For my real estate agent friends out there, you’ll like this video if you are an Action Taker like Jimmy.
Jimmy is the newest agent to join my team at eXp Realty and he’s an Action Taker, which I guess is why they call him the “Take Action Agent”.
In this interview we’ll discuss some of the benefits of eXp realty and also how Jimmy generated a deal for our investment company, Invest Home Pro, that will result in him getting paid 2 times.
Transcription is below, so I hope you enjoy the interview.
Brant: Alright, man. You ready? Ready to roll?
Jimmy: Ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.
Brant: Ready to roll. Here we go. Counting down, three, two. Beep….
Brant: Hey, everybody. Brant Phillips here, and I’m excited to announce the newest member who’s just joined our team over here at EXP Realty. If you haven’t heard about EXP Realty, I encourage you to go to EXP Realty and check it out. He’s got the little EXP banner.
Jimmy: All ready.
Brant: Really excited about what’s going on at EXP and the team we’re building here. Jimmy, how you doin’, brother?
Jimmy: I’m doing great. How ’bout yourself?
Brant: Man, I’m doing great, man. Doing great. Living the dream, man. Living the dream…
Jimmy: That’s good. That’s right.
Brant: Guys, Jimmy’s known as the take-action agent and I’m gonna share real briefly how we met, man, because you came out to our monthly networking group we have here in the Houston area at REIAction.com. You came out, checked out the event maybe two or three months ago. Can’t remember.
Brant: Was it July?
Jimmy: Yeah, it’s only been two months. Two months.
Brant: Two months ago and we … One of the things that we do at Reaction is we teach real estate agents, basically, some ways to generate some leads in their business with doing things that they’re already doing. Meaning maybe driving by distressed properties, some things you can do on the MLS, et cetera, et cetera. We’ve got basically some no-cost marketing strategies, things that you as agents can do in the normal course of your everyday duties and things that you’re doing.
Brant: So Jimmy took action on the training.
Brant: What happened, man? Tell us a little bit about your listing and what came about from that.
Jimmy: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you naming that Action Boss after me, first of all. No, I’m sure you had that name way before. But, yeah, when I had that listing on Pentworth Place out in the spring, and right there next to it was just a distressed property that appeared to be vacant. It did have lights on but I just really didn’t know the situation with it, but I knew it was gonna be tough to sell my listing with a house like that sitting right next to it and basically had a jungle in the background. Just really distressed and I had gone through the training with you, listened to you talk, and I just went. Went over there.
Jimmy: I was about to put my sign in the yard and I was like, “Why not just go over there and knock on the door. See who’s there.” Maybe somebody needed help. I don’t even know what’s going on because the grass was up to my waist. It was pretty ridiculous but, yeah, nobody answered. I just snapped a few pictures. I ran a real lister report for you. I tried to do as much research as I could to find some phone numbers for you, but I did find the lady on Facebook and I just sent all those information to you. And within a week, seven days … I think seven days you had it under contract, and then in like another seven days you had it closed, and it was pretty amazing. It was the easiest $1000 I had ever made, so thank you, Brant.
Jimmy: I have the check, too. I use it as my bookmark now.
Brant: You haven’t cashed it yet?
Jimmy: I’m almost finished with your book. I’m almost finished with your book.
Brant: You haven’t cashed the check yet?
Jimmy: It was digital. That’s what’s cool, too. You hooked me up. I didn’t even have to do it. You just- It was like direct deposit.
Brant: Yeah, the check email thing is pretty cool. We email checks to people sometimes.
Jimmy: Yeah, I like that.
Brant: They are really cool and people don’t believe me, but I’m like, “You print it out and it’s a check.” And they’re like, “No way.” I’m like, “Yeah. For real, that’s a thing now”
Brant: That is a thing now.
