With hundreds of episodes under their belt, co-host of the Elite Agent Secrets podcast, Peter Michael shares with us some of the untold secrets of top agents including a look at the “Modern Real Estate Agent”

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Justin Stoddart 0:01
So the big question is this. How do we those of us in the real estate industry with crazy amounts of ambition? How do we think bigger than the building of our own empires? How do we simultaneously see success and significance, income and impact? My name is Justin Stoddard. And this is the Think bigger real estate Show. Welcome back to the Think bigger real estate Show. I’m your host, Justin Stoddart. Today we are going to talk about elite agent secrets, things that make some agents totally thrive, while others kind of stumble around in mediocrity. Today’s guest is going to give us all of the inside secrets on that staying with us here. We’ll be right back with you.

Today, I’m excited to introduce Peter Michael, out of Southeast Florida. Peter, such a pleasure to have you here on the Think bigger real estate show today and really to dive into what makes certain agents elites are excited to hear your journey. Thanks for being with us today.

Peter Michael 1:08
Well, first of all, thank you for having me on, Justin. It is. It’s a pleasure. And I’m super excited to be here.

Justin Stoddart 1:13
Yeah, let’s talk a little bit about again, the promise that we have for this show is that we’re going to give agents really the ability to unlock and uncover what makes some agents elite, while others are not. We’re also going to talk about the modern agents where Peter Michael sees this industry going, and how to position yourself out ahead of it to where you are able to ride the wave as opposed to being crushed by the weight. So as we get into that, before we do that, Peter, tell us your story.

Peter Michael 1:40
Gosh, that’s how far do I take it back, I’ll save you guys the trouble. We’re just focusing on real estate. But for the better part of the last six years, I’ve written a pretty big lead generation company to make the long story super short. So we can dive right into the content is we did an audit last year. And we realized that we helped our agents close over 600 million in sales, which may seem like it’s a lot of volume. But if we, you know, queue up and we add up all the different clients from all the different states, well, we’ve actually realizes how much volume we’ve missed out on and I was four times that. And that’s when I started really questioning my exists my existence, the program, whether we’re doing the right thing, and decided to go get license and use our own system myself. And within 100 days, I broke 100k In GCI just about 5 million in volume. Now I’ve exceeded that. And I’ve proven that if you stick at something for long enough, you know your system and you actually work this as your business, and not just like a hobby or you know, just gonna hope something is going to happen, then you can really have success as a brand new agent in a brand new market not having put a deal together before, you know last really September. Right. So it’s kind of surreal to think about how quickly things can change.

Justin Stoddart 2:52
Yeah, boy, isn’t that interesting? I think sometimes some of the best perspectives on the industry come when you’re, you’re outside, and you can see stuff that maybe we get blinded to when we’re inside the industry, right? But we can’t see the forest of the trees, right. So, so you’re really serving agents helping deliver leads, and you’re like, why aren’t they converting more? I’m going to go figure out how to convert more. Okay, good. Examine the process. You are also interviewing right? You are hosting a podcast around specifically, what is it that makes certain agents a lead? Okay, so we’re gonna get into that as well. But let’s, I’m curious, what did you find? That was the biggest difference between the leads the people who you were handing the leads to? And what you guys started to do?

Peter Michael 3:31
Okay, very good question. The biggest differences, we were actually doing the work. So when we had a follow up schedule that needed to be completed in order for us to convert the leads. And let’s say it was like calling them eight times, they eight calls were being done. The biggest disconnect that I saw from the leads coming in is the mindset around the leads and and the ability to convert, sometimes it was simply people weren’t just making enough calls to even get in front of the person. And if you can’t get in front of them, then you can’t really build the relationship, ultimately help them and then get the transaction to a close, right, because there’s no transaction to begin with. And once we started see, when we were approaching it, we approach it from a business perspective where we worked out the numbers backwards, we knew exactly what it took. So I was coaching and I was basically saying hey, you need to do this. And then we were like, Hey, we’re doing it. Hey, we’ve done it. This is the proven formula. It was just about getting it done right ultimately at the end of the day was doing the follow up doing the you know the boring work per se that nobody really wanted to do because we were so spoiled when we get a referral half the relationship is built half the trust is built right so the sales process and the length when it comes to converting referral is definitely a lot shorter. Then when you have a brand new lead who doesn’t know you who doesn’t trust you as probably opting in to a few different you know, whether it’s Google Google ads, Facebook ads, media, Facebook ads, YouTube where maybe Zillow realtor or any other outlet they just don’t know you they’re looking at you have Like, hey, I’m trying to get to my destination, you’re just a little stepping stone. And if you’re good enough, we’ll take you along for a ride. So that’s that’s really the biggest differentiator was we actually did the work. It’s not nothing.

