Keeping It Real Podcast • Secrets Of Top 1% REALTORS ® • Interviews With Real Estate Brokers & Agents
Why You Should Always Listen To The End • Ben Lalez
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Ben Lalez with The Ben Lalez Team discusses how he went from an individual producer to leading one of the largest teams in Chicago. Ben describes how he and his team nurture a lead and the processes they use. Ben also discusses what changes are being seen by him and his team in the market with the changes in interest rates. Ben goes back to the beginning and describes how he got into real estate business and also describes where he sees his team headed in the future. Ben and D.J. discuss what comes next for the real estate market. Last, Ben discusses the interpersonal side of his team.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
If you’d like to listen to Ben’s first interview with us, click here.
D.J. Paris 0:00
How does a top 1% Producer nurture their leads? We’re going to talk about that today. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now onto our show.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And today we have a returning guest, Ben lawless from the bend LoL is team here in Chicago with Compass. And this is a really exciting episode because not only is Ben going to tell you exactly how his team nurtures, leads, and by the way, they have just in the last several years closed 335 million in real estate, but also he I went to his office to shoot this. So if you’re listening to us, check out the video version because Ben’s team professionally shot and edited this and it looks amazing way better than anything we could do. So I want to thank Ben for you know, really taking some initiative and helping us look even better than we normally do, which is not very good. But Ben’s team did an outstanding job and he provides so much value in this conversation that you’re going to love it. So without further ado, let’s just get right to it. My second conversation with one of my favorite people in real estate Ben lawless.
Today on the show, we have Ben Lalas from the Ben Lalas team here in Chicago. Ben’s actually been on the show before. And if I sound in a little different, and if I look a little different, it’s because I’m actually in Ben’s amazing Bucktown office. And he so generously invited me to come along and I’m excited to see you again. Yeah, let’s let me tell you a little bit more about Ben. We’ll keep it short, because we have a lot to sort of talk about. But Ben really started as a general contractor, he went full time in real estate in 2019. And I want you to pay attention to these numbers, because in 2017, he did 4 million in production in 2018 14 million, so a $10 million jump in just one year. The next year he did 24 million another $10 million jump. And in the trailing 12 months, Ben Wallace team has closed 165 million in production. And it’s just incredible. There’s 45,000 Real estate agents here in the Chicagoland area. I’ve yet to see somebody quite grow so quickly and build a team as fast as Ben has. He is a household name here in Chicago amongst agents. But Ben and his team pride themselves on thinking and dreaming big and never getting out hustled. To learn more about Ben and his team, please visit Ben lawless.com. That’s BNLAL easy.com Ben is a real pleasure to be here in your office.
Ben Lalez 4:15
It’s almost like I didn’t provide all of those stats to you.
D.J. Paris 4:19
By my crack team of well, it would be I was gonna say researchers but it was you who sent us this information but really you are all I am on the Chicago Association of Realtors, which is our local association. I’m on our YPN committee which is for young professional network which is ironic because I am 46 I’m I shouldn’t technically be allowed to be on there still look
Ben Lalez 4:40
good. Thank you. That’s the game.
D.J. Paris 4:45
But what’s funny is every year what we do YPN and Ben knows this because he’s been to many of these events is we have these these breakfasts where we bring in top producers and so we have to plan these as an as a committee and your name has come up I’ve been in the maybe two years of my third year will be this next year, your name will come up again, every meeting next year, it came up every meeting this year, because of the explosive growth, people don’t understand it. Other agents are inspired slash jealous of this. It’s really, really cool to be here and to have your attention because you are, I don’t want to say even a rising star, because you’re obviously already one of the top producers here in Chicago. But the fact that you rose so quickly, is just I’ve yet to see it. And in anyone else. So congratulations on the team success.
Ben Lalez 5:32
Man, I didn’t expect so much flattery right out of the gates. But, you know, we appreciate it. It’s, you know, there’s no secret says, you know, just hard work.
D.J. Paris 5:41
Well, tell us a little bit about, you know, we you’ve been on the show before. And this was bad. It was so funny, because after we got done talking, Ben had sort of shared with me, he said, he said we really ready to take this to the next level. And I said, Okay, you know, and I, but you know, most people will say that, right? Like, that’s a very common thing that people who own businesses, or who have a team in real estate will say, Hey, we’re poised to go to the next level. And not everyone does. And then you just legitimately went to that next level, just as you said, you would in the timeframe, you said you would, and I want to know all about how you went from being an individual producer. And it’s in look, it’s not like you work at a little small company, where they just decided, You know what, everyone’s going to work with Ben, because he’s the, he’s the top sales guy in our office, you work for one of the top, you know, producing companies in the industry compass. You know, you are for lack of a better word, a cog in this wheel of compass. It’s an impressive wheel. But you are an impressive cog in that wheel. But you’re also one of 1000s of agents here. And yet you have risen even to the top of compass here in the local market. Tell us? I mean, I just I just love hearing how people do that. So yeah, share with me,
Ben Lalez 7:00
what’s really interesting is, when we first did this podcast, it was in 2020, right before COVID or late 2019. Right? And knows, right when I moved over to Compass, I think it was probably February of 2020 2020. Oh, right. Before we had our 2019 numbers, they were out. Yeah. And I was sitting, you know, on this podcast at my single desk at the compass officer. And, you know, I was just happy to be on the podcast, you guys had reached out to me, and I’m like, Oh, my God, this is unbelievable. And I didn’t know, you know, we didn’t talk about what the title of the podcast would be. But I you know, I remember it, there’s no chance there’s no way you remember, I don’t it was four to 24 million. That sounds right. Two years. Yeah. And, you know, now we’ve gone from 24 to 165, in another three years? And to answer your question, and like, for anyone who’s listening, it’s all about I mean, it’s leads and sales, right. And throughout my entire career, you know, even when I was doing 4,000,014, whatever the numbers were, my whole philosophy has been, you know, grow, organically, whatever feels normal for me, and then make the necessary changes if it feels right, just head in that direction. So what happened with me and, you know, growth doesn’t happen by accident, right, there was a game plan. But what I always tell people is, you know, you’re only as good as your sales, you’re only as good as your leads. So every time we, you know, I personally had too much business to handle, what do you do, you bring on another agent. And then when us three had too much business to handle, you hire another agent, and so on and so forth. And you know, now we have, you know, a large team. It’s one of the largest in Chicago, but it’s only because we have enough business to go around. There are teams out there who are hiring for ego, in my opinion. This has nothing to do with that we’re hiring out of, I only hire out of need, Sebastian is sitting right to our left, hired out of need our second videographer hired out of need, we have two isas. Do you get where I’m going with this is hired out of need, but it’s only because we have enough to go around. And all of these people are necessary to keep, you know, the boat afloat, if you will. Well, it’s
D.J. Paris 9:21
funny because I you hear so much about 10x or 3x 5x, you know, depending on on how much you pay attention to things like valuation and, and growth and a lot of its, you know, for lack of a better word marketing sort of smoke and mirrors Bs, and it’s the promise of something that rarely ever happens. Businesses usually don’t 10x I mean, it’s certainly possible, but you sort of have done that. And I don’t know what the actual x is from 14
Ben Lalez 9:50
to 165. If you want to look at it that way. Yeah, pretty significant. Four years. Yeah, yeah. And four
D.J. Paris 9:54
years so you’ve actually done that. So it’s not just like, hey, we’ve just organically grown I mean, yes. Have, but you’ve organically grown in a way that that’s almost exponential. And that to me is is interesting. And yes, of course it’s leads in business. Everything is leads in business when it comes to growth. But how were you able to accelerate it so much nothing was handed to you now. And that’s the other thing, that’s really important. Because a lot of times, when people get to certain levels of production, things do start to happen for them, things are handed to them. But that really wasn’t your path.
