Top Agent Michael Hellickson

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Kosta: I’m so excited about this episode. I’m speaking with Michael Hellickson, an absolute rock star in the real estate world. Michael had a very successful 20 year career as a real estate agent. At the height of his career, him and his team were listing over 100 homes per month at one point, had over 750 active listings on the market. At the same time, him and his team, were also literally ranked number one nationwide out of over 1 million agents today. Michael runs Club Wealth, one of the top coaching companies in the u s where he helps hundreds of agents implement the systems that made him so successful. We’re diving into all this and much, much more detail in this episode. Grab a pen and a notebook and get ready to take some notes. This is one you’re going to want to listen to in full. I hope you enjoy. Michael, thank you so much for joining me on the Top Agent podcast. Really excited for you to be here.

Michael: My pleasure. I appreciate you having me on. It’s an honor.

Kosta: Awesome. So Michael, you have one of the most inspiring stories I think I’ve ever heard in real estate. You were a real estate agent for over 20 years, at one point listing over a hundred homes per month, which is pretty mind boggling. You’ve been among the top 1% of all agents nationally in the US before even graduating high school and at the peak of your real estate career, you were, you and your team were literally number one nationwide out of over 1 million agents, so huge accomplishments. Congratulations on all of your successes thus far. No worries. And so you’re now the founder and President of Club Wealth Coaching or you mentor and train agents worldwide. So quite a bit to unpack there. Um, but let’s start from, from way back. So you got your real estate license at 18 years old, you were the top producer in your entire office right out of the gates. What got you into real estate at such a young age and how on earth did you climb up the ladder that fast?

Michael: Well, that’s an interesting story. So it was, my brother actually was a real estate agent and he wasn’t having much success with it, but, uh, but despite that, I, I’ve, I’ve, I kind of, you know, long time ago, you know, I had heard that, well, golly if you want to make a lot of money, you’ve got to be in sales. And then you hear about, you know, well, most of the people that are millionaires out there, the either made or hold their money in real estate. So I thought, well, okay, then I’ll go into real estate sales. Right. It makes sense. Uh, and so I got my license when I was 18. I turned 18 in January and got my license in March. Um, and I just, I just went at it. I, and what’s interesting, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Right. And I think that was a big benefit to me because there’s so many, you know, there’s so many people out there that say that, you know, you can only accomplish this or here’s the limits on what’s possible and Yada, Yada, Yada.

Michael: And, and as I look at that office, you know, it sounds great that I was the top producer in the office, but really that just means that I was less broke than the rest of the agents in the office. Right. And so, and even being in the top 1% of agents in the country, that, that sounds better than it is, you know, it doesn’t take much to be in the top 1% of the agents in the country. Um, you know, the reality is that a lot of the people that are in that top quote unquote, 1% are broke. Uh, you know, they, they might look good on paper, they might do a bunch of transactions, but they’re spending every dime they can to make those transactions happen. And, uh, that’s part of it. That’s part of our mission at club wealth is to help people understand that look, you know, it’s, it’s okay to sit a little aside for yourself.

Michael: You know, you need to actually be profitable, uh, and, and really develop a retirement eventually so you don’t have to sell real estate if you don’t want to at some point. But, uh, yeah, I mean, there’s been lots of ups and downs along the way. Um, you know, certainly at the peak of our career we had a really well oiled machine. We had a great team, a wonderful people. Uh, you know, we were, I think at one point we had a hundred. I see me 750 listings and active in pending status. Um, and that was with 16 agents. So it was pretty, yeah, it was, it was pretty, uh, it was a pretty wild time. Um, you know, but I, I guess really the, what I hope people get out of that is not, oh, look at how great Michael is, but I hope people, what they get out of that is, look, you can be a knucklehead like Michael and still be successful, right?

Michael: Like there’s, there’s, there’s no, there’s no limit to what you can do in this business. Uh, you know, back in the day, if you had told somebody, oh, somebody going to a thousand or more transactions a year, people would have said, you’re crazy. Right? If you told them that 20 years ago, they just said, there’s no way. Nobody can. It’s not possible unless you’re a broker. It’s not possible to do a thousand transactions a year. And the reality is there’s a lot of teams out there right now, and I, and I say a lot, I’m going to say more than 15 teams out there. I would guess that this year we’ll probably break the thousand transaction mark. There’s a couple of little break, the 2000 transaction mark and there’s one that I can think of that might even do 3000 transactions this year. So yeah, I mean the whatever you want to accomplish as possible in this business.

Kosta: I know that’s all true. I love that. I think that that stands true or holds ground in any business. So like the only thing I think stopping people from elevating themselves and just growing beyond a certain point is their own limitations in their head.

