Welcome to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate podcast where you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly of how real estate agents overcame challenges and grew their business. Check out the Episode Notes at CrushItinRE.com/podcast. Here’s your host, Lindsay Favazza.
Lindsay Favazza: Welcome back to the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast. I am your host, Lindsay Favazza, with Crush It In Real Estate. I am sitting here today, on Zoom, unfortunately. I wish I could be in Canada with you, my friends. I am sitting across from Steve Zalunardo. He is with Remax West Zalunardo and Associates Realty in the Greater Toronto area.
We have quite a big following up in Canada. I’m so excited to have you here. I’m sure there’s going to be tons of people that are excited to hear from you. Welcome to the podcast today, Steve.
Steve Zalunardo: Well, thank you for having me. It was really surprising to get that email from you guys. Happy to hang out with you guys. It’s going to be awesome.
Lindsay: I very often spend a good amount of time on our Crush It In Real Estate Instagram channel, either posting or just commenting and getting back to people. Most of the time it’s me. Anthony does a lot of it too, but it’s mostly me. When I was doing that one day, I came across a video that you had and I thought, “Wow, this guy is really great.” I loved the fact that we had that North and South connection, the Florida with the North.
I definitely want to dive into some of that today, I know that you’re moving into the Florida market, but wanted to start from the beginning, like we always do. Take me back to the very beginning of how you got into real estate. I know that you were very entrepreneurially minded, at a young age. Take us back to those starting days and walk us through that.
Steve: Basically a humbling beginning, which is quite cool. It’s obvious that we built some grit going through the times. It’s basically, we started investing. Actually, go back, everyone talks about the book they’ve read, that changed their life. Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I remember reading that book, going to Montreal, going party, I think I was 21 years old. I read it, and even while we were there, in Montreal, by time I got back, six months later, already bought my first property.
It made sense, financially. I’m not going to invent an iPhone or invent anything tech savvy, so ultimately, real estate’s definitely the best way for me to go. I understand it and I like it. I bought my first rental property. Every year, we buy another one. By year three, we had off campus residents for student housing. We had 14 tenants, I was 23 years old at the time, which was awesome. It was good, making $6,500 a month, gross income, in Canadian funds, ladies and gentlemen.
It’s like Monopoly money for your USD funds. It was great. I was actually making more money with the rental properties, and my actual income as a carpenter- I was actually in construction at that time. What happens is– What led me to real estate was a few things, obviously. Number one– The realtor that I dealt with, and it’s always important who you choose as a realtor, your realtor is going to be basically your point guard for everything.
He’s going to basically introduce you to your lawyer, he’s introducing to your account, he’s going to introduce you to everybody. If you’ve picked a– Let’s say, a shady realtor, or something of that nature, they’re going to lead you into crap and then they’re going to give you all kind of crap professionals around you. That’s what happened to me. The properties that we bought, they were good for passive income, but for appreciation value, they weren’t good.
I would never lead down anyone into that. Long story short, I became a board director of these condominium townhouses. I found out the insides of everything, where there’s huge special assessments coming down the road. Basically, I egressed as fast as possible. I dumped them like they were a hot potato, I got out and I said, “Look how dangerous that is. I could have lost my shirt, I could have gone bankrupt, nobody cares.”
Even before that, I was led to a fraudulent mortgage agent in this whole process, where on closing of the third property, we couldn’t close and I kept having to bleed money in order to extend closing, trying to find some financing. At that point, you know what kind of finance you’re getting, it’s higher racial, private loans. It’s the first form of bankruptcy. Anyway, we got out clean and we moved on.
Fast forward, we’re in construction. Getting tired, because I’m with my dad. We’re an Italian family, so there’s always one head at the throne. It’s never a collaboration between the–
Lindsay: I have an Italian last name, I know how that works.
Steve: I know. Favazza, right?
Steve: Basically, that’s what happened. My dad never had intentions to grow the company and I didn’t want to stick around as a laborer, it was very miserable. I remember my wife–It’s always important to have a great partner in life. My wife, she’s super imperative to my success now. She’s like, “You liked real estate, you liked dealing with the people, you liked that aspect. Just do something, go get your real estate license.” I was in the shower, imagine this, you open the curtain. I’m like–
Lindsay: I got an idea.
