Tristan Ahumada Realtor has been in real estate since 2004 and focuses primarily on building relationships with clients and focuses in Luxury Real Estate. He also teaches and speaks throughout the year at different events, to small groups and larger groups of up to 20,000 people. Tristan teaches how to have a higher lead conversion through long-term follow-up and building deep relationships with clients. He is the creator and co-founder of the largest closed facebook Real Estate group in the United States called Lab Coat Agents.
In this episode, Tristan and Brian discuss how to diversify your life and business as a team leader/owner and take them to the next level.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:00:37] Happy New Year, everyone. And welcome back to the great podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth, founder of Sisu and your host. And today, I'm here with Tristan Ahumada. He is a team owner of Tristan and Associates. He's the founder and CEO of Lab Voat Agents, which I'm sure all of you know what that is. Tristan is also a national speaker. Google him. And I think you get like two and a half million results. So I don't get that when you Google my name. So anyway, Tristan, you what? What else can you tell us about you? And thank you for joining us on the show today. And Happy New Year to you as well.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:01:15] Thanks, man. I'm just excited to be here. Thanks for having me. A little bit more about me. I've been in real estate for 15 years. I was born and raised in Southern California, and I enjoy reading spending time with my family. And I love playing video games as a kid a lot.The last time I played fully like I immersed myself was when my daughter was born. I think she was six months old. I strapped her onto a baby carrier. And I went on to play X-Box live and I played Halo 2 for I think it was like two hours straight. My wife took a picture of me, showed it to me the next day and I was like, oh, I guess I guess I'm a dad now. So I like not do this the last time I fully play.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:02:13] So how old are your kids now?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:02:15] She is oldest. One is 13 and youngest one is eight.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:02:20] Okay, so 13 and 8, they're both playing, right? Are they both playing Fortnite today?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:02:27] You know, they don't they didn't really get into Fortnite. We got into Minecraft. So that's what we we play. So we're probably playing Minecraft. Two out of two out of three times. We play video games and then років mom. We play a lot of board games together and we we read a lot together. So it's just fun. It's a little diverse.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:02:47] So now that your kids are growing up, you get to jump back into it.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:02:51] Took a long time.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:02:51] As long as you're including the kids, right?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:02:53] Yeah. Then then it's OK.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:02:59] Well, I really would love to focus in today on not just building a team, but how can you diversify your life and your business as a team owner and really take your life to the next level, right? I mean, building a team is one thing and I talk to people all the time who are focused on getting to 100 million and then they get to 100 million and they're like, okay, what's that next step? How do I go to that next level? I talk to a lot of people today that are really focused on driving the ancillary revenues, you know, building their own mortgage and title companies. You know, you've done something really unique. And I'd love to dove in and learn more about that and how you got labcoat agents to over one hundred thousand members. And you've really become a national speaker. I mean, my understanding is people have you come speak them all over the world. So why don't you tell us more about that?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:03:56] Yeah. So back in two thousand thirteen, I was 2012, 2013. I was using a realtor.com product, the COBRA connections, a zip code product that everybody has now. And I picked it up early on because my last name starts with an A. And they called our area first because dot com is in the same building that my real estate office is in. And so they started this whole new product that they had in my area just before they hit anywhere else. They hit our area first. And I'm last name is a. They called me up and it sounded like something that I was already doing with Craigslist. So I said, yeah. Sign me up. I want the whole county. And so I picked it up. And then I quickly realized that I was gonna get influx with with a large amount of leads. And I needed the the systems in the process to be able to handle this many good or better quality leads. And I was used to from Craigslist. So then I quickly developed the process, the systems, and then they took notice. And then one thing happened and then they said, Hey, Tristan. Can you come over? And when they discover that we were next door neighbors. Can you come over and do a quick video shoot and explain to us your process and we're going to send it out nationwide as part of our e-mail to people understand how to better set up their processes. And I said, sure, no problem. I went over, did a quick. 