Eric Pearson is the founder and president of Washington DC area’s Pearson Smith Realty.

From its humble beginnings as a 15 agent team, Eric has leveraged mostly online lead sources like Zillow Premier Agent to grow his team into a thriving brokerage of more than 700 agents.

Honesty, Integrity, Knowledge, and Passion

In the process of growing his team from 15 agents to a thriving brokerage of 700 (and growing) agents, Eric Pearson tried to distill the qualities that his clients were looking for in a Realtor: Honesty, Integrity, Knowledge and Passion. These were the main qualities he looked for in new agents when building out his team.

For many newer agents reading this, Eric’s approach to hiring might seem counterintuitive. After all, why not focus on sales or marketing skills when hiring new agents? The answer is surprisingly simple. These were not qualities that his clients were looking for.

Scaling Lead Generation, How to Hire Agents & More

In this video we talked about… One of the most challenging aspects of growing a team or brokerage is scaling lead generation quickly enough to keep junior agents happy and busy. Of course there’s a fine line here— overspending without growth means leads don’t get the attention they need and can die on the vie. Watch our interview with Eric to learn how he scaled lead generation to keep his team happy, how he trains agents, and more.

Eric Pearson: Pearson & Smith Realty Interview Transcript:

EL:

Hey everyone, we’re here with Eric Pearson from Pearson Smith Realty. They’re one of the fastest growing brokerages in the country right now, they went from 15 agents to 657 agents in about three years, which is pretty astounding. We’re here to talk about lead generation, Eric, who is the President and founder of Pearson Smith. Hey Eric, how you’re doing?

EP:

Doing great man, I appreciate you having me on and look forward to hopefully sharing some valuable information, so by the way you’re a little off man, we hit 700 agents this week

EL:

Wow, congratulations, that’s amazing. Literally you emailed it, that we were talking about during this interview was I mean less than a week ago. A week and a half ago, something like that, but we have a similar problem with our company in that we have a lot of overseas employees, we have employees around the country, so the official number is sort of floating.

EP:

Right.

EL:

Kind of changing. But that’s huge man, congratulations.

EP:

Yeah appreciate it, it’s been a lot of fun.

EL:

Sweet, okay so let’s kind of just jump right in here, kind of got a lot to get to today and I want you to get back to actually running a company. So why don’t you, if you can, just give everyone a little bit of idea about starting your first … You’re a REMAX agent back in 2011, so what was kind of the imputes to start that team? Like what made you say, okay I have too many leads I can handle, enough is enough, or was it something else?

EP:

Honestly it was exactly that, I kind of, the evolution for me going from individual to a team was only about a year and a half time frame so it happened rather quickly. First year did about 10 transactions, next year 72 and that’s when it just got like too cumbersome for me to keep up with that daily grind. So literally reached out, someone in the office, I said hey man I got a ton of leads do you want to jump on this and kind of become a part of it all? So at first that whole team concept was very much me learning as I went about it, but then we slowly built in the procedures, the processes, what it took to be very efficient and the training and conversion, and all those pieces behind it all. But it initially started simply as I just had too many leads and I couldn’t handle them all.

EL:

Got it.

EP:

Like I was blessed from when I started, you know ’cause it was in 2011 a lead cost back then was 20, 25 bucks maybe, to get upwards of maybe 200 bucks if you’re looking at a specific property syndicated leads. So you know it’s changed in terms of cost and all that type stuff but I was just building a general online lead gen, put it on to referral based business, and was growing rather rapidly. We went from one new agent to 15 agents on the team within another year period, and it just was the same exact thing. Online leads and then building it to referral basis.

EL:

Wow.

EP:

It’s kind of … It started quickly from individual to team and at that point what happened is once you get to the point of building a team agents become extremely successful, and they decide to go off and do things on their own. Right?

EL:

Yeah.

EP:

It was going to be the general evolution, hey every time I’m just training agents up and then they get to a point where they leave and unlike a lot of teams that you see out there today, I thought they were right. I looked at it and said, I’m going to have a value prop for you, you’ve kind of moved past that. So that’s why I went out and started a brokerage, I got to see things happen in such a quick period of time with my growth from brand new, green agent wondering what do I do to even get started, to a top team seeing team members ready to go off and do it on their own, in such a quick period of time. That I wanted to start a brokerage that allowed to pretty much offer a package or something for every agent in the real estate industry, right?

