903: Three Actions to Take When Facing Adversity with Dan Rochon

May 7, 2020
Adversity is a part of life; it’s unavoidable. And while we can’t always control what challenges we’re faced with, we can control how we respond to them. On today’s podcast, author and real estate broker Dan Rochon shares the three actions to take when facing adversity. Listen and learn what you can do to overcome unexpected setbacks so that you’re always ready for life’s next curveball. Plus, Dan offers advice to agents who’re struggling to make sales during quarantine, outlines what he’s doing to bring in business while working from home, and shares his inspiring real estate journey.
Dan Rochon Listen to today’s show and learn:
  • What quarantine is like in Virginia [2:11]
  • Predictions on Virginia’s housing market [4:54]
  • Why working with sellers is more secure [7:06]
  • Dan’s day-to-day schedule during quarantine [10:28]
  • Dan’s advice for new agents during quarantine [14:50]
  • What Dan’s doing to bring in business right now [16:33]
  • Dan’s sales stats [19:33]
  • Three actions to take when facing adversity [21:30]
  • Why Dan got into real estate [25:21]
  • About Real Estate Evolution by Dan Rochon [29:12]
  • How to break through your goals.
  • Plus so much more.
Dan Rochon Dan Rochon is the owner of Greetings Virginia with Keller Williams Realty which is a full-service brokerage that helps clients in the Washington metro region buy and sell properties in all price ranges. They have successfully completed hundreds of buying and selling transactions for their clients. Because of their extensive experience, owners Dan and Traci Rochon are frequent speakers and are often quoted in media stories dealing with difficulties in the current real estate market. In addition to owning the sales team Dan and Traci & Consultants, the Rochons are also owners of Keller Williams Realty in Alexandria – Kingstowne, VA where Dan is the Operating Principal. Related Links and Resources: Thanks for Rocking Out Thank you for tuning in to Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, we appreciate you! To get more Rockstar content sent directly to your device as it becomes available, subscribe on iTunes or StitcherReviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and appreciated! We read each and every one of them, please feel free to leave your email so that we can personally reach out and say thanks! Have any questions? Tweet meFacebook me and ask Pat anything. Don’t forget to head on over to Bare Naked Agent for Pat’s answers, and advice. Thank you Rockstar Nation, and keep rockin!

Aaron: Real Estate Rockstars, this is Aaron Amuchastegui. Today, I get to interview Dan Rochon. Now, Dan is coming from Virginia. I’m going to let him talk a lot about that. He has a great story about how he got into real estate and how he’s been successful. We’re going to talk about quarantine today. We’re going to talk about real estate. We’re going to talk about a book that he wrote that he’s giving away at the end of this thing. Dan, thanks for joining me today.

Dan: Thank you, Aaron. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Aaron: Tell everybody where you are, where you’re from, and what quarantine life is like in the town that you’re in right now.

Dan: I live in Northern Virginia, right outside the Washington DC area they basically called the DMV area. Quarantine for us, our state has been on lockdown until June 10th, is what it’s currently slated at. Just like much of the country and much of the world, really, we’ve been isolated and taking care of ourselves, staying inside. It’s been a pretty good–

You and I were talking in the pre-show, it’s actually been a good thing for me and my family, though it’s certainly not an ideal time in any of our lives yet. It’s just appreciating the goodness for what it is and looking at the good points of where we are.

Aaron: A good friend of mine, he’s also been a guest on the show a couple of times, he runs a real estate team in the DMV, in the Washington DC area. One of the things that he talked about is over the past 15, 20 years, the real estate market kind of stayed steady out there when there are foreclosures everywhere else because government is a thing, government’s a driver. Where you live, is DC one of the drivers of the real estate market?

Dan: Yes. If you look at our economy, our economy is the United States government. I’ve always said that if our local economy goes out of business, we’re all screwed. The entire world, literally. Recently, Amazon had announced about a year and a half ago that they’re bringing in their second headquarters to the DC area to a place called Crystal City in Arlington. My expectation is that there’s going to be a second major economic driver which will be technology. We’re already seeing that develop here in the area.

As you mentioned, we have been resilient. When you’re looking at the market going back 15 years or so, you say, okay, from 2007, 2009, much like the rest of the country, we did have a crash, but then from 2009 to ’13, there was an appreciation. By ’13, we had regained the losses, and then from ’13 till today, we’ve been around a 3% appreciation year over year. We’re pretty resilient.

