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Got a Need for Leads? Use This Opener to Earn Trust in 5 Seconds (or Less!)

The BiggerPockets Podcast
44 min read
Got a Need for Leads? Use This Opener to Earn Trust in 5 Seconds (or Less!)

Everyone wants more real estate leads. It doesn’t matter if you’re an agent, investor, flipper, or mortgage broker. The more prospective buyers and sellers, the better. But what happens when you finally get those leads? Maybe you’re cold calling, meeting for coffee, or linking up at the property. What do you say to let leads know that you’re the best agent or investor around and that they can trust you to get the deal done? Juliet Lalouel has a simple, fool-proof answer for you.

Juliet operates out of Hawaii, one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets. She’s done everything from working in restaurants to running a bike business in her garage, to even becoming the go-to matchmaker for musicians that want to invest in real estate. She’s worn a lot of hats and even decided to leave one of the top teams in the state to go solo as an investor agent. When she realized all the leads were coming from her own personal network, she decided to make the jump on her own.

Now, she’s actively flipping, buying, and selling homes for not only herself but her investor clients throughout the islands. She’s been able to grow a respectable network, one which many investors dream of having, and she did all of this through tweaking her “tonality.” If you want to hear why this small change led to such big results, be sure to listen all the way to the end of this episode.

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

David:
This is the BiggerPockets Podcast show 647.

Juliet:
Communication is going to be key and the ways that you communicate with various types of people, whether that’s listing agents, lenders, anybody you’re meeting that’s an investor, letting people know what you’re doing and what you’re here for and how you can maybe help, what’s the best way that you can apply yourself, those are things that I’ve been learning as a real estate agent and investor that’s what I am all the time. I’m just that person. This is what I do. This is who I show up as and that has led to opportunities for me in various ways.

David:
What’s up everyone? This is David Greene, your host of The BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast here today with my co-host Rob Roberto Abasolo. And we have a banger, as Rob would say, of an episode for you. I also need to figure out some way to work in POV into this intro because that’s another one that Rob likes to drop a lot. I’ve been watching him on YouTube as you should be as well. And I’m picking up some tips here about my new co-host as we develop the chemistry that Brandon and I used to have in order to bring you the best freaking podcast we possibly can, which we do today. In today’s episode, we are interviewing Juliet Lalouel, who is a real estate agent in Hawaii, who also works in Denver. Has had several businesses in the past and is crushing it in the real estate agent space and teaches us what she learned from her past that led to her being successful today and how she helps her clients make money. Juliet is also involved with Heavy Realty, which is an organization that is designed to help bring musicians into music, which is very cool because the more musicians or other people we can get into the BiggerPockets space, the better. Rob, what were some of your favorite parts of today’s episode?

Rob:
First of all, let me just commend you because every time you give these intros, it sounds like you’ve pre-written their bio and you’re just reading it off your screen but I know you’re just riffing all that. It means you were paying attention during the podcast. So you are doing your job well, my friend. But yeah, today was awesome, man. Juliet was really, really great and opens up. I really like whenever people open up on the podcast. She talked a lot about tonality, which is actually something I don’t really think we cover a lot, but basically how we talk to people, whether it’s via text or on the phone, how we relate with them. How we can be more empathetic with people versus just trying to get a sale or trying to be too pushy. She gives us a couple of really cool tips on how to cold call and actually be effective in that capacity.
But she also went through a lot of her story about how she got her start as a new realtor and how she joined a team who I think you said is top 1%, 2% of teams because they were pulling in I think $75 million a year or something like that. And she was like, “You know what? This is really great, but I’m going to go off and do it on my own.” And then she was also crushing it on her own. So really just overall inspirational top to bottom.

David:
Yeah. And this stuff is applicable to people in many different facets. You have a job, you want to get a raise and do better. You want to have a stronger communication with your romantic partner. You want to have better friendships. You want to start off as an entrepreneur. You are an entrepreneur and want to do better. There’s tons of scenarios here where this information can really help you succeed. And thank you for the comment about my riffing. I have been called the Eminem of real estate and it’s because of my freestyle ability. Today’s quick tip is-

Rob:
Well, and you know what? My POV on that is that it’s really … You did a good job.

David:
Very nice. Thank you. For today’s quick tip … And we’re back. Head over to biggerpockets.com and check out the forums. In the forums you can get a free education. Check out the questions that people have written there, as well as ask your own questions yourself. This is a huge resource. I don’t think that there is a website in the world that has a forum that is as well developed and intentional as BiggerPockets. You may be able to go to a website like Reddit, where they have a whole bunch of different things, but BiggerPockets is the only place I’m aware of and may always be the case that you get this much free information. And you could just check it out. Super easy to see. Ask any question that you want.
All right, Rob. Before we bring in Juliet, do you have any last words?

Rob:
Not today, David Greene. You’re not stumping me on this one. Let’s get right into the episode.

David:
Juliet Lalouel, welcome to the BiggerPockets Podcast.

Juliet:
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. I’ve been watching this podcast for so long, so thank you.

David:
Yeah, that’s cool that we get to interview today and you’re coming from the state of Hawaii where Brandon and I both spend quite a bit of time. Rob, I don’t know. Have you ever been to Hawaii before?

Rob:
I’ve been one time. I went to Maui and it was very, very beautiful. It was as beautiful as they say. We just hung out on the beach literally the entire time.

David:
I think Hawaii is one of those places, I guess depending where you go, but I’ve never seen a place that wasn’t, that you can’t overstate it. A lot of places, you’re like does it really live up to the hype? Hawaii 100% does.

Rob:
So really quick, can you actually just give us a quick rundown of what Heavy Realty is?

