S1 E7: Strategies For Securing a Listing a Week!
Connor Kobilarcsik has lived his entire life in Cleveland and spent the first six years of his career as a social worker. He got his realtor’s license several years ago in order to earn some extra income at night and on the weekends. But early success prompted Connor to jump into real estate full-time. In his first two years, he’s closed 55 deals and is working toward one listing per week moving forward.
With the support of a coach, Connor powers his business through daily phone prospecting of expireds and FSBOs, augmented by an active social media presence. An amiable personality type, Connor has built strong, long-lasting business relationships that have paid dividends through referrals.
His advice to newer agents is simple: DO THE WORK! “I think it’s important to just keep pushing through every time you hit a bump in the road,” he says. “Over time you’ll be able to navigate better, and your communication skills will be better.”
Learn Connor Kobilarcsik’s strategies for securing a listing a week in this episode of Today’s Brew, hosted by Noel LaFerme.
Noel LaFerme (00:00):
Hi, I’m Noel, with Today’s Brew, where top producing real estate agents share their tips on taking more listings, making more money, and having fun doing it. On today’s episode, Connor Kobilarcsik shares how he’s turned his social media account and prospecting into a profitable business of 55 transactions in just 18 months.
Welcome to Today’s Brew. On today’s episode, we have Connor Kobilarcsik. Welcome, Connor.
Connor Kobilarcsik (00:33):
Hi. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
Noel LaFerme (00:35):
Thanks for taking the time to come see us today, and hang out for a little while.
Connor Kobilarcsik (00:39):
Noel LaFerme (00:41):
Let’s talk about Cleveland. You’re in Cleveland, Ohio. Let’s talk about the market there, and what it’s doing, and how long you’ve been in real estate.
Connor Kobilarcsik (00:48):
Sure. Yeah. So I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve lived here my whole life. The market right now, so it’s been very interesting over the last six to eight months. In the fall, there was a big pause when interest rates first went up, and then about a month ago, two months ago, the market really started picking back up, and the market’s honestly very similar to what we were seeing two years ago here. We have very low inventory, multiple offers on any home that’s presented well, and priced well. So yeah, the market’s really picked back up a lot here, and listings are still the name of the game, like they have been for the last two years.
Noel LaFerme (01:30):
Connor Kobilarcsik (01:31):
I’ve been licensed for two years.
Noel LaFerme (01:33):
Okay. What got you into real estate?
Connor Kobilarcsik (01:36):
I fell into it by accident, honestly. I’m a social worker with my degree, and I was a caseworker for six years. I decided to get my real estate license. I thought I would do it on the nights, and weekends, and so, I took classes for on the evenings for three, or four months, however long it took me. I got my license, and didn’t expect to be where I’m at today for sure, but I ended up quitting my other job, so I’ve been full-time about two years now. A little less than two years.
Noel LaFerme (02:07):
So where are you at today, that you didn’t expect to be?
Connor Kobilarcsik (02:10):
Yeah, just having the year that I had last year. So it picked up really quickly for me. I took a little bit of a risk when I left my other job. I had some savings, and stuff like that, but I was definitely taking a risk, and I just decided to go ahead, and go for it.
And so, in the last two years, May 5th, actually tomorrow, will be my first deal I’ve ever closed was two years ago, May 5th, and since then, I’ve closed 55 homes.
Noel LaFerme (02:44):
Connor Kobilarcsik (02:45):
Yeah, most of those coming in the last 18 months.
Noel LaFerme (02:50):
So what did you start doing differently in the last 18 months?
Connor Kobilarcsik (02:54):
I just started getting some momentum. I think I maybe closed maybe three, or four deals in my first nine months licensed. I started to gain some momentum, and then just working every day, prospecting, setting appointments.
And it’s been really nice this year so far. I’m at 14, closed, and pending, about to be 15, after tonight, for the year. Most of that was done in the first quarter, and I’ve been getting a lot more referrals now, which has been the result of consistent social media, and consistent marketing, consistent networking, and it’s taken me a long time.
I don’t come from a real estate background, or family, or anything, so I had to take my time for people in my life to be able to associate real estate with me, and obviously that doesn’t happen overnight, especially when you have the background I have, which is nothing to do with sales, or real estate, or anything.
Noel LaFerme (03:57):
Well, you seem to have figured it out, so that’s good.
Connor Kobilarcsik (04:00):
Yeah. So far.
