Many are finding that real estate transactions have been harder to come by this year than in previous years.
It becomes essential in times like these to maximize the low-hanging fruit, specifically those who already know you, like you and trust you.
Today I interview Michael Hellickson to get his best practices on how to do exactly that.
Michael ran the #1 Real Estate team in the country, personally closed 120-180 transactions/year for 20+ years

When you’re ready, here are a few ways I can help you…

Join my free mastermind group: Successful Real Estate Agents. Everyone wants to work by referral but what do you do when your goals outpace the number of your referrals received? To learn how to scale up your referral-based business CLICK HERE  

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Justin Stoddart 0:00
Hear, by the way, ladies and gentlemen, thrilled to be with you again. Today we’re going to talk very specifically about how to maximize your sphere of influence. I have one of the foremost real estate experts in the country. Stay with me, ladies and gentlemen, today’s episode is going to be nothing short of an absolute special broadcast.

All right, welcome back to the Think bigger real estate Show. I’m your host, Justin Stoddart, thrilled to be with you today, and even more thrilled to be with Michael hellickson. He is the founder and CEO of club wealth, a fastest growing coaching company in the real estate industry. Prior to that, Michael had quite a bit of success for 20 years, he sold between 120 and 180 homes, this guy knows what he’s talking about. And Michael is such a pleasure to have you here. Thank you for joining us today on the Think bigger real estate show.

Michael Hellickson 0:57
My pleasure, I’m glad that I’m here. I appreciate you having me. And hey, for clarity sake, when you were talking about the 120 to 180 homes, that’s every month, by the way. That’s not on an annual basis. That’s not total, that’s literally 120 to 180 homes each month. And we had at one point in time 750 listings and active and pending status. I say that because I’m one of those guys, like I, there’s so many people that want to just talk to real estate agents and tell them what to do and give them advice. And it’s like, dude, who are you to give me advice, right? Like, if somebody’s gonna give me advice, they’d better be doing what I want to be doing right or have done what I want to be able to do. Yeah, and, and so what is the Al Pacino says never, never take any advice from anyone who has done nothing, or never let anyone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything or something like that. Anyway, that being said, I love this, you know, we’re talking about, you know, different lead sources. And particularly, I know, your audience, and you are very heavy on referrals, which is a really important lead source. Especially as you know, we come into this, this time, where, you know, in general, in last, let’s call it the last eight years, you know, we’ve gone from 61% of the average agents business coming from referrals has dropped down to below 40% of the average agents business coming from referral. And there’s a lot of reasons for that. But number one is that 92% of all buyers start their search online. And of those fully 72% work with the first agent they come in contact with, it doesn’t drop the ball on that lead in the you know, on follow up. Now, agents can certainly up those numbers, agents can stack the odds in their favor. Particularly I know, you do a lot of teaching on how to get business from other business owners, right how to get referrals from business owners, that sort of thing, which is huge. I can tell you that there was a period of time where I had one bankruptcy attorney in particular, that I was doing about eight deals a month with that one attorney. That’s pretty good, right? Yeah, yeah. So So I agree with you. I think business to business referrals are huge. And I think it’s something that a lot of agents really haven’t captured, like they need to, I think coming into coming into this new year, though, or I’d say coming into the new year coming into this new market that we’re getting ready to enter into as interest rates continue to climb. I think it’s getting more and more important to diversify lead flow. And so looking at not just referrals, but you know, you talking about thinking bigger think we need to think a lot bigger, I think we need to have, you know, honestly, I think I think agents, if they want to make six figures in this industry, they need to have, you know, 10 to 15 lead sources. And if they want to make seven figures in this business, they’re gonna need 25 to 35 lead sources. I look at my son, my son has been in the business now for four months. And he’s already closed, I want to say 20 Something transactions, and he’s got another. I don’t know, if I look on his board he’s in he’s his, his company works in the office next to me, I can see his board from here. And it looks to me like they’ve got almost 10 or 12 pendings on there. And then another 15 or 20 listed. What’s interesting about that is and again, I’m a believer in referrals. But what’s interesting about that is he’s brand new to the business Guess how many of those transactions are from referrals?

Justin Stoddart 4:03
Probably few, I would imagine if he’s fairly new to the business,

