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, and I am here today with one of my very close friends and an absolutely awesome realtor, Bea Murphy. Bea, welcome to the podcast today.
Bea Murphy: Thank you for having me.
Lindsay: I want to start by going down some of your stats and explain to people where you are at and where you are now. You started with us in 2017. It was March you started with the company, and then in April you got licensed, but in June is when you first really dove into the business. The first six months in real estate, she sold six homes. One per month is really, really good as a really great start into the business. After that, the next year in 2018, she tripled that, and then every year since she’s been doubling down. We are recording this at the very end of December, and she is about to close 65 homes for 2021, so congratulations on that, Bea, and way to go.
Bea: Thank you.
Lindsay: I want to back things up, and I want you to explain where you were at and how you got into the business originally and why you made that switch, so take us back to the beginning.
Bea: All right. We’re reversing back to 2017, I was in the corporate world, I was a retail buyer. My days pretty much started at 6:00 AM where my mom washed my kids. At that point, my son was three, my daughter was one. My mom would come over at 5:00. I would leave the house at 6:00 with two crying kids because they didn’t want mom to leave. Get on the commuter rail, go into Boston, go to my job which was super, super demanding grinding, it was very intense.
I would be home by 6:00. My mom was tired. I was tired. My husband got home around the same time, and it got to a point where I wasn’t a good employee, I wasn’t a good mom, it got on me. Javing a three-year-old and one-year-old, I just envisioned, “Where is this going? I have pre-school to worry about, drop-offs.” My kids are active, so I can envision them getting into things, which fast forward, they are into lots of things. Who’s going to know, right? Who’s going to handle all–
Lindsay: They literally climb the walls, don’t they? I see your social posts.
Bea: Literally climb the walls. You find me on social media, you’ll understand that. I just knew things needed to change and I knew I could make that change for the better of the whole family for me, for the kids. They were super unhappy. They didn’t want mom gone all day and they’re stuck with grandma. I was sitting on the couch one night with my husband, I’m like, “What if I got into real estate?” It was like record-scratching moment., “What are you going to do? You’ve had 13 years of corporate retail buying experience, and you’re going to completely switch paths so you completely switched everything you’ve known and to dive into something we don’t know?”
It took a couple of weeks, months of just discussions, lots of Excel documents, figuring out our budget, figuring, “Can we make this happen? Can we not make this happen?” I started doing the online real estate training, just to start doing that in the backend, and then got to a point where I just knew, I had to make the switch. I had to do it. There was a lot of backend, making sure– I told my husband like, “Worst-case scenario, I suck at this, I will go get a job. I will figure it out.” I’m not one to just sit at home and not figure it out, but I want to give it a shot, and looking back now, I’m like we wish we did this sooner but in hindsight, right?
Lindsay: Yes. Maybe you wouldn’t have been as successful if you had done it sooner. You know what I mean? You just don’t know the timing. You probably would’ve been regardless, [laughs] but the timing is sometimes super important, so you just don’t know.
Bea: Yes, I agree. I always feel like I was where I was when I had my kids for reasons because I had leave support. There’s things that I wouldn’t have if I was here, so I agree. There’s a time and place for everything in life, and it all happens for a reason. Made the change, talked to my girlfriends, they suggested I find my brokerage, found my brokerage and it is what it is. The rest is history.
Lindsay: Yes, I love it. What things inspired you or what people inspired you to jump into? When you’re working in a corporate environment and then you jump in to be working for yourself, there’s got to be some inspiration there. Tell me about that.
Bea: Little backstory about Bea Murphy formerly known as Bea Gator. My dad has owned his own business my entire life, so he is, was, when I retire and I feel like I’ll probably be like him, he owned his own small jewelry store in downtown Boston. Growing up, I would go with him into the store, I would see what he does. I would clean the jewelry. I would do his mailers. I would do all of the holiday gifts that he would have for his clients. Every single time you had a new customer come in, I remember he’d pull out an index card and I would take their information, their name, their address, their phone number, no emails back at that point.
