How to Escalate Your Value to Deliver Results. Travis Robertson Explains.
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How to Escalate Your Value to Deliver Results. Travis Robertson Explains.

Description

What’s the value of a realtor? It’s not the listings. It’s not access. It’s not the data. It’s the experience and the money that you’re going to put into my pocket. Everyone’s so focused on the what. In reality, it’s the how. A lot of agents can deliver results, but the ones standing out are the ones who figured out the “how” to delivering those results in the best possible fashion for the consumer.

Travis Robertson was not born from real estate, and for some, that may be a turnoff. But when you examine his track record and the fact that he’s built several multi-million dollar businesses, you have to ask, “What makes him so successful?” He’ll tell you, no one hires a person because of who they are. You hire them because of the results they will bring. And Travis brings results … along with a candid attitude. If you want to escalate your personal and business value, this episode will be a game-changer.

In this episode of Driven, get ready to hear:

  • How brand loyalty has changed in recent years (9 min)
  • What it means to bring value to consumers (10 min)
  • Why you shouldn’t worry about Zillow (13 min)
  • About the “HALO” effect and how it creates more revenue for brokerages (17 min)
  • An honest discussion on lead quality and online leads (28 min)

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Full Transcript

Here is the transcript of the video and audio, in case you don’t have time to listen.

Rivers: What’s up? Welcome to the next episode of Driven. My name is Rivers Pearce and I’m here with Travis Robertson, the legendary up-and-coming young coach in the real estate circuit. And we are in not-so-sunny Southern California.

Travis: Not so sunny, but I still have glasses on.

Rivers: Travis, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about what you do, who you are, where you’re from, any of that fun stuff.

Travis: Perfect. So, Travis Robertson, CEO of Robertson Coaching International, one of the fastest growing real estate coaching and training companies in North America, recently ranked by Inman as one of the top coaching companies in the world for real estate professionals. And I live in Newport Beach, California– actually, office in Newport Beach, California. I don’t live in Newport Beach, California. But from sunny SoCal, other than today [laughter], and yeah. So that’s me. I’ve been doing this– our company just turned four years old, and we coach some of the top real estate professionals in the world.

Rivers: Excellent. So you’ve been coaching for four years. You’ve been speaking–

Travis: Well, coaching for more than that.

Rivers: And so we’ll set the record straight. You do not have a background in real estate.

Travis: I do not have a background in real estate. I know. I know, right [laughter]? How dare I run a coaching company for real estate professionals?

Rivers: How does that work for or against you, right? I mean–

Travis: It’s not an issue so much anymore. It used to be when I first got started because people were like, “Well, how can you coach real estate professionals? You’ve never sold real estate professionally.” I said, “Yeah, that’s true.” I said, “But most of them haven’t built multimillion dollar businesses. And I have.” So I’m now on my third multimillion-dollar company, and what I teach people how to do is not sell real estate. Look, if you need help selling real estate, you have bigger problems. And so what I do is I help people build and run businesses. And so I teach them how to hire, how to scale, how to grow, how to market, how to generate leads, how to convert, how to script, how to sell, systems, all of that. That’s the stuff that they don’t teach in real estate school. So anybody and their mother can sell real estate. You can go get a license in a couple weeks in most states. So go get a license, great, but you still have no idea how to build a business. And so that’s what I help people do, and that’s what we’re really good at. So if you need help selling real estate, you got bigger problems, but if you want help building a business, then that’s what we can help with. And this idea that you can’t help people unless you’ve sold real estate in this industry is really stupid. Because, think about it. It’s like me saying, “Well, I’d never take advice from Richard Branson or Steve Jobs – God rest his soul – or anybody else who’s never run a coaching company.” I’m like, “That’s just arrogance. That’s dumb.” Because I can learn something from anybody, but if I think that because somebody’s never done exactly what I’m doing, I can’t learn from them, I lose. Because I can learn something from anybody. Because everybody has something to teach me that I don’t know.

Rivers: Right. And, I mean, for clarity’s sake, we’re not saying that selling real estate itself is an easy thing to do.

Travis: No. No, no, no, no. I’m saying it’s easy to get a license. It’s hard to run a business. And that’s the difference is, if– I can run out and I can get a license and still not make any money. 50% of agents make less than $50,000 a year in gross commission income. I mean, that’s gross. And gross. And so if somebody is watching this and making less than $50,000, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad agent, it means that you haven’t figured out how to scale up the business side of it, how to control your income, how to control your lead generation, how to actually close more effectively. Because when you take away your splits, you take away taxes, you take away marketing, you take away expenses, you’re left with like $30,000.

Rivers: Yeah. If that. Right. Right.

Travis: If that. And then you divide that by the number of hours you worked and you’re like, “Good God. I should have been a greeter at Walmart. I would have made more money.” And most people got into real estate because they don’t want to be a greeter at Walmart. And so they want to make money, they want to be able to provide for their family, and that’s what we help them do.

Rivers: Right. So I guess that’s a nice segue from, “I’m making 50K gross. I’m doing all I can on my own. I feel like I’m kind of– what else can I do? I’ve got some technology. I’ve got some basic processes.” But, at some point, if you want to go into the six-figure net, kind of, commission level, my opinion, and what I see across the country these days is you’ve got to kind of start thinking teams. Not that it’s impossible to be a single agent in this day and age, and not necessarily that the days of the single agent are numbered, but are the days of the single agent kind of numbered?

Travis: Yes [laughter].

Rivers: Right?

Travis: Well, here’s why. And anybody who’s been in this business for 20 or 30 years thinks that this is sacrilegious to say. It’s like, “Well, no, this is still a belly-to-belly, face-to-face business,” which it is. But just because it’s belly-to-belly, face-to-face doesn’t mean that an individual agent can compete with a team. Think about all the things that it takes to run a successful business in any industry. In any industry is an individual agent. You may be really good with people, but you suck at details. You suck at paperwork. You suck at all the– if you’re a people person, you’re generally not a paperwork person. And if you’re a paperwork person, you’re generally not a sales person. And so it’s knowing what you’re good at and delegating what you suck at. And so it doesn’t mean you have to have a giant team of 30 or 40– look, we coach people who have 50 people on their team, 60 people on their team, but that’s not where everybody lives. But if you have 2 or 3 people to support you so that you can go out and get belly-to-belly, face-to-face with more people, you’re going to win. But in a world where people want instant satisfaction, instant gratification, instant answers, instant help, instant this, one person can’t do it all and compete at the level that a team can. This is the big myth. People do not hire you because of you. They hire you because of the results you can get them. And if I can get better results with a team, I’m going to beat you every freaking time. Because if they don’t– they love you, and that’s part of why they may hire you. But they can love you and not hire you because they don’t believe you’re going to get them the results that they want. And if I can get them better results, they may not like me as much as they like you at the end of the day. But if I can help them put more money in their pocket at the end of the transaction, guess who they’re going to hire? Me. Every day of the week.

Rivers: It’s kind of like– I guess it’s almost saying like “People go to Amazon–” brand loyalty is kind of fading away in this day and age, right?

Travis: Yes.

Rivers: And, agree or disagree, that the days of my sister’s new boyfriend is going to be my real estate agent because I’m loyal to him or her, or whatever, that’s kind of fallen away.

Travis: Well, I think there’s always the uneducated consumer that will do that. But is your entire business model predicated on having a bunch of uneducated people come to your door?

