RTRE 39 – Sean Carpenter

Today we’re joined by Sean Carpenter. Sean is an Inman Ambassador, national speaker, and a real estate educator. Tune in to hear about how Sean’s working to make an impact with a collaborative environment among real estate agents. Sean also shares some great advice on how to build a career as a new agent and enjoy what you do.  Learn more about Sean at www.carpscorner.net.

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Nathan White



Chris Lazarus



Christian Harris

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Rethink Real Estate Podcast Transcription

Audio length 41:38

RTRE 39 – Sean Carpenter

[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] [Nathan]: Hey everyone welcome back to re:Think Real Estate. We talk all things real estate. I am Nathan White and we are here with Christian Harris and Sean Carpenter and today we’re gonna have us a great conversation with Sean. Chris Lazarus is unavailable to join us today so you will have to deal with the 2 of us talking with Sean. So we’re kind of gonna jump right into things. 

Before we jump right into things I will go ahead and just answer the question that I know Chris would ask if he was here which is how is it coming along with my CRM. Well I will tell you that it is still an epic failure. I honestly to be vulnerable and fair with the audience is…I have struggled immensely with it to the point that I couldn’t figure it out, found out that I have some ADHD. The people that know me well are not surprised by that so I am learning how to manage that. 

I probably will never be good at sitting in front of a computer and doing that. And I will probably never be good at hiring somebody to do it. Because I am such a control freak with OCD. So, I am gonna work through it. I am gonna do it because I want to have the ability to do it. I am sure Sean will talk about it. He made some Facebook comments the other day about my lack of my CRM or my work on it. So that’s good. 

Sean welcome to the show. We’re glad to have you on it. For those that don’t know Sean let you tell…we will let him tell a little bit of the story but he is a speaker. He is an Inman ambassador at the Inman connect. He is a local agent here in Columbus Ohio. He is looked up to I think from a lot of us that are new in the industry here locally. And that they’re even old. Sean has been very successful. Speaks on the speaking circuit. Has a great reputation here in town and I think he has a lot that he can offer that unfortunately we’ll never gonna have enough time here today on this episode to cover all. But hopefully we get some great takeaways. So welcome on Sean. And thanks for joining us today.

[Sean]:  Thanks guys I am happy to be here. I think what I am supposed to say is long time listener first time guest [laughter].

[Christian]:  First time, first person to say that but we appreciate it.

[Sean]:  No problem. I am a podcastoholic so you guys are one of the ones that I listen to the day they drop. So happy to be here. What do you guys want to know? What can I tell you about myself?

[Nathan]:  Well you have been in this game for 20 years I guess give us a little bit of your background. You know, I know you did a couple of things before real estate. Maybe how they led to success in real estate or just how you found real estate.

[Sean]:  Sure. So I was born in Billings Montana. A lot of people don’t know that about me. I was born in Billings Montana. My dad got a job at Cornell. And my dad was a professor of landscape architecture so we moved to Ithaca New York and we landed in Columbus Ohio when my dad started teaching at Ohio State. 

I grew up and I am a golfer. Big golf fan. Went to the same high school in town here. Nathan you know it it’s Jack Nicholas. So pretty big golf program. So I have been in golf like a caddy. So when it came down to pick a country I wanted some place in the south. I wanted a place like Ohio state. But I wanted it to be some place warm. And so I fell in love with the University Florida. 

Went down to Florida and after college I became a golf pro. I worked in the golf business for 3 years at a big resort course in Brookfield Florida. And then I moved to a private club in Cleveland Ohio. And I moved back to Columbus where I am from and where my wife is from and I became a beer salesman. Worked for the Miller and Course [phonetics] distributor in town and called on all parts of the city but ended up in the Ohio state campus as my territory. 

And so Nathan you know from being here in town if you want to sell beer pick a spot where there are 55.000 students in 1 neighborhood. That’s a pretty good location. But I was really more of an order taker. I wasn’t really a salesman. I was really just filling orders at the bars and restaurants. But I did have a great time with my customers and clients and so I thought to myself “What would be a job that would allow me to drink beer and play golf?”. 

So I got into real estate. And in 1998 I sold actively for 4 and a half years and I had a chance to become a branch manager. Gave up my sales because we just had our first child and so to have a pay check and to have benefits was a neat opportunity. I gave up selling but I still got to sell every day. If you think about it guys I got to sell the business, I got to sell the industry. I got to sell our company. I got to sell my office. I got to sell the techniques and ideas I was sharing with my agents. 