Michael: I agree. And just establish that mindset. Well, and part of that, you know, the reason those limitations creep in is it because of who we’re listening to, right? And we’ve got to, we’ve got to stop listening to the naysayers. We’ve got to stop listening to the haters. Uh, and there’s a lot of out there. There’s, oh my gosh, there’s plenty of them out there. Uh, but we have got to turn a deaf ear to the haters and we’ve got to figure out how do we only program our brain with things that are going to lead us where we want to go. Uh, it’s kind of like taking advice in real estate, right? One of our core values at club wealth is that if you want to climb to the top of Mount Everest, you need a guide that’s been to the top of Mount Everest before. And what, what blows me away is you got all these coaching companies out there. They’ve got coaches that have never sold a house or that are not selling very many homes. You know, they might be doing 10 or 15 or even 20 deals a year trying to tell you how to do a hundred or 200 or 500 deals a year. Yeah, I don’t understand that.

Kosta: Yeah, you’re right. I think that’s, um, I think one of the most under utilized resources is learning from people who have done it before and have been successful. Um, you know, it’s like you see too many people just trying to carve their own path, which is good in a sense. But if you have the opportunity to learn from someone who has already created that path and you know, taking, you know, nuggets in lessons from that. I mean it’s such a, it’s such an easy but under utilized resource. I think

Michael: I agree 100% and that’s why y’all, for us, what we’ve done is we’ve structured our company so that every single one of the coaches sells more real estate than the people I coach. And what’s this? It’s hard to do, right? I mean that’s a, that’s a feat in and of itself, just getting that many great coaches together. But um, but you look at it and it means that no matter where I’m at, I can turn to somebody that’s been where I have been and beyond for the advice that I need.

Kosta: Yeah. That’s awesome. Um, so at, at the pinnacle of your real estate career, you were listing over a hundred homes per month. Is that accurate?

Michael: Well, I was, I was selling on the sales side, yes. But on the listing side, that’s not going entirely accurate. Well, as a team, yes. But me personally, I was only listing 50 to 75 houses a month, not counting reo. Of course, reo made up. That was another, you know, we had at one point we had 417 reo properties, but um, but let’s just, let’s just say on retail houses, mom and pop listing their house very consistently by myself. I was an essay by myself. I had the administrative team help me with this of course. But me going on listing appointments, I was taken 50 to 75 a month.

Kosta: Wow. Yeah. And obviously you had a team like doing several million in commissions for sure. And it before getting to that level, did you always have the vision and goal to grow to that point?

Michael: No. Actually, it’s funny you say that. Um, no. The reality is, I know I never had that in my mind that, oh, we’re going to be x big, right? We’re going to, we’re going to hit this particular goal. It was just, let’s get to work and let’s see what we can do. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s, that’s literally what we did. We just knuckled down and, and you know, tried to put the best systems in place, tried really hard to hire the right people and retain the right people and um, which that’s right. Having the right team is critical. Um, and then just working every day, just really working hard to try and, and make it all happen. And it just, if you’d have told me, if you had told me 10 years before that that we were going to eventually have 750 listings active and pending. Honestly, there’s no way, no way like that I would, I wouldn’t have even thought that possible. I’m not aware of anybody that’s done that since even, I mean, like I just, I would not have believed that that was possible. And not that I had a limiting belief about it, just that it was never the goal. The goal was let’s do whatever we can do. Let’s figure out what we can do. See what this Carl, you know, like, it’s like we get a new car, let’s go see how fast it’ll go.

Kosta: I can totally relate to that. Um, the talking about teams so you don’t, in my business, I’m currently in the process of hiring and growing my team and what I’ve learned over the years is that hiring and team building, it is truly a skill set that gets better with time and experience. Um, what are some of the tips you have on building a winning team and why is that so important in growing a real estate business?

Michael: Oh boy. Well first thing I would suggest is everybody that wants to build a team should read the book, the five dysfunctions of a team. Um, that’s, that’s a book. I think that would be really helpful to anybody thinking about building one. Um, but in terms of just general advice on teams, a couple of things I would say is one, seek out feedback from your team that you don’t want to hear. Uh, in other words, you know, you’ve got to, you’ve got to have a really open here. You’ve got to, you’ve got to maintain really good communication with the people on your team and you’ve got to provide them with an outlet to and in a safe outlet to be able to share with you things that are uncomfortable for you to hear. You know, there’s going to be times where you’re, you know, at different stages in your business, you will have people come and go with your team.

Michael: And it’s hard when you’re really small, right? When you’ve got three, four, or five people on your team and one or two of them leave. That’s catastrophic, right? It’s really hard. Um, you know, when you’ve got 60 people on your team and 10 of them leave, that’s less catastrophic than when you have five people on your team and two of them leave. Um, and that being said, as your team gets larger, the bigger it gets. And by the way, size does matter. It’s good to have a larger team. Um, it, it’s, it’s better for you. It’s better for them. There’s all, there’s a lot of reasons why the larger the team, the more successful everybody on the team can be. But as that team grows, you end up with various personality types beginning to form kind of alliances or clicks or whatever you want to call it, inside the team.