Rivers: Right. I hope not. I mean–

Travis: I hope you’re not waking up every day going, “Ah, I sure hope somebody who has no better clue hires me because they like me. And my sister just got married and told everybody about me at a wedding.” It’s like, “That’s not my game plan.” And, actually, I think brand loyalty is still there, but we’ll abandon the brand if the brand stops delivering. So how many people love Apple? There’s still Starbucks. There’s still brand loyalty, but we’re not going to– we’re not going to buy Tide just because our mom bought Tide if Tide sucks. And so, I think, in today’s world, you have a more educated consumer. And so the brand loyalty is there if the delivery is there. And that’s the thing that I think too many agents are depending on is, “Well, people are going to use me again because I’m a good agent.” It’s like, “No they’re not. They’re going to use you again if you get them better results than anybody else. And if you don’t, they’re not going to use you again just because you’re their sister, brother, uncle, cousin, best friend’s niece. It doesn’t matter.”

Rivers: And also, I guess, you can’t expect them to use you again in five years just because they remembered what you did for them last time.

Travis: No.

Rivers: Not in this day and age.

Travis: No. I remember my best friend was buying a house, years ago, and it was the second or third time he was buying a house, and he called the realtor that he had used the previous time. And this was was a family friend. And he called me and he goes, “I am so frustrated with my realtor.” And I said, “Why?” And I said, “Well, you used her last time.” And he goes, “Yeah.” He said, “But now the world’s changed.” He goes, “I feel like I’m finding all the houses and then calling her and saying, ‘Hey, can you open this up?’ And she goes, ‘Oh my gosh. I didn’t even know that was on the market.'” And he goes, “‘What the hell am I paying you for?’ I feel like all she is is the key to open the door.” And if all you are is the key to open the door, you’re dead in this [world?] because you have to be on top of things. You have to be more aware. You have to be more present, more focused, than you ever have been before. You got to get good at so many things that you [can’t?] do.

Rivers: So what are those other things? I mean, is that, “We got to be the neighborhood expert,” and all that?

Travis: Yeah.

Rivers: Okay. But what else do we need to do knowing that the consumer’s exponentially more informed than they even were a year ago, two years ago, five years ago?

Travis: Yeah. See, I think what it is now is it’s about the experience. So, not only do I have to deliver better results for them, I have to deliver a better experience for them. So I have to make them feel like they are– they’re more educated. So it’s not about, “Hey, let me send you some listings on the MLS.” I can find that shit on my own. I can Google it. I can go to realtor.com or zillow.com, which I know we’re going to talk about in just a second. And I know Zillow’s not accurate, but whatever. I can find that stuff on my own. I can go sign up at a realtor’s website and I can get all the listings without you. I don’t need a realtor to do that stuff. And so what is the value of a realtor? It’s not the listings. It’s not access. It’s not data. It’s the experience and the money that you’re going to put into my pocket. That is the value of a realtor. So if I’m a realtor and I know that my clients have access to all the information, then what I need to do is I need to be one step ahead of that. And I need to say, “Hey, look, I know you saw these three homes that hit the market, but they’re not for you and here’s why.”

Rivers: Ah, right. Insight. Right.

Travis: Is I need to know what their needs are. I need to know why it’s a fit for them, and why it’s not a fit for them. And I need to say, “Hey, look, have you considered these areas? Because this is an up-and-coming area. This is an area you want to get in on the ground floor in.” Or, “Based on your needs, you don’t want to be in this space, and here’s why. School districts or–” whatever your needs are, your wants are, your desires are, I have to know them, and then I have to be able to give you insight on the properties and the things that are coming available before you even see them. Because, otherwise, they own it, and they own you, and they’re going to say, “I want to go look at these 16 houses that just came on the market,” and you’re like, “Okay. Let’s get in the car.” And now you’re an underpaid chauffeur. And that’s not what anybody wants to be.

Rivers: There’s minimal value there.

Travis: Yeah. I want to be like–

Rivers: And then they’re going to say, “Well, why am I paying you 6%?”

Travis: “Why am I paying you 6%?”

Rivers: Or, [“Why am I paying for–” right. Right?]. All right. So then, that being said, speaking of Zillow and–

Travis: Satan.

Rivers: –a lot of controversy in the past week on their new instant offers, that dovetails with what Opendoor is doing and, as we were talking about, what is the value of the real estate professional? A lot of people are– a certain subset of the market is going to migrate towards the “I don’t need them. I can just go ahead and push a button and sell my house online, basically.” What do you think about that model and also the like, “Ah.”

Travis: The freakout?

Rivers: The freakout of–

Travis: The sky is falling?

Rivers: –the general community around that model?

Travis: Okay. So I know this isn’t going to be popular, which I really don’t care. I think people need to stop freaking about Zillow. And this is what people need to understand. Zillow is a publicly traded company. Their ability to shift business models is very, very limited. The thing that would piss an investor off more than anything else is for them to go, “Hey, we’re going to become a brokerage.” Because everything that they’re doing would all of a sudden become things that they can’t do. Their entire business model is advertising. Their entire business model is about the consumer. And if they were to go, all of a sudden, “Hey, we’re going to go get our– we’re going to go become a brokerage,” Wall Street would freak out. It would cost them billions of dollars in market share. Because being a brokerage is not that profitable [laughter]. And it’s crazy. The average agent doesn’t understand this, is your broker doesn’t make as much money as you think your broker makes. And the brokerage model is not in Zillow’s best interest. They sell advertising. They sell software. They sell solutions. They sell everything but real estate. Now, for them to pair– look. So they now have instant offers where they’re pairing a potential seller up with a investor. What do investors do? They buy low. And so, if I’m a real estate agent, I’m all over that. I’d be signing up all day long, going, “Hey, how do I get–” I know it’s premier agents. You got to be a Zillow Premier Agent. And that’s what everybody’s pissed off about. Like, “Well, why is it just premier?” Because premier agents pay them money. Why is that so hard to–?

Rivers: So it’s capitalism [laughter].

Travis: It’s called, “I make money. I’m in business to make money.” Why is that so hard to understand? So, if I’m a premier agent, I’m like, “How do I get in on this gravy train?” Because every single offer is going to be backed up by a CMA by an agent. So I’m going to get a whole bunch of seller leads that I wouldn’t have gotten before, and now I’m going to call them and be like, “Why are you going to sell to an investor?” Unless you really need to sell tomorrow– and Opendoor has the same model, except Opendoor’s a freaking brokerage. They actually have their license. “Well, Zillow’s got a license in Florida.” “Yeah, that they acquired though an acquisition. Stop freaking out.” And everybody’s so worried about things that they can’t control–

Rivers: Oh, there you go.

Travis: –and this is the other side of it. You can’t control Zillow. So, in the meantime, go make freaking money on Zillow. If I can’t control it–

Rivers: Or go make money elsewhere and stop worrying about it.

Travis: Yeah, go make money elsewhere. And, great, boycott Zillow. How’s that working out for you? In the meantime, all of your competitors are like, “Thank God this idiot is boycotting Zillow because I’m going to go make money on it.” And they want you to feel like Zillow’s the devil because they’re going to go make money hand over fist. Hundreds of thousands of dollars– and, truthfully, millions of dollars in commission in your marketplace are being made on Zillow while you’re sitting there going, “Zillow’s the Antichrist [laughter].” And it’s like, “Good God.”

Rivers: That’s a little harsh but–

Travis: No. That’s what everybody said.

Rivers: I know. I know. I read all the comments on Inman News. I get it. All right. So let’s take it down a level. Let’s take some deep breaths here.

Travis: Sorry. What is it, 9:00 AM in the morning? I’m already riled up.

Rivers: It’s 9:30 in the morning.

Travis: Jeez, Rivers.

Rivers: Too much coffee, huh? So you mentioned that brokerages are not very profitable businesses. Or that they have very small margins, and so–

Travis: Yeah. They can make money. Don’t get me wrong. There are brokers that make boatloads of money.

Rivers: Absolutely. But when I first met you, I saw you speak on how I learned to embrace teams as a brokerage, basically, right?

Travis: Yes.

Rivers: And how you need to learn how to do that and not fear teams as kind of the way of the world.

Travis: The second Antichrist [laughter]?