And in those 2 years I managed I realized I loved coaching and training but I hated the managing part and so our company, caller banker Kate Thomson named me the director of training in both Columbus and Cincinnati. I did that for 13 years. And then in August of 2016 I decided to jump back into sales. That little girl that I got out of sales for, to go into management, was heading off to college in the next year and so I decided it was time to jump back into the selling and taking my speaking a little more in the national level. That brings us up to where we are today.

[Nathan]:  And you…last year I mean how many speaking engagements did you have? 

[Sean]:  I think I was at 51 last years and I just hit my 53rd this year. So…and that’s from Napa to Nashville, from Myrtle beach to upstate Minnesota and all the points in between so…I will do about 56 or 57 speaking opportunities this year and about 12 real estate sides in between those speaking gigs. 

[Nathan]:  That is busy.

[Sean]:  Yeah and you know I think…people say why do I still sell. I think it gives me credibility when I am standing up in front of real estate audiences that I am actively engaged in the businesses. You know I am seating in the kitchen tables with buyers and sellers and showing houses and working in the MLS and you know battling demons that we talk about. I am not just someone who has sold and is now telling people what to do. I am actually experiencing it at the same time. 

So I think there is a little bit of credibility and a little bit of transparency in what I do and not a lot of really good educators and speakers and things that like that don’t actively sell. But I just feel that maybe it’s a little unique thing that I bring to the table that in between transactions I am out speaking and in between speaking I am working on real life patients so to speak.

[Christian]:  That’s pretty interesting. How…I mean how do you kind of balance your time there? Sounds like a big thrust of it is in the speaking. Did you enjoy coaching or mostly like speaking in front of audiences? Type of stuff?

[Sean]:  Mostly speaking in front of audiences Chris…Christian. I…you know whether it is at a state convention or a company event, maybe a kickoff event or some sort of seminar or things like that. But I , you know, when it comes to balancing I am really passionate about sharing ideas. I was always that agents when I was a newer agent that loved to share things that worked. If something worked, a dialogue, a script, a technique, a tour I would come running back into the office and I wanted to tell everybody about it. 

You know I just…I still laugh because there are some older agents in our office that would pull me aside and they would say “Why are you sharing all your stuff that is working with these people? They’re your competitors”. And I look at them and I say “They’re not my competitors, they’re my team mates. Why would I be afraid of sharing a technique or dialogue because even if they used it they’re not gonna do it the way I do it”. 

They’re not you know…We could all learn something on this show, it doesn’t mean Nathan is gonna take my idea and use it against me. Because there is plenty of business here in town. I just love to share and speaking allows me to do that you know as a trainer for our company, you know, to impact the brand new agents when they came for business and try to teach them you know the ways to grow their business. Which as you guys there is many ways to grow your business. There is no one way to do it. 

But I love when I see agents that have been to my classes and they say “Hey Sean guess what I got my first listing”. Or “I just closed my you know my x number deal”. In a few weeks here in town in Columbus we’ll have our Columbus realtors presidents ball where the members will get their million dollar club and their 5 million dollar club and their 10 million dollar club and it’s always a treat to me for that event when I look through the program and I you know can look through all the people who have had a chance to impact at some point in their career and see them walk across that stage. It’s a pretty neat feeling.

[Christian]:  That’s awesome. What…Sorry Nathan I was just gonna say, what…Back in your early days you kind of had that clash of cultures if you will, the old school where we were all competitor and kind of…I call it toxic sales cultures versus the…well it seems to be a little more popular now in indie brokerages where it’s kind of collaborative. We’re team mates we’re you know the whole is greater than the parts that make it up. That kind of thing. What did you do to kind of combat that when you came across it as someone who likes to share ideas and work with others?

[Sean]:  You know I think we…the clash was there and I think there was the group of the new incoming agents that sort of just built that collaborative environment. And guess what happened to the people that were you know kind of that prison mentality of guarding their food and fighting against the inmates. They stopped coming at the office. They stopped being around. They stopped having that much success. 

And so I think the culture created its own culture so to speak. It just…you know and the people wanted to be around and the people wanted to share and you know I miss the days of going in the office and hearing 6 conversations across the cubicle walls and learning the dialogues and learning the scripts and learning the come back and the objection handling techniques and then going to lunch or going to cocktails with your co-workers. Even from other offices and other companies. 

We all kind of fight the battles together. Just a different day a different story right. And so we can all learn. When I was in the golf business I didn’t look at the golf pros at the other clubs as my competitors. Right. You know it’s funny that in our business we feel like we’re competing against them. Whereas I don’t necessarily think we are. It’s kind of cool we have these national events Christian, you know, like Inman Connect and you see Marcy from Realtor.com talking to Brad from Zillow. You know it’s just you know they’re all working together to try and serve the customer base and at the end deliver a system, a service and experience to the end user, that’s the buyer and seller, to make it a memorable experience.

