JF1154: Systems, Tools, and Techniques For Success As A Realtor with Greg Gorman
Greg has been a licensed agent since 1992! His passion is teaching others about how to be successful as realtors and investors. Greg likes to use real estate as a vehicle that allows him to teach. In his words, “I love teaching, there’s not enough money in it, and I support that habit by real estate sales”. Hear what 26 years of selling real estate and teaching others has taught him. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Greg Gorman Real Estate Background:
- Broker-Associate For Naples Florida Real Estate
- Licensed since ‘92, an agent, broker-owner of a national franchise, content developer, international speaker, and real estate investor
- Team Paradise is made up of 3 licensed realtors and one unlicensed staff member
- Prior to real estate spent 10 years in the insurance industry as an underwriter
- Based in Naples, Florida
- Say hi to him at www.thinknaples.com
- Best Ever Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluff. With us today, Greg Gorman. How are you doing, Greg?
Greg Gorman: I am great, Joe. Thanks for the opportunity to be on your show.
Joe Fairless: My pleasure, and nice to have you on the show. A little bit about Greg – he’s been a licensed agent since 1992. He is a broker-owner of a national franchise, he’s been a content developer, international speaker, and of course, real estate investor. He has a team – Team Paradise; it’s made up of three licensed realtors and one unlicensed staff member. Prior to real estate he spent ten years in the insurance industry as an underwriter, and based in Naples, Florida.
With that being said, Greg, do you wanna give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus?
Greg Gorman: I would certainly love to. First of all, welcome to Paradise. My hometown is absolutely awesome. We are on the lower West Coast of Florida, West of Miami, Fort Lauderdale. As you’ve mentioned, I’ve been licensed since 1992. I have been a broker-owner, I work for a local company now for the last ten years, so a lot of those roles.
I absolutely love what I do; I go out and teach across North America and some in Europe, just to keep it fresh and interesting and get people to continue to network in my hometown of Naples.
Joe Fairless: What are you teaching?
Greg Gorman: I’m teaching real estate systems and tools and technology, and that’s where my passion is… Because I love what we do. When I can shed a little light on how to make real estate business better, then my life is fulfilled. I love teaching; there’s not enough money in it, and I support that habit by real estate sales.
Joe Fairless: Well, let’s talk about the systems, tools and technology that you teach. How about we dig into each of the three. What is a system or the system that you teach that we need to know about?
Greg Gorman: Well, certainly if you’re in real estate, having a license will not make a career for you; it gives you the opportunity in whatever state that you’re in to sell real estate, but it doesn’t teach you to how to sell, it doesn’t teach you how to grow your business, it doesn’t teach you how to negotiate, it doesn’t teach you how to access information on a computer regarding real estate. So none of those things are available through your license. Your license just gives you the opportunity to make all those things happen.
We all the time are interviewing other agents and looking at their skills and scripts – the things that they do best, the things that they like to avoid, and we implement some of those. Some of them we try and we think “That’s not for us”, and then the ones that we really like, we like to share.
Joe Fairless: Okay, and for example…?
Greg Gorman: For example, some of the tools. Let me just implement social media into real estate. I love videos, so if I find an opportunity… Of course, when we go out and list a new property, we’re absolutely gonna do a video. We have professional photographers that will put pictures into play. There’s nothing better however to do a video walk through that property. Obviously, when you’re walking through and you’re walking through a kitchen, you don’t need to point that out; however, it gives us an opportunity to highlight some of the advantages of that particular kitchen. Maybe it has new cabinets, maybe it has a special set of appliances.
If we walk through a living room, obviously that’s the place; however, we wanna highlight – “Look at the beautiful golf view, look at the beautiful lake view. It’s got a magnificent pool.”
Those are the types of things that we like to teach our agents – how can you turn that listing into an add, post it to social media… And then really, we can get pretty technical however Facebook allows us now to choose the demographics of where that stuff should go.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, okay. So instead of when you’re walking through – and this is what I would do… If I’m walking through a house, instead of saying “Okay, now this is the living room” – d’oh, it’s obviously the living room, so you don’t need to focus on that… It’s more “Look at these big ol’ windows” or whatever the selling features are there.
