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Today we’re joined by Stacy Stateham from Bloomtree Realty in Prescott, AZ. Stacy is the co-founder and EVP of Marketing and Branding. Tune in as we get some major insight on what works and what doesn’t in today’s brokerage environment.
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reThink Real Estate Podcast Transcription
Audio length 31:53
S1 Ep 28: Stacy Stateham on Building a Vision[music] [Chris] Welcome to re:Think Real Estate, your educational and hopefully entertaining source for all things real estate, business, news and tech. [Christian]: I am Christian Harris in Seattle, Washington. [Nathan]: Hi, I am Nathan White in Columbus, Ohio. [Chris]: And I am Chris Lazarus in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for tuning in. [music] [Chris]: Welcome back to re:Think Real Estate where we talk all things real estate. I’m Chris Lazarus here with Christian Harris and Nathan White. And we’re happy to have you here. What’s up guys? [Nathan]: Hola. [Christian]: Hey how’s it going? Good to see you guys out here. I hear you. [Chris]: Yeah likewise. So today we’ve got a really big treat. We’re joined by Stacey Stateham, who is the co-founder and EVP of marketing, branding and strategy at Bloomtree Realty in Prescott, Arizona. Stacey has been a good friend of mine for the past several years and I’m so excited that we’re able to have you here. Stacey welcome. [Stacy]: Hey hey. Good to be here. [Chris]: It’s great to have you. Stacey for our audience the…the people that don’t know you, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself. [Stacy]: Well like you said, I’m one of the co-founders of Bloomtree Realty. Have been in real estate for around a decade now. Before that, I was in the corporate flog, doing of all things, industrial MRO sales, big contracts. Worked with some big companies. And the funny thing is…is that even though there are two very different things as, B to B and then B to C, a lot of that same stuff that I was taught in sales, you know, 25 or heaven forbid, nearly 30 years ago, I still hear people being taught today. And it’s interesting how some things change and how some things don’t. [Chris]: The more that changes the more it stays the same. Right. [Stacy]: Yes and the only thing that’s constant is change. [Chris]: So you are doing something different at Bloomtree and , you know, it’s…it’s one of those things that you…you tell me a little bit about providing a lot of systems and training. And so what…what are you…what have you created there in Arizona? [Stacy]: OK so when we were talking about founding Bloomtree, the core partners really had some core beliefs in…in common and it was that we wanted to build a real tight collaborative environment where agents can leverage off of each other, learn from each other, and be supported by each other, instead of like the office I used to work in. Where I couldn’t leave a file on my desk if I went to the bathroom, because it was a snake pad. People were not kind to each other. We had a lot of knowledge in this industry with the older generation of agents and yet we feel like in a lot of cases that knowledge is being lost. Because they’re being pushed out. Instead of as agents want to phase out of the business, how do we take that tribal knowledge and that years of experience to feed the folks who are coming into it? And our younger agents?
So we built everything ground-up. We provide technology company-wide because we know that agents need the best systems in order to run their business like a business. And most can’t afford it. Not only that, but most agents don’t have the bandwidth of knowledge that’s needed to really pick the best website, or the best CRM, or the best app. Where each one of us, in the leadership team, in our core , you know, areas of expertise, we do have that.
We didn’t want to have training that was just the same old training. And we’ll talk about that more. But, you know, just old sales methodologies and contract stuff. Between our founding team we’ve got an incredible depth of knowledge and…and what actually works and how to think like an entrepreneur. And how to grow wealth. We want our agents to know that stuff, so that they can really build the best businesses that they could build.
