Enjoying this episode? Be sure to follow The Walkthrough to get future episodes delivered automatically: Apple Podcasts/iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

You hear our mission in every episode. The Walkthrough exists to help you grow your business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. The first two are obvious. That third one … what’s that about?

With some national real estate companies trying to replace agents with technology, or calling agents a dying breed, it’s about being so valuable and important that you can’t be disrupted. On this week’s Walkthrough, host Matt McGee shares three crucial questions that will help you become irreplaceable.

Join our Walkthrough Listener Mastermind

We’ve launched a private Facebook mastermind just for listeners of The Walkthrough. If you’re not a listener, please listen to a couple episodes and then join. (You won’t get much value out of the group if you’re not a podcast listener.) If you are already a listener, come join us to mastermind with other listeners, connect with the guests that you hear on the show, learn from other agents and share your knowledge, get exclusive content, influence future episodes, and more. You can find the group here: HomeLight Agent Mastermind – The Walkthrough.

Links and Show Notes

Full Transcript

(SPEAKER: Matt McGee, Host)

[Sound: bugle playing “Taps”]

Some of HomeLight’s competitors think you are a dying breed. I don’t need to name names. You know who I’m talking about. They think technology and algorithms are going to replace you and make real estate agents useless.

No, I call bullcrap on all that. That’s why I say in every episode that my goal with this show is to help you become irreplaceable.

Today, I want to share three questions that I think can make you irreplaceable. Three questions that can help any agent no matter what volume you do, no matter what your GCI is. Three questions that if you attack them every day with laser-like focus will make you irreplaceable, and will also help you grow your business and stand out from the crowd. And that’s why this show exists.

This is “The Walkthrough.”

(INTRO MUSIC)

Hello. Hello. How are you? My name is Matt McGee. I’m the editor of HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center. Feeling much better this week. I hope I’m sounding much better, maybe a little shaky still, as I get over the nasty head cold thing I’ve had for the last couple of weeks. But anyway, welcome to “The Walkthrough.” This is a weekly podcast. We have new episodes that come out every Monday. This is the show where you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country.

At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. You’ve heard me say it before, I’ll say it again. We’re on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd and become irreplaceable. If you want to get involved in the show or if you want to get in touch with me, a few different ways you can do that. Look me up in our Facebook Mastermind group, just go to Facebook, search HomeLight Walkthrough, and the group will come right up. You can also leave a voicemail or send a text, the number to use is 415-322-3328, or send an email, that’ll work as well. It’s walkthrough[at]homelight.com.

We’ve spent a lot of time in the weeds lately, haven’t we? Down in the trenches. The past two weeks were filled with super-specific tactics for finding new listings. We talked about tools and websites to help you make things, like a great pre-listing kit, and use that in a really creative way. Going back a little further, we went deep on using TikTok. Before that, we went deep on real estate websites, we went deep on storytelling.

If it’s okay with you, I’d like to get out of the weeds today. Let’s work on your business, not in your business.

Once upon a time, I jotted down three questions. I thought these questions would make a really good One More Minute segment if I spent some time thinking through the whole concept a little. Then something happened. As I was putting together some of these recent episodes, over the past couple months, you know, the ones that have been really in the trenches, well, some of the specifics that we covered in those episodes, felt like great illustrations of the three questions that I wrote down way back when.

It turns out that the topic is a bit too long for One More Minute. So, today’s another one of those special episodes, call it an experiment if you want. It’s just me and you working on your business. I’m going to share these three questions, expand on them, and use some examples from recent Walkthroughs to explain why I think they can make a huge difference in growing your business, help you become irreplaceable, stand out from the crowd.

It’s not super sophisticated stuff. It’s not going to take anywhere near 30 minutes to discuss, but I hope these questions will help you think about the big picture in a more purposeful way. Sound good? Chris, play that music. Let’s get started.

(BEGIN CONVERSATION)

Matt: All right. Let’s dive in. If I was a real estate agent, here are three questions that I would ask myself every day, I would, you know, put them on a sticky note, put it right here on my big iMac monitor or on my laptop, if that’s what I was using. I would want these questions to be in front of me every day.

Question number one, how valuable am I to my sphere?