30 minute speel on my processs, the tech that I used for a higher conversion and they loved it. They sent it over to their executives and their executives said, holy crap, this is awesome. They ended up purchasing the company that I mentioned, by the way. I got a tshirt out of it. So and then they said, who is this guy? Ask him if. If he's okay to to come and speak for us at any are in San Francisco. And so they asked me and I said, yeah, I just have one condition. Will you also pay for my daughter and son and my wife to go with me? And they said, yeah, we'll become hotels, we'll have them fly out there, everything. I said, Okay, I'm in. And that was my very first time speaking to twenty thousand people at one time I was like, holy crap. Right.And so when I was there, I met a lot of big about, by the way, I just felt that experience. It was all about conversion, the tech and tools that I use, the processes, the systems, why conversion rate was much higher at the time than anybody else. Nobody understood what it was, what what it is. Now, everybody understands how Zillow works. It's the same thing. But before it didn't work the same way. And so a lot of the processes that you see now, a lot of the scripts, which is barely being tested out. And so since we were doing this back from the MCO days. Right, we had it down. We just never applied it to this because this was new. And so we just found the right tech and the right processes. And then spread that. And that was the first time my family traveled with me and then it stuck. So everywhere we go, like 90 percent of the time, I fly my whole family. So they get to go all over the nation with me. The schools hate me. By the way.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:07:32] You take your school your kids out so much, we should put you in jail for this, too.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:07:40] Totally. That's exactly the letters I get. Yeah, it's terrible. And so from that from that one time we were going on an airplane from Burbank, California, to San Francisco. And I look over at my wife and I say. Hey, this is cool. This is really exciting for me. Or first time. First time for this. But I don't think that this is. I don't even know if this is gonna be something that's gonna be it's gonna happen again or how long this is gonna last. But they're already planning on doing webinars and. And I think that we should do something right. I just don't know what. Right. So I planted that seed and then a few months later, early 2014, I'm saying, hey, maybe we should we should do a blog. Everybody's got this cool blog. Like, I don't remember. I don't know if you remember, Brian, but back in like 0 8 or 9 or 2010 and I remember it was tech savvy agent with Steve Pass anelli and Chris Smith. That was like the only exposure we had to what's next in our industry. Tech wise and so forth. But I thought why not do something like that? And my wife's like, you should start a Facebook group. There's this cool new thing that Facebook came up with their groups. And I thought, that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. And so later on that year, I started a Facebook group. Right. And with the one sole purpose of helping agents convert at a higher rate from online leads, that was the only thing. And then from there, a cut on Realtor.com helped me initially to grow it. And then I brought in great people. I got to meet Nick Baldwin, who became my business partner for this. We founded this together after. And then it just grew from there. We just kept on hitting milestones in men. You got a hold of us, then commissioned Zink, then Facebook when Facebook got ahold of us. That was a whole different world that opened this up to to all of Facebook. And then they loved what we were doing, especially because it was with Facebook. Right. And then we started promoting Facebook lead ads and then now we have a strong partnership with them. But it all started from something that I was doing in such a small arena, right. Convert online lead conversion was literally really good at it. And then it exploded into everything that you see now. But so as real estate agents, we have such an amazing opportunity to be able to do so many different things, not just. And there's two things to this, not just the ancillary things that people are jumping into because everybody's jumping into this, right? There were other opportunities. I think the one that we miss the most is becoming really, really becoming that what I like to call is that niche celebrity in your areas, right. With the ability that we have to be able to do that with social media at a local level, on a hyper local level. You can go into into this area so, so deep that you can go into your Trader Joe's or Albertsons and people will recognize you. Right. Yeah. That's that's really what you want to do. But you want to start off by helping the community as much as you can first. And I don't think that's where he real estate agents are starting. You ask him, why are you starting a team, right? Well, I want to reach 100 million. Right.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:11:07] Right. Exactly.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:11:08] Why are you doing this ancillary thing? Well, I need to meet my financial goal of this. Right.