Juliet:
Yeah, of course. Heavy Realty is where the music industry and the real estate world combine. I’m trying to create a community where we can educate musicians and music fans in anybody that’s affiliated with the music industry in some way, shape or form on the importance of real estate, real estate ownership, investing. This is that space for them. I had found that this wasn’t really existing before. And a lot of people, whether they’re musicians or creatives, were maybe king for a day with income and then broke for a month and they didn’t really have a proper place to really allocate money that they would get, whether it be from on tour or selling some form of art, things like that. This is where I’m trying to create a place to educate those folks so that they can really understand the importance of real estate and really turning them on to BiggerPockets. Getting them aware of what we’re all about and trying to build wealth here is what I’m trying to really connect them with.

David:
I understand you sell a lot of houses and you’re doing it from Hawaii, but they’re not all in Hawaii. So do you mind telling us a little bit about what your business looks like right now and how you’re able to do this from Hawaii?

Juliet:
Sure. Yeah. I have been doing real estate in Hawaii since 2018. I have been part of a team. I was a founding member of a team here that was a top 1% in production and we did over about 150 million in sales. And I recently branched off to become a solo agent following the path of why I always got my license, which was to primarily work with investors and then become an investor myself. So that’s what I’ve been focusing on is really working with that group of people while still also very much serving the retail sales type, but really branching out into more investor work this year. And starting my first flips in Hawaii, which has been very exciting. I’ve opened escrow last week on a project and we just had a home inspection yesterday so those are some of the things that I’ve been working on.

David:
That’s fun. So are you still working on that team now?

Juliet:
No. I’m not on that team now. I went solo in about September of 2021 and I’ve been solo since then.

Rob:
Juliet, did I hear you correctly saying that your team that you were on from the real estate side, you guys were clocking in about $150 million in transactions every single year?

Juliet:
Not every single year, but that was over the last two and a half years that we did. It was basically a small team that I was partner on and we would bring in newer agents and then build up a lot of production over the last two years.

Rob:
Yeah. That’s still pretty impressive. David, how common is it for a team to be pulling in those numbers two years in, or over a total of two years?

David:
Would this be 150 million over two years? So around 75 million a year?

Juliet:
Yes.

David:
Yeah. That would put you in the top 1%, 2% of all teams in the country most likely. It also depends on how many agents they have. There’s a handful of teams that have 70 agents and then they brag about that numbers or there’s some teams that do it with three. So I think that matters too.

Rob:
Yeah, that’s amazing. I’m curious. I mean, you guys were obviously crushing it. You’re in the top 1% or 2% as David said. What made you branch off and do your own thing?

Juliet:
I had been helping build the team up, which was something that I had not necessarily seen myself doing long term because I wanted to always branch out to become an investor and work on my own things and work in that direction. I felt like it was just the time was right for me to branch off and do my own things. I had started out on this team intentionally after I had mentored for six months under a very, very high production agent as well, and then was recruited onto this beginning team. Learned everything that I felt I needed to at the time. I really wanted to be on a team when I was new and grew my business. And then I started to look at where all of my business was coming from. And it was really from my sphere of influence and a lot of the work that I had been pulling in. So I realized at a certain point, I didn’t need a team any longer. I was getting a lot of the leads on my own, that type of a thing. And so I felt like it was the right time to branch off and start to build my own thing, which was the goal.

Rob:
Right. I think that’s even then still pretty tough for an agent to be pulling in so many leads. So I’m curious. I’m sure there are a lot of realtors that could get some value out of this. What was that tipping point for you? Was it social media? Were you paying for marketing? Were you partnering up with different businesses? What was that funnel to get those leads over to you?

Juliet:
Sure. I actually did a few different types every single day, whether that was going to be cold calling. Early on I started doing that right away. I just felt like it was something that I needed to really dive into. And then I was doing some pay per click leads, so online leads that would come in, which is something that I feel as a script I developed very well to retain leads that didn’t know me at all. Especially living in Hawaii, you have so many people calling from the mainland from all over and just getting really good at nailing those first five seconds and basically acting as their agent and retaining that lead. That was something that I was really interested in trying to be good at as well. And then networking. I didn’t know anybody when I moved here so really networking was very important.
And honestly, one of the first ways that I made business for myself was just simply making friends in my sphere. And I used Bumble BFF, which is actually a dating app for friends. And that was naturally how I just wanted to try and make friends here instead of going to bars or something like that. So I naturally made connections and I was always remembering to not be a secret agent. So I would just let people know what I did, what I was interested in and that flourished into business and then referrals came from that.

Rob:
I think people really underestimate the power of putting yourself out there. We just had Amy Mahjoory on the podcast and she talks about how she has a four second power pitch. If I remember correctly, it’s 13 words and it was something like I teach real estate investors how to make double digit returns or something like that. And it’s funny that you say that. That you have a five second pitch to get in there and make it known. A lot of people will be very surprised because at the end of the day, your circle of influence and your friends and your peers and everything like that, they want to support you so if you make it known that you’re in real estate, whether or not they’re looking to buy a house, they’re probably at the very least going to send someone over your way. So that’s really cool that you were able to do that. I’m curious. Obviously going off and doing your own thing is a very scary thing, especially if you’re leaving a team and everything. Was there any dissonance or any … I don’t want to say resistance. But difficulty transitioning and going into just a one person show?

