RTRE 35 – Billy Ekofo on Giving Everything

Billy Ekofo is a popular name in the real estate circle. He joins us to share his story of fleeing for safety from the Congo and how he landed in real estate. Follow Billy @billyekofo

We are re:Think Real Estate – The real estate podcast bringing you the best the industry has to offer.
Chris Lazarus – www.sellectrealty.com
Nathan White – www.linkapm.com
Christian Harris – www.sea-town.com

Rethink Real Estate Podcast Transcription

Audio length 40:54

RTRE 35 –  Billy Ekofo on Giving Everything

[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]: Hey everybody and welcome back to re:Think Real Estate. I am Chris Lazarus here with Nathan White and Christian Harris. Guys what is going on?

[Christian]: Not much just happy to be here. 

[Nathan]: I am failing at my CRM but I swear it’s gonna happen folks. Just give me some time.

[Chris]: Come on man. [laughter]. Folks in real [inaudible] we’re gonna be disappointed in him.

[Christian]: I made it so easy for you.

[Chris]: I am gonna send Kendall an email.

[Nathan]: It is on the list. I have no excuse but I am having my house painted right now so that is just kind of…

[Chris]: Wait, wait didn’t you just say “no excuse”.

[Nathan]: I know. I know right. [laughter] [Chris]: Come on man.

[Nathan]: Listen this painting project has been dealing…shout out to my folks that…final touch here in Columbus are doing a fantastic job and making my life easier because my wife is happy. I swear to you next week it is actually on the calendar. I plan this morning and time block 5, 5 hours of pure CRM work. 

Now how much am I gonna get done is gonna be the million dollar question but I have 5, sole 5 just solely dedicated to this CRM. So, it is gonna happen. I put it on the calendar. Again, no excuses I just had a lot going on. And, I was on Obi [phonetics] show last week. That was great. So, I just had things people, things.

[Christian]: Thinks.

[Nathan]: Yes things. So let’s get to…

[Chris]: Things. Things that are more important.

[Nathan]: Yes so let’s talk about important things for today. 

[Chris]: So instead of talking about your failures we’re gonna talk about a great guest that we have today. We’ve got…With us today is somebody who has made a big impact on my life personally and why I stuck around with the Inman crowd. But really he is just a guy from Virginia. We’ve got with us today Billy Ekofo. Formally at Century 21 Realty. Now of Leading RE. Billy welcome.

[Billy]: Yes thank you for having me. It’s a great honor to be here.

[Chris]: Thanks for joining us. 

[Billy]: South side Virginia. Yes. 

[Chris]: So Billy a few years ago, no 3 years ago now,, its 2016. I got invited by Brad to go out and speak at Inman and I was a new broker. I didn’t have really anything going on. We had a very limited budget so I went out for like one free day that they give you if you’re a speaker. So I flew out to Inman and on that day I saw you up on stage reunited with your family which was an awesome event. 

Could you tell our listeners about that for those who aren’t part of the Inman network. And I mean that was just one of the most heartfelt things that I have seen in  my entire career.

[Billy]: Well I think it has still very much marked my story with Inman. 

[Chris]: Yeah.

[Billy]: If I could say that. So it started out I guess…I have to get back to what year was it? Maybe 2015. So my boss at the time at Century 21 Redwood, decided that I needed to go to Inman because somehow he felt that the content and the people I would meet there will literally change my life. And so he sent me from Virginia to California by myself. And then he like he warned some people and say “Hey I have someone coming in from my company. Good guy. Make him feel welcome”. Right. And that is literally how it started. 

And so I landed in San Francisco. Met a couple of people. Went out to dinner with a couple of  people and we’re sharing stories about you know, who we are and whatever. And so I share with essentially the people at dinner I was with, you know. And actually, my story of how I got to the US and everything. For those f you who don’t know me I was evacuated creative from the Congo. In 1998 due to the war. And so I ended up in Richmond with…Richmond Virginia with barely anything with me and that is literally how my life in the US started. 