And bit by bit the pieces started coming together. And the next thing, you know, we had a business model and we were running in Prescott. It’s been incredible since then. So we just turned four years old. We started with right about 70 agents. We’re nearly 200 now. Most of those agents are coming in by word-of-mouth and by our existing agents connecting to friends in the business and bringing them in. We’re not doing…we do recruit but we don’t do a lot of heavy, you know, bombard email marketing or things like that. And so most of the growth has been fairly organic. Yeah numbers are awesome. Our first year…or the year before we converted the office. They did as much business in that first…in that one year as we did in a single month in July.[Chris]: Nice. [Christian]: That’s awesome. Yeah you’re only four years old. You guys are killing it. Got some great teams, some great agent that, you know, I’m friends with now. Only four years old now. The founding members were you. Leslie. Was there another person or two? [Stacy]: Yeah Paul [inaudible]. Ramond Zogab [phonetics]. He does our commercial. He’s also our CPO, so he’s our chief people officer whenever people have…He’s awesome whenever there’s any kind of interpersonal angst going on, Raymond is our go-to guy. Leslie, Paul and I kind of run basically a third of the business. But the partner who is really the heart behind it, is Nick Maloof. He’s our CEO. He is the largest shareholder. He literally bleeds blue and green. So many of the ideas around, or that we formed the company around, have been…have come from Nick, and come from his visions. [Christian]: OK he literally bleeds blue and green. He should…he should probably get that checked out.[lughter] [Stacy]: Yeah yeah maybe so. [laughter] [Christian]: I get what you mean. That’s…that’s awesome. [Chris]: So Stacey, in with your agents and building it organically, like how are you doing that? What…what is…what is it about the culture of Bloomtree that’s attracting people to come and work with y’all? [Stacy]: Incredibly collaborative. We…we have a saying that we’re not a family company. We are a company family. We really care about our folks. We want our agents to succeed. We pay attention to the details, you know. We have staff…A lot of offices have staff. Our staff is called the agent happiness team. Their job is to take care of our first year customer. And that is our agent.
When you look at, you know, each aspect of our business model, you know, between the training or the, you know, we provide the technology, the collaborative environment. All…How our company plans work. Agents can earn a hundred percent. But we are not a hundred percent shop. We are not a fee model.
When you…there’s not one thing but when you put each of those things together, when we hire that right fit who really gets it and is hungry to grow and wants to do something different with their business, they take off. We have an agent, Trish Miller, who I absolutely adore. And she came to us…has been in the business I think about eight or nine years, and her goal was…was to earn a hundred thousand. That was like when she walked in the door, that was that first year goal. But when between the training and the culture and the support and all of those pieces together, she nearly …Her person thing…It’s that word of mouth in those stories and the conversations that are happening between agents. In the market that are really pulling people in.[Christian]: Awesome. So who would you say is like your…your ideal agent that’s really going to…to mesh and align with what…what you guys do, and the culture and what you guys provide? [Stacy]: Absolutely insanity is a good start. [Chris]: Than we just need to start working with you Stacey [laughter]. [Stacy]: Yeah. So Chris , you know, just I know you’ve got that one as a check. [laughter] Agents who are very growth oriented. Who are hungry to learn. But who also want to be a part of an agent community. The solo-preneurs, the folks who are just really dug into doing everything themselves, and they don’t want to interact with other agents, they’re not gonna be happy with us. They’re not gonna succeed with us. But they’re…they’re not gonna thrive.
Agents who…and if this isn’t a generational thing, but agents who know that they want to use all the business systems intact, but they don’t know how or they don’t know how to leverage it. Or how to bring those pieces together. We…I wouldn’t say that there’s a single set of DNA. It’s more, you know, they fit three or four of each of the criteria. Because we have some who are, you know, techofiles or technophobes. And we have techofiles. We have agents who are in every single training class. And we have agents who are really coming to them more strategically. They’re picking and choosing which funds they want to be interested or which ones they want to come to.[Chris]: Nice. So. I want to shift gears a little bit now that we know about Bloomtree and what you’re doing that’s setting it apart. Earlier, before we started the other podcast, we were talking about today’s environment for selling. I want to switch gears and…and tell us a little bit about what you’re doing and…and how you are training agents to…to sell in today’s environment. [Stacy]: So if you were to take…So I love to read. I’m always reading like two or three business books. But if you were to take a Simon Sinek book and throw it in a bucket, and then throw in some seven levels of communication, throw in emotional intelligence, dump in one of my favorite authors of all time Mr. Scott Stratten in there, with unmarketable and end selling. And you turn on the blender…What you end up with is an approach that is really about taking care of that human being.
