Real Estate Agent Podcast 17: Michael Hellickson
If I'm going to do something more than once in my business, I'm going to have a checklist so that I can ensure that my clients were served world class customer service.
About This Episode
Michael Hellickson built a thriving real estate business that sold over 100 homes a month. Much of his success was due to excellent professional coaches in his life, which is how he recognized the need for more coaching in real estate. He subsequently founded Club Wealth, where he coaches agents on how to grow their business from a small side gig to a burgeoning real estate empire.
In this episode, Michael discusses the need for intelligent client systems, the importance of hosting client events, and the non-negotiable need for a comprehensive daily schedule.
To learn more about Michael and Club Wealth, visit www.clubwealth.com.
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JON: Hello and welcome to Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show. I'm Jon Forisha and joining me today is Michael Hellickson, the founder and CEO of Club Wealth coaching. Thanks for joining me, Michael.
MICHAEL: Yeah, pleasure to be on. I appreciate you having me.
JON: Absolutely. Do you want to start with a little bit about your background?
MICHAEL: Sure, yeah, I could do that. Essentially I sold real estate for a little over 20 years and had the number one team in the real estate industry for a very long time. We were very consistently listing and selling over a hundred homes a month, well over a hundred homes a month actually. And at one point in time we got up to where we had 700, over 750 listings in active and pending status.
MICHAEL: Yeah. Crazy. Right? So we built quite a team and it was great. It was awesome. And we did really well with that. And through a series of interesting events, we decided we end up selling our business and going full time into coaching. And that was, there's a lot to that story. I don't know if we have time to go into that on your podcast, you know, we're probably not going to spend that much time on it. But there's a really unique video on our website that kind of walks people through it. But, uh, at the end of the day, now I work with Club Wealth coaching and consulting. I actually am the founder of it and one of the coaches in it. And, kind of what we do is we help, essentially we help people build businesses, right? Like right now, most people in this industry are trading time for dollars and we're trying to help them not do that. We're trying to help them trade ideas for dollars. We're trying to help them, you know, really truly develop a business, so that they can have time off, right? Like our core value is no success in the world can compensate for failure in the home. And so the idea is we want them to take time off. We want them to have time with their families, but we also want to make a ton of money. Right. And that's okay. You can do both. Uh, I know when I was first selling real estate, for the first couple of years, I was working hundred hour weeks. I was literally sleeping under my desk in the office and that's before I worked from home. Crazy. Right? Yeah. My parents, I remember at one point in time, they said, uh, Hey Michael, you should go get a job at McDonald's because you would make more money and you wouldn't have to work as much. And now I gotta tell you that was like a shot through the heart, man, that was brutal. I'm like, there is no way I'm freaking failing at this. That is not going to happen. I'm not going to allow that. And so I figured out a better way to do it and I started building a real business instead of just being a real estate agent.
JON: Wow. That's crazy. So what drew you to real estate? I mean, it sounds like, you know, coaching, you can go into almost any business. Why real estate?
MICHAEL: You know, the thing about real estate is, you know, if you ask yourself where do most millionaires make and keep their money, it's in real estate, right? And then if you look, yeah, okay, well what business generates the most income, right? So if you were going to be in some kind of a business to generate the income to go invest in, or I'll say, what would that be? Well, sales. So you know, sales is the highest paid profession out there. Pretty much. I mean, if, you know, if you look across the board and things that a college dropout, actually somebody who never even went to college like me, I never even went to college and you know, so what are my options - well, sales. And so I thought, well, real estate sales makes sense. So while all my buddies were in school going to become dentists and attorneys and all this stuff and racking up $1 million in school debt, I was, uh, I was out making 1 million bucks selling real estate made sense.
JON: So how'd you choose to forgo college?
MICHAEL: Uh, well it was the debt thing. I mean, I looked at this and I'm thinking to myself, well, why would I want to go incur all that debt? I mean, you think about all of these guys, you know, you go to get a real job or a real career. Holy cow, man. I mean, you're taking on a boatload of debt and student loans and all this stuff. And I just thought, yeah, I'm not going to do that. And not only that, but I hate it when somebody tells me I got to read this book or I have to read that book. And I'm like, dude, I'm really not interested in Great Expectations. So, you know, I'm not going to do it. So I was not, I was not the world's greatest student in school. I've since, you know, subsequent to high school, I've been a great student of the things I'm interested in; building wealth and growing businesses and those types of things. But I'm not interested in reading fiction.
