919: The Industry’s Most Rewarding Niche: First-Time Home Buyers with Kimberlee Meserve

July 20, 2020
Helping first-time buyers find the perfect place to call home is extremely rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. However, if you set the right expectations and properly qualify your prospects, closing deals for buyers doesn’t have to be a grind. On today’s podcast with 30 Under 30 Honoree Kimberlee Meserve, we discuss the best ways to build a buyer-based real estate business. Kimberlee also gives a thorough breakdown of the home-buyer workshops she runs and explains how they’ve helped her sell over $12 million in volume just this year. Don’t miss it!
Kimberlee Meserve Listen to today’s show and learn:
  • Boston real estate markets amid the coronavirus pandemic [1:40]
  • Kimberlee’s sales stats and goals [5:10]
  • Helping home buyers in today’s competitive markets [6:25]
  • Kimberlee’s first few years in real estate [10:46]
  • Why Kimberlee left her first real estate team [14:51]
  • Proof that first-time home buyer workshops work [17:54]
  • How to run a workshop for first-time home buyers [23:45]
  • How to advertise real estate workshops on Facebook [25:52]
  • Ways Kimberlee leverages her team [31:28]
  • Tips on running workshops for first-time homebuyers [35:35]
  • Kimberlee’s advice for new real estate agents [38:39]
  • How to break through your goals.
  • Plus so much more.
Kimberlee Meserve Kimberlee Meserve is a Realtor® with Keller Williams Realty. She fell in love with real estate while buying her first home, and found an obsession in constantly searching through house listings to find a hidden gem. That obsession still exists in her work today. Kimberlee finds immense satisfaction in tirelessly searching for the perfect home for her buyers, and helping seamlessly guide homeowners through the process of selling so they can move on to the next phase in their life. She is a member of National Association of Realtors®. Related Links and Resources: Thanks for Rocking Out Thank you for tuning in to Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, we appreciate you! To get more Rockstar content sent directly to your device as it becomes available, subscribe on iTunes or StitcherReviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and appreciated! We read each and every one of them, please feel free to leave your email so that we can personally reach out and say thanks! Have any questions? Tweet meFacebook me and ask Pat anything. Don’t forget to head on over to Bare Naked Agent for Pat’s answers, and advice. Thank you Rockstar Nation, and keep rockin!

Aaron Amuchastegui: Real Estate Rockstars. This is Aaron Amuchastegui. I am coming to you today with an interview with Kimberlee Meserve. I am really excited about this interview with Kimberlee. She’s already talked to somebody else on our team, did a pre-interview, and got to go over a bunch of things. We actually reached out to Kimberlee directly.

She’s on 30 under 30 big real estate agent out in Boston. She’s got some fun stories about having to start fresh with her business and how quick she was able to rebuild that. We reached out to her and asked her if she’d come on the podcast to share some of her stories and she’s here.

Kimberlee, thanks for joining us.

Kimberlee Meserve: Thank you so much for having me.

Aaron: I’m really excited about this. Before we get into the nuts and bolts, we’re still living in a COVID crazy world. What is it like out in Boston where you live? Is real estate an essential service? Are people still– are they wearing masks? Are you allowed to go to restaurants? What’s the vibe in Boston?

Kimberlee: Real estate, thankfully, has been essential pretty much from the beginning of everything getting shut down. I think there was maybe two or three days where we weren’t really essential and everything was so up in the air. It was that frenzy of, are we going to be able to do this? Are we not? What happens to the deals that are pending?

We have something in Massachusetts where the seller has to obtain a smoke certificate from the fire department before they can close, and so that was like a big hindrance in transactions that thankfully the attorneys were so quick in coming up with a workaround.

We’ve been pretty active since all of this started, and we’ve been masked from day one, actually, which I think is so funny watching people like on my Facebook, in other parts of the country arguing about masks. They’ve been required since the very beginning of all of this here, and it’s just become the normal for us. We are, thankfully– I think we’re leveling out or maybe starting to slowly decrease, but people here are definitely still very cautious about opening back up.