Juliet:
I think that I had mentally prepared myself early on to what I would do if I went solo and I was thinking about all of the tools that I would need to carry on myself that we had in our team and then find new tools that maybe work better for what I was trying to do. Tools being like dialers and all of those things. The proper CRM. And really actually asking questions to people that were doing it on their own. What they would advise. And some of the best producers … One of my colleagues on Maui, he does an incredible amount of production and he’s a solo agent and he’s just got an admin. An assistant that’s helping him with all of the day to day and paperwork and things and I realized that was going to be the best way for me to scale properly was to not necessarily, not build a team, but build certain types of assistants and admins for specific things so I could be in multiple places in a sense at one time.
For example, getting a VA that was going to be helping me with a lot of admin and backend stuff. Operations manager, to make sure that I’m where I need to be and that my schedule’s looking proper. Those types of things were what I felt like I would need to have going solo. And I think that came from just understanding that this was going to be still a business that I needed to run and operate, and it would fail if I didn’t do it correctly. So it was in a sense intimidating, but it was also very exciting and it was something I felt like I was ready to do with the right people. I knew that I couldn’t necessarily in a way do it literally all by myself, but I still needed to ask for help and leverage myself.

Rob:
Totally. So you’ve mentioned VA. Can you just define that for the people at home and what that VA does in the capacity of your business?

Juliet:
Sure. Virtual assistant. That’s somebody for mine … For me, pardon me. They live overseas. They’re from the Philippines and they’re doing a lot of my work on my CRM system. So basically helping me with sending out messages that I type up and I navigate them on how to communicate with some of my people. And they send a lot of emails and text messages making sure that people are getting responded to because timing is everything. In this market and always, it’s always important to be very responsive. So they help with that. And then a lot of cold calls and things like that. Again, I’ve had VAs in the past where I’ve let them go because I don’t think they understood the importance of tonality and all of that. That’s incredibly important over the phone. So having a VA that’s good at that. That’s what I’ve been hiring as well to help me with cold calls and helping me build up those types of leads.

Rob:
Awesome. Okay. So you were part of this awesome team. Top 1%, 2%. You branch off. You do your own thing. You start putting yourself out there. You’re on the Bumble BFF app, which is really great. I don’t think I’ve actually heard that one before. Pay per clicks, all that stuff. And you’re assembling this team around you that is going to enable you to really start propelling. So I’m really curious. How did this end up leading to your first deal as an investor?

Juliet:
Ever since I’ve been in real estate I had in my mind’s eye that I was going to be an investor. I had owned my own house prior and I really saw the value of working on a home, selling it and the profit that can be made. So when I got my license I was on this team knowing that was going to be the type of projection that I was going to go. And so I basically put myself in situations where I’d be around investors. I think opportunities came to be where I would meet the right person at the right time and take advantage of that. I was showing somebody a property who I knew was an investor, and it was a total fixer upper property. And I just made sure to make the connection and do a mini little interview right then after the showing. I was like, “I know that you might work with other realtors. I understand that. But I’d love the opportunity to really help you.” And with that in mind, I wanted to try to wedge myself in that direction. And it naturally navigated that way.
I’ve had a number of deals with this one investor and still to this day do. And as I became more involved in this network of investors and being an investor friendly realtor, I met more investors like that. And agents then would start to realize that’s the type of properties that I go after. So other listing agents started to call me for a fixer upper property that they had because they knew that was something I was interested in. And that’s honestly how I got my first deal is I had an agent that was letting me know about a property that was coming onto market because she had received an offer from me prior and I had a really good connection with her. So she let me know of this listing that was coming onto the market and I put that all together, put a package up and in a competitive situation, got that property. And that’s how I’ve gotten under contract for my first flip and getting into that direction. So it’s been very exciting.

Rob:
Yeah. Just so I understand this, with the investor that you worked with the first time, did you do a deal with that investor and then that led to you then going off and doing your own deal? Or was it just the overall interaction with this investor that got you fueled up?

Juliet:
I did many deals with him. And I’ve done many deals with him throughout the last couple of years. And that has then catapulted into working with other investors in the area and just being part of this network and this community. So it’s just naturally woven itself to where I am now.

Rob:
Right. And so when you got into this deal, were you … Because I think this is something that a lot of realtors come to a moment of realization where they want to be real estate agents, but they also want to be investors. And there’s this moment where you have to ask yourself, how do I pay myself? Do I pay myself all of my commissions? Do I start breaking off some of those commissions to start investing? So I’m curious, how were you able to fund a deal like this?

Juliet:
I was able to fund a deal like this because of a HELOC actually. HELOC was one of the first things I learned about when I was working on my property and I learned it quite late after I’d owned my home for a long time. I finally learned what HELOC was. So for this specific deal, I’m using a HELOC now because I’ve got a property in Waikiki that I own that has a lot of equity and so I’m able to pull from that and be a part of this transaction. I also have good relationships with hard money lenders and private lenders and things like that that I’m probably going to utilize for my next one.

Rob:
Okay. So that’s a little tease for the deal deep dive a little later. I’m curious as someone who is both an investor and a real estate agent, have you read any of the late great David Greene’s books? He’s got several books on how to scale and how to develop your skill as a real estate agent. I’m pretty sure that’s correct.

Juliet:
I actually have read Skill. I have Skill on Audible. Yeah, it’s really good. Because I feel like I’m doing that in real time. This book is very, very helpful for exactly what I’m doing, what I’m trying to build and is going to be so helpful for people I’m trying to help down the road. Giving them a copy of this. Being like, this is pretty much exactly what you can do. So I’m reading that one.

Rob:
Nice. I’ve been trying to get a signed copy from Dave for about four months now, but he just … He’s very exclusive with who he gives his signature out to.

David:
That’s exactly right. Keep working at it, Rob. I just want to see how bad you want it.

Rob:
I know. I text you 10 times a day. So Juliet, I mean obviously you have a very storied past here and a lot of experience, so I’m curious, can you share with us some of the lessons that you’ve learned as this dual real estate agent, real estate investor out in the world today? I know that you’re investing and doing real estate in a bunch of different states, so I’d love to hear from you anything that you’ve picked up along the way.

