941: The Secret Sauce for Successful Business Ventures with Lisa Song Sutton

December 7, 2020
Lisa Song Sutton wears several hats (and a crown after winning Miss Nevada in 2014), but she still has strong roots in real estate. Many of the same skills she relies on as a Realtor have helped her build businesses in real estate and in other industries. On today’s podcast, Lisa shares the secret sauce for starting a new business, gives agents tips on winning clients, and more. Don’t miss it!
Listen to today’s show and learn:
  • About Lisa [1:10]
  • Lisa’s introduction to real estate [1:51]
  • How Lisa brought a big luxury brokerage to Las Vegas [3:37]
  • About Christie’s International Real Estate [6:54]
  • What it’s like selling homes as former Miss Nevada [14:36]
  • Lisa’s first year selling real estate [18:32]
  • Lisa’s advice for new real estate agents [20:02]
  • COVID-19’s impact on Las Vegas real estate [22:42]
  • Renter-relief programs [25:49]
  • Lisa’s thoughts on business diversification [28:31]
  • The best way to win real estate business right now [31:13]
  • Plus, so much more.
Lisa Song Sutton Lisa Song Sutton is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, outspoken advocate for women, and Miss Nevada United States 2014. Lisa started her business career by working in a top Las Vegas law firm, specializing in business litigation. She then went on to create companies of her own. Lisa started her first business, Sin City Cupcakes, nearly 8 years ago, and today it is an iconic Las Vegas treat that delights tens of thousands of locals and visitors each year. Lisa is also co-founder of Ship Las Vegas, Elite Homes – Christie’s International Real Estate, and Liquid & Lace swimwear. In addition to her work as an entrepreneur, Lisa has published numerous articles for Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and Business Insider on business and entrepreneurship. Lisa has shared her message of leadership, empowerment, and action with audiences from the TEDx stage to local schools, encouraging people, especially women, to take a seat at the table and make their voices heard. In addition to her professional careers and serving as both Miss Nevada United States (2014) and Miss Las Vegas, Lisa is actively involved in the community, previously serving on non-profit boards including Monday’s Dark and the Asian Community Development Council. Lisa has been selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and was named a Top 10 Social Entrepreneur to Watch. Thank You Rockstars! It might go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: We really value listeners like you. We’re constantly working to improve the show, so why not leave us a review? If you love the content and can’t stand the thought of missing the nuggets our Rockstar guests share every week, please subscribe; it’ll get you instant access to our latest episodes and is the best way to support your favorite real estate podcast. Have questions? Suggestions? Want to say hi? Shoot me a message via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Email. -Aaron Amuchastegui

Aaron Amuchastegui: Real Estate Rockstars, this is Aaron Amuchastegui coming to you with a very exciting episode today. Today, I get to interview Ms. Lisa Song Sutton. Lisa has a really, really cool bio. When I get to do the intro, it is not very often that I get to introduce somebody who is an entrepreneur, a real estate investor, former Miss Nevada in the United States, former congressional candidate in Nevada’s 4th district, and many other things. There’s so many different businesses that she’s involved in as an entrepreneur, and getting to talk about real estate and some of those other things today. Lisa, thanks for joining me.

Lisa: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

Aaron: Right now, you live in the Las Vegas area?

Lisa: I do. Yes, Sin City.

Aaron: When did you get into real estate?

Lisa: I’d always been around it. My father was retired military and my mother owns a hair salon and some business ventures, but they got into real estate investing when I was growing up. They started in residential and then moved over to commercial. I think like most kids, I paid no attention to what my parents did growing up, and by the time I was in college and then subsequently into grad school, I realized that my parents were making some pretty significant real estate moves. I started paying attention.

Between that, coupled with my law school background, I ended up working for a law firm here in Las Vegas that to this day still does business litigation and business bankruptcy. I was able to see firsthand when these assets go up for sale. You’re talking raw land, you’re talking residential, SFRs, you’re talking commercial assets, motels, all kinds of stuff, warehousing.

It piqued my interest and I got involved. Pretty much when I turned 18, I started dabbling around with family stuff. Did my first solo real estate transaction at 26 and then from there I realized, hey, this is something that I want to have in my business portfolio as an investor, as someone to be involved in real estate. I got my license. I was with Sotheby’s for five and a half years and then brought the Christie’s to Las Vegas.

