Justin Stoddart 0:00
Hey, welcome back to the think bigger real estate Show. I’m your host Justin Stoddart and I am really excited today to be here with a good friend of mine with James Adair, of Sierra Pacific mortgage to talk about this, how to differentiate in a crowded marketplace. James and I’ve had this conversation before that so many agents do what every other agent does. They show up the same way. They say the same things, and they all lead to generating the same way. And that today, I’m going to have James share with us some absolutely brilliant ideas that he helps, that he really mentors and has a process and a system to help real estate agents really stand out. And in again, accredit marketplace. So first and foremost, James, thanks for being on the show today.

James Adair 0:36
Sure, can we get some confirmation from anybody that’s on online? Did they give up? So?

Justin Stoddart 0:44
Yeah, if you’re watching this live, if you would type live, if by chance you’re watching this, as a replay, please put replay once you see this that kind of help us know who’s watching the show. So anyway, we’ll kind of keep an eye on that. So, James, let’s get this.

James Adair 1:00
Let’s get into it here. Right,

Justin Stoddart 1:02
Yeah. Right, let’s, let’s bust this out. So how common is it for you to hear real estate agents say that all their businesses coming from cold market prospecting, open houses, online leads?

expired for sale by owners? Like, how common is that?

James Adair 1:19
Well, I know it’s common in town for and I think it’s more common for newer agents who are trying to build their book, you know, it’s like, All right, let’s call some expired. Let’s call some fizz bows, let’s do some open houses, let’s just get in the mix. And fight it out for opportunities. Right. So and I, I don’t think that’s a bad idea. I think that’s a, it’s got to be a part of every new agent’s business. But I do see a lot of teams that really just prospect focus, prospecting focused, and this is they just crank and crank and crank. And I think it can be exhausting. It can be demoralizing. And it’s hard to get the right kind of momentum. If you don’t, if you aren’t connecting. And you aren’t getting some easy wins every so often, right? And so when I say an easy win, I guess what I’m talking about is a referral. So someone saying, oh, man, you gotta call Justin he’ll sell your house, he’s the best. And then someone calls you like, hey, James told me to call you, I need to sell my house and then use get right to work. You don’t have you’re not. So there’s a difference with prospecting. And there’s a difference in selling. And we need to do both. But we really need to be focused on selling, selling is where the money is made. Right. And if you get a referral, you can really compress that timeline. The more referrals you get, the more often you’re just selling and educating your clients on how this works, and how you can help them not trying to convince them to choose you and then go into selling, you know, yeah. So I wanted to do a little call back to an episode you did a while ago when you talked about the book Blue Ocean Strategy, which is such a cool concept. It’s actually kind of a, it’s kind of a classic now, right? I mean, it was that that came out in Oh, six, I think it’s an older book. But it’s basically about trying to find ways to make it operate in parts of the market, that not everyone else is operating in, operate in a place or in a way that you’re not competing with as many people if you call it for sale by owner, it’s like that person’s just getting you to know, 20 phone calls a day until they list with an agent. And then in this just make it’s like part of the value proposition of that for sale by owner is make my phone stopped ringing with other agents, please. But what we’re going to talk about at our this Wednesday, we’re sharing the stage again, on the third command performance of the exponential referrals workshop, you’ve got a great piece of content, Nick Crowder, has got a great piece of content about leveraging referrals from retiring agents, such a huge idea that he’s got a great system built around. But I’m going to be talking about what I call the homebuyers playbook strategy, which is about leveraging your existing business relationships and turning those into referrals. There’s, there’s plenty of businesses that everyone uses every day for their own selves, their own families. And well, first of all, most of them, not most of them, but maybe more than you’d like to say, don’t even know that your real estate agent. Don’t even know that your lender. So make sure everyone knows what you do that if it’s a business that you’re frequenting, make sure that they know what you do.