Juliet:
Yeah. As a real estate agent and investor, all of this is operating your own business and I have really learned that communication is going to be key and the ways that you communicate with various types of people, whether that’s listing agents, lenders, anybody you’re meeting that’s an investor, letting people know what you’re doing and what you’re here for and how you can maybe help, what’s the best way that you can apply yourself, those are things that I’ve been learning is as a real estate agent and investor that’s what I am all the time. I’m just that person. This is what I do. This is who I show up as. And that has led to opportunities for me in various ways. And I have been able to meet some wonderful investors that are helping me learn this path, including watching things like BiggerPockets and things like that. But it is in turn helping me to help either newer agents or people that do want to get involved in investing like I do. And also helping communities that I feel are maybe not getting the reach of the importance of building wealth through real estate.
I’ve started a network that basically is … Well, it’s more of a community that is focused on helping musicians and music lovers alike really understand the importance of real estate and building wealth that way. So that’s something that I’ve been working on. And then I had a bicycle business before that really helped me understand what it was to be an entrepreneur and waking up every morning and just having your head on straight and having a schedule, having a routine, doing all of those things to build your business. That was very important. I had business to business relationships at that time as well that were very important that lead to what I do now because a lot of it is just a lot of moving parts between people. And I really enjoy the marketing side of those things too. And that’s what you do as a realtor. You’re marketing yourself in such a way.

David:
I’m a big proponent of taking a big goal and splitting it up into smaller steps. So what that would look like practically, someone listens to a podcast like this and they say, “I want to get 50 rental properties in this area.” And that’s their first goal. Well, you probably don’t have the skillset, the experience, the confidence, a lot of the different pieces you need in this recipe to go own 50 rental properties. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It means it is a journey to get towards the goal. And really that’s when things are the most fun. But if no one ever explains that to people, they go try to do it, it doesn’t work out. They don’t raise money, then they quit. They’re like, “Oh, I guess I suck.”
But what I find is successful people have a story much like what you’re saying, Juliet. They went through several different things, had varying degrees of success in those, but all of those became a stepping stone that helped lead them towards the path where they really wanted to go. So do you mind sharing a couple practical examples from different enterprises or businesses that you either owned or worked in and how those experiences or lessons led to success in another area so that we can paint a picture for people that they can understand it’s okay to go through several different phases before they hit their ultimate goal.

Juliet:
Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I agree completely that what I’m doing now had so many stepping stones that I did not see connect whatsoever in the past. Had you told me that those would’ve all lined up to what I do now, I would’ve never thought. But early on I had been working at a restaurant in the service industry and I had been doing bar and that type of work for a very long time. And those types of skills of just communicating extremely clear and being really good at reading people and providing excellent customer service because it was a higher end restaurant, those types of things were very crucial that I did not realize. It was a job I knew I had to grow out of one day because I, like you’re saying, I had a very far away goal of what I wanted in life. And I had no idea how I was going to get it. And at that time it didn’t really seem like I was going to ever get out of this position.
But as a server, as a bartender, I was going to do my best to learn everything I could to be great at it. And then that honestly opened up … Literally opened up a door into my first business opportunity, which was a bicycle brand and bicycle shop that I started selling out of a three car garage and was doing that nationally and had to learn all of that. It was a three car garage in a house in a nice neighborhood, but still a garage no less. And so I learned everything about online marketing, online sales, what that looks like and the communication that’s very crucial there. And all of the marketing for that. Photography, even I was doing. Just all the hats. And then I outgrew that three car garage and I was able to move that into a brick and mortar shop and turned that into a retail store.
And I was able to really understand how that works and the retail side of things. And I mean, that led into working as a realtor in a sense because it’s sales and the psychology of sales and I was studying a lot of that at that time. And it’s basically … A lot of it with, say, buyers for example, is it’s a product. Whether it’s going to be a bicycle or a house, you’re helping them purchase something. You have to know what it is that they like, the styles, how are they going to use it, how long do they want this for, that type of thing. And you build it up and then you help them throughout that process of obtaining it.
So it was on a bigger scale that my bicycle shop led me to really be a good realtor. And all of those skills prior led me to be decent at real estate because I understood the value of reading people really well, understanding how to position myself, my tonality, all of my body language, everything that’s incredibly, incredibly important. All of those things matter severely. I still, every day, even with people out and about, that’s something I’m always thinking about is the tonality that someone else has, I have reading into that and how can I position either myself better. All of that is really important.

Rob:
So Juliet, you actually mentioned this earlier with your VA and I think you mentioned that you maybe had to let a VA go due to just not really understanding the importance of tonality. So I actually want to just jump into this a little bit more and ask what do you mean by this? Do you mean actual verbal tonality that’s in our voice or tonality that is relayed through text or both? How does this actually pertain to your world as a real estate agent and investor?

Juliet:
Both definitely, in text and in tonality. And it works whether you’re trying to do wholesaling, being an investor, being a real estate agent, all of this stuff. I mean, in today’s world, you have so many people coming at you with robots and bots and all of this stuff that makes you seem not like a real person. And so how can you be human as fast as possible to these people? You want to come off like you’re a real person actually trying to help them, which is the big, big key that a lot of people maybe don’t have projecting out of them in the beginning because you need to come from a place of service. Seeing how you can genuinely help people, having them read that right away and not have them feel like you’re just trying to get after them for something or low ball them in some way. I mean, all of those things. So that’s really important in both text and over the phone, in person, all of it.

Rob:
Yeah. So it’s basically reading the room and trying to empathize with people instead of keeping it strictly transactional. Is that what you mean?

