Growing up, children are told that for people to like them or to get what they want, they have to be nice. That’s why when someone goes into the sales profession or becomes a real estate agent, they think that in order to close the deals, they would need to be the nicest, most-liked person the client has ever dealt with.
Yet oftentimes, nice people tend to be more focused on gaining the approval of the person they’re talking to, over helping or providing value. So that if their prospect says they’re busy, nice people offer to email instead just so they wouldn’t bother them. This is just one of the reasons why most “nice” agents get out-sold.
However, it doesn’t mean that you have to be rude or obnoxious to become great at selling. There are ways to sell real estate while still being your nice, authentic self.
Brian Charlesworth joins Barry Jenkins, CMO of Better Homes and Gardens NAGR and Head Realtor in Residence at Ylopo, as he shares how his book, Too Nice For Sales, addresses this issue, how adapting to the “teamerage” model allowed his team to thrive in these changing times, and his take on what’s happening in the industry right now.
(03:18) How Barry’s business evolved from a brokerage to a “teamerage”
(04:44) Why teams should not overvalue a lead
(07:59) The problem that a lot of team owners get caught up in
(11:19) How Barry ended up working for Ylopo
(12:42) The systems that Barry had to put in place so he could step out of the business
(14:57) Where the future of real estate is headed
(15:37) Why most people don’t work on automation often enough
(18:51) How Barry’s book “Too Nice for Sales” came about?
(24:05) How nice people tricked themselves into no longer being helpful
(27:22) The best advice for someone planning to write a book
(28:25) Barry’s take on what’s happening in the industry now
(32:41) How one’s ability to adapt is vital in these difficult times
(33:51) What success is made of
Connect with Barry Jenkins
About the guest:
Barry Jenkins was 18 when he started his career in real estate which has spanned for almost twenty years. He currently runs a team in Virginia Beach, VA & he’s also The CMO of Better Homes and Gardens NAGR. His real estate team at this firm sold just under 900 units last year and is ranked #9 on the Real Trends to 1,000 teams in America.
Barry is also an author, speaker, coach, trainer, and a full-time Executive at Ylopo with the title of “Head Realtor in Residence” where he trains their customers, and assists with product development & platform evangelism for them.
Being an ordained minister himself, he is passionate about his faith and his company.
Brian Charlesworth 00:34
Right. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Grit Podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth, the founder of Sisu, and your host of the show. And today we are here with Barry Jenkins, who runs a team out of Virginia Beach and does a lot more than that as well. Barry is a realtor. He's a speaker. He's a coach. He's an author now. Congratulations. And he also is a major part of product development at Ylopo. So I think your title there officially is head Realtor in residence, is that correct?
Barry Jenkins 01:09
That's correct. Yeah. Yeah, kind of something they made up, but it does define kind of what I do there. Right. You know, I'm the, I'm the person that knows agents, right, because I'm one of them. And so I get to kind of advocate for him.
Brian Charlesworth 01:22
So anyway, Barry to kick off. I mean, that's a short intro but covers a lot. Is there anything you want to add to that?
Barry Jenkins 01:29
You know, professionally? No, I mean, I think a couple of decades in the business, maybe. But yeah, I mean, that's, that's the stuff I'm working on, in my real estate career, and my business serves me and my desires, instead of me serving it, you know, it's funneling everything that I want to do. And honestly, that's a big deal for me to be able to allow, allow that.
Brian Charlesworth 01:50
Well, very, that's one thing, it's always impressed to me that you are, you're very intentional like you determine what you want to do in your life, which is how you were able to write a book, which is how you were able to jump in and, you know, do this role at y Lobo while you have a team over here. I think you guys did about 900 transactions last year, is that right? That's correct. Yeah. Okay. Now, are you a team or a brokerage?
Barry Jenkins 02:14
We're a teamerage. So both actually.
Brian Charlesworth 02:16
So you do own a brokerage?
Barry Jenkins 02:18
My family owns the brokerage.
Brian Charlesworth 02:21
Yeah. Okay. And you run a team outside of that brokerage. So meaning, or within the brokerage. So, how many agents are in the brokerage? How many agents are on the team?
Barry Jenkins 02:31
We have about seventy agents. I would say all but maybe 10 are on the team.
