Making A Smarter Agent Episode 3 – Jennifer Leahy


Hey real estate agents! Welcome to making a smarter agent. Your program to find out all tips and trends as told by the great ones in real estate. What’s a great one. Someone that’s able to make money and still keep their head on straight. Let’s face it. This is a tough business. We interview tough people who seem to make it look easy.

And we don’t further ado I wanna get to our guest Jennifer Leahy. Jennifer welcome to the show!

Jennifer Leahy: Thank you! Thank you so much for having me here.

Tell us a little a bit about you, how you know. Where you’d come from? How do you get started in Real Estate?

Jennifer Leahy : So let see where I can from, how I get started. I grew up sort of in development someway. My mom’s boyfriend for 10 years was a big real estate developer in Manhattan and so I think I was always in real estate. And then my first well not my first but one of my first jobs I was actually a domestic violence counselling victim advocate, my first job. But my second job was at a luxury mortgage bank so I was a mortgage broker for many years before I went into an education. And then after I was in education for 5 or so years I came back to real estate market and a real estate agent for Douglas Solomon about 5 years ago. So that’s a long winded way of kinda way telling my life in just do real estate my whole life but as always sort of had one foot in it.

Sure, but You got into actual sales. You would say 5 year old real estate. And yet and yet Wow. And so and you shot up as Superwoman in that time.

Jennifer Leahy : Wow.

I would pose a question and a statement. So notice how I put that in there. I wanted to you know so fine you don’t you don’t have to bribe Albright for you are super woman you’re doing phenomenally well. When you got into it now you’ve started the team you’ve grown that out I want to touch on that just a little bit. But tell me about you know when did you really get your sea legs like was you were you were you making money after your first year after your second year without getting too far into your personal business.

 When did you consider yourself successful in this.

Jennifer Leahy :  Well I was rookie of the year the first year so I would say I hit the ground running I probably I definitely was working 70 hours. My first year real estate not a question. So and you know I started the Douglas Elliman office in Greenwich. So there was actually no brick and mortar. The first year was that I was in real estate for those elements for some crazy idea a reason I don’t know. Howard thought that was a good idea. Me with that first selling of this real estate to just start for him. But I guess it worked out but I think you know I worked 70 hour weeks pounded the pavement calls everyone I do and made a big splash. My first public open house was a petting zoo and pony rides. I think that sort of helped put me on the map. People thought that was crazy crazy.

I bet I love petting zoo. I would be right if I was smaller. So much fun. There’s so much fun. I can’t I can’t ride a pony but depending how creative is that. That’s wonderful. And you put your time and you’ve met the folks you started to sell you hit the ground running right from the get go. Did you have a plan when you got started?

Jennifer Leahy :  My plan was to make money. So I think my plan is to make money and my plan was to work as hard as possible for anyone who gave me the chance. And I think that you know I don’t I wouldn’t say that I have these elaborate business plans that I do now and that I require my teammates to have. But I certainly in my head I knew what I wanted to accomplish and I knew how many houses I wanted to sell. And I think by naming it and saying OK I’m going to close at least 10 houses my first year you know you manifest what you put out there. So I think that that you know that does help.

Sure. And it’s interesting I just spoke with Ivan Estrada. The interview will air next week and I had Paul’s we’ve been on and I’ve got others coming up. And the thing is there’s a pattern that the motivational speaker says success leaves clues and knowing you personally and having our chops on Elliman retreats. I know that you live by a routine I know that you will enjoy it or I should say we’re by meditation. Talk to me about that. How ritualistic Are you in both personal and business and how does that help you?

Jennifer Leahy :  So I have been oriented even though I’m also spontaneous. I say I think I’m a little bit of a dichotomy. I start my day off the same way every day. So I started off with 20 minutes of Transcendental Meditation. As the years have progressed it sort of evolved but now I do 20 Roberts private and then Napoleon Hill’s statement. So every morning that’s how I start and then with two prayers after that. So that’s without fail every day. And then I have a list of things that I want to accomplish every day and I don’t stop working until I have them accomplished.

 I think that that sort of you know if I know the guidelines I know the rules by which I’m going to play every day and if I don’t get them accomplished I won’t go to sleep until they’re done. So that’s what I want.

What time do you get up. What time do I get?