Brant: You agents who are watching, basically what Jimmy did was spotted … He was doing a listing; he spotted essentially what, as a real estate investor, our number one lead is a vacant distressed property. He identified a property; he got the address, took some pictures, sent ’em to us. And, yeah, man, I know you sent some phone numbers but we didn’t connect on any of the phone numbers; but it was that Facebook link that you sent us, of her profile. You know, skip tracing type stuff. From Facebook, we found where she worked at, and so we actually contacted her at work. And we showed her all those pictures, and she was the nicest lady in the world, and she was like, “Oh my gosh!”. Because she didn’t think the house was that bad, she had a family member who was supposedly checking on it.
Jimmy: Yeah, no I don’t know.
Brant: We said, “hey, would you like us to send you some pictures”, and we did, and she was like “oh my gosh, I’m coming down there this weekend.” And Nick went and met with her, we put her under contract, paid you the … this was not an MLS deal, so we paid you the thousand dollar referral fee, but then on the back end, because you brought that listing to us, you’re going to get that full 3% listing on the back end after we renovate it and put it on the market to flip it. That’s a little bit about what our action boss training is about at Reaction. Which is teaching agents to take these types of actions. More importantly, whenever we got to know each other we talked a little bit about the EXP Realty Model which everyone knows I’m absolutely on fire about-
Jimmy: Me too! Me too.
Brant: – To be a part of this company
Jimmy: I’m ready
Brant: I don’t have the banner
Jimmy: I was looking for some EXP shirts but it was a little bit short notice. I’m more excited about the…
Brant: We’ve got some hats and shirts on order there definitely. The funny thing is for me, when I left Corporate America years ago and started my own company here at the best home pro, I didn’t think I would work for another company in this capacity. But when I learned about EXP and had done a ton of research. I’m incredibly excited about it, everybody knows about me and what I would say about EXP. But let’s talk about you. You made the switch to EXP so talk a little bit about where you were working before and what led you to make the switch. You don’t have to name your individual broker but just talk about … were you at a flat fee shop, or was a broker split, and what really led you to join EXP.
Jimmy: Right, well I started out my career within Real Estate with Keller-Williams, and I was with them for two years. Very happy with Keller-Williams and they were great brokers, a great team where I was at. I capped out that year and I paid them over $26,000 and I ran the numbers, and I was just like “Wow, that’s a nice vacation. That’s a car for my son”. I could have done a lot with that $26,000. I thought the best thing to do was to go to this flat-rate fee broker shop and I was there, and I did fine there, they just don’t give you the tools. The lead-generating tools, so that was still something that I was really looking forward to. I’m really big on social media. I was lacking something at that brokerage, so when I found, and when you talked to me about EXP and the KV Core and all the lead-generating tools, it really peaked my interest and I wanted to hear more.
Jimmy: That’s when we went to that ‘Lunch and Learn’ and you taught me even more about it, and that’s when it was just mind-blowing really.
Brant: Yeah man, you mentioned Keller-Williams. We’re talking to a lot of agents, and a lot of agents have switched from Keller-Williams to EXP and first and foremost, Keller-Williams is an incredible company, and I have a lot of respect for Gary Keller. My real estate coaching students … one of my favorite books, and one of the very first books I recommend them to read people who are brand new, and kind of what ironed the ears on the investing side, is to read Gary Keller’s book “Millionaire Real Estate Investor” and …
Jimmy: That’s my bible.
Brant: That’s like the real estate investor bible. It matches up very similar to our investing model and that’s why I like it so much. Same thing with this book, “Millionaire Real Estate Agent” is a phenomenal book.
Jimmy: I read that one.
Brant: It’s incredible.
Jimmy: Yeah it’s great when it’s talking about leverage. Everything you need to know about real estate really.
Brant: Yeah. That’s where people are like “Man, what’s this thing going on with EXP?” There’s similarities with some things that we’re doing that Glen Sandford extracted from his experiences working with Gary Keller at Keller-Williams that added some layers and some new things on. The technology, for example, at EXP world. What are your first thoughts on a bit of exposure and the idea of a cloud-based brokerage rather than the office, brick-and-mortar model?