Ben Lalez 10:31
Now, so I’ll answer this two ways. One, people have to, this is my fourth business that, you know, I think if it is a business now, right, I’m not just a real estate agent. This is a business that, you know, I’ve cultivated, I had a business in college, I was a general contractor, I was a property manager. You know, this is now what I consider my fourth business, what you what I’ve learned along the way is, I mean, the most cliche thing ever, you have to spend money to make this kind of money. I mean, you’d be shocked if I showed you what my expense ratio is, you’re absolutely shocked. But you have to be very, very on top of your numbers. So I’m the one hand, I think a huge part of this, as I’m thinking about it a little bit differently, where people don’t come into the business understanding that this hat, I’m a company, we are Ben law, LLC, we’re established, we have, you know, expense reports, we have PNLs. And the average agent listening to this, I would imagine, that’s not how they’re entering, right, I have the benefit of other businesses that either I shut down or have frankly, failed, and you learn from them. The second way I would answer is this. I mean, you’re you’re a perfect example, DJ, right before this podcast started your I think your watch lit up and you got the alert, right? And how I mean, your eyes lit up.
D.J. Paris 11:53
So So yeah, just to peel back the curtain. So I recruit agents. And I got a lead. From one of our web, somebody visited our website said, Hey, I’m thinking about joining your company. I was beside myself for a moment that I couldn’t immediately respond to do we have it
Ben Lalez 12:09
on camera? I think we haven’t. And this is where we insert it right here possible, where you He looked at his watch.
Unknown Speaker 12:14
And he was like, Oh, I was like, oh, so we just started I gotta leave. Yeah.
Ben Lalez 12:17
So you know, however many years in, you know, if we get a lead via any channel, I’m getting the same notification. And, you know, if it’s a fit here, today, $13,000 parking spot, right, come, you know, someone wants to buy a $13,000 parking spot. I am making sure that whoever is getting assigned to is, you know, actually taking care of this client and may not be the sexiest thing in the world, we know it’s not, but you never know where it’s gonna lead. So every single lead, no matter how attractive or unattractive gets handled the exact, exact same way. And I think that’s a huge part of this is what is that way, it’s our system. It’s the, you know, cheesy as hell like the bend. Lala is whacked. I’ve taught it to 22 people. Now, lead comes in, you do a B, C, D, E, and the system, we use Salesforce, like it’s going to tell you exactly what to do. And when, and just do it. And if you continue to do it over and over and over, and we have a you know, funny saying like a lead isn’t dead until they tell you to screw off. Yeah, till I tell you to eff off is what we say. Yeah. And, and we have it for, you know, 365 days is our policy short where I want to, I want proof that you were talking to a wall for 365 days. And then cool, let’s kill it. Like, let’s kill the lead, and then you move on. But how many agents do you know that don’t follow up on a lead.
D.J. Paris 13:46
So I used to work. Before I got into real estate, I worked for a tech company that generated health insurance leads for health insurance agents. So we were at the time the company I worked at, we were producing about 15,000 leads a day. And then we were selling them to agents all over the country. And so one of my jobs was to help educate the lead buyer about because, of course, as a company, we want them to keep buying leads. So we have to teach them how to work these leads. We had millions of leads, data, we had millions of leads that we could go through our data and look through our servers. And actually, we had a CRM that was that would come with it. Now not everyone used our CRM. But for people who did use our CRM, we were able to take a look at that data and see how quickly an agent would drop a lead. And it was shocking. So what we found was that the average consumer when they need to buy health insurance, it would take them about 13 days before they’d actually make a buying decision. It’s kind of complicated. You got to call your doctors are you in network with this Bob? You know, it’s not quite as simple as as as other types of services. So it takes a couple of weeks, so that the buying decision happens on day 13 On average, most of our buyers would give up by day three. So here’s of the leads of the leads. Yeah, I’m sorry. Yeah. So the agents would they would buy these leads, they would, they would call, you know, maybe they’d call 10 times in three days, they’d give up persons not interested, they’d move on, we find, well, that person actually, about another week from now is really going to make that decision. Yep. So I think we’re, you know, we’re sort of saying the same thing, speaking
Ben Lalez 15:20
the exact same language. And, you know, a lot of it is, you know, for the first six months, you know, me or one of our sales managers is looking at every single lead, and we want to see that something was logged, every single day, we have like a whole process for how often before you get to recategorize them, sure, we just, you know, this is what I discovered from four to 14 and 14 to 23 million, okay, this works, and then we just duplicate it and poured gasoline on it and spent more money and, you know, people who are listening who are spending money on I don’t care what lead Ave, like, even agents on my team follow up to three times, if it doesn’t pay right away, they move on. And we have ways to make sure like I’m notified when that occurs. And we track conversion ratios pretty intensely here. So you get a lead, you know, we expect a certain conversion ratio, um, that lead for you know, the year and just do it over and over and over and over again, until you want to rip your hair out.
