What’s up everyone and welcome to another episode of Become A Local Leader! In today’s episode, we have Fevin Reyes Realtor with RE/MAX in Coronado and Chicago and the Red Era Group.

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Meet Fevin Reyes – Our Featured Local Leader

Fevin Reyes was born and raised in Chicago as the second child of two Filipino immigrants. His mother and father are no strangers to the hard work and determination that it takes to be successful, especially when you have a difficult start in life. Coming to the US on a nursing visa Fevin’s mother worked tirelessly to make a name for herself. His dad was an orphan and worked incredibly hard to build a fruitful life for his family. 

Growing up in a household with parents like this, there was no room for excuses. His brother was the star pupil of the family. He was smart, athletic, and incredibly driven. Fevin, on the other hand, describes himself as the black sheep of the family. He got bad grades and was constantly getting into trouble. Never listening to his parents. His sweet mother tried so hard to get him to understand what he was doing or not doing which was going to send him down a path and life that wouldn’t bring him happiness. She was trying to do what was best for him but that wasn’t exactly working for Fevin. Her efforts were often futile but eventually, something clicked. That’s when everything changed. 

He met Mylene and a determination came over him that has never ceased. She was the inspiration he needed to turn his life around. Mylene gave him purpose, direction, and motivation. She keeps him going when it feels like he’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Without her, Fevin explains that would not be the man that he is today. When she came into his life, he was all about just working. Then, it was suddenly about more than just him. It was about her and of the life that they were building together. Today, they are the proud parents of three incredible children; Abigail, Andrea, and Ierton.  

Family is everything to Fevin. When his son Ierton was born six weeks premature with underdeveloped lungs, he was devastated. He knew his boy would be a fighter but he’s worried about his health constantly. In the first two years of his life, he had pneumonia over nine times. The air quality in Chicago affected Ierton significantly. Fevin was faced with an incredibly difficult decision but he made that decision anyway. He and his wife decided to leave the place they called home since youth and moved to San Diego, California. 

Although it was an exciting new adventure, it didn’t come without sacrifice. They left behind their dearest family and friends and they started over in a completely new state where they really didn’t know a soul. They were struggling to find a new normal. Their son’s health improved and things seemed to be setting into place until his world came crashing down on him. 

On August 21st, 2016, about one year after their move, Fevin suffered a massive stroke in his sleep. The damage was debilitating. He spent the next three years in rehab. where Fevin had to learn everything from talking, walking, to eating, you name it. He lost about 30% of his vision but continue to endure the greatest trial in his life. It is thanks to the endless support of Mylene, his wife and therapists. His faith in God enabled him to experience a nearly 100% recovery. 

After his recovery, he continued to pursue real estate and forged a partnership that would lead to where he is today. He’s learned that finding your why can make all the difference in the world when it comes to conquering trials. When he finally found his purpose, the drive and passion buried deep in his soul came bursting to life. He hasn’t stopped chasing his dreams ever since then. He brings that same thirst for success to the table when helping clients with their real estate goals. 

All his experiences in life have led him to the happiness and success that his family and the Red Area Group experience today. Starting over in a new place and surviving a stroke made his purpose even more clear. He lives every day to the fullest and wants to help his clients do the same. 

What would you say your superpower is as a realtor? 

Well, I think my superpower as a realtor is that in 2007 when I was crushing it during the time of foreclosures and bank-owned properties. I saw a lot of my clients go through what I’m actually beginning to start seeing now in today’s market of foreclosures, people are unable to pay the bills. I mean, if you think about it, my wife is in hospitality. Hospitality, as an industry is just devastated right now. All over the state, all over the city, all over the country. What that means is that I have to bring perspective to people. 

The greatest strength that I have is that when I see someone talking in a way that just is not helping or serving them well and I’ve instilled enough trust into them that I can actually speak from the heart so that I could actually help them make sense of the real estate market and help them make sense of what’s going on. I think that’s really my biggest superpower. 