Jimmy: On top of the lead-generating tools that we already talked about, the iCloud training is the second thing that I liked about it too. Oftentimes, when we’d have training class … There’s training everywhere, but sometimes your availability isn’t always there, so I like the fact that if I miss a training that I really wanted to go to, because I had a showing or a closing or something, then I can still go there any time of the day. It’s all archived, so I’m going to go in there and check out what I did miss, and not feel like if I miss out on something then I have to wait another month for the next one to come along. I think that’s huge. Having that iCloud training, where you’re able to go in there at your convenience.
Brant: Yeah for sure. I listened to a training video this morning driving into work. Just plugged it in the phone, put it on the bluetooth in the car. Half an hour training coming in. I can listen going into work, after work, on a walk, on a jog. All that kind of stuff. You’re taking in content. The lead generation tools, one of the things that’s really exciting for me and more so for my team members as well that are really active in looking to grow their business on the agent side of things with listings. If you look at something like commission fees, that’s anything from a $16,000 to a $20,000 investment for a typical agent. Agents are coming on board with EXP and that’s just part of the $50 per month fee, that they can get that and access to that.
Brant: I have a person starting this week that is going to help me start doing the lead-generation using all the tools that they’re giving us. By joining EXP, we’re getting instant access to $25,000 to $30,000 worth of software, and that would be a shame to not utilize to start getting listings and growing the agent side of our business. I know you’re the take-action agent, so what are your plans for some of these new resources at your disposal? You were talking about conversion or KV-Core, Commissions Inc. Tell everyone some of your objectives for the next 6 to 12 months with EXP.
Jimmy: I am a little familiar with KV-Core, it was conversion that got bought out by KV too, so I’m a little familiar with that already and I really like that software. I’ve heard great things about it. Even just using it for the short time that I have, I’ve had some great results as far as generating leads off Facebook and Instagram. It just ties together with it, it’s all automated. It really simplifies the whole process. I think Brant Grove really described it as a bulldozer. It’s a good way to just get as many leads as you can into it, and then just work them. It’s all about the follow-up. It’s all about timing to me. A lot of real estate is timing. Everybody will buy a house eventually, it’s just when. I want to be at the top of my game.
Brant: What are some of your suggestions for other agents that maybe just starting out as a new business, but looking to build a long-term successful, sustainable business? What are some of the pieces of advice that you have for new agents who are just getting started?
Jimmy: Recognizing what kind of agent you want to be. I think that’s important if you want to be on the listing. It’s important for you to have a focus, whether that be on the listing side or the buyer side. I know when you first get into it you just want to take the business as it comes, but I think that’s important too. It’ll help you fill out who you’re going to become. All these closings, all these different deals, every time there’s going to be something different. It’s never the same and it’s never easy. It’s just overcoming those challenges and those obstacles.
Jimmy: The second thing is recognizing what kind of market we’re in. Whether it’s a declining market, whether we’re plateauing. I know we’ve been going up for the last 8 or 10 years, and something is about to happen. It’s just about being ready and knowing what to do when it happens, and customizing your market to those people. The people are going to be going through different things at different times in the markets. KV core really helps with that too. They have tons of campaigns, I think they have over 40,000 campaigns that you can look through and use that other agents have successfully used. Recreate the will, just use what’s working for other agents.
Brant: I think that’s good advice for the agents and investors. I’ve seen that happen. There are several different investing market cycles. People are going to get pigeon-holed or really focused on one strategy because it’s working right then, but they’re not really looking to the future, and looking to determine and recognize different markets that we’re in. Also just not having the commitment to lead generation. Especially in today’s day and age, the lack of access to technology. THat’s one of the things that I’m so excited about with EXP. We’re a tech-based company founded by a tech guy. We’re very agile. One of our core values is being very agile. I heard someone say in one of their presentations, Glen Sandford, said something to the effect that “everything at EXP is in beta mode” meaning that we’re testing everything. Everything is always being tested and monitored for results, but we’re always open to what’s better, what’s the next thing, and not being tied into a conventional way of doing things, like the brick and mortar thing. Just being very flexible.
