Monte Reyment is one of the authors in the new real estate business book, Becoming a Local LeaderⓇ. This book features 22 top producing agents who through their story share their strategies and their mindset on how to grow your business.
The one thing that really binds everyone together in this book is the value of relationships. If you read Monte’s chapter, you’re going to start to feel energized, feel motivated, and start thinking about how you can take more action in the right direction to grow your business. And for him, he’s progressed a lot more quickly than some agents in the industry, and success leaves clues.
I’m sure you’re all excited to pull out the wisdom from him so all of you who may be newer into the industry can figure out what you can do differently so you can start having more success like Monte.
What’s the main message that you hope agents get from your chapter?
With my chapter, it didn’t really get into too much detail about systems or any tips or tricks that have to do with it. I think this real estate game has really been about personal growth. For me, a mind shift.
As I said, it’s my thing. I have a podcast at one point called To Take Action Podcast. It was really just about grabbing control of my life and working towards a level of happiness, and then bringing in whoever wanted to come along with me on the journey to their own level of whatever they feel is going to make them the happiest.
I was 38 years old and I went to the dentist. They wouldn’t clean my teeth because my blood pressure was too high. And at that point, I’d been working with kids and motivating kids and helping work with over 10,000 student-athletes to go to college and try to take action for their lives, but I was neglecting my own. It was one of those things where I just, pardon my French but would cut through the bullshit of everything I was telling myself every single day was what’s going to make me happy. And in return, be a better person and better leader for my family and people around me that can come along on the right. That’s really kind of what my story is about.
Did that happen before you got into real estate?
Almost simultaneously. It was really unique. I remember the date that I bought my first duplex. My brother had started a real estate investing company and had been pushing me to be like, “Hey, dude. You got to go do this. You got to go do this.” And so, finally, I was like, all right I’ll do it because he’s my brother.
Well, I got into it at that time. I was like, “Okay, this is cool. I like it. This is fun.” This is something different. I’m not sitting behind a desk on a phone call making that same conversation, getting better grades, making sure you’re doing this, making sure you’re doing that, making sure you got good video, you’re talking to college coaches, etc., etc. But it was okay, it’s different. I can put my hands on it. I can touch it. I can turn it into whatever I want.
And then also, that’s when I joined the gym at that time. Just the amount of people that were at the gym that had lifted me up to bring me to make that change in my life going from a former college athlete myself to 270 pounds and not being able to get my teeth cleaned was a little bit of an eye opener.
When you reflect now and you look at other agents who aren’t taking the action, what is your empathy for why they’re not taking the action that they know they need to do to get the results they want to get? What would be your advice for how to make that mindset shift? What do they have to focus on to think about to then make them want to take the action and actually go take the action?
I think my empathy with newer agents is what they see from people who’ve been in the industry a long time. People who have been in the industry for a long time, they have a lot of success. They have a lot of toys. They have a lot of great houses. So, I think when you get into real estate, I don’t think people really understand the amount of energy and patience it takes to get to where you need to go and the consistent growth you need to do.
I have a team now of younger, newer agents. I’m constantly preaching being patient but consistent and doing those little things over time. So, my empathy just comes with not having that, “Hey. This is the end result.” If you’re going into this, it’s a career change. You have to work towards that career. I live in Green Bay. You don’t become an Aaron Rodgers overnight. You become Aaron Rodgers because you work hard every single day. Or anybody who’s made it to that level in their profession, whether it’s in real estate, whether it’s in professional sports, wherever it is. It takes time and energy to build that. You have to be creative. You have to be willing to fail every day and learn from your failures and grow that way too.
Now, in your chapter you wrote, “While I’m still a work in progress, I now realize the missing piece of the puzzle was action.” So again, you would think that action is common sense. What did you mean by that?
I think it’s more of a consistent behavior. We can take action one day and expect a result. Do you know that old adage of trying to be 1% better every single day? That plus taking action every day is really the mentality I have.
I mean, there’s days I take a step back. It’s not like I’m constantly having a great day. It’s, “Hey, what am I listening to today?” What goes into your ears becomes you. And so, what am I listening to? Am I listening to music or am I listening to a podcast on how to be a better real estate agent? It might be just a 15-minute drive from my office to a showing appointment but I’m always constantly thinking about trying to evolve, get new ideas. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a final product. I just don’t know that that’s me. It’s going to be one of those things.
I understand that and I’m aware enough to know that I probably will never stop working and driving to be better. I’ll probably annoy some people around me at times with that kind of speech, but that’s just who I am. And who I’m going to be is a matter of learning and just being the best that I can be for myself and my team and my brokerage.