D.J. Paris 16:21
It’s really funny, I was driving right right down the street here. Because our offices are pretty close to each other I, I drive by this guy has got a billboard. And this is such a perfect example of follow up, although it’s going to be in the, we’re going to have to, you’d have to make a little bit of a mental leap here to to get to sort of get my best DJ. Well, it’s more for the audience. I you and I live here so you, you might have even seen it. There’s this guy’s got a ski cap and and he’s got a billboard needs to be kind of doesn’t look like a celebrity. And his I guess his name is Tim. And it says Tim cast in, which would lead me to think he has a podcast, his name’s Tim. That’s about all I know. And that’s all that it says that it says weeknights, from seven to eight, everywhere podcasts are streamed, and he’s got these billboards, and I go, it’s unusual. I’ve never seen a podcast like that in here in Chicago with a billboard. And I thought, oh, maybe he’s trying it for a month kind of God only knows what it costs. And now it’s a second month. And so finally I was like, just because I drove by it every single day. I’m like, I’m gonna check out what this guy is. Now it turns out, he’s, it’s a political show. And it’s not really my cup of tea at all. But I checked it out. Because he was in a way following up with me by I was seeing his face every day for about two months. And finally, I was like, I gotta figure out who this guy is. And again, that’s not a perfect metaphor. This is not this is perfect. But it’s all about repetition. And it’s about
Ben Lalez 17:46
layering, you’re layering these touch points. So I’m sure he was trying to get on some other your LinkedIn news. Oh, for
D.J. Paris 17:53
sure. Yeah, try. He’s not just doing billboards, I just happen to drive by it every day. But for agents who are listening, I mean, you. This is the wonder of technology. I mean, there’s a lot of things that that we could argue with the particular social media that maybe divide us and make us less happy. But from a business perspective, what a great opportunity to stay in touch with your contacts, know what they’re up to know where they’re going on vacation, and being able to comment on things outside of real estate, as a way as a as a touch point, versus just Hey, you ready to buy yourself, you have all this opportunity information is just be people just give away their lives online. And so you now have reasons to contact them and talk about it. And I’m curious for you how often or what is so you have some you know, lead comes in, you have them at least set up for 365 365 days of contact. Yeah, what do you usually find is, is what is the usually time to? How long does it take before they actually become a client? Yeah,
Ben Lalez 18:52
so I’ll kind of just give it away, because I mean, no one’s actually going to implement it. So lead comes in, everyone knows speed to lead, you need to contact that on the first, you know, we want to do it in the first 30 seconds. Sure, whatever. Once you know, hopefully, best case scenario, they become a client and you’re interacting every single day, and you guys live happily ever after you sell them a home. But if that doesn’t occur, what we want is four touch points the first day, and if they’re complete silence or not interacting, you put them on the shelf for three days. They come back, you hit them four more times, and this is all logged. If you can’t get them to engage. You put them on the shelf for a week, they come back, you know, the system tells you it’s time to reach out to DJ again, right? Hit him for more time. So what at that seven? day mark one week mark,
D.J. Paris 19:36
you have a better sense of where they’re at. Yeah. And then you know,
Ben Lalez 19:39
I let them put them on the shelf for a month. They come back you hit him four more times. Put on the shelf for three months, they come back, hit him four more times, put them on the shelf for six months, and then you know hit them four more times. And then after you aggregate all of that time that was a year they hit they come back after six months you know you try again. And you try to get them to engage. And we, you know, we can talk about exactly how we go about that. But you know, after that a lot of this is like, okay, you can feel good about how much effort you put in. So that’s four times I don’t even know, I think it’s eight. So it’s like 32 attempts to get someone to engage with you feel like that’s enough, don’t you? Yeah, that our numbers prove it, it is enough.
D.J. Paris 20:21
It is enough. And but it’s getting to that 32, right, that that most people aren’t? Well, it’s not that they’re not willing to, they don’t have a system that would tell them, you’re now at step 17. And you’re halfway through the process. And you’re six months, this is totally normal, this person’s blowing you off totally normal, it’s okay. It’s part of the process, it takes the emotion out of it, it’s I’m just running the program, essentially. So
Ben Lalez 20:45
here’s one of the biggest challenges I hear from agents across the city, country, etc, is, you can always do more, your work is never done. People don’t know when their day is done. So the system that we have, you know, I just told you about how people cycled through. So you have top priority clients, you put them on the shelf, they’re ignored, and then they become top priority clients, again, after X period of time, that’s how the system is set up. It’s actually really stupid, really simple. Sure. I you know, some people like brand new, maybe only have 10, top priority clients, Joey helper, and on my team, for example, he probably has 60 top priority clients. And that means that they need some form of contact today. Right. So it’s obviously going to take Joey a lot longer than a, you know, a brand new agent. But for both of them, it’s the same philosophy. After you get done with your top priority clients, your date is finished, it’s done. And that’s like a really big unlock, and a lot of my agent’s heads were like, go to the gym. Yeah, go on, go take your significant other out, like, go do whatever makes you happy. Let me handle the leads, let me handle the infrastructure, let me handle your transaction management, let me handle your social media, your day is done. Right, you may want to work on some other aspects of your business plan, be it marketing, you know, we have a lot of like, where we’re sitting, if you like, look at our videos, like we do a ton of our video here. So people just literally funnel in and out of that door, we handle it, we post it for you, et cetera. But that’s like the, that’s how this was built. I want you know, I wanted to know, when my day was done. Yeah. And it was impossible. Because follow up is theoretically neverending, right? Like you could prospect 24 hours a day, theoretically. But you know, we developed a way to, you know, it was through a lot of trial and error, do this. And you’re done.
D.J. Paris 22:42
You know, we talk about competition, especially around around lead generation. So, you know, we all get emails from, you know, these unknown surfaces that are promising Facebook leads, you know, or you can go there more traditional route with realtor.com, Zillow, etc. And then there’s of course, you know, referrals from existing clients. What What have you found to be because everyone else I talked to who has not grown, I’ve never met anyone who’s quite had the the growth that you’ve had. So everyone else I talked to, has grown strictly organically, but when you talked about pouring gas on the fire, you’re talking about investing into the business? Yep, finding, finding those people that raise their hand and say, I want to talk to a realtor. And and I’m what I’m curious about is what is the competition look like? Meaning understanding that the person who fills out a lead form and in get set your way, good chance that they might have filled out a lead form? And are also talking to another agent? Come on? So of course, all right, so how is it as competitive as somebody who isn’t participating in this sort of space? Or is it less competitive than that
Ben Lalez 23:57
it’s way less competitive, especially we’ll call it at this level, where we are trained, like we are training every single day, about how to go about, you know, XY and Z scenarios, so that when there’s another agent, we have to assume we assume that there’s another agent in the picture. Sure. So like we preach, you know, if you’re going to meet someone for the first time, at some point, you need to ask them for their business. Right? You know, it’s not just all right, nice to meet you know, like, our line right is and we call it a call it like the soup talk after the first showing is Hey, DJ Has anyone ever actually walked you through the home buying process here in Chicago?
D.J. Paris 24:38
And the answer that is almost always no,
Ben Lalez 24:40
especially especially with a lead like a full lead off of Zillow? realtor.com Yeah, like face whatever. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 24:46
definitely a no yeah. Oh, no. Oh,
Ben Lalez 24:49
well, do you have a couple of minutes for us to you know, run through it.
Unknown Speaker 24:53
Perfect. I love it. So
Ben Lalez 24:54
what we see happen is like this a sigh of relief like Oh, thank god someone like a human being is actually going to spend the time to walk me through it. But hey, DJ, Okay, step one is finding a real estate agent, someone like me to walk you through everything, A to Z. So if everything works out, I’d love to be that guy for you. Step one, A, we need to introduce you to a lender. I assume you don’t have $500,000 sitting under a mattress. This is a recording. So like, literally, like we have a recording. Yeah. And everyone needs to repeat a to z, sure, verbatim the way I say it, right? Because it’s your team. Yeah. And then once you have polished, you can put your spin on it, I don’t really care. But like that needs, we need to get to that we call it the stoop talk the right hook, you need to tell them like, Hey, this is who I am. This is what I’m going to do for you. But a lot of people like don’t have you know, a lead starts with a call or click or whatever. But there’s probably 40 steps to actually you know, converting this client into a I’m sorry, converting this lead into an actual client. And we have every single tiny little step formalized systemized, there’s no guessing anymore. And it’s like what I, essentially what I did to go from zero to 14, and then we just copied it. There’s agents on the team right now. I think we have four or five agents doing, you know, 10 plus million. It’s amazing. And some of them have, you should probably be interviewing them, they’re going on like zero to 10, in 12 months. That’s incredible. We have agents who, like got their license and are doing 7 million in their first year, I’m talking about, you know, Mara, if you look on our website, now, all the recruiters are gonna go after her, but
D.J. Paris 26:43
But I mean, it’s, it really is impressive. It’s, it’s, I found in pretty much every area of life, not just specifically to being a successful real estate agent, but it’s discipline and systems, it’s consistency, and it’s about the marathon, right, like, it’s just understanding that, that this is the process. And it takes, I think, I think being reactive takes a huge emotional toll. It wears me out when I’m when I’m reactive. And I know that realtors have to really figure out the balance of being proactive versus reactive, because things are flying at them all day long. emails, texts, you know, and trying to figure out how to bat that stuff away. And, you know, service the client at the same time. Also understanding how do I get this back into this process? How do I just keep this process going? To me processes? It’s funny, I think most back to your point about asking for business. I think most people don’t have any scripts at all. Right, honestly. And now, the people I interview on on this show, yes, they are people that are that they they know their pitch. They know how to present their successful like people like yourself, of course. But for our listeners if you don’t have an elevator pitch, like locked and loaded a 22nd. So when I do, this is how I can be helpful. And then here’s how to get to the next step. Oh, if if you want to give me your your email and phone number, I can send you some more information, or whatever the next step might be, if you don’t have that ready and locked, like you’re gonna just miss opportunity after opportunity after I think most people don’t even have that.
