How Lauren Went From Struggling to Successful; Tripled Her Income in One Year!

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I'm Jennifer Myers, Founder of Agent Grad School and host of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.  My goal for each episode is to give you actionable steps you can implement today to grow your real estate business.

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Today on Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, I am interviewing one of the very first Agent Grad School students, Lauren Kolazas.

Lauren went from struggling to successful and tripled her income in just one year and she’s telling you how she did that in today’s podcast!

Lauren’s story in real estate is not unlike many other agents.  Although she held a real estate license for years, she was scared to truly commit to growing a successful business and would keep other jobs that stood in her way.

Lauren says “At the time, I thought I was only saying I was in marketing because I didn’t like certain aspects of the job of being a real estate agent. Having hindsight now, I realize I was saying it to protect myself from failure.”
When she found herself unemployed, seven months pregnant and trying to decide between another 9-5 job with her baby in daycare all day or working for herself, she reached out to me.

Here’s how she went from struggling to successful:

When Lauren actually sat down and calculated what she would need to make to cover basic bills and necessities for her family, she discovered it was just three houses a year. Just three. That made her goal feel much more clear and attainable.

From there, she followed the system we teach here at Agent grad School.

1.)  She learned that you have only two choices when you market yourself as a real estate agent. You can either talk to people you know or to people you don’t know. Those are the only two options and starting with people you know is better because they’re more easily converted, they already know you and it’s free to reach them.  This is the best way to start.

2.)  From there, Lauren followed the steps to create a weekly newsletter and sent it to everyone she knew.  She realized the hardest part was coming up with content so she used the content we give our students inside Agent Grad School called Swipefile and simple copied and pasted each and every week.

3.)  After creating this solid foundation in her business, a system for talking to people she knew and growing a list of people she didn’t know, she had to do something that most real estate agents don’t want to do to bust through a block in her business. This piece is CRUCIAL to becoming successful and is the opposite of what most real estate agents think will work.

She had to niche.When you niche, everything becomes easier—getting clients, serving those clients and creating loyal, repeat clients who want to refer you business too.

Here’s how to pick a niche to grow your business beyond your wildest dreams:

1.) Who you are best at serving?  Don’t rush this.  For Lauren, her niche and who she was best at serving didn’t come instantly. She had to think about what experiences she had had related to real estate and who she could solve a problem for.

2.) The best niche is someone you are a few steps ahead of.  That’s the group of people who you can actually add value you to. That’s where you need to be. 

Lauren sat with this question for a while, but then had a eureka moment when she realized that her niche was essentially herself. She had recently relocated her young family to a new neighborhood and had found the process to be overwhelming as she tried to find the ideal new neighborhood.
If Lauren, a real estate agent, was overwhelmed at the process of finding a house, she surmised that others might be overwhelmed by the experience as well. She decided to focus on the families in her previous neighborhood who were looking to buy their second, more long term home.

3.) Niche down even more than you think you should. Lauren’s niche was so focused that she niched not only to a neighborhood of 600 homes and potential clients to an even smaller niche of just 300. For people who might fear that’s too small of a niche, Lauren says “As soon as I niched, everything became clear. I knew what to say and how to say it. I knew who to talk to. Everything I said resonated with my potential clients.”

The more you niche, the more people can hear you. –Jennifer Myers, Founder, Agent Grad School

If you’re marketing your real estate business to everyone, how much can you really afford to do to reach them? Lauren’s niche was so focused, she could suddenly afford to send them postcard mailers, therefore staying at the front of their minds even more.

I felt people needed to hear from me more consistently and in different ways. I started to layer my marketing,” she said.

4.) Listen to your niche and give them what they need to get from where they are to where they want to be. Address what’s stopping them from already having done what they want to do.

Lauren noticed the moms in her mom’s group emails constantly asking “We’re outgrowing our house, what area should we move to?” She decided to create a list of property recommendations at a variety of price points and send that out as part of her newsletter. Leads thanked her extensively for the recommendations. Lauren had solved the main problem of her niche: where do we go now that we’ve outgrown our space?

Then something incredible happened. Lauren had niched down so successfully and was reaching her ideal clients so well that she had more business than she could handle. Instead of running out of business with a niche market so specific, Lauren found that she had to turn business away.

Yes, niching down to a very small, very concentrated list produced more clients than she could handle.
Instead of burdening herself with taking on the tasks of managing additional staff, Lauren decided to stop sending out postcards.

She could stop spending money on marketing because her free marketing was so targeted and clear, it was creating too much business for her to handle.

But, more than anything, Lauren was clear from the beginning on what she wanted her life to look like and created a real estate business that supported THAT.