I’ve done over a thousand real estate transactions in my career. And with that, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve experienced a lot. I could actually craft deals in ways that most rookie agents can’t. I think that that’s a real big superpower because the market here in San Diego is way different than probably 95% of the country. It’s just super competitive. 

As soon as COVID hit in the beginning in March, this thing went off in my brain. Like, “Oh, my God. It’s 2007 all over again.” When others were in panic mode, I went to work. I’ve sold more homes since the beginning of March, during this four-month period than I have the previous five years in San Diego. It all comes down to my experience and what I know, and how I’m reaching out to my people in my sphere of influence.

People are scared. Honestly, I personally think they need someone that’s a leader. Someone that knows what’s up and someone that’s real. I’m not “snooty patootie”. I come from humble beginnings. I’m just a kid from Chicago. I just think straight and I think that really helps me a lot when dealing with clients in the process. 

If you think about it, I had to spend three years in rehabilitation after my stroke. I’ve been at Sharp Memorial nine to five in the community reentry program for over three years. So, it doesn’t say a lot for my real estate productivity during that time but what was most important about it was working harder on myself than on anything else on recovery. 

How many people do you know, and we all probably have elderly names that come to mind, that actually had a stroke? They can’t walk. They can’t talk. And they’re so depressed about life. I really do believe that my own self-development, my personal development that I’ve done the last 20 years, 25 years of my life, prepared me to bounce back from my stroke to make a remarkable recovery from it. 

It’s just one of those things where it’s like this perspective of how I view life and how I bring that to my family, how I bring it to my kids, and how I want to bring it to my clients. I think it’s unique. And what’s the blessing in San Diego is that you don’t need to do 55-75 transactions as we did in Chicago. You could do like 15 to 20 here and it’s all good. Average home sales are really high. But I am still practicing in Chicago, I have my license there, I got my team in Chicago still doing stuff, working by referral. I’m building it up here in San Diego. So, it’s a grind but it’s fun. I enjoy it.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what your current volume is? 

Remarkably, with my team in Chicago, the team that just absolutely loves me and still loves me, I was able to do about 30 to 40 transactions for the last four and a half years. That’s every year in Chicago. And it’s I have a team that just loves me and loves to put in the work. We work so great together. It was with Dave Ramsey, endorser and local provider for real estate in Chicago. 

So, in order to be a Dave Ramsey ELP, you have to have a certain level of mindset and productivity. And then, I moved here and I started about a year and a half ago. I joined a friend of mine that I was actually a productivity coach with the Keller Williams office in San Diego Metro. A great guy. Met him about five years ago when I first moved here, Darin Triolo. I was looking for a way to figure out how to do transactions here because of the difference between the two markets. From a process perspective, it is very different. 

In Illinois, they use attorneys. Here, we use escrow companies. You don’t use attorneys here. Transactions are very meticulous, very different. And so, that was hard for my brain because of my recovery. And so, Darin, who I just loved for all those years, I reached out to him, and he’s like, “Dude, let me join your team for a year and see how it goes.” “You could learn and you could help me build the team. You could help me inspire my other junior agents on the team. You could just help me.” I’m like, “Dude, I love it. I love you, Darin. You love me, brother. We’re ethical. We’re good. We’ll do this.” And that’s what I did for the last year. 

He gave me an opportunity to work with his toughest clients and buyer clients that really, the junior agents would have a hard time handling but he knew from my brain and from my development, I needed to be in the trenches with these high net worth clients. These billion-dollar transactions. And so, I did. And right away, I just noticed that the brain just started coming back, the emotion started coming back, the process of how to work with multiple clients started coming back. It was wonderful. And so, that’s what really brought the momentum. 

I was always a work by referral guy in Chicago. I was not one to pick up the phone, dial for dollars, get on the dialer, and just bang away on phone all day long. But I did that over it with Darin. We did door knocking, open house stuff. I just never really did that in Chicago but I’ve built a muscle. And that’s really what I was able to develop is the muscle to do things at a high level like how they do it here in San Diego. 

