The Paradox of the Successful Real Estate Agent
In this episode of The Real Estate Growth Hackers Show, we talk about how Costas Peppas—co-founder of Agent Legend—started out and what led him to “The Paradox of the Successful Agent.”
You can generate as many leads as you want but somewhere down the line, you will hit a bottleneck. So, how do you effectively process these leads and follow up with people?
Check out a rundown on everything we talked about today and listen to the full episode:
The Beginning of Agent Legend
We begin this episode with something of a personal moment for Costas Peppas because of a close friend who struggled because of the ‘system’.
This friend is a mortgage broker who found his calling as a loan officer. Other friends who knew him for a long time saw his passion for it. And he is brilliant at it! He was making tons of money and was fantastic with people. It is his calling.
But in 2006, out of desperation when the market crashed, this friend vowed to never let one lead slip through the cracks. Despite his best intentions, it is a challenge to keep up with that commitment. Managing 30 leads is a hard task for anyone.
This was Costas’s seed of inspiration for what would become Agent Legend, “Once a person reaches a measure of success in business, it is only natural to have a lot more opportunities. And the fact is, a person cannot prioritize every opportunity equally.”
An Agent Can Only Trade So Much Time and Energy
The biggest plight of every entrepreneur in any industry leveraging time in order to make business happen.
“As long as something is based on time, then an entrepreneur will hit a ceiling where they cannot do more without sacrificing other important components,” said Costas.
Costas’s point above is especially true with prospecting. It may not even be the best use of one’s time depending on who is involved. Chasing leads may not be a good dollar productive activity compared to where you’re really needed.
The Paradox of Successful Agents Explained
When an entrepreneur is successful enough, they can trade dollars for leads. But, the fact is, they do not have the time to chase leads the way they did when they could not afford it.
If they have the time to chase leads, they do not have the money to generate them. And if they have the money to generate them, they do not have the time to follow up. I think this is where the disconnect is made.
Costas goes on to explain, “There are a lot of people in this industry who make a living by making people feel bad that they’re not doing enough. They make people feel like they do not care about these leads.
“I go the other way. If you are good at what you do, then you should never have time to chase leads.”
Other topics we covered on the show:
- It is important that people enjoy working on whatever part of the business is at hand. There is always a way for people to grow business in a fun and enjoyable manner. [00:17:39]
- We also touched on outsourcing and when to hire people to help you out. [00:22:08]
- Then, we talked about how hiring people is in line with The Paradox of the Successful Agent. Hiring people is simply a path among many and becoming good at hiring people takes time to master. [00:25:00]
- Next, Costas dived into second-nature skills and how we often forget that sometimes, it might take time for other people to reach the same level of mastery regarding our innate skill set. [00:26:08]
- After touching on different strategies to generate more business and avoid the roller coaster of revenue, we move on to specific solutions and what it looks like to have follow ups done by Agent Legend. [00:32:48]
- What is the one element that makes follow up effective? Consistency. We share examples to illustrate the power of delivering consistent messaging in your follow ups. [00:38:34]
- And then, we discussed the different platforms of conducting follow ups such as email, voice calls, and SMS. We weigh the pros and cons of each one. [00:42:57]
- Next, Costas detailed the different lead sources integrated with Agent Legend. [00:51:25]
- We also talked about a campaign that we, at Real Estate Growth Hackers, set up for Agent Legend. Go check it out at RealEstateGrowthHAckers.com/Go/AgentLegend, play with it, run some leads through it, and see what kind of response rates you get.
Ready to Get Started with Agent Legend or Still Have Some Questions?
Support The Real Estate Growth Hackers Show and tell them we sent you by using this link to check out Agent Legend & connect with Costas Peppas: RealEstateGrowthHackers.com/go/AgentLegend/
Connect with Costas Peppas:
LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn.com/in/costas-peppas
Costas Peppas 0:00
What a wild time right with a pandemic that happened last year and everything that’s done to the market. Here’s what I know, here’s what we can all count on. The value of a lead is going up. So your leads are like gold. And unless you want to be subject to the revenue rollercoaster, where times are great when they’re great; and slow when they’re slow. You need to get to a point where you can have a predictable business that is not dependent on whether you happen to have leads right now or not.
You’re listening to the Real Estate Growth Hackers Show.
Zach Hammer 0:39
Welcome to the Real Estate Growth Hackers Show. I’m Zach Hammer. With me today I got Costas Peppas, with Agent Legend. I’m excited to have them Costas and I have gone back now for a bit. We’ve become good friends. I’m excited to have him on this show. He’s going to be talking to us about a topic. We’ll introduce it a little bit more in a second. But it’s “The Paradox of the Successful Agent”. There are problems that successful agents run into that are counterintuitive at times. Costas has some really great ideas about how he set up his company to help agents deal with that problem so that they can grow a successful business. And they could scale it effectively without having to scale up a bunch of their time, which is really cool. And really powerful. But I’m excited to have him here. Costas, go ahead and say hi, and tell us a little bit about yourself, and the history of Agent Legend.
Costas Peppas 1:32
Oh, thank you. Well, thanks for having me, Zack. It goes back to I think the early 2000s for me. We didn’t have this company. But I had a friend of mine who was in the mortgage business. And it’s funny because here I am now in the real estate technology space, we have thousands of real estate agents, loan officers, brokers, back then I didn’t know anything, I didn’t know that I would be in this market. But I did have a really close friend who was a mortgage broker. And he had found his calling as a loan officer. And it was the first job I remember meeting the friends of my friend. So this is a good friend of mine and my co-founder, actually, it was the three of us. And I met his friend for the first time. And they said this is the first time we’ve seen Brett stick with a job for more than one year. So these are friends that have known him all his life. So mortgage, it just all clicked it was his calling. And he was making tons of money. He was fantastic with people, he was really passionate about it. And then right around 2006 things that’s where the bubble was getting really, really big and all the lending stuff. And the real estate, bubble crash. And then he saw some writing on the wall, we were in a men’s group together. And I remember him saying that he made a promise to God, saying that, if God would just send him more leads, he would never let one lead slip through the cracks. Like because he was feeling desperate. He was always so busy and he really meant it. He brought this up as a really serious commitment. And so I mean, let me ask you, Zack, and anybody who’s listening who was here at that time, I do know that he meant it because I knew my friends. But what do you think happened a month later when I followed up with him and I asked him if he was able to keep his commitment that he had made. You think?