She used the Big Why worksheet we use inside Agent Grad School with our new students to gain that clarity and now you can use it too!  Download it below and get connected with your big why.

Her Big Why became her guiding compass all along, the program running in the background that helped her make every decision and move forward with every step along the way.

So, start there.  Decide what the life you want to live looks like and then set about creating a business that supports that.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent with your host Jennifer Myers from aging grad Learn the secrets of real estate success that no one else will tell you. No fluff, no theory. Only exactly what’s going on in her own record, breaking business right now in today’s market. Yes, you can have the real estate business of your dreams. Here’s Jennifer I agents who Rob it’s Jennifer from age and grad school. Thank you so much for listening to the episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent today I’m interviewing one of the original graduates of the original age and grad school program. One of my Oh, geez. Lauren Kolazas hi, Lauren. Hi. I think it’s so awesome that you’re here to share and we have so much to talk about it. So I wanted to dive right in and I just wanted to start by saying a couple of things about Lauren. I think when I think about what really catapulted Lauren success, I think about how she, I think about a few things. I think two things that you apart more than anything Lauren, and this is what I want to highlight in today’s episodes. Number one is you actually do the work meaning when I, when we would meet for our one-on-ones or whenever you have an assignment, and I’m not even just talking about age and God’s will stop. I’m just talking about it. Like when Lauren wants something, she does the work to get it. So that’s number one. And the number to, I think what really turned the wheel for your business in particular is when you decided to have a niche. And that those, that really was the piece of the puzzle that was missing previously, that it went from how you went from struggling to very successful in a very short period of time and everything else. We started to fit in place after you made that one decision about your niche, which is exactly what we’re going to get into, how you got there, how you picked all of that. So we’re going to talk about how you decide on your niche. We’re going to talk about how you realize that you really have no other choice, but to start there, even though I think, you know, people fight that choice that don’t think that nicheing is important or, or they think they’re gonna have less clients, or we’re going to get in to that. But you really, once you made that decision, you really turn your business around it. It was kind of a sinking ship and you really turned it around with that one choice. And then from there, your marketing became so much more you and so much easier and so much more impactful. So we’ll talk through that. But before we begin, I always like when I interview somebody for the How They Did It series, I like to suggest a topic when I see them, what I really see as the thing that made their business turnover. But then I really like for the person I’m interviewing to come up with their own title. And so Lauren when I said, you know, what should the title of your episode be? What did you say? I said from floundering to focus, how she tripled her income in one year. Love it, especially excited about the tripling of the Income in one year and then one year. Yeah, it’s a really nice now. Now I have that pressure to do it again, like, like someone who writes a book and there’s all the pressure on the second book. And we’ll talk about that to you. I’m going to make sure you feel that way. That’s, you’re a new problem to have a new problem. I know. I’ll take it. Yeah. We’ll talk about that too. So let’s, let’s start a little bit, just tell everybody about you, who you are and then we’ll dive into your business. Okay. I am Lauren Kolazas I’m 37 years old. I am originally from Wilmington, Delaware, and I ended up in the Northern Virginia area, right outside of DC. After graduating from Virginia tech, I met my husband down here and we live in Alexandria, Virginia. I have two boys, four and six acute. And they’re lucky. They’re cute. It’s all three of your boys. Yeah. Anyone who has boys out there knows that they’re climbing the walls and jumping on all the furniture and, but, but fun. And I have a house that I bought about three years ago and we are, well, I am still obsessively decorating it and enjoying that process and sharing that on Instagram. And we’re about to embark on a bigger renovation. We’re going to do a, a kitchen addition for the spring. Hopefully this, this has also been a, a, a three-year project and I like to do yoga and meditate and take walks and to hang out with my family. I have a nice little quiet suburban life right now. That’s awesome. And I feel like I could talk to you about, like, for hours, just about your own personal life in the books that you recommend that I read and like all sorts of things. Podcast, you know, that there’s so much that we could talk about it, but for today I wanted to just focus on the business piece. So let’s get started. I always find it fascinating how people get into real estate in the first place and what the beginning of your career looks like and kind of why you decided to become a real estate agent. So part of your story, I think this part’s kind of funny and usually it is to talk about it because it’s like not in all reality, right? It never had an intention of working in real estate. And I graduated from Virginia tech with a degree in marketing management, and then like most college graduates I went and worked in are in a bar. So I was working at a bar and a brewery in Delaware actually. And there were like a group of other guys who would come in every Friday and hang out. And eventually one of them asked me if I was, if that would be interested in a real estate job. And I was like, I mean, I guess it would be better than this. He said he was a contractor and a investor. So he built homes. And then sometimes he would sell them sometimes hold on to them and rent them out. And so he hired me as his administrative assistant. So that was my