Rivers: Yeah. The second Antichrist, right? So what is your take, because I think it’s an interesting take, on helping brokers understand that a team can be a very good profit center for you?

Travis: Huge profit center. And so there’s direct profit and there’s indirect profit. And this is what I explain to people, is it’s called the halo effect. And the halo effect is, if I’m a broker, I want teams in my office all day long. I want as many high-producing teams as possible. And brokers are so worried about a team because they don’t understand the team model, and they think teams want to become brokers. And this is the biggest myth about brokers. You need to understand this. Teams do not want to become brokers. Team leaders do not want to become brokers. They don’t want to open a brokerage. They don’t want to start a brokerage, and here’s why. They won’t make as much money. And so there was a big survey that was done of team leaders. And it was like 180 or 250 team leaders, or somewhere in that range, and they asked them, “Do you want to eventually become a broker?” The number of respondents that said, “Yes”? Zero. Not a single team leader out of hundreds of team leaders said, “Yeah, I think being a broker makes–” not even one. They’re all like, “No, I don’t want to be a broker. I want my broker to be the broker. I want to run a team.” It’s a completely different model. And so a broker needs to understand the benefit of having teams is because of what’s called the halo effect, or what I call the halo effect. And the halo effect is very simple. If you’re trying to make money just off of the team, it’s shortsighted. What you want to do is you want to leverage the team to make money in all these other areas. So, if I bring a top producing team in, what that allows me to do is put more signs in the yard, it allows more calls to come into my office, and it raises the production of every other team member in my office because top producers flock to top producers. Eagles hang out with eagles. Turkeys hang out with turkeys. So if you’ve got a bunch of turkeys in the office, guess what? You’re not going to get a bunch of eagles because they’re going to be like, “I don’t want to hang out with turkeys. These people are idiots, and I don’t want to hang out with them. They’re low producers and I’m a top producer.” So, by having teams in the office, what you’re doing is you’re bringing in top producers.

Travis: The other thing you’re going to do is you’re going to start realizing there’s other ways to make money than just the desk fee, or the split, or the ancillary charges that you’re going to– like, “Oh, I’m going to charge them for space.” Look, use your space to break even. Then find other ways of making money off of the teams, some of which won’t cost the team a single dollar. And you’re like, “Well, what does that mean?” Mortgage, title, escrow, insurance. There’s all these other companies that you ought to be starting, and all these other things that you ought to be doing, that, now, you can create capture rates on all the deals that are going through your brokerage, all the deals that are going through your office, from these teams that you now get running through your mortgage company, your title company, your escrow company, your insurance company, whatever it is. And now, it’s not costing the team leader a dollar extra. They’re just funneling business to these other areas–

Rivers: To you.

Travis: –to you. And, let’s be honest, the margin on those things, way higher than what you’re going to make company dollar on an individual transaction. Now, all of a sudden, your income doubles, triples, quadruples on these other services, and it doesn’t cost a team leader anything extra. So you’re not saying, “Hey, you got to pay us extra for this. You got to pay us extra for that. We’re going to charge you for this–”

Rivers: And not nickel it and dime it.

Travis: –not nickel dime it. And that’s the problem. The brokerage model, of just being a broker, that’s the problem. Teams aren’t the problem, it’s that you only got one business model and your entire business model is on renting space.

Rivers: So what about the “Well, the team’s just going to leave me.” How do–?

Travis: Yeah. If–

Rivers: How do you keep them around?

Travis: You figure out a way to make them profitable, and make yourself [money?]–

Rivers: And make their lives easier.

Travis: Yeah, make their lives easier. You’re a company. They’re a company. So if you realize that they’re peers and they’re not employees and you go, “Okay. They own a business, I own a business, and they’re my client, not the person buying or selling a house.” Your clients, as a broker, are the agents and the team leaders. And so you’ve got to figure out, “How do I bring more value to them than other offices or other companies in my marketplace?” Well, it’s, “How do I make them more profitable? How do I make their life easier? How do I make their– how do I provide more services?” So, if I’m a broker, I’m looking at even things– some of you are like, “Well, we don’t do mortgage, or we don’t do title, or we can’t do escrow.” I get it. You can find something else you can do, including transaction coordination services. So if I’m a team leader hiring a TC, transaction coordinator, a TC in my market, depending on where I’m at, it’s going to cost me 2,500 to 4,500 dollars a month, minimum. So $2,500 to $4,500 a month. But if I’m a broker, I can hire a TC for 2,500 to 4,500 dollars a month, and I can serve multiple agents in my office and charge them 275 to 350 dollars a transaction, sometimes more, depending on the market. So, now, my break even, if I’m the broker, is between 7 and 16 transactions.

Rivers: If you’re not doing that, then–

Travis: If you’re not doing that–

Rivers: –you got a bigger problem [laughter].

Travis: Then you’ve got a bigger problem. But if I can get 7 to 16 transactions, depending on what I’m charging and how much I’m paying, I can now make– I can now have a profit center in my office. And now my teams can focus on selling, not on hiring transaction coordinators. And what about marketing services? So if I want to hire a marketer as a team leader, again, $4,500 a month for a marketer. And, instead, the office can do it, and they can create marketing packages. Because, truthfully, I probably don’t have enough to keep a full-time marketer busy.

Rivers: As a team leader?

Travis: As a team leader. So if I’m an office, though, I can now sell marketing services. And now I’m not just doing it for my teams, I’m doing it for my individual agents who don’t want to run a team. They need the help. And now if they’ve got a transaction coordinator, and they’ve got a marketing service, and I can help them make more money, and save more time, and serve more people. Even my individual agents are happier, my teams are happier, I have a profit center, and I’m actually making money. Because I’m in business to make money and there’s no shame in that. And all you have to do is you have to go to your agents in the office and the team leaders and say, “Hey, look. If I brought the service in, would you take advantage of it? And here’s what I’m thinking of doing, and here’s what I’m going to be saving you.” Don’t just say, “Here’s what I’m going to charge you.” Here’s what I’m going to be saving you.

Rivers: Just turn the conversation around.

Travis: Yeah. Because, right now, you could go hire a transaction coordinator, but it’s going to cost you, in our market, 3,600 bucks a month, or whatever it is, and I’m only going to charge you $275 a transaction. In some months, you’re only going to spend a thousand bucks, or a couple thousand bucks with me, which is better than spending $3,600 a month–

Rivers: And you don’t have to manage that person.

Travis: –and you don’t have to manage them. I’ll hire them. I’ll train them. I’ll make sure that they’re good. And if they suck, I’ll fire them, find somebody else, and bring them in. It’s a win-win.

Rivers: So, ultimately, the broker is providing resources, providing operations, infrastructure–

Travis: Infrastructure.

Rivers: –potentially, technology.

Travis: Technology.

Rivers: So it’s like the broker could say, “I’ll bring BoomTown in for the whole office.” Right?

Travis: 100%.

Rivers: “And you guys use BoomTown. You don’t have to pay for it. That’s just part of the package of being under my umbrella.”

Travis: Yep. If I were a broker, the very first thing I would do is I would go get a platform BoomTown, and I would bring leads into the office, and I would charge extra for those leads, and I would be a lead generator. Now, I would manage it, and I’d make sure that they’re doing– I wouldn’t just be handing out leads like candy. I’d be going, “If I’m going to give you a lead, here’s what I’m going to charge, and here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to perform. I’m going to measure your– are you calling them, are you engaging with them, are you doing this? Because if I know that I give you 10 leads and you convert 0, and I give somebody else 10 leads and they convert 2, guess who is going to get the leads? The person [that worked?].”

Rivers: Or you can say, “As the team leader, you come in and I’ll give you BoomTown as your tech infrastructure and your CRM, and you tell me how much you want to spend for advertising and those leads will come straight to your team.”

