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Mary-Anne Gillespie, owner and CEO of Red Apple Coaching and Consulting, lost her parents when she was young and ended up “homeless for a year on the streets.” She also used to be 300 pounds, but now, she’s an Ironman World Champion.
“My foundation is really that you can do anything. It doesn’t matter who you are, what market — that is my foundational belief,” she told the audience at Inman Connect New York.
Moderated by eXp team leader Kendall Bonner, Compass agent Courtney Smith and Douglas Elliman team leader Jacky Teplitzky joined Gillespie onstage Wednesday to discuss the key systems agents need to build into their current workflows that top-producing agents swear by.
Although 2023 was a tough year for so many, Gillespie’s coaching clients saw significant gains.
“I said let’s do this. I’m going to be better than what 2023 gives us,” she said.
So they hired an “obscene amount of ISAs,” did hundreds of calls all year and got into the mindset of consumers — the clients of her clients — and came up with scripts, dialogues and coaching programs to give her agents the competitive edge and the tools they needed to combat the influence of “mainstream media.”
“Every quarter we microed in order to get macro results,” she said.
The result? A 23 percent increase in all her clients’ businesses.
So what do agents need to take with them into 2024? Smart, proactive systems, that arm agents with the info they’ll need to get in front of their clients day after day.
“It’s all about getting back to basics,” Smith said.
She called out five major systems that real estate pros should pay close attention to, whether you’re a solo agent or running a team of 200.
- People and culture
- Marketing and branding
Bonner, who’s also a lawyer, emphasized the importance of formalizing those systems.
“If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist. If you think it, ink it,” Bonner said, “and that includes systems and processes.”
Teplitzky suggested starting with a deep dive into your strengths and weaknesses. So many agents think they need to hire people who are like them, but really, you should hire people who are good at what you aren’t good at or don’t like doing, she said.
“We’ve all heard a SWOT analysis, right? Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. I think it’s something that we should do relatively often, at least once a year, maybe even biannually, so that we can get crystal clear on our business and get laser-focused,” Bonner added.
And one of your top focuses should be the consumer, the panelists agreed. As Gillespie pointed out, most agents are out there doing social media, and if the consumer is seeing your social profile, but you’re not reaching out to them, they’re coming to their own conclusions when they don’t hear from you.
One thing agents can easily do, she said, is send 10 DMs a day reaching out to your database. Consistently doing that will increase your business by another 30 percent easily, she said.
Similarly, Teplitzky said that agents tend to be trained to take action when clients reach out to them. But reaching out to them first can be very powerful. She pointed to a team member who has great success by reaching out to her clients with an updated CMA for their homes.
But it all hinges on having a database and adding to it continuously. She told the Inman crowd that it’s so important that after she meets someone, she texts herself a reminder to connect with them online and add them to her database.
You have to update your database constantly, but you also have to add to your database constantly, Teplitzky said.