Having it All: Girl Boss, Mother of 3 & Top Real Estate Team in the Virginia ft. Keri Shull
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Keri Shull Interview
Keri Shull began her illustrious career as an Oscar Meyer Weiner Girl, driving the Weinermobile across the US for $30K a year. Today, she runs a real estate empire, leading a team of 85 to more than $4B in sales. So, how do you go from driving a hot dog to scaling a real estate team that dominates the DC Metro market?
Keri started building her real estate team in 2010, and today, they are ranked #1 in the DMV and #33 in the country. Keri’s team is working toward 1K transactions in 2019 with an eye to become #1 in the US within five years. Keri also serves other realtors looking to scale through HyperFast Academy and HyperLocal HyperFast Coaching.
On this episode of Founders Club, Keri joins Oliver to explain how she went from 21 to 365 transactions in five years by focusing on builder accounts. She discusses what inspired her to start building a team and shares her approach to training, accountability, and overstaffing. Keri also describes how she thinks about profitability and offers insight into how her team does content marketing. Listen in for Keri’s advice around getting started in a new market and learn how she continues to scale by moving from idea to execution—in an insanely short period of time!
Here is how the Keri Shull interview breaks down:
[1:16] What makes Keri’s team #1 in her market
- Care deeply about clients, team
- Very focused marketing
- Replicate other’s success
[6:15] Keri’s niche focusing on builder accounts
- Look for high land value, low property value
- Target letter giving client options
- Send 3X in 3 consecutive weeks
- Provide more value, client support
[16:20] Keri’s early days in the real estate business
- Recruited to sell new homes, then condos
- Got license to help investor do bulk sales
- Deal fell through, started working as agent
[23:02] What inspired Keri to build a team
- Met agents doing hundreds of transactions (live event)
- Hire to solve for weaknesses
[28:59] Keri’s approach to overstaffing
- Hire ahead of salespeople to facilitate success
- Anticipate where going, hire for that
[30:43] How Keri trains her team
- Social proof drives coachability
- Evolving commission or salary models
[34:50] Keri’s take on accountability
- Weekly individual meeting with sales manager
- Publish conversion and sales numbers
- Weekly email to team
- Tools to help meet income goals
[40:51] Keri’s Buyers-in-Waiting Database
- Already invested money in finding buyers
- Made up of past clients, opt-ins on ads
[44:28] How Keri thinks about profitability
- Invest in digital game (e.g.: Facebook ads)
- Salaried position to do personal referrals
- Use SOI cap to reward hunters
[51:33] Keri’s goals for continued growth
- #1 team in world in next five years (1,723 sides)
- Grow companies to support other agents
[56:20] How Keri’s team does content marketing
- Implement digital mayor strategy
- Blitz Day contest with team (videographers)
- Pay to drive traffic to social channels
- Feed audience into funnels, set appointments
[1:05:43] The content that gets the most engagement
- Amazon is Coming to Town custom audiences
- Content YOU care about (e.g.: tips for traveling moms)
[1:14:29] How Keri got into the coaching space
- Record systems to train team
- Online academy to share with others
- Encouraged by own coach to do one-on-ones
[1:23:03] How Keri goes from idea to execution fast
- Delegate in real time at event
[1:25:17] Keri’s advice on starting in a new market
- Build relationships (i.e.: mommy groups)
- Use geofencing strategy to stay in front
- Network with divorce attorneys
[1:34:25] Keri’s top tools and apps
- Facebook autoresponder bot
- Notability app
Keri Shull started building her team in 2010. Today, they are ranked #1 in the DMV and #33 in the country. Today, Keri joins Oliver to share her best strategies for content marketing and explain how she continues to scale her real estate business, leading her team of 85 to more than $4B in sales!
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Full Transcript Below:
Oliver: Welcome to another episode of Founders Club. Today we’re out here at The Ritz Carlton in Laguna beach, getting ready to interview Keri Shull, founder of the Keri Shull Team. The number one real estate team by volume in the Washington DC metro area, and the number 33 team by volume nationwide. She’s going to be sharing some of her best strategies.
Keri: You need to have appointments, not leads. So-
Oliver: That’s a good little soundbite.
Oliver: How she’s grown her team, how she holds her people accountable, and some actionable advice for marketing that you can implement right now.
Keri: And so I already know, when I’m going to say this, a lot of you watching are going to say, I would never be on her team. Well great. A lot of the people on my team are going to out produce you and they’re going to make a ton more money than you.
Oliver: Boom boom.
Keri: It’s true. It’s a fact.
Oliver: Subscribe, give us a like, leave a comment, and we’ll see you on the inside.
Oliver: One of the top producers. I think I saw number 35 in the United States.
Keri: 33, but who’s counting?
Oliver: For team volume, but who’s counting? And number one volume in the DC metro area.
Keri: That is correct.
Oliver: So you do a few deals a year?
Keri: Try to, yeah.
Oliver: And what are you on pace for this year?
Keri: Our goal is a thousand. We’re on pace for about 750 and recalibrating quickly to hit our goal.
Oliver: Very nice. So obviously there’s a lot of competition in the space and a lot of scratching and clawing and people trying to pull each other down. What would you say has separated you to get to the number one position in your market?
Keri: Okay. I think it’s a combination of two things. So, the first, and this may sound cliché, but I care a lot about the clients and I care a lot about my team. And I think that that goes a lot way. When you actually dig deep to solve problems people remember you and they reward you with introducing you to a lot of people. And so that at the core has been what kept my business going. But then I’m also a very focused marketer. And I am not too proud to copy.
Oliver: I love that. Me neither.
Keri: I will go and travel to conferences like you and I met at, at Closing Table, and I will learn from some of the best and the brightest. And they don’t have to be doing more business than I am, all they need to have is an idea that’s executable, that’s working for them, and I’ll install it into my business exactly like they’re doing it, recalibrate it for my market, and run.
Oliver: So connect with specialists in whatever task you’re trying to complete and then put it into action.
Keri: Yes. And I will fly people on my team out to watch what they’re doing. I will connect with whomever I need to to learn how they’re actually executing it. So where I feel a lot people make mistakes is, they go to conferences, they learn something, and then they see at the surface what someone’s trying to do and they just implement the surface and all of the behind the scenes are missed. And that’s the biggest value in what you’re learning from someone. Like how are they answering the phone? What are they saying? What is the intricacies of what they’re doing that will make the difference for you?
Oliver: That’s great. I mean that’s an outstanding piece of advice. So take that to the finish line for me. Is that, you see someone on stage give a presentation and then you’ll follow up with them and try to shadow them at the office or see if they have their own events?
Keri: Well even like you and I going and meeting with Billy Gene. I saw him on on a stage. I happened to be very pregnant and still the first person to go take a selfie with him and tell him, “I’m hiring you. I want to learn from you.” So I always want to be learning. If I’m not learning I’m dying. I’ll give you a perfect example. I was doing a Q&A with Billy when he came to visit me in Washington DC. And there was a guy in the audience and he said, “Keri” … He raised his hand. “Keri, I’ve been copying all of your ads and they’re not working for me. I don’t understand how they’re working for you.” And I’m like, “Congratulations, that’s really smart first of all. I’m glad you’re copying me. Second of all, share with me, are you copying my ads, my funnels, my phone scripting? Like what piece of what I’m doing are you copying?” And ultimately I already knew the answer. He was just copying my Facebook ads. But in terms of the funnels I had behind the scenes, like all of that stuff, he wasn’t copying it exactly. So to take it to the finish line for anyone watching, when you’re learning from somebody who’s doing it better than you are, ask them about all the details the whole way through and make sure you can actually duplicate it.
Keri: Because if you’re not doing it exactly how they do it, it’s probably not going to work, and then you’re going to think what they’re do is not working, but really you’re copying sucks.
Oliver: Your research and duplication process needs some work. What is the approach with people like that? Because a lot of times I’m sure that’s maybe their secret sauce or maybe they’re hesitant to share. Or are you finding that you’re coming with a bag and then they’re open to it?
Keri: I think the people who are hesitant to share are not the real people you want to duplicate from. Because if you run into you in a room and I am from Washington DC, do I threaten you?
Oliver: Not at all.
Keri: Of course not.
Keri: Right. And so if you have something of value … Like for me, I entered the market and I went from 19 transactions early in my career, five years later I was doing … It was actually 21. My first year I did 19, my second year I did 21. And I went from 21 to 365 in five years. And I did it by focusing on a very specific niche in my market that a lot of the big agents just weren’t focused on. And it was the builder accounts. I knew that I understood how to sell new construction. And I knew that I was willing to get my hands dirty and go in and work on the properties that a builder would want as bait to get those high volume listings. When I started focusing my attention there, I was sharing it with everybody who would listen because I wanted them to experience the same success. And that is a lot of how I got some of the best advice. Because I found something valuable I could share to make an impact in people’s businesses, and I gave them the exact steps to copy. So when you’re trying to copy someone, they should want you to succeed and want you to be able to install that in your business and just kill it.
Oliver: I want to touch on what you just said there, because I think that’s probably a great piece of advice. Tell me more about what you did to focus on the builder accounts when you were originally trying to grow your business.
Keri: Sure. This is the topic I’m pretty passionate about so I’ll give you the steps. The first thing that I had to do is segment the market. So in my market I was looking for where the land value was high and the property value was low. And when the land value was high and the property value was low, I knew it was a good candidate for a tear down. And I would separate that list and then I sent a very, very targeted letter and it said, “A local builder wants to buy your home.” And then it talked about the builder’s track record. And it went through their flexibility, that they were pre-approved, and the options for the client. So because I had the option of a builder buying it as is or them selling to a family, I would come in and give them both scenarios and help them understand their walkaway cash position, and I was in there at one point in my career … I remember on my birthday one year I was actually cleaning out a moldy fridge in a property that had just trash all over it. My whole team was out there doing it. Hands in gloves.
Oliver: Getting dirty.
Keri: Just like getting dirty.
Oliver: Happy birthday.
Keri: Happy birthday to me. And I was celebrating the fact that I was in that position. Because I came from a background where I was selling new homes and there was a time when I was just starving. Like I couldn’t even afford dollar beers. I was so poor. And to be afforded the opportunity to earn … I remember, that property was worth like $412,000 and it was a tear down. But I couldn’t present it to the market in shambles. So we went in and cleaned it ourselves. And actually the person who hired us to list it was a real estate agent that didn’t want to do the work.
Oliver: Too much to deal with or something.
Keri: Was like, I’m just above this. I’m like, I’m not.
Oliver: I’ll get in there.
Keri: I’ll scrub that refrigerator out myself with my own hands. That’s kind of where I started. And when I focused on that niche and sent them the letters, one of the secrets was I sent them three times in a row. And so what I found is … And I think most agents can attest to this with direct mail. You’re not going to get the result the first postcard that you send. And so what I did was I compressed the timetable and when I sending them. So I would hit them three times in a row, one week apart and most of my calls came on the third drop.
Oliver: So week one, week two, week three.
Keri: Yeah. Just like boom, boom, boom. And I actually would write on the first one, nothing. On the top of the second one it would say, second notice. And on the third one it would say, third and final notice. It worked.