EL:

Yeah.

EP:

That’s what we’re going to do, so jumped off and did that and it’s still in terms of a brokerage landscape heavily built off the online lead gen and all that type stuff.

EL:

Yeah, that’s amazing, I think … Hold on one second here, sorry audio’s kind of cutting a little bit. So yeah I think what you’re saying there is pretty interesting ’cause that’s kind of like the catch 22 of starting a team is that you’re training all these great people and you have these fresh faces. Then once they get at a certain skill level they want to kind of leave the nest, go off on their own. So I guess the transition kind of makes sense going from your team and then you maybe have one or two admins to making a full fledged brokerage where you can offer more support training and all that.

So let me ask you this, I think one of the things that a lot of people struggle with especially when they’re, maybe they have too much business to handle, maybe they want to invest more money in online leads. They’re thinking of starting a team, how did you handle just attracting newer agents, people who were maybe fresh from school? People who were struggling, or people who just wanted to be buyers agents, how did you attract agents to your team? What was your strategy, I mean did you take them out for coffee, what were you looking for too?

EP:

Yeah, at the time to be honest a lot of people were referring others to me, whether it was from people on my team or just other agents hearing what we were doing. But it was more the value proposition that I provided, so a lot of people say leads, right I’m going to provide leads or something along those lines. I strongly believe in providing more leads than even an agent needs, and I’m okay with potentially missing a conversion or two along the way. Also I believe in providing solid quality leads, right? There’s a big difference between sometimes a specific property based lead to a Facebook paper click lead generated lead. Not that it’s not a bad lead, they’re just more longer term, right?

EL:

Yeah, sure.

EP:

For starts to get that whole cycle rolling you’re looking at, I don’t want to make that a year process on a team, I’d rather make it a three, four months and now you’re booming, you’re being consistent in your business and you’re seeing closings on again that consistent basis. So it’s more the quality of the leads, it was also the success of the agents that were already on my team, easily being able to say, hey look at this agent see what they’ve been able to do in such a short time. Then it just became very systemized, so as they were coming on to the team and joining we had those procedures in place where in the first week or two they weren’t feeling lost. Like I’m on this team, there’s all these great things, I haven’t even been set up on a lead system yet, or something along those lines.

So it was more just very good processes and set up, leads that were quality and then also like hopefully a true belief in them seeing as I go about this, I was smart enough as a team leader to take myself out of business pretty much. I said, look I don’t need … I’m going to worry about building you up and making you successful, if I do that then it’s going to be a win, win for both parties. A lot of time with team leaders in a sense, what you see is they can’t, for some reason they can’t take themselves out of that production. Or at least to a level where they’re still going to be able to have the ability to train that agent and help that agent really be successful. I was just smart enough to realize, let me put them ahead of myself. If I can do that the success will come for everybody.

EL:

So in a sense you were kind of thinking as a managing broker from the get go, whereas you understood that people need to be able to kind of spread their wings so to speak, and that sort of inserted yourself into the situation is not always a helpful thing. So on that note just a sort of, I know and again the sort of difficulty is coming from it’s one thing to be … You’re at a REMAX right? So it’s one thing you know to have a team that’s sort of successful and has a reputation and people are trying to wanting to join it. But what’s … ‘Cause I know not everyone’s a good hire, a lot of times a newer agent is not in the industry that they want to be in, they’re a little disillusioned. What is like if you just super quick, like what’s something you looked for … You know Barbara Corcoran famously said that she looked for resilience, people that could kind of bounce back quickly from setbacks. She didn’t care about anything else, she said look you are articulate, you’re personable, you can bounce back quickly, I don’t care if you’re a janitor or any experience you have.
So what’s something that you looked for in agents early on that you’ve kind of stuck with or changed maybe?