Aaron: It really changes everywhere. Out here where I’m at in Texas a couple months ago everybody got to celebrate going out to bars and restaurants and getting to live again and just social distance with some rules in place. Then just about a week ago, the governor put mandatory masks in place and you’re right. The mandatory mask thing it’s a huge fiasco all over social media. It’s very politicized on all different versions of it, and people like, some people don’t mind at all and some people just hate it.

You’re saying since the very beginning, you guys have been doing that, and now it’s just a few months later, it’s the way of life.

Kimberlee: Yes, it started to loosen up a little bit, but we have put a pause on our phases of reopening. It was required to go to the grocery store. It was required to do every day . I think, especially in the city, people were very cautious. As you start to get outside of the city people were a little bit more opinionated about the mask thing, but we’ve just adapted.

Aaron: I think you’re right. I think the population in the city type and the living environments really changes everything too. People that live in the suburbs and they don’t come in contact with much there’s some counties in Texas that haven’t had a single case, and so their opinions going to be very different than the ones that are blown up. Well, life– in the last– since March, how’s real estate been going? Have you been closing deals and doing deals?

Kimberlee: Yes. My business has actually been phenomenal this year, despite everything that’s going on, I’ve already closed impended everything, and more than what I did last year, which is really cool. I’m already up to about like $12 million in volume. I did just around 11 million last year. It’s been a little bit of a blessing in disguise. I think some of it has to do with my source of business. A lot of it is nurture. It’s just the pipeline coming to fruition.

The other part of it is focus. I’m forced to be so much more focused on my business right now. I was one of those people that I was very proactive in the beginning when everything shut down and instead of sticking my head in the sand, it was like, “Okay, well, what do we need to do? How are we going to do it? Let’s do something because doing something is better than nothing,” and it’s led to a lot of success in my business. I’m very fortunate.

Aaron: Well, that is great. What have you done the last 12 months for volume?

Kimberlee: In the last, oh gosh, 12 months. Well, last year-

Aaron: Oh, you could last year. You can compare last year to this year?

Kimberlee: I’m like, “Oh, you’re going to make them do math now. What did I do this time until July last year?” Last year I did around $11 million in volume. That was about 25 units. I have an average price point around $500,000, which is actually low for our area, but most of my clients are first-time home buyers. That’s like our first-time homebuyer price point. I’ve done over $$12 million so far in 2020.

Aaron: Man, you are crushing it. You’ve already done more than last year, and what do you think you’re going to have by the end of the year?

Kimberlee: My goal is 25. I feel really confident that I’ll get there. The only hindrance I get to be, we are super deep into a sellers’ market. Actually, Boston is the number one most competitive market in the country right now. There are neighborhoods and towns, especially in the suburbs because everybody seems to want a little bit more space right now. Our lifestyle choices are changing.

There are some areas that are under a month’s worth of inventory. It’s very, very competitive in getting offers accepted. Properties are going easily 5% to 10% over asking.

Aaron: Yes. You’re right. Right now it’s like, “Hey, if you’re able to do your job, you’re going to get plenty of volume, but you have to work a lot harder because there isn’t as many houses to compete for, for your buyer.” Especially if you’re a buyer’s agent, mostly you’re competing a lot harder for those deals.

Kimberlee: Yes, definitely. It’s been a lot of expectation setting even in March. The expectations I was having to set with people in March were a little bit different than now. That was more like, “Hey, showings are mostly going to be virtual and you might have to make a decision on our property. If you’re not able to do that, this might not be the market for you to buy in, but surprisingly, a lot of people were okay with that.

We were putting contingencies in place on seeing the property after an accepted offer. That was also helping the sellers not have a lot of unnecessary foot traffic come through their house, but now it’s more like, “Hey, are you willing to play the game? Because you will have to offer significantly over asking. You might have to leave part of your appraisal contingency. Inspections might be not an option for you.”

It’s just setting those clear expectations upfront and really identifying their motivation. If they’re not, then what’s the point in us going to see a bunch of properties if they’re not even willing to offer over asking?

We just want to be really clear with our clients in how we’re using our time and just setting them up to succeed as well. There’s nothing more frustrating for a buyer than putting a bunch of offers in, and they’re not getting accepted only to find out that if they had paid more or changed something else in their offer, that they could have gotten it accepted.