And so I shared that with them and literally you know the story kind…at the end around Inman halls, right. And then the last day of the conference what Brad Inman intends to do, so he invites people in to share…This is off camera right. The cameras are down. The streaming are down. And so you ask people for a feedback. And so people are coming into the mic and basically saying “Hey maybe next year try to do this thing differently”. 

I went into the mic and I just said “Thank you” because it was my first Inman and I had such a great time meeting new people. Getting to know other people in the industry. And at the tie Morgan Brown who left Inman to go work for Facebook now was the CEO. Or the COO I guess. And he asked me if I could write about my experience for Inman. Right so like a post conference form the newbie side of the business so you know ”This is what this conference is about”. 

So I did. And I guess that piece of writing generates a buzz. And they ask me the following year to become ambassadors. So Inman New York was my first year being an ambassador there. And so that was 2016 in New York. And so the last day of the conference in New York I went on Facebook and I was trying to write this status update explaining to people how meaningful me being an ambassador was truly for me, because you know before I landed to Richmond I was you know…I landed in New York first. 

Had I missed my flight from New York to Richmond I would have been homeless in New York. You know so keep in mind I didn’t speak English. I didn’t know anybody in New York. And here I was at JFK trying to figure out “OK what does this sign mean, where do I need to go?” And if I didn’t it would have been an awkward story. 

So fast forward 2016. Here I am at one of the premiere conferences in our industry welcoming people, right, to the conference and helping them navigate the ins and outs of Inman. Which to me was mind-blowing. So I put that as a status update on Facebook. And of course Brad Inman himself got wind of that. And so he called and said “I feel like you have something to share. Lets talk about tis”. 

So I told him. Right I was like “This is my story, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”. He was like “That’s it. You’re presenting it in San Francisco”. I was like “Wait, what?” And so yeah I didn’t think anything of it. I was like yeah this is my story. I don’t know you know that’s really all I know. But keeping in mind that this is a real estate conference, right. How do you talk about being new in a country and new in the  industry in the real estate perspective? 

And so at the time I was working as the main lead-gen person for our company. And so, I kind of wove my story essentially into lead story. Right so if I was…If someone looked at me from strictly a numbers perspective I wouldn’t be a good lead. Right? I would have been calling from a number like an 800 number, not speaking English with  ways of you finding out who I was online. I didn’t exist at all. And so by virtue of that on paper I was like, I am just bad investment for someone. Like I am not worth somebody’s time and energy. 

But the difference that happened to me was that somebody actually looked at me and said “You know you are worth something, you know”. And that is literally what defined my career. You know, my boss at the time saw that I was willing…You know I was worth his timing, his investment, his resources. And so I wouldn’t be here speaking with you guys today if that wasn’t the case at all. And so anyway I had crafted that into my presentation the one that you saw at Inman. Not, you know, I didn’t even know this was happening. My wife and my boss and a couple of people from Inman, Brad himself, like concocted this plan to fly my family all the way from the Congo to come and see me present in San Francisco. So I am done presenting. I guess it went well. I didn’t freak out or anything. 

[Chris]: You were excellent.

[Billy]: Well thank you. And than he comes on stage and we was “Yeah Billy that was…” blah, blah, blah. And than he asks me “When was the last time you saw your family”. And I give him this look. “Why are you asking me this here like this makes no sense”. You know, so I answer because I was like “I have to answer”. 

And so you know give or take we haven’t been together all of us in a while for almost 18 years. And the moment I finish saying that he turns around and I see my parents and my wife an you know, my brothers were walking on stage. And I was like “This is ridiculous”. Like who thought about this. But it turns out everybody did like he was on it. My wife was in on it. I  didn’t know. You know my boss was in on it. I didn’t know. But he raised the funds and everything and I got to be reunited with my family. And so that was literally a defining moment I would say in my career and I dare say in  my life too. And so that…I…It has been…It has been almost 3 years since this happened. And it is still very much fresh, you know, [laughter] because…Yeah it is still very much fresh and I can’t forget about. It was an amazing gift from the community that you know, not even 2 years ago was completely foreign to me. And so…That is the story there.

