Real Estate ISA Radio: Interviews with a Top ISA Series
Episode 1: Jim Rentfrom - ISA at Hatch Realty
What you'll learn:
- Learn the systems and tools Hatch uses to close 700+ deals / year
- How Jim handles tough conversations with leads
- Why scripts don't work, and how to convert leads instead
- What's next for the ISA role
Robby T: Awesome. Well, again Robby T. here with Hatch Coaching. I want to start a fight with you real quick Nate, you would said one of the best and I'm going to say we wanted to do this series right by bringing the best to the table. We got the man, the myth, the legend, Jim Rentfrow. I call him Jimmy. I probably make a nickname out for you every other day and I'm sorry for it. I just want to tell you guys a little bit about Jim before we get into the ISA stuff, stack pro. I have the pleasure of being an ISA alongside Jim. Jim isn't just a top producing ISA. He is this guy with a massive heart, too big a heart sometimes and we've had to call you on that.
Robby T: Jim is truly one of the best people I know. I'm so excited for today because you guys get to hear from his mouth, his approach, what he thinks of this ISA role, how he's been successful? We got a great list of questions for all of you and the ones that we've created. Before we get into that, I always like to start with numbers. We're going to start with this, Jim. Tell us a little bit about your numbers. You started as an ISA, how long ago and just give us [crosstalk 00:02:29].
Jim Rentfrow: I started in July 2014 and I think July '17, was my freedom day, as I call it, the day I came over and started over here. Since then, 331,600 dials, about 43,000 emails I've sent, 49,000 texts. The emails and texts have been since we started tracking, which was what, Robby? 2016 I think when we started tracking those numbers.
Robby T: Yeah.
Jim Rentfrow: I think I roughly have spoke to about 18,000 people and have set 1700, 1800 appointments and I have 706 closings as of right now. I popped into CT and checked it out right before this. My volume is about 155 million since I started. Yeah, I've done right.
Robby T: You're scrub. You're terrible.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah.
Robby T: Jimmy lumped a lot in there, so let's just make sure everybody heard that. I'm just going to ask directly, and I want you to tell me the number.
Jim Rentfrow: 330,000.
Robby T: Roughly, how many calls have you brought in? 333,000.
Jim Rentfrow: 18,000.
Robby T: Right. How many rough contacts, give or take?
Jim Rentfrow: About 700.
Robby T: 18,000. How many appointments?
Jim Rentfrow: Little over. Seven or six.
Robby T: Then 700 some closings, correct?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah, pretty much.
Robby T: You're like a real estate team and other yourself.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah.
Robby T: Awesome. Well, I love it. well, thank you for sharing that. I want to start here. I want to start very 10,000 foot view with this today. What do you view your role as? You're an ISA and ISA is just inside sales agent, but what the heck does that mean to you, Jim? What is your role on a team? How do you describe it? What are you doing every day? What does ISA mean to you?
Jim Rentfrow: I struggle with this because the industry looks us ISA as the starting point, the lowliest of the lowly and the way I look at it ISA is I am basically the coal in the steam engine. If I don't put the coal in, this train doesn't go anywhere, nobody's dreams come true. While that's a lot of pressure, it is also really liberating because whatever I do has impact and that's the reason I came to this job is the ISA is the impact person. It is who drives the ship, it is who makes this whole thing work. Eric and I have talked in its description too of, we're the insurance policy on the database, we're the insurance policy on the money spent, but really the way I look at it is we're the coal that makes this whole thing work.
Robby T: I love it, Jim. That's a great analogy. We've talked a lot about insurance policy. What the heck does that mean? I think we all understand that you guys are really the engine, the steam engine, you're putting that colon and making the whole machine work. When you say insurance policy, what the heck is that?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I mean, when I talk about is that most leads that people go after in their system are called twice. That's it. I think our record ... I think Cody actually just broke our record. I think he broke it and I think it was 383 attempts before he got in touch with someone. We're basically there in order to pick up the phone and make sure that these people are talked to. The other thing is, a couple times a year, I'll go through and I'll play what's called the resurrection game in the database. I did this the other day. I think Cody had posted a blog article on it, and we had talked about it. I just go through the database a couple of times a year for people that have said no, and I see, hey, is it still no? I did this the other day, sent out 1900 texts and basically 38 people that had previously told me no, are now ready to buy. Really, what I do is I go through even the crap, shovel it and find the little pieces of gold.
Robby T: I think that 10% number, the resurrection game is a really funny number because you said you reached out to how many people during that, again? Was it three-
Jim Rentfrow: [crosstalk 00:06:57] 371. Out of that 371, I had 38 follow ups that are ready and I also set two appointments right away on that. Just from sending out a mass temp, got a couple appointments on it.
Robby T: The insurance policy really means ... What I'm hearing you say, Jim is, you guys do everything you can to reach out to these leads and have conversations. It's not just you call once, twice, maybe shoot one off text. Even when people tell you no, you're eventually going to follow up and attempt to convert them again, because we all know just because of no now it doesn't mean that they're going to be a no forever. [crosstalk 00:07:36].
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I think I can count about 25 times where someone has literally told me no, almost, and someone has told me to F off even, and literally have called me back 10 minutes later and said, "Hey, I was just really upset. You caught me in the moment. I do want to talk here's what's going on." Even when you hear no especially in today's society, no one wants to talk right now. Nobody can talk there. Everybody is busy. You hear no and you think, they're not serious. No just means like, hey, you caught me at a bad time, usually.