Greg Gorman: It’s amazing, tens of millions of times a day I can guarantee you when agents are out showing property, they’re gonna point out the kitchen, the bathroom, the very obvious things; and really, why does an investor want to focus on that particular property? So if you’re listing to your clients, whether they be a first-time buyer or an investor, in the right proportion – your two ears and one mouth – if you can listen and interpret to what they want to find in a new property, you have the ability, using your skills, to highlight those things that are most important to them.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I do walkthroughs, in a different capacity, but this is still a relevant point and that’s why I’m mentioning it, for any best ever listener who’s in a similar situation where you have a property that perhaps you are bringing investors into, and instead of me saying “Okay, this is the layout of the apartment. Here’s the living room, here’s the kitchen”, whatever, I would focus more on the enhancements that we would do to renovate the place, or I would focus on the spacious closet and then give a reason why I’m focusing on that spacious closet; this demographic like the walk-in closets, that sort of thing.
Greg Gorman: That’s perfect. It’s also our obligation — I mean, we can all talk about the bricks and mortar that makes a particular property. However, as agents and realtors especially – and I have several designations, by the way, so I think we do things a little bit differently – it’s important to tell the story about that particular property. Now, I’m in a destination market, so people come here, we have a lot of snow birds, we have 360,000 year-round people; in the winter months that grows to another 150,000 people who come here. Now, if I were in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, the things that I would be telling about that particular story on that property, wherever it exists, would be the lifestyle around it.
If you were in the West Coast or in New York or in a metropolitan city walkability, access to groceries, restaurants, schools – are those all walkable distance to the particular property? That would be the story I would tell.
In my destination market I wanna know how close it is to social clubs, golf courses, maybe it’s schools, maybe it’s the arts and entertainment district, maybe it’s [unintelligible [00:07:47].13] The storytelling opportunities is what we should really be bringing to the transaction.
Joe Fairless: So you need to know the type of location and the customer that matches up with the location; that will drive the story.
Greg Gorman: It does drive the story. And so few of us are doing it; you can go read any MLS description of a property… In any MLS in the entire country we read the same thing over and over again – “This is a three-bedroom, two-bath pool home.” That doesn’t tell me anything about the property. That would not make me wanna go there.
Joe Fairless: Right. I just bought a place with my — now she’s my wife; she was my fiancee… We just bought a place about late 2016, and in the description it had the normal stuff, but then on top of that it said “And a short walk to this downtown area where you can go to a bar and restaurants, and another short walk to a park.” That’s really what captured our attention, versus the typical stuff that you see.
Greg Gorman: It’s gonna be for the end user, how it lives or how it works for that end user, and you have to have that skill of being able to listen; it’s not just about finding a property that’s either large enough or in the right price range. You have to be able to work that lifestyle or that need into that particular property before you’re gonna be able to cash out on the sale.
Joe Fairless: What’s been the most challenging property to come up with the story?
Greg Gorman: The most challenging property to come up with the story? I’m not sure I understand that question.
Joe Fairless: Is there a type of property where it’s tough to identify the story that you need to tell about it because of certain factors?
Greg Gorman: I actually am working with a buyer right now, and the way our MLS is set up, it’s almost an impossible thing to find. So I have a buyer who wants to move from Colorado to Naples, wants to be on a second floor or higher, an age 55 or older community, wants to be under 800k, wants to be within walking distance of dining, grocery stores and all, and the way our systems are set up and the way our construction over the years has evolved, I cannot find this gentleman a property. It either doesn’t fit into the price range, it doesn’t fit into the age 55 or older… Oh, he also wanted something that was constructed 2005 or newer. So that right now is a need I can’t fill for him, although we’ve been looking for about three months for it, that far into the process.
He’s looked at things that I’ve sent him that he otherwise liked, but he would say “I don’t like it for this reason” – it’s either on the second floor… And I will tell you a little bit of history behind that – he is quite concerned about flooding in Florida, the stories that we hear about climate change. Now, this is somebody who is in, I’m guessing, retirement age, and doesn’t want to in the future have to worry about flooding. So my second hometown is in [unintelligible [00:10:46].26], I have a high sensitivity to that. Miami constantly floods. So he is thinking that we’re also in that area that’s really prone to floods; we’re not at this time. Maybe that would be 40 or 50 years in the future.