Juliet:
Yeah. And having a sense of emotional intelligence is extremely key. Having a control of your own emotions when you’re having these conversations and being able to indeed, yes, read the room and then how can you respond best that’s going to be the most strategic to either get them to understand that you’re coming from say this place or to get you to … Whether it’s a listing appointment, getting them to a yes in some way. All of those things are going to be really, really important and on a micro level all the time, in my opinion.

Rob:
Right. It’s it seems like it’s somewhat of a tight rope. Where you want to push the sale a little bit. I mean we’re in business, but you also don’t want to be too pushy. David, I’m curious on your end, man. I know you train a whole real estate team on your side of things and a lot of that goes back to the David Greene name. And obviously how your agents work and how they perform their jobs is a reflection on you. So is there any training or mentorship or anything like that that you instill in your realtors to make sure that tonality is always being … I don’t know. I guess passing the David Greene test as extensions of you?

David:
That’s always the hardest thing is when you start a team … And Juliet, I imagine with the success you’re having, you will probably go from being on a team to being solo, to starting a team. And that’s what the last book in the series that I write for agents will be about. It’ll be called Scale and it’s about how you build a team and have passive income. You’ll find that the biggest hurdle is that most people don’t realize it, but subconsciously they have what I call a W-2 mindset. Which is it’s someone else’s responsibility to do everything and my goal every day is to get paid as much as I can to do as little work as possible. And I know that sounds funny to say it and when you’re in the matrix and you live in the W-2 mindset, you don’t realize that. People might even be offended that I would’ve even said it. But when you escape the matrix and you become the business owner, it becomes very clear how everyone is trying to put as little effort as possible to not get fired while getting as much money as possible.
And it’s actually the opposite of what successful people do is they say, “I’m going to do as good of a job as I possibly can and when I get good at this, I will then ask for more money because I brought more value.” That’s the biggest problem that you have when you have employees that they’re fighting that urge to try to do it legitimately. You look like you have something to say. I’m going to let you jump in actually.

Juliet:
Yeah. I couldn’t agree with you more on that W-2 mindset. I was just talking about this the other day. To me, I call it just the employee mindset where you’re just happy to clock in, clock out. You don’t want to think about anything after you’re done. And sometimes the workspace needs that. Sometimes I need employees that basically are going to stay. They’re going to be good worker bees, all of that. But I mean, that makes a significant difference in real estate. As a realtor, to me, you have to have this CEO mindset. The entrepreneurial mindset. You have to be thinking big all the time. That’s how I think. I think about how can I maybe own this type of business myself? How can I grow? How can I scale? When I have noticed that there are certainly people that I have had on my team or in my bicycle shop that are just employee mindset, didn’t have any sense of growth, didn’t want to take responsibility for anything.
And I mean, something that I learned from that that applies in real estate also as an investor, is when people have that mentality for me, I want to let them go. I like to have the fire fast policy. Hire slow in a sense. But I think it’s important to weed that out and maybe see who’s going to work for you, who isn’t? Who’s going to work well with you, I should say.
And if it’s not working, you can only try so much with some people, but you’ve got to get rid of it. Same with a contractor. If you have a contractor that’s giving you red flags or what have you, you got to get rid of them in my opinion early so you don’t run into a problem longer. I mean, and that’s the same thing that can ruin your business is keeping either bad employees or bad team members that are going to weigh you down in some way.

David:
Yes. Now, when it comes to the training that I give people, I often find … This is why I started with that. There’s this wall of resistance that they don’t want to get training about their tone, how to connect with somebody. I believe it comes from this deep seated subconscious belief that it’s not my job to make them feel welcome. It’s not my job to anything. I’m just here to sit at my register and punch in. When they choose the bike they want, I’ll say, “Okay, I’ll make sure they pay.” If you think about how much value you’re bringing to a company to make sure that the credit card goes through, it’s not very much versus what you’re looking for as the owner of ask questions to find out what bike they would want. See if you can maybe upsell them to a better bike by showing the values that it would have. These are all the things that make a company make more. And when a boss sees that someone’s doing that, now they can afford to give them a raise because that person has justified it by bringing more revenue into the company.

Juliet:
I mean, on that note for me, whether it’s real estate or say retail or the bicycle shop, it’s also the experience that you’re providing to the buyer. The experience that they have say, walking into the store or doing showings with you and going through a transaction, really going above and beyond and making them really like you and like everything about you. Even if the transactions say went sideways on a couple points. By the end of it, the whole goal is that they liked you so much and even if it was crazy, they’re going to refer you out. They’re going to come back for more, those types of things. I mean, that’s how I’ve been able to work with investors on repeat. Having that type of repeat business. Because I dedicate myself to making sure that it’s going to be a really good experience, even if it’s a difficult situation and that sets people apart.