Brian Charlesworth 02:36
Okay. So if somebody comes into your brokerage, like how do you determine if they're going to be on the team or not? Or what does that actually mean to be on the team? Because most brokerages and you know, I think my personal opinion is that all brokerages are going to have to start running like you run your brokerage, right in order for them to survive with how things are going. That's one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show today because the show is called Grit. But for me, it's like it's really about like in this new changing times in real estate, I believe a brokerage needs to bring more value than what your traditional brokerage brought. And so I'd love to love to kind of hear kind of how you guys evolved from being a brokerage to a teamerage?
Barry Jenkins 03:24
Yeah, that's a great question. We are really good at developing business developing opportunities. And it started more in the corporate world, like relocation accounts REOs. And there were just so many that we decided that we would have agents work, the opportunities we're providing them. And, you know, that was kind of the impetus of all of it. And then as the business continued to grow, we were faithful with what we had, we continue to expand what type of opportunities we're providing our agents, and, you know, some brokerages, they make their money off of selling their agents things, maybe it's a desk, maybe it's office, space, copiers, training, whatever it is. And so their goal is to get as many agents as they can, and then they'll just figure it out as they go. Nothing wrong with that for us, we decided we would have more of like a SEAL Team vibe, like, you know, the average agent in our office sells maybe 20 homes a year. And you know, the goal for us is to find people that know a good opportunity when they see it. And then we do everything we can to optimize their day so that they're only doing money-making activities every day. So we really obsess about not only the generation of the opportunities but because we're trying to get them to really focus on money-making activities. We don't overvalue the lead. I think that's a common mistake with a lot of teams as I'm giving you leads and, you know, it's a lot of work. And I'm not saying it's not, they shouldn't be working, but at the same time, you know, it's a bigger picture than that. So it really It's just iterated over the last decade into a focus on optimizing the day of the agent.
Brian Charlesworth 05:06
So if the agent is spending their day doing money-producing activities, what are all of the things that you take over for that agent so that they're not having to spend their time in those areas where they really shouldn't be spending their time? Right?
Barry Jenkins 05:20
Right, right. Yeah, great question. We generate the opportunities, if they're an opportunity that needs to be called, like, for example, a lead online registered on our website and hit our CRM, we're paying for our inside salespeople to call the leads for the agents. And once the person that we've generated says, I want to talk to an agent, that's when we hand it to our agent. And we don't have that strict definition of like, you know, it's only when they meet them, it's, for us, it's we're just trying to find human beings that want to talk to an agent about buying or selling. And then once the agent shakes those hands, kisses those babies, puts them under contract, then they hand the person to our office to manage the transactions, we have four transaction managers, and then we have a lot of automation for post-closing. So what we're doing is we're trying to help the agent to make sure that we keep their name in front of their past clients. And so we're automating end to end. And so the agents are just managing relationships, which is what they're good at. Yeah,
Brian Charlesworth 06:28
yeah. Which is what they're good at, and which is what they enjoy, right? You're taking away all those other things that if an agent gets caught up in that, it's basically an excuse to not to be in front of their customers. And it can be a very downhill slope for them if they focus on those activities you guys are doing so?
Barry Jenkins 06:29
Well. And I think that's a great point, Brian, because I think what a lot of agents and a lot of teams have been looking for historically is like this well-rounded, you know, hardworking, intelligent, good salesperson, tech-enabled, and we pour into these people, because they're good agents, only to find out a few years later, they ended up leaving, which is what I would do, right? I mean, if I joined your team, a few years, I would just go start my own, because that's who I am. And so what we decided to do is to find the people that are good at one thing, which is connecting with people, and you know, they're hard-working, I'm not trying to downgrade that at all. But instead of looking for like the perfect scenario, we're looking for, we've supplemented really good, hardworking people to help them find success. And it's opened up the opportunities a lot more because we're looking for something that's a little different.
Brian Charlesworth 07:39
Yeah, I've met so many team owners, and this is what my wife calls, the messy middle. But there's a lot of team owners that get stuck in, you know, I'm going to have five to 10 agents, right. And I want every one of those five to 10 agents to be just like me, well, if they're just like you, they are going to go start a team, right? I mean, you want people who need you, that need what you provide, that you can provide an opportunity for them. And they can fill a role for you. You don't need the entrepreneur like you are yourself. Right. And I think that's a thing, it's a problem that a lot of team owners get caught up in for probably I see that being like a two to three-year cycle. For a lot of people, they get stuck in that grind. And they find that you know, every two years there people are leaving them.