The closer that you get to DC– There’s a 495, which is a beltway that goes around DC, so we call it “inside the beltway”. If anything’s that’s inside the beltway has been resilient, even though the crash of 2007, ’08, ’09, so we’ve been pretty lucky like that.

Aaron: If you had a crystal ball right now, and you were going to say what is going to happen to real estate values where you’re at. Do you think it’s going to be a little correction like 2008, 2009, or what do you think?

Dan: I think so. What we’re seeing right now is because we have a firm date of June 10th. It’s my expectation if you’re looking in the short-term, in the short-term, you’re going to see a flood of the market. For example, if you look back two months to today to say it’s like- just pick a number. A thousand sellers and a thousand buyers two months ago. Today it’s 200 and 200. Proportionately, there’s been a decline in regards to the inventory in the buyers, which means that there’s really no impact on the sellers, those that are actually selling.

However, because we’re looking at a very firm date, and whether it be June 10th or maybe they push it out further than that, whatever the case may be, we’re going to be seeing an exact date of, “Okay, now we’re open for business,” and my expectation is when that happens that you’re going to see the inventory just dramatically increase. When that occurs, I think we’re going to see a flattening.

That’s going to be in the short-term, a flattening, or maybe even a decrease. Then through the long-term which say that I think the entire country should be preparing right now for a decline in real estate prices. I think that the unemployment that we’re experiencing right now is going to have a ripple effect, and I think a lot of people won’t ever even– I think we’re going to have a new norm.

I don’t think that a lot of the service providers, a lot of the waiters, the waitresses, the massage therapists, the trainers, et cetera, they’re out of work right now. There’s going to be a lot of evolution going on in our marketplace, and I think that’s going to take a toll, for sure.

Aaron: Yes. I think I will have to agree with you. I think most of the crystal ball stuff that you just said at the– Who knows what will happen as we see it, but I believe that the incomes, in general, are going to go down for most people. There’s going to be some correction there. That’s going to mean people can afford a little bit less. Even with interest rates going down, they can’t drop it much further.

It’s just that supply-demand equation. Less people can buy a house for $400,000, that means they’re going to start selling for a little bit less as it goes. The new norm is going to be an interesting concept out there. Pre-COVID, were you mostly buyer’s agents, mostly seller’s agents?

Dan: For me, personally, I’ve always been a listing agent. I have a sales team of agents that I work with, so we absolutely help buyers. Historically, however, we’ve been 70% to 80% sellers. That seems like a good business, but it’s a huge opportunity cost. If you look at a real estate sales agent’s business, when anytime it gets above 60% on the list side, it’s an opportunity cost.

Now, on the other side of that, if it gets above 60% on the buyer’s side, then it’s a dangerous business. If I’m at 70% or 80% working with buyers, and there’s a shift like we’re likely going through right now, then you’re really more at danger than if you have an inventory of listings. That’s what I’ve done in the past.

Aaron: I want you to talk about that a little bit more. You kind of jumped over that, but it’s like the difference between a heavy-listing company or a heavy-buy. Listings, you’ve said that’s a little bit more secure because 90% of the time, you’re eventually going to get a commission, and maybe for buyers, it’s a smaller percent. Is that what you mean by that?

Dan: It’s just like if you own a superstore, like a grocery store. If you own a grocery store, and you have eggs, and you have milk, that’s your inventory, that’s your product. As a real estate sales agent, if you don’t have a product, then you’re chasing a product. It’s just like, say, if you’re a real estate agent think that you own a grocery store. The more eggs that I have in the basket, then the more that I can sell.

Just from a perspective of time invested, on average, because I’m fortunate that I’ve got a really good support staff with me. The average listing that I take is probably about four hours of work for me, where if I’m working with a buyer, you’re looking at closer to 20, 25 hours of work if you’re really good and efficient.

You have to get up every single day to bring them out, where as a listing agent, controlling the inventory, really, it makes it for an easier business and a more stable business. When you go into a shift like this, if you’ve got signs on the ground, you may have to adjust some prices, but eventually, you’ll get them sold like you said.

Aaron: That’s a great point. You’re heavy-listing, which is great, but it’s focused. If you’re heavy-buy, then right now, it’d be a little bit tougher, so that you’re having that kind of ideal setup. A little of both is stable and risky all at the same time.

Dan: Yes. If you’re above like where I am, it’s an opportunity cost because we should be doing more buyers. That’s where our business, I’m looking to continue to grow it, yet balance it at the same time.

