Episode 58 - GRIT - The Real Estate Growth Mindset with Eric Lowry

Brian Charlesworth
February 24, 2021

Eric Lowry started his real estate career in 1998 as a solo agent. As years passed, he has become “blissfully dissatisfied” in the path he has chosen and often found himself wanting to do more.  He wanted to not just have a job, he wanted to build a business for himself. So in 2005, he decided to build his own real estate team.

Today, Eric is the Team Leader and CEO of The Lowry Team at eXp Realty in Cincinnati. His team has built a reputation based on honest and professional real estate service. He is now considered as an industry veteran who has earned multiple awards due to his commitment to providing personal service combined with cutting edge technology to help clients every step of the way. 


In this episode, we talked about:

(03:55) The 5 elements that help power an agent’s success

(06:00) How their team’s high-level custom agent training sets them apart from other brokerages.

(09:16) What technology to use to keep track of a trainee’s progress

(10:38) How Eric does his one-on-one coaching and how he makes it scalable 

(11:41) SISU’s role in identifying agents strengths and weaknesses 

(13:00) How the SISU dashboard helps refine an agent’s performance

(16:20) What key things team owners should do to differentiate themselves from the competition

(20:10) Why you should NEVER stop following up

(22:20) The one thing a real estate agent needs to learn to thrive and survive 

(23:03) What’s the precursor to success in business and in life

(27:33) The importance of using the best technology to help agents and clients 

(35:22 Why the language of business is in numbers and not opinions

(36:02) What Eric wishes he had known as he was building a team

(37:47) How does Eric gain his knowledge

Episode Transcript:

Brian Charlesworth  0:35  

All right, Hello, everybody. And welcome back to the grid podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth. I'm the founder of Sisu and your host of the show. And for those of you who don't know what Sisu is where real estate transactions online, and what I mean by that we're focused on streamlining the real estate home buying and home selling process, starting with the real estate business, and then allowing everyone involved to collaborate. And that's, that's really a big focus of ours this year. So today, I am here with a special guest, Eric Lowry happens to be one of our Sisu customers, team owners, runs an eXP team out of Cincinnati, Ohio in the surrounding areas. Eric's been in the business now for approximately 20 years. And I know you have some specialties around marketing, Eric relocation and other areas, what have I missed here?

Eric Lowry  1:26  

You made it sound. It's actually almost 23 years, which makes me even older than then you made it sound. But now we want to Team into since based in Cincinnati, where we started we've grown it through, we now operate in the Dayton Ohio market, the Springfield Ohio market, and we also call them Miami county markets we've expanded to serve as more of Ohio, if you will. So, but yeah, right, you hit the nail there.

Brian Charlesworth  1:50  

Great. So tell us a little bit more about your business. How long have you been actually running a team? And what made you get into that? I know you've done a lot in the real estate space. So how did you end up where you are today?

Eric Lowry  2:01  

Yeah, I, you know, I started 1998. It's hard to believe. And just as a solo agent that really work for teams, at least in our area, they weren't teams back then. And I just dove in, I knew I wanted to create a business for myself, I didn't want to just, I didn't want to just have a job in real estate, although at first, that's what it was. But I wanted to build it into a business. And so I just figured by let describe it this way. The other day that resonated with me a little bit, I'm blissfully dissatisfied. So I'm always trying to do more, I'm always trying to push the envelope. And so I got to be a top agent in one of the top, you know, doing well in real estate. And I wanted to build a team. I didn't know how to build a team yet, because it was a lot of models for it. Whereas today, you can just go find people that question and go, I'll do what they do. So it was I messed it up a lot, honestly.

Brian Charlesworth  2:50  

So when you start building a team, how long ago was that?

Eric Lowry  2:54  

The first version of it probably 2005, or six.

Brian Charlesworth  2:59  

Okay, so there was a tremendous amount of learning through failures. Whereas today, there's so many opportunities to learn from the best of the best by going to their masterminds, or getting involved with coaching or training and, and those types of things. So you clearly have an advantage in today's market, if you're willing to put in the work. And one of the things you have on your shirt right now, Eric is grit, which I love, obviously, that's the name of this podcast. And thank you for wearing your grit shirt today. Absolutely. That's I think that's what it's about, you know, people have asked me about my business, what is it about your business that's going to keep you going no matter what. And it's, it's really great. Like, no matter what that this is, what I'm committed to, is really streamlining real estate and making it a better process and making our customers more efficient and those types of things. And so, going over to you back over to what you're focused on. One of the things I learned about your business and doing some of the research is the way you help your agents power through success. And you have five points here that I would love to talk about on this podcast, I'm going to highlight those really quickly so that everyone knows where we're going. And we'll hit those five points and let you describe what's going on there. And then we'll jump into some other areas as well. But those five points are first thing, high-level customer training, second, one on one coaching, third lead generation, fourth contract to close, and then fifth using the best technology. So let's start with number one here. If I come into your team, this is something that you guys have focused on, this is something that you do. And I'm guessing this is a big part of your recruiting strategy is you provide these things. So number one is high-level custom training. Let's talk about that.