Barry Jenkins 08:26
Exactly. And when we're interviewing an agent, one of the things that we really try to get across is we're not looking for the working environment where you work for me. And so technically, they are licensed at our brokerage. But practically speaking, if an agent decides I'm working here, you tell me what to do every day. That's not the person that I need. I need someone that can see a good opportunity when it's presented to them and wants to partner so we sincerely have that spirit of partnership in our office. Just yesterday, I had one of my agents call me and said, Hey, I really want to get training with this particular coach. Do you know them? Are you friends? And I said, Yeah, absolutely. I'm friends with them. I'll send them a message, and see what I can do. And he was like, Well, you don't have to rush. And I said the same thing I'm saying to you, look, we're business partners on a one-to-one level. If this is something you feel you need, to the degree that it makes sense for me, business-wise, I'm going to do what I can to try to make it happen for you. And so it's created a really cool culture of business owners in their own right, that we're just kind of supporting them. And it's worked out really well the quality of agent that we've been able to get over the last three years. It's just been tremendous. I think
Brian Charlesworth 09:42
it's obvious by your numbers. I mean, if you guys doing 20 An average of 20 transactions per agent, you know, you're more than double most brokerages for sure. Or maybe even more than triple, right.
Barry Jenkins 09:55
Yeah. And it's interesting, Brian, you know, I don't, I'm not gonna discriminate in any way. But my experience over the last six months, we've hired agents that have been licensed for 10 years. And they did okay, maybe one or two homes a month, which isn't bad. But they were missing one key component, you know, out of this like trifecta of, of needs that an agent has. And they came over, and they have 3x their business. And this isn't an advertisement. For me, this is about augmenting your sales staff and coming alongside them, and it just works better. It's more realistic, I think.
Brian Charlesworth 10:34
Yeah, totally agree. So, Barry, I think that's the way you really work like you just partner with people and provide value. I know you've done a lot of that for us at Sisu. I look at your role at Ylopo. And it's you know, you're this Head Realtor in Residence. And I feel like you're a Realtor in Resident with Sisu as well. Because a lot of the things such as our new client portal, a lot of the things that we've been rolling out like, you've dived in and given us great feedback and great advice. And my guess is that's what happened over at Ylopo they're like Barry's bringing so much value. Let's just bring him on staff full time. But tell us how that evolved. How did you become a? I mean, I think you're actually an employee at Ylopo, right?
Barry Jenkins 11:17
I'm a full-time executive there. Yeah, I bought Ylopo in 2016. I begrudgingly, by the way, Tristan really did a hard sell on me from Labcoat agents and bought it my team did really well really quickly. And it caught the attention of Jiefang Ji, the co-founder, and he started asking me questions about what we're doing now we're teaching. And he asked, he said, you know, can we get one to two hours a week of your time. And I ended up not paying attention to how many hours I was spending, and I ended up completely revamping all of their training for new users, I have a teacher's heart. So it was nothing to me. Anyway, a year later, they're like, Hey, will you come on full time. And that forced me to come up with a way to run my real estate team, I basically had to move to a place where computers, processes, and well-placed hires could run my business for me. And that's what happened. And so six years later, that's a really cool story. But nobody in their mind, and nobody imagined it would become what it is today.
Brian Charlesworth 12:20
So congratulations, because I think the hardest thing for most team owners is just actually stepping out of production. Not only have you stepped out of production, but you've done the next step to say my business can run on its own while I'm full-time doing something else. So you brought up a word called systems, right? You said you had to put the systems in place like, what did you have to do to your business to be able to actually step outside of the business? I know you still work on your business, but you work in your business, right?
Barry Jenkins 12:55
Oh, no. Yeah, very much.
Brian Charlesworth 12:58
So what are the systems? Like? What did you put in place to allow you to be able to get there?
Barry Jenkins 13:02
You know, I'd love to say that I sat down and used a flow chart, and you know, but really, it was more a lot of "Uh-oh" moments if something was broken, or confusing, or it kept me up at night, I figured out a way to stop it. And if I were to oversimplify the process, let's take your typical buyer transaction. There are moments throughout the transaction that are very important to an agent. So for example, writing an offer, getting it under contract, negotiating repairs getting paid. And these key moments, we really created a lot of processes around. This was before Sisu forms, right? So I was using jot forms and all this stuff back, you know, six or seven years ago, and I decided that because the agents were motivated at these different points in the transaction, I would leverage that emotion and capture a lot of really good data and safeguards. So a silly example, but I think it highlights the point well, is when a contract or when a listing goes under contract, we have to update the MLS, right? Like we have to change it depending or you get a fine. It took a few fines for me to create this process, right? Where when they fill out a form and mark it pending, an email goes to our listing staff automatically, with the exact information, the type of financing the buyer's name, the seller's name, and what date it went under contract. So that is one fine that I no longer get because all they do is they know, you know, it's all numbered and they fill it out. That example represents every aspect of my business over the last six or seven years.