Aaron: When my wife was selling all of our flips out in California, she would hold like 30 to 40 listings at a time. Before she ever hired anybody, there was a lot of things that would come in. People would call the signs and say, “Hey, can you show us something else?” We knew there’s a lot of incoming interest in people and it was definitely an opportunity cost. She did not have a way or a system to take advantage of that. I totally get what you’re saying. Now we’re in a COVID lockdown shelter-in-place, you’re there till June 10th. What does your average day look like? Are you doing stuff to try to build the business? Are you not? Is it more family time? What’s an average day, and would you recommend that?

Dan: I’m busier than before. I’m grateful to be busy. I’ve always led a very structured life. I regulate my time. I’d say the only real big challenge that I’ve had going into the quarantine is my personal exercise and eating. I’ve always scheduled for my gym time. I got a Peloton because I need that social interaction in my exercise. In regards to a day-to-day, I keep a schedule. I start early. I start at 7:30 in the morning, but sometimes even much earlier than that when I’m doing thinking time.

From 9:00 to 6:00, I’m just working just like any other time. Mostly, what we’re doing right now is I’m going through the sphere, checking in on my people, making sure that they’re safe, still taking listings. I took one yesterday, I took one on Friday, so we’re still getting business. From a business perspective, I believe that this is a great opportunity for those that want to head into the storm.

We can either shy away or we can head into the storm. I believe that those of us who are heading into the storm, at the end of this, we’re going to be stronger than ever. Certainly, I don’t wish that we were in this situation, yet because we are, I’m going to make the best of it.

Aaron: I think having a clear schedule is a great piece of advice for people. People that are used to working from home, they had to learn how to separate business and family life. That’s the big question that people ask us is how do we separate business and family life. Some of the stuff I try to tell them is, “Yes, you still get up and shower, you get prepared for your day, you still stop at a normal time. When you do stop, it’s as if you’d gone home. Stop checking your emails, stop checking your stuff. Work during work hours, not- but then also try to stop and smell the roses,” right?

You could be in the middle of your workday and a kid wants to come play or go for a walk or you take a longer lunch. I’m making sure that I do that right now, too, because that’s something that’s a unique thing to right now that we don’t always get. We might as well see whatever positives we can from it. I bet a lot of people will start adjusting to where they start working more at home than they did before, just for some of those afternoon walks and lunches as a family and things like that.

Dan: I’ve got a nine-year-old daughter. About two weeks ago, I told her, I said, “Honey, I’m going to be with you every day from noon to one. I’m going to schedule that time, with lunch with you.” I’m going to tell you, at 11:59, she’s at my office door. I’ve got an office in the basement. I’m going to tell you, she doesn’t miss that with a beat. She’s there at 11:59, and then at six o’clock, I’m like, “Honey, I’m done at 6:00,” and at 6:00, it’s time to go. Having that accountability partner, my little nine-year-old’s been helpful. [chuckles]

Aaron: Tell you what, kids and family, that is the ultimate accountability partners. You tell them what you want to do and how– It’s the same with the Peloton. On the news the other day, they said Peloton, their stock value or their company value went way up because just last week they had the most people ever in a live class. It was like, “Of course.

Right now, people are making those changes, those adjustments, and I think anyone that got a Peloton, now they’re going to realize that they saved the 30-minutes drive to the gym and back, too.” We’re going to see lots of changes like that, and hopefully for more family time, for more people can stay busy.

 Aaron: For a new agent. There’s a new agent just getting started right now, what advice would you give them during this time? If somebody is trying to go be a listing agent or trying to be a buyer’s agent, they feel like they can’t really do their normal- they can’t go sit at open houses, they can’t go do their normal stuff. Do you have tips or ideas for a new agent on how they can take advantage at this time?

Dan: This will be a challenging time for a new agent, I believe. Many new agents don’t succeed. That’s just the reality of our business. It’s because they’re a rollercoaster. It’s because oftentimes an agent will go out, they’ll find a buyer or two as a new agent, go work with them for about three months, and then they would go to closing, and then they’re all excited.

They’re, “Yes. Woo-hoo,” and then the next day, they’re like, “Oh my goodness. Now what?” because they didn’t consistently continue to lead-generate through that time. Now that we have a quarantine, it becomes even more unique and more challenging, I believe, for a new agent. There’s options. You could have a conversation. If you’re a new agent, you may want to talk to a sales team, an organization that’s already bringing in business that can teach you how to service it. That might be a path.

