Podcast

Episode 66 - GRIT The Real Estate Growth Mindset with Todd Crockett

Brian Charlesworth
April 27, 2021

Todd Crockett has been in the real estate business since 1995. He is an instructor who trains fellow realtors across the United States. He's also a much sought after speaker for conventions and business seminars. Todd uses his education and experience to incorporate innovative