Noel LaFerme (04:02):
What about your prospecting schedule? Walk us through your morning routine. What sets your day up for success?
Connor Kobilarcsik (04:08):
Sure. So in the beginning, I was actually only calling for sale by owners, and that’s how I got my first listing. So I was doing that for a long time.
I actually really just started diving into expireds this year, so I’m mostly calling old expireds right now, and mostly, honestly, it’s because I’m getting my feet wet, and it’s probably a little bit less rejection than the new expireds are, and the conversations are a little softer, so it’s a nice way to practice my phone communication, my ability to set appointments, and things like that, so I’ve been having quite a bit of success with it.
So in the morning, I have a time block, I try to call. I start with the old expireds at 09:30. I know that’s really late if I was going to be calling new expired, but I’ve found that it doesn’t really matter too much with the old ones, and usually at least an hour. So an hour of power. I try to put 25 to 30 in my dialer every day, and it’s been going pretty well, honestly. I’ve been setting an appointment a week.
So throughout the day, I’m doing a lot of lead follow up. I tend to put my time towards client care, and then also lead follow up, and things like that, and social media, so I spread it out over a few different pillars of activity.
Noel LaFerme (05:33):
How important to you is social media? Because you’ve talked about it a couple of times now already, so is that a daily activity for you, and what are you doing with it? Is that a way of prospecting for business?
Connor Kobilarcsik (05:45):
Yeah. Honestly, it’s mostly been for me, as of right now, a way to stay in front of my sphere. I can probably equate, I don’t know, I would say at least 70, 75% of my business to social media.
Noel LaFerme (05:58):
Connor Kobilarcsik (05:59):
And it’s not new people finding me, typically, but it’s for your old people that I used to be friends with, high school people, I grew up here, who I’ve added on there. I mean, I just had a listing I have coming up. I haven’t talked to her since probably middle school, but she follows me on Instagram, and for two years she’s been watching the videos that I make, and just what I do, because I track a lot of it. I’m pretty active on it.
And so, she’s like, “I’ve been watching you for two years, and we’re going to list our house.” So that’s a lot of how it’s been happening for me.
So right now, it’s really just a way to stay in front of my sphere, and network too. I mean, I’m part of a bunch of groups. I meet a lot of people on there. I’m part of Tom Ferry Coaching, so that’s a way I keep in touch, and try to network with agents.
Noel LaFerme (06:47):
Get referral business from them, to stand out from other than a coaching event where you met them?
Connor Kobilarcsik (06:52):
Yeah, I try. I mean, I’m still fairly new. I’ve only been in coaching for four, or five months.
Noel LaFerme (06:57):
Connor Kobilarcsik (06:58):
So I’m still fairly new, but I’ve gotten some at bats for sure.
Noel LaFerme (07:05):
The coaching is helping you stay on task, accountability. What are your strengths, and weaknesses for your daily routine? What do you have a challenge showing up for? Call reluctance?
Connor Kobilarcsik (07:19):
Yeah, for sure. I mean, call reluctance, 100%. I’m a horrible time blocker, so I get distracted, so I’m definitely not a type-A driver personality, which benefits me in a lot of ways, because my social skills, and I tend to be more amiable with people, so I think I fit along with a lot of personalities very well.
But obviously the downside is I’m not a type-A person, where everything has to be just so. It all has its pros and cons, but it definitely isn’t the best for people for time blocking, and sticking to a schedule.
So my coach and me work on a lot of different things. I track all my numbers in a spreadsheet, the calls that I’m making, the contacts I’m making, the appointments I’m setting, we work on time blocking, and then, also just business type stuff. We’re starting to work on website SEO, things like that, so it’s a lot of accountability for me, because I need it.
Noel LaFerme (08:15):
I can understand that. I’m an amiable, so I get it. I get it.
Connor Kobilarcsik (08:19):
Noel LaFerme (08:19):
There are lots of distractions.
Connor Kobilarcsik (08:21):
Yeah, I flow with the wind. I’m just, whatever comes my way.
Noel LaFerme (08:28):
It could be a challenge.
Connor Kobilarcsik (08:30):
Yeah, it could be.
Noel LaFerme (08:30):
I tell myself that. I’m like, “Okay, just one hour. If you just do one hour right now, then you can take a little break, and then you can do another hour.”
Connor Kobilarcsik (08:38):
Right, right. Exactly.
