Relationships First
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Episode 10: The Importance of Relationships In A Disruptive Market

December 13, 2018

In Episode 10 of Relationships FIrst, Bill and Molly talk about the importance of relationships in a disruptive industry. How important will it be for the real estate industry to move from a transaction based to a service based industry?

Bill Risser: Hi everybody. Welcome to episode 10 of Relationships First. Molly, how you doing?

Molly McKinley: I am well. How are you, Bill?

Bill Risser: Doing good. Doing good. Got a busy, busy week ahead of me, work wise. I've got some great weather for golf this weekend. It's all good.

Molly McKinley: That's amazing. You're golfing and not Christmas decorating, right?

Bill Risser: No, that happens at night. So, I've been able to parse that out. It works pretty well. We mentioned last week that we're going to talk about relationships in the new world of real estate. So I guess the first thing we got to do is we have to define what this new world of real estate is for you and I, as we talk about this, and I know for me it's .... We'll use some of the buzzwords, right? You got the disruptors, you know the iBuyers. You've got these new models coming in, whether it's Knock or Homie or Resora. There's all these things that are happening, and so how does that going to play into the life, the work, the relationships that are critical.

Bill Risser: I've asked it to thousands of people, are relationships critical to your success? Thousands of realtors, every hand has gone up. Not one person has said, no, not me. I just burn and churn through phone calls and I don't care about the people. It's never happened. What do you think is going to be critical as these things become more and more prominent?

Molly McKinley: Yeah, that's a good question, Bill. I've only been in this industry for five years now, so I don't have the history to be able to say, well, gosh, you know what? There's always disruption. This is not new. This is just a cycle that is part of this industry. It feels different than that, and I don't know if it's just because I'm sitting at the dinner table with people, talking about iBuying and am I even going to be relevant? The conversation isn't about how to leverage new tech. It's, do I even matter? Will I have a job in the next five years? Those are the conversations that I'm hearing, and if that is the question, will I be relevant or will I even be needed? Then relationships, and this idea of expertise and serving and being valuable, become actually more important than ever.

Molly McKinley: And I think the great analogy, and maybe you've said it or maybe we've talked about it before, is this idea of online trading. And you know, when E-Trade came out, people shifted from their expert traders, their expert financial folks, and did day trading and were online and doing it themselves. But it wasn't something that most people had true experience and expertise doing. So it was, they tried it, and then ended up going back to the adviser or the expert. And so that was not ... It was a disruptive technology that maybe people sort of dove in and tried and dabbled, and then they ended up ... And some people stuck, some people loved it, and that became an amazing experience, but then for most people, said, you know, I just don't have the time to do this well, therefore I need to have that adviser.

Molly McKinley: And that's how I see the new world looking. Yes, there will be a certain percentage of people who no longer require a real estate agent, but for most of us who are busy, and because it's such an important transaction, that the relationship actually becomes as important and as relevant as ever.

Bill Risser: I'll go one up on that. I'd say it becomes even more critical. I've always talked about relationships when I talk to realtors. I think that the holy grail of the lead, online internet lead, is such a powerful pull for a lot of people that they lose sight of what really helps them grow their business, what really keeps them connected to people. And so my take is, what they're already good at, which is building relationships, right? Staying connected to people. Has to really ramp up. I think the goal for a realtor would be this: that if I was in a market that didn't have Offerpad or Opendoor, or any of these companies, and I saw the first television commercial or a billboard for one of those operations, my first thought would be, I've got to call my agent, find out what that's about.

Bill Risser: Because they are my real estate expert. I know nobody who knows more about real estate than that person. What do you do with your marketing, with your systems, with just your good old fashioned picking up the phone time? To stay connected to your people in such a way that they won't do anything in real estate without consulting you first.

Molly McKinley: Well, I think that's it. That's the aim. I don't know if I agree that people are good at that, are naturally good at that. I think most people are really good about staying in connection with the people they're comfortable with, or in flow with. I was having this conversation with [Kendall 00:05:52] Young actually, last year, at [Inmen 00:05:55], and she was saying that she's really comfortable with the people that she's in flow with, and then really bad about staying connected with the people she hasn't connected with, because it's uncomfortable, it's awkward, and people don't want to feel sales-y. And there's just that emotional barrier of being like, "Hey, it's me, I'm reaching out because I need to stay connected to you so that you'll refer business to me." And there's just a weirdness there.