[Chris]: That was awesome.

[Billy]: I forgot your question but I am…

[Chris]: That was the question. To talk about the whole story leading up to that because you know there is not many moments that we get to experience like that and just being brand new myself, the first year, to have witnessed that. I was hooked on the Inman community immediately. Just witnessing that and what they all did for you and just how your experience went. And than Christian and Nate their first year was the following, 2017. So that is where I met them. And I decided to do, you know, the whole conference there. So shortly after that took place you actually did some work for Inman, correct?

[Billy]: I did. So Let’s see…So that was 2017, right like Brad called me. I was on vacation and he was like “Look you know our events team you know could use some help from someone in your position. Right, you’re very familiar with our events and you are also kind of familiar with hat is going on in the industry and so you know we could use your help this way”. And so you know it was a great opportunity to learn something, like a new façade of our industry which was the events side. 

And so I left Redwood t go work from Inman on the events conference team. And so the conference, the 2018 Inman New York was essentially my you know, I have worked on that from the content perspective and this other things. Which I have a tremendous respect for people working in events especially those that [inaudible]. I didn’t know what it took to put on a show like Inman does and having had the chance to be on the other side of the curtain and see you know, the underbelly , I can tell you that the work these people do…There should be a Sainthood at the commission to that. [laughter]

And well you know and I mean this sincerely because you are dealing with you know, a lot of content, a lot of logistic. Right. Sometimes some of the speakers, God bless them, have egos so you have to you know, work through that. And than you know sometimes you…[laughter]. You know, and sometimes this is part of the gig right. And it’s events after events after events. There is no slowing down because the moment you’re down you finish with one, you are literally midway preparing for another. Right. 

And so you know that was it. But anyway so I worked on that event and than some personal things happened with my family. And so keeping [inaudible] they visited. We spend some time with them and than my parents you know, essentially went back to the Congo and then some things happened where my dad’s and my mom’s life were literally threatened. And so that January I had to…you know I parted ways with Inman. Because I felt like I couldn’t do…you know you can’t plan events left and right with that sort of situation looming in the background.

[Chris]: No, you can’t give it your focus.

[Billy]: Yeah. And so it worked out that I could come back to Redwood because they’re more local and I needed to be grounded at least for the time having to deal with my family and stuff. And so that’s pretty much still going on but not at the level that I was earlier this year. And so you know and I have to give the team at Inman some…like they have been more than gracious to me when I decided to, you know, to leave. 

And you know I…I wouldn’t say that if that wasn’t true but it is absolutely the truth. I you know there are certain things that they did for me, no one else would have done that as I was leaving the company. And so from that…aspect I am forever grateful. A- for the opportunity served there but B- for the support that I got. When I left the company. And I always say this. You can always tell a whole lot about people in A-in the way they welcome you, B- in the way they give you farewell. That is a whole lot…

You know if you can’t make you mind about a person like those 2 things right there will tell you instantly what you need to know about them. And you know I came to Inman with a great welcome. When I left they ushered me in the most…it was just unbelievable. The support and the continued support to this day that I keep getting form the team there is great.

[Chris]: They have got some good people working there. 

[Billy]: Yeah, yeah amazing people. You know and I mean this sincerely. And so I came back to Redwood. I handled recruiting and expansion in some of our key markets here locally in North Virginia. And than my transition to Leading RE started kind of funny. Back in…I want to say July.

[Chris]: OK. 

[Billy]: Early July. My friend Stephanie Hampton is the CEO of Luxury Portfolio which is the luxury version of, the luxury side of Leading RE. And she posted this position on Facebook. Don’t even read Facebook. [laughter]. “Hey we have a member that you know, that is leaving”. Well not a member, a member of the business solution team, which has been there 8 years. Great lady. 

She decided to take an opportunity at her home state, Texas. And so Stephanie was like “If you know anybody let me know”. So usually I look at those postings and I am like “Oh I can connect someone else to it”. And that was like one of the few times in my life where I clicked [laughter] and I read it and I was like “OK you know these people know exactly who I am and [inaudible].” And that’s how it started and here we are.