[Christian]:  Sure. Now speaking of conferences and Inman stuff how did you get involved in Inman? I mean I kind of heard your name for a couple of years and then you know Bill Reaser [phonetics] introduced me to you last year. I…at my second Inman in San Francisco. We had lunch and said it was great. But I mean you have been involved for a while. And an ambassador for real estate a couple? Correct?

[Sean]: Yeah I am actually I think the longest serving male ambassador. I was in the very first ambassador class you know back when Chris Smith and Katie Lance were kind of running the Inman Connect. You know they were…I think…I can’t figure what their term was but they were kind of the…you know ambassadors for Inman. They had this idea through Brad and the leadership team that you know maybe instead of us talking at our event what if we got other people to talk at our event. 

And so Debra Traipen [phonetics] who I am not sure if she has been on this show or not but you guys probably know Debra. She reached out to Katie. Katie…Katie and I have known each other through some event we have done with our local Ohio company. And so Katie and Chris reached out to me. As well as about I think at the time we had 12 people. They were ambassadors and it was people mostly in real estate but I think there was a tidal person and maybe someone from the landing side and they said you know what if we brought a group of people together that are very socially engaging. They have a following on social. They like to share on social and what if we invited them to come and sort of tweet and Facebook and Instagram blog and video about what they are seeing at Inman. And they share what is happening at Inman connect with their followers around the globe. 

And so in a sense it wasn’t Inman telling the story. It was Inman ambassadors telling the stories of what they were seeing. And so I have been doing that now. I think New York city in 2019 will be my…I want to say my 13th time as an ambassador. And so our job is to really go there and share everything from the content that we’re seeing in the sessions to the conversations in the hallways. To introducing people you know across, you know, networks. And take that before, during and after the event. 

Obviously before the event we help doing a lot of promotion and encouraging people to attend. During the event we do a lot of networking and socializing and social networking and after the event a lot of follow up and keeping those relationships like you guys like the 3 of you guys on the show have built into something well beyond. And that’s you know when people ask me what I get most out of Connect it’s not the speakers, it’s not the seminars. It’s the relationships. 

[Christian]:  Yeah for sure.

[Sean]:  That I have had over those years that are now not just great business partners of mine but close friends of mine.

[Christian]:  Yeah I mean in my experience it seems like the ambassador program is very effective. I mean that’s my first Inman was San Francisco 2017 and a couple of the first people I met were ambassadors. And they were “Oh you should meet this person and that person” and like I could see how easy it would be to get lost in a conference of 5000 people but I am also you know like just throwing out there and going out and issuing myself with people you know.

[Sean]:  Yeah.

[Christian]:  You know last time I met a couple of people that “I haven’t met anyone” and I am like…you gotta out yourself out there I mean there is only so many ambassadors you can’t connect everyone but you know.

[Sean]:  Yeah you know different ambassadors have different roles because of their passions. You know I like to do a lot of the social sharing and the personal face to face networking. Joe Scott [phonetics] and Jessie Writeman [phonetics] they love to meet the vendors and try and share their stories and help them out. You know they’re dropping some…some investment and some time to be there in the trade show floor and they do a good job at that. 

A lot of people do some live blogging and some videos behind the scenes. So I think each of us has their own passions and that’s probably how the Inman team picks the different ambassadors. It’s who is gonna be, you know, good in the front end, who’s gonna be good at the event, who’s gonna be at the back end and maybe behind the scenes.

[Christian]:  Sure. Now another thing I have noticed is that you’re very prolific at the socials. Now you’re…you’re not a millennial. How did this come to be? You don’t really fit the profile of someone who would you know engage, encourage, post contents like staff there.

[Nathan]:  A guy in Seattle just profiled somebody. I can’t believe it. 

[Christian]:  I profile all the time. All the time. 

[Sean]:  So let’s go back to when I was an agent Christian. My philosophy that I share with my audience is…and anyone who follows me on my blog knows that I think real estate is about 3 things. Building relationships, solving problems and having fun. It’s kind of my tagline, it’s my philosophy. Building relationships, solving problems and having fun. In a personal one on one local sense. It makes sense we do as real estate agents. 

We try and built relationships with people and we try and help solve their problems and if we can have fun doing it than that’s a service and an experience that ideally would be worth repeating. And if worth repeating it is worth referring. So that’s why I think it works from a real estate standpoint. Social networking, social media, gives me a chance to do that on a global level. Every day when I wake up whether it is on Facebook, Instagram or Tweeter I can built relationships with people. I can deepen relationships with people that I have known for years. I can help them solve their problems and I can certainly have fun doing it so it just…it allows me to extend my philosophy so to speak on a daily basis. 