Michael: And that can be dangerous if, and the reason that that can be dangerous. At times you’ll have people who are on your team that may or may not completely align with the mission, vision, values, and goals of the team. And, and they may not be in harmony with the culture. They may not be a good fit for the culture of the team. And if you have to let one go, or if they choose to leave and they have formed these relationships with other people that are kind of like them, a lot of times you can take one really bad apple and they can poison a bunch of the others. Um, and so that’s one of the things you’ve got to be careful of. But that being said, I sound like I’m all Dierk down or on teams. I gotta tell you, I love teams. I there if you’re in, if you’re in real estate today and it’s, you know, I don’t care if you’re in the United States or Canada, it doesn’t matter wherever you are.

Michael: If you want to be successful in the real estate industry in the next 10 years, you’re either going to need to be on a team or you’re going to need to be building a team, one of those two things. And if you can’t embrace that, it’s going to leave you behind. The technology’s changing too fast, that commissions are being driven down. There’s third parties that are trying to take over various parts of the business that could traditionally have been the role of the real estate agent. So the workflow is getting further and further segmented and every time that happens it’s putting pressure on the agent. And so for that individual agent to survive, they’re going to have to team up with somebody.

Kosta: Yeah, that’s a, that’s an interesting perspective. Um, the, the topic of a team culture, I can see that being really tough, especially as you grow building a cohesive team where everyone’s, um, everyone’s in alignment. Um, because you know, from my experience, you know, you really can’t build a great business without having a great cohesive team behind you. So how can you ensure that everyone shares the same values and culture and just everyone’s aligned from that perspective?

Michael: Well, let’s start with this. Number one, you can’t ensure that everybody is in alignment. That’s never gonna happen. I mean, it’s, it’s obviously it’s the goal, right? We want to have as much alignment with the culture of the team as humanly possible, but you’re not going to be able to have everybody in alignment. There are going to be people at p and even people that you care about that are not going to be in Lyon in, in a, in alignment with, again, the team’s mission, vision, values, goals and, and culture. Uh, that being said, one of the things that you have to do, and it’s hard, but one of the things that you have to do right away is you have to eliminate those that are in stark contrast to your mission, vision, values, goals, and, and culture. Um, you know, if you have that cancer on your team, you have to cut that cancer out right away.

Michael: And as you do, you will find out that there were other people that had been poisoned by that cancer in your team that you did not know about and you will probably lose them. But that’s just part of the deal. That’s how it works. And over time you will develop a stronger and stronger core. Um, and as you invest yourself into that core, and that’s a big piece of this, right? Like you’ve got to take the time to meet individually with these folks they use, they’ve got to know that you care because you actually do. Right? And, and that, that involves time. There’s no substitute for time with your team, uh, both as a group and individually.

Kosta:Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. For sure. Um, going back to your, to your real estate business, so during, it was sort of a peak of your career. So to be able to list a hundred homes per month and gain that level of in the community, um, you obviously have to bring a great deal of value to, to a seller and such a competitive market like real estate. What are some of your favorite and most effective marketing strategies to present listings for maximum impact?

Michael: There’s a lot of ways in terms of you just so what you’re saying is how do we market a listing, right? Yeah. I mean there’s, there’s a, I mean, that could be that, that can be a freaking seven part webinar series. I’m had a marketer listening, um, you know, but I’ll tell you that really it comes down to you gotta do it all right. And it’s not just because you’re trying to get that listing sold. I think the very first thing you have to understand when you have a listing, the most important thing is not getting that listing sold. Yes, it’s important, yes, that’s our goal. But we have to understand that that listing is much more than a listing. That listing is an opportunity to develop a ton more business. That listening is an opportunity to attract a lot of buyers that may not buy that one, but we’ll buy something else.

Michael: It’s an opportunity to attract sellers who will list other properties with us. It’s an opportunity to get our brand out there. Um, it’s an opportunity to get our USP, their unique selling proposition. Um, it’s an opportunity to get velocity in a marketplace. You know, it’s funny to me, there’s a lot of people that, that are very picky about the listings they will take. Well, I’m not going to take that listing because they want to overprice it or I’m not going to take that listing because it’s a disaster. It’s not as nice a house. And I don’t want to be associated with a dump. Oh, I’m not going to take that listing because, you know, the seller’s crazy, you know, whatever or divorcing or whatever. There’s all kinds of reasons. And I think about that cause I hear about these people, I think to myself, you know, nothing about marketing.