Zach Hammer 3:41
Well, shoot, man, I’ll tell you what, if he was readily able to generate leads and got those leads coming in? I would bet it despite his best intentions, he probably wasn’t able to keep up with that commitment. That’s hard, especially depending on how many leads you generate. If you only got one lead, then yeah, maybe. But if you got 10, 20, 30 leads that’s a hard task.
Costas Peppas 4:09
Right. And it’s tough. And this is where I think the system is rigged. By the way, this was my inspiration point, it was the personal moment for me, where I cared about this market because I had a really close friend of mine who was suffering a lot with it. And then you know, I’ll get back to this part in a moment. But you’d asked me, I have been an entrepreneur, internet marketer, software developer, my background is computer science. I had been involved in various enterprises for a good 10 years before I started Agent Legend. And then once we started this company, it was 2016. And we’ve just been added ever since. So here we are now, five years later. And we’re all in on this space and working with wonderful agents, loan officers, brokers who are just committed to their business. But I wanted to say if that’s okay, caring about my buddy in this situation is what made me realize that, when he was desperate, he was serious. But here’s what I noticed. And it took me years to really, really realize this. And this is where I believe the system is rigged. It’s because once you reach a measure of success at your business when you get good at it, it is natural for you to have a lot of opportunities, and you can’t prioritize every opportunity equally. So my realization is this, that if my buddy, even back then was a good mortgage broker, he should not have had the time to chase leads down, because if you’re talking to one referral that was a past client or a friend of a friend, who you’re looking to list their property, and hopefully they’re gonna close, and you get interrupted with a cold phone call, it doesn’t make sense, you cannot justify hanging up on that person to follow up with the lead, even if the lead cost you 100 bucks, you just can’t let go of the bird in the hand for one of us.
Zach Hammer 6:18
Costas Peppas 6:21
So anyway, that’s the roundabout way of how we started and what leads me to, what I call The Paradox of the Successful Agents. And we can go into that more if you’d like.
Zach Hammer 6:34
Perfect. So there’s a couple of points that stand out to me, just about what you’ve already mentioned. For anybody listening, I don’t know where you are in your real estate business. If you are struggling to generate leads, then you may not even yet quite understand the next problem that you’re going to run into. But I want to assure you, as you’re listening to this, fixing the lead flow problem ends up being fairly simple. Like, it may not feel like it right now. But after you’ve been in this for a bit like my company, Real Estate Growth Hackers, we help teach people how to generate leads. And Costas, I’m sure you work with a number of different companies that are great at generating leads and really making that lead problem just sort of going away. Where you end up with this next problem, which is exactly part of what we’re going to be talking about, where you can generate as many leads as you want, but you hit a bottleneck of actually being able to effectively process them and follow up with them. Because you’re spending money on these leads, you need to be able to process them in order to get the ROI the opportunity is there. But unless they can effectively be followed up with the process and done so at a high level, then you just end up throwing your money away. And so part of what I love is that you mentioned that your background is in internet marketing and whatnot, too. For a bit, you’ve been an entrepreneur. I think the funniest thing is kind of the way that the world conspires for things because you and I have connected on this. But for everybody listening, I actually encountered you when you were still more in that world. Like, I remember going through some of your courses and learning about your take on reaching a local market and marketing agencies and stuff like that. I very specifically remember you from that world, because you’ve got a unique name, it stands out. There are many people that you encounter this world, they’ve passed this Peppas. So I recognize you and it’s cool that it came around it. And you and I, in some ways have followed a similar path. So my background, I was in that same world. That’s how I found you through that world. I ended up taking a job as a marketing director for the real estate team and then turning that into Real Estate Growth Hackers today. And you kind of encountered a similar thing, It’s like you had been serving kind of the general internet marketing agency world, but you found a problem specifically in the real estate world. Not just arbitrarily but directly because of a friend of yours. And that’s kind of what brought it together. I just think that’s kind of a cool thing, how we sort of connected before and then reconnected and in this way now, and especially, kind of what brings people into the real estate industry of it is it’s very often like most people in real estate kind of back into the industry. Like, there aren’t many people who as little kids are thinking, I want to be a real estate agent when they grow up. So we both kind of backed into this. I do love that, you weren’t just looking at this, like I see some companies look at this, where it’s like, hey, here’s the real estate market, they get fat checks. I’m gonna take a percentage of that and come in and make a bunch of money. You’re like, no, I got a problem that my friend is dealing with and I got to solve and that’s the impetus of where Agent Legend came from. So that’s really cool. Let’s dive into that, let’s dive into what you learned in terms of helping your friend and building out agent legend. And this concept of The Paradox of the Successful Agent. Let’s go back to the beginning of that story, your friend, who made a commitment said I’m gonna follow up with those leads, God if you send me a lead, I’m gonna make sure they get effectively processed. What happened after that point? And then what did you do to help deal with it?