Ben Lalez 28:32
I want to play a game, I was actually looking to see if anyone was here, where you I want to like pull on one of my agents. And you just hit him with you know, a common sales objection. Sure. And you know, that person and I would say the exact same words to you at the exact same speed, the exact same tone. And that’s, you know, 22 deep mate, you know, we have four newer agents and zero, we’re still teaching them but the other 18 will say the exact same stuff to you. Yeah. And, you know, we don’t want people to think too hard. This business isn’t rocket science. The what I continue to tell these agents who I’m sending out on appointments is, whoever your meeting is, they got really lucky that it’s you. Yeah, right. As opposed to someone who has absolutely no idea what they’re doing. You have a ton of infrastructure behind you. There’s an absolute even if you don’t know the question, in real time, I’m sorry, you don’t know the answer to the question. And in real time, I guarantee someone here knows and you can acquire that information in under five minutes. Right. So I mean, that’s a huge part of this and a huge part of I think our value proposition under this roof is like you You skipped for years.
D.J. Paris 29:47
I want to pause for a moment to talk about our episode sponsor are one of my favorite companies out there follow up boss. Now after interviewing hundreds of top Realtors in the country for this podcast. Do you know which CRM is used by More than any other by our guests. Of course, it is a follow up boss. And let’s face it following up is the key to taking your business to the next level follow up boss will help you drive more leads in less time and with less effort, do not take my word for it. Robert slack, who runs the number one team in the US uses follow up boss and he has built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Follow up boss integrates with over 250 systems, so you can keep your current tools and lead sources. Also, the best part they have seven day a week support. So you’ll get the help that you need when you need it and get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time, they’re offering keeping it real listeners a 30 day free trial, which is twice as much time as they give everyone else. And oh yeah, no credit card required. So you can try it risk free. But only if you use this special link visit follow up boss.com forward slash real that’s follow up boss.com forward slash real for your free 30 day trial follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And now back to our episode. Yeah, and the team teams have have I believe recruiting for realtors is it’s all going to be teams in the next it’s already pretty much is. But it’s certainly trending that way. And teams are just becoming more and more important. Because to the client. There’s there’s an obvious value proposition there. That’s that makes sense. To the agent, there’s an obvious value proposition there because you get the experience, like you were just saying, and the support and the wisdom of the team collectively. And I think you know is is this Do you think this is the death knell of the individual agent? Is that is the individual agent on their way out?
Ben Lalez 31:48
I don’t I personally, I personally don’t think so I think if you’re a good solo agent, I, I think you can still sell your value proposition like, Hey, you’re only dealing with me, every phone call every text, the lender, everything is gonna go through me and I got you. And it all depends if that’s what the consumer wants. Now, something for sure that we know, you know, after doing this for enough time is to get to call it 50 closed clients, it’s going to take you a whole hell of a lot longer to get there. Something that we talk about is dollar per hour. I mean, ad nauseam, like that’s all we talk about. And that’s what I’m trying to do is like, yeah, you may on those your first 20 humans that you close, you may make less money, but you got to those 20, probably four or five times faster than you ever would. And those 20 areas, you know, at least here those 20 are yours. Right. So you you know, for the rest of your career, those 20 you can jump to you know, your company like, right, those 20 are yours. And that’s I think somewhere around 50 or 75 closings is enough to, you know, perpetuate an entire career and you know, nurture those people correctly. It’s a really good
D.J. Paris 33:08
point. Yeah, it is funny. I love hearing those, those stories to where it’s like, I built my whole career off of 10 people or 20 people. And and yeah, absolutely. And but if you if you want to, if you want to grow beyond that, that’s where you got to start reinvesting. And what’s been your experience with with lead providers? I’m curious on on, have you found lead quality going up down staying consistent? You know, what have you found?
Ben Lalez 33:37
Are we familiar with the Zillow FLEX program before we jump in here?
D.J. Paris 33:40
So let me let me just explain to the audience, what we’re talking about. So Zillow FLEX program is basically so OP city, came onto the scene. And as a counter to what Zillow was doing at the time, where Zillow was just selling leads directly to agents price per lead kind of scenario, you know, somebody raises their hand, they want to talk to an agent that’s going to be a certain amount of money. opportunity comes along and says, We’re gonna give you the lead free up front, and you’re going to pay for it on the back end. So free up front, and then we’re going to take so Zillow says, Okay, we’re going to try that as well. That’s the Zillow live transfer. So it’s not available in every market only actually only in a few markets at this point, I believe, but leads free upfront pay at closing.
Ben Lalez 34:26
Yes. So, you know, we can just be I’ll peel the curtain back. So in 2019 2020, I was spending about 20 G’s 20 grand a month on Zillow leads paid up front. Sure, and we were getting something like 35 Live transfers. So there’s calls versus nurture leads, which are, frankly garbage. So of those 35 You know, we were making good enough money I was like, you know, we’re spreading you know, spreading these leads around, and they came a knock on our door and they were like, hey, like, we want you to spend more money. I’m like, get outta here. I’m spending 20 grand a month like, leave me alone. Isn’t that enough for you?
D.J. Paris 35:09
They should erect a statue to you. Yeah.