Travis: “Those will come straight to you.”

Rivers: Right. So there’s a whole bunch of different ways of– the fear of the team just needs to go away. It’s just a mindset, right? It’s switching to a different way of looking at it.

Travis: Oh, it’s fighting what the reality is. And it’s like teams are the brokers’ Zillow. I mean, Zillow is the broker Zillow too because brokers hate Zillow as well. So everybody hates Zillow and most people hate teams. And I get it. Because it’s different. And, because it’s different, it brings fear. It brings uncertainty. It brings doubt. But you can’t win if you operate from a state of protection or fear.

Rivers: Sure. And–

Travis: The more you try and protect status quo, or the more you’re afraid of the trends or the change, the less money you’re going to be able to make, and the less you’re going to survive.

Rivers: Right. Every day that goes by, you’re losing.

Travis: You lose. You lose. And I’m looking at it going, “Okay. What are the trends that I can’t fight? I can’t fight the fact that there are millennials coming into the workforce.” It’s like the whole millennial– seven, eight years ago, I was talking about millennials before anybody else was. And it was funny because everybody was like, “Oh, you’re an idiot. That’s never going to happen.” I’m like, “Millions of people [entering?] the workforce?”

Rivers: It’s already happening.

Travis: “What the hell?”

Rivers: They’re growing up.

Travis: “You’re going to stop that? How are you going to stop that? It doesn’t make any sense.” It’s like, “This is going to happen. So what are you going to do about it?” And are you going to fight it or are you going to embrace it and figure out how to capitalize on it?” The majority of my workforce is under the age of 30.

Rivers: Yeah. And so is the majority of our workforce.

Travis: So is the majority of your workforce. I mean, everybody is.

Rivers: All right. Any hype out there that is over-hyped? The QR code was a over-hyped bust, right? It’s like we were going to replace our face on the business card with a QR code. There’s the famous QR code on the billboard picture [laughter]. Right? Is there anything right now that is either over-hyped or living up to its hype, knowing the technology is moving exponentially faster-paced than before? Because realtors will jump on the hype bandwagon very quickly.

Travis: Yeah. So I come from the technology world. And that’s something you and I have talked a lot about, is I’m a big fan of technology. And I’m a big fan of what it does for business and the opportunities that it creates. And technology’s a tool. The QR code was a tool that just didn’t work out. It was like, “Okay.”

Rivers: Decent idea.

Travis: But you got to try it. You give it a shot. But everybody looks to the tools to fix the problems. Tools never fix the problems. People fix the problems. The tools are just a tool. And so I say, “Try everything. And when it doesn’t work, or if it doesn’t work, abandon it and go try something else. And don’t get so in love with the technology that you lose sight of what the technology is supposed to do, which is just be a tool.” And, for me, I don’t know what’s hype and what’s not. I mean, you got to try it. Well, I do know some things that aren’t hype, like online leads. Like, “Oh, online leads suck.” “No. Leads don’t suck. You suck.” Either you’re following up with them or you’re not following up with them. It’s never the lead’s fault that you don’t follow up with them. I believe everybody should be generating at least 10 to 20 percent of their business from online leads. At least. And, for whatever reason, real estate is the only freaking industry that believes that you can have a viable, successful business just off of repeat and referral. That is probably the biggest hype myth out there more than anything … in this day and age. The fact that you believe you can run a viable, successful business just off of repeat and referral tells me you don’t understand business. Because there is not a single industry– there’s not a single business outside of real estate that believes that. In fact, not even the people who teach that depend just on repeat and referral business. They don’t. They have marketing. They spend money on advertising. They run Facebook ads. They do all online leads. The things that they say that you don’t need to do, they do. And so you can’t do it. The first type of business that dries up in a down market, repeat and referral. They’re going to dry up. Because, in a down market, they’re under water. They’re not selling. They’re not repeating. They’re not referring. So you’ve got to know how to go out and kill something, drag it home, throw it on the grill, and feed it to the family. If you don’t, you go broke and you starve. Which is why, in the last market downturn, we saw the number of active licensed realtors drop from 1.4 down to the 800,000 range. And the average number of transactions was like 1.2 per realtor. Because most people didn’t know how to go out, kill something, drag it home, throw it on the grill, and feed it to the family. Our clients, though, in the last market downturn, doubled or tripled their business because they realized, “I have to be able to control my lead flow.” If you can’t control your lead flow, if you can’t create consistent, predictable lead flow, you can’t have consistent, predictable income. And this is the key.

Rivers: Good point.

Travis: Repeat and referral you can’t control. You can influence it, but you can’t control it. Anybody who comes up to me and is like, “Oh, Travis, I make 80, 90– 95 percent of my business comes from repeat and referral. Isn’t that amazing?” I’m like, “No [laughter]. That’s horrible.” That’s red flag danger zone for me, because how many leads are you going to get next month?”

Rivers: Right. “I don’t know.”

Travis: You don’t know.

Rivers: So what do you think? They need to–?

Travis: You hope–

Rivers: You need to be at least an 80-20–?

Travis: What we teach our clients is no more than 80% of your business from repeat and referral. If you are just going to fight us tooth and nail, I prefer no more than 60 to 70 percent of your business from repeat and referral. I think 30 to 40 percent of your business needs to come from non-repeat and referral sources that you control. Because, here’s the thing. If I’ve got BoomTown as my platform, and I need more leads, what do I do?

Rivers: Turn up my advertising.

Travis: Yeah. I spend more money. And I can predict, based on how much money I’m spending, how many leads I’m going to get every single month. Now, am I going to be off by two or three leads? Of course. But I know–

Rivers: But, at the same time, you can have the repeat referral model and juice it up with a system like BoomTown. It’s so much better because you know who to talk to, what they’re doing, better communication, marketing automation–

Travis: If my past clients are searching, all of a– they log onto BoomTown, and I get an alert, I can log in and I can see who’s active, who’s not, what are they searching for, I go, “Why is Mary searching for property?”

Rivers: Right. “I’m going to give her a call.”

Travis: I’m going to give her–

Rivers: And then she’s going to say, “Oh.”

Travis: Maybe, all of a sudden, they’ve outgrown that house, and you know what? I–

Rivers: Or maybe she’s pregnant. Or whatever.

Travis: Maybe she’s pregnant. Maybe they’re getting divorced. Maybe–

Rivers: She’s not going to call you up and be like, “I’m pregnant. We’re thinking about moving.” It’s like–

Travis: Yeah. “We’re thinking about looking at–”

Rivers: –they’re going to go to the website.

Travis: Right. And so I can leverage BoomTown. I can leverage these platforms. And it’s not that they replace repeat and referral. And this is the big– they’re like, “Well, what happens to repeat and referral?” It’s still there. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. And it’s having what I call an integrated marketing program. Your goal is to not be a one-trick pony. Your goal is to be everywhere. Every time somebody turns around, I want them to see you. So we teach what’s called the integrated marketing plan or the integrated marketing program, is think of it like a 360 marketing plan. If I know that somebody goes to their mailbox, who do I want them to see? Me. If they log onto a website, whose website do I want them to go to? Mine. If they go to Zillow, whose ad do I want them to see? Mine. If they go onto Facebook, whose ad do I want them to see? Mine. Every time they turn around, I want them to see me. When they check their phone, who do they have a voicemail from? Me. I want to be everywhere they can possibly be looking for real estate or looking for information anytime they need it. That’s what I want to do and that’s what an integrated marketing program is. And that’s what top companies and brands do, is they leverage their dollars to control the playground. So I’m not just spending money on Zillow to advertise on Zillow. I’m getting them to give me their information, then I’m driving them to my website. Then I’m driving them to my BoomTown website. Then I’m having them search– I want them off of Zillow once I have their information. I don’t want them going back there. But now I want to send them text messages and emails, and I want to control the sandbox and the playground. That’s the value of marketing.