And so, that was really the launching pad for me to be able to operate at a high level here is because I’m doing things that I never did back in Chicago. I learned that with Darin. And then, I was able to now move away from Darin team and be with the Remax office here in Coronado and run my own team again, like how I did or how I still do in Chicago. It’s complicated but it keeps it real. I love it. I just love helping people. I’ve put 80% of first-time homebuyers into homes during corona. That’s pretty amazing. Every deal is getting 12-15 offers. 

There’s a lot of skill that you need as a very veteran agent on how to deal with a listing agent when you’re on the buying side like I was. And so, it really helps with the experience that I have and being able to help these listing agents and help my clients. So, I’m having fun. 

What are your total sides so far for the year? 

Total sides for this year, I have 12 buyers for the year. I haven’t had any listings because I give those listings over to Darin. I have one listing that I’m working on. That’ll be with me with my Red Area Group Team. But over there, the way that it worked with Darin is all the listings he would take care of. But the good thing about it is the one I actually still have with him it’s a sell-buy. So, my client is going to sell the house through him and then buying another house through me. 

You don’t need to do 50 deals in San Diego to make a living because the average home sale price is ridiculous compared to Chicago. I like it because it allows me a chance to still be the stay at home dad that I want to be with my kids. So, it’s fun. God works in mysterious ways. 

What would you say your median home price is? 

The county on average is a $660,000 home sale price. The transactions that I’ve done this year, two of them were in the 1.2 to 1.8 million price homes. The high-end Bay Ho, Carmel Valley, Tierrasanta single-family homes. And then, I have some of these newer buyers. What’s really cool about it, and maybe this is the secret is that the two buyers that I helped are nurses. 

The cool thing is that maybe I emotionally attracted these sellers, like, “Oh, he’s a nurse.” “Essential worker.” “I’ll buy a house with him.” type of thing. Those were actually way under $600,000. Believe it or not, one was $250,000. I didn’t think it was possible but it was possible. I didn’t know that there were condos that are $250,000 here in town. And another one is about $400,000. But hey, it’s all good. I’ll deal with all because one of my old coaches always said “money is green”. 

What changes did you have to make because of COVID? 

Here in California, we have this interesting thing called the PEAD. PEAD is a form that buyer agent, listing agent, and all parties or buyers that are entering into a home have to sign a form that has like four pages worth of disclosures on it in order to enter into a home. And so, that’s kind of a unique thing. I wish we had that thing for Chicago but we don’t.

The other thing is that nine times out of 10 now, you can’t even enter into a home until you actually show the agent a pre-approval. Some agents don’t care about it but the good ones care about which is great because then you’re not wasting time and you’re not putting the risk of sellers by having some buyers come in there and not sanitizing, not wearing masks, and not being pre-approved. I love that. It’s actually helped my job. 

Over the weekend I had 15 leads that came into me. Half of them want to go see properties right away. I’m like, “Oh, did you know you need to sign this document and we need to have a pre-approval?” And they’re like, “Oh, okay.” So, now, what’s cool about it is through my relationships, I put them over to my preferred lenders and now they’re pre-approving them today. It just helps kick the ball down the field a little bit further earlier, which I love. 

My record on showing homes in Chicago is like 67 homes until someone bought a home. That’s a whole lot of Uber driving. I feel like an Uber real estate guy. My father said 25 years ago, I’m going to show you six homes and if you don’t like one of the six homes, there’s a problem and it ain’t me.” It’s kind of true. He had a lot of wisdom. So, I liked it. 

It’s just so competitive here. With the advent of the internet, Matterport, and RICOH tours there’s really no real reason why you have to show someone more than six homes because Matterports are amazing. RICOH tours are amazing. And it says if you’re in the home, it just helps tremendously with the whole process. That’s what I love about it.

Can you tell us how much of your client base is repeat business versus new business?

I would say my Chicago business because I was in Chicago for 20 years. 95% of my business is by referral. Just like this past weekend. That’s a family who bought their primary residence through me. The father then bought two more investment properties through me over the years. He’s gotten older like me. So, now he bought a home six months ago and a condo for his son in downtown Chicago. He’s got another daughter. He is buying another condo for downtown Chicago. So, work by referral is powerful stuff. Lots of transactions. 

