Decoding Real Estate

Building a Winning Real Estate Team w/ Verl Workman

January 03, 2022 Reggie Nicolay & Genie Willett Season 1 Episode 2
Building a Winning Real Estate Team w/ Verl Workman
Decoding Real Estate
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Decoding Real Estate
Building a Winning Real Estate Team w/ Verl Workman
Jan 03, 2022 Season 1 Episode 2
Reggie Nicolay & Genie Willett

Listen in as Reggie Nicolay and Genie Willett chat with Verl Workman, master coach and founder of Workman Success Systems, on the importance of real estate teams, including: when should you form a real estate team? How do you build a successful team? And how do you measure that success?

This thirty minute episode flies by as Verl offers wisdom, insight and a blueprint for real estate success that any agent can put into action. This discussion also includes how to work less and spend more time with family, friends, fun and fitness, the three things to look for when assembling talent for your team, how to create a “culture of productivity” in your office, and much more.

Show Notes Transcript

Listen in as Reggie Nicolay and Genie Willett chat with Verl Workman, master coach and founder of Workman Success Systems, on the importance of real estate teams, including: when should you form a real estate team? How do you build a successful team? And how do you measure that success?

This thirty minute episode flies by as Verl offers wisdom, insight and a blueprint for real estate success that any agent can put into action. This discussion also includes how to work less and spend more time with family, friends, fun and fitness, the three things to look for when assembling talent for your team, how to create a “culture of productivity” in your office, and much more.

Reggie Nicolay  0:08  
Hello and welcome to Decoding Real Estate. I'm host Reggie Nicolay joined by my co-host, Genie Willett and you're listening to a new podcast from Realtors property resource. Each episode, we'll be interviewing market leaders in the industry and breaking down important topics for your real estate business and turning that into actionable advice you can implement.

Genie Willett  0:28  
We have some amazing guests planned. And I love that our first interview is with Verl Workman from Workman Success Systems. Reggie you and Verl go way back, right?

Reggie Nicolay  0:38  
Yeah, I've known Verl for over a decade and I've been able to watch his authority grow as a master coach, motivator and founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems. Verl amd his company take real estate agents to the next level by helping them develop strategies, or what they call systems for making each individual realize their own potential. He's also probably one of the most humble guys you'll ever meet.

Genie Willett  1:01  
He's also just so engaging. And I really appreciate his ability to turn everything back to personal accountability with real metrics to track daily progress. I think Verl's strategies will be so helpful for real estate pros looking to take the next step in their business.

Reggie Nicolay  1:17  
Without a doubt. We dive deep with Verl today on when the right time is to build a team, how to find A-players for that team. And then once you do, how do you best track your team's performance. So without further ado, here's our interview with Verl Workman. Verl it's great to have you on the show.

Verl Workman  1:42  
Thanks for having me. 

Reggie Nicolay  1:45  
So we had a chance to touch base recently, and I was talking about the pandemic and talking about some of the challenges I've heard from agents. And I think at one point, I mentioned the word pivot, right. And I really enjoyed your response. You're not a fan of that word, pivot.

Verl Workman  2:00  
You know, just because ... I don't look like I play basketball. But I do. And when you pivot in basketball, just kind of a funny thing. A pivot happens when you stop dribbling. So you know, you're heading to the basket and you're dribbling and all of a sudden your defense comes up or something of obstacle comes in your way. You stop dribbling, you hold the ball, well, you can no longer move toward the basket, you have to plant one foot, you can spin around in circles, but you stop making any progress. So when people say pivot to me, I think Oh, you want to stop making progress. I just want to keep bouncing. So, you know, our thought process during the pandemic was to build for the bounce. We believe that people move because of life events that occur. And those life events don't stop occurring as a result of a pandemic. People still get married, they still get divorced, their kids grow up. They move back in, they move back out, they get relocated, they lose their job, they find jobs, those life events are what caused real estate transactions to take place. And a lot of people pivoted, they were shifting around trying to figure out what to do. We just said, look, this life venture can occur, there's going to be a tremendous amount of pent up demand. So how do we focus on getting ready for the big bounce when it happens?