What’s the value of a realtor? It’s not the listings. It’s not access. It’s not the data. It’s the experience and the money that you’re going to put into my pocket. Everyone’s so focused on the what. In reality, it’s the how. A lot of agents can deliver results, but the ones standing out are the ones who figured out the “how” to delivering those results in the best possible fashion for the consumer.

Travis Robertson was not born from real estate, and for some, that may be a turnoff. But when you examine his track record and the fact that he’s built several multi-million dollar businesses, you have to ask, “What makes him so successful?” He’ll tell you, no one hires a person because of who they are. You hire them because of the results they will bring. And Travis brings results … along with a candid attitude. If you want to escalate your personal and business value, this episode will be a game-changer.

In this episode of Driven, get ready to hear:

  • How brand loyalty has changed in recent years (9 min)
  • What it means to bring value to consumers (10 min)
  • Why you shouldn’t worry about Zillow (13 min)
  • About the “HALO” effect and how it creates more revenue for brokerages (17 min)
  • An honest discussion on lead quality and online leads (28 min)

For More Episodes

Driven on iTunes


Full Transcript

Here is the transcript of the video and audio, in case you don’t have time to listen.

Rivers: What’s up? Welcome to the next episode of Driven. My name is Rivers Pearce and I’m here with Travis Robertson, the legendary up-and-coming young coach in the real estate circuit. And we are in not-so-sunny Southern California.

Travis: Not so sunny, but I still have glasses on.

Rivers: Travis, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us a little bit about what you do, who you are, where you’re from, any of that fun stuff.

Travis: Perfect. So, Travis Robertson, CEO of Robertson Coaching International, one of the fastest growing real estate coaching and training companies in North America, recently ranked by Inman as one of the top coaching companies in the world for real estate professionals. And I live in Newport Beach, California– actually, office in Newport Beach, California. I don’t live in Newport Beach, California. But from sunny SoCal, other than today [laughter], and yeah. So that’s me. I’ve been doing this– our company just turned four years old, and we coach some of the top real estate professionals in the world.

Rivers: Excellent. So you’ve been coaching for four years. You’ve been speaking–

Travis: Well, coaching for more than that.

Rivers: And so we’ll set the record straight. You do not have a background in real estate.

Travis: I do not have a background in real estate. I know. I know, right [laughter]? How dare I run a coaching company for real estate professionals?

Rivers: How does that work for or against you, right? I mean–

Travis: It’s not an issue so much anymore. It used to be when I first got started because people were like, “Well, how can you coach real estate professionals? You’ve never sold real estate professionally.” I said, “Yeah, that’s true.” I said, “But most of them haven’t built multimillion dollar businesses. And I have.” So I’m now on my third multimillion-dollar company, and what I teach people how to do is not sell real estate. Look, if you need help selling real estate, you have bigger problems. And so what I do is I help people build and run businesses. And so I teach them how to hire, how to scale, how to grow, how to market, how to generate leads, how to convert, how to script, how to sell, systems, all of that. That’s the stuff that they don’t teach in real estate school. So anybody and their mother can sell real estate. You can go get a license in a couple weeks in most states. So go get a license, great, but you still have no idea how to build a business. And so that’s what I help people do, and that’s what we’re really good at. So if you need help selling real estate, you got bigger problems, but if you want help building a business, then that’s what we can help with. And this idea that you can’t help people unless you’ve sold real estate in this industry is really stupid. Because, think about it. It’s like me saying, “Well, I’d never take advice from Richard Branson or Steve Jobs – God rest his soul – or anybody else who’s never run a coaching company.” I’m like, “That’s just arrogance. That’s dumb.” Because I can learn something from anybody, but if I think that because somebody’s never done exactly what I’m doing, I can’t learn from them, I lose. Because I can learn something from anybody. Because everybody has something to teach me that I don’t know.

Rivers: Right. And, I mean, for clarity’s sake, we’re not saying that selling real estate itself is an easy thing to do.

Travis: No. No, no, no, no. I’m saying it’s easy to get a license. It’s hard to run a business. And that’s the difference is, if– I can run out and I can get a license and still not make any money. 50% of agents make less than $50,000 a year in gross commission income. I mean, that’s gross. And gross. And so if somebody is watching this and making less than $50,000, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad agent, it means that you haven’t figured out how to scale up the business side of it, how to control your income, how to control your lead generation, how to actually close more effectively. Because when you take away your splits, you take away taxes, you take away marketing, you take away expenses, you’re left with like $30,000.

Rivers: Yeah. If that. Right. Right.

Travis: If that. And then you divide that by the number of hours you worked and you’re like, “Good God. I should have been a greeter at Walmart. I would have made more money.” And most people got into real estate because they don’t want to be a greeter at Walmart. And so they want to make money, they want to be able to provide for their family, and that’s what we help them do.

Rivers: Right. So I guess that’s a nice segue from, “I’m making 50K gross. I’m doing all I can on my own. I feel like I’m kind of– what else can I do? I’ve got some technology. I’ve got some basic processes.” But, at some point, if you want to go into the six-figure net, kind of, commission level, my opinion, and what I see across the country these days is you’ve got to kind of start thinking teams. Not that it’s impossible to be a single agent in this day and age, and not necessarily that the days of the single agent are numbered, but are the days of the single agent kind of numbered?

Travis: Yes [laughter].

Rivers: Right?

Travis: Well, here’s why. And anybody who’s been in this business for 20 or 30 years thinks that this is sacrilegious to say. It’s like, “Well, no, this is still a belly-to-belly, face-to-face business,” which it is. But just because it’s belly-to-belly, face-to-face doesn’t mean that an individual agent can compete with a team. Think about all the things that it takes to run a successful business in any industry. In any industry is an individual agent. You may be really good with people, but you suck at details. You suck at paperwork. You suck at all the– if you’re a people person, you’re generally not a paperwork person. And if you’re a paperwork person, you’re generally not a sales person. And so it’s knowing what you’re good at and delegating what you suck at. And so it doesn’t mean you have to have a giant team of 30 or 40– look, we coach people who have 50 people on their team, 60 people on their team, but that’s not where everybody lives. But if you have 2 or 3 people to support you so that you can go out and get belly-to-belly, face-to-face with more people, you’re going to win. But in a world where people want instant satisfaction, instant gratification, instant answers, instant help, instant this, one person can’t do it all and compete at the level that a team can. This is the big myth. People do not hire you because of you. They hire you because of the results you can get them. And if I can get better results with a team, I’m going to beat you every freaking time. Because if they don’t– they love you, and that’s part of why they may hire you. But they can love you and not hire you because they don’t believe you’re going to get them the results that they want. And if I can get them better results, they may not like me as much as they like you at the end of the day. But if I can help them put more money in their pocket at the end of the transaction, guess who they’re going to hire? Me. Every day of the week.

Rivers: It’s kind of like– I guess it’s almost saying like “People go to Amazon–” brand loyalty is kind of fading away in this day and age, right?

Travis: Yes.

Rivers: And, agree or disagree, that the days of my sister’s new boyfriend is going to be my real estate agent because I’m loyal to him or her, or whatever, that’s kind of fallen away.

Travis: Well, I think there’s always the uneducated consumer that will do that. But is your entire business model predicated on having a bunch of uneducated people come to your door?

Rivers: Right. I hope not. I mean–

Travis: I hope you’re not waking up every day going, “Ah, I sure hope somebody who has no better clue hires me because they like me. And my sister just got married and told everybody about me at a wedding.” It’s like, “That’s not my game plan.” And, actually, I think brand loyalty is still there, but we’ll abandon the brand if the brand stops delivering. So how many people love Apple? There’s still Starbucks. There’s still brand loyalty, but we’re not going to– we’re not going to buy Tide just because our mom bought Tide if Tide sucks. And so, I think, in today’s world, you have a more educated consumer. And so the brand loyalty is there if the delivery is there. And that’s the thing that I think too many agents are depending on is, “Well, people are going to use me again because I’m a good agent.” It’s like, “No they’re not. They’re going to use you again if you get them better results than anybody else. And if you don’t, they’re not going to use you again just because you’re their sister, brother, uncle, cousin, best friend’s niece. It doesn’t matter.”