[Chris]: So what is…for our listeners explain your new role at Leading RE. And what you’re gonna be doing.

[Billy]: So I am part of the business solutions team and essentially leading RE is a…I guess a network of independent brokerages around the world. And around essentially US and non US based. And so as part of the business solutions team we’re basically consultants. So we schedule times with our members. Some of our members. We are all assigned certain members. We visit with them and advice them on certain things. Right. 

It could be a range of topics and solutions that as part of the leading RE network that the network provides for them. And so for some, you know, it’s a large organization and sometimes the largest you get you know you’re not really familiar with the offerings of the company. And so we are the team that basically stands I the gap and say “Hey if you need something here is a way we can help” You know you membership to Leading RE can help you. And that’s it. So…

[Christian]: That’s cool. If I could go back to something you said a little earlier. You were taking about how you can tell a lot about people about how they welcome you and how they bid you farewell. But I love your focus on that because I mean something that seems to…no matter what the situation is, always kind of mark, the way you interact with people is your authenticity and kindness. 

Now I was fortunate to get to know you a little bit better this last Inman in San Francisco where you put together, you kind of loosely put together a group of people online to do some volunteering at Glide the day before the conference. And that was really cool. That’s how I got to know Dan Smith a little better. And know you a little better and hear a little bit more about your story. 

What do you think…I mean what led you kind of to the place you are at now you know whether…I have a feeling whether you are in this industry or you are doing something else like you’re always kind of leading with like how people are treated. You know. Like you said about our story kind of like you know “Don’t look at it as a sales lead but as a human being and that kind of thing”.

[Billy]: Yeah that’s a great question. I think, I think its more because it is personal to me. Like you…than I wish I had a great insight from outside but like I can’t…you know, this is what happened to me. Right. Like I mentioned this earlier when I talked about loosely about my story. You know when I landed in Richmond Virginia with nothing other than a duffle bag, right? Some changes in my pocket. I dialed the full number of a family friend. So I had a business card much like his one here right. With 2 phone numbers on it. One was an office phone. One was a home phone number. I didn’t know which one was which. It was just 2 sets of numbers. 

So in my mind it was like “I will call one of them, whoever answers you know that’s what I care for”. And so I was in the airport with literally this in my pocket. Right. And I want to make sure this is…you understand this because this was my life line to my entire journey in the US. 2 phone numbers. And so I call and I just happen to call the office number. Right. Not even the home but the office number. 

And it was…and I remember it was late afternoon on a Friday. And someone answered that phone call and they had 2 choices right. They could either look at the number which was an 800 number and it could see that I didn’t speak English and decide to just say “You know this person really dialed the wrong number” and hung up on me. Right. That was it. This person would have done nothing wrong. To them like this is a business. You’re calling a business. You know sometimes you get a weird phone call. Phone calls that way.

[Christian]: Yeah.

[Billy]: And so I…you can’t blame this person for just acting normally right. Where the magic happened [laughter], right. This person instead of hanging up the phone, somehow got cued that I didn’t speak English but I spoke French and actually put me you know as I was still speaking kind of ran around the office and knew someone that spoke French in the office and put that person on the phone. Because I think their thought was “Well I may not be able to help this guy but maybe someone here can do that”. Right. And that person that he put on the phone just happened to be the family friend that I was tasked to connect with when I arrived to the US.

[Chris]: Wow. 

[Billy]: So I say this because you know look by all metrics right if you look at my case and you know, I mentioned this earlier. If you looked at my case as I was arriving…or as I landed in the US. You know, flip this into real estate we all know real estate. If someone were to call your business like your brokerage right now and spoke Ukrainian, right. Form a number outside of your you know whatever area, what is the likelihood from someone in your office to say “You know I think they’re speaking Ukrainian, let me go and…maybe this…I think you know maybe Steve over there speaks a little bit, maybe they can help this person”. 

