HOW YOSSEFF ROMAN EMBRACED COMPETITION AND WON!
We’ve all done it – peeked across the digital pond, and taken a look at what another Real Estate agent is doing to get success in their slice of their market. The sad part is, usually, that’s where the story ends – that’s where you turn back into your echo chamber and try to chart a course alone, apart from the other agent’s influence. Worse yet, sometimes the other agents become the enemy, and the justification begins as to why a boundary has to form between their business and yours.
What if we said that another agent across the aisle could potentially be a positive force for your business?
There’s a blueprint that bypasses the trend to ignore our competition (except when we’re social media stalking). It’s time we stopped being secret agents to one another, and realized we’re in this game together. Yosseff Roman has built a system to embrace other agent referrals and it has turned his business into a lead generating machine. On top of that, it has allowed him to tap into new markets, new venture, new perspectives, and new possibilities. In this latest 80/20 blog, he gives the blueprint for how he retains these relationships, maintains momentum, and flips the script by embracing his peers and making other agents an advantage.
What got you into Real Estate?
I’m originally from New York. Most New Yorkers end up moving to Florida due to the weather, no state income tax, and Disney right around the corner. I got into Real Estate back in 2003. As a young agent, I didn’t know much about Real Estate as a business. I worked for a small brokerage in Miami. I just learned the industry and the market, which was different at that time. By 2006 I owned my own Real Estate and mortgage company and by 2008 the market crashed and I was out of business. After that I moved to Orlando and I went to work for corporate, where I did a journey of almost 10 years. It was then that I realized that I loved Real Estate, but I felt like I didn’t know then what I knew now, which was how to manage a business. Along the way I picked up skills that, had I had those skills in my previous trial in Real Estate, I would’ve been a lot more successful. I had the desire to transition into Real Estate, but I also had the fear of failure. I just wanted to set up my business to where, no matter what happened to the market, I was successful. That’s when I connected with Craig, and we began to work together to map out that plan. Thanks to that, I was able to have a plan and a vision, and was able to maintain purpose and intent with everything that I did.
We broke it down to the minimum. What were my fears? They all included failure. How do I leave a company that has a lot of security for something that is commission based? It came down to having a conversation about mindset, and being intentional with our time. What’s the number and the timeline of activities you need to have to create the transactions that need? Once we narrowed it down to the minimum, I began to feel comfortable.
So I went from very low activity in 2019 to a 2020 where we increased that activity, and then in 2021 we hit $300,000 in GCI.
What are some key stats that make you feel like you’ve moved the business forward?
This year we will hit $35 million in volume. My goal is to be an MREA (Millionaire Real Estate Agent) agent by the end of the year. Year over year we have grown 350% in production. When I think about those conversations about knowing your numbers, it’s about knowing exactly where you are and where you’re heading. 22% of our business comes from our sphere of influence, and 36% come from agent referrals. When you break that down, it’s 58 percent coming from our database. The majority of our business comes from our database.
It came through a conversation we had about having an action plan. One of the first conversations we had was, “Who are your cheerleaders?” I was passionate about leveraging agent referrals. I resonate well with agents across the Country, so I thought to myself, we are going to tap into that as a source. We categorized our top cheerleaders, adding them into our network and treating them the same way as we did our regular sphere of influence. Contacting them using 36 to Convert campaigns to build relationships. In this business, we create relationships with our sphere of influence in the same way that we do these agents. 36% has come from agent referrals, so it is a massive part of our business.
How do you get agents into your network?
When I started, I didn’t know anyone, so I began to use my resources. I looked up stats of, where are people migrating to Orlando from? I came up with a list of Cities, and then mapped out a plan to focus on those locations. I started joining referral networks, I did national events, mixers, joining calls, joining Facebook groups, and started conversations. It could be comments, messages, or calls. When I was in that city we made a point to connect. Everyone has a different method and lives in a different place. I made it a point to connect with someone one on one. I made it a point to deposit something to get the relationship out.
What was key was to connect with the person, knowing that they may not have someone ready for me right now. The goal was to have them think of me when someone did need an agent from Orlando. The person would be receptive when we spoke, because the agent knew me and referred to me. It doesn’t mean that 150 people send me a referral, it means that they may know someone who knows someone. I got this idea from a conversation that we had. If you think about how we treat our sphere of influence, they don’t all have business for us right now. We treat them as if they did because we want to be top of mind so that when they have something to send, they think of us.
How many people are in your core Facebook Group?
Probably several hundred people all across the country. I created that in the spirit of collaborating. It serves a purpose of coming from contribution, building relationships and exposure. It’s about agents working together to overcome objections. We learn together in that group.
Give me some examples of how you come from contribution to agents in your world?