Robby T: For you no is often times not just no, it's not yet.
Jim Rentfrow: It's not yet. Exactly.
Robby T: I love it. Awesome. That's great, Jim. Now that we've established that you're a terrible ISA and you've no clue what you're doing. Just kidding. I would love for you to share a little bit about what your conversations actually sound like. We know that you're taking these proactive measures to generate these conversations, and we can probably get into that later again, but what the heck of your conversations with leads with people actually sound like? Do you use scripts? Give us some insight there.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I mean, I have two [crosstalk 00:08:47] in my script book and they're both the intros. I'll just take you through it. Robby, let's say you're a new internet lead. I would call and I'd say something like this and say, "Hey, Robby?"
Robby T: Hey.
Jim Rentfrow: "It's Jim with Hatch Realty, saw you on our website looking. We're just curious, are you thinking about making a move soon?" That's it. It's the Zillow and we can accommodate any property increase would be, hey Robby? Saw you're looking at 3434, 23rd Avenue South and ask the question on Zillow. We're just curious, what's going on? Go ahead.
Robby T: The funny part about that was I was actually in a Facebook conversation today about this exact topic. Somebody was asking, but don't people get mad that you didn't answer their question. You just said someone comes through Zillow and is like I want to know about 123 Main Street and oftentimes, there's that question associated with it. What you just said was, you're transitioning that to use it as a means to ask them a question, right?
Jim Rentfrow: No.
Robby T: Do they get mad about that? Give us your perspective there.
Jim Rentfrow: Out of the Zillows I see, maybe 5% actually have questions. It's very, very rare where they actually have a question. Really, it just says, I'm interested in 123 Main Street. That's why I start the conversation that way. I mean, if there was a question on there, I'll just flat out ask, hey, Nick, I saw you asked what are the specials on one two Main Street? Excuse me. Were you just curious or why were you asking that question?
Nate Joens: I think one of the things that I learned from you guys is that your lead conversion training was exactly around this. I think you got up on a whiteboard because Robby doesn't like to use whiteboards or anything and drew a picture of a house and a person. Does this ring a bell? We've talked about moving away from your discussion about the house and more about the person. Is that what you're talking about, Jim? Can you talk about that more?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I mean, I was talking with my coach ... I coach with Robby and one other person. I'm five years in this role and I still get paid coaching. Basically, we were having this conversation yesterday. I mean, we were talking about what's the difference between talking about the house and talking about the person and the scripts. Basically, when I was talking with my coach, he was saying that the ferry organization and KW both say you need about 120 conversations per closing, that's the script based approach and the house based approach. Well, I ran my numbers yesterday, and this was for all of my ISA across multiple years of experience last year, we needed 38 conversations per closing.
Jim Rentfrow: If you're going to talk about the house, 120. If you're going to talk to the person and the actual motivation and things like that, 38, which number is better? I'm a big believer in data and that comes across boastful. I'm not a boastful person. I just know my data. My data is, if I talk about the house, I'm going to lose. If I talk about the person and form that connection, I'm going to win. More often when I do lose, it's because we weren't able to establish that personal connection.
Robby T: I love that. In other words, what I just heard you say, Jim, is that your approach is three times more effective than the other best people out there when you compare numbers to numbers. That's who we are, we always talk about numbers. That's great. You get them talking about, hypothetically, they say they are looking to potentially make a move, to continue that a little bit further. What happens there Jim? What's that look like? I think people don't really understand, even if they say, I'm looking to move-
Jim Rentfrow: Are you looking to move, probably?
Robby T: ... Where is the conversation go from there?
Jim Rentfrow: If you look at the script stuff, it's like, great, that's very smart. A lot of people are moving, we should really do that. How can I help you? It's like, no, let's just bring things down to the lowest common denominator. Why are you looking to move? Let's have a conversation. Let's not sound scripted and robotic. Why are you looking to move? Then you'll tell me ... Give me a reason, Robby, why are you looking to move? Why are looking to get a bigger home?
Robby T: I need a bigger house and looking to get a bigger home.
Jim Rentfrow: What do you mean by that?
Robby T: Well, our family's growing bigger. My mother in law's moving in with us. My father-in-law just passed away and she's going to be living with us for a while.
Jim Rentfrow: Okay. That sounds [inaudible 00:13:21]. How are you guys doing on that?
Robby T: I mean, it's stressful. All right, we could go on forever. I think it illustrates the point that we're not just saying ... I should say, you're not just stopping and moving on to the next thing. You literally just really asked me more questions [inaudible 00:13:45].
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. Let's just go deeper. Go deeper on everything. That's the one thing I'd recommend anybody is mirror and match extremely well and just go deeper.
Robby T: That's good.
Jim Rentfrow: If I was going to give two tips from this, go deeper, mirror and match.
Robby T: I love it. Go deeper, mirror and match. What do you do when somebody says that they're not looking to buy, Jim? If they say, I'm just curious or I was just looking [inaudible 00:14:08]. What do you do then?
Jim Rentfrow: Why were you just curious? Robby, why were you looking for fun? Guess what happens? Six times out of 10, usually, well, I was curious because I think about making a move. I know you are and that's why I ...