Here in San Diego, I’m taking my work by referral Buffini type system that I have been such a fan of for all my career. Couple that with the stuff that I learned over with Darin’s team with being on the Mojo dialer, circle prospecting, and doing a lot of mailers, Notice Defaults, FSBO, etc, calling into those lists on a daily basis. So, making sure I have the right amount of lead flow, which I think I’ve found it now through that system of how grinding it out and then also working by referral. I think I found my Mojo here in San Diego. It’s true because over the weekend, 15 leads. That’s incredible! People are reaching out to me. I’ve never had that happen before. Super excited about that. I think it’s working. I think I finally found the formula. Thank God. 

Where would you say you get the majority of your referrals from? 

I’m a big tennis player. In Chicago I was not a big tennis player. To my client database, I used to be into racing cars. I used to race Porsches and I was an Audi instructor. So, I got a lot of my business at the racetrack at the country club, Audubon Country Club, etc. 

But here in San Diego, I don’t have my toys anymore. As my kids are growing up, I’m all about my kids’ hobbies and their sports. Water polo for my daughter, tennis for my kids. And so, now I’m the dad that’s out on the pool deck. I’m the dad on the tennis court hitting with the kids and doing tennis. It’s called tennis in no time here in San Diego with the USGA. So, I’m like a coach with the coaches going to all these meets. I get it through working by referrals from that. 

I’ve amassed a pretty decent sized database. I have about 400 people in my A+, A, and B database. I market to these people using the Buffini system. And then, of course, I have all the other dialling for dollars type stuff. Notice defaults, foreclosures, list endings, expireds, that type of stuff. 

Would you say you do any community marketing initiatives? Are those the main ones that you use? 

I was actually a Coronado Real Estate Association Board Member for four years. Coronado is just a blessed place. I would say in Coronado, I think one out of every two people is a licensed agent. There’s a whole lot of working by referral that is done. Contact caring community is very important for me. With COVID being so bizarre, I can’t pop by. I can’t pop by the restaurants that I’d like to visit. I can’t pop by the offices of my clients where they work because they’re kind of working from home. We can’t really do any community stuff here. 

I really enjoy handwritten notes. My record is about 985 personal handwritten notes a year. I’m hoping that I can double that this year just because I’m sort of an introvert in a way. It’s bizarre. After my stroke, I’m just more reserved. When I had my stroke, what you’re thinking and what you’re saying doesn’t always align up. You say just dumb stuff sometimes where you don’t even remember what you said because that’s part of your stroke. You can’t remember. So, just the fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could really affect how people react to it.

Sadly, a lot of people don’t really know what it really means to have a stroke. And so, three of my favorite words are grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I think your sphere of influence will give you grace, mercy, and forgiveness. A cold call, forget it. They don’t care about you., they don’t give you anything. They don’t give a crap.

It’s like, “Now, I need to impress this guy with my stroke brain. Oh, my God.” You recede a little bit. That’s kind of why I said I’m a little bit more of an introvert now just because I’m more conscious. I’m conscious about making these goofy mistakes. If I do make a mistake, I want to make sure that I’m dealing with someone that actually cares and loves me. 

These people don’t know me for 40 years like my clients know me in Chicago. I’ve built an empire in Chicago off of just being a good person. And so, they don’t really know that about me. For the first three and a half years of me being here, they didn’t really see me because I was in rehab. With my three kids, I’m conscious about I don’t want my kids to be affected by my lack of anything that a parent might interpret.

But what I love is that I’m a stay at home dad. I’m digging that. That was my goal. That was my goal before I moved out here – to be retired by 40. And I pretty much did it. But then, God works in mysterious ways. It’s like, “Okay. Well, good. Now I’m going to make you stay at home. I’ll give you a stroke.” So, bang. But I’m at home and I’m digging. So, I enjoy it.

What advice would you give anybody who’s potentially facing any obstacles in their business or home? 