And then you want to get into a conversation around. How does your business work? Right, you want to ask them that I’m getting into now this is sort of the, this is the formula for getting your existing business relationships to start referring business to you. Like if you go into a dry cleaner, or if you go into your I have a great story. But my optometrist, I’m not wearing my glasses right now. But I have them. I don’t need them all the time. But I do wear glasses sometimes. And I have an optometrist up the street. And I got into this conversation with her, I was strapped into the machine. And I asked her how does this business work, she’s actually kind of new. So she had just bought the practice a year before. And it was only the second time I’d seen her. And I’d seen her predecessor in months before. So I was asking her like how the transition was going and just ask her some business questions. And how he asked her how, how do you build your business? And is it a, you know, is it something that’s automatic? Or do you something is that something you struggle with, and she just really, really lit up and said, It is something we struggle with, it is something I wish we could devote more energy to, you know, we have a good client list, we have a good location and a parking lot and all the things are in place. But there’s definitely room to improve. And we just really started getting into that kind of conversation. And she’s, I mean, she’s a medical professional, and a highly, you know, specialized kind of service provider. But she’s running a business, and it’s a retail business. And you know, there’s ups and downs, and she has to manage that part. And probably no one’s taught her how to do that. And you know, you and I’ve talked about that all of these highly trained professional services are just winging it, you know, and as a lender, as a real estate agent, we’ve been able to probably get more training around marketing around client conversion, client retention, around scripts, you know, we can really bring a lot of value to these people. And so just asking, how do you build your business? And, you know, hey, would it be? Would it be okay? I mean, I really enjoy coming here, I have a book that I hand all my clients, it’s just a home buyers playbook. And I feature all of my preferred business partners in town, and I’d say, you know, keep this book, it’ll show you how to buy the house, and you know how to maintain the house, but in the back end has all kinds of pre-screened vetted local professionals for all kinds of services, not just Home Services. And would it be okay, if I featured this business in my book, I’m going to give out at least 100 of these books this year, maybe more? And she just stopped in her tracks and was like, that would be amazing. In fact, my husband, I am thinking about buying a house right now, it was like a $1.1 million purchase that she and her husband were looking to do. And I uncovered that. And then more referrals just by offering to be curious, having a system in place that I could actually drive business to her and, and showing up as a local business peer, not just a real estate guy or a mortgage guy trying to take something from her. I’m trying to give something to her. And then she gave something back to me just because so if you can do that, with all of the different services that you frequent as a real estate agent, not I mean, of course, there are all kinds of Home Services, contractors, landscapers, oil, tank people, floor, finishing windows, I mean, there’s all the all of these things that you are that are in your Rolodex, and you’re glad just to have someone take your call. But if you can show up and say, Hey, let me ask you about your business. How does it work? How do you-you know, and you might also find someone that you know, you’ve been referring business to for years. And you’re just glad that they’ll take your call, like a CPA or something. And it just says, hey, if you get into this conversation, how does your business work? And they say, you know, and it seems like there’s an opportunity. This is a true story, the CPA, a friend of mine, who’s doing the strategy on the East Coast, said that they uncovered someone they’ve been referring business to for years for like 10 years as an accountant. And they finally got up the courage and the focus to say, Hey, I, I want to see if you will be able to refer business back to me, I’ve been referred to it for you for years, and I love the way you operate. And I love the way you take care of my clients. And he said, Well, you know, my wife’s a real estate agent. So I’m not in a position to refer you at all. Right. So this is an opportunity to have these formalized conversations with these business partners. And you may uncover something where you’re like, man, maybe I could find a new accountant that could actually be a real business partner, for me, it’s an opportunity for you to make sure everyone’s pointing business back and forth, and that’s reciprocal. But you have to be in a position to be, it doesn’t work. If you’re not the first person to give. And it has to be real, you have to really give of your mind you have to really give of your energy. And you have to be thinking about ways to engage your conversations, your clients, whenever you’re in your day to day, how can I look for opportunities to be to refer? Right? That’s the key.

Justin Stoddart 10:33
Let me point out a couple of things here, James, one thing I love that you’ve kind of offered up is this concept that real estate agents, oftentimes, again, they’re taught to be hunters, because they have to be right. So they go out into the marketplace. And they go to like the lowest hanging fruit for people that have already raised their hands for somebody owners expires, online leads. What they find, though, is that that’s a crowded space, right? It’s a bloody ocean, going back to your reference to the blue ocean strategy. And as a result, the only thing that they have to differentiate themselves is how many times can they follow up? Or how low will they go on their price? Right, we use it as a better strategy is to actually go into the community and look around and say there are other business owners that are struggling with the same problem as I am, which is, how do I get more business, and then take the training and tools that you’ve learned on being strategic and offer it to them. But here’s what I hear. Heard you point out subtly, which is that sometimes people approach those relationships still as the hunter, right. Like they, they treat an optometrist, for example, from your perspective, but walks in and understands like, oh, you’re an optometrist, I’ll bet you could give me a lot of referrals. I’ll bet you people that sit in this chair right here that need alone or that need to sell real estate, I’m going to leave brochures and business cards for you. So when people bring up real estate, you can refer me right? So it’s the same hunter mentality, they just applied it to somebody else, which is going to go over well, but I hear you say have more come from contribution comes from a long term perspective, and actually coming clean, what can I give to you? I understand, like, how does your business work? That’s an amazing question. Like, how do you get business? How do you grow a business? Like how big do you guys want to grow? Like those kinds of like conversation starters put you on a totally different plane, because most real estate agents don’t care. They just care. We’re like, we’re going to get the next paycheck from Where’s your come in saying, like, teach me about your business, teach me about your struggles, teach me about what’s working well, and then you might be able to contribute some things that you’ve learned and even like you’ve said, which is seven and say, you know, I happen to be a lot of people that are moving in from out of the area, I happen to meet a lot of people that are moving from one neighborhood to another. And I’ll My guess is that there’s going to be a group of those people that need a new optometrist, would it be okay, if I took some of your cards, and strategically placed them with people who I thought it would be a value add for me in order to do that, like it’s, it’s totally different, not just a different group of people you’re marketing to, but as a whole, totally different mindset instead of getting it gives book, right? But what ends up happening, the interesting thing that your story illustrates is that you went into giving, and in that same conversation you got, whereas had you gone into getting right and said, like, Hey, I have a lender, do you need to refinance? She probably would have been,

James Adair 13:09
right? That’s not an appropriate conversation.