Robby T: I love it. Even when somebody comes across as a no, you dig in deeper and you take the same approach.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. Exactly.
Robby T: You just say, why are you curious, is what I'm hearing?
Jim Rentfrow: Here's a great example. We brought on a couple of ISAs late 2017 and I get a call one night from one of them and the whole call and tells me what happened. He says, the guy didn't want to work with an agent. I just simply asked the question, "Why didn't you want to work with an agent, Eric?" There's silence for about 10 seconds. He goes, "I'm going to go make a phone call." Here's the thing, the guy didn't want to work with an agent because he was misinformed because he thought he had to pay for an agent. It was a very simple objection to overcome. You need to know the whys behind those objections in order to overcome them because people often have false objections.
Jim Rentfrow: It's not, I'm just looking. Well, why are you just looking? Well, I'm thinking about buying a house. Well, why are you thinking about buying a house? People overcomplicate this game. This game can be very simple. It's not easy, but it's extremely simple. Which is this, pick up the phone right now, dial some numbers and that's getting less than less. That's why we're doing more and more texts is because we're having to have more and more of these conversations via text and via automation. However, if you pick up the phone, whether it's to text a person or call and just ask, how are you looking?
Nate Joens: Can you have these conversations over text too? Can you mirror and match? What does that look like?
Jim Rentfrow: You can. I mean, if someone has a long written out structure, I'll try to have a long written out structure to my replies. If someone's been extremely short, I'll try to be extremely short. It's harder with text, often because it's so much easier to just dose people, they can just block the number things like that. The game is changing, but I'll just ask flat out, why were you curious? About 50% of time, it goes ... About 50% of the time they actually reply and say, well, I'm thinking about buying a house or I'm thinking about selling. Tell me more about that.
Robby T: If people respond and give you those more in depth answers, Jim, via text do they tell you ... Obviously, like in this case where we role played, within 45 seconds you got to be talking about my hypothetical dead father-in-law. Are people saying very sensitive things via texts and emotions through text messages? Are you seeing that?
Jim Rentfrow: Not as prevalent with over the phone. Over the phone, you can pick up subtle nuances like voices cracking, laughter, and stuff like that. That is the hard part I have with text is it's not easy to pick up those subtleties. However, if you have that text conversation long enough and then you want to finalize, I always try to finalize over the phone and have that extra buy in because the way I look at it and the way our whole process is set up is we want to have extra buy in at each stage. If I'm going to have a talk with you and I'm going to have the buy in for when you want to talk next, or have a talk with you, we scheduled appointment, I have buy in the next step with a handwritten note, I buy in with sending that text introduction, I have buy in with that agent doing an introduction call. I want buy in all along the way because that increases our conversion.
Robby T: Awesome. I love it. Last question about your conversations because I think you've given some brilliant insight into it. How long are your calls, Jim, traditionally? When you're on the phone with somebody, how long are your calls these things? You're asking for an appointment traditionally in three, five minutes? What does that look like?
Jim Rentfrow: I think the longest call I ever had was something like an hour and 10 minutes and that was with high guy and that was exhausting. I would say our average is ... I actually get something set up in just 12 to 14 minutes. Honestly, what I'll do is I'll play the phone game where I look at my phone and I see how long it's been. If it's only been six minutes, I try to make that thing to 10.
Robby T: Let's hit on that for a moment because we know ... Eric just posted a question. He said that we should maybe talk briefly about the danger zone. No, we're not talking about a reference to pop culture. Jim, what is the danger zone model?
Jim Rentfrow: Riley just question here, he said, six to eight minutes is when I schedule my calls. I can do that too, but I know ... The way I describe the danger zone is this. If you have a three minute call and you set an appointment, there's a 30% chance that person is going to say, "Come to the office." If you have four minute call, it's 40%. If I'm looking at six to eight minutes, I know there's a 60% chance this person is going to show up at a 40% chance they won't. I want to have a longer conversation because the more I can have a more in depth and real conversation with these people, the more they're going to actually relate to me and want to do business with me. The danger zone for me is basically that three to seven minutes where you could set the appointment, you can feel it in your gut.
Jim Rentfrow: You don't want to. You want to actually make sure that, are we answering all their questions? Are we actually getting to know these people and are they telling me stuff that ...? I mean, Robby, I've had people tell me about coming home and having the UPS driver in their bed with their wife. I've had stuff like that. I've had people break down and cry. If you're just doing a transaction, you're getting in there, getting the appointment, getting out, you're doing yourself a disservice. I used to do that. Guess what happened? I got pissed because Robby would have more people show up and Robby would have a higher conversion rate. I got freaking pissed. I thought, what is he doing that I'm not doing? Then I just started watching.
Jim Rentfrow: That was the great thing about being side by side is basically if I can watch you and you can watch me, we can pick up on each other and that's why I think we really were successful as we tested stuff, we broke stuff and we always try new things.
Nate Joens: I don't. I was going to ask when-
Robby T: There's so many great questions. Do you get questions to go with that?
Nate Joens: ... if ever, do you guys ask for the appointment? Is that a close? I feel like you talked about that lead conversion seminar, but I can't remember what you guys' stance on that is, the appointment.