I’ve always believed in sales team. I’ve run a sales team. I’ve always believed that the right sales organization is something to consider. Now, I say that with a disclaimer because there’s a lot of sales teams out there that are not organized, that don’t have a lead generation department. They don’t have an operations department, and then you as a sales agent should be in the sales department.

If you choose not to join a sales team, then there’s some inexpensive lead generation techniques, like advertising on Facebook. That’s something that we don’t necessarily have enough time right now to really go deep into that yet. That’s a strategy that– You can get some business right now. You can find some buyers right now who are relatively inexpensive.

Aaron: What are you guys doing for lead-gen right now?

Dan: Most we call on our sphere, or our database rather. I’ve got a database that’s about of 13,000 people in my database. Of that, I would consider about 800 would be like a tight database. I’ve got a team of inside sales agents. They’re going through every single day calling through the database. There’s one or three people in there. There’s either a sphere of influence or there is a real estate agent or there’s somebody that at one point contacted us to buy or sell.

As they contact those individuals for the sphere of influence, we’re doing what we call a “May Day”, which on a date coming up here in May, what we’re going to be doing is adopting three local businesses. A hair cutter, a massage therapist, and a travel agent who are completely out of work right now. We are going to be adopting those businesses. We’re going to be doing a raffle, and we’re getting some other businesses that are actually doing business right now to be able to donate into them.

The sphere of influence, we’re inviting them to participate in that event, and of course, it’s going to be a virtual online event. The real estate agents, every Thursday, we do an interview similar to what you and I are doing right now. What we do, we contribute something of valuable resource to them. We do that online, and then if it’s somebody that’s been a buyer or a seller, we just check in with them and see what their plans are, and hopefully get some interaction.

Aaron: That’s great. I was going to ask you what is the script like right now, so you’ve got a few different things. You’re calling and saying, “Hey, how do you feel?” We’ve been telling people to just do a check-in call. Just like, “Hey, do you need anything right now?” They might not be thinking about selling their house, but, “How are you doing?” and just having these conversations with people and figuring out how they’re doing.

Some of those conversations, people are talking about God, and people are talking about– It’s whatever. It’s reaching out. What you need for help right now? I really like the idea of adopt-a-business. You’re also doing this. You adopt a business, so now you have a reason to call those 800 people, or the 1,000 people in the database and say, “Hey, we’re adopting a business. We’re doing an event. Would you like to join us? By the way, how’s it going?” Just for some of that outreach right now, you get a double impact with that. You get to help a business and you get to reach out and talk to people. I think that’s fantastic.

Dan: Yes. I’ve had some of the most amazing conversations over the last month or so, and you’re right. The same script that we’re using it’s– The very first thing out of our mouth is, “How are you doing? Just checking in on you. I know we’ve been connected in some way or another in the past, and I just wanted to reach out, see if I can help you in any way?” It’s a genuine offer then.

I bought groceries for people over the last two weeks. It’s a genuine, “Hey, look. If you really need help, we’re here for you. If I can provide help– I’ve got the resources and whatever I can be able to do to help you with, we’re here for you.”

Aaron: Let’s talk about your volume out there. How many transactions do you do a year? What are the gross sales in that? How big is your team?

Dan: I’ve got two agents on my team right now, and we have a staff– You’re going to laugh at this. We have a staff of 13. I’ve really been building my field business. I’ve been in business since 2007 when I got my license. During 10 of those years, I owned a rather large real estate sales brokerage. I sold that brokerage about a year and a half ago. Over the last year and a half, we’ve been really rebuilding the sales team. I started with the operations department.

Then after the operations department, was at a place where I felt really comfortable with it, we went and we built a lead generation department which, as I mentioned, we have five inside sales agents now. We’re just now building that sales department and bringing agents in, bringing them onboard. The intention is that the inside sales agents, that they generate 75% of the business for the agents, and the agents generate 25% of the business.

For about last 12 months, we’ve done $37 million, 80% of that’s been my own sales, and that’s been at 84 units during the last 12 months. Most of that has been listings. During the last, like four to five months is really when we’ve got the two agents up and running. They’re doing pretty good now. I’ve got one, she’s just put one in the contract today. It looks like they’re going to be averaging about three or four a month, so I’m pretty excited for them.