Steve: Yes, and you know what? Literally, the same day, I ordered everything online and I started just going at it. In eight months, I fast-tracked our course. I remember telling my dad like, “Hey, I’m not coming to work on Monday. I’m going to be a realtor.” It was that fast transition, nobody knew. That’s it, that’s pretty much the humble beginnings. Then also, getting into real estate, we had a different perception about it.
You thought from the outside, maybe we were watching lazy agents. They were golfing all the time, they’re always hanging out. They weren’t working. I go, “This is going to be great, I’m going to drive a Benz and we’re going to be hanging out, wow, what a difference from framing houses and being on high-altitude roofs.” I got a rude awakening when I got into real estate.
Lindsay: This was how long ago now? Take us back to– What year? You got in in 2010?
Steve: 2010, yes.
Lindsay: Back in 2010, there was social media, but it was very basic. It’s even worse now. Everyone just wants to act like they have all the money, but they don’t actually have any listings, or any sales, or anything at all.
Steve: I’m telling you, I was just talking to our new agent that we onboard. I go, “Everything looks shiny, but it’s all shit, trust me. Just shut the noise down and focus on your daily tasks and you’re going to kill it.” Where were we at, there?
Lindsay: After that, your-
Steve: Oh, I got into real estate.
Lindsay: -first couple of years, how did things go? How did you ramp up? Where were you getting leads from? How did you make it grow from there?
Steve: Fair enough. A rude awakening getting into real estate, it was like, “Okay, all these lazy agents, they’re not really doing much.” I started checking in, I’m like, “Do you own any investment properties?” I thought, and I was very naïve, I thought everyone in real estate was wealthy. I started checking in, there’s people living in small houses, in not the greatest areas, but they’re driving a Benz and they look great in a suit.
What kind of suit was it? It was this whole misconception. I’m like, “Holy shit, I got to start switching gears and starting to latch on to people that are actually doing things.” Probably my changing moment in real estate, probably that road– There’s a poem by Robert Frost, the road has diverged into two woods, you travelled the road less travelled by. Literally Mike Ferry, one of your American coaches, they’re huge, huge.
I went to one of his seminars, he’s like, “You got to work hard and be consistent.” I’m like, “Wow, that’s all I needed to hear,” I latched on to that like just no one’s business. That became my religion for six years. I wake up every morning still, 5:30, 6:00 AM, we’re in affirmations, meditation, exercise about an hour and a half every morning, still. It’s this daily process. I get to the office, it’s the same process I’ve been doing.
Obviously, we’ve been proven as we’re going, it’s so now embedded in my mind, it’s militant, we’re having fun doing it. That’s what’s cool.
Lindsay: You have been an independent agent now, but you decided to make the move down to Florida. Talk to us about that decision and why you’ve decided in that area, specifically, and how it’s going so far.
Steve: It’s curious how things lead you into a direction. Obviously, you guys dealt with the same inflation as us, the whole world did, the whole world as a general. Every year, I like to buy a piece of real estate, it’s mandatory. We put a couple of $100,000 down on a property we need to keep. My goal is to have $50,000 passive income per month, for my retirement. That’s going to be through residential properties.
Just to feel the lifestyle, you’ll still do your deals a year. Anyway, with that in mind, I have to buy a property every year. I was able to buy a property in 2020 because the numbers made sense, we had to make it into a triplex for the numbers that make sense, because the prices are already elevated. By ’21 it was like, “What are we doing? I’m not going to put money out there. This is maddening.” I held tight.
Now we’re sitting on cash, naturally, our holding corporation has to keep spending money to make money. It’s like, “What do I do?” I always had a thing for Southwest Florida, I’ve never been there in my life. Naples, I’ve actually checked my last email from some agent in Naples, from 2015. I was thinking about buying something there, my whole goal was to semi-retire down there. Six months there, six months back, skip our horrific winters. [chuckles] It’s not good here.
Lindsay: We get it. We get it.