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:11:15] So I was I was actually reading on real trends today, and it was talking about how so much of the new real estate community happens to be these really young people who have just graduated from college maybe didn't even go to college. But, you know, if I look at my kids who are still in junior high and elementary school and look at what they all want to be when they grow up, what they all want to be when they grow up is celebrity. And when I say celebrity, right. That's an Instagram instant celebrity. Instant famous, right? Yes, right. Everyone wants to be instant famous. They used to be we wanted to be an NBA player, NFL player. Now we just want to be insta famous. So, I mean, to your point, as a real estate agent and with so many of the new agents being so young. Yeah. There's a great opportunity to do that. So what advice would you give to somebody on how to go about creating that? My wife runs a team here in Utah. I know a lot of her agents are young and and just graduated from college and they are looking for ways to, you know, really build their business through social media. Right. I mean, the days of calling expires there and those are still here for some agents. But a lot of a lot of the new agents, they are not about that. Right. They want to build their business through social media. So what advice would you have for those those particular agents?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:12:48] Yeah, that's that's a that's a really good question. And I do have some advice for for those agents that are looking to do that. And that's two things. Number one, start with your strength. Right. Look at. Look at how I did it. And look at other people have done it. They went all in on what they were really, really, really, really great at. And along the way, I picked up other things. Right. Other talents. I wasn't even aware of. But when you go all in and you give back on something that's based on your strength, what happens is you start telling stories that people can relate with because you're telling things that are happening to you based on your experience, based on your strengths. What I what I hate seeing is I hate seeing agents trying to do exactly what they're being told to do by certain coaches, not all coaches, but certain coaches in the sense where they fit into this new arena. They go in, they pay 10000 dollars or five hundred or two thousand, whatever, and they say, hey, look, this is what you're supposed to do to succeed in real estate. You're supposed to cold call, which I love cold calling, by the way. But I'm skimming it as an example. Cold call, circle prospect. This list is just sold, expired physios and you're supposed to doorknock and do open houses. And don't forget, you have past clients and your sphere and all this other stuff. None of that starts with a take a step back. What are you really, really, really great at? Right. Forget the real estate business. What are you great at? Naturally in life. And then you try to match that up with, well. How does that match up with real estate? Like, for instance, I came in from a background in telemarketing and it was a telemarketer and I sold ink cartridges in windows. And I was so good at doing it on the phone that because they listen into everything that you're saying right now, I'm on a recorded line every time. And so I was like 16, 17, 18. And then one of them was recorded. I was doing it in a Scottish accent because I was so tired. I was like, this is so boring. I was going to go Scottish. Right? So I did Scottish accent maybe 10, 15 minutes later after I hung up, I get a call from my superior and they call me in and I'm like, Oh, great, I'm going to be fired. Right. And you never know when they're listening. So I got sat in and they're like, so. We heard that it was a little old, a little old lady I was talking to about Windows. And so we heard that whole conversation. And you did it in a Scottish accent, but that's not your natural focus. And they said, do you think you could go door knocking and sell this stuff as well? And so I was promoted to the field. Right.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:15:39] You got it from inside sales to outside sales?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:15:41] Yeah. And so I thought, well, when I went into real estate, I had no idea that it was going to be all of these skills that I learned were we're going to be applied here. So I thought, well, what am I create out already? I'm really get on the phone from years and years of practice and I'm really good in person. door-knocking. So that's the first thing that I did. I actually went door knocking and everybody that I knew, I told them about real estate. And that's where I got my business the first six months. And so I look at the same thing and I tell these new agents, hey, it's cool that you want to build a team on your first week as a real estate agent and you want to build a team of 20. But that's not the way it works. Right. You've got to you've got to understand the business first. And first, you have to go all in on what your strengths are and so as a team. Now I run a team, we've hit 100 million before, right? And sometimes we get there, sometimes we don't. And so. When I bring in team members, the first thing I do is I want to know what their strengths are. I want another background.