Reggie Nicolay  3:13  
It's such a great term. And anytime, by the way, you tie it back to basketball terminology for me, it's gonna make more sense. Absolutely love that.

Genie Willett  3:20  
I needed the explanation to that. So I appreciate that as well.

Reggie Nicolay  3:24  
Right. So let's expand on that a little bit more, because you make some great points. So so what exactly were you telling your you know, the I like your your turn there? What were you saying during the pandemic? How can you get these individuals moving forward in their business not getting stuck?

Verl Workman  3:39  
I think that real estate people, like most salespeople have this intuitive thing they do when they have conversation. They are constantly looking for ways to create opportunity. So every time they talk to you say, Oh, by the way, do you know anyone that wants to buy or sell a house. Or, you know, um, you know, they call for one reason, but the real purpose is because they, they want something in return. And those relationships aren't very deep. I don't know, you know, in back in my early days of owning retail stores, we used to sponsor the Utah Jazz. And as part of that sponsorship, I got basketball tickets to every game, and they were great seats, you would not believe all the friends I had. People call me every time there's a gam. And then when I closed my stores and went into real estate, I didn't keep that those Jazz tickets anymore. I've never heard from most of those people again. And those people that only call you when they want something really aren't real, authentic relationships. So in this build for the bounce, we always had this saying that we said serve before opportunity. If you serve first the opportunity will come. And one of my master coaches, Cleve Gaddis, said to me, Verl, he said, I like that, but I think we should elevate it. And I said, Well, what do you mean? He said, Why don't we serve regardless of the opportunity? What if we just serve to serve and not expect anything in return? And if we do that I'll bet you our business will grow. And so we took that concept and we said, okay, so how do we serve the industry? What can we do? And then how do we teach that to our clients so they can serve their clients and create this, you know, snowball effect. So here's what we did, we decided that we were going to put on webinars, and we were going to help agents figure out how to flip and do virtual transactions, how to do virtual open houses, how to be masters of virtual real estate, how to message to the market, that you be safe when life events occurs that cause you to move. And we gave them away, I think I did 100 free webinars in the first 60 days, and anybody that would let us have it, we just gave it away. We wrote white papers and delivered things. And we just served and as part of that serve, we taught our agents to do the same thing. So we taught our team leaders reach out to your client and say, How can I help? Not? How can I help? Oh, by the way, we're still doing real estate just flat out, how's your family? How's your work? I know you've got kids in college might have come home, what about yours? Let's just have conversations. And if you do that, without the agenda of expecting something back, I promised them that their businesses would grow. And it was really cool to see all of a sudden the light switch turned on. And all the people that had received service not only from us, but from all of our clients to the consumer. Without question or without an exception, everybody who adopted that philosophy had massive growth during the pandemic. I say to my friends, you don't want to be a motivational speaker in the middle of a pandemic, when everything shuts down. Who wants that?

Genie Willett  6:34  
But kind of in essence, you are right? Without that being the intention, right? I think people need it positivity they needed, you know, connection. That's what we were all missing. And that's what we provided. I love that's a perfect segue to talking about teams, because you mentioned that and I know that workman success systems. Workman success systems has a heavy emphasis on teams. So why do you think being part of a real estate team is so important to unlocking one's full potential?