Oliver: And what was the call to action? It was just an offer to buy or list for retail type of message?
Keri: It was an offer to basically get in touch so they could find out what the builder would offer or what the public would pay. And then I would go personally and sit down with them and talk them through their options. And one thing that was really important to me, I wanted to be an integrity. And a lot of people in my market assumed, because they read the letter, oh she’s taking advantage of these old people. She’s not telling them what their home is worth. That wasn’t the case at all. If you talk to any of the families I supported in their transition, I was telling them, “Hey if we go to market, here’s how much it’s going to cost.” Hey bee. Shew. “Here’s how much it’s going to cost and here’s what we need to do.”
Keri: And a lot of times I was actually putting all the pieces in place to paint their homes, get them out of the house for a week. Like do everything and I would just take care of it. Because it was my competitive advantage and that’s how I got in. So there were other agents who had a strong hold on the market and I didn’t let that stop me or discourage me. I just focused on the different level of service to be able to get in.
Oliver: Out caring the competition.
Keri: And out supporting the client. Like providing more value. If they needed to have all of their belongings moved and their home staged … There was a long time when my team did the staging ourself. Just to make it a more affordable process for the client where they would get a really good outcome.
Oliver: So you did a lot of business that way and that was … So it was either investor offer or retail, was basically the options.
Keri: And I actually would hire the construction crews, manage the construction myself, and sell it like full boat.
Oliver: Wow. Full, full service.
Keri: Yeah. Full service. Like I had four to five renovations going on at a time sometimes.
Oliver: Is that another model that you researched and duplicated or how did you come on that strategy?
Keri: So that strategy was a little different because I felt my market was so ready for someone to do what I was doing. And by the way, I would also attract the new construction. So it all started from me seeing that people were segmenting buildings or geographic farms. And I felt like that was overdone. So I was looking for something to differentiate myself in my own market, and I had a background in new home sales. So I was trying to figure out … And I always think about this for buyers and sellers. What does a buyer want? They want a house. What does a seller want? They want a buyer. It’s actually not that complicated. It’s pretty simple. So if you know how to touch that button it works. So what does a builder want? I wanted the new construction listings. I felt incredibly prepared to really crush it for the builders. But I also was brand new and didn’t have a track record in new construction sales in the resale market. I was working for the actual builder as their sales representative. So I figured, what does a builder need that’s going to make the biggest difference for them? Land. So I had to figure out how to be able to get in there and get the right land opportunities to attract the builders.
Keri: So what was happening, if I was doing the renovation, there was a lot of upside there and I would also likely get the out sale because the whole time the renovation was going on, I was attracting potential buyers that wanted to customize the out sale.
Keri: So I just had … It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I had such a unique opportunity. And then for the builders, I linked up with the NVBIA. So anyone who’s trying to get more builder accounts, what they ultimately want is the land opportunities. They struggle to find them. And so, I was presenting to them, hey, I have all these off market land opportunities. And I had clients who did not want to go in the market because they were embarrassed. Their house may not be in the right condition. Please understand, whatever market you’re in, there’s different guidelines and policies. In my market, I didn’t copy that program, instead I copied the idea and then I just twisted it a little bit and made it super effective for me.
Oliver: Yeah that’s great. That’s a really great strategy. And I’m guess you got the relist on most of those deals because you’re managing the project, you’re building a great relationship with the developer.
Keri: Absolutely. And the builders, I would tell them, “Listen, if you want me to bring you another deal” … Like some of them have preexisting relationships. I’m like, “That’s fantastic. I am sure Betty is wonderful, but on this deal, I am going to list it for you, and if you’re not comfortable with that, no problem. I want to make sure I’m taking care of my seller, but on the next transaction, I would think twice before I brought it to you.” Because you have to be careful. Your fiduciary responsibility is to your client obviously. And so, I would cast a wide net. I would sent out emails to all of the NVBIA. But what gets the deal was done … And this is something for everybody’s listening to learn. What gets the deals done is when you call.
Oliver: Close the loop.
Keri: Close the loop. If you just send an email it goes missed. But if you do more than that and you go the extra mile, it’s huge.
Oliver: And what percentage of those people that you were marketing to were taking the investor offer versus just listing traditional retail?
Keri: That’s a good question. I would say it was about 50/50.
Oliver: Oh wow.
Keri: So there were a fair number of people who would say, oh I can get more. Okay. There were also people who I had to work with for four years to get them comfortable leaving their home. So it was not … And don’t misunderstand me. If you decide to execute this program, it’s not easy. Like those people are afraid of moving and you have to take care of them and you have to meet with their family members and you have to be willing to go the extra mile. And if you’re not, they’re not going to trust you. And you have to tell them the truth. Like I remember I was sitting down with clients and really … Because I always want the best outcome for them. And the difference with me and other agents is I listen deeply about what that is and it’s not always money. So for some of them, it is actually the hassle and stress. And they’re at a point in their lives where they just want to move on and they need the money from the sale of their home in order to do so.
Oliver: Or they just have a problem that they need fixed.
Oliver: They just want out.
Keri: They want to be done. Yep. I remember sitting down with a couple and I think they would have made like $190,000 extra if they just … Like it was super simple. All I had to do was renovate the bathrooms, paint the house, the kitchen wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t going to do that. Like I can send you guys to stay at The Ritz and I will pay for it and we’ll just take it out of the proceeds. And they had … I mean their loan was paid off. And they were like, “Thank you so much dear but that’s not what we want to do. We just want to be done.”
Keri: You know, like $190,000 to them, it was like not worth going to stay at The Ritz. Which is where we are today right?
Keri: I’m like, but it’s so beautiful here.
Oliver: Right. I would have taken that and ran all the way to the bank.
Keri: Yeah, and they were like, “Thank you so much, but no.”
Oliver: Right. We just want the cash now.
Oliver: We’re going to Mexico and we’re retiring or whatever.
Keri: Yeah. They were just like, no.
Oliver: I love that. That’s some gold, great advice. I love that strategy.
Keri: Thank you.
Oliver: I want to talk about kind of the beginnings of your story before you became the big fish in the pond. Let me give a quick shout out for the drinks. This an Eel River Blonde that we’re having. And Keri has a cab sav that we don’t know what it is.
Keri: But it is delicious and that’s the most important thing.
Oliver: It is delicious. Cheers. Thank you again for coming on.
Keri: Cheers. Thanks for having me.
Oliver: Cheers to you guys too. Thank you.
Oliver: So take me back to the early days of you getting into the business and kind of walk me through the beginning.
Keri: So I’m going to take you way back, is that okay?
Oliver: Way back, here we go.
Keri: Way back. So I’m at Penn State, I’m really talented at keg stands.
Oliver: Oh. That’s a fun fact.
Keri: You know that’s what sets me apart from the other college graduates. I had like a miniature crisis my sophomore year. I mean we’re going really far back. And ultimately I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I’m in college and I’m spending all this money being in college and I just felt kind of lost. Have you ever had that feeling?
Keri: Yeah. So, it was like a really-
Oliver: Been there.
Keri: Oh my gosh. What am I going to do? I went home, talked to my dad about it. And there was this class, How to Decide Your Major. So I enrolled in this class. I’m like, this is going to solve it all for me.
Oliver: This is a full class, huh?
Keri: A full class in college. College credit on how to decide your major. And they had this fill in the little boxes with your pencil and it’ll tell you what you should be. And ultimately none of that helped me decide what I was going to be. But the teacher of this class, the professor, was not the sharpest tool in the shed. So here’s what the class did for me. I decided if this woman is a professor, I’m going to be fine. I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I’m going to be okay and I’ll figure it out.
Keri: Right. So I left that class feeling totally reassured that I was going to be okay through a very strange circumstance. And then college was coming to an end and I remember I was starting to do interviews. And the Oscar Meyer Wiener girl position came up.
Oliver: Oh, hey now.
Keri: I’m like, I get to travel around the country. I was a PR major, I’m thinking-
Oliver: Do you get to ride in the hotdog mobile?
Keri: I get to drive the damn thing.
Oliver: Oh snap.
Keri: I am thinking like this is the best idea ever. I basically get to continue the party of college. Like this is a true story guys. This was my career opportunity. And then one of my friends got a job selling new homes and he told the recruiter … The recruiter was smart. The recruiter said, “Who would be better at this job or as good as you?” And he gave my name.
Oliver: Oh, that’s good. Smart person.
Keri: And so the recruiter’s name was Christopher Lessor. If he ever watches this, thank you man for saving me from being the wiener girl. So, he started recruiting me. He started inviting me to all these events in DC. I met everybody. And the financial opportunity selling new homes was just … Like in my mind then, in college, it was like, I could make $90,000.
Oliver: You were like balling out of control.
Keri: Holy crap. The wiener girl only pays like 30 grand.
Keri: And I have to work nights and weekends and drive a wiener. Like, oh my gosh. So I am elated with the idea of selling new homes. And my families from Portland, Oregon. So it was the first really big life decision that I made. Because I would be relocating to Washington DC. So I remember in the moment I thought, it’s such a good opportunity, I’m just going to do it for a year. All these years later. And I got into selling new homes and I actually loved it. I really loved it. I did not look back and regret that I missed out on the wiener girl at all.
Oliver: So by course of fate, you landed in the real estate business in new homes.
Keri: I did. And I should add, I moved 13 times growing up.
Keri: So I moved a whole lot. I had no interest in becoming a real estate agent whatsoever. Because I met a lot of the real estate agents that were not like us, and like many of the people watching who are educating themselves, the first time I ever learned about sex was in a listing, because I saw people having sex.
Keri: Yes. I think I was six.
Oliver: Wow. In a listing, huh?
Keri: Yep. In a listing. Like walked in and was like, what’s happening? My mom was like, oh dear God. So I just had so many crazy experiences with real estate agents. I never, not for one second, imagined myself becoming a real estate agent. The wiener girl was a lot more believable than an agent.
Keri: But what was my new home sales experience, they started capping my sales. So most salespeople are motivated by unlimited potential. That’s why we’re taking a risk on 100% commission. So, they start capping my sales and I was just feeling like this is not what I signed up for. I signed up for unlimited potential, not you can sell two homes a month. So, I transitioned into condo sales. I loved that. It was fast paced. It was amazing.
Oliver: So is this just at a brokerage or is this in a big building in the sales office?
Keri: Oh no, this is like I’m in a trailer with a generator in the middle of a field.
Oliver: Got it. Like they’re not even built yet.
Keri: Oh no, they’re not built yet–
Oliver: Come get them while they’re-
Keri: I’m creating the vision.
Oliver: Got it.
Keri: I’m walking people through the floor plan. Like all of that.
Oliver: So then you’re selling condos and what was the transition at the point where you decided to go from solo agent to team? Because I’m guessing you did well selling condos.
Keri: I did.
Oliver: And what happened next?