Costas Peppas 10:34
Yeah, I realize I set all these together. But my buddy making that promise, and me starting this company was like, 10 years later, it’s only looking back that I realized that was like the first seed, let’s call it, or inspiration for what would become Agent Legend. My friend was the first person who was in that position that I felt like, I really want to help people like this. And so to bridge the gap. It’s not just real estate and mortgage officers that are in this place. It’s actually this is the plight of every entrepreneur, every marketer, in any and every industry, the salesperson’s biggest problem is how do I leverage my time in order to make business happen? And so, in my, let’s say, 10 years in between, that was like my purpose, my obsession, when you met me, Zack, or when you and I indirectly met each other when we were both in the marketing world. The one thing I was laser-focused on, it’s, okay, these are the problems that at that time, marketing agencies are facing, why they’re not able to scale their business, get more customers. And it was the same thing, it was the same parallel that real estate agents and loan officers face and sales people in every area. And that is, I hate cold calling. And my time and energy and skill set are way too valuable to spend on 99% of these leads. But at the same time, if I don’t spend money generating those leads, I can’t grow my business. And so just to bring it home to this world. I think everybody that starts out any entrepreneur, any agent, any loan officer, they know what it’s like, to just die to this thing. They’ve got a family, they have a dream, they have a vision. Yeah, you’ve got a mentor, you might have joined as part of a team or a brokerage. And you get trained, so you’ve got training and coaching, but you’ve still got to execute. Like, nobody could do your push-ups for you, you’ve got to learn how to not be awkward about starting conversations and meet friends of your friends and let your family and friends know in a classy way that you are now a Real Estate Broker and a Real Estate agent or a loan officer and then you volunteer, you get known in the community, you might join a BMI, this is anybody that is even listening to you right now, that has just been through all this stuff. And then they reach a level where they have enough stability in their business and they’re making money, that it’s time to invest in ways to generate more money without spending your time, cuz you can’t network to infinity, you can’t have a sphere of influence to infinity, you could have a great well paying job which requires you to network for 12 hours a day and for a lot of people in the business they’re very happy to have a job doing nothing but being on call all the time showing going to parties hosting events. I mean, that’s great. Right? But you will hit the ceiling.
Zach Hammer 14:06
Yeah. And part of it is just personality too, there are some people who are more naturally disposed to the networking like there are a lot of agents who are that way, and yes, those people will hit a ceiling where they can’t scale but there are some people like shoot I’ve met some people like that’s not their personality, their personality isn’t the networking and glad handing in order to get their business. The way that they think is they think systematic they think like just give me the dominoes to knock down and I’ll knock them down, but kind of gathering it all together could be a difficulty. But either way, they end up running into the same issue where as long as it’s based on your time. You’re going to hit a ceiling where you can’t do more, without sacrificing some of the other important components, and further like you’ve talked about, depending on what’s going on, it’s not even always the best use of your time, right? Like, depending on how you do it and depending on who you’re talking to, it just may not be a good dollar productive thing compared to where you’re really needed. So anyway, but personalities, I think make a massive difference on really even where you go period to start.
Costas Peppas 15:31
Yeah. And what you had mentioned, if you’re only generating leads when you have the time, then you’re going to ride the revenue rollercoaster, you’re not going to be able to control your ups and downs. And so I think ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with networking, it’s just, you can only trade so much time and energy for that ceiling. And when you want to break past that, you have to be able to do more. And then to take it back to the paradox, when you are successful enough, where you can trade your dollars for leads, is when you do not have the time to chase those leads the way you did when you could not afford it. So it’s like, if you have the time to chase the leads, you usually don’t have the money to generate them. And if you have the money to generate them, you don’t have the time to follow up with them. And I think this is where the disconnect is made. And this is my opinion. I think there’s a lot of people in this industry who make a living, making people feel bad, that they’re not doing enough, making people feel like, I must not care about these leads. And I actually go the other way. If you are good at what you do, then you should never have time to chase leads. And the same thing about your agents. Like, if you have a team, I see this a lot from brokers and teams. They’ll get so busy. And then they’ll grow a team under them. And then they’ll be so frustrated that I’m giving all these leads to my team members. And they’re not following up with these leads. Well, here’s what I say. The same reason that the team leader shouldn’t have the time to follow up with these leads a human who is even if it’s a buyer’s agent unless they’re just a very junior agent that you’re just grooming for the first time in coaching, they should not have time to chase cold leads, either. So it’s a vicious cycle.
Zach Hammer 17:39
Yeah, exactly. And further, I mean, it’s the kind of thing, like, there’s a reason why there have been so many attempts at solving this. And I think we might be pushing it to the next portion of this discussion. But like, there’s all sorts of things that people try with us. Like, there’s potentially the strategy of maybe paying for essentially front-end qualifying everybody, where it’s like you try and get really good at your marketing strategy, where the only leads that even come in, maybe they’re incredibly qualified. So when you pick up the phone, your chances are good, but honestly, when you do that, you end up leaving opportunities on the table. Because not everybody will make it through those processes, you might optimize your time a bit more, but you are going to leave opportunities on the table that don’t go through and do the extra step or whatnot, it’s very useful to be able to go to people, to do prospecting actions that, like you’re taking it on yourself to go and communicate. So it’s still an important element if you really want to maximize your ROI on leads generated to be able to run that balance of generating leads that are maybe higher in the funnel, versus leads that are just down to the bottom of the funnel just ready to pop. Like you kind of need to be able to work that whole process to get the best return. So there’s that concept. Do you want to talk about that at all, just the idea that really it is, it’s an important thing to be able to have those activities at every end, you can’t fix it 100% just by optimizing for better leads or whatnot. Does that make sense?
Costas Peppas 19:24
Yeah, man. I mean, I think you put it very, very well. The only observation that I have is that I think as entrepreneurs, it’s really important that you enjoy the pieces of your business that you’re doing. And at this point, at Agent Legend we’ve worked with thousands of various top brokerages teams and tons of individuals all across different markets and countries and I will tell you that different people are doing different things and I always ask myself why? And I really think there’s just so much room to do what you’re strong at, and what you enjoy. And what’s important to me is that there’s no one way to get leads and convert the leads, and even using the same tool. So, I find that encouraging, there’s a way for everybody to grow their business in a way that’s fun for them, and where they enjoy it, and they’re engaged. And somebody else might look at it that way and get totally drained by it. But I think that’s important.
Zach Hammer 20:34
Yeah, and so it’s interesting because you hear this all the time, like, if the team leader is complaining that the agents aren’t following up with the leads, the agents are complaining that the leads are weak, that ends up being the other side of it, basically, nobody wants to probably to be themselves, ever. And so it’s always, let’s blame the leads, and really, it isn’t really anybody else’s fault. That’s your point, right? There is a part of the process where sorting and sifting of leads has to happen, there has to be some way to do it, you’re either gonna pay to do it with more expensive marketing that kind of tries to do it for you on the front end with more complex funnels and that kind of thing. Or maybe you’re gonna pay to have a human do it, right. Like you essentially put the burden on to somebody like an ISA, where you train them up. And really, their job is just to call through leads for you. And burgdoggen, to say, who’s warm, who’s gonna pick up the phone, who’s actually somewhat qualified to have the next conversation? And that’s a doable model, people do it. But I’ll tell you what, it’s expensive, it costs a fair bit of money to get somebody who’s trained up and further. I know, you talk about this, too. They’re usually not as good as you are. Right?