JON: I think the specialized education is probably where things are going. You know, instead of having the generalized, just learn what you need for actually doing your career.
MICHAEL: I don't fault people that go to college and you know, certainly I want my kids to go to college. I keep teasing my kids. I tell them, I said, you know, you're going to go and I tell Madison my daughter, I said, you got to go get your Mrs degree. That's really all I care about. Just get that Mrs degree. Right. The Mrs degree. So hopefully, uh, hopefully that will happen and get her off my payroll. Right. But at the end of the day, I don't fault people that go to college. It just wasn't for me.
JON: Sure. Yeah. So you've been in the industry since '91. How have you seen the job of real estate agent change in that time?
MICHAEL: Well, first full disclosure in 1991 I was in high school, so let's not have people thinking that I'm like really ancient here. All right. So I started off in high school. I got my, I turned 18 in January and got my license in March. And I was the top agent in the office by graduation. Well, I mean it sounds great, but the fact of the matter is Jon, that it just means that I was less broke than the rest of the team, I mean they were all broke. There wasn't a big office. But long story short, it's changed tremendously. I mean, when I started in the business, kid you not, we didn't have online anything, right? We had big thick books. They look like - they don't even have phone books anymore. But you know what I'm talking about. These things look like big old books with newsprint and some people didn't even know what newsprint is, but you know, just with all the listings himself, you wanted to find a house that was an LVN had to go to this big book and find the house. Well then you'd go out there and they didn't have electronic key boxes. They had these key boxes where you had this metal key, this big, huge round metal key, and you would twist it. And on the inside of the key box, there was a little metal tape that would take an imprint of my personalized key as I rotated through so that if something happened, they knew who was in that box. Dude, it was archaic. I'm telling you this was, oh yeah. We used to write our contracts on stone tablets the whole night. Like it was, it was crazy. The industry's changed a ton. And it's funny because I even remember back in the year 2000 when everybody was freaking out about the whole Y2K and you know, the Internet is going to crash and we're all gonna die. It's gonna be the apocalypse and Yada, Yada, Yada. Well, you know, I look at that and I think, okay, well Zillow's kind of the new Y2K, right? So again, I'm not just talking about Zillow, I'm talking about Zillow and realtor, common, all the I buyers and all these companies out there right now. Oh man, they're just putting so much downward pressure on the real estate commission. What they're doing is what I think's going to truly happen is I think that it's going to have a bigger impact on the lower producing agents that you're gonna see a lot of lower producing agents get out of the business or they're going to be forced to join teams. And I think you're going to see team leaders do well. I think they're going to survive through this much like, you know, stockbrokers, right? The Internet put a big pinch on the stock brokers, but there's still some very, very successful stockbrokers and wealth managers out there. But they're highly sought after because of their skill. Right now what you have as an industry full of people with virtually no skill, you know, you've got a handful of people, I'd say 10% of the real estate agents out there right now have a tremendous amount of skill. And you got 90% of the agents out there right now that lack skill in any way, shape or form. And that's not to say that they're not good people, that they're not hard workers, but the reality is they need to develop the skills that are going to carry him through the coming years. Because if they don't, they're going to become dinosaurs that these technology companies are going to put out of business.
JON: So is that why you started club wealth to teach those skills?
