In this interview, we sit down with Michael LaFido, a luxury real estate agent in Chicago. Michael shares his strategies on stepping into the luxury industry and how to generate luxury real estate leads.
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I’ve found, Lori, that unfortunately many agents have limiting beliefs, and luxury’s one of those things that agents believe they have to be with a certain brand, they have to be in the industry for X number of years, they gotta drive a certain car, live in a certain kind of home to break into and dominate selling homes. And unfortunately, those are false, false, and false.
Michael LaFido is a top-producing Realtor® and real estate consultant with over seventeen years of experience in the real estate industry. Michael’ marketing has been the featured cover story in Crain’s Chicago Business and highlighted at Noon on FOX News Chicago Business Hour. He is also the author of the books “Marketing Luxury” and the best-seller “Cracking the Real Estate Code”.
Michael has created the nationally recognized luxury certification for real estate agents which is known as Luxury Listing Specialist (LUXE). This new certification establishes an in-depth and detailed set of standards for agents that represent luxury homes, and is currently offered for 12 hours of Continuing Education (CE) for real estate agents in Texas. The trainings are based on the same principles Michael outlines in his book, “Marketing Luxury” that he teaches to agents across the world.
Many agents within the industry are calling Michael’s methods “The New Standard” for marketing luxury homes today.
Lori Ballen: Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us today. I’m so excited that you’re available to listen to this podcast, or the audio on YouTube, or maybe you’re sitting here reading to blog. And my goal is to bring real estate agents everywhere lots of options for your lead generation activities. We all know that real estate is a lead generation game, and if you’re not out there getting lots and lots of leads, you’re at the mercy of whoever is, and that includes the big technology giants, and other real estate teams. You need to be the one that knows how to go get the leads, and there’s lots of different ways for you to do this. So pick your favorite, and just do it consistently. Master it. Do it at a high level.
So I’m bringing you lots of fantastic real estate agents that are the best at what they do in that specific lead generation activity, and today my guest is Michael LaFido. He’s a top producing real estate agent with 17 years of experience in the real estate industry. His market, he’s been featured on a cover story in Crain’s Chicago Business, and highlighted at noon on FOX News Chicago business hour. He’s also the author of the books Marketing Luxury, and the bestseller Cracking the Real Estate Code. Throughout his career, Michael learned the importance of high caliber marketing versus traditional marketing, which has become pivotal to his success.
Over the past 17 years, LaFido and his team have developed a method that takes a more comprehensive and proactive approach when marketing a home. Michael, the founder of The Marketing Luxury group, assists other real estate agents and affluent homeowners by providing top-tier services, including consulting, lifestyle marketing, public relations, and coaching, to help agents and owners sell their luxury homes utilizing his proven and reputable strategies.
He’s created the nationally recognized luxury certification for real estate agents, which is known as Luxury Listing Specialist, LUXE. This new certification establishes an in-depth and detailed set of standards for agents that represent luxury homes, and is currently offered for 12 hours of continuing eduction. Well, that’s a nice bonus. That’s for real estate agents in Texas. The trainings are based on the same principles Michael outlines in his book, Marketing Luxury, that he teaches to agents across the world. Many agents within the industry are calling Michael’s methods the new standard for marketing luxury homes today.
Michael, thank you so much for joining me today.
Michael LaFido: Oh, it’s a pleasure. Thank you. That was a mouthful, wasn’t it?
Lori Ballen: That was a mouthful, but hey, you’re doing a lot of great things, and that’s why I spotted you and said, “This is the guy we need to be talking to right now about how to get into luxury, and how somebody would start generating real estate leads for luxury.” So you want to tell me a little bit about somebody that hasn’t done it yet, they’re doing bread and butter listings, everyday buyers, average price ranges, and they say, “You know what? I want to get into luxury.” So Michael, what do they do?
Michael LaFido: Sure. So that’s a very fair question, a very direct question, and so I have really two huge takeaways for your listeners. But before we get into each of those two, I want to share with you and your audience. I can give you the best lead gen activities, and I’m gonna give you two today, but it’s gonna be wasted unless an agent believes they can. So unless they have the mindset, I’ve found, Lori, that unfortunately many agents have limiting beliefs, and luxury’s one of those things that agents believe they have to be with a certain brand, they have to be in the industry for X number of years, they gotta drive a certain car, live in a certain kind of home to break into and dominate selling homes. And unfortunately, those are false, false, and false.