COVID was happening, and everyone’s business was affected. I feel like the scripts and role play allowed us to practice our craft. At that point, it was how do we use technology to keep in contact and keep our businesses going. I started offering reviews for my agent referral network. Who doesn’t love a good review, and who says you can’t just tell the truth and say how much you admire this person? I treat the agent referral business just like I treat my clients – VIP service. It’s top tier treatment all-around. Anything we can do that we can provide to them when they are here, whether that means recommending a great place to have lunch or giving some extra tickets to Top Golf, we always come from contribution.
I have referral agents that are from different brokerages. I have one that we have closed four deals together. The relationship is what matters first. You have to deliver when the agent sends you the referral, and that really does a lot to strengthen their confidence in you. It doesn’t have to be four or five hours away. You have to have zero limitations on where this referral comes from. It doesn’t have to be a great distance. I’m in Lake Nona, Orlando so forty minutes away becomes a big trip for some agents, and many of them want an expert of that exact location. Some agents need help with short sales, and we help with that. It’s an opportunity for an agent referral.
When we did business planning, we planned for what we were going to do in this part of the business. I knew exactly what we needed to accomplish and if there was a budget scenario. We specifically planned for this part of the growth. As you’re thinking about expanding your agent referral business, strategize for how you’re going to increase your agent referrals. If you continue to do what you need to do for that plan, and it’s a good plan, you’ll begin to see growth.
How did intention play a role?
Well, everything we do aims at having a massive amount of intention. The goal is always to have them like you and remember you enough to send you business. Whether they live in our town or a different town, we want them to call us for their real estate needs because we’re going to connect them with a great agent.
How would you approach these agents?
If I didn’t know them – I would introduce myself and let them know that I saw that they are a top agent. I would have a simple conversation. Here is a top secret for how I built it. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. If you don’t know what to say, say, “Hi.” Normally, prepared, I would know what I wanted to talk about and what I wanted to get out of the conversation. When we call our sphere of influence, we know what we want to talk to them about. It’s not rocket science. Just have a conversation with them with the purpose of having something you want to get out of it. When you call and have something to potentially offer, it makes things easier.
What do you advise a new agent without a track record for success?
If you’re a new agent, that’s perfectly alright. You can successfully take a client from A-Z. You can come from a place where you are seeking a two-way street referral partnership. You can easily have a conversation about if they have an agent referral in your area or not. Simple as that. People give you business because they like and trust you. Your job is to get them to like and trust you enough that they want to send you business. Don’t worry about building an agent referral business about who’s going to send business to you. Think about an agent referral business that involves you referring out to other agents.
One of the things that I realized in all of this is the psychology behind building a successful business. Even if they don’t have a client in the moment to give you, something in their brain clicks. All of a sudden it becomes that theory of observation, where someone says, “Look at a red car,” and then you begin to only notice the red cars. It’s similar for putting yourself at top of mind when someone thinks about Real Estate.
So the content you’re sending these agents is different from what you send to your sphere?
It is different. Kim and the team at advantage80/20 create a bespoke 36 to Convert Campaign to send out to our agent referral network, but that is just one portion of the equation of building a relationship. We have conversations and build connections. It’s not just business, it’s building a relationship because we’re coming from contribution. When agents have challenges, we help them.
Let’s talk about mindset. Talk about what happened to switch your mindset to transform your business?
The struggles that I had were being all on and then all off. You’d press on the gas and then success would come and then you’d let off the gas. I felt like success wasn’t coming right now and it wasn’t coming right now. I needed to dedicate time to it, but I would get frustrated and overwhelmed, until I understood that what you do today, you see flourish tomorrow. The constant was making sure that you had the activities and stuck to the plan. The results would then arrive in time. The consistency over time was key. What clicked was me understanding that the position I was in then wasn’t the true position for success. I stuck to the consistency, and then it was truly zero to sixty.
With a plan I was able to create a vision and have clarity that where we were at wasn’t where we were heading. Maintain the activities no matter what. Three hours of lead generation a day is critical. That time, those conversations, are key – whether you’re rocking it that month or not. That has to continue, and it has been critical to my success today.
Well there you have it. One agent’s competition is another’s contribution. We at advantage80/20 believe that there’s 20% within the activities that you do that will give you 80% growth. Yosseff found his 20% in building relationships outside of his immediate network. He increased his net worth by using technology to not just peek across the pond, but to actually cross barriers and build relationships.
Here’s a question that gets us excited – where is your next referral pipeline going to come from?
Don’t let a history of inactivity slow you down. You can let the past slow you down because you feel like you’re not getting paid immediately. Find the corners of your world that you can send business to. Based on what we’ve experienced, it doesn’t have to be from your immediate location. The trick is, if you’re going to build relationships, you can’t just use these platforms to talk at people on a grand scale. You have to also use them to have personal conversations that build trust. Once that trust is built, and you embrace a plan on how to utilize it, the possibilities are endless.
See Yosseff’s full interview on video here.
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