Brant: Let me ask you this. This is a big thing. We see a lot of agents who are very successful, they may make very good income and have a really good quality of life based on that income. But I’ve seen this as I have worked with agents as a real estate investor. Students, teaching them to invest for the long term so they have an exit strategy from the business, but a lot of agents I’ve seen where they don’t have an exit strategy and they’re working until later years in life where they’d rather be retired or just doing something else. Before EXP, had you thought a lot about that? What was your real exit strategy from the business? Wealth strategy?
Jimmy: To me, it was always about rental properties. From when I was very young watching TV. I don’t know if you know who Carlton Sheath was? I actually bought that program when I was 18 years old off the TV. My friends and family thought I was crazy, that I was going to be some real-estate mogul, buying all these investment properties and stuff like that, but reading his program, he emphasized that you don’t need to buy 30 rental homes. For me it was always buying 1 property a year for 10 years. After 10 years, selling the bottom half of my portfolio to pay off the top half of my portfolio. That always resonated with me and stuck in my head, so that was always my plan.
Jimmy: I got there partially right before 2008 but then I went through some troubling stuff. I went through a divorce and had to liquidate my assets but I was there. I was on that plan. Speaking with you the last few months, just hearing you talk. There’s a lot of liability that goes into that. I didn’t recognize that too much because it was only for 3 or 4 years so I wasn’t having to replace roofs yet and replace AC’s. Like you said the other day that the 3 AC’s went out. A lot of expense and a lot of liabilities go into that. It’s good to hear someone like you say that because it reinforces that maybe that wasn’t the best game plan. It reinforces also that these are things that you just have to go through as an investor and property owner.
Brant: Yeah. When I was first taught rental property it was all about passive income. That’s what I was after, I wanted a great recurring passive income. So I started buying rental properties and I learned that it was passive some months, and some months it wasn’t passive. The income was recurring some months, and some months it wasn’t recurring. It was very unstable, a lot like the stock market actually. I’m very pro real estate but still pro rental property, but for me, I don’t view it as a passive business model. It’s certainly not predictable in terms of the returns you’ll get, but I love it for the wealth-building strategy. I love Carlton Sheath’s 10 year plan. I’ve got properties that I’ve owned for over 10 years, and I’ve got the same exact tenant that’s always paid rent. I have multiple properties like that. I wish they all worked out that way. They don’t.
Brant: For me, rental property is one strategy. It’s one income stream. It’s one income valve that we can turn on as investors and we can definitely let time, leverage, appreciation all work to our favor as well as depreciation and our taxes. I absolutely love it for the long-term wealth building strategy, but not for a cash flow strategy. It’s not cash flow for me, most of my properties are leverage now. Every year I get into this, we’re paying properties down, we’re paying properties off. I started this thing with no money. When I began investing it was heavily leverage. That’s not a great way to build a lot of passive income.
Brant: We haven’t really talked a lot about the revenue share part of EXP. I know there’s misinformation out there, a lot of people are thinking that “if I come to EXP then I’ll have to recruit” and that’s not the case at all. We have some agents come on that don’t have any interest in the revenue share part of the business. I know for guys who are investment-minded and understand these investment and income stream models, are really excited about it. What’s your plan with that? How and if something you’re going to work on … how does that play into your exit strategy. You’re a young guy so you’ve got plenty of time left, but how does that work into your business model for the short and long term?
Jimmy: My perspective on that, talking to other agents and stuff like that, to me, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing. I love real estate and I’ve been passionate about real estate for a while. I was a lender, credit consultant, I’ve been in the industry for almost 15 years as an investor and owner and all that. To me, it’s just do what you do. Keep doing what you do and do real estate to the best of your ability, but do it with the best model. EXP to me is just the best business model for any kind of realtor out there, because of this revenue sharing, it’s game changing. You’re going to see it whether you like it or not.
Jimmy: Eventually, like I said before, you’re going to want to leverage things. You’re going to want to have a specialist in buying and a specialist in listings and stuff like that. It’s going to free up your time by building your team. You’re going to build your team anyway if you’re going to do it smart, and going to do it right. Why not do it with the best model, which is going to pay you residual and passive income for the life of those agents. Forever really, because those agents are going to want to build teams, and they’re going to want to go out and build their own team and do their own thing, but we’re still all together. We’re still all a team. Why not work it? Make it work for you.