So we could spend hours on the mindset and how to attract more high-end clientele, but I at least wanted to start out with saying that. So no matter which brand you’re in, how many years you’ve been in the business, you can do it. I’m a living testament to it, and so I just wanted to share that with your audience. So before we go into Xs and Os, whether you believe you can or whether you don’t, that’s half the battle. And so you really have to believe in yourself that, hey, selling a high-end and luxury home, it’s the same Xs and Os and a lot of the same things as selling an entry-level property. Sure, there’s nuances. Sure, there’s some differences. But it’s really a people-based business, and people don’t care how much you know and I know until they know we care.
Lori Ballen: Right. So you’re saying … I love that. I absolutely love that because I do believe that that is a lot of reasons why real estate agents don’t get into that next level, is because it’s intimidating. We’re not one of them. We don’t drive those cars. We’re not fancy schmancy. We’re not gonna be able to hold our own against another luxury agent that is that person. Are you saying that, when we’re sitting in front of a luxury potential client, that … Well, I’m gonna guess you still are gonna suggest that they look the part and act the part, but what you’re saying [crosstalk 00:05:12]-
Michael LaFido: I mean, so I’m gonna answer … I totally know where you’re going. So what I’m saying is be authentic. Be yourself is what I’m saying. There’s some courses, some trainers, that say, “Say this instead of this. Do this.” Be authentic. Be yourself. Be transparent. I mean, we’re in a world where they can Google you and find out anyway, so you do want to start building your brand and looking to part before you get on the appointment, right? In other words, if people check you up on social media, they Google you, you gotta look professional. But if you don’t have to portfolio of sold properties, then … This is a course in itself … then what do you do to leverage that?
OF course, we can talk about it later, but I do a lot of speaking and training, written a book called Luxury Listing Specialist as well, and we have a certification. But getting back to your original question, is be transparent and just be likable. I mean, I’ve lost appointments in the past where I know I was against an agent that I could out-market left and right, but because I’m a big dis-personality and I’m a driver, bottom line, I missed that important rapport building. And so building that affinity, doing research on them before the appointment. In other words, what their likes, what their interest. Joe Stumpf used to say, “Ford: family, occupation, recreation, dreams.” What similarities do you have in common? Building those core rapport is really important before you get into Xs and Os.
Now, certain personality types just want you to bottom line it, of course, and they’ll point blank ask, “Well, how many million dollar homes, home many eight million, whatever … How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood?” And unfortunately, many agents don’t go on the appointment because of fear of those questions. I won’t get into too many details, but I have $10 million dollar property I represent that’s on the TV show Empire, it’s a FOX series, and that gentlemen point blank asked me, “Well how many homes have you sold in this town?” And I said, “Well, I haven’t sold any, but the previous two agents you’ve had probably sold more than I have in this area, but they didn’t get the jobs done. So if you want to hire the best marketer, I’m the right guy. If you want to hire the neighborhood expert, I’m not the right guy, but you’re going 0 for 2 here before you hired me.”
So, again, building the confidence, it’s a multi-pronged approach. It doesn’t happen overnight. But let’s … That’s a great segue into getting some bullet points on how you can build the confidence. So the first thing I’m gonna talk about is, because I get asked this all the time, is, “Hey, Mike. If you moved to such-and-such, or my city, what would be the first one or two things you would do to break into luxury?” And so that’s kind of how my segue is, Lori, into the bullet points I’m gonna talk about for lead generation. Is that okay?
Lori Ballen: Perfect. Yes, please.
Michael LaFido: Okay. So the first thing I would do is I would video. Video’s not going away. So I’m really good at citing sources, and unfortunately I don’t have the source in front of me that I’m about to say, but there was a survey done where 73% of sellers said that they would hire an agent who uses video to market their home versus an agent who doesn’t, so video’s not going away. So you as an audience member listening to this, step out of your comfort zone, whether it be a free videos like Facebook Lives, or whether they be educational videos for buyers. So hey, if you’re thinking of buying a home in blank community, or this subdivision, or in Seattle, Washington. Fill in the blank, doesn’t matter. You know, tips for buyers in this market. So that’s one bullet point for your audience. You gotta create educational videos for buyers.