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:16:47] I want to know what they've done in the past, what jobs they've had. If they're fresh out of college, well, what are their strengths? And then I paired up and say, well, look, based on from what you're telling me, you're gonna be great at this. Let's test this out, but also learn these other processes and systems as well. Just in case you actually enjoy them and then we gravitate to where they're great at. And so when people tell me, well, I want to go all in on social and be an influencer, I want to do great on Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook. Whenever you do that, people will gravitate to your authenticity. If you if you know what you're talking about and the only time you will know what you're talking about is if you go with your strengths. And a lot of people don't do that, there's somebody else when when the camera turns on, there's somebody else right there trying to regurgitate what they learned at. This 7R or this webinar or what their coach told them to do. And that's the challenge, because they can't. I can't relate with somebody like that and neither can the population. Right. Right. So it starts with that whole process.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:17:56] Right. That's great advice. Thank you for sharing that. Let's jump back over to labcoat agents for a minute. Tell me you started out as wanting to help agents with their conversion. What is really the purpose of labcoat agents today for those who may be so beyond their there yet?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:18:16] Great idea. So Lab Coats Agents is the largest community of most engage agents in the world on any social media platform. And out of the hundred and eight thousand agents that we have, hundred and nine thousand one hundred thousand of those engage every 28 days, which is insanity. That means we have four hundred thousand plus posts, comments, likes every 28 days. So it keeps us super busy. Now, the initial idea behind it, Brian, was to help agents. Create systems and processes out of their business, specifically for growth. Right. And I started initially with with showing people how to convert online leads. There's a process to it. There's an approach. Right. And I just that's what I was teaching. And then slowly everybody started seeing that it was a place where they could give back and learn. And then I started spreading and then people started saying, well, that's awesome, Tristan. But let me show you how I do open houses. And I'm like, oh, this is cool. Yeah. And they're like, hey, well, let me show you how to do this. And then everybody started giving and showing. And then it became more of a community to help agents grow through better understanding of what's working now in real estate as a whole. So it doesn't it doesn't just mean that we're teaching how to convert better online leads now. It means, hey, look, this is working over here. This is working over here. And guess what? This isn't working. And these are the challenges that I'm having. I need some advice. So it's a combination of all those things right now. It's a big it's just a big community that helps each other, which is nice.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:20:04] I really been in the real estate community. I grew up with a dad who was in real estate, but I've really only been in it for the last five years. About five years ago, I jumped in to help my wife grow her team. And what I've noticed about this industry and my favorite thing about the industry is that everybody and we go to a lot of masterminds and everybody is always willing to share everything. Right. Everyone's willing to help me. You can go in there like a sponge and soak anything you want up from anybody in this industry. Everyone is willing to share. And then it's about execution. Right. And it sounds like you were maybe one of the early, early platforms that really promoted that led Sharon and teach each other how to build this business.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:20:52] Yeah. Very true. I was early so, so early that I know it doesn't seem like it's that long ago. But believe it or not, I was getting hate texts and hate messages saying, why are you telling other people how to succeed for free? And I was like, this is crazy, I can't believe these messages are coming in. Is this stupid? That means I'm doing something right. Exactly. Exactly. And you know it. People didn't understand the concept. Really. I think it really. Brian, you start really seeing it develop more into. People understanding what it truly is and what it's capable of. Only over the last two years and I think I think with ah with our culture as not just real estate agents, but just our culture here in the United States. When people started. Understanding what influencers were truly now, right? They started accepting what what we were or what we are now because we would get a lot of hate from. People that were that were in the business for 20, 30 years now, we're no longer doing real estate, but we're still influential in some ways and they didn't understand why we did something like this. And people were listening. Right. So we would get a lot of we still get a lot of hate, but not as much as before.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:22:20] Yeah, I mean, with the pace of technology changing. I know Tony Robbins sucks all of us all the time, but in the last every five years it's like multiplied it. You cover there's more change than there were one hundred years before that. Right. So.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:22:33] Yeah. And you know that that reminds me something I was reading that Moore's Law. Right. You can apply that to this too. With technology, it just compounds. And by the end, who the heck knows where we're heading. It is just going so fast.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:22:44] Yeah, it is. The speeds at which everything is changing today are just incredible. It's exciting time to be a part of it. And that's why I wanted people to be able to hear from you today.