Jennifer Leahy :  Well it’s usually so my son wakes me up usually around 5:00 just to 5:00 a.m. with the schedule and so we snuggle until 6:00 and then he goes and watches the show and I have my routine is about 30 minutes in the morning and my daughter gets up probably just thereafter. So he she hears this. So they’re all downstairs by 6:00. Mommy’s doing her morning routine so from 6:00 to 6:30 is my time to set the day. You know I don’t look at my phone or anything when I first wake up. And then at 6:30 it’s kid time until school and then I’m usually off to the races with work and fit in a workout at some point five days a week usually. And I typically go to bed depending on how busy I am between 10:00 and midnight.

Wow. And no Netflix gets in there and

Jennifer Leahy : I don’t watch TV.

I make note agents if you do ask me to largely by my agent across the country you know you could do what you want but the company in case don’t waste their time with this stuff. They really just get right into the work. Talk to me about making the telephone ring you know a lot of people will think Yeah that’s great you put the 70 hours in but the thing that I found when talking to different agents is they don’t know how to get started. They don’t know where to put the majority of their time.

Do you have any goals that you set as far as what costs are going to be performed and when?

Jennifer Leahy : Yeah of course. I mean it’s all about income producing activities but I’m lucky that I really I love you and I have a very joyful life. So for me you know contacting friends or contacting past clients or going places where I lost people that may need my help or want my advice is very joyful. I don’t do anything during my day that will not help expand my joy. And that’s not to say that I don’t have difficult clients. I have to make difficult phone calls because surely those are part of my day but those make me better.

So I look at if I have a client is particularly challenging or has a personality type that’s hard for me. I look at it as a process of me becoming a better person by figuring out what language to use to help influence that person to you know whatever they need to do in order to protect their assets. So if I’m representing a client it’s particularly difficult for me to talk to how do I influence them so that they feel good about the decision that we’re making together which will help in the end. Protect our assets by either and I know this sounds counterintuitive but by doing a price reduction the sooner we do approach reductions I can get it sold the sooner they’re going to get the highest price.Especially now Connecticut is it’s a buyer’s market. I’m really just pounding the pavement trying to get my inventory sold as quickly as possible.

I’ll use any predictions do you think who’s going to be ongoing.

Jennifer Leahy : In the mail that we’ve had in that we hit the bottom line and I don’t think it’s going to be Armageddon. But I think you know I think that we’re in a declining market it’s an awesome time to buy. And if you’re a seller whose realistic you’re going to get your household and you know at this point as a fiduciary it’s my responsibility to be honest I don’t know I’m not going to pretend I think a house is worth more than it is because I’m just hurting. You know my client’s asset and I think when I pivoted this year it really start to take that seriously.

I would say so I wouldn’t feel comfortable leading a conversation if I had to be totally honest about pricing because as a just especially guarded closely is it. We all know sometimes you feel like kind of backed into a corner. The clients are aggressive about their price. You think you’re going to lose the listing. Well I’ll tell you what. It’s better to lose the listing than be a fiduciary who who’s not telling the truth because you know that’s a that’s a very you have a lot of responsibility as a real estate agent and anyone doesn’t feel that way is not doing their job right.

Sure. Well when we don’t know anyone who’s not doing their job right. I say that we’re sort of second guessing. We just. We don’t get a lot of people that take a look at me. People like you and that’s the result. I always try and take the high road as well I’m working agents too and I think that that’s good. Kudos to you. That’s great.

That’s great to know.

Hey real estate agents are you looking to grow your business bigger than you ever imagined. Well you need REIGNation is a think tank comprised of Realtors for realtors. It’s part group therapy part coaching. Or opportunity. Just go to REIGNation on Facebook. That’s REIGNation  when and sign up there.

That’s what it’s like when people discover. Well let’s start with now. The market shifted Are you spending more time with buyers and sellers like hell will break down the revenue. Where’s it coming from mostly sellers mostly buyers. The combination the two?

Jennifer Leahy :  That we’re lucky. I’ve always been 50/50 so I think my business and my team will remain 50/50 we might go a little bit more buyer had heavy in 2020. But you know we’ll probably get our high period in a year we’ll have 50 listings.

Right now we’re getting towards where we’ve gotten rid of most of our a lot of our industry. The inventory that’s going to sell this year. So I think we’re down to maybe 25 or 30 listings as they rotate out but we’ll do just as many buyers. So we’re pretty even on both sides.

