Chris Giannos, Growth Partner at eHomes - How Data Can Be One of Your Biggest Culture Drivers

Zac Muir
October 8, 2020

00:00:00] Ok, next next up on the speaking agenda, we got Chris Janosz come in and I'm just going to bring you on. Chris, what's up, brother? It's going to Zach. How are you? Good. How are you? I really appreciate you coming on. So I hope we've been able to catch a few of the sessions so far.

[00:00:22] But I'm I actually I actually picked the summits, some of the sessions that were going on and found out this morning that I was going to just be talking at a camera for 30 minutes, which was great to hear and realize that a lot of it was going to be conversational and stuff. So that took a weight off my shoulders for sure. But I'm super excited.

[00:00:42] Yeah. Now I'll try to get some questions that make it a little bit. So you're not you're not off the hot seat completely. But that's good. I, I do well under pressure, so I'm looking forward to it. The pressure is a privilege. I always heard that. Yeah. One hundred percent. So Chris, I mean you meant what was it a few months ago when your last opportunities. I remember talking with you. What are you up to now? Give us a little bit of background on you and what you're doing now.

[00:01:12] Good question, man. So I do want me to go back even beyond that opportunity, I I've got a kind of unique path in real estate. I started Zillow, the 800 pound gorilla in the room for most agents when I was 19 years old and in advertising sales. And I can I did the whole corporate thing, climb the corporate ladder a little bit, was a sales manager work that went into like strategic accounts and worked with a lot of really, really talented brokers and got to see a lot of really good brokers and a lot of really bad brokers. So it's kind of it's give me a unique perspective for sure. From there. I left when I joined my previous opportunity with a franchise here, and it's a pretty cool team, did some pretty cool stuff, got really good at the online conversion. And now I am a growth partner. We're calling it with a company called EA Homes that is owned and operated by Jackie Soto and Elmer Moralez. And I am leading our Orange County expansion currently. So I'm responsible for playing Game of Thrones in Orange County right now. So it's super fun.

[00:02:22] I love that. Talk to me a little bit about E homes. What does he homes do? What's different about them? What's the model?

[00:02:29] Good question. So we're a an independent brokerage. We've got sixty four agents as of this morning. I think the singular biggest thing that makes us different more than anything is the culture we've been able to develop. I've been a part of some very, very high performance cultures. I mean, I use Zillow as kind of the gold standard for what a healthy, competitive culture looks like. Hearing stories about Netflix and Amazon and all these hyper competitive but kind of toxic cultures, I think has always done a really good job of being a part of that. And to circle back at EA Homes, we've got this accountable, accountable, collaborative, really self driving culture. That is just absolutely insane. And I will do literally anything to protect it and continue developing it. So I think our biggest thing that we've got going right now, more than the opportunity we can provide, is just the culture. I mean, people coming in, even with their own personal production, they're not really taking advantage of all the opportunities we have, are seeing increases in their own personal production just by being a part of the team. It's pretty wild.

[00:03:38] I love it, and you're not the first one to say Zillo, I have heard I've heard a lot about Zella's sales force build out and some of the leaderboards and dashboard's that they had and the way they were systemize. Right.

[00:03:55] It's it's incredible, man. I mean, I coming from that, we talk a lot, our leadership team does about how we want to drive this behavior and how we want to drive people to really do their best in a sales role. Right. And for at Zillo, it was so automated to drive that behavior that salespeople have, which is they like their name in lights. They like being at the top of the leaderboard. When they're at the bottom of the leaderboard. They want to change that. They want to be recognized intrinsically for what they're doing. And at Zello, it was it was insane. Literally, you close the sale, a Salesforce dashboard would pop up on the screen. They had 70 TV screens every 15 feet on the sales floor and whatever. You would close a transaction. I mean, literally, it was the trickiest thing ever to see. People would come in and just sit there and stare at the TV screen every morning. People would sell close a deal or do whatever it may be. And your name would pop up on these TV screens and they would literally just take a victory lap and follow their name all the way around this floor like peacocking. Right. So they did a really, really good job at driving that type of behavior. You want out of sales people, which at the end of the day is for everyone. It's good for the salesperson, it's good for the company culture and it's good for the bottom line and kind of company dollar and stuff at the same time.