Steve: Yes, you got to get that same weather. What happens is– A year in advance, opened up a bank account in America, I started doing that prep work. Come into January of this year, I was like, “Okay, I got to put money somewhere, now’s a good time for Florida.” I just researched that market and I fell in love with the Southwest Florida section between– Our office is going to be located in Estero, at the Coconut Point.
We’re going to be functioning Naples to Cape Coral, that’s going to be our go-to zone. Just watching that market and how beautiful the properties were, and also, they were cash positive. I said, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to stick money there.” It’s new construction, beautiful interlock driveway landscape. It’s going to be all irrigated by the community lakes, landscapers come. I’m an OCD, by nature.
When I see green pastures, where I’m not relying on the neighbor to cut the grass or water it, it’s already a check mark. That led to that. Obviously, if you paid attention to Canada, politically, we’re a little bit unstable right now. I don’t know if it’s going to get better. I think your country’s similar, but not, I think, as far off as we are. Anyway, it was like, “Now what do we do? We got to make a move.”
I think, even for the kids’ future, I think America’s looking quite better than we are here, so we’re going to relocate to Florida, first week of October, and then start life there. We’re going to run both practices. That’s how Florida came. We came from just a simple investment to is going to be a lifestyle. If you put the pros and cons on a piece of paper, between where we’re living now and also Florida, there’s way more pros.
Not just for us, because we live a comfortable life here, but I think for the future girls of our children, it’s going to be a fantastic place. Regarding selling real estate, a real estate brokerage, that’s just one of the aspects. We’ve already opened up four corporations down there, LLCs. We’re going to go down in four phases. First is the real estate brokerage, then it’s the build development investment, or property management, and then investment.
It’s going to be down in four segments. We’re going down there, not to be beach bums, but to make millions of dollars. That’s the whole point. We’re going to add to the community, I’ve already sponsored, we have put our kids in private school, they’ve already sponsored their school, like a classroom and stuff like that, or whatever the room I did. I want to be part of that community. I want to grow to love that country, your country, rather.
Look at this. We know the market’s in a downturn, it’s in a collapse, basically. I think we’re going to hit a bottom that no one even understands here. In Canada, we had our recession, in 88, 89, which was really deep. Those housing prices took 10 to 15 years to get back to that amount. I think we’re probably going to be– I wouldn’t say that deep, but I think five to seven years to get back to where we are currently, or what we just saw.
I’m not waiting, to be honest, for them to– I’m 41. and Napoleon Hill, they say you make all your money between 40 and 50. I don’t know if their death cycles were a lot younger at that age, but I’m going to go with that.
Lindsay: That’s fantastic. By 41, you have all these properties, you’ve got all this stuff, but you’ve done a lot of this stuff on your own. You were telling me earlier, you’ve been an independent agent in Ontario. It’s really just been you handling the business, and then you have an assistant that helps you. You were doing about 40 to 50 deals per year. When did that level start for you? Going back, how many years in did you start to really see some growth with the numbers?
Steve: I think my goal, starting from inception of real estate, was always add 10 deals per year. By the 10-year mark, I’ll be at a hundred deals. That was the goal, right? The whole goal was to sustain real estate and build it up. Obviously, things change, mentally. Anyway, by the time I got to 40 deals, something around there, it’s probably 2015, something like that, four to five years into the business. At that point there, I could have ramped it up.
I could have continued at that pace, but what was happening every year, I’d get into a mental burnout. Like, fried. You couldn’t get out to bed in the morning. I’ll be truthful about that. Trying to rebuild your mindscape, you have to hammer it for 15, 20 days, to bring it back to some level of normality. That really shook me up. Not only that, I was just dedicated to work, and no play. I remember another a-ha moment was–
My wife, she left the house, I think it was in 2015 or 16. She went out for the day with the kids and I had the whole day to myself. I had no clients to deal with. It was just me. I looked around and I’m like–
Lindsay: Sounds amazing.
Steve: Right? What was scary was– I had nothing to do, which was terrifying. I’m an ADD, and an OCD, with nothing to do. You become destructive. I got to change life. They always say, it’s those five buckets of life, right? Health, wealth, naturally. Wait. Health, financial, spiritual, physical, and family. You got to be topping these up daily, in order to be wealthy, well balanced, rather than just rich.