Michael Hellickson 4:05
two, out of all of those transactions, two are from referral. And so really, what it comes down to is it comes down to, there’s really three things everybody’s got to do, right at a very, very high level. If you’re going to succeed in this business, you can do three things at a high level, lead generation, lead, follow up and lead conversion. That’s it like none of the other stuff matters. If you don’t figure those three things out, you’ll never make a dime if you don’t get those three things figured out. Even referrals, that’s lead generation, right, like you’ve got to get somebody to send you a referral. The one of the best ways you can get someone to send you a referral is to do a good job with the people that do send you a referral. It’s take really good care of those people. You know, there’s you and I were talking just before the show started, we’re talking a little bit about we’ve got a blog post about 10 thing I shot you the link if you want to share that you’re more than welcome but we got a blog post on the 10 things you should do when you get a referral. The best thing you can do if you want to get more referrals is really do a bang up job for the people that send you referrals and make them feel like you really took care of the referral. And you really took care of them in the process. And roomie can’t pay an unlicensed person to send you referrals. It’s against the law, right? It’s the RESPA violations. But you can pay him in a lot of different ways that don’t cost money, right. And it’s really through your actions and follow up and through keeping them posted. And you know, as an example, when someone sends you a referral, what’s the first thing you do? Right. But though, so, yes, and that is number one on my list as well. What I’m curious though, is for most people what most people do, I mean, though, I think, like, if somebody sends you a referral via text, what do you do? Send them a text message about? Hey, thanks. I’ll give him a call. Yeah. That’s a great start. But what else? You got to do more than that? Like? Yeah, that’s that’s the meeting the expectation, right? Certainly not exceeding the expectation, exceeding expectations, pick the frickin phone up. Call them up. Man, I cannot thank you enough for that referral. I can’t believe that you thought of me. I’m so excited about that. Thank you very, very much. I want you to I’m gonna give them a call. Is there anything in particular that you want me to know about them? yatta yatta? Yatta. Great. All right, fantastic. I’m going to give them a call right now. You give the person a call. You have your conversation with the referring party, then what do you

Justin Stoddart 6:12
do? I would imagine you Well, you’ve already said to contact the referred, I don’t. Let’s hear it.

Michael Hellickson 6:19
I’d go back to the person that sent the referral and give them another call and say, Hey, talk to Susie. She’s fantastic. We hit it off. I really love her. She’s great. We’re going to help her out. match made in heaven. Thank you so much for the referral. Any and who else? Do you know that’s thinking about buying or selling home? Can you think of anybody else? No. Okay, well, fantastic. You know, I’m saying like, you just you gotta go back that person given the update. So there’s, there’s literally there’s 10 Very simple steps, like, give me another one of the 10 I don’t remember where it’s at in here. But how about a video text message to the person? How about a handwritten personal note to the person that sent the referral? How about sending him cookies or flowers or, you know, something, a Starbucks card, something? That’s just even if it’s a $5 Starbucks card, what does it say? It says, Hey, I cared enough about you. That mattered

Justin Stoddart 7:03
to me, right? It reward the activity, necessarily the outcome?

Michael Hellickson 7:07
Dude, I love it. Yes, exactly. Correct. And we talked about that all the time. And people just don’t seem to get this. But it’s so important. You want to refer reward the act of sending the referral, it’s your job to get the referral, close, not theirs. It’s their job to send you the referral. And so you want to just encourage that, and it doesn’t matter if the person doesn’t do anything. Hey, you know, it’s nobody to see it. So I might say, Hey, Justin, thanks for referring Susie, Timmy. Hey, there, I can do anything right now. But I really appreciate the fro and I promise you, I’m gonna keep in touch with them. Whether it takes them a year, 10 years a day doesn’t matter. I’m gonna keep them great contact with them. And when they’re ready, I’m gonna take great care of my promise. Yeah, that’s literally like, nobody does that. Like, nobody makes that phone call. But when you receive a phone call like that, as as a consumer, somebody that’s referring people to an agent, man that just says to me, this guy’s got his stuff together. I’m gonna keep sending him referrals because I can trust him. That makes sense.

Justin Stoddart 8:00
Yeah. 100%. I think, again, all too often, we think, Well, if that closes all you like, you bet I’ll thank them. And we don’t necessarily mean it to be. Well, if I get something, and then I’ll thank you, we just assume that, that they’re excited to hear that we actually got them the end result that they wanted, but what that trains them oftentimes to think to do is, is to wonder, right? I wonder if he contacted them, I wonder if and you may be doing the best job ever, of reaching out and contacting these people following up with them. But if if that’s not relayed back to the source, then that source may very well dry up for you.