Ben Lalez 35:12
I mean, there are people who are who were spending way more. Oh, sure. So they’re like, Hey, we think you’d be a good candidate for this program. And I listened and I was really, you know, very scared about it. Because what I was doing was working. Objectively, you know, I was tracking ROI. As crazily as anyone you’ve ever met? I wanted to make sure that this $20,000 A month make sense? Yeah. Go figure. Right. Yeah. So we decided to do it. And our connection volume that 35 didn’t go up right away. But you know, I wasn’t paying for it upfront. I was like, Okay, this feels good. Fast forward. We’re only on it for you know, we’ve only been on it for 1516 months, we get 165 of those live transfers a month. Wow. Has our call quality gone down? Has our lead quality gone down with Zillow who has I mean, right. That’s our bread and butter. We mean 50% of that 165 is not really probably 35% of that 165 is from Zillow leads Sure. Has the quality gone down in the last three, four or five months? Yes, but I don’t think it has anything to do with Zillow or any other lead provider. I think the buyer quality has gone down dramatically. The people who were most serious all did what they needed to do in 21, and early part of 22. Now you have these people who are just like, these wet noodles, like, Oh, I didn’t, you know, interest rates were too low. There was too much competition. Interest rates are too high. Like, why aren’t Why aren’t these properties moving? So I think it’s more about the consumer, like consumer dynamics have changed? Not necessarily I think Zillow is and realtor I think they’re probably doing the same thing they’ve always done or the, I think a just as interesting a question is what is Zillow doing with market based pricing versus Zillow flex, and that’s all conjecture. But, you know, right now, we’re not feeling the burden quite as much as others that you know, I’ve spoken to,
D.J. Paris 37:19
ya know, and it all it the reason I was asking that question was was only because I know your systems are, are, they’re flexible, but they’re also pretty well established. So I was curious if you’ve found in any change, with interest rates, of course, changing. Inventory has changed. What are what are the biggest challenges your team is facing right now? Like, what are you guys dealing with?
Ben Lalez 37:44
Absolutely, no doubt about it. It’s so we are still 75% buyers. Buyers are flimsier. They aren’t as serious. They aren’t. Like once they go under contract, like way more are falling out and not having anything to do with the property. They just get cold feet. They just like oh, I you know, they’re coming up with any excuse you imagine, to fall out. And I think the biggest thing is is so we’re across all our lead sources, our conversion ratio is still about the same. But the time it takes to get someone across that finish line. You heard me talk about dollar per hour. Yeah, dollar per hour is going way down. So it’s taking whereas it may take 30 hours from call to going under contract, like and, you know, we’ve become used to, I think that 30 hours has become 70 hours. Wow. So I mean, in a very real way, you’re making half the money. Right? And, you know, that’s what these things like, they’re not. They weren’t intuitive to me when I first came here. Sure. Like, but that’s how, you know, we’re, we’re training people how to think DJ, let me ask you a question. Yes. Turn the tables, please. What’s your dollar per hour? If you’re sitting at home? Yeah. And you’re, you’re doing something that you love your eye? Right? You’re playing tennis, your work, whatever, whatever, whatever the cases, you’re relaxing? How much does it cost? To have you stop? And come do whatever I asked you to do? For one hour?
D.J. Paris 39:22
Yeah, I you know, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know. I truthfully, don’t know.
Ben Lalez 39:30
Yeah, like, and it’s not it’s not a really easy question. But it’s an important one. Yeah. So and there’s a couple ways that I have my people think about it. And that’s like, just because you may not make, you know, your $200 An hour right there. Right. What is the potential of that hour? Exactly? Right. So for me, like I have to see a path to somewhere around $1,000 an hour for me to do take on a new client. And for me to do this, right, for example, sure, there needs to be a path to $1,000. It may not happen right now. But it could definitely happen in the future. And why? Because especially in the brokerage business, if I’m gonna take on four clients, or I’m gonna take on 10 meetings with leads 10 appointments, that’s at least 10 hours, but we know that only one and a half of them are going to transact, right. So if you’re not, you know, if you don’t value your time, quite enough, you’re just going to be spinning your wheels, right? So, I mean, for all those listener listeners out there, like, what is your dollar per hour like JP, who was sitting out here before? He’s like, Man, I have no idea like 20 bucks, I’m like, okay, and now he’s up to, you know, 200 He needs to see a path to $200 an hour, because it’s probably going to shake out to one 125 or something. After it’s all said and done. And 125 an hour is not a it’s not a bad living.
D.J. Paris 40:57
No, no, it’s a fantastic living. I think that’s just Sure. It’s good. I think this is really interesting.
Ben Lalez 41:11
Yeah, it’s more team lead stuff, then, you know, I don’t know who your primary who’s your
D.J. Paris 41:17
audience are. People want to hear how you do it. So this is how I mean, you’re, you’re, you know, you’re given the recipe. I think it’s, no one’s gonna follow it. You know, it’s so funny. I, when I, when I first arrived in Chicago in 2001, I worked at Morgan Stanley for many years, and the top financial advisor in the office, he would say the same thing he would go, I’m going to tell you guys exactly what I do, and exactly how I’ve become, you know, the number one guy, and none of you are going to do it. And he’s like, you can all do it. But none of you are gonna do it. Yeah. Or he’s like, one of you will do it or something. And he was absolutely right.
Ben Lalez 41:53
I’m a Gary Vee guy. And he says the exact same thing. Like, you know, one out of 1000 people will actually, honestly, you’ve seen all my video. It’s because of Gary Vee. I’m like, fuck it. Fine. I’ll do it. Yeah, but it’s the it’s the same thing. Like the agents on my team. I’m giving you a you should go start your own team for and make, you know, do a 165
D.J. Paris 42:19
Are your but there is shocked that like, there’s other people like you doing it. Like, aren’t you? Like, how’s nobody? Oh, no,
Ben Lalez 42:25
I’m not surprised anymore. And you know, it’s really interesting, man. I’m having like, this weird moment sitting here with you, where I still felt really, really green. When we first did our interview, and I you know, I was like, I felt like I was faking it. Okay, in 2020 when we did our interview, and now I’m just like, man, like, you know, I do know what I’m doing. Yeah. And why? And why no one else is doing it is has become more and more and more shocking. And I think I’ve figured out some of it. Why not? Everyone? Wants to? Yeah, and can lead primarily?
D.J. Paris 43:03
Well, that’s true. It’s a different skill set. It’s actually a totally different skill set. Because you have to be, you have to do systems. You have to manage, you have to hire. Yeah. So it’s a it’s not typically it’s not typically the same skills that would make you a successful individual agent. Yeah. So you
Ben Lalez 43:23
have to come at it from like this completely, completely different perspective, which I think we lead with is, this is a company, we have a marketing department, we have a sales department, we have a transaction company, we have an IT department. And even on an agent level, like a solo agent level, it’s the same thing. You are the marketing department, you are the sales department, you need to get big enough to outsource Yeah, marketing, outsource outsourced sales.
D.J. Paris 43:48
Do you see yourself more as, as a manager or as a as a co leader? Or as a coach? Yeah,
Ben Lalez 43:54
you’re a coach. Yeah, that’s,
D.J. Paris 43:56
that’s always your definition. You’re I’m a coach.
Ben Lalez 43:58
Yeah, I’m a coach. And I’m also a business owner. But if I’m being again, completely honest, and it’s, you know, I told myself that I would just, you know, open book, I’m interested in outsourcing coaching as well. Sure. I want to outsource everything period. As long as the coaches as good as me or better, I’m still providing value to my agents. Right. Right. And if that person is not also, you know, doing all sorts of things, I’m unavailable right now, if that coach is available. 24/7 That’s probably a better situation for the agents on my team.
D.J. Paris 44:37
Where do you get the most satisfaction? Oh, wow. What do you enjoy the most about? Do? Do you do? Yeah. Do you like being in personal production even though you don’t do that anymore? No, no, what’s your favorite?
Ben Lalez 44:51
So I’m gonna reframe your question for the way my brain works. Like when, like, when and how do I get into flow? Yeah, you And for me, it’s like when I’m creating a new
D.J. Paris 45:02
system, you’re like, Yeah, you like systems? Yeah.