Michael: Like you don’t understand the true value of that listing. Um, or the, and that opportunity that comes with it. And for me, I’ve always said to myself, a sign in the yard beats a sign in the car every time. So my goal is I’m going to go get every listing I can. I know full well, not all of them are going to sell, but that’s not my decision to make. That’s the seller’s decision. And some people would argue, oh, but I’m not going to go spend a bunch of money marketing a listing if I don’t know that it’s going to sell. Well, that’s foolish, right? Because just think this, for example, if I do my signs right, you know, if I’ve got, if I’ve got my sign on the property, I’ve got a fly box on the side, I’ve got the Wright Flyer in it with the right information.

Michael: I leave off the fatal for which we can talk about another time. But, uh, I omit the fatal four. I’ve got the right, uh, the right information on the back of the flier. I should get between one and a half and two and a half sign calls per week per sign. I’ve gotten the ground. So now if I’ve got one listing I’m getting, let’s just call it two calls per week, uh, you know, and if I had one listing all year long, that’s, you know, let’s call it 104 calls per year, right? But if I had 10 listings, now I’m getting over a thousand calls per year from my end listings. What if I had a hundred listings? I kid you not. There was one, there was a time where I was literally, when we had those 700 listings, we were literally getting 6,352 sign calls per month. Wow. And this in a sign call is the second best lead source on the planet. The best being a referral. Right? But assigned call, I think those are fantastic lead source. And when done properly, you can get tons and tons of these sign calls from just a handful of listings.

Kosta: Wow. Yeah, that’s amazing. And it’s so true. You’re so right though. I think a lot of agents seem to miss the big picture. Most agents think they’re, they’re just salespeople. And that couldn’t be further from the truth, in my opinion. I would argue that an agent is probably more of a marketing firm than a salesperson. There’s so much more to just selling a home. It, it’s all the marketing, attracting potential sellers and buyers for future transactions. Now you really have to look beyond the quick sale for it today and see the big picture.

Michael: Yeah, I think you’re right about that. And you know, and their defense though, I think a lot of the reason is because so many agents are making just enough money to stay in the business, but not enough to be excited about it. And so they’re, they’re struggling a lot of them financially. And what that does, what that struggle creates is it creates, you know, you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? I mean, essentially, you know, you’re, you’re trying to feed the most important need first, which is, I got to put food on the table. I gotta pay my mortgage. Right? And so because you’re so focused on that, you can’t think about, well, hold on. If I have a whole bunch of the listings out there, it’s going to create all this other stuff. And, but in the back of their mind, what they’re really thinking has none at all.

Michael: Cause I got to put a sign up and that cost money. I gotta buy a key box that costs money. I gotta, I gotta advertise it. That costs money and all they’re seeing is all the expense associated with it. And they don’t have any realization of the opportunity that comes with that listing. And again, I think that’s a big part of the reason why teams are helpful, right? Because if I’m on a team, my team’s paying for all that all I got to just keep going out and getting listings and my team will continue to provide me a fantastic leads. Uh, you know, assuming I’m on a team, uh, with fantastic leads, backend support, advertising, marketing, everything right? And I get to focus on what I’m best at. So if I’m a listing agent, I get to focus on being a worldclass listing agent. If I’m a buyer agent and I get to focus on being a worldclass buyer agent. Is this making sense?

Kosta: Yeah, absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. Absolutely. Um, one of the most common challenges see realtors face is time management. So you know, in a lot of cases realtors don’t have a fixed schedule and their day to day there’s a dog juggling between clients, showings, emails, admin stuff, um, you know, getting back to clients, customer service, the list goes on. So someone like yourself who, who managed the team of 50 people at one point,

Michael: uh, 44, I think at the, I think it the biggest one that, I mean our team now is much larger than that. I mean our team now, you know, we’re at well but, but back then our team was 44. Our real estate team was 44.

Kosta: Yeah. So you know, back then just managing this big team, you know, listing over a hundred homes per month. I’d imagine time management was and still is a very critical component to your success. What are some techniques you use to craft your perfect daily schedule?

Michael: I love that you’re using our term, the perfect daily schedule cause it really is right. And it’s not that, it’s when we talk about perfectly on schedule, it’s not that it’s the perfect schedule for everybody. It’s that your goal is to create the schedule that is as close to perfect as possible for you. And uh, now that being said, in terms of team leadership, perfect daily schedule is very important, but the, the ability and the propensity to delegate to the right people and the right way with the right accountability is the biggest key, right? You’ve got to trust the people around you. You’ve gotta be willing to let go of some things and understand that, look, if they can do it 80% as well as I can, that’s a victory, right? Because so many team leaders, they just, they think I’m the only one that can do it.

Michael: I come, I’m the only one that can do it, right? Whatever. And the reality is more often than not, you think they’re only doing it 81% as well as you are. But the reality is they’re probably doing at 120% as well as you are. Um, and so we need to give, become better delegators now when it comes to the schedule, yes, our schedule needs to force us to, to practice the habits that will cause us to be successful. Uh, as an example, like if you look at my schedule, every minute of every day is blocked out Monday through Friday. They, it just is, it’s, you know, I’ve got, you know, I start my day at a certain time. Like this morning, my first call was that, it was a little bit later today I was at six o’clock in the morning. This morning I had my first phone call and I’ve been on back to back phone calls, podcasts, webinars, uh, and team meetings ever since.