David:
That’s another problem you have on the team is the I have a person that comes to me and I really want to make sure they get what they want and I have a skilled person who has all the knowledge, however, that person thinks, “Hey, it’s my job to close this deal and get paid.” They’re not thinking about it’s my job to make sure this client comes back to me again for a referral. And that’s one of the things that makes scaling a business very difficult is it’s honestly the attitudes of the people that work there. Which is funny because this is why automation software … Like why McDonald’s is trying to replace their employees with this kiosk type of a situation. That attitude is what leads to it. But to answer your question, Rob, there’s a book called Pitch Anything that I think is fantastic when it comes to the psychology of sales. The title is a little bit off putting. I don’t really love it. That’s why I didn’t read the book for a long time. But he talks about basically how to communicate your message to somebody else in a way they will understand.
And one of the concepts in the book has to do with the way that the human brain receives information. I’m going to throw this to you Juliet to expand on it. The first is what he calls the croc brain. This is your reptilian brain. This is the part of your brain that just makes sure I’m not going to die. The only concern it has is I’m not going to get hurt. I’m not going to die. So the first time we receive any form of stimulus … You walk into a bicycle shop and a person says, “Hello, can I help you?” The first thing they think is, “You just want my money. I’m fine. Thank you. Leave me alone. I don’t trust you. I don’t know you.” That’s normal. That’s what the croc brain does. You hear a loud sound, everyone jumps. They don’t get all excited and say, “Oh, Santa’s coming down the chimney with presents for me.” They go, “Oh, someone’s breaking in my house to kill me.” It’s always the first thing that you think.
If you can get through the croc brain, the next part is the mid-brain. And the mid brain’s job is to take that stimulus. Compare it to other things in the same environment or in a social setting and then gauge, how does this compare to other stuff? So example, you hear a really loud noise and then the croc brain jumps. The midbrain goes, “Oh, that was a bang. It’s the 4th of July. That’s normal. You can calm down.” You heard that same noise not on the 4th of July at three in the morning, you might, “That’s gunshots. I need to be worried.” So the midbrain needs context. And this is something realtors screw up with all the time. They find the best deal ever. They send it to the client right away. The client’s croc brain goes, “Ah, I don’t want to buy this deal. What if it’s a rip off?” But they finally get past that and they go, “This looks great, but what if there’s something better?” They haven’t compared it to all the other houses out there. Whereas if I send you 10 houses that are mediocre and then you get the deal of this century as the 11th one, it looks like the best option for you versus if I just sent it first. Realtors screw this up all the time.
The last part of your brain that processes information is called the neocortex. The neocortex operates in logic, reason, math. What we’re talking about right now. And it only happens after you’re safe and after you’ve compared this stimulus to everything else, which is where most people start. They go, “Hey, I’ve got a deal. It’s got this much ROI. It’s in this great of an area.” They give you all of the initial information. Maybe your employee at the bike shop says, “Hey, welcome to the store. Let me show you the best bike we have. It’s the best deal.” And they go into this, “Here’s the metrics of it. Here’s the stats. Here’s why it’s a great bike. Here’s why it’s better.” And the person listening’s like, “I don’t trust you. I don’t know you. I’m not hearing anything you say.” They haven’t satisfied the croc brain and the mid-brain before they got to the neocortex. So if you can get employees to understand that, they will be super successful. The W-2 mindset gets in the way and then you have to be disciplined enough to work your way through those steps. Is that something you found similar in your business Juliet?

Juliet:
Yeah, absolutely. It reminds me of the Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. All those types of things. But that gut reaction that people are going to have and disarming that is very crucial right away. Disarming people the best that you can. And then indeed packaging whatever it is that you’re presenting. I couldn’t agree with you more. Whether you’re going to show them five mediocre homes and then the one that you’re going to show last is the big bang type of a product. Or you’re going to have everything built up in such a way after you disarm them to get them to reason and understand why this is going to be a really good option and deal for them to move forward on. You’re going to package it up all the right way. To me, needs to completely be premeditated. These steps, just like you’re describing, need to be premeditated on how you’re going to communicate with people almost in anything that you’re trying to get done. Understand that this is going to be their initial reaction. How can you disarm them? And then how can you package whatever it is that you are trying to convey with them in some way?

Rob:
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, I think this probably goes back into one of the things you talked about when you were first getting started as a real estate agent. You were doing a lot of cold calling. I’m curious, do you have any tips or tricks here as far as how to really, I don’t know, warm up someone. I know you said you had a five second pitch, but also any tips or tricks here that we can tactically apply from a tonality standpoint?

Juliet:
Sure. Well, first tip is before you even get on the phone, it’s going to be your mindset. Always. It’s going to be what people say. Get your head in the game in the right place. And for me, I’m going to be probably blasting some type of music to get me into a power place. And then I get on the phone with these people. And the first thing is to, exactly what David was saying, get through that reptilian brain. They’re like, “Who is this? Why are they calling?” And I introduce myself in such a way … For me, I personally never say their first name on the phone right away, because I try to think of it from my perspective. Would I like somebody being like, “Is this Juliet?” I don’t like that so I don’t think that most people might like that. And so I usually try to execute the conversation by introducing myself quickly, say exactly why I’m calling. And then I like to even apologize. Like, “I’m sorry for the call out of the blue, but I was calling because …” And then I say, why I’m calling to, again, disarm them. Because some people get really upset right away if they don’t know who you are. So I always say, “Hi, my name is Juliet. I apologize for the call out of the blue, but I was calling because blank.”
And that opener has worked for me every single time. I’ve never gotten hung up on. And I say it purposefully with a very human tonality. Friendly. I’ve got a smile on my face, all of that. And then once I start talking to them, I gauge their tone and do that mirroring, matching. Try to see where they’re at. But I always have that friendly opener and it works for me. And I discovered that early on that was very important. So I just kept doing it and it’s been working.

David:
Yeah. Because you’re dealing with the croc brain. I can’t stress enough what you’re saying there. The importance of that. This is what I’ve noticed. When I start talking to you, I’m speaking out of my neocortex. I’ve already felt safe. I’ve already looked at everything else and I’m giving you logical reasons why this is the best thing. But it’s narcissistic, because I’m not thinking about what state of mind you are in. When I go to call you and I make this offer to buy your house, I’ve already run numbers. I’ve looked at it. I know that this is the best option for me. I feel good. But you’re like, “Who is this person?” And you don’t hear a thing I’m saying until you feel like I trust why I know your motive. And by saying I’m calling because, you’re just putting your motive right out there on the table, which shuts up the part of their brain that’s like, “Who are you? What do you really want?”

