Technology is changing with real estate and information sharing. Well-paid realtors can’t just sit back and wait for buyers and sellers to show up. So how are realtors supposed to remain relevant and fundamental in transactions? Today, Toby Mathis of Anderson Business Advisors talks to Justin Stoddart of Think Bigger Real Estate. Justin focuses on business development by serving as a business consultant to help real estate agents better serve their clients.
- What’s the difference between an expert vs. technology/low-cost worker? Save money, but deal with significant net difference; someone knowing what they’re doing is true value by being net positive and putting more money in your pocket
- Why are people enamored with technology in real estate space? People think they can do it themselves; who needs an expert when they can do it themselves and save money
- Do Zillow, Redfin, and other online sites buy properties? Yes, they buy at wholesale and sell at resale; they don’t buy and hold properties to make profits
- Why do people choose not to hire real estate experts when buying or selling a property? Matter of convenience, not transaction costs
- What got Justin into real estate? Family business, studied construction management, left to start his own home building company
- Is Justin’s passion building homes? No, he’s passionate about building people, growing people, and growing business
- Does Justin plan to expand Think Bigger Real Estate? Yes, plans to go nationwide
- How do real estate agents remain well paid and not be replaced by technology/low-cost workers? Innovate at pace equivalent to technology; be less salesy, more customer service oriented
- Why select full-service real estate? Higher degree of service/quality, and pay for it
- Why select Software as a Service (SaaS)? Lower degree of service/quality, and pay for it without advisors/experts
- What drives Justin’s focus on real estate? Family life is where it’s at; great way to live
- What helps make real estate agents successful?
- Develop more business than you think you need; fire customers bad for your business, mindset, and quality of life
- Differentiate yourself by having a voice; think bigger, educate others, and step into expert role
Full Episode Transcript
Toby: Hey, guys. This is Toby Mathis with the Anderson Business Advisors Podcast. I’m joined today by Justin Stoddart who works with real estate. I’m going to let him tell his story. He’s absolutely a great guy to have on. I’m excited to hear what he has to say. We’ll just jump off. First off, welcome, Justin.... Read Full Transcript
Justin: Thanks, man. I really appreciate it, Toby. I admire a lot of what you do from previous conversations and it’s an honor to be on your show.
Toby: Yeah. I appreciate that and it’s mutual. Tell the world what you do and why you do it.
Justin: Perfect. I appreciate it. My day job is I actually work for a title and escrow company, Old Republic Title, out of Portland, Oregon. I really get the privilege not of doing the title and escrow work but more on the business development side. My role entails acting as a business consultant to real estate agents, helping them to be better at what they do, to better serve their clients and to serve more clients.
In that work, I’ve really found a passion around helping well-paid sales professionals from all different industries, recognize the threats that are coming at them right now and how to rise above them, to remain well paid and to remain really fundamental in the transaction that they’re a part of.
Toby: You just hit on something. Technology is changing so much, especially in the real estate world, the information sharing world. You can’t just sit back and say, “I’m a realtor, therefore you need to come through me to buy a house, sell a property, or to work with something.” What are you seeing in your world? Again, the escrow and title world because you’re working with nothing but real estate agents (I’m assuming). What do you see is people separating themselves and making themselves relevant?
Justin: It’s really interesting, you said something, Toby, that agents are no longer entitled to be in the transaction. For years, they’re the only ones that had the information. Obviously, that changed when they opened up the MLS systems to Zillow and others, and that now, information was accessible to the general public.
Beyond that, now, tech companies have created offerings that start to minimize what a real estate agent does, and therefore, gets paid and/or eliminates the real estate agent entirely from the transaction. It’s really no different than what we’ve seen in insurance with many of the online shopping portals, even going further back than that, in the travel industry and others.
The thing that I’d like to point out, the difference between those industries is that if you really mess up on buying an airline ticket, it’s not the end of the world, you catch another flight, you get to your designated city, and all is well. You mess up on a real estate transaction, you messed up on making key-tax decisions like what you provide and the ramifications are much, much bigger.