Keri: What happened next, I’m selling condos and the vice president of the company came to me. And she said, “Hey I have this opportunity. There’s an investor that has $50 million that wants to buy bulk short sales and foreclosures.” And that was in 2008. So I’m thinking, like actually my smart phone did not have a calculator at the time. So I actually took out a real calculator and calculated. And I’m like, geeze, that’s a lot of money. She’s like, “I’ll split everything with you 50/50. In three years he wants to turn around and sell it again.” So I got my license, hung at Re/Max. I went to Re/Max. And three weeks after I got everything solidified and started working on it, he bought a hotel with that money. And I woke up one day and I was a real estate agent. Like I was just like everybody else.
Oliver: So the deal didn’t move forward.
Keri: The deal did not move forward. I wake up and I’m like whoa, I’ve got to figure out how to get some business. Well first I laughed and then I cried and then I laughed again. And then I just started reaching out and really focusing on the relationships. Like how do I take the people that I know … And remember, I’m from Portland, Oregon. I don’t have a big sphere of influence in Washington DC. So I went to the people that I knew that were selling new homes and I really focused on relationships there. That’s how I got my first listing. Which I sold myself at the open house. The first open house to the first person who came in.
Keri: So my first two deals were through a referral from one of my new home sales friends. And then it just … It kept being me investing in relationships and seeing the return on that.
Oliver: Yeah, I love that.
Oliver: So how many deals were you doing at that point when you were doing the solo agent thing at your max before you-
Keri: So, here’s what’s interesting. I never maxed out as a solo agent. I was kind of going through this period where … And most people know me as super driven. Like really focused, right?
Keri: You’ve spent a lot of time with me and you know this. So for me, I was vacationing my butt off. I was having a really good time. I did 19 transactions my first year with not a lot of effort. And then I felt lost truthfully. My broker was very absent. He had Lyme disease and he was in the hospital for almost two years. And the agents in my office, if anyone out there can relate to this, they kind of viewed me as their competition. So I remember at one point I was even paying people for their Re/Max leads. Because I knew I would follow up with them. I just wanted to be successful but I didn’t really understand what to do or how to do it. And I felt like the guidance just wasn’t there. So in 2010, and remember I started in 2008, I signed up for a live event.
Keri: I went and it blew my mind. I met people that were doing hundreds and hundreds of transactions and had huge teams. And it really paved the path for my future. So I didn’t even know what I was setting out to accomplish when I got into it, and I left the event feeling crystal clear that I was going to create-
Oliver: So you went to the event, it opened your eyes to what was possible.
Oliver: You’re seeing people doing way bigger things than you, which is motivating and-
Oliver: Especially for people that are hungry. You see that and you’re like, man if that person can do it, I can do it too.
Oliver: And then so what happens from there?
Keri: So I come back, I hire my first assistant. Which, I talk to people about this a lot, because I feel like what stands in the way of hiring your first assistant … And I’m curious what your story was with this. But for entrepreneurs, everyone talks about the money. But it’s not just the money. It’s also the concern that you’re losing your freedom. So for me it wasn’t the money. I felt comfortable with the money I was making at that point doing 19 transactions at an average price point of like 500,000 or something. I wasn’t starving anymore, but I had gone through that when I was selling new homes and I was making like a hundred dollar bonus from selling a $2 million home.
Keri: In this point I felt confident that I had the money to hire an assistant. But not confident that I knew how to train them or I knew what to do, where I wanted to spend the time in the office. I had so much freedom and I felt like I was losing that. So there was like six months after that conference where I kind of like, maybe I should do it, maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should do it, maybe I shouldn’t. And then I finally did it and it was incredible. For like the next six months I just celebrated the fact that I had support and I only did 21 transactions that year, when I had my first assistant. But from there, I started to focus on … I’d been to a few conferences at that point. Okay, I have some serious weaknesses and in order to grow at the pace I want to grow, I need to solve for that. I need to fix this.
Oliver: That’s a great way to look at it.
Oliver: Look backwards, reverse engineer it, figure out what to do next.
Keri: Yeah, and a lot of coaches will tell you, you have to hire this person and then this person and then this person and these are the activities you need to focus on. But I feel like that’s very linear and I’m not really that kind of a person. I’m more like, okay what are the problems and how do we solve them for the individual? So that was my focus. Like what do I need to compensate in myself? And for me, it was the follow up calls. Like I was a master at just turning up the volume on the leads and I could just generate leads. But actually taking the time to sit down and call them, five, 10, 15, 20 times to actually get the juice out of the lemon, that wasn’t me. So I-
Oliver: So that’s the first thing you hired for?
Keri: I hired an admin. Then I hired a buyers agent/ISA. And then I hired three ISA’s.
Oliver: Just to set appointments for you? Wow. Took off from there. And then how many deals were you doing with that group?
Keri: I never was stagnant on hiring. Once I learned how to do it, it was just like … If I could go back and retrace … Like my husband has a photographic memory, I don’t. If I could retrace all of my steps, I’m pretty sure after I hired those ISA’s that gave me the confidence to hire more buyer’s agents and then it just kept on snowballing from there. And then I started recruiting some of the people that I’ve sold new homes with because I knew they were talented sales people and I knew I could help them make more money and get out of the dollar beer situation I was in in new home sales. So once I started going I just kept going. So today I have 85 people. And I’ve focused on over staffing. So because I realized my weakness as a sales person is all of the details and all of the follow up, I’ve tried to support my sales team and give them a crazy amount of support. Whether that’s appointments or whether … I have seven ISA’s today.
Keri: Whether that’s a digital marketing team. I have four full-time videographers. Whether it’s a copywriter. Like everything that they could need, we try and anticipate and sell for them before they come to work. And then when they come to work, we just gas their careers and help them make a ton of money. So that’s how we’re set up. Obviously there’s a lot that goes into that.
Oliver: I’m curious about what you said there about, you’ve never been shy to hire and you like over staffing. Which I think is kind of a fine line-
Keri: Yes it is. It’s the chicken or the egg.
Oliver: Between over staffing wrong areas or doing it too early. So what are your thoughts on how you approach over staffing the right way?
Keri: I think when people lack confidence, they wait too long, they lose relationships because their service suffers, and ultimately they lose really good people. For me, I would rather hire ahead of the sales people so that when they come on, they get the support they need. They have traction immediately and they’re very successful very quickly. And the clients are taken care of. So it’s not to say that I’ve never had times where I’ve been under staffed in certain positions. That’s inevitable when you’re growing a business. It’s inevitable. But what you can do is anticipate where you’re going and hire for that. And so there’s a lot of people out there who will train you, never hire ahead. Once you get the business, then you go out and hire for it. But there’s been positions that I’ve needed that have taken me six months to find the right person.
Oliver: Totally. And it’s just as easy to get burnt that way too.
Oliver: Right, if you wait too long or when you’re ready, maybe that person … You can’t find them right away, right?
Oliver: And then all of the sudden now your service suffers, your business suffers.
Keri: And people who have loved you for a long time don’t love you anymore.
Oliver: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Keri: Like that’s the ultimate, I want to be there for the people who have supported us and to do that, we have to have capacity.
Oliver: Yep. So you just talked about … One thing, I really like what you just said about making sure that people can plug in with you right away and be successful. So what does that look like? Like how are you training your people once they come on board to ensure their success?
Keri: So I’ll tell you an interesting statistic. The average buyer agent on our team, when they are with us, after their first year they make over $250,000. That’s the average.
Oliver: And how many of those do you have?
Oliver: Great. That’s really impressive.
Keri: So the reason that we focus on that is that we know, okay … We don’t want to only hire the brand new people. We used to. So there’s a lot of people watching this right now that think, oh I only hire new people because those are the people who listen to me.
Keri: I used to say that. If you watch a podcast interview with me from five years ago, I said I only hire the new people. And the reason is, they’re more coachable. That’s not true. It’s just that you haven’t given them social proof to believe they need to listen to you more than themselves.
Oliver: Oh, that’s good.
Keri: So once we are able to do that by showing them we can take someone brand new, we can take someone seasoned and ultimately they’re more successful than you are. All of the sudden they listen a lot faster and they become coachable.
Keri: Right. So to me when you have those kinds of systems and a track record of success, you can plug someone in, whether they’re coming from another team or whether they’re a solo agent. And for us, we looked at it and about two years ago … We have a bunch of different commission models. We have a bunch of salary models. So when I say that, for a while we were looking at it and we were saying, okay we’re going to be able to put more money into our lead generation systems and ramp people up and make them more successful faster if we could take people from sales industries outside of real estate, give them a salary, give them the confidence, and then give them bonuses to hit their income goals. So we tested that. And ultimately here was the result. It was incredibly successful. We hired amazing people. They got really burnt out. And it wasn’t like we felt confident that we could grow an entire army of salespeople just doing it that way. So eventually we said okay, once they graduate from that, they can go to commission only. Then we created a whole commission plan around that.
Keri: And then some of those people started generating a lot of their sphere of influence deals, because they got more and more and more successful. And we wanted to be able to hire people who also were doing sphere of influence deals. So we decided to treat it like a Keller Williams, a Re/Max, any other brokerage. And we started capping the commission we would take on their SOI.
Oliver: Oh, that’s good.
Keri: So we said all right, if you come and you join us and you’re doing 10 SOI deals, once the company makes $30,000 on those SOI deals, you keep everything.
Oliver: The rest is yours.
Keri: Yeah. And so we do it a 95/5%. We still take care of the client. We do their transaction coordination. We order their pizza at closing. We do their doormat. We do all of their gifting and take care of everything for the agent so again, they can plug into the track record of success, keep getting referrals, all of that. But we do it essentially without cost to the agent. So we were able to go get some really heavy hitters that said look, yeah I did 30 transactions, but I can do 60. Richard Yoon who joined our team said, “Hey I can do 100.” So when we looked at it that way, Richard as an example got a full-time support person that’s his partner, that’s licensed, that really was there to take his business to the next level. So every year we evolve what we’re doing to support people. Now we have four buyer’s agents that have full-time partners. And their partners are not assistants. They’re partners that are going to make 75 to $100,000 by being a partner.
Oliver: So they’re real partners.
Keri: They are real partners. They’re not the people who are going to drop balls, not answer the phone. They are very vested in the agent’s success and they’re a true partner.
Oliver: What about the accountability piece with all of these people? Because that’s a lot of people. So how are you managing making sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing and that everyone’s on track to hit their goals?
Keri: It’s a full-time job. The accountability piece.
Oliver: Yeah, I can imagine.
Keri: Whenever someone tells me … Like actually I was interviewing Ryan Serhant the other day and he’s like, “Yeah, I meet with my agents once in the middle of the year and if they’re not on track to hit their goal, they have one opportunity to revise it. And if they don’t hit it, they’re off the team.” I’m like whoa.
Keri: That’s like absolute accountability and if you take that approach and then something happens in their life, to me, that’s a pretty intense, risky move. Because people have things that happen. And he has no tolerance. He’s like, it’s a zero tolerance policy. Like if you don’t revise your goal and you don’t hit your goal, you’re off the team, that’s it.
Keri: So that takes very little upkeep.
Keri: They’re either on or off.
Oliver: It’s self sustaining.