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:22:55] Well, I think there's there's no limit to what we can do as real estate agents now. And I think as real estate agents from being able to talk to and, you know, you know this probably better than most people because you're you're in the tech world. So not just real estate. You've been in other tech industries, right. Verticals. Right. And so you can see now that you're in the real estate world. From what I've seen. And tell me what you think. Real estate agents seem to understand tech a little bit more than most other sales industries. They seem to adopt it a little quicker.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:23:28] I think that's absolutely true today. But I think that the real estate agent that you were talking about, who were the ones attacking you, that generation of agent? Not not so much. Right. They were slow to adopt. And now you have all these this younger generation coming in his all about technology and adoption and marketing and all the things you need to do to really effectively grow our business.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:23:53] Yeah, I mean, I agree. I'm on it, too. I'm still waiting to see. And we're seeing glimpse of it now. But I'm waiting to see that those few agents, maybe, maybe like a handful, five to 10 of them that absolutely blow up on social media where they're they have millions and millions of followers because they're truly doing this right. Where they're giving back authentically their hair. They're telling stories along the way. Imagine a Gary V. But all real estate. Right. That that will happen. I just don't know who it's going to be.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:24:28] Yeah. There are thousands of them out there right now who want to be that. It's just a matter of them being. And I think you said it best. Authentic. Right. That's that's what's going to get them there. Tell us about your labcoat Agents podcast. A lot of people may know about your Web site tonight, your podcast, and I'd like to get them listening to that as well.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:24:47] Thanks, Brian. It's a little more secret. Thank you. The Lab Coat Ages podcast. It's mainly our host is mainly Jeff Fitzner. He's at a St. Lewis. And then Nick and myself pop in probably every four podcasts, but we interview anywhere between top agents and influencers authors. That's just a different mix of people that can bring I can bring you as an agent growth, whether it's in your business as as a person individually or whatever you want to grow.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:25:22] but it sounds like it's all real estate focus as I write. For the most part it is.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:25:30] I'd say 90 percent of it is OK. Right.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:25:34] So if you had to give just one piece of advice to anybody in this industry wanting to wanting to go from being an agent to really taking things to the next level, I know we talked a lot about that already, but what would that be other than maybe the authenticity?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:25:52] I would want to really take a step back and have them create a blueprint for what it is that they want to do. A lot of the times we're we're told as individuals growing up in in sales, hey, I want you to write down all of your goals and I want you to visualize them and then all this stuff. And that's where it ends, right. What I'd like to see agents do is treat this this this industry that that they're in, that we're in more like a business. And a lot of us don't know how to do that. We come from we come from either having a job or something that has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur. Right. Where you're where you have to run a business and we're thrown into this and we don't know what to do, which is good at talking to people. Right. And then now we have to pay our taxes. What what is this? And then now we have to kind of build stuff that holds a hold the business together. So I would love for people to really take each one of their goals. Identify which one of those are priorities. And don't just say, hey, look, these are all my goals financially for my business. I need to see goals that make you a better human being. I need to see goals that make those around you better. Your family, your your children, your team members. I need to see goals that have to do with your health, your mind, your emotions, that choose your priorities. Then each one I need you to break it down into a blueprint like what are the actions that you're going to take for each one and then fit them into a calendar so that it's done weekly, monthly. However, however, often you look at your calendar. But that's the challenge there. There's a big disconnection, Brian, between between your goals and then not really making them into actionable steps so they never end up happening. Right. And like I get to see blueprints all the time and say, hey, let me send you my business plan. And I'm like, OK, send it to me. And it's just a whole bunch of lines that just say, hey, I want to do this. And this is this is my goal. There's no substance to it. Nobody's taking the time to break it down and say, well, this is these are the steps and this step is going to fit on Monday and Tuesday. The next step is on Wednesday and Thursday. And this is a block time that I have to do these things. And they're not running like a business.