Basically, it just drips on people for eternity for a dollar a day, which takes no effort to keep going, so might as well have that set up. 

We have a balance of those things. We do sponsorships with our local market. We’re always putting sponsorships in the back of our kids’ jerseys and things like that. We have our banner at the local pool. We have our banner at the local basketball place. We do a little bit of true marketing where it’s a little bit harder to quantify, but we know people are seeing it. People are bringing it up to us in conversations and just reminding them in a way that we’re still doing real estate in addition to social media. 

The high-touch things that we’re doing is prospecting. I love prospecting. The way I define that is like I’m going to be intentional about the things I’m already doing and enjoy. Then when I get asked the question about how’s the marketer, what do you do for a living, I just answer that in an intelligent way. That’s it. I coach a baseball team. I’m part of a small group at church. I’m not doing those things for business. 

I just know that it’s inevitable that somebody’s going to ask me what I do and to just not be an idiot when they ask me that question. That is literally it. Just be involved in stuff is going to bring business to you if you can have the intelligent conversation after. You’ll get the ads that way if you’re involved in stuff. Then from there, you’re already building a relationship outside of real estate and it just happens. 

Then you be the person they call when they have questions. It just happens organically. I’m just involved in a lot of them. I was on a board of a coffee shop for a little bit like just all kinds of different things that I can do to be in the community. Then we do social media. I will tell you though, I am going to spend a ton more time on video and social media. I just rented an office that’s basically just for content, so there’s not a single window. We have light. 

It’s going to be where we can actually go flip on a switch and pump out stuff and just see where that takes us because it’s scalable. I want to do things that are scalable. I’ve never wanted to do door-knocking. Not because it doesn’t work, it does, but because I can’t scale it. Even open houses, they’re the best thing you can do. I can only be at so many at one time and it’s the hardest thing on my families. I got to find something else even though those things work really well. 

Lindsay: I love it. We always say here, “Don’t be a secret agent.” That’s really going back to just being in the community, being a part of your community. Like you said, just be able to have that intelligent conversation with people as soon as they ask and don’t make it a sales conversation. Just make it a conversation they want to know. It comes up at the dinner table. It comes up at all these different places. You always have that question that comes up, “How’s the market or how’s the company doing,” or anything like that. I think that’s really, really smart. 

I know about this time last year, you had started on doing a podcast. Tell me about that because I definitely have had a few people ask me about it in the past. I couldn’t really say to them, “Yes, you got to do it. It’ll help you so much,” because I hadn’t seen anyone do it that was doing it truly successfully. I really wanted to ask you this today to pick your brain about whether or not it’s working for you, if you’re going to stick with it, if it’s just another piece of content that you have to throw into the mix. Tell me a little bit about it and then we’ll obviously link it too so people can check it out for sure. 

Michael: Yes, for sure. It started as like, “Okay, what content can we start doing, of course, to keep people educated on what’s going on?” I love giving my take to what’s going on with local news or projections and things like that. I said, “Okay. Well, what are the mediums where we can do that?” YouTube’s one, a podcast would be another one, and so on and so forth, like short-form reels and things like that. 

I’ve fallen in love with the medium itself because I feel like the bang for your buck is there where I can just tape something. I have my notes. For me, you don’t have the whole production of YouTube with lighting or any of that stuff. It’s like there’s less obstacles. However, I need to double down on what exactly I’m trying to do, build out a content calendar, so it’s evolving. I’m glad I made it a year. 

We’ve pretty much released an episode every single week, but I have big plans to make it something bigger and better. We’re just scratching the surface. I first wanted just to get in the groove of doing it. I think having a space is going to really help as well. Kyle from our team is the one that will edit it for me, so I’ve leveraged that out, which is great. I don’t have to worry about that piece of it. 

I do have plans of making that a little bit more robust, whether it’s more frequency or longer episodes or changing the format slightly. I’m sticking with it. I’m really excited about it. I really like the medium itself because I’m consuming content that way, but I think it’s going to change quite a bit over the next year. I do like it though. It’s fun. I love podcasts. I’m like if I’m consuming it, let’s go down that avenue. Why not create something and see where it goes? 

Lindsay: Again, it’s more practice for that speech that you give when people ask you about the market. You’re constantly practicing what you say to buyers and sellers. It’s just another way for you to practice it. If anything, it’s just a good use of time. I love that you guys are going to have a studio for it. That’s so cool. I’m so jealous. We’ve been wanting to do something like that here. 