MICHAEL: It's certainly part of it because again, being the solo agent, right? Being the mom in tennis shoes, I'm going to sell a house, you know, every three or four, maybe one house a month or a house every other month. And that's going to be a great side income for, that's going to get tougher and tougher and tougher. And particularly for the, the person that thinks, well, all I can do is once a month to just survive and support my family. And that's their primary source of income. They're going to struggle because they don't have the bandwidth. They don't have the financial bandwidth to go out and do the lead generation that they need to do fisbos and expireds and cold calls - it's not enough anymore and it's not going to be enough. There's some waiting more to it than that and see, yeah, there's all these different things in the business that needed to be taught and it needs to be learned by these agents. And yeah, that's a big part of why we started club. Cause we looked around and we thought, well what coaching companies are really capable of teaching this. Right? Which coaching companies out there have coaches, number one, that if outproduced the people they coach, which doesn't exist, or now it does with Club Weallth, we have it. Right. But no other coaching company in the planet, in real estate can say that all of their coaches sell more real estate than the people they coach. It cracks me up that you've got these quote unquote coaches out there that want to teach people how to make money selling real estate and they never freaking sold the house. Yeah. It just, it makes no sense to me. And in particularly, they don't know what's happening in today's market. And it's different today than it was 10 years ago. Right? That's why we've got coaches that are actively selling real estate right now because they know what to do.
JON: So how do you recruit your coaches?
MICHAEL: Well, that starts off with, you've got to have coaches that are in, are they so can become clients first, right? They have to know our system because our systems are, there's a lot to it and it's not simple. There's a lot of systems in your business that you need to implement. And for a coach to fully understand those, they gotta be in coaching with us for a while. Now all of our coaches continue to be in coaching with us. So at no matter what level you're at, we break it up by tiers, right? So like a tier one is zero to 25 transactions a year. Tier Two is 25 to 75 tier three is 75 to one 50 and it goes on all the way up to tier seven, which is a thousand units and more per year. So if I'm in tier one, my coach is in tier two if my coach is in tier three, but no matter where I am, I have a coach that is in the tier above me and they have a coach who's in the tier above them. That's really important to the integral structure of the coaching platform because the coaches have to be one in culture. They have the number to really understand the systems and number three, they have to be continually learning just like the clients themselves, if that makes sense.
MICHAEL: So we don't recruit outside coaches. If you're not a client of ours, you don't get to be a coach with us until you've been a client of ours for a while.
JON: So in your coaching, where do you tell people to start?
MICHAEL: Oh Wow. Okay. So that really depends. First the first place to start as a strategy session with one of our coaches. Right? Like we need to figure out where you're at. Sure. Because there's a big difference between me having that conversation with somebody who's brand new in the business and somebody who's got a team of 40 people on that they're working with. And so first we have to understand where are you and your business today? And then we can figure it out. Like so we do these strategy sessions as 55 minute calls. We don't charge for it. But what it does is it allows us to really ask a bunch of questions about their business. Where are you now? What's working, what's not working? What leads sources are you using? How, what's your production level? How many people are on your team? What are their roles? What are the, what are the things you think are opportunities in your business? What are the things that you're concerned about in your business? And then we really start diving deeper and deeper and deeper into every nuance of the business until we get down to the point where we can say, okay, based on that, based on what you've told me, here's where I think the holes are in your business and here's what I think you need to do next to get to the next level in the next 12 months. But for anybody to come in, and this is a concern I have because you've got all these great Facebook groups out there and then we've got one, too, right? And you know there's a lot of great Facebook groups out there for real estate agents. The challenge though is that you get advice in these groups and it's out of context, right? You know all these people, you ask them a question but they don't understand all the nuances of your business. So when they give you the answer, it's completely out of context and it doesn't, it's not necessarily relevant or it's not necessarily the right advice for what you need to do because of all the other stuff you got going on. Example, if you say, Hey, I want to sign up for Ylopo. Well good, that's great. But if you're going to sign up for Ylopo you have to have other systems in place too, right? Because we want to know that you've got a great CRM in place. Cause Ylopo is not a CRM. It's a great product, it's a great service, but it's not a CRM. So you've got to have a great CRM product in place. And if, I don't know what CRM you're using, I don't know what advice to give you, right? So if you're using Firepoint for example, it connects with Ylopo right? So it has an API. Do I look with, so I know that those two programs will talk to each other and work well together. But if you've got some program or CRM that doesn't connect up with Ylopo, then it may not be a great purchase for you. So we're going to be really, really careful in this industry and it's happening way too often where people are giving advice out of context and with with little to no knowledge about the backstory about that agent. Another example is, you know, somebody says, well, you know, I want to double my business this year. What do I do? And you get a million different answers and half the answers. Are you just going to make more phone calls? Well, what if this person has ridiculous call reluctance and they're not going to make phone calls? Well then you've got to find other ways for them to generate business besides calling expireds and physicals and cold calls because they're not going to do it. I don't care how many times I cram it down your throat that you need to make more calls. You're not going to do it if you're not going to do it. So I've got to help you understand there are other ways. So let's just figure out what you will do and then do that really well.