first, my first job in real estate. And then from there, I, I wanted to get out of Delaware. So I knew I wanted to move down to Northern Virginia. And I got a temp job at American university doing event planning, but it was only like a three month position. And so I was, while I was there, of course it was looking for something else. And you had health insurance and 401k and something a little longer term. So I got a job eventually doing marketing and event planning and a big title company down here. And so that sort of like merged my experience in event planning. And then I got for my American university and the real estate experience I’d had before with a contractor. And so I worked at the title company for, I think for years. And then eventually I would go out in the market. It’s all of the different real estate agents at different offices to encourage them to come and bring their client’s to close at a title company. And one of my clients who was a real estate agent and had a team approached me about coming and working for him and doing his marketing. And so I ended up making that job switch and I did marketing. And then I basically would take, as soon as we got a new listing, I would take that listing and do everything that we needed to do to get it on the market. So it was the listing manager, I guess it’s called for this team in Northern Virginia. And you were there for how long Lauren before you reached out to me. So I think I was with team for about four years. Okay. So you’re running their listings, I think doing some marketing for them, generally speaking. And then, you know, you don’t have to give all the details, but one day you’ve reached out to me and Lauren and I had known each other previously, we ended up, we went to the same college, but we weren’t necessarily friends in college. It wasn’t that we weren’t friends. And I was like, we were friends of friends, so we knew of each other, but we didn’t know each other. And one day out of the blue, you call me and invited me to lunch. And I’m just curious, we never really talked about why you called me. Yeah. Talk about that. Well, so you and I had, we’d like ran on the same circle. I was still around here. I would see you occasionally. And then basically my thing’s did not work out with my previous employer and said, yeah, that’s enough on that. But just to call me and I wasn’t sure why, well, I called you because I was unemployed. And I was like seven months pregnant. And, you know, I had had this experience with, with a big, one of the really big brokerages. And I think at the same time, I was exploring finding another nine to five job while also exploring what my childcare options we’re at the time. And I was beginning to realize that that kind of nine to five office job with my baby in daycare all day, wasn’t really what I wanted. So I think it all sort of worked out the way it was supposed to Oh, of course. Yeah. But I was, so I was trying to figure out, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I kind of knew what I didn’t want. And I had been keeping tabs on you because we were both working in real estate and you know, the same area over the years. And I knew that you were doing really well. And you know, I wanted to reach out to a woman who was my age and just, I didn’t have any expectation or goal really for that meeting. I just wanted to talk to you for some reason and, and sort of maybe get some advice about what, what I should be doing next. I have all this experience I’m in this position where I can’t really take a nine to five job. So what do you like, what do you think I should do? And I think that was just out of the yeah. And your timing was perfect because I just about 60 days before that, that meeting, I had started my own brokerage to while residential brokerage and I needed some help on the marketing of the brokerage. Right. So, yeah, I think both of us were like, wait, you could do this. So you came on board, not as an agent really, right. At dwell residential, you came on board more, you were a licensed and you did bring her license over, but your intention, and maybe you can talk a little bit about this, that your intention wasn’t necessarily to sell houses at the brokerage. You wanted to keep your license active, but you weren’t doing real estate full-time that you were helping me with marketing. So yeah, maybe you can explain that part of your life. So I think at the time I had figured out how much money I had to bring in the door in order for us to just pay our bills. And you were able to offer me enough marketing, like freelance marketing and branding work for dwell that that really could keep me afloat. And then I think it was like one real estate sale here and there. The reason why that was so appealing was because I could, I mean, for the first, almost a year, I wasn’t home with my son. And so I could do all of this while he was sleeping or, you know, after he went to bed at night. So it gave me a lot of flexibility and I think it was a great sort of segue between like leaving the nine to five job and then ultimately deciding to sell real estate full time. So let’s talk about that transition. You, I’m going to give you a minute to hear you. I think we’re a little, you, you, there was a time when you purposely took some time off and you were doing marketing and it really fit your lifestyle. But I think there was a good amount of time after that, that you were nervous to switch to being an agent full time. And I just want to hear more about that in particular. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, even when I was working for the other brokerage and had my license, I would still say, I’m not really an agent. I’m just the marketing person. So there was a time period after you were taking her maternity to leave and doing marketing that I think you want to turn things over to being a real estate agent, but something was stopping you. And I’d like you to talk about that particular time period. Right. Even when I was back at the other brokerage, I did have my license, but I would never tell us that, like when I met someone, I wouldn’t say I’m a real estate, Jen. I would say I worked for this team doing marketing. And I think at that time, I really thought I was saying that because I didn’t want to be an agent because I didn’t like this thing or that thing about it. It didn’t suit me and not salesy. And so those are the things that I would tell myself. But now that I’m older and wiser and I have all this hindsight, I think that I was scared that it wasn’t going to work out for me. And so if I say I’m a real estate agent, and then I fail, then I’m a failed real estate agent and I’m a failure. And I was really scared. I was scared to commit to that. I think he, and I could tell you were kind of dabbling because every now and then he would bring like a real estate question to me. And finally, one day I remember us because we would do one-on-ones you kind of, you would like slowly but surely time to transition. I don’t know why or how, but I just saw, it felt like you had like a dealer to every now and then, and that you would bring them to me for help, or we would talk. And finally, one day I remember we were doing a one-on-one like I do with the agents that I work with. And I said to you Lauren, do you want to be a real estate agent? And I probably said, I don’t know. Yeah. And so I know we worked through that, but I guess I want you to describe to people how you got the courage to do, to transition and how you just do that because there’s a lot of people listening that might say it might be on that same fence. Like, can I really do this full time? Should I dive in with two feet? And so I guess what I’m trying to do is point to what was stopping you and how did you decide to pull the rip cord and jump in with two feet? I do remember that conversation and what I remember, I remember there being in a conversation about the finances and you said something like you could make what you’re making, doing this decide thing, doing the Real, the, the marketing easily. If you can just sell, you know, I don’t know what it was two or three houses in a year, and then you wouldn’t have to do all this other work. And I think for whatever reason, I, I am notoriously bad at making decisions. My family is probably laughing at the us right now for, for whatever reason. I had complete clarity. When you said that, I felt like it, it was obvious that that was what I should do next. Yeah. So I think that’s one takeaway for people and this same exact thing happened when you listened to my own story. Because I also, I think there is a piece of us all who feel like we can’t quite jump in with two feet because if we don’t really see how the, like a net for our landing, because we’re worried we’re going to be failures, we’re going to mess up and we’re going to fail. And therefore we, as people, as human beings are failures, right? And so I think that stops us a lot. But when you sit down and you really break it down, and this is a part of my story too, I realized like, I only need it to sell eight houses a year. And then when you start to like, quantify that, like the question really becomes Lauren, do you think it could sell three houses a year? And you were like, yeah, yeah. I think I ran already. I think I was already doing it. I was just, I was still giving myself a reason not to commit and making my life more than it needed to be. Right. And I also think, you know, at that point, even in grad school, four, the dwell agents, I was getting a little bit more put together. And so I promise you, like, I will help you make this happen. Like I knowing what you know about branding and knowing that you’re somebody who just makes like stuff happen when you want it. I knew with those two things, you we’re going to be a success, even though maybe you didn’t see it and it, or, and, or it was just so scary. I think that might’ve also been in the conversation or one after that, it was like, you got to feel the fear and do it anyway. Like, you’re going to be scared. I’m going to be scared. You can’t wait for that moment when you’re not scared. Right. And you gave me the book and I read that. And that was also a life-changing because I am just one of those people. I probably feel fear most of the time. So I need to, to somehow get past that and just do things or else I’m going to be stuck. So that’s another takeaway for this episode is don’t wait for the moment when you’re not scared to move forward, because that’s never going to happen. You’ve got to get comfortable with moving forward while you’re scared. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be, you know, haphazard about it or crazy about it or do something silly. But I think a lot of people, myself included, we wait to jump until like, the fear of jumping goes away and it’s not going to right. Okay. Moving, keep moving one step at a time and you’ll get where you need to get. So you decided to flip the switch and become in the age full time. Why don’t we talk about the beginning of that part of your real estate career? Okay. And forgive me if this is fuzzy. Cause I had two babies and two years at that time, so that’s a lesson and it’s seriously a lot of blur, but I know that I brought, I was trying to think back and I know that the first year I brought home, way more than it needed. And I think I even, I had a two year old and I was either pregnant or just had a baby at that time. So when you say brought home, you mean that you were able to make well more than the two to three sales that you were planning on? Yes. Yes. I surpassed what I, what I needed in order to just, you know, break even and pay the bills. But it was, it was kind of crazy at that time. I was still trying to figure out childcare and, you know, managing a newborn baby and all of that. But despite all of that, I was still able to, to make, I don’t know what it was. I think I made $50,000 the first year just selling real estate. So that was eye at the time. I remember being really excited that that was a big success in my eyes. Okay. So let’s talk a little bit about how you did that. So you went from zero to $50,000 a year and that felt like a win for you. You set a goal and you map and you went over it, but that didn’t just happen like with you in doing nothing. So talk about one or two things that you put in place during that time that created that business for you. That helps you surpass the goal that you had. So during that time, you and I started meeting and you would tell me the different steps that I needed in order to create consistent real estate business coming in. And the first step was putting together an