BreakAway Agent Podcast Episode #23 With Brett Jennings, Owner of Real Estate Experts in Silicon Valley, CA
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Brett Jennings Looks to The Future of Real Estate (and its Agents)
Been wondering about the future of Real Estate and how it’s agents might be affected? Join us for this episode The BreakAway Agent Podcast with host Tiffany Youngren and Brett Jennings. Brett is not only an award-winning luxury home marketing specialist, but he also holds a certificate in negotiation from Harvard Law. The Wall Street Journal has even recognized Brett and his as one of the top 250 real estate groups in the United States. He also is the owner and founder of Real Estate Experts in Silicon Valley, CA.
As impressive as that may sound, Brett has a real passion for helping people make better and smarter decisions when it comes to real estate. With his background in finance, he is able to help others and provide a unique level of attention and expertise. When he was first getting started, he actually had a hesitation to get into real estate. Listen now as Brett talks about his experience working with top agents and how his financial background led him to a successful path to success.
How Agent Disrupters Like Zillow and Redfin Are Opening Huge Opportunities For REALTORS (Even The Haters)
Brett Jennings has built a successful career in real estate because he takes good advice and runs with it. He builds good systems, surrounds himself with people who inspire him, and doesn’t shy away from a changing and unpredictable market. Keep reading as he discusses mistakes he’s made along away, and how he turns everything thrown at him into opportunities for growth.
Understand Value is Brett Jenning’s Super Power
Brett’s ability to articulate not only his but his team’s value came out of necessity. Real estate is a competitive industry. The barriers for entry are very low, which means anyone can join. In Silicon Valley, there is a very sophisticated and educated consumer base. Which means that team members have to be secure in their knowledge and also be willing to show their value.
A mistake that a lot of agents make is assuming the relationship and not explaining the value. Explain to every client, even if it’s a family friend, the process they are about to go through. Not only will this deliver a piece of information and value they didn’t know before, but it will also help manage expectations.
The Real Estate Experts, Brett Jenning’s team, has a proven process they use that helps them sell more and serve their client’s better. Overall they have been able to save their client’s money by first explaining what they can do for them and then actually doing what they say.
How Do You Build A Brand? RESULTS!
It’s a simple process. Results. Building a great brand comes from delivering what you promise to the client and then documenting those results and layering them into your marketing. Brett goes on to say that his team creates a story around the process of getting those results.
It’s worked out well for his market because he has done the research to know that his market is data-driven. This means they are looking for success rates, market stats, neighborhood information, and more. If you’ve been in real estate, you know that the market fluctuates. It comes down to knowing how to properly influence your buyers so that they know that they will be well taken care of when they work with you. That influence comes down to what he mentioned above, and it’s knowing your value and then SHOWING it.
Don’t Just Try To Sell – Offer Life Changing Solutions
Maybe it’s background with life coaching and finance, but it’s obvious that Brett Jennings has a passion for helping people. He shared a story about a woman he worked with who was upside-down on her mortgage, out of options, and had no clue how to move forward with her life. Rather than just pushing her to sell and try to ease the burden, Brett walked through every option with her. He laid out a plan for how she could get back on top of things by renting for so many years, selling for a certain price, and more.
No one had ever really sat down with her and showed her a way forward. She was dismissed as a lost cause. But because Brett and his team at Real Estate Experts took the time to get to know the situation fully and offer solutions, this woman’s life was changed forever. And that’s the kind of legacy he wants to lead with. It’s not just about selling and making money. It’s about service and making the client’s life easier.
Habits For Growing A Real Estate Business
A lot of this episode deals with the mindset. Changing your perspective and having the right mindset can help you grow your business more than anything else. Success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics, the things you actually do. Brett talks about some of the takeaways that he learned from books he read when he was just starting out.
First, he says that one of the main things he learned that stuck with him is that this isn’t a real estate business, it’s a lead generation business. If you always keep that perspective in mind, you’ll do great in this industry. The idea is that if you’re always thinking, “How can I generate more business?” then soon you’ll have too much business to handle and you’ll have to grow your team.
The second habit Brett says to start is to track your numbers. Set a goal, do the work to find out how many appointments you need to set. The numbers are all out there, the formulas, the data, it’s all there, you just need to do the work. If you want a spreadsheet for how to get started, visit Brett’s website, https://bearealexpert.com/. Running a business by the numbers means real estate becomes much less unpredictable.
The Future of Brokerages and Real Estate
Brett starts off by saying that he thinks that we are in a turning point for what real estate and brokerages will look like going forward. For a long time, we’ve had technology coming that is supposed to make real estate better and easier. Zillow was one of the main front runners in the industry – and agents didn’t know if that should be friend or foe for the industry.
However, there are ways to use other listing sites like Zillow and Trulia to your advantage. Brett Jennings and his team have been able to find ways to use it as a growth engine, and have embraced it as a lead generator.
Lately, there has been a lot of money going into build real estate tech that seems to be trying to replace agents. Brett says that twice the amount of money that comes out of real estate companies is being funded into building better real estate technology. He went to a conference recently that was talking about the future of real estate and where agents fit in with all of these technological developments. At the end of the day, the company, person or app that gets it right for the consumer, is the one that ends up on top. Whoever prides the most value at the lowest price will always win.
Companies Coming Into Play
According to Brett Jennings, some of the big players that here to stay in the real estate industry are as follows:
- Redfin – Offering low price real estate services to mid-lower level price range clients.
- Opendoor/Openlistings – Similar to Redfin, this another discount service that provides general services to buyers and sellers.
- Compass – A bigger player, this company has been buying luxury brokerages across the nation and consolidating them under one name.
- Zillow – Brett is on the Zillow advisory board and he has learned that of the 5 million transactions recorded over the last year, 4 million of those had visited Zillow at some point in the process. Which means 80% of consumers used Zillow for some reason or another. 1 million of those 5 million consumers actually contacted an agent using Zillow.
- Realtor.com – Similar to Zillow but instead of just selling leads to agents, they work mostly off referral fees and give them to agents with high conversion rates.
- HomeLight – A sort of up and coming company that compares Realtors.
Rapid Fire Answers
Time Blocking: Google Calendar
Favorite Technology: iPhone
Sales Pipeline Management: Boomtown and CTE (Commitment To Excellence)
Transaction Management: SkySlope
Favorite Book: The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Financial Prospecting, Miracle Morning
Overall Mentor: Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra
Real Estate Teacher or Coach: Lars Hedenborg, Jay Kinder & Michael Reese
Favorite Training Resource: B-School, and NAEA (National Association of Expert Advisors)
Underrated Resource: Ylopo
Brett says that what we are going to see in the future is that the companies above are going to become a bit of a wedge in the market. These types of businesses consolidate the volume of leads coming in that get scattered to thousands and thousands of agents and send them instead to the best agents. The goal is to transform the 70,000 advertisers into 7,000 partners. Which means that across the board, the competition will increase across the board. The agents who are really committed to the industry are the ones who are going to succeed the most.
The bottom line is that teams and bigger companies like this are going to be more successful than solo or part-time agents. Zillow will be measuring agents and companies based on two things, consumer experience and conversion rate.