Michael: Um, and then my, the rest of my day looks the same way. But what that does is it mean it, it, it allows me to, can be super, super focused on what we call dps or dollar productive activities. So I’m doing those things that bring the most value to my business, to my clients. And into the people that I need to be bringing that value to. Um, so as an agent, as an example, it makes no sense for a real estate agent to be sitting around doing data entry. Uh, in fact, if you guys have a pen, write this down. If you don’t have an assistant, you are one. If you don’t have an assistant, you are one. Right? And so I think about these agents that are out there, they’re doing their own data entry, their own, you know, administrative work. So here they are, they’re doing work that they could easily just hire out for 15 to $20 an hour and, and w and what that’s doing is it’s taking them away from the 100 5,200 $5,500 an hour tasks that they could be doing instead. The problem for a lot of agencies, they go hire the assistant and the assistant takes over a bunch of stuff and the assistant feels like, oh, well I can go golfing now. No, no, no, no, no. When you get the assistant on board, that’s when it’s time to really dig in and focus on those high dollar productive activities so that you can really take that business to the next level.

Kosta: I love that. If you don’t have an Admin, you are one. Do you, do you have any favorite apps or tools, uh, to help you manage and organize your schedule better?

Michael: Well, I mean, I’m old school. I just use outlook for my schedule. Love. It works well. There’s lots of great, you know, technology is a great thing. Uh, there’s a ton of great technology out there for agents. I mean, you guys own a product obviously and, and uh, you know, there’s great, there’s great CRMs and great, you know, providers for all of this kind of stuff. Um, one of my favorite technology tools from an organizational standpoint is actually free and it’s called Trello, t. R. E. L. L. O. You familiar with it?

Kosta: Yeah, we use it internally as well.

Michael: Yeah, it’s great, isn’t it? I mean, it’s, it’s free. Uh, it’s a great organizational tool and you can do so much with, it’s got great Google plug area, you know, uh, Google Chrome plugins that make it even better. Um, you know, you can, there’s so much you can be like, I can, I can be sharing a board with somebody, a Trello board with somebody and I can click one button and it can put us immediately in a webinar together, you know, or a a web meeting together. Um, you know, it’s, it’s phenomenal. There’s just so much you can do and it’s free. So that’s it. In terms of my calendar, I literally just use outlook and a lot of our clients use Google calendar. Um, I don’t think there’s any magic to which calendar software you use. I think the key is that you use it and the, as you’re using it, you’re very, very specific about what that schedule is going to look like.

Michael: I like the ability to color code. So I know, like for example, with fights, a light blue, I know that’s a Webinar. Uh, if it’s purple, I know that’s a coaching call. If it’s green, I like green. I know that’s a strategy session and you know, I mean there’s just, there’s there, I, I, I, you know, if it’s yellow, it’s travel, you know, I, I have it color coded so that I can very easily see what’s going on in my schedule. I’m at a glance for you guys that could look a lot of different ways. Like if I’m a listing agent, I might want to color code based on the part of town I’m going to. So red means north blue means east green means south, whatever. Um, so that I know as I’m on a phone with a client, I can very, very quickly determine which direction I’m going.

Michael: So like for me, cause you know, to list 50 to 75 houses a month and I was only working 12 days a month, that takes a lot of organization, right? So I was going on six to eight appointments a day and then I’d make 115 to hundred 25 call followup calls per day in between those appointments. Well, the way I accomplish that was I would go north one day I’d go south. The next day, I’d go east next day and I’d go west the next day and I would go on my, my area was two and a half hours in any one direction was how far I would cover. Uh, but to do that when I’m on the phone, setting those appointments, having those appointments, color coded, really made it a lot faster for me to know, oh, on you want to meet on Wednesday? Okay. Wednesday I’m going to be in the south. Then I could do Thursday though. That’s when I’ll be in the north end.

Kosta: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. I think, uh, at the end of the day, you’re right, it doesn’t matter what you’re using. It’s really just a preference. But I think it’s so important just to establish some sort of structure in your business that can help you be more efficient in your day to day. For sure. I’m still sticking. Took technology. How do you see technology changing the way real estate agents do business and say the next five to 10 years?