What is it that they really need tuning in? Not just to what they say, but making sure that you’re paying enough attention that you know the right questions to ask. You know, real estate is a relationship business. But we also have a fiduciary responsibility to clients. So it is our job to do the right thing by them. And yet what I see so much of going on, you know, when I sit in on trainings, I hear a lot of scripts. I hear a lot of “Here’s the questions to ask.” Find out what their drivers are. Find out what their needs are. Because those are hot buttons you can push later on.
That interaction is not about the client. That’s about the agent.[Chris]: It just sounds underhanded. [Stacy]: But…and yet when I put it that way, yeah it does. But we’re…we’re an industry that is…we have so many people that are being taught this. And in the long run, you know, if you want someone to do business with you long term, we love referrals, everybody does. You know. I…I would say that a referral is the second strongest source of business. A referral that you truly earned from someone who thinks that you are outstanding, that one’s better. [Chris]: It’s the highest compliment. [Stacy]: That’s absolutely the highest compliment. But you don’t get those if you don’t earn them. And you don’t get them by using manipulative sales tactics. [Christian]: Yeah let’s say that’s a one-time deal. Because once they realize they’ve been duped, they’re not coming back to you. [Stacy]: Yeah or like my favorite, I saw this on one the other day. So, I like to sit in on other people’s sales training, webinars, when they put them out. Just because, you know, I’m interested in learning. But I also hear a lot of things that make me go…you know “What?!” They worked…it was a training about how to ask for referrals along every step of the process. So like when you’re walking through their house, at the listing presentation, how to ask for a referral at that point.
You haven’t done anything yet. Like how to ask for a referral in an open house. So like you’re sitting in someone’s house and a random stranger goes by, who has no idea how you do business, or if you’re good or not. But we’re gonna push them for referrals then. I would much rather have agents knock their socks off of their clients, build an incredible reputation in their communities and earn those referrals. We all know agents who do. And they get a lot of business that way. And honestly I think they don’t have to work as hard for it. Because they’re working hard in the front end instead of trying to pimp people for a list of names.[Christian]: Was it…was the subjects… [Stacy]: Am I allowed to say pimp? [laughter] [Chris]: Yes. [Christian]: Was the subtext of that training how to be annoying, pushy, salesperson, and bug the [censored] out of potential clients? Was it the subtext? [Stacy]: It wasn’t. It wasn’t. But I think maybe it should’ve been. Like how to be a [censored] 101. [Christian]: Yeah I hate that classic sales tactic. [Stacy]: It’s not that…there are ways to do that. But there are also a lot of ways not to do that. But, yeah I wouldn’t say that like scripts and things like that don’t work. They do work. But instead of focusing on the script and what your desired outcome is, maybe you can look at that script and change the framework in your head. And say “Here’s a desired outcome. How am I going to get there and how am I gonna make this something that’s win-win? How am I going to connect with this client in a way that I can help them achieve their goals?” And that them achieving their goal is my goal. Because that’s what I get paid.
And I think it’s just a matter of how we shift our mindset around how we use those scripts, and how we use that questioning process, and why we’re using it…using it with a moral compass, versus without one.[Nathan]: Well with the scripts, Stacey, here’s my thing. And I just read this and I firmly believe it. As you know, especially me being semi-new, we’re here now three years deep or whatever. And a lot of it’s still in my mind, what’s fresh. But what’s preach to me is “Let me teach you how to get leads.” What nobody teaches is actually how to buy and sell houses. It’s all about leads, leads, leads. And we’re…we’re not teaching agents how to have compassion or care the moral compass. It’s “Let me show you how to get leads.”
