Paul’s expertise in real estate enables him to seamlessly navigate both sides of any transaction. Throughout his career, Paul has developed a niche role within the Boston market with an emphasis on first-time home buyers and military veteran buyers.
Paul currently volunteers on the Greater Boston Realtor® Association of Young Professional Networking Committee as co-chair, where he participates on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Rental Task Force Committee as well. He was awarded the Greater Boston Association Rising Star Award for 2022. Click here to learn more.
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: Hello, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast, where we dive into the stories of some of the most successful realtors in the business. I’m your host, Lindsay Favazza. Today, I’m personally very excited to have this person share his story. Joining us is going to be Paul Coleman from Lamacchia Realty Chelmsford Office, a real estate maestro who has been in the game for years but has recently skyrocketed to new heights of success.
Paul’s journey is a testament to the power of focus and dedication. In the last few years, he’s honed his skills and strategies, showing us that when you align your personal and professional goals, the sky is indeed the limit. Paul’s recent accolades, including winning the Most Transactions and Highest Sales Volume in 2023 at the Lamacchia Chelmsford Office, are just the tip of the iceberg. His story is one of perseverance, introspection, growth, and a deep understanding of the real estate market. Whether you’re a seasoned agent or you’re just getting started, make sure to grab your notebook because you’re going to want to take some notes here. Welcome to the podcast, Paul.
Paul Coleman: Thank you, Lindsay. It’s a pleasure to be here, and I’m truly honored. Looking forward to this.
Lindsay: We’re honored because you have, like I said, been crushing it, not to sound cliche, but you have been, and you have for a long time. We were super excited when you joined us because we knew what kind of agent you were. Then, you’ve made everyone so proud, and we’re so excited to see what you’ve become since then. Take us back, though, in the time capsule, back to when you first started in real estate, what was your mindset? What were you doing before? Why did you get into this business in the first place?
Paul: If we’re going all the way back, we have to jump to 2012, which is when I first got licensed. Funny story we can get into is I started with a company called Coleman & Sons Real Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts at 451 Main Street, which now happens to be a Lamacchia Realty office. It’s funny how my business has come full circle. I got in, I’d watched my grandmother and my uncle do real estate as I was growing up. I’m second generation.
As I got older, they got out of the business, and I’d been jumping around between jobs, not really sure what I wanted to do when I got licensed. Even for the first couple of years in the business, I was doing real estate part-time. My mother unfortunately passed away in 2014. She had left me some money unbeknownst to me. I took pretty much an entire year off, spent the first couple months just getting through the emotions.
Then, I jumped into real estate full-time. She had always pushed for me to do it. She thought I would be great. Again, here I am now. A couple of years later, I told myself I would do it for a full year, see where things shook out to, and realized very, very quickly how much I loved it. Here I am a couple of years later.
Lindsay: What did you love about it back then? What made you decide that, “Yes, this is what I’m going to stick with”?
Paul: The challenge. I also struggle with ADHD in life. Having something that’s challenging, not consistently the same. Although, as we know, being boring is how you run the business. Back then, being able to work with different clients, still to this day, working with different clients. Every house is different, tells a different story. Every client has a different background and situation. When you bring them together, you obviously are dealing with two totally separate personalities on the buying and selling side. Our goal and our job is to bring them together to create a successful transaction, and help a seller get out and into a new property, and help a buyer potentially buy their first property.
Lindsay: Knowing that you’re stepping into the family’s shoes, was there pressure there? Did you feel that pressure? Was the pressure good because it helped to drive you? Did you feel any of the pressure at all? Talk to me about that.
Paul: Mostly, no. I’ve learned this a little bit more in the last couple years. I guess even back then, I lived my life that way. I’m only challenging and competing with myself. It took me a while to listen to my own advice. I had never really thought about that. Yes, I grew up in a family that did real estate. They never did business to the level or degree that I do it now. I surpassed them in my first couple years. Of course, they were very proud of me.
Lindsay: I love that. What has been or what was the biggest challenge for you back in 2012 when you started versus what are some of the things that you’re challenged with today?
