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, and I am super excited for you guys to meet my guest this week. She is probably the coolest name I’ve seen in any profession, never mind real estate, but her name is Tyson Jones. She is with the Litchfield Company. They are right in that whole Myrtle Beach area. They call it the Grand Strand, which is what I just learned here a minute ago. She’s with the Litchfield Company, the Lachicotte office, and I am so, so excited to have you here with us today. Thank you so much for joining us, Tyson.
Tyson Jones: Thank you for having me. I’m so excited.
Lindsay: The name, I just– I tell you– I was kept telling people, I’m having this girl on this podcast. Her name’s Tyson Jones. They’re like, “She sounds such a badass. I’m like, “I know.” [laughs]
Tyson: I love it. Thank you. [laughs]
Lindsay: Don’t wait to hear about all the awesome bad badassness that you actually have.
Tyson: Let’s go.
Lindsay: All right. You started in the business nine years ago, and take me back to when you started in the business. What was the reasoning that you got in, what were you doing before? Take us back in the time capsule.
Tyson: Sure. I had just graduated college in 2014 from East Carolina University. I was actually living in Myrtle Beach doing an internship and I decided to get a real estate license during that summer. I really just had a strong interest in it and decided to jump into the business and give it a try. I was very fortunate to start my career with century 21 Bowling, and Penny Bowling.
The owner was a wonderful mentor along with Tracy Miles, who was a seasoned and highly-raked agent. They really took me under their wing and taught me so much about the business. I really spent the first year learning and practicing and just networking and building my name essentially in a new town where I didn’t know anyone, but was super focused and excited to start my career.
Lindsay: What was the main reason after you were in school? What were you– What did you go to school for and what was that path and how did that change for you? Not a lot of people get into real estate because they went to school for it. You know what I mean? You don’t go to school for real estate, right?
Lindsay: What was some of the reasoning there that you got into real estate specifically?
Tyson: My major was merchandising with a minor in business, and I grew up an avid golfer. I played mini golf tournaments. That was my path in life. I moved to Myrtle Beach and did an internship in the golf business. I grew up, my parents are both entrepreneurs, so I grew up in that atmosphere of business mind, and so I just thought having my real estate license would be a huge benefit and something to have under my belt. Once I started learning more about it, I could see myself doing that and connecting with people and helping them with the largest purchase they’ll make. My heart was in it, and I was excited to learn more about it, and so that’s why I went that direction.
Lindsay: That’s so cool. A lot of people start off with a business degree or, I’ve heard of a lot of people that start off with an education degree. A lot of people go from being teachers to being real estate agents. I’m always fascinated about how people get into the business, because it always is such a different path for different people. They all just come from all different walks of life, so that’s so awesome.
Don’t play golf with you because you will kick my butt. Sounds good. [laughs] I’m lucky if I can get the ball off the tee. Nine years ago, so tell me how your business changed over those nine years, how you ramped up. I know you mentioned you were at Century 21, you had a some great mentors and things like that. Tell me how the beginning of those nine years worked out for you.
Tyson: Sure. Well, I the first year and a half two years, I really focused on building my database. A struggle I had was I was in a new town, I didn’t know anyone. I was 22, right out to college, so I had to overcome a lot of those challenges. One way I did that was networking and meeting new people and trying new things and doing lots of open houses. That’s really how I built my clientele is doing open houses. I just planted a lot of seeds, and thankfully, over the years, they’ve blossomed. I practiced a lot. I always say, the class, they teach you what you need to know to pass the test, but you really don’t learn until you get a contract to close and really practice and learn the nature of the business.
I would say that’s something I did that worked for me. I really focused on my relationships with people, and not only the new people I was meeting, but my sphere of influence. My friends in North Carolina where I grew up, staying top of mind because I knew they don’t live here, but they may have friends who may want to buy a beach house or they may retire here or they may have a friend looking to move here.
I really focused on marketing myself and creating a brand for myself. I had opportunities to join teams and that thing but I really had a passion for, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to make my name known. I’m going to work really hard, and then in maybe five to six years, I’ll have a following and build my reputation in this business and in this community.”
Lindsay: Tell me how you do that. At the age of 22, you’re doing networking, you’re building this database. What were some of the activities that you were doing to get some names into there? Obviously you’re working your own spheres, so you probably have their names, phone numbers, things like that. Parents friends of friends, things like that, but how were you digging to get more people into your database and keeping up with that?
Tyson: I got really involved in community organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, the economic development, church, bible studies, anything I could do just to connect with people because I also wanted to meet people in my community and make friends, and also make a difference in the community. I’ve always been passionate about that. For example, I would show up to chamber meetings by myself, and just go up and say, “Hey, I’m Tyson nice to meet you.: It paid off. Some people may think I’m silly, but that’s what you have to do, especially if you’re going into a business where you’re an intimate contractor.