Juliet:
I always try to answer their questions first before they can even ask me. I know that they’re going to be asking these things because I put myself in their shoes. What would I be thinking? What would I be saying to myself? What would I want to say? So I just structure it that way. How would I want to be spoken to? I’m sure this is what they’re probably feeling. And I will admit a lot of the stuff is feeling based. A lot of this stuff is so human. So we really need to navigate through their emotions and how to help them with their emotions about us. And that to me also works for clients and everything.

David:
So when it came to that emotional intelligence of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding, this is probably what they’re feeling, I honestly think there’s some human beings like me for most of my life, I just didn’t understand that. I did not know how to tell what somebody else was feeling. I only knew how I worked and I just stumbled my way through life, butting my head against brick wall after brick wall, not being able to understand it. Books like this is really what helped me. Did you have an experience, a mentor, something that opened your eyes to this fact that maybe seems natural to you, but to people like me, I just never got?

Juliet:
This is maybe going to sound a little bit odd, but I think as I’ve been analyzing myself … Because I’m always trying to think about what I’ve been through and what could I do better. And I think that a lot of this maybe emotional intelligence comes from a lot of the trials and tribulations that I’ve had since early on. I come from being raised by a single father. My mother left when I was seven. I think I struggled with a lot of things at an early age that way. And then as I got older, I always felt a little bit lost, but I was very sensitive to knowing that I wanted something more for myself, but I didn’t have a role model. And then when I started working at one of the last restaurants I worked at for many years, I met my mentor and she was an incredible person that was really teaching me a lot on where I wanted to be in life because I was very aimless and I was honestly in a very dark place. I did not see a lot of things for my future.
And I think as I’ve collected a lot of these hard experiences, including abusive relationships, things that I’ve been through and then gotten over, those things have helped me to be a better realtor, person. To understand maybe where some people might be coming from. To know how hard things can be. That type of thing has opened my eyes to other people. I think it’s given me probably a sense of humility that sometimes I carry too much but that’s something that I’m often very hyper aware of is other people in this sense. Because I know how it can be when maybe you don’t know where you want to go in life and what you want to do or maybe there’s people that just need help with their assets and they don’t know what they can do with them.
And that’s one of the reasons why I also started Heavy Realty was to help people who might not understand that they can do something with real estate that’s going to give them a bigger drive in life. Because for me, I didn’t know what I was going to do until I found real estate. I found real estate and it all of a sudden became something I was naturally really good at. Dealing with people, understanding business and that type of a thing. And it honestly gave me a lot more purpose. So that’s been something I’ve been hyper aware of and trying to help people with.

Rob:
So a lot of people have difficult pasts and that will a lot of the times get in the way of ever really following a dream or pursuing real estate. Obviously you’ve become very successful in the world of real estate. Whether it be realty or investing. So I’m curious, when you were wanting to get started in the world of real estate, was this something that was holding you back or had you already conquered a lot of this and that’s what led to your success?

Juliet:
I’ve been trying to work on a lot of the problems as they arise. I like to try to put out fires as they come. The things that I’ve been through I’ve honestly tried to work on and not dwell on. I don’t ever try to be a victim of circumstance. So really taking ownership of things that I can, and then honestly, working through things that maybe was something that was external. I think that seeking therapy and having the right friends and being around the right groups and influences of people is incredibly important. Having a mentor in business was crucial for me and in a way saved my life because I was able to really focus on the good and fun things about what it could be to be a business owner and those types of things. And that motivation to become that type of person and have financial freedom … Something I never thought possible was … It was so strong that I wanted to make sure that I dealt with anything that might hold me back as I went on.
So whatever that was, if it was something that might require therapy, might require the right group of friends, might be reading the right books. All of those things were very important to make sure that I squashed and learned from all of these experiences. And to me, that’s what I’ve done is I’ve learned from all these hard things. I remember them and you learn from your mistakes, just like you do with investing in real estate experiences. There’s so many things that can go wrong, but learn from it. Don’t do it again and carry it with you and then teach others about those things that you’ve been through and what you learned and how you overcame those things.

Rob:
100%. I make mistakes all the time, every single day. I’ve made many mistakes in my real estate journey and I still make them today. And a lot of people are like, “What are the big ones? What are the ones you’d take back if you could go back and change that one thing?” And I’m always like, nothing. I wouldn’t take it back. I’m a lot smarter for it and today when things happen … We have a lot of things going on. We just bought a 20 unit hotel and me and my partner, there are a few things we missed here and there, but for the most part we got it to the finish line. And every time there was a moment where we felt like, “Oh man, we should be freaking out.”, I was just like, “No, it’s cool. It’s cool. Because it’ll never happen again because we’ve learned from it.” So I think very, very wise and very profound. So I appreciate you opening up-

Juliet:
I think on that, something that really has helped me with things like that, whether it’s in the work or personal space has really been, I love stoic philosophy and trying to always have emotional intelligence that way and learning from experiences and not regretting things that have happened. Having a sense of regret and just carrying that with you is just so damaging. It can really limit you in any type of business that you try to expand on or any type of relationship you try to build. So really just analyzing it. Looking at maybe what you did wrong, what went wrong that was out of your control and then moving forward from it. But never forgetting fully, but not regretting it. Just understanding that this is something that happened. I won’t make these mistakes again. If it does arise, this is what I’ll do instead. Those are very important things to do.

Rob:
Yeah. I mean it’s very necessary and it’s the only way we can grow. I sometimes wish I had a board of my mistakes on the wall just so I could be like, “Yeah, I remember that day. It was a bad day, but today I can laugh about it.” Not everything is something I can laugh but for the most part, I am thankful that … We’re lucky, right? We’re lucky to be in the position that we are being able to pursue our dreams in real estate and some days are good, some days are bad, but overall I think pursuing your dream is where it’s at. Again, thanks for sharing on that. I’d like to actually move us into the deal deep dive.