Robby T: Good question.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. If they're going to be ready, I would say in the next six months, they don't have an agent and they're actually serious and I can recap everything, I've been on the phone with them for eight, nine minutes by that point, I just do basically the heart effect and go for it. Is there a benefit to move forward with this?
Robby T: You unpacked a lot there, Jim, and you put a label on it. Nate, what I think you're asking is, are you just closing for an appointment or what does that look like when you're aligning yourself for an appointment? Give us some insight there. What the heck does heart affect mean?
Nate Joens: I mean, for me, basically, the heart effect is talking about, I've helped a lot other people in your same situation and this is what we've done for them. Do you think that'd be beneficial for you? If I'm talking to an expired, I'd say something like Robby, we've helped a lot of people have tried to sell their house before and felt stuck. Have them come in, sit down one of my agents have come up with a game plan to get this place sold. Do you think that'd be a benefit to you?
Robby T: Let me ask, Jimmy, if you asked that two minutes into a conversation with an expired, do you think that would be successful?
Jim Rentfrow: Two minutes in, they're still in the venting stage.
Robby T: Why not?
Jim Rentfrow: They still tell me everything about their previous realtor that sucked or about the situation, about the whole process, about all the points they had. A really good process I took Cody and Joey through yesterday is, people either want to run away from pain or run towards pleasure. Until I know what they're either running towards or running from, it's really hard for you to pick up on that and really push them towards good people.
Nate Joens: That's why you try and close ... That's why you try and tie to close.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. What is their actual pain? I mean, if we're going back to Robby's example, earlier, he needed more space. That's not Robby's pain. Robby's pain is he just had a death in the family and now he's having his mother-in-law move in with him. I love my mother-in-law, she spoils the heck out of me. Living with her would be hell. It's nothing against her. I think anybody that's having that moved in ... His pain point is his, his mother-in-law is going to be living with him now. There's going to be pleasure with that because maybe she could take care of the kids and things like that, but ... If I was two minutes in, I'd say, hey, Robby, what I've done for a lot of other people that needed space is having come in and come up with a game plan. That's not the pain point. That's really a mute point. That's an excuse.
Robby T: There's always more depth is what you're saying behind what am I saying is the motivation?
Jim Rentfrow: Yup, exactly.
Robby T: Okay. Jim, you had said this because I want to keep this moving ... There's literally a billion questions we could ask and we'll do this again sometime, by the way for sure, but I want to keep things moving. You said people overcomplicate this game, this lead conversion game and you said, one you need to pick up the phone and then two you need to ask why. One thing I think that I'm hearing is, you're not a salesperson. I haven't heard you talked about pressuring or selling anything, but frankly, my wife's a school counselor and what she's doing with middle school students sounds a lot like what you're doing with a lot of these leads on the phone. Jim, you pick up the phone you asked why and it sounds like [crosstalk 00:24:32]. Would you agree with that sometimes?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. My top five [inaudible 00:24:34] strengths is focus futuristic and then my third one is realtor. As a relater, I don't want to talk about stupid, petty stuff. I want to talk about the stuff that ... Quite frankly, I want to talk about your divorce situation, I want to talk about your dreams in life, I want to talk about big ticket stuff. Talking about the weather, oh my God, I'm going to fall asleep. I want to talk about stuff that's actually meaningful. When I can have those conversations, that's actually the part I actually like best and the part that actually refreshes me and reinvigorates me to pick up the phone because if I sit there ... I've had these conversations, probably a million. I've had 18,000 conversations.
Jim Rentfrow: I can tell where conversations going go almost from the first second. It's boring to me. However, when I actually find someone that actually is going through something that's really impactful and really painful, and I can help them, that fires me up, that makes me want to get after it. I'm actually almost tearing up a little bit about it because I'm an emotional guy, but that's the reason I come in and keep doing this.
Robby T: I love that. There's a lot there. Let's move on here because I think that's a great foundation for who you are, Jim, what your heart is and what your conversation sound like. Let's talk about the ISA role in a little more abstract terms. I'm just going to shoot some questions here. You just answered one. I was going to ask you, what's the best thing about being an ISA? Feel free to use the answer you just said. You said that's one of the things that gives you life, but what would you say is the best thing about you being an ISA for Hash Realty Fargo?
Jim Rentfrow: I think the big thing is impact. I mean, I love watching people that are new to real estate and haven't ever really experienced success skyrocket and change their life's trajectory, because that's what this place has done for me. That's what this role has done for me. That's why I call it my freedom day is this place has changed the trajectory of my life and this role has. When I can see a new agent come in, that puts in their time as a showing partner or a listing partner, and then get those first couple of appointments and really see, holy crap, I could make a lot of money and I could change my life and they have that thankfulness and they have that difference in their life, that's what I love as well. The word I always use is in impact. I impact my community, impact here and impact my employees and my co-workers lives here. That's what I love about it.
Robby T: Cool. It's a great answer. On the impetus side, Jim, what's the crappies thing about being in ISA?
Jim Rentfrow: No, you talk to some crazy people. I would say also think, out of the last five years, I've taken a lot of vacations. It's also really hard to check out from this role unless your phone is turned off. That's why I love going north. If I'm in New York or Disneyland or California or anywhere else, my phone still rings. I could turn off notifications and things like that, but every call I ignore is possibly $500 to 1000 or more dollars out of my pocket, so I cringe every time I do that. Even though I believe in my team and I love sending them leads and I love sending the other guys here and helping them out and having that backup, I always feel a little bit, not guilty, but hesitant to ignore things.