I’m going through this with my 15-year-old daughter, and that is I’m a big fan of Jim Rohn. Jim Rohn, believe it or not, was embedded into my brain, all of his stuff, all the way for like 10 years. Back when I was in Chicago from like 2007 when I became a REMAX broker-owner in Chicago, they set me off to Brian Buffini training, and then they introduced me to Jim Rohn. I fell in love with both of these guys.

I have a coach. That’s another thing that’s really important. You need a coach. Have you ever gone to a gym by yourself and you’re working out? But at the end of the day you’re not really working out, you’re just kind of there at the gym. And then, two or three weeks later, you’re no longer at the gym because you’re bored. But if you have a coach, they’re going to hold you accountable to it. So, I have a coach.

I have actually a couple of coaches in other areas of my life. And so, having a coach and being a student of personal development has been a blessing because it has prepared me for what I’m dealing with today. And so, your income could only grow in congruence to your own self-development, your personal development. That’s my philosophy. 

I’m reading this book. It’s called The Slight Edge. This is written just recently but so much in the book is Jim Rohn and his philosophies. “Man, he got that from Jim Rohn. He got that from Zig Ziglar. He got that from Tony Robbins.” But it’s good. I like it. My coach told me to read it so I’m going to read it. And so, I’ll have my call with him tomorrow. I’ll tell him, “Man, I can teach everything in that damn book.” It really comes down to philosophy. That’s what’s really important about this book. It’s philosophy. You’re the sum total of what you do with what you know. I love it. I’m hoping this actually bleeds on to my kids. I hope so. 

Me being at home sets the example. Seeing what I have gone through these last three and a half years for my stroke and seeing what I’ve had to do physically. CrossFit saved my life. I was in decent shape and I played a lot of tennis. I thought I was in decent shape but it was only until when I moved here to Coronado and I joined Sweat Equity that I was able to absorb more things and interact with more things. Sweat Equity is like a middle-aged CrossFit gym for guys my age. It gets my heart rate up and working out at a high level.

And what they call neuro transmitting across my brain, neuroplasticity is what they call it, can remap my brain. And so, being in shape has really exploded my ability to do the things that I do here. I work out five days a week. I’ve gotten down to 19% body fat. I don’t know if I’m 19% body fat during COVID now, but I’m working on it again. Honestly, it’s just done wonders for my neuroplasticity in my brain. And so, if you’re not working out, you’re missing out. Getting the heart rate up to feel like you’re going to die at least a couple of times a week is crucial. 

In terms of just engaging with the community and providing value for your clients, what would you really say to people that they need to start doing, they need to stop doing? 

This might get me in trouble but I’m going to say it anyway. Don’t be a dick. Nobody likes people that are superficial. Having moved to California, there’s a whole lot of superficial that I’ve noticed. It’s all about me, me, me, me, me. I don’t dig that. You have to be humble. My parents are humble. My dad is super humble. Love the man. He’s my idol. 

At the end of the day, you got to touch people’s heads and hearts. Don’t be a jerk. Let people know that you care. People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care. When you see your neighbor across the street and you see that they might be struggling when they’re sitting on their patio or whatever, say hello. “Hi neighbor, how are you? Can I help you with anything? Can I do anything for you?” It’s all about serving, serving, serving. And then, in the end, you’ll be taken care of. I promise you that. The universe will take care of you. You got to give, give, give, give, give because it’ll serve your heart, your own soul. You’ll feel good about it. 

I believe mental health is a big issue that’s going to come out of this whole Corona crap. People are all cooped up at home, contact care and community. If we can’t be with our community, it’s going to have a mental impact on people. You got to get out there. Don’t be afraid. Reach out. Touch people. That’s why I write so many personal notes. That’s why I’ll text or call people just to check in with them. My whole philosophy, check-in three times a day, three people a day. Just call them. “Hey, just checking in. How’s life? How’s things? Oh, how’s your dog? How’s your parakeet?” I don’t care. Just say something. Let them know that you’re there.