Aaron: Oh, very cool. I knew you were part of Christie’s, that’s a big luxury brand. One of the things you were telling me off the mic is on the Christie’s website, those are listings that are at least $1 million, super high-end. It wasn’t in Las Vegas before you brought it there?

Lisa: That’s correct. Like I said, I started my real estate career with Sotheby’s, which is an excellent brand. Obviously, their roots were in the Sotheby’s auction house, and after five and a half years for me personally, I realized there was no pathway for growth for me within that particular brokerage here in Las Vegas. I was talking to a real estate mentor of mine out in New York, John Chang, he’s amazing. He used to own the Remax in Manhattan for decades. The guy’s a legend.

I was chatting with him and He said, “Why don’t you make a move?” I said, “Where would I go? Sotheby’s is such a great brand, where else would I go? I’m not going to go to Coldwell Banker.” He said, “Why don’t you go to Christie’s?” I said, “There is no Christie’s in Las Vegas.” He was like, “You better find out why.” [laughs] I called the Christie’s in Beverly Hills and then they routed me to New York. That’s where Christie’s North America headquarters is, it’s in Rockefeller Center in New York City. They gave me a very Christie’s answer, they said, “We only enter tier-one cities.” “Oh, okay.”

Aaron: You’re like what does tier-one mean?

Lisa: Yes, this was several years ago. I’m looking and I realized here in Southern Nevada, your money goes very far. At that time, our median sell price I think was $220,000 in the Las Vegas area. Needless to say, it didn’t qualify as tier-one for Christie’s. I said, “Look, maybe we’re not tier-one according to your criteria yet.” At that time, the Vegas Golden Knights had just gotten started, we’d just got our first major sports franchise. The Raiders were still a rumor at that time. I said, “Look, we’re on our way to becoming a tier-one city. Let me come meet you in person and tell you why you should get in on the ground level now.” They were just like, “Who are you?”

Aaron: They’re like, “We’re supposed to say no. When we say it’s not a tier-one, you’re supposed to go away and you’re not going away, Lisa.”

Lisa: Exactly. I flew to New York and then I flew to London and I pitched Christie’s and I said, “You need to be in Las Vegas. Maybe we’re not tier-one yet, but we’re on our way. I promise. There’s a lot of new exciting development happening. There’s a lot of growth happening in the city. We’re getting a lot of people who are moving to Las Vegas that have money that are coming from high tax states like California, Hawaii, New York. You need to be here. You need to get in on the ground level and you need me to run it.” That was a few years ago.

Aaron: Your pitch worked. That’s really interesting. A lot of our listeners as they go through different points, there’s a lot of times people are making a shift from one brokerage to another, from one brand to another. This is the first story I think I’ve heard on here is saying, “Hey, I really wanted to open a brand and they didn’t have it so I had to go convince somebody to let me open their brand in my place.”

For you guys that are listening, as you’re looking out there and you’re thinking about starting a new brand, a new brokerage jumping, don’t let the fact that no one is in your city yet be what stops you. Lisa was able to make some big things happen just by going and asking and really pushing her case. You started real estate dabbling at 18. Did your first transactions at 26. Now you’re running the Christie’s. How many agents do you have at the Christie’s? How many transactions do you guys do a year?

Lisa: We’re a small boutique. We’re quality over quantity. We only take full-time agents. None of this part-time, this and that dabbling around. We only take serious full-time agents. We’re a small boutique team. We have 11 really, really strong top producers. Our average agent runs about 44 transactions a year at an average of $22 million in sales volume. It’s a well-oiled machine.

Actually, here we are on a Monday morning call. Every Monday morning at 8:00 AM we have what’s called a pipeline call with our residential team. We sit down and we go through agent by agent what they have going on with listings, what they have going on with buyers, what they have going on with any renters if they are working with renters or investors. Then we talk about what hurdles they’re experiencing this week in particular and the whole team chimes in.

I love that cohesion because I feel like it’s very unique. Especially in luxury, you don’t see a lot of collaboration, even if it’s in-house, even if it’s in the same brokerage, you don’t see a lot of collaboration. We’re very protective of our agent culture where we want to have team players on the team, even though everyone is a top producer.

Aaron: You’ve got a lot of Rockstar agents over there. If someone is just getting into real estate, will you guys take them on as an agent and help train them, or are you only hiring people that have experienced somewhere else first?