[00:05:17] Yeah, I think I think as salespeople are our positions and our jobs are so unique because they are so measurable. Right. When you're more involved in marketing and operations. I was just talk about this the other day. It's a lot harder to measure, you know, almost any other results but sales. And it's like it's like almost like a video game, right? There are there are different inputs and outputs. You can measure them and you can turn it into a competition like that.

[00:05:44] Yeah, I mean, I, I remember hearing the early stages of Zello. I mean, I was employee like no I think like twenty seven or something. And Ervine when they first started on their sales floor and hearing a lot of the chatter that was going around there, and they kind of consist of, of these huge living, breathing sales organizations and stuff. And the word was like Gamefly. These guys were making it into a game and making it something that you could almost play and that single handedly I mean, that transparency in the business and the ability to really see results real time. It drives sales behavior. More than that, better than anything I've seen doing weekly updates and sales cadences and stuff is great. But being able to see at any given point in time exactly where each individual person is that will drive intrinsic behavior that you can just you can't do with that scale at least.

[00:06:38] Yeah, this is how many years ago it's so low that you're hearing this.

[00:06:41] This is like seven, eight, nine years ago. Yeah. Twenty eight. Thirteen, twenty twelve. Yeah.

[00:06:49] Man, I'm getting I'm getting older and it's obviously Sisu is one of the big things we're pushing is gamification but I think.

[00:06:58] There's there's a couple of benefits that you don't really consider sometimes is gamification, obviously there's just the performance boost, but driving people to use systems reinforcing can be very powerful.

[00:07:12] Yeah, I mean, I think that you hit the nail on the head and this is something that our leadership team talks about a lot is like data integrity. How do we really make sure that no one is getting left behind without having a crystal clear idea of what each individual person is doing on a day to day basis? The types of behaviors we want to drive, which for agencies outbound at Dale's appointments and appointments, met all these different metrics that ultimately lead to what is successful. Agent looks like if you're not able to pay attention to that and drive that on a day to day basis, you're really flying in the dark. You're really not able to control that type of behavior that you're really looking to drive.

[00:07:50] Now, I think there's a scalability issue, too. So as as a team leader, I can I can go and do one on ones and one on ones and one on ones to my face is blue to help hold people accountable. But that's not gonna work. Have 60 however many agents you guys know, right?

[00:08:08] Yeah. And we're already starting to kind of problem solve that. Right. We're already starting to work on throwing stickers behind me right now. That's great. Because I was Jackie. I guarantee that was Jackie's idea. Yeah, man, we're we're really trying to hone in on that. Like I was saying earlier, with data integrity and stuff, it's a lot easier to get people to input their numbers when they're actually on the spot for it and they're actually accountable to that. So if you're not if someone I've literally had people come to me with in the last twenty four hours and go, well, hey, I did X, Y and Z yesterday and I didn't get credit for it. It's like you didn't log. It didn't happen that way. But that that's exactly what we want to continue happening. Right. People feeling that self accountability, that it's almost peer to peer like management at that point. With that scale, it's a lot easier for you to have those numbers be completely transparent, completely out in the open. Then people manage themselves effectively. And as you scale, sure do. I want to have a 10 to one agent to leadership ratio. One hundred percent. Right. And I plan we plan on that's part of our game plan. But it'll make those people's jobs exponentially easier and allow them to focus on their highest and best use of their time and leadership, not just keeping people accountable hour over hour, every day of day of the day. I mean, so are by having that and having peers hold themselves accountable and each other accountable by having that data be transparent, it makes everyone's job exponentially easier.