Well that’s kind of crazy. So then we send them out and we…we have these scripts we want you to use to…to get a lead. And that is actually caring about the value of our client. We…they don’t care they give a [censored] honestly about the client. It’s about “Oh well great Stacey, since I’ve helped you who do you know that wants to buy or sell a home?” Get out of here you cheesy [censored] [Chris]: Amen.[Nathan]: So we’re not…we’re not teaching and we’ve got a… [Chris]: Preach brother. [Nathan]: We’ve had a past guest – well I’ve been privy to read something and did I agree with that we all know is gonna be coming from a good author here soon, to read the draft. But he touches on that. And God if we could stop being such self-centered narcissistic [censored] and actually care about what our clients want, you might find that you’re successful. But the problem is…is most of agents have their head so far up their [censored] they can’t see sunshine. And all they see is themselves. And that’s it. So that’s…that’s…that’s…that’s exactly where they are. They wonder what happens a year later when they got no business. [Stacy]: Well amen. But you’re gonna be an [censored] and I can’t write all that off. But a narcissistic prick is what I think you said. And yet you want me to refer my mother to you. [laughter] Like I thought you were an [censored] so you want me to give you my mother’s name, my sister’s name, my neighbor’s name, my best friend’s name. I’m sorry but hell no. [Chris]: “Let me tell you about me. Let me tell you about me. OK. Enough about me. What do you think about me? Hey can I have your referral?” [laughter] [Nathan]: Right. Right. [Stacy]: Yeah. And yet it’s so easy to just like…like Chris is dead on. I mean stop talking about you. Start asking questions. What’s going on in their life? If you think, you know, the most stressful situations ever in life, so you got death, divorced, moving, major financial, mayor bust. You got moving and major financial thing. There’s two life stressors right there. Like in the top ranks. There’s another reason. There’s a job change. There’s a death in the family. They’re retiring. They…they’re having children. They’re getting married. So you’re gonna take somebody who’s got three major life stressors going on and then you’re gonna walk in there and you’re gonna push and manipulate them. [Christian]: Yeah, and I think… [Stacy]: But people do business with people they know, like and trust. And it’s a relationship in business. [Chris]: I think I heard this somewhere. [Stacy]: Yeah I have heard that…I have heard that a couple thousand times. [Chris]: Yeah. [Stacy]: So where…Why are we doing this, you know. [Christian]: Well I think you’re exactly right Stacey. I mean and you…you too, Nathan. I mean but the…the attitude that we approach the client with, makes all the difference in the world, you know. If like, I was telling agents, like we want to be radically client centric. We’re listening. We’re doing less talking and more listening, because if you actually do what’s best for the client, and what they want, and you do it above and beyond, you don’t have to ask for business. Because they naturally…they’re gonna refer it to you. [Chris]: That’s such the [censored] up thing though. Because to say that you are radically client centric, means that you are a radical in the industry. And that it is not a standard. The fact that people… [Christian]: I’ve turned down business because…[crosstalk] [Chris]: Is insane to me. I don’t understand. [Christian]: Yeah that’s like the fringe of the industry. [Chris]: Yeah. [Stacy]: Yeah. But…but then look at what’s going on in the industry. So we…I love our agents. I mean I genuinely love them. But we had one post on Facebook the other day that was recommending that we…that they uncheck the box and the analyst to not publish to Zillow. OK so we can’t make Zillow go away. It’s a reality. And, you know, I’m sure that, you know, I’m singing the lobby’s. I get it. Whether you like Zillow or not, whether you like Realtor.com or not, whether you like Compass or Open Door or the Ibuyers or all of that stuff going on in the industry, or not, guess what? Suck it up buttercup. It’s here.
