#221 Mail-Right Show With Special Guest Bernice Ross Founder Brokerageup
If You’re a New or Experienced Woman Agent How do You Choose The Right Brokerage For You?
Bernice L. Ross, Ph.D. and CEO
Nationally syndicated columnist, author, trainer, and speaker, Bernice Ross couples her expertise as a Master Certified Coach with over 20 years of real estate sales experience. With two best selling real estate books to her credit, plus over 1,000 articles in publications such as Inman News, The Swanepoel Trends Report for 2015, Banker Tradesman, and numerous association and trade publications. Inman News called Bernice, “America’s top real estate coach” and included her on the 2016 list of “The 25 Best Real Estate Coaches in the Business.”
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 221. We’ve got a fantastic guest folks. I think is going to be a fantastic discussion. We’ve got Bernice Ross Weaver saying she is the founder of Brokerage Up Company. And she’s well known in the real estate industry as a wise individual. Bernice, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to our listeners and viewers?
Bernice: Certainly! Bernice Ross, CEO and president of Brokerage Up and realestatecoach.com. And I’ve been in the business probably for longer than most of the people have been on this. I started out as an agent and ended up also, I was teaching college full time for the little work life balance point on there. And I did that for a lot of years. And ended up running the training for the 4,000 agent John Beth, this company, they were based in Beverly Hills. We were selling $1 billion a month and the 1990s 4,000 agents. And recently the company really had tremendous tools and systems. And I sold it and I kept those available for people today except they’re all brand new for 2020 all agent training program. Now, one of the things I’ve been very passionate about is the role of women in real estate here in the United States.
67% of the national association of realtors, just based upon last year’s free membership profile, 67% of the number our members are female. And yet when the California association of realtors looked at their top 100 producing firms in 2017. They found only 14, 14% were run by women. And after they had gotten noticed, meltdown over and adapt that, they decided to start women up. And so I wrote the white paper for 2017. There is one that will be coming out for 2019.
I’m working on the 2020 white paper. So what I’d like to really focus on for the people who are agents, if you’re thinking about starting a team or transitioning into up, it’s funding a pro for some of the best practices, how do you make the transition. And of course any other questions that you may have Jonathan. I am happy to answer because I’m up to my eyeballs in this and this initiative is something I’m very passionate about.
Jonathon: Oh, that’s fine. That’s fantastic. And I’ve got my great cohost Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers, Robert?
Robert: Sure. I’m the founder of inbound real estate marketing. We are championing a different type of approach to real estate marketing. More a deep question, authoritative type of approach as opposed to the shallow drive people with paid advertising to your website kind of approach. Any way you can find out all about me on my website, inboundrem.com.
Jonathon: That’s great. So what do you see, you know, we’re coming to the end of 2019. We are coming to the beginning of 2020. What specific challenges do you think women real estate professionals face? Pacifically in the market at the present moment.
Bernice: Funny you should ask because I just was working on an article about that before we logged on. So the biggest thing right now continues to be the lack of inventory. And we are on track to do about 5.4 7 million transactions. And 2019 that looks like that’s in the actual average is usually five months. So we’ve been above and the number of transactions. But the problem is Jonathan our inventory doesn’t match the number of people who are coming into the market. And part of the problem is, pardon me, first of all, the boomers control boomers over the age of 50, excuse me, is the age of 65, I believe they control almost 33% of the inventory. And close to 50% for those over 50. So you’ve got part of Genex and part of the baby boomers, they’re not moving. And we’ve got that much. In fact, I think it’s 55%.
So you’ve only got 45% of the inventory available that is not to that group. And we know that millennials right now, they are responsible for 50% of the purchases. So you’ve got people who are early in their kind of real estate careers in terms of home ownership. And they’re ready for entry level homes for getting married and having children. They don’t have all that money or their homes can appreciate it. I think have, if you’re a boomer aren’t Jan hamster, you know, and appreciation, they’ll see that equity. So that’s the probably the biggest problem that I see right now. Interest rates are really good, so there they’re supposed to hold steady. Generally presidential election years, like diagnosis, something happened, issue or there’s too much craziness going on here. But that’s the biggest thing. Now, if you’d like me to elaborate on some of the other trends, happy to do so.