Justin Stoddart 5:13
So So Peter, you made a distinction here that I love, I point out in the book that I wrote called The upstream model, that there is a difference between a lead and a referral, right. And I guess you hit the hammer on the head that we totally are in agreement that a lead is somebody where there is no relationship, you’re really trying to make two sales at once one sale is you want them to be sold on you, right. And number two is to sell them on the like the transaction. Whereas when a referral comes to you, which is what I teach how to scale referral business, now you like they’re already sold on you, right, the trust that the refer had with that person got transferred to you. So you just parroted and adopted this trust that had already been established for years by another person or entity or profession, right. So now all of a sudden, you only have one sale to make, which is double and find the right property, or to make the right you know, the right real estate move. So I agree, you said 50%. I think that’s accurate, if not even potentially further, right, we like a referral versus a lead. So tell me the difference your service you guys offer? Is it delivering up leads? Or is it referrals? Talk to me about that?

Peter Michael 6:15
I’m definitely going to say delivering leads. But the way I think of leads is a little bit different, right? Because I think of I don’t think of a lead as just a name, phone number email, maybe they answer some additional questions on our survey, right? I look at it as a another human being on the other side, that’s an opportunity, who rose their hand and said, Hey, I need your help. I just don’t know you, I just don’t trust you yet. So I look at it more like a seed where you have to water it, and you have to take care of it before a flower starts growing right? Referral, I would say you’re probably catching them once the roots are already there. And it’s kind of getting handed over to you where it’s like, Oh, you just need to water them periodically, aka get them, get them the house and water them until they become a flower right? Lead is a little bit before that, where you actually have to do the planting where you have to, you know, get the fertile soil to actually be a fertile soil. Right? Put put it in there. So I’ll be the first one to tell you when when when we speak, it’s like you don’t need more leads, you actually need more conversations. But in order for you to get the conversations, you have to do the boring work, and you can leverage it, you can automate it, there’s a lot of great technology. I know we’ll talk about that in the modern agent approach. Because that’s exactly what we do. We’re maybe calling eight or 12 times is not your thing. Neither is mine. But I do have a CRM that does text messages that does emails that does voicemail drops, were allows me to cut that curve of my required follow up to get to that conversation a lot faster and a lot more efficient and a lot more cost effective, whether it’s time or money.

Justin Stoddart 7:50
So I like what you’re saying right that there is a difference between a lead and referral. And what you teach when you say people need to do the work is to do the work to turn them from a lead to a referral. And they’re not You’re not really turned him into a referral. But you’re you’re you’re having a conversation with them. He didn’t ever trust you to where it almost feels like a referral. Right?

Peter Michael 8:07
Exactly. Okay. And see, the common misconception is when you’re when you’re getting leads, no matter what service you’re you’re in, no matter what, who you’re paying, or what you’re paying for, right, you have to also know the numbers and the math behind it. Not every single lead is going to turn into a deal right now today, maybe it’s going to be six months, 12 months, 18 or 24 months on the road. But you have to nurture and cultivate that relationship. When it comes to referrals, like you, like you were saying just in that relationship is somewhat already nurtured and handed down. So it’s a little bit easier when you are dealing with leads, you’re also not trying to convert everybody, if you get 100 leads this month, you’re not going to convert them all, neither, you should try to convert them all you’re looking for the diamonds in the rough, you’re looking for the three to five people that will spark a conversation, get pre approved and get going then you can start building relationship with and start getting some momentum into your in your business. So I’m not trying to get every single person to buy or sell with me, as opposed to like referrals when you get a referral. Obviously, it’s they’re a little bit further along in the process or a lot a bit further along in the process. And at the same time probably should be converting at a very high percentage when it comes to referrals. Yeah, and the numbers for lead online leads is one to 3%. That’s the average. If you’re batting high if you’re batting higher than 3% You’re in a hall of fame. If you if you have a one to 3% conversion on the referral side. We have to talk because you’re probably doing something wrong and they need to go and read your read your book, listen to this podcast. Or get a mentor

Justin Stoddart 9:46
taught me about your system of helping people to do that. Right. Like what does that look like? Is it a lot of people are like okay, I’ve got leads they suck because yeah, I’m having 97 conversations that are going nowhere or 97 leads that are going nowhere and there’s an opportunity cost that’s what I’m All right, good. Like there’s an opportunity cost of the 97 conversations that you’re in, that aren’t going anywhere. What like, Could you be putting that time and effort into something else? So help me understand what you guys do to help people to quickly filter through and not spend too much time on the 97 conversations that aren’t going anywhere and focus on the three that do.