Aaron:Yes, you’re right. You put forth through all the effort and that’s it. How do you have that conversation? If a client says like, “Hey, I’m hoping to get a deal and this is how much I can afford. I can afford 450, but let’s go look at these houses for 500.” Do you just say, “No, right now it’s a sellers’ market; we’re not going to be able to compete in now.”

Kimberlee: A lot of it for me, it’s setting the expectation in the buyer consultation. We talk about what the market’s doing.

I always set the expectation with my client, but properties that are new on the market are probably going to go over asking as long as they’re in good condition, and they’re priced appropriately. If you want to deal and there are still deals to be found, I’ve had some clients recently that close with like 30 grand in equity in their condo. I always say, if you want a deal, or you want to be offering a little under asking, then we only want to be looking at the houses that have been sitting on the market two weeks or longer because that means they’re overpriced. The market has identified that that property is overpriced.

Aaron: If it’s been on the market for two weeks, it’s a problem because everything else is selling so quick. At least it’s easy to figure out if you don’t have any offers in that first week, you’re like, “Oh, crap, we got to adjust this a little bit.” You deal mostly with buyer’s agents, right?

Kimberlee: Yes, my business is about 95% buyers.

Aaron: Cool. We’re going to get into how you built your business into that. Take me back when you first got your real estate license, how long ago was that? Where were you?

Kimberlee: Yes, I got my license when I was 24. I bought my first house then. I’d always been interested in real estate, but I didn’t really know how to get into it. I was living in Southern Maine at the time. My agent was the one that showed me the way, how to get my license. She’s the reason that I’m at Keller Williams. The first year in business was really tough for me.

None of my friends were buying houses. I was the first in my whole crew., but it was a little bit of a learning adventure. Then I think it really wasn’t until like the last few years that I’ve found my stride.

Aaron: You’re right. Yes, you’re at an age where they’re not able to– your network, isn’t homebuyers yet. The network and the people you knew they weren’t there. You try all the things that people do. You started in Southern Maine, and I think in some of the notes, we said, there’s a big difference between the way that Maine and Massachusetts work. Tell me about that?

Kimberlee: Yes, it’s not a huge difference but there is a noticeable difference. Maine and New Hampshire, which is where I originally was licensed, both of those are like a one contract state. Your offer is also your purchase and sale.

In Massachusetts, where an attorney state versus those two are title states. We actually have two contracts; your offer is the contract of purchase. That’s an abbreviated version of the PNS. Then two weeks into the contract, we typically signed the purchase and sale. That’s when the attorneys get involved and they write up their attorney, long-form version of the contract.

Aaron: Is there a standard form for that attorney long-form? the attorneys get involved but is it always the same thing or is that– does the negotiation start over?

Kimberlee: It’s different every time? Well, I should say, they do have a base that they start off of. Then there’s always nuances for each transaction. Usually, the negotiation doesn’t start over but I have had a few deals. I had one a couple of weeks ago, actually a month ago, that almost didn’t close it all because some of the terms changed slightly at the purchase and sale, and the seller decided that they just didn’t want to sell anymore, which you can’t do. It was a very stressful transaction. It was actually some of my best friends were buying the house too. I had an additional emotional involvement, because I’m like, ‘These are my friends. I want them to get this.”

There’s actually there was a famous court case years ago in Massachusetts that established legal precedent for the contract to purchase being a legally enforceable contract. We ended up closing, never having the purchase and sale, that was a first for me, it doesn’t happen very often at all.

Aaron: Yes. In real estate in general, buyers are allowed to cancel and sellers aren’t allowed to cancel. Buyers have a penalty, but sellers can be forced to sell. That’s pretty unique, in most cases you need that second one, but if you really have to hold their feet to the fire, you can close on that first one and you force someone to sell it. I have never heard of that. That’s super, super interesting. I’ve never done business in a state where we needed to have two.

When we used to do new homebuilding that was really common. We would send someone over we’d call an LOI. It’d be a 10-page contract and then our agreement was within two weeks, we would write up a formal contract between attorneys because of all those like, I think it’s probably similar to some of that, but doing that for single-family houses, I wouldn’t have guessed.