You gotta create educational videos for sellers. So perfect one is, hey, just a little on year … just over one year after the election, how are home sales in New York or whatever community it is you represent? So talking about that. So talking about tips for sellers. So in other words, hey, if you’re thinking of selling in 2018, here are seven things you want to avoid to get top dollar. So educational tips for sellers. I talk about being proactive, so hey, if you’re thinking of selling in 2018, it’s important that you’re proactive when selling versus reactive. So that’s a great segue into being proactive. An example of that would be looking at the home from a cosmetic standpoint to neutralize and do the things that today’s buyers are looking for when they’re buying.
So tips for buyers, tips for sellers, and then the third bullet point would be educational videos that are market-driven. So in other words, how … I kind of talked about this earlier. One year after the election, how are home prices? How’s the election affected home prices in Chicago, or New York, or wherever it is your audience is? Or you might talk about educational tips market-wise as far as price points. Overall, it might be, “Hey, folks. Today’s video we’re talking about, overall in the Chicagoland market, there’s shortage of inventory. It’s what we call a seller’s market. But when we’re dealing with high-end properties, and by high-end, million dollars and above, the shift has occurred and it’s a buyer’s market. Buyer’s market is when there’s a lot of inventory. There’s not a lot of showings. Homes could sit on the market for a year or two years plus.”
And so educating the market on, overall, is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? But in every marketplace, Lori, the shift occurs from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, and it’s usually at the upper end where things aren’t moving quickly and things are stagnant. So it’s really important for your audience to own the numbers at the local level. Understand buyer’s market, seller’s market, days on market, list to sale ration, and understand at what price point in their given market does luxury occur? So I personally, when we teach people in our trainings and our certification, we define luxury as three times whatever the average sale price is for that given market.
So I was talking to somebody on Facebook chat the other day that’s down in Texas, and her average sale price was $130,000. So in that case, I would define luxury as homes that are 390 and above. So most of the time people think luxury and they think the McMansions, the million dollar plus markets, or maybe in the Silicon Valley a million dollars is not luxury, but it’s all relative to that given market. And so, just from a terminology standpoint, I think it’s important. I know different brands define luxury differently, but for our Luxury Listing Specialist certification, we define it as three times whatever the average sales price is.
So getting back to the one goal-
Lori Ballen: Mike, let me jump in. Let me jump in for one second, because I’ve got a couple questions that I want to make sure that as you’re … before you move onto the next little section there.
Michael LaFido: Please.
Lori Ballen: Okay, so first of all, I love that. The luxury is three times the average price range. Now, so taking that, if my average price range is 200,000, then our luxury market would be 600,000. So once we figure that out, are you saying that when you’re doing these videos and when you’re making those, you’re educating the consumer on the buyer’s market, seller’s market, and … Are you specifically hitting those price ranges in that conversation? Are you saying, “So the high-end market, this, this, and that,” or are you trying to include everybody in that segment?
Michael LaFido: Yeah, so that’s a great question. No, I try to break it down by price points in educational videos. So I speak holistically overall, and then I break it down into entry-level, the bread and butter, the middle, and then upper end. I try to keep it really simple, even though you could probably break it down into more.
Lori Ballen: Yeah. So are you doing any, then, that are specifically only targeting the luxury buyer or seller, or are all of your the holistic [crosstalk 00:13:46]?
Michael LaFido: Yeah, that’s a great question. So we have specific videos for entry-level, for … We don’t really focus on rentals, so we don’t do like rental type videos if you’re looking to rent a property. But no, we do first time buyer videos, we do entry-level, we do luxury specific videos. So we do a little bit of it all, right? We do some of the videos are more broad and they cover importance of pre-home inspection, for example, or being proactive when selling, getting a pre-home inspection done, getting all your ducks in a row with your special features of the property, the ages, et cetera. That could be a universal we recommend at all price points, but certain educational videos are geared toward certain price points.
And the one thing that I want to let you know, many agents don’t break into luxury because, well, it takes more time, or most cost, or … And there’s some truth to that, but I look at it as your financial advisor. Your financial advisor probably uses the term diversification. We want to diversify your portfolio. In other words, some high risk, some low risk, some cash or liquid. Well, real estate’s no different. If your bread and butter is 200,000, that’s what’s selling, don’t quit that. But by adding and sprinkling in some of the high-end … By the way, I define high-end as two times your market average. So if it’s 200,000, high-end would be 400, and luxury would be 600.