Verl Workman  7:06  
Okay, so that's a great question. Is it okay if I go one step backwards, before I go forward? And so and that's why teams, right? Why do we even people have teams, what's the point? And here's what I believe, when you're good at something, it creates more opportunities. The better you are at selling houses, the more people refer their friends and family to you. And you get to a point where you have to, and Reggie, I watched your wife go through this. She was really good at real estate and really good at social media, because she was good at it, it created more opportunities. But if she said yes to those opportunities, then she had to say no to other things that were more important in life, like family and faith and friends and fun and fitness. And so you either have to say no to one thing or no to the other. And when we say yes to those clients who say no to the other things that are more important. And so why teams matter is that allows you to have leverage. And so you can deliver a high level customer experience, you don't have to be the only one delivering the service. And so we can serve more families as a team than you can as an individual. And it gives you the ability to serve your own family at a higher level. So I like to say that no other success can compensate for failure in the home. And if I help you, you know, build a business that you're doing 100 million in real estate making a couple million dollars in commission, but we do it at the expense of your family, then I failed you as a coach. So that's why teams matter. I think that the consumer today is more used to dealing with teams than individuals. I mean, I don't know about you, but when you know when I went got back surgery, and my general practitioner said to me, Hey, bro, you got a messed up back. I look at your MRI, the disk is blown out. But the good news is, I also do backs. Do you think I was gonna have that guy cut me open and mess with my spine? No. Right? No, I want Tiger Woods back specialist. And even in that process, I didn't even meet the doctor till the day of surgery. I met his PA, I met his physical therapist, we went I went to the person in charge of billing, I worked with everybody on his team. And then the day of surgery right before the anesthesiologist puts me out. I said, wait, I haven't met the doctor. He comes over. He goes Hi, Mark Rehman. Nice to meet you. I'll see you in a couple hours. 99, 98, I'm out? Well, you know, I didn't care that he was there during all of the pre-work and I didn't care he was there during all the after-work. But I wanted that surgeon, you know, in that important critical moment where, you know, he was doing the thing that he does better than anybody else. And, and so consumers today are trained to work with specialists and experts. But real estate agents have had a history of believing that they're the important person in the transaction. I mean, come on. You have big hair. We have big cars who put our face pictures on everything. And matter of fact, when I got my license, I thought I could never be a realtor, I don't have a big hair or or a big car, so here's what I've learned. Nobody actually cares about us as REALTORS, they care about themselves, and that we're a tool in the process. And so why don't we become the sharpest tool? Why don't we become the deliverer of the greatest level of expert advice during each phase of the transaction. So that's what teams are to me. When you work with 50 buyers a year, you're just better at it, and someone who does it seven times, you know, you're better at negotiating, you know, the market. Well, you've been in more houses, you know how to get your offer done in multiple offer situations. When you work with 60 or 70 listings, and you list that many houses, you're just better at it, you're better at pricing, you're better at staging, you're better at negotiation, you know how to hold your commission in a discounters world, like all that happens. And look, I don't know any agent that's good at those two things, that's also loves the paperwork. It's a whole different personality type. And yet we believe that people hire us because it's us know, they don't care about you. They care about where their families move in, and whether or not their kids can play football at the school or, you know, they get a better education, or they're closer to work or whatever. They don't care about, like I can't think of, I'm probably talking more than you want me to, I can't think of any consumer who makes a decision to buy or sell a house because of the REALTOR.

Reggie Nicolay  11:24  
You make such a good point. And I even feel like this transcends real estate, I'm thinking about myself and our team and how we try to compliment each other's interest because we do not have the same skill sets. And that makes us better. So it's so clear when you say that. So my question then becomes how, as a practitioner, do I know when it's time to get my team going? You know, maybe I'm feeling busy and overwhelmed. You know, how do I know it's the time?

Verl Workman  11:51  
Okay, so I believe that the day you get your license is the day you should start your team. Matter of fact, if you spend any of your day, doing activities that you can outsource for $20 an hour, I can never take you to the place where you're making $1,000 an hour. So we spent 70 or 80% of our day doing administrative level tasks. And they're important tasks, but they're not dollar producing activities. And so I think that now I'm going to, I'm going to backtrack on my own words and say that when you first get licensed, I need you to go through the process of understanding contracts and doing the transaction and knowing what the process is. But after you've done it five or six times, I want you to give it to a transaction coordinator. Even if it's an outsource person, let it let somebody else take that contract to close. And then take those hours that you spend from you know, after the kids go to bed until midnight. And actually spend time with your with your loved ones or, you know, do something else have a workout or meditate or read or whatever else interests you. Real estate agents have a really high level of burnout, especially high performers. If you're doing 20 to 50 deals a year by yourself. You're probably in a place right now where the people in your life love you. But they wish they had more of you. Because you're there but you're not really present.