Lisa: We absolutely will take on a brand-new clean slate newly licensed agent. We actually just onboarded a brand-new agent last week, her name’s Andrea Weaver. She came to us from the hospitality industry. Here in Las Vegas, this is a full-service city. Anything you want, white-glove, five-star, it’s here in Las Vegas. What I really like about Andrea, in particular, is that her background is truly customer service. Her background is in hospitality, food, and beverage. What she knows is customer service. What she doesn’t know is real estate, and that’s what we’re here for.

Aaron: There’s probably a big opportunity right now with– One of the things that COVID has had happened is the hospitality industry it’s just taking the biggest hit and hotels.

Lisa: It’s awful. [crosstalk]

Aaron: There’s great general managers of hotels and different hospitality industries that are out of a job right now, or that are probably–

Lisa: They’re furloughed or whatever.

Aaron: Yes. What a great hire to be able to find some people like that and bring them onto your team, bring them into your business and say, “Hey, you’re already in the people industry. You’re already in the problem-solving industry. You’re already used to people yelling at you and being happy with you and trying to make it better.”

Lisa: You have to be resourceful.

Aaron: “You’ve got skills, come over into real estate.” What a really cool thing as a transition for somebody that has been in hospitality. I think now maybe there’s going to be a lot of that this year because I know there’s a lot of great hospitality talent. We’ve tried to figure out how we can get some of them to join some of our businesses to know, “Hey, they’re really good at running businesses. What else can they help with because hotels just aren’t very full right now?”

Lisa: Right.

Aaron: I flew to Phoenix for Thanksgiving and the plane was only 25% full. We didn’t wait in any lines, renting a rental car. It was like people are not really going out yet or maybe people were just not going out because it was Thanksgiving and everybody said, “Don’t travel.”

Lisa: It’s canceled. [crosstalk]

Aaron: I don’t know how long it’s going to take for planes and hotels to get full again. Do you still do transactions yourself or now do you just run your team?

Lisa: I no longer do solo transactions myself. Of course, I still have clients from the times that I was working. Now, what I do is, I have some of our lead agents. If I need to be hands-on with the transaction and the client, if there’s that relationship there where I need to be around with that client, I’ll be around, but there’s an understanding that it’s done with the team. For me, making that transition from agent or producer to brokerage owner, my partner with the Elite Homes Christie’s here, her name Catherine Kuo. She’s amazing.

Part of our partnership agreement, when we decided to go into business together and work with Christie’s here I said, “I don’t want to be a selling owner because I know what that’s like to compete against your owner for business. It sucks and you lose every time.” I know what that’s like, it’s really, really hard and it doesn’t foster the type of environment that we want to grow. I said, “Look, I’m fine with taking a longer journey and scaling if that means that I’m not working solo transactions, but instead are handing them out to our agents, and backing them up, and serving as their mentor.”

Really, frankly, I help with all the transactions. Somehow, I have to touch everything, if I’m helping us obtain a listing appointment, or if I’m there on the back end to help with an open house. Whatever it is, I’m there to help support and mentor. That’s been the magic formula for us. We’ve been able to attract top producers who are comfortable with that type of culture and realizing, “Hey, this is an opportunity for me to grow and shine instead of having to be in the shadow of the owner of the brokerage and having to compete for that business if someone calls the office because they want to work with Christie’s. All of a sudden, the owner is the one who wants their name on the listing.” That’s not the case here.

Aaron: Yes. There’s politics to real estate. There’s politics to real estate teams and how it all works and being able to create an awesome culture. It sounds like you guys have done a great job with that and that’s how you can continue to grow. Even being able to have agents that have been around a long time and agents that are new, all focusing on that luxury brand is very cool.

Aaron: You are former Miss Nevada?

Lisa: Yes.

Aaron: Were you former Miss Nevada before you got into real estate?

Lisa: Yes, I was Miss Las Vegas 2013 and that was around the same time that I had onboarded with Sotheby’s. Then I won the Miss Nevada United States pageant in May of 2014. It was just a crazy time. At the brokerage office, everyone had to screen calls because we’d get crazies who wanted Miss Nevada to show them houses and we were like, “No, we’re not doing that.”

Aaron: You had just started in real estate and you were Miss Nevada and it was like– I could imagine that changing wrap, they had to make sure people weren’t just specifically asking for you.