Many of these tech companies are trying to tell the tale that it’s as easy as going online and shopping for insurance. You can go to an H&R Block, for example. As you pointed out when we had a conversation before, is that you might save a little bit of money, but what you net is going to be drastically different when working with an expert as opposed to working with a technology offering in a low paid worker. I don’t know if I answered your question.
Toby: No, you’re right. Their true value if somebody knows what they’re doing is that they’re a net positive. In other words, not only do they cover their own cost, but they put more money in your pocket. That’s in just about everything.
A lot of folks are really enamored by this idea of technology. In real estate, we’re seeing it all over the place. You got Zillow, Redfin, and all these other guys. Are they actually buying properties now? Am I understanding that correctly?
Justin: Yeah. In Vegas where you’re at, in Portland where I’m at, it was interesting. We had a really well-versed agent here in our area tract, a company by the name of Opendoor. They came in, they buy a property at wholesale, and sell it at retail. They don’t say it like that, but it’s clear that they buy and they sell, they don’t buy and hold. Obviously, they’re going to buy with the intent of buying it at some margins where they can flip it.
This particular transaction was sold to Opendoor and they flipped and resold four months later for about $50,000 more than they bought it for including repairs, including carrying costs. Yes, it was more convenient, but the downside is that client lost a premium for that convenience. This isn’t […] extra bucks, this is $12,000 a month for 4 months that they gained inconvenience.
Toby: Walk me through it. When you’re doing an open door, are you still paying any realtor fees or anything like that? Is the reason people do it is because the transaction costs are so low?
Justin: It’s not because of that. It’s a great question. The reason why people do it is simply out of convenience. They don’t necessarily want to stage their home, repair their home, get it ready to go to market, nor do they want to necessarily have it open for other people to come through. They just want to get it off their hands. They just want to be done.
The fees are disclosed, that’s between 8% to 10% is what was disclosed on this particular property. It’s obviously higher than what you’d pay real estate agents, but in addition to that, there was a premium. They sold it at a much different rate. All that included, that’s where the $48,000 to $50,000 came in. That’s how much it cost those clients to have that convenience of getting the property unloaded in a couple of weeks.
Toby: All right, Justin. Before we dive further into that—that’s really interesting; I want to go back to that in a second—I skipped right over who you are, you said you’re in Portland, but what got you into real estate?
Justin: I was raised by a family that was in real estate, both purchasing as well as investing. I’ve always been around it. I flipped properties early in my college years with the help of some investors that actually went to school to study construction management. I went to work for a high-end home builder, eventually left, and started my own home-building company, built $1 million–$2 million homes in the Utah market, did that for a number of years until 2008-2009.
At that point, the business opportunity of high-end home building wasn’t there. It went all the way down from luxury-custom homes to kitchen and bathroom models. I remember I was excited to win a project to build a deck and I thought I’m out. It was some good introspective time because I had to realize if I really love building homes, then I’ll wait five years for this to come back and I’ll slug it out. But my passion wasn’t building homes, it’s always been building people, really growing people, hence, I show my movement, the Think Bigger model.
Secondly is growing business. I’m fascinated with strategic ways to position businesses to help them grow. I got out of the industry for a few years during the big downturn and then was recruited back to work for a title company. That’s what I do to this day. I helped launch actually Old Republic Title here into the Oregon market.
Just today, we’re actually celebrating our 5 years here as a direct operation; 112 years as a company but 5 years here as an operation. We’ve passed some companies that have been here for decades and decades, so it’s been a good run.
Toby: How is the Portland market? It’s got to be a little nutty there right now.
Justin: Yeah. It’s interesting because we have what’s called the urban growth boundary where they don’t allow for urban sprawl to happen. They keep a belt, if you will, around the sprawling neighborhoods. What happens is it just constricts supply. That together, we don’t have a really building-friendly area so we end up having more demand than supply. It keeps prices artificially high, at the same time, we profess to want to keep costs down. There are some conflicting theories oftentimes from the same people that we want to keep housing costs low, you want to restrict supplies. Anyway, it doesn’t totally make sense. Nevertheless, it helps keep prices (again) artificially higher than they would.