How did you do when you were in Maine? How was your success in real estate there?

Kimberlee: It wasn’t much. I couldn’t tell you my volume but I can tell you it wasn’t a lot 50,000 in GCI. I was better than my job that I had left because that was my first job out of college. I was making maybe $35,000 a year, which was not a lot, but also I was young. My first year may be made 50,000, my second year, around the same. Then at the end of 2017, I decided that I’d always lived within 45 minutes, an hour where I grew up. I decided, “I’m young, I don’t have kids, I don’t have a husband, I want to try living somewhere new. If I’m going to do it, this is the time.”

I packed my things up and I moved outside of Boston, I moved to the North Shore. I had a friend who was director of operations on a team there. She was like, “Yes, just come join the team. We’re always looking for talented agents.” It was a good opportunity for me to just get the lay of the land, learn how to do transactions in Massachusetts, get some leads too, since I didn’t know anybody, and just learn the overall geography. I was with that team from November of 2017, until about September of 2018. Midsummer of 2018, they decided they wanted to do extension on a more local level.

Boston was their first expansion market that they wanted to expand into. I was offered the opportunity, I took it. In the short time I lived in Massachusetts, the few friends I had made were in the Boston area. I was like, “I’m young. I want to live in the city. This will be fun.”

About a month after, I moved to be their extension partner. I got a call that all the agents except for three in the hub, and then two of the admin, were all quitting. I had no idea that any of this was going on. I’m like, on a little island here, I thought everything was great.

Aaron: You thought there was an office you were going to when you got there and it was empty.

Kimberlee: Well, I went to my market center in Boston. I didn’t know any of that was going on in a different market center in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Aaron: Oh, got it.

Kimberlee: They called me and they’re like, “Hey, this is the situation. Do you want to stay on the team? We totally get it if you don’t.” Just to back up the conversation, when I did decide to move as their expansion partner, they did a lot of commissions pay per click, same things like Boomtown any of those sources. Well, those can typically be like a longer-term lead before they actually transact. Usually, like closer to a year.

They were like, “Hey, we’re willing to pay for commission leads in Boston, but you’re also going to need to get some more immediate business, that’s up to you.”

In July, a month before I did move, my lender partner and I started doing first-time homebuyer workshops. It actually became a hit. In September, when I found out that everybody was leaving, and they gave me this option to stay or leave, I looked at all the business that I had under contract, and it was all stuff I had generated on my own. The value for me to stay on the team really wasn’t there. I made the decision ultimately to leave.

Aaron: Yes. Now you’re in Boston. Now you’re getting ready to start and it was having to start fresh, you decided you were going to rebuild. This is, I think one of the most exciting parts of your story. How many years ago was that that you got to Boston?

Kimberlee: Not even two years ago, I’m just coming up on my two-year anniversary.

Aaron: All right. You’ve been in Boston, almost two years. When you got here, you had no pipeline, no deal flow, no team starting from scratch. Now two years later, you’re crushing it in volume and 30 under 30 and all that. How did you restart? How did you go from nothing to so big, so quickly in a place that you weren’t from?

Kimberlee: Yes, thankfully, a lot of my success came from this first-time homebuyer workshop. When I had to make that decision, do I stay on the team do I leave? My business that I had under agreement was from the first-time buyer workshops. I took a gamble on myself. I was like, “I’m just going to go all-in on this thing.” That’s been huge for my pipeline, I always get about 25, 35 people somewhere in that range attend each event. We used to do them at our local brewery. Now it’s all virtual because of COVID.

The prior years, it’s been closer to a 17% conversion rate, and now it’s actually gone up to about 20%. I’m always getting five or six clients out of each event. It’s not always immediate business, maybe 1 or 2 is immediate, then there’s a batch, 2 or 3 that are 6 to 12 months out, and then there’s going to be longer-term nurtures. This year, I closed a lot of people that came to some of my original events in 2018.

Aaron: It’s great that you know, your numbers. You know that you went from a 17% conversion to a 20% conversion on the people that were coming in. Now, virtual, do you have more people sign up and how often do you do them? Do you do them weekly or monthly?