I had to put all into it. What you put into this business is what you’re going to get out. I think that’s how you survive it, is you get creative and you just do it. I know people always say, “Fake it till you make it.” I do not that saying, because I feel like you just do it. You do what you have to do. That’s what I did. I learned, I did coaching programs I just tried to do the best I could, is I didn’t want to go into it just do halfway, I wanted to put my all into it. I hope that answers your question.
Lindsay: Absolutely. You said something that I absolutely loved, and will probably be the name of this episode. You said I planted a lot of seeds and over time they blossomed and I just, I loved that analogy. Tell me all these seeds that you’re planting nine years ago, how long did it take for you to say to yourself, “Wow, the things that I did, all that networking, all those community involvement, it’s working.” Did you have a moment where you went, “Click, it’s starting to work?”
Tyson: Yes, well, I don’t really have an exact timeline because I feel like each year I see things happen. I will say I work mainly by referral right now, because I nurtured those relationships. I would say I’m more relational versus transactional. I think having a relationship with someone is more important than the dollar sign to me. That has really been beneficial to me, is nurturing those relationships with my people.
I have a client right now, I helped her sister, her brother, her daughter, and now, they’re all selling. I’ll list all of their properties and help them find something else. This repeat business is such a blessing to me, and I think that’s one seed that I’ve planted that I feel has really paid off. Just doing the extra things for my clients has paid off. It’s whether they need help moving or they need contractors, or they need boxes, or they need just the small things I think that’s totally paid off for me.
Lindsay: They might be small to you, but to them, it makes a big difference. It shows that you’re not just their realtor, that you’re their friend and that you’re helping. I know a lot of agents feel that they’ve become family with some of these people that have really trusted them and stuff. I’m looking at some of the testimonials that you have. “She was a pleasure to work with and always made sure I was aware of showings and inspections. Tyson is a true professional, there are so many good things, I don’t know where to start,” so yes, you’ve done a good job for your people, and it obviously shows. Tell me a little bit about some of the events that you do.
Tyson: I did an event this year, and it was called Range and Rose. I knew that I love golf, and how can I incorporate that into my business along with partnering with other people in the community so I partnered with Mimi Seabrook, it’s a local store here in the Pawleys Island area. We partnered together and we did this event and we did it in support of fostering hope.
We opened up a website where people could register. We had women out for an evening, and had a golf lesson and network and also raised money and donations for fostering hope. I was able to incorporate that within my business, we were having fun, but also supporting a good cause, and also, being able to network with other women in the community.
Lindsay: You build the connections, and they get to understand your brand and now their referral partners, it’s all good stuff?
Tyson: Yes, that was super fun and I’ll definitely do it next year. I’m hoping to do that yearly.
Lindsay: Tell me now, you’ve been in the business nine years, which was right after the 2008 meltdown, and all of this so you obviously built your business up when the market was slower into what we’ve seen in the last few years. Now with the market changing, what things are you doing differently? Are you noticing a change yet in your market? Tell me a little bit about the market changes and how that’s affected you?
Tyson: Yes, I was fortunate I started it was 2014. The market was good, steady, it was like it was during COVID. I feel like I’ve experienced different levels of the business in the market itself. Going back to your question, you asked me, I didn’t really answer it. Each year, I’ve found I have had more volume each year. It’s like a ladder for me, which so I’m blessed and thankful for. I would say things that have changed, that I’ve seen really is marketing and how social media has just soared and everybody’s online, and you really got to stay up to date with all that.
I was thinking about this, I remember, this was probably in 2016. We had Instagram, but I didn’t feel like it was so popular as it is now and I remember sitting in our old conference room, and getting all my phone and doing a video and posting it on Instagram and there wasn’t many people doing video at that time. I was like, “I’m going to give this a try,” and it was the best thing I could have done because now look at video. It’s like, if you’re not doing video, the train has left.
Lindsay: I was watching some of your reels you’re getting afterward, I like it.
Tyson: Well, and now there’s reels, and there’s TikTok, and there’s all of these tools at our fingertips but I think it can also be overwhelming. I try to remind myself, stick to the basics. Stick to what works for you because not everything that works for everyone else is going to work for you. You have to really dial in to what you’re good at, and what you’ve had the most success with.
Lindsay: What you enjoy, because if you don’t enjoy it, if you hate doing a video, you’re not going to do a video. You’re not going to be consistently doing video, just do what you like.