I would put it in this little like, I don’t know like a little trapper keeper thing with all his clients. I grew up with this small business mentality. I would help him create marketing ideas and be like, “Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that?” Help him do that. I always knew I wanted to own my own business. There’s been different variations of what I wanted to do. I would never would’ve thought ended up in real estate, but here I am and it’s worked out. My dad’s been the voice in my head per se.
Lindsay: It sounds like you were able to really watch and observe the way he did his business. You were so involved that it probably trains you for all the things that you do without even thinking now, like we have to really train people sometimes to do those things and you’ve just known that that’s something that you have to do. That’s really cool.
Bea: Yes, just like every holiday, I would be wrapping up– He used to give bottles of wine to all his clients. That was the thing I started doing November, wrapping up bottles of wine that he would go by.
Lindsay: How are you doing it again?
Bea: I’m doing again, which is holiday ornaments and different things.
Lindsay: That’s so cool. Tell me you be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, co-worker, all of these hats that you wear, there is definitely a thought amongst all of our friends and co-workers that they think, “This woman just does it all and she’s really good at all of it.” Explain to me how you balance all of those different roles in your life, and how you make it all work and still grow your business?
Bea: Honestly, I think the biggest thing is time management, and I think it’s giving time for all including myself. I literally try to utilize every minute I can of the day, and that’s not saying like there’s some days I just want to relax, and that is using my time wisely because I need that day too. A lot of it is, I just put things in buckets. I don’t know how to describe it. I focus my day. I start my day, and I’m like “All right–” I plan my kids’ days. On the free time, I plan at work time, and on the other time, I make sure– I’m extremely organized. I have a planner for every month.
I have an online planner, I have two planners, I have planners till 2023. I’m very, very organized which a lot of people think I’m crazy, but it makes my life easier, and that way, I’m not worrying about what to do next. I have a game plan for everything. For me, it’s like I start with my priorities. One is my family and my kids. I make sure they’re taken care of. Their activities are taken care of, pickups, drop-offs, fingering that out, and then I layer in work. Luckily, for me, they’re both on the bus now, so I have the freedom of they’re both gone from 8:00 to 3:00, but even before, I would have my mom come over, help me with the kids, do work then.
Pros and cons of real estate is it’s not 9:00 to 5:00. I can wake up early, and I get stuff done if I need it to get done. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m like, “You know what, Bea, let’s go to bed early, let’s wake up at 4:35, crank out work when no one’s awake and get some done.” That will take some off of me. Vice versa, if I have work at the end of the day, I know I just need to put my kids to bed, no TV, no sitting on the couch, get on my laptop, and do work. I’ve understood the– I don’t know what you want to call it, but sometimes, you have to put in a little bit more here and there to make it all work.
Lindsay: It’s the grind.
Bea: It’s the grind, right? I guess it’s the grind. I have to grind it out, and that’s okay to me because it’s worth it to be able to go to my son’s hockey games, bring my daughter to skating. Literally, the list goes on, but to me, I’d rather do that. Honestly, my laptop comes with me most places because you never know. Some people think that’s crazy, but I’m like I’d rather be on a boat or vacation writing an offer than not.
That’s just my personality, and it’s not for everyone but that’s just how I work. I just make sure I go through my priorities, and I want to make sure I check in with my friends. It could be a quick text. It doesn’t have to be this long, “I need to plan a dinner with you.” No, just say hi, get involved. To me, I don’t like wasting time and I try to mirror image one of my best friends who was just like, “Take the day, seize it, do what you can, make most of it.”
Lindsay: Talk to me about your friend that you’re mentioning because obviously, I know who you’re talking about, but I want to make sure that she gets talked about here because I think she’s also one of those inspirations for you and she continues to be. Just tell us a little bit about her. You don’t have to get into too much detail, but tell us about her a little bit.