Costas Peppas 22:07
Yeah, again, I don’t care what industry anybody’s in, when you start hiring people because you don’t have the time to do something, you’ll notice real quick that they don’t act the way you do, they don’t talk the way you do, they don’t think on their feet the way that you do. And that can be really difficult to listen to somebody who you’re paying to talk to your leads that way. And there are strategies that work. And at the end of the day, the question is, what is it that you should be outsourcing and getting help out and hiring people? And what should you be doing yourself? And I think 80/20, the most successful agents that we work with, realize that the skill they cannot outsource is closing. And I mean, that literally like bringing somebody to a closing, right? Like anything, anybody else can do transaction, coordination, logistics, anything, but taking somebody and closing them, if you could only be doing one thing, then that’s what the thing you should be doing. And so, that’s what we find most of our members to prioritize.
Zach Hammer 23:23
Yeah, and the other side of it, too, like an ISA model can work. The downside to it is like, you can train people up to be successful at following up, yes, people do it, I know people who do it, the one thing that they can’t do is they can’t do it near instantaneously. It always takes time to train somebody up and further to do so you have to learn a completely different skill set, right? Because you don’t just have the skill set of being the person who can close on the phone and who can qualify on the phone. It’s not just that you as the agent have to develop a couple of skill sets, you have to develop a skill set of hiring, of knowing who are the right people to bring on. And you have to develop a skill set of training, you have to know how to get what you know, into somebody else’s head. And I’ll tell you what, there’s a phrase one of the examples actually, if you’re familiar with the show The Office, Michael Scott, he’s the manager of Dunder Mifflin, right? Especially in the corporate world, there’s a saying that people rise to the level of their incompetence. And the basic idea is, Michael Scott, he was a brilliant salesman, right? So it’s like, hey, you’re a brilliant salesman. Now we’re gonna put you in management, where you don’t know anything about managing. But you were a brilliant sales salesman. So it’s kind of a similar thing. You may be an expert closer on the phone, but that’s a completely different skill than training somebody else to be an expert closer to be the person who can qualify for you that is a completely different skill set. And we’ll talk about this, but part of what’s cool about what you figured out with Agent Legend is that you have set it up so that you don’t have to make the system work and to get your time back and to still be able to process leads effectively. You don’t have to train somebody else, you just implement the system and have it run for you. That is you, that is the system that you already know to do. You already know how to close, you just get that running for you. And so on this on this line of The Paradox of the Successful Agent. Hiring could be a path, just know, it’s gonna take time, and you’re gonna have to learn a new skill set, you’re gonna have to learn that skill set of hiring and training. And it’s not a short learning curve, you and I, we do good training and you’re further down on the hiring, especially than I am. And you let me know, is it a quick and easy thing to learn how to do effectively?
Costas Peppas 26:08
Yeah, it’s funny, I don’t know, if it’s like Michael Jordan, he loves basketball so much. He was obsessed with it. He thought about it, he practiced all the time, until it was second nature. But then when he became a coach, I don’t know how easy it was to coach his team members. Because I don’t know what he takes for granted. Right? So same thing with everybody listening, when you spend the time that we have spent and the time that anybody on this call has spent, honing their craft, you take for granted with second nature, and then you notice all these things. It’s like, why do I have to explain this, again, I just talked to you about it, and then suddenly you find out, it’s gonna take this person six months, to even understand what you meant by this thing, and they’re gonna annoy you at it every time. Obviously, I don’t want to knock leadership and management, because there are fields in this and coaching programs and people who are amazing at it, but I think what’s important is leverage. Like, how do you keep winning, while you build this big machine that can run without you? And so what you had mentioned Zack, for instance, like one concrete example is here, we are talking about, how difficult it is to hire people to help you. And then you had mentioned, our platform, how that pushes that off, or makes it, so you don’t have to do that. So this was a good marriage of the two. So I feel like this ends up being the best of both worlds. Because our platform, basically, one way for me to put it is that it clones you the way you follow up, it’s your voice, it’s your personality. So if none of it seems automated, so basically, it’s you following up on your best day with your leads, if you had the time to do that. And then, when somebody is motivated, the one out of 20 leads, let’s say that are ready to do something now. And they call you, they’re responding to you. We have found that you can hire an ISA even an overseas ISA, who takes those calls and answers your phone as your assistant. But it’s the benefit of both worlds to where the lead is responding to you who have been following up with them. And then your assistant is answering the phone as your assistant oh, yeah, no, he’s forwarding his calls to me or she’s forwarding the calls to me. So you get the benefit of you doing the follow-up, and somebody else taking the call, and it just cuts off that big chasm of having to hire somebody and manage them to cold call, like, that’s just so much harder.
