In the 8th episode of Relationships First, Bill and Molly discuss why real estate agents should be trained in the art of relationship building.
Bill Risser: This is Bill Risser
Molly McKinley: And, Molly McKinley, and we're talking relationships.
Bill Risser: All kinds of relationships, from starting new ones, to nurturing existing ones over time.
Molly McKinley: And, each week we'll highlight something that inspires ...
Bill Risser: Or, triggers us ...
Molly McKinley: To help get to the root of why relationships are key to our happiness and success.
Bill Risser: Hey Molly, how are you doing?
Molly McKinley: Hi Bill, how are you?
Bill Risser: I'm great. I'm still, I haven't looked at a candle yet, but I promise I will.
Molly McKinley: I'll send you one.
Bill Risser: But today on Relationships First, we're gonna talk about something kind of really specific to the real estate industry, both an industry that you and I have a lot to do with, and really focus on the, what happens in the education space with realtors? Realtors go to lots of classes, is that a fair assessment?
Molly McKinley: I would, yes. They have to, right? For those continuing credits.
Bill Risser: Correct, right. Continuing credits, they have some go for designations, or certifications that are either NAR provided, or local associations, and I do a lot of teaching, and educating through the boards. I think there are 16 different boards I've done stuff for between Arizona, California and Florida, and the stuff that I talk about is outside the realm of the things that realtors have to know, right? They have to know fair housing, and they have to know the code of ethics, and they've got to know the liability things in the contract.
Bill Risser: But, it's those extra classes people teach where they're talking about marketing, or it could be lead generation, or it could be branding, or any number of things that, I attend a lot of those, because if I see somebody talking about something, I wanna meet somebody, network, kind of learn what they're sharing, and you talked about a lens last week, the lens you look at the world through, comes kind of through your spirituality with yoga, and some other things, and for me, I think there's a relationship lens that I've adopted that I look at almost every shiny object that gets put in front of us, in our world, and I look really hard for how's that gonna help build a relationship, and if I don't see it, then I don't really care, so that's my, what's your take on that? How do you ... do you have that same sense of this relationship lens?
Molly McKinley: I actually, yeah, I really do, and the reason being is because real estate is a relationship business, and that is the conversation that people are having today, and I think it's just coming to bear, because of all the disruption, and the fear of disruption with, by buyers, and you know, people of owning the fact that what makes them defendable is their network, or their book of business, right?
Bill Risser: Right.
Molly McKinley: So, it's a hot topic, but I've also discovered that most people need the education, because it's about EQ, right?
Bill Risser: Yeah.
Molly McKinley: And, some people are natural networkers, and natural relationship builders, but a lot of people are not, and that is something that I think there is a huge need to be able to have that conversation about like, okay, well if you're not this, here are some tools, or some tricks from the people who know how to do this well.
Bill Risser: So, funny you say that. I got ... I was asked to present to the professional development committee, the governance meeting at NAR in Boston, and the goal was to talk about that, and I was able to tell a room full of educators as well as members of the boards who are the education directors at their either local or state associations about just what you're saying. How do you ... how can you bring this, how to build better relationships into the classroom. I think it's super important, and even if you just talk to the people that are already on the roster of educators, have them tailor their programs, their curriculum to weave in why, how this can help make you better at that really important task, right? Building relationships.
Bill Risser: Because, ultimately you mentioned it. It comes down to this, this your defense against any outside influence in this space is this tight network of people that know, like, and trust a very common phrase, and the only way that you can keep that strong is to stay connected, to keep the relationship strong, and it's, look, there're some hardcore legion people out there. I've said this before even on this show that thinks relationships are a bunch of hooey, and hey, it's all about numbers, and it's all about doing this work the right way, and the business will come. I just don't believe that.
Molly McKinley: Well, you know, it's so funny. We're all wired differently, we just are, and I have witnessed the folks with systems can succeed with whatever strategy, right? As long as they have a system, and that they're disciplined in maintaining the system, right? So, a lead gen system can actually work if you are maintaining it properly, but I think the relationship strategy is equally important, and needs to be a part of whatever. Otherwise, if you're just running through the numbers, again, you're gonna be burning people out, because you're not really invested in the whole. It's just about the transaction, and that transactional mindset is what I think is fizzling.