Robby T: Awesome. Toughest piece is it is almost impossible to check out is what I'm hearing?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah.
Robby T: I'm sure you've been called the plotter of interesting names.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I think there's a name out there I probably get call a bit at some point. The funny thing is ... Robby, we've done, like I said, 18,000 conversations. Out of those 18, I can really only remember two that were actually really bad. One was just really crazy because he was literally mentally unstable. He had gotten arrested for using an ex-girlfriend's purse to defecate in. That one was easy to write off because it was like this guy is literally mentally, not handicapped, like disturb. That one was like, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one because maybe he forgot his meds that day. He was crazy. The other one I remembered his lady just completely rimmed me out ... That was Mark's guy actually.
Jim Rentfrow: The other one she completely rimmed me out for like five minutes and I just took it and she called me back 10 minutes later and husband had been like, no, we need to talk with him. I mean, you may get the occasional F-off, but other than that, I really don't care unless they're doing a personal attack. I don't care there may just be having a bad day.
Nate Joens: Yep. No.
Robby T: Sure. I think we want to add that defecating is something I didn't think [inaudible 00:29:47] on today's podcast episode.
Nate Joens: Got to keep it real.
Robby T: I love that. Jim, let's keep going here. What does an average day look like for you as an ISA? Just so you all know, Jim isn't just an ISA in production, although he's heavily in production. He also leads for other ISAs that we have in the department. Maybe we could separate it out, Jim, of the production side of Jim and the leadership side of Jim. Maybe break it down so people see that difference.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. Let's talk about production side first. I'll about when I was straight production. Normally, what I would do is I'd get up about 6:30, 7:00 in the morning. First thing I do is, I'd hop over, upload expired into the system that we use to look up those phone numbers. I'd want to be in the office by 7:30, 7:45 because I'm always competing against Robby and he would be there early and making dials. I'd want to get there early. I would take new dials, new leads overnight and expired first thing in the morning and then we'd hop on lists till about 10:45. By 10:45, if I was heavy in production, I wanted to have 300 calls done maybe more.
Jim Rentfrow: Go to lunch right after huddles, usually 11:00 and 12:00 and then the rest of the day if incoming calls were coming, I take them, but the rest of time I was doing follow ups and then going through this again until about 5:00. Then at 5 o'clock, I'd usually head home. There's a lot of nights where I stayed till 7:00 just because my wife works late to as a teacher. If she was going to work late, I'll just stay at the office and work late, but basically from 5:00 to 9:00. On weekends, I would-
Nate Joens: How many leads are you managing in your pipeline at a given time on a day to day basis?
Jim Rentfrow: ... Ticket common stuff and do leads, but I really wouldn't call through list all that often. I'd occasionally do it on Saturdays if I need to up my numbers, things like that.
Robby T: Sure.
Jim Rentfrow: When I was full, full production 100%, had about 1200 at any one time of 1200 follow ups, and there's 18,000 in our system. I had 1200 my own personal follow ups managing at any one time, usually checking in to make sure agents are checking in with their clients. I'd check on 80 to 100 contracted clients just making sure, how long ago was it this person contacted-
Nate Joens: Those two come from a variety of sources? You're doing some follow ups on-
Jim Rentfrow: ... And then chasing lists that were from another call to 1000 people.
Nate Joens: ... People you've crossed off to your agents, you're doing some new lead generation even and some just longer term follow up.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. That's why when Robby and I first started, we just called everything and we didn't segment things at all. That would be the number one other tip I would give people is you got to segment your database and you have to automate your follow up to your database as well. The only reason I was able to do 1200 is because I had most things automated.
Robby T: Yeah. I'll even add to that. Jim, you mentioned this, we always talk about efficiency and effectiveness in our world. One of the biggest things we've learned is with anyone that we've spoken to ... The 1200 people that were follow ups, Jim, can you explain who those people were? Some people don't know what a follow up actually is.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. Those are people that were already [inaudible 00:33:20] the first time I talked to them or the second or 20th, the work ready right now. People that we classify as an A, are basically people that are going to be moving and ready to go in the next three months. Bs are three to six, Cs are six to 12 and Ds, to me, is anyone over 12 months or can't get pre-approved or can't sell their house because they're underwater, things like that. As we talked about earlier, if people say they're not ready right now, we ask why they're not ready right now. We go into that. Let's keep remembering the why questions. Maybe they've given me a really legitimate reason why it is next year and so we'll talk about that.
Robby T: Some other people are people you're following up with. Are you efficient with those or do you do things maybe more and this cost of efficient, but then you have be very effective?
Jim Rentfrow: With some follow ups, I am caring more about effective than efficiency. Follow ups take a lot more time because a lot of times it's single line dials, followed by a voicemail and a text message, sometimes an email as well.
Robby T: Sure.
Jim Rentfrow: If you have 28 follow ups, that should probably take you an hour if not two, compared to an hour to one to two hours on a dialer, you're going to go through 300 people. I mean, I'm always looking and I always look at what is my best dollar per hour use of my time. My best dollar per hour use of my time is my new and my follow ups.