Keri: It’s just boom. For us, we don’t handle it that way. We try and support people. Sometimes they get off track. They have family members that pass away. They have life that happens. And so we try and pick them back up and help support them through it. And I don’t think we would have half the people on the team that we do if we didn’t take that approach. Because there’s definitely been months where they’ve fallen down, quarters where they’ve fallen down. And we try and be there to pick them up. We have a sales manager that does individual meetings with them, that’s checking on them, that’s studying their numbers. And we publish their conversion.
Oliver: Oh that’s good.
Keri: And their sales numbers every week in front of the-
Oliver: Put up the scoreboard.
Keri: There’s a scoreboard every single week with every single position.
Oliver: That’s great. And how often are those meetings happening with the sales manager?
Keri: Every Wednesday.
Oliver: Every week.
Keri: Oh, they’re having it with the entire team.
Oliver: Got it.
Keri: So I’m standing in the front of the room, we’re looking at a chart, and it goes through who’s in the top position on our team all the way to who’s in the bottom.
Oliver: That’s great.
Keri: What their goal was and where they are compared to their goal.
Oliver: It’s a powerful thing to do that ranking factor, because people get really competitive especially when their name starts ending up on lists. They want to be at the top of that list.
Keri: And you have to go to the next page. Because we have so many agents now, it’s like these are the page one people and then when you turn the page, it’s like very painful.
Oliver: Oh I like that. Ooh, you’re on page two, sorry.
Keri: And if you’re on page three. Yeah, you better step it up.
Oliver: You’re out. That’s funny. I like that a lot.
Keri: You know the other thing that I do, which I learned this from my mentor Sharran, I do a weekly email to my team. Because one of the things that he’s taught me is cadence is key in leadership. And so today I was reading Success Magazine and I saw an article, You’re Either Growing or You’re Dying. The reason I’m in San Diego with my four month old baby is that I am so intensely committed to growth. And so what I used to do is just assume that my team would learn from what I was doing and follow the actions. And it may be true, but I think they need the extra mile, which is when you see something as a team leader … If you’re leading a team, if you just have an assistant. If you see something that can impact their life, tell them, show them. What I learned from this event …
Keri: I’ll do a video of myself talking about the difference that it’s made for me and it’ll make a difference for them. But if I just assume that they would have like a moment or they picked it up, it wouldn’t really be true. So go the extra mile and for me it’s weekly communication in a group way where I’m welcoming their individual feedback. And what I learned from that is sometimes amazing. Because I find out the pain that people have in their life. Like there’s a lot of them. But for a lot of them, I know when their relationships are in trouble. I know when one of their kids is having a problem. I know when they’re in financial trouble. Whatever it is, because of the way I communicate via email.
Oliver: Just to touch on that a little further, so Sharran … It’s basically the Sharran style kickoff email. Is that what we’re talking about?
Keri: Yes. Totally.
Oliver: So once a week. Set the tone for the week. I think he sends it out on Sunday or Monday. And just share’s kind of thoughts, good positive stuff, things that are happening in the company. Just to keep everyone together on that.
Keri: Yep. And often it’s how you approach … Like for me, when something’s on my mind for myself, that’s what I talk about with my team. So I had a breakfast meeting with one of our team members last week and we were talking about our income goal. And I realized, oh my gosh, this is a huge leadership issue. Which, for you guys watching, that might not have this in place, I didn’t have a spreadsheet where they could go and figure out based on their income for the first quarter, what that meant for the rest of the quarters. For the second quarter.
Keri: And so now we’re building that out so that as they close deals, they can update their spreadsheet and it’ll show them, okay based on the average commission I’m getting and my average sales price, and how much time is left in the year, here’s my projection for the year. Very powerful and I was doing it on the back of a napkin and I’m thinking wow, how have I not thought about this? I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m letting people calculate this in their own spreadsheet or on the back of a napkin. So if there were a nugget, teach your people how to think about money. It’s not the enemy. You want them the want to make money.
Oliver: Yeah, that’s true.
Keri: Right. So a lot of team leaders are like, “Oh they’re going to talk to me about the splits. Oh, I don’t want to bring up money.” I am like, “Hey guys, let’s talk about your income strategy. Hey guys, let’s talk about your plan.” Like let’s make sure you’re going to get there. And now I have a tool that we’re creating to help them visualize it.
Oliver: That’s great. So puts it in front of them.
Keri: Right. And it makes them the source of the outcome of their year instead of, what are you going to do for me Keri? Like, well I’m going to give you the tools to figure out what you’re going to do for yourself. I can provide you the leads, but … I have a listing agent right now that’s at a 24% closing ratio and I have one at 58%. What’s the difference? And those numbers are public by the way. So they both know where they sit.
Oliver: It’s really good. Yeah, it’s powerful. And I think that’s some great insight on that. And one thing about the team stuff I wanted to ask you is I heard about the buyers in waiting database.
Oliver: So I wanted to hear about what that is because I was intrigued when I saw that.
Keri: Sure. Yeah. We have a database. Right now it has 62,000 people in it. 62,000. So some of you are like, that seems insane. But even if you have a thousand people in your database, if you’re really focused on one geographic farm, all you are trying to do … You go back to the philosophy, what does a seller want? They want a buyer. What does a buyer want? They want a house. And so we’re just essentially taking the asset that we have, which is, most agents, when we’re going into a listing presentation, if you and I are competing and I have 62,000 people in my database, I’ve already invested the money and marketing to find the buyer for your home. Would you agree?
Oliver: Yes, I would. That’s great.
Keri: So we’re in Arlington, Virginia, or in Washington DC, or in Fairfax, or in most of the areas around. I’ve already been investing money in finding the buyer. And the average buyer coming from the internet, they’re 12 to 18 months out. So if an agent goes and tries to devise a strategy to market for your home today, that’s fantastic, but it’s probably not going to work until they’re-
Oliver: Further down the road.
Keri: 18 months from now. However with my team, we’ve already invested that money. We’ve already cast a net in Arlington in your price range and so now we just have to go into our database and calibrate what we’re sending them to harvest the buyer. So that’s essentially how it works.
Oliver: And what is in that database? Is that, you purchase the information? Is that just client information? Is that local marketing information?
Keri: Oh no. Uh-uh (negative). So it is past clients. But mainly it’s people who have raised their hand from an ad that we’re doing and said hey, I’m looking to buy or sell.
Oliver: Got it. And now you can leverage that information when you go on listing appointments with, look at how many people have that are interested in this specific-
Keri: Totally. We have an entire course on how we do our listing presentations and why they work.
Oliver: That’s great. Why don’t you tell the people how they can get access to that while we’re on the subject?
Keri: Sure. It’s on hyperfastacademy.com. And there’s courses. We looked at, okay what we’re doing with our buyers team and with our listing team, it’s unique. Most people do not accomplish 58% conversion on listing appointments that they go on. And if you do by the way, you’re going to warm appointments. You’re not generating internet leads and then going in and closing them. So when I hear people say like, oh I have a 98% closing ratio, I’m like, “Dude, you got to market harder. Because you’re just going-“
Oliver: You got come list me phone calls.
Keri: Yeah. You’re just going to a bunch of hot appointments and you’re not scaling a business. We’re scaling a business and we’re competing sometimes with five to 10 people when we’re going on a listing appointment, no joke. Because … And I explained this a lot. The high C’s are attracted to us because we’re safe. So the people who are doing a ton of research and a ton of interviewing, they’re the ones that are calling us because when you go online, we’re who you find. I think it’s important to consider your strategy there and figure out how you can scale and compete in an extremely competitive environment.
Oliver: Yeah, it’s got to scale. If you’re talking about 98% conversion statistics then, how many deals are you doing is the next question, right?
Oliver: Because if you did four and it was your grandma, your uncle, your neighbor, and your sister, then that’s not very impressive.
Keri: Totally. 100%.
Oliver: I announced on the Facebook group, Real Closers, that I was doing this interview and I got a lot of interesting questions and a lot of them were centered around profitability. And I think that when people think about teams, that’s their big concern, is all this overhead, all this spend, and then making it profitable at the end.
Oliver: So tell me about how you look at profitability with a team of that size?
Keri: I’ll tell you this. I joined a coaching program that was so focused on profitability that it stunted my growth. And it got in the way of what was possible long term for what I’m up to. So I’ve been somebody who, thankfully I’ve made a lot of money doing this and there were decisions that I made along the way to make my team more profitable than most. So I’ll give you one key tip, and anyone who is creating a team, I want you to really think about this. So if you’re somebody who’s doing your whole team by referral only, it’s time to up your game on the digital side. I recognize that what you’re doing is easier and the business to close is easier. But that does not mean that it’s the right decision. So for me, I was doing Facebook ads the first year Facebook ads came out and I was heavily investing. At that time, what heavily investing was to me. $21,000 the first year. Now I spend more than that a month on Facebook ads. But at that time, that was an insane amount of money.
Keri: And so I’m bringing this up for a specific reason. When I was trying to figure out profitability on my team, I thought about it this way. If I have a direct referral and you’re on my team and I say, “Okay Oliver, this is my sorority sister, she’s committed to using us already because of our relationship, here you go.” I charge you 50% for that relationship. I’m giving up a ton of profitability in that handoff. And so where I see most team leaders get stunted in their growth is they can’t do it. They can’t stomach giving away their friend and then losing 50%. And so instead of taking that loss and feeling chained to work with all these buyers, I said I’m not going to do it that way. I’m scaling a massive business and for those personal referrals, I’m going to hire somebody who just works with my personal referrals. I am going to pay that person a salary.
Oliver: Oh, that’s good.
Keri: And I am going to bonus them. And so where a lot of people don’t have the profitability left in their business, I am someone who does not believe a 50/50 model works.
Oliver: Go on.
Keri: I don’t. For some of you out there listening, you want to believe it’s possible. Like to be able to scale the kind of business I have, you cannot pay 50%. By the time you pay 50% on a listing and then you pay for the photos and you pay for the marketing and you pay for the field services person to put the sign out, and you pay for the listing coordinator, to service the listing agent, to make sure that they can scale a business, you end up broke. So I believe that the profit models that people think about are broken. They’re from an old way of doing business and back in that day, the buyer’s agents were the ones that were making the phone calls. The listing agents were doing circle prospecting and they were doing all of this stuff and that does not keep people on your team today. You need to have appointments, not leads.
Oliver: Oh, that’s a good little soundbite. You need to have appointments, not leads.
Keri: Yeah. If you just have a bunch of leads, like nobody F’ing cares.
Keri: Right. They can go pay for their own Zillow leads.
Oliver: Like, here call my Excel spreadsheet from 2010.
Keri: Yeah, that’s old news guys. So to me … Look at that service. To me the traditional way of building a team is broken. And what will happen if you set it up that way and you make those poor decisions from the beginning is, you’re going to have a point where you’re making a very scary decision. Do you risk changing the way that you’ve paid everyone? And they’ve trusted you by the way, to create a path towards their future. And so they’ve built their life based on the plan that you put in front of them and you have not done enough to be magnetic and attract them with a split that can fulfill all of the commitments you’re making to them.
Keri: So when people are only focused on split, they’re not the right fit for my team. Now, if they have a large SOI business, I understand why their focus is there and that’s why we created an SOI cap. I want to reward the people who are hunters. But for people who are just going to close the business I give them … Which I have quite a few on my team. And before I created the SOI path, they were all that way. None of them hunted, because they didn’t have to. I was there generating all the leads for them.