In our area here, in particular, in Kleinburg, we have billionaires that live in the area. This is a very well-to-do area. I’m not wealthy like that. Anyway, they’re not happy. The families are broken, they’re overweight. They have so much money. You have a Lamborghini, but you can barely fit in the bloody thing.
Lindsay: You didn’t feed all those other aspects of your life and that’s, I think, where that misconception of, “If I’m rich, I’ll be happy,” comes from, but the reality is if you’re not putting the time into all the things that truly are going to bring you happiness, the dollar signs are not going to do it, so–
Steve: Not at all.
Lindsay: It’s a really powerful message.
Steve: I think I caught onto that early. By 2017, I dropped out of Mike Ferry at that time, because it was all-consuming. If I can’t commit to something 100%, it screws with your integrity. If it screws with my integrity, it’s going to screw the rest of my life, so I had to switch gears. Then we went into other coaching. Everyone promises you something, I even had to give one guy my T4 slip to prove that I was making X amount of dollars to actually enter the course.
I’m like, “Okay, this got to be elite. I just scraped by, I’m going to learn so much out of here.” Then in six months, you fire and then hire another one, then I got a life coach for a bit. We did NLP practitioner. I got my master’s, and stuff like that. We did a lot of that, but also, life coaching in general and just remapping my mind where we want to be. That was huge. My coach Linda, she was just one of the smartest ladies I’ve ever met, and really, really good.
She’d have this marker board and she’d be asking me questions. Basically, it was almost like me just throwing my brain at this marker board and it’s all these thoughts that came up, but she was just connecting them and categorizing them. It’s beautiful. What a great exercise that was.
Speaker 1: Let’s take a quick break to hear from Greg Janian, a prominent real estate lawyer who represents buyers, sellers, and lenders, as he shares his latest tip.
Greg: On a previous tip. I touched about when you’re writing an offer, I don’t care if you’re on the buyer side or seller side, it applies to everyone. The offer is the first line of defense. It is what dictates the material terms of the contract. Usually, that’s done before you have a chance to have an attorney review it. It’s done before anyone else is typically involved in the transaction. In this crazy market right now, people are writing offers and giving up things that they shouldn’t be giving up.
In an effort to get deals done, they’re taking risks and chances that their clients don’t understand, and it’s very important the offer is done correctly. I’m talking about from what appliances are included, are the window treatments included, to the solar panels, which I’m going to talk about in the training session. If they’re there, reviewing condo docs– Obviously, we know a whole lot about appraisal language, and what needs to be done on that respect.
If your client needs to sell a house in order to buy a new one and you don’t think an offer’s going to accept it with the sale contingency, you need to explain to them the ramifications of not having that sale contingency. Preparing an offer is the first step to getting a transaction done correctly and making your client happy at the end of the day. Each happy client is a potential to turn into three or four more new clients, which I’ll talk about in a future tip.
Speaker 1: Thanks, Greg. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: You’re actually the second person on this podcast to mention that they got a life coach and how much it helped improve their business. When you think about improving business, you think a real estate coach, you think that’s the kind of coach you need so it’s really interesting to hear multiple people say now, that a life coach is really what helped them make sense of what was going on in their brain.
This person was saying that it was more about cold calling, had always been just this wall for them, and getting on the phone with a lead was really difficult, but then they went to a life coach and they helped them work through like, “Why is that so hard for you, but when someone calls you, you can talk to them all day?” Like, there’s this weird thing. I think that’s really interesting that you bring that up.
Steve: The only good thing with my coach as a life coach, she’s an NLP practitioner, neurolinguistics programming. We weren’t just– Was like, psychiatry sessions. We were doing physical activities and break barriers. I’ll give you one example, which was quite cool. There’s one and it’s silly, we’re all in the middle of a park doing this. I’m a very private and shy person. I can light it up in a crowd, but I want to get out because I’m not an extrovert.
Lindsay: Yes, you’re an introvert.