In 2008-2009, Portland experienced the same things that the rest of the country experienced, but again, that limit of supply helps keep prices on the higher end and a little more stable than in other markets. We’ve had some new legislation that has come out here over the past year that’s caused some outside investors to sour on Portland, which are pretty heavy rent control, landlord-tenant laws that haven’t been landlord-friendly.
It’s an interesting place, it’s a beautiful place. People come to Oregon because of the lush trees, the valleys, and all that stuff but from a real estate standpoint, there’s way more demand than supply. That will help us stay strong regardless of what happens with tariffs in China and all that stuff that barring some unforeseen catastrophic event like in 2008.
I foresee our market to have some settling out. We have Seattle which is a precursor to what our market does, experienced a little bit of downtick in their overall pricing. We expect to see something similar but more some plateauing and then more steady inclines as opposed to the sharp inclines that we’ve had over the past number of years.
Toby: Yeah, you guys just skyrocketed. Seattle has got Amazon going nuts. I lived there for 27 years, I went back, and didn’t recognize South Lake Union, they just built so many buildings all over.
Two big questions for you in Portland are, (a) are you a Voodoo Doughnut fan? And (b) you got Mount Hood, Mount Adams staring right back at you.
Justin: It’s a beautiful place. The doughnuts are good, Voodoo Doughnuts creeps me out. I went there with my kids.
Toby: Wait. You got your kids into Voodoo Doughnut?
Toby: You only do that once.
Justin: I know right. I don’t know that I’d go back. I was like, “This place creeps me out.” I don’t know that they Voodoo in the back but it definitely wasn’t a warm fuzzy place you want to take your family.
Toby: No. They got some interesting doughnuts there with some interesting names, …]. I’m just teasing.
You work with the real estate agents there, which is a very competitive marketplace. How do you differentiate. I should ask you this before you answer that is Think Bigger Real Estate is what you do, is that nationwide or is that focused primarily in the Portland area?
Justin: We’re working on growing a national audience, definitely aren’t constricted to Portland area. That’s where my network’s at so naturally, I’ve got probably more guests from this area than not. Another gentleman that I was interviewing this morning was the number two agent out of New Jersey, every max agent out there, so definitely looking to expand.
I really feel passionate about my message, which I know is very similar to yours. That’s probably why we get along so well. Well-paid real estate agents and sales professionals are in trouble unless they really double down on innovating at a pace that’s equivalent to that of technology. What’s happening is that technology is coming in and replacing well-paid salespeople with the technology and with low-paid workers.
In order to remain a well-paid sales professional, whether it be in your industry, whether it be in mine, agents need to become less salespeople and customer service representatives. Those parts are being replaced by technology and become more advisors, become more experts, and take whatever it is that you sell, whether it’s title insurance, real estate, tax preparation, and layer in layers and layers of expertise and good advice because that’s what will differentiate you. That’s how agents have to differentiate.
For years, it’s been I’ve got better photography, I’ve got drone photography. Even that is now becoming commoditized. If you don’t have that, you shouldn’t be in the game. Now it’s really who can provide superior knowledge and insight that is helping their particular clients have either a preservation of their wealth or an increase in their wealth.
That’s why I absolutely love your mission, Toby, of what you guys are doing. There’s so much opportunity, even so much more than I even realized after our conversation, just listening to you, and following your podcast which is amazing. I’d encourage anybody who’s not subscribed yet to do so. The amount of wealth that people can preserve for themselves and earn for themselves is phenomenal if they’ll get expert advice.
The same thing is true in real estate. The more that real estate professionals become real estate advisors and they really start helping people preserve and grow wealth through real estate, the whole fee conversation is off the table, it doesn’t matter anymore. If you’re another 1%, but you help people preserve 8%, 9%, or 10% of the wealth, or make a decision based on where, when, what, and how, that really moves the needle for them from a well standpoint just like you guys do in the tax arena. To me, that’s where well-paid sales professionals across all industries have to go and must go or they will be replaced by tech and low-cost workers.
Toby: First off, thank you for the kind words that you said.
Justin: Yeah, I mean them.