Tyson: Absolutely. I would say I’ve seen– Right now, the market I think is cooled down a little bit compared to what we saw during the pandemic but I think people will last in this business, if they stick to their consistency and their systems and their plans and I feel like that’s how people stay in this business is just staying focused, and not worrying about the outside factors so much.
Lindsay: You also became certified as a luxury agent, correct, in 2021?
Tyson: I did.
Lindsay: Tell me about dealing with luxury clients versus dealing with the normal residential clients that you were possibly dealing with before? What are some of the nuances or the differences in dealing with that type of client because there’s definitely a lot of people listening that are like, “Wow, I would really love to break into more of a luxury market,” but maybe there’s things that they don’t realize or that they don’t know, so tell me a little bit about some of the nuances between dealing with the different groups?
Tyson: Yes, I know, my sales manager and most of our agents would agree, we treat everyone as a luxury client. I’m going to treat a client with a condo the same way, I’m going to treat a million-dollar buyer. That’s one thing that I will never waver on. You’re going to get the same treatment from me. Now, as far as luxury goes through, Christie’s International, we have a lot of tools and marketing programs at our fingertips that really are going to benefit that luxury client with that listing to get it out to all across the country.
I would say we do have that advantage. We are the only one on our coast here with that affiliation, so that is a huge benefit if you are a seller with a property that’s priced a million and higher. Our services, I would say, are unmatched when it comes to that.
Lindsay: When COVID hit, did you guys notice a big jump because I know all those markets, the warmer climates, the beach climates, those types of markets did see a good sizable increase. Did you see a big increase of people, influx of people, especially from these northern freezing states, coming down to the South Carolina Market? Tell me about that and tell me about how that changed the way you were doing things too?
Tyson: Absolutely, and a lot of the people I’ve worked with for the past nine years are relocating from northern areas to retire or just to escape the cold weather and high taxes. I would say, we definitely saw that and I think everyone when the pandemic was going on, we were so unsure of what’s going to happen with the real estate market. We were all pleasantly surprised that it was a great year for everyone. I would say we were all very busy. One thing that I did is I learned to delegate more and work with–
There were some few of my agents in my office, we would team up. We work deals and it was much fun. I found that I was actually way more productive with the help of others than just doing it myself. That’s one thing that changed for me and how I was able to be even more successful.
Lindsay: That’s incredible because it’s a hard lesson that I think a lot of agents have to learn. When they’re doing anywhere between 5 to 15 deals a year, they’re able to do a lot of the things that when they get to 30, 40, 50 deals a year, they can’t do anymore. That’s a weird transition of like, “When do I need to get that help versus when do I do it myself?” What do you think was that crossover for you? Was it just the amount of buyers that you had, and you realized that you didn’t have enough time to show them all the properties that they were looking for? What was that trigger for you to say, I need help?
Tyson: Yes, a little bit of both. I also had an assistant during that time, who was super helpful. I’m also a mom, I have a two-year-old so I juggle a lot in my life and to deliver my. To my clients the best service possible, I knew I needed help in these certain areas to continue to have that customer service I like to provide to my clients. Tthat is where– I’m thankful I took that leap and learned to delegate because I’m such a planner, and I like everything my way, Sometimes, a team of people, you can be even more successful than just by yourself, so that’s where I learned to really ask for help.
Lindsay: You love to spend time on your clients, spend time with your clients and help them in any way you can. Going into the holidays now, what are some of the things that you do to show appreciation? Do you do something around Thanksgiving, something around Christmas? What are some of the things that you do to help, make sure your clients know that you’re thinking of them during those times?
Tyson: Yes, in the past, I’ve done pop bys and pop by like an advent calendar last year, just a little something to say “Hey, I’m thinking of you.” A Christmas card, emails, texts, personal notes have been great for me. I’ve done that from the start of my business is just write a personal note. That goes so far and just to tell them I’m thinking of them.
Lindsay: Tell me more about the personal notes because that’s something that I’ve heard a lot of people say. I say a lot of people have said it, but then I realize that a lot of people don’t say it. I wonder if it’s only a small percentage of people that are doing it. Tell me a little bit about that. How do you decide who to write a letter too? How often do you do it? What’s the foundations behind that?
Tyson: It’s time consuming so that may be why some people don’t stick with it. For example, you could write a personal note when you meet that client or when you get under contract and say,” Hey, I’m looking forward to getting this deal closed for you and working alongside of you. If you need anything. Don’t hesitate to reach out.” Just a simple handwritten note to let them know you’re thinking of them. It could be their birthday or anniversaries or if they have a celebration, or a loss or anything like that in their personal life, I think it means a lot to people.