Brian Charlesworth 14:45
That's a great example. I mean sometimes and I get invited to speak sometimes and one of the messages I've been sharing as of late because I think it's so crucial is if you can go in and you can find For every area in your business where you put the same information in two different places, and eliminate that, right, eliminate all duplicate entry. And if you can go find every place where there's an opportunity to do automation, like the one you just talked about where that email automatically fires instead of an individual having to fire that email. That's really the future of real estate, right? Like, those are the things that are going to let us scale without having to add bodies. Yeah,
Barry Jenkins 15:34
I mean, I agree. And I think we don't work on it enough, because we don't have a lot of instant gratification, right? Like, nothing groundbreaking occurs when I set up that email. But the dividends add to your point of those automations begin to compound over time. Because it and then before you know it, you've shrunk your week into, you know, 60 hour weeks to 40 to 30 to 20 to, you know, and you continue to where now you're only doing the things that either a make you the most money, bring you the most joy, whatever you're leveraged.
Brian Charlesworth 16:09
Yeah, I had a Sisu team come to me, it was meant the middle of last year, and they said, hey, they were on pace to do 500 transactions. And they said, we will never get above 500 transactions with the systems we have in place. And he said, Well, you helped me and I, you know, they've been a Sisu customer for two years. But similar to you for sales performance, right there, also a teamerage. And I said, Will you trust me and go all in. And so as soon as they did that they went from, you know, they move their forms from jot forms, and Sisu forms and move their processes from Trello into Sisu. Very similar to what you did, right, and what they found was they ended up getting with the same team in place, they hit 1000 transactions last year,
Barry Jenkins 16:58
Brian Charlesworth 16:59
It's just eliminating the duplicate entry, right, and coming up with as many automations as you can. And I think that's like everybody should be focused on that right now.
Barry Jenkins 17:09
Yeah, you know, especially the person in your example, they either were really intelligent, or really frustrated, or maybe both, because I find that, let's look at transaction management, for example, a lot of teams are making their decisions based off of Well, I don't want to make my TC unhappy by making a big change with my systems, we've got a good thing going and I don't want to mess it up. And I had to make the call that the transaction management department wasn't just going to make the transaction easy. But they were going to be doing things in a way that I wanted to serve the greater purpose of my business. And that was a fundamental shift. Because at that, then at that point, it was like, Alright, what do I need from this. And you know that because there's a lot of data in the transaction details of Sisu that really, at the end of the year, actually quarterly, you can go in, you can look at what lead sources have the most appointments met, or you know how much this lead source is for cost per closing or cost per lead. And the data really begins to become a beacon of what you're going to be doing next.
Brian Charlesworth 18:16
What I've found is most team owners, most people like you spend most of their time in our income report, because you have to know what do you have pending that's going to close this month, next month, what is your income? What are your expenses? What, you know, you really need to be able to run your business like a business, right? What do I have coming in 90 days? So anyway, to have that information in a platform that gives you no information back is a challenge as well as a duplicate entry. Right? Absolutely. So, Barry, I wanted to ask you about your book. Okay. So Too Nice For Sales. You wrote a book this year, you just launched it about a month or two ago. Sold over 4000. It was March? Okay, so three months. Sold over 4000 copies. Congratulations.
Barry Jenkins 19:04
Brian Charlesworth 19:16
How did this book come about? I mean, you're a busy man, right? Like, you run this real estate team. You're a real estate brokerage you run. You know you're a full-time executive over at Ylopo you've got a lot going on in your life. You have kids, you have a wife, you have a family. You have all this stuff going on. What makes you decide to write a book now?
Barry Jenkins 19:37
You know, I was teaching the same things over and over for y Lobo customers for six years. And generally speaking, everybody was used to having a conversation where the lead knows what they want. They picked out a house and then I focused on servicing that need and my market the average sales price is 250 - 300,000 and Zillow. was charging me the same amount as some like larger cities like LA and things like that just don't make any sense. So I was
Brian Charlesworth 20:06
Zillow was charging you the cost per lead you're saying like your lead Yeah, part of not part of Zillow flex but part of the product.