EP:

Yeah, in terms of just general qualifications the first and foremost for us was full time. So you need to be a full time real estate agent, dual career just isn’t going to work with your time. It’s very tough one foot in, one foot out all that type stuff. This is kind of an obvious reason, so even though it sounds a little bit harsher, but like financial ability, because I know without a doubt it’s going to take you a couple of months to get going. The only time I really see people fail is if they don’t have that ability to give it a couple of times to really get things rolling. Kind of just getting in, diving into details of hey what got you into this? Why? You know …

EP:

Diving into details of, “Hey. What got you into this? Why? Do you understand it might be a couple months, before things really get going?” So, kinda really knowing that. Then, for me, it’s just showing up. We have those general requirements of, “Hey. Here’s a team meeting, or here’s the potential accountability measures that are going to be put onto you, and just making sure you’re hitting those.”

EL:

Right.

EP:

Sometimes, teams take that to a tenth degree, where it is actually a little bit too much. You gotta realize and understand they’re independent contractors. At the same time, if you’ve set general accountability, if they hit those, and show up, and just do the simplest of things, such as: respond to a lead in two minutes, or whatever it is. As long as you’re doing what we ask you to do, it’s gonna make you successful. Then, obviously, it’s gonna keep you a part of the team, and grow, and all that type stuff. So, just general hard work. At the end of the day, it’s proven pretty quickly, in terms of when someone comes.

EL:

I think the thing there that’s important is that you guys had a system. You had … Whereas, someone just kind of being thrown into the fire of a brokerage straight, fresh from school, doesn’t necessarily have a system down. They don’t have … I’m sure you’re coming in, and giving lead nurturing, e-mails. You’re saying, “Hey, look. You gotta call this. You should say this.”

At that point, it almost, like you said. It almost kind of … Not that it’s foolproof, as we both know, but it kind of becomes a numbers game, where it’s like, “These people are buying houses. People are buying houses. They’re gonna do it through someone.” So, if you’re in the right place, at the right time, even if you’re … Unless you have actively repellent personality, and you’re a horrible person, you’re gonna get deals done. It’s just simple math.

EP:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EL:

So …

EP:

That’s an awesome point, man, because … So, how we run is an agent of the day model. So, you have ISA. We run agent of the day. So, everybody gets one day a week. They show up at 9:30. There’s a 30 minute team meeting with coaches and things like that to keep them on track, in terms of what they’re doing, and what other ways the conversion may help. Then, from 10:00 to 5:00, they’re in office, and why their leads go from 10:00 am to 10:00 am the next day. For a 24 hour period, they are getting leads.

During that 24 hour period, they’re getting 10 to 12 leads. They’re probably getting about 45 a month. With just general conversion, we’re asking to get those agents to about one and a half, two deals a month, off what we provide them, and hopefully, other stuff. It’s literally like a three and a half percent conversion.

EL:

That’s amazing.

EP:

Industry average, especially if you put everything on top of it.

EL:

Well, that’s for an experienced agent, too. You’re talking about brand new people. They have their sphere. What’s the … Cold calling your aunt’s …

EP:

Right.

EL:

When you’re first staring out, a three percent conversion rate’s incredible. So, that’s great.

EP:

Right, right.

EL:

Awesome. So, we talked a little bit about … We’re trying to … getting into the kind of meat of the conversation, here. So, let me ask you how … As far as online leads go, you seem pretty plush in online leads, and I know a lot of people … Not that they’re the only lead source.

How did you sort take a level of, say you’re getting, I don’t know, 100 leads a month, just to have a nice round number. You have a team. The team is happy. They’re working their leads. They’re closing 12 deals a year or something. How did you step that up to the next level, for lead generation specifically? Was it something where you were like, “Okay. I’m getting 100 leads a month. I wanna hire more people. I’m gonna invest more cash into Facebook ads.” How did that happen?

EP:

It’s pretty much that. We do it based on number of leads a month per agent we think’s gonna help them be successful. That number’s probably 30 is realistically what it should be. We do more around 40. So, we try to just over deliver, in terms of to agents and things that we do. Ours is just a matter of, when we add an agent, we add 40 more leads of about the same quality. So, that way the agents can take those, and we know it’s gonna lead to success, as long as those … What they should do.