Lisa: Yes, we would have to screen them. Anytime we take out a buyer there’s got to be proof of funds or that they’ve got a lender letter that they’re actually a qualified buyer, not some lookie-loo who’s weird and is going to stalk me. We had to take the precaution.

Aaron: How interesting. It’s like you all of a sudden are famous and that should really, really help in real estate but that doesn’t always convert into sales or even safety. Did your real estate business blow up after that? After people were screened, did you get a bunch of people that you got to represent through that? Or was it– I guess, how did being former Miss Nevada help you or hurt you in real estate?

Lisa: Yes. Of course, it was helpful because there was that kind of initial like, “Oh, that’s intriguing,” or like, that’s something that sets me apart. I talked about this in a TEDx Talk that I did a couple of years ago, the real value I got out of that experience when it came to direct business relationships, was the fact that I did nearly 500 community appearances. I was volunteering in schools, reading in hospitals, working with countless nonprofits. Guess what? I was out and about in the community, shaking hands and kissing babies and talking to people, right? Inevitably it would come up.

“Oh, what else do you do besides this homeless Nevada thing?” Then that was my opportunity to tell them about real estate and talk to them about investing. It was just this really organic form of networking that came about because I was running around town with a sashing crown on, voluntary.

Aaron: I bet all agents could take that a little bit to say, just by being involved in your community, you had a really easy– Easy is the wrong word. You had a way that all of a sudden you got involved with a whole lot of different volunteering.

Lisa: Right away.

Aaron: Right away. You could instantly get in the door of many different places but if people are trying to grow their business, or they’re new into real estate, and they’re new into a community, they being able to just go volunteer and do outreach and finding the places where you can meet people, I think you’re right, that when you’re out doing things to help people, the conversation happens, “What else do you do? What else do you do other than help out and volunteer and get–” Being involved in the community, in all sorts of different ways, being able to use that, I bet that’s a good TEDx Talk. Have you done a few TEDx Talks before?

Lisa: No, I’ve only just done the one. I’ll email you the link.

Aaron: Great.

Lisa: It was a really special experience and I’m so grateful that I was able to talk about my time with pageantry. Because I think a lot of people don’t realize with the pageantry, and with these systems, these women, they have a public service platform that they work on and it’s a lot more than just the photoshoots and some red carpet stuff. It’s really just like anything, right? Just real estate, you get out what you put into it and I knew that I wanted to have a very impactful experience and I did. I’m so grateful for that time in my life and to this day, I still have amazing business contacts and relationships that I built, again, because I was volunteering my time.

Aaron: Yes, volunteer creates those relationships. Your first year in real estate, you’re going back to your first year or two, how many transactions did you do your first year?

Lisa: My first year, I did just under 30 transactions.

Aaron: That’s a really big first year.

Lisa: Yes. It was a really, really hectic first year. I teamed up with, at the time, my former real estate partner. I had a previous real estate partner before Cathy, that I worked on as a team at Sotheby’s. It was great because, at that time in my life, I was already an entrepreneur I had started Sin City Cupcakes back in 2012. Liquid & Lace had just gotten started, my e-commerce brand. Then here I am saying, “Hey, I’ve got this pipeline of business and clients, I should also be getting some of that in real estate, right?”

I did that and it worked because I knew that I needed to team up with a full-time broker because I didn’t have the bandwidth or the time or the energy to commit to it full time. I approached a colleague of mine, and I said, “I’ve got a great pipeline of business, I have clients that want to work with me and want me to sell their multimillion-dollar houses. I don’t have the full-time time and bandwidth that I want to dedicate to it, so can we team up? I’ll split everything with you 50/50 and let’s work everything together.” That’s what we did.

Aaron: Yes, what a way to grow. That’s smart too. That was smart to know your limitation at the beginning and say, “Hey, I have all this opportunity, but I can’t really fulfill it. Can you help me fulfill it?” You didn’t really know real estate too much yet. It was– [crosstalk]

Lisa: No I didn’t. Exactly. Yes. It’s like get that experience, team up with someone who has more experience than you.

Aaron: If you were going to give advice to people in their first year, early real estate agents, what were some of the things that you learned during that first year that maybe you were surprised or just if you could go back and tell yourself now you would?