Eric Lowry  4:44  

Okay, so my wife Lisa and I are she's co-owner of the team with me, right? She's the director of operations for our team. And we started this business building thing, this team building game, whatever you want to call it, like I said a long time ago, but we really started to gain trust. traction, where it really started, you know, I stopped face planning into the wall quite so many times. And you know, and failing and figuring it out was when we built this value proposition for our team. So before, Brian, if he just said to me in 2000, make it up the year, but let's say in 2012, he said, Eric, I want to join a team, why should I join your team might have said, because we're cool, we try hard, we laugh, we have some fun, we're pretty good at what we do. It was all like, there's nothing really substantive to that it was right kind of erasing stuff. But we created this value proposition where we really sat down and we said, let's answer this question. Why should someone join our team? Really? Why should they join a team? And we came across, and we ended up with these five and almost turned it into a six when you said lead generation, but I also think lead generation and lead conversion are almost two different things for us.

Brian Charlesworth  5:50  

So lead conversion get Yeah. I want to hit on that towards the end here. So let's bookmark that one.

Eric Lowry  5:58  

Yep. Okay, cool. But so the training part, I think, is something that we saw something we could set ourselves apart, in our industry, lots of brokers in our area, and I suspect all across the country will say, Oh, we have the best training, we train your ball, they do all the stuff. And then a new agent or a new agent gets inside of their ecosystem. And they largely are sitting around going great. Now, what do I do?

Brian Charlesworth  6:21  

So does that mean that you're primarily focused on bringing new agents into the business? Is that knowing your expertise? Okay. Yep. So it might be someone brand new, it might be somebody who's been in the business for a year or two, and hasn't quite figured out how to really take off? Maybe they're doing five to 10 transactions a year or something along those lines? That's right.

Eric Lowry  6:41  

Yep. Exactly. And so what we've built is a training platform, it didn't start on a learning automation software, it's there now, right? Where it's literally, you know, online news train rules. So it's all built-out courses and subjects inside of it. So it's, it's very, very, very dialed in at this point, not because we think we're the best thing ever, but because we spent hours and hours building this thing, but it's almost all video-based. Okay, we're a lot of it is me talking about how, you know, when I used to show homes, this is what I did, how I did it, the questions I asked him in listing presentations, and all this stuff, it's all custom to how I did and we've come to find his best practices in the business. And so it's pretty sweet. I'm not gonna lie like we've invested a lot of money in it,

Brian Charlesworth  7:29  

Which I love. Because videos are scalable, right? You bring in a new agent, you can have them go through that training. And is that a requirement? before they start selling houses? Do they have to complete the training? Or what does that look

Eric Lowry  7:43  

like they have there's a, we have a parking spot where they have to get to, right, it's broken up into different subjects. And there's certain stuff that have to have done before they can just do anything, then there's another part of the after I've done before they can gain access to our lead generation systems and all the leads that we generate. we're generating hundreds and hundreds of leads a month for our team members. But we don't just let anybody just go in there and chunk around him. They got to know how we manage the lead process lead conversion follow-up process.

Brian Charlesworth  8:12  

Okay, so is it in a system where you can actually track? Oh, yeah, know how many courses they've completed?

Eric Lowry  8:18  

Yep I can see exactly where they are, what they've done. It's got quizzes built inside of it. So if you're the new agent, and you watch the showing homes, part one video, let's say, there's a quiz there that you're going to have to it's not hard, we're not trying to get them to fail on it. But what we want to have an understanding that they got something out of it. Yes, one of the very beginning videos I recorded was if you're watching a Brian, you would see that it's really short, it might be two minutes long, but it basically says, Brian, here's what I know about this training, you're going to be in a hurry to get through it because you want to get out there selling stuff. And by the way, I want you to too, but here's what I'm going to tell you slow down enough that you get out of this what you need to get out of it. This isn't just a race to get through to the end of the training, I want you to get that knowledge and how to operate, how to do things out of the shirt. And so those quizzes kind of almost forced them to slow down a little bit. They know there's going to be one so they gotta pay attention. They got to get through it. 

Brian Charlesworth  9:16  

Okay, so for our listeners, if this is something I wanted to put in place, how are you measuring what technology are you using to be able to know if they've completed that course 

Eric Lowry  9:26  

We use, There are a few of these learning automation software's out there we chose Trainual, which is train u-a-l is the company, okay. It was recommended to me by a couple other buddies who have similar type teams that are you know, trying to run and build scale. And so I chose Trainule, honestly, because it was, I'm a technology guy. I like it. I mean, I'm not coder or something, but I like technology. And so but it was easy to use. It didn't take me. I didn't have to take six months to figure out how to start using it. Literally. I got it and just started building Building building, which by the way, we're still building on it today.