Bea: Sure. Tell us about her. She is Megan Martin. She was my college friend. I’ve known her since 2000. When did I have her come over? I started Lamacchia first, and then Megan came after, and she was a Rockstar realtor here when she was here. She was a rock.
Literally, everyone says, “Bea, you’d make it all happen like her.” She was superwoman. She made it all happen because she had three boys. She had this amazing career. She was a wife to her husband. She did it all. She got diagnosed with cancer when I was getting married, so 2012. She was dealing with fighting cancer for seven years and doing all this. To me, no matter what I do, I’ll never be like Megan.
Lindsay: I think you are very much like her from what I’ve seen personally, and yes, I can say that I knew her for obviously a very short period of time, but she had a big effect on all of us, and I definitely see a lot of what we loved about her in you, so just keep it up. That’s all I’ll say.
Moderator: Let’s take a quick break and hear from the number one loan originator, Shant Banosian of Guaranteed Rate, as he gives us his monthly mortgage tip.
Shant Banosian: Our pre-commitment program is helping our clients get their offers accepted above our competition. It creates certainty and confidence amongst you, the buyer, as well as amongst the listing agents and the sellers. Presenting offers utilizing our pre-commitment, fully underwritten approvals eliminates stress and anxiety and adds certainty and confidence when having your offer presented and accepted, it definitely separates you from the competition.
Moderator: Thanks, Shant. Now, let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: All right, so the next thing I want to talk about is the things that you have done to go from in the 40s sales to now 65 sales and during pandemic times. My friend, that is not something to be shy about. We’ve got to get into this a little bit and talk about what it is that you did to get to that point. Now, obviously, you’ll talk about the grind, and you did all these things, we know you’re a hard worker, but what are some of the things that you specifically focused on to get through to those new numbers and that new level?
Bea: When the pandemic happened, I was like, “Oh, snap, what’s going to happen?” To race back, going from 18 to 40 something, I think there’s a lot of people who struggle to get from that level to the next level. I think when you get close to that 15 to 20ish range, you really have to allocate. When I say allocate is for help, whether it’s getting an admin. It’s hard for me to advise because within our company, we have the support. I guess it’s however you want to support and allocate your time wisely. When you get to that point, you want to be out meeting people, you want to be networking, you want to be at meetings, you want to be meeting buyers.
You don’t want to be stuck doing the busy work. You don’t want to be putting signs, taking pictures, doing computer stuff, because yes, computer stuff is important, the backend stuff is important, but I always think about income-producing activity. To me, it was income-producing activity. Is me sitting on computer for four hours income-producing? Some yes, some no. I try to allocate my time wisely, and I ask for help. For us, we have an assistant program that helps take the deal under contract, follow it through the whole way, so that way you’re not micromanaging the deals, you’re not in closing mode.
I got out of closing mode, so literally, I would put a deal under contract. I would, obviously, depending on the side, get it through inspection, and then it’s not like, I don’t want to say forget the deal, but I did not get in closing mode. I was like, “What’s next? Let’s keep going.” I did not stop and be like, “Okay, is this person okay? Is this person okay?” I’m like, “It’s going to close and we’ll make it happen.” There’s different times to check into those deals, but you don’t have to be breathing down that deal’s neck. You want to continuously add more, so having that support again, however, support you want was huge.
To me, I had an assistant help me do the backend. We have a service at our company where it takes care of the sign, the pictures, the floor plans, the brochures, I didn’t have to do that. To me, I could just knock out, get more listings, get more listings, email our one person and it gets done. To me, going from 15 to 20 to 40 something is literally how to time management and allocate to get help. That’s okay to get help. It’s okay.
You want to be getting more deals. That was huge for me. The other part was I got involved with a lot more sellers, so that was a big one. When I get involved with sellers, sometimes they also have to buy. There’s a two for one. As soon as I started doing more listings, then obviously it naturally grows the numbers too. I would say that’s a big one is just figuring how to allocate your time to be used wisely. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’ve done.