Oliver: Yeah. It’s actually a really smart way to not only attract people, but also retain people. Because now what happens that I see, what happens with most people on teams is exactly what you just said. They start doing a lot more sphere of influence deals, as they start doing more deals they’ve been handed, those turning to more transactions and referrals, and then all of the sudden they’re still on a 50/50 split and they’re like screw this, I’m out. So by capping those sphere of influence deals, I love how that helps you attract and retain good talent.
Keri: Absolutely. And by not setting it up. Like my listing agents, I’ll tell you how their compensated. They’re on a tiered structure. And so I already know when I’m going to say this, a lot of you watching are going to say, I would never be on her team. Well great, a lot of the people on my team are going to out produce you and they’re going to make a ton more money than you.
Oliver: Boom, boom.
Keri: It’s true. It’s a fact.
Keri: It’s a blatant fact. But here’s how their comp strategy works. The first 12 transactions, if they’re team transactions, they’re making 12 and a half percent. The next 12 transactions it bumps up and it keeps going up with every group that they hit. So I just did a calculation with one of my brand new agents. Her income goal for this year is 250. And she’s like, “My first year and I want to make 250 and then the next year I want to make 300. And I’ve been an agent on my own for a long time and I haven’t been able to accomplish that.”
Keri: And so we sat down and we calculated it out. And to accomplish that, she only had to have eight SOI deals. Well that’s about what she was doing on her own. So for her, she’s super excited about that. She’s like, “I can do eight, but beyond eight I wasn’t able to break that threshold.” So it’s all about figuring out how to provide value. And where I think most team leaders end up lacking profit, and then they can’t hire the right ISA’s, they can’t hire the caliber of support that’s needed. They fall down on their commitment, just like I said about over staffing to fix the client’s concerns, you’re also fixing the agent’s concerns.
Oliver: People start taking things away to try to save money when they really should be adding more stuff to provide more value.
Keri: Absolutely. So instead it becomes this race to the bottom with splits and then everybody doesn’t need you.
Oliver: Love that. Great thoughts on teams and kind of team building. So what’s your next thing? What are you doing now to grow? What’s kind of for the Keri Shull team, the next agenda?
Keri: So we looked at it and we said okay, how do we take our team to the next level and what are our goals? And we decided … We went from at one point … And I’ll tell you this little tangent of a story if you’re willing to listen to me here.
Oliver: Let’s go.
Keri: Since I have wine and you have beer, we might as well right?
Oliver: Let’s go.
Keri: At one point we wanted to be number one in Arlington. That’s where our office is, and that seemed like a huge stretch by the way. At that time being number one in Arlington was like-
Oliver: Miles away.
Keri: Seemed like 10 years from now we’ll hit this goal. And then we accomplished it. So okay, we want to be number one in Virginia. Which when we said that, we were like that is insane. And then we accomplished it. Then we want to be number one in the DMV. And I hit this plateau where I didn’t think anything was possible beyond that. I was sitting at a Tony Robbins event a couple years ago and the guy on stage was talking about how he realized that his vision was limiting the growth of everyone on his team. And he wasn’t in real estate. He was an entrepreneur of some other sort. And when he was on stage talking about his story, I just started sobbing. Maybe I was hormonal because I’d just had a baby. It was like, when my son was a baby, my now four year old. My husband’s sitting next to me, the next thing I know, I am like ugly crying. Just like sobbing in the crowd. My husband’s like, “What just happened?”
Oliver: What is going on right now?
Keri: Like, what just happened? And I’m like, “He’s me.” He’s like, “What?” I’m like, “I lost my vision.” Right, because like we’d already accomplished what we set out to accomplish and I didn’t know what was next. And so I really just got on a mission to surround myself with higher level thinkers. I will never forget last year, our leadership team went down to Florida and we were talking about what’s next for us. And I feel like I had finally evolved past that ugly crying stage when I didn’t know what I wanted. And I was like, “Let’s do it, let’s become number one in the country, in the world with real estate sales volume for teams. And when we do it, let’s maintain number one for five years, and then let’s grow a bunch of companies from there that support other agents who cannot afford to do what we’ve done.”
Keri: So we started looking at all of the different things that have contributed to our success. And we understand that the profit margins that most teams have don’t enable them to grow the departments the way we are. I’ll give you a few examples. Having seven ISA’s on our team, they are breaking records every day with the number of appointments they’re setting. Last week they booked 115 appointments.
Oliver: That’s killer.
Keri: Like they just are killing it. But most people are struggling to decide if they can hire their first ISA. Am I right? Like they are stressed about it. And I get is because 50% of the time they’re going to fail and whether it’s in one month or three months or six months, if they don’t have the right training, they don’t have the right support, they’re not going to make it. And there’s all these companies out there that do it and that’s what they do, but they don’t do this every day. They don’t understand our business. And so we’re not looking to grow a huge ISA company, we’re looking to grow a big enough ISA company to support the members that we want to take their business to the next level. That’s it.
Oliver: That’s good, yeah.
Keri: So the marketing team, we’re taking social and digital and finding the intersection. So people talk about social media and then they wonder, well how do you get an ROI from social media? And the reality is, for us, it’s the combination, it’s a double punch. It’s not just a jab, jab. It takes a hook. And that is the digital funnels that we’re doing to actually get those leads in our database. And so we want to help people with that intersection because, if they’re just focused on social and they’re duplicating what we’re doing, they’re not really getting the ROI on that many times.
Oliver: Back to the full picture. They’re not seeing the full picture.
Keri: They’re not seeing the full picture. They’re doing half of the equation and then wondering why it’s not working. And they’re also bleeding profitability from their business without getting a result. So we want to be able to help solve for that. So when we looked at the numbers, in order to achieve that, we would have to do 1,723 transactions based on the projected growth of the other teams that are at the top. And that’s why we’re so focused on getting to a thousand this year and then being ready to hit 1,500 next year in where we’re going.
Oliver: That’s awesome.
Keri: And that’ll put us on the right path to do 1,723 when we need to.
Oliver: Well we’re rooting for you. That’s an exciting goal. I love it.
Keri: Thank you.
Oliver: And you just transitioned beautifully right there because my next question was going to actually be around all of the content marketing that you’re doing. You’re a very heavy content producer. And I’m just wondering … Because I know a lot of people out there are still hesitant to pull the trigger on that stuff because they don’t see what’s the immediate ROI. So I’m just curious as to what that’s done for your business, all the content that you’re producing?
Keri: Man, everything’s leading to a story. I think it’s the wine.
Keri: We have the opportunity to meet with Gary V. It’s a long story and there’s other podcasts on that. But I’ll tell you what the outcome of that was for us. We basically decided, all right, we’re going to implement the digital mayor of our town’s strategy. And what that meant is, instead of focusing on, okay you’re a buyer, okay you’re a seller, we want to talk to you today because you’re in the market to do one of those two things. We decided, all right, we want to become interesting to everyone. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, if you’re in our town we want to be interesting to you and we want you to get to know us for being a human being. But remember what I just said, it’s a jab and then a hook. It’s not just jab, jab, jab, jab, jab. So, we took Gary’s strategy and we started doing stories about dockless scooters in our town. We started doing stories about restaurants. We started doing stories about condo buildings. We started doing stories about everything. And we have a contest on our team, which if you guys have a team you guys should do this. It’s called a blitz day. And we will basically take different geographic locations and divide up our team and have contests on blitzing the neighborhood. And they’ll just go out with one of our video guys and they will … Usually it’s two videographers in one shoot.
Keri: They will just do tons of interviews and then weave it together in an interesting story. So if you guys are trying to get some examples of things we’ve done on that, I highly recommend you check out our Keri Shull Team YouTube and copy. Remember what I said earlier, like don’t be too proud to copy the shit we’re doing that’s working. Look at the view count. If the view count is high, you know people are engaging. So just go out and do the exact same thing. For us, it paid off almost immediately. Like it was crazy. We did, I think quadruple the business we’d ever done in a December before, 90 days from starting that strategy.
Keri: So it was working with recruiting because we were becoming more magnetic to candidates. So that was absolutely a win. But it was also getting us in front of a ton of the people who were already in our database because we created custom audiences of people who already knew us and then we got in front of them. So we started seeing a payoff. We started creating momentum in our business like boom. And then when we got into the next year we kept that going, but we started focusing on funnels. So this is when it got really exciting for us. And we studied Zillow. We studied realtor.com. We studied all of these third party sources. And what we decided is, we will not put them in control of our success. Like yes, we are converting Zillow leads at a high rate and we still use Zillow today. If that’s not one of the questions, it should be because I talk a lot … about Zillow. But at the same time, it works for us. So we convert those leads pretty quickly and they’re working right now.
Oliver: I think the caveat there is that it’s just one part of your strategy and it’s not something that you’re reliant upon.
Keri: That’s exactly it.
Oliver: I think the agents that are relying upon it are going to be in big trouble. But the agents that keep it as one part of their tool set, I think are still going to win.
Keri: Exactly. We call it pillars. We have all these different pillars of success and ultimately we want to be in charge of more of the pillars than someone else is.
Keri: But to do that, it’s expensive. And it takes a lot of thought. And so with the funnels we’re building, we look at, how do we take a home eval tool … And we’ve always had a home eval tool, don’t get me wrong. But how do we take that and really take it to the next level and get it in front of more people and use the custom audiences that we’ve created of people who have already come to our page and stay in front of them and offer value? And so what we’ve done is build all of these different funnels and we then feed the people back into the funnel so that when they’re motivated they pop back out and raise their hand. So we’re now trying to even get to the next level of automating that, where they’re just scheduling their own appointment on Calendly. And we’re just heading out to their house. We’re trying to take that digital dial and just calibrate it more and more and more. And as we do that, imagine a lot of the leads are 12 to 18 months out.
Keri: So it’s very difficult when you’re trying to do it on a small scale to measure the success and ultimately the ROI. So it takes confidence and faith in the long term objective to get through it. I think a lot of agents quit. I think that they start testing it. Same with social. Social and digital are the same. They start testing it, someone told them it’s a good idea. They listened to this podcast. They go try and do it. And they are at the point … They always say, success comes like a hockey stick right? They get to hear right before it’s about to … And they quit.
Keri: And so what I would tell you is, no matter what strategy you’re implementing, you need to stay the course. You need to recalibrate and keep figuring out the intricacies of what you can do better, don’t quit too soon because you were just about to make it. You were like, you know that meme on social media where it’s like the guy who’s digging for gold, and then the one guy finds like a little thing and like well, I guess my hole sucks and he was like, the treasure chest was right there. That’s what happens with most of you guys when you’re going out to generate leads. You’re on the brink of something great and there’s one more calibration that’s needed to go to the next level and you just don’t stay the course quite long enough.
Oliver: Yeah. Couldn’t agree with that more. And not only that, I think what’s interesting about what you just said is, you’re creating the content, then you’re paying to drive traffic to the content. And then off of that paid media, you’re putting it into a funnel that nurtures it over the long term.