Michael Hellickson 8:32
That’s exactly right. And it’s not because they don’t like you, it’s because they don’t know if you’re doing what needs to be done. They don’t they don’t know if they can trust that you’re going to take care of that person or not. Alright, so that’s that’s one thing. Now the next piece of this, I think that we really got to we got to consider is we got to diversify lead flow, we got to get leads coming in from multiple sources we’ve got about so I, as you mentioned, I own a company called Club wealth work coaching company. And we’ve got our average agent does about 200 transactions a year, we’ve got people that are brand new, and we got people to do 1000 Plus transactions a year. But on average, we’re about 200 transactions a year per agent. So some pretty pretty good producers in there. And one of the things we spend a lot of time on is lead sources, we’ve got about 109 lead sources that we refer to our clients. Now, that doesn’t mean that every one of our clients uses all 109. That means they pick and choose and, and they’ll use you know, if I’m a if I’m if I’m somebody doing, you know, 150 plus transactions a year, I’ve got probably 2535 leads sources I’m utilizing. I’m not looking for that, that that lead source that sends me eight deals a month. I’m looking for that lead source that sends me maybe eight deals a year, like That’s great. I’ll take that. How many of those can I get? Because if I get 10 of those, that’s 80 transactions. If I get 20 of those, that’s 160 transactions here and it’s a lot more consistent because it’s coming from multiple different sources. So I would really suggest get that dialed in. Can I give them a website to go to or am I good to do that? Yeah, for sure. Go to go to club Oh, dot com forward slash leads, Lea DS, there’s 31 lead sources there that we recommend I get on there, you can download it for free doesn’t cost anything. And I would, I would recommend go get that, go get that list, we update it every year, and go through those 31. And just pick five, just pick five out of the 31. And start with that, like there’s and so when you figure out, Okay, here’s my top five, then you’re gonna say, Okay, here’s the one that I’m just that’s really easy for me to implement, I’m going to just put this one in place right now, get that in, start, you know, starting to start working with that lead source. And a lot of these are free, a lot of these don’t cost money, right. Some of these are just referral base lead sources, where you pay a referral fee at closing if you sell something to them, or if you sell their house. But get but just get each one implemented. And then what you do is you want to automate delegate eliminate, right, so you want to get as much of it automate as you can, if you can’t automate the all that process, then start delegating, can’t delegate, then you and there’s unnecessary steps eliminate those necessary steps. Now you’ve got it on a rinse and repeat. Now you go to the next one, and the next one, and the next one. And before you know it, you know, if you just add one lead source every quarter, think about this, if all you did was add one new lead source per quarter, think about what your business would look like in a year, two years, five years. It’s unbelievable how fast it grows. Now what you do is when those people come in from these different lead sources, now you bring them in, you treat them like gold, now they become referral sources for you. Whether we buy or sell something right now or not doesn’t matter. What matters is you treat everybody with a level of respect that you would expect to be treated with, right, you’re gonna treat them like world class clients, even if they’re not yet. And I’ll send you can turn them into raving fans, they start sending you referrals, it’s huge.

Justin Stoddart 11:46
Let’s talk about good luck. I’m super curious, you’ve got my interest peaked about one of these lead sources, right, which was a bankruptcy attorney, namely that the markets at an interesting point, right now people have gone to the very edges of their income to get into a home. And all things being equal, they would have been able to to continue to afford that home and they may very well be others are now seeing with the cost of goods and inflation rising. But all of a sudden, they may not be able to stay in that home that they went to the very extreme to get, I believe that there will be some people unfortunately, that will be filing bankruptcy and that will be giving up their homes. Talk to us about what steps you would recommend for somebody who wanted to really expose that opportunity of accessing the referral potential coming from people like a bankruptcy attorney. How did you get into that relationship? What can you teach us?

Michael Hellickson 12:32
Alright, so back in 2006, I was doing it feels a lot like 2006 Right now, by the way. But back in 2006, I was doing a lot of what are called short sales. And back then nobody knew what a short sale was they were they were trying to figure out isn’t a short payoff transaction. What do we call these things. And so the term short sales kind of took hold and, and so we started doing a little bit of that it wasn’t it I don’t want to say in massive volume. But by 2008, we were doing over 1000 of those a year. And it locally and then another 1000 plus a year that we were negotiating for people around the country. So what happened was I didn’t start off going after the bankruptcy attorneys. That’s not how it started. I started off just going after listings with every listing lead source I could find, and a lot of those are on that list that I told you about. So I started hitting every single listing lead source I could. And I started finding out like on the phone, people that act like they owned their house free and clear, then I get there. And guess what would happen? Oh my gosh, they’re short sale. Right? They don’t have their house free and clear. They’re actually upside down in their house by a wide margin. And so I had to just kind of learn by default, how do I handle this? And how do I how do I deal with these folks. And so then I got a few of those under my belt, you know, got 1012 1420 100 of those under my belt. And I started to realize, hey, wait a minute, there’s not a lot of people doing this. So I started teaching other agents how to do it. And then I had an agent that was going through bankruptcy, and I had to deal with his bankruptcy attorney. And it was actually the agents house I was selling it coincidentally. And you know, he wanted to list with me because in a short sale, you can’t make a commission on your own short sale anyway. So he’s like, Screw it. I’m going to use this guy because he does a lot of short sales. And and right around the same time I was on the Dave Ramsey show. And so Dave had me on a show I got credibility from that. And so I started putting all see and I thought okay, now it’s time to go talk to these bankruptcy attorneys. So I hit this bankruptcy attorney he was working with at the same time I went to a whole bunch of others. Not surprisingly, it was the one that I got because I was already in a transaction with a client of his that ended up being one that I ended up doing business with. And here’s here’s the real key if you’re going to cold approach bankruptcy attorneys and we got other bankruptcy attorneys saying this business as well. This guy just happened to be the biggest in our state. But if you’re gonna cold approach bankruptcy attorneys what the worst thing you can do is go up to a bankruptcy attorney and say, Hey, Justin, so I do a lot of short short sales and foreclosures and bankruptcy type clients and you know, would you be would you be Are you willing to send me some business? Yeah, I guess the best thing you can do, like because we’re, they’re gonna say they’re gonna they’re gonna be like, Nah, screw you, man. Like, I got real estate agents hit me up all the time not interested. Now, here’s what you do. And here’s what I did. So I said, Hey, man, you know, get this client in common. And I got like, 10 or 20 others that probably could use your services. Would you be okay, if I recommended you to some of them? Well, what do you think he’s gonna say? Yeah, I think it’d be great. That’d be fantastic. If you know, if you want to refer this. Well, it’s a man, I really appreciate that. Hey, let me ask. Yes. If I, if I could promise you a steady stream of those if I was going to refer these people to on an ongoing basis? Would you be willing to reciprocate? Would you be willing to maybe send me some of the people that you come in contact with that are going through bankruptcy that have a house they need to liquidate? Well, yeah, I’d be willing to do that. That’s a whole different conversation. Because it follows that, you know, one of one of the you know, you guys, if you’re doing referral stuff you’ve all heard of, you know, Brian, and so it is talking to Ryan on and he always talks in terms of give, Ask, Receive, and it’s a great formula. And he’s absolutely right about it. You know, the first thing is you gotta give, you got to give them value, give them value, give, Gary Vee says right, you know, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, right? Just you gotta give them tons of value, then you ask, and because you’ve earned the right to ask now, and then you’ll naturally receive. That’s how I approach every bankruptcy attorney out there.