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:28:17] Yeah. Great advice. First, taking those goals and really turning them into actions and doing a blueprint. Love that. There's something else I love. What you said is really balance. It's about life. Balance writes. Most of us set goals and it's all around business. Yeah, it's not around personal relationships, spirituality. Right. Those health. Right. So all those types of things. So great advice. Thanks for sharing that. Do you have a favorite book or something that's helped you in this industry that you feel everyone should read?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:28:50] Yeah, I actually do. One thing that really got me more committed to. And look at our favorite books, her. Everybody's got a different favorite book because I happen to read one at the right time. It affects you differently, right? So I just happened to read extreme ownership at the right time. But Jarkko Jonker Willink and that I can tell you that book changed the way that I saw my life personally. I took even though I already knew. Hey, look, it's your life. You're responsible for it. All that good stuff. And I for some reason, I just read it at the right time and it affected me deeply. And I looked within and I said, look, I need to change a lot of things in my life, starting with starting with my health. Right. If I want to live a longer life and I want to be OK when I'm 80 and I want to be able to lift a five pound grocery bag up the stairs, I need to start right now. And so for me, that was the book that did it for me that I can tell you started to begin to change my life. But there are other books that I recommend that are just as good. I'll start with Y by Simon Cynic.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:30:01] A lot of a lot of agents or business people don't know well, they don't know or what they really stand for. Right. And if you don't know what you stand for, you only know why you're in this business or what you're doing. So that's those are two books. I highly recommend a couple of books I'm reading now. Stillness is the key that just came out a few months back. Still, this is a Keates a short book. It has to do with with really being more present in the things that you're doing. Like, for instance, right now, I could be texting like two different people at the same time, but I'm focused on you, right? Yeah, right. Not being present and taking notes. So that that's one book that I love is where we're very distracted. And I just finished in distractable by Meir aiyah, who you may have you may have read Hooked If You Haven't Hooked was really popular in Silicon Valley five years ago. Yeah. And he came up with the second book this year, well 2019 called in distractable. And he tells a story in that one that was like, oh, that's such a good story, really quick. So at the very beginning of the book, he says, I was with my kids, my son, younger son.And I asked and we were playing a little game. He said, I asked him. He asked him, so if you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Right. And the kid answered. And so the kid answered him, and then asked his dad said. So, dad, if you were a superior, what would your superpower? And he says. I don't remember having the conversation with them, I don't remember him answering. I was so caught up on my phone I wasn't present and I was I still don't remember. And like, I mean, we've all been there. Right. Yeah. Even if we don't do it as much now, we've all been there. And so it's just a really good reminder, especially coming from Nigeria who wrote Hooked. And if you haven't read Hooked, that's an amazing book. But that's just it puts things in perspective for you where we're all. So we're also driven by financial accomplishments that sometimes we're forgetting that we influence those around us in in how they can be better as people. And we're setting examples on how they're going to live their lives or how life works. And sometimes we forget that. Right. So it just brings you back to Earth.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:32:25] I love it. I love it. I've read some of those, but I have the rest of them on my reading list. So thanks for sharing that.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:32:31] Yeah, for sure. Dude, I'm a big reader. I love it. Yeah, I love it.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:32:35] How do people get a hold of your trust in if they want to follow you or. Yeah, they can. The best way. Easiest way is to text me my cell phone number.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:32:45] I get a few texts a day or (805)559-3364. I usually answer my texts where you can e-mail me, I always answer my email as well, it's Tristan@labcoatagents.com and if you want to follow me, you can just follow my business page, which I just started. It's I am Tristan Ahumada and I got about 2000 followers and just started to grow it. So let's see how that goes.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:33:12] And that page is on what platform?
Tristan Ahumada: [00:33:14] That one's on Facebook. You can also find it on Instagram. I have a few more followers on Instagram than I do on Facebook. But either one that's I interest in them, mother.
Brian Charlesworth: [00:33:23] Ok. All right, Tristan. Well, it's a pleasure and an honor having you on the show today. Thank you so much for joining us and looking forward to seeing your progress. As things move forward in the coming years in real estate.
Tristan Ahumada: [00:33:35] Thanks, man. I appreciate the invite. Yeah, my pleasure.