Keri: Yes. Tons of retargeting ads.
Oliver: Yeah. And I’m guessing you’re not running that yourself. Are you working with an agency or you have it in house?
Keri: Oh no, my team internally does it.
Oliver: Okay. So the in house media buyer and that whole setup.
Oliver: And they’re writing the copy, the ads, the everything.
Keri: So do you want me to tell you about my marketing department today?
Keri: So we have a copywriter. We have a graphic designer. We have a social media person. We have four full-time videographers. We have a digital marketing expert and someone who just does coding and funnels. That’s our marketing team.
Oliver: But Keri, that’s so much and it has to be so expensive.
Oliver: Your response.
Keri: You’re correct, but the ROI … First of all, the peace of mind that comes from controlling my destiny is priceless. I will not put it in the hands of Zillow or anyone else.
Oliver: That was so good.
Keri: Period. Why would I? Why would I trust someone else with what supports the families of the people that I love and care about on my team? I’m not willing to do it. So if it takes investing in that for the future, does it reduce my profitability temporarily? Yes. Is it worth it long term? Absolutely, because I’m in complete control. So when I decided to do this, I didn’t go about it like oh, maybe I’ll hire somebody who kind of specializes in everything, which is what most people do because they’re not willing to go all in. Nobody who is a coder is also really good at deciding what to put on social media.
Keri: Right, those two things doing go hand in hand and so, what used to happen on my marketing team was that I would hire somebody who was kind of like a jack of all trades and they wouldn’t be excellent at any one thing.
Oliver: Yeah. I think that’s a critical distinction.
Oliver: Because to your point, the people that are good at graphic design are not the people that are good at SEO and the more technical numbers based meat and potatoes type stuff. It’s two different brains, it’s two different styles, two different everything.
Oliver: So to put the right people in the right seat on the bus, critically important.
Keri: Very important. And the more you grow and scale … Obviously to have all of those positions work together … We actually just hired somebody who’s sole responsibility is processes and systems to make those people work well together. Right?
Oliver: That’s great.
Keri: Which to some of you out there, you’re like, wow, she’s not thinking it all the way through. That doesn’t make sense. Like why is she doing this? But ultimately, if I am really committed to my vision, which is being able to take people who are extremely motivated that we coach privately, being able to put those systems that we’ve spent all that money creating into their business and install success, I have to be willing to foot the bill.
Keri: Right. I have to be willing to test it to the point that I know with absolute certainty, I can turn a lever in any market and make a difference. And that’s what I’m committing to doing right now.
Oliver: Great stuff. And just out of curiosity because I did check out your YouTube channel and you are producing a ton of content and it’s all different content. Like you’re interviewing people about what they think about Bird scooters in the area, to all sorts of different wild and crazy stuff, to team outings. And I’m just curious, what type of content are you seeing getting the best result or the most engaging.
Keri: Well people tend to love the restaurants. So we get a lot of traction from that. One of our best things ever was … Did you see what we did for Amazon?
Oliver: Yes. Loved that.
Keri: So what a lot of people don’t know is we did three different versions of this. So if you guys haven’t seen that, go on our YouTube channel and just google Amazon. We knew when Amazon was announced that they were coming to Arlington, Virginia for their second headquarters. Okay, we want to get in front of the Amazon employees.
Keri: But we also want to get in front of the local people and tell them Amazon is coming to town.
Oliver: Right. Because that’s a big deal.
Keri: Huge deal. And then we want to get in front of agents and recruit them because we’re going to have the most business when Amazon is coming to town because people will want to work with the top team in the DMV. So we made three different versions. We used the lyrics to Santa Clause is Coming to Town because it was the holidays. We got reindeer outfits, elf costumes, like the whole team dressed up. And we sung this song with the lyrics that went along to the audience that we were targeting. Then we created a custom audience based on that. And I want to say, we probably have 75,000 views on that specific series of content. Which was all of the same filming and just different lyrics.
Keri: So I would say we get engagement from doing custom things like that. Our blitz days are huge because we’re in restaurants, we’re in apartment buildings, condo buildings, neighborhood parks. Like I just did a video vlog while I was on maternity leave with my three children going to every park in Arlington and then talking about what moms should know about those parks. Don’t only think real estate, think, what do you as a person care about? Like I also did a vlog on minivans. When I decided to go from having a luxury SUV to a minivan, I’m like, there’s got to be other moms that are just dying to know how the seats in a Honda Odyssey work. So I just started videoing myself and actually the sales person made an epic error for salespeople. I was trying to figure out how to buy the car the fastest because I’m a high D. And I’m like, “Listen, my kids need to take a nap, how do I buy this minivan?” And do you know what he said to me? He’s like, “Well, I love my children, so I wouldn’t bring them shopping for a car.”
Keri: I’m like, booya. Just lost the sale.
Oliver: Sales 101 right there, yeah.
Keri: I’m like and I hate your guts. So I bought the car the next day by calling a person down the street and I said, “Listen, I don’t like the salesperson from yesterday. Here’s the specs of the car.” And they drove it to me and I was done. Any content that you do that people are going to be interested in … I did a vlog the other day on tips for traveling moms. That’s what’s cool, you just build it into your life.
Oliver: Yeah. It’s actually impressive how well you travel with your kids. I mean you were nine months pregnant, on stage. You were, brand new baby in hand on stage. It’s really impressive.
Keri: Thank you.
Oliver: It’s really impressive. And I also think it’s really inspirational to other moms out there, because I know a lot of other moms feel anchored to the house, anchored to the baby, and you’ve just figured out a way to embrace that and take it to the world.
Keri: Well for me, I think that my kids create a greater me. I like to be around them and I also have this hunger to learn all the time. So if I were missing something like this today … I have my four month old son with me. I just had to figure out how to feed him around the schedule, to be able to drink this wine with you and be here, right?
Oliver: Yeah, yeah.
Keri: So it’s possible, it’s just making different choices to let it happen.
Oliver: Yeah well it is very impressive. It is really impressive because I know how hard that can be, especially with the little ones like that.
Keri: Thank you.
Oliver: So talk to me about your mentors and how critical of a role they’ve played in your business journey?
Keri: So the first thing I would say, remember me talking about the live event that I went to?
Keri: Like for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today without that. So I’m incredibly grateful. But it’s also been a difficult journey. So there’s been a couple situations that have been really hard for me. I feel like I’m someone, if you’ve met me at an event, a conference, you know that I poured into your business. And I cared about the outcome of where you were trying to go and helping you get there faster. So because of that, I’ve been able to share my success with people. I told you I went from 21 transactions to 365 and so, I gave a lot of credit to a coaching program that I was a part of for that. And I would be on stage telling people, this helped create this outcome for me. And recently I got a letter from that coach’s attorney and I’m going to not use his name. But claiming that I could not use any of the material I learned in the program because it was his intellectual property.
Oliver: Very interesting. Okay.
Keri: And I’m thinking to myself, as someone who coaches, why would anyone join a program where what they learn, they can’t use when they leave the program?
Oliver: Yeah. Isn’t that the whole point?
Keri: Like I paid you $1,000 a month for years and now you’re trying to tell me that I can’t use words like listing presentation. Like listing presentation. I’m sorry, do you say listing presentation?
Oliver: Yeah. Pretty sure that the common language.
Keri: Do people who existed before this coach was successful say listing presentation?
Keri: How about buyer in waiting?
Keri: Priority access. And by God, do not talk about the guaranteed home sale program. So when things like that come out, I’m just so disappointed.
Oliver: Why did that happen? I think to your point-
Keri: I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you why it happened. Because I believe it’s not happening to everyone around the country. It’s happening because that particular coach is threatened by the fact that I am now coaching. I am coaching from the angle of trying to make an actual difference for people and obviously if he’s trying to say that I can’t say listing presentation, his interest was in protecting what he’s created. He has a scarcity mindset and I have an abundant mindset and that’s very threatening.
Oliver: So I’m kind of blown away by what you’re saying right now. So basically, let me just understand this. You went to an event, bought it, paid for it, got the information, took the notes, implemented it into your business.
Keri: Paid for it for years.
Oliver: Not only that, hired them for coaching and consulting and whatever to implement the things that they know into your business and now they are suing you because you’re using their intellectual property?
Keri: Now they’re letting me know through their attorney, that I’m not permitted to use words like listing presentation.
Oliver: That’s crazy.
Keri: I’m struggling here to comprehend how to handle this, besides ignoring you because I’m trying to take the upper hand here. But I mean truthfully it hurts my feelings because I stood on stage and told people that it was a program that they would get a lot out of. And why I got a lot out of it, when I really think about it, it wasn’t the program, it was the people that I was surrounded with that helped me install amazing things in my business that they were implementing. And so I will never look back. I will never be in a situation regardless of what happens. And if I have to start saying, seller presentation or some other words, I’ll be shocked because that would be insane, right?
Keri: But I don’t think that it’s actually about … I don’t think he cares about me saying listing presentation. I think he thinks he’s going to intimidate me in some way. And so that will cause me to not be who I am and help other people. Because he wants to fulfill that role. But I have news for him, I am going to continue being me. And I helped people back in the day when I was on your stage and I’ll help them forever.
Oliver: Good for you. And you should keep doing that.
Keri: Thank you.
Oliver: And I’m actually curious because that’s a good segue, because you’re not in the coaching space.
Keri: I am.
Oliver: And I’m curious as to why you transitioned into that or kind of what the goal was there. Is it to grow the business and create another income source, or what was the kind of vision behind you getting into the coaching space?
Keri: Sure. So I’ll tell you where it started. It started because all of these people, when I would go to events, would say, “How are you training your buyers agents?” That’s where it started. They would say, “How are they so successful? How are they doing so many transactions?”
Oliver: Because they’re all doing unbelievable.
Keri: Right. They’re do unbelievably well and they also get successful very quickly. I’ve heard people say, “Oh when you come in the business it’s going to take six months to close your first transaction.” Some people are saying, you have to plan on a year. I’m like, that’s insane. My people are ratifying a deal within their first 45 days. And I have a very systemized approach to how I train people. So I started recording that for my own team because as I started putting it on video it became easier to train and I became more and more systematic about it. And then I realized, why am I not sharing this with people? And so when I started researching a platform to share it, my husband said, “Listen, we should create an online academy and we should be able to share that with agents everywhere.” And so that’s where it started. Was let’s share how we’re training our buyers agents. Let’s share how we’re doing our listing presentation. How we do our ISA department. How we hold people accountable. What are our comp plans? There’s so many things in running a team, where people can just make one mistake and then that cascades for years to come. And so, we wanted to be able to help give them the confidence to do what we’re doing on a massive scale, and that’s where it started. So that’s kind of the academy side.
Keri: Then we started an online community because we wanted to have a place where people could go and share ideas and ask us for advice and get realtime responses. So that’s our inner circle. And then my coach said, “Listen Keri, I love coaching you and you are so committed to growing people, you should coach one on one, five people.” And I had always thought like, I don’t know if I have the capacity to do it. I don’t know if I have the time. I’ve been asked for years to do it and I’ve always said no. But when he started talking to me about it, I realized, I have all the systems now. I have the platforms for being able to give realtime information and plug their teams. Which this is what I felt was lacking. I am not a coach for somebody who wants to figure out how to do 20 transactions a year. But if you want to figure out how to do a thousand transactions a year, 500 transactions a year, how to scale a business, that excites me. I just didn’t feel prepared to just coach one on one without having the systems to plug your teams into. And now I have them.