So that’s his interest right now in finding a property, that elevate. So second floor won’t work, third floor or higher – yes. Age 55 – almost an impossibility, so something will have to give. He’ll have to compromise on one area or another before we’re gonna be able to pull the trigger on a property.
Joe Fairless: Have you said that point blank to him?
Greg Gorman: That was the first interview we had.
Joe Fairless: But it’s been three months…
Greg Gorman: It’s been three months so far, and it was an inbound referral from a well-known Chicago realtor, which in Chicago – not a problem. This was a client that moved away from Chicago to Colorado. That lifestyle hasn’t really made him happy, so he wants to focus on something else, so coming to a better climate – at least for him, it’s a better climate.
Joe Fairless: If you have that point blank conversation from day one, but it’s been three months since you’ve been sharing properties with him, what’s the endgame?
Greg Gorman: The end game is we’re in a destination market. I have actually worked with clients for five years before they ever bought anything. We start the process off with people looking, and then they get comfortable with the lifestyle. They may rent in the area first and then pull the trigger somewhere down the road. We’ve learned in any kind of market, certainly in a destination market, to have patience. And we’re in a very privileged market, as well. We have the highest of the highest end, and we also have [unintelligible [00:12:20].15] So it’s an area generally where people don’t have to buy, sellers don’t have to sell; if you don’t have patience, this certainly would not be a marketplace for an agent.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I was wondering, because your time, as everyone else’s, is valuable… And to spend — heck, I didn’t even know the five-year thing that you said until you told me, but even three months… How much time are you spending and how do you deal with that, knowing that you’re spending time and he’s not pulling the trigger.
Greg Gorman: I’m 26 years in the business; it’s a thing that I’ve just learned. Because otherwise it would lead us to some disappointment. If you’re in a market like Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington DC where right now market and inventory is at a premium and time of the market isn’t very high, then of course for an agent to think that they may spend several months with a client might not be appealing; they would say “No, I’m not for you”, and move on. However, we’ve learned not to have the kind of mindset that if you don’t buy right now, I don’t wanna work with you. It’s an investment in our business, and it’s an investment in people.
It’s not about selling the bricks and mortar by the way, Joe, it’s about creating those relationships that are long-lasting. And it’s not about pulling the trigger here, and over my 26 years, most of my clients when they buy in Naples for the first time I’m looking at two future transactions with them personally, and a multitude of referrals. They’ll come and buy something small, they’ll move to a bigger house, as they age they decide to downsize and they’ll wanna find something in a happy medium. So I’ve learned how to have that patience and consistency over the years.
Joe Fairless: When you’re having that patience over — I’ll just continue to use this one example because it’s what we’ve been talking about, in this example… How do you allocate your time so that you know you’re playing the long game with them, you wanna build a relationship, but at the same time you’ve got to also focus on other things, too – so how do you manage your time with them?
Greg Gorman: That’s just a system. Almost all the MLS’s out there will allow you to put it automated searches, and that’s a non-touch system; you get notified anytime that particular client receives a new property that’s under the market. However, you don’t have to pick up the phone at that time unless you find something that “This is a real match. I think this is something that you ought to think about. Perhaps making a trip to Naples now would be in your best interest.”
Joe Fairless: Got it.
Greg Gorman: That’s just the system, and it works for all of us. If we have only one or two clients at the time, it’s devastating. However, I would hope that most of your audience is on a bigger scale, that you and they all have (like I do) [unintelligible [00:15:03].23] So we’re not working on one or two people at a time, we can work on 10 or 15 opportunities at a time, plus our listing inventory.
Joe Fairless: In terms of creating relationships that are long-lasting, what are some tactical things that you do to do that?
Greg Gorman: That’s where we shine at our greatest. My whole team and I have this mantra – we would not do real estate if it were not fun. So we do things that create not only fun for our team, make it exciting for us – a part of that comes through travel and teaching. We also have client events, we have them throughout the year, and we make it fun; we have some smaller parties, we have larger parties, we have kid-oriented parties. That has been one of the best things that we developed those relationships.