Zach Hammer 29:04
Right. And I think you’re exactly right. I’m with you, you mentioned all the different ways to build a business and generate leads, there’s just an infinite number of ways. And similarly, the reality is that there are people who come into this with different skill sets. Like, there are people who maybe they’re passionate about training, they just love to bring that person up, alongside them, and they want to be able to do that. And that’s part of what you’re passionate about. So it’s not just about the success of the business. It’s part of who you are as a person. There’s value in running things like that. Just like you said, there isn’t an exact right way to do this. Like there isn’t an exact right way to have all the follow-up happen, whether you’re bringing an ISA’s or whether you’re leveraging technology. What I would say is that there’s always the data that’s in front of you, the scenario that’s in front of you the combination of your skillset, your abilities, your assets, and what you know to do with them, and just making the best decision that’s in front of you. So I’m with you, you mentioned, everybody makes everybody feel guilty about, whether or not they’re following up their leads. On my end, I feel like it ends up being the same thing with the next software tool or strategy. Basically, I tell people is like, hey, if somebody is telling you this thing’s dead, that just means they’re about to sell you the next thing that they’re saying is a lie. That’s all that it means. The reality is, all this stuff still works and can work. It’s about adapting and figuring out what works best for you. And what I love about what you figured out and what you guys bring to the table with Agent Legend Is that, for the people that may still need to work on their skill set of hiring, and training I don’t exactly want to call it training wheels, because it’s more than that. But for the sake of an imperfect metaphor, it can be like that in a way. You essentially buy yourself the time to learn how to train by making one less thing has to be the thing that you need to train, you can focus on training other things, you can focus on hiring for other skill sets, and buy yourself some more time. And in the future, you might decide that aspects of this you want to have a person do too, this changes and adapts over time. But I love that, though, of how you describe this, that what Agent Legend lets you do though, is it lets you be set up as where your follow up is happening on your best day. Because let’s be honest, our best days are like, I don’t even know what the number is, maybe once a quarter, otherwise, it’s all downhill from there. Like every other day is, you’ve got the kids screaming in the background, maybe you’re tired, like, last night I was just telling you, I stayed up till 2 am working on the RV that we’re trying to get back into because we live full time on the road. So, like, I’m a little bit tired today, maybe my follow up not gonna be as good as it would normally be. And that’s life, it’s not always perfect. So having a system set up as a backstop so that it’s working at 100%, even if you are only operating at 60% is such a powerful way, to make sure that this can run consistently that you’re not dealing with the roller coaster of revenue as you’re trying to make sure that your leads are processed.
Costas Peppas 32:45
Very well put.
Zach Hammer 32:47
Good call. So okay, we’ve talked about a few things. So The Paradox of the Successful Agent is the idea that by the time you have the money to pay for the leads, you don’t have the time to work those leads, when you have the time to work the leads, you don’t have the money to generate the leads. So we’ve covered that idea. We talked through a few of the elements here of just putting it out there for people, you can fix the lead generation problem. There’s a combination of free information paid information, that you could go out and learn how to generate leads. We’re not going to be talking about exactly how to do that. We’ve actually partnered a few times to talk about ways to generate leads, I know you have some other ways that, I know, within your company, you’ve talked about strategies to generate leads. So this is the thing that people can learn. The next thing that they’re going to run into is actually following up with those leads effectively. And that’s where Agent Legend comes in and comes into play. So let’s dive into exactly how that works. I guess if somebody is going to take away something from this so far, it’s figuring out the way that you can make sure to leverage your time, look for those areas to leverage your time to be able to do this effectively. So let’s talk about Agent Legend’s specific solution to this problem of how do they do that? What does it look like to have follow-up happen in Agent Legend?
Costas Peppas 34:27
Yeah, I told you I wasn’t in the real estate industry as uncommon as that is. So I learned about this industry only by when our company started accepting real estate customers and then focusing clearly on it. So I remember speaking with a well-known real estate agent, and they were asking me, what is it that I should say, in my follow-ups? And then I said, well, what would you say if this lead called you on on the phone, or no, I’m sorry if you got a lead from Zillow, what would you say if you call them back? And then they said, well, I’d say blah, blah, blah. And then I said, okay, well, so let’s start there. And honestly, the follow-up that works is the one that you do. I remember when we first came out in 2016 when agent legend first came to market, there was one popular method was the 21 days of pain. Have you heard this before? And it was a Keller Williams person who popularized this, and it was extremely aggressive. And so I remember.
Zach Hammer 35:45
Yeah. So originally, it’s Ben Kinney is who came out with it. And it’s originally, the 10 days of pain is what he did. But yes, continue.
Costas Peppas 35:55
I think I just called it 21. But you’re right, I’m remembering 10 now. So it was the 10 days of pain. And we had people signing up wanting to do the 10 days of pain, and other people signing up, who are like, oh, this is gonna make me throw up? Do I have to do it this way? And the beauty of it is, it all works, because the people who do the 10 days of pain are the aggressive buy or die, hey, you reached out to me on Zillow, I’m not annoying you, I’m just trying to help you versus the more relational nurturing type. And so what ended up happening is, especially over the years, and over the course of thousands, and thousands probably millions of leads at this point through thousands, and thousands, of agents and loan officers, we got different messaging through our system that works. And right now they’re all in our library. So you can find aggressive messaging that matches your personality, you can find soft nurturing that matches a different type of personality. But at the end of the day, they’re just referenced because when you say what works the best, it’s whatever you have learned works well for you. And everybody knows, it’s taking that and putting that into your Agent Legend campaign. And maybe I should take a step back and just explain that the way Agent Legend does follow up is the same way you would if you actually had the time. So we started using Zillow as an example, if you happen to be advertising on Zillow, you pay them 75 bucks for this lead in your zip code, they send you a lead. What would you do if you had to follow up with that lead yourself? You would call them on the phone, you would send them an email, if you have their email, you’d leave them a voicemail if they didn’t pick up right? And you send them a text message, and then if they didn’t call you back or didn’t respond, you do some form of those things until they got back to you. Some people are more aggressive, and some people are not as aggressive. But I mean, you would use all the mediums. That’s what any good salesperson does. And what you’ll find is, this person texted me back. But I left them a voicemail, I didn’t even text them. Or you’ll have people that you texted, but they’ll email you back. So it’s interesting. It’s basically, any good salesperson would use all the channels available so that the lead can call or text or email back, however they’re most comfortable with. But that’s the point you want to give them the option. And the sky’s the limit for the combination of those things.