David:
All right, Juliet. What type of property is it?

Juliet:
Single family home.

Rob:
Okay. And how did you find?

Juliet:
Driving around. Driving around and saw a sign for sale by owner out front.

David:
And how much did you pay for it?

Juliet:
It was 179 and I had negotiated, I think, $20,000 off the purchase price.

David:
So you ended up paying 159?

Juliet:
Yes.

Rob:
Okay. And how did you negotiate it?

Juliet:
It was somewhat easy because it had been sitting for a long time for sale by owner. They didn’t have any good photos of anything. It was a very dark and gloomy looking house. So I was able to negotiate because it had been longer days on market.

David:
That’s the key. And how did you fund this deal?

Juliet:
This was a cash purchase.

Rob:
And what did you end up doing with this? Did you flip it? Was it a rental, a BRRRR?

Juliet:
This is actually something that was a primary residence of mine that I lived in for quite some time, but it took a moment to really chip away at it. It was definitely a fixer upper and that was what I had purchased it for in the first place. I thought I was going to flip it. I ended up living in it. And it had layers and layers of wallpaper. It was extremely well lived in. And I basically needed to remodel everything, exterior, interior. Everything, except for the roof. And I chipped away at that slowly. Then I was able to discover what a HELOC was. And I took a HELOC out to renovate that home after maybe owning it for about five years. And the house was in a really good neighborhood. It had started to already gentrify and cute homes were popping up and people were moving into this neighborhood. So I fixed it up and put it on the market and it sold I think in two days.

Rob:
So that was the outcome. What lessons did you learn from this deal?

Juliet:
I learned first of all and foremost what a HELOC was, because I didn’t know what that was at that time. I learned that and I also learned working with vendors. Hiring people to work on the home for a decent amount that did really good work. Interviewing a lot of people for that and starting to do project management since I did that on that property.

David:
All right. So in this deal, who is the hero on your team?

Juliet:
In this deal I would say that the heroes on my team were probably honestly all of the construction team. They were so easy to work with and I really had a great experience just because I’ve heard of so many horror stories of having the wrong people. So that was really probably what helped me the most was having a really good team working on the property.

David:
Well, thank you for that. Remember, you too can do more deals with the help of BiggerPockets deals and resources, which you can find at biggerpockets.com in the tools, in the nav bar. Thank you very much for that Juliet. We’re going to move on to the last segment of our show, which is the world famous-
(singing).
In this segment of the show, we will ask you the same four questions we ask every guest and see what you have to say. Question number one, what is your favorite real estate book?

Juliet:
My favorite real estate book is actually Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss, which is a book on negotiating. Because I’ve applied that specifically to my real estate work. All of the conversations that you have as a realtor with other realtors, with buyers, sellers, everything, you’re always in some type of negotiation and conversation ping pong. So that book has been very influential for me in real estate.

Rob:
And what about your favorite business book?

Juliet:
My favorite business book is Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. I love that book just because it really involves so much of the human nature of things and that is so applicable to any business that you’re trying to operate. That would be my favorite business book.

Rob:
Awesome. And when you’re not out there investing and being an agent for people, what are some of your hobbies?

Juliet:
I am currently relearning how to play the piano and trying to work on musical instruments here in Hawaii. But otherwise I love hiking, doing things outdoors. But a lot of my favorite hobbies are going to be listening to music, watching good movies and reading books. Some of those sedentary hobbies, but I love them.

David:
In your opinion, what sets apart successful investors from those who give up, fail, or never get started?

Juliet:
I would say fear is probably the thing that separates those that are successful and those that are not. Fear just limits people so much and can put off good opportunities. If you don’t take a chance on something you might miss out on something amazing. So I think that removing fear and having the right attitude and surrounding yourself around people that are going to make you feel more confident is extremely crucial in order to really become a good investor or realtor or business owner, any of those things.

Rob:
Awesome. And lastly, Juliet, can you tell people where they can find out more about you on the inner webs?

Juliet:
The best place to find me is on Instagram, @JulietLalouel, and also @HeavyRealty.

Rob:
What bout you, David? Where can people find you if they want to seek your internetal knowledge bombs?

David:
Internetal. I like it with these new words that you’re coming up with. You’re filling in Brandon Turner’s seat very nicely. He used to do this all the time. You can find me online at David Greene 24. On YouTube at David Greene Real Estate. Or you can message me on BiggerPockets. Rob, what about you?

Rob:
Oh, you can find me on YouTube at Robuilt or on Instagram, @Robuilt.

David:
Juliet, thank you very much for sharing your story, your success, the ups, the downs, and most importantly, what you’ve learned. I’ve found it fascinating hearing you talk about the psychology of sales, emotional intelligence. How to disarm someone right away, which from my vernacular would be how to get through the croc brain. But that’s so, so important at every level when you’re talking to motivated sellers, when you’re trying to find new people to work with. If you’re a vendor in this space, if you happen to be the contractor, or if you happen to be the lender, this is all really important stuff. Love to follow your career and hope things keep going well for you. Do you have any last words before we let you get out of here?

Juliet:
No. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this today. I really, really appreciate it.

David:
All right. This is David Greene for Rob, if he was a dinosaur, he’d be thesaurus, Abasolo, signing off.

 

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How to get more real estate leads as an agent, investor, or broker
  • Why “tonality” is such an important part of your pitch when selling yourself to clients
  • Building your investor network and gaining the trust of the biggest players in your area
  • Why every investor or agent should reassess their emotional intelligence (and how to improve it)
  • The five-second pitch to earn a lead’s trust as soon as they pick up the phone
  • Why no type of experience is unimportant when it comes to building real estate skills 
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in the Show:

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.