So how are you gonna differentiate yourself against what this shift in the market? And if you think that you still hold all the information, like we did when the MLS was in a book, guess what? You don’t. We are not even the keeper of the keys anymore. I mean pretty soon, here Uber can let them into a house. They can use LegalZoom to do documents. I mean come on. What we have to offer here is our experience, our knowledge and our care for that client. And guiding on through a very challenging process. And when we do that right, we don’t have [crosstalk] Ibyers or Compass or anything else. When we don’t, is when, you know, our [censored] are on the line.[Christian]: Yeah a disservice. [Nathan]: What if you…you…you…I was just saying what if he, you know, those things you talked about, you know, Stacy, use them to your benefit. Hello people. I’m a Redfin partner agent. I will kiss their [censored] all day [laughter]. They give me great leads. I have a great partnership with them. I’ve made it work for me. It’s a mutually beneficial thing. So instead of me walking around [censored] about Redfin and Zillow, and everybody taken over the [censored] world, I found out a way to make it work for me. That’s what people need to start doing. They need to take the titty out of the mouth and grow up. [Chris]: So here’s… [Stacy]: Nathan I love you. [Nathan]: So tired of the whining and complaining. I do. I get tired of the whining and complaining. “The woe is me. It’s not fair.” God if they spend all this [censored] time actually doing something towards real estate, then, guess what? They’d probably have some business. But instead they just spend all their energy on this. And it drives me crazy. That’s my rant for the day people. I’m still here. I will be fine. [Stacy]: I will say that the agent who…who posted that is…he is one of our kindest and sweetest agents and his clients love him. So it’s not like, you know, there’s one end of the spectrum. Or the other end. It’s everywhere along that path. But yeah it’s a reality and we either figure out how to leverage it and leverage what we know and take a different look at how we’re taking care of the people and shift our approach. Or we’re gonna go extinct. Like take your pick. [Christian]: Right. You can’t. It doesn’t do your sellers any…any service to intentionally, you know, because you’re bitter against Zillow, to intentionally limit the exposure. I mean I don’t know how the rest of the market has been. Seattle, like Zillow is a major player when it comes to home searches. Like, you know, yeah I don’t…not doing my duty by intentionally limiting it. Because I don’t want my listing on Zillow. Because whatever, you know. [Chris]: So yeah… [Stacy]: Well that services the agent but it doesn’t serve the client. And I would actually argue it doesn’t serve the agent either, because they’re limiting the pool for their commission shack. [Chris]: A few years ago NAR came out with the danger report. I don’t know if you all remember that? [Stacy]: Oh yeah [censored]. [Chris]: One of the biggest impacts on our industry, that we’re gonna face is, guess what? Marginal agents diminishing the reputation of realtors. Well if you think about it, it doesn’t make exact sense. Because the marginal agents that are diminishing the reputation of realtors, aren’t dues-paying members of the National Association of Realtors. But with all the AI, the offers, the smart zip, all of those companies coming out, giving accurate data to real estate agents to be able to market. All that’s gonna do is increase the massive amounts of spam that’s coming out.
And yes, I mean eventually that’s gonna lead to more regulation on this. Because people are eventually going to get tired of [censored] agents being awful at their job, spamming the [censored] out of their, them everywhere that they go. So really the only way to stand out is to not do what everybody else is doing. And…and Stacy, earlier you had mentioned about selling the human being aspect. Not selling human beings per se, but the…the humaneness of being a real estate agent. So what are your thoughts on that?[Stacy]: Well so I would say hell yes to what you just said. But even…even those of us…Like we’re starting new programs where we’re going to be using a lot of that. How we message the marketing that they’re getting. how we engage with them the minute that there’s any connection, how we treat a lead…I don’t think they’re leads. I think they’re people who might need something from us. Maybe if we approach it differently, we can still leverage all of this cool technology and stand out from the competition.