I don’t know if you have ever heard of a guy named Bob Proctor, one of my favorite guys. He’s kind of one of those mind-money self-development authors and speakers and stuff. He says, “If I want to be free, I need to be me. Not the me that you think I need to be, but the me that I need to be.”
Right. Self-awareness is so crucial in this business because everybody’s got a different personality. Not everybody can be as energetic as me. I feel like I’m pretty savvy with solution-based selling. People just don’t think the same way I do all the time. So, it’s being patient and just trying to do what’s best for everybody around me within who they are. That’s the hard part.
I think we all grow up in a system, right? We all go to K through 12, and then through college. We’re told to think a certain way and be a certain way. And if we don’t fit into one or two types of groups, then we’re failures. That’s just not who people are. Right?
I wasn’t a great student. I was a good athlete. Not a great athlete, but I was a good athlete. All I wanted to do when I went to college was play sports. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life at that time.
What did you play?
I ran track and played football.
As a person getting into the industry, there’s so much to learn. Usually, associations and brokerages struggle with the resources to help people learn that. It’s really on the agent to read, to listen, to watch, to seek out mentors. What have been some of the best resources for you? Are there specific books, specific podcasts, or specific people that you think have really helped you?
Number one is just my broker, actually. We’re not a great advertising marketing company by any means. I think we have 22 Google reviews. I have 22 myself. So, I think that’s the downfall of where we are. However, my broker, Bill Simmons is so professional, so knowledge-based on contracts, and has been through it all. He’s not only a broker, he’s still an agent. He’s active in the field. He sees certain things every single day. And he always answers his phone. So, he is always my go-to.
Anytime, I would go to him. And then, just learning from every single one. I keep every single contract that I’ve ever had in files, and then I just try to mentally remember like, “Oh, yeah. This address, such and such, I had this experience.” I almost use it like an attorney does with case files and other things like that. So, I don’t have to go back to him. I don’t want to burden him because he’s got a growing brokerage as well.
I listen to a podcast called The Real Estate Marketing Dude, which is a great podcast for anybody wondering how to grow their business. The issue is they have so many great ideas out there. It’s kind of like shiny object syndrome. You can grab an idea over here and over here. And then, I listen to a lot of Gary Vee. Gary Vee has been very instrumental in just getting my mindset right on perspective and simplifying everything down to like, “Hey. As long as I’m happy and my family is healthy, my friends are healthy, that’s all I really care about.” And then, using that perspective to grow off of too.
Those are kind of the things that I bounce off of. And then, there’s other great agents. My brother obviously is one of them for just thinking outside of the box because he’s in that investing world where there’s a lot more creativity on that side of real estate than there is on the regular retail side of real estate. So, just trying to always expand my mind and grow and use the people who are successful in the business.
And obviously, books. Everybody’s read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It’s in real estate. The Compound Effect has been really good for me. The 10x rule. Those are some ones that I’ve really loved that I’ve read and have retained. I was never a good reader. I’m still not a good reader so I have to read things like four or five times before it catches on.
Let’s talk about things that you have done that have worked to help you grow your business, and things you’ve done that have not worked. What have you learned so far?
If we just start off early on as an agent, I can’t see how somebody can grow their business, at least quickly, without social media at this point. I just have no idea how somebody can come into this business, promote, try to let people know that they’re a real estate agent and still just do it by handshaking and meeting people at bars or restaurants or whatever, and handing out business cards. It would take forever to grow your business in this environment.
Everybody knows a RealtorⓇ, right? So, if you’re not being reminded every single day that that person is an agent, that’s number one. Now Tik Tok is on the up and up, right? So, there’s a huge amount of organic growth there. LinkedIn is still good. Facebook is maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars at this point through real estate investing and also as a real estate agent. I don’t know how you can be successful without Facebook.
What is it specifically? Describe what you do on Facebook.
People, I think, worry too much about content. What kind of content they’re producing instead of just producing content. But live videos and just videos in general, as long as they’re not too long, I would say that the two-to-seven-minute mark is probably the sweet spot for a lot of people. You’ll find out too. People don’t comment, they don’t like. You can see that as being watched in the analytics.
I was inside a bar. I was sitting at a bar and having a cocktail. Some guy came up to me and he’s like, “Hey, you’re Monte.” I go, “Yeah. Do I know you?” He goes, “I don’t think you do but I see you’re flipping videos online.” And I’m like, “Really? I haven’t done one of those in a while.” He’s like, “Yeah, I follow you, man.” I’m like, “Okay, all right.”
So, you don’t know where it’s coming from, how you’re being seen. That’s the power of video, I think, because it’s hard to track who’s seen it. But yeah, I’m posting videos. I think one of the things I really want to get better at is providing value within those videos instead of saying, “Hey, this is me. This is what we did to flip. This is how it looks before and after.” Now, I want to get into more detail of what we’re actually doing with that. But the videos have been awesome. Just simple things of going on showings and showing houses. People love real estate. Everybody’s watching HGTV and all those shows out there. You know, the $50,000 bathroom that people are putting in and stuff like that. So, I say video is number one.