e-mail list and then sending out a newsletter content every week to my clients. And I understood it and I got it and I did my best to, to pull that off. I At, I got my list together in my sphere of influence and anyone else that I had done real estate business with them in the past. And I set up a, a MailChimp account, I guess. And then I had, at first I was writing it all myself. And then eventually I hired a writer to write some of the content for me, which then sometimes I would also have to rewrite. And what I found was it was virtually impossible for me to keep up with that on top of all the other stuff I had to do and send it out in a consistent manner. Like I wanted to send it out every Thursday. So I had to send it out so Tuesday and then I’d send it out like three weeks later. And so I didn’t think that I was showing my clients that I could be counted on because I couldn’t even get this newsletter out. And I think that’s, I’m going to pause or stop you right there for just a second. I want everybody to realize that the consistency really needs to be weekly or not monthly your, your, if you’re going to have a sphere of influence email newsletter, which in my opinion, and that’s for a different training, but in my opinion, that is the cheapest easiest way to start. Your real estate career is to speak on a weekly basis to the people you already know. And consistently on that means weekly, not monthly, not every couple of weeks, like you were finding it difficult to keep too, even a regular schedule, or even if you decide that it was every other week right now, I agree it needs to be a weekly because you have to be top of mind for all of those people all the time. And they very quickly forget about you or if you’re not constantly reaching out and we’ll talk. Yeah. And we’ll talk more about how what’s reach out with and all of that stuff. But yeah, so that was number one, you put together a e-mail list and you realize that you weren’t able to do it consistently. And then I think I offered, I was writing content consistently. And so I think I offer that to you to share with your group. Yes. And that was such a relief and a life changer. So finally I had content that was provided to me. It didn’t have to go researching on the internet and all I had to do was copy and paste it into my MailChimp account and send it out to my client’s. And that really, it was like the very first thing I did it for my business, but it felt like it, it was a consistent marketing piece that I was doing every single week. And that didn’t work out really well for me. And then you Did. Yeah. And that’s crucial. I mean, that’s number one is getting on your list together, putting together an email and starting to market to people you already know. Right. We did one other thing during that time period. Not everybody needs to do this, but you in particular are really good at creating websites and creating lead Producing websites. Talk a little bit about that because what you did as we discussed is you drew people back to a website. So not only did you share content by email, but you gave them a link to your website to help brand yourself even more, which is like a one, two punch. So you’re reaching out to them every single week, but you’re bringing them back to a place that you can like kind of keep them, which was your website. So let’s talk, can you talk about, just a little bit about your website and how you created it because it’s completely different than your typical real estate agent website. It actually produces Leeds for you and its the same words that you use today. Yeah, it is. I created that website mostly because I wanted to be able to post my newsletter content on a website and I’ve always felt like it’s important for of a business to have a website. And I also looked at my website as an opportunity for me to brand myself and show who I was a little bit different from other real estate agents. And in addition to that, so at the top of my website, I had a section where people could sign up to begin receiving my newsletter. And then I, I ultimately ended up adding two email series to the right-hand column on my website. So people can sign up for I’m a buyer series that I have on there and a seller series. So that’s something that I include and some of my other things that I sent out now, and it’s a way for me to draw people in and get them on my website and get them to sign up. But back when we were talking about when you were just starting, when you were doing the 50,000, I don’t think you’ve quite had that done yet. And so I want to make sure that people understand what’s happening here. So what Lauren did was she went and she started communicating to people that she already knew on a consistent basis with an email leaning back to a branded website. So what that did was create not only branding for you, but it made you look like a professional and made you look like you had your stuff together. And it was all very professionally done right now. What started to happen was you squeezed all the juices out of the people you already knew. And to me, and you said, I haven’t had a sale in six months, what do I do? Right, right. Okay. So this is what I want every single agent to hear it loud and clear about this part of the story. I’m going to kind of like do a mini workshop within this podcast in a high How They Did It series of Lauren. So here’s the tech take-aways number one. You must start with who you already know, just getting her list together and communicating to them successfully, excuse me, consistently and successfully. It’s the cheapest quickest, smartest place to start your business. So this first year that she was in business, she implemented this one strategy along with her website. So that’s two things, only two things that you Did and you really wrung the juice out of the people you already knew. But what starts to happen is once you’ve done that, and once you have that all set up and you’ve doing it consistently at some point, and this goes for every single real estate agent that is step one, you surpass your goals, but guess what, what happened in year two? You didn’t meet your goals. Not only did you not meet your goals, but your sales went down and this is very typical. And so that is when you know it is time to start growing your list and start communicating to