Ben Lalez 45:06
Taking something that isn’t working, correctly, finding that software that or hardware or whatever that will make it work, building out the system in order to implement it. That’s what is most interesting to my weird brain.
D.J. Paris 45:27
Yeah. How did you? How did you end? You were in real estate. You were a GC? Yeah. But how did you how did you decide to do just was real estate more of an entrepreneurial path? Or were you? Were you more about like, some people have that in them where they just, they just see real estate and becomes?
Ben Lalez 45:47
No, it’s, um, kind of goes back to something we spoke about earlier, just like what felt organic. So I’ll tell you a story in 2019. When I went full time, I had like the biggest general contracting job that I ever like, I couldn’t believe that I had won it. And I had baked in so much more juice into the pricing than I ever have. Because dollar per hour. And I didn’t I wasn’t enjoying it every time someone called me like, yeah, you talk a little Yeah. And I’m like, well, that doesn’t happen with the real estate brokering side. And I turned down, I mean, I would have made 150 grand on that one job alone. And I picked up the phone, I’m like, Hey, I don’t even remember the guy’s name. I’m like, Hey, I’m so sorry. But like, my heart just isn’t in this job anymore. I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline. Thank you so much for the opportunity, whatever. And I didn’t take on another job that day. And I, you know, went full steam ahead because this felt right, like, making good money. I enjoy it. At the time, you know, the people aspect was more interesting to me, kind of as you progress in this business. It’s really difficult to like manage I’ve I’ve personally close some somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 transactions. Like, I don’t want to manage more than that I can’t manage more than 400 relationships is not in me. Right? Despite how, like, I may not be super tight with someone. Right, but 400 was enough. But managing, you know, what’s now 22 agents and some staff, I get a ton of, you know, a ton of joy from that.
D.J. Paris 47:25
Yeah, I imagine there’s almost it feels almost like you’re creating a legacy. I think, you know, of sorts. And I don’t mean that from an ego perspective, but you’re actually building something that you have full control over the process, or collaborative control over I should say, you know, you’re the people I know, people on your team, they’re very happy. The but I this idea of skill building is really, really important to you, the skills and systems. You know, I think if if every day if I if I woke up every day, and I focused on a certain skill, and I just spent 10 to 20 minutes developing a particular skill. I feel like I feel like my career would be further along. But also, how could it be further along? Well, I just think I just think that it’s something that we stop doing. When we get into adulthood, we stopped developing skill. And I see it as a huge, huge problem. And, you know, there are really important skills that one can no matter what field you’re in, if you can devote your life to skill, and service, boy, I mean, there, you’re right, there just isn’t that much competition, because most people will end up getting comfortable. And just continuing on.
Ben Lalez 48:51
I think there’s something to be said for, like, I’m relatively young for this volume. They’re not four years old. There’s something to be said for the ability to take risks when you’re younger. And like if it doesn’t work out, whatever, even as I sit here today, I’m way less likely to take a risk because things are working. I’m not going to, you know, I’m pushing myself every day to try and do something bigger and crazier. And I kind of think of it as acquiring a new skill doing something I haven’t done yet and trying to make it work. And it gets more and more challenging every year that goes by.
D.J. Paris 49:34
What’s next for you. Where do you see where do you see the team headed?
Ben Lalez 49:37
I was having a conversation today. And I think the immediate next step what feels right because we do have lead overflow, you’ve heard me talk about it over and again is what feels natural is adding some more agents to support to the existing you know, lead in flow and then see from there? That’s it.
D.J. Paris 50:03
Yeah, it’s funny. I, when I asked, I’ve asked a lot of my guests that over the years, like, Okay, where do you what do you see? And they’re like, just, I’m just gonna keep going, you know, and because you know, they’ve built some sort of system or team or process, it works. And, you know, it’s just a matter of juicing it up a little bit.
Ben Lalez 50:23
So the the reason why it’s such a mundane answer is I recognized early, that every single thing that I do has to be built with scale in mind. So everything that we have, kind of like what you have going on, it doesn’t really make a huge difference right now. If it’s we add one or 30 agents, the infrastructures already built, where it shouldn’t be altered, burdensome. So the question is, like we talked about, a lot of this comes down to like, what is next, forget about, like, what I want to do next, like what is next for real estate, and we talk about making sure that we’re specialists still sitting right over there. So like, we talked about us making sure that we’re first, whatever it is, right. So we think we were even though we’re not the best edit in Chicago, we were first to video. We were. So right now, and everything that we do for video has scaled. So you take a look at me and you take a look at David fields, Alex Bach, Joey Halperin, JP Merritt, they all look exactly like me on all of their social channels, because we built machine right, right for editors overseas, whatever. So what is that next thing? So like we talked about being first in virtual if we’re definitely not first, but the first to like, take it to Bob and Sally homeowner? Sure. Right. So what do you think it is? I don’t know.
D.J. Paris 51:56
I don’t know. I, you know, I remember, years ago, I was, I was fortunate enough to be at a birthday party in San Francisco with somebody who was at the time on the board of directors for I’m going to say Guitar Center. But it could have been another company. I don’t remember. But anyway, it was he was also the CFO of of like a like nerd wallet, or one of those companies Jesus, okay. Yeah. Big, big, big deal tech finance guy. And he really nice guy. And I, I said, I’m getting into real estate, not as an individual producer, but just as a business opportunity. And he goes, agents will not be needed in 10 years. And
Ben Lalez 52:42
when was this again? Was that when was this conversation?
D.J. Paris 52:47
Eight years ago? Okay,
Ben Lalez 52:48
still two years for his prophecy to be fulfilled. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 52:51
And he said, agents are not necessary. And I said, and at the time, I thought, well, that that makes logical sense. Because I’m not I wasn’t a realtor. I’m, technically still, I am a realtor, but I’ve never practiced as a realtor. So I don’t really understand what Realtors do. But but the the, I know how they talk, and I have them on my shows, and I have lots of them in our office, but I don’t actually know the process, embarrassingly enough. But I absolutely thought back then that he was right. I thought, you know, why can’t this be what I’ve been through this process? We don’t, we don’t really need people. But I had enough distance from the actual buying and selling process, as a consumer to sort of forget how challenging it is. And then just a couple years ago, I bought again, and I went through the process. And now now now. So the first time I was in a tech space, I was in a tech job, I know experiences real estate. Now, you know, 10 years into real estate 750 agents at our company, you think I would have a better handle on things and I was like, oh my god, I forgot how I’m crazy and stressful. And I absolutely need help on this. And thank God there’s realtors out there to help me. And it was for my own purchase. And and so and so I he was wrong. Thankfully, because the the the challenge I think he was right in in a lot of ways in zillo comes along and basically says okay, we’re going to take all of the the objective stuff and we’re going to take care of that for you we can pretty much handle a lot of a lot of the facts and figures for you companies like Zillow and other tech providers. And then you Mr. And Mrs. Agent can now come across and you’re the interpersonal component, you’re the person you’re the reason that that you’re going to be able to handle people’s emotional reactions, you’re going to be able to guide them through the process. And by the way, oh, this is one of the most stressful processes that a human being can go through. It’s right up there with death, loss of a job it is from from on a stress, psychological stress level. is moving and buying a home and all of that it’s right up at the top with the most stressful events in someone’s life. And that’s the one part that can’t be automated. So he was wrong about that part of it and the significance of that, that that emotional connection that people have to their homes and making a switch, we all obviously, all of us know. And that’s the cool part about technology is technology can kind of take a lot of that other stuff out of of, you know, your, your to do list, and then you now get to focus on hey, I’m here for you, I’m with you. And I think that’s the coolest part about about this industry is you get to help people make really good decisions. Your team obviously is doing that. Can you talk a little bit about about that part of it, like you guys have all these processes for, you know, converting a lead to a client. But I’m curious on the interpersonal side, like, what are you guys doing to deepen those relationships? Because of course, that’s where the juice,
Ben Lalez 56:03
so it’s really funny what so for, I don’t know what what I heard was, like, if you have processes and systems you can’t have as deep and emotional connection with your clients. Is that what you said?