Brian Charlesworth  10:03  

I'm sure you'll never stop. It's one of those things you never stop. Right? There's exactly the industry is constantly changing. And your people have to know how to like in today's market. I'm sure he recently put something together on how to get your offer accepted.

Eric Lowry  10:18  

We just spent our whole team meeting talking about that. Yeah, literally for an hour. Because it's, it's I described it this way. And they thought it was funny, if not true, but our market is literally like the wild wild west meets Mardi Gras. It's like, it's just nuts out there right now.

Brian Charlesworth  10:33  

And I think that's pretty common across the country. So it is. Okay, so that's, that's training. Let's move on to your one on one coaching. How do you coach your agents? And how is that scalable?

Eric Lowry  10:45  

Yeah, good question. And so I spend my Mondays are basically all blocked off for one on one coaching calls with my team, every member of my team have a one on one coaching call every week, We have a set time. 

Brian Charlesworth  10:59  

So those 30 minute blocks or 30 minute blocks, okay? So it's very similar to them paying 1000 or $1500 a month and paying for your coach, you are their coach. That's right. And walk me through what you do in those one on ones, how you train them, how you hold them accountable, all that kind of stuff.

Eric Lowry  11:19  

Yep. So every one of them has what we call a one-page business plan. We did these back in October, we broke down how many homes we want to sell how much money to make if they did it. And then from that, how many calls that need to make each week how many contacts and so forth. And so they all know their numbers, ignore them for months now. Right. And so each week we review those was one of the beautiful things, shameless plug preseason. But one of the beautiful things about Sisu is I can pull up and screen share their dash with their scoreboard and literally go through how they're doing how they do last week. And also how are they doing for the month, because a month is really a bigger picture. It's more relevant anyone we can look awesome or not awesome. But a month is harder to fabricator mess up, if you will. And so we spend a good amount of time looking at that obstacles, the newer people, honestly, with some of our new people when they first started, it's like extra training. Sometimes it's motivation. Sometimes it's high five, sometimes it's a little shove in the back. And but it's just, it's a straightforward conversation about how they're doing, what they're doing and what they need to work on next. But okay, me, I've learned as I've gotten better at that, it's more question-based than me just talking for a half-hour.

Yeah, I love it. So it sounds like you guys have really gotten into where you're focused on what do you want to accomplish? Here's your goals. Here's how you're going to attain those goals. And every week, you have their dashboards up in front of them. And I'm grateful you use Sisu, thank you for that. But you have their dashboards up in front of them. And that's how you're going through and identifying where their weaknesses are, where their breakdowns are, and how you can help them become more efficient, more effective. Is that right? 

Yes, exactly. One of the things I really like about that, and again, I'm not I mean, you didn't ask me to say this. But with the Sisu dashboard, it's not just about wicked. In there was a point in our team where we just talked about how many conversations Did you have every week, and it was either awesome, or like this was early on, but that was the depth of the conversations we would have. Now it's Yeah, conversations matter. dials matter, too. But dials of nobody answers the phone. Don't get too much, right. So it's become we plug in more down the pipeline. So now it's conversations. But it's also how many new appointment set, and then how many were met. And so we're just we're getting better at this day to refine it all the time. Thanks to guys, like literally, you can just see much farther inside of something. It's more of an Xray than just I don't know what the analogy would be. Yeah, it's what 

Brian Charlesworth  13:48  

Yeah, I love it. And, you know, so many times I've seen, I've seen this with so many agents, obviously, I've helped my wife somewhat as she's built her business up to 30 agents on our team and I don't know, 100 agents in her brokerage, and you see it all the time, where agents will focus on making 500 calls a month or 1000 calls a month, and if they're making 1000 calls a month, in my opinion, there's just too many right? Yeah. 2020 to 25 conversations, good conversations a day, you should be able to schedule an appointment. If you start focusing on appointments, now all of a sudden, it's okay, where's the breakdown? What are you saying? Let's talk about your scripts. Right? Because it's not about just conversations, like you said, it's not about just dials. They're important, but I was at an event recently where somebody said if I haven't been on an appointment today, then what did I actually do? For real estate, right? If I'm a real estate agent, and I haven't been on an appointment today, what did I actually do, am I instead of just dialing for two or three hours in the morning, am I also dialing from four to six at night. So anyway, I love that you do that. And I think it's key to really, to really having successful productive agents.