people that you don’t already know. But you can’t, you can’t start doing that until you have this first part really set up because that is you are a solid foundation or any real estate agent. You’ll only have two choices when it comes to your marketing and two choices. When it comes to growing your business, you can either talk to people, you know, or you can talk to people. You don’t know, those are the only options. Start with the people, you know, they’re more easily converted. They already know you. There’s, there’s a trust that you’re going to turn them over more quickly and it’s free. It’s cheap to reach them. But then when you start feeling like that’s getting me where I want to go only then because you have the structure, the foundation set up, you could add on top of what Lauren Did and really start deciding who your niche is and deciding how to reach people. You don’t already know. So let’s talk through this kind of phase to figuring out how you’re going to grow your business beyond people that you already knew and the way to do that is what Lauren, because you’ve been through it and he did it so successfully. I you know, like I talk about it all the time. So on blue in the face, or what is the name, Find your niche. And now I tell people that it, yeah, it actually ended up being eight months that I didn’t sell any real estate and it was horrible. So I remember calling you and talking about what had happened and what I was doing. And you were like, you need to get more people on your list. You don’t have enough people on your list. And so that was the beginning of me, really thinking hard, brainstorming about who that might be and how I might get them onto my list and what I ultimately decided. And it didn’t, it wasn’t like we got off the phone and I have the answer. I had to think about it for a while. But you know, I had just gone through this experience of trying to buy a house in Northern Virginia. And I found it to be very overwhelming, complicated, to deal with commute and price in schools and getting something big enough. And I had been living in a neighborhood that was hard to leave. And so I decided to, Top essentially talking to myself or other young families who are trying to find their second more long-term home and specifically the people in my previous neighborhood. And then it just so happened that they gave us as the moms club members, the opportunity to sell that before you start talking about how you went around that, I want to pause for a second and talk to just make sure everybody understands this takeaway. So Lauren was a real estate agent and she just went through a, it was like several months of you being worried, scared of going through all of the emotions of moving out of a neighborhood you love and into figuring out a new to the unknown. And so you are in the business and you felt overwhelmed and you were like stuck more than once about how to make that happen. Where do you go all of this stuff, right? It had just gone through this very impactful, emotional experience that when you looked around a lot of your friends or going through the same experience and they were getting stuck, is that what you would have said was that’s my niche, my niche is people just like me because that’s who all your friends were. And then you decided to access that moms clubs. So talk to me and it was, it was even, it was more specific because it just, I decided my niche was just this one particular neighborhood. So it was the, the families and this one neighborhood that were looking to move up and out. Okay. So when people hear that, because this is the biggest pushback that I get every single time I talk about niching and choosing the target audience, people think, and by the way, the neighborhood she was talking about, is it the neighborhood of maybe 600 houses and it’s even niched for other than that, because it was a particular like style of home that’s fit this, the type of people, it was a certain model of homes. So I would say units down to it. You probably know because you send out mailings, but what was, what was the number? What’s the number of mailings that of people that you ended up niching to? I mean, I mostly market to the moms. And so I think that’s a group of 300. Okay. So I want everybody to hear this loud and clear. Lauren went from not being able to sell a house at eight months previously selling $50,000 worth of real estate to her sphere. And then she decided to niche not only to a particular neighborhood, but a subset in, within that neighborhood. So she went from the neighborhood of 600 people and decided to niche even further to people who can identify with her to go to a group of 300 people. And people are going to say, that’s a way too small of a list. I’m going to get less clients than more. What do you say to those people? It’s the opposite. I, as soon as I niched, it was like, everything became clear. I knew what to say. And you had to say it. I knew who I was talking to. And so I think everything I was communicating to them was resonating with them. And therefore I got, I mean, anytime I sent something out to that group, I would get at least one to two people contacting me. Okay. Does everyone hear that? Eight months? Not one lead. She niched down to a group of 300 people and she got one or two leads every month. Yes. And growing. So more than anything, I want the takeaway to be the more you niche, the more people can hear you. Yeah. I think, I think that is so important because if you’re, if you’re, if you’re marketing to the whole DC Metro area, I mean, how often can a new agent really afford to send something out and communicate with them? So the more, it was easy for me, I could, I just had 300 people so I could send them postcards. I could send them a newsletter. I could do this other extra news on her for them. And I could just focus on this one group and they really could hear me. And it takes a while for people to, to acknowledge your message that you’re sending to them. Well, you say a while, but it wasn’t. It was like you started even with your first email, you got one or two leads, but then you, I think this is what’s crucial. You devise the plan from there. So let’s talk about your marketing strategy. Once you niche down to your 300 people, let’s talk about your marketing strategy. You picked out a very