Michael: Well, it’s already changing it dramatically. And, uh, you know, for, for example, if you don’t have automation, you’re you’re way behind right now. If you don’t have automation, um, you know, there’s an, and there’s a ton of stuff that gets automated. The lead generation process, uh, is, is not as automated as the lead followup process. But I’ll tell you, the lead followup process has become extremely automated and now you’ve got a AI coming into play, artificial intelligence and AI is really changing the landscape and it’s getting a lot better and it’s getting better fast. Uh, and so I think in the next five years, a huge percentage of the front end of the fun, out of the top end of people’s funnel, right, where people come into the funnel, uh, and you know, they get a lead and all of a sudden the first thing that’s gonna interact with that lead, uh, for a lot of people is going to be AI.

Michael: Uh, that’s certainly where, you know, the big, some of the really big companies are going, you know, like a Keller Williams is headed that direction. Zillow, You know, these guys are, are implementing a lot of this stuff and then behind that they’re supporting it with ISS. And so there, there again, they’re taking over a lot of what was traditionally the real estate agent’s role. Um, on the backend. I would also say that customer follow up and the customer experience is going to be very technology driven. Um, it’s been that way for years, but it’s just recently really started to take off. And as long as the market’s good and there’s still money out there for agents to pay for a lot of these services, I believe that those companies will have the funding they need to continue to improve and enhance those services, which is going to force people to fall in line with technology. Um, and it’s, it’s, it’s no longer going to be a luxury. It’s no longer, you’d be something that, you know, is it, you know, can give you an edge. It’s going to be something that you have to do to keep up.

Kosta: Yeah, I totally agree. And, and there’s so much technology just coming out. And I think it’s also important to, to just try and test and taste new things and, and just implement new things in your business. Because, you know, you never know what’s going to stick, what’s gonna work, what’s not gonna work unless you actually do it. A lot of people, when I called her headline readers, they just, you know, assume something just based off a headline or some one person’s experience for example. Um, you know, like for example, the amount of people I hear who say Facebook ads don’t work. I think that’s just, it’s the craziest thing. But, um,

Michael: and you know what my response to somebody like that is always, no, it’s not that the Facebook ads don’t work and since you don’t work. Exactly. Yeah. So Facebook ads work. So, you know, there’s so many things. It’s like prospecting. Prospecting works too. Do you?

Kosta: Yeah. Couldn’t agree more. Um, switching gears a little bit, so I recently I wrote a blog post called, don’t forget your early clients. Uh, and it’s about just what the title says. As your business grows, it’s very easy to lose sight and forget about what got you there. And in most cases, that’s your earliest clients. The ones who took a chance on you, gave you the shot to prove yourself, you know, your earliest advocates. So how important is client appreciation in real estate? And what are some ways agents can show appreciation to their clients, especially when, you know, as in your case, when you, when client lists accumulate and grow and grow over the years.

Michael: Well that gets harder and harder as your business grows. There’s no question. And I would say first and foremost, you hit the nail on the head. Remember where you came from. Right. And I’ve been guilty of this recently. In fact, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve dropped the ball on, on following up with some of my most valued clients and, and people that, that believed in me when nobody else did. And I’ve had to, I’ve had to go back and mend some of those relationships. And some of them, you know, or are not mendable, uh, you know, some of them are, are disillusioned because they haven’t had the contact they need to have with me in the last six months, let’s say. Um, and so the consistency of falling up with folks and specifically getting voice to voice with them and then whenever possible face to face, it’s important.

Michael: Uh, and, and you can’t underestimate the importance of that. Um, and I, and I, there’s, there’s just no substitute for it. And a no eat, no email drip campaign, no text message campaign, none of that stuff, no AI, none of that stuff is going to be able to cultivate a relationship like you can. Uh, and it never will. You need to be the one cultivating those relationships. Um, and it’s hard. It really is. It takes time and it takes focus. Um, and so that said, um, there’s, there’s a lot of ways that you can, as you, as you grow, you know, one of the things that we highly recommend is, is a regular client event. Um, you know, where once a quarter you hold some kind of an event and it doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a barbecue in your backyard. It could be whatever, take them to a baseball game or whatever.

Michael: But I would hold the client event at least once a quarter. And that gives you a really great opportunity to get face to face with these folks, uh, and really have conversations with them. And even if they don’t come to the client event, at least you have the opportunity to call them and have a one on one conversation with each one of them, uh, over the phone. And again, that helps you to deepen that relationship. Now, does that mean that you know, they’re all going to love you forever? No, it doesn’t. I mean, there’s, people get attracted, especially, you know, in our industry, but, you know, people do get attracted to the next shiny object, right? Oh, look at this. And I that, you know, they, they just like, sometimes you forget where you came from. People in your world will forget how you’ve helped them over time.

Michael: Um, and that’s, that’s really challenging, right? Well, so let’s say you have a client and you know, they have never invested in real estate before and you are, you know, they buy a house from you and then you say, hey, if you guys ever thought about buying a rental property and you help him out and you sell them a rental property eventually, then they buy another and another and another, and you help them find these great deals and you help me get into his rental properties. And all of a sudden they’re making enough capital from these rental properties to support their lifestyle. And then all of a sudden one day they’re driving by a house and they see somebody else’s sign in the yard and they call that agent. And that agent sells in my house. How do you feel about that? You know, you’ve gone through and you’ve helped them with all this stuff.