Paul: At that point, it was finding business. I, thankfully, very early on in my career found a niche working with veteran and military clientele utilizing their VA loan, which has gotten easier over the years. Back then, it was a very difficult process. At that point, it was really just building the business. I should have listened and did my CRM like everybody told me to do.
Those were my challenges back then was building the business, bringing in the business, and doing it, and obviously, learning and educating myself about the process. Nowadays, really, my challenge is duplicating myself. I’ve gotten to a point where I actually just took on a buyer’s agent last week. I’m going to be taking on an assistant and growing my team in the second quarter of the year. Right now, it’s just getting the strategies, not strategies, but the structure and processes in place to correctly grow the business to new heights.
Lindsay: You told us before that you have struggled in the past with ADHD. How do you think that you’ve been able to make that work for you instead of having it work against you? Obviously, you had mentioned that real estate is so different, so that keeps things new and fresh so that you’re stimulated. What other ways do you keep yourself grounded in making sure that you don’t let those things overtake your success?
Paul: Honestly, it’s the routines. Creating routines, having a morning routine, having an evening routine, having a cleaning routine. Quite honestly, just having those processes for me in place and sticking to them, I do realize and notice if I miss a morning and my day gets thrown off a little bit, I’m not as productive as I typically am.
I actually go to the gym every single morning, Monday through Friday. I see my trainer first thing and start my day off with the most difficult thing because the rest of the day just becomes easier at that point. The morning routine, I’ve gotten down pat at this point in the last year. The evening routine sometimes can need some work. A couple of things I’ll typically end up doing is just reviewing the day very quickly, looking at what my big plans are for the next day. That certainly helps me get on task and on track for the next day.
Lindsay: I love that. Way to go because that’s something that I think a lot of people could just be like, “Well, I have this, and it’s just me.” Instead, you’re like, “No, I’m going to put some structure behind it, and I’m going to make it work.”
Paul: You know what? I’ll be honest. There are days, like I had mentioned, that sometimes, I’m off schedule or even if I have my routine, and then if I’m not feeling it that day and if I don’t have any appointments that I absolutely need to make and I can’t move things around, if my body and my head is telling me I need a day off, I’ll take it. Again, that’s one of the benefits of being in this business. Yes, as you get busier, your schedule does get busier and tighter. If I have the time and I know I need to take it, I will.
Lindsay: You need to take time for yourself, for sure. We all do, regardless of if people have ADHD or anything else, you have to take the time for yourself because you’ll get burnt out, and then it doesn’t make for a good product, no matter what you’re doing.
Paul: Not a lot of people talk about it, but mental health is key, especially in this business and in anything in life. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. In our business, where we take care of others every single day with their biggest financial decisions, we need to make sure that we’re on point so we can be on point for them.
Lindsay: Absolutely. In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception people have out there about realtors, about who you are, what you do? Probably now, especially, it’s gotten worse with shows like Selling Sunset and all these things where people are just– They’re just glamorously opening doors and driving in their Ferraris. What do you think are some misconceptions that are just not true that you can debunk for us right now?
Paul: Let me start off by saying it is not as glamorous as the shows make it. I, just two weekends ago, was showing a property in the snow, and I ended up slipping and getting mud all over me. I was that way the rest of the day. It is not glamorous all the time. Biggest misconception is they think it’s the complete freedom of time. They can do whatever they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want. At the end of the day, you do have to keep a schedule if you want to keep your clients, if you don’t want to burn out, and if you want to do business.
I think that’s the biggest thing is everybody thinks they can come in and very quickly start doing business, start closing deals with no experience, no mentoring. Some people can, don’t get me wrong, but for the vast majority of agents, you need to run real estate as you would any other job. It’s not a 9:00 to 5:00, but it does give you that flexibility. Especially as you start to grow and know yourself better, then you can set your schedule a little bit more in your favor.
Lindsay: That’s absolutely true. Where is the biggest place right now that you’re getting your leads from? Is it multiple sources, or is it mainly referrals because you’ve been in the business for a while now? What is your main source of leads?
