BreakAway Agent Podcast Episode #29 With Jason Saphire, Broker/Owner of EntryOnly.com
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On this special episode of the BreakAway Agent Podcast, Tiffany Youngren interviews Jason Saphire, Founder and Principal Broker of EntyOnly.com. Jason is a licensed broker in every state in New England, plus the state of California. This episode is a little different than some of our past ones because Jason is not your typical agent. As a discount broker, he offers a unique experience to clients and is often shamed and hated by other real estate agents.
Though he resides in San Diego, California, most of his business is performed in New England. Once he learned that he could do his business from anywhere, he chose San Diego because he couldn’t get enough of the ocean. Jason started Entry Only in 2006 and has listed nearly 10,000 homes. Of those 10,000 he’s closed on about 4,000 and continues to list about 1000 houses each year. Though his business is anything but traditional, he works as a typical flat fee, limited service agency. He offers levels of services, but the most popular would be MLS only listing. This is where he handles the marketing regarding the MLS, but the owner is responsible for negotiating and showings. He also offers a contract review package and a full-service package that gives much more assistance to clients trying to sell their homes.
Jason Saphire has had experience with real estate and has been brought up in the real estate industry. However, he has made his career entirely from building this affordable online business. He has never been a traditional buyer or sellers agent. This episode covers some of his insights into how non-traditional paths can lead you to success in real estate.
“If you’re an agent and for some reason you think that I am single handedly ruining the industry, that’s probably the greatest compliment I’ve ever recieved.” – Jason Saphire, EntryOnly.com
How Jason Saphire Turned Non-Traditional Real Estate Into A Thriving Career
The biggest misconception that Jason Saphire runs into is that a service like the one he provides takes away business from other agents. However, he likes to look at it as creating opportunities for a buyers agent to make money. The type of client that Jason gets are typically the ones who don’t need a full-service agent, and they are looking for ways to save money. Traditional buyer’s agents are the ones who will show the house and earn the commission. They won’t have to split this because there is no real listing agent. EntryOnly acts as the listing agent but does not take a commission from their clients.
The Future of Listing Agents
Jason believes that businesses like his, more online-only listing services, are going to outweigh the need for listing agents in the future. The world is steadily becoming more hands-on and DIY, and he thinks that sites like Zillow and Redfin are going to become the go-to for listing your home. If you’re looking to create a traditional real estate career, there will always be a need for buyers agents. New home buyers want to be shown through a house and have their handheld through the process.
Sellers, on the other hand, usually have a little more experience. They are less inclined to need the full services that a listing agent can provide.
Just In Case You’re Wondering: Here are Common Questions Jason Gets about EntryOnly.com
In the real estate industry, you know that people can get caught up in the buzz and the truth gets lost. Here are a few FAQ’s that Jason answers quickly to help bust some of the misconceptions that come with discount brokerages:
» Who Do I Deal With? Who Do I Submit Offers To?
Depending on the level of service that the seller pays for with EntryOnly.com, offers will either get submitted to the office or directly to the seller.
» How To Buyer Agents Get Paid?
EntryOnly cuts the agent a commission check at the time of closing, just like any other transaction.
» Who Holds Escrow?
Typically the buyer’s agency will hold escrow on the listings and then deduct from the commission at closing. Other times the seller’s attorney will hold escrow or anyone who is mutually agreeable.
It’s so important to understand the ins and outs of what really goes on in a transaction from a limited service agency.
Build A Team That Will Propel You Forward
Jason has built his business and his team with the future in mind. He has an admin assistant to help with the day to day data entry that takes too much of his time, and he has surrounded himself with advisors. He did this on purpose, to make sure that he knows the trends that are arising in real estate. Jason also has his advisor keep an eye on trends that could come up that directly affect the way his business operations.
Surrounding yourself with an advisory board so that you have expert guidance, regardless of whether the business is up or down, is crucial for creating a successful business.
Marketing is Key
Another thing that Jason Saphire talks about is his decision to market right away. Back when he was making maybe $250 a listing, he put almost all of that into Google Pay-Per-Click ads. Though it sounds risky, the first day he did that he got two listings, and it’s been nonstop growth ever since. Once he was able to prove that his business model was viable, he was able to expand into different states and grow from there.
He was lucky that he invested in marketing and ads right off the bat and have it work. Oftentimes there are marketing strategies that don’t work or take a lot of time to come to fruition. Jump in anyway – when it works, you can expand.
Jason Saphire’s Superpower? Being Responsive
Being immediately responsive has been a direct correlation to Jason’s success with EntryOnly.com. Though he says he tries to balance his work and home life, it’s hard to not want to be available to people 24/7. Creating that culture of immediately responding and constantly being accessible for over 14 years has definitely been a contributing factor in how his business is doing.
Another thing that Jason put into place is hiring a live receptionist service so that no matter when and where a client is, they will get a live person to talk to. Though they might not get all the answers there, they will at least be in touch with a real person who can make sure they are transferred to the right person.
Be Scalable and Efficient
Some other things that have helped Jason Saphire stand apart from the rest is his forward-thinking mindset. How can he continue to make his business model scalable? In what ways can he save time and be more efficient?
One thing he’s done is build a backend portal for sellers to quickly and easily upload all of their information so that there is less back and forth time between him and the seller trying to gather information. This information all gets forwarded to Jason and his team so that they can quickly and easily get their listings on the MLS.
Another trick Jason uses is creating canned responses on his email so that he can save time answering the same questions over and over. Having responses ready to go saves Jason hours a week when responding to emails. Even the simple, “got it, thanks!” can save you minutes if you have it ready to send without having to type it.
Passion Topic: Don’t Be Complacent
For Jason, not being complacent is a huge part of his business. It can be so easy to just get comfortable with the routine and not strive to do better. But for him, he recommends to always be seeking ways to improve your business. His specific passion advice for people entering the industry is to not get complacent, always keep an eye on your competition, and to seek out new technology that can help you.
Growth and improvement don’t happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process.
Rapid Fire Answers
Time Blocking: Just a computer clock
Favorite Technology: Zoom, Webmail, Backend Platform
CRM: Email Notes
Favorite Show: Narcos, Binging is his and his wife’s hobby
Overall Mentor: His father, both his parents are attorneys
Real Estate Teacher/Coach: His father
Training Resource: CE Shop (online real estate school)
Underrated Resource: Zillow