The last one we just had two Sundays ago – we had a wine tasting party at Total Wine, and we had 24 people at our wine tasting event. It was absolutely spectacular. We invited over 200 people. We do that for all of our events, and the first ones to respond, and it’s an online invitation that has to have an RSVP attached to it. So the ones that are available that can come and it’s of interest to them, they jump out on that invitation immediately. And typically, our events sell out within 24-48 hours.
Joe Fairless: Oh, I love that. So you have some scarcity because there’s only so many spots for the wine tasting and you send it out to everyone; it’s first-come, first-served.
Greg Gorman: We do. And we also poll our entire database – “What’s of interest to you? What do you wanna do in life?” Most of them here are foodies, they love wine; every December we typically rent out a movie theater, and that’s kids-related. So we have typically 175 tickets to pass out. That has always been [unintelligible [00:16:53].05] we’re already on the books for the next Star Wars release. Those are great for us, we love that. I will tell you, our investors and our clients love it that we’re not just focused on them, that we’re also interested in their family.
Earlier this summer I did a kids’ cooking party in my home. I had eight kids from the ages of 6 to 13, and they came in. We also had space available for their parents, because we knew they would wanna be there. We made gourmet dog treats, and then we made two types of flatbed pizza.
This was, again, one of the best parties, one of the best relationship builders we’ve ever done. The parents, although we had space outside with cocktails and things like that that were oriented towards them, nobody wanted to go out; they wanted to watch their kids, they wanted to film it.
We had two Facebook lives and an Instagram live going on, and this was a two-hour party. So their kids were making dog treats. We had their aprons, we had their hats for them… I love to cook, it’s one of my passions, and I know all these kids that came also shared that they watch The Next Best Chef, or all those shows that are on the Food TV network, and shows like that.
I probably have 30 kids on the waitlist, so we’ll be repeating one of those parties; we’ll likely do it sometime right before Thanksgiving and end of the year, so we can do a holiday-themed cooking class for kids.
Joe Fairless: Bravo! Thank you for sharing that. That’s helpful.
Greg Gorman: So we have fun. If it’s not fun, I don’t wanna do it.
Joe Fairless: Do you do anything like that for your clients who aren’t local, like mail them anything regularly or anything like that?
Greg Gorman: I think that’s just part of our business. Of course, we do market updates. It’s important, no matter where they live, to find market updates. So we send that out on a monthly basis; that’s e-mail driven, so absolutely. If you’re not keeping up with your database, that’s a huge failure. And you need to know too how their families change over time. Honestly, if you’ve got someone in a two-story home that’s been there for 25 years, all the kids are out of the nest, they’re likely gonna wanna downsize, so keeping in touch with them about “Would you like to find a right-sized property for yourself now?”
We like to engage with our clients on social media, we wanna find out what’s happening in their family. Real estate is one thing, it’s a vehicle. We truly have an interest in the people that we’re with.
Joe Fairless: If we’re looking to build our business, which we all are, this is a powerful conversation, and it’s an approach that you’ve got the experience in the industry and you’ve seen it work well… And it’s fun and it’s enjoyable along the way, and I’m very appreciative that you’re sharing this.
Greg Gorman: So look at a couple of examples that are kind of old school – Rotary Club, for example… How well has that worked over the years? And what about that component that makes a Rotary Club work? It’s an engagement process. You can join any club that’s out there, but the Rotarians have found projects that they can do together, it’s wide-based across all industries; it is communication on a routine basis, and this is a common mindset. Mine happens to be Naples, that’s our common community. How can we make that fun?
We know what our community is about, we know what attracts people to Naples, so why can’t you, with your business, attract that wider community?
Joe Fairless: Based on your experience being in the industry, what is your best advice ever for the Best Ever listeners?
Greg Gorman: I’m gonna put a spin on this and talk to your investors that are your Best Ever listeners. Here’s something I’ve learned over the years, and I have a little YouTube video that’s coming out next week – I was walking through one of the properties that I’m currently remodeling right now, and I’m just amazed (with my 26 year history) when I hear people say they wanna buy an investment property… And I think that’s great. They’re talking to agents out there, however Joe, that don’t even own their own home. So how can that particular licensee help an investor?