Lisa: Number one, lean on your colleagues. Yes, of course, real estate is competitive and certainly in the luxury market, very, very competitive but if you approach your transactions and your client relationships with an abundance mindset, you’re going to attract the same type of clients and colleagues who also have that abundance mindset and so they’re going to be down to collaborate with you. Don’t be scared to lean on your colleagues and say, “Look, in my first year, I’m hustling, I’m reading everything that I possibly can, here’s a hurdle that I’m experiencing, how would you handle this?”

You will grow organic relationships and build mentors around you and have that support system around you. Don’t be scared to lean on your colleagues, number one. Number two, read. Consume as much as you can. I was reading Inman, I was reading Wall Street Journal, I Mansion Global, I joined every real estate group on Facebook that I could find, BiggerPockets obviously for investors, Lab Coat Agents. I joined every group that you could possibly find just so I can read content, I could read posts.

People across the country were posting about whatever hurdle they were going through with their client and people were chiming in and providing insight, “Oh, that happened to me six months ago, here’s what I did.” That’s a phenomenal way to learn because you haven’t experienced it yet.

Aaron: That is some great advice. The two big pieces there, ask for help from the people that are around because you would be amazed, I came from an industry where people didn’t really want to share their secrets. You needed that as your step up, if you found out a good way to get your job done, you weren’t always going to tell people the secret. It was like job security, people used to think about job security a lot. In real estate or investing in real estate, it is a lot of growth mindset stuff that people are less afraid of that if you ask or if you do ask somebody they want to help you then maybe the next person won’t be. That’s how you create relationships.

Most people that are really successful love telling people how they got there and they love bringing people under their wing to help them. Being able to ask and then consuming content, I love that. We do a weekly podcast it’s the State of the Markets where we take a lot of the Inman articles that are out, dissect them, try to help them out there.

Lisa: Great.

Aaron: People should be reading all those Inman articles, listening to podcasts, doing the stuff, and learning as much as they can about real estate. You get to see– Especially right now it’s been such an interesting time. What has it been like in Las Vegas when it comes to COVID and real estate? Around most of the US, we’ve heard really high demand, lots of houses– The agents that are successful are incredibly successful this year, the agents that are having a tough time are having a really tough time. Are you seeing any shifts because of the hospitality industry stuff right now or has it been anything to keep an eye on?

Lisa: Yes, of course, a lot of demand just like the rest of the country we’ve low inventory and high demand specifically here in Nevada. This is a state that has no state income tax, we have no corporate tax on the first 4 million of revenue in your company. This is a place where people are fleeing high-tax states like California, Hawaii, New York but California in particular. California has always been a feeder market for us, but this year, in particular, people are moving here in droves. That’s been wonderful for the real estate market.

There has been a rise in rental defaults in apartments which has been interesting to read about. On the commercial side, which Cathy, my partner she has a big commercial division that we have. With that, it’s interesting because I think we will see some really great high-value commercial pickups that will emerge maybe in the next 12 to 18 months, but when it comes to single-family residences the market is very, very strong and the rental market is very, very strong again because of people moving out of California.

We saw a situation recently where you had an owner, he bought another home decided to rent out this beautiful 7,000 square foot house guard-gated community, put it out for rent at $10,000 a month, and within the first week that it was publicly available for rent he had three potential tenants call all from California, all wanting to rent it sight unseen, and there was no negotiation on the monthly rate. They were just like, “Great, I’ll take it.”

Aaron: Interesting. Maybe a month or two ago, I was talking about the two different recoveries and how at the high-end of the market, the finance industry has very low unemployment and so they’re the ones that are buying houses and really upsizing or the people renting those $10,000 properties.

Lisa: Sure.

Aaron: So much of the unemployment is in the hospitality industry, so much of the people that work in hospitality do rent apartments and so it makes sense that the defaults in apartments are going up. We’re just starting to see defaults in single-family rentals in Texas start to go up since March. We’ve had the highest documents that we’ve had ever. When COVID hit in March-April we were probably 90% occupied and now we’re 99% occupied on 350 houses but we’re just now starting to see some defaults, some people starting to slip on rent for the first time since COVID hit.

Are there any talks in Las Vegas about extra stimulus to help renters and things that might impact that or what do you think the long-term opportunities are?

Lisa: We are seeing some state offered programs because Nevada like many states picked up a lot of money out of the COVID bills that were passed by Congress. We are seeing some state-specific and also county-specific and city-specific renter relief programs but frankly, they’re really targeted towards those that are most in need. If you are middle income, it’s tough because you may not be able to qualify because what we’re seeing with middle-income renters is that maybe one person in the house has still been able to hold on to at least a part-time job because they can work remotely.