Justin Stoddart 13:11
Yeah, I’d be weird, right? But because you can’t immediately, like or something to harvest there. Sometimes I think people go, Well, if I’m gonna be a farmer, I’m not gonna be able to eat till the fall, and I need to eat this month. Right? Like, just showing up differently. Like, you’ll get actually, the benefit of almost being a hunter or business will start to come now. Because you’re so different than the crowd of real estate agents that are doing the same thing that everyone else is doing.

James Adair 13:36
Yeah, that’s that, well, I mean, you’re always going to have that problem, you’re never going to as a real estate agent or lender, you’re never going to be so unique, is just, you know, I mean, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe, maybe I’m not thinking big enough, maybe there is a way to to be so unique, that it’s just like, you have 100% conversion, and you never compete with anybody because what you do is so different. You know, that’s a that would be a great thought in your mind. Like, what would that business even look like? Right? Yeah. Anyway, that’s different that’s a, for a different episode. But yeah, I think the idea of referrals, the idea of these transactions, I mean, there’s real estate transactions happening all around us. And we’re just not involved in most of them. Because they’re, we’re not being brought into them, we’re not being pointed to them. And we talked to so many people, we interact with so many people and in a non-real estate way. But there are many more opportunities to formalize those basic days to day relationships that we all have, in a way that you will be I mean, if you can get 15 area business operators, to have a formal relationship with you, and you’re already using their services, you’re already either recommending them systematically, or you are using you’re a client of them already. So you’ve already got your foot in the door, you have a relationship that’s meaningful to them right away. Secondly, you come from contribution, you ask them how this work, how can I help? Is there what’s your biggest problem? You know, maybe it’s not even business related? Maybe it’s something else? I don’t know. But you can maybe connect them to some other kind of service that could help. I don’t know that. You got to ask the questions. And then you present yourself as a solution to their business problems, hey, I’m, I’m a retail business operator, as well, I meet you know, I’m talking to, you know, on a good day, I talked to five new clients on you know, but I’m talking to five to 25 people a week, that are interested in relocating, making a big transition, they might need your services, they might need to connect with a new version of a service on one side of town, now they’re on the other side of town or whatever. I’m putting your name and number in front of them, would that be valuable to you, I’m gonna have a system for referring my preferred business partners for you know, from here on out. So I want to do that for you. And all I ask in return is that whenever you have an opportunity, whenever you hear someone talking about mortgages, whenever you hear someone talking about buying a house that you have to call me, I have to be in that conversation. That’s how that’s, that’s what that’s the one thing I’m really focused on right now is formalizing my existing business relationships. And they get it and they want to be a part of it. So it’s a, it’s a great script. Easy.

Justin Stoddart 16:38
And they would love to have any time somebody has anything about eyeballs. Right. That’s optometrists would love to have you say, oh, my goodness, right. And I think, yeah, you know, 111 formalizations of this whole methodology, right, it’s like a kind of a traditional lead tip or being I grew, those get mixed reviews, right? Sometimes people go into the absolutely kill it, I would say that there’s an opportunity cost. Let’s see, there are 35 people in the room, and five of them are maintaining referral partners. There are 30 other people that want your time and attention. And there’s an opportunity cost to that I think you can, depending upon where you’re at, you may be in a highly established group, where you’ve already put in the time it makes sense to stay. But I think when you can create something like this through a process that you’ve kind of formalized, right, you’ve got a formal book, that you give people the ability to go in and put their business cards, and you can target people who you think would be any upstream from a real estate transaction. And you can target those people and formalize this without having to start your own, you know, networking group?

James Adair 17:37
Well, the in a way this, I mean, if, if done, right, this becomes a true networking group. I mean, if you get 20 people that you’re in a one on one formalized conversation with, I mean, the next level is to do a mixer to introduce them to each other, because how much more powerful would that be, and it doesn’t have to be as systematic as a BCI, where it’s like, hey, meet me at every Tuesday at 645 in the morning is, you know, that gets really old, real fast. And like you said, that the group is not, you’re not aligned with 100% of the group, this is your group, you’re aligned with them. And they are, you know, all kind of pointed towards you as the real estate professional. And if you could point them to each other to I mean, that’s you’re bringing that much more value, even like a like a once or twice a year, you know, happy hour where we all meet up, and or mastermind group, but also create a Facebook marketing mastermind with these people, a closed group, that they can all share ideas with each other and share business with each other as well. But that way, you’re not even, you’re providing value to them without even doing any I mean, you’re just like brokering the conversations and step away. That’s, that can be amazing.