So, ours is a … In a sense, a pay to play game. At the end, we do … Obviously, there’s easier ways to get leads, and things along those lines, but we like to keep at least half, again, specific property based, which the Zillows, the Realtor dot coms, the Homes dot coms, plenty of those, which obviously has a higher level of conversion. Then, about half from the Paperclip, the Facebook, whatever else we can do to go out there and generate lead sources.

Then, right now, we generate six, seven, 7,000 leads a month. So, it’s just at a point, as we continue to grow and scale that. As we see the agents becomes successful, obviously the model, it works out very well for us. So, it’s mostly pay to play. We go out there, and we contract, and work with these syndicated sites and things like that.

EL:

Sure. That makes sense. So, speaking of … Let’s kind of talk about the elephant in the room, which is Zillow. A lot of agents love to hate Zillow. It’s one of those things where I don’t think you can really, honestly, advertise in real estate without it, unless you have your own website and you’ve been in business since 1994, and you’re coming up in search rankings over a company that has billions of dollars. Anyway.
What is your a … Have you tried any? I know that Zillow has … One thing that I thought that Zillow has that’s pretty useful is they have the sort of team functions, and they’re offering you sort of concierge programs, and everything. Is there any value in those programs? Is it something … Or Premier Agent Direct with Facebook advertising. It kind of seems like having a listing up, claiming it, doing your Premier Agent thing, and then advertising on some other list, just get some leads, seems like it’s pretty good way to fill a pipeline. Then, all these other programs they’re coming up with, like Facebook advertising. Then, some of the weird ones that they have, lead concierges and all this stuff. Just out of curiosity, do you find any value from those new programs? Have they offered it to you? Have you tried them?

EP:

To be honest with you, we have more faith in our agent, at the end of the day. The only reason for that is it give us the oversight of it. Unfortunately, with the concierge service and all that, I don’t get to see. If there’s a kink, it’s tougher to kind of get in there and correct it, to make sure it works. So, we do not use them, nor have we enough experience to say, “Hey. Would that increase conversion or anything along those lines?”

When I say that, people do need to understand I’ve had multiple talks with Zillow and kinda seen it. They are truly about the consumer. That’s what they care … The reason they have the concierge service is … There’s really not a pay for it, in terms of things. It’s not like it’s … It’s just an added function that they do. They get extremely tired of real estate agents not following up with people on their site asking questions. Actually, it’s generally what’s best for the consumer.

In terms of the real estate agent, obviously, it’s a one touch. I want it to come to us, ’cause we can put it on our campaigns, and our just general follow up scratch list [inaudible 00:17:35] make it better. With that all being said, the team function, again, is a consumer based thing. It allows, potentially, a couple more reviews on that team, and things along those lines, so people can see, “What is this agent all about? What is this agency all about, et cetera.” Now, that helps tremendously, in terms of being able to add people, boost reviews, get higher rankings, and things like that onto Zillow.

I do not use the back end, in terms of the lead routing, which you can set up call based systems, where it broadcasts out to multiple agents, at one time with a phone call, or ways to route leads based on zip code or whatever per team member, and things along those lines. So, we don’t actually use the function. I think they are probably great tools for teams, if you look at it and say, “Hey. I can get on Zillow and get all that for free. I personally wouldn’t have to go out and pay for a boom town that costs an additional $15,000 a month.”

So, you’re giving a lot of product to a real estate agent that is potentially kind of growing and don’t have the ability to add a bunch of spend other CRMs and sources, and all that. However, once you get to that next level, your own CRM, and own in house stuff is gonna be needed just for the follow up, and accountability. It’s all good stuff.

One thing that Zillow does that’s obviously great is the Coming Soon marketing and things like that. We’re in a business where, unfortunately, with IDX searches and everything out there, clients can go out there, and buyers, they can find homes almost before the real estate agent can sometimes. The agent is not even … “I’ll wait ’til you tell me about something.” Having functions like that, where you can go out and market prior to, or find a property for a client. I can go and say, “Look what I found for you that you didn’t find.” A bunch of different avenues. I think everything that they’re doing is the approach for the consumer. While it may piss some agents off, every now and then, at the end of the day, I don’t see how it almost negatively impacts anybody that doesn’t want to pay to get leads.

EL:

Right, right.