I think that’s an entirely doable. But on the back end of it though, from that first time that we engage with them, whether it’s a postcard or it’s on our Facebook page, or they call the office, or they walk in, or whatever, if from minute 0 it is about taking care of them, understanding them, understanding what’s going on with them and taking an approach of how…how can we help, how can we serve, how can we inform, how can we educate, how can we guide or lead, they’re not gonna go anywhere else if we’re taking care of them. The ones that go elsewhere are the ones that we don’t take care of, the ones that we don’t build that rapport with it. And genuinely show them that we are…we are not every other [censored].[Chris]: You’re never able to win them all though when you treat people like humans, you can win most. [Stacy]: Yeah we…we…we lose a lot fewer than…than most, you know. If you we were talking earlier about like that peg and the needle on the [censored] meter. When you walk into, you know, as sales interaction. So let’s say I’m walking into a listing appointment and I’m freaking out because I haven’t had a commission check in for weeks and, you know, my dog’s sick and it’s this and it’s that, I really got to get this listing. And than I get to be home in an hour. And when I go in with that mindset, whether or not I say any of that we as humans pick up on each other’s moods. We pick up on each other and others intentions. We’re pack animals. We have intuition. And when you sit down and they can tell that you’re not focused on them, your likelihood of getting that listing just dropped easily by half.
And the more panicked you are, the more stressed you are, the less likely you are to succeed. Versus if you go in and you’re chill and you’re confident and you know what you’re able to do and you go in to find out what it is that they need, and whether or not you can help them, your likelihood of success just like went way up.
I have a…I have what I call the rule of 95. And it’s gonna sound crappy but so…if you’re really pushing selling, 5 percent of the time, you’re gonna succeed. So if you if…you call a hundred people and harass them with the [censored] out of them, five percent of them you’ll…you might get to close. The other 95 percent are gonna think you’re a creep. And they aren’t going to want to ever have anything to do with you.
If you engage that same way in a…in a face-to-face interaction, that same thing is going to happen. But except now, you might get 5% to concede. But 95% are not only going to think that you’re a creep, but they’re going to be really offended. And how are we going to build a referral network in a business based on relationships, if we’re pissing off ninety five percent of the people that we engage with. Like you’re gonna have to meet a lot of people.[Chris]: You know, meet a lot of people and eventually you run through your entire town. [Stacy]: Yeah. [Chris]: It’s a hyper local… [Stacy]: Move to a larger city. [laughter] [Chris]: Yeah. Yeah you could definitely do that. So Stacy who do you know, that’s looking to buy or sell real estate? [Stacy]: Actually me. [Chris]: [laughter] Come to Georgia. I know a good agent. [Stacy]: You know, I…I think…I think we’re in good hands. Because we’re looking at moving to Prescott. [Chris]: There you go. [Stacy]: I happen to know a phenomenal brokerage there where I could pick any agent and I would be in awesome hands. [Chris]: Awesome. Stacy it was such a pleasure to have you on re:Think Real Estate today. Before we go why don’t you tell people how they can get in touch with you, or find out more about Bloomtree Realty? [Stacy]: Easiest way to get in touch with me is social media. So Facebook is where I spend most of my time. There are two Stacey Statehams in the entire universe. I’m the one that is not oriental. Stacey Stateham. I’m also Stacey Stateham on Instagram. Linkedin. Or Stacey Stateham in Gmail. [Chris]: Awesome. Stacy thank you so much for spending some time to talk to us about Bloomtree, what you guys are doing and then also about , you know, the aspect of selling the human being experience, and not trying to stand the [censored] out of people. So thank you everybody for tuning in. This has been another episode of re:Think Real Estate. Tune in next Monday for more. Have a great week. [music] [Chris]: Thanks for tuning in this week’s episode of the re:Think Real Estate Podcast. We would love to hear your feedback so please leave us a review on iTunes. Our music is curtesy of Dan Koch K-O-C-H, whose music can be explored and licensed for use at dankoch.net. Thank you Dan. Please like, share and follow. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rethinkpodcast. Thank you so much for tuning in everyone and have a great week. [music]