Reggie Nicolay  13:10  
Right? Because you have all this background work that's pulling your attention away. 

Verl Workman  13:13  
Yeah, so day one, get your license getting assistance, can't afford assisted outsource your paid work.

Genie Willett  13:19  
Alright, so now we know it's time to start a team. How do we find our "A" players? How do we find the characteristics of people that are going to create this great team. 

Verl Workman  13:30  
First of all, we have a very specific criteria. So when we do teams, I'm looking for buyer's agents, for example, my target agent is 12 to 18 months in the business, they've sold less than 10 homes. So at that 18 months, what happens is they start wondering if they're actually going to be able to make it, they've run out of their friends and family deals, and they're not sure how to get new people coming in the pipeline. And so it's a high level of anxiety for them. But there could be great people, they just haven't been trained or know how to hunt. So we target them. And then we go through a pretty significant interview process. One of my favorite books written by Patrick Lencioni, I have two Patrick Lencioni books that I love. The first one is called "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team." He talks about the five reasons teams fail, and the other one is called "The Ideal Team Player." And in his book, The ideal team player, he talks about the three characteristics we look for when we want to hire talent. And the three things are hungry, humble and smart. So now we break that down but how do you how do you interview for hungry? Tell me about your financial situation. Are you wealthy? Do you need to work? Do you want to work? Like I asked those questions and people tell me oh, you know, I have a trust so I really need to work. Well guess what? Not hungry. Somebody says if I don't make 100 grand a year, I can't pay my bills. I've got a sick kid. I just bought a new house. I have to make money...that's hungry. I want that person on my team. I need you to want to be successful. Sometimes hungry, doesn't mean you want money for yourself. I've got people that are hungry because they want to give more, they have a charity or a cause that they're so passionate about, that it hurts them every time a pet suffers, or it hurts them every time a child suffers. And so they want to be successful, so that they can give it away. That's hungry to me. Humble means they're teachable. It's interesting how many people I meet, and we'll have a little bit of fun. I don't have the the hoodie audiences but California agents always like to talk about the gross sales volume I did 40 million. You know, that's like four houses like big deal. What do you do the rest of the month. Big deal... like, I have fun with him. When you talk to people that are in smaller markets? I'll tell you I sold 300 houses. I changed it all to how many families you serve? I don't I don't think about it in gross commission or number of houses. But how many? How many families did you get to serve? People that are humble, believe that they don't know at all, and that there's an opportunity for them to grow. And so during the interview process, if they ask lots of questions, and they want to know how we do things, and they want to know, they're they're curious how the great Howard Brenton used to say, get out of judgment into curiosity. When somebody comes in, and curiosity, that's a good interview. And then smart, you know, I just really hard to help stupid people be successful in real estate because they cause you risk. And it could be common sense. It could be book smarts, it's a combination of those things, and you test for it. And so we we do a series of testing, we use discs and motivators and other things that we put people through. And I love working interviews. So we'll bring people in, we'll have work with the team for a couple days. And a lot of times the team will tell you whether or not they're a good fit, we hire as a team, and we fire as a team. Because we want a culture of productivity. 

Reggie Nicolay  16:50  
That is such a great point, though and the buy in from the team makes a really important component. So you've got to be sold on creating a team. And secondly, now I know how to find the right people for a team. But then once you have them on your team, how are you as a team leader looking at productivity? You know, how do you track team members? Are there specific KPIs? Now, how do you look at this with so much you can measure?