Steve: Introvert, right. I’m in the park, everybody watching me. What was happening was, you had to make a choice point, they call it. It’s basically finding an item that you have struggled dealing with. Me, it was luxury properties. Upbringing, very humbled construction. We never really knew wealthy people, as a family. We’re a blue-collared family, so the wealthy was the elite. It was like, we could never get to that level, so I get into a luxury property, I felt I wasn’t good enough to take it.
What was happening? That was my choice point, and I’ll tell you what happened after this. We did exercise, but we put it into action and we got results. We had this choice point and basically, what I imagined as choice point be was– You know in Mario Brothers, or Mario Karting, those things that we drive through and it gives you a little–
Lindsay: A little extra boost?
Steve: Yes, correct. Those invisible things, right? Those invisible squares. I pictured this– I’m walking through, back and forth at this choice point, just going right in and out of it, in and out of it, and the choice point was luxury properties. Obviously, you’re remapping your mind while you’re doing this. When I left there, it was like a calm. Get this, I get a call from a neighboring property, which was 2.5 million in 2016, is like 5 million at the height today, right? I handled it so calmly.
I just like, “Bang,” got the listing appointment. I went into the appointment, I went in there and he was going to take me around, “Look what I did here, look–” I said, “Let’s go to your office. I know what you did.” I took full control. I took off my suit jacket, I rolled up my sleeves. I’m like, “Here, this is the mat. You’ve over-improved the goddamned property.” Anyway, regardless, I got the listing.
They interviewed the ultra-luxury, the people that their shit doesn’t stink in the air, and I got it over them. Why? Because I went in there with just like a bomb, and I blew up with confidence. That thing we did that day in the park, the NLP exercise, that actually gave me that confidence to do that, and I still carry it today, for sure.
Lindsay: What exactly did you guys do? Were you, like–
Steve: Basically, you envision something in front of you, which was your choice point, so this was luxury properties. I pictured this invisible block, like Mario Kart. I was walking through it. You’re walking through, head-on into the problem, you keep walking through it.
Lindsay: Got it.
Steve: You own it at that point, you manage it, you’re taking control of this. It’s not going to defeat you. It’s basically programming your mind, rather. Sometimes if you talk things through, it doesn’t work, but if you’re physically putting into action– Your brain, it remaps itself.
Lindsay: Exactly. We did some training at the corporate level, with all the execs in our company. We did it through the Bob Proctor training. Have you heard of Bob Proctor?
Steve: Yes. Of course. Of course.
Lindsay: He’s a fellow Canadian as well. He was amazing, we did all this training and it was a lot of that. It’s like, “Where do you think you can go?” Then people start, in the room, saying their goals, and that’s not even– You should be like thinking way past that, you know what I mean? In your head, you think you’re only good enough, like you said, with the luxury, “I’m only good enough to do this,” and then once that other opportunity comes, you almost push it away, so that’s really awesome.
Tell me, now that you are going to be down in Florida– You had mentioned to me earlier, before we started recording, that you are going to have someone that you’re going to be hiring, or training, up in Canada to take that over. That’s going to be a whole new ball game for you. How are you preparing for that? What steps are you putting in place?
Steve: The good thing is– I’m in coaching still, real estate coach. I’m very pro-coaching. You always need a coach, you need someone that’s always smarter than you, that’s going to humble you. He’s running a very successful team, out here in Canada, so I’m leaning on him a lot, to structure it and also guide me. Also, I’m forced to do it this time, so I’m going to do it right. I’m going to pay attention. I’ll have to come to the office when I don’t want to, you know what I mean?
Now I have responsibility. I have an executive assistant, to be honest, Elisa is like– She’s gone for two weeks now. It’s a disaster for me. I have so much going on. It’s not just real estate. It’s the development, it’s the investing, it’s the rental properties, it’s the stuff in Florida, it’s the immigration. She spirits all of that. Yes, I’m forced to go on and do it now, and that’s good. That’s what I need. I need that position where it’s like either fight or flight kind of situation. We’ll manage it and then we’ll build it out. I think it’ll be fine, yes.
Lindsay: Absolutely, and then is your goal, too– You will be traveling back and forth. Is your goal in Florida to also build up any team? Or is it just going to be you while you’re down there?