Toby: I want to make sure that we’re focusing on you but I always like it when somebody likes us, too. Something we were talking about earlier with these folks that were Opendoor, paying the higher fees, and something you said which was it was convenient. A lot of times, salespeople were not the most convenient. We don’t make it easy for our clients, and clients consume information in so many different ways.
At the end of the day, you can automate only so much there. You’re going to have to have a human being that guides you, especially in situations like real estate. These are huge purchases and a misstep can cost you so much. I’m still boggled by Opendoor where you still paid 10% or something like that. That’s just crazy.
Justin: Between 8% and 10%.
Toby: What are the agents doing that you’re working with, that’s bridging that gap so they don’t lose to technology, that they keep their clients and grow their clients?
Justin: Part of it is being aware of other offers, I’m not hot slamming or slandering them, I hope this isn’t seen in any way of slamming Opendoor iBuyers. The reality is they’ve got a great business model if they can convince people from a convenience standpoint. It’s like a convenience store. You walk into a convenience store, you’re going to pay way more for that candy bar than if you bought it at Costco.
That’s essentially their model is that we’re going to offer extreme convenience for you, and by the way, it’s going to cost more. Good for them. But it behooves us as professionals to also be able to have a voice and communicate what’s really happening there so that consumers can see the whole picture to say, “Okay, I could take that. It’s going to cost me that much. Or I could market it and sell it myself at retail. It’s going to cost me this much. Which one do I want to do?”
Not sticking our heads in the sand that this isn’t happening and my clients aren’t paying attention to this. They are paying attention to this. That’s the big thing we all need to realize is that they’re seeing the billboards. Again, because these companies are well-funded. These are VC and Wall Street backed companies. They’re spending money we could never keep up with.
Toby: They’re so valuable, that SaaS model is 30 times earnings. They’re negative. As soon as they can start making a profit that almost go through the roof on evaluation.
Justin: You can’t outspend them but real estate agents can have an impact and other sales professionals can have an impact within their sphere and their database. They don’t need to operate at the scale that these massive tech companies do. They can have an amazing business taking care of 300 families repeatedly and those referrals year over year over year. But in order to penetrate those 300 people to educate them, there is a difference.
What their difference is and what they get by going with a full-service real estate advisor, that’s on them. They have to be able to not only have that value, have that track record of offering that value, but they have to be able to communicate it in a one-to-one setting to where people get it, understand it, and realize the difference.
They also need to be able to broadcast it, to start to have a bigger voice until people that are going to be referred to them and the community at large that hey, there is a difference, there’s a difference shopping at a secondhand store versus Nordstrom. You bet, the prices are going to be different, but the quality of experience is going to be very different as well.
Toby: That’s really interesting you bring that up because we talk about Ritz-Carlton service and some of these others who use these different monikers, but the whole idea is that you’re going to receive a higher degree of service when you’re going into North East or whatever else and you know you’re going to pay up the nose for it. What’s weird is you’re paying up the nose for less service if you’re going through some of these software programs.
When I said SaaS earlier, Software as a Service, I never want to forget when people tell me that, whenever they say, “Oh, this is a SaaS model,” it’s Software as a Service. There’s still a service, it’s just you’re choosing not to deal with people. The big question is why are you choosing not to deal with people? You don’t want to have an advisor, or you don’t trust people, or you don’t want to deal with the headaches because there are pushy salespeople out there? What are you seeing in that world?
Justin: To this day, most agents are still scared of video. You and I have set up our offices to be video studios because we believe strongly that we have a message that’s important to get out there, and one-to-one setting is not fast enough. We don’t have the backing and the funding to be able to compete with these VC- and Wall Street-backed tech companies, but we can compete on an organic grassroots level.
Real estate agents have to start to educate the fact that they’re not paying more for ROI on that. Clients are maybe paying more upfront if you look at just the straightforward fees. But if you look at the net return, that’s where agents and sales professionals need to start to speak up to say, “Let’s look at three months down the road, let’s look at a year down the road, and see how did this turn out five years down the road.”