Oliver: That’s great. And for those who want to find out more, you want to give your domain name out where they can learn more about that?
Keri: Sure. Just check us out on hyperfastcoaching.com.
Oliver: Awesome. And one thing I want to give you props on and ask you a question around is, you’ve lined up a lot of really big name guests that you’ve had come to your events and be on your podcast and all that stuff. So how are you landing these big whales, so to speak?
Keri: Well funny story. Closing Table is the reason that I met Billy Gene. So I’ll share that story. And this is behind the scenes how Keri operates in the world. So, we hired Grant Cardone to come speak at our first Hyper Fast Summit. And I came to a Closing Table event and Oliver and Sam and I were talking and I said, “Yeah, tickets sales aren’t going as fast as I hoped they would be.” Do you remember that conversation?
Oliver: Yeah, totally. Yep.
Keri: Like I paid Grant Cardone a lot of money. So the key to getting Grant was money. I paid Grant Cardone a lot of money and now the event is costing us close to $200,000 and it’s 37 days before the event. Maybe 47, before the event. And I’m here at Closing Table and I think I’d sold like 30 tickets. And so, you guys said all right we probably need you to talk to Roland and Perry about this. So we sat down with Roland and Perry. They brought me to lunch, which was like a side table and they were like, “Keri, why didn’t you come to us?” I said, “I didn’t know I could come to you.” And they were like, “That’s why you’re in this Mastermind. Like you’re paying for this group, take advantage of it.” Do you remember that?
Oliver: Yeah. 100%.
Keri: And so then they said-
Oliver: I think it was at this hotel.
Keri: It was at this hotel. I was sitting down the hall and they said, “Are you comfortable with us roasting you in front of the group?” And I’m like, “Oh God, they’re going to make fun of me.” Yeah, I kind of deserve it because I didn’t take full advantage. So I said, “Yes, I’m comfortable with you roasting me.” So they roasted me and guess who was in the back of the room?
Oliver: Billy Gene.
Keri: Billy Gene. So Billy Gene listens to me getting roasted super pregnant. I already have two kids. So I have a one year old, a three year old, and I’m super pregnant. And the next day I run up to him after stage. I already told you I was like, “Dude, I met your daughter. I’ve seen your house. I’ve been in your office. Like I’m obsessed with you, you’re amazing.” Like selfie. And then I’m like, “I’m going to find your assistant before anyone else gets there.” So I run and I’m like, I need to hire this guy, he’s amazing. And so part of it was I had already researched him. Not because he was coming to Closing Table, because I was looking for digital marketers and I was researching digital marketers and studying. So I knew everything about him. So I just got roasted, then I knew everything about him, then I ran to his assistant. And so the next day I get a text and it’s like, “Hey Keri, it’s Billy, can you talk?” And I think, oh this is a great use of automated text. Like I use these too. This is sweet. He’s going to try and sign me up for coaching right?
Keri: And so I’m at the airport. I probably had a kid with me, maybe two. But I called back and I’m like, “Hey, it’s Keri,” and I realized it’s actually Billy. And he’s like, “Dude, I heard you get roasted yesterday.” He’s like, “Don’t give me some bullshit answer. Like how are you doing actually? I only have one kid, you have two and one coming any day. What can I do to help you?” And so I don’t think I even took a breath and I said, “You can come speak at my event for free.” And he goes, “Whoa, that’s quite an ask.”
Oliver: Damn. Way to throw it out there.
Keri: Yeah he goes, “That’s quite an ask.” And I was like, “I really need help.”
Oliver: Good for you though.
Keri: Yeah. So then I think he felt sorry for me and he tried to get off the phone as quick as he could so he didn’t have … And I was like, “Dude what’s going to make you excited about it? Like I know that you would really help me sell tickets. I know you would be amazing.” And so, we talked about it and we made it happen. And at that point I think my husband was ready to kill me because it wasn’t free. But he came out to the event and since then, we’ve become really good friends.
Keri: I would say the trick is, I cared enough … Even though I asked him to come for free, I wasn’t expecting that. I knew that there would be more to the conversation. And so I was asking, what do I need to do to make you excited?
Oliver: Yeah. To make this happen at all.
Keri: Yeah, like I want to make it happen. And by the way, we went and spent a day in Billy’s office.
Oliver: Which was great.
Keri: We’ve already talked about today, hey, let’s go spend another day with Billy. And so it’s not a one way street where I’m only asking. I believe in the value he creates for people and I think he is insanely smart. And what I learned the day that we went to spend with him, I thought he was insanely smart when it came to video marketing and when it came to how he uses Instagram, but he’s also a genius when it comes to building culture in his people and being a magnetic force where people want to work with him and his vivid vision. So because of that, I’ve connected with Jennifer Hudye about vivid visions. So it’s like, you have to go and learn who’s influencing. Sharran, I met at Closing Table. He is now an absolutely amazing mentor to me, and I work with his coach as well. So I try and figure out who are the people who can influence how I think about the world and then who’s influencing them? And how can I get them in my life as well?
Oliver: Yeah. And I think not only that. Not only are you really good at making those connections, but you’re also really impressive with how fast you implement things. Like you’ll go from idea to execution in an insanely short amount of time. So tell me about what is your secret to doing that? Because I think that’s what a lot of people struggle with, especially as an entrepreneur.
Keri: So my secret might not work for everybody. But for me, I don’t leave an event until I’ve delegated … Like I am in the room and you may see me zone out for a little bit and I may miss a little bit of content, but it’s because if something struck me, I’m executing on who will implement what in that moment.
Oliver: So you’re live time delegating at the event.
Oliver: I think that’s a great tip. Just doing that alone while you’re in the moment, oh, I should give this to so and so on the team to start going and you’re doing it at the event as opposed to waiting, reviewing your notes, highlighting, then going back to the team.
Keri: So there’ll be times where I have an insane, oh my gosh, this would be amazing and the impact on my business will be incredible, and I will have to go out of the room and go to the bathroom and call somebody. Because I just can’t sit back and wait and not get it done and in process. And I’ve always been that way. So even when I was at my first event and I had one assistant, everyone on my team was horrified when I was going to an event. They were like, oh no.
Oliver: Here it comes. I love that. That’s an outstanding piece of advice. Because I think I’m going to try that myself. Just why not start delegating right at the event. Even if you miss a little something, the results that you’re going to get on the backend are going to be way worth it.
Keri: I think most people take a long list and then they get on the plane, they move on and nothing happens. When I get on the plane, there are already wheels in motion.
Oliver: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Start the dominoes right out the gate. Love that.
Keri: And what’s the worst case that happens? Something else better comes along and then you have to change your delegation and you make your team upset. Ultimately, my team already knew when I was going to an event I was going to absorb and change our business and so I already had them enrolled in being behind me.
Oliver: So this is another Facebook question.
Keri: Oh sure.
Oliver: And I like this question, because I think it’s a good reflection question. And it’s one of the, if you were to go into a new market knowing no one, where would you go, where would you start, what would you do?
Keri: Before I focused on social media, I would focus on a place that I could build relationships. So at the point that I am in my life today, I would join a mom’s group. I would geo-target any events that I was doing with those moms. I would create a custom audience, then I would create a lookalike audience. And I would be in front of them with mom stuff all day long. Because I know that those moms are not worth one transaction, they are worth two. Most of them have a home to sell and they also are looking to buy a home. And so that is going to be a really quick, immediate way to capitalize on the money that I’m spending. I think people rush into a decision about where they’re targeting. The other thing that I would do if I were plopped in a new city tomorrow, I would not work with divorce attorneys and I would find out when it’s a really nasty divorce, who is handling the process of evaluating the agent, the price, all of those details. Because in a bad situation it’s court mandated and usually in a state there’s only a few of those people. I know that those people could be worth three transactions if executed properly. So I would still start from a relationship basis.
Oliver: And how would you find these people?
Oliver: Just Yelp and see who the divorce attorneys are with good reviews and start there?
Keri: Yeah. And then I would go interview them with a videographer. Because if you just call them up, you’re just like everybody else. But if you show up with a video team … Like I would have a videographer from go. Because also if you go interview the moms about their experience being moms, you have a different in.
Oliver: Okay. So I like this. So moms and divorce attorneys.
Oliver: And the moms, you mentioned a geo-fencing strategy, which I think is really powerful. Can you walk me through for the people that aren’t familiar with that, what that looks like?
Keri: Sure. So I’ll give you a very specific example. Just this weekend, we were at Georgetown University and we geo-fenced the whole thing. We also bought a booth. And so we were sitting there and we were doing it for two reasons. One, we were looking for interns. The second, we were looking for parents that wanted to buy housing for their children. And so the geo-fencing is so that we can stay in front of those people. Because just like all of us, they’re busy. They’re going to go back. They’re going to drop their kid off and before they know it, the semester is over. Their opportunity to buy is upon them. So we need to keep in front of them in order to get them to take action. Just like all of us, they’re busy. They’re going to go back. They’re going to drop their kid off and before they know it, the semester is over, their opportunity to buy is upon them. So we need to keep in front of them in order to get them to take action, just like our [inaudible 01:28:12] strategy.
Keri: It’s about repetitive positioning. So the geo-fencing is basically when you’re setting up a parameter of focus. We even get all of their IP information and then we stay in front of them on their cellphone.
Oliver: And that just means that, let’s say you geo-fence the university, anyone that is going in there is now going to be served your ads?
Oliver: Yeah. And then what are you retargeting them with? So the mommy example, you go to a mommy event or group or meeting?
Keri: I would go to a mommy event, but also in the mommy group in my area all of the information is public. If you’re part of the group then that way you can call other moms and set up play dates and all of that stuff. So I would try and be part of a planning committee if I were going to a new area. I don’t do that now. But if I were a new agent, I would definitely be doing that. And if I were new to an area, I would definitely be doing that. And basically you’re creating a whole network and you’re adding value. You’re providing support to make the group work. And the way that you create an audience and then first you’re targeting just those people, and then you’re broadening that audience to other people like them and you’re creating content that applies to them. So I might do a series on all the play gyms in the area. All the different places, like there’s a Nook in our area, which is an area you can go and play with your kids. I didn’t know that until my own team did a spotlight on it.
Keri: I watched the spotlight and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going there. That’s amazing. This is so cool.” So I would go do a spotlight of all the different fun places. I would go to every playground and I would rank the playgrounds. Do a top 10 playgrounds in your city. And then serve that content in front of the moms and if they get to know you and hear your personality and see you with your kids, they relate to you and you’re automatically someone they like and they trust for information.
Oliver: Right. And then how do you convert that into transactions?