Steve: No. I’ve already hired a managing broker, because naturally, I can’t get my license until I get my CE number, but at the same time, you can’t just go fresh into a market. I hired an agent there, she’s 40 years living in Fort Myers, 25 years of selling on that west coast of Florida. I know everything, I have an encyclopedia of information and to be honest, I don’t think I really want to go out and do the sales anymore.
I’ll probably do it naturally, but I want to be that conduit between Canada and Florida. Now I’m getting three calls a day from Canadians that want to buy it in Florida. It’s like now I’m that conduit. Canadian-owned company. Again, all the Americans I’ve dealt with in Florida have been stellar. This is another reason I want to move there. People still open the door and say hello to you. It’s like living in the 80s, it’s awesome.
Lindsay: It’s a different world, that’s for sure.
Steve: Different world that I can get used to, very fast. That’s pretty much it. She’s got all this information and we’re going to have her on– I told her, she probably thinks I’m going to maybe separate us once I get licensed, and stuff like that. I said, “No, I’d love you to stay on and then build this right.” I can go back to Toronto, do seminars, bring all these leads back, let’s try to organize it. Let’s try to build something out.
I think I’ve reached that point, too. I still want to be involved with the sales, the day-to-day transactions, negotiating deals. I love it, still, but ultimately– I think at this age here, it’s time for a little bit of managing different people to get outcomes. I think it’s fun. It’s hilarious, everyone says at 40, it’s downhill. I’m at the best physical shape of my life, the sharpest I’ve ever been, the wisest I’ve ever been, and I think the most business savvy I’ve ever been.
Some people might think it’s the end of the world, and to me, it’s like– I can’t wait to 50, right?
Lindsay: Yes, yes, yes. I just turned 40 back in April, and I feel the same way, especially once the kids get to a certain age and you don’t feel like you’re spending all your time with babies and dealing with baby-type stuff, you do definitely feel like, “I can now start my life and get–” You know what I mean? You can get back to focusing on yourself. I think that’s the best part about the 40s to 50s. It’s that really focusing on yourself, and it sounds like you are doing that up in Canada.
You’re making a plan to make your life better for your family and to grow the business. It’s really, really inspiring. I’m so excited that you shared all of this today. Thank you so much. One last question I have for you before we end is– I want to get an idea of what kind of advice that you would give to someone who is– Not many people are going to do what you’re doing, right? So let’s slim it down to a bigger pool of people, I guess, if you will.
The people that are in that 5 to 10 range of sales per year, that do want to scale and add 10 per year to their repertoire. What would be your biggest piece of advice for them?
Steve: I think for junior age and number one, you got to shut the noise off. Stop watching people that are just shiny and have no– There’s nothing, no substance to it. Yes, we can drive a Lamborghini, it’s all bullshit. Look at the guy that’s working hard and just giving information, if you’re going to follow a realtor on Instagram. Actually, Anthony’s pretty good. We have very similar personalities.
Lindsay: You guys have very similar story. The family business and then being like, “I’m out of this, I’m doing my thing,” you guys have a very similar story. You guys would get along. I’ll introduce you after this, so you guys can talk.
Steve: We’re a driver, driver’s personality. Shut all the noise off, that’s for sure. What happens is– When you’re following too many people and it looks more shiny than what it is, it makes you feel negative. You’re going to have a pit in your stomach and that pit in the stomach’s going to make you unproductive. You got to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Number two– You got to have a schedule.
Scheduling is so important and it’s not just a real estate portion. I’m training my agent now. I’m trying to give him a whole balance of things, and work is there too, naturally. We got to make money to support our families, but it’s also like waking up early, exercising daily. Exercise is so important for your mental sharpness. People don’t get it. Who cares about the beach body? Forget about that. It’s all about physical health, and your wellbeing.
Because when you’re physically healthy, you’re mentally healthy, and then you’re going to get good sleep at the same time because you’re burning energy in the morning. Not only that, if you’re having negative thoughts– We all get negative thoughts, I’m riddled by it, your mind can just wander into deep shit many times, but I find with rigorous exercise, if I’m going for a six or eight-mile run, or something like that, and no headphones.