And so social to me is a great mechanism through my phone or through my desktop to be able to talk to people in Seattle Washington or Atlanta Georgia or you know Columbus Ohio or Athens Georgia or whatever it might be. To just engage with people. And really guys if you think about what we’re trying to do in this real estate industry for a long term success, is to earn top of mind awareness. Is to be the name someone thinks about when they think about real estate or know someone who does. 

And if we can earn that spot where it is through being in front of them their face on a yard sign or a church bulletin or a park bench or a video screen on their phones or TVs or tablets than I have a better chance of being top of mind awareness and that’s how in the long run we’re gonna win this game.

[Christian]:  Sure. Now I can…when you’re speaking of engaging you know getting the message out there and collaborating all that kind of stuff you know you’ve got everything from your blog to, you know, more modern phenomenon like a podcast. Now how did you get involved with all that? Like I was on Bill Reasers [phonetics] podcast and he mentioned kind of the podcast you guys have kind of real estate and sports that you guys co-host. How did you guys start that?

[Sean]:  Well so I love the podcast genre. It’s you know when I would run…I don’t run as much as Nathan does anymore but I just like to…Podcast allows me to feed my brain. I used to have series on the radio when I would drive back and forth from Columbus to Cincinnati you know about the 110 minute, 120 minute drive. You know that’s 2 or 3 hours a day I was in a car. I used to listen to radio and then I started feeding podcast into my brain and I have been…I dropped series and I now just consume podcast when I am out there. 

So Bill Reaster [phonetics] started a great podcast when we had The Real Estate Sessions. I think I was guest number 4 and you know obviously the majority of those people on that podcast are people that I have known though the networks and though the Inman connects. And I used to seriously religiously listen to Bill’s episodes the second they would drop. On overcast. And I would Tweet out afterwards you know “Great job. Listen to this guest”. And I would always try to give him some kudos and support him along the way. And make sure he knew he was doing a great job. 

And I said “You know you should do a sports podcast”. And he and I both are big sports fan and he said “Well I will if you will”. And so later that afternoon I came up with the name the STARE down. And it stands for sports talk in real estate. And so we’ve done over 130 episodes now. Where we get on Zoom every Sunday night, sometimes Monday nights and we just record a conversation among friends. Having a couple of beers. Multi…you know a thousand miles away and we talk about sports and just recap the week that was and the week that is coming and the very end we tie a little bit of what we’re doing in the real estate industry. 

We don’t do it for money, we don’t do it for fame, we just do it because we figure “Hey let’s record it, drop it online and maybe there is some listeners out there that want to listen along to us. Either relieve the games that we talked about from the week before or listen to our predictions for the week coming”. It’s just been a fun thing and obviously you guys are doing a great job. There’s only a finite number of real estate specific podcast that are more engaging like this. They’re not specifically like a deeper pockets or something like that that specifically focus on investment or commercial or whatever it might be. 

[Christian]:  Sure. What are your top 3 favorite podcasts? The ones you never miss?

[Sean]:  The ones I never miss. Nice guys on business with Doug Stickland [phonetics] and Strickland Monor [phonetics] is probably one. Seth Gotons [phonetics] Kimbo is one that I will say I probably never miss. I do listen to Bill Seamons [phonetics] podcast from a sports standpoint. But I don’t…there are some episodes…You know he puts out 4 or 5 episodes a week that I just can’t listen to.

[Christian]:  Sure.

[Sean]:  Don Miller’s building a story brand. Great one. He’s out in Nashville kind of flavor de jour talking about stories. Right now. And then onto leadership with Ken Coleman [phonetics]. That is one of the Dave Ramsey [phonetics] networks there.

[Christian]:  OK.

[Sean]:  That is a fun one I listen to all the time.

[Christian]:  OK. I obviously have to check those out. Seth Goman’s [phonetics] is the only one I am familiar with so I got some…

[Sean]: You know I wrote a blog…Christian I wrote a blog post on my curb’s corner. Go to curbscorner.net and just in the search box type in podcast. I just have a list of my kind of…for the 3rd year I kind of ranked “Here’s my 23 podcasts that I am listening to and here is why”. So I give kind of a paragraph for each one.

[Nathan]:  Didn’t you just have that out again recently? I thought you had it on Facebook or something. 

[Sean]:  Yeah I shared it with somebody. There was a thread and someone said “Sean Carpenter has a good list and so if you check that out you can link back to the other podcast form a few years back”. 

[Christian]:  I will have to do that.