So sprinkle in some high-end and luxury to your portfolio, because, Lori, I believe the fastest way for anyone on that’s listening, the fastest way for an agent to get instant credibility in their database, in their sphere, on social media, is you land that first high-end or trophy listing.
Lori Ballen: Yeah. Okay, so I’m loving this. I mean, you’re giving us great information. Back to your video for a second, are you having professional videos made, or how are these videos being created?
Michael LaFido: Yeah. So I’ll do … That’s a great question. So I’ll do non-professional videos. A great example of that would be Facebook Live, right? You hit record. You’re not editing. So let me first say, on some of my professional videos, like when I’m doing a property video, I do some of the extreme lifestyle marketing. I’ve shot videos from helicopters. I’ve shot … I had a house I was selling that had kind of like a train that went around it. I brought in $2.5 million dollars worth of cars for a video shoot, so I do some amazing … I call those lifestyle films.
But those cost money, right? And so the opposite end of this spectrum is the free videos, and sometimes on those free videos, if I’m doing a Facebook Live for example. Hey, Michael LaFido here. We’re in front of the home at 123 Elm Street. This property’s coming to market in a week or in three days or whatever it is. This home features A, B, C, D. If you know of anyone looking to buy a home in blank, please contact me. It’s not gonna last. It’s an amazing property. So that would be like a coming soon video.
Now, I’ve done those kind of videos, Lori, and I’ve had 1,200, 1,500 views within 12 to 24 hours. And on some of those videos I’m spending thousands of dollars on, I might get 1,200 views in two months or three months. So your database, your sphere, don’t discount that. There’s things that you can do on a zero dollar budget.
But some of the other videos that we referenced, I use a service called viral, and they do a lot of my editing in my videos, and they email them out to the database. So that’s what I use, but there’s other services out there. One of the services I use for email is called BombBomb. Maybe you’ve heard of BombBomb. And so if I’m meeting with a buyer or a seller, I want to send them a personalized video message, because for me, I can articulate my message and words through a video a lot easier than typing out a three or four paragraph email.
Michael LaFido: Yup. Rev.com.
Lori Ballen: Right. So you’re using your content all the way through. [crosstalk 00:18:00] Okay, so also on your video, then, are you promoting that video at all through Facebook ads, or Google AdWords, or any kind of paid promotion?
Michael LaFido: Yes. Facebook ads is really something that we’re been doing, as well. So trying to figure out. This is a complicated topic in itself, but trying to figure out who your buyer is for your properties, right? Trying to figure out that avatar, right? Is it a family? Is it somebody that has kids, doesn’t have kids, based on migration patterns? Is there a certain area that they’re moving from? And then you want to target that avatar through advertising.
Lori Ballen: Right, correct. All the laser targeting through the demographic options, which means we often times pay more for the audience, since we’re bidding on each audience that we add. But on the flip side of that, might have a lower cost per lead, because we’re better reaching the audience that we’re targeting, so convert click throughs and conversions become higher. So there’s an art to all of that for sure as well.
Okay, great. So what’s next after video? Did you complete that, finish that little-
Michael LaFido: Yeah, so video, just to kind of recap, a video’s something everybody can do that’s on here. Just do it. We’re our worst critics. If you’re a female, you think you don’t look good or whatever. As a guy, I always kid around. Self-deprecating humor is great from stage, but when I’m speaking I’m like, “Hey, look. If you look, I got one nostril that’s bigger than the other, and it shows up on video, but just do it. Whatever your barriers are, do it.” And so there’s free versions, and then there’s videos on a budget, like I talked about. So educate the consumers, tips for buyers, tips for sellers, and market update.
So that’s what I recommend to help position yourself to attract more high-en and luxury properties. But it’s difficult to penetrate, like Robert De Niro said in Meet the Parents. It’s difficult to penetrate the circle of trust when you’re dealing with high-end and luxury clientele.
Lori Ballen: Right.
Michael LaFido: So the second bullet point, or golden nugget, if you will, is that lead generation. How do you penetrate the circle of trust in these little cliques, in these little communities, and how do they think? What do they eat? Where do they drive? How do they … How do you penetrate? Well, I believe that way is through what I call my Luxury Networking Group, and I’m gonna give you the cliff notes version on how this came about.