Kimberlee: In 2018 and 2019, we were doing them monthly. Towards the end of last year, we started to do twice a month. This year I’ve been doing, two to three times a month. I pretty much just reverse-engineered my goal for the year. I decided, “Okay, this is how many units I want to do. I’m just going to back it up based on my numbers and figure out how many workshops I needed do.”

Aaron: How many workshops? Now, the virtual ones, so you would have 25 or 30 people show up and you did it at a local bar. How many people are showing up for the virtual ones?

Kimberlee: That’s tricky. The thing about when we did it at the brewery is like we could measure every single person that was actually there. You might have couples. With the virtual ones, I think that probably about 60% on the call are couples, but not everybody turns on their camera. It’s hard to say. We usually have about around 18 people, but that could actually be like 30 people. We’ve done about eight or nine of them now virtually, but I still haven’t really figured out a great system for measuring that.

Aaron: Yes. I could totally see that. Yes. When you’re on there, you go like, “Were they really watching? Were the people without the cameras on? Were they listening? Were they a part of it?” Not being able to count? Part of me would think that right now, you would get more people showing up virtually than in person because they’ve got people that have less to do, right?

Maybe there’s a chance to log on and see it, but it sounds like your numbers are similar to where they were transitioning to virtual. Then when you decided you wanted to increase your volume, you just had to increase your top of funnel, and your top of funnel was going and doing more workshops.

Kimberlee: Exactly. I’m super measured about everything I do. I think that’s been my biggest lesson is just learning to track everything in my business and get hyper-focused on one thing. That’s something my coach has helped me with a lot is just I’m a big believer when you’re putting together your business plan that you have your three priorities, but you don’t earn the right to go onto the second priority until you’ve really mastered the first priority.

Ideally, your first priority on your business plan should be able to get you to 100% of your goal. That was a conversation that I had a lot with my coach last year was like, “Oh, I want to go to Priority Two because maybe I got bored. I wanted to mix things up.” Some of the success is always found in the monotony and repetition. We always would say, “Well, have I done everything that I can to master this?” It’s just created this evolvement of the system getting better and better each time.

Aaron: How do you advertise your workshop? How do you get people to actually sign up for it and how long does the workshop last?

Kimberlee: Yes. The advertising is super simple. Whenever I tell people, if they’re like, “Well, are you doing anything else?” All I do is Facebook ads and I direct them to an Eventbrite page. Then, on there, it’s a little bit more information about the event and they just sign up. I’m capturing their name, email, and phone number so that I can text them before the event to confirm that they’re attending.

Then the event itself is anywhere between an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half. Some of it depends on the level of questions we’re getting. Just to your point about even knowing if they’re like actually participating, we try to encourage as much engagement as possible because a lot of times, people can be shy about asking a question, but chances are, we’ve heard it already a million times from other people during events.

Then probably someone else on the call has the same question. We have pauses in our script where it’s just like, “Answer this or does anyone want to make a guess at this?” At the beginning, it was a little awkward, just getting comfortable in the silence of wanting to proceed, but then, I just forced myself like, “I’m just going to sit here until someone answers,” and then it really gets the ball flowing with engagement. We’re doing it on Zoom. We tell people to either, “Unmute yourself, if you have a question or type it into the chatbox.”

Aaron: That’s almost like a public speaking art too. You ask a question and if nobody answers, you just wait until somebody finally says something because otherwise, there’s a chance that people don’t want to answer the whole time so that you forced them to start talking and then after that, it’s easier for everybody.

Kimberlee: Yes, exactly. Also, I think too on Zoom, in the beginning, they might not be expecting a question, so they might not be right by their keyboard, which is partly just like giving them a little bit of time to actually type that answer in.

Aaron: Yes. They’re like, “No, really, you can type it in.” In Facebook, you’re doing your targeted ads, and then it takes them to the Eventbright page, really simple stuff so far. What are you saying on Facebook? Like, “Hey, I’m Kimberlee; I’m doing a buyer’s workshop?”