Justin Stoddart 16:20
Oh, I love it. The only thing you know that I teach, in addition to that, it’s like textbook, what you just shared right? There is kind of with what I teach. And what I hope you will have success with, is that approach right now you had the good benefit of being in a transaction in common. So you had a warm introduction already. But I think they see agents do exactly what you described as kind of worst practices, right? Which is they should they show up as a solicitor there to give value in the form of what you send me business. That’s not, that’s not solving a problem that that bankruptcy attorney has, you’re there to solve your own problem. Let’s not like kid ourselves. Right? Right. And anytime we show up with that mentality, we are a solicitor, therefore, they’re going to treat us like one. So the best way is to get a warm introduction to that person who already has high credibility with that person. And you can get a warm introduction to where when you get when you have your first conversation with them, they already know everything about you. Like they’re already pre sold on you because somebody else did it for you to their ability. And so and you know, there’s no doubt in my mind why you’ve had great success with that, because you’re exactly right, those that show up to, to get under the disguise of oh, by the way, I’m never too busy for your referrals. That’s not a value proposition they’re interested in, and it’s just not. Right. It’s with your friends and family and past clients that lets that’s wonderful. But there’s someone who you don’t know who owns and runs a business. Like that’s not helpful, and you’ll quickly be treated as bitter as you should be. Yep. Are there other professionals, Michael, that you would recommend, like, all these lead flows you’re talking about? And again, I’ve put in the comments, right, this, this link to these lead sources? Are there other professionals that you think agents ought to be aware of that could really become a great center of influence? Right center of influence is what I like to call right? Somebody can send you a lot of business or it might terms like I call them an upstream partner, someone who’s upstream from your transaction.

Michael Hellickson 18:15
There’s times I mean, if we’re talking specifically about distressed business, right, so we want to look at, you know, if we’re looking for distressed sellers, you’ve got bankruptcy attorneys, you’ve got probate attorneys, you’ve got family law attorneys, you’ve got to do family law adjudicators, or, or mediators, which is actually where a lot of this happens. And so yeah, there’s there’s all kinds of opportunities on just on the default side. Now, if we’re talking about other types of business besides just default, I mean, then you get every freakin professional out there. I mean, you could literally go down to the corner, you know, pizza shop down the road, do a little video on Facebook forum, say hey, I’d like to promote your business and be okay with that. Yeah, sure. I’d be great with that. Awesome let me do a little video I’m going to promote it and I’m going to tag you in it and you can share it and yada yada yada and and you’d be like a little Newt segment on how great this frickin pizza shop is. And you’d be surprised how many people to share it with them the Nelson you know, you’re you’re you’re sending them a message every now and then saying Hey, check it out. Our post is doing really good. Looks like we’ve got you know 2000 views were at 5000 views Hey, how cool is that? And then all of a sudden the pizza shop owners like man, I really liked this guy and then you can go back and you can say hey, by the way when you guys deliver pizzas out you know how about you know like I buy pizzas for all my people would you give them to me a discount if I buy them every time somebody moves in? Yeah, that’d be great. Like that’s a whole nother I don’t even start on the pizza guy strategy that’s a whole nother you know when it comes to the coupons on the on the on the pizza box. And there’s like a million ways you can make money with the pizza guy. But my point is, if you if you really want to do a lot of business by referral with business owners, the first thing you have to do is give those business owners value and you need to find out what their hot button is. What is it that’s important to them? Because it’s not necessarily I can tell you this, they all need business. So anytime you can send them business that’s an easy one right? That’s Gotta get your foot in the door right there. But besides business, they need promotion. And you know, like, if you can go out and promote them, that’s the next best thing to actually sending the business. And, and so anyway, you want to start looking at these, like longer term relationship and get them in or referring people. But it’s literally any business owner you can think of. There’s there’s literally no limit to it.