JON: What do you say to somebody who's averse to, you know, you were just talking about Ylopo. Setting up those systems can be kind of daunting to some agents, where do you begin with that? It sounds like the systems are integral to your coaching, so how do you get that in, through their heads?
MICHAEL: There are a lot of systems that are integral to our coaching. That doesn't mean that you have to have any particular one of them. Right. In fact, I think we'll be talking a little bit here about technology and specifics and I've got a real opinion on that but I'll share this with you for now. At the end of the day, if you're not real tech savvy, that's going to have an impact on which systems you implement. As an example, if I'm a really tech savvy agent, I might use a system like Commissions Inc that allows me a lot of flexibility and freedom to really design that CRM and use that CRM how I want to use it. If, however, I'm not quite as technology savvy, but I want a really powerful CRM. I might use something like Firepoint where I don't have to make as many decisions but it has a ton of power but I don't have to, I don't have to know a lot about technology to use it and implement it. And so these are all questions and things and topics that you need to discuss with your coach and that's again why it's important for whoever your coach is to be somebody who has sold more real estate than you and use these systems personally so they know how to help you implement and what to help you implement.
JON: I can see how that would be extremely useful.
MICHAEL: Well it's hard, right? I mean cause if you think about it, let's, you know, you talk about, let's use Ylopo as an example. Some people just aren't tech savvy, they just don't love technology and Ylopo is ridiculously intelligent technology, right? It does really well. It's a great platform. It's very, a lot of our clients use it with a ton of success. That being said, you may not want to set it up. Well Great. Then let's have somebody else set it up for you. Right? You don't have to be the one that sets all this stuff up. Now does that mean everybody's got to have Ylopo to be successful? No, not at all. It can sure help though.
JON: So looking at the Club Wealth website, your family is pretty involved with your business. What would you say to someone who's hesitant about having their family join their business?
MICHAEL: Well, I think you got to ask yourself, how old are they now? Right? Cause there's a big difference. I'm going to hire my mom or I'm going to hire my adult children or whatever. You know, my kids have been working with us since they were fricking old enough to lick a stamp. Right? So we've been able to sweat shop them up. They didn't do them and beat it into him. You know, and I'm just joking about the sweat shop. You get what I'm saying? Right. They've been working with us so long that they're first of all wise beyond their years. Right? So they're very mature for their age. They get the, hey, this is how we do things now. I'm all about having your family work with you in certain circumstances. You have to be careful with this for a couple of reasons. One, it can be very damaging to the relationship. So if you're going to do it, the person that is quote unquote in charge has to literally be in charge. You cannot have 10 people running the business. You gotta have one person who makes this decision. Every other person has to, has to understand very clearly what their lane is. And I'll give you an example. So when you work with your spouse, probably the most common example, right? Yeah. My wife and I have worked together now for well over 20 years and we're still married. Shocker. Right. That's, it's funny, I always tell people, you know, she worked for me for four years and then we got married and that's when I went to work for her. Yes.
JON: So you were actually, you work together before getting married?
MICHAEL: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And I'll tell you this and it's, I think it's, there's a lot of truth to this. Any, any man that says he wears the pants in the family probably lies about other things too. So we sat down, works at the Hellickson and house, but here's the deal. What's boards helped us? What's really worked well for Tara and I, and, and don't get me wrong, our, our relationship is not argument free. Our business is not argument free. She gets up in my face. I get into her face once in a while. I mean, I'm telling you, there are times when, you know, we're very clear with each other as to what we're thinking. She said, the one thing that I think has really made a difference and really makes it possible is that she knows what her lane is and I know what my lane is, and I stay out of her lane and she stays out of my lane and we need to know what we need to do and we get to focus on that and we don't get each other's way.