Just torture yourself with your mind, and literally, you work out your problems, because you’re forced to. You can’t walk back, especially if it’s a hot day. Yes. That’s for sure. With real estate itself, just have a process. You got to get in and do all your same tasks every day, your most important tasks. You got to do your lead follow-up in the morning. If you got listings, make sure you contact those agents, specifically in today’s market, where a lot of agents that did so well, and did nothing, are going to have to actually work.
We’re going to see how many people last. Already 5 to 6,000 agents have left our Toronto real estate board, and this is nothing. This is nothing.
Lindsay: Nothing. This has just begun.
Steve: We’re still selling shit, in five to six months. Anyway, build that. Your lead follow-up in the morning, for sure, make all your appointments in the morning, set them up for the evening, and then fill in your day. You might want to add some different processes. You always keep improving your businesses, but also take mental breaks. If you’re all fussy, just go for a walk, go out, take lunches, healthy lunches. Just calm down, breathe.
Lindsay: One day at a time.
Steve: One day at a time. For business, to get business naturally– I came up from the old school, so door knocking and cold call. My triple dialer was, I think, 70 to 80,000 calls per year, and 10 to 12% of that was actually contact rates. 6 to 7,000 people I would speak to and try to get listings, but I think this generation has it a little bit better than the last, because of social media. They can promote themselves.
As long as they’re not full of shit and they’re giving out great information, they can generate a following, and you don’t need 100,000 people. If you’ve got like 200 to 300 solid people, that refer your business, it’s all you’re looking for. Don’t look for the numbers. I think people get mixed up with that.
Lindsay: Yes, absolutely. They’re trying to get after those following numbers, and they’re not realizing that– The following that you have, just make sure you’re working them and you’re going to get more referrals, and so on.
Steve: 100%. Work them to the end, and then also, when you’re doing deals, when you’re just out doing deals, if someone’s just gone to business, he did five deals, make sure those five people are serviced after. I’m still servicing, after 12 years, the same people that I’ve dealt with, that have not purchased a piece of real estate since then. They may have given me one referral, some not, but they’re still getting the same service.
We touch them– The 22 touches per year. That’s what we’re doing per client, and that’s what we’re doing, we keep that. That cost me at least, I don’t know, maybe $1,000 to $1,500 per client per year, but they’re still in that loop. I don’t want to lose them.
Lindsay: What are those touches? If you don’t mind me asking.
Steve: I wish my assistant was here. She’d have a better handle on it, but–
Lindsay: Just examples, yes.
Steve: The major events, like Christian holidays and stuff like that, Christmas, Easter, there’s always something. Either bottled wines dropped off at Christmas, something like that, a calendar, their birthday cards, we send birthday cards out. Not only that, I text them in the morning. I have this book, I call it the Bible. I’m old school. It’s all nicely highlighted.
Lindsay: I love it. It’s all highlighted. That looks great.
Steve: My assistant, God bless her. She’s the best. I’m trying to bring her to Florida. I bought a big ass house and I’m trying to stick her there, in one of the rooms, but anyway. I’ll read this in the morning, if there’s a birthday, I’ll physically text message them. You make that conversation. The last time you contacted them was a year, from physical contact. Leads into a call, leads into top of mind agent, and ultimately into a lead, at some point.
Lindsay: You’re probably beating their family to texting them, too.
Steve: By far. I guarantee you, 7:30, sometimes, in the morning, to 8:00 AM, it’s the realtor.
Lindsay: Steve called me, but my mom didn’t call me.
Steve: 1,000%, no doubt.
Lindsay: That’s fantastic. Well, again, thank you so much for doing this. I really, really appreciate it. Our listeners are going to get so much out of this. I am so excited to have been able to talk to you about all of this. Good luck in Florida. We’ll definitely stay in touch, because we’ll have that Florida connection, and maybe we’ll meet up while we’re down there, at some point.
Steve: That’d be awesome. That’d be really cool. Maybe I’ll come to one of your seminars, if you guys are going to do one down there, I would love to attend.
Lindsay: [crosstalk] Love it. Yes, for sure. Sounds good. Well, thank you, everybody, for listening. Appreciate it. We will see you on the next episode of Agents who Crush it in Real Estate. Bye-bye.
Steve: Awesome. Thank you.
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.