That’s the picture right. And today it’s also very much you know 1998, was fast enough as a life. Today is even faster. Right. Like people don’t have time to sit down and listen. People don’t have time… You know it’s all very much like quick connect and hey you didn’t click on this 5 minutes ago. Like you’re gone. Right. 

And what’s the likelihood for someone to take the time to actually stop and listen and to figure out that I…this person might need help and go find help and put the right person to help them. Chances that it happens today? 0. Right. And it was even harder in 1998 to happen right because people were busy like whenever. But this person did that and so that is my approach. 

I wish I had a better approach to sales. I wish I was, you know, a crushing it whatever. But to me this is not…you know, I can’t dismiss what happened to me. It took someone’s investment, someone’s time, you know what felt like an eternity to me, but maybe it was 5 minutes to this person to literally just go and find the right connections, the right help for me. You know…

[Chris]: That’s awesome.

[Billy]: That’s the way to approach it. So…

[Christian]: I mean I love the way of that approach too. Call it sales or whatever I mean the goal is helping someone even if you’re not that person you find the person you connect them. I mean I love that. You know because for example we have people walk in the office, it’s never been “Hey I’ve got a million dollar house I want to sell. Can you sell for me”. It’s usually “Hey I am looking for a rental there”. I mean we don’t do that “But here’s the resources”. You know.

[Billy]: Yeah.

[Christian]: You know that kind of thing. There is no benefit to me. I could write them off but I want to help people whether or not you know it benefits me directly or monetarily. So I love your attitude towards it.

[Billy]: Well and I think this is essentially what needs to happen in the industry. As a whole. Right. Like we…I think…Look at the end of the day we all sell homes. Or we work in an industry where that is the primary way of living. And so some form of sale needs to happen for us to be compensated. Like regardless, I am still licensed as an agent so I won’t relinquish my license for anything else because I…it gives me an inside into what it takes you know and I have sold real estate before. And so…The challenge….the problem is that sometimes we focus too much on the sale than we focus on the people. Right. And so…

[Chris]: Amen.

[Billy]: You know like…

[Christian]: That’s a crucial experience.

[Billy]: You know and that is…

[Chris]: Yeah I mean that is the whole…I have been ranting about that for like a year. That that is it right there. People focus too much on the sale and not enough on the people. 

[Christian]: We have to figure…

[Billy]: Well it is what…you know. But how do you convince an entire industry that this is the way to go because everything you know…Awards are not given for focusing on people. Let’s just be honest about it. Like you don’t get recognized for focusing on people. You get recognized for your metrics, you get recognized for your sales and for your commissions. Right? Those are not people centric measures. [laughter] [Nathan]: We are in an industry that is…We are in an industry that is narcissistic. I mean it’s “Me me me me”. Right. I mean…

[Billy]: I mean it is but it’s beyond that right? Like you know we say…How many realtors do we know that would use this phrase to coin the services? “I care about people”, right. I love my community”. I mean I see that all the time. You can literally you can pull some marketing from agents in the area and than lead the stuff they’re saying [crosstalk]. Right like this is the standard norm. But like flip this around. If that is the case than why is that we solely focus on those metrics? They’re not…you know maybe it is time to have people…you know people centric measurements, you know.

[Christian]: Sure. Now we are encouraging to have classic sales stuff which focus on money not people. But I mean I think we have a lot to learn from kind of your approach and attitude towards this you know we can rant all day that is not gonna inspire and encourage people like you somehow do you know. I think we have a similar…all of us have a similar mind set that is just you know how this…is it inspiring and encouraging, is it you know motivating people to do something bigger and better. Or just come and sit around.

[Nathan]: Well we have mentioned it a couple of previous podcast you know Joe Rant has got a new book coming out. I don’t want to give it all way but what is centered around? It is centered around the client not you. The agent. It is about taking care of the client. Servicing the client. I will say and said it before. People say “Oh how did you become successful at real estate?” 