JON: Yeah. Clear responsibilities. That would definitely help avoid conflict.
MICHAEL: Oh yeah, absolutely. Especially as you start to talk about bringing in other members of your family. And like my son, I see him walking by me right now. He's, he's been our top salesperson at club. Well since he was 14 years old, kids. Ridiculous. I mean the guy, he literally hour for hour, dollar for dollar. This kid does better than anybody I've seen in anybody on our team. But let me tell you, it's, it hasn't been easy for him, right? So he's around me 24/7 and he gets it. He gets to be around the conversations I have all the time. He's also around other adults that care about him that don't have to, that's a kid, big key, that have really been great examples to him. And he's been able to bounce things off them. He's, so, he's been exposed to people operating in a very, very high level. And more importantly, he's been paying attention and he listens and he takes back what he learns and he implements it. Now not all kids are like that. So I think part of this says, you've gotta be real about who your kids are. You've got to be realistic with yourself about what their capabilities are without shortchanging them. Right? You've got to, you got to realize that a lot of times our kids are capable of more than we think they are and we've got to allow them that. And it's like my daughter's probably the really good example of that. So my daughter runs our marketing department and you know, yeah. Ask anybody and Club Wealth is pretty well marketed, right? We are out there. We're, we're in a lot of places, people, people see us all over the place and especially if they've ever gone to our website, all of a sudden they're seeing Club Wealth everywhere. The retargeting is phenomenal. Now we've got companies that we work with that help us with that, but Madison is kind of the quarterback of it all right? She's the one that brings it all together. And guess what, she just turned 18 years old and she's been doing it for a year. So she's been doing it since she was 17 years old. And a lot of people would be very nervous about putting their company's financial future in the hands of a 17 year old. But when you have the right 17 year old and they take it seriously enough, it's doable.
JON: So this is something that's come up on past episodes of the podcast. But when talking about systems, how much does the daily schedule come into it?
MICHAEL: Oh my gosh. So now you're going to make me answer the technology question first. You know, and I know this is a question coming up, but if I could pick one technology everybody has to have, it's your schedule. That's it. It's whether it's Outlook or Google, the single most important thing that a real estate agent can do is get control of their daily schedule. That's it. And you know, it's funny because people talk about goals and know I've got the goal to do this and the goal that here's the reality. Goals are great. Don't get me wrong. It's nice to have a goals. Habits are what matter. Yeah. Your goals are not going to help you. Let me rephrase. Your goals are not going to accomplish anything. Goals do not accomplish things. Habits accomplish things. So how do you build those healthy habits at one day, at a time, one hour at a time? Like if you look at, so when I was selling real estate, I was listing 50 to 75 houses a month myself, not counting my team, not counting reo, which was half of our business, just mom and pop listing appointments. I was doing 50 to 75 listings a month. Now how was I doing that? And by the way, I was only, I was working 12 days a month. I'd work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I would do that three weeks a month. That was my month and I was hitting these massive numbers. Well, how was I doing that? Because I was so freaking focus that every single day I would get up, I would get ready for my appointment, I'd get, I'd start hitting nothing or somebody else got my appointments ready for me. I didn't do any of that. If there was anything someone else could do, they did it. All I did was the three most important things that every single real estate agent on the planet, and even I'll say, every business owner on the planet has to focus on these three things. 90% of your time has to be spent on these three things or you're not going to be successful. Number one is lead generation. Number two is lead follow up, and number three is lead conversion. That's it. Those are the keys to any business, right? So now what I would do is I would get up, I'd start driving to my first appointment and on the way to my first appointment, I'd be making my phone calls and I would make 115 to 125 followup calls per day in between my six to eight appointments and if somebody canceled, if somebody no showed on one of my appointments, I didn't get upset about it. I sent him a quick video text letting them know that I'm going to wait for him until he get there. I'd go out to my car and I'd start pounding away on my follow up calls. Then 20 minutes later I go knock on the door again. If they're still not there, send them another video text. Then I head to my next appointment and I'd sit out in front of my next appointment until it was time to start and it made more followup calls and that's the thing. It's like how focused are you in these agents? Tell me. I love it when an agent who did you know less than 150 deals last year tells me I don't have time because let me tell you, you have freaking time. The question is, do you take the time for the things that matter most and the answer is probably not and so I'm a believer in time blocking. Literally, if it's not in my schedule, it doesn't happen every single day of my life. You will see Monday, and I'm saying Monday through Friday, I don't do this on the weekends I'm very, I'm very relaxed about my weekends, but Monday through Friday you look at my calendar from six o'clock in the morning till six o'clock at night. Every minute is planned. Now, every minute long in advance, usually weeks in advance, it's all planned out and I don't do anything that's not on my schedule. So if somebody comes to me in the middle of my workday and they say, Hey Michael, can you, you know, one of my team members says, Michael, can you look at this form for me? No. Is it in my schedule? Well, no, I'm not going to do it. You don't make an appointment.