Barry Jenkins 20:13
This was back in 2016 before Zillow.
Brian Charlesworth 20:16
Barry Jenkins 20:16
So they were just doing premier agent. And the costs really are very, really high. And so I was forced to come up with a way to talk to people that were from Google or Facebook, which at that point in time, they normally don't know what kind of house they want just yet. And so I had what I feel is mastered that conversation. And that's what I was teaching my local teams for six years how to talk to people that don't know what they want yet. And every time I taught it, people would act like, it was a big deal. They would say, Wow, this is I've never heard this is amazing. And so I decided that I would write a book. And as I say, at the beginning of the book, Brian, like, I got a D in English, I just played basketball and volleyball. Like I didn't pay attention. So it's hilarious that I'm a published author, okay. It's hilarious. And I just,
Brian Charlesworth 21:03
It's not though, and here's why it's not hilarious because very, you have grown every year since you graduated from high school. Because you're constantly learning some people in life, get out of high school, and they think that's their learning or out of college. And they think that's their learning, and they stop. It's about learning. Every day, you know about your life, right? And if you can continue to evolve, you're learning. Now you can publish books like you are.
Barry Jenkins 21:28
There you go. If I can do it, anybody can? No, I'm just kidding. But for me, I decided I would outline what I thought was important. And I wanted to hire somebody to write it for me. And as I mentioned, before we started you know, my wife's from a really small town, in Carolina, and just a simple upbringing. And she said, she'd never heard of ghostwriting. And she said, You are not going to do that, you know, you need to do it yourself. I'm so glad that she encouraged me to do that because it's one of the more gratifying things I've ever done professionally. And so I outlined it, I wrote all the chapters, I had some people beta read it, which I found out was the thing. And some of them were like, This is horrible. And some of them said, change here, fix this. And it took about two years. And every time I felt like I was trying to finish an assignment where I wasn't creative, I wasn't passionate, I was like, I gotta get this done, I stopped. Because that wasn't what I wanted to provide. I wanted to provide people where because, you know, you read a book, and it's like, halfway through, you're like, Okay, you put it away. And for me, I wanted each chapter to be the best that I had to offer. And then I did hybrid self-publishing, where, they do a lot of the publisher-type stuff, but then you own the rights to it. And then I really haven't advertised it much. But what's happened is, that teams are buying it for their agents that are working leads from, you know, PPC or Facebook, because they learned that they were having the wrong type of conversation.
Brian Charlesworth 23:02
Yeah, I mean, any agent today, the times have changed, right? Most agents are not prospecting. Most agents are not calling FSBOs and Expireds. Right. Most agents are getting leads handed to them by their team owners. And they don't know how to follow up. Right. Yeah.
Barry Jenkins 23:19
And, you know, to characterize the issue, I think is if you ask a lead that knows what they want, what kind of home they want. The lead not only appreciates that question but answers it. If you ask a lead, what kind of home? Do you want the doesn't know what they want? Which is your typical Google or Facebook lead? They normally answer with some form of I'm just browsing, I'll let you know when I'm ready. And so we don't ask that question. We say look, you know, whenever you decide to move, what are you hoping to change about where you live right now, and you get a completely different response, because now the person is actually like, thinking and learning along with you. And so you multiply that one question by several others, you have a different conversation. It's a different close, it's a different process. But nice people tend to be more focused on gaining the approval of the human on the other end of the phone, over helping. And so I know, they don't want to talk to me. So because I want them to be happy with me. I rush off the phone. And so instead of being focused on how can I help this person, make the largest purchase of their life, I'm focused on how can I get them to like me, and I think I'm being nice, like, I wouldn't want to bother anybody. And what ended up happening was nice people tricked themselves into no longer being helpful. And so that's kind of the book and it's through stories of my life and what I learned and how I learned it.
Brian Charlesworth 24:42
So by being nice, we're not bringing value.
Barry Jenkins 24:46
We're not, you know, I'm really glad if my house was on fire, the firefighter doesn't knock on the door and be like, Oh, they must be busy, right. Like, I'm glad that he takes the initiative. Obviously, it's an extreme example, but I'm glad he pushes his way through because I need that at that moment, if I'm in an emergency, and I'm the expert, I know more about this than the person on the other end of the phone, and they need me to lead them. But I just want them to like me. So I just get off the phone and tell them, I'll email them.