Rivers: And also, I guess, you can’t expect them to use you again in five years just because they remembered what you did for them last time.

Travis: No.

Rivers: Not in this day and age.

Travis: No. I remember my best friend was buying a house, years ago, and it was the second or third time he was buying a house, and he called the realtor that he had used the previous time. And this was was a family friend. And he called me and he goes, “I am so frustrated with my realtor.” And I said, “Why?” And I said, “Well, you used her last time.” And he goes, “Yeah.” He said, “But now the world’s changed.” He goes, “I feel like I’m finding all the houses and then calling her and saying, ‘Hey, can you open this up?’ And she goes, ‘Oh my gosh. I didn’t even know that was on the market.'” And he goes, “‘What the hell am I paying you for?’ I feel like all she is is the key to open the door.” And if all you are is the key to open the door, you’re dead in this [world?] because you have to be on top of things. You have to be more aware. You have to be more present, more focused, than you ever have been before. You got to get good at so many things that you [can’t?] do.

Rivers: So what are those other things? I mean, is that, “We got to be the neighborhood expert,” and all that?

Travis: Yeah.

Rivers: Okay. But what else do we need to do knowing that the consumer’s exponentially more informed than they even were a year ago, two years ago, five years ago?

Travis: Yeah. See, I think what it is now is it’s about the experience. So, not only do I have to deliver better results for them, I have to deliver a better experience for them. So I have to make them feel like they are– they’re more educated. So it’s not about, “Hey, let me send you some listings on the MLS.” I can find that shit on my own. I can Google it. I can go to realtor.com or zillow.com, which I know we’re going to talk about in just a second. And I know Zillow’s not accurate, but whatever. I can find that stuff on my own. I can go sign up at a realtor’s website and I can get all the listings without you. I don’t need a realtor to do that stuff. And so what is the value of a realtor? It’s not the listings. It’s not access. It’s not data. It’s the experience and the money that you’re going to put into my pocket. That is the value of a realtor. So if I’m a realtor and I know that my clients have access to all the information, then what I need to do is I need to be one step ahead of that. And I need to say, “Hey, look, I know you saw these three homes that hit the market, but they’re not for you and here’s why.”

Rivers: Ah, right. Insight. Right.

Travis: Is I need to know what their needs are. I need to know why it’s a fit for them, and why it’s not a fit for them. And I need to say, “Hey, look, have you considered these areas? Because this is an up-and-coming area. This is an area you want to get in on the ground floor in.” Or, “Based on your needs, you don’t want to be in this space, and here’s why. School districts or–” whatever your needs are, your wants are, your desires are, I have to know them, and then I have to be able to give you insight on the properties and the things that are coming available before you even see them. Because, otherwise, they own it, and they own you, and they’re going to say, “I want to go look at these 16 houses that just came on the market,” and you’re like, “Okay. Let’s get in the car.” And now you’re an underpaid chauffeur. And that’s not what anybody wants to be.

Rivers: There’s minimal value there.

Travis: Yeah. I want to be like–

Rivers: And then they’re going to say, “Well, why am I paying you 6%?”

Travis: “Why am I paying you 6%?”

Rivers: Or, [“Why am I paying for–” right. Right?]. All right. So then, that being said, speaking of Zillow and–

Travis: Satan.

Rivers: –a lot of controversy in the past week on their new instant offers, that dovetails with what Opendoor is doing and, as we were talking about, what is the value of the real estate professional? A lot of people are– a certain subset of the market is going to migrate towards the “I don’t need them. I can just go ahead and push a button and sell my house online, basically.” What do you think about that model and also the like, “Ah.”

Travis: The freakout?

Rivers: The freakout of–

Travis: The sky is falling?

Rivers: –the general community around that model?

Travis: Okay. So I know this isn’t going to be popular, which I really don’t care. I think people need to stop freaking about Zillow. And this is what people need to understand. Zillow is a publicly traded company. Their ability to shift business models is very, very limited. The thing that would piss an investor off more than anything else is for them to go, “Hey, we’re going to become a brokerage.” Because everything that they’re doing would all of a sudden become things that they can’t do. Their entire business model is advertising. Their entire business model is about the consumer. And if they were to go, all of a sudden, “Hey, we’re going to go get our– we’re going to go become a brokerage,” Wall Street would freak out. It would cost them billions of dollars in market share. Because being a brokerage is not that profitable [laughter]. And it’s crazy. The average agent doesn’t understand this, is your broker doesn’t make as much money as you think your broker makes. And the brokerage model is not in Zillow’s best interest. They sell advertising. They sell software. They sell solutions. They sell everything but real estate. Now, for them to pair– look. So they now have instant offers where they’re pairing a potential seller up with a investor. What do investors do? They buy low. And so, if I’m a real estate agent, I’m all over that. I’d be signing up all day long, going, “Hey, how do I get–” I know it’s premier agents. You got to be a Zillow Premier Agent. And that’s what everybody’s pissed off about. Like, “Well, why is it just premier?” Because premier agents pay them money. Why is that so hard to–?

Rivers: So it’s capitalism [laughter].

Travis: It’s called, “I make money. I’m in business to make money.” Why is that so hard to understand? So, if I’m a premier agent, I’m like, “How do I get in on this gravy train?” Because every single offer is going to be backed up by a CMA by an agent. So I’m going to get a whole bunch of seller leads that I wouldn’t have gotten before, and now I’m going to call them and be like, “Why are you going to sell to an investor?” Unless you really need to sell tomorrow– and Opendoor has the same model, except Opendoor’s a freaking brokerage. They actually have their license. “Well, Zillow’s got a license in Florida.” “Yeah, that they acquired though an acquisition. Stop freaking out.” And everybody’s so worried about things that they can’t control–

Rivers: Oh, there you go.

Travis: –and this is the other side of it. You can’t control Zillow. So, in the meantime, go make freaking money on Zillow. If I can’t control it–

Rivers: Or go make money elsewhere and stop worrying about it.

Travis: Yeah, go make money elsewhere. And, great, boycott Zillow. How’s that working out for you? In the meantime, all of your competitors are like, “Thank God this idiot is boycotting Zillow because I’m going to go make money on it.” And they want you to feel like Zillow’s the devil because they’re going to go make money hand over fist. Hundreds of thousands of dollars– and, truthfully, millions of dollars in commission in your marketplace are being made on Zillow while you’re sitting there going, “Zillow’s the Antichrist [laughter].” And it’s like, “Good God.”

Rivers: That’s a little harsh but–

Travis: No. That’s what everybody said.

Rivers: I know. I know. I read all the comments on Inman News. I get it. All right. So let’s take it down a level. Let’s take some deep breaths here.

Travis: Sorry. What is it, 9:00 AM in the morning? I’m already riled up.

Rivers: It’s 9:30 in the morning.

Travis: Jeez, Rivers.

Rivers: Too much coffee, huh? So you mentioned that brokerages are not very profitable businesses. Or that they have very small margins, and so–

Travis: Yeah. They can make money. Don’t get me wrong. There are brokers that make boatloads of money.

Rivers: Absolutely. But when I first met you, I saw you speak on how I learned to embrace teams as a brokerage, basically, right?

Travis: Yes.

Rivers: And how you need to learn how to do that and not fear teams as kind of the way of the world.

Travis: The second Antichrist [laughter]?