Verl Workman  17:16  
Okay, so that's like a three day course. But I'll give you the highlights. Okay, I'll give you the highlights. So you heard me say we want to have a culture of productivity. What that means is, we set the standard of minimum levels of production to be on my team. And the minimum minimum for a buyer agent or listing partners two deals a month if you're not doing two deals a month, and you're working full time What the crap you do all day. I have agents tell me all the time, I'm full time, well, how many deals you sell? 15? Okay, well, I mean, that's not like, what? But what are you like, seriously, your family thinks you leave and go to work? And you're not doing it? Like, how...  what do you do all day? And so culture, productivity means we have a daily huddle every day, we do a 15 minute HUDDLE, where we track all the leads that came in. And then we do a thing called 61 Points of Rhythm. And every one of our agents has a tracker where they have to get 61 Points doing dollar producing activities. We've learned by tracking that we track all the important things that every 240 to 270 points, you get a transaction. And so if you want to increase your transactions you create increase the number of activities you do that drive that result. So it's predictable. So we do a daily huddle, it's 15 minutes, and then we roleplay. So every day, all of our agents will sit down and they'll practice scripts and dialogues. We do location, price, motivation, working with an agent, qualify for a mortgage, set the appointment. We talked about building relationships, using Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams. When somebody says I want an agent that will do it for less, we say there's three things everybody wants, when they make a major buying decision, Price, Quality and Service. You can get two of the three, which is the which are you willing to give up if the lowest price is most important? So we teach them scripts and dialogues. And you guys are laughed at because I'm rattling them off. I've practiced these a few times?

Reggie Nicolay  19:00  
I love it, because I'm just thinking how prepared I would be. You know, you're basically making me prepared for everything. And that's fascinating. Because the more you practice, the more you run through this, when you come down to the delivery, you're going to be ready to go. So I'm really fascinated about these Points of Rhythm. So these are, these are activities within their day they should be doing or can you expand on that just a little bit more for me?

Verl Workman  19:22  
Yeah, we call it our Daily Success Habits Tracker. A lot of the things that we teach on follows a book written by the great "Og" Mandino who wrote this book, the greatest salesman in the world, and in his book, there's 10 scrolls, scroll number one says, today I begin a new life. Today I shed my old skin which has long suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity. Today I'm born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there's fruit for all. What he's saying is, hey, what if you could have a do over? What if today, you could start fresh and you get rid of all your crap all your baggage, all the stuff, every time something bad happens? You'll see that always happens to me, what if I let what if we let that go today. And then on the next page, he says, the difference between those who succeeded those who failed lies in their habits, good habits, open the door to success, bad habits unlock the door to failure. So the first law I will follow is I will form good habits and become their slave. As a result of that scroll, we created the daily success habits track tracker. So here's what we track. We track the prospecting calls you make, the conversations you have, the appointments you set, you get point. You get one point for each of those, you get 10 points if you show a home to if you show at least two homes to a buyer, you don't get any points if you only show one house because we teach our agents that if they want to see a home, that you need to do your research to find another one they might like as well. So you always show two homes. We track listing appointments set, listing appointments met, contracts written, so we track the activities that generate revenue. If you don't have appointments, that you get all 61 points by prospecting. And so the goal is to get 61 points every single day. And the last one in the in the points is stands for 1MT, 1MT. And that means one more thing, one more time. So you do 60 points, and then make one more call, set one more appointment, do one more thing. It's just that extra little bit that puts people over the edge.

Reggie Nicolay  21:16  
It's a blueprint for activity, it makes so much sense.

Genie Willett  21:19  
I was just thinking that takes me back to kind of the very beginning of this of when to start a team... right away. Well, when you have a blueprint for success, you don't feel that need to be a seasoned realtor who's gone through the process 1000 times to understand what do, you guys have basically provided like, here's exactly what you do to be successful... when we're all going to work on it together. So and as long as you have you're hungry, humble and smart, you're going to be able to accomplish this. All comes full circle.

Verl Workman  21:48  
That's exactly right. So we've we've created for teams that blueprint. So if you think I wish I had this, I have the job description, the interview question, the contract, what to do in a daily huddle. How do you onboard an agent? The first 30 days, 60 days in 90 days of every position on a team. And so we've developed all these resources. So you as a team leader can focus on two things, business development, and people development. And then everything else is in a system. 

