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: My next guest for the Agents Who Crush It in Real Estate podcast is Kevin Cormier. Kevin, welcome to the podcast.
Kevin Cormier: Thank you. Great to be here today.
Lindsay: I usually start these out a little bit different, but I feel like your announcement needs to be super humble and chill because that is how your personality is and it’s inspiring me today. Kevin Cormier started with us at Lamacchia Realty in September of 2020 and in a pandemic year nonetheless and by the end of that first year, only 3 months later, he already had 9 sales, and this year so far in 2021, he’s had 35 sales and he still has 5 under agreement. I cannot tell you how impressive that is Kevin especially just being so new to real estate. Now, I know you got your license all a little while back but take us back to the beginning of when you originally got your license and how that transitioned from there.
Kevin: Oh, well I originally got my license eight years ago now. I used to own rental property so I was always on the other side of the transactions, but I developed a really great relationship with a realtor that I was working with and that I always use and that side of the transactions always intrigued me. I always had an interest in getting into real estate and about eight years ago, I had a little free time, I took the courses, I got my license and then I chickened out every time. When you have a job that has a pretty good salary, has the health benefits, the 401 k everything.
Lindsay: There’s no motivation there.
Kevin: There’s a comfort level with that and every time I would go to pull the trigger, I would chicken out so the licenses ended up in a drawer somewhere. I never affiliated with a broker and it ended up expiring at some point I don’t even know when. I never used it so last July of 2020 I’m sitting on the beach and I’m thinking to myself “I’m going to be 50 years old and October.” That’s traumatic in and of itself. If I don’t do it now I never will, so I called up my old friend John Millen who I used to work with, and had the conversation and just said you know what, now’s the time to do it. It is what it is and if I fail I fail, if I don’t, I don’t but it’s time to take some chances.
That’s how it started, I signed up in, ended up signing up in July but because of the pandemic and the way the state is, it took me till September 1st to actually get the license reinstated so I couldn’t do anything.
Lindsay: There was some backlog last year.
Kevin: Yes. From July to September I just dove right into the real training and all the trade– Not the real trade. All the crush it in real estate training, everything online. Then I did my real training in the October class, I did the real training, and then really felt that I was able to hit the ground running at that point.
Lindsay: Yes, you really dove into the training. Tell me how you watched that training, how you interacted with that– What did you do to get it set in your head?
Kevin: Yes, I come from a background in human resources, and being a human resources manager in a retail environment, one of my toughest challenges was really hammering it into managers how important training was, so I knew that. I came from that culture of understanding the importance of training so when I dove into the training and saw how much there was of it, the depth of the training that Lamacchia offers at that point I knew I signed up with the right brokerage and really just dedicated myself to getting up every morning, grabbing my coffee, sitting at the computer and just diving into that training.
Lindsay: That’s awesome, so you time blocked, you made it a priority and you time blocked so super important. One thing that I will say is that I’m picturing your license, those eight years sitting in a drawer just collecting dust and the potential of that, do somewhat regret not doing this sooner, or do you think the timing was right?
Kevin: No, that’s my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. I say go back 10 years. If I did it 10 years ago, that would be perfect. I think if I went further back than 10 years, it probably wouldn’t be because I could not do this job without GPS. I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag with a flashlight and a map. I don’t know how these old school realtors did this job without GPS. No way I could have done it.
Lindsay: No way. That’s so funny. Tell me what you think other than GPS, what are some of the keys that you’ve had to success? You’ve watched the training but what are the things that you’ve done to generate business for yourself?
Kevin: Really it’s just getting the name out there. Facebook is such a powerful tool and you can boost posts and I do boost posts and you pay for those but it is far more economical than print advertising or other forms of advertising that are out there. There’s also just the regular posts which are free, you can get a lot of mileage out of ads so between my personal page and my business page just get your name out there, be as active as you can on social media. I took the whole friends list and one of the first things I did is I bought a subscription to whitepages.com and it’s only like what is it $10 a month or whatever it is.
You just plug in those names of all your Facebook friends and you can get their addresses and send them all personal note cards that I was joining Lamacchia with my business card. That’s what it’s about just getting your name out there and keeping it out there.
Lindsay: I was saying earlier to you that I feel like you’re the kind of person that doesn’t see obstacles. Do you feel that that’s true about you? That there’s just– Here you are, you have a list of people in Facebook and you’re like, “Okay, I don’t have addresses for them, I’m going to figure out how to get them.” Then you just take action. Tell me a little bit about that and how in your head overcome any obstacles that come at you.