Robby T: Sure. With follow up you're being very effective and with uncontacted leads, people that we maybe haven't got a hold of, what you're doing is you're focusing probably more on efficiency as opposed to effectiveness. Fair to say mass dials, mass texts to generate responses, things like that.
Jim Rentfrow: Yep, exactly. The way I look at is, if I have 20 minutes to do lead gen that day, and there's a lot of days as an ISA manager, I have very limited time. I need to make sure that that time is as effective as five to six hours of lead generation time. Just because I'm in this role doesn't mean I can't make the same amount of money or more money. Last year, my number went down for the first time ever and that pissed me off. A lot of times it was because I was doing more mass attempts, rather, rather than doing effective attempts.
Robby T: Sure. I love it. That gives us some good insight into your average day in production. Maybe for just for the sake of time, I would like to know, Jimmy, from your perspective, what does it ISA need to do day in and day out to be a successful ISA? What do they need to be doing? What are some key points you give, advice to a new ISA or a seasoned ISA, and say these are the must dos to be successful?
Jim Rentfrow: I would say the number one thing that has made me successful is I am not afraid to screw up. There's been days where I have accidentally mass texted everyone in our database. There's been days where I sent out a voice blast to all of our database and made the agents little upset. You have to constantly try new things, but at the end of the day ... I mean, I go back to, pick up the phone and make attempts. It's really that easy. If you want to talk to 20 people a day, you're going to have to least do, right now with phone calls, probably 400 dials. If you're going to do text, you're going to need to talk to ... It's about a 15% to 20% response rate. Would you rather do 100 texts or 400 dials? Find out where you're good at and do that and work on improving the ones that you're not good at, the skills you're not good with.
Jim Rentfrow: Until Eric came on and Cody came on, my text game was not as strong as it is now. Because they were much better at it and I saw their success. I was like, hey, I've been doing this for four years and this guy next to me is talking to a ton of people via text. That's kind of weird. I should maybe try that. I was like, I'm talking to a lot of people now via text. There might be something to this.
Robby T: Absolutely. Failure is a key here to being a successful ISA. On that note, Jim, it sounds like you're ... I would truly say, you're the most successful ISA known that has had success for many years. I got to ask, how often do you lose?
Jim Rentfrow: I mean, I lose multiple times per day.
Robby T: Tell me about that.
Jim Rentfrow: I mean, the thing I've always said, if you want to win a lot in this business, you're going to have to lose 10 times as much. I might get 10% to 15%, sometimes 20% of the people I talked to that I might set appointments with. Well, that means I'm probably not setting appointments with 30% of people and the other 50% of people are probably follow ups. I lose all the time. I lost this morning. I was chasing one of my listing agent spheres and she was chasing her and both of us lost because we got undercut on commission. Now, we could not reply to that message or we could say, hey, totally understand. If your plans change, let us know and then watch that list in like a hawk and when it does expire, have a very fun conversation. I mean, you're going to lose all the time with this role and what you have to remember is ... I look at it as the harder I work, the luckier I get.
Jim Rentfrow: I think it was Benjamin Franklin said that. It's attributed to him. I doubt he said that, but it's attributed to him. But it's true. I mean, that day I sent out 1900 text messages. That day sucked. I talked to almost 400 people that day and I heard no hundreds of times, but I didn't care because I knew if I did the work, all the appointments would come. I mean, the way I look at it is you have to pay the lead generation gods their dues and their views are calls and dials and they reward you with come listings and phone calls to the office.
Robby T: Oh man, I'm going to lose it over here. I've never heard of the lead generation gods, but I feel like we should get a little idol to worship.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I mean, if you want to pay them your dues, you got to take out your phone and hear a lot of nos. It's funny every time I've done that, the next day ... Every time I've had like 800, 1200 attempts, 2000, 3000 text messages sent out and gotten no appointments, the next day, I've got six.
Robby T: Sure. I love that. One thing that I want to I want to really touch on, a lot of people, as you may see, Jim, are asking, what do you do to make sure you don't burn out? Essentially, I'm reading it. The reality is you said this role is something that it's really tough to check out and that's always been you know what we talked about. We've seen our ISAs, you guys are working 50, 60 hours per week and your role is a lifestyle, it's not a job. What do you do to make sure that Jim doesn't burn out and say, screw this, I'm done. I can't do this anymore? What do you do to check out? Give us some insight there.
Jim Rentfrow: It's funny because I struggle probably more with that the last year than I ever have. Here's the funny thing. I've taken more vacation the last year than I ever have either. In order for me to kind of not burn out, I always focus on what's the next thing. For instance, I just got back from New York and spent a lot of money on that trip so it's like, now we got to pay for New York. I always think of things in terms of transactions, which is like, I want to go down to Mexico and go to White Tiger, Black Jaguars for a week and hang out with the Tigers. How much that cost? That's about $14,000 for Rachael and I. That's about 28 closings. What do I need to do in order to get 28 extra closings?
Jim Rentfrow: Well, that means I need to talk to 38 people per closing. Now, I could break that down and have a fun little game. I try to gamify my life. I look in I see, what do I want? Literally, now there's nothing that I can't have and that's what motivates me because I'm a 99 financial on the monetary scale. I love money and so the way I look at is, what do I enjoy? What can I be pushing towards? There's going to be days that suck, but going after what I'm going is much easier for me to keep doing that.