I was actually teaching a class on this topic and I asked agents, “Can you think of a time when you gave somebody great advice that turned out really well for the client?” Somebody raised their hand right away and they said, “Yeah, they came to me and said, ‘Will you sell my home?’” This was in the lows of 2008, and said, “I just want to get out of this thing.” I said, “I don’t think you should sell this home.” It would have sold for $250,000.
He said he just sold the home for $750,000, 9–10 years later and he said, “It would have been easy for me to collect a commission that I probably needed at that time, but I knew it was not in his best interest so there’s a $500,000 net gain for that client by listening to that advice.” I said, “Have you told that story?” and he said, “Not really.” I said, “There’s a problem with that. You need to be taking those stories and you give good advice and use that in your portfolio of, ‘Hey, it’s not just that I have good photography and pretty drone photography. Let me tell you about the net difference in using me over not using some discount provider that’s just has written an algorithm to do the bare fundamentals of marketing and selling your home.’”
Toby: Whenever I look at software, there are some really great things out there. I just look at it as that’s one element and then the other element is people that actually know what’s going on, know history, especially in real estate. You’re making some pretty big purchases there. I wouldn’t want to just base it off of what I was able to see online.
I have purchased properties site unseen but it’s because I trusted the person that was selling it, that I had a relationship with them. They’re saying, “Hey, here’s what these houses are going for, here’s what our rents are going to be, and all this thing.” You do the trust-but-verify, but still it was that relationship. I cannot imagine buying or selling something just straight off of the internet. It trips me out to be honest. It’s weird.
Justin: Yeah. For most people, the buying and selling of a home is the largest transaction they’ll ever do. There are other investors where that’s not the case, but for the average American, that’s the reality. Because that can have such an impact upon somebody’s wealth, it moves the wealth needles so much.
Toby: You need an expert. You need to have an […]. You always need a guide. If you’re climbing up Everest, you need a guide. That’s your first time climbing it up. If you’ve done it a whole bunch, maybe you just need some support, but for the most part you’re doing something for the first time, or the second, or the third. If it’s not your profession, make sure you have a guide. Zillow and all those things are great. They’re fun to look at houses when you’re driving by. How much is that? You can see information pretty quick but it doesn’t have the human element.
What drives you, Justin? It seems to me you have a pretty strong focus, a pretty strong will, and a good sense of who you are. What drives you?
Justin: I appreciate that. I’m a family guy at heart. Probably surprised, I don’t know how to share this with you, but my wife and I have six children together.
Toby: You have been busy.
Justin: I know. We have been. My oldest will be 13 in November. You can imagine the Stoddart household has 4 little girls and 2 boys under the age of 13. That’s who we are at the core. I believe that there’s a lot of joy and happiness that comes out of family life. I feel like a lot of times, the personalities that we tend to follow or glamorize are people that live a lifestyle very contrary to that.
To each their own, but I want to make a case that a happy family life is where it’s at. Again, that’s my opinion, that’s my perspective, but I want young people and others to be able to see somebody who’s passionate and successful in their profession, and yet can have a family, whether that be a small family or a big family like mine. If you talk to anybody at the end of life, it’s their family relationships and their close friend relationships that matter the most. Sometimes, that’s lost in the pursuit of other things. That’s part of what drives me, to want to be on a bigger stage. From a professional standpoint, I’ve got a mission to help well-paid sales professionals remain that way. On a personal level, again, I want to make the case that family life is a really great way to live.
Toby: This is a complete aside. What percentage of the successful agents are just single people versus married? Do you see that there’s a difference between them?
Justin: It’s interesting, I feel like the ones that have a healthy work-life balance are married.
Toby: We made a little bit ban the show at this point. I’m just kidding.
Justin: Ones that have understood the value of leverage of hiring an assistant, of putting in systems and technology that helps them, those are the ones that either are marrying or stay married. There are others that don’t. They try and be all things to all people, and typically, their family becomes more of a side dish than the main dish. You see some turnover there in the family department.
There’s probably a fairly clear distinction of those that run their business like a business, long-term sustainable, have a family. That’s part of the reason why they’re motivated to get up and do what they do day in and day out. Good realtors work really hard and long hours, but they also know how to create boundaries and show up like a professional.