I know it does to me when I receive a personal note. When I first got into the business, the first three or four years, I did Buffini, which is a training program. They touched on that too. It was a very structured program to build your business and I really learned a lot from that. That was one of the items they did was personal notes and pop bys. Popping by the client, leaving them a little something just to say, “Hello. Thank you for your business.”
Lindsay: It goes such a long way and I love that. I know our broker owner, he keeps a stack of cards just blank note cards in his desk and he has a list that he keeps. He’ll write down names of people throughout the week. Maybe he’ll jot down notes or whatever, but then he’ll send those out. He’ll block some time and he’ll say, “Where’s my letters?” He’ll start writing out some of those notes and they just go so far.
It’s funny, I did a training once and I said to the crowd. I said, “How many of you guys have received a handwritten note from someone in the last, I don’t know, couple of months?” There was probably five or six people’s hands went up out of 30. It was very few people but then I said, “Out of those people, how many of you guys have kept it? Is it on your refrigerator? Is it on your desk? Is it on your desk at work? Where is that note?” I would say out of those five, four of them kept their hand up and said, “Yes, I still have it.” It’s something that you don’t get rid of. It’s a nice thing that you want to keep.
It’s either a letter that’s on your mantle, you know what I mean, or it’s something that’s on your desk. I know when I get them, I leave them on my desk and I have them sitting on my desk. It’s just a nice reminder that someone took the time to think about you. It just goes such a long ways.
Lindsay: I love that. In closing, because we’re almost wrapping up here, I want you to give us some advice. What advice do you have to this group of realtors, maybe they’re same timeframe as you. Maybe they’ve been in the business for 10 years, they’re hoping to make it to that next level. Whatever that is for them, what is some advice that you would give to some of those people that are just trying to do more in their business?
Tyson: Sure. I would say be consistent. Be authentic, be yourself. This business, you can make it what you want it to be. You can brand yourself. Like I’ve branded myself, Tyson Jones Sells the South, and that’s stuck. I love the south and I want to tell other people who want to move here. Systems that you have in place, it’s all about trust with people. If people trust you, it doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been in the business. If you can relate to others and they know that you have their back, you will be very successful.
I’m thankful for the company I’m with. Make sure you’re with a great company. The Litchfield Company, we’re the number one company here in the Waccamaw Neck. We do a lot of transactions. I think this year to date, we’ve closed 524 million in volume. We’ve got over 150 agents. I would say, make sure you’re with a reputable and strong company who’s going to provide you with the tools you need to be successful. Also, I would say your habits are so important. Every morning, I wake up and I do my devotional. That’s just what I do. It sets my mind.
I consistently put positive information into my mind and good vibes because that’s what I want my clients to see through me is that sense of positivity. That I’m here for them and it’s all going to be good. I think fueling yourself with positive vibes is so important in this business because it can get hard and sometimes you can take things personal and you can’t be. You’ve got to stay focused. Last thing I’ll say is, you have to play your own game. I learned that early in life. I’ll never forget. I was on the driving range with my father about to play golf tournament.
He saw me looking around and he said, “Stop worrying about what’s happening around you. Everybody’s playing their own game.” That’s so important. You can’t get caught up in the numbers. You can’t get caught up in what you could be doing, keep your head down, focus and do what you do best because we all have so many talents and skills. We’re all unique and we have to find what we’re good at and run with it. I would say, work hard and keep a smile on your face and do the right thing and you’ll be successful.
Lindsay: I love it. I wish they could see that big smile that you just had on your face because its very infectious. If people want to find you, Sells the South on Instagram, which I love by the way. I love the handle.
Tyson: Thank you.
Lindsay: Then they can research you and find you on Facebook. I’m sure you have a TikTok channel, right?
Tyson: Well, I do reels. That’s close to TikTok but Instagram is really where I’m big on, and Facebook as well, you can find me on there.
Lindsay: Perfect. Then we will link some of your social media. I know I’ve got your two social media links here for Facebook and Instagram. I’ll link those in the show notes. Tyson, thank you so much. I think you’ve been just a wealth of knowledge. I love how prepared you were. You have all your notes and you were all ready to go.
Lindsay: You’re been excellent. I know our agents are going to learn so much from listening to this. I really appreciate it. If you guys have any clients that are moving down to the Grand Strand in South Carolina, then definitely reach out to Tyson. She’ll be happy to help you guys. Thank you so much, Tyson. I hope you have a-
Tyson: Thank you.
Lindsay: -rest of your week.
Tyson: It was great talking to you. You too.
Lindsay: All right, everybody. See you on the next episode of Agents Who Crush It In Real Estate. Bye-bye.
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.