Eric Lowry  15:08  

Yeah, in that coaching is just one of the things we looked at in our value proposition was like, I've paid $1,000 a month for coaching and all that sort of thing. And so I felt like if we could provide that to our people, and the scaling parts, you know, the bigger we get, the more challenging it is for me, because, you know, I gotta, I gotta make sure I bring the energy, I gotta be there, all those and talk to that many people back to back to back can be, you know, it takes a lot of energy to do that. But I think that can be a really powerful way for us to add value, where they're not, they're not having to write a check for $1,000 a month for someone to help them coach them.

Yeah, exactly. And when I, when I first got into the real estate business, to help my wife grow her business, I hired a coach and I was on every, you know, it was actually Mike Ferry coach, because I was spring wanted me to help her drive her listings that have her business. And so I know how that is. and reporting numbers on the Mike Ferry numbers analyzer is actually a big part of why ceased to exist today, because that was so monotonous, and didn't give me the data I needed. All right, great. Your third point here was lead generation. And we're going to say lead generation and lead conversion, because I know those go together. So let's talk about what you guys do to support your team there. And again, I think I wanted to talk about these because I think these are all key things that every team leader could do to really set themselves apart that maybe they're doing them today, but they're not really focusing in on how they differentiate from other businesses, other team owners other opportunities. So lead generation lead conversion, let's talk about that. 

Sure. That was the, you know, probably where we started with our value proposition, right? Everybody always wants to know about the leads, or the real estate agents want to know, are you going to give me leads? And, and that's important, by the way, we don't sell stuff without people to sell it to right. But I looked at this value proposition in totality, and said, these are six things not. And there maybe they're a little bit weighted, but I think they're all equally important ish, right? So the coaching is as important as a lead gen or whatever. But that one that we really got to and became I don't know, if I say it was it, I especially I got stopped, I don't think I'm an expert in this. But online lead conversion is, for me a bigger deal than online, lead generation. generations, not hard. If you've got a credit card that's got a little bit of room left on it, you can go somewhere and buy some leads right there. That part's not a challenge we use this platform called commissions, apron sink, that's our, that's our website, CRM solution. We've been with them for a long time, their technology is really good. We do a great job with that. And they help us generate hundreds and hundreds of leads a month. But if we just literally feed those into our system, and then never sell these people homes, it's like setting $20 bills on fire. And I don't know about you, Brian, but like, I'm not into that like, like money.

Brian Charlesworth  18:01  

Right now. Most of your lead gen was just on the lead gen side, most of its coming through the Commission's Inc platform. Is that right?

Eric Lowry  18:08  

Yep. And that that is? I mean, there's a number of things that push people to that, but that's our we run our business, CRM, all that kind of stuff, contact us through saying yes,

Brian Charlesworth  18:23  

So lead conversion, your spending? I mean, how much? How much do you need to spend, like per agent to really generate the number of leads? They're going to help them get cells? And? And is there a risk of getting agents to where they're dependent on your leads and can't generate their own leads as well. So SOI being a key thing that they should be focusing on as well.

Eric Lowry  18:43  

Yeah, there is a risk to that for sure. I, we don't really, I don't feel much of that inside of our business. Because one of the things going back to the training part that we did, we use Trello for it. And we just, we've really started building this out. But we were building a module a subject, of course, we're going to call it called sphere power, which is a whole series of trainings on how to get more business from your sphere, starting with social and a whole myriad of things. There's a whole different path, we can go down, but we're, we're trying to make sure we keep balance with that we're teaching training coaches on how to get more business from their sphere, while we're generating a ton of leads for them that, you know, by our Google AdWords, Facebook, you know, SEO, all the stuff that we do that way also.

Brian Charlesworth  19:28  

Okay. AdWords, Facebook, SEO are all plugging into sync and SOI I'm sure you're doing some sort of they used to call it 33 touch but now there's 39 Touch 64 Touch whatever however many touches you want to give me. 

Eric Lowry  19:44  


Brian Charlesworth  19:44  

Yeah, I'm sure you're doing that through commissions Inc. as well. Is that right?

Eric Lowry  19:48  

Yep. And the next thing we're gonna work on with our agents is getting them making more video as well that they can then use in their, in their channels and reaching their folks that way, too. We're not executing on that. To be clear, I'm not claiming that one yet. That's kind of the next step for us in that marketing. But video is so important today, we got to keep pushing the envelope on

Brian Charlesworth  20:07  

that. Okay, so I feel like we've hit your lead gen. Let's talk about your lead conversion.