If you were a medical specialist, you won’t be able to get a hold of me in the middle of the night and so is an ER doctor. You’d make an appointment and I have a very select series of appointment times that I’d be available to meet with you. I feel like the more that real estate agents can work like that, some of those appointments being with their spouse for a date night and their kids for family time…
Toby: It creates value in that scarcity.
Justin: That’s a good way to put it.
Toby: I agree and also it shows that you actually care. You have other things in the world other than just money. Otherwise, you’d answer the phone at 2:00 AM.
Justin: Yeah, just another dollar, right?
Toby: Yeah. “Oh, I need to get this. I need to get this.” We’ve all been guilty of it because I’m a small business owner. I have been for more than two decades. I sit here and we have 250 employees that all have needs, wants, and everything else. You want to help them, but at the same token, you realize that if you don’t have a balance, you’re toast. You’re not going to make it. It’s going to burn you out after just a few years and you start realizing that you have to have some you time with your family. You need to make sure that you’re spending time with your spouse, significant other, your dogs, or your cats, whatever it is, you better have some you time.
Toby: That’s pretty cool. I don’t come across too many people that vocalize it nowadays. It’s almost like they’re scared to say, “By the way, I believe in having kids and a family.” It’s almost like you’re waiting to get smacked by somebody out there.
Justin: Yeah, your carbon footprint is too big or something.
Toby: “You’re so selfish, you’re procreating.”
Justin: Right. It’s interesting how oftentimes I’ll hear people like, “How do you do that? Kids are so expensive these days.” It’s like, “No, we make them expensive.” For me, I earned my way through college. Six kids, it’s a little bit daunting, there are going to be some weddings. In olden days, people would actually have kids not because they were a lot of work, but because they had a lot of work for them to do. We got to have more kids because we had a big farm. Somehow, our society switched to the point of instead of kids being helpful and workers, they became not helpful and work.
Toby: They’re a net loss it’s what happened.
Justin: Yeah, they’re so expensive.
Toby: They used to say we’re a net gain because the labor of the child would more than cover their cost. Now, the kids are a net cost. If that’s why you’re having kids, you have trouble.
Justin: Right. We don’t do the best job of this, but I’m really trying to raise kids that they’re going to be […]. I’m training my son now to start a lawn-care business and a pressure-washing business. I said, “As soon as you can do it to these standards, I’d be happy to help promote you through the neighborhood and give you some jobs. Let’s do it together.”
He’s getting really close. This summer, he was on track. He was meeting the standards. He realized that there are certain things that are above and beyond what we’re willing to pay for him. He’s going to have to come up with it. I intend on having a similar path for college and other extracurricular activities.
Toby: Here in Portland, we’re like, “You got to use a pressure washer to spray the stuff off this stuff, to get the moss off this stuff,” but it doesn’t. I guess we’d spray off the dust.
Justin: That’s true, everything grows here even when you don’t want it to.
Toby: Yeah, I’m just thinking about that. That is awesome. Did you get him a pressure washer?
Justin: Yes, I do. We have one. He’s not trained on it, we’re working on the lawn and then we’re going to graduate and we’re going to step up to the pressure washer.
Toby: That is awesome. That is so cool. He’s 13. You could have him work for any business that you have and you could always pay him. He’s able to do stuff.
Justin: That’s where you will come in handy, my friend, is that there are some tax benefits and things as well.
Toby: Oh, shoot, yeah. You never want to pay tuition out of your pocket. You want to pay your kid out of your business and let them pay for it, but they have to do something of value.
Justin: This is a great story, actually. The one that I’m talking about there is my son, he’s 11.
Toby: Oh, wow.
Justin: Yeah. My daughter’s already babysitting and doing pretty well for herself. This is one of my favorite stories. My six-year-old goes into the DollarStore because they were buying me birthday presents (I had a birthday recently). My daughter is just like filling up her cart and my son (who’s 11) who understands the value of money, he’s like, “[…], you can’t buy all that. You’re going to run out of money.” She looks at him and says, “Corbin, we just have to make more lemonade.”
Toby: She’s figured it out.