Bill Risser: There are ways around that. There are people that ... I'm trying to, I want to give you an example of somebody who's really good at just picking up the phone and reaching out. I'm going to throw Sean Carpenter out there. I'm connected to Sean, and we're in flow.

Bill Risser: Look at me talking like Molly McKinley, folks. It's amazing. But I've also been with-

Molly McKinley: That's actually a ninja selling term, I believe, in flow.

Bill Risser: Oh, okay. I've been with Sean where he will absolutely say, I've got to make a couple calls, and he just calls two or three people just to say, "Hey, it's been a while. How you doing? Just wanted to say Hello and make sure your daughter and son are doing good. And that's great. Okay, good." That's all he does.

Bill Risser: It is a skill, I guess, you have a learned skill, but if you want to be successful in this business, especially in five years, it's a skill that has to be adopted.

Molly McKinley: Well, and talk about bringing that back to the idea of agents who are not going to be disrupted. On my birthday, Sean sent me a video. "Hey Molly, happy birthday from Sean in Ohio." We have this weird Ohio connection because he lives next door to my hometown, so we're midwestern folks. And it wasn't just the Facebook wall post, he sent me a video. And it was just really touching. And those are the kinds of things that make someone stand out. Now, if I had gotten 20, 30 videos, would it still stand out the way that it does? Probably not.

Molly McKinley: And so the Sean Carpenters of the world will always be doing the next step. So when everybody else starts to send the videos, what will he be doing to stand out from the crowd? How can he be that extra thoughtful touch that differentiates him? And I think that that is sort of the challenge of an agent, or anybody in business, how can you really stand out? Because as soon as something starts to work, everybody starts to mimic it. And then you ended up getting caught in the noise. But that's kind of what this is all about, is how do you, no matter what we're talking about here in regards to relationships, when it comes to business relationships, how do you separate yourself from the noise? So that you're not just caught in, so that you can stand out?

Bill Risser: Well, I think one critical component of that is going to be a genuine care, genuine empathy. The, another overused word right now, authenticity. But when you're yourself with somebody and you understand their life and you're paying attention, and yes, there are technologies and systems that help you remember things so that when you do reach out, yeah, you're completely connected to them again. It just takes a second to refresh and go, that's right. It's time. I haven't talked to this person in a few months. I'm going to reach out, find out how they're doing, with no other motive other than making sure they know I care. It's that simple.

Molly McKinley: It really is. And doing your homework so that you're prepared, and that you're not just picking up the phone and being a distraction. And again, we always talk about honoring time, and this is one of those moments where you're also honoring the time of the person that you're connecting with as well. Understanding that their time is valuable too. But is there a world where relationships don't matter? In this new, in a disrupted industry where ... Do you ever see people just ... You just really don't ever see people just buying homes from the internet, or without a human element. Do you see that ever? Maybe in investment properties or something, but I just don't see it. It's hard to put your arms around.

Bill Risser: Not In the time I have left in the career, in the business, I think. I think there'll always be a human touch to this. There'll always be the desire for relationships, and I think even these new companies that are coming in, they understand that as well. And they're not in it for the one deal and move on. They're going to do the same thing. Find their way to use their systems and their technologies and their people and their people-

Molly McKinley: And their people ...

Bill Risser: ... to connect. Yeah.

Molly McKinley: Yeah, I know. So I guess that's the key in all of this is, yeah, things are changing. They will change. That's just part of how things always work. We are in a constant state of evolution. But the folks who are able to adjust to those moments, but still honor that their most precious asset is their people, that will be hard to disrupt.

Bill Risser: Molly that said, you've once again crystallize the entire conversation into a closing statement. You are amazing. And so we're going to go and wrap this one up. It's time. It's our time. We're very conscious of our time and your time.

Bill Risser: For episode 11, I'd love to talk on, touch this topic, how about relationships ... We've talked a lot about them and building them and keeping them, but what about the beginnings? Actually creating relationships. I think that'll be our focus. Does that sound good?

Molly McKinley: I love it. Let's do it.

Bill Risser: So that'll be for episode 11 next week. Thank you once again everyone for tuning in. Molly, it's always a pleasure. Just kinda having a brief chat with you about something very important in both of our lives. Really, I think, everyone's lives.

Molly McKinley: I love our time together, Bill. Thank you.



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