Aaron: That’s cool. The transactions are still happening. If people want to work hard and do it, transactions are happening. We’ve seen it every day. Everybody that we’re talking to on here. One of our pre-show questions says, “If you were on stage for how to succeed, what would the name of that panel be?” I thought it was great for what we’re going through right now. Your answer said, “The three actions to take when facing adversity.” Right now, the world is facing adversity, what are those three actions?

Dan: First of all, it’s got to be your mindset. First action is more of a being rather than an action, and that’s understanding that however we deal with this is it’s up to us. For some of us who are anxious, some of us who are scared, some of us who are fearful, and that’s okay. I appreciate that, and I respect that, yet what are you going to do in the face of fear? I’ll just tell you a quick story, and I’ll give you my other two.

When I took my daughter to a resort in Punta Cana years ago, she was about six years old. I remember, she was going up the trapeze, because they had this flying trapeze where they were training for Cirque du Soleil. She got about three quarters up the ladder and she came back down. I whispered in her ear, I gave her some encouragement. She went back up the ladder, and then she swing down, she had so much fun.

She came up, she was just so joyful. I whispered in her ear. I said, “Honey, how did that feel?” and she says, “That felt great, Daddy.” I said, “Well, okay.” I saw a parenting opportunity. I said, “Before you went, what did you feel?” She said, “I was scared, Daddy.” I said, “Yes, you were scared, and you did it anyways,” and on the other side of that fear is that joy.

Now, I don’t know how well she got that at that time, yet if you’re experiencing fear right now, you have a choice of how you deal with that. You can head into it or you can be scared from it and take no action, that won’t serve you very well. First action would be really about how you’re being and how you’re thinking. The second action would be to time block. We sort of touched on that before, but I believe that blocking your time allows for you to have freedom.

Jocko Willink is a retired Navy Seal. Maybe your listeners probably have heard of him. He says that the freedom is in the discipline, or the discipline’s with– I’m sorry. I screwed it up. It’s the freedom in the discipline. Basically, when you block your time, you have discipline, and then you get freedom. For me, it’s I book an hour with my daughter from 12:00 to 1:00 every single day as I mentioned. Well, guess what? I’m spending that time with my daughter every single day.

Now, when I’m at work, I’m 100% at work, and she knows that she’s not going to bother Daddy, and that allows for me to be productive during the work hours. The second thing would be time blocking. The third thing would be to take action and take massive action. If you thought you had to take action before in a normal marketplace, you got to take more today, and you have to care for the people that you’re reaching out to.

Don’t get confused to sit there and say, it’s all about, “Hey, I just want to see how you’re doing,” because it is about that, and you have to be genuine with that. It’s also about making sure because there are buyers and sellers out there, making sure that you are not missing those opportunities to be able to help somebody because you’re needed more than ever before. If you think that you had an importance before, which you did, it is even more vital for you to be able to be available for your buyers and sellers today, because the buyer and seller, they’re going to be scared in a normal time.

Why is someone buying this house? He’s either getting divorced, they’re getting married, they’re having kids, they’re getting a new job, they’re getting relocated. Whatever the case that be, they’re going to have that anxiety, and now you throw on all these other fears. They definitely need the service of an agent today.

Aaron: The mindset, time blocking, massive action as the way to face adversity. Whether someone is a real estate agent listening or anybody else, I think those are very actionable tips for what’s going on right now. I want to jump into your book. Before we jump into the book, and maybe it will tie in together, take us back to how you got into real estate. Right now, you’ve got $37 million in sales. That’s amazing. How did it start for you? How did you get into it?

Dan: 2007, I was a waiter at a top-end steakhouse in Washington, DC. I was not necessarily in a healthy state. I was a very active alcoholic at the time. I was drinking every day and I was miserable. I knew that I wanted to be significant. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world. I wanted to help people, and I knew I wanted to be something more than what I was achieving at the time. I hated my job. I was making a lot of money, I just hated my job.

I remember I went out and I started to look for opportunities. I looked at Quiznos, I looked at Five Guys, I looked at all these different franchises. What I found is I needed like $250,000 to $500,000 to start any of those franchises. The income at the time was like maybe $70,000 a year. I’m like, “Okay, that can’t happen.” Then, I found real estate sales. This happened around the time that I got sober was when I was like, “Okay, now it’s time for me to wake up. It’s time for me to take action.”