Kimberlee: Yes. What I’ve actually done is I’ve created my own event separate from myself. None of the Facebook advertising says the Street Property Team at Keller Williams, which is my team. I actually created this event with a bigger goal in the end of mine, but it’s called Bruce and Buying First-time Homebuyer Workshop. I created a Facebook page for how the advertising goes through the [unintelligible 00:28:28] and buying page.

Our ad is actually super simple. It’s pretty much just like, “Are you interested in buying a home? Come find out about the special financing programs available to first-time homebuyers.” There’s a link to the sign-up. I think the financing aspect, especially, in our market where the entry-level price point is really intimidating to some people. They see $500,000 and they’re like, “I can’t afford that until they look at the monthly payment and realize that a lot of times, it’s less than what they’re paying rent.” We always try to hook them in with that financing thing.

Aaron: That’s super cool. What do you call your workshop? The and buyers?

Kimberlee: Buying First-time Home Buyer Workshop.

Aaron: Buying First-time Home Buyer. Then it’s like that’s branded. When people see that that sounds better than the first-time homebuyer workshop anyway, right? Now, they’re like, “Okay, it’s an official thing. It’s a real thing.” They get there. How long do the workshops last?

Kimberlee: Yes. They’re about an hour, 15 to an hour and a half depending on engagement.

Aaron: Then you just try to teach buyers what to expect with buying a house, like how the process works. Is that the biggest goal?

Kimberlee: Yes. My whole selling strategy is to provide as much value upfront with people before I ask them for anything. I just never feel comfortable asking for a close until I feel I really provided the value and match that. We walk through the whole process but start by talking about what’s going on in the market. What have people heard from maybe friends or family, which I think that’s always interesting too.

I have some people say that they’ve heard that it’s a buyer’s market. We couldn’t be any further from a buyer’s market. We’re always going through some of those myths and debunking it, talking about advantages to buying a home, what are tax advantages? We’ve got some great tax advantages that are specific to our area as well. There’s a tax exemption if you’re owner-occupied in Boston which could make your property tax super cheap. Then we talked about financing, different financing programs available.

In Massachusetts, we have a mass housing program which is an awesome option for a lower income. I think you have to make under like a hundred grand or something like that. You can get a down payment assistance, so you can have a 0% down. You just have to come up with your closing costs.

We talk about those different options and then just the whole process. You’re here today, what’s next? How does the whole transaction go and then different types of properties? What do you need to know with a condo versus a multifamily versus a single-family?

About halfway through the event to the very end, I’m just starting to tee them up for like the next step is to meet with me. I’ll say if you’re under a year or if you’re like 18 months or less from buying a home, then the next step is to set up a time to meet with me and we can talk about what your search criteria looks like.

Even if you’re not ready to go out and start looking at properties and making an offer, we can at least start getting you property alerts so you can see what properties are going on in the market for it and what they’re selling for so that by the time you’re ready to buy, you’re going to be one of the most educated buyers out there.

I’m also encouraging them to meet with my mortgage lender as well because they might have good credit, but he might be able to help them get from good to great, which will get them a better interest rate. I’m setting that expectation along the way– I’ve heard a statistic that says about like 78% of buyers work with the first agent that they meet.

My job is to really insert myself into the process as soon as possible and then nurture them along the way. I’m a big believer. I signed by our agency with everybody. I don’t work with someone unless I have that buyer agency agreement. I’m trying to get them to the appointment from there. Then, we’ll do a buyer consultation. I just had people actually that closed in April that I had them signed since 2018.

The goal originally was to buy in 2019 and then they ended up getting married and some of those plans changed and then they didn’t buy until this year. A lot of it is just nurturing those people whatever stage they’re at in the process.

Aaron: That is really, really great. I love that statistic too that 70% of people at the first agent they meet. Your goal is to become the first agent they meet. It’s a really simple thing like, “Hey, just, just come to our workshop. There’s other people there. You can ask some questions, no big deal, no pressure at the end of it.” Then people are like, “Okay, if you’re within 18 months, that’s not a very intimidating thing.” Somebody says, “Oh, even if they’re not ready to buy now.”

Do a lot of those 18-month people turn into quicker after that appointment? Do you have people that say they want to wait and then they meet with you and realize they can do it right now?