D.J. Paris 56:17
Well, I don’t believe that I just think having those processes allow you to then focus on and we’re
Ben Lalez 56:23
done, we’re done, we’re on exactly the same page, where because we have so much of the BS handled Exactly. All we preach, I just want you to make sure that the end user, the buyer or seller has the best possible experience and my you know, the people here just have more time to actually do what they’re best at. Yeah, I have, like the people on my team, we I tried to hire for EQ, for emotional intelligence, and we do like a personality test profile, or we’re an Enneagram team. Sure. But, you know, that’s the, the agents on my team are better than me now. Like, they’re so much better at handling buyer seller emotions, they’re probably better at value like valuations. So, just by virtue of them having the time and then the skills that we’re teaching them. We probably do too many trainings. Like that’s also my job is like literally sitting in this room up on that screen. And we go over exactly what to say and do in a whole variety of scenarios. We also spend a weird amount of time DJ essentially in a more or less group therapy. So we have a, you know, a session in this room called talk it out where people just come in and bitch and like, sure we listen, and people bounce stuff off. So that people recognize that, yeah, buyers and sellers are going through the toughest emotional situation that they can imagine. And it’s your job to help them navigate it and making sure that you know, you’re keeping things here because it’s not healthy. For you, personally, it’s also not healthy for your clients, to have you at that same level as them your whole job is to stay even keel. And making sure that that’s said to our agents over and over and over and over again. So that they can deliver. I mean, really, what we’re striving for is like a consistent level of service, right? We have deals from hell we have sure shit that hits the fan, you know, we have, I don’t know, if we have like a bad review or two because ship goes sideways. Right? But when you have stuff kind of all set up and already formalized for people, you know, you can spend time sitting here, like Claude is still over there working on the transactions, he’s our transaction coordinator, you don’t have to worry about that BS, you know,
D.J. Paris 58:50
I think that’s the real huge benefit of the team is that, you know, you with a team, you can develop people in certain ways, and you can develop them with their individual interests and talents. And I think that is, you know, in real estate realtor history has not really been something that Ben that prominent. And now in you were saying some teams, you know, grow for ego, reasons size, you know, hey, I’ve got 30 people on my team. And then you know, teams are structured a million different ways other teams are like everyone’s their own individual practitioner. So it’s not even really it’s more like a company or more like a brokerage in that sense. And then other people are like, Okay, I, you know, these are my roles. But what I think teams can really help people do is is is not have to create an influence those systems that you’ve already established and can execute. So, it is really funny. One of my very first interviews I ever had with on this podcast was a woman in the suburbs of Chicago. You And she had said, you can she’s like, you can give me anybody and I will, I will make them six figures by this time next year. But they have to do everything I say, she’s like, I’m she’s like, I’m not. I’m not saying that as an ego thing. She’s like, I legitimately know how to do this. And you sort of have that same mentality. Yeah. It’s really pretty remarkable, actually. Because I know, and I know, a lot of our listeners are, you know, wake up every day going, what do I do today? What should I be doing? Where should I be focusing my time? Oh, my gosh, there’s so many things coming at me. How do I proactively build my business? How do I respond to clients? You know, it’s a lot, it really is a lot. And I think that’s we’re going to see a flight to teams, we’ve already started to see it, this flight to teams, people like you who have these processes in place, they’re like, settle down, I got you, I’m going to create the structure that you need. And I’m going to walk you through this, and you’re gonna have a wonder you’re gonna actually have more freedom through the structure that I’m giving you.
Ben Lalez 1:00:59
Yeah, it’s interesting, because I also see the way teams are run. And we, you know, work hard play hard is a cliche, like there are teams that pride themselves on, like, no days off, worthy. I mean, exact exact opposite. If you can make as if you can make money at a high dollar per hour, and service your clients appropriately. I want you to take as many days off as you can. Because our philosophy is work hard, like rest, heart recharge, yeah, hard. But getting back to one of your other points, the way and this is something I’m still kind of sussing out. So like, there’s 22, agents, the or like, and we’re all sharing in some capacity, a transaction coordinator, videographer, CRM, like it’s a co op in some weird way, this where instead of hey, DJ, why don’t you and I go hire an assistant together, like all kind of handled already. And like, I’ll go like, and if we need a second transaction coordinator, I’ll go, you know, I’ll handle it if we need. Fourth videographer, like I’ll go handle it. And everyone on the team trusts that my hiring processes are also tight, just like every other system. So I mean, pretty, like preaching to the choir here. How tight are your hiring systems?
D.J. Paris 1:02:17
Yeah, pretty tight. You know, for us, if I had, if I had to wake up every day and try to figure out what I was supposed to do that day, I would be a mess, I would be, I probably would have, I don’t know that I would even be on this earth anymore, it would be so stressful, because I have a lot of responsibilities. And I’ve, you know, multiple companies you do as well. And this idea of of having to, you know, create structure, it’s the only way for me, it allowed what structure has done for me as allowed me to be more creative, oddly enough. Because when I when I can devote a specific amount of time to creativity, being that if I can structure my creativity, as crazy as that sounds, it actually works much, much better. And I’m a creative person, I don’t want structure. I don’t like structure. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over and over over again. But it works for me. And it works for probably most of us as well. So I don’t think it’s it’s just, you know, me being the sort of artsy podcast guy, I think most of us in this industry could benefit from, from having a more salary style job. Fortunately, you know, you can join a team and have a similar experience a hybrid experience, a hybrid experience with a lot more income.
Ben Lalez 1:03:35
Yeah. And I mean, that’s what I’m trying to provide to these agents is high dollar power, and flexibility. Some teams like you can potentially make more money, no doubt, but they own your schedule, like you do what I say when I say it, et cetera. And I’m trying to toe this line, and it’s worked so far. Yeah, were like, Yeah, I’d like you to come to these trainings. They’re not 100% mandatory, like, you need to use my CRM, it’s not like 100% mandatory. You don’t have to tell me when you’re going on vacation or anything like that. But at some point, if you don’t do things the way we say, it’s gonna, you know, it’s gonna cause problems for me, right? Because you’re not producing at a level that we all you know, expect at the end of the day. It is a company and you need to bring in money so that I can keep the lights on not only for you, but for everybody, you know, for everybody else.