Justin Stoddart 20:20
Yeah, I love that with the, the if, if you can tie it into your client experience, right. And specifically, in my mind, I’m thinking like a pizza owner, Is he really going to have that many ability to refer? Probably be you know, because he’s influential, but if they’re going door to door to people’s houses, right, and you trade that pizza for us, right? This is a new, a new concept for me. I don’t know if the pizza would have the ability to say like, oh, it looks like you guys are getting ready to move. I don’t know that. That seems like it might be a bit of a stretch, actually arm your pizza delivery guy with scripts. But I love the concept of working with the business owner to maybe put something on the box and say, Look, if you think about moving, right, who knows? Like I mean, that’s a really brilliant idea.

Michael Hellickson 20:58
How about this? How about when I talked about pizza? Let’s say Justin, you on the pizza shop? I say Justin Lee is yes. Do you have a way in your system to identify? Like who referred you to so so if I send you 10 people, and they’re buying pizza from me, is there a way that your system will say, hey, this was a referral from Michael, would you know that? Yeah, I would assume that. Yes, right. Yeah. Let’s say yes. You say, hey, fantastic, then how about we do this, I’m gonna buy pizzas for all the people that move into the area so that you get the you know, so on their moving day, I’m gonna buy pizzas from you. And here’s what I want you to do. I want you every time you deliver a pizza to them, I want you to put I want you to put a special coupon, I’ll buy the coupons, I will, you know, so I’ll pay for the printing of these coupons. And you just stick those on top of your pizza box. And all that all it just has my branding on it says, you know, thanks for being a great client of Michael’s. And because you’re a great client of Michael’s, we’re gonna offer you two for one pepperoni pizzas, or whatever it is, whatever your Deal of the Week is, or whatever, like you just make sure that it’s got my name attached to it, then here’s what else I’m going to do. I’m going to run a contest, every Super Bowl Sunday, I’m gonna run a contest, I’m going to provide free pizza for somebody at their party. And I’m gonna involve you in that contest I’ll ask again, is every pizza you deliver to my clients during Superbowl Sunday? It’s got my sticker on it. That’s all I ask. And now think about this, when they’re having their Superbowl Sunday party, guess who’s over there with all the freaking buddies? And now what are their buddies saying, Oh, that’s my real estate agent on the pizza box. You don’t mean a Superbowl Sunday commercial? You got it. I love it, Michael, at a fraction of the cost. I mean, you start thinking outside the box on some of these things. And now all of a sudden, that pizza owner that pizza store to kind of your friend and advocate, because he knows that every time somebody new moves into the area, you’re referring them, and they’re going to do business with him not once or twice, but probably every couple of weeks, they’re going to do business with this guy. And every couple of weeks, they’re gonna get your coupon in front of them. I mean, this kind of stuff moves the needle, it’s, but you got to put a system to it, it’s got to be systematic, it can’t be something you do sporadically. It’s got to be something, you do it religiously. And the best way to do that is get your admin staff involved in it. Right? So if you, by the way, agents write this down, if you only get one thing out of it, I hope you get this out of it. If you don’t have an assistant, you are one. Yeah. Like seriously, think about that. And so you got to get an assistant, because a lot of the stuff, it’s tedious, it’s mundane, and it’s not the kind of stuff that you should be spending your time on, you’re gonna make the initial contact with that business owner. After that 99% of it’s going to be your office that’s going to handle your administrative staff that’s going to handle that relationship. You’re just going to be the smiling person that shows up when you do a video with them once in a while.

Justin Stoddart 23:35
Just a little conflict here, folks, right? It’s like who already has a relationship with these people? And are who’s getting into the homes of these people. Right, Michael, I love your concept there of like creating your own Superbowl commercial at a at pennies on the on the dollar. Fantastic work. It really works. Alright, so one of the promises people coming to the show is the sphere of influence, right? Again, with transactions like marketing, with the market potentially squeezing a little bit tighter right now fewer transactions happening, how do we be sure that we do not lose any of the transactions that we ought to be getting? Because we were distracted by something else? What are some of the very best foundational systems that agents need to have in place to be sure that everybody that has used them or does know them? likes them even a little bit is using them referring them?