Rivers: Yeah. The second Antichrist, right? So what is your take, because I think it’s an interesting take, on helping brokers understand that a team can be a very good profit center for you?

Travis: Huge profit center. And so there’s direct profit and there’s indirect profit. And this is what I explain to people, is it’s called the halo effect. And the halo effect is, if I’m a broker, I want teams in my office all day long. I want as many high-producing teams as possible. And brokers are so worried about a team because they don’t understand the team model, and they think teams want to become brokers. And this is the biggest myth about brokers. You need to understand this. Teams do not want to become brokers. Team leaders do not want to become brokers. They don’t want to open a brokerage. They don’t want to start a brokerage, and here’s why. They won’t make as much money. And so there was a big survey that was done of team leaders. And it was like 180 or 250 team leaders, or somewhere in that range, and they asked them, “Do you want to eventually become a broker?” The number of respondents that said, “Yes”? Zero. Not a single team leader out of hundreds of team leaders said, “Yeah, I think being a broker makes–” not even one. They’re all like, “No, I don’t want to be a broker. I want my broker to be the broker. I want to run a team.” It’s a completely different model. And so a broker needs to understand the benefit of having teams is because of what’s called the halo effect, or what I call the halo effect. And the halo effect is very simple. If you’re trying to make money just off of the team, it’s shortsighted. What you want to do is you want to leverage the team to make money in all these other areas. So, if I bring a top producing team in, what that allows me to do is put more signs in the yard, it allows more calls to come into my office, and it raises the production of every other team member in my office because top producers flock to top producers. Eagles hang out with eagles. Turkeys hang out with turkeys. So if you’ve got a bunch of turkeys in the office, guess what? You’re not going to get a bunch of eagles because they’re going to be like, “I don’t want to hang out with turkeys. These people are idiots, and I don’t want to hang out with them. They’re low producers and I’m a top producer.” So, by having teams in the office, what you’re doing is you’re bringing in top producers.

Travis: The other thing you’re going to do is you’re going to start realizing there’s other ways to make money than just the desk fee, or the split, or the ancillary charges that you’re going to– like, “Oh, I’m going to charge them for space.” Look, use your space to break even. Then find other ways of making money off of the teams, some of which won’t cost the team a single dollar. And you’re like, “Well, what does that mean?” Mortgage, title, escrow, insurance. There’s all these other companies that you ought to be starting, and all these other things that you ought to be doing, that, now, you can create capture rates on all the deals that are going through your brokerage, all the deals that are going through your office, from these teams that you now get running through your mortgage company, your title company, your escrow company, your insurance company, whatever it is. And now, it’s not costing the team leader a dollar extra. They’re just funneling business to these other areas–

Rivers: To you.

Travis: –to you. And, let’s be honest, the margin on those things, way higher than what you’re going to make company dollar on an individual transaction. Now, all of a sudden, your income doubles, triples, quadruples on these other services, and it doesn’t cost a team leader anything extra. So you’re not saying, “Hey, you got to pay us extra for this. You got to pay us extra for that. We’re going to charge you for this–”

Rivers: And not nickel it and dime it.

Travis: –not nickel dime it. And that’s the problem. The brokerage model, of just being a broker, that’s the problem. Teams aren’t the problem, it’s that you only got one business model and your entire business model is on renting space.

Rivers: So what about the “Well, the team’s just going to leave me.” How do–?

Travis: Yeah. If–

Rivers: How do you keep them around?

Travis: You figure out a way to make them profitable, and make yourself [money?]–

Rivers: And make their lives easier.

Travis: Yeah, make their lives easier. You’re a company. They’re a company. So if you realize that they’re peers and they’re not employees and you go, “Okay. They own a business, I own a business, and they’re my client, not the person buying or selling a house.” Your clients, as a broker, are the agents and the team leaders. And so you’ve got to figure out, “How do I bring more value to them than other offices or other companies in my marketplace?” Well, it’s, “How do I make them more profitable? How do I make their life easier? How do I make their– how do I provide more services?” So, if I’m a broker, I’m looking at even things– some of you are like, “Well, we don’t do mortgage, or we don’t do title, or we can’t do escrow.” I get it. You can find something else you can do, including transaction coordination services. So if I’m a team leader hiring a TC, transaction coordinator, a TC in my market, depending on where I’m at, it’s going to cost me 2,500 to 4,500 dollars a month, minimum. So $2,500 to $4,500 a month. But if I’m a broker, I can hire a TC for 2,500 to 4,500 dollars a month, and I can serve multiple agents in my office and charge them 275 to 350 dollars a transaction, sometimes more, depending on the market. So, now, my break even, if I’m the broker, is between 7 and 16 transactions.

Rivers: If you’re not doing that, then–

Travis: If you’re not doing that–

Rivers: –you got a bigger problem [laughter].

Travis: Then you’ve got a bigger problem. But if I can get 7 to 16 transactions, depending on what I’m charging and how much I’m paying, I can now make– I can now have a profit center in my office. And now my teams can focus on selling, not on hiring transaction coordinators. And what about marketing services? So if I want to hire a marketer as a team leader, again, $4,500 a month for a marketer. And, instead, the office can do it, and they can create marketing packages. Because, truthfully, I probably don’t have enough to keep a full-time marketer busy.

Rivers: As a team leader?

Travis: As a team leader. So if I’m an office, though, I can now sell marketing services. And now I’m not just doing it for my teams, I’m doing it for my individual agents who don’t want to run a team. They need the help. And now if they’ve got a transaction coordinator, and they’ve got a marketing service, and I can help them make more money, and save more time, and serve more people. Even my individual agents are happier, my teams are happier, I have a profit center, and I’m actually making money. Because I’m in business to make money and there’s no shame in that. And all you have to do is you have to go to your agents in the office and the team leaders and say, “Hey, look. If I brought the service in, would you take advantage of it? And here’s what I’m thinking of doing, and here’s what I’m going to be saving you.” Don’t just say, “Here’s what I’m going to charge you.” Here’s what I’m going to be saving you.

Rivers: Just turn the conversation around.

Travis: Yeah. Because, right now, you could go hire a transaction coordinator, but it’s going to cost you, in our market, 3,600 bucks a month, or whatever it is, and I’m only going to charge you $275 a transaction. In some months, you’re only going to spend a thousand bucks, or a couple thousand bucks with me, which is better than spending $3,600 a month–

Rivers: And you don’t have to manage that person.

Travis: –and you don’t have to manage them. I’ll hire them. I’ll train them. I’ll make sure that they’re good. And if they suck, I’ll fire them, find somebody else, and bring them in. It’s a win-win.

Rivers: So, ultimately, the broker is providing resources, providing operations, infrastructure–

Travis: Infrastructure.

Rivers: –potentially, technology.

Travis: Technology.

Rivers: So it’s like the broker could say, “I’ll bring BoomTown in for the whole office.” Right?

Travis: 100%.

Rivers: “And you guys use BoomTown. You don’t have to pay for it. That’s just part of the package of being under my umbrella.”

Travis: Yep. If I were a broker, the very first thing I would do is I would go get a platform BoomTown, and I would bring leads into the office, and I would charge extra for those leads, and I would be a lead generator. Now, I would manage it, and I’d make sure that they’re doing– I wouldn’t just be handing out leads like candy. I’d be going, “If I’m going to give you a lead, here’s what I’m going to charge, and here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to perform. I’m going to measure your– are you calling them, are you engaging with them, are you doing this? Because if I know that I give you 10 leads and you convert 0, and I give somebody else 10 leads and they convert 2, guess who is going to get the leads? The person [that worked?].”

Rivers: Or you can say, “As the team leader, you come in and I’ll give you BoomTown as your tech infrastructure and your CRM, and you tell me how much you want to spend for advertising and those leads will come straight to your team.”

Travis: “Those will come straight to you.”