Nate Joens: I think maybe one of my questions is, at least for those of you listening, I think Eric Patch posted like one of the keys to success is having multiple ISAs. Jim, you're the leader of those ISAs.
Robby T: For sure. This is great, Jim. Nate, do you have any other questions you want to ask on that?
Nate Joens: I don't know if we really touched on your leadership too much. Is that an aspect of your role that excites you, more in potentially keeps you less burned out or the opposite?
Jim Rentfrow: For me, it's the opposite. Myers Briggs is what's called an advocate. If I was going to be completely and totally joyful, it is not managing other people. That being said, I want to have impact and I love helping others, but the managing others can be ... It's not fun for me. For me, I'd say leadership can be fun because, like I said, when you focus on your future [crosstalk 00:43:55] things. The management of people though is not fun for me and that's causing [crosstalk 00:43:57] more than sitting and grinding marginal goals.
Nate Joens: One thing I ended up focusing at too that I think is completely different about the Hatch model is your ISAs don't graduate from agents. I don't know if we covered that. We've covered in previous webinars a bit, but that's another really important piece I think to add here.
Robby T: Sure. Good point.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah. I want to address two things. One, Riley had said, 50, 60 hours a week is a ton. It is a ton, but that's only if you have one ISA or two ISAs and you have all the leads going to them. Secondly, there's weeks where I work 50 to 60 hours a week. I was gone for nine weeks last year. There's nine weeks where I was not working and I still hit 150 transactions.
Robby T: Yeah.
Jim Rentfrow: It's because being effective when I'm there. There are a lot of days where I'm here 10 hours. There's a heck of a lot of days where I'm not here at all.
Robby T: Let's hit on that, Jim, because I almost like to talk about how your first year of being an ISA is so much different than any years beyond that. Do you mind giving us some perspective of the first year compared to years two, three, four on lead issues?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah, let's do that. My first full calendar was ‘15 because it start July 2014. I think it's 2015, I did 86,000 dials and about 40,000 mass attempts, if I remember the numbers. I think those numbers I went over the last time with the mass attempts was just from 2016 on. I did roughly 120,000 attempts in that first year for 121 closings. Last year, I did 20,000 dials and 20,000 mass attempts for 150 closings. The way I always talk to people is, if you can put in the work the first two years, you're going to set yourself up for a great third, fourth, fifth year, for way less work because you're building your pipeline and now those conversations are fun. You're not talking to a ton of new leads. I let my ISAs grind on the new leads, because they need to build their pipelines. I want to take my follow ups and the new ones and basically, I don't need to build my pipeline as much because it's already built.
Robby T: In other words, your first year especially is you're building that pipeline and then from that point forward, it's all about maintaining the pipeline.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah, exactly.
Robby T: Maintenance takes nowhere near the amount of work as building. If you just look at the math, if you start making calls new ISA today, you're not going to see a closing. I mean, your first closings for three, four months. You're not getting any checks, any pay from people who want to [crosstalk 00:47:07]. The reality is, is it your first year and you will work harder than ever and make less. That's why we always talk about how this is a long term play. That was very good, Jim. Awesome. Nate, anything else you want to ask there? I love it. Last thing we should hit on, Jim, obviously, you've been instrumental in us helping find our next ISAs, the next yous. I think we'd be remiss if we didn't at least touched base on, when we're looking to hire an ISA, why don't we look to hire? With the last few minutes here, Jim, when we're looking at hiring an ISA, what's maybe the biggest mistake the biggest that people make and what do you look for in an ISA?
Jim Rentfrow: I think the biggest mistake people make is just bringing on anyone. This is the hardest role to fill. We have done so many interviews on this role and gotten so close so many times and it's so freaking painful. I would say the biggest mistakes is we did not ask one question and the question was this, what are your goals in life and how ...? They'll tell me their goals and then I'll just simply ask right after that, what have you done to accomplish that?
Jim Rentfrow: Robby has a question in his interviews that he could talk about as well that he likes. What I want to do is I don't want to actually hire anyone ever again from a career night for ISA. I simply don't. I want to have people that are actually going to seek us out and be referrals because it's extremely hard to find motivated people that will pick up the phone and get kicked in the face time and time again that don't have goals and can't tell me what they've done on their goals. If I asked Erica Cody what they've done on their goals, when we were having that conversation, they could list five things and the stuff that they're working at in their life.
Jim Rentfrow: The interviews I've had that have ended right then is that one guy said, I want to be able to take my friends out and be that friend, and I said, "Can't you do that now?" I there was just silence and then I was like, "Okay, we're done here." The other the other thing that I love is I like to ask people if they hate to lose or love to win BECAUSE I am very much a hate to lose person. It pisses me off and every time I do it fires me up. Now you can love to win and I think that's good. Winning is good, but if you hate to lose, and I see Robby has more numbers than me, guess what's that going to do? I'm going to be motivated to beat him. There's no animosity. It's not animosity. Robby's my brother, but I will crush him.
Robby T: Yeah. Right. Jim, you are filled with a ton of insight and knowledge, man. This has been fabulous. The reality is this is ... One more thing we should talk about is this ISA role is a lifestyle. We've talked about it. you're working 50, 60 hours per week. It's tough to employ. One last thing I think we should definitely bring up is that you get almost no social interaction, face to face interaction with people. Is that fair to say, Jim?
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah.
