Alligator Arms

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Don’t be cheap. Don’t be cheap. Don’t be short-sighted, my friends. Too often do I see agents like they get alligator arms when it comes to an expense. My friends, when you want to grow a business, there’s no business on earth that you can grow without investing time and money. You’ve got to invest some money. It might be in buying leads, it might be in training, it might be in, I don’t know, some system, some process, maybe a CRM. Marketing yourself. Branding yourself. Guys, don’t be penny foolish. Too often do I see agents, like I said, they got the alligator arms like, “Oh, yes, I want to do that. Oh, wait, there’s an expense?” The arms come in. It’s like going out to dinner with friends. The bill comes and all of a sudden everybody’s doing this.

2020’s coming. I’m hoping you’re in the middle of goal setting. I’m hoping that you’re in the middle of planning. I’m hoping that you’re dialing in what you’re going to do, what your goals are going to be. The biggest fundamental thing that you have to remember is same equals same. If you do the same things in 2020 that you did in 2019, you’re going to get the same results. Period, end of story. I guarantee that’s what will happen. You might get lucky, you might get another sale or two or Susie’s family might buy and sell or little Johnny, whoever, but to have a predictable system where you bring business and you’ve got to spend money.

Guys, do you have any idea, not that I’ve made it or anything because I haven’t. Christ, I got a long way to go. A real long way to go to our plan. But, guys, do you have any idea how much money I’ve lost? How much money I’ve wasted on things that didn’t work? Let me tell you a secret. I’ve tried more things that haven’t worked than things that have worked. No doubt. God’s honest truth, I have tried more things that haven’t worked than things that have worked. I have wasted, completely wasted, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in different things that can plow me, at this point it’s in the millions, on various things that haven’t worked. Take television, for example. We’ve tried different ads and there’s been years that we’ve had some hits. Some real hits, then we’ve had some years that it failed. Wasn’t profitable. I keep doing it because I know when I get the message right, it works. Too often the agents, “Okay, I’m going to send postcards to my sphere.” They do it for two months. Then they go, “No one’s really calling me.” Guys, you want postcards to work? You’ve got to hit your sphere every single month non-stop, period, end of story, relentlessly.

If you live in a market that– I don’t know, I know we have a lot of viewers here from Florida. I know newspaper actually does work a lot better in Florida. You run one newspaper ad, you’re going to get that. You run it every week, you’re going to get something after a while, and then you’re going to get some consistency, and then you’re going to perfect your messaging. Buying leads. Not that I’m pushing buying Zillow or or whatever. We do some of that. Not with Zillow, but we do some of that. Not that I’m pushing it but I know agents. Sometimes they’ll get on there, they’ll spend money for a month, “Ah, it didn’t really work. Those leads they really weren’t ready to go.”

Okay, folks, I got some news for you. “Hi, I want to buy a home. I’m pre-approved. I don’t have a realtor. I want to start looking and find a home within three weeks and I’d like to hire you.” That doesn’t exist. Doesn’t exist. Get that out of your mind. You have to focus. You have to work hard. You have to dial it in. You’ve got to spend some money. Get rid of the alligator arms and actually reach in and spend a couple of dollars. A couple of hundred, a couple of thousand, whatever it may be depending upon the scale of your business. You have to do that. If you’re not willing to do it then you’re going to have a lot of slow growth.

I know there’s a lot of trainers out there that say, “Well, instead of spending your money, spend labor, spend time.” Well, yes, you want money? You want to know my playbook? Do both. I love when I hear, “Work smarter, not harder.” Well, I work smarter and I work hard. I do both. The more I do it, the more successful that we are. What a lot of people do is they make a mistake or something doesn’t work out perfectly, and then they just abort the mission. Guys, don’t be scared to invest in your business. Invest in yourself.

You send postcards to your sphere every month? I have news for you. I don’t care if you don’t see a lead for six months. That money is going to come back to you eventually, because no one will send you more business than your sphere. They go through their mail every month and they see you, and then they throw it away, and then they see you and throw it away. They’re going to bump into you and they’re going to say,” God, you’re in my mailbox every week.”

I hear people say, “You’re on television every day. Every time I turn around, you’re on TV.” I got news for you guys. I’m not on TV every day. There is about four months in the spring that we’re on every day. Then in the summer, there’s a period of time we’re on every day and the rest of the months of the year, we’re not on every day. We’re not but they think we’re on every day. Because we create top-of-mind awareness, because of the dollars that we invest. I know that some of it’s wasted. Look at some of our billboards I get people say to me, “Anthony, geez, you’ve got billboards everywhere. I’ve seen them on 290. I’ve seen them on the mass pike. I saw one on the pike over there yesterday. Do those work?”

I always think to myself, “No, they don’t work,” because if they didn’t work, I would just keep doing. What the hell would I keep doing them for? “Does TV work?” Well, okay, nothing works as good as you would like. Nothing is instant, immediate, perfect gratification. It’s an investment in time. The more billboards we do, the more branded we are, the more that realtors see it and get interest in the company because they realize we actually take our marketing dollars and invest it in the company which goes back into their pockets. Same with television. Toma wins, hell yes, Christine. It does. It all works.

Clear Channel wouldn’t have billboards, if it didn’t work. The radio wouldn’t play if radio advertising didn’t work, because then no one would do it. Television. There wouldn’t be television without advertising. Get these notions out of your minds that they don’t work and just stick to them and try to use a message that people want to hear. That people are interested in. When you solve other people’s problems, they will come to you. You help other people get what they want, you’ll have more people coming to you. My overall message in this rant is don’t be cheap. Spend some money, invest in yourself, invest in your career, invest in your future.

I get people that say to me, “Geez, Anthony, you guys are like a household name in Massachusetts now.” You know how that had started? Guys, that started in ’06 when I was spending $6,000 a month and barely able to pay the bill. In ’06. Investing in television. Now it’s 2019. People say, “Geez, you guys are like a household name.” The last time we had a marketing study done, we had it done three years in a row. We haven’t in a couple years, but we’re going to do it again. We were the fourth most known name in real estate in Massachusetts. They called 15,000 people across Massachusetts then polled them on what real estate company they’d call if they were selling their home. We were fourth. That was three years ago. You know what I mean? That didn’t come from today’s ads, that came from years and years of investing and investing. That’s my message. I’ll shut up now. All right, my friends? Don’t be cheap. Invest in your business. Invest in yourself. Take a portion of what you make, of what you’ve earned, put it back into your business. Send postcards. Do different things. You guys get the point. Thanks very much, guys. Thanks for listening.

I appreciate all your support, by the way, and to all my Massachusetts friends, we have a killer event. It will be the best event in real estate on January the 16th. Our Crush It in Real Estate event. We sold it out last year, we’ll sell it out this year I guarantee it. Thanks, guys.