When was your first job in real estate?
Well, I was 16, and my parents had retired from the military, and my mom was a social worker and opened their own real estate company. This was way back in 1978, so imagine no MLS, no computers, no fax machines, and what I would do is my dad would go out and take listings, and then I would copy the listings, and then deliver them on my bike or running around to the local real estate agents. We lived in a small town on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It was four miles from one end to the other, so I was able to do that on foot or on my bicycle.
I did get licensed in 1980, a few days after I turned 18, worked part-time in real estate doing everything from installing signs, delivering flyers, running contracts around, entering database once we got a computer, and in 1983 and ’84, I started real estate full time. I’ve been working full time ever since then.
Why did you want to be in real estate?
I got my degree from the University of Hawaii in Business Administration. I was offered a job with Hewlett-Packard, and they said move to Texas and follow our guidebook, and you can make 40 thousand a year. Well, the previous summer, during the summer, I had made 22 thousand in three months. I did the math, said Texas? Hawaii? Texas? Hawaii? And decided to sell real estate full time. Now, it was a family owned business for a while, and it went very well from there. We grew to three offices over 100 agents, property management department, et cetera, et cetera.
What prompted you to move into coaching?
Well, I always loved teaching and training. I was always involved. We has an ERA franchise. I was involved in training with them on a national level. I did training for the local board. We did training for the agents, and I always loved that aspect of it. After 25 years of selling real estate, I decided let’s try something new, and I went to work for a large, national coaching company. I ran the East Coast operations for a couple of years, did coaching and training for that individual. Then my wife and I decided we wanted to do more.
In 2009, we founded Your Coaching Matters along with Donna Fleetwood and Coach Stephanie Seigh, Coach Donna Stott and myself. There’s still the four of us together. We all got accredited by the International Coach Federation to really learn and give our clients some needed tools.
What do you see as your "value proposition" for a potential client?
Well, number one, it’s always got to be results. Our average client in 2017 grossed 373 thousand dollars in commission income, and they did so with clarity, focus, ease, and grace. That’s our company motto. We learned it from our mentor Dr. Maria Nemeth, and we really work on doing our job as real estate agents, which is to provide great information, unthought of options, and fantastic service.
That’s what we focus on, and it’s what makes us different is we do have different tools. We do have different models that really help agents get beyond the standard stumbling blocks to their own success. We know you can do it.
What is the biggest challenge most agents face?
I’d say it has to be believing in themselves as much as we believe in them. We know that people that get involved in coaching, people that afford Espresso Agent are good agents. They want to give the best possible service. Now, there are lots of things we can work on. We can work on time management. We can work on scripts and skills. We can work on mindset, and we do with all of that, but the biggest thing is having the belief that you add value to the real estate transaction, and that your clients will thank you for sharing that value with them.
Many people have a natural fear of prospecting and rejection. How do you get your agent/client over such a fear?
Well, we do it in a bunch of different ways, and we have several, as I mentioned earlier, different tools for getting through this “fear” or “fear of rejection” or “I don’t like” to pick up the phone, or I just can’t pick it up. I always picture Tyrannosaurus Rex. That would be horrible if that were true, if you couldn’t pick up the phone.
However, what we know is that if you have items of value to offer your clients, and if your clients are thanking you for calling, then you’re not going to have that fear of rejection. Now, every day it’s a decision. It’s a decision to do your job, which is to talk to buyers and sellers and offer to help them. Every day that you receive positive feedback for doing that, it makes it easier and easier and easier to do it.
How do you coach your clients on time management strategies and especially dealing with procrastination?
We have a great little formula. We call it the Formula One, and it works like this. The Formula One is 90, 55, 17, and seven. What we do is for the next 90 days … Why 90 days? Well, you work long enough to get good at it, and it’s long enough to develop a habit. For the next 90 days, for the first 55 minutes when you come into the office, work with energy and enthusiasm on one thing that you want to master. That could be calling expireds, it could be calling for sale by owners, since we’re talking about Espresso Agent. It might be getting a new assistant up to speed. It might be learning something new and exciting for your business. It might be setting up a new demographic database for your clients. Whatever it is, you work for 55 minutes with energy and enthusiasm. We recommend doing this first thing in the morning because by, for most of us, by nine o’clock, nine 15, we’re done, and we’ve worked on it with energy and enthusiasm.
Then for the next 17 minutes, take a break. Read a good book, watch a podcast, go for a walk in nature. There’s nothing magic about 17 minutes. It’s just the time that it takes me to walk a mile outdoors, which refreshes me and revitalizes me, and so, for me and for many of our clients, by nine 15, nine 30 at the latest, they’ve done a lot of productive work. They’ve worked on their business rather than just being busy. They’ve done something that’s income producing, and then they’ve taken a nice break, and they’re ready to take on the end of the day.
Now, the last seven is at the end of the day, spend seven minutes writing down things that went well. Be grateful. Be thankful. Just write those down. If you have extra time, write a thank you note to somebody, or give a call and say thank you to somebody. So you start your day with focus, energy, enthusiasm, income producing activities, and you end your day with gratitude. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? It is.
How do you coach your clients on maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
Well, we just went through the big tip, but what we do is we coach people on all of their life’s intentions, and we know how important it is for people to be a great parent, or a loving spouse, or a wonderful provider, or a successful business owner, or a world traveler, or an adventurer, and we work those into your goals, and we show you how to achieve them with clarity, focus, ease, and grace.
Now, make no mistake, real estate is hard work, and it can be demanding. But it’s so profitable, and it’s so flexible, that if you set goals, and if you set intentions, you will achieve that work/life balance that we’re looking for.
Are great sellers made or born? Explain.
Of course, they’re made. They’re not born. There’s not a single baby … I have five children and three grand children so far … not a single one of those babies has looked up at me and in the first word said, “I want to sell real estate.” That would be silly. There’s skills, there’s mindset, there’s words, there’s patterns, there’s thought processes that all help somebody become a great sales person. Asking great questions is perhaps one of the best ways for somebody like me, who talks too much, to ask a question and listen, to actually become a better sales person. They are made, not born.
Do you use an accountability coach? Why or why not?
Yes. In fact, this morning I called and met with my accountability coach. I have several of them. I have a swimming coach. I’m trying to get better at swimming. I have an accountability coach for my coaching business, and then, of course, I have my wife, Donna, holding me accountable every day.