Compounded three calls over seven days is 21 calls, 21 calls over a whole course of a year add up. The universe will take care of you. I believe that. It’s been kind to me. My personal philosophy – I was spared my life because of the universe. My God believed that there was so much more work that he wanted me to continue to do in this environment, in this world. Didn’t want to get too spiritual, but I’m just being real. That’s how I am. So, that’s kind of what makes me a little bit different. I hope a lot more other people get that way. 

I read something in this book that really shocked me. “The average adult, 40 years old, has one friend.” One friend, one real friend. But think about it, there’s so much shallow in the silly. It only serves their agenda, that sort of thing. Getting real conversations with someone you give your heart, your soul, and it shared back and forth. I promise you, your relationships and your presence in this world will be so much more impactful to so many other people.

And that’s mainly what I’m miss in Chicago. I miss a lot of my close friends but I check-in. I make that one call a week to my good friend just to check-in to see how they’re doing, laugh a little bit, argue a little bit. But at the end of the day, I bet you were just even in life. It’s okay to argue. It’s okay to debate. That’s what helps us grow. 

I have a kindergarten friend. His name is Craig. A total opposite of me but he’s made me a tremendous better man because of his views. I’ve seen it. I don’t agree with it all the time. He’s seen my views. And man, I want to be buried next to that guy. 

What would you say your goals are? What’s next for you in terms of real estate and your business, but also just personally on a personal level? 

I’ve realized I’m 45 this year. My grandmother died at 109. All of her six children are still alive and in their 80s. My mom is a feisty woman. She’s going to be around for another 20 years given the genetic pool that I have. I’m thinking to myself, “Dude, I have another 45 years on this earth basically.” The last 45 plus the next 45. How am I going to manage it all? Well, number one, I want to build a financial wall around my family that nothing could penetrate through. That’s personally what I want.

I believe real estate is that mechanism for doing it at a high level and without as much politics and bureaucracy as corporate America. That just wasn’t my thing. Helping people honestly at this level is just a wonderful thing. And so, that’s my personal goal. 

My other goal is I want to be around for my kids. I got three kids. One’s already going to be a sophomore in high school. In three years, they’ll be off to college. I want to be there for them. My parents were immigrants. They were never there for any of the tennis matches, any of that stuff because they’re too busy working. That’s the reason why I’m at home and I’m blessed to be able to do this. I want to be there for that. Then after that, after they’re out of the house and I’ve got hopefully my grandchildren and whatnot, travel around the world with them. That’s what I want to do.

This would only be possible because I had built a financial wall around my family. I’m not going to lie. I had built a financial wall, around my family prior to my stroke, prior to moving out here to California. Because of that financial wall that I had and now having a stroke, I was fortunate to not really work so hard at serving somebody else making money because I had a financial wall. And I use that for my recovery.

And so now it’s like, “Shit, I got another 40 years of life.” I think I probably have another 20 years of a really good solid brain life and not being a big old senior citizen type of thing. So, I’ll do it again. I did it once. I’ll do it again. That’s really what I want to do. I’m really blessed to live in this amazing city of Coronal. Holy moly, what a place. What a place. So, I’m just blessed. I’m thankful. 

Do you buy leads from Zillow, realtor.com, homes.com?

No. 

Do you do Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads, and/or LinkedIn ads? 

No. 

Any other source? 

RealtyTrac. 

Why RealtyTrac? 

Because I know the foreclosure, short sale, notice of default world. From back in my years in 2007, I know how to have those conversations with people. It actually touches my heart because people are losing their homes. I made my first fortune back in 2007 helping people from financial disaster, losing their houses, short selling their homes. It’s something that I purposely want to do – Notice of Defaults, divorces, short sales, list pennants. 

How about advertising on bus benches, grocery carts, or any other type of display advertising? 

Nope. 

Do you pay a digital marketer to do any work for you? 

No. However, I do have an operations manager in my team that is somewhat savvy. It’s kind of like building the bus as he’s driving it type of thing. 

What about direct mailers, door knocking, and door hangers? 

So, direct mailers I do. It depends upon what type of lead that I’m looking for but I also do like the handwritten notes, which are a form of direct mail. I do items of value to my database, my sphere of influence. That goes out to about 100 people a month. And then we have the E-report, which is a slight tweak of the letter. If they receive the snail mail on the 1st, you’re going to get a digital version somewhat like it on the 15th. It’s like the item of value that I send.