Kevin: You just got to figure them out. Anyone can come up with 1,000 reasons why you can’t do something. What you have to do is come up with one way that you can. That’s all, just block out the 1,000 and come up with 1 because if you come up with even 1 way that you can get something done, you’ll get it done. It’s as simple as that.
Lindsay: How do you keep track and how do you move forward in your business to hit that next– Those next goals? You have obviously set yourself up to have some lofty goals for next year to improve upon so–
Kevin: I wish I could say it was strategic and methodical planning but honestly I’m just smashing myself off guard rails right now. My first year not afraid to take risks, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work throw it in the trash, if it does work figure out a way to improve on it but don’t be afraid to take risks.
Moderator: Let’s take a quick break and hear from the number one loan originator, Shant Banosian from Guaranteed Rate as he gives us his monthly mortgage tip.
Shant Banosian: Hey guys, it’s Shant from Guaranteed Rate. Just wanted to talk about what we’re doing on our end from a marketing and communication plan. It’s really really important to communicate to your clients the way want to be communicated with. There’s many different avenues, you can go old school and mail them, you can email, you can text, you can direct message, you can be on all the social media platforms. You never know what’s going to resonate with someone so it’s important that you have a marketing plan and a communication plan with all the different mediums to have a max marketing and branding effort with all your clients that will lead to more leads and ultimately lock more business.
Moderator: Thanks, Shant. Now let’s get back to the show.
Lindsay: Tell me what hasn’t worked for you. I feel like that might be an important thing for our listeners to hear. What are some of those things that you tried that you went, “You know what, that didn’t give me a big enough bang for my buck? I’m going to move on.”
Kevin: I don’t know if– Yes what hasn’t worked? That’s a good question because it’s really been– I’ve had a lot of luck this year.
Lindsay: Yes, so tell me what has worked.
Kevin: Again, I just think keeping it out there, keeping the name out there, keep pushing, keep in touch with old friends a lot of it. Just about everything I had is from my old sphere of influence. I think that has worked tremendously.
Lindsay: How do you keep in touch with those people?
Kevin: Postcards a lot. Even every morning I have a routine. Every morning I get my coffee first thing in the morning, 6.00 AM at the latest, I sit down on the computer and the first thing I do before emails or anything else is get onto Facebook, pull up the birthdays, and wish everybody a happy birthday. Number one, it gets your name out there. You’re staying in contact with people but number two, when you do that on Facebook, you put something on their wall, they’re likely going to respond with a thank you.
Now Facebook has their algorithms that only, you notice that you may have, hundreds of friends or 1,000s of friends but you only see the same 100 or so posting it’s because Facebook is going to put those people on your newsfeed. The more you interact with these people, the more likely it is that your posts are going to end up on their newsfeed. I know that by getting up every morning and doing that, I am going to be interacting in one way or another with every single one of my 3,000 plus Facebook friends at least once a year and that gives me a better chance of having my posts which are mostly real estate related pop up on their newsfeed. There’s a tip that’s worth.
Lindsay: I think that that’s awesome. I think it’s super important and as far as your Facebook presence, you said you have 3,000 friends on Facebook on your personal page. How do you add people to that? What is your process? A lot of people will ask me, “Okay, so when do I add someone as a Facebook friend? Is it weird to add someone who I’m with?” Do you add people as you start to work with them, or are they already people that are on your list, or how do you go about it?
Kevin: I add everybody but that remind– You just asked me what has it worked? One thing I’m probably a little bit disappointed in no matter how hard I try is my business page. I’m close to 1,000 likes on the business page.
Lindsay: Which is great.
Kevin: There’s a lot less interaction on the business page than on my personal page. I find myself posting on both. That still a work in progress is really getting that interaction on the business page.
Lindsay: A lot of the times just having one shows that you’re real, and a legitimate business. The way that you’re doing and actually sounds smart because you’re doing it on the business, but you’re using your personal to mine those relationships deeper. I think that’s really the best play. You’re doing it right, and not even realizing that you’re doing it right.
Kevin: Sounds good to me.
Lindsay: I love it. What other things do you do? Do you have some closing gifts for clients? Do you have postcards that you send to people on a regular basis to a certain list? What do you do on an ongoing basis?
Kevin: I do the closing gifts which go a long way with people.
Kevin: I just ordered them in fact, because I haven’t been in long enough to send any out, but I just ordered my home anniversary cards. Then their first year anniversary of their homeownership they’ll be getting a personalized card from me. The pies are coming off too.
Lindsay: Yes we do pies.
Kevin: I’m going to have to spend a lot more money on pies this year than I did last year.
Lindsay: Yes, we’re sending out order forms very soon, so order all the pies.