I think the hardest part is getting over, “What do I look like today? I look fat on camera. I don’t like how my voice sounds.” I think once you get past that, it’s a lot easier.
What else has worked for you in your business?
I mean, obviously, Parkbench has been awesome. Parkbench has been something that we started. It was actually an idea I had about a year and a half ago. And then, I started doing research. I’m like, “Oh, shit. You guys already have.” It’s already there. Why go reinvent the wheel?
So, when I was doing my podcast, one of my ideas is like, you know, just providing value for no reason other than to provide value. “Hey, what have I learned? How can people learn from it? Who can I bring with and promote their business?” So, I was always doing that with contractors and people that I used on my flips and in my videos, giving them a shout out. It’s fun. I’ve been able to see them get referrals and watch their businesses grow as well. So, that’s been one of the really cool things.
Providing something and expecting nothing in return, I think there’s a huge amount. To me, that’s karma. I’m a big karma guy. And if you can do that, you’re going to get paid back tenfold, I think with the energy and time that you put into it.
Now, what about stuff that has not worked?
The paper leads have been really hard. I’m still salty with BoldLeads in the way that I was treated over there. It just wasn’t working for me. They send you a lot of names, which is great but there’s a lot of people swearing at you, and other things like that.
There are other companies out there that we do dabble in that have worked and have been more successful. BoldLeads wasn’t really a relationship-based company. They’re more like, “Hey.” When you try to get out of the contract, they weren’t so good about it. I wasn’t seeing the results. So, I keep paying for something that’s not working. It just doesn’t fit who I am.
It may work for other people. I’ve seen mixed reviews on their stuff. It just wasn’t for me. I really don’t like their customer service and how I was treated there. Other things that didn’t work are just the constant, me, me, me stuff. “Hey, look at me. I’m a RealtorⓇ. We got another accepted offer.” And we do that. I think there’s value in saying, “Hey, this market is crazy hot.” We’re still finding buyers, deals. I just bought one myself the other day, where I got it for 10,000 under asking. The after-repair value on it is about 100,000 to spread.
So, there are deals out there. I think the mindset for an agent at this point shouldn’t be that it’s impossible. It’s just harder. You have to work now. Versus how it was where you go and you’re competing against two or three buyers. Now you’re competing against 30 or 40. That’s where that’s at.
There really was a golden era for buying leads online because I think the world didn’t understand what was happening when they would fill in forms and write all that stuff. And now, we do.
And also, because of COVID and the pandemic, there actually is a study that NAR did where the amount of business that agents get from any form of advertising, whether it be direct mail, an online ad, buying leads, radio ads, bus bench billboards, has gone down 30%. In one year, the amount of homeowners who are selecting an agent off a form of advertising goes down less.
I wrote this article. I said, “Well, advertising is the connection of strangers.” What are your thoughts about meeting a stranger that you don’t know in this world? Are you apprehensive about it? Relationships matter so much more.
And people have been void of relationships. We’re at a zoom meeting right now, but thankfully, there’re ways to communicate. Imagine if we had a pandemic 15 years ago, 20 years ago, before FaceTime was invented or being able to do conference calls over this.
Think about how crazy it would have been with the election we just had with the pandemic and only source of information is from the news. That would have been ridiculous. We wouldn’t have been able to get any ideas from a third party. All we’ve been reading are magazines. Who knows that they would have been bought and paid for and that sort of thing? We never would have known what the real truth is. Or we still don’t but at least now we can make our own judgement.
What do you think about those changes? Because you’ve been in the industry only for a short period of time. So, what are your thoughts on the changes that you’re making in your business in this post, sort of pandemic world? What’s on your mind about things you’re going to do differently?
One of the things that we incorporated was just video walkthroughs. I think that’s going to stay. It’s like, “Hey, I love this house.” As competitive as the market is right now, if you have that trust, and this has happened, I’ve had buyers from California and other parts of the country, Ohio, where they want to move to Wisconsin. A lot of people want to move because it’s a small town. You don’t need to be in a big city anymore to do as much business as you used to.
So, video walkthroughs have been really huge. I’ve probably gotten six to 10 deals just based on me walking through. And obviously, with my flipping background and my investing background, they trust me enough to say, “Do you think this house is worth what it’s being sold for? What do you think this can be?” It just opens up more dialogue for a home sale, which is great. I’ve had great experiences with every single one of them that we’ve been able to buy through video.