Eric Lowry  20:13  

Yeah, the conversion part is, it's a part I like best I don't know, somewhere along the line, I just started getting into it and geeking out on it. And we just have built and built and built a system a process around how we follow up with leads. And the first thing I would tell you about my belief, and our team's belief about lead conversion is going back almost as t-shirt. Right? It's grit. We never stopped following up. One of the things I teach, I teach a course on online lead conversion, one of the things I talked about very early on, and that is, agents give up way too early. Like, they'll get a lead the column the person didn't pick up, or maybe they call you got them on the phone, and I get you on the phone. And Brian, you tell me I was just looking and I go, okay, crap on ever, and I'm on to the next week. But you aren't just looking if you came into my funnel somewhere, and you did a search, and you gave me your name and your so we teach our team on? Well, when Brian says, you know, he was just looking, I say, hustle. That's exactly what our sites for Brian, tell me a little bit more about what you're looking for. So we script we down there to get way deeper than just your objection, which isn't that creative, right come up. If you want to get me off the phone, you better have something more creative than I was just looking. And so we're just gonna keep we keep teaching training and coaching our agents all the time on that. And then we use AI for follow-up a lot of text messaging so that we never stopped with that, because it's not a human being. It's a machine, it just does what it's supposed to do at every given moment. And is there a particular system you use that?

Yeah, we structurally use 

Brian Charlesworth  21:59  

Structurally Okay,

Eric Lowry  22:00  

Which is, you know, for me, at least it was though, early on, it was the one that really came on my radar, and we've been using it for a long time. And they help us immensely with, you know, getting in contact with people and you know, some of the stuff that people will tell our assistance is pretty amazing. It can help with the conversion when you just know more about people. So

Brian Charlesworth  22:20  

Yeah, okay, great. So you're basically in the conversion side, it's really goes back to your training and teaching them how to ask the right questions and how to ask more questions, rather than giving up on these guys. Yeah,

Eric Lowry  22:36  

A big part of our training a big part, if you were to graph out what's our training on a whole big part of it's on that

Brian Charlesworth  22:43  

So scripting and how to ask the right questions, and how to respond and all of that stuff that’s vital. If, if there's one thing you need to learn as a real estate agent to be able to thrive and survive. It's that Yeah, right. So the

Eric Lowry  22:58  

The mindset around it, right? So we talked a lot about on our team, just about mindset, you know, what in business or in life is the precursor to success is mindset, right? 90% or whatever the success is mindset. It's not different in lead generation, lead, lead conversion, sorry, it's not different. 90% of your success is your mindset if you're willing to keep going in the right way. Not obsessing and driving people crazy but adding value asking better questions and that sort of thing. But yep, matters a lot. A lot.

Brian Charlesworth  23:28  

Yep. And part of mindset is just confidence to I mean, it's the energy you bring, when you're in that conversation. They can feel your energy even more so than they can feel than relate to the questions you're asking.

Eric Lowry  23:43  

Absolutely. Yeah. No, there is such a large part of human communication is body language like you, you and I can see each other right now. Right? So if I'm slumped back in my chair and got my chin and my like, you'll know you can read my body language real world, a phone with someone, you lose that. And so the biggest part of communication then becomes tonality. How much energy how much enthusiasm do you bring to the table? And no one wants to work with a deadhead.

Brian Charlesworth  24:09  

Yeah, great. Okay, so I'm gonna move on to number four or five I guess it's number five since we have six because we've covered the online lead generation, which is your contract close process. So I'm guessing your team members come in and you guys take over the contract close and they are really focused on selling Is that right?

Eric Lowry  24:32  

Yep, that's exactly our agents sell their core activities our you know, lead generation some because you know, we still want to work in the sphere and looking for business that way, but then lead follow up with all the leads we're generating, going on appointments, going on listing appointment or buyer, one to one writing contracts. Negotiating. That's all we should be doing. Yeah, high-power professional salespeople. That's all they should be doing. And so we just, we take the rest of it off their plate, which by the way, Gives them your whole life, right? When you're having to do that stuff, you just don't have to, you know, you're not Friday night on the phone or texting the lender or what I, you know, we just give them a better chance to have some balance that way too.

Brian Charlesworth  25:11  

So talk to us about what you guys are doing for contract closed? How are you managing that process today?

Eric Lowry  25:16  

So we've used, we haven't, we've had a system that we've built out with custom follow-up plans for contract to close that we've been using. I don't know, five years now or something. Basically, it's all customized to our way of doing our follow up our cadence of the emails, all that stuff's all been built out that way. I'd love to describe it to you in greater detail, except for I don't know,

Brian Charlesworth  25:43  

Are you managing that in Google Sheets? or something? or How are you manage that?

Eric Lowry  25:47  

We use it, we use a brevity software,

Brian Charlesworth  25:50  

Oh, you're using brevity for that.

Eric Lowry  25:51  

Okay, purely just for that we only have that piece of it. That's, we started that. But I don't probably five years ago, because we needed some we need to get off paper, we weren't going to do paper that. And so we just over the years, it's just been so much more customized. Now that, you know, it makes making those changes out of something like that hard doesn't make it impossible, but it makes it harder to change. So we just keep doing that. But it's very systems-based. Yeah, that's what I would tell you. It's not, there's nothing left to chance where we can provide a higher level of customer service to our clients. Because they get the same experience every time they get the same phone call on the seventh day. And, you know, whatever supposed to happen happens.