Lindsay: The other thing that I’ve noticed too is that a lot of your business, in the beginning, was very heavily company business, and then you really started to really build up that referral base and get those sphere business working on your own. What things do you do for past clients? How do you stay in touch with them? What are the things that you do to keep them referring you out?
Bea: I think last year I created a schedule for myself to do once a quarter. I do mailings to my sphere one month, I do Popeyes one month to my sphere, and then I’m doing a giveaway one month. I’m just trying to stay top of mind with them. That was something I did last year, and then I always send them birthday cards to everyone in the family. If they tell me they have a dog that has a birthday, I honestly send the dog a birthday card because to that person, that dog’s important to them, right? They told me for a reason. I also send them a housiversary card. Regardless if it’s five years ago or one year ago, I’m just like, “Congrats on another year of homeownership.”
They’re just seeing my face one more time throughout the year, and just staying in touch with them. When I get closer to the holidays, I still send everyone a Thanksgiving card and then new clients who bought with me, I send them an ornament. If it’s just a past client that I’ve just done business with, I still send them like a holiday card. They’re getting a Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, house affair, whatever, when they–
Lindsay: Dog’s birthdays, their birthdays, which is freaking rare to get a birthday card on your birthday anymore, and then Thanksgiving cards. You’re not just sending them something, you’re sending them something opposite from when everyone else would be technically sending them something, which makes you stand out. A lot of people are going, “It’s Christmas, I’ve got to send Christmas cards.” The reality is it’s Easter or it’s 4th of July, send a card. Just stand out amongst the rest. That’s awesome. I didn’t know that you did all of those different things, so that’s really cool.
Bea: Yes, so that’s actually really the why I wanted to do Thanksgiving cards because I was like, “Everyone in creation sends a holiday card.” I’m like, “What’s a holiday that’s like I can a card.” I was like, “You know what? Thanksgiving. Let’s focus on Thanksgiving.” To your point, you could do Easter or the 4th of July or whatever, pick a holiday you like National Ice Cream Day and send a card to everyone. It doesn’t matter what it is. It just matters that you do it.
Lindsay: I like that Thanksgiving thing too because you’re pretty much saying, “I’m thankful for you.”
Bea: I handwrite them all, and I wrote, “I’m thankful for you as a client.” It’s super short. It’s not like an essay, “Bob Smith, Happy Thanksgiving. Thankful for you as a client. Hope all is well. XOXO, Bea.” Done. I do pay a lot in postage, but that’s okay. It’s nothing compared to the return.
Lindsay: You might have paid a lot in postage, but you went from 45 to 65 sales.
Bea: I would say that covers–
Lindsay: I think that you’ve made that money back.
Bea: Yes, tenfold.
Lindsay: Awesome. Well, Bea, in closing, any advice that you have for agents out there that maybe are in that 6 to 20 range, which is a big range, but at the same, that’s where I feel like a lot of people get stuck and don’t know how to make it to that next step. I know you talked all about all the different techniques, but what advice would you give that person?
Bea: I think a lot of people don’t go past it just because it’s not easy. You have to show up every day. You have to treat it like it’s your job. There’s no golden ticket, as I say. You don’t get your real estate license, and then you’re high rolling on yachts. That’s not going to happen. That’s not real life. Set your expectations, set your goals. That’s another thing, I set my goals every year, and I have them and I clock them and I check-in. Have your goals. Don’t be afraid to add one aggressive goal because if you have goals that you’re just going to continuously get, cool, but just have one reach goal, just do it, you’ll be happier.
I had one reach goal, we did it, and I’m like. I would say don’t give up. It’s a long game, so whatever you do, you’re not going to see immediate results. The other thing I started when I got into real estate, I got into every single networking thing I could get into because I was slow in the beginning. I’m very high energy and I like to network, so I got involved with every single group. I got into my town group, I got into my alumni college group, I got out with people and I would say that’s a big thing too. Real estate, it’s a people game. It’s an interaction game.