Robby T: You're calling these leads and you're having intimate conversations, but it's taking place over the phone and via text messages and emails. The reality is if you love face to face interaction ... One of the things we found is if somebody loves that, that's not going to be fulfilling in this role. We've had some great people come into the role and burn out almost immediately. That's another piece. I got to end on one thing where you and I were the leads geeks along with our ISA brethren and all these others. I think we got an end on one nerdy question, if you don't mind. Is Star Wars or Game of Thrones and tell me why? Make a compelling argument.
Jim Rentfrow: All right. It's going to be Game of Thrones. Here's why. Game of Thrones has literally caused me to stand up and swear and throw my TV remote at the wall and break it. Star Wars, it's a decent storyline. They got cool stuff blowing up and lasers, but Battle of the Bastards, that episode I got up. I was fired up. I was like, "Oh no, you better not die again. This is BS." I was pissed. You're never going to have that emotional response with Star Wars. It's like, Luke cut off his hand, big deal. I mean, Jon Snow died. Oh my God. I'm going to say, Game of Thrones. Got it coming up in 13 days, I think. I'm not counting down or anything. I'm pretty excited. It's probably the most animated you've see me for a while, Robby?
Robby T: Yeah. I'm sorry to all of you, about 100 some listeners that if you haven't seen the show, Jim just ruined it for you.
Jim Rentfrow: Yeah, it's six years. You have seven years to watch it.
Robby T: Spoiler alert. We're going to put that in here. I never thought-
Nate Joens: Absolutely. Jim, we appreciate you dearly.
Robby T: ... We just put in there [crosstalk 00:52:35]. You bring so much passion to the role and you are a trendsetter and a friend, so thank you for taking your time to do this. [crosstalk 00:52:35].
Nate Joens: For everyone, this will be recorded and sent out shortly. As an add bonus, we have two bonuses for you now. We've done a previous podcast episode with Robby, Jim and Cody. Hey there. I highly recommend that. You get insights and flavors from all three ISAs with Hatch. Definitely subscribe to the ISA Radio. I think it's like the fifth podcast episode or something, that's a great one. Second bonus is, Izzy with Structurely has some fantastic giveaways on behalf of Structurely. This is something we kind of like to do on most of our webinars. Thank you for listening. As if the insights from Jim wasn't enough, Izzy is here with some free leads and one of the awesome headsets. I don't think it's as good as Jim's, but it's pretty good.
Izzy: It's a good one. We have a lot of giveaways, more than normal this time. This is a good webinar to have registered for. We have four people winning free leads, so we will engage in long term nurture. Our ISA Aisa Holmes, our artificial intelligence part will long term nurture 50 leads for you. The four winners are going to get that and then one winner is going to get a headset. We'll start off with the four winners for the 50 free leads and then lastly will be the headset. Our first winner 50 free leads is Sheena Croce. If you're on here-
Robby T: Spell that.
Izzy: ... C-R-O-C-E.
Robby T: R-O?
Izzy: O-C-E, C-E. Well, it's one. Okay. You'll get an email from us with all the information on how that's going work, but congratulations to our first winner. Sheena, did I pronounce her last name right? I see that you're on. [inaudible 00:54:48] pronunciation with me. Second winner of the 50 free leads is Danica Holm, H-O-L-M, like a spinoff.
Robby T: Nice.
Izzy: Oh shoot. Sorry Sheena. Our third winner of 50 free leads is Aaron McCormick. Well, it's I-C-K.
Robby T: Awesome.
Izzy: Our fourth winner of 50 free leads is Ron [inaudible 00:55:36]. That one's a hard one.
Robby T: Ron K.
Izzy: Ron C. We've multiple Ron Cs on here. The winner of the headset is one [inaudible 00:55:54]. T-A-R-R-A-S-Q-U-E-L.
Robby T: [inaudible 00:56:06].
Izzy: All right. Well, thank you to everyone that registered and congratulation to our five winners. You will all be getting emails from us-
Robby T: Sorry guys.
Izzy: ... After this on how to claim your prizes.
Nate Joens: Well, we appreciate everyone [inaudible 00:56:24].
Jim Rentfrow: Dang! I didn't win.
Robby T: Cool. [inaudible 00:56:47].
Nate Joens: Awesome. If you already haven't subscribed to the ISA Radio, you can actually register there for future podcast. The next one on April 10 with April Martin. Go ahead and get scheduled for that, register for that now so you don't miss it. Again, this one will be sent to you within a couple of hours here and included in the ISA Radio. I also want to just mention the leads geeks. Most of you are in the leads geeks Facebook group, but if you're not, check it out. You're going to get a lot of more in depth information, valuable lessons from Jim and all the ISAs at Hatch. Awesome role play stuff. I've even watched a lot of those. They're hilarious. They're absolutely hilarious. You have to watch them. Cool. Thanks everyone.
Robby T: [inaudible 00:57:58].
Nate Joens: Bye.
Jim Rentfrow: Bye.
Robby T: I love it. Guys, thank you all. Appreciate you all. Thanks again, Jimmy. You're welcome. Bye. Bye.
What is Real Estate ISA Radio?
Real Estate ISA Radio is the first and only podcast built by successful inside sales teams and technologists for your real estate inside sales team. Learn how to hire, onboard and keep high performing ISAs in your real estate business to 10x your sales!