When I realized that, I was early 30s at the time, and I was just now emotionally starting to mature. As I started to mature, I also knew, I say, “Look. If I’m going to lead this life, it’s time to do it now. Otherwise, I’m going to be a 50-year-old waiter,” and I’m almost 50 now, “and I don’t want to be a 50-year-old waiter.” I got my license 2007. I forgot to read the headlines in the newspapers about worst economic times of all time, foreclosures-

Aaron: [crosstalk] Yes. Heck of a time to become an agent.

Dan: -et cetera. [chuckles] I got my license. First few months was hard. It really was. I remember going in my broker, Karen’s office, and saying, “Karen, this is about three, four months in.” I had a couple of listings at the time but no closings. I was like, “I don’t know about this.” She’s like, “Dan, you’re doing everything the right way.” I remember looking up at her like, “If I’m doing everything the right way, then why am I about to pay my mortgage with my credit card?” [chuckles]

I’m like, “This is not cool.” I was able to have my first closing six months after getting my license. Karen gave me some great advice about just focusing on one thing at a time, and I did that. I was fortunate. A year and a half after that conversation, I was able to purchase the brokerage that I worked for. I owned that for 10 years and sold that about a year and a half ago. That’s the abbreviated version of my journey.

Aaron: Back in ’07, that was the time you could actually have a listing and have it not close.

Dan: Yes.

Aaron: There were so many short-sale listings that would come up, and they would sell in foreclosure before they actually got a deal. The agents had to work very hard back in 2007, 2008. Very, very hard. It was just a crazy, crazy time. It’s not the best timing for you to come in and join in real estate with the– How you pushed through that hard stuff like you said and then such a miracle and being able–

The other point that I think you made that I really like in there is, one, is coming out of adversity and from being in a bad environment, alcohol and everything else. Then having something to focus on is great. Then seeing the barriers to entry for real estate compared to buying a franchise of something. It’s like real estate, yes, one of the few places that you can actually own your own business very quickly with very small investment. You might win, you might lose. If you work hard, you can win, or if you lose, but you don’t lose like you could buy a franchise and lose 50,000 if you’re not good at it.

In real estate, your downside is much less risky as you see that. You’re not the first in making that decision and making it work. Let’s talk about your book. Everybody that comes on, we have them give us some gifts. We put it in our investor toolbox. The thing that you said you’re going to be giving out is a free copy of your book. Tell me about your book. When did you write it? When did you release it?

Dan: When I sold the brokerage, November 2018, first thing I realized was I needed a mentor. I was getting back into the sales business as a full-time gig. I was no longer chasing two rabbits because when I owned the brokerage, I was still intending to do my own sales at the same time as lead the brokerage. It was a challenge. I was really just chasing two rabbits, and so sold the brokerage. Then I met a mentor of mine. I flew out to meet him, and I asked for his coaching.

He said, “Dan, I will coach you if you take everything that you’ve learned, you’ve got this immense knowledge, you document it and you share it with others.” Initially, I thought it was just going to be some ebooks or whatever the case may be. About two, three months into writing, and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, this is sort of a thing here that I’m doing.” It took me 13 months to write it at a pace of three hours a day. I poured my heart and soul into it. It’s called Real Estate Evolution.

Aaron: Three hours a day for 13 months, you put into this thing.

Dan: Yes. Absolutely. What I realized was that it would take me– There was some days it would take me eight hours to write three-quarters of a page. It was just the research that went into it and the work that went into it was pretty tremendous. It was probably one of the hardest or- I wouldn’t say hardest, but just most taxing type thing that I’ve done in the workplace. It’s sort of like owning a boat.

It’s like you love it the first day and the last day, but you hate it in between. That’s the way I would describe writing the book as pretty brutal as I went through it, but I’m very grateful that I did it.

Aaron: Yes, that is a long process. There’s nothing like writing a book that helps get the stuff that in your head out and then that reflection. It’s one of those things– We’ve written a couple of books now. There are times we go in areas where we’re being really active doing well or they take some time off and it’s like, “I just don’t want to do that right now.” I put it off, I put it off, I put if off. Then I finally dig in for a couple of hours and I knock out the deadline.

I realized, “Why didn’t I just do this to begin with?” It can be a very difficult process, but also a very empowering one. If nothing else, it really helps you figure out where your values are, where your messages, and you were able to do that. One of the things you said, you also do triathlons. You’re performing improv, the veteran of the US Army. There’s a lot to Dan Rochon. Tell me about the improv.