Jonathon: I’ll throw over to Robert and see if he’s got a question. Or you want to say expand on my opening question.
Robert: No, I would go in a different direction. So if we’re not ready to do that, you should do a follow up. But if we’re ready to do that then I have a couple questions based on the premise of why we brought Bernice onto the show.
Jonathon: Go on with your questions Robert.
Robert: Yeah. Okay. So I’m curious Bernice, because my understanding is. So the topic of, or the way it was presented to me when an email was sent over to me was that we were going to talk a little bit about vetting brokerages. And I know that you’re passionate about women and women in real estate. So let’s angle the question from the female perspective. So that we can stay right in the center of where your passion point is. So you’re a new female agent getting into the real estate business. I’m kind of curious to know, what would you tell that young female professional? How would you tell her to vet like a new brokerage possibility? What would you say to her?
Bernice: Well, the first thing that I would say is it’s really contingent on what she wants for herself. Is she going to be happy? And a smaller boutique brokerage for example, where maybe there’s eight to 20 people. Dairy type kind of no business family where they work and play together. You know that’s something that’s she’s going to value that and that can be true for a tie to this. This is something limited to men or women. Where is a good fit for you? Do you want to be with a franchise? And a franchise is, you know you’ve got the big brand. And depending on which model you’re looking at, each of them has different value propositions. What I would recommend against is going anywhere that does not have a strong, robust new agent training program.
Robert: How do you identify that in the interview process? Forgive me for jumping in, but this is something that I’ve been curious about. And I’ve been trying to get answers from professionals. Because I have years and years of sales and marketing experience, but I don’t actually have a real estate license. And I’ve never sold real estate. So I’m curious to know you’re in the interview process. You’re new professionals so you don’t, you’re not, you who can easily leverage your experience and say, I’m not going with you unless you show me your training. You may not be able to feel comfortable saying that. You may not even be able to get that from an interviewer.
Bernice: If they’re not talking about how good their training is, then chances are it’s not. I would ask, I’m a new agent. I need training on how to sell real estate. And by the way, I have a brand new weight in sales training program so I can go anywhere you want. I’ll teach you how to sail. But that’s the Turpin story. But the when you’re vetting them, the first thing I want to know is how are they going to help me get started. Do you have a mentoring program or do you have an agent? Do you have working with an experienced agent? Other problem with experienced agents, they all kind of do things their way. And they’re going to teach their agents.
If you have someone who’s a trainer who is more skilled in different aspects of it. One of the things that I want on the force reputation, but company assessed very important to me. I was apt at this for 20 years and their model was sign of respect. And when you walked into a listing appointment, our agents had what people would like walk in. People say, oh, you’re with Douglas. He was looking at us because Jack does this one. Just be the most professional, the best educated and the most consumer focused company on the face of the earth. He says, I don’t care if somebody’s selling a $50,000 $50 million property. They all get the same level of service. So to me is look, that integrity, reputation in the community is important. The other thing is does that particular brokerage have a presence in the market area that you want to become proficient in?
One of the biggest mistakes that new agents make is that they tried to be all things to all people. And Robert, you’re in the sales and marketing, you already know this and sure enough the choir here. And the thing that is going to succeed, you know I love their title of your company, Robert inbound marketing. That’s what works today. Outbound marketing is plastering all that, you know, boards and everything out there like that. Inbound marketing is about getting referrals and developing one-on-one relationships. My most important takeaway for anybody who’s listening to this for 2020. Is that in 2020 the number one thing you have to do, and I don’t care if this is an online way, I don’t care if it’s an open house lead. I don’t care if it’s a referral. The number one thing you have to do is get case to face with that person as soon as possible.