Michael Hellickson 24:21
Okay, so those are two different questions. So the first question is, how do we make sure we’re getting our fair share? The second question is how do we make sure we’re getting referrals? So those are two very different questions. And here’s one of the things you gotta watch out for. When the market contracts when we have a you know, when we enter into a recession, which we will again, I mean, it’s just it’s we don’t know when we don’t have bad but it’s coming. It’s cyclical, it’s gonna happen eventually. But what you what you’ve got to ask yourself both questions, because the reality is when we come into that recession, nobody calls their buddy up and says, Hey, Justin, hey, my wife and I were about to lose our house to foreclosure. You have a good real estate agent you’d recommend to us nobody calls everybody in says that that’s unrealistic, they’re not going to do that. And that’s why, I mean, Brian Buffini almost went out of business in 2008. And 2009, great guy, great system, no, nothing bad to say about the guy. But he was entirely dependent on referrals during that period of time. So guess what? referral based business all but went away during that period of time. And I say, oh, boy, it dropped significantly during that time, which means his customer base dropped significantly during that period of time. So he had to make up for that, somehow, which he just made up for it by just working that much harder. But for you guys, number one, I would say you’ve got to diversify your lead flow, it’s first thing you got to do, you got to diversify your lead flow. Now, the second question is, how do we get more referrals at a time like that, then the answer has to become consistently in the basics, you have to be very, very consistent in the basics. First and foremost, you got to be doing for client events per year. If you’re not doing for client events per year, you’re missing the boat. They don’t have to be fancy, but you got to call ahead of each one of them. So three weeks before the event, we got a call every single person in our database, invite him to the call, or excuse me to the to the client event. And, and it’s not about the climate, I don’t care how many people show up their climate, it’s about the contact, it’s about the opportunity to have a conversation with them and say, hey, look, I just wanna see how you’re doing. And if if every time you call us another thing, you got stopped doing stop every single time you’re making a call. But worst thing you can do is every call say oh, by the way, if you were buying or selling a home or had a friend or family member who has dad have a Realtor you had to refer him to that is the dumbest thing you could possibly do. Because all that is is self serving, and every single person that hears that, thanks. They didn’t call the talk to me. They call because they wanted something from lb get not to give. That’s exactly right. And so what you’ve got to do is you got to call them up and say how you doing? How’s work? How’s COVID treatment? How’s it you know, like, what’s going on, like, you know, dig into their lives. And you know, Ford, right, we all know Ford family Occupation, Recreation dreams, right? So I’m going to ask them about their family Occupation, Recreation and dreams, I’m going to find out how they’re doing. And I’m going to let them do 90% of the talking. And if they’re doing 90% of the talking, I win already. It doesn’t matter if they come to a client of and it doesn’t matter if I should probably invite them, but it doesn’t matter if they come or not. And if I do invite him, it should be anecdotal, right. And so at that point, it’s, you know, after they’re done talking, and after I’m done talking just before we wrap up the call, it’s, well, that’s awesome. Just you know, it’s been I really enjoyed chatting with you, Hey, man, Nick, you know, maybe I’ll get to see at one of our client events, one of these days look to see, you know, affect our next one’s coming up. In fact, just a few weeks, if you’re more than welcome to come out, love to see it. But in any event, don’t ever hesitate to call me. You know, if you ever need anything. Even if you just need someone to talk to you, man, just give me a shout out. I’m here. Because here’s what I can promise you. People want to be your friend more than they want to be your client. Now, there’ll be your client once they’re your friend. And there’s certainly people that will be your client, even if they’re not your friend. But people would rather be your friend than your client. And so it’s a much easier road if you can just give value. So So client events are one number two, you’re gonna have a newsletter, you got to do a monthly newsletter. I prefer a written newsletter, an actual printed mailed out physical newsletter, these e newsletters are not a big fan. I mean, they’re okay. They’re alright. But they’re not they’re not moving the needle, like a printed newsletter will move the needle, handwritten personal notes, you should be writing five of those every single day, you should do that now. Because here’s the reality if you want referral based business 612 months from now, it starts now. Like that doesn’t doesn’t come six to 12 months, Matt comes as a result of what you do today. And it’s it’s it’s like, it’s like a train rolling down the tracks, it takes a lot of effort to get that thing up and running takes, you know, constant input and energy input into that system. But if you’ll do that over a long period of time, very consistently with great discipline, guess what happens you develop so much momentum, you can’t stop the freaking thing. It just rolls down the tracks whether you’re pushing it or not. So those those are some very simple ones obviously need to be active on social media, I’d be watching to like, I want to segment my database. So I need to it’s very important that you segment your database into A plus B, C and D clients so you know who you’re dealing with. And a being someone who’s referred you or done business with you and a plus being someone who’s done multiple transactions or multiple referrals