[00:09:43] Well, I think as a salesperson person, too, I want to I would I actually I mean, maybe I'm a nerd, but I like to put my numbers into a system when I know that those numbers are used in their measured and they're used to increase my performance. Right. It's when it's pointless, like, OK, well, no one looks at these numbers. No one uses slime. I put them in forever.

[00:10:01] Yeah. I think that I wish you could come into my office every day and say that Zac put in your numbers like a lot of agents. It's it's a difficult habit to get people to adopt without having that degree of transparency. We get a mix of agents. We get super green agents that don't have a ton of experience all the way up to guys that have ten, fifteen, twenty years of experience that are doing five, ten million dollars a year in production on their own. And the common theme in our space, at least, is that a lot of people aren't used to having to take that extra step and actually get an intimate look at their business. Real estate's a very volatile thing with not a lot of people tracking what they're actually doing. So it's it's refreshing. At the same time, it's a little intimidating for newer agents to come in and have to put their activity out there. And it just it instantly increases their outbound activity by seeing what they're doing on a daily basis. I mean, I know some agents that come in here that they're used to waking up at 10 a.m. and working for a couple of hours and then going down to the Bay Club and hanging out and smoking cigars. And then they come in at two o'clock. Right. And then all of a sudden it's in your face that someone is beating you because they're doing X, Y and Z on a daily basis. It's like, OK, cool, I need to step my game up. So it's that it's intrinsically motivating people, which is super cool to see for sure.

[00:11:25] Yeah. And I think a lot of people think our tracking numbers, I got to go punch my numbers into a spreadsheet or whatever it is, and that's obviously not ideal. It's more run it through the system like like a Zello salesforce. Right. And the system works so well because Salesforce is your CRM is where you manage your business and you could pull reports out of that. Right. So we're working Sisu with with with our clients. Right. Obviously, it's you live and die in the CRM and you can, as a leader, focus and you can preach CRM all day long because, you know, happened in the crowd and it happened everywhere else.

[00:11:59] Yeah, I think that with with CRM adoption and stuff, it gets a lot easier once you've given everyone the cadence that, hey, these numbers, I've got this phrase that sounds super corny, but it's really worked well with almost any management position I've ever been in, which is inspect what you expect. Right. So if these numbers and stuff are just a daily cadences, you need to do X, Y and Z. Twenty five outbound dials are set up to appointments or two clients. That's great in theory, but if it's not brought to a public forum in some way, shape or form and there's not a degree of accountability with it, it's worthless. Right. So I think that a lot of sales leaders and people neglect that that simple little cheat code of when you do outline what a behavior needs to look like, especially with KPIs and stuff, you really need to be cognizant of it and check on it more than once a day. Right. If you're expecting, I see a lot of people that will put weekly and monthly production goals on people and it's like, that's great. If you tell someone, the agencies say, hey, I need you to open to escrows this month. It's great. OK, we'll go to work, have fun, do your thing. But at the same time, if you're able to give them a roadmap based on your current productivity numbers, the current number of dollars, you're making appointments, getting all this stuff, you can give them a daily cadence to stick to. It gives them a much more transparent way to to get to that end goal, if that makes sense, than just flying by the seat of the pants and going, OK, cool, I'm going to open I'm going to get 30 leads this month. I'm going to open three deals. I converted ten percent. It's like noaman focus on the smallest controllable thing you can do. Dial the phone set appointments mean appointments. If you do those three things and a high level, the rest of it will take care of itself.

[00:13:42] Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's the whole thing. And then why we named the session the way we did, which was that data can be one of your biggest culture. Drivers can culture is such like an intangible thing. It feels like you can't it's hard to influence, but you can't directly influence it with a dashboard. Can be that powerful. I think so.