Kimberlee: Yes. I’ve had plenty of people that are like, “Oh, I’m six months.” “I’m a year out.” I think that the turning point is usually once they start getting their property alerts and they start seeing what properties look like in their price range. They might see something that they fall in love with and they end up becoming a much quicker buyer than they initially thought.

Aaron: You’re like, “All right, anytime in the next 18 months, take a look at this stuff.” All of a sudden they’re in. Your goal is to see them first, do that education, provide a bunch of value. What does it look like once they’re signed up? You said you have a team and you’re doing a ton of volume. Do you show them all the houses? Do you have teammates that show? What parts of the transaction do you do? What does your team do and how does that work?

Kimberlee: I just have a small but mighty team. I’m the only agent on the team. We have a transaction coordinator, I’m in the process of hiring a replacement admin right now and then I have a showing assistant. I am doing the consultation, any type of negotiation, and main point of communication with a client. Then my showing assistant will show them anything and then attend the home inspection and walkthrough.

Up until earlier this year, I had had some showing assistants in the past that just weren’t the right hire or I rushed the process too much and it didn’t work out. I was mainly the person doing all the showings which was a lot of work. My days were just like running around, doing showings all day long.

Now, the cool thing is it’s getting that leverage in place. I’ve been able to focus my time a lot more on lead generation and lead follow-up, which was something that was slipping through the cracks before.

Aaron: That sounds like when my wife had built up her brokerage and she was just doing a ton of volume too and so it was very a very similar setup. She was the only agent, they would show houses, do the open house as a transaction coordinator. You’re right. You’re small but mighty. Do you think that’s an ideal setup for people? Is there a volume that you get to where you say, “Hey, I need to outsource this instead” Or do you have future plans like that, or do you think this will get you to $20 million?

Kimberlee: I should do about $25 million just with the current team set up this year. I think for me, it’s more determining when I look at next year’s goal because of the amount of events that I can do and then some other things that we have in the pipeline as far as automations. It’s going to be a huge jump.

The hard thing for me now is I focus so much on profit right now in my business. We have a really high profitability because our expenses are super low. My only expense is the advertising that I put into the event. I think some people want really big teams and that’s more of an ego thing than anything, but then you look at the bottom line and the profitability just isn’t there. For me, profit is the most important, but then it’s also determining my lifestyle from there. When I look at next year’s goal I’m like, “Wow, that’s a really big number.”

I know that I can do it, but do I really care about doing that? At a certain point, it becomes like, “Well, who else is coming into my world? I actually have a past client right now that I’m talking about hiring. He got his license while he was under agreement. Then after he closed on his house, he was able to take the test and he’s been coming into my world like, “Hey, Hey, Hey, I want to do this and I want to work with you. There was a reason that we chose you as our agent. You’re the best. I really want to work with you.”

We’ve been going through the entire hiring process. I think you get to a certain point where you’re like, “This is a good amount of money for me to make.” Then you start thinking about how you can impact other people’s lives beyond that.

Aaron: I think you said so many things right there that were so important like making sure that it’s profitable. As people grow businesses too, I’ve seen people hire a new person at $5,000 a month and it’s only going to grow their revenue $5,000. It’s like they’re creating more work without the actual outcomes. You’re saying, “Hey, you want to focus on profit, but then you also need to look at what life you want to live.”

It does sound like if you did 10 buyer’s agent workshops a month, you would be able to get a ton more revenue, a ton more volume, but then you’d be doing them every two days, and maybe you’d be way busier than you are now and maybe it’s not worth it at some point that law of diminishing returns.

If somebody is listening to our podcast now, new agent, new to an area just getting started and they said, “Hey, that sounds awesome. I want to start a buyer’s agent workshop.” What should they do first? You dissected it for us. You’re like, “Hey, you get the name, you get the event page, you do the ads.” What should they focus on?

Kimberlee: I think just sit down and it’s funny. I have a lot of agents try to attend my events. It’s gotten to the point that enough people have heard about this, that we have to scrubbed the list every time because we don’t want agents on the call. It’s nothing at my numbers when I look at attendance and conversion. I also say when people are like, “Oh, I want to attend your event.” I’m like, “Why? You know how the whole transaction works. There isn’t any special sauce that I’m doing here. I’m just explaining the process.”