Zach Hammer 38:34
Awesome. And so a couple of points here. One, just to add credence to what you’re saying about the various forms of follow-up and whatnot. It was probably a year or two ago now. But I was listening to a podcast where Ben Kinney was on, I think it was actually a recording of him speaking on stage. But even he, when he was talking about the 10 days of pain, part of what he described as he said, really the thing that matters here is that we just did it consistently. He even basically says, I don’t care if you do 30 days of pain, I don’t care if you do five days of pain. I don’t care if you do 21 and a half days of sunshine and rainbows as long as you are doing something consistently. Like that’s the thing that makes the difference. And so, just like you’re saying it’s not the aggressive follow-up specifically, necessarily. It’s not the soft touchy-feely follow-up necessarily either, right? It’s doing it consistently and so having some sort of tool that helps you to be consistent, to perform at that high level, even when you aren’t feeling like it. And even when you’re busy is important. No matter what you do, Agent Legend makes it really easy. But doing that period is what people need to do. And the other point about it’s not aggressive it’s not soft. This is one of the things that I found, you and I are very familiar with the webinar space Right? So I’ll use this as an example. Similarly, there are a lot of different ways to do a webinar and there are a lot of different people who have their training about how to do a webinar. There’s a Jason Flatley has a way to do it. There’s an Amy Porterfield has a way to do it. There’s a Lewis Howes has a way to do it. There’s Russell Brunson, he’s got a way to do it. And they’re all a little bit different. They all share a lot of similarities, but they’re all a little bit different. And the reality is, it may be that none of them are exactly what you would need to do delivering a webinar. Like you take it and you adapt it to be you and to feel confident in what you’re doing. Because otherwise, whether it’s your follow up, or whether it’s a webinar, or whether it’s your sales presentation, or whatever it is if you aren’t true to who you are, and what you can feel confident in, what ends up happening is you self sabotage. So if you’re gonna get on the phone, and try and deliver the script that’s like, super-aggressive, and you’re not that personality. It’s gonna sound like you’re not that personality, it’s gonna sound weird and off, and it doesn’t fit. But when you say the thing that’s like, no, this is how I speak, this is how I would want to be addressed. This is how I want to address people. When you say that you say it confidently, you could say it with clarity, you could say it’s true to who you are authentically. And that is the thing that ends up making more of the difference. It’s doing it consistently. And it’s just having confidence in whatever you’re saying, that makes a difference, whether it’s the aggressive thing, or whether it’s the softer thing, as long as you’re confident. That’s the thing that makes the difference. So what’s cool about Agent Legend is that it allows you to adapt and really deliver that consistency, deliver it in a message that you can be confident with. And then you touched on this, but you have that multimedia follow-up approach, which allows other people to also be authentic to themselves. Are they the kind of person that wants to pick up the phone and call you? Well, they have the opportunity to do that, they have a trigger that might remind them to do that with getting a voicemail. Are they the kind of person that wants to text, right? Like, shoot, that’s me, I’m barely gonna respond to email, I’m almost never gonna pick up the phone just to call somebody, especially after like a cold interaction. But man I’ll text back like crazy, or maybe they’re the kind of person that lives in their email, they need to follow up by email. So you send them an email, that’s an easier way to trigger them to respond back to you. But the reality is, you don’t know that about somebody until you get that message out there. So having all of those things go out, consistently, in the right form of messaging for you, is the thing that ultimately makes follow-up work, right?
Costas Peppas 42:57
Yeah, very well put. And you can compound those things. Stop me if you’d rather I go on to something else. But I think you inspire this in me. Like, we get a lot of members that will sign up and then say, well, I just want to use text messaging, because most people respond by text. And while that’s true, most people will respond by text, what we found is, if you send a voicemail, if someone hears your voice first, then you’ll get more responses to the text message than if you only sent them a text message first. And then by that same token, this is all conjecture, right? Why is that? Because on one hand, well, who cares? We just know it works, right? But on the other hand, why is that? It makes sense because anybody can send a text message and this random lead that opted in, doesn’t know who you are. But if you leave a voicemail first and in our case, it’s a ringless voicemail so this is important to the lead, there’s no chance they can answer the phone and realize that it’s a recording of your voice, right? They think it’s actually you and it is actually you. It’s the same message you would leave if you were actually calling them, so they hear your voice, and then of course we know, I mean, you even just to leave a voicemail, you have to convey a sense of trust and responsibility and positivity or lack thereof. There are unspoken things that people read into including the way you look right? So the same thing that can be said about the video. So if someone can hear your voice or someone can see you, even if they end up just sending you a text message which they would have done anyway. A lot more people will send you that text message who wouldn’t otherwise and one example is I just pulled this up now it’s my phone. I don’t know if you do this Zack but this is me holding my two-year-old son and this is a family thread that we have, my parents, my children’s grandparents, my sister, we all live far apart from each other. So we have this family thread, where we send little videos of our kids and our family and stuff. And that’s how we keep up with each other.
Costas Peppas 45:21
So when I send, when I send my family a video, the video is in line, they play it right on their phone, they don’t think for a second that this is like an automated thing that my phone sends. And that’s how our system does too with videos. Our members will take a video of themselves on the phone. And then Agent Legend as part of the follow-up will send that video in a text message the same way that it shows up in line with your family. The same way it does, when you text a video to your friend, it’s right there. And it’s that same video that lead is gonna get that they think you just recorded from them. So it’s really a big part of consistency is automation. But it has to be done in a way where the other side does not know that it’s automated. So it’s quick cuz I mean, if we all get a text message that we know was automated, you’ll delete it, you can’t get rid of it fast enough.