[Nathan]:  I am not the podcast nut even though I co-host one. I try to listen but I do like to read a lot. One of my most recent favorites was Tim Farris’s book. Where he asks a lot of very successful people in the world the same exact questions. And it was interesting to see all the different responses and what I have been doing with guests is asking them some of these questions. Some might be tweaked there. And seeing what the responses are. Just because it is interesting what somebody will say versus what you will say. 

So either way I am gonna jump kind of into it. First question. What advice would you give a smart driven college student about to enter the real estate world?

[Sean]:  The first thing I would say is patience. It is something I think everybody wants to be successful tomorrow but this is a…if you are getting into real estate or you’re gonna become a farmer. Lets just say we both made a decision. Nathan you are gonna become a farmer and I am gonna get into real estate. We both have to get the same thing tomorrow. We have to get up early in the morning and work the field. We have to plow the land. We have to get rid of the big rocks. We have to…and now we have to put seeds in the ground and that is the relationships on my side and it’s actually seeds on your side. And then we still don’t have a crop to harvest do we. We have now work those seeds. We have to water them, we have to fertilize them and we have to wait. And so patience is one of the biggest things. 

The other thing is…is looking at the relationships you have. Right and I….if I can go off on a little tanging here the 4 levels of a successful real estate business I think too many people look at their database as their business. And that’s just level one. Level 1 your database anyone you have contact information for. So it starts at that level. That’s the macro level your database. Anyone you have contact information for. 

So as a new agent I would say get all those people that you have contact information for. Than level 2 is your sphere of influence. And that’s very simply defined as I know them and they know me. Now everyone in my sphere of influence is part of my database. Bur not everyone on my database is part of my sphere of influence. Because my database is just anyone I have contact information for. So Christian it might be all of the members of your church if you’re a roaster or many your home owners’ association or all the kids that play in your son’s baseball team or in your league. 

But if you are at the grocery store tonight picking up milk and someone from your church is in front of you but you never met them and someone from your neighborhood is you know too good behind you but you never met them well they are just total strangers to you. So your sphere of influence is next level. 

The next level down is your clients. Right, people who have done business with you in the past. Now for new agents you wouldn’t have that level but you know those people are part of your sphere of influence because you know them and they know you. And the next level down the most important level Nathan is what’s called your bulls eye and those are the people that want your success almost as much as you want yourself. 

And I don’t really care what the number is in the database and I don’t what the number is in your sphere of influence. Your bull’s eye should be 20 people. 20 people that are your biggest cheerleaders, your biggest fans so to speak. Your…your people that listen to like what they want your success almost as much as you want it yourself. And the reason I pick 20 is because when you think of a calendar…You think of a calendar and you cut off Saturdays and Sundays and how many business days are there a month? About 20. 

[Nathan]:  Right.

[Sean]:  And so if I assign each person to one day Christian is day 1 and Chris is day 2 and Nathan is day 3 and Kendall is day 4 it means that on the day that Christian’s name is on my roaster I make sure that I reach out and talk to him. Then it’s gonna be about real estate. Look maybe Christian is my best man at my wedding. Maybe Nate is my next door neighbor. Maybe Kendall is my best friend from high school. 

And so I am used to talking to those people anyway but I am just making sure that every 20 days I am trying to make sure that Christian Harris thinks of Sean Carpenter when he thinks of real estate. So that’s what I would say figure out those 4 levels and then every day you start at the center. You start at the bull’s eye. And then you work your way out. If you think of a target guys picture a target up on the wall. Most people gain the business they say “If I just make a bigger target I can have more success”. So they try to get as many strangers in this target as possible. And where do you get the most points if you’re throwing darts? In the center. 

[Nathan]:  In the bull’s eye.

[Sean]:  And so you start in the bull’s eye every day and if you are so busy today you can only make it out so deep in the bull’s eye. But you hit the best people. Right?  

[Nathan]:  Right.

[Sean]:  And then your time, effort, money on your best people in the middle. And save your time, effort, money on the strangers. So instead of going out the edges of your target and pushing people into the Sean Carpenter real estate experience you’re so good with the people in the middle, they tell other people. And they tell other people and you’re pulling people in to that experience.

[Christian]:  Did you come with that analogy yourself?

[Sean]:  I did.

[Christian]:  That is genius. That is a great illustration.

[Sean]:  I did.

[Nathan]:  I like that. It reminds me a little bit you know back when I was in the service industry there was a book that I read it was called Raving Fans. And it…somewhere to that…[crosstalk]. You know that’s your when so awesome. 

[Sean]:  Yeah you know Nate think about Raving Fans. Think about this. I call it the ripple effect, right? The ripple effect basically says “If I know 100 people and they know 100 people I am only 1 contact away from 10.000 people. And if they know 100 people behind them now I am 2 contacts deep from 100.000 people.”