JON: How do you fit in emergencies?
MICHAEL: I mean, there are no emergencies, it's freaking real estate. Come on, there's no real, there's no emergencies. Listen, then we got people for that, right? I've got a team for that. I'm selling real estate. If I'm a real estate agent and somebody who's going to lose the transaction because you know something's got to get to escrow, well great. Have somebody on your team do that. That's why you have an assistant. And by the way, write this down everybody. If you don't have an assistant, you are one. And so I think to myself, there are no emergencies. And that's the problem is, and by the way, if you're still in sales and you do not have an assistant, then yes, there's going to be emergencies once in a while. Here's how you handle it. Schedule a time after one o'clock where you handle emergencies. So I'd say from one to two o'clock every afternoon, or even from noon to one, but no earlier than noon. That's your handle emergencies time. That's your put fires out time. But you never touched fires before noon ever, unless you want to be broken. This industry. So what if someone is not a morning person or this really introverted and averse to phone calls? How, how should they build their business? Everybody has the right to be broken. That's totally up to them. Uh, so you know, here's the reality. The reality is if you're an introvert, you're going to have to find ways to connect with people or get someone else to do it for you. But in that, and that takes money. If you're going to hire it out, it takes money. So you can either do stuff yourself where you can pay somebody else to do it. But it's got to get done, right? So figure that out. Now, if you're not a morning person, well then you better make sure that when you do get up that you're awfully and, and, and I'll tell you this, there's truth to the early bird gets the worm and end of story. But if you're not a morning person, is it still possible to be successful in this business? Yes it is. It's just harder and you need to be more focused because the later you get in the day, the more distractions come before you and distractions are the success killers. You've got to get rid of those distractions.
JON: All right, let's talk about client events. Why should agents do them?
MICHAEL: Okay. First of all, client events. If you want to do more business, and again, there's literally thousands of way to be is to bring in business in real estate. If you're going to do business with your sphere of influence, you have to go, let's be real about it. First of all, understand five years ago, 61% of the average agent's business came from sphere of influence. This last year, that number dropped to 44%. That's a 17% drop. Why is that? We got to understand this before we can talk about client events. So the reason that is is because 92% of all buyers start their search online and 72% of those work with the first agent they come in contact with. I think about those statistics for just a moment. That's pretty scary statistic. That's huge. It is now on taking it a day. What it gets worse as you come into a shifting market, which we are right now. Right? So you think about a shifting market, what happens and look back to 2007 to 2010 what happened? A well known coach and I won't mention their name because I don't want to get Brian upset with me. Um, but a well known coach out there who speaks specifically to referral and repeat business and that's their whole model almost went out of business in 2008 and nine. Why? Because their entire clientele was a hundred percent focused on repeat and referral business. And when your house is going to foreclosure, you don't call your friends up and say my, I'm about to lose my house. You got a great real estate agent, you can refer me to. Nobody does that, right? They hide it from their friends. The last person they talked to is their friends. And so what happens is you've got this whole industry now reliant upon referrals and then we get to some in first of all in the referral based business is going down because of technology and online websites, et cetera, et cetera. And now you take that dynamic and you come compound that with we're coming into a shifting market where we're going to see more short sells, more default, more foreclosures, and guess what's going to happen? Repeat and referral business is going to struggle and that, does that mean that you shouldn't still work your repeat and referral clientele? No, not at all. Of course you should, but you need to understand that as a percentage of your overall business, that's going to be a much smaller piece of your overall business