D.J. Paris 1:04:36
I mean, really, you I think what we’re talking about is is you know, I don’t want to sound pejorative because it isn’t
Ben Lalez 1:04:45
definition of pejorative for those fans, not for me, I know what it means.
D.J. Paris 1:04:50
But for everyone else, it’s a it’s a fancy a fancy word for for, like, being a slight too. Somebody or being critical. This is not a criticism at all, I actually are not being pejorative, I am not being considered. But it does sound what I’m about to say is this is business one on one. And and that is not not to say that it’s simple and easy. It’s not. But it is important, right? So if you’re treating this industry like a business, you then have to figure out systems and you have to figure out processes. And I think that’s systems is really probably the best first place anyone should start is systematizing their business, finding those repeatable tasks that are continually come up, that they can automate.
Ben Lalez 1:05:40
So kind of like boiling this down, I remember our conversation, you asked me something like what is the most important thing you would tell an agent? And I think that’s a good place to kind of wrap up. So I’m leaving for Dallas tomorrow. But what I said last time was like CRM, like if you don’t have a CRM, then what are you doing? And interestingly enough, that hasn’t changed. But I personally think now after I don’t know how many more years and how many more additional sales, if you are in, what percentage of this business do you think is follow up?
D.J. Paris 1:06:21
Oh, gosh. Follow up, I’m going to I place a pretty high value on follow up, I’m going to say 70% of the businesses follow?
Ben Lalez 1:06:30
Exactly. That’s exactly the number that we talked about. So 70%. So get your CRM in place, and focus 70% of your day. On following up. If you can handle those two things, then, I mean, you’re probably I would argue 90% ahead of everyone else who’s just winging it.
D.J. Paris 1:06:50
Just two things. Yeah. It’s hard to things though. I, you know, we I’ve always thought the best people in service are always the ones that call you just before you call them. Right? They call you and they’re like, Oh, hey, that thing? Here’s the answer. You don’t have to call me again about it. You know, that’s essentially what the message is. You don’t have to call me about that thing. I’ve got it. Right. If that can be the client experience that they don’t ever have to dial your number is like, to me that’s a wild success.
Ben Lalez 1:07:22
So let’s listen to the end. You’ll like this should be the clip that we like tease people with. Yeah, make it all the way to the end for the you know, the primary useful piece of information.
D.J. Paris 1:07:32
Never Yeah, that I love it. We’re we’re ending with the most valuable piece. I love that
Ben Lalez 1:07:39
and most obvious and mundane.
D.J. Paris 1:07:42
What most obvious and mundane but you know what John Wooden, who I believe is the most winningest coach shocks tell me you’re gonna tell a sock story? Oh, no, I don’t. So this is the embarrassing part. I know nothing about sports. My, the amount of information I have goes down about one millimeter into the water for sports. I know nothing. But John Wooden was all about systems processes. And oh, like shooting free throws, you know, 500 of them a day.
Ben Lalez 1:08:09
Well, let me give you another one about exciting, but it works. Let me give you the first thing John Wooden taught his players was how to put on their socks appropriately to avoid blisters and athlete athlete’s foot. Sure. Well, you are more basic than that. Yep.
D.J. Paris 1:08:25
In winningest coach in NCAA history. Yeah. Also put your socks on right DJ also never looked at the scoreboard. Because he said the scoreboard didn’t tell him the affirmation he wanted. Yeah. And that’s a really, really interesting point. And so then it’s like, okay, well, if he wasn’t looking at the scoreboard, what was he looking at? He was looking at individual performance, performance. He was looking at each ad because he would say, as you exit the court only, you know, if you played well, you might have won or lost, but you could still feel good on a loss if you played well. And so I think that’s what really what we’re talking about, right? We’re talking about playing well, like the results end up while your results have been
Ben Lalez 1:09:04
if you play well. The volume will show and our industry.
D.J. Paris 1:09:10
Amazing. Ben, thank you for for coming on a second time. I am just completely enamored. You’re younger than me and just doing doing so many cool things in real estate. It’s really impressive. The battle all this team has taken over Chicago.
Ben Lalez 1:09:29
Before you wrap up. I want to be the first to go on record saying that if there’s ever someone to interview you, it’s me. I would love it as you need to be interviewed on the keeping a real podcast because what you have that not everyone has because I haven’t listened to every single episode. Sorry. But you but you have been sitting across
D.J. Paris 1:09:48
how many of me? I think we’ve done about 400 of these. Yeah, so
Ben Lalez 1:09:52
it’s about time. You got interviewed and everyone else can draw out the information from you
D.J. Paris 1:09:59
what But I will tell you is the funniest part of the whole. This whole thing for me this podcast is that I always say, I know the least amount about real estate that anyone who listens as certainly my guests and and probably all the ancillary people involved too. But I what I what I really That’s bullshit. Well, I’ve had conversations with you about real estate. That’s yeah, absolutely not. That’s probably untrue but but it’s true enough in the sense that I just like talking to people who are exceptional. Who knows more about recruiting than you? Well, that’s probably true. Okay, who knows more about title and finance and running a business I call
Ben Lalez 1:10:39
you to, to to pump me up every morning. It’s literally what you did at the start of this. I appreciate it. All right. Hi, on your intro for the next like six months.
D.J. Paris 1:10:48
I I am I’m very, very grateful. And yeah, I probably downplay some of my achievements. But but it is, I’m truly honored to be here and to sit in this in this room with us. What you’ve accomplished, is remarkable. just remarkable. And for everyone out there, you really should be paying attention to what Ben and his team are doing. Go to bends website, Ben lawless.com, B and L A L E z.com. Check out his team. They’re amazing systems. Check out what they’re doing with video to watch them on social Follow. Follow them there. They’re ahead of the curve. Ups. Copy us. Yes, copy them. There. And they’re just they’re just nice, nice people. So anyway, this is very uncomfortable for me, because I am not in my normal chair. So I don’t even know how to reduce
Ben Lalez 1:11:39
Do you normally have like a special I have a
D.J. Paris 1:11:42
I spin and I know and I know. But I’d be half of our audience. I want to say, Ben, thank you for coming on. Again, having here in your conference room to film this episode. This is really special.
Ben Lalez 1:11:56
Do we end with a hug? Or
D.J. Paris 1:11:57
we could end with a hug? Absolutely. Yeah, especially, you know, the best part about doing the show is I get to meet people like that. And honestly, it really isn’t. I don’t I don’t mean that in any sort of, you know, false
Ben Lalez 1:12:13
in a pejorative way. Well,
D.J. Paris 1:12:17
that wouldn’t be a pejorative statement. But, but. But, you know, it’s really fun. Because when I meet people at your level, a lot of times I just find, you know, I built friendships out of this, and I consider you a friend. I’m proud to consider you a friend. And, you know, I’m a big supporter of yours. And I just want to see you continue to grow. And you obviously are and it’s just fun to be part of the ride, I guess. I think that’s what’s most interesting about the podcast is I feel like I just get to be, like passenger in cars, that other people are driving, and I just get to sort of hang out and see what they’re all about. And, you know, maybe it will rub off on me one day, but anyway, thanks, man. I appreciate you being on the show again. Yeah. Great to see you my friend.