[00:14:03] I used to it used to blow my mind when I was at Zillow. And now more than ever, when you get into a leadership position, you kind of start remembering all the leaders you've been with before and going, OK, cool, that guy wasn't too far off writing. Might have sounded a little nutty at the time. But I think of like Spencer Rascoff and he talks a lot about when he was the CEO of Zillow. His cadence for himself was My job is to grow the company and protect the culture. Right. And I'm like, wow, that sounds super easy, right? Those are the only two things you do and you get paid like twenty, thirty million dollars a year. That's awesome. And now being in a spot where we are developing, retaining and growing a culture like, dude, it's it's not it's all over the place. I mean it is such a dynamic living, breathing thing and it really takes work to bring in the right people and make sure that those people, when they're here, are paying attention to the right things, to continue fostering that that organic growth and making sure that the culture doesn't go the wrong way. But it's it's wild how complex of a thing culture really is.

[00:15:11] And I think a lot of people I wrote some notes down about this, I'm going to reference them. But like there's culture, like the buzzword right now and any big vertical. Right. It's like, oh, we have to protect culture. We have to do this. We have to do this. And a lot of people, it's nothing more than a word for us. It's it's a living, breathing thing. And something that we're cognizant about in the leadership meetings that we take now are highly focused on that. Right. How are we doing? How did how do the people feel that work here? How do the people feel that they're a part of something bigger than just their individual job? Right. And when you become cognizant of that. Growth is inevitable, right, trust is inevitable at that point, the whole group begins trusting each other and there's this conducive environment where everyone wants to just do better for the collective. And that sounds kind of wild and utopian. But we're seeing it. I mean, it happens when there's a good company culture. It happens organically without you really doing anything other than being cognizant of what's going on.

[00:16:08] Yeah, that that's when you get the people running around what a leader board like you are saying. That's cool.

[00:16:16] Yeah, literally.

[00:16:19] So maybe switching gears a little bit here, I'd love to dig into a little more what you are doing over there at home. So, E. Holmes, is it is it new? It's been around for a while. Like, what's the history of this?

[00:16:30] So the guy who founded the company, Elmer Morales, he's been a team for a team of eight to 10 people for the last eight to 10 years, been involved in the space. And what ended up happening was the beginning of the year he partnered up with a Brog, another broker owner, Jackie Soto, and they popped out. So we're actually founded as a company at the beginning of the year as a brokerage, and we've kind of been on this warpath now of our business model is is pretty focused for the most part on bringing in really high performance agents. And we're actually able to provide a lot of agents with tangible opportunity. We're big online lead people. I wouldn't say it's a majority of our business, but a good chunk of it is coming from unlikely to buy the homes because your online presence and the amount of leads you generated online and you're the first person to guess that correctly, the normally people think, oh, it's EA Homes, it's Elmer Elmer Holmes. Like, that's that's the normal guess. But yeah, you hit the nail on the head. It's like the idea of e commerce. It's like we're we're doing a lot of stuff online. So that's where it was kind of born out of. But we're a highly technology driven, data driven, online driven company. And the growth we've seen in the last even 60, 90 days has been, for the most part, organic. We're having a lot of because of the unique value props we are able to leverage and the kind of structure we've got. We're seeing new agents, people that have been licensed for literally 30, 60, 90 days that open an escrow.

[00:18:08] Right. With with company provided leads within their first month here and are going, oh, God, this is this is wild. So it's it's been a pretty wild ride. We've grown the company from I think they started with like twenty five or thirty agents were up around sixty five. Now the last few months. Yeah. I've been, we've all been going Super Aardman. I mean I'm, I'm in my office from like six thirty a.m. to seven or eight o'clock every night. Just describe it. And we're really trying to keep everyone focused on the highest and best use of their time, both agents, leadership support staff, all this good stuff so that we can really specialize and grow the business a lot faster than I've seen a lot of weird models out there where team leaders get to a position and they everything has to go through them. And it's what's really cool is this this idea that leadership is linear and there's not a lot of big egos in place. We've kind of realized that we're all really good at something and we should all focus on that and let people who are better than other things than us just do that. So there's not this like toxic ego thing going on that I hear way too much in real estate. I mean, it's it's it's an ego driven business for sure. But it's been a it's been super humbling. And I I really am happy with what we've been able to do in the last couple of months for sure.