Paul: Until today, I would have said it was 100% referral, and it has been for the last couple of years, but I’m expanding the team and growing right now. I am starting to do cold calling. I am actually doing a huge letter campaign so I can bring in more sellers and bring in more clientele to service myself and the team. Up until this year, yes, I’ve been in the last couple of years 100% referral based, but that is changing as I grow.
Lindsay: I love that. What made you decide to do a letter campaign? What is pushing you into these different decisions, just things that you’ve heard that work, or what you learn from your customers? What is it that is driving your marketing campaign?
Paul: A couple of different things. I and all other agents I think have shiny object syndrome where we’ll jump from thing to thing. In the last few years, I’ve noticed that if I’m consistent and stick with one item for 90, 120, half a year, however long it is, you need to stick with something. I’m expanding my business. It’s mostly been about 75% buyers, 25% buyers for the last couple of years.
I’m looking to expand that to bring on more sellers and grow basically the team and myself. With that, I’m adding basically plates up in the air one at a time. I have my referral base. I have my sphere of influence base, which is all my personal contacts. Now, I’m expanding to active prospecting, but I’m focusing on it with a plan of action for a certain period of time to see what results I get and how that contributes to the bottom line at the end of the day.
Lindsay: I love that. Direct mail could not be more of a long-term thing. I love that you said that because a lot of people I think are like, “I sent a postcard out and no one called me.” It’s like, “That’s not it.”
Paul: Over the years, I have done many, many of those single shot postcard campaigns. One of the great things when I came over to Lamacchia, not to speak too much on Lamacchia stuff today, but we have a huge marketing team here. Lindsay, you run it, so you know this hands down. When I came over, I decided to start focusing on my past clients and also a couple of buildings that I’ve done multiple transactions in.
While I haven’t closed a deal from them yet, this year, for the first time, I ended up getting four leads from those postcards campaigns that I’ve been doing. I can’t directly relate it to, but I’ve had a lot more past client business in this last year. I think part due to the newsletter I send monthly now, but also due to the postcard campaigns. I’ve gotten texts this year from clients stating they have it literally right on the fridge, and they look at it. I sent out a sports calendar in the beginning of the year and they look at that for the rest of the year, and my name’s on it. They remember me every single time.
Lindsay: Not a bad face to have on your refrigerator, my friend, not a bad face. I’ll take one of those if you want to send it my way.
Paul: Send me a request.
Lindsay: Have you ever read Atomic Habits?
Paul: I have. I was actually just reading that. It was one of my books from last year.
Lindsay: One of the things is right in the beginning of the book, he talks about the whole ice cube theory. That’s how I relate marketing. You’re notching up the temperature just a degree every single time you send something to someone, and you never know when it’s going to start to melt. When they’re going to start to want to call and need your help, you’ve already set that stage and you’ve done all those things. For anyone who hasn’t read the book, I highly recommend it.
Pretty much the gist is if you take an ice cube and put it on the table in a room that’s 26 degrees and let it sit there, it’s going to stay cold, and it’s going to look like a little ice cube. If you notch the temperature every day, one degree, one degree, once it gets to 33 degrees, that’s when you start to notice the difference. It’s the same. You mentioned working out. It’s just like working out. You have to work out for six months before you actually get someone that’s like, “Wow, you’re losing weight.” You’ve got to put the work in.
Marketing is the exact same thing. You’ve got to really put that work in. Then over time, you’re like, “Oh, wow, this is actually working.” You can’t just do it for a month and expect everyone to call you.
Paul: Consistency is key in this business but in anything you do in life.
Lindsay: Talk to me about that. You’ve made a lot of changes with your business and everything. What other changes would you say have contributed to your success over the last couple of years where you’ve really hit the stride? What are some of the different things that you’ve changed in your life and in your business to make that really push you forward?
Paul: I would say the biggest one that I’ve made, and it was a little over a year ago now, was I stopped drinking. It had been an issue in my family and in my life for a couple of years. I didn’t fully admit it, but I decided to stop drinking January 5th, 2022. I just celebrated my one year of sobriety. That has seriously been the number one rippling effect into every other area of my business, my health, my nutrition, my mental wellness. I used to struggle with anxiety and depression, which I don’t tell a lot of people, but at the end of the day, it’s almost completely gone.