Peter Michael 10:17
But that’s another good question. So there’s so there’s different methods that you can use, I can tell you something that’s, you know, good for brand new agents where they can actually learn and I think that’s a good starting point. And then I can tell you for something that’s a little bit more season, who has the ability or the financial resources to kind of use leverage in order to not bog up all the time. So if you get 100 leads in a month, first of all, not all of them are going to respond to you for phone calls, the average response that we’re getting is between 46 to 48%. On text messages, the average response rate, we get a little bit higher between 50 and 60%. So that right out the gate, if you have 100 leads, you can pretty much discard and not follow up with the other 40%, right. Like those are the numbers account for some wrong numbers. That’s another 20%. So really, you’re only missing out about 20%. And the opportunity cost right? To actually follow up and nurture the leads appropriately. The easiest and the fastest, the most cost effective way is to just get a CRM that allows either email drips or campaign, SMS drips type of hookup, and see which one you get more responses on. I’ll tell you right now that our email open rates are like 50 60%. But our response rate to emails is like three to 5% of our text messages are flipped, pretty much we add about anywhere, like I said, 50 to 60% response rate. And the way I look at it is I don’t care which one we get, I just want a thumbs up or a thumbs down, I just need you know what I call closure, where they’re moving forward, are we trying to get on the phone to do buyers canceled, or we’re not. And the numbers typically break down as into like 50 5050. So at a 50% of people that we get a hold off, we’ll get 50% over to an appointment from that appointment, we’ll get 50% into a pre approval status and out of the those will get 50% that will actually get pre approved and are going to be ready to go. And by then we average out between three to five people give or take, I would say this, the averages are like 123. So we let the system process a lot of that upfront with simple messages, that as soon as somebody opts in speed to lead within 60 seconds, they get a message of like, Hey, Justin saw that you opted into our Facebook ad, how many beds how many baths? Are you looking for a question mark something to spark the conversation, initiate a response back as soon as we initiate a response back. First of all, we know we have the right number. Second of all, we know it’s a real person on the other side that’s willing to engage in you know, converse with us. And then the goal is to get them on the phone as quickly as possible, some of those people will drop off, some of those people are still just people, right. So they have kids work life, families, whatever can happen, it’s just a matter of getting consistent in following up. The way we break it break it down is we have three blocks throughout the day, morning, afternoon, typically around lunchtime in the evening to follow up with the leads. And we just have a continuous pipeline where we can either blast text all the leads that were working, or we can just kind of call them one by one. And that’s the I’m just starting out method, I am going to grind a little bit because you either have a way to pay for it which is monetarily or you pay for it with time. This is the pay for with time method. The second method is to get yourself an ESA which stands for an inbound sales agent, which is somebody who’s going to literally call those leads for you for eight hours a day. And you don’t have to worry about anything I know you’re taking inbound calls from your rep when it comes to either booked appointments or live transfers life transfer is when you transfer somebody right there and then when they have them on the phone so you can just take that phone call or to book the appointment is you know when when they book at a dedicated time for you to actually speak and those are between 15 and 30 minute consoles and the intent is very much higher does that yes kind of show a good perspective of the

Justin Stoddart 14:02
it’s it’s right leverages people systems and tools and at first you are the person right so you got some good systems some good some good tools and over time as as this starts to return and you get a return out of it then you’re able to invest in getting some more people to you know to help you like it’s

Peter Michael 14:19
absolutely see I have like one of the two biggest fears of my life was having kids and I got over that because I have to now and the second fear was for me to cold call because these are inbound leads I don’t consider them as cold calling but I also don’t want to be smiling and dialing for 678 hours of my day to reflect so so the way we the flow of the leads that we have is we pretty much have anywhere between two to four leads coming in every day which is very manageable like I can call three or four people because I know half of them won’t pick up which means two out of four won’t pick up and the two that will pick up all engage in a conversation and I’ll probably set them up on the MLS and a face you know face appointment like a face to face appointee I mean, within that week, or Zoom appointment, I try to be very effective and efficient when I work in Leeds is I try to get them on the Zoom, because I know the moment I get in front of them, my odds of them actually taking the next step with me are a lot higher.