I get made fun of now because they call me the Mayor of Hanover. They call me the mayor. They’re like, “Bea, everyone knows you.” I’m like, “Because I’m out there.” If you’re sitting at home, whatever, no one’s going to know you, no one’s going to get to know you. That’s the other thing is I didn’t make it like, “Hi, I’m Bea Murphy, I’m a real estate agent. I will take your referrals.” I was just like, “Hey, I’m Bea, I’m from Hanover. I have kids. Oh yes, I’m also a realtor.” Should they like me and want to work with me, great, and if not– I didn’t make it salesy. I’m just, “Cool, Bea’s a realtor too, and look, she also crushes it weird.” That was that.
There’s not one blanket answer for people in that thing, but I would just say don’t give up, look at the long game, really focus on the activities you’re doing to make sure that they will eventually produce something because all of those networking groups that I got involved with, I can guarantee you for 6 to 12, maybe more months, there was no return on them, but they are now, 100% they are now. If anything, when you meet all those people, take them into network, add them to whatever database you have. I do that still today.
If I go to a networking lunch and I obtain information, better believe within seven days, those people’s contacts are in my network. Just really focus on what you’re doing and make sure it’s all income-producing. Again, it might not be right away, but it’s a long game. To me, it’s not like I’m going to do something today and expect tomorrow. It’s I’m in this for the long haul now, so I’m thinking long-term. Also social media. Social media was a huge one for me. That was huge. If you’re not on social, and if you don’t have your accounts clear, make that your goal. Do once a week social media post. It’s free, it’s easy, but just differentiate yourself, just because there’s a lot of noise out there. Just be you.
Lindsay: Absolutely. They’re going to want to work with the person who you are, not necessarily the realtor that sold as many homes. They want to work with the person and they’re trusting you. It’s one of those things you really have to be yourself because they’re going to pick Bea because of her background over someone else who maybe they just don’t connect with as much or whatever the case is. You know what, when someone picks the other person because they didn’t connect with Bea, that’s okay.
Bea: That’s okay.
Lindsay: There’s plenty of homes to be sold, maybe not this winter, but there’s plenty of homes to be sold. Really quick, so before we finish, you mentioned goals. What goals do you have, Bea, for next year?
Bea: My goals for next year, which this is huge accountability right here-
Lindsay: Yes, right?
Bea: -they are, unit-wise, 75 homes. I want to have at least, I think I said five luxury listings, so they have to be over a million dollars-
Bea: -because I want to increase my price point. We have top office and top company things, so I want to make that a couple of times. I want to do more videos as a goal of mine which I–
Lindsay: Yes, I support.
Bea: I got that feeling, I would get that response. What else? We had a boat on my list, but we did that this year.
Lindsay: I know you made it. That was so exciting.
Bea: I got that.
Lindsay: The other thing I love about that reach goal is that sometimes people will hit a goal but then feel like they can’t truly get the prize. There’s that vacation that they really want to take, and if they make it a goal, and then they earn it, then you really are justified in doing whatever that thing is. I love that you guys did that and you did it as a family. Now you guys have this awesome boat that you guys get to say you earned it. It’s fantastic. I love that.
Bea: That’s on the list that I’ve got down this year. Oh, so I have an assistant that helps me. One of my goals is to help her increase her numbers too. I mentor her.
Lindsay: Love it. This is fantastic. Bea, thank you so much.
Bea: You’re welcome.
Lindsay: As I knew would be the case, you’ve really brought a whole bunch of amazing content. You’ve talked about personal things and all kinds of stuff. I just really, really appreciate you being so open and honest with our audience. I know they’re going to have a lot to take away from this.
Bea: Awesome. Thank you again for having me.
Lindsay: Absolutely. We’ll see you guys on the next episode of the Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate Podcast. Thanks for coming.
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.