Zach Hammer 46:28
Yeah, so having that feeling, where it feels real, feels consistent, feels authentic. And by the way, anybody listening, one of the incredibly valuable things about what Costas just mentioned is understanding like, yeah, sending a video text message, it makes a massive difference. like I can intuitively understand how big of a difference that’s going to make on your follow-up. And so what’s cool about Agent Legend is that it does it in a way where it looks and feels the same as if you did it with your phone personally. Because in a lot of systems, you could set up a text message to go out like a link to a YouTube video or something. And it may or may not look like you sent it personally. But this you could set up to actually have to go out automatically. So on that same note and just to give people a little bit more perspective about why using things like video why sending both the voicemail drop and the text message and the email why those things matter. One of the examples that I’ve heard to describe this is kind of that, how and when you consider somebody a friend, is really a question of how many places do you see and hang out with them in? Okay, as for instance and that number is generally considered to be three. So let me walk you through a scenario. Say you and I work together, we work in the same office, we’re not friends yet. We’re coworkers, I’ve worked with a lot of people. And I may like them, and they may be great. But they’re not somebody I really consider a friend yet. They’re just a co-worker. Now say like me and a co-worker, we start going out to lunch consistently, right? Like we hang out, we go out to lunch. It’s like, Oh, hey, like, we just bumped up our level of intimacy. Now. They’re a co-worker that I go to lunch with. Right? Like, they’re starting to get more into this intimate level. But it’s like, they’re not really a friend until they’re the person that you’re like, it’s Saturday, you’re off of work, you’re looking to throw some burgers on the grill and maybe go swimming at the pool or whatnot. And you’re like, who do I want to come and hang out with me? You know what, that guy that I’ve been hanging out with going to lunch, that we’ve been working with. That’s who I want so you call them up, you invite them over to your house, they come and swim, they throw the burgers on the grill, now they’re a friend. And as soon as that happened, that’s the third place, that’s when they start to feel like a friend. And so similarly, it’s not exactly a one-for-one thing, but the different places that you connect with somebody is a way that you can kind of hack rapport. Where it’s like if you send them an email, you send them a text message and you send them a voicemail, and they all feel authentic. It’s not exactly the same as like forcing a friendship but it’s a similar idea where they’ve seen you in different places you feel more real, you feel more fleshed out. And so the chances of them actually engaging with you and connecting with you are higher, similar to how connecting with a person in three different places, it helps you to actually describe them as a friend. So that idea I mean, that makes sense. Whether you’re talking about your lead follow-up or your marketing strategies in general, like somebody sees you on Facebook. They see in their email and they get direct mail from you, that campaign is gonna work better than just calling them on the phone. They’re gonna have more of an overall perspective with you. And so integrating those ideas in your follow-up is super important. And it’s awesome that Agent Legend makes that so simple. So, so yeah, I love that concept. So that’s Agent Legend, and what you do, so when somebody gets signed up, there’s a number of different ways that they can get in and get started, so they get signed up, they have the ability to just get up and running with campaigns that you guys already have built out. And actually, lo and behold, there are some real estate growth hackers campaigns in there already as well. So if you’re listening to this, and you like me and my style, we’ve got some campaigns that we’ve actually built out on your behalf in Agent Legend as well. So you can get in and get access to those. But further, people can get in and can make it their own, they can start with something that’s already working or they could start from scratch if they really wanted to, and get their own follow up, built right into the system and they’re going to be able to do automated voicemail drops, they’re gonna be able to do automated text messages which can include video as well correct?
Costas Peppas 51:14
Zach Hammer 51:16
Yep. And then and then they can also do, did I say email already? And also do email and emails if they wanted to can include video correct? I might be wrong on that.
Costas Peppas 51:25
Yes, we actually have an integration with a platform called BombBomb. I know you know them because you’ve done work with them. So yeah, we integrate with Bomb Bomb with that.
Zach Hammer 51:36
Cool, and then you guys integrate with a ton of different lead sources out of the gate already. Zillow, Realtor, Trulia, all of the places that you likely are already generating leads from you guys have an easy-to-use integration that makes it easy to get those leads into Agent Legend. And then further, anything that isn’t already set up. You guys have an integration with Zapier, correct?
Costas Peppas 52:07
Yes, that’s right.
Zach Hammer 52:10
Perfect. So if you’re doing something different or not in the norm of what everybody else is doing with real estate lead generation, you could still get those in there easily and automatically. That’s super powerful. Is there anything that I’m missing in terms of key features or key ideas that people should be aware of for the Agent Legend platform itself?
Costas Peppas 52:34
You know, I was just reminded of your Real Estate Growth Hackers templates. Did we include the one that you ran? And I don’t want to misquote it, but you generated over 1000 leads in a short amount of time. And you closed a bunch of them Right? Is that the campaign that we had?
Zach Hammer 52:59
We have a couple of campaigns in there. We have what I have developed over the years working with agents to generate buyer leads, so we have a buyer-style follow-up campaign, set up in Agent Legend. And the way that I like to describe it, you and I did a training on this, that people will be able to get access to, I believe when they sign up. But we did a training on this where we actually talked through, I forget how many emails it is at this point. I feel like it’s 14 or 15 emails, maybe more. And not just emails but styles of follow-up, where it’s designed to be unique offers that people can put out as essentially different kinds of bait, that they’re dangling in front of somebody to try and get a response. And what we found is that it works really well you can tie your follow-up to a specific message. And that message can be adapted to email, phone, text message, but it gives you a reasonable excuse to keep following up with somebody where it feels natural. We call it angles of approach. So it gives you multiple angles of approach to be able to essentially have a reason to say hey, here’s why I’m reaching out to you again. Because otherwise, it starts to feel really weird if you just call it up and say like, hey, you’re ready to talk yet?
Costas Peppas 54:32
Or the old just checking in, just checking in, just checking, that’s the other one.
Zach Hammer 54:43
Exactly, It works the first time, it might even work the second time after a bit it just starts to feel old and the jig is up everybody knows what’s going on. So anyway, we put together a campaign for that and yeah, we’ve processed thousands of leads through it, we get a really solid response rate. I forget off the top of my head exactly what it looks like. But the key is that it’s something that you get up and running, it works. We know it works. But at the same time, just like you already mentioned, maybe it’s the right fit for you. And maybe it’s not, we know what works, but your personality makes a big difference. And so having a tool where you can adapt it, you could take from what we know works and say how do I make this my own? That’s the key and that’s what’s important. That’s part of what’s easy with Agent Legend. We got an opportunity for that follow-up. If people want to get access. We set up a direct link for them to get access to that bonus, it’s RealEstateGrowthHackers.com slash go slash AgentLegend, which’ll be in the show notes. That, again, is RealEstateGrowthHackers.com slash go slash AgentLegend. And you’ll be able to go there and sign up. I know right now, I don’t know if you guys will be doing this forever. But right now you guys are running a free trial, right? So people can get in and signed up and try out the platform before fully committing correct?