And here is why. National association of realtors just relieves their profile of buyers and sellers for 2019 on just a few weeks ago. And this statistic now has been steady for about four or five years. Did you know that 75% of all close listing Trans safe actions. So when they look at who closed the transaction, 75% of them hire the first person they talk to. And what this says the other thing when they ask, where did these leads come from? Here’s the most shocking statistic from an AR. And this has been studying now for about four or five years. If you had to guess, what percentage, if you were to take Zillow, Trulia or realtor.com MLS websites, agents websites, brokerage websites, what percentage of post transactions come from what sites?
Robert: I don’t know.
Bernice: Take your best guess.
Robert: I think I’ve heard some shockingly low numbers in the past like 5%.
Bernice: Very close 4% open house. And if you put a sign out in the front yard, I’ll pass close up to seven.
Robert: And that is an amazing piece of information that we really appreciate it. So I just want to circle back to the original question and make sure that I understood your answers.
Bernice: Who was the dominant player? Is there a company that has a high presence in the market area that you want to go to work in? Because people will hire people based upon how many signs were in the neighborhoods. They’re most likely to hire the person we’ve seen most recently. But you want to have somebody that has a good reputation that has a presence in the area where you are so that the company that becomes your partner in helping you to get the sale. They have that reputation and do it all by yourself. I really have a problem with the virtual real estate model.
Because they’re not supervising their agents, they don’t have training. And also if you’re going into a company where your manager’s sole purpose for the team leaders, sole purpose is to recruit, recruit, and recruit. I want to know who’s assigned to me to help me learn the business. And they don’t have to be shy about asking that.
Robert: Sure. Okay. So let me just repeat back what I heard you say. So your new female or male, but we’re focusing on female. You’re walking to new brokerage. So here’s what I think I heard you say. And you can tell me if I got it right or not. So you’re going to sit across from your interviewer. And you’re going to number one. Hopefully before you arrived at the interview, you already did a little bit of driving around.
A little bit of online research to help establish their online reputation, which is what you spent the latter half of your response talking about. Various signs that at this company has a strong online reputation. And then you’re going to ask them if they have a training program with a specific focus on do you mentor? And then, I don’t know if I got this right or not, but it’s kind of says how much experience would the mentors that are assigned to me have.
Bernice: Just asked an open ended question without getting too specific. The best thing to do when you’re asking questions, like you’re working with a client or interviewing a broker. Ask, how would you describe your new agent sales training program? You know, can you give me some examples? What can I expect? Are there regular meetings? Is there something online? So you just want to understand, you’re not trying to be in judgment, you’re trying to find out. And I’d like to know, do they have any younger new agents in the office? Some of the large firms are running 20, 30, through a month and they’re doing their training at a simple location.
Robert: Go ahead.
Bernice: But if the broker is the one, you’re what the small firm, the question is, if you’re looking at a small broker, will they be able to help you because they’re busy running the brokerage. So one of the things you want to know is does the broker also have to sell to keep the brokerage afloat? And if they are going to be busy with their own transactions. They’re going to have less time for you than manager or a broker owner who does not have to sell.
Robert: That’s interesting, I like that. I like that last comment a lot. That’s really specific. And I love the fact that I’ve always found that to be true, Bernice. Every business I’ve ever been in, some small businesses are still, the owner is still doing certain of the sales work. And you’re absolutely right in the sense that that always takes up a big portion of their time. I’m stuck in the same boat on my business and it frustrates the hell out of me. Jonathan, you were going to say something?
Jonathon: Yeah, I think that is a great point. But also your remark about the virtual agencies. I think that they are much focused on the split and reducing the cost for an experience agent. They have much more attractive splits. Well, that’s one of their main selling points.
Bernice: Excuse me for interrupting this is something that I have a pretty good handle on. Is that if you fall for that you’re getting stuck. If you have a company that is not sticks and mortar. It doesn’t have to have this location. But if they’re worried about the split, you know, our percent of not, you know, 100% of nothing is nothing. And, you know, you want to look at how many flows, transactions you can plan on doing. That goes back to training. But why settle for a virtual brokerage when we have these hybrid models out there? And there are a number of them now that have a different model. We’ve seen a lot of this. I’ll give you two examples. United real estate in the photo there are a number of different companies out there that are providing full service to their agents.