[Nathan]:  Right. 

[Sean]:  But here is my question that I ask audiences all the time and I usually try and find an agent that is new in the business to ask this question to. It…would you rather know a lot about 5 people or nothing about 500?

[Nathan]:  A lot about 5 any day.

[Sean]:  And usually…and usually the person hesitates because they’re thinking “Well I shouldn’t say 500 because 500 means more chances for me to list and buy.” But if I know a lot about 5 and can built a deep relationship with those 5, the hundred people in line behind them everyone knows that person and the front line is gonna turn and say “Everyone behind me look up here for a second. If you need real estate help out there come in the front line because my friend Nathan will take really good care of you”. 

See and now who are the 100 people trusting? The person they are already in line behind, the person who’s tribe they’re already in or some stranger who is gonna come back and try and meet them and put a business card in their face and say “Hey when you need real estate help use me”. 

[Nathan]:  Right. 

[Christian]:  It’s good.

[Nathan]:  Yeah it’s really good. Next one. If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?

[Sean]:  Build relationships, solve problems, have fun. 

[Nathan]:  There you go folks.

[Sean]:  Yeah.

[Nathan]:  Build relationships, solve problems, have fun.

[Sean]:  Either that or Tom Petty [phonetics] lyric. [laughter]. Buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come because I don’t stay long.

[Nathan]:  So next one. How has a failure or an apparent failure set you up later for success?

[Sean]:  A failure or an apparent failure. You know probably for that I am gonna go back to my golf days. You know when you get into the PGA of America you know it’s a big commitment. I think in real estate could take a lot from the process of getting your PGA membership and learn from it. To become a member of the PGA tour you obviously have to have some business savvy. But you also have to have a game, the golf game to be good enough to qualify your you know the transparency and the credibility. 

And that is called the players ability test. The PAT you know short for…short. And the assistant…you know the guys that want to be the assistant pros you know out in the world, the guys that work out the cart barons and they pick the driving wages, the clubs of America have to sign up for the PAT and it’s 36 holes in one day and there is a number you have to shoot. Usually it’s about +4 or +5 for the 2 rounds. So there is a part 72 course. 

You know the…cut might be 150. So basically you have to shoot 6 over par for the whole day. And I failed at it 3 times. One time I played miserable and missed it about like 20 strokes. Wasn’t ready you know. And the next time I missed it I think by 3 and the next time I missed it by 1. And I remember you know you come down at that last hole and you know the numbers before the day starts. It’s not like you’re playing against the field. You’re playing against the number. 

And I remember I was shaken so hard on that last T. I think I hit the ball you know 75 yards off course and failed. And you know it was one of those nights where you said “Am I gonna do this or am I not?” And I signed up for the next one and I remember I birdied the 35th hole the 17th hole the second round and gave myself a pretty nice cushion there on the last hole that I was gonna make it unless I completely I messed it up and I hit my approach shot about a foot form the hole and tapping for birdie on that hole too and made it by I think 3 strokes. 

And so just that ability to overcome you know set course you’re booked to deep. Sometimes you don’t know how close you are to getting out of the deep if you don’t clutch on it. You know Nathan with your running I mean you have probably seen it a lot with people. You know they give up and they say “I can’t make it any harder”. 

[Nathan]:  I have seen it with myself yeah absolutely. So it reminds me of you know I was telling Christiane earlier. When I saw you at the sales awards when I get my first one. What was it you said to me? You said “ Well you’re good enough or you’re smart enough to do this and dump enough to stay in it”. 

[Sean]:  Yeah. Josh Koss [phonetics] who is a Remax agent here in town you know he…the day I got my million dollar club award he got his 25. And we had just co-opted on a deal and I sent him a nice handwritten note that said “Congratulations on making the 25. You’re kind of one of my idols and I love working with you”. And he sent me a note back saying “It was very nice of you to say that but you’re the one that should be getting recognition because the 1-million-dollar club proves that you can do it. The 25 million dollar club just proves that you’re dumb enough to stay in it [laughter]”.

[Nathan]:  I…I unfortunately this year was late on applying for that. I would not be getting my…if I was a 10 million or whatever. But oh well I know it’s there so next year I have to come back around. Last question on that. And I like this question as of late because again it relates to the CRM difficulties I have. But when you’re feeling overwhelmed or a little unfocused, what do you do to get that back?

[Sean]:  When I am feeling overwhelmed or unfocused. You know I…when I jumped back into the real estate business Nathan, and I was telling you guys offline a little bit, I made the decision to go back into sales. And I knew that I had to start doing the things I was teaching agents for 13 years to do. Right I had to build the relationships and solve problems and have fun every day. I know how hard this business is. It doesn’t just…deals just don’t drop out of a tree and your managers don’t have a shoe box under her desk with leads for each day. 