Brian Charlesworth 25:14
That's great. So I understand why you wrote the book. I need to get this book to the hands of all of my wife's agents. I'm guessing it's not on audio at this point.
Barry Jenkins 25:26
It is. Yeah,
Brian Charlesworth 25:27
it is on audio. Okay,
Barry Jenkins 25:28
it's on Audible and Kindle. Okay. I did not read it myself, just because I didn't plan on doing audible. And the number of people that came to me and said, Is it on Audible was really like, overwhelming, like, and so I write, I learned, Amazon has a creative exchange, you put what you want. And I had 30 People read a chapter of the book and send me an audio and I got to pick the one that I thought represented what I was trying to do. And that was it. It was brilliant.
Brian Charlesworth 25:57
I mean, you and I both know, Realtors that are Type A personalities, like they're not sitting down and reading, but they will listen while they're driving. They will listen while they work out. So I think that was great that you went and so you have that on Audible. You don't have that on Apple, is that right?
Barry Jenkins 26:19
It's on Audible. It's on Kindle and Apple books.
Brian Charlesworth 26:23
Oh, it's on Apple books.
Barry Jenkins 26:24
Yes, it is on Apple books. Yep, yep. Okay. And to your point. I haven't told anybody this, but I'll say it. Now I do want to do a comic book version of the book because of what you said. So
Brian Charlesworth 26:40
That's awesome. So I've always wanted to write a book very, and you're inspiring me to do that right now. Because I've never executed on what I've known for the last 10 years, I'm absolutely going to write at least one book, probably multiple books. How long did it take you to write this book?
Barry Jenkins 26:58
Well, from like, when I first started, yeah,
Brian Charlesworth 26:59
like, from the beginning, from beginning to, you know, releasing the book, like, years, how long was that process? Two years?
Barry Jenkins 27:09
Yeah, but it wasn't like a constant two years, it was when I either felt inspired, or I had extra time. Which isn't often like when you think about how often are you inspired? And how often do you have time? And the best advice I can give you is to obsess about the outline, first, know where you're going, and then just do one chapter at a time. It really is not that bad. Once you do that the hardest part, in my opinion, is the topic and the outline. After that, you just do what you do. And when you're running a podcast, you've built a successful business, you have a lot that you could say in each chapter. And so I think it's just about knowing the direction you want to go.
Brian Charlesworth 27:50
Okay, so I'm guessing a lot of you listeners have thought about writing a book at some point as well. So why don't we all commit together to adding more value to this world? And let's all write a book and follow Barry's example here. So I love that you did that. Barry, so I'm excited for you. I'm cheering you on. I'm gonna go by, I'm probably gonna buy audibles for people because that's probably the preferred listening method. I'm guessing for these people.
Barry Jenkins 28:16
Oh, yeah. Audible has been popular.
Brian Charlesworth 28:18
Okay, great. So let's talk for a few minutes. We have a few more minutes here. Tell me what's happening in the industry. Right now, I want to get your take on this. Just your perception. I mean, you are leading a super successful team, you are an executive of a successful company that knows, like, massive lead gen in this space. So like, what's going on in the industry? What do business owners in this space need to make sure they keep doing to not fall off the charts? And I asked you this because before this podcast actually talked to my wife. And she told me that a coach that she was talking with over the last week told her that and her business hasn't dropped at all yet. But a coach told her that a lot of businesses are dropping like they've just instantly had 40% of their business drop off in real estate. I haven't heard that yet. Until this morning. So I want to get your take on this.