You’re essentially 100% mission. They way those models work. And this is the way, you know, but I would people to do, take a look at. If you’re concerned about this flip, I’m not concerned about how much I make at the end of the day, how much goes to my pocket. So I want to look at their training and other things. But some of these models to fill a service. So we have an affiliation being of maybe $65 or one hundred dollars a month, something like that. And then you pay a piece of each transaction. So you’re paying as you go. And then you pay your own errors and missions. So you get a true 100% split. You’re getting all the services. And what we’ve seen right now, I saw one Remax franchise where they gave people three different programs. Choose what you want.
So you know, find out what’s available in your area. And again, I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re looking for that training first and foremost because we want to know, you want to learn how to sell. And you know, make money you’re looking for what kind of management support is there. If I have a question about a contract, will I have someone mentoring me? Do my contracts get reviewed before I present them? We just want to understand about how things work in that brokerage and ask about it. And if the broker gets impatient like, dude, it’s not the right business for you.
Jonathon: Okay, that’s great. We are going for our break folks. When we come back, we’ll be discussing more. With Bernice and the focus on tips, insights. If you’re a female agent and how you increase your success in 2020. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. We have had a good discussion. So Bernice, I notice some of your recent interviews. And that you were saying, especially the female agents is linked to our last question before we went for our break. They’re actually, well that it’s tied to the concerned about the split, that they were really interested in the culture. And just how the brokerage was run. Would you still say what you’ve stated in previous interviews still applies?
Bernice: Absolutely. Again, it’s about, you know, especially for millennials, the three things that were based upon. This is based upon three years of interviews with a lot of people. Plus the number of Eurasian studies that I’ve, for California and the Texas associations. The number one thing that the agents want when they are hiring a broker, they want to know that their broker has their back. So if there’s a problem, my broker’s going to stand up for me and they’re going to be able to have the knowledge. This is the second thing, that contractual knowledge. It keeps me out of trouble.
So those are the two things that they want first and foremost. And then the third thing that they want talk, third thing was they want a business family. And some people thought that one broker in the South, you know, talked about her for Asians as you know her babies.
And of course you use that in California or New York, you know, well that would go over. But they’re looking to this business family that works someplace together. This is what we’ve heard time and time of them about what the agents want and what they expect from the brokers. So if you know that is you, you are in alignment for what most people are looking for. So the actual issue of permissions, if we do ranking, it comes out about number five or six of what’s most important. These other things are more on the culture and the fit because people making the culture is in fact.
Jonathon: That’s great. Over to you Robert.
Robert: So can I once again tangent because we’re running out of time. And I have a question that’s very near and dear to my heart, Bernice, and I’d like to ask it to you. So we’ve talked about the traditional things that you sit down and you mentioned inside of an interview when you’re, vetting a brokerage. What if anything, would you tell somebody getting into the real estate business? Just start asking about technology because and I want to frame the question for you before you answer. So I have noticed that certain bigger companies such as Keller-Williams just to name a big one. They have available to their agents a massive technology package. Now they don’t train very well on it.
And I want to say that clearly they don’t train very well. And depending on what market center you’re going into, that market center may or may not the leveraging all the technology that Keller Williams has available. But as a guy that has consistently been more of an inside salesperson, if I got into real estate, I’d want to leverage my skillset, which is getting on a CRM, hammering out a lot of calls, doing a lot of online research. And spending less time out in the field and more time inside the office for which by the way, technology does make a really big difference. In terms of being able to do that job, do it well, do it efficiently?
Do it in an organized manner, following up correctly, all those different things using online tools. Do you have a shit of advice that you even offer in this category?