specific things that targeted that group, that very small group, you walk through what those were. Right. So the first thing that I did was I started sending it through the group. I have the opportunity to send an email once a month for a, regarding my business. And at first I don’t even know what I was sending, something that salesy and silly, but I just really studied the group were on a listserv. So I see emails all the time from members and I, the thing I kept seeing over and over again was we’re out, we’re outgrowing our house. Where do we go? We’re outgrowing a house. Where do we go? It was, you know, in every, every other week someone was emailing me that question. And I felt like I had to answer. I knew where they should go. So I because you had just gone through it and had just gone through it. And I literally had looked everywhere. So I felt I was an expert in where to go after moving out in this neighborhood. And so I created a, a list of property recommendations and different price points. And I started sending that out as part of my newsletter. So then that was sort of, that was the main piece of it. So now I write like a little introductory thing to them about what’s happening. And I add, and I have a, I call it a real estate update. So I tell them everything that’s going on in the market, in the neighborhood regarding real estate. And then I say, if you’re thinking of moving and you have no idea where to go check out these listings, these or some of those things I recommend. And I think that part is, I mean, that’s the part that people come up to me and say, thank you so much. And I love getting your emails are so helpful. You’re solving the problem that they have, which is where do we go? Exactly. So I want to make sure that everybody sees the formula. She started with people. She knew, then she started marketing to people. She didn’t know. She first decided what her niche was. It was her people she could identify with. And that could identify with her. She was one or two steps beyond them because she had gone through the hurdle that everybody around her, in her niche was getting stuck by. And then she started her communication consistently month after month free to this, where she was already hanging out. And more than anything, she listened first, listen to what the problem was and your goal was solve it. Right? Exactly. And then once you started getting business, you started kind of increasing from there. So talk about when you started doing postcards and eventually Facebook ads, but I want people to see that there is a step-by-step process to marketing. You start with where you are and where you’re like doing free stuff. So you started the email for free. You started where you, where you listen to that audience in what they needed and you filled that need. And then you added a few, you, you tried dabbled in other marketing techniques that I want people to hear that part of the story. Yes. I felt like they needed to hear from me in another way or more often. And so for what I call it now is like layering my marketing. So I felt like I had to first piece in place. And then I wanted to layer it with something else they heard from me again. And so the first thing that I tried was, was postcards. And so I think I had post cards on my, like on my to-do list for several months. And for whatever reason, I would like run at a time or run out of money or I felt like, Oh, maybe that’s not important anymore. And then one day I realized that I was terrified to send out a postcard to the whole neighborhood. Why? Because I remember this conversation and I remember being like, Oh, that’s him. Yeah. So there was, there was his, another agent in the neighborhood who had like, who had completely dominated real estate sales for years. And I was very nervous about, I felt like we were competitors and that I was not gonna win that competition. And so that made me, it just made me so nervous to send a postcard and, you know, sell myself to everybody as the new expert in that neighborhood. But I could come up with tons of, out of excuses. You know what I mean? It was, I didn’t have time. I didn’t have money. I was also afraid that I was going to send something out, that it was ridiculous and people hate it. And so I think that kept me on the sidelines for a while, until I finally realized what was actually going on. You got really clear and honest with yourself. When you realize that you were scared of being made fun of, or what would people think of me, or especially with this, we’re a spelling error, send a spelling error out to, you know, 300 people. So you finally felt the fear and did it anyway. And you got those out. It did. Yes. And I got a listing for the first round that I sent out. So thank God. And then, so you sent out postcards for a period of time, but you’re not doing any doing it anymore. I’m curious if you could talk about why you’re no longer doing it and why you stopped doing it. Yeah. I was sending out postcards for a while. And how long was a while? Yeah, maybe for three to six months. And I was getting business from it, but what I ultimately decided was that it was, it ended up being too much. And so I dialed that back and decided to just go back to focusing on my, my mom’s club newsletter. And that has served me since then. So when you say too much, you mean you had too much business than you can handle, is that what you’re saying? Yes. And you know, I tried to keep my eye that some people would have been happy with all of that, but I’m still trying to spend a significant amount of time with my kids who are really young. And I don’t want to feel like completely overwhelmed by my real estate business at this point. So just to recap, a year prior, you went eight months without selling a house without getting leads. You decided to niche and you all of a sudden, within a year had way too much business to handle. And so you could stop doing it, spending money on marketing because your, your free marketing was so targeted and so clear that you had more business that you could do with just by sending out one email a month. Is that what you’re saying? Yes, exactly. And then, you know, the, the goal with all of that is always to get them onto my, onto my weekly newsletter. So I have links in there for them to click from that newsletter and to get them