We have some space. It’s multi-use space, so it ends up– Like, today, I’m sitting in the conference room and I have to worry about the fan above me. There’s little things like that. I think that’s awesome and I love it. It’s like you’re talking to an agent and they’re going, “But do I have to do video?” Then I talk to you and you’re like, “Now, I’m getting a space. We’re going to have a whole thing.” This is where you need to be. 

Whoever’s listening, this is what you need to be focusing on, is putting yourself out there with your face because that’s how people get to know you. They’re not going to get to know you from just your voice or just your emails or just your handwritten notes. They’re going to get to know you by seeing your face, hearing your voice, your mannerisms. All of that stuff is going to make you build top-of-mind awareness. I love that. 

Michael: There’s a book called The ONE Thing. Gary Keller was one of the authors. It’s like, “Okay, what’s the one thing that I can do that will solve all my other problems?” I just came to the realization really just like the fall this last year is, “Okay, if I want to add another lead source, what could that be?” Let’s just say agent-to-agent referrals. What’s the best way to do that? 

I want to keep my network informed on stuff. How do I do that? I want to be seen as a thought leader. How do we do that? I want to be seen as professional. What conveys that? It’s like the video can solve all of those things or even I want to add a different income stream. People that get big enough, there are other opportunities that come, whether it’s speaking or– 

Lindsay: Training. [chuckles] 

Michael: Training. 

Lindsay: That’s what we did. We were like, “You know what? We’ve got all this training.” 

Michael: Coaching. 

Lindsay: Yes, coaching. 

Michael: Totally. There are so many different things you can do. I’m like this would actually– and then I’m like, “What’s the biggest pain point of building a big business? How do you scale it?” That can be scaled infinitely if you really want it to be. I finally realized, that is the one thing that if I can do it and it can work and we can keep at it, it could solve all of those pain points. 

Lindsay: Awesome. All right, my last question. I warned you. This was going to be my last question for you. Give me some advice to new realtors who are just starting out in the industry. You talked about budgeting money and things like that. What other pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to get in, is nervous about getting in, isn’t sure if it’s the right time, is not sure what to do, where to start? What kind of advice would you give that person? 

Michael: Oh ma’am, I have a few. One, you have to– I mentioned the phrase, kind of corny, but “burn the ships.” You have to do that. This business is way too hard. The dropout rate is 87%. The realtors fail out in the first five years. That’s because it’s really difficult to do things that don’t pay off right away, that pay off much later. If you have a backup plan, you need to scrap. 

There can’t be a backup plan. You have to say, “This is it.” You have to commit yourself mentally like, “This is what it’s going to be and I need to do everything possible to make it work.” I would say along those lines, you have to– because people run from pain more than chase pleasure. That’s just how we’re built as humans. You need to be more fearful of maybe not providing that you are fearful of making a call or something like that. 

Whatever that is for you, you have to get to that point where it’s like, “Okay, I fear more the fact that I would have to go back to corporate America and do something I wasn’t passionate about more than I fear rejection of talking about real estate to somebody.” I have to get to that point mentally and you will too as a new agent. Then I would say, “Surround yourself with somebody that’s doing it at a much higher level because that was really helpful for me to have that mentor and saw how he built this business that shaped a lot of what we did.” You just don’t know what you don’t know. 

You don’t know what busy is until you see somebody doing way more than you and then you realize that you need leverage. Different things start to pop up. Surrounding yourself with those people is really important. Whether you’re just in the office every day rubbing shoulders or if you’re part of a team, just be around people that are doing much bigger and better things than you, and then create systems and treat people well. Just have people’s back. Do what’s best for your clients, not you. If they get the sense that you’re doing something because it benefits you and not them, you are toast. Don’t do that. It’s much more fun when you’re taking care of them anyway. You can sleep at night. 

Lindsay: Exactly. 

Michael: That’s what I would say. [chuckles] 

Lindsay: I love it. Thank you so much. I really didn’t know you other than seeing some of the videos that you put out there. This could have gone in either direction. You could have been someone who didn’t crush it in real estate, but you absolutely crushed this podcast though. I’m so grateful that you agreed to do this. I’m so happy to have gotten to know you a little bit better. 

I’m sure we’ll talk more in the future here. If you guys want to get in touch with Michael and just pick his brain, ask him some questions. I’m sure he’s open to that. He’s a very caring, giving person here, so we will make sure to link all his different social media and things like that so you can get in touch with him if you need to. Again, thank you so much for the time today. I wish you all the best and keep in touch for sure. 

Michael: Yes, likewise. Thank you so much. 

Lindsay: All right, guys, we thank you so much for coming to listen to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast today. We will see you in two weeks for our next episode. Have a great one. 

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.