Bernice: I very qualified to stick to this, especially on the subject, that color ones with those, I was acting VP of color, willing to seek diversity and oversaw the creation through relations, sales, printing. Several years ago and I’ll still have a third relationship with Terry. And he invited me over a few months ago to see their new platform. We are not training on it completely yet, but there’s a statistic that was on in the yesterday. This is 61% of their agents have adopted it. So they’re in the process of doing a whole revamp and the race is on to see that’s going to have the platform. So taking the consumer from the time the five is over. Who gets to the consumer first?
We’ve got realtor.com and there is Zillow’s in there. My bet is on Keller. But there are other companies that are in it too. The thing that’s, you’re looking at me, you know your technology great is freight. It is a tool we still need to be face to face. And don’t let that, you know, if people want to get face to face with people, technologies never going to, it’s got to get in front of them. They set the signature. So in terms of if you’re worried about a CRM, the company`s CRM may not be the best for you. A brand, you might want to write this down as a brand new to own them, blanking on the name of it, the moment that you have them plug in information about how you do your business. And this tool they charge 99 cents. And this tool will give you the top three recommendations of all the CRMs that are out there for how you do business.
So that’s the way I felt about choosing a CRM is by working with that tool. And I will send you the link after the show. But it is a tremendous tool because it ranks all, if it has stopped the detail on each of them, spent a lot of time researching this. And you want to choose a CRM that you’re doing a lot of technology based stuff, Robert. So you’re going to want a tool that’s going to accommodate those things and how you generate leads. And instead know somebody who’s doing more face to face.
Maybe that’s a different tool. So it depends on what you’re doing because it comes back. And I guess probably the biggest takeaway here on this whole discussion. You need to find the brokerage that has the tools and systems that fit who you are. If I walk into an office that’s my parent base and everybody’s at cold calling, knocking on doors, that’s not for me. I walk into an office that is doing a lot of work on Instagram and YouTube.
And they’re real tight, close and they family. That would be a good fit for me because that is what I want. And that’s the most important thing.
Robert: Okay, so for somebody new, so I’m going to actually extrapolate on that a little bit. From my perspective, which is, so guys, for somebody who are brand new in the sales business, unfortunately that’s an answer that will only be given to you when you get experience. Because to Bernice’s point, it took me well over a decade to understand that I’m more of an inside salesperson than I am an outside salesperson. That is something that I learned through experience. I door knocked, I ran canvassing crews. I did. I did a lot of different things before I finally settled on the fact this is like, this is my comfort zone. I’m really good at it, so I might as well just stick with that particular skill set.
Everybody has to answer that for themselves. And my advice to them would be to experiment. You can be in an Instagram based office and still hammer out cold calls. There’s nothing that stops you. And if you discover that you’re a Hunter, as the old sales adage used to be somebody who really loves calling or knocking on doors, then perhaps you need to make a switch. If you discover that you’re more of a teaching type personality where you like to educate but not necessarily bug people when they’re home, that it just makes you uncomfortable and that always makes you uncomfortable. You can’t stop empathizing with the person whose door that you’re knocking on. Then probably you’re going to go with what Bernice is describing as an Instagram YouTube office because as long as you can be a teacher and get in front of being in front of the camera in some way or another, you can educate.
The difficult part though is as marketers and salespeople, you have to pick one of these avenues or you’re going to fail at this chosen career. You have to get out there somehow. It can be an educational way. It can be a door knocking way. It can be on the telephone, but you have to get in front of people somehow. That’s my commentary. Bernice, if you want to add anything, feel free.
Bernice: You are one hundred percent spot on. You’ve got to get in front of them to do the deal.
Jonathon: I’ve got a question that’s kind of linked to what both you and Robert just said. I speak to quite a lot of agents and quite a few of them are female agents especially in social media, how you really got to get yourself out in front of your local market through Facebook and YouTube. I just have a problem about just doing that video. I’m not getting myself totally prepared to do that video. Have you got any tips or insights about? Have you heard the same thing, said to you?