I was part of a Chamber of Commerce in Hinsdale, Illinois. Hinsdale, there’s more million dollar, single-family sales. At least in 2016 there were. I don’t have the data for ‘017 yet, but in 2016 here was more single-family, million dollar sales in Hinsdale than any suburb in Illinois where I’m based out of. And so like Coach Q, the Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL, lives there. Fred Hoiberg, the Chicago Bulls’ NBA coach lives there. So it’s kind of like the who’s who suburb.
And I was a Chamber member there, and the Chamber president came up to me and said, “Hey, we want to start kind of like a BNI leads group.” They called it a Heroes group, which stood for something. And it was very structured. It was a weekly meeting. Met at the Chamber. Someone took attendance. There was a secretary. There was this, that, and the other thing. And you don’t know me that well, nor does your audience, but it was just way too structured for me, and I couldn’t commit to weekly meetings. So there was a gentlemen that dealt with big, high-end kitchen remodels, and so I said to him, I said, “Hey, why don’t we do our own thing and build it the way we want?” And so that was about three years ago, and that’s how our Luxury Networking Group started. And I’ve shared this same golden nugget with agents across the US on live trainings or other podcasts, and feedback I’m getting has been astounding.
So how it looks is, you meet monthly. Meet once a month. Most people on this say, “Oh, man. Once a month. I could commit to that. I could believe that.” I believe the best way to get referrals, Lori, is to get referrals. I believe through reciprocity. Reciprocity is if you’re walking into a building, somebody holds a door open for you, you want to hold it open for the person behind you. I believe the best way to get referrals is give referrals, and lead with a giving hand.
So the Luxury Networking Group is basically a group of service providers, business owners, key influencers for your given community, that caters to the high net worth individuals. And so, initially when Andy and I started this Luxury Networking Group, it was businesses that catered to high net worth individuals that were in the real estate space. So in other words, home, kitchen remodeler. We had a security guy. We had a guy that did the night lighting, you know, the landscape lighting. It was all real estate based, but then as we grew it, we said, “It doesn’t have to be. We’re limiting ourselves.”
So we opened it up to people that services high net worth individuals. So we had Chubb Insurance. We had financial advisors. Of course, we had different builders there. We had divorce attorneys. We had people that, when shopping men’s clothing lines, you know, that did customs suits and that kind of stuff. And so … It could be somebody that’s in a PTA. If they’re in a PTA for an elementary school district that caters to the gated communities and they know everybody, they’re the chatty Cathy and the know what’s going on, who’s thinking of buying, selling, and they’re a key influencer, they could be a part of the Luxury Networking Group.
So that’s kind of the who. The what part of it … Any questions on that, first off, before we go to the what part of it?
Lori Ballen: No. [crosstalk 00:23:50].
Michael LaFido: So the what part of it is, like I said, a monthly meeting. I recommend nine times out of a year. We usually take December off because there’s way too many holiday parties, and we take June and July off because summer vacation with kids getting out of school. So really, nine times out of a year. Now, someone who can say, “I want to do December.” That’s fine, but we recommend nine times out of a year. It’s really important that the people that are attended consistently attend. So they want to be hungry. They want to grow their business, and they’re hungry, because you don’t want to have someone who shows up one month and they don’t show up for another three or four, because you’re gonna lose continuity in the group.
The other aspect of it is this is not Noah’s Ark. If you’re familiar with the Bible story Noah’s Ark, there was two lions, just two of a kind. You don’t want to be two real estate agents there. You’re the only real estate agent there. Now, if there’s two attorneys, one is divorce and the other’s corporation, they’re not competing. If one builder specializes in million dollar plus and the other is five to 750, those are non-competing. But you don’t want to have non-competing businesses. It’s by invite only. You are the president CEO of this Luxury Networking Group. Nobody can invite someone unless they run it by you first.
Nine times out of a year. We’ve tested the different days. We recommend Thursdays. Thursdays either 3:00 to 5:00, 3:30 to 5:30, 4:00 to 6:00, 4:30 to 6:30. Late afternoon on Thursday because the hot usually brings food, light beverages, maybe wine, and alcoholic beverages, and finger food. And you change the location. It’s not at the Chamber of Commerce every month. You change the location. I usually host two to three times a year, and where do you think I would host it, Lori?