And so I built what is called the 4H club. And it’s not the…the…working with cattle like someone would know the 4H club. But everyday guys when I wake up and if I drop my son to school I drop him in school but then I get in the office and I am usually the first one there every day. And I did the 4H club and what that means is I get in the office and the first thing I do is I do 5 handwritten notes. That’s the first H. Handwritten notes. I write 5 handwritten notes a day. The next H is I run the hot sheet on the MLS. I jump onto my MLS and I run the hot sheet for the city I live in. And I see what listings have hit the market and what price changes and I think to myself “Do I know anyone that lives around that has a house?”. And if I do I text them or I email them or I call them or I somehow just let them know about the new listing down the street or the price change or the email and the contract. So that’s the second H. The third H is I do my happy birthdays. I jump over to Facebook and I see which of my friends have birthdays that day and I scroll through the list and I…You know it’s funny Christian on most people’s birthdays what do you think most people do on their friend’s birthdays?

[Christian]:  Nowadays you know I have Facebook to tell me to tell them happy birthday on Facebook but…

[Sean]:  Yeah actually what most friends on Facebook do is they do nothing. 

[Nathan]:  Yeah.

[Sean]:  Because if you have 2000 friends I bet on your birthday you get about 200, 300 birthday wishes. So first of all understand that most people do nothing. So if you do nothing else write Happy Birthday on their wall. But I try a little bit more than that. Because by the middle of your day of your birthday you’re scrolling through your phone and you’re like “Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday”. They’re all the same. 

So I write a little bit more so somebody stops and says “Oh what did Sean Carpenter write. Oh he wrote a little bit more”. And for my really close friends I send them a video text message. A little video message wishing them happy birthday. That’s my 3rd H. And I do what is called High 5s. I am already on Facebook. So I do 5 likes on Facebook. I do 5 comments on Facebook. I jump over to Instagram. I try and like 5 pictures quickly. I go onto Tweeter and I try and comment or retweet on 5 things and then I try and send 5 random text random text messages. So 25 touches is my high 5s. 

And then when I have done my 4H clubs for the day Nathan I than go to Starbucks and get my morning coffee. So that’s my reward tied in. So when I am out of focus I just try and go back to the 4Hs. I think by that if I…before my morning coffee I have done 5 handwritten notes, let’s say there is 3 people on the hot sheet that I talk to today. Let’s say I have 12 birthdays and 25 touches that’s 40 touches before 9:30 in the morning. And only 3 of them were real estate related.

[Nathan]:  Yep. And that’s more than most agents would do in an entire week. 

[Sean]:  Yeah sometimes a month.

[Nathan]:  Yeah. I mean it’s sad but it’s true I mean…

[Sean]:  And I am not saying you know so my 25 touches, my high…my 4H club Nathan sounds hard to some people. You know what sounds hard to me? Running 10 miles in the morning. 

[Nathan]:  Right.

[Sean]:  But you find a way to do that. So it’s just about priorities. Just about focus. It’s about commitment. And so and I know that each day I do that I am putting seeds in the ground. 

[Nathan]:  Well and to your point it is…it is commitment. You know we talk about it a lot on the podcast. You know people that are…you know I have gotten random calls. “How did you end up successful in doing what you do?” You know I didn’t just fall into a pool of leads. You know Christian didn’t fall into a pool of leads. We had to work hard. We had to build our sphere of influence. Our database.

[Sean]:  Running top of mind awareness. Right?

[Nathan]:  Yeah we had to build our knowledge. You know. You know you have to put the work into it. I think you know the HDTV and that kind of ruined it for a lot of people and they think “Oh I can just go and be a real estate agent”. It’s like no this is work but can it be fun? Oh absolutely. Can it be rewarding? Yes. Can you meet awesome people and do fun thing? Yeah we have done all 3 of us have done those. This podcast exists because I got to go on a fun trip, meet fun people and do fun things right? And I got to go on that trip because of what I do. So it can be great but you gotta commit to it.

[Sean]:  Yeah there is 2 words that I would like to share with my audience these days that I just want them to focus on. And you can make it into 1 word and hashtag it if you want. But it’s ‘on purpose’. I want people to be successful on purpose. Not by accident right? I mean when you try…when you commit to run a marathon or a half marathon or a 5K or gosh the…the iron man like you did Nathan, you have to do that on purpose. You don’t just by accident run 100 miles or 26 miles and run 112 and…or bike 112. It’s just I mean you got to have purpose. So every day when you wake up and you go purposely say “Today I am gonna call people I am gonna purposely…”. That’s what we all should be doing. 