I will say this and I will give myself a pat on the back for saying it myself. It’s the industry I came from which was the hospitality industry. And you do see a lot of people that were in the hospitality industry that we well in real estate. Why? Hospitality is about taking care of people. It’s real easy. Well it’s easy but it’s the hardest thing to get done, right? So, it’s not about me as an individual. It’s just about taking care of the client. Right? But for some reason people really…they have a hard time wrapping their head around that. 

[Billy]: Well and I think it’s the way we have been conditioned. You know, look when is started in real estate it was about you know marketing my services, you know being able to…It as all about the sale. Right like that is the way I was trained. And the people…Like I didn’t want to be…I knew I was not gonna be that agent that’s gonna be like crushing it with the numbers. So…But somehow I had to find a way to really connect with you know the people I wanted to serve. Right.

And so I had to bring them into my world. It was like “Look you know my world is chaotic. It’s still very much on the construction but the truth and the matter is that people have invested their time in molding me to be the agent that I am today”. And because of that that is why I will never relent from servicing you. Because I know what it is like to come up and have absolutely no training, you know, and people literally looking at you in your situation and say “You know you are worth something to us.” And willing to invest in it. 

And so that’s…I felt that was my calling as someone in the industry. When I serviced agents, brokers or clients it was that your case was not too far gone from me. Right I will…I will go to the end of the earth to service you and to give you the very best I have to offer. And if it works out great but at the end of the day even if it didn’t work out I still wanted people to say “You know you gave it everything that you got or you were able to offer and we are really thankful for that. And because of that even though it didn’t work for us let me keep you…let me keep referring people to you because I know how far you will go to work for them”. That was the point right but that is not what is being you know thought as success right in the industry.

[Christian]: No it’s true. We define success as I think getting people  like you into a position of leadership is you know how is that gonna happen [crosstalk].

[Billy]: I will run for president [laughter].

[Nathan]: I agree. Yeah I go back to Dan Smith when we interviewed him and sked him what his biggest failure was and he says “Being a father”. Like at what cost are we doing this? And so again I think there is better ways to do things and so you know we were talking prior to the show about a transaction I am in and the agent at the other side of this has made it all about themselves. And I am sorry it’s not about you. I…but you know we can have good communication and stop making it about you and lets just move things along. 

I always like to ask a couple of random questions. And so one of my favorite ones lately, Billy, has been one of how has failure or some apparent failure you have had set you up for success later in life? Do you have one that sticks out in your mind?

[Billy]: Yes so when I was…let me put some background to it. So I grew up in the Congo where everything of value that you need to have you have to pay an exceedingly amount of money for it. Including education. So for ever since kindergarten I was always put in schools where I had to pay tuition. Or my parents had to pay tuition. And so it went all the way to basically high school. 

So I was in 10th grade and I was the kid in my family that paid attention to everything other than education. I liked to play. I liked to watch films. You know whatever but education eh, you know, not really my strong look. And I ended up completely failing my 10th grade year. And I am not talking about like failing in part. Like completely failing it. 

So keep in mind my dad, you know it is hard enough living in a third world country. Let alone pay tuition for you to go to school for a year, right. And so his entire money that he has invested in my education that year was completely wasted. Right. So that’s…this is the stage. So I came home with a report card that had “Fail” on it. And I had to retake the entire tenth grade, right. That was the one day when dad wasn’t yelling or visibly upset. He was utterly disappointed and the look of disappointment on his face was I guess more shocking than him being totally mad at me. 

And I…And I don’t…I never wanted to see that look again because it was just a sight to it that I was like, that is not what I need to see again. And it has been a driver for me. Because, you know, when someone is mad a you like they can get over it like quickly. I guess. But when someone is disappointed and it is like you literally failed them, right, it took another meaning that day and that’s when it sort of…it shook me out of my apathy and you know my…

So I came back the year after and I passed. And literally that was 1997 and I am like “Oh yeah yeah I am back into the good graces of my family and I am not failing them anymore”. And literally 1998 happened and I had to leave home. So when I thought my life was turning around for the better like there was an amazing switch that happened. 