going forward. So how do we get more client? Three of influence business happening. Well, client events is the single best way to do that. If all you did was hold for client events per year and go to our blog, we got a blog post on exactly how to do this. Just follow the checklist on the blog posts. If all you did was just that go, you know, do four client events per year. Following that checklist, you will have a tremor. You should be doing, let's, I'll give you the numbers. If you've got 250 people in your sphere of influence, which most agents are about that number, then you should be able to do 25 to 50, so 10 to 20% of that database in number of transactions per year by referral simply by holding for client events per year. It's very, it's really that simple. It doesn't take more net. Now you've got to follow the checklist though. There's some sport and steps in doing these and they don't have to cost a lot of money. It can be cheap, it can be a barbecue in your backyard. It doesn't matter. Um, you know, it could be just about anything and you can even get your lender to pay for the freaking burger so you don't have to pay for anything. But there's lots of different things you can do, Jon. I mean, you can do a barbecue in your backyard. You can do movie nights, you can do Bingo. I heard somebody who's done a Bingo night the other night and be careful about legality in your area. Make sure you're not breaking any gambling laws. And uh, but you know, there's tons and tons of things you can do. Um, you know, it can be a movie night in the park, like summer movies in the park, you know, something like that. Easter egg hunts are very popular. Photos with Santa is huge. That's the one that we get a lot of response from, we've had clients that have actually grown their client events to become actual community events and they'll get 25 to 4,500 people to the events.
MICHAEL: Yeah. Crazy, right though are the ones where they get 40 people the event, but they do five transactions from that one event and four out of those five people don't even show up to the event. Now figure that one out. Right? So how is it that I hold the client event and only 40 people show up and I do five transactions from that one event, but four out of those five people even come to the event. How's that even possible? I stay top of mind, right? Well, yeah, because what happens is prior to the event, you're going to make a phone call to each person in your sphere of influence to invite them to your event. Now, a lot of people say, well, can't I just send an email or can't understand an EDI or whatever? Sure, you can if you want to miss out on the money, but the whole point is by having client and then it, you now have an excuse to call them that's not self serving. You have an excuse to call them to give them something of value with no expectation of anything in return. The worst thing you could do at this point to start asking them for referrals, right? You don't need to ask them for referrals. They know you're in the business. Okay? They see that you're your referrals dialogue in there and other places. But what's going to happen is you're going to call up and I might call you up and say, Hey Jon, it's Michael Hellickson. I just want to let you know we're having a barbecue in my backyard next week and I just want to give me a call and see if you guys wanted to come out. And Jon might say something like, well Michael, you know, we'd love to come out, but you know, we've got some plans over the weekend so we're not going to be able to, but you know it's interesting you call because my kids were thinking about buying a house. Do you think he can help them out? Bingo. That's why you're doing this.
JON: So how do you coach for agents to present their listings for maximum impact?
MICHAEL: Well, first and foremost, you've got to have a checklist. But this is, this is something that cracks me up about agents. They take a listing and they, they're, you know, they, they plan a sign in the ground, they put it in the MLS and they pray and hope that somebody is going to come and buy it. Right. And that's really what people do and it's just, it's ridiculous. So, you know, we've got a 79 point marketing plan that we follow. And we're very, you know, and it's very succinct and it's very specific. Um, and really it's just, it's a checklist and that's the key is you've got to have a checklist for everything. You're going to do more than once in your business. You got to have a checklist. I mean, think about this, Jon, have you ever been on an airplane?
JON: Yes. Oh yes.
MICHAEL: Do you think the pilot has a checklist?
JON: Probably. Yeah.