Justin Stoddart 18:56
Yeah, I think, again, if you can go in, look to add value to them. As a business owner, I get oftentimes, people see themselves, I’m a real estate agent, I’ve got absolutely nothing in common with an optometrist, and as I’ve shared before, is that I believe every business stands on the same three, three-legged stool, which is they’ve got to get and attract business, they’ve got a certain business, and they’ve got to account for that business, and rinse and repeat. And so you have a lot more in common with other businesses than you may think. And that if you were to take the principles that you’re learning in your business, and offer them up to another business, and learn from that other business and offer and ask them to help teach you what they’re doing, it creates an entirely different environment, you rise above the fray, you rise above, the typical agent coming in and saying, Hey, will you market me, here are 10 of my cards,

James Adair 19:44
we have so much to offer these other businesses. And I can’t remember if I said this, or if it was just in my head, but there’s a lot of these highly trained professional type people like the optometrist, as a dentist, as a many of these attorneys, and they have no clue on how to run a business, and they’re just winging it. And we can really step in the shoulder to shoulder with them, ask good questions. And to be you’d be amazed at you’d be like, Oh, you never thought of this. So you should just, you know, use this system or just make a spreadsheet or you know, there are so many things that we’ve solved that seem really basic to us, that a lot of highly trained professional people haven’t even considered they just aren’t wired that way.

Justin Stoddart 20:31
You know, just because they have a doctorate in psychology or doctorate. optometry doesn’t mean they have a doctorate in business. And I think sometimes we miss the fact that not all businesses have it all together, just like we don’t have it all together. No. And offering some business help to a professional has spent their entire you know, postgrad career learning how to be a specialist in some field. Can bring a lot of value and, and in turn over, bring a lot of referrals your way. So, James, this has been fun, man, I can’t wait until Wednesday, May 22. Coming up here real soon from 10. until noon, over in Clackamas, we’re going to be both you me and Nick Crowder, are going to be going in-depth on really how to help have real estate agents implement a strategy, exponential referrals were really The sky is the limit, and a much better way to leverage their time to utilize their time. And I’m thrilled about the opportunity.

James Adair 21:27
So I wanted to correct you real quick. I have it on my calendar at nine, as a start at 930. Sometimes I do that to trick myself. So I get to places not late but on time. Is it start at 10 years it started 930

Justin Stoddart 21:37
At 10. Yep. You’re there early, though.

James Adair 21:41
I’ll be there at 930. All right.

Justin Stoddart 21:44
One last question. This is my signature question. What is James Adair do? You’re a big thinker. Dude, every time we have a conversation?

I walk out thinking like that guy’s smart. And I’m smarter now because of it teaches that no serious teach the thing bigger real estate audience- What do you do to intentionally think bigger like to position yourself to where you’re constantly expanding your possibilities?

James Adair 22:10
I mean, I don’t know if I have.

I don’t know if I have like any secret sauce. It’s really just curious and pays attention. You know, I think those are really two key things. I’m not. Yeah, I mean, I guess. Just listen to me and I try to take my own advice. You know, sometimes in some, I don’t always, but try to try to just be valuable and be helpful. How can I help this person? How can I help this person when, like, you know, so many people who are really successful salespeople are not, are really just about closing the deal. And for me, I’m not about closing a deal. I’m just about how can I be helpful, I don’t win everything. And I don’t want to win everything. Sometimes I can be helpful by recommending a different bank or recommending a different solution that’s not mortgage-related, you know? And that’s fine. Like I just put myself in the position of the people that I’m engaged with, and try to imagine what they’re going through. Try to imagine what would you know what’s the best possible outcome for them and then just get side by side with them and map it out? Sometimes it includes doing a mortgage and sometimes it doesn’t.

Justin Stoddart 23:37
That’s awesome, man. I love it. Great stuff. Again, want to thank you for being on the show today. always enjoy our conversations. And this has been a good one. Actually, Chris Angel watching us so I know you guys.

James Adair 23:47
My man my man Chris.

Chris Angel.

Justin Stoddart 23:50
Hey, thanks for tuning in buddy. great having you here. Got Ryan Willer, actually, have a UK buddy of mine. Steve Yeager on.

James Adair 23:57
You’ve got some International.

Justin Stoddart 23:58
Yeah, yeah, I got international guest Steve Yeager here. Got some big thinkers to learn from the James Adair. So anyway, thanks.