It’s great. And as far as what making the phone ring would go into both as far as the buyers. Is that typically a sphere of influence type of person that’s coming to you or are they looking at your ads are you doing Zillow. What are what are some of the ways the phone’s ringing?

Jennifer Leahy :  I do get a lot of calls in a little I don’t I’m not a I don’t k Zillow to do that I do that. So I actually get phone calls from them because I think my success. I don’t know what else it would be because I don’t pay them extra but I get a ton of business also by social media. So millions of dollars of real estate that way. My share of influence is of course by past clients of course. And then of course the  public open houses you know my team there.Some of the best agents around. So you know we convert pretty much anyone who’s coming on represented went to him I’m not going to be very happy.

Sure. What about like agents from other states. Douglas Elliman or otherwise I bet we’re going to be once where you know yeah I mean we’re.

Yes of course. I you everyone had affairs last week of Yale.

Jennifer Leahy : I appreciate you both.

We’re both we’re both giving you a virtual hug right now. Yes we feel it.

Jennifer Leahy : Yeah I am. I’m so appreciative of all my family. Actually I have to say I think spending time with the D.C. family has been a major source of referrals and income and it’s been such a that it’s amazing.I’m very lucky.

You have something about you just to go off script just a bit here. I mean you you tweet people lighten up beautifully when they see you and there’s something that’s very sociable and why people want to be around you and you know that’s something I wish you could bottle it. I wish I could advise to the people that come on I think tanks about just that you’d be a great example of just how there’s something about it. People want to do business with the people that make them happy right. It’s a lot better than them. TONY JONES Well know it’s true.

Jennifer Leahy : That’s very nice. But every night every interaction can be. But I really try to know that every interaction can you know be a good one.

OK. So let’s hear here we got in touch. Top Gun or big shot in Connecticut starts in office without even having an office in number one or rookie of the year the first year we’re fast forwarding a few years. When did you get your team started?

Jennifer Leahy : so my team started. I think it was like March , April of this year 2019.

We’re to here. So you’re still we were the first year yeah.

Jennifer Leahy :  So I spent a lot of time you know from the get go. People had really said oh you just started to do well not everyone but most people said that they should serve time and quite frankly the way that I work I’m so methodical that I have to think about everything over and over all the different iterations of how I’m going to make people successful and what kind of plan I’m going to use for them and what kind of scaffolds are we’re going to have and what kind of system you need to take me the full you know four years of going through things and making the ton of mistakes before I felt comfortable being responsible for a team. So now I have five agents two assistants and I’m so proud of all of them. The agent who’s been with me the longest is you show close paid or no more than 5 million this year we’ll see where the year end but probably could get close to 10 and everyone’s Wow. On my team. So yeah she’s amazing. And yeah everyone next year I don’t think any schools are really less than 10 million eights and all the tools to enable them to be able to do that. So I’m really proud of them.And I think the team this year will close. I don’t know. Between the and it already closes the 50 and 60 we’ve closed. I think we’ve closed 50 or somewhere around there.

Sure. Well you know this person is doing my do million. Without sounding you know like what are you bringing to the table? But why do they choose to work with you as opposed to working independently with wood Douglas Solomon or any other agent people that matter. What are they getting there.

Jennifer Leahy : I’m coaching my teammates every day so that the woman that I’m talking about was you know I coached her every day all day and feel that every question gave her all the systems that she needs to be successful. A ton of scripts for every different situation. Any every marketing plan you could want every iteration of it in letters. So it was pretty much like it’s kind of handed on a silver platter but I have a very specific type of person that would that I have on my team. And you know I think I’m very blessed to have put together a group is fantastic and the one that I have.

Amazing Amazing! And as far as their routine are you encouraging them to meditate and do the ritual that you’re doing. Is that part of the coaching?

Jennifer Leahy : Yeah of course. I mean you know whatever that means to them. And then also encouraging them to do the things that I didn’t do right. You know taking a day off that’s still not great with it but getting better you know. And I think you know this stuff that’s annoying to everyone you need someone to say Hey listen Murdock I get it. But guess what. You’re not a doorknob. Where are you going to go? I’ll drop you off like I’ll do it on the other side of the street. You know what you don’t like to send letters. I do. I get it. I don’t like to send letters to them. Let’s talk about the letters we’re going to write so you know it’s nice to have a partner in crime so I have someone who encourages you to be your best self even when it’s uncomfortable. So no.