Justin: Exactly, instead of a scarcity mentality. Now, I’m also a fan of not spending all that you have or more than you have, but I thought, sometimes we over complicate things. I don’t think like, “No, stop. There’s a scarcity of money,” and she’s just like, “No, we’ll just go make more lemonade. It’s cool.” She’s got a lemonade stand. Some people tipped her well and she’s like, “It’s easy, we just make more lemonade and voilà.”
Toby: You make them pay for the lemonade.
Justin: That’s right. We work her on the cost of goods. […] for you.
Toby: Yeah. “I need a few more gallons, Dad,” and you’re like, “Uh, all right.” That’s really cool. Again, I’m a big fan. My daughter just graduated from college. She’s going to go to med school. She took the MCAT, she did really well, so she’s all excited now. I’m looking at the tuition, “Holy crap, it’s expensive to become a doctor.”
Justin: Congrats to you then. That’s impressive. You raised a good daughter.
Toby: Yeah. It’s wonderful, but you look at it and you just realize that I cannot imagine what I would be like if I didn’t have a wife and a child. I’m not saying everybody needs to do it, but it’s bizarre. It really does shape who you are. I think of my partners in this business, what our focus is, and what our goals are when we communicate with clients, how many are creating a legacy, and how many are really creating. I love it, I just love hearing people that are actually looking for something beyond just themselves. Kids forced us to be a little selfless.
Justin: Yeah, they really do.
Toby: Cool. Back to real estate. I don’t know where we got that from but—
Justin: It’s a good little side note.
Toby: Just to slide. Sometimes we go down the rabbit holes, but I like it, so that’s what matters.
Justin: Probably keeps it interesting for the folks at home, too.
Toby: Yeah. If there was one or two things that you’re seeing as big difference makers for the realtors that are actually having success, what would those one or two things be?
Justin: Sometimes, agents have a scarcity mentality. They don’t make enough lemonade. They end up working with bad clients. They end up answering the call at all times of the day. Step number one is probably always fundamentally, you need more business than you think you need because that way, you can say no to the stuff that doesn’t fit your standards.
I believe the customer is always right, but not everybody has to be your customer. You can say, this isn’t a fit. Let me refer you to somebody else. But if you don’t have enough customers, you can’t make that decision, you’re stuck working with people that are bad for your business, bad for your mindset, bad for your quality of life. Step number one is you just need to spend more time developing business and they think they do.
Toby: Firing bad clients.
Justin: Yeah, create a standard and sticking to it.
Toby: Rule number one is fire more clients.
Justin: Yeah. Get more so that you can’t fire, how about that?
Toby: Yeah, give yourself an option of who you want to work with. I agree with that 100%. There was a guy that said, “You want to make more money? Fire 20% of your clients every year.” I was like, “Are you kidding me? No way. I worked too hard to bring them in.” He’s like, “No, just trust me on it.” Now I see his point. What was number two?
Justin: Number two, I would say, is real estate agents need to have a voice. We’re living at a time and an era (again) where there are massive amounts of money being poured into changing the consumer mindset. They will continue to win over the mindset if agents continue to be afraid of video, continue to be afraid of speaking up, continue to be afraid of educating, and stepping into the expert role.
You are an expert. You need to wear the hat. Step up and actually educate as many people as you can reach, that you are different than technology. Overcoming that fear of video is only done by doing video. You just have to get over the fact that you are not a bookkeeper stuck in some back cubicle. You chose a public profession whether you’re in real estate, insurance, or whatever, you chose a public-facing role and you have to own that. You need to get out and start speaking the truth about the difference between you and a highly-tech-operated offering.
Toby: Yeah, you’re going to have to differentiate yourself and make yourself the only viable option. Anybody can go online, anybody could call up the yellow pages. I don’t know if you still use yellow pages, now you can Google. Anybody can go look around there but in order to differentiate, they actually have to be able to figure out who the heck you are. I love that.
Your organization, the business, I see the TB behind you, tell me about that.