I think that’s huge. That’s going to stay. People are busy. Maybe they have a kids baseball game and they don’t want to sacrifice missing a baseball game or a baseball tournament over the weekend. There’s a house that’s perfect for them and they want to be able to do both. I think you can be more flexible now and think outside of the box a little bit more with that.
Time is the most precious asset. And that’s the thing I see agents, allocating maybe incorrectly. So, if you were to give advice on what you’ve learned is the best use of your time, what should agents be spending their time on to grow their business?
Number one, I mean, I do this with my team. As you can see, I have this big sports background. MMA, it was a money making activity. I don’t know if it was invented before me but I call it MMA. It’s a money-making activity. So, your clients always come first. That’s number one.
Number two is prospecting. Not necessarily in the old traditional way of cold calling or doing that. Obviously, I’m a big social media guy, it’s what kind of content are you producing? What kind of value are you producing? What are you doing today to make tomorrow easier for you? And, you know, busier for you so that you have MMA? So, those are things that I think you prioritize. Almost like a top-down kind of way. Like, clients first. How do we get more clients? And then, what can we learn that will make us more professional, more confident to help these other two scenarios above us? That’s really the foundation and building blocks.
That’s kind of how I group my team. I try to keep it simple, but at the same time, build that. And then also too, I’ve gotten to a point now where it’s hiring the right people and being self-aware enough to know what I don’t know. I don’t have time to know. So, I have a content girl out that just started with us a while ago. She’s been awesome. And just that alone, taking five, six, 10 hours off of my plate. She just got out of tech school for marketing. And so, she was learning social media and she’s been great. You don’t need to hire a marketing firm to be producing content and being consistent. If I could, I’d hire three of them. I probably will at some point. But right now, I can afford one.
That’s really good advice because real estate especially is uncomfortably simple. Serve your clients so they become raving fans and want to refer to your business. And then, prospect to go find far more clients. And really what prospecting is like you said, build new relationships, and then add value to the relationships you have. And then, everything else, hopefully, you can outsource. At the beginning you might not be able to but down the road you just start outsourcing more and more of it so that your time is more spent on the client and on the relationship prospecting.
Yeah. And to go back, you had asked me a question before about what worked and what didn’t work. If I had to do it over again and if I learned better, I would have hired the marketing girl first before I hired any lead gen company.
I mean, I’ve done a good job. I have 45 deals already this year for myself and my team. It’s just the beginning of July. But had I done that two years ago, I might be at 60, 80, 100 deals within our team. My team might be bigger. Who knows? That’s the part, I think, that if I were to spend money right away and I had to spend money on somebody, it would be marketing. And then, probably a transaction coordinator, which I don’t have yet but that would be my first thing. That takes so much time away from being able to prospect and build relationships.
Like you said, time isn’t there. And again, I’m trying to put all the pieces together. I’m close but it’s where you can allocate your time to use your strengths that you have in the best solution. Not every person that’s in marketing wants to be a realtor. They just get a kick out of watching you grow and get bigger. Transaction coordinators love being organized and more analytical and be like keeping you on point. If you can find those people that fit into your team, you keep them and then give them raises as often as possible because they’re going to be great.
That’s really great advice. And kudos to you. I think with 45, you must be in the top one or two percent of agents for that kind of production just on your own.
Yeah. I’m not worried about where I stand in a percentage. Who’s getting help next? How’s my team get better? If we ended up in the one or two percent, great.
For me, as someone who works with agents, it’s like, who do you listen to? Listen to the people who are doing it. Listen to the people who are successful at it. And that’s why I think people should pick up the book. So, what are your thoughts? When you think about people reading your story and the other stories from the other agents, why do you think they should pick up the book Becoming a Local LeaderⓇ?
One of them is just coming up with new ideas. Getting a different person’s perspective. That’s why we’re doing these interviews. I’m sure I’m 10 times different than the next person you’re going to interview. That’s probably what makes your job fun. At this point, it’s just getting to interview all different walks of life and just picking up.
Somebody might look at my interview and go, “Damn, this dude’s annoying as hell.” But the next person might go, “This guy’s the exact person I need to watch and pay attention to and grow off of.” If I can make one difference in somebody picking up our book or watching this interview, it just lights a fire, or at least a little bit of a spark to get them to change what they’re doing or to double down on what they’re doing. Then, awesome. I think that’s the essence of the book.
We have 23 different people in the book. You’re going to relate to one of those people at least. They’re all successful. They all have great ideas. You just might go about doing it differently. One voice is a little bit different. It might resonate with you more than somebody else. No different than me listening to Gary Vee, and somebody else is like, “I can’t stand it, dude.” I don’t care. It works for me. This is how I go about it.
And really, people are one strategy, one conversation, one little nugget away from having a breakthrough in their business to get to the next level. If people do want to reach out and get in touch with you, how can they do that?
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