Michael: You’ve taught him how to rent it out, you’ve given them rental agreements, you’ve done everything you can to support them. And then all of a sudden after all these transactions you’ve helped them with and all this stuff you’d done for him, and you know, you’ve been to their kids’ birthdays and to all this stuff, right? You’ve done all this stuff, checked all the boxes and all of a sudden they go and purchase from somebody else. It’s real easy to f there’s a tendency, I mean, you know, to, to be hurt, to be upset, to be frustrated, to lash out sometimes. I mean there’s all, we go through all these emotions because at that point we’ve become close with them. Um, and let me tell you, that is a very difficult dynamic. And so these things are not entirely avoidable. No matter how many client events we hold, the matter how many times we call them, no matter how much we do with them, there are going to be times where no matter how much you’ve invested in someone, they are not going to feel as invested in you.

Michael: And so I think it’s important for us to recognize that and, and understand that, you know, people are going to do their thing and there will be some that will be a part of our lives long term and there will be some that will come and go in and out of our lives and, and that’s okay. And sometimes they come back, right. I had one recently, uh, just yesterday. In fact, I had a person that quit coaching with club wealth at one point and uh, and he called me back yesterday and he says, you know, I really want to come back to club wealth. You know, I, I’ve, I’ve seen the other side, I’ve, you know, I really appreciate club wealth and what you guys stand for and what you’ve done for me and I want to come back. And uh, and so of course we welcome him with open arms. So re, and finally, I guess the only thing I would add to that is you’ve got to always put relationships ahead of money. And it’s very, very hard to, I mean, we talk about that it’s very hard to not only practice it, but to make sure that we’re consistent with the implementation of the small things so that the perception is, you know, so the perception matches reality, which is that we put relationships ahead of money. Does that make sense?

Kosta: Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. And you’re right, and I love that. I mean, you can, it’s really easy to get really personal and emotional. I think it, it doesn’t give you the right as a salesperson, um, you’re the right to anyone’s business. Even if you put your friend or family, like even if you checked all the boxes and did everything right and you didn’t get that business. I mean, you know, it’s nothing to get emotional and personal boat. I keep your chin up and close them the next time.

Michael: Well, and I think it’s situations like that, the ability to press forward becomes very important. And you know, it’s, it’s like when you have a bad month and you’ll lose, you know, seven deals fall out of escrow, you know, and that’s all of the seven deals you had. Well, guess what? That’s hard. Uh, you know, it’s emotionally hard. It’s financially hard. It’s, you know, there’s, there’s all these things that you go through as that happens that are challenging. And, and what’s important in that moment is you’ve got to realize, number one, and I, and write this one down. This is good. This too shall pass, right? So no matter what’s going on, it’s temporary and you’ll get through it one way or the other. It may not be comfortable, it might be hard, but you’ll get through it. Um, man, number two, remember, we can only control what we control or what we can control. So we always tell people, control the controllables. And as you learned to control the controllables and worry less about the things that you can control. And that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to worry a little bit about it, but you know, you try and put the stuff you can’t control out of your mind because you have no control over it. Uh, and then when we do focus on those things that we can control, we make better and different decisions than we may have otherwise.

Kosta: Yeah, totally true. All keeping on the topic of, uh, you know, personal relationships. So are you in the camp that believes real estate will never lose that personable aspect to it? Even with all the new technologies and AI, like you mentioned before,

Michael: 100% and I, and I’ll tell you why, um, you know, first of all, look at the travel industry. Everybody likes to use that as an example of how real estate’s going to go away. You know, I started travel agents I work with today. I mean, there are still travel agents out there and some of them make a lot more than they ever have before. Why? Because now they’re working with hiring clientele, the, and they’re, and they’re delivering a higher level of service than ever before. Uh, and so they’re valued by the people that value that service. Um, when it comes to real estate, the vast majority of people out there are not there. They’re not attorneys. They’re not, you know, they, they want someone professional who understands the transaction and understands the paperwork to handle that, their largest financial transaction of most people’s lives. Um, and so I do believe that there, you know, it’s, it’s a lot different than, you know, can I book a flight to Hawaii?

Michael: Um, you know, so I, I do believe that there is going to be a PA place longterm for real estate agents. Do I think that, that, that, that relationship and that their role is likely to change over time? Yes, absolutely. Um, do I think that tomorrow we’re going to be the Uber drivers of the real estate industry? No, I don’t believe that’s what’s going to happen. Um, but I do think, I mean, they think about this, if that were the case, Redfin would be a lot bigger than it is, right? And nothing against Redfin agents or anything like that. But the reality is, you know, red fin is really the technology company that sells real estate. Right? And if you think about it, if Redfin has been around a while now, they’re not a new company. They’ve been around a long time and, uh, they’ve been competitive in this space.