These are households that have Wi-Fi and things like that that oftentimes we take for granted. We complain about the speed of the Wi-Fi in our house and yet there are households out there that do not have internet access, don’t have Wi-Fi and so that’s where we’re seeing the most need. You are seeing some programs targeted towards that, but unfortunately, I think in my personal opinion, the best way we can help the community is by allowing people to get back to work.

We can’t be choosing the winners and losers of, “This business is essential, so it can stay open and this one’s not essential so you have to close.” Let people work, let them work safely, and put them in a position where they can try to provide for themselves and their family.

Aaron: Yes. It’s really interesting to hear what’s happening in different markets. Internet is such a utility now.

Lisa: Absolutely.

Aaron: It seems like it needs to be protected just like water and electric is protected because I can’t imagine functioning without it in this new world. In this new world, we’re in it’s not an option anymore to be able to succeed. Yes, it’s definitely more important than having a TV. You have a bunch of different businesses so when I look at your website you’ve got, you said the first couple you started Sin City Cupcakes, Liquid & Lace, Ship Las Vegas, you’re a published author in Forbes, you even ran for Congress in the 4th District in Nevada.

Lisa: Yes.

Aaron: Right now, this year we’ve been talking to all of our real estate agent listeners, and we’ve been focusing on how to succeed as an agent but then also how to diversify because one of the things that we learned this year was maybe you need to have a backup plan. You need to have some other businesses, some other options. What advice would you give to somebody that is a full-time real estate agent, that wants to be a full-time real estate agent, how they can shuffle and do more than one thing? How they could actually start a different business or be involved in another business? How do you balance your time? How do you have 10 different businesses that you work in?

Lisa: For me, my portfolio, my business portfolio is very diversified and I don’t do it alone. I guess that’s the magic sauce. I have strong operational partners in every single one of my ventures including real estate. We have strong partners and strong teams and be diversified. Just because you are a real estate professional doesn’t mean that your next venture or your side hustle or whatever else has to be in real estate. It can be tangental or it could be totally unrelated. That’s okay.

If there’s anything I’ve learned this year in 2020, is that being diversified has been an absolute blessing because you can’t predict what will happen. What you need to figure out dear listener is, what are you good at? What are your core strengths that are translatable, and that you can plug and play into any other business? That’s what you bring, that’s the value you bring. You team up with someone and you say, “Hey, I want to start a shipping store. Here are the four things I’m really good at. I don’t know anything about shipping but I do know about customer service and setting up processes and dah, dah, dah.”

Then you team up with an operations partner, and then all of a sudden you have a business.

Aaron: That is some really, really good advice, the not doing it alone. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, it’s so easy for a new agent to be listening to this and saying, “Oh, I can’t relate to Lisa, she’s got all these different businesses, and I’m just an agent.” Being able to say, “No, the way that you’ve grown, it’s not that you are actively doing 10 different businesses all by yourself, it’s that you have–“

Lisa: No, no way.

Aaron: No way. You have partners, you have people. I love that too, that you’re like, “Hey, I want to get into this business and I’m good at this, this and this, but I don’t know what it’s about. Can you help me run it?” That was one of the things, the recent interview we did with Codie Sanchez, she was talking to people about how to buy new businesses. See what’s out there. This weekend I was looking through a website, like BizBuySell like going through what businesses are for sale in Austin, Texas? There were some really interesting ones.

I was thinking, “Oh, there’s some good cash flow in this. Oh, this is a business that I think is going to survive like this new world that we’re in. Maybe even thrive. This could be a good opportunity right now. Or this is a business that’s going to turn around soon.” Then the next thing to think about has to be– I wasn’t thinking about– You start to go, “Yes, but I can’t really run all these businesses.” Your answer is saying, “No, you can find something like that.” I go, “Hey, I think this tanning business is a good investment. I can work on the finance. I can do this but I need somebody else that’s actually going to run the day-to-day.” [crosstalk]

Then it gets a lot less overwhelming. All of a sudden you go, “Okay, I’ve got a little bit of savings. I can do that. Very cool stuff.” Back to real estate for a second. Now in 2020, if somebody is a new agent trying to get deals. They’re trying to get deals either as a buyer agent or listing agent, what do you think the best way for them to get these new relationships now, to actually get a listing or get a buyer? Any ideas?