into my weekly newsletter. And that’s kind of just running behind the scenes at this point, because you’re still getting, they’re still swiping the content and you’re just sending it out. That’s almost on autopilot. So what I want everybody to hear is the newsletter or the weekly newsletter to people. She knew she never went away, but here’s the thing. She started to know more people ’cause she started to put herself out there. So they started to know her and then ended up on the, I know you list that that was happening in the background and that alone, that alone gave you more business than you knew what to do with it. Right? So let’s, let’s end on that note. So you had more business than you knew what to do with it. And you were able to scale back your marketing and really create, and this is the whole point of it guys, like, you know, it’s not about how many houses you can sell. It’s not about selling all the houses you can sell on helping all of the clients that you can. It’s about knowing the life first and foremost is that you want to create and then making sure that your real estate business fuels that like not the other way around. So I remember us meeting sometimes Lauren when you were like super busy and you’re going to hire a team and you’re going to do all of this. And why do I say every single time you tell me, what is it that you want now? And what would you say? I want to work last and make more money. Okay. So, and then I would say something along the lines that, so if you want to work less and make more money, why are you gonna manage a team? Is that, why are you going to, you know, if you’re meeting your goals and you can dial back your marketing and you can dial back, you’re work and still create the life that you want outside of your real estate business, why add more to it? Exactly. And every single time we have that conversation, I feel like your income goes higher and you do less. And I’m really jealous Lesson. The hard way for you in my life was out of control because I was trying to sell everything that went my way. So I just want to commend you moron for being able to make those choices about your life. No, thanks. I mean, I, I do think it’s easy because I ha I mean, I have kids and they need me, they need attention for me and they need that for me now. And so I have to be able to, to put them, I always put them first. And so then it’s, it’s easier to make decisions about work. Yeah. And you’re making the right decisions. You’re growing your business the right way. And I think the other piece of that and correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re confident in what you’ve created. So you know, that you can say no to certain business because you know, the right business and the business that you want is coming to you in other ways. Would you agree with that or, yeah. Do you feel confident? And I also, I love the feeling of, of really understanding an area and a client, and really, truly being able to add value and help them. And I can’t do that for every single person, you know, in the DC Metro area. It’s a, you know, it’s a specific, it’s a specific area that I work and it’s a specific client. And if I feel like I can’t help them, then now it’s easy to, to refer them out to someone else and get the referral fee. And also I’d like to add that you were used to be a licensed in all three States because we live in like kind of a tri tri-state area. And now you’re only licensed in one, because again, why have licenses in all three States if you’ve decided to build a business and just one, yeah. I went out one last time in DC and I just, they knew way more than I did about, about living in Washington, DC, because they lived there and I didn’t, and I just said, this is it. I can’t, I’m not adding value. They know more than I do about this. I’m going to, I’m going to focus where I really know, you know, you know, where you live. And so that’s where I’ve decided to focus. Amazing. So doing less, not more got you the exact business and life and income you want to do. Correct. Yay. So, anything else that you want to add for any agent listening that maybe is where you were when you were kind of going through all this and making these decisions along the way? Yeah, my main advice, and this is what I tell other agents. If they come to me for advice is to have to locate your niche and think about who do you know well, who do you understand? Who is most likely like you, that you can offer something too, and then lay down that first piece of marketing until you start to see some results. And then you can layer down on a second piece of marketing until you feel completely comfortable and confident with that. And I think you just keep doing that and keep doing that. And then you can take that, that experience and do it again. And another neighborhood or another area, or with another group of people. If you decide to grow your business or decide you don’t need to or decide you don’t need to. And just do nothing while you do a lot. I wouldn’t say you do nothing, but you you’ve grown the business that you want, and you have no need to expand from there. Right? Exactly. That’s wonderful advice. So one last question for you. If you could give a real estate agent, somebody new coming into the business or somebody who’s, Struggling one bite sized tip on how to go from where they are to where they want to be and how to be successful. If you can narrow it down to one tip other than niching, what would it be? If I could give another real estate agent, just one tip to have both the business and life you want, it would be to gather up all the email addresses you have for your sphere of influence or any clients that you’ve worked with and start your weekly newsletter immediately. Thank you. Lauren. Thank you. Jennifer Okay. Thanks for listening to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent with Jennifer. Myers be sure to head over to aging grad to leave a comment about what you’ve learned today and what you’d like to implement into your own business. Once you’re there be sure to sign up for Jennifer free weekly training opportunities, exclusive content, insiders tips, and personal notes. You won’t get anywhere else. Let Jennifer help you make your real estate business greens a reality.

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