I stumped you, didn’t I? I’m gonna host it at a luxury listing of mine, right? It’s congruent with my message. It’s synergistic with what I’m doing. So I’m gonna host it at one of my luxury listings, and if your audience members don’t have a luxury listing … And Lori, if I didn’t have a luxury listing and I was in your office, and I said, “Lori, I have a networking group. It’s key influencers, business owners, to high net worth individuals in this area. Would you mind if I hosted an event at your property?” Chances are you’d say, “Let me check with the owner.” And of course you’d want to do liability and all that stuff, but if it’s a vacant listing, you would say, “All day,” if the sellers gave you the okay, and if it’s an occupied listing, you’d probably get a 50/50 chance of an agent saying yes. So if you don’t have one, you can borrow another agent’s in your community probably … or, excuse me, in your office.
So I host the event two to three times a year, and then other key members in the group host. We’ve had events at Lamborghini dealerships, at a company that gives twilight helicopter tours in Chicago, and a men’s clothing line, at the guy that does the $200,000 home theaters. He’s hosted an event. We did one at a place that did … they had 18 complete kitchens and bathrooms in their showroom, and they had a chef bring out food. So you want it to be a great experience so that your attendees are excited about next month’s event. There’s great content.
So that’s the what. Let me give you the structure. So let’s just say it’s 4:00 to 6:00 Pm. Of course, you as the CEO of the Luxury Networking Group, you need to remind people of when the next meeting is. You gotta give a reminder the night before. Maybe a text message, “See you tonight.” That sort of thing. But again, you’re top of mind awareness. You’re bringing value to the business owners through reciprocity. They’re gonna refer you business even if you don’t have a track record of selling high-end and luxury properties, because it’s called reciprocity.
So if it’s 4:00 to 6:00 PM, the first half hour’s naturally just networking. If it’s at one of my luxury listings, we’re giving tours of the properties as people are having a beer or a coke, having finger food. And then the structure is, “Hey, guys. We’re gonna get started.” And let’s just say there’s 15 people, 20 people in the room. “Hey, thank you for attending this month’s Luxury Networking Group. I’m the host, Michael LaFido. I’m with XYZ real estate. I want to thank you for coming. I see a lot of familiar faces. There’s a couple guests today, as well. I’m gonna demonstrate how we do introductions. This is gonna take a good half hour because I want everybody to get something out of it. So what we’re gonna do is you’re gonna say who you are, what you do, and what you specialize in, and who your ideal client is.”
So that’s the second bullet point, so who you are. The second bullet point is what you specialize in and what your ideal client is. The third bullet point is what’s really working in your business. And the fourth bullet point is what you’re struggling with or who you could use an introduction to.
So let me demonstrate. Hey, folks. Thanks for coming. My name is Michael LaFido. I’m with the Marketing Luxury Group. We help real estate agents dominate selling luxury properties in their marketplace. My ideal client is an agent or a broker owner that’s looking to break into luxury real estate. So that’s the who I am, what my ideal client is. The third bullet point is, hey, what’s really working in my business? What’s really working in my business is video email. If you’re sending out stuff to clients, I recommend video email. It’s a way for them to feel like they already know you before meeting, and for me, I can articulate my message, and so that’s what’s really working. So for all of the other business owners, even if they’re not in real estate, they might be saying, “Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard of video emailing.”
And then the fourth bullet point is what I’m struggling with or who I could use an introduction with. So it could be, hey, I’m looking for a great accountant. This tax year’s coming up. If anyone’s got a rock solid accountant, A) we could them in this group, but B) I personally could use them. So if anyone has one, please share with me your resource afterwards. Or it could be who I could use an introduction to, so, hey, for our certification, we’re looking to get in front of some large brokerages. So if you know of anyone that owns a large real estate office, please, that would be a great introduction for me.
So that’s kind of the structure. So now, Lori, the 15 to 20 people in attendance, next person says, “All right, it’s your turn.” So you’re saying, “Hi, my name is Lori Ballen. This is who I am. My ideal client and what makes me different is this.” The third bullet point is what’s really working for you and your business and the fourth thing is who you could use an introduction to or what you’re struggling with. And now you got 15 people giving it an ah-ha, what’s working in their business, and you’ve got 15 people that are saying, “I need help with …” So then that takes a good half hour, 45 minutes, and at the end of course you say, “All right, guys. That concludes our introduction portion. So feel free to connect with somebody that you might want to ask them about a resource, or maybe you have a recommendation for them or you want to ask them about their ah-ha.”