I will occasionally have some moments, who doesn’t? Compared to where I was a little over a year ago, it’s not even night and day. It’s even a bigger difference than that, the clarity, the focus, the drive. I didn’t realize I had even lost the passion that I had for real estate, and it disappeared. I would say about three to six months into not drinking, my energy and drive just came back full force. I think that’s been a ginormous change to my business, how I do things, and just my thought processes in general as well.
Lindsay: I remember you talking to me less than a year ago, obviously, because you had already started on this journey. I remember you saying something to me like, “I stopped drinking but just temporarily. We’re just going to see how it goes.” It was like a Dry January type of situation, where you were like, “I’m just doing it, and I’m sure I’ll go back to it.” You had this in the back of your head. When did the switch happen for you that you were like, “No, this is it. I’m going to make it to a year and further”?
Paul: I would probably say at about the three to four-week mark, just the energy. Number one was no hangovers. I had three or four hangovers a week. Being in real estate, drinking is part of who we are. We get lunches or dinners with clients. We’re at networking events. We’re at charity events. Unfortunately, alcohol is all around us. Like you had mentioned, originally, it was just supposed to be a Dry January.
The energy, as I mentioned, the clarity that I started to get, I hadn’t realized just how much things were affecting me, especially my mental health. When I stopped having anxiety about doing things or getting out of bed in the morning, that was probably one of the biggest shifts in why I decided to continue doing it. Two months came around, I’m feeling better. I’m seeing results at the gym finally. Three months, my business exploded because I was getting up early, making those phone calls, speaking to clients, prospecting again. Then, it just continued to spiral throughout the rest of the year and compound on top of each other.
Lindsay: I’m really, really happy for you. I want to say a big congrats to you formally on the podcast here that it’s not an easy thing to do, but you’ve stuck with it. I’m really proud of you because it takes a lot of strength to do that and to talk about it in this public forum. Not a lot of people want to share those types of personal things. I really appreciate you sharing that with everybody. I know that there’s someone listening that’s like, “You know what? Maybe I should do that too. Maybe Dry January needs to be Dry 2024.”
Paul: To that person, if you ever want to talk, I’m sure my information is going to be below here somewhere. I am always open to chat, always open to have a conversation. If you think you need to go to AA, I’ll take you.
Lindsay: Yes. I love that. Thank you for that. I really appreciate it. Let’s shift the mood a little bit. Let’s talk about your craziest real estate story. I love asking this question because I get the gamut. I’ve gotten crazy scary. I’ve gotten crazy like “Ew.” I can’t wait to hear yours because you’ve been in the business a while now, so you got to have something good.
Paul: My craziest one to date would probably have been my first year or two in the business. I had been showing a property in Waltham. The address at this point eludes me. It was wintertime, we had snow for a couple days, so on. We’re walking through the property, we get up to the primary bedroom, I’m going out to show them the deck. Unbeknownst to me, they had removed the deck and only had the rubber down. I step out, my feet go out, and I slide off the deck and into the bushes downstairs.
Paul: Didn’t get hurt, but I did get caught upside down for about 20 minutes. My client finally was able to drag me out.
Lindsay: What were you doing for that 20 minutes, just crying? I think I would have just been crying.
Paul: Just trying to move, I had gotten stuck between a branch and part of the bush, and I just couldn’t get myself loose.
Lindsay: Oh, my God. If only there was some Nest cameras around or something because at least that would just be funny.
Paul: Back then there wasn’t Nest cameras around, so fortunately, it’s not all across the internet. Lo and behold, the client didn’t buy that house. We did end up buying the property a couple weeks later, but that was the craziest to date.
Lindsay: They should have put a sign on the door. Hey, by the way, deck is not safe, so don’t open this door.
Paul: It happens.
Lindsay: Oh my. That’s incredible, awesome. I’m glad you’re okay. I’m glad you made it out from the bush, being stuck in there. Now, you’re starting to build your team. You’re in the early stages of that really. What are some of the things that you’re running into right now with that? What is your thought process behind it? What are some of the things that you’re learning from that process?