[00:19:29] Yeah. So so your little niche of that or your portion, I mean, what is it that you're focused on. Is it systems, is it processes, is it recruiting and all the above.

[00:19:43] So I'm that just goes kind of completely counterintuitive to everything I just said. But I'm by the way, I look at my role, I've got three main focus is right. Recruit, retain and develop top salespeople. Right. And drive revenue. Those are the three things that I focus on. And when I was first kind of trying to figure out how to do this, I literally wrote those three things down and what each individual activity for each of those tasks looks like. So don't never lose sight of it. That's the simplest, most definitive way. I think that anyone who's looking to grow a team or develop a team or scale a business in any way, shape or form, especially a sales team, those are the three things. If you never lose sight of those three three three things, you'll continue growing regardless of what happens. So day to day, I'm doing a lot of interviews with agents. I'm stocking people on Facebook trying to find good talent, paying attention to the data, interpreting what's going on in the business, making sure that daily cadences are happening. There's a certain number of activity that needs to go out on a daily basis as far as styles, appointments, set appointments, that if I focus on those three, the escrows and the tangible revenue generating stuff usually kind of takes care of itself. It's super easy to get a tangible number at the beginning of the month. OK, cool, we want to open twenty million and do twenty astros', whatever it may be. But if you don't have a roadmap and an idea of what needs to happen day in, day out for that to go down, you're kind of you're kind of flying in the dark. Yeah, so the short answer is, and I think every person is in leadership in some capacity, in the real spiritual agree, we were a lot of different hats. There's a lot of stuff going on. And it's it's humbling, to say the least. It's it's wild, man. I've learned more in the last year or two years doing this than I could have ever imagined learning anywhere else. It's been bonkers.

[00:21:36] Yeah. Couple more things here, Chris. I wanted to ask you, what's the plan? What's the big goal for for twenty twenty one? Is it world domination or what is it because I'm seeing all the comments over here, all your all your see Jack and Elmer and you guys got a lot of energy man. And I appreciate you bringing that. But I want to know like what's what's next. What are you guys got planned.

[00:22:05] I think it depends on who you ask internally I.

[00:22:10] I'm like kind of humble when I when I talk about it, but inside I'm super, super, hyper competitive, almost like crazy to a certain extent. I don't think realistically, if I if I had to print out, I don't think we're going to stop with just California. I think with a business model that we've got and the leadership we've got and the processes and systems and stuff which ISA's helped us develop, I think we're going to be able to duplicate this. I mean, almost anywhere I set a goal when we opened the Orange County office in August to hire one hundred agents by Christmas. And I'm going to do it. We're going to be on pace for that. But that's the short term. Like, OK, cool, we'll settle with Orange County. But I really think that with the model we've got, there's no reason we can't go and expand into other markets and kind of take over the world, so to speak. I will start with the continental United States, but we're really looking at like team acquisition and finding people that fit. We're like I said earlier, the no ego thing is huge and having that linear leadership idea and a lot of our what we're looking at now is finding and elevating other good leaders that already have teams in place that just need that help with their systems and with their operational stuff in their daily cadence so we can come in and help elevate other people. So it's it's pretty cool, man. I think realistically, we'll probably be we're trying to expand about one hundred miles other direction right now from where our home base is at. And so if we can do that and figure that part out, then I think the next goal is going to be expansion in other states and stuff. But we've got to start somewhere. So we'll start with with the entire state of California and go from there.

[00:23:52] I love it. I did have one question here in the chat. Remind us the three things you said, recruit, retain and what was the other thing?

[00:24:01] So good question. The for me personally, my daily cadence and like whenever I'm sitting there at my desk and pretty I'm sure everyone can experience has experienced this where you just literally go, what, what am I doing right now.