Noel LaFerme (08:40):
So what would you, on your least favorite source, how do you go about correcting your mindset to make those calls too? Because if you said you did FSBOs, which I find interesting, because I feel like they have the most pushback, maybe expireds have more anger, like you said in the beginning, but I feel like FSBOs typically think they know what they’re doing, and they have more reservations, so how do you push past that, especially since you said you’re not so much of a driver?
Connor Kobilarcsik (09:12):
No, for sure.
Noel LaFerme (09:13):
How many does it take for it to be a no for you?
Connor Kobilarcsik (09:18):
I’m really looking for, and with expireds, I’m looking for people who give me some kind of time of day to have a conversation, because that’s where I shine, is building rapport, and so, that’s not going to be for everybody. I’m not probably someone who’s going to come in, cut my commission, and just tell you what you want to hear necessarily, but I think the more phone calls you make, you’ll find those people.
But I’ve met a lot of really awesome people just through prospecting. I just got off the phone with one of my clients who I’ve done two deals with now, and he owns quite a bit of real estate around Cleveland, and some vacant lots, and stuff that I’ll be listing, that I met calling for sale by owners two years ago.
Noel LaFerme (09:58):
Connor Kobilarcsik (09:58):
Noel LaFerme (09:58):
You’ve maintained a relationship with them.
Connor Kobilarcsik (10:01):
Yeah, we’ve become really close, and he just gave me a referral actually, so you never really know who you’re going to meet. And so, I try to stay in that mindset as best I can. I’m not calling to get your listing right now on this phone call. I’ll try to set the appointment, of course, especially with expireds, but if that doesn’t happen, I’m going to try to find the people that I can build some kind of relationship with, and get some kind of database going.
So I think if I stick with that mindset, it takes a little bit of the pressure off. I know that’s probably not how everyone looks at it, but that’s how I look at it right now, because it helps me take the pressure off of everything, and just remind myself I’m just having conversations. Trying to.
Noel LaFerme (10:40):
Yeah, it gives you a healthy mentality to keep moving forward, and like your job.
Connor Kobilarcsik (10:45):
Noel LaFerme (10:45):
Hard when you have nice conversations.
Connor Kobilarcsik (10:48):
Yeah, and I could be aggressive, trying to set appointments, but if they don’t want to do it, then it is what it is, and I always ask for the appointment, of course, but I’ve built a lot of relationships off people that I’ve just called.
Noel LaFerme (11:03):
So on a FSBO, you went and asked for an appointment, maybe the first conversation you, or if it naturally happens, you would?
Connor Kobilarcsik (11:11):
If it eventually comes up. When they just go on, the chances of me getting an appointment are very slim.
Noel LaFerme (11:16):
And are you honest with them, upfront? Are you honest with your intentions upfront, because I know some people will say, “Oh, I have a buyer who’s interested,” just to get in front of them?
Connor Kobilarcsik (11:24):
No, I don’t.
Noel LaFerme (11:25):
Connor Kobilarcsik (11:26):
So I learned from the beginning that I’m just going to be myself, and if that doesn’t give me the listing, because I got in there in a sneaky way, and then whatever. There’s nothing against it. It’s just not my jam.
So it’s just more of something like, “Hey, is this the owner of 123 Main Street? Great. My name’s Conner, and I’m actually just calling to see if you are working with any agents who might have qualified buyers.”
And they’ll say, “Yeah,” if we have, “Do you have a buyer? I’ll be honest with you, I actually don’t have a buyer, but I’m keeping my fingertip on the market, because inventory as low as you probably already know, and so, I want to make sure that I know what’s going on in the for sale by owner market in case any buyers do come across my desk.”
You’re just opening the conversation like that.
Noel LaFerme (12:08):
Yeah. Yeah, you’re getting them comfortable with you.
Connor Kobilarcsik (12:09):
Noel LaFerme (12:11):
And then, market stats are important to you then, and will you share that with the FSBO people to maybe just get them to trust you a little bit?
Connor Kobilarcsik (12:19):
Yeah, for sure.
Noel LaFerme (12:22):
Connor Kobilarcsik (12:26):
Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. I never want to tell some for sale buyer usually like they’re not going to be able to do it on their own on the first phone call. I think they discovered that after a period of time. So typically, if you just stay in touch with them, you’ll get an appointment eventually.
Noel LaFerme (12:41):
So as far as expireds go, you’ll ask for an appointment that day. Your goal, when you sit down and prospect, I think you said something about 25, or 30, but I was a little confused, is that how many people you want to talk to every day? And is your goal every day to get a listing appointment, or just to get a contact number?