Paul: I actually have had a team before back in 2020 for a year. I have some experience in it. I would say, and this is pretty much every agent’s problem is letting go. I know as I need to grow, I need to start giving more and more responsibility or delegating, I should say, things to other agents. I think that has been my biggest issue as we’re getting back into it because I’ve been a single agent again for a couple years.
I know I need to start passing that along and basically having the correct processes in place for when a client comes in, how to transfer it over. That’s probably one of my bigger things at the moment is just getting that process in place and getting her up to date with how I do business and how the team does business going forward. Obviously, it’s a learning process, so we’re giving feedback and communicating quite frequently. Just being an A-type and letting go is my most difficult task.
Lindsay: Yes, for sure. That’s anyone’s difficult task. I know growing the marketing team, it was hard to bring people on and being like, “Okay, do they got it? I think that they got it, but I got to let them make mistakes.” Plus, they’re going to make mistakes, but then they’re also going to bring stuff to you that you never even experienced. Now, you’re learning from them. It’s a necessary evil. It’s not evil at all. It’s a great thing, but it definitely will take some time.
Paul: You made a great point. I never say never. I’ve never seen it all anymore because every time I do that, something bigger and crazier happens.
Lindsay: You slide off a porch.
Paul: Then I slide off the porch.
Lindsay: All right, so we’re getting close to the end here, my friend. I would love to get some parting words, some advice for agents who are out there. Maybe, they’ve been in the business for a little while, but they haven’t hit that stride that is making them feel motivated and ready to go to that next level. What is some advice that you would give to that person? What’s some advice overall that you’ve learned? What’s the biggest key for you?
Paul: Stop listening to everybody else. Stop focusing on everybody else, and focus on yourself, and make yourself your own competition. Be consistent in what you’re doing and stick with it. Don’t just give up after two, three weeks, or even two or three months. In this business, doing it over the long term is one that’s going to pay off.
Then, for you newer agents, focus on your sphere and your CRM. Make sure all the details are in there. You have their name. You have their number. You have their email address. You have their home address, even their business address. Make sure you focus on that because as you build your business and your book of business, you’re eventually going to potentially want to sell that or get out. Having all the details in there correctly is going to be how you sell that business and book.
Lindsay: I heard you just say that to your old self right then. That was like advice to your junior Paul Coleman.
Paul: Even to this day, I still sometimes have my issues with getting into the CRM, but definitely more and more.
Lindsay: You’ve got to be organized. That’s the only way to do it. Then just having notes, too, so that when you have those conversations with them, you make them feel good that you remember all these little nitty-gritty details of what those conversations were. Yes, it’s super, super important.
Paul: I was just speaking with a landlord of mine, which we’re going to probably be selling one of his properties soon. I haven’t spoken to him in probably eight years. I rented his place, got a great tenant in, checked in with him every single year. He recently called me, and we were having a good conversation. I was asking him how his kids are, how his wife Patty was. He’s like, “How the heck do you remember all these?” Because he called me out of the blue on a Saturday at 7:30 in the morning.
I didn’t have time to go into my CRM. I didn’t have time. I just make sure I have these notes, review them when I’m in my CRM, even if I’m not having that conversation with them. That way, it eventually sticks in my brain.
Lindsay: That’s amazing. It makes people feel really special which keeps them coming back. Thank you.
Paul: At the end of the day, it’s about the client, not us.
Lindsay: It’s about what?
Paul: It’s about the client, not us.
Lindsay: Absolutely agree. On that note, thank you. Thank you so much for doing this. I was so excited to get you on here, and you killed it, my friend.
Paul: Thank you so much for having me. It was truly a pleasure and an honor. Thank you so much.
Lindsay: If you want to reach out to Paul for anything, there is all his stuff. Feel free to do that. Make sure to mention that you listen to this podcast, and feel free to share any images of it. He loves social media, so put it out there. Thank you all so much for listening. We really appreciate it, and we will see you on the next episode of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate. We’ll see you later, everybody. Thanks, Paul.
Paul: Bye, everybody.
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.