For instance, “Kitchens and Baths bring the biggest value to homes when you’re selling. Here are some tips.” “Here are some tips about correcting your credit score.” That would be the mailer that goes out snail mail, and on the 15th of the month, it would be an item of value similar to that but via email. 

Would you say you’re active on social media? 

I am trying to be active on social media. I guess I’m sort of a dinosaur in this game. Not really but sort of. My operations manager is helping me with that. I could tell you that I successfully, during the first 10 weeks of California shut down, did a BombBomb video every week. I would come to people with two things, either a real estate statistic or something of value to them. And then, I would also leave them with something funny in a video, whether it’s something I found on Instagram, or Facebook, or YouTube, or something like that just to keep it light.

So, I think from all of that activity and sending these BombBomb videos, they’ve actually helped my business throughout this time. It’s also helped my operations manager as well because he’s able to learn how to do social media to another level that he never had before. 

Do you send an email newsletter? 

No, not really. I considered doing a biannual news report. It’s just the amount of information gathering that I need to do in the time that it takes to do that to validate all that information, it would be very difficult for me just based on time. Buffini has a very nice national news report that I could basically just copy-paste. I may do that but I haven’t done it in recent years. I think my technique is cool because I think people really enjoy seeing a video like a BombBomb video for me, coupled with an email. We are also going to do stuff on Instagram and Facebook eventually. 

Do you still do any open houses or only virtual open houses? What does that look like for you right now? 

Well, before COVID, on Darin’s team I had done a lot of open houses. I brought a lot of value to the team, I think, in terms of open houses and how I know open houses work. But now with COVID, there’s really barely any open houses. Matterports are really important for listings. I don’t foresee myself doing any other open houses in the near future. Personally, I didn’t like doing them in Chicago. I mean, it’s just a different world in Chicago with open houses. Nobody goes to open houses in Chicago. I mean at least the areas that I worked in, I wouldn’t want to do them in the areas that I worked in. 

In terms of frequency for texts, emails, calls. How often would you say you’re in contact with potential clients and current clients? 

I’m a big Buffini guy. I follow his system. I’ve been following it for years. I break down my database by A+, A, B, C, and D clients. D meaning delete from my life. Obviously, the A+ is at the center. They’re going to get a call, they’re going to get a personal note from me, they might get a text message from me. I have 39 things about my A+ people that I want to know about, like their wedding anniversaries, dog’s names, their favorite foods, blah, blah, blah, blah. All 39 things.

We put it in the database. And then, I will then be able to look at my A+ because my dashboard every day tells me who are the A+ people I need to call, who are the A people I need to call, who I need to write a personal note to type of stuff. Just keep me accountable to that plan. That’s how we do it. So, that’s my system.

Would you say you ever put on any client appreciation parties or events? 

In the past we did. I guess that introvert in me kind of comes out. I’d rather spend an hour talking to someone face to face getting deep into them than actually being Mr. Johnny Carson to 50 people across a big party. This is kind of not my thing. But I think to answer your question a little bit better is that, I’ve rented out a movie theatre in Chicago. I would show a movie that’s coming out that hasn’t hit the market yet. I would do a premiere for my clients. If I knew that the movie is coming out on Monday or Tuesday. I knew the owner of the Pickwick back in Chicago and I would ask him if I could bring my clients over there and have them watch it.

And then, I’d have my allied resources like the lender, Attorney, etc. pay for the popcorn, pay for the drinks, do some advertising, the photographer, the whole Hollywood thing with the backdrop and everything like that. And then, I would just appreciate them. I would generally do that around Thanksgiving. Every other year I would either do the movie. And then the next year I’ll personally drive by all of my clients’ homes, two weeks to a week around Thanksgiving, tell them how grateful I am for them and I would drop off Costco pies. Seriously, I would load up my car with Costco pies, like 100 pies and I would go drop these off at their homes and just say, “Hey, Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy.”

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