Spring Cleaning

Spring Forward: Jesse Shafer and Greg McHale — 'If you don’t ask, you don’t get!'

Manhattan-based Compass team share their tips for driving referrals

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This Spring, Inman is obsessing over helping you to tune-up your listings business, with actionable insights, the best advice from top agents, and hundreds of helpful stories from all over the world. Interested in sharing your advice and insights with us? Reach out to me at matthew@inman.com.

Don’t forget that we’ll also be focusing on how agents and brokerages can all move Faster, Better, Together this July at Inman Connect San Francisco. Not got your ticket yet? Buy it here, and remember that Select members get a $100 discount. Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.

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Compass’s Shafer-McHale Team started as a friendship between Greg McHale and Jesse Shafer over a dozen years ago and has since flourished into a partnership with well over $400 million in successful real estate transactions under their belts. Their mission is a simple one: straightforward honest communication, unwavering integrity, keen market insights and dogged persistence, all executed seamlessly with light hearts that love to laugh. And no matter where you are in New York, they can usually tell you where to find a mind-bending cheeseburger.

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jesse and Greg to pick their brain about how they win listings and grow their business.

What are the three most effective things you do every day to grow your business?

1. We reach out to one to three people every single day within our sphere of influence and give them a “shoulder tap.” That tap may be an email, a phone call, an invitation to lunch or a drink. Keeping us top of mind is key.

2. We get out of the office and walk a neighborhood. How can you be an expert if you’re behind a desk all the time? Up-to-the-minute, boots-on-the-ground knowledge of your city is key.

3. Be available. Buyers and sellers want to talk about real estate when they’re done with their work days/weeks. We joke all the time about the 3-2-1 countdown for receiving a call at 7:15 p.m. on a Thursday night or 10:47 a.m. on a Saturday morning. This is our game. Take the calls. Play the game.

What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listing presentations?

It’s all about keeping in touch on the referral front. On winning listing presentations, we do our best to get straight to the point. Our first goal is to come to a meeting of the minds with a seller on where we all think a property will trade and then talk pricing strategy after that. Usually that’s listened to and appreciated. If not, we are happy to let someone else give it a shot. It’s like the old saying, “It’s usually best to be someone’s first love, second wife and third real estate agent.”

How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?

We bring all the data to our initial meeting, of course, but we also come armed with recent case studies of our own. You stand a far greater chance of making whatever your point may be if you have a tailor-fit anecdote in your hip pocket. Real stories of recent real estate wins or losses make that dry data so much more compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?

Our first manager, Mitchell Lawrence, always used to say, “Honey, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!” It has always served us in good stead.

If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?

Watching “reality” real estate TV. It’s not aspirational professional behavior and it’s certainly not helping raise the bar on the general public’s perception of our industry. Real career agents want less drama in their workplace, not more!

We try to adhere to the golden rule: do to others what you want them to do to you … and the deals will flow.

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Want to connect with Jesse and Greg? You can find them online, or on Facebook.

You can also contact Jesse and Greg at their office address:

Compass, 90 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10011

Email Matthew Shadbolt