The characteristics of a buyer’s agent is somebody who is very nurturing but a sellers agent needs to be very direct and purposeful – especially getting the seller to do what is necessary to sell their property.
Topic – The need to specialise
Mentor – Gabe Cordova
- Can we do both jobs?
- Teams are growing in the US
- Technology is helping teams grow
Developing your leadership style – Jacob Aldridge
The 3 priorities of top Principals
Kasey: Hi, everyone. Kasey McDonald here from the Property Management Training Academy. And as you know, I’m on tour in the US with the BoxBrownie team. And I’ve had the pleasure today of meeting Gabe, the co-founder of Firepoint. Thanks for joining me, Gabe.
Gabe: Hi. Great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Kasey: Yeah, so I’d love to learn about the differences here between a buyer’s agent and a listing agent. I believe I’ve got the right language and terminology. In Australia we just have a listing and a buyer’s agent as a combined. You’re just a real estate agent and you certainly perform both of those transactions generally as one. So I’d really love for you to showcase to me the differences around that if you could.
Gabe: Yeah, absolutely. And so one of the fastest growing trends here is having that separation, right? So almost being like a specialist. So what you’re seeing is two different personalities, two different agents. So let’s talk about the buyer’s agent first. Really the characteristics of a buyer’s agent is really somebody who is very nurturing. I’m going to give you a hug, we’re going to be best friends because I’m going to take the time to do everything it takes to do to find you that perfect home. And all I do is specialise in searching and filtering through all the available homes to find the one that meets the best needs of you, your family, your situation, everything you need. So it’s a very nurturing, friendly, fun-loving relationship.
Gabe: Then we go to a listing agent, a marketing agent or a listing agent, whatever you want to call it. This is the person representing the seller. All they’re hired to do is list this home and get it sold in the least amount of time for the most amount of money. So you’re looking at a personality, typically these listing agents are more I’m going to kick the door down, tell you everything that has to happen, what you need to do to stage it, to make it look great, what we need to do to market it with the photos. Anything, again, to get that highest price in the least amount of time. And their different personalities.
Gabe: And so that big, growing trend of having a separate listing agent that works for the seller versus that buyer’s agent is really taking off. And, again, what I believe is unique or different about us is that listing agent is marketing it out to all agents in their community, in their area, their state sometimes, and typically won’t represent the buyer. It’s going to be a separate agent, that buyer’s agent, that is bringing the buyers. And so that each, the seller and the buyer of the property, will have their own separate representation.
Kasey: I suppose I’m going to convert that to a property management point of view as well. Just so in Australia they can understand that it’s a little bit like our business development managers. So from a new business perspective in property management, just so that you get a little understanding as well of how we do things in Australia from that point of view, is they’re like that listing marketing agent. So it’s the role of the BDM to get out there and source new business, source new rental properties, source new landlords, new client leads. They advertise it, market it, and at the point in time that the tenant is secured and found it’s then handed over to a property manager. Which potentially could be, kind of is that nurturing person which is like the buyer’s agent.
Gabe: So some similarities.
Kasey: Yes, absolutely some similarities. Not so much from the sales probably side of things, but I certainly can see where there are those similarities in property management. Another question for you, if I may, is around some of the language and terminology. And I’ve been interviewing, obviously, some other people as I’m meeting them here at the conventions. And everyone keeps talking about MLS. And I keep going what is this MLS thing? So I’d really love for you to share for us what that actually is.
Gabe: So it stands for the Multiple Listing Service. So really think of it as kind of the hub or the centre of a wheel. So you’re multiple listing and it’s separate for every area. So whether you’re in San Francisco or you’re in New York City, wherever it is, you have this MLS. And this is where all of the agents, when they find that new property and they list it, this is where that information goes. So this is where you post the pictures, the description, the showing instructions, everything.
Gabe: It’s where that listing partner is doing everything they can do, and when they put it on the market that means they’re sending it into the MLS. Now the Multiple Listing Service, the MLS, is now broadcasting it out to all of its members. So everybody’s seeing it. So it’s really centralising the data. So sort of like this is an ignorant question, but I’m guessing you have Amazon. Do you guys use it?
Gabe: Okay. So we don’t have like Zillows and stuff like that, I can say, but Amazon, right? One website, one central place where everybody’s posting their products, and then buyers can go and look for it and get it. So an MLS is similar but they’re unique per area because each area has different requirements. You know, the way fields and search terms you’re going to see on coastal cities is different than mountain, right?
Gabe: So each area has its own MLS, a central location where all the listing agents put the product. And then that MLS can now send it to all the agents. Now, that sending it meaning through an IDX sort of feed. So I as an agent, when I’m in my area and I build a website I connect it to that MLS and the MLS pulls all the data in about every 15 minutes so that it’s always fresh with the new listings, with price changes. And then the ones that have sold come off. So all of that comes from the MLS. It’s a central location that all agents in the area use to display and house all their homes, then display on websites.
Gabe: I think in conversations with you guys, I think the big difference is for us, though, when you do it, even if it’s me and my office and my brokerage, when we put it in the MLS it gets sent to all the other tens of thousands of brokerages and everything. To where they can look at it, find it, show it and bring their buyers with their own representation. So I think that’s the difference.