EP:

The advantage of …

EL:

I think that’s a great way to look at it. Also, then … I think, just even just simply saying, “Look. Agents, this isn’t … This site isn’t for you necessarily, first of all.” Press pause. It’s for people who want a good experience, and wanna find stuff quickly, and curate lists, and get advice on lighting fixtures, and all that good stuff. I think you hit the nail on the head there, in that they do that really, really well.

EP:

Yeah.

EL:

Compared to maybe say, I don’t want to name other names of other large competitor sites, but … Yeah. So, I think that’s a good segue into … I guess just lead distribution, you know? Just super quickly, leads come in from Zillow, I mean, I’m sure you’ve got a bunch of listings up. You’ve got a lot of money invested in ads. How did you … I mean, I can see where if you have 15 agents, you just kind of yell them out, and whoever you have there has to pick them up.

EP:

Yeah, right.

EL:

So you kind of mentioned you have the one day a month where each person has their own sort of lead bonanza. How do you sort of take … And if it’s a little beyond the scope of this call, we can … Obviously, it’s not a big deal. But how do you take … When you have 700 agents, or you have 300, or even 50 or 60 agents, and you’re getting hundreds of leads a month, how do you … Is there a person that sort of distributes those leads or is it on a round robin? Is it automatic? How does that work, just out of curiosity.

EP:

We actually run every model out there, to be honest with you. Now, you do have to look at it and say, okay, our real estate brokerage, we have about 150 people that are on some type of lead system. The other ones, sometimes, are individual agents, or a team themselves, or whatever. Because we’re kind of … We have 14 packages, only two involve getting leads. You know, at the end of the day. But we do it in three different ways.

Number one is just like a general shark tank model where it kind of rings a bunch of people at one time, and whoever answers first, which is gonna lead to speed to lead measures. Which is super important. So that one just kind of really, they go there and agents, whoever can call the quickest, gets it. Or click the quickest. Everything runs through BoomTown, by the way, is what we’re using.

EL:

Oh, great.

EP:

It’s called the shark tank function. We have an ISA model, where we have a bunch of leads that go to an inside sales rep and that person converts and sets true appointments for real estate agents. Those are kind of for agents that are kind of graduation on to that next scale. We’re not gonna guarantee how many, but it’s nice to get an appointment every now and then. You have someone truly on call, making sure those happen. The inside sales model, which is a absolutely amazing. What we found, when we built out a extremely large call center was that those people typically want to become real estate agents. So it’s tough to remain [crosstalk 00:22:23]. To find a person who just truly loves to do that, and it helps us on a certain level.

And then we do that agent of the day. And how we do it, it’s actually, those agents have one day a week. About 10 agents, and they go out on that Monday, or whatever. They’re set up, their BoomTown, for lead distribution on a round robin between those 10 people for that day.

EL:

Got it. Got it.

EP:

Every lead is filtering in from every source that we do. And those agents are taking those and kind of working them appropriately, and making sure. And then, again, they have to be in office. Afterwards, they have to turn in an accountability form, how many leads they get, how many leads they convert. What else did they do that day. All that type stuff. So a ton of measures in place. But we do it from an agent of the day, round robin type. From an ISA type. To a shark tank, where everybody’s getting broadcasted live at one time. We try them all, and kinda always measuring which one is actually working the best for our brokerage, our teams, our agents, and so forth.

EL:

And then, so … You mentioned Boomtown. Is your website through BoomTown as well? Or is that something that they can scale to a brokerage size company at this point? Or is there [crosstalk 00:23:30]-

EP:

They do give that functionality. We pretty much use everything. So, Pearson Smith Realty just has a general WordPress site that we set up, and it’s kinda more just a branding play for us. Agents with us that are on lead generation, we funnel it all through BoomTown. I think BoomTown is an excellent product. Excellent people. Great service. We’ve been using them for a long time. So we have everything with leads going through there, because it’s what we’re comfortable with in terms of the conversion piece to it all. And actually, the majority of other agents in our brokerage, we provide them with the Commissions Inc. platform. So that way they kind of get the [crosstalk 00:24:05] website as well. It keeps our leads and their leads separate. So that way-

EL:

Right, right.