[Nathan]:  I agree.

[Christian]:  I love that. That’s what I tell my agents when I am coaching them and bringing them on board. It’s like “You wanna be strategic and then that will lead you down to the tactical…”. You know because most agents if they’re successful it is by accident it’s not because they made a plan and they did some intentional stuff and…So that’s what I always kind of lead from my agents to…

[Sean]:  Yeah you know I had an agent around the area who called me yesterday with a referral. And once again it came out of the blue. So if you look at it just in the moment it was a random phone call. But it wasn’t because I basically met her when I spoke at her company. She knew me through the call banker network. She thought of me when she had someone moving to Columbus. I popped into her mind. I earned top of her mind awareness for my area, for my specialty, for my service and that’s what we’re all trying to do. 

guys and Christopher who is not here and anyone who is listening is…we’re to trying to be that person that people think of when they or someone they know needs help in real estate. And we do that by being on purpose.

[Christian]:  True.

[Nathan]:  I like it. I tell people it takes a little bit of luck in this industry. But I like to say I created my own luck. So…And I did it though some working and you know a lot of other things. I have different outlets as well. You can’t just…You can’t…I don’t know anybody who just fell into it and done really well.

[Sean]:  Yeah what’s the…what’s the quote? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity?

[Nathan]:  Yeah.

[Christian]:  Pretty good. That’s pretty good. Nathan I think you also lucked out because you got that charming personality. Just waiting to deliver [laughter].

[Sean]:  You know I do think that my personality…I try and be upbeat and positive. And I try to use people’s names and I try you know make it about them not about me. And you know a lot of things you guys talk about on this…on this…It’s not about great service anymore. Great service is expected. It’s about a memorable experience. And that’s before, during and after the transaction. And so how can we make it a memorable experience when it is 1.3 million members in the national association of relators? We’ve gotta do more than people expect to truly satisfy a customer. Right? And it’s great service is part of a memorable experience but it’s not by itself enough.

[Nathan]:  Yeah.

[Christian]:  That’s a good point.

[Nathan]:  We are 8000 agents here in Columbus. What makes you different? You know a lot…I mean we work with many great agents. So what…what…what does set you apart? What defines you? What makes you a little bit better or what is memorable about you? I hope it’s not a bad thing you know. I go back to Jay O’Brien who…Jay O’Brien and his 7 Start Service in a 3 Star World. You know to get 5 stars anymore is doing the basics. 

[Sean]:  Sure.

[Nathan]:  I actually had to refrain a couple of weeks ago from somebody put one of their 5 star reviews up and I wanted to go…I wanted to literally like clap and go “Congratulations for doing the basics”. Like you got 5 stars for doing the basics.

[Sean]:  Yeah think about that. When you get…when your survey comes back satisfactory that means you got a C.

[Nathan]:  Right yep.

[Sean]:  You weren’t worth talking about but you didn’t fail either. Right? And one of my big key note presentations I do around the country is called “Give them something to talk about”. And what are you doing to be blog worthy? Right? I find people in my community and in my town in my travels. I try and find people doing something worth blogging about. Worth sharing their story. 

And maybe sometimes maybe it’s not blog worthy but it is Facebook worthy. It is Instagram worthy. It is tweet worthy. Where I check in a hotel and I go immediately upstairs and I Tweet out “Dear @Marriot. Sally at the front desk at the Cool Springs Marriot was fantastic and a great representative of Platinum service”. Right. I try and find people. Because if I am looking guys for people being blog worthy, then I will start being blog worthy myself. I will start trying to sort of raise that bar and deliver an amazing experience for my audiences, for my real estate customers and for my friends and family and my relationships around the country. 

[Nathan]:  I like that. Wow I like that a lot.

[Christian]:  Yeah well.

[Nathan]:  Gave me a lot to think about. I like that.

[Christian]:  Well Sean we had you here for longer than what we usually…usually do for our guests but it has just been so interesting. I have got some good takeaways and hopefully our audience has as well. I assume if someone wants to get in touch with you and read your blog and stuff that can be found at carpscorner.net?

[Sean]:  Carpscorner.net and you can hit me at all the social channels. Right Tweeter is my go to @SeanCarp. S-E-A-N-C-A-R-P. So only 8 characters in that and lots of others characters to Tweet but I let that so you guys connect with me on all the social channels and I will try and connect back and find the ways to build relationships, solve problems and have fun. 

[Christian]:  Awesome. Well thanks for your time today Sean. It has been good to connect with you again. 

[Sean]:  Thanks guys.

[Christian]:  Alright see you next time. 


[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.