[00:24:14] I always bring my I'm serious, everyone has it, but I bring my skill back and do I call it I call it thrashing, which is a term I got from my from my dad, who's a computer programmer, where you have so many tasks that you could be doing that your brain is like skipping between. Yeah. And this is what a computer does is it thrashes, it's when it's trying to do all these different things and it just anyways tends to totally understand.

[00:24:38] And it's like paralysis by analysis. But the three things that I focus on from a leadership perspective are recruit, retain and develop really good salespeople. If if I do that and like literally if I was spaced out and I don't have no clue what I'm doing right now, I literally just go, OK, I'll do something that involves one of those things. Right. But for four agents, when you're trying to drive agent behavior and I've I've heard a lot of different sessions over the last couple of days and everyone's kind of got this same common theme, the Tom Faries, the Bill Pipes, the Brian Bikini's, all these guys. The common denominator between all other styles is pick up the phone and dial calling all people and stuff will happen. So with the agents, what we're really measuring and what we're really trying to quantify is number of outbound dials per day, number of appointments set per day, a number of appointments met per day. If we focus on those three things and have them really put a number on it right, we've got right now, it's it's between twenty five and fifty thousand dollars a day, two appointments set to appointments. If you do one of those three things a day, their business will take care of itself. Right and everything. They'll get more opportunity to leverage and practice the skill sets we've been layering developing for them. So it's it's cool, man. I guess it just depends on if you're looking from an agent perspective or a leadership perspective to answer that question.

[00:26:02] And I love that you threw in the agent perspective, too, because I think get in, make a call, set some appointments, go on appointments. I mean, that makes business really easy because they can be at least the prospecting side of it.

[00:26:13] So it is that easy. I like I don't care what anyone it's obviously there's some skill set stuff developed along the way. But for new agents or agents that are struggling or people that are looking to grow, keep keep the people that are driving the revenue in your business focused on those three things and making sure that it is displayed to them. They understand what's happening on a daily basis, what their activity looks like and what other peer's activity looks like. And it'll breed this ecosystem of awesomeness for lack of a better word. And I know that sounds super corny, but that's just that's reality. I can't think of any better way to explain it.

[00:26:45] That's why when people come on a Sisu for the first time, I said, you want to see what you can do for your business. The only thing you got to do is throw up a leaderboard on Dial's conversations appointment set. You do just that kind of like what we're talking about with with Zillow in your background there. It can make a huge difference just by focusing on it.

[00:27:07] Well, it's literally like a call like. I'm not kidding you that when people walk in the front door, they will literally go straight to the leader board and sit there, the very first thing they do is see where everyone's at, right. What happened the day before. And that that and that alone, like we're talking about, it's peer to peer accountability, which it creates trust if it peer to peer accountability is there and they see what good salespeople are doing on a daily basis, they think, OK, if I do that, I will be a good salesperson. I have a blueprint. It's not us saying, oh, we'll do 50 deals, said to appointments, all this stuff. It's like they see it on a daily basis. It's in their face. Peer to peer trust is a lot more valuable than powerful, not not meaningful, but powerful. Then my peer to management relationships, they're going to take their own words from each other a lot more serious than they would if we were to just try and just drive it home.

[00:27:59] Yeah. Last question for you, Chris. Sure, Jack.

[00:28:04] Oh, yeah. She loves Jackie. Soto is my favorite broker. She loves that one.

[00:28:11] Thanks for hopping on, man. We'll be in touch. I'll let you go now. And thanks for joining us.

[00:28:17] Absolutely. Thanks. I appreciate it. Let's take.

About the Author

Zac Muir
Director of Marketing and Sales

Zac is blessed to do what he loves - writing content, driving traffic, building sales funnels for SaaS companies, eating unhealthy amounts of cereal and living his best life with his beautiful wife.🍚