Brian Charlesworth  26:30  

So Yep. Okay, so I've heard great things about brevity, just so you know, your data is in Sisu anyway. And you could use Sisu for that as well. But

Eric Lowry  26:43  

I suspect we will one of these days. I do know that. Yeah,

Brian Charlesworth  26:46  

Whatever is best for your business is what we want. So we're not like, there's always overlap, and we just want you guys to be successful.

Eric Lowry  26:54  

But the truth of the matter is because where I'm very systems-oriented, like we have a team that how do I how can I say we build a system for success for our agents, I could see that and just put that out there. And if there's nothing behind it, then it's just lame, and we're gonna get figured out pretty quick. So if you're gonna make that kind of a statement, I think you'd better be pretty systems-based. And we are, but I certainly don't, I would love us to have less tech platform systems than we have, right? Like, I would love Sisu to do eight things. Instead of me having eight platforms doing one thing, that kind of thing for

Brian Charlesworth  27:26  

The true benefit of that is eliminating duplicate entry. Right? Yeah, if you're putting stuff into multiple systems, it can get cumbersome. So don't for real. So you've hit on four or five technology platforms that you're using from think Sisu, Structurally, brevity. But let's talk about using the best technology. I mean, you've already hit on that. Is there something we've missed?

Eric Lowry  27:51  

Those are the big core things like, you know, sometimes people say to me, guys, why do you think it costs so much? It does, but like, you know, I've been a sync user for, I don't know, we might be on our seventh year, right. So we're pretty all in on it as a technology. If it didn't work extraordinarily well, though. Like, you know, they'd be gone in a day I take, but it does work extraordinarily well. And it provides us a lot, you know, with our agents have a full app for their whole CRM on their phone or tablet. So they can be anywhere in the world literally, and have access to do anything they can on their phone or tablet that they could on a desktop, we have consumer app. But those are all kind of the same technology. Like we just I've always on the lookout for what, what's the best technology that can help us do the very best we can for our clients and for our agents, right. And by the way, you know, and this isn't a plug for this in any way, shape, or form. But we changed brokerages a year ago, a year and a month ago because of better technology. Right? Like we just that it matters so much in an era where we part of the reason why we've been able to grow so much this past year into not just the Cincinnati market, but we're now in four different marketplaces is because of technology. Right? In the old days, we couldn't have done what we did. Like it would be, you know, virtually impossible. So technology matters a lot to us. It's it is in this changing industry, that's going to continue to we're all in on that for sure.

Brian Charlesworth  29:17  

Yes. So when you say you changed brokerages in a year, a year ago, that's when you moved over to the eXP,

Eric Lowry  29:23  

Correct. That's right. Yeah.

Brian Charlesworth  29:25  

Okay. We've covered a lot, but I know there are some other areas of expertise that whether it be I think we've hit on your lead conversion lead generation. What about anything else on internet marketing that you want to talk about outside of what we've discussed?

Eric Lowry  29:41  

Well, I mean, we could talk I could go for the class I teach is an hour long and I have to go really fast to get it all in there. So we could go for quite a long time. But it is a, you know, I'll say this about it. You know, just to start off, is it. I don't see it as almost like I don't see it as Internet lead conversion. anymore. But when I started, I had my first website in 2000. Right back then we had internet leads. And they were seen as, like the bottom of the barrel of the most real estate agents because they were internet leads. Well, today, they're just people, like they're just leads. And if you look at him as or treat them much differently, you're, you're just doing it wrong. I think it's wrong mindset because like who isn't online looking for homes today? But tell me who like who is it everyone is in one of the big up. So I'll throw this in there. This was a thing I talk about this in my course or a class that I teach it. A couple of years ago, this was a big mindset switch for our team. Because we used to generate all these leads through sync, we call them buyer leads, right? People call buyer leads all the time. Well, we generate a lot of them. And they're awesome. We sell a lot of them houses, but about 34% of them have a house to sell. So we stopped calling them buyer leads and we just started calling so people don't like the word leads, we call them leads but we stopped differentiating because we don't know until we talk to them. We're either buyer leads or seller leads. We all today what seller leads like crazy, right? buddy of mine said, told me a couple of days ago, he said a listing contracts like a bank deposit slip. Yeah. And it is so for us. Like you know, it's all hands on deck right now for our leads and making sure we know which ones have a house to sell. And how do we get? How do we get to their kitchen table?

Brian Charlesworth  31:31  

Absolutely. I mean it and that comes back to scripting? Right?  If you're talking to someone who is buying looking to buy a house, are you asking the right questions to find out if they have a house to sell if they need to sell? Or do they even know what their home is worth? Right? asking the questions so that you can get to sell and I actually work with one of my wife's agents, I work with a few of her agents and hold them accountable. It helps me stay on top of what I should be doing from the Sisu perspective as well. And yeah, one of our agents, we just got him to where he's never going to show another house, right? He just has showing assistant show his houses so that he can spend that time getting more listings. Right. And so, yeah, definitely a key thing to mention there. So internet marketing, it sounds like you guys are generating all of your own leads. Are you doing anything with companies like Zillow, or realtor or any of those guys?