MICHAEL: You kind of hope he does. Right? I sure hope that pilot's got a checklist because otherwise we're going down. We may not even get off the ground, you know? And that's the key here is, you know, if I'm going to do something more than once in my business, I'm going to have a checklist so that I can ensure that number one, my clients were served world class customer experience, right? Second, I want all of my clients to receive the exact same world class customer experience every single time. When I can accomplish that at every level in my business, game over. And so when it comes to marketing your listings, it's no different. Every listing needs to get the same exposure in the same way, same checklist. Every single time. You think Zillow's got a checklist?
JON: All their robot agents definitely have check lists.
MICHAEL: Dude, I guarantee they do and be, you know, it's funny, people get mad at Zillow and Realtor.com they're like, why? Why are they doing so well? And I'm not. Well, let's start with this. They have a checklist about McDonald's and you make a better burger than McDonald's. I'll bet Jon, that you can make a better burger than McDonald's, even if you're vegan, I, but you could still make it better burger than McDonald's, but you know what? Why are they making billions and selling billions of burgers and you're not? Because they have systems in place, they have checklists in place that ensure the same. And I'm not going to call them world class, but I guess for their audience maybe it is world class at the same customer experience every single time.
JON: Yeah. And you can find where you can cut costs, increase efficiency if you have a checklist.
JON: All right, so this is my last question that I ask all of my guests. If you could go back to the beginning of your career, what is one thing you would change?
MICHAEL: Can I, does it have to be just one?
JON: No, it can be more than one.
MICHAEL: There's two that I would change. Okay. Um, actually yeah, there's two that I would change. The two biggest ones I would change would be one. I would develop the right habits earlier on. In other words, you know, I would've, I would've sat my schedule, I would have developed my perfect daily schedule and we have, like on our website, there's a thing called the perfect daily schedule. I would have developed that earlier in my career and I would have followed it to a tee earlier in my career to help with that. One of the things I would have done, the other thing I would have done is I would've hired a coach sooner. For me, my biggest shift came when I hired my first coach. Um, and every time I moved to a different coach, I had different hire coach and I'd hit a plateau. Then I'd moved to a different coach and I, and I'd grow and then I'd hit a plateau. And then how are different when I grow, I'd hit a plateau. But every single time I hired one of these coaches, I grew to another level. And so there's no question that would absolutely be something I would do much earlier in my career.
JON: And how did you find your coach?
MICHAEL: I got lucky. Uh, actually, how did I find mine? Mine was I, it wasn't like I didn't, I didn't even know coaches existed until all of a sudden I heard about it through the grapevine and I went to an event that they had and I'm like, wow, that makes sense. Maybe I can shortcut my learning curve. Yeah. And I did, right? So I hired the coach, shortcut my learning curve by, you know, half a decade or more. And yeah, the rest is history. And every time I've had a coach, they've helped me with different parts of my business. The problem is like, I look at those coaches today and I think, oh my gosh, they're, they're only teaching this one little thing and there's so much more to this business, but you have to understand each of these little things, right? So you've got to get each of the systems dialed in, in your business. And that's why you have, when we created Club Wealth, if we looked at it from the standpoint of, okay, we want to make sure that we have world class systems in every aspect of the business and we want to make it easy for our clients to not have to go to a different coaching company. Get that. We want to make sure that all of those systems exists here and then they can kind of pick all the cart. Which ones are gonna make the most sense for them. Perfect. Yeah.
JON: All right, Michael. Well, if somebody wants to learn more about you or a club. Well, how can they do that?
MICHAEL: Jump on ClubWealth.com, just literally just go to ClubWealth.com and there's a blog, the blog. Just go, go watch the free videos on our blog. There are so many great free videos. You want to learn how to get 50 to 150 people out to your next open house. We've got a blog post on that with a full video on a downloadable free checklist. Uh, literally all that stuff. Just go there, whether it's growing your referral business, building a team, whatever, lead generation, all of those things. Just go to the blog and get it for free. And, and as you start to, as you start to engage with that stuff, you'll start to realize, wow, there really is a better way.
JON: Awesome. Well, thank you for joining me, Michael.
MICHAEL: My pleasure. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it, Jon.