First I would suggest sitting down and just thinking of like everything along the way from when a buyer is just thinking about buying to when they actually closed and what kind of questions or concerns might they come up with? A lot of the content that was put into this was based off the experience that I had when I bought my first house because there were a lot of things that my agents didn’t tell me along the way like I didn’t know that I didn’t have to pay a buyer’s agent.

I remember panicking halfway through because I was like, “Oh my gosh, I spent all my money. I have to come up with more money to pay my agent and I don’t even know how much.” Then when I asked her, she was like, “Oh no, you don’t pay me.” It’s like, “Well, you saved me a sleepless worry.” I just sit down and think about all the things that people may have concerns about questions.

You said it was your outline to come up with some type of content for the event. The advertising is pretty easy. I think a lot of people are pretty savvy with Facebook now. Any Keller Williams agents that are listening to those you can do it very easily through command, through those channels.

Then, the most important thing is measuring everything and being consistent with it. I didn’t just do this one. It’s a system that I’ve constantly improved. I’ve measured ads. There were some acts that I was doing that I thought I was getting a great return on. Then I went and looked at the numbers and I realized that I wasn’t.

Then also I had some events where maybe like 35 people showed up and I was like, “Yes, that was a success.” I had very low conversion rate. I had other events where only five people showed up in the beginning and I was super bummed. Then every single one of those people became my client. I’ll see five clients after an hour and a half of work. That’s great.

Just really tracking your numbers and treating it like a real business and then being consistent. If this is something that you are going to do,

commit to doing it.

Aaron: Yes, that is great advice. I think I love the niche that you’re doing. I love that you were able to figure out a way to do it that now you’re known for it and I think one of the best parts of the end just within two years, you’ve got a huge amount of volume. Now you get to be the entry-level home buyer agent out there,

Do you have any advice for something we haven’t talked about yet? Something that you wish you could have told yourself the first year when you started? We didn’t know we have to pay buyer’s agents, what didn’t you expect as an agent when you first started?

Kimberlee: Yes, the advice I always get to your agents is just figure out one thing that you love and put your energy towards that. I think the problem is that in real estate there are so many ways to catch a fish and sometimes agents tend to be like, “I’m doing this I’m doing this.” I talked to one agent who has a pretty good business but he had 10 main lead generation sources which that is so much to me. I’m always of the mindset that less is more obviously you want to be careful of that too, you don’t want to put all your eggs in the bucket of expired.

I would be in a really bad place right now if that was my business because there almost are no expired listings in our area just because of the way our market is. If there’s something that you really love maybe you just love getting together with people and drinking wine. Figure out how to get into relationship with more people because all this really is is just relationships.

Figure out what your thing is that you love doing and commit to doing that thing at a high level instead of trying to do everything. I think that’s the challenge I had in my first year, I was trying because I was trying expired because I saw other people having success in these areas but I was spreading myself too thin.

Aaron: Yes I think that is great advice. Kimberlee, if somebody wants to reach out to you to find you ask you questions, send you referrals for people that are heading to Boston what’s the best way they can find you?

Kimberlee: Yes, you can find me on Facebook, Kimberlee K-I-M-B-E-R-L-E-E, Meserve. Then also feel free to email me my email is kimberlee@streetpropertyteam.com or shoot me a text at 978-587-6489. We absolutely love agent to agent referrals that was my number two source of business last year so happy to take great care of your people or if you just have a question, I’m always happy to give back because I just want to see people getting better in their businesses.

Aaron: Yes, at the beginning I asked Kimberlee what’s the best thing she could get out of this podcast? She said she just wants to be able to provide value. She wanted to be able to help other agents and really raise the bar for agents out there and provide value. Kimberlee you sure did today. I really appreciate having you on here and we may we can have you on again soon or maybe we get you on Rebus University teaching some classes on how to how to host some of those first time buyer workshops because everything you did today I think it’s great we’ve done so quick. Thanks for joining us.

Kimberlee: Thank you so much for having me.

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