Keri: Well I think that’s about showing them … Remember, you have to have a hook right? So it’s about showing them, I’m someone that you can trust and you like and you understand and you relate to, but then also showing them how you provide value. So one of the pieces of value we provide is off market opportunities for our clients. So if I were in a new market, I would be also networked with all of the agents knowing who did what in what neighborhood so that I would be able to call them and find out the listings they had coming. Because the reality is I wouldn’t have 100 listings. I have 100 listings in my back pocket right now. But if I were in a new market I would have to work really hard and set up time and calendar block to create time to network for those opportunities, and I would be talking to the agents about how I did that. I would do a video about it. And I would geo-target them with that.
Keri: And then I would use the geo-targeting data to be clear, and then I would be using that as a retargeting campaign. Does that make sense?
Oliver: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And then, to circle back to the divorce attorney strategy, you’re going to their office, bringing your video team.
Keri: First you have to decide which divorce attorneys are going to provide the most value. You want someone who is highly published, who’s extremely successful, who’s been doing it for a long time and is very well connected. So I actually reached out to my network. I did a live on social media and I said, “Listen, I have a lot of clients that are unfortunately facing divorce and I want to know who supported all of you.” So I got a ton of referrals. Then I just researched the referrals to find out who is the most powerful divorce attorney that I was referred to. Because I knew that if I had an in with someone that they helped through a divorce, they would take me more seriously and be more willing to help.
Oliver: Love it. And then by adding the value first you’re then able to build the relationship and circle in the referrals in the backdoor so to speak.
Keri: Well, I didn’t even know that existed. When I did my first video interview with an attorney, they told me. Because he was like, “Listen, you’re really smart and this is how it actually works, and the people that you should be going after are the people who are giving the referrals to the agents.” Because yes, he could give me a few referrals a year from people going through a divorce, but what if every client, they were making the decision? So he said, “There are three people who are most active in Virginia and here’s who they are.”
Keri: So I’m still in the process of lining up relationships with those three people. And I haven’t stopped. I’ve been working on it for six months. So it’s not instant gratification with some of these strategies and I know that it’s a hockey stick and I need to keep working it.
Oliver: And those referral relationships are generally the long game anyways. That’s not the type of thing where you’re going to go in there, shoot a video, and start getting referrals. But by doing that, creating the value, getting them exposure, making connections to the right people-
Keri: And staying in touch.
Oliver: And then staying in touch in an authentic way, not putting them on your autoresponder.
Keri: He was super impressive, but the divorce attorney … And I’ve interviewed a few now, but the one that I’m thinking of in this moment was very impressive and he was the kind of attorney that ended up in litigation most of the time. So I have another attorney that I would refer if someone wanted to avoid litigation and they wanted to have a collaborative divorce approach. So I actually interviewed them, and I do it on FaceTime live because I want to make sure that my audience is getting value from what I’m doing. That takes an iPhone. That’s it. It’s super easy. And I just interview them realtime. And I was doing a lot more of that before I had a video team. Now, a lot of times we’re doing an iPhone, but we’re doing a lot more produced content. So sometimes that grass root basic stuff makes a big difference and you get to know people and then they have a vested interest in helping you as well.
Oliver: Love it. Very good tips. I love it. The mommy stuff and the divorce side. Kind of playing both angles. Shout out to Jessie Zagorsky for that question.
Keri: Hi Jessie. Thank you.
Oliver: I like marketing stuff, as you know, and I kind of geek out on it and you just shared something so I’m going to bring it up. You said you’re having really good results with Minichat, which is a Facebook autoresponder bot. And I’m curious to know how you’re doing that because we’ve kind of experimented in the past and weren’t that happy with the results. We have some new stuff we want to try, but I’m very curious as to how you’re using that.
Keri: Sure. I’ll tell you that I don’t know about this in the intricate details as I know about most of our marketing. And what I love about that is my team actually started an experiment. So now remember I have this team that is all very smart and they have their own strategies and tactics with digital marketing. So they came up with this idea. I didn’t know it. And then Sharran, who’s my mentor said, “Hey, we’re doing all these amazing things with chats. You should definitely do it.” And I went and emailed my team and they were like, “Yeah, we have 563 followers on one brand and 869 on another brand.” And I’m like, “Wow. Okay.” So what I know is this. They are taking on the seller side, on the Keri Shull team side, they’re taking people straight in to a home evaluation tool once they opt in, but then they’re able to continue retargeting.
Keri: One thing that I know that’s really important, is that you want to understand all of the guidelines before you use this as a marketing strategy because there’s a lot of things that are rules and regulations and they can trip you up if you don’t understand them. So don’t say, “Oh, Keri said we should do this and we’re going to go out and execute,” like I do at conferences. Don’t email your team and say, “Hey, do this,” without knowing how to execute it and stay within the guidelines. I think that’s really important. But it’s also already generated ratified listing contracts for us so I plan to dial it up tremendously. I think that what’s cool about it is you can get someone to put in an appointment on a Calendly link just because of the value you provide so fast, and people are instant gratification.
Oliver: And so just to bring this full circle, you’re running cold traffic on Facebook to a home evaluation tool?
Oliver: Retargeting them with a different ad that has some sort of a call to action like, type yes in the comments for more information.
Oliver: You get them to type in a keyword into the comments on Facebook, which then through Minichat automatically starts a conversation in their Facebook Messenger. And now you’re in dialog with them and because they’ve opted in on the ad, you now have marketing rights and you can send them messages.
Keri: Exactly. Thank you for explaining it.
Oliver: Awesome. And that has led to people just straight putting appointments on your Calendly? I love that.
Keri: Yes. And then straight to ratified contracts. Every week in our team meeting, and this is part of the accountability tool, our ISA’s stand up and say all of the appointments that they booked and the lead source and the type of appointment.
Oliver: I love that.
Keri: And then we go over the ratified contracts and who ratified, and the lead source. So when we understand that and I hear that we have ratified contracts from something where we just started an initiative, I already know that it’s going to be a goldmine and we just need to keep dialing it up.
Oliver: You’re killing it on that. Yeah. It’s unbelievable.
Keri: Yeah, it’s very exciting.
Oliver: Very cool. Well, this is a question I like to wrap up with and I like to ask everyone that’s on the show, because again, I kind of nerd out on this stuff. And that’s just what is your favorite tools, softwares, apps that you just couldn’t live without? Like just the Keri Shull playbook.
Keri: Okay. So this is not the Keri Shull, this is actually … I just got an iPad. I am not a technologically inclined person at all. We have Confusionsoft as our CRM. I am always asking everyone else about where we should be doing texts, which auto dialer platforms are the best. We have a lot of technology, don’t get me wrong. You could do a two hour interview with my team about that. But for me personally, the biggest game changer recently is that I got an iPad and I am a note taker. Like I love just writing frantically all of my thoughts and taking notes. And I started using Notability. Do you know about that app?
Keri: You can cut and past your notes and you can color code them. And Sharran, here he is coming up again, but I watched this incredible notes that he had taken and I said, “How many pens did you need to have all those colors?” And he’s like, “Are you kidding?” I’m like, “No, I’m not.” And he’s like, “This is from my iPad. It’s all digital.” I’m like, “What?” So he has highlights and colors. So now I totally geek out on it.
Oliver: It’s called Notability?
Oliver: And it’s just an app?
Keri: And you can insert PDFs in it, you can take a picture of a slide presentation and then just pop it in. You know when you’re sitting in a room and you’re learning and you’re totally jiving with a presenter, and you want to capture everything they’re saying but they’re going so fast because they’re in flow and you’re just trying to get it?
Keri: You can just snap a picture and then insert it and then keep taking notes and then insert the next picture.
Oliver: So it’s like a handwritten notepad that you can color code later on?
Keri: Well you can color code it realtime. So what I did, the last event that I was at was actually in San Diego a week and a half ago, and I picked a different color for each action I wanted to take while I was in the room because then I didn’t feel the need to go to the bathroom and tell my team what to do all the time. Just in the moment I knew, okay, if it’s a quote that I think is meaningful to me and I want to take action on, I’m going to highlight it in yellow. If it’s something that I need my marketing team to make an adjustment to how we’re doing something or an improvement, I’m going to highlight it in orange. If it’s something that I need to prioritize in how I’m spending my personal time, I’m going to color code it in purple. So the compartmentalization of ideas, for me, is so … It gives me the power to stay longer and listen more closely. Because I’ll start executing and zone out if I’m not careful.
Oliver: You’re high D flaring up.
Keri: Oh my god, my D is like, go do it now, go do it now.
Oliver: I love it. That’s a great tip. Notability. I’ll definitely check that out as well. Really appreciate your time Keri. I think this was-
Keri: Thank you for having me. This was awesome.
Oliver: Chock full of great information. You’ve mentioned Sharran a couple times. I also did a really awesome interview with him. It’s two hours and thirty seven minutes. And I don’t know where we’re at now, but it’s probably in that neighborhood. And just really appreciate your time.
Keri: If you guys have not seen that one you need to watch it. He’s amazing.
Oliver: Yeah. Check that out. He’s an absolute killer. And, what is it?
Speaker 3: Hour fifty two.
Oliver: Hour fifty two. So we didn’t break the record, but we’re pretty damn close. If you liked the show, subscribe. If you have any questions, put them in the comments. I’m sure Keri will happily circle back and answer any of those questions that you guys have. And really appreciate your time. Thank you very much and we’ll see you on the next one. Cheers.
Keri: Bye everybody.
Keri Shull Interview Pullout Quotes:
“I’m not too proud to copy.”
“I always want to be learning. If I’m not learning, I’m done.”
“I signed up for a live event. I went, and it blew my mind. I met people that were doing hundreds and hundreds of transactions and had huge teams—and it really paved the path for my future.”
“I have some serious weaknesses, and in order to grow at the pace I want to grow, I need to solve for that.”
“Anticipate where you’re going and hire for that.”
“Teach your people how to think about money. It’s not the enemy. You want them to want to make money.”
“You need to have appointments, not leads.”
“No matter what strategy you’re implementing, you need to stay the course. You need to recalibrate and keep figuring out the intricacies of what you can do better. Don’t quit too soon because you’re just about to make it.”
“The peace of mind that comes from controlling my destiny is priceless. I will not put it in the hands of Zillow or anyone else.”
“Who are the people who can influence how I think about the world? And then, who’s influencing them? How can I get them in my life as well?”
Keri Shull Interview Resources:
- Billy Gene is Marketing
- Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
- Keri’s Interview with Ryan Serhant
- Sharran Srivatsaa
- Real Closers
- Tony Robbins
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
- Keri’s ‘Amazon is Coming to Town’ Video
- The Keri Shull Team Blog
- Closing Table Mastermind
- Jennifer Hudye
- Sharran on Founders Club EP013
Connect with Keri
- Keri’s Website
- Keri Shull Team on YouTube
- HyperFast Agent
- HyperFast Academy
- Inner Circle
- Keri’s Coaching Program
Connect with Oliver
Other episodes of founders club you might like:
Matt Fleming – How TO Build A 37 House Luxury Development
Cory Boatright – How to Make Big Profits Wholesaling Real Estate
Thank you for watching the Keri Shull Interview!
If you’d like to see all the episodes go to: www.OliverGraf.tv/FoundersClub
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas contact me here.