Michael: And I’m in, see, I live in Seattle, right? And a, and guess what, we’ve got a lot of real estate agents in Seattle still and only a handful that worked for Red Fin. So do I think that there will be some people attracted to some of these new models and the eye buyers and all the other stuff out there? Yes. What I also believe is that you, the agent need to focus more on your game than worrying about what might happen to the industry that you cannot control because you can’t control it all you can. True control is what do you get up and do every single day?

Kosta: Yeah, I love it. I couldn’t agree with more with, with everything you said there for sure. Um, Michael, I do want to be mindful of your time. Uh, I like to end off each episode with what I call the top three. You Ready?

Michael: I can’t wait. Let’s, let’s hear. What are the top

Kosta: Number one, this is easy. You mentioned one earlier. What is your top real estate or business book?

Michael: Real estate or business book. While there’s a lot of them. I, I, we’ve got a whole list on our website, but, uh, I mean I think if I’m looking at my top business book, I would go to a mindset book. Um, that’s that most people have heard of and it’s Robert Kiyosaki’s cashflow quadrant. And the real, the reason I say that is because I think that most real estate agents don’t understand what they are or where they need to be going in terms of, a lot of them I think think there are business, but they really aren’t. They’re really self employed. And that book really helps us understand what does it mean to really be a business owner. Um, and so, and it’s a, it’s a very simple book. You know, it’s funny, I always tell people, Robert Kiyosaki has an author as fantastic and as a speaker, he’s a great author. Um, um, but, uh, I’m kidding. He’s, he’s great at both, but the reality is one of the talents that he has is bringing it down to a very palatable, very understandable level. Uh, and I think that book really does that. And so I think if I, if I was a newer agent starting out today, or even somebody that’s been in business a while, but really needs kind of a kick in the butt to really understand what am I doing and where am I going? I’d have read that.

Kosta: Yeah. Awesome. Great. Great pick for sure. Number two, your top vacation spot.

Michael: Oh, no question. That’s Maui. We are, in fact, I’m headed there in two days. No, tomorrow, I had there tomorrow.

Kosta: Nice. I haven’t been to Maui. I’ve only been to Oahu.

Michael: I always tease people that Oahu, is like the LA Meets Hawaii. It’s like, it’s like Los Angeles on an island. Yeah. A great spot. Yeah. We freaking, we love Maui. We usually go to con Nepali. Uh, you know, you’ve a lot of people go to wireless. Yeah. But for us it’s a little little too windy limb too. Hoity toity you know, we’re kind of more simple, you know, we like to stay where the families are and, and uh, you know, last time, last time we were at that, a grand Wailea down there and Wailea freaking Oprah was there with, with Michelle Obama. So we could, we literally could not go anywhere in that hotel without secret service people running around. And like when you’re in your Bermuda shorts and there’s a bunch of dudes eyes, like it just feels weird. Right? Yeah. So that was the last time we ever stayed there. No, that’s awesome. Well done.

Kosta: Number three, if you can go back in time, what do you wish your 20 year old self knew?

Michael: Oh boy. Um, okay.

Michael: Probably I, and, and, and I think this speaks to humility and it, and it would be, you can be right or you can be rich, but you can’t be both.

Kosta: Love it. That’s awesome. Perfect way to end it to end off the chat. Uh, if anyone wanted to reach out, where’s the best place to find you?

Michael: Uh, just got a We’ve got, and what’s really cool is we’ve got a blog on there you can go to or just click on blog when you’re on the website, there are so many blog posts in there. Like if you want to learn how to get 50 to 150 people out to your next open house, we got an hour long video and a free downloadable checklists that if all you do is following, you’ll, you’ll be able to do just that. I mean, there’s, and there’s you name the topic in real estate. That type of information is on that website, uh, in a lot. And so I would suggest everybody go there and just devour that free content and a, and you’ll find some great things that you can implement right now that will literally make a difference in your business immediately.

Kosta: Yeah, that’s very true. I’ve checked that out myself. Ton of value on that website for sure. I’ll add that all to the show notes. Uh, Michael, thank you so much for joining me. I had a blast. I’m sure a lot of listeners are going to get a ton of value from our conversation and I would love to do it again some time.

Michael: Absolutely. Kosta, thank you so much for having me on. I’m honored and uh, it’s been a great to enjoyable time. Thank you so much.

Kosta: Amazing Michael and safe travels to Maui. Take care. All right, bye.

Kosta: Thank you so much for listening to the top agent podcast by Web4Realty. By the way, we’re providing exclusive promos to our listeners. Visit and get your first month on us. That’s to get your first month of service completely free until next time, over and out. Peace.