Connor Kobilarcsik (13:02):
So I mean, my goal is to get an appointment, some kind of an appointment. My appointment listing appointment goal for the week is two appointments a week.
Noel LaFerme (13:11):
Connor Kobilarcsik (13:11):
Because I can usually sign about 50% of my listings, and that’s a listing a week, and for me, that’s a lot of listings.
So that’s my goal. I think in the last three weeks I’ve set three expired, maybe four expired, so I’m behind my goal a little bit.
Noel LaFerme (13:34):
What’s your goal for the year? Just the two? So you want two listing appointments? What’s your batting average though?
Connor Kobilarcsik (13:40):
Yeah, I’d like to see one listing a week for the rest of the year.
Noel LaFerme (13:45):
That’s pretty amazing.
Connor Kobilarcsik (13:46):
Yeah, it would be great.
Noel LaFerme (13:48):
Well, I think you can do it.
Connor Kobilarcsik (13:49):
Yeah, me too.
Noel LaFerme (13:51):
How conversations does that take for you, on a day, or a week, to get those appointments?
Connor Kobilarcsik (13:57):
50-ish, probably. I’m still tracking a lot of my numbers right now in my spreadsheet, so I’ll have a better answer probably as in a few months, when I actually sit down, and look at it. I think it’s about 50, and again, for every person who answers the phone, and it’s the right number, I would say I can get some kind of an appointment, or at the very least, have a really, really good conversation, and lead with one out of five of those people with the old expireds.
And I found that typically if they expired about two or three months ago, they’re thinking about relisting now. I’ve learned I’m the guy who just popped up out of nowhere, like some agents have been talking to them for three months, but sometimes they’re already annoyed with them, so if I can pop up and offer a different perspective, then maybe I have a better chance.
Noel LaFerme (14:44):
Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, in my area, there’s 10,000 of us, and you’re going to connect with people differently.
Connor Kobilarcsik (14:51):
For sure. 100%.
Noel LaFerme (14:53):
And there’s enough business to go around, really.
Connor Kobilarcsik (14:55):
Noel LaFerme (14:57):
How do you separate yourself from other agents? Say you have a listing appointment, but you’re up against two others, what makes you stand out? What makes people pick you?
Connor Kobilarcsik (15:08):
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think what makes me stand out from other agents is just my ability to make people feel comfortable and communicate with them, as far as why I think they feel different when I come over. I think my communication, and my negotiation abilities, and my marketing abilities are a step above most, if not the rest. And so, I think I offer the full package, honestly, of everything that someone would need, and a listing agent. I’m calling when I say I’m going to call, I’m texting when I say I’m going to text, I’m sending you updates when I say I’m going to send you updates. I have pre-listing packet I send them, so that they know, they can see my reviews, they can see what people say about me, they can see my marketing.
Noel LaFerme (15:50):
And I was about to say, what into you.
Connor Kobilarcsik (15:53):
Noel LaFerme (15:54):
What is your idea of experience, time, or transactions?
Connor Kobilarcsik (15:59):
No, not time transactions.
Noel LaFerme (16:02):
Connor Kobilarcsik (16:02):
Noel LaFerme (16:02):
Exactly, you have great experience.
Connor Kobilarcsik (16:05):
Yeah. It’s definitely not time, I know that. You learn that pretty quickly.
Noel LaFerme (16:09):
Yeah, because you deal with people that do one deal a year.
Connor Kobilarcsik (16:13):
Yeah. So I mean-
Noel LaFerme (16:13):
People who don’t call you back, who don’t send you anything they’re supposed to send you?
Connor Kobilarcsik (16:18):
Yeah, and I tell them, if someone brings up that I’ve been in the business for two years, or I’m young, I’m under 30 years old, or whatever, usually what I say is, I’m in the thick of it. I have five escrows right now, I am showing houses every week. I might not have the time in years, but what really matters is what’s going on in the market right now, for your house. That’s what we’re looking at. We’re not looking at what happened in the past.
I think what really matters is, what’s going on right now, today. And I know I have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on, and I’m going to be able to guide you through the market.
Noel LaFerme (16:50):
Yeah, I can tell. So what would your key advice be for a newer agent? What would be something that you would tell them that, if they want to be successful, what do they need to do?
Connor Kobilarcsik (17:03):
Noel LaFerme (17:03):
What’s one thing that they need to do?