And so now that takes it another good 15 to 20 minutes, and then you conclude it. Say, “Hey, guys. Next month’s meeting is at the whatever, at the Lamborghini dealership. It’s gonna be the same time, 4:00 to 6:00 PM. We’re gonna get an email reminder out, and thank for coming.” So that’s kind of the conclusion. So it’s usually an hour and a half to two hours. The first half hour’s just general networking, then the next half hour to 45 minutes is that introduction I just talked to you about and what’s working, what’s not working, what you could use help with, and then the last half hour is just connecting with people you wanted to connect with, and then a preview announcement of the next month’s meeting. So that’s what I call the Luxury Networking Group.
Lori Ballen: Wow. That’s fantastic. First of all, thank you for breaking that down in so much detail, because I’m actually transcribing this interview as well, and this is gonna really give people some actionable items. They can put something together. I was just … There’s no accident to this world. I was just talking to the owner of my real estate office here in Las Vegas, and we were discussing, I was discussing the fact that my natural style would be to create some … And it wasn’t luxury specifically, but I was discussing another strategy that I had, but I was saying, “I need to get together with more real estate agents in all brokerages, and I should have some sort of monthly meet up that incorporates some sort of non-threatening, safe environment where we all benefit from each other somehow,” and you just gave a perfectly clear breakdown how to apply that to something that’s not even specific to luxury.
Michael LaFido: Yup.
Lori Ballen: You know, there’s so many ways you can incorporate that in your business to generate real estate business, to generate attraction to your business for whatever your purpose is. I mean, it’s absolutely huge.
We’re about out of time here. So you gave us video and you gave us your-
Michael LaFido: I gave video and then I talked about, of course, the importance of a Luxury Networking Group. I talk about this. Like I said, I’ve got a resource that’s really dirt cheap. It’s on Amazon. It’s a book I just released. It wasn’t even in your introduction. I wrote a book and it came out in the fall. It’s called Luxury Listing Specialist. It’s on Amazon, and anyone that wants to invest in themselves, it’s a free resource. They can find out about our certification, as well, Lori. Luxurylistingspecialist.com is where they can find out about the certification. It’s not cheap, but I guarantee you, it’s gonna help agents break into and sell luxury homes.
My goal for any agent that goes through our training, reads our book, gets our certification, is for them to increase their average sale price for a home they represent by 30% over the previous year. So if they’re selling $150,000 homes on average, if I can get them to 195, guess what? That’s a 30% raise. Working smarter, not harder, and that’s really our goal through our certification. We also have a podcast as well, called Luxury Listing Specialist, on iTunes and Stitcher.
Lori Ballen: Fantastic. Well, I sure appreciate it. I’ve got to tell you, you’re one of my favorite interviews so far because I’m all about bottom line and actionable steps, and you gave us all of that. So I appreciate you very much. I will be including links to your certification, and to your books, and to your real estate team there in our write up, so get you some extra links back there. And if there’s anything else that you want to send me, and kind of checklist, or bullet points, or graphics, or samples, or links, or samples of those videos that you mentioned, feel free to send those to me, and I’ll make sure they get up in the write up for our customers as well. So thank … Yeah.
Michael LaFido: Well, I appreciate that. We didn’t have video going today for today’s interview, but if we did, you would see the sign that sits behind me in my office. It hangs on the wall. It says, “Prove them wrong.” I’m gonna leave people with a last motivational tip. Whether it be a significant other, whether is be a former significant other, whether it be somebody that says, “Hey, you know what? You can’t do that.” I love when people tell me, “You can’t do it,” or, “You’re with this brokerage. They don’t specialize in luxury,” or, “You’re up against the rockstar luxury king. You’re not gonna get that.” That’s what feeds me, is helping people, empowering agents to step outside their comfort zone to prove others wrong.
Lori Ballen: Fantastic. Thank you so much. Thank you. I hope this really empowered our listeners to realize that there’s no limit, and they can be whoever they want as long as they believe that they are whoever they want to be. So thank you so much. I’ll be sending some business your way, and hope to meet you in the future.
Michael LaFido: Awesome. Thank you, Lori.