EP:

… with one another and kind of seeing where they’re at with things. So, BoomTown, I’m far more efficient in, in terms of what we do, because I’ve been using it so long. But BoomTown does provide a platform where you could make that a brokerage-wide website by setting up different systems for each office that you run. Or state that you’re in. Or whatever it is. And in my conversations with Commissions Inc., they can do the same stuff if were to go to that level on that side of things. But, both wonderful platforms, both great. I’ve pretty much tried the majority of them out there. So, you know, super happy with those guys. That kind of helps us function with everything we do from the brokerage.

EL:

Yeah. Awesome. What about training? So, I know, even as a brokerage, and you guys are right outside of D.C., right?

EP:

Correct. Yeah.

EL:

Okay. So, I mean, you’re gonna get new people. And you’re gonna get people, maybe experienced people making the jump. But let’s just for a second focus on kind of the newbies that are coming out. Who may have sales experience, they may have no experience at all. You know. They may be super promising. So, how does … You don’t have to give this level of detail if you don’t want, but how is training at Pearson Smith, like what … Compared to say a Re/Max or a Keller Williams, how do you guys … What’s your kind of approach to training? And when you’re training people, is … I’m sorry. Do you guys kind of standardize things like lead nurturing, and you have drip emails, or is that something that you encourage people to personally make their own? You know. Is this … I’m trying to combine two questions there, so if you [crosstalk 00:26:05], whatever you want to take.

EP:

From a general training perspective, so our brokerage is made up of 13 packages. Right? So, if you go on leads, which is two packages, what I can guarantee, we assign personal coaches to you, and all that type stuff. If I’m gonna be giving you leads, and spending that much money on it, I’m gonna give you so much oversight and help with what you need, and make you as successful as possible. So you can almost … Why the training will always be there, which I’ll get into. Like, you can almost throw it out the window, because you have someone just one-on-one, mentoring you, helping you, at all times.

We have two packages that are basically for new agents, or dual career agents, or something along those lines. Which I’ll kind of tell you how we hit those as well. And then, everybody else has to do a minimum volume of two and a half million and above. So, a lot of people are coming in already experienced. So they’re looking for the more high level training that we kind of hit at all times. But for those brand new agents, how we do it is, we do, obviously, the … Hold about five to six in-class trainings a week. Within that, each one is live stream, and then re-recorded … Or recorded and put into a video library, so we can kind of show them. They can get that at all times. Later on.

We hold one-on-one sessions, so if you ever want to coordinate with broker, you just click a link and you can schedule one-on-one on their calendar. We have mentorship programs that we don’t force the agent through. Where they can pick optionally if they want to. That are a little bit more creative in terms of, hey, if you want to work with this agent, here’s their profile, and they ask for a bottle of bourbon if they close a deal or something. A little bit more [crosstalk 00:27:37] if the agent want [crosstalk 00:27:38] and do it. And then weekly, we do accountability coaching. Virtual podcast space for each and every agent that kind of hits into the lead generation, higher level topics, you know, things along those lines, that kind of help them grow and maintain.

So, we’ve actually tried to take every possible way to help train and guide an agent, and provide it to them at all times. Now, it is a business where you’re a 1099 independent contractor. It’s all there for you, you’ve got to come get it, and do that. If you’re on leads, it’s kind of … We’re gonna really push to make that [inaudible 00:28:10], but everybody else it’s, hey, we’ll support you at all time, it’s an open door policy. Here’s everything set up for you, now take advantage of it. And let’s kind of really make this as successful as you want it to be.

EL:

Awesome. Yeah. That’s sounds great. So, another thing you could of touched on there with training is, how do you … And again, in 2018 here, online leads are really … A lot of people, hey, I want to do door knock, and do cold-calling, and that’s great, but … You know. I think the latest NAR statistic was something like 90% of people are searching online for houses, and who wouldn’t? So, when you have newer agents, or even people that are coming from maybe a more traditional brokerage, and they, hey look, I want to work for someplace that’s doing something a little different, a little more innovative. Do you sort of offer, and again, I guess maybe you have different plans, but do you offer agents, or do you tell your agents that, hey, look, cold-calling is dead. You know? We’re an online shop. Don’t even bother. Or is it something more where like you kind of encourage people to maybe combine old school tactics with online or …