Lisa: Work your sphere of influence. I see so many people wasting money on Facebook ads and Zillow Premiere and like all this stuff. When you’re filtering through, that takes time and effort to filter through all the crap inbounds that you’re going to get. Work your sphere of influence. Utilize social media if you don’t already, but something as simple, get out your phone and go through the last 100 people that you have text messaged with and you text them and you say, “Hey, hope you had a great Thanksgiving.” Whatever’s timely. “Hey, hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I just wanted to share an exciting win with you, share something that you– I just sold this house, blah, blah, blah.” Whatever you have to say and you say, “Please let me know if you know anyone that’s buying, selling, or renting.”

Just give them a quick simple ask, even if they’re out of state. Here’s why that works because your friend who lives out of state has a cousin who’s got a girlfriend that’s moving to your city. Does that make sense?

Aaron: Yes.

Lisa: It always works that way. It’s always a sphere of influence and people want to work with someone they know. They want to work with someone they know, even if it’s from a friend of a friend, that’s still a warmer contact, than Google. Use that sphere of influence. You’ll see the momentum happen really quick because once you get one, two, three positive responses out of the 100 people that you’re contacting, by the way, it’s a numbers game, it will start to create a snowball effect. Do that, go through your phone, text message the last 100 people that you just text messaged with and share a win with them and help them keep you top of mind.

Aaron: I love that. I love that advice. That is such an actionable thing that all of our listeners can do today. You can even put it in your calendar, do that every three months or every six months. It’s such a good point that your sphere of influence is just reminding them of what you’re doing, even if they’re in a different state, they’re going to see a friend on Facebook saying, “Hey, I’m moving over to there.”

Lisa: It happens all the time.

Aaron: “By the way, my friend’s an agent out there, let me know if you want to introduce me.” I was amazed last month on Facebook, a friend of mine just saying like, “Hey, I need a real estate agent that’s going to list my house for me. I just need somebody who is going to make sure to call me back.” Four days later on Facebook, he said, “All right, I still haven’t had an agent tell me that they can list my house for me and provide you a service.” I was mind blown. That is still so crazy that that happens out there, for whatever reason that does happen.

That’s a good example that even if it was somebody friend of a friend of a friend be like, “Hey, since you asked for a week and nobody, why don’t you ask my friend of a friend.” Going through those top 100 and saying, “Hey, happy Thanksgiving. Here’s a win, by the way, if you have anybody looking at a house.” I’ve seen that a lot and it is truly a numbers game. Maybe 90 of the 100 are just going to say, happy Thanksgiving back. Agents are maybe sometimes embarrassed, they go, “Hey, I don’t want to drill it down their throats that hey, I’m a real estate agent.” It is important because there are people out there saying, “Hey, I need an agent,” and people aren’t responding.

As unbelievable as that is, that’s happening in 2020 in the age of social media and the age of people wanting to find new leads and new listings. I love that piece of advice. Lisa, this has been a lot of great info for our listeners, the really fun stuff. I’m sure that a lot of them are going to want to go learn more about you. They’re going to want to find that TED Talk that you did. We’ll put that in the show notes after you send that over to me. If they want to figure out more about what you’re doing, get to follow up, what is the best way for them to see some of the other stuff they’re doing, or reach out to you if they have questions?

Lisa: Yes, absolutely. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, all under Lisa Song Sutton. Please feel free to reach out and connect. I utilize social media as part of my daily routine. I post a lot of, not only what I’m doing in day-to-day but I also try to share as much advice and actionable tips as possible. Please feel free to connect with me there. I would love to just connect in general. I think anytime you going back to that abundance mindset, anytime that you can continue to share and collaborate and cross-promote, that’s when everything is going to work out. That’s when we all win. Rising tide lifts all boats.

Aaron: Very cool. I’m sure people will be reaching out to you. It might be about Christie’s. It might be about real estate. It might be about trying to start that business and how to choose the right partner. Lisa, this has been super valuable. I’m so happy for you that you’re doing so well in real estate out there and what a cool story to get to see the transition that you’ve made and how you’ve done it. Thanks for coming on and being part of Real Estate Rockstars.

Lisa: Thank you so much for having me.

Aaron: All right. Real Estate Rockstars come back in a few days, we’ll have some more on. Hopefully, you enjoyed that and we will talk to you later. Thank you.

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