Agent Essentials

Shop Talk - The Real Estate Agent Podcast


33: If You Could Change One Thing

 If You Could Change One Thing
December 13, 2019

A compilation of past clips, this episode explores wisdom gained through working practically every avenue of real estate.

Do bold things and don’t be afraid to trust yourself and trust the support system that you have around you.

Michael McAllister

About This Episode

Every episode of the show ends with the question "If you could go back to the beginning of your career, what is one thing you would change?"

As the start of a new decade approaches, we're looking back on some of our favorite responses to this question, including some great nuggets of wisdom that are sure to get you thinking about how to better grow your own real estate business.

Episode Transcript

JON: The end of the year is upon us, which means it’s also the end of the decade. Bring on the 2020s and all of the comparisons to the Roaring 1920s, though hopefully without Prohibition or the catastrophic economic crash. The end of any year makes people take time to evaluate the last 365 days, but the reflection is even more intense as we wrap up not just another year but the decade.

JON: As you’ve surely seen across your social media channels lately, the approach of 2020 is making everyone compare where they were 10 years ago. How have things gotten better? How have they gotten worse? What went exactly how you’d planned versus the things that got unexpectedly complicated?

JON: In real estate, it’s not always easy to prepare for the times ahead. For those who were working during the Great Recession of 2008, not many people knew how bad things would get before they got better. There are so many factors that make one real estate market hotter than another, and so many factors that make now a good time to buy, or that make you the right agent to work with.

JON: While we can’t always control what comes before us as we speed into the new year, we can pause and look back at what we’ve accomplished, and to evaluate what we could change, if we happened to have a time machine.

JON: Hello and welcome to Shop Talk: The Real Estate Show. I’m Jon Forisha, and on this episode I pulled together some of my favorite responses to the question “If you could go back to the beginning of your career, what is one thing you would change?”

JON: All of the content on the Agent Essentials section of The CE Shop website connects in a few different ways. Ebooks link to blog posts, which may have videos embedded in them. We tackle a subject each month so that you, the working real estate agent, can take a deep dive on a given subject and come out the other side ready to use that knowledge in your day-to-day business.

JON: When I was first planning out how this show would function, I knew that we wanted a connecting thread through all of the episodes. Even though Technology and Haunted Houses may not have an obvious throughline, real estate does. Everything we’re talking about relates back to how to best build your real estate business, and what better way to see what a new agent should do than by asking the industry veterans what they wish they had done?

JON: And so it is that nearly every interview ends with the question “If you could go back to the beginning of your career, what is one thing you would have done differently?” Most guests raise their eyebrows and lean back and say some variation of “good question,” and then they think on it for a minute. Sometimes longer. 

JON: Because it’s not a simple question, thinking back on your decisions and evaluating which one you would have approached differently. One changed decision could change the whole trajectory of your career, or even your life. You might be a completely different person today if you had chosen the blue pill over the red one. And the question isn’t meant to highlight your regrets, if you have any. As most people get older, they realize that regretting things is a fruitless task, and that it’s much easier to accept things as they are and to roll with the punches. 

JON: So without inspiring a lot of depression about missed opportunities or thoughts about some alternate dimension where you’ve become king of the planet based on that one time you made that one decision, think about it. If you could go back to the beginning of your career and change one thing, what would it be?

JON: First up to answer that question is Michael McAllister, from our very first episode. Michael is the founder and Co-CEO of The CE Shop, the leading provider of real estate education. Here’s Michael:

MICHAEL: You know, this is kind of a complicated question. Not a complicated question, but a conflicted question because I've always lived my life with no regrets, because I think that however it plays out, it's really quite perfect and I'm grateful for that. But then there's the critical kind of perfectionist side of me that looks back and says if I'd just done that a little differently or a little sooner or whatever, I probably would have taken more risks sooner. So I spent the first 10 years of my career working for other people and learning, which was an informal kind of advanced degree, if you will, but I probably would have taken more risks, more risks sooner, because I had the capital available to me, but my regrets and things that I wanted to do differently or would have done differently are very, very short. I can't think of anything really that jumps out besides that, and this would certainly be the advice that I'd give to anybody listening to our conversation today: act boldly, take risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The risk reward equation if you have confidence in yourself is a pretty fun one to play with. We did a bicycle ride in the mountains this last weekend and I went by this woman, she was probably 20 years my senior. We're riding up Fremont Pass, which is a brutal pass. It's actually a 13 mile climb straight out of Copper Mountain and she has this pair of socks on that says, "Do epic shit." And I thought that is so cool. I went by and I was like, I love your socks. and she said, we're doing it, we're doing it. In other words, we're doing the epic shit and I just, it really stuck with me. I actually saw a bumper sticker earlier today with that on it, so I need to order some of those, but I think that's the key. Get out there and try things and stick your neck out and do bold things and don't be afraid to trust yourself and trust the support system that you have around you and get after it.

JON: Next up is Jill Malloy, the National Real Estate Expert at The CE Shop. With decades of real estate experience, she’s tasked with leading a team of subject matter experts who write the online course content that thousands of agents depend on. Here’s Jill:

JILL: Know what I was getting into.

JON: I thought that's what you would say.

JILL: Yes, having a better understanding before starting. It turned out to be wonderful, but I would have a better understanding of it. I was really well into my third year before I felt like I could take a breath and know that we were going to be okay. At the end of my first year, my husband paid me the best compliment you could have ever paid anyone. I'm sorry. I said at the end of the first year was actually at the end of the second year selling real estate. He paid me the best compliment. He quit his job.

JON: Wow. That's a lot of faith in you.

JILL: It really was. It was a compliment, but it was scary because you're in business for yourself and you don't have a base salary and I'm not going to say that no agents do, but I had no base and he had been my backup plan and now after two years in the business he said, hey, you're doing fine. I don't need a job. I've always wanted to have a business, and he took a couple of years off, went to school and then started the business of his own and it was scary. A business plan would have made that less scary for me.

JON: Adrienne Meisels is the founder of myPlanit, an app made for connecting all your tools and simplifying your real estate life. With a background in technology, Adrienne came to the startup world after working at AOL. Here’s Adrienne:

ADRIENNE: That is a great question. What is one?

JON: So it sounds like you've been all over and tried a lot of different things.

ADRIENNE: You know, I think I took some time off between AOL and starting myPlanit. I might have shortened that time frame in retrospect. I think, you know, what the one thing that I would have done differently is I didn't develop, I have lots of wonderful connections with people that I've worked with, but I didn't develop a strong mentor. And I think if I were to go back, that's something that I would do. Like I always had people who were in positions that were higher than me, you know, who I would talk to, but I didn't develop mentors. I think consciously developed mentors and I now mentor young people, people right out of college, people right out of law school and people in high school, high school kids, and I love it. And I think that that's something that's really important whether it's a coach or a mentor, but somebody who's been there and done it before so that you can learn from their wisdom and you can exponentially accelerate what you're doing by not repeating, let's say, the lessons that they learned. Right? So you learn from their lessons and then you can jump exponentially into the next levels of your career.

JON: Lars Hedenborg is the founder of Real Estate B School, where he coaches agents on how to scale their real estate business to profitability without working backbreaking hours. Here’s Lars:

LARS: One thing I would change if I could go back. Um, I generally am a, I never looked back kind of guy cause I sort of, I use everything to kind of build on the next thing. I think if I would've focused on talent, you know, there's, there's buyer, lead generation, seller lead generation, and then just everything you need to do to market and attract people to your mission. I would have focused on that and built that out world class. I feel like I'm playing such catch up there. Even now, you know, almost 4,000 transactions in that I feel like I could have been like worlds and ahead by building a, of recruiting a system to attract people to hire them properly, to onboard them properly. I think if once you get to a certain point that needs to be your focus, cause I had years where I didn't grow and it was because I didn't have a steady stream of talent coming in. That would have been the one thing I would've changed. Um, everything else. I mean, I think it was, it's just a lot of hard work, you know, and committing to a daily routine and ever regretted the daily routine. You know, I always, I, I did 12 to 15 hours of, of new business development every year until I didn't have to, you know, but that was when we did like 250 sites that year. That's what I didn't have to, it wasn't the year that I sold 22 homes and now I think I can let go of my daily routine.