and now what am I gonna do I’m gonna spend my most time effort energy and dollars on my A’s and A pluses and then B is just you know, I think that they’d probably refer me if I taught him how and reminded him right pretty straightforward. See is all your cold leads do that ding dongs, the people you don’t want to do business with the people you’d love to delete from your database, but you can’t because if you delete them, they’ll find a way to sneak back into your life and mess with you again. And so now what happens is when you’ve got a segment and you know I can be on Facebook and I can see that hey, I’ve got an A or an A plus client over here that’s got a kid going off to college. You know now they’re gonna be an empty nester. Why don’t I cinnamon and Amazon book on on how to cope with being an empty nester. Like just something something of that nature, right. Like I send something that’s pertinent to them in their situation. They’re gonna remember that that’s gonna means that nobody else is sending him that and it doesn’t cost much for 20 bucks. I mean, like, that’s meaningful to them. Even if they never read the book and doesn’t matter if they read the book, it really doesn’t even matter if they read the book, all that matters is you took the time, it doesn’t matter if it’s a good book can be a crappy book, but it’s pertinent to their situation.

Justin Stoddart 30:15
You’re modeling that you’re a good listener, you’re modeling how you take care of people, which is exactly what people want when they’re choosing a professional. And referring a professional, somebody who listen to somebody who takes care of it, that’s, that’s the game, right? You’re showing them that you heard them, and that you responded in a thoughtful way.

Michael Hellickson 30:31
That’s right, 100%. It’s exactly what you want. And when you do that, they say there’s another thing, they will thank you. Now how you handle that, thank you, is mission critical, and this is something most people don’t get. Now we need to invoke in effect, I don’t know anybody that teaches referrals, that is teaching this technique. And I want you guys to think about this. There’s something called neuro linguistic programming something and there’s the law of reciprocity. And we have to invoke the law of reciprocity. And there’s a neuro linguistic programming technique that we can use to do that. So let’s say just and let’s say I just sent you a book on becoming an empty nester because your kids just moved out. And you called me up to thank me. Yeah, hey, my pleasure, Justin. Hey, I gotta tell you, No, I, the least I can do I mean, I, I really appreciate it. When you bump into people thinking about buying or selling a home, I know that you go out of your way to send those our way. And the least I can do is remember you at a time like this. So thank you for those referrals. I really appreciate that. Now, what did that just do to him? Now he’s sitting there thinking? He likes referrals. And I just got this book because I send him referrals. He’s, I’m top of mind, top of consciousness for this guy, and he’s aware of who I am. What do I want? What do I want to do more of? What do people love? People love positive energy, right? Positive Intention. So if I want more positive attention from Michael, what do I get to do is send him more referrals? Guess what my reticular activated kicks off now. And I’m thinking about, you know, people that are thinking about buying or selling a home, because I want to do a run I want to do right by Michael, because he just invoked the law of reciprocity. You know, the stuff is, it seems all complicated. It’s really simple. Yes, human nature, take care of people.

Justin Stoddart 32:14
It’s, it’s, it’s simple, but not easy to do. And I think that’s the beauty of it is that to do it consistently, most agents will not. And if you want to stand out, oftentimes, it’s not the big, fast, shiny, sexy thing. It’s simply going to the fundamentals, and doing them with wild consistency, which will make you wildly different and remarkable. Michael, always so good to talk to you. So much knowledge and wisdom always comes from you appreciate the generosity with which you show up to these calls. And given give, what’s a great way for people to really get in kind of into your world learn more about you. And you’ve got an event coming up in October.

Michael Hellickson 32:51
Yeah, we do. We I mean, and that’s awesome. If you guys want to come out to the event and all that, that’s awesome. I just let me give to you. This, just let me give it to you guys. Let me let me let me practice what I preach, go grab those lead sources go. You know, go go to club forward slash leads, grab, grab that list, pick five of those things and go implement them and let it do some work for you. You know, if you want to, we got a Facebook group go to our Facebook group. I mean, I’m not that guy that’s like, Hey, I’m going to be on a podcast, let me sign me up for coaching. Like, that’s just not going to happen. Like you guys got to get to know us, you got to you got to get a lot of value out of us long before you ever gonna want to sign up for coaching. So, start just do

Justin Stoddart 33:29
that. Alright, one last question, Michael, you’re a big thinker, and one of the biggest we’ve ever had on the show. I love that about you. What does Michael hellicksen do to continue to be a big thinker to continue to stretch your personal possibilities.