Question number two, how valuable am I to my community?

Question number three, what am I doing consistently to be more valuable to both?

Let me repeat those. Question number one, how valuable am I to my sphere? Number two, how valuable am I to my community? And number three, what am I doing consistently to be more valuable to both?

You know, so often you hear people talk about “working” your sphere or “working” your database, like it’s a chore. It’s a task to be completed, a checkbox to be marked off. What I’m suggesting is a different mental approach: Not working your sphere, not working your community, but being valuable.

Why is this important? Well, here’s what we know. People like to do business with people that they know, like, and trust. You’ve heard that many, many times before. How do you get people to know, like, and trust you? Well, one way is by serving them, by doing things for them, by doing things with them. Nobody likes a sales pitch, but they do like a service pitch, a value pitch. So, consistently, adding value to your sphere and community is a great way to get them to know, like, and trust you.

What does this look like in practice? Well, let’s start with your sphere. There’s some obvious ways you add value to your sphere and database. On the easy end of the spectrum, it’s little things like birthday cards, personalized videos on special days, that kind of stuff. On the more difficult end of the spectrum, it’s things like events and giveaways. Hire a food truck and invite a hundred people from your database to come have free lunch. Rent out the group section at your local minor league ballpark, and host 50 of your past clients. We’re doing that soon ourselves. I know of agents and teams who, I think this was at least before the pandemic, they would spend 5-figures every year, you know, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 on a massive dinner party for their entire database, hundreds of past and current clients all gathered together for food and fun. That’s all table stakes to some degree as far as adding value to your database. You’ve probably done some or all of those at some level, but can you do more?

Think back a few episodes ago when I had Josh Anderson on the show. He talked about that thing. He called it a loyalty program, I think. It’s where they have all kinds of stuff in storage, stuff that his team has used, and now they make available to the loyal people in their sphere. Things like a truck and trailer, a pressure washer, margarita machines, I think he mentioned outdoor tables and lawn games. It’s just stuff that they loan out to anyone who needs it, no charge at all. That’s a great way to add value to your sphere.

Your sphere also includes other agents. You know, when my wife celebrated her birthday back in April, she got an unexpected gift. Glennda Baker — yes, that Glennda Baker, the Atlanta real estate agent who was on the show, I think it was back in June talking about TikTok — well, Glennda sent my wife a box of gourmet mini cupcakes. Totally unexpected, totally out of the blue. I think they kind of know each other from Tom Ferry coaching circles, but they’ve never done business together. They’ve never sent referrals to one another. But when you put a smile on someone’s face, with a surprise box of mini cupcakes, you add value like that, well, you can bet if my wife ever has a client moving to Atlanta, guess who she’s going to send them to? Yeah, Glennda Baker.

Glennda is making herself valuable to her sphere. Josh Anderson is making himself valuable to his sphere. They’re doing it in very different ways, but the end result is the same. You give value, you get top of mind. You give value, you get top of mind. When the people in their spheres think real estate, they think Glennda, they think Josh.

How valuable are you to your sphere? That’s question one.

Question two is how valuable are you to your community? How valuable are you to your community? There are table stakes with this question, just like with the sphere question. When we talk about being valuable to your community, I guess the basic thing is educating them about the real estate market. That’s the absolute minimum as far as giving value to the community. And I mean, not just sharing market stats on a regular basis but putting those numbers into context so that buyers and sellers really understand what they mean.

But there’s a lot more you can do to be valuable to your community. Are you educating them about local events and businesses? If you have an audience, you should be keeping them informed about what’s going on in the community. You should be a local news source. And by audience, I mean, do you have an email newsletter with a lot of local people that you send emails to? Do you have a YouTube following? Do you have local followers on Facebook or Instagram? The answer to those questions is probably yes. If you have an audience like that, that’s an opportunity to give them value.

Follow the lead of an agent like Kyle Whissel in San Diego. He does a regular video series on YouTube and Facebook, where he interviews local business owners, I think it’s mainly restaurant owners, and he lets them promote themselves to his audience. The community loves learning about local businesses, local places to eat. And of course, the local business owners, they love the exposure. Kyle is giving incredible value to his community. When we interviewed him 18 months ago, for a HomeLight article, this was back before we had a podcast, he said these local business owners are, “some of the best referral sources out there.”