JON: After 20 years in real estate, Michael Hellickson founded Club Wealth to provide a comprehensive coaching solution for real estate agents, and a way to help them reach that next stage in their career. Here’s Michael:

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: Corey Wesley is a Mortgage Loan Originator with Cherry Creek Mortgage Company in Denver. After a career as an engineer, Corey fell into real estate and has never looked back. In his episode, Corey talked a lot about why every great real estate team needs a solid Mortgage Loan Originator they can count on. Here’s Corey:

COREY: I think the one thing I would have done differently is when I first got licensed and got working in this business, uh, I had what, what my branch manager and others in my company said was a very high aptitude for sales, but absolutely no training. Um, as a, as a former engineer and project manager, I, I really didn't use any sales skills at all. So just using what I know now, I would have asked different questions. I would have reached out to different people in the industry. Uh, I would have taken a different approach to learning and developing those sales skills and most importantly, employing those sales skills I had kind of what I thought it was a slow start, uh, in my, um, business development and lead generation in the beginning. Um, I didn't know what I was doing. I had a really good teacher when it came to the technical side and taking a loan application and structuring deals and I was already kind of a technical person anyway. Um, but as far as building relationships and learning how people in the market in industry respond to that, I guess knowing what I know now, I would've approached that a little bit differently actually quite a bit differently to be honest with you.

JON: Next up is Michael Carr and Tonya Eberhart. Tonya is an author and founder of BrandFace, a company devoted to helping professionals better brand themselves. Michael is a veteran real estate agent and auctioneer, and Tonya’s partner for all things real estate branding. Here are Tonya and Michael:

TONYA: I'll go first on this one. Um, I would say I would have learned my lessons a lot sooner. I would have been more quick to change direction at times. And BrandFace would have been started 25 years ago.

MICHAEL: Mine would be, I would make bolder about, about what the work I've done up until this point, you know, and it's, I would've been, I would've been a little bit, um, a lot more confident. And that's another thing that we've tried to teach at BrandFace. I would've been more confident in not, not necessarily my ability cause it might, I might've been on Regent for something I didn't know how to do yet, but in my ability to be able to do it, uh, you know, and people tend to, I had a guy in my office the other day talking about it and he's like, well, I just need somebody to show you what to do in real estate. And I'm like, you know what to do in real estate now you have to go do what you do in real estate, right? That's, you're, you're, you're allowing this false sense of lack of confidence. And I'm on the outside looking in telling you it's not there. You just read it inside. And that's what I would overcome that a lot, some years if I had thought of it.

JON: Chris Prefontaine was on our last episode. He’s the author and the founder of Smart Real Estate Coach, where he teaches how to sell on terms, and how to smartly invest your time and money into growing your business. Here’s Chris:

CHRIS: I'm not going to say the mentor cause we talked about that heavy, I'm going to say find someone that would work on just my personal space and thinking bigger. I know that sounds very, um, you know, like foundational, but we are what limits us. There's no question. And it's important when you're younger, younger in the career, not age, to get, get that in your head, that you can think big and sometimes it's a coach. I think most of the times it's a coach.

 JON: How do you think that limited your growth?

CHRIS: Because you don't know what's possible, right? Especially when you, I know sometimes if we're young we, we didn't overshoot so that, but that would be handled within the same mentorship. We have a woman for example, we introduced to our community who just works on the mental space because we think that that's a big deterrent. Why do here, you know this then are, you can answer this then like why do you, and I see that we teach certain things in your space, in my space, but everyone has a different zone. The space between the ears. So I wished that I had that kind of higher level help getting me thinking bigger back then.

JON: As the new decade looms ever closer and the pressure to craft the perfect New Year’s Resolution mounts, I hope this episode has spurred some new ideas. As we look back on the last 10 years, hopefully you can take away the good and shrug off the bad. Rather than regretting and fretting, think of how you would have done it differently and then apply that thinking as the new year unfolds before you.

JON: That’s it for this episode of Shop Talk, thanks for listening! If you enjoyed the episode, you can subscribe and review us on your podcast player of choice. You’ll also find the full episodes that these clips were taken from, available for free for your listening pleasure. Shop Talk is a production of The CE Shop.