Michael Hellickson 33:43
I am in the middle of one right now. So I’m in the middle of of buying a property that is millions of dollars out of my comfort zone. And, and it’s scaring me. And I just and I it’s funny, I was talking to my wife last night, the night before and this morning and yesterday morning and last couple of days. Like this has been the topic of conversation as you can imagine for about a week or so. And this one’s a big one. This is rolling dice in a big way and

Justin Stoddart 34:14
personal property investment property what’s both

Michael Hellickson 34:17
complicated, but both at the end of the day, and but it’s millions and millions of dollars. Like that are like like what’s the worst thing that could happen? I mean, really, like we go broke and then you’re like, how bad is that? Really? I mean, like what’s the worst thing again? And we gotta go live with you folks. I mean, like, big freakin deal, right? I mean, we’re not the the company’s not going to shut down because of it right? Like we’ll still figure it out, we’ll fly we’ll find a way to make a living. You know, it’s not like our clients are going to quit coaching with us because we screw the pooch on this thing and we lose millions and millions wouldn’t be the first time the biggest mistake I’ve ever made was $100 million. I mean, beat that right like who lose $100 million by being stupid right? Well, me apparently. So I guess really what I’m saying is, especially when you’re young, and I’m 49, so I’m not young, but I’m still young enough I can recover. I mean, it doesn’t take that long. I’ve made a you know, you can easily make a million dollars in a year, let alone longer than that. So I guess my message would be this. If it’s not scaring you, are you really trying hard enough? If it’s if it’s not scaring you? Are you doing the things that you should do if you’re if you’re only doing things that don’t scare you, you’re not getting outside your comfort zone. And if you’re not getting outside your comfort zone, you’re not growing? It’s like snowboarding or skiing, right? So I was telling my kids, so we’re big into snowboarding and our family. And my kid when he was six years old Boston, I took him up on this hill. And this is a hill where Warren Miller films. I mean, this is like the place like this is. And it was death cookies everywhere. It’s means big, huge ice chunks everywhere. I mean, it was, it was treacherous conditions, steepest terrain on the mountain. And this is where the professionals do the filming, right? And my wife’s freaking out to 45 minute traverse hike to get to the spot. I mean, it’s it’s as remote as it gets if an avalanche happens there, nobody’s getting to us for a couple hours. We’re dead at that point. I mean, this is crazy. And I’m taking my six year old with me, right, my wife. And most kids don’t even start to snowboard until seven. And this kid’s been snowboarding now for three years at this point. And we’re really two years very well and, and so I take him out there. And he’s the youngest person ever more this hill, I take him out there and I look down this hill. And he’s like, Dad, what if I crash? as well? Did he get up and you go again? Okay, but what do I do, dad? I said, Look, I said, you see how this hill goes way down. And it’s I mean, it’s like 4000 feet down. I mean, this is like Insanity. I mean, that’s something like I make it like pitch and it’s windy and blue and Blizzard you type commission like it’s crazy conditions up, there are the peak of this recut mountain, right rugged mountains. And this hill goes down. And then it kind of curves out and levels out. And I said, Look, I know, it’s big and tall and scary. But at the end of the day, all you got to do is aim for that flat spot down there. Don’t think about anything but that flat spot and you don’t need to worry about how fast you’re going. Go as fast as you can, when you get that flat spot, you’ll slow down automatically. You just go as fast as you can and take it to that flat spot, you’ll be just fine. And that’s life in general. If you think about this, right, and by the way, he made it down just fine. He made it down. He’s survived. We’re both alive to this day. Everybody lived it was fine. No avalanches, nobody died. And so nobody can get hurt. But in life, you look at this. And you see all you see is the death cookies. All you see is these big chunks of ice and a steep hill is Danger, danger, danger, danger, danger, right. And once you have to understand is it’s like the Japanese kanji for for credit for chaos. It’s ours our search for opportunities. It’s cat HomeNet. Now I just lost it. It’s It’s chaos and opportunity. Now danger and opportunity. What are the oh my gosh, I totally lost that I just anyway, doesn’t matter. point is this, that what you have to do is you have to understand that you’re going to if you can avoid looking at those things, if you can avoid looking at all the dangers that are involved, and all the downsides that are involved in if you just focus on the opportunity. And if you just drive straight for that opportunity. The other stuff will fall by the wayside, and you’ll figure it out. And it’ll be fine. And worst case scenario, if it’s not fine, stand up, you dust yourself off, and you go back and you look at that opportunity and you get headed toward it again and you’ll be just fine. But I don’t know any other way to conquer big obstacles or big opportunities.

Justin Stoddart 38:46
Fascinating. Michael, my daughter is just recently permitted. So she’s driving now. And very similar principle. I said, your your the car will follow where your eyes go. So if you don’t want to hit the guardrail, don’t stare at the guardrail, right, same thing you’re saying. Like oftentimes we go into life in any any situation to say I don’t want to hit that and we start staring at and as we start moving towards it. And so so awesome principle. Thank you so much, again, for taking time out of your very busy schedule to come and pour into the Think bigger real estate show audience I appreciate you. fortunate to have you in my network in my world. And thank you for all the things that you’ve shared with us today to help us to be better help us to think bigger, and to go create the lives that we want. So I appreciate you and for all those listening here today. My final three words are this go think bigger. Michael, thanks for helping us do that today, my friend. Appreciate

Michael Hellickson 39:35
Thanks for having me. Just

Justin Stoddart 39:36
you bet.