My mindset is if you own your own home, if you’re investing in properties to flip or to hold, then you’ve gotta have a skillset that others just don’t possess. So for your investor listener out there, why would you wanna go to any market anywhere in this country or foreign market and find an agent to help you buy an investment property and they don’t even own their own home, might not even own or flip property? That’s my mindset.
Getting to the right people at the right time about the right opportunity is so key… And the questions that you ask upfront will be the best questions that you can ask throughout the entire process, and it could cost you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars if you make the wrong choice.
Joe Fairless: So we’ve gotta ask when we are speaking to agents if they currently own their own home and if they are an investor?
Greg Gorman: I think that’s where you start. If you’re going for a specialized surgery, you’re not gonna go ask the nurse to help you with that surgery, am I right?
Joe Fairless: You’re right.
Greg Gorman: You wanna find the best doctor, the best specialist that you can afford, and starting out with the initial questions will get you to where you wanna go.
Joe Fairless: Makes sense. Are you ready for the Best Ever Lightning Round?
Greg Gorman: Why not?
Joe Fairless: Alright, well let’s do it. First though, a quick word from our Best Ever partners.
Joe Fairless: Alright, Greg, best ever book you’ve read?
Greg Gorman: Best ever book – I actually am repeating it right now… It’s How To Win Friends And Influence People, The Magic Of Thinking Big – those are two books. I read a lot of books. And for real estate, the best book ever written by Gary Keller is the Millionaire Real Estate Agent.
Joe Fairless: Yes, I love that book. I’m not a real estate agent, but I got a lot of value from that book. I actually hired an administrative assistant immediately after reading it, because he said in the book that’s the first hire you should have.
Greg Gorman: Right.
Joe Fairless: Best ever deal you’ve done?
Greg Gorman: Best ever deal I’ve done in real estate – I bought a home in the mid 300k, spent $30,000 on a remodel and sold for 605k.
Joe Fairless: Bravo!
Greg Gorman: I think we did that within 80 days.
Joe Fairless: What’s a mistake you’ve made on a transaction?
Greg Gorman: Bought a luxury property for myself, the market tanked; I spent a million dollars, remodeled with $280,000, and sold for 980k. The happiest day of my life.
Joe Fairless: You just wanted to get rid of it?
Greg Gorman: I had it on the market for four years.
Joe Fairless: Oh, my gosh… What were the years?
Greg Gorman: I bought it in 2005, closed on it in January of 2010. I took a check to closing to make it close.
Joe Fairless: What’s the best ever way you like to give back?
Greg Gorman: Best way I love to give back is through people, helping people who are not expecting help. Doing little things for them that have a big impact, and a lot of times it’s through their kids.
Joe Fairless: And how can the Best Ever listeners learn more about you and your company? Where can they go?
Greg Gorman: ThinkNaples.com. Very simple. My whole team is out there, what we do is out there… You’ll find me on social media through ThinkNaples.com, so that’s the best way to find me.
Joe Fairless: Perfect, we will include that in the show notes of this, so Best Ever listeners, you can just simply click the link ThinkNaples.com and it will take you to the Team Paradise page. It looks like a place I wanna go right now, the first picture… [laughs]
Greg, thank you for being on the show. Thanks for talking about how to build long-lasting relationships and how you’re doing it and how you have done it successfully, from the events where you’ve gotta RSVP quickly – I love that part, because it conditions people to value the email that they receive from you; that’s kind of a subconscious thing. And then just consciously, you’re having fun, they’re having fun, it’s enjoyable, you’re getting to know them and you just build a long-term relationship.
As you know, you have a relatively high lifetime value of a customer because as you said, you have usually two transactions per customer, and I imagine those are decent dollar figures, given your market. First transaction they buy big, second transaction they scale down a bit and you’re the person who’s helping them along the way.
Thanks for being on the show, Greg, I really enjoyed it. I’m gonna implement some of these things in my own business. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Greg Gorman: I loved the opportunity! Thanks, Joe.