 That’s really good. So you still doorknock. I mean you’re could have been you know you know our leader here in Vidor we say of course I want to be. Why. You know I’m curious. OK. So you do want to write a book but my favorite part of real estate is making money.

Jennifer Leahy : But you’d be hard pressed to not get a listing by doing it.

Well but there’s still many many different ways that people do it. I love drawing a band that’s been a big win for me.

You can call it all yes we all cold call.

Jennifer Leahy : Of course you do tartar. Nick is a cold calling for me I’ve lived in this area for so long. It’s just the people that whoever I’m could call it like it is about. I probably know them in some way or it’s like you know Cindy’s brother’s uncle I do him all like oh I went to school with your nephew like you know I’ve been in Connecticut for so long and my Westchester team has been in Westchester for so long that it’s you know there’s a small place so I guess I always look at you know everything it’s not really that cold.

Sure. What do you do for the homeowners? Walk me through that for a second. Are they all being advertised online? Are you having open houses even open houses?

Jennifer Leahy : Yeah absolutely. I mean we’re very aggressive with open houses very aggressive lots online. Well I’ll pay for everything online that I can trust you get my hands on if I think it’s effective. Whether it’s Google ad Zillow ad boosts Facebook Instagram. Or you know posting across all platforms in different ways that we found to be most effective depending on the age of the demographic that I think could be buying it. In some instances I still you know and I still do magazines and I do newspapers especially if it’s for downsized or they broke up two houses with papers on their hands. Public open houses were huge. Everyone on my team does you know at least one or two a weekend actually even with those two weekends. And then we you know we do extended hours Twilight open houses broke open houses this week broke open house and we got like a ton of coupons and stuff and free giveaways from local businesses. So agents to them or their clients or whoever wants to stop I can come by get some free stuff and then do some women’s events yeah there’s in Reno constantly doing stuff.

All all all this sounds very good. Do you track it with the CRM or are you like are you are you a CRM person.Somebody asked this isolated area. Was kind of my. So what can you do tell.

What are you using?

 Jennifer Leahy :  I using wise easy to use contextually like them both equally.

OK so you don’t discriminate. You’ve heard of your first focus on making a smarter agent. Generally all I got is some equally. What. Yeah. Yeah. There is a love hate. I mean it’s hard to get users to adopt it right. To be able to give back to want to try in on it so we can.

Jennifer Leahy : Just pay someone who does. That’s my my thing is if I don’t like to do it I have to teach or to do something I don’t like to do. So you know I mean if it’s not as if it’s not an income producing activity like entering stuff into a CRM then I’m OK with paying someone else to do it. You know you can’t farm out to someone that you want to get business with. Right. You can’t farm out you know socializing or cold calling but you can farm out you know making this graphic designing and farm out entering into CRM.

Sure. So there’s two other areas that I definitely want to touch on before we conclude we do a little while left but one of them we talked about social media the other one is about advertising. I want to ask you about budget and again if you don’t want to give your budget you don’t have to. But what is their ratio or some percentage of GCI that you wind up spending on. You are marking it off from the lighting work for you. I will leave it at a. I’ll leave it at that. OK I’ll leave you alone.

How much money your time do you put in to social media and what channels are you on. I think we the audience would benefit from that.

Jennifer Leahy : I put the most money in the time probably in social media know because that is the advertising that’s a majority of the advertising now. Not only my own but just ads etc. on social media platforms. So I Linkedin Facebook Instagram Twitter. Twitter has gone on and off list but I don’t think that I’ve never made any money from my real estate career from Twitter. But I certainly have from Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn .

LinkedIn.OK so that lengthens the bastard stepchild but no one loves at least that’s how I would think a bit with within social media. You’re the first person to tell me that they made money off of LinkedIn.

Jennifer Leahy : Yeah that’s like that. It’s you know what that is. LinkedIn is awesome and it’s just because people aren’t tracking enough data on it. I get s views on every one of my posts. So when I started tracking the data across Facebook and Instagram I could see my data and it looks on those and then at least on LinkedIn and I think it was like number one a couple of years ago and I posted it. I wore and how many people looked at it and LinkedIn is where all my friends were titans of industry. Are there not on Facebook and Instagram. It’s like when you ask me do I watch TV it’s like what time. I mean so I look at my linked people who are just on LinkedIn because they are a professional and they’re running this stuff or running this company. And that’s the only social media outlet they’re really using. So no it’s celebrity I mean especially if your sphere of influence is people who run the world. I think that I really do think LinkedIn is so powerful.