Barry Jenkins 29:17
Yeah, absolutely. In 2008 when the market crashed, I waited about a year for things to go back to normal. And they never did. And so I starved it wrecked me financially. And so it all started when quarantine hit. Everybody was kind of like what do we do? How are we going to make this happen? And I remember the huddle because I do two huddles a week with my agents. And I said I told him that same story. And I said because of what I've learned, this is what we're going to do. I hope things go back to normal tomorrow. However, in the meantime, we are going to pivot and we're going to pivot quickly. And I promised them that no matter what happened, I was going to continue to make sure that if there was a person In my market looking to buy or sell a home, we would be in the running to earn that business. Well, that has not changed mortgage rates, I think they were like 7% yesterday. And
Brian Charlesworth 30:12
Did they actually hit seven? I knew they'd hit 6, I didn't know they'd hit seven,
Barry Jenkins 30:15
They'd hit seven and I, and then they dipped back down from what I was reading. But regardless, there's a lot of fear. And what I told my agents, I said, if we were used to just to use number round numbers, if we were used to 100 people that were looking to buy or sell, maybe that numbers dropped a lot, maybe there's only 30. I said, but what we're going to do is we're going to obsess about those 30. And the way we're going to do it is I'm going to filter the list that I've created for you. So they have specific lists in their CRM, and their lists used to have 20 people. But now I've added additional filters like average search price, if they were looking for a lower-end home, more than likely the interest rate bump has really hurt them. And so what we're doing is we're filtering that out. So we're filtering out a lot of behavior. And their list maybe went from 20 people to maybe eight. But now instead of them calling those 20 people, three minutes per person, that's an hour, right? Now, what they're going to do is with those eight, they're going to call each of them, you know, seven-time or seven minutes per person. And they're going to be more creative, more involved, and more passionate with those eight, instead of spreading it out over 20. One of the things that I have one of my VAs do is use the accountability report inside of Sisu. We take the transaction activity, we put that in the transaction field inside of Sisu, you showed me this, Brian, and then I do the commission and we actually do a Loom, my VA does, and goes through and says this is what we have for you. This is how much money you potentially make. This is who you need to focus on.
Brian Charlesworth 31:56
Cool, I love that. Well, so
Barry Jenkins 31:59
And so big idea. There are less people buying. But if you focus on the right people, you're going to sell just the same as you always have. So
Brian Charlesworth 32:12
I love that you say there are less people buying 100% agree with you. Does that necessarily mean they're less people selling? No,
Barry Jenkins 32:19
No. And that's why there won't be less transactions. Because we still have an inventory shortage. And so that's what makes this unique is we had too many buyers, not enough sellers. Now the buyers have gone down. And so sellers aren't going to be able to just ask for whatever they want anymore. But I don't think the transaction count is going to bottom out. I do think though, that there are certain types of leads that if you were a one trick, like all you could do is work with one kind of opportunity. You're struggling right now. Because you're you're not adapting to the flex that happens in any business cycle in any industry, let alone real estate. So you know, there's you have to be able to adapt to the circumstances and find the people that are looking.
Brian Charlesworth 33:04
Yeah. Okay. That's great advice. I hope everybody hears this podcast because you've shared a lot of valuable nuggets here today, Barry, is there anything just kind of last thought like anything that you would want to share with these different real estate business owners, which is mostly who listen to this podcast that you feel can make a difference for them?
Barry Jenkins 33:29
Yeah, you know, when I listen to an interview like this, Brian, and I've listened to several on the Grit podcast, sometimes you come away with, like, you're impressed. You're challenged. And you think like, Oh, that's too far away, or I'm not going to be able to get that, and what my recommendation is to just pick one thing. And it is my opinion, that success is not made up of like one grand choice that you made one time, it's made up of a lot of little, seemingly insignificant decisions that add up into big events. And so behind closed doors, I'm just as much of a mess as you are all you got to do is just make a decision today to work on one aspect of your business and walk it out, you'll be just fine.
Brian Charlesworth 34:14
Yeah, that's great advice. I love that you've always sent that message to me and you've always executed it in your business that way. It reminds me of the book habits, which has been really popular for a lot of people over the last year or so since it came out and you know, it's just those little habits that form who you are as a person. So Barry, thank you so much for joining the show if somebody wants to reach you because I know you are a teacher. If somebody wants to reach you, what's the best way to get a hold of you?
Barry Jenkins 34:45
Probably my book website too T-O-O, niceforsales.com, tooniceforsales.com There are all kinds of stuff on that website.
Brian Charlesworth 34:53
Okay, so that's a great place. I'm glad you brought that up Too Nice For Sales T-O-O, Too nice. Make sure you go there and buy that book for all of your team members because they absolutely need to change the way they're talking to these leads if you want them to be successful over the next year. So, Barry, thanks for everything today. I've loved having you on the show and looking forward to continuing to see you thrive in all aspects of your life and excited for everything you've got going on. As far as our listeners go, thank you again for joining us in another show. Go like our podcast and help us get more amazing guests like Barry. Okay, thanks, everyone. Have a great week. And we'll catch you all next week.