Brant: Let’s pull back the Jimmy Serate curtains a bit. What’s something everyone should know about you? Maybe you want to do a little bragging here about rewards, recognition, anything like that?
Jimmy: I went over it, I was able to cap pretty early in my career as a Keller-Williams agent and I realized then that there’s tons of money to be made, but I also realized there’s tons of money to be made off of me. I wanted to get with the best company. I wanted to do what I’m doing in real estate and just do it with the best model. It’s plain and simple. I want to build my team, and this is the best brokerage to build a team with. I got to meet someone like you, I’m going to get to share this with my team already, and we’re going to explode. We’re going to rock and roll.
Brant: I love what you just said there. “There’s plenty of money to be made, but there’s plenty of money to be made off me”.
Jimmy: It hurt. It hurt when I ran those numbers. I was just like “oh wow”. It’s reality. It is what it is. We talked about it a bit too, the broker model is a broken model. There’s a lot of brokers out there struggling and not knowing what to do because they’re struggling and they’re stuck in this brick and mortar for 5 or 6 years. It’s hard for them to move their ship and ride their ship, but I think you can still do it with EXP. It’s just the best model.
Brant: I think it’s a mindset. You just mentioned that realization just that “I realize I can make a lot of money, but I also realized there’s a lot of money to be made off of me” so it’s like knowing your true value. I think that a lot of agents undervalue their worth and their value and what they’re bringing to the table. It’s a free marketplace. We have agents who have great relationships with brokers, but at the end of the day it’s business. We’re all working, and you’re trading your time for a certain amount of money. Why not look for the best ways to grow your business and monetize your business for the short term and the long term. That’s really going to help you meet your financial goals, and put your family and yourself in the best position for the long term. That’s really what it’s about.
Brant: I think I told you, and Kirby said to other agents at the lunch and learn that I’m not trying to sell EXP. It’s a business model where I sat down and did the numbers, and the numbers were so much more favorable than anything else I’d ever seen, any other opportunity in the marketplace. That’s all I’m encouraging agents to do, is say “hey, take a look at this business model and see”. You can contact me, contact Jimmy, reach out to us, say let’s just sit down, have some lunch or have some coffee, come to the office, and let’s look at your numbers and your production. Let’s look at whatever your splits are, even if it’s a flat fee, one of the things that people don’t understand with EXP, especially for agents who are producing agents with what we call our ‘Icon status program’ at EXP. We’re actually getting shares of stock based on certain production levels, where we may pay a $16,000 cap, but we have an opportunity to have all that cap paid back to us in shares of stock. It’s quite amazing when you start looking at things where we are getting paid to be at EXP whenever we meet certain production levels.
Jimmy: That’s icing on the cake right there too.
Brant: It’s icing on the cake. We have the revenue, the stock awards, all the free software, reduced fees and commissions compared to a lot of places. There is a really good energy. I’ll just say it like that. There’s a really good energy and synergy going on with our team. Look at that you’ve got the banner. I appreciate you coming on and sharing your story, and being a part of our team. I know you’re already hitting the streets with several listings and talking to some other agents. Reaching out. What’s the best way for anyone who wants to get in touch with you?
Jimmy: They can call me on my cellphone. “832-233-5680” or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto: email@example.com> and they can also go to my website takeactionagent.com <http: //takeactionagent.com>
Brant: Alright, take action. Say your phone number one more time
Brant: Alright brother. I appreciate you coming on man. End it with a fist bump.
Brant: I appreciate it man. Thank you for watching. Reach out to me or Jimmy if you have questions. Let’s just have a business conversation, see if this is something that works for you in your business, short term and long term.
Brant: Appreciate y’all watching. Y’all take care.
Jimmy: All right.
To learn more about eXp Realty, or to apply to join Brant’s team, please go here: http://brantphillips.exprealty.careers