EP:

So, what we typically tell people is, hey, look, focus on three to four things that you are comfortable with, that you’re going to be consistent with moving forward. Right? And one of those has to be referral based business. After that, here’s the millions of ways to do it, right? You can hold open houses, you can buy online leads. You [inaudible 00:29:40], you can door knock. You can do all these type things. Just general networking, or … Again, a million ways to do it. But you gotta pick, and you gotta remain consistent, and build an actual game plan around [inaudible 00:29:50].

what I have typically seen, and this is just me, and kind of really interacting with agents, and seeing a ton. No matter what they do, or what they say, it’s majority online and referral based. Call ex-buyers literally every day, all day long, and hey, if that’s what you want to do, and that’s what you’re comfortable with, then … And you’re willing to put in hours and hours of that prospecting time, go for it! No one’s saying that it’s wrong, or anything to do. But, even the agents that do that all day long, when I look at their business, it makes up such a small percentage of it, and takes up so much of their time.

EL:

Yeah.

EP:

In terms of the ways to do it, we can teach and train on everything. On where to go. Like, hey, you want [inaudible 00:30:29], jump on a bulk in seven, or REDX, or whatever, here’s where you get the numbers. And here’s what you gotta do. And here’s the scripting that’s gonna make it make sense. But, if you look at it, and you’re really not even comfortable on the phone, or … You know, here’s what this may lead to, you determine if that’s what’s right for you. And then be consistent on it, if it is. So we teach and train on everything, but what I have personally seen is online leads … Take online leads, get amazing at converting them, and referral base. Right?

And do that the right way. The problem with a lot of agents, they get online leads and it’s turn and burn. Right. That’s why [crosstalk 00:31:03] don’t use that agent again, because they forget about them. You gotta think … Or, the other aspect is referral based business think online leads suck because they don’t call them for two days. And then they’re like, that person had a another agent already. And it’s like, you got the lead on Wednesday, it’s now Friday. If you can just couple the two together, online leads, convert, make them your best friend, now there’s a loyalty. There’s a trust. And they know you’re gonna take care of them, build that referral based business, it’s what I’ve seen to be the best way to really, really grow a real estate career.

EL:

Awesome. Great. Hey, so this has been super, super interesting. And just one last question, it’s something I like to ask everybody who is successful, and doing great. And again, for sort of newer agents out there, newer teams, newer associate brokers that are trying to dip their toe in, and like, oh, should I invest my savings, or what should I do? And again, back to Barbara Corcoran, but she has a great story, and that she made a ton of mistakes. You know. She was a waitress, and then she invested money with a consultant who just happened to have an amazing idea, which came up with the Corcoran report which, you know …

Is there … What kind of, if you today, Eric today, could go back a couple years, and find Eric who was like, just starting out, trying to say, hey, I’m gonna do this, and make this into a big thing. What advice would you give? Like, what kind of mistakes would you say that you might have been making, whereas today, you’re like, oh man, I can’t believe I was doing that. This is the [inaudible 00:32:38] thing. What is something that people should look out for, maybe, when starting a team, or trying to take teams to the next level, more importantly?

EP:

Yeah. And it … This wasn’t necessarily something I did, but something I see so many people do. Is, obviously, to give up [inaudible 00:32:54] piece. And what I mean by that is, we’re talking about leads specific today, with the Zillow, and things like that. Like, I make Zillow, Realtor.com, I make those leads work on a 50/50 split. Right? And if you’re doing it as an individual agent, your split is 80/20, 90/10, 100%, whatever it is. Like, you should 100% kill in terms of what that ROI is gonna bring to you. Like, it’s a no-brainer. I don’t care, any of the changes, or whatever happens, if you can convert that lead, you’ll make a ton of money. What they do wrong is they give up after three, four, five months. Right before it hits into a funnel, where you’re actually gonna start seeing the ROI.