Justin Stoddart 15:12
Yeah, once people can get face to face, you start to get that trust, right. big topic. Let’s, um, appreciate that. I’m going to put in the comments here. For anybody that’s interested in learning more about what Peter has put together. Again, he was on the other side of it, right? He was on the side of, of I produce leads for agents. And now he’s moved to where he’s like, Okay, this, this opportunity is better than I thought, if I can get him to do the work. And so now he’s actually producing agent and producing at a high level. So that’s helpful for anybody that wants to learn more about your system. I want to pick your brain now I’ve got about 10 minutes left, I want to talk about a couple things. Number one, you’ve interviewed about 100 elite agents, right through your podcast. Yes. And in that process, you’ve identified some things that make some agents stand out as like, well, it’s no wonder their lead, and will probably also help you to like recognize, and this is why other agents are not elite, why they just keep struggling along what are some of the key differentiators that you see that make some agents elite and other agents? Not

Peter Michael 16:10
great? Great. Wow. Um, the number one thing that the moment you asked that question that stuck out to me was treating real estate as a business. And that has come up on our podcast multiple times for you know, high producing agents, you know, a lot of these agents are 6080 100 million in individual production, plus, not even counting the teams, we had one gentleman that I think that 23 or 2600 deals. And that was a big topic, treating your business like a business, a lot of our you know, new agents come in, and they think they’re going to just come in sweep the floor, mega great Commission’s market is great, everything is great. And you know, they’re gonna make 1015 $20,000 per deal, which they absolutely can’t, right. I’m not saying that they can’t. But when you treat it as a business, and you have systems and processes in place where you can rinse and repeat, you can duplicate and you can basically ensure that your clients are going to have a certain level of experience, that is something that you create for the long term. So that’s a big thing that sticks out with every single agent that we speak to, whether it’s literally the topic of treating your business, like a business, they have, from the time that they wake up to the time that they go to sleep to they’re very meticulous in how they do it, what they do. And then they show up every day, they treated more like a not necessarily a job. But as a corporation, where every single step of the process is dialed in. Now they didn’t have it dialed in right away and your listeners, everybody listen, you don’t have to have it dialed in right away, you just have to treat this like you really want it not just as a hobby, where you just go and you sell houses and you know, sit on the couch, eat pizza, and hopefully another referral comes in. They’re very deliberate and very intentional about how they’re building their business. The second thing that I noticed is that every single one of our guests and every single high producing agent I’ve come in contact with a lot of them does, it stays consistent, it compounds consistency compounds every single day, they have a tasks of certain things that builds their business, they’re called income producing activities, doesn’t matter what else is on their plate, nothing interferes, not nothing side rails them from doing those income producing activities, right. And depending whether you’re in a situation or you’re building a team, you know what those income producing activities are, and there’s no compromises when it comes to that. So if you’re an individual agent is called prospect now prospecting can come in a variety of different forms, no matter really what you’re out there doing, whether it’s you know, cold calling door knocking or whatever method Facebook, you know, organic paid doesn’t matter, it just staying consistent with it for long enough for you to have enough data to make an educated decision whether this is the right fit for you and your business. They’re not like I’m going to call a call for one day not get anybody on the phone, and then all of a sudden cold calling doesn’t work, or I’m going to launch enough some type of marketing, whether it’s mailers, Facebook, YouTube, Google, spend $1,000, and be like, okay, it didn’t work. Well, it just takes time to dial in. And the third, and I think the most important, which is something that I come from, you know, the service business as well. It’s the mindset about what is it that you’re actually doing and how you’re servicing your client, if you put yourself in the bucket of just being an agent was the wrong bucket? Because first of all, we’re so much more than just being an agent, like let’s give ourselves a little bit of credit. We are we’re we’re putting out fires left and right. We’re managing emotions, we’re being therapists, right.