We also did an article back then with Dustin and Rachel Parker in Delaware, they do something similar to give value to their community. They have a video series called “Local Heroes,” where they interview local business owners, but not just business owners — medical personnel, teachers, police officers, and other people that make the community great. Again, a great way to add value to your community. I’ll link to both of those articles in the show notes today,

And you can do more than promote local businesses and organizations. What about actually getting involved? I think back to one of the early Walkthrough episodes with Abby Walters in Virginia. She said the first building block of her referral-based business is community involvement. That means financial donations, yes, but more importantly, it means personal involvement. She’s giving her time, not just her money. I remember when we talked, she said that some of the local community leaders are at the point where they’re afraid to ask her to do more because she’s already so involved with the community. That’s how you do it. It’s more than just being known in your community. It’s about being a valued community member.

So, those are the first two questions, how valuable am I to my sphere? And how valuable am I to my community?

The third question is what puts all this into action: What am I doing consistently to be more valuable to both? What am I doing consistently to be more valuable to both?

Look, ideas are pretty easy. We can all sit down in a quiet spot for a half-hour, or sit down with our team, and brainstorm, come up with ways to be valuable to our sphere or community, but what are you actually doing about it? And what are you doing consistently? Because if you pay attention to your sphere, just once in a while — just when you know, “Hey, I have some free time, I’m going to show some love to my sphere now” — it’s not going to work the way you want it to. Just last week you heard Jim Remley say “consistency is what will win the day.” If you really want to become irreplaceable, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, if you really want to take your business to the next level, get laser-focused on adding value to your sphere and your community, and do it consistently. You have to keep showing up to both groups if you want to stay top of mind. Your lack of consistency will create their lack of interest.

So, develop a plan of action around this. It could be an ongoing 24/7 loaner program, like Josh Anderson has for his sphere, or could be quarterly events out in the community. What are you doing consistently to be more valuable?

And here’s the thing too, when you ask yourself that question, you got to be honest about it. Have you ever heard of “egocentric bias?” It’s a thing in psychology that says, among other things, it says we tend to have a higher opinion of ourselves than reality. It’s why in a group project, most of us in the group think that we’re the one carrying the load, right? Don’t let your ego get in the way when you ask yourself these questions. Step back, take an honest look. If you weren’t in real estate, would your sphere miss you? Would your community miss you?

When I think about some of the names I’ve mentioned above, the Abby Walters, the Glennda Bakers, the Josh Andersons, yeah, I think they would be missed if they weren’t in real estate. And that is what being irreplaceable is all about.

(Speaker: Matt McGee, Host)

So, there you go. We got out of the trenches a bit today, talking about adding value and I sure hope that I added value to you today.

Takeaways segment, how about if I just share those three questions one more time?

Question number one, how valuable am I to my sphere?

Question number two, how valuable am I to my community?

Question number three, what am I doing consistently to be more valuable to both?

Get this right, and you’ll become irreplaceable, you’ll also stand out from the crowd and grow your business. When you’re valuable to people, the odds go way up that they’ll remember to use you next time it’s time to buy or sell. The odds go way up that they’ll recommend you to friends and family. If you want to become irreplaceable, develop a laser-like focus on being more valuable to your sphere and your local community.

All right. Questions or feedback, thoughts on what you heard, I’d love to hear what you think about this “Matt solo” episode. You can leave a voicemail, or send me a text. The number is 415-322-3328. You can send an email to walkthrough[at]homelight.com or find me in our Facebook Mastermind Group, just go to Facebook, search HomeLight Walkthrough, and the group will come right up.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for listening. Hey, if you get a moment, can I ask a quick favor? Would you mind rating and reviewing “The Walkthrough” on Apple Podcasts or wherever you happen to listen? I’d sure appreciate that. And also, when you’re there, hit that follow button so that you get all of our future shows automatically.

My name is Matt McGee, you’ve been listening to “The Walkthrough.” At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We are on a journey to find out how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd and become irreplaceable. Go out and safely sell some homes. I’ll talk to you again next week. Bye-bye.

Header Image Source: (Fizkes / Shutterstock)