Connor Kobilarcsik (17:05):
Willing to take risks. Even right now, obviously, I’m still a newer agent, but I get very frustrated, and this business can be very stressful, and a lot of emotions, and it can just be a lot sometimes.
So I think it’s important to, in the beginning, just keep pushing past those things, and each time you hit a road bump, you’ll be able to navigate it that much better. Your communication will get better, because so much of real estate is the way you present information to your clients, the strategies that you have for presenting offers, for negotiating offers, for doing all those kinds of things, like those make or break deals.
I would say, in the beginning, just showing up. I just dove right in. I found a mentor, I went to open houses, I talked to other agents, I showed houses for other agents, I did everything, called, watched YouTube videos, listen to podcasts. I mean, it took a lot to have any kind of traction.
So I would say, as simple as this is, it’s just show up, and work, and do the stuff that sucks, like prospecting. I don’t love doing it, but I think that you’ll learn that, if you get really good at that skill, you’ll be able to meet a lot more people, and at the end of the day, it’s just about having conversations.
Noel LaFerme (18:23):
And you’d say, I mean, prospecting will change your business?
Connor Kobilarcsik (18:26):
Yeah. I mean, it’s really my only lead source. I don’t pay for leads, I don’t pay for buyer leads, so lead flow that I control is prospecting. That’s pretty much it. So whether it’s prospecting my sphere, or prospecting new clients, that’s pretty much what I do every day.
Noel LaFerme (18:45):
Connor Kobilarcsik (18:45):
Noel LaFerme (18:46):
Question, really quick, because you said you really went all in, fully submerged into the real estate world, and did everything you could do, and it was hard.
Connor Kobilarcsik (18:54):
Noel LaFerme (18:55):
How long did it take for you to get your first listing?
Connor Kobilarcsik (18:57):
From the time I was licensed? Six months.
Noel LaFerme (19:01):
Connor Kobilarcsik (19:02):
It was a for sale by owner, actually.
Noel LaFerme (19:04):
Yeah, I remember that. Okay, six, yeah. All right, cool. That’s what I want to say. So you can go six months without anything, and then you can get 15.
Connor Kobilarcsik (19:11):
Yeah, it was six months of working every day.
Noel LaFerme (19:15):
And 54 deals after that in 18 months.
Connor Kobilarcsik (19:20):
And I’m still figuring it out.
Noel LaFerme (19:22):
Connor Kobilarcsik (19:22):
I’m still on this little bit of a rollercoaster, where February, and March I closed five deals each month, and then this month I’ve had no closings, and then May, I have four closings lined up. So I’m learning how to… I’m still in that beginning of business.
Noel LaFerme (19:38):
By the way.
Connor Kobilarcsik (19:39):
Yeah. I have a lot of business I’m not prospecting. I don’t have any business, all I’m doing is prospecting. So it’s a learning experience, and it’s definitely has its ups, and downs, but I think that I’m starting to finally build a pipeline that can hopefully feed me consistent business.
Noel LaFerme (19:57):
And you’ll be here for the long haul?
Connor Kobilarcsik (19:58):
I hope so. I think so. I’ve said before, I don’t really have another option, because I don’t think I could ever go back working for a W2 job.
Noel LaFerme (20:08):
Yeah. And you get to have your own life here too. As long as you run your business, you can travel, and I mean, you can be on vacation, and you can prospect.
Connor Kobilarcsik (20:14):
Noel LaFerme (20:15):
Well, this was awesome. This was really, really great.
Connor Kobilarcsik (20:19):
Noel LaFerme (20:20):
I really enjoyed talking to you.
Connor Kobilarcsik (20:21):
Noel LaFerme (20:22):
And I’m sure everyone’s going to love everything you had to say, and want to send you lots of referrals, so how can they reach you, and make sure to spell your name for everybody?
Connor Kobilarcsik (20:31):
Yeah, so my full name is Connor, C-O-N-N-O-R, last name, Kobilarcsik, K-O-B-I-L-A-R-C-S-I-K, it’s a long one. You can find me on Instagram, ConnorKobyRealtor, Connor, K-O-B-Y, Realtor. On Facebook, it’s just my name, and then, you could just call me directly, 440-539-6347. It’s probably the best way to get ahold of me.
Noel LaFerme (20:58):
Connor Kobilarcsik (20:59):
Noel LaFerme (20:59):
Perfect. Well, thank you so much for coming on.
Connor Kobilarcsik (21:02):
Yeah, thank you. I really appreciate it.