Kevin: That going to cost a lot of money on the pies, but I can’t wait for the pies. That’s going to be a process this year.
Lindsay: They’re are the biggest pies you’ve ever seen.
Kevin: They’re, they’re huge.
Lindsay: They are delicious.
Kevin: Those could be weapons.
Lindsay: Yes, when we bring so many the guys have to carry them, and they’re only able to carry five at a time because they’re so massive, but they make a big impact for sure.
Kevin: I think last year I only had 15. I think this year I’m going to have to have like 50.
Lindsay: Well you going to have to because you have to say thank you to all these people that bought houses with you.
Kevin: I do.
Lindsay: Tell me what are your goals moving forward? What do you see yourself doing? Are you full-time in real estate or 100% full-time now, when did you make that switch over?
Kevin: I gave my two-week notice at my other job when I came back in July. It’s funny. The only thing that was holding me back was losing the health insurance. That was really big. At that point, they asked me to just hold on one evening a week. Just helping five hours a week, and I keep my health insurance just until they get past the pandemic, and the staffing crisis, and everything else. Now a year later here I am still doing it, but I get to keep my health insurance, but that’s only five hours a week.
Lindsay: Five hours a week that’s not a big deal.
Kevin: I still consider this is my full-time job. I’m doing this from morning until night. One of the advantages of not having a life.
Lindsay: I’m sure you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor at some point.
Kevin: My dogs do. My dogs love this new career change. I have two little dogs two shih tzus and they love me working from home mostly. When I’m out on showings they are the back of the car all set up for them with the dog beds and the water bowls and they come with me. They love it.
Lindsay: You should have more of your dogs on your social media pages.
Kevin: They’re all over the social media page.
Lindsay: All right. Awesome.
Kevin: Oh, yes. Their faces get a lot more likes than mine does, I’ll tell you that.
Lindsay: Well, now we know the secret. I love it.
Kevin: Notice how she invited me on a podcast, not a telecast. I have a great face for radio.
Lindsay: Stop it. No way. No, you’re doing awesome. As far as your next year in real estate, what are some changes may be that you’ll make to try to get to the next level?
Kevin: I think as I learn the process more, the nuts and bolts of the business I’m going to try to use my time more efficiently and effectively. I think one of my opportunities, one of my weaknesses is letting go, and I know I need to use the paid assistants more. Even when I sign up for the paid assistance I still don’t utilize it like I should. I’ve always been hands-on so it’s difficult for me to let go sometimes to a transaction coordinator which is unfortunate because paid assistants is just absolutely wonderful.
She’s incredible, but I just need to really discipline myself in letting go. I think that’s certainly going to be one of the goals for next year, because if I let go of that process side of it after we get something under agreement that is going to allow me more time to go out there and get more business.
Lindsay: Right as you were walking in I was speaking to Jerry, and Jerry said the same thing about Lori. Lori has had trouble handing things off, but as she has you’ve seen her business has just exploded. Yes, I think that that’s a great goal for you. I think that it’ll really help move the needle next year, and then you’ll realize what your full potential could actually be. Obviously, your potential is huge with doing this in such a short time, but you’ll get to that level that you probably don’t even imagine at this point. It’s so impressive. It has been such a pleasure to have you here today. Is there any advice that you would give to maybe someone that is in the same boat that you are?
Maybe they got their license, but they’re dabbling a little bit. What advice would you give that person?
Kevin: I hate to beat a dead horse, but it’s all about training. It’s all about training, and what Anthony and Lammachia understand is the importance of training as it relates to the success of the organization. You’ll have some business leaders out there who asked the question how much is it going to cost the organization to do this training? Anthony is the type of person that understands that the real question is how much is it going to cost the organization not to do the training.
I remember when I first started when Anthony would mention me in his company updates, and of course, the ears always perk up when the boss talks about you especially when you knew he would say something very few agents really follow our training program the way, Kevin. Then last week when he announced that I made president’s club he’s like very few agents will have this achievement in their first year. For anyone who can’t see the direct correlation between the earlier statement and the latter statement is you got to be oblivious. There is that direct correlation between training and success.
Lindsay: Absolutely. The person that you remind me of the most is Paul Cervone. Paul Cervone said the exact same thing. He had been in the business for a while before he came here, but training is really what took him to that next level. Now he’s elite president’s club member, so it’s the same exact message. I think that that’s super powerful. That’s awesome. Thank you so much Kevin for coming here, and doing this with us today I think our audience is going to learn so much from you, and I wish you all the best in this next year. I can’t wait to see what you do.
Kevin: Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure.
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.