I’ve always always thought that it could be but again it’s it’s like one of the first times when it’s a thousand years. How many people are you connected to on LinkedIn.

Jennifer Leahy : I don’t know. I’m definitely more than a thousand. QUESTION I’m not sure exactly how many but a lot and it’s all people you know it’s just professional. No I’m not going to do the same videos but anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that I’m not putting one of these videos up on my LinkedIn but you know if I’m on it.

I like it or high I like a hand wave on the high it’s just like you’re this that’s your tag.That’s why he made a video about that. Hi. I always said if I was ever watched Jennifer’s video and they all go Hi.

You know I think great stuff is that thing like I’ll Oh I might put up another smaller funds and you know would be here.

Jennifer Leahy : You know what I would say is if I’ve done something like newsworthy I’ll I’ll put it up or if there’s something Mr. Suzanne I think it’s important Market Reports I’ll put this up on LinkedIn. She if the pivot on the content but the contact between Facebook and Instagram has to be different as well. So you know. Yeah. Not all the same.

So of the 70 hours that you put in or maybe in 1970 anymore but for whatever timeframe can you give us a percentage of time spent on social media marketing for you personally not for a staff member?

Jennifer Leahy : OK. So that’s a good question. So I’m going to cheat a little bit because this is the first year that I do have one of my assistants helping me so that I’m constantly doing it because I do have two small children and another for the commissioner. So I’d say before it was probably if I work 10 hours a day probably at least 20 percent of my day was spent on social media. Yeah two hours. Yeah I know it’s less because I have someone else that’s doing it. But you know curating the content makes sure. I mean you know it’s like if I could give it a simple click every day go on and connect to five people my own teacher and tell them it’s like go on Connect with five people and you know every day make sure that you’ve expanded your network.

Sure. And all of your stuff is it all business or do we have anything with I’ve seen you as Wonder Woman a couple times online. I know that for a fact I don’t know the town next to you so you could be your you’re not all business you could be fun yeah.

Jennifer Leahy : No one would be able to do that. Yeah yeah. No it’s not all business it’s definitely like I live a full life. You know I’m not just a real estate agent I’m a mom. You know I’m meditator I’m on the board of David Lynch Foundation and zoning in Connecticut Darian and so all of those things sort of are you know they add up to the person that’s me. So I think it’s important for people to see that.

Well you’re living very very well and I think that you know your your confidence and all that shine through I always look forward to the meditation sessions that we’ve had at corporate retreats. I think it’s just incredible incredible stuff.You know what I’m going to volunteer from information be on what’s the best way for people to reach you share

Jennifer Leahy : so they can reach me on Facebook and Jennifer Lahey on Instagram Jennifer Lee Holmes lengthens obviously Jennifer Leahy and J.K. Leahy on Twitter by email Jennifer dot Leahy L E A H Y at Elliman dot com and my cell phone 5 or 7 6 9 9 2 7 8. Happy to help anyone who wants advice on social media how to learn meditator. You know I was going through a divorce when I started my career and I’m a single mom two kids and happy to give anyone words of encouragement to how to pitch a wild career out and that is great.

Look I always say to people that are listening Success leaves clues. There’s a lot that could be learned from Jennifer. She’s incredibly generous. I will be putting her information up on the show notes and blasting this absolutely everywhere so that people could see Jennifer. Thanks so much for joining I hope we can have you back sometime.

Jennifer Leahy :  Thank you. And I super appreciate it. It’s great being on your show.

Thank you for listening to making a smarter agent to me a favor if you like making a smarter agent please go to Apple podcast or any of the podcast services you might be listening through and give me five stars if you didn’t make it that much then don’t even bother to say anything. Five stars that’s all that really works. I look forward to seeing you next time. And remember connect with REIGNation that’s REIGNation on Facebook. It’s part think tank part group therapy for realtors all coaching and it’s affordable. Please tune in again next week to listen to another exciting episode of making a smarter agent.