Rivers: Right. So there’s a whole bunch of different ways of– the fear of the team just needs to go away. It’s just a mindset, right? It’s switching to a different way of looking at it.

Travis: Oh, it’s fighting what the reality is. And it’s like teams are the brokers’ Zillow. I mean, Zillow is the broker Zillow too because brokers hate Zillow as well. So everybody hates Zillow and most people hate teams. And I get it. Because it’s different. And, because it’s different, it brings fear. It brings uncertainty. It brings doubt. But you can’t win if you operate from a state of protection or fear.

Rivers: Sure. And–

Travis: The more you try and protect status quo, or the more you’re afraid of the trends or the change, the less money you’re going to be able to make, and the less you’re going to survive.

Rivers: Right. Every day that goes by, you’re losing.

Travis: You lose. You lose. And I’m looking at it going, “Okay. What are the trends that I can’t fight? I can’t fight the fact that there are millennials coming into the workforce.” It’s like the whole millennial– seven, eight years ago, I was talking about millennials before anybody else was. And it was funny because everybody was like, “Oh, you’re an idiot. That’s never going to happen.” I’m like, “Millions of people [entering?] the workforce?”

Rivers: It’s already happening.

Travis: “What the hell?”

Rivers: They’re growing up.

Travis: “You’re going to stop that? How are you going to stop that? It doesn’t make any sense.” It’s like, “This is going to happen. So what are you going to do about it?” And are you going to fight it or are you going to embrace it and figure out how to capitalize on it?” The majority of my workforce is under the age of 30.

Rivers: Yeah. And so is the majority of our workforce.

Travis: So is the majority of your workforce. I mean, everybody is.

Rivers: All right. Any hype out there that is over-hyped? The QR code was a over-hyped bust, right? It’s like we were going to replace our face on the business card with a QR code. There’s the famous QR code on the billboard picture [laughter]. Right? Is there anything right now that is either over-hyped or living up to its hype, knowing the technology is moving exponentially faster-paced than before? Because realtors will jump on the hype bandwagon very quickly.

Travis: Yeah. So I come from the technology world. And that’s something you and I have talked a lot about, is I’m a big fan of technology. And I’m a big fan of what it does for business and the opportunities that it creates. And technology’s a tool. The QR code was a tool that just didn’t work out. It was like, “Okay.”

Rivers: Decent idea.

Travis: But you got to try it. You give it a shot. But everybody looks to the tools to fix the problems. Tools never fix the problems. People fix the problems. The tools are just a tool. And so I say, “Try everything. And when it doesn’t work, or if it doesn’t work, abandon it and go try something else. And don’t get so in love with the technology that you lose sight of what the technology is supposed to do, which is just be a tool.” And, for me, I don’t know what’s hype and what’s not. I mean, you got to try it. Well, I do know some things that aren’t hype, like online leads. Like, “Oh, online leads suck.” “No. Leads don’t suck. You suck.” Either you’re following up with them or you’re not following up with them. It’s never the lead’s fault that you don’t follow up with them. I believe everybody should be generating at least 10 to 20 percent of their business from online leads. At least. And, for whatever reason, real estate is the only freaking industry that believes that you can have a viable, successful business just off of repeat and referral. That is probably the biggest hype myth out there more than anything … in this day and age. The fact that you believe you can run a viable, successful business just off of repeat and referral tells me you don’t understand business. Because there is not a single industry– there’s not a single business outside of real estate that believes that. In fact, not even the people who teach that depend just on repeat and referral business. They don’t. They have marketing. They spend money on advertising. They run Facebook ads. They do all online leads. The things that they say that you don’t need to do, they do. And so you can’t do it. The first type of business that dries up in a down market, repeat and referral. They’re going to dry up. Because, in a down market, they’re under water. They’re not selling. They’re not repeating. They’re not referring. So you’ve got to know how to go out and kill something, drag it home, throw it on the grill, and feed it to the family. If you don’t, you go broke and you starve. Which is why, in the last market downturn, we saw the number of active licensed realtors drop from 1.4 down to the 800,000 range. And the average number of transactions was like 1.2 per realtor. Because most people didn’t know how to go out, kill something, drag it home, throw it on the grill, and feed it to the family. Our clients, though, in the last market downturn, doubled or tripled their business because they realized, “I have to be able to control my lead flow.” If you can’t control your lead flow, if you can’t create consistent, predictable lead flow, you can’t have consistent, predictable income. And this is the key.

Rivers: Good point.

Travis: Repeat and referral you can’t control. You can influence it, but you can’t control it. Anybody who comes up to me and is like, “Oh, Travis, I make 80, 90– 95 percent of my business comes from repeat and referral. Isn’t that amazing?” I’m like, “No [laughter]. That’s horrible.” That’s red flag danger zone for me, because how many leads are you going to get next month?”

Rivers: Right. “I don’t know.”

Travis: You don’t know.

Rivers: So what do you think? They need to–?

Travis: You hope–

Rivers: You need to be at least an 80-20–?

Travis: What we teach our clients is no more than 80% of your business from repeat and referral. If you are just going to fight us tooth and nail, I prefer no more than 60 to 70 percent of your business from repeat and referral. I think 30 to 40 percent of your business needs to come from non-repeat and referral sources that you control. Because, here’s the thing. If I’ve got BoomTown as my platform, and I need more leads, what do I do?

Rivers: Turn up my advertising.

Travis: Yeah. I spend more money. And I can predict, based on how much money I’m spending, how many leads I’m going to get every single month. Now, am I going to be off by two or three leads? Of course. But I know–

Rivers: But, at the same time, you can have the repeat referral model and juice it up with a system like BoomTown. It’s so much better because you know who to talk to, what they’re doing, better communication, marketing automation–

Travis: If my past clients are searching, all of a– they log onto BoomTown, and I get an alert, I can log in and I can see who’s active, who’s not, what are they searching for, I go, “Why is Mary searching for property?”

Rivers: Right. “I’m going to give her a call.”

Travis: I’m going to give her–

Rivers: And then she’s going to say, “Oh.”

Travis: Maybe, all of a sudden, they’ve outgrown that house, and you know what? I–

Rivers: Or maybe she’s pregnant. Or whatever.

Travis: Maybe she’s pregnant. Maybe they’re getting divorced. Maybe–

Rivers: She’s not going to call you up and be like, “I’m pregnant. We’re thinking about moving.” It’s like–

Travis: Yeah. “We’re thinking about looking at–”

Rivers: –they’re going to go to the website.

Travis: Right. And so I can leverage BoomTown. I can leverage these platforms. And it’s not that they replace repeat and referral. And this is the big– they’re like, “Well, what happens to repeat and referral?” It’s still there. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. And it’s having what I call an integrated marketing program. Your goal is to not be a one-trick pony. Your goal is to be everywhere. Every time somebody turns around, I want them to see you. So we teach what’s called the integrated marketing plan or the integrated marketing program, is think of it like a 360 marketing plan. If I know that somebody goes to their mailbox, who do I want them to see? Me. If they log onto a website, whose website do I want them to go to? Mine. If they go to Zillow, whose ad do I want them to see? Mine. If they go onto Facebook, whose ad do I want them to see? Mine. Every time they turn around, I want them to see me. When they check their phone, who do they have a voicemail from? Me. I want to be everywhere they can possibly be looking for real estate or looking for information anytime they need it. That’s what I want to do and that’s what an integrated marketing program is. And that’s what top companies and brands do, is they leverage their dollars to control the playground. So I’m not just spending money on Zillow to advertise on Zillow. I’m getting them to give me their information, then I’m driving them to my website. Then I’m driving them to my BoomTown website. Then I’m having them search– I want them off of Zillow once I have their information. I don’t want them going back there. But now I want to send them text messages and emails, and I want to control the sandbox and the playground. That’s the value of marketing.



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