Genie Willett  22:16  
That's amazing. I love it. Well, I mean, if any of our listeners want to follow up and explore your coaching options, how would they go about that? And then for those that are not ready for coaching today, do you have a takeaway that they can use to improve their business? Like, what should they do today?

Verl Workman  22:34  
Okay, so those are a lot of things. So look, you know, not everybody's ready for a coach, and that's totally fine. What we do is we do a coaching consultation, just go to workman success. com, click on coaching and schedule a coaching consultation, let's look at your business, we'll have a conversation with you and see if we're a fit. Our people are like we don't talk people into coming into coaching, if we're a good fit, we'll tell you and if we're not, we'll give you a series of group coaching are a different way of kind of getting you into a place where it makes sense for you financially. And then and then we'll invite you in to become a client. So it's a pretty easy going process. As far as takeaways for today, I'll give you one thing, and that is that most people spend a lot of time and money trying to find business. They, they go out and they buy leads, they do all these things. What I would encourage everybody to do is to create a list of the 50 people in their life that are most likely to give them one referral a year. I call it my top 50. Now I have a system for this, but I'm going to give this to you. Go make a list 50 people and I want you to have one personal touch with all 50 of them every month, every month with all 50. And I want you to think about serving, not selling, how you doing, how's your family, what can I do to help? And after about the third or fourth call, let them know that they're in your top 50. And they just count on for at least one referral this year. And when you're making your friend calls, it's different than when you're making your top 50 call. And after about the third or fourth call, you call and say is the top 50 call, who you got? They'll tell you, we had an agent last year closed 74 transactions just out of our top 50. And we have many of our individual agents and teams that are doing as many as 86 transactions. So I would say stop buying leads and start working with the relationships and the people you already like know and trust and serve regardless of the opportunity and the opportunities will come back in spades. 

Reggie Nicolay  24:22  
It really is. And again, you know, it comes back to the numbers, you know, girl's got a plan and he tells you the work that the system you know, do your do your put your list together and you know, do it within this timeframe, this one month period. And it's amazing.

Genie Willett  24:36  
How much more successful are you when you reach out to people you know, like you you've already ... they're the people who want to refer you. They know who you are. And when you're a buyer and you're, you know trying to find the real estate agent to work with. You want someone you can trust right away. So who are you going to go with someone who's referred you that you already trust?

Verl Workman  24:58  
That's right and you're going to choose... everybody knows a lot of Realtors, like we all know a bunch of us. And so it's whoever at the front of the mind of that consumer, that the moment that life event occurs. And so with your top 50, that's why you're having a personal touch every month. So when those life events occurred, boom, think of you first and that and that just works. Reggie, you said something, you're picking up that I'm a bit of a systems guy. I believe that anything you do three times in your business, you should have a system for it. So anybody can sit in that seat, and duplicate that task. and a high with a high level of execution systems for everything

Reggie Nicolay  25:36  
Makes sense. And I'm hearing what you're saying and time being your biggest asset. That's how you can offload that to someone else when you add your system. So I'm already like taking this in. I'm going to talk to my wife tonight. My wife's gonna be calling you her team can use this growth. I mean, she's doing a lot of this already, but I think it's those systems that would really be a game changer. So I don't know about Genie but I'm just absolutely fascinated. I think this is just one of the most fun podcasts we could have done and super delighted Verl that you were able to join us today.

Verl Workman  26:10  
I appreciate you having me... what a great time

Reggie Nicolay  26:11  
Yeah, yes. So say your website one more time before we close out in case anyone wants to find it.

Verl Workman  26:17  
Well, you can email me directly verl at workman success dot com, or go to our website, Click on anything you want to know about us. We do events, We'll come in and help you with your teams. If you're a broker / owner that wants to build teams, and you don't know how to do it. Give us a call. We'll help you figure it out.

Reggie Nicolay  26:33  
That's fantastic... you ever 60 coaches now don't you? 

Verl Workman  26:36  
We have 60, and we will be at 100 before the end of next year. 

Reggie Nicolay  26:39  
All right. Thank you, Verl. And this has been Decoding Real Estate. Take care everyone

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