Costas Peppas 56:12
Yes, yeah, we have a totally free 14-day trial. And then after that, we have also have 90 days, money-back guarantee. You can sign up and make sure that it’s great for you. And we were happy to do that.
Zach Hammer 56:31
Yeah, absolutely and I would encourage everybody listening, go out, get started, get signed up, try it out. If you want to get access to the campaign that we set up, you can again RealEstateGrowthHackers.com slash go slash Agent Legend, you can check them out there. And get in, play with it, run some leads through it, see what kind of response rate you get. Because the magic of what Agent Legend does isn’t necessarily that the software is doing anything that you couldn’t do on your own, it’s just stuff that you’re not going to do on your own because you don’t have the time. So it lets you do exactly what you know, you should be doing, without having to feel guilty about it, it tees up those conversations that you’re spending more of your time, talking to the people who are responsive, rather than just trying to find out who’s responsive having to put a lot of manual effort into just figuring out who’s actually going to talk to you. And it doesn’t matter what type of lead you’re generating. It could be generating internet leads, it could be Sign calls, it could be Zillow leads, Realtor leads, it could be direct mail, it could be you could set it up, if you wanted to, if you have like a dedicated number for your sphere, that just keeps in touch and follows up with them. The sky is the limit in terms of what you could do. What I would encourage everybody to do though, is just start with one thing. Figure out the one campaign that you want to get in get started with, get it so that it’s responding to your leads quickly so you can start to see that benefit. Start adding in some of those follow ups get that in place that you’re seeing the benefit of that long-term follow-up and then just get in and get started. But any final words that you’d like to leave with Costas?
Costas Peppas 58:20
You know, what’s on my mind, I’m looking at the homepage of Inman, I just happen to have that website open and I’m seeing their headlines. And one of their headlines that I’m looking at is new home sales hit a nine-month low in February, and it says February’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 725000 was down from January. So obviously, most markets right now, at the time of this recording have low inventory. And there’s no shortage of like, sensationalism in the news. And also, I mean, things are being disrupted, things are changing all the time, like Zillow, Redfin, Open Door, they launched AI buying in 2019. And then less than a year later towards the end of last year, Zillow is talking about hiring agents as employees and doing their own transactions. I was on another interview, a recorded interview, and this was a coach of loan officers. And he told me, if you’re a realtor and not making money in this market, then you’re just dumb. And I was like, oh my gosh, what a wild time with the pandemic that happened last year and everything that’s done to the market. Here’s what we can all count on. The value of a lead is going up, so your leads are gold. And unless you want to be subject to the revenue rollercoaster, times are great when they’re great and slow when they’re slow. You need to get to a point where you can have a predictable business that is not dependent on whether you happen to have leads right now or not. And so, we’re happy to help in the small ways that we do. And I love what you’re doing, Zach, thanks for everything that you’ve done for our members, and the trainings that you’ve done. You have amazing strategies. Honestly, your strategies and what you do for our community is a big part of why everybody can continue to have success, because man you’ve got smart, smart ways for generating leads for cheap. And then talking to those leads. And like you said, I mean, all we do is get really smart people the ability to scale, how they can say what they know how to say, so thanks for everything that you’ve done. And man, thanks for having me on the show.
Zach Hammer 1:01:03
Absolutely. Thank you for the kind words as well. And everybody, I encourage you, if this sounds like something that’s interesting to you. If this message connected with you where you can understand that roller coaster of the inconsistency of follow uu and how big of a problem that is that doesn’t go away that only accelerates unless you deal with it, right? The better you get at lead generation, the harder it gets to deal with the lead follow-up. I highly encourage you to check it out, what do you got to lose its 14-day trial, 90-day money-back guarantee, even once you do pay for something, it’s a powerful system that’s really set up to be you on your best day, following up as you should, and shoot, maybe you’re still at the beginning. And you want to learn what it’s like to be some of us on our best day, like the follow-ups are in there, you can learn from even some of the campaigns that are out there as well. So I encourage you to go check it out. Agent Legend, it’s fantastic software, Costas is a great guy. And I know, his company is always going to strive to do what’s best for you and do what’s best for the agent in terms of making sure that it’s a valuable tool for you, just the way that he thinks about things in the way that he’s positioning. So I highly encourage you to go check him out, I give them my massive rubber-stamp endorsement of value and power for people that need that help. So, again, that link, if you want to get access to the follow-up campaigns that we’ve done, again, I think it includes like 14 or 15 follow up messages, as well as some training that Costas and I have done on generating leads for super cheap, whether it’s buyer leads, I don’t know if we’ve done a seller lead training yet, although we probably will if we haven’t. And yeah, so you get access to the campaign that teaches you how to generate your buyer leads for cheap and get access to that follow-up sequence as well that will help you to follow up with those leads. Again, that’s RealEstateGrowthHackers.com slash go slash agent legend. There’s no extra cost for that. It’s just part of what you get when you sign up through that link when you go and sign up with Agent Legend. So I encourage you to do that. Thank you again, Costas, for coming on. Thank you everybody for listening in I hope you go out you take action on this information. Remember, one of my mottos is done is better than perfect. Go out and take some sort of action today getting into implementation because that’s really where this is going to be valuable to you. So go out get into action and we’ll catch you on the next one.
Zach Hammer 1:03:42
Thanks for tuning in to the Real Estate Growth Hacker show remember done is better than perfect. To turn the marketing ideas and tactics you just learned into real growth for your real estate business visit us at RealEstateGrowthHackers.com If you liked this episode, consider sharing it with another real estate professional who could benefit from the information or maybe you’d like to subscribe to the show to never miss an episode. You can leave a rating or review on iTunes with your biggest takeaway, helping this show to reach and help more people just like you. Thanks again and we’ll see you on the next episode.
Real Estate Growth Hackers Founder
Zach Hammer is the co-founder of Real Estate Growth Hackers. Over the last 36 months Zach and his team have managed ad budgets well over $100,000, generated over 25,000 real estate leads, and helped create over $50,000,0000 in business revenue for their clients. Zach is also a highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted some of the top Real Estate teams and brokerages across the country.