Eric Lowry  32:27  

Now, we did Zillow A long time ago. And because you know, I've kind of looked at this online lead generation thing. And I looked at as a business, it's something I was building expertise in. And I'm a numbers guy, right? I have spreadsheets for my spreadsheets, basically. And so I have I stole this concept from Tom Ferry, it's called market I call it marketing is math. He called it that and I have a spreadsheet called marketing is math. And it's all our lead sources. Where do we get the business from? What do we get? You know, what was the cost per lead? What was the ultimate we sold? we've generated this many questions where I knew the ROI. By the way, there's an easier way now. So there,

Brian Charlesworth  33:08  

There is yes. And just so you know, we're building an integration with sync right now that will pull all of your leads that are generated into Sisu so we can give you your ROI. without you having to do anything, right, that's easy.

Eric Lowry  33:22  

So this will be amazing. Thank you very much. But I've tracked it for a long time. And so I knew early on, I couldn't get the return I wanted at a Zillow for the cost in my area now can be different all across the country. And I'm sure there are people that are doing it clearly. But for us, it didn't work. So I stopped doing it. And we spent some money, not a major amount with realtor.com until they switched to a 35% referral fee model in my market instead of just, you know, hey, spend this much and you'll get about this many leads. And so

Brian Charlesworth  33:52  

To that came with the acquisition of that came with the acquisition of upcity. Right? Yeah,

Eric Lowry  33:57  

Yeah. And so for me, the economics of that don't work, right. Because when I have acquisition costs of, you know, I know the math, right. And for me, again, other people do it differently. And I don't have any judgment, we have this beauty of real estate is we can all do things differently. But when I looked at, you know, if I'm going to pay 35%, and then there's going to be a split with my team and all in and I know what margin, I want my business to end at the end of the year with I know that number. And so when you reverse engineer it 35% didn't work. So I took all that money out of our realtor.com spin and plowed into more Google AdWords like Google ad. My cost per lead on Google Ads is I don't want to stay on the air because nobody believed me. It's silly low.

Brian Charlesworth  34:39  

Yeah. Okay. So I think part of the reason it might not work is your average price point. So let's talk about that. What is your average price point in your area?

Eric Lowry  34:49  

Our market is about 225 ish. Our team's average sale price in 2020 was 256,000. So we are a tiny bit higher than that Average?

Brian Charlesworth  35:01  

Yeah. So in Utah, we're at about 350. Now, and I think as you get closer to the coast, both east and west, you're gonna be, you know, more like 676, 700. Right. So anyway, average price points make a big difference on whether or not that works for you. So I'm glad you recognize that though and measure that. And I mean, it makes a difference to be able to make intelligent decisions based on knowing your numbers, right? Yeah, no, it's

Eric Lowry  35:29  

I mean, you know, the language of business is numbers, not opinions, right. And so we just, we look at the numbers of stuff. And if it's working, we keep doing it. If it is, after a period of time, we're going to stop right when I do stuff that doesn't work forever. Like, my agents are counting on me to make the right decisions about this stuff. Right. They're their livelihoods are dependent upon.

Brian Charlesworth  35:51  

Yeah, absolutely. 

Eric Lowry  35:52  

They take that lightly. Yeah.

Brian Charlesworth  35:54  

So is there anything else that you want to share? Before I have a few personal questions I want to ask you, but before we jump into those, is there anything else you want to share? Like you would give us advice for someone building a team that somebody has been key for you?

Eric Lowry  36:10  

Building the team part's easy for me, I wish I had known this back in the day. So this is, is this hindsight, or 20, out of whatever that is, the first thing is get real clear on why you're doing what you're doing. You need to understand what you're trying to build. To me, that includes having, you know, some kind of a mission and vision statement of not airy fairy stuff, you're gonna write and hang on the wall and never look at it again. But getting real clear on why you're trying to accomplish what you're trying to do. What are you building, and then that value proposition is huge. When I would have conversations with someone about joining our team prior to that, man, I like, most of the time, it was okay, and they didn't sign with us. We've got a whole process for building out how we do recruiting now, right deal with pre-screens and all this sort of stuff. But like, by the time I talk to someone now an appointment like that, we're converting, they're signing, they're joining with us 80 plus percent of the time. So that’s a big thing. I think you just got to do that, to make sure you're offering the right value. But also going back to the beginnings of it, make sure you know what you're building and why you're doing it. You don't want to build this whole big team because somebody said you should. And then you get it built, you look at you go I hate this. Like if you're not, if you're not into helping other people build a real estate business, you shouldn't be building the team. Right? Like you're crazy. You're doing it just because you think you're gonna get rich. There's a better model for that.