So what they have to understand is when you get into that online lead business, it is expensive, and it’s gonna be expensive for about four to six months. And then you got the funnel going, right? You’re moving these people along from active, I’ve just converted you, to, now you’re hot buyers. Now you’re pendings. Now you’re under contract. Or now you’re at settlement. And that’s when the flow, when it gets there, it’s there forever, as long as you just don’t stop. These people get to four months and say, man, I’ve spent eight grand, I haven’t closed a deal. Like, this stuff doesn’t work. And then they quit it right away. And don’t realize they were probably two months from crushing an online based business.

Now, can everybody do that? Definitely not. Not everybody has eight grand, ten grand, twelve grand, whatever it is that you need to really be successful and get that going. But if you do, and you are willing to call quickly and do all those things, guaranteed I’ve never seen it not work, as long as people do what they’re supposed to do.

EL:

Yeah. And I’ve seen that a lot in New York City as well, especially in Brooklyn, which is … You know, has been growing and gentrifying. And so many new up and coming neighborhoods, it’s hard to keep track. But, you know, little small agencies that no one’s ever heard of, and then, I turn around and then five minutes later, they’re this giant company with tons of exclusives and a few hundred agents. And it’s really amazing. But, again, it’s what we kind of touched on a little bit earlier. It’s like, talent is there, and that’s something that’s super important. But, again, maybe part of it’s just getting people to say, look, this is not rocket science. If everyone works hard, and everyone sort of … It’s a numbers game, really, at the end of the day.

EP:

Yeah.

EL:

And if you’re doing it smart, you’re doing it right. Obviously, there’s a ton of competition. And you’re not the only game in town. And that’s where I’m assuming something like … I saw it, the pictures from your office, it looks like a Facebook startup, or somebody … It looks like you’re making apps, rather than selling homes. I think that’s something where a lot of agents are more attracted to, rather than the sort of fusty, you know, linoleum floor, fluorescent light of your typical real estate office. So I think branding is a huge thing here. Which I think you guys do amazingly well. Sweet. So, yeah. What about anything else you want to add, some of the perks that you give agents or anything or? You know …

EP:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:35:56] Ours is … The value propositions. One is just culture. It’s a show. It’s kind of that google feel. That Zappos feel. We’re trying to do something where, hey, it’s about being you. It’s super, super agent focused and supportive. There are thirteen comp packages. Some are around getting forty leads a month. Some are around getting 100% split. Some are around in between that. And other are team building. There’s not cost per agent. You can grow. You can do whatever you want. So that [inaudible 00:36:26]. We have kind of that passive income revenue sharing streams. We literally tried to build the perfect brokerage for real estate agents. Because we’re very understanding of the fact that, hey, everybody’s ultimate goal … And if it’s not, shouldn’t even be in the business.

But everybody’s ultimate goal is the client. Right? We have to take care of that consumer. But brokers need to realize, how I take of that consumer is providing to my real estate agents. We’re gonna have the day-to-day interaction with that client, and we’ve just really figured that out. We’re gonna do everything we can to help the agents be successful. And if they are, the clients happy, they’re happy. We’re happy. And we’re growing our brokerage. That was vision, day one. And it’s vision today. And we’re just not taking our eye off that ball of creating that workplace that’s perfect for real estate agents.

EL:

Awesome. Yeah. I mean, yeah. That’s the way to do it.

EP:

Right.

EL:

Like I said, you’ve seen … pretty similar in some senses in that you’ve got the old money, sort of bigger companies that are kind of dinosaurs. Or the sort of battleships that are trying to turn on a dime. Then we have these sort of leaner, smarter, newer companies like yours that are just killing it because they’re giving people what they want. At the end of the day. And they’re not sort of set in their ways and stuck doing things the way they did them, just because that’s the way they always did. So, hey, Eric, this has been great. How do people get in touch with Pearson Smith. Is it PearsonSmith.com? Pearson Smith Realty?

EP:

Yeah. PearsonSmithRealty.com. Obviously, you can always email me, Eric@E4realty.com. That’s E, the number 4, realty.com. Or just call our office, 571-386-1075. And I truly mean this, with anybody that’s kind of watching, anything like that. I have a ton of people reach out, I do believe in the abundance mindset. So if you ever need something, or want a resource, or to share, just happy to reach out, for sure.

EL:

Awesome. It was really great talking to you. And looking forward to hearing great things from you guys in 2018.

EP:

I do appreciate it, thanks for having me on.

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