And then I had to now restart everything. Not just school but everything from scratch you know and the look on my dad’s face kept hunting me. Because I was like…I don’t…even if I am just across an ocean I just felt like he was just right here if I did something that would disappoint…like I didn’t want him to…The thought of him being disappointed again like was hunting me. In a good way. And so that was it. I failed completely in school in 10th grade and that changed my life.

[Nathan]: That’s…that’s probably you know I said an apparent thing. And you know I was joking with someone earlier, we have first world problems. Folks Billy said third world problems. So a lot bigger than you. You tell that story about…you tell that story about disappointing your dad now. I will jump on one thing real quick and that’s Chris is working on something with my father down south and I…

You know one of the biggest things that has resonated with me for a long time an really haven’t been thinking about it before now but really Chris he called me after visiting with my dad and looking at this property and Chris said “Our father is really proud of you”. And so I understand the disappointment side because, Lord have I done some crazy [censored] in my day that I have just disappointed my parents, right. [laughter]. I was a wild one. And luckily somewhere along the way I have turned my life around but I know it resonates with me what you said about disappointing your father and to have somebody down the road…You now unknowingly when Chris he told me that, I hung the phone and probably cried for about 5 minutes. 

[Billy]: Huge.

[Nathan]: That for a lot of us, that approval from your parents is gigantic. So I am gonna stop there because I will do what I did the last time. But that is…That is powerful and awesome. Thank you for sharing. 

[Chris]: Yeah thank you for sharing that Bill. So I have got one question left for you and that is for our audience. So for somebody who is getting started in real estate…

[Billy]: Yeah.

[Chris]: Maybe they’re brand new to the industry, maybe they’re brand new to the country. What…what would be a piece of advice that you would give them for their future career?

[Billy]: So I would say more than ever right now, you need to own your story. Right, like your brand, you now…When I started in the industry which was 2013, December 2013. They did you know…there wasn’t any radical changes that we’re experiencing now. Right. You know, you have just mergers and acquisitions. You have, you know, companies coming into the market place like discount…discount brokerages, all these things you know happening and so there is millions of realtors in the country. 

You need to start thinking about what will make someone call you. Right. And it’s no longer about saying that you know “Hey look I have the best tools, I have the best CRM”. It’s not even about the brokerage you’re with. It’s literally about your story. Right. What will make me call you for help for assistance? 

And you start thinking along those terms, it changes the way you service. Right. Because it causes you to be honest about what you say. Right. Like if your story is about giving back and you’re not doing it. There is a disconnect. People will know and that is not gonna be well. And so that’s…that is the…that is my advice for people. Like you’re getting into the industry there is tremendous opportunities in real estate for personal reasons and for financial reasons. Whatever. The business is great. There is tremendous upside opportunities. 

Think about your brand as your story and how you’re gonna carry it across every single medium you’re using it whatever it is, the way you service, or it’s the call. Your website, the very CRM you use is an extension of the service that you want to give people. If one of those things is not in sync with what your brand promises utterly, you have a problem. 

So start up right, own your brand, own your story and wherever you go from here it’s just gonna be great. So…

[Christian]: Love it.

[Chris]: That’s fantastic. That is great. Billy thank you so much for joining us on re:Think Real Estate. For anybody who wants to get in touch with you to ask any questions, either about your story or Leading RE how can they…how can they get in touch with you?

[Billy]: A couple of ways. So you can find me on Facebook. It’s just Billy Ekofo. Twitter the same @BillyEkofo. Instagram the same @BilliEkofo. And, yeah get in touch with me. I try to reply quickly [laughter]. But I am on social. Let’s connect. And if you ever are in any of the industry events where I happen to be please feel free to you know get in touch and let’s sit down, share a coffee and talk. So…

[Chris]: Wow what a powerful episode. Everybody thank you for tuning in. This has been re:Think Real Estate with our guest Billy Ekofo. We will catch you next Monday. Thanks for tuning in.

[Nathan]: Cheers.

[Christian]: Cheers.


[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.