Brian Charlesworth  37:40  

Great advice. So moving into a little bit more of your personal life, which we won't go too deep here. But what is your favorite book or your favorite source of learning? How do you gain your knowledge?

Eric Lowry  37:53  

Ooh, that's really good. It's like favorite book, my favorite book that we give to every. I don't know if it's my personal favorite. It's up there. But we give every member of our team when they join us. We give them a book called fanatical prospecting.

Brian Charlesworth  38:05  

Mm hmm.

Eric Lowry  38:06  

I don't think I have one laying here right now. But it's super easy. Simply called fanatical prospecting. We buy one for every person on the team, because it's just such it's complete and total alignment with how we think about that online lead gen conversion prospecting kind of thing. What's my favorite book, man, I have a lot to be honest with you, it changes. I read a ton. Like I've read probably six or seven books already this year. I got, I used to have a bookcase full of them. You can see a few of them back there. But I used to buy them. And then every time you might get you recommend a book and I'd go buy it. And then I ended up with a stack of books like this. So then I started buying everything on Kindle. It's cheaper at least. And so I read a lot a lot. A couple things I've read recently that I really liked was ones called average sucks. by Mark and a half.

Brian Charlesworth  38:59  

Yeah, Marc Benioff.

Eric Lowry  39:01  

Close it's close. The book is called average sucks. That one is very good. I'm reading. By the way, he is the founder of Salesforce and CEO of Salesforce, no, that's not the right guy, then different guy. It's a different guy. Um, the book 100% if you go on Amazon, and search average sucks that it's there. That's just it's the wrong name.

Brian Charlesworth  39:21  

Okay, and I love that title. So good. And when you say average sucks, it reminds me of just like, if you ask somebody how they're doing, and they say, Good. The reality is good sucks, right? I mean, what used to be great, you know, it's or what? What's good now you have to say great now to even be deemed good. And then what's above that, right? I mean, good. As good as average.

Eric Lowry  39:46  

Yep. It just pulled it up. It's Michael Bernoff. Okay. I was close. Right. was close.

Brian Charlesworth  39:55  

Yeah,  Okay. So you know, same initials. We were talking to MB. So

Eric Lowry  39:59  

Exactly. I read that one I just finished rereading actually that one not so long ago that one was, um, it's really good. I would definitely recommend that one.

Brian Charlesworth  40:08  

Well, I have not read average sucks. So I will take that and run with it. So thank you for that. Yeah. So what's your favorite thing to do in your personal time?

Eric Lowry  40:18  

Um, travel,  our kids are a little bit older now. So we, you know, I mean, COVID kind of put a crimp on that last year, obviously, but we'd like to, at least not to travel a lot. Part of the reason why we need to build a scalable business now that can not have me be present in everything every moment. And her because we're both in this business. You know, we were if it really was dependent on just me and her touching everything we'd be, we never get to go anywhere. So we like to travel.

Brian Charlesworth  40:43  

So what's your favorite place to visit? If that's where do you guys like to go? The beach for sure.

Eric Lowry  40:49  

We are going in a couple months. We're going to try beach we've never been to before down the Florida coast called Indian rocks beach. It's on the Gulf side. So I can't say it's my favorite because we've never been there before. But we like the Gulf Coast. For sure. The beaches. They're amazing. Number two place would probably be Arizona. I love Phoenix to Dona that area. It's really awesome to be okay,

Brian Charlesworth  41:11  

Great. Well, thank you so much, Eric. It's been fun getting to learn more about your business and getting to know more about you. So how do people get ahold of you if they want to? What's the best way to reach you?

Eric Lowry  41:22  

It's super easy. Like if you go on, you know, everybody's favorite social channel, Facebook. You know, I'm super easy to find there. It's my profile. I think it's Eric Lowery01 or something. If you just search Eric Lowery, I'm going to pop up right there my profile super public so you can find me that way. My email is just my first name. Eric eric@Loweryteam.com. And that's Lowry l-o-w-r-y team.com don't put an E in it, or I won't get it. I'm on Instagram, and I'm on all the places. So LinkedIn, I'm there. I've been working on my LinkedIn profile a bit. So it's trussed up a little bit so you can check me out.

Brian Charlesworth  42:01  

Okay, great. Well, Eric, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. Really appreciate it. And we'll talk to you soon.

Eric Lowry  42:07  

Absolutely, man. I appreciate it. Thank you.

About the Author

Brian Charlesworth
Chairman and CEO

Brian is an entrepreneur and business builder. He has built and sold companies in the software, telecommunications, and franchise space. He’s passionate about technology and focused on changing lives through driving technology forward.