We’re doing pretty much everything. So what I’m noticing is a lot of the high producers, they also have that dialed in where whether somebody is buying or selling it does not matter. They have a solution for every problem that comes along the way of buying or selling house or maybe something that’s totally in, in a totally different category. Right? So a lot of the stuff that I when I speak with my clients is I’m asking them, do you have a CPA? Do you have an accountant? Do you have a financial advisor? Because I’m trying to serve as them above and beyond the transaction? Right? I’m trying to get a customer for a lifetime. And this struck me really, you know, really hard one day where it’s like, somebody asked me, What do you think your clients worth? And I was like, huh, it’s a great question. Because most people think that the client is worth literally that single transaction. I’m not even talking about the other referrals you’re going to get from them. I’m talking about the most, most people think that one transaction, a $10,000, Commission, the $5,000, commission, whatever the commission is, but it’s actually not, because we know an average person will move every every five to seven years, I think those are the numbers and they’ll move at least three to five times in their lifetime. So an average person is, you know, the lifetime value of your client is worth well over 30 40,000, if you start actually adding that up, right, so we so what I noticed is a lot of high producers are not short sighted, they’re not focusing on a single deal on the transaction to focusing on the relationship serving the clients. And that’s exactly what I adapted in my business is like, if it’s not the right move, and my client wants to walk away, they want to cancel the contract for whatever reason, they want to back out, I will do my best to plead the case. But ultimately, it’s their decision. And I’ll do what’s in their best interest if they don’t feel comfortable, because I know long term where that’s going to take me you know, and that’s the sort of those are the three biggest things that now that we’ve done hundreds of episodes always stick out no matter what they always come up.

Justin Stoddart 21:40
It’s great stuff, Peter, absolutely love it all. Encourage me to go back and listen to that those there’s I couldn’t agree more those those three things are essential for somebody to again, getting out of that spot where we’re just looking at, can I pay the bills? Can I just get like, and those that are listening to this show, right? You are listening to the Think bigger real estate show for a reason. Because you know that there’s greatness inside of you? Like hands down? You know it, I know it? Everybody knows it, right? The outside world might not see it yet. But you know what, inside of you that you were made for something more than where you’re currently producing it right? And you might be like the outside world, people might feel like you’re killing it. And you might be saying like not yet, I’m not where I want to be yet right? What Peter just described those three principles and go back and revisit those, because inside of there may very well be what’s holding you back. The one simple thing that might be holding you back. If you don’t want to ask you one last question, as we wrap up here. And it’s this, you are a big thinker. That’s why you’re on the show. Talk to me about what you hear, again, we got two minutes, give me two minutes or less what you do to continue to be a big thinker, to continue to expand your possibilities. What’s it like for you,

Peter Michael 22:41
the biggest one is mentorship, I always like to get myself in a room where I’m the lowest guy on the food chain, because I know that I’m in the right room. First of all, because I got a lot more to learn. And if I feel that I’m at the top of the food chain, I gotta check my ego back at the door, and, you know, revisit that or change rooms, right? So I would say a big thing is you know, listening to podcasts like yours, constant mentorship, I’m constantly asking questions and questioning the way things have been done for a very long time. So like, when I started real estate, I didn’t just buy into, like, whatever my broker was telling me, whatever my team was telling you, whatever my mentors, you know, were telling me that we’re in a different market, I started questioning things. And I think and I feel that’s why I’ve been able to accelerate so quickly is because I didn’t have the perspective of fat times good times, I just didn’t know any better. So I just got to work, put my head down and just did it worked in silence and let everything else kind of fall in place. So that’s my, that’s my biggest thing is just like get the mentorship, keep an open mind do the work. And if you feel like you’re in the wrong room, you probably are because subconsciously, something’s holding you back or holding you down.

Justin Stoddart 23:50
That’s great wisdom. I agree with with that wholeheartedly. I am where I am. And you are where you are because of the people that have poured into us. And again, absolutely. For all of us, you may include everybody that’s listening. If you’re not where you want to be yet it probably is less about you pay in the time over a year over year over year for year after year, have figured it out yourself and go and purchase that that knowledge and experience that expertise and have it in a matter of 30 days, right. That’s the beauty of the world in which we live is that you can you can acquire somebody else’s years of knowledge and experience and make it yours in a very short period of time. Peter, it’s been such a pleasure to have you on we’re on time, my friend and I look forward to our next conversation. For those of you that again are wanting to know how do I learn more about these elite agent secrets there’s a link down below be sure to click on that and learn more about what Peter and his team can do for you. And in the meantime, Peter number one thank you and to everybody else to all of us. Go Think bigger appreciate helping us do that today, my friend. Thank you. I want to thank you for tuning in to this episode of The thick bigger real estate show. If you found value here, I asked three things number one, give us a review. Number two, go to Facebook groups search Think bigger real estate and apply to join here you will find a community of big thinking professionals that will help you grow your income your independence and your impact and my third request is go think bigger.