Kasey: That’s leading into the next question, because I’ve been learning obviously about so many different products as well. Of course, yours, Firepoint. And I know in conversation it started, was a bit of a brainchild of yours from being a very successful realtor yourself.
Gabe: What we do is we now provide an agent, a team or a brokerage, a website, right? So it’s a front-facing website where the buyers and sellers can go and look, where we’re taking all that data from the MLS and displaying it there. So they can search for every home for sale and have all the information. Again, it doesn’t matter which brokerage, which company. It’s all displaying there. But then on the back end, the CRM side, is where all of their contacts, all of their leads, their buyers and sellers, are housed. Where we can then send them properties from that Multiple Listing Service. Where we can reach out to them with marketing emails, with phone calls, with text, drip emails.
Gabe: Everything is in this one login. So you’re not going to your phone, you’re not going to your Outlook or Gmail looking at how you’re corresponding. And in addition, because we have that front-facing website tied into the MLS, every time somebody logs on and clicks on a home it updates their profile on the back. So I can literally log on and go, “Okay, well, who do I have on the website today looking at homes?” It tells me what they’re looking at so then I can reach out appropriately and help them identify, or even just to set that appointment for new prospects maybe that I haven’t met. So it allows me to work more efficiently because everything’s in one spot, versus going to multiple different places.
Gabe: You know, teams are growing really fast in the US, right? There’s not a lot of solo agents out there. Most people are either running a team or they’re on a team. And so software like Firepoint, what it does is it allows you and your team to communicate. If you’re selling your home, I might be representing you on the list side and I’m working on marketing it and talking to everybody who’s interested. And everybody meaning not just potential buyers, but the other agents. Because, remember, they have their own representation. And now our buyer specialist is working with you on finding the new one. So we’re both only focusing on one thing, versus trying to be a jack-of-all-trades is a term here that we use.
Kasey: Yeah, yeah.
Gabe: But anyway, so the software allows us to communicate with the team, see what’s going on. Everything to do from the time you start looking at homes till you list your home in one centralised spot.
Kasey: And does the software support measurement? And what I mean by that, allow for metrics and conversions to know, okay, this is when this came in, this is how long it took to respond, this is then when we got the result. Does it do that?
Gabe: Right. The power is in the numbers, right?
Kasey: Right, yeah.
Gabe: So absolutely. So it’s going to track every lead where it’s coming in. Did I meet them at an open house? Did I get them from a paid source? And then in the US that might mean Zillow or realtor.com or Google AdWords where we’re driving traffic to our website. Facebook, anything like that. And so it tracks everything, every lead where it’s coming from when they register to when we go under contract or when we close them. It tracks all those dates in addition to how much money did I spend on pushing ads on Facebook or something like that.
Gabe: And so when I put in the closing and I’m like, okay, Bob Smith over here closed on October 4th and my commission was $12,000 or whatever it is. And now automatically calculate it and update that to our reporting section. So not only can I see how much am I spending on lead generation, but where are the closings coming from, to are we closing a higher percentage of these leads or these leads? Also to which agents are making the calls, which agents are making the closings? To where I can even see if I’ve got one agent that’s selling five homes a month and I’ve got another one that’s only selling two, then I can literally pull up a side-by-side comparison.
Gabe: How many phone calls is one agent making versus the other one? Down to listening to the phone calls. It’s all recording the phone calls. So it takes all of this technology to where healthy competition, to accountability. It’s even understanding our numbers. Where is our money going and where is our money coming back? All from one login.
Kasey: Look, it’s absolutely brilliant. I think it’s really important to measure, especially when we’re talking around efficiency. Because you could be sitting there making 50 or 100 telephone calls and, for whatever reason, not getting a result.
Kasey: But it’s so important that you’ve got a function to record and listen.
Kasey: Because from a coaching perspective, that’s what I do in Australia, is then I can sit with my client and say, “Let’s script these out a bit more. You need to work on your dialogue.” So I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
Gabe: Well, they think they’re following the scripts a lot of times, right? But sometimes they don’t hear their tone, their inflexion, right? And also when I’m talking to people about this, recording your phone calls. Even if you don’t have our technology, if you’re listening to this get your phone out, turn on your voice recorder on your computer and then put the client on speaker. If it’s legal in Australia, I’m assuming.
Gabe: When you hear what you’re saying, you will start changing what you say. ‘Cause you don’t realise how you’re phrasing things or how it’s coming across. And that’s why we can find agents that might be making fewer calls and selling more. But when we started listening to their calls, it wasn’t what they were saying but how they were saying it. And then all of a sudden the agents are learning from each other. We’d started having our agents come to our huddles, our daily meetings, our office meetings, where we thought this call recording would be an accountability thing. All of a sudden they were coming in saying, “Hey Gabe, will you listen to this call? I think I missed an opportunity to set an appointment.” Or, “I think I lost this negotiation somehow. Can you listen to it and give me some tips on how that’s going to go?” It just really shifted the dynamics of accountability more into coaching, because people found the power in what was going on.
Kasey: Thank you for your time this afternoon and speaking to us.
Gabe: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, let’s do it again.
Kasey: Yeah. Thanks very much, Gabe.
Gabe: Awesome. Thank you.
Kasey: Thank you.
Gabe: Bye bye.