Bernice: I have a great video of it. We’ll have produce shortly on how to go about doing that, working with Daniel, who’s the master of this. But a couple of takeaways. You know, when I point my camera at you and I asked you a question, I don’t have to be on the screen. So the thing that this is an old fashioned technique that works whether you’re doing it in person or with video. Did you want to become the mayor of your neighborhood and become that person who was the expert? So you set up your Facebook business page and set up a page that’s about that niche that you’re serving. So you know, you want to label that niche. You might have a website, you know, if I live in area code 90250. And it might be like 90250 or whatever that sip code is.
Or you can say, I live in Lakewood Texas. And then you’re looking at, live in Lake Way or Lakeside property stocks on the Texas Lakeside properties. You’re looking at something that describes that, but then you found what Facebook business case that is the boat to the lifestyle and that area. And you can ask things like, your interview with the football coach in the fall that the basketball T’s coming up. How’s the team going to do? And the people who are in business there. Let’s talk the best teachers at the farmer’s market in June, July and August. All of these kinds of things that are about lifestyle and people like that.
And the other thing you can do is Jonathan if I were interviewing you and then saying, Jonathan, you know, we just put your house on the market, but you do a testimonial for what it’s like to live here. You know, and what have you thought about it? Just a quick 60 seconds or so. I’m not on screen and what that does. That’s funny. You know what that looks like to go fall. It looks like it’s a testimonial for me.
So, and if you really want to leverage this, this is my best takeaway for this entire interview. If we want to say, if you want to really leverage this, this is a great tip. And I want to say, Jonathan, do you have anybody else who lives in the area would love to give a testimonial for what it feels like to live here? You know, everything is thinking. There’s so many Instagram people out there that there, that they’re dying to talk about. Get on anybody’s screen and you’d get them to come in and talk to you about that. This is great stuff.
Robert: That is beautiful. Guys, I really love that. Those two incredible ideas for social media, like daily or weekly social media content that I think would be highly relevant for an Instagram channel. Also, strangely enough, there are other platforms you can start to leverage the video. I’ve been experimenting a lot with LinkedIn. And I’ve heard of other real estate professionals doing the same. And I’m starting to see there’s kind of like a shift in the perception of what you could and could not do with that platform as well. So don’t count that one out. I know Instagram more popular, it’s more likely to be more popular, but, but professionals are exist more on LinkedIn. Instagram is a millennials kind of platform. And as you said, I know a lot of millennials are buying homes, but I just wouldn’t count out LinkedIn.
Bernice: I have seen some data on that. Actually millennials are not on, you know, they’re on Instagram, they’re on some of the other platforms, but they are on LinkedIn. Because they want those professional relationships I have. So I have another really great tip and it stems from my friend Sherry McCormick.
Robert: Wait, wait, and hold on a second. Hold that tip. John. Let’s do our last break and then have the tip of the bonus content.
Jonathon: Okay, so we’re going to wrap up the podcast part of the show. Bernice is going to stay with us for a little while, five, 10 minutes, which you’d be able to see the whole interview on the Mail Right website. And also on the Mail Right YouTube channel. But we’re going to wrap up the podcast part. Bernice, what’s the best way for people to learn about you, your company, and some of your great ideas and insights?
Bernice: Visit our website realestatecoach.com. And if you’re a new agent, go to realestatecoach.com/newagent. We’d have a brand new online 24/7 training program, 21 hours of the best training and it takes you from soup to nuts on how to start your business and how to market. All the tips you’ve heard and hundreds more. Our listing presentation converts at over 90% as you’re in, you’re out, and it’s all about your unique selling proposition, which we’ve helped you to create. And we’ve the latest tools in technology that are on our brand.
Jonathon: Oh, it sounds like a fantastic resource. Robert, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to Robert?
Robert: As always, they can find me at inboundrem.com. And we’ve been hunkered down doing technology development throughout the most of 2019. And 2020 is going to be a big year as we announce a whole bunch of new additions to our service line. And new real estate templates and all these other, and you can find out all about that on my website.
Jonathon: That’s great. We will be back next week with hopefully another great guest giving you great insights to make your start of 2020 fantastic. Not only for yourself, but also getting the results that you want for your family as well. We’ll be back next week folks. Bye.