Justin: TB stands for Think Bigger. It’s something I’ve really gotten passionate about. I realize that well oft-quoted adage which is, “You are the sum average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In times past, we were stuck with whoever was in our direct contact, physical contact. Part of this world in which we live now is that people are highly accessible. I have Twitter conversations with Mel Robbins who’s a best-selling author, just people who are major influencers, they’re not as untouchable as you think they are that you can actually get mentors that are far above and beyond you.
The purpose of my show is number one, just selfishly to make me smarter that if I could handpick who I wanted to be in conversations with, people like Toby Mathis every day, it’s going to rub off on me and I’m going to have more to offer my clients.
Toby: I may have taken your sum total down a little bit. I’m messing up with your average.
Justin: Don’t think so. That opportunity for me, again, to have a reason to reach out to people like you to say, “Hey, I’d love to have you on my show,” puts us in conversation. It’s a value offering for other people.
The idea behind Think Bigger is to expand people’s thinking. Anything that they do in life was pre-created in their mind, by their thoughts. If you never think about it, you’ll never achieve it. Whereas if you think it, you think it regularly enough and in the right perspective, there’s a reality that’s going to come to fruition at some point.
Starting to change the thinking which influences the way people see themselves, the conversations they’re having with themselves, the conversations they have with other people, and then the things that they’re able to do with the life that they’re able to leave an impact, that they’re able to have, all begins in your own mind. I’m going to build in this community of people that want to think bigger, that realized that they were actually designed to do more than just be a pawn or to follow someone else’s game plan, to do something great themselves.
Now, it’s different for everybody out there. For some, it means owning a business. For some, it means being a key player in a business. For some, it means being great at being a dad and a husband. And for some, it means all of that. Whatever that is for them is to be in pursuit of their potential, to be a student of human potential, and realize that there’s more that they can be achieving and contributing in the world. It’s a movement around that, of people that resonate with that to say, “Yeah, there’s more to me than what I’m showing right now. I want to be around people that think that way and help me become that way.”
Toby: First off, that’s awesome, and second off, I will put your link up with this podcast. It’s Think Bigger Real Estate, right?
Justin: Yeah, thinkbigger.realestate. Sometimes people don’t realize and they try and put a .com at the end, but it’s actually thinkbigger.realestate is the website.
Toby: I’ll make sure I put a link as I’ll butcher that up all day long. I happen to agree. There was an old adage. I love to repeat it once in a while, “It’s not my drink and that’s got me stink. And it’s my think and thinking that’s got me drinking.”
Justin: I love it.
Toby: Yeah, it’s the old check up from the neck up. You’re trying to figure out what’s going on in the eight inches between your ears and it’s going to lead us to do and limit ourselves when there are really no limits that have to be out there frankly. We’re not all made the same, we all have different talents and abilities, and it’s just doing the best with what you got. Everybody has the ability to maximize their potential regardless of what that potential is.
Justin: Totally agree.
Toby: That’s cool that you’re doing that. I’ll stick that out there. Any final thoughts?
Justin: Again, I want to express my gratitude for this conversation. Being around guys like you again expand my thinking. I often ask at the end of my show, the Think Bigger Real Estate show, “What is something that you do to continue to be a big thinker?” For me, as I’ve thought about that, what would I say is it’s intentionally having conversations with people like Toby Mathis and others that help expand my thinking, that there’s no substitute for being around people that are doing really great things, to inspire you to want to do great things. I would just encourage people to continue to follow Toby and other big thinkers, and watch what happens. Your life will start to change.
Toby: Love it. We’ll be watching you, too. I’m excited to see where you’re at in the future. I always love this. The fact of the matter is, one of the coolest things about being in business is other business owners and watching them grow their businesses. I’ve seen some big explosions where you’re like, “Wow, that happened.”
I remember the 99 Cents Only Stores with a friend of my mentors. Now, they’re everywhere. I still crack up and I’m like, “Hey, I remember that when they first started.” It’s pretty cool. We’ll keep our eye on you. If anybody listening wants to cruise on over to thinkbigger.realestate, do it. It’s always good, it’s good consumption of good information to help you be the best you. I think that’s awesome. Thanks for joining me today.
Justin: Yeah, it’s my pleasure, Toby. Thanks again for the opportunity.
Toby: You got it.