Bill Risser:Yeah. I had the opportunity to hear a couple of a really talented team builders Jason Abrams, and Brian North two very big agents, 7-800 deals a year kinda teams, and their focus was on, which was so heartwarming. Their focus was on building organic relationships, how to document a conversation you have with somebody so the next time you call them, you recall the things you talked about. You talk about the dog that wasn't feeling well, or you talk about that trip to Disney World, and they're building that into their systems that are hardcore Google, pay per click or Facebook ad generated leads, so I think that's where we're headed. That's a great thing.
Molly McKinley: The yes-and, right?
Bill Risser: Yeah.
Molly McKinley: Yeah, and having it be like natural, and intuitive, and not forced. I actually had a conversation yesterday with a RE/MAX agent, his name's William Hoffman. He's from RE/MAX Results, and he is a First customer actually, and has developed this incredible system for staying in touch, and the prep calls, and the prep that he does before he actually gets on the phone is actually his magic, right? He has the steps of the things that he does so that he is, when he's on the phone, regardless of the tack, the conversation moves, or you know, where the conversation goes, he actually has prepped himself, so he's ready, and that actually is, that's a system. That's a system of preparation to be valuable to someone, and I was actually really inspired by that.
Bill Risser: I don't see that curriculum being taught to realtors by their associations. That is a class right there. That would be a wonderful session to sit through for an hour.
Molly McKinley: Yeah, I actually agree, and I don't know why. I think, you know, like, I think what's interesting about that is I think the assumption is that people know how to do that, and I don't think that's true, because I always get questions from people like, “Well, what do you say when?” Or, “What do you say if?” And, I think that lack of, and again, because if you're looking at as a lead, or a transaction, a script make sense, but if you're an active listener, and you're trying to be valuable, and then it's not about a script as much as it is about being prepared to be of service, which is subtle. I mean, it is subtle, right? But, it's a difference.
Bill Risser: Yeah. Look, I think that it goes back to the golden rule, right? I mean, ultimately doesn't everything kind of come back to that? That rule?
Molly McKinley: Everything comes back to the golden rule.
Bill Risser: So, look, I think that, I know that my focus going forward, I always talk about relationships, I share the same goofy story about my wife at every presentation I do, and I'll continue to do that, because everything revolves around the relationship, and relationships revolve around listening to what others need and finding a way to help them, right?
Molly McKinley: Yeah.
Bill Risser: Period.
Molly McKinley: And, even if you don't have the immediate answer, right? Being able to make a connection, or just even like helping someone, steer someone into a different direction, that all matters, but to your earliest point, yeah, I do think there actually is need for education around relationships, and I think maybe you're the guy to do it Bill.
Bill Risser: Awesome. Sweet. All right. I'll start working on that right now, but-
Molly McKinley: I know, what was your-
Bill Risser: In the meantime-
Molly McKinley: Well, give me your one tip from your presentation. Was there something, a salient point that you want to highlight?
Bill Risser: Let me think. You know, I would guess for me that, and I kind of mentioned it earlier, but it was really making sure, is there vetting courses, which they do. People submit the courses in advance to a lot of these is, look, be on the lookout, be on the ... be aware, and ask the question of the instructor, the educator. Where does this tie into relationships, because we're really trying to help our agents be better at that?
Molly McKinley: Yeah, that makes sense all kinds of sense? I mean, well, so this is a call to our listeners then, right? Like, if you have any kind of a teaching, or sharing about relationships that maybe this is a stuff that you should be pushing toward your boards, you know?
Bill Risser: Yeah, absolutely. Let them know. Talk to that professional development committee. You all have one, so-
Bill Risser: Excellent. Well, Molly, we've hit our 10 minutes again. Well, maybe a little longer, and-
Molly McKinley: It goes by so fast.
Bill Risser: It does, it does, it does go fast, but what are we gonna be talking about next week?
Molly McKinley: Yeah, so actually next week I really like this topic, and it's going to be about our relationships with our work, not necessarily our jobs, but the work that we do, and our relationship with this work, so who knows where it will all go?
Bill Risser: Yeah. I'm always on ... I'm up for every ride. Thanks a lot Molly.
Molly McKinley: All right. Have a good one.
Sign up for the People First newsletter for the latest tips, tricks and product updates from First.