Dan: There was an agent that I worked with not too long ago who has suggested to me to think about improv. I watched it. Whose lines is it anyways? I’ve watched it on TV and that type of stuff, but I had never considered to actually do any of that myself. What I learned from doing improv was to be able to just– One, is you have to be present. You have to be really actively present to your scenario, to your situation, to be able to move and bounce off and dance with your partner, if you call it. You also have to be quick-witted and you have to be accepting.

In improv, whatever somebody throws at you, you just have to say yes. Whatever it is, you’re going to receive it and you’re just going to roll with it. I did it just as something to do as fun. I took a couple of my agents that worked with us and we took a couple of courses on it. I’ve been doing it for a short period of time, about a year or so. About maybe a year and a half. It’s been pretty fun, really has been fun.

Aaron: Do you think all agents should try that?

Dan: I think all people should try that. I talked specifically to agents, yet if you’re a person, I encourage for you to be the very best version of yourself. I encourage for you to consider like, “What is this all about, this human experience?” If you can actually take a moment and actually consider that, then perhaps you’ll get more out of the experience. I think that’s probably a good thing.

Aaron: I really like that. I think you’re the first person I’ve interviewed so far that that was one of the recommendations. Maybe I will have to sign up for an improv class. Back to your book. Real Estate Evolution. It took 13 years, heart and soul into it. A bunch of real-life stuff for you. Who’s the ideal person for your book?

Dan: The ideal person for my book is that agent that is riding the roller coaster of sales right now and who’s looking for consistent and predictable income. I take them through a 10-step journey all the way from personal development and mindset and hacks of how you can be able to improve. If you look at the way that we behave, our programming that we have, it leads to our thoughts, and our thoughts leads to our feelings.

Our feelings lead to our actions, our actions lead to our results, and our results lead to our program, but that’s a closed loop. To be able to get inside that closed loop, there’s access points such as meditation, reading, relationships with great people like yourself, Aaron. There’s ways that you can be able to improve in regards to be able to improve yourself as an individual.

The book, the first step is really about flourish. It’s to be able to be the very best version of yourself. Then it goes into lead generation. How to convert the leads. Every single step along the process of how to be able to onboard a buyer, onboard a seller, so that you can set the expectations, so that when something blows up on you, you’ve already told them that it was a possibility. With that buyer, and you’re three days before closing, and the underwriter comes up and ask for all kinds of crazy stuff, you’ve already addressed that with them upfront, so now you look a hero rather than an idiot.

Then we go into profit. Certainly, you want to be profitable in your sales business. Then I finished a book talking about the evolution of real estate sales which is really the evolution of the world in regards to business. Where big data, artificial intelligence, commoditization and technology have already entered into the workplace in every industry, including real estate sales. I go through and I share with agents and say, “Hey, look, if you’re not considering this about technology or this about the way artificial intelligence has already started to change our environment, you’re going to be so far behind.”

Just like you go back to the 2008. All those agents that refused to even look at a short sale, those agents all went out of business. I believe that right now, we’re in another time of change, of a pivot. If agents don’t recognize and appreciate that and take massive action today to be able to accommodate it, then they may be looking for different professions rather soon.

Aaron: Listen to that, agents. If you are in a spot right now where you’re a little uncertain, now is a good time at any for a pivot, and Dan’s book, he’s got a way to do that. Again, that’s free as part of the toolbox. Dan, other than people getting the book here, how do they reach out and find you? Somebody has a question. They want to know how to do this. They want some coaching. What’s the best way for people to come find you?

Dan: If they’re on Facebook, they should check out our Facebook page which is Rock Solid Agents. It’s Facebook.com/rocksolidagents. You can certainly Google me, Dan Rochon, and you can get a copy of the book at www.therealestateevolution.com. We just ask for you to pay for the shipping and the handling and we’ll send that off to you.

Aaron: Real Estate Evolution. Dan Rochon is spelled R-O-C-H-O-N. Any of you guys that are listening, there’s a lot fewer of you driving in your cars right now. You’re driving in your car, we’re going to have all that in the show notes. You guys are probably listening to this on YouTube or on your computer. Go back to that page, you can see the show notes.

You’ll see the links to Dan, his contact info, his Facebook page is Real Estate Evolution. Dan, thank you for coming on and sharing your knowledge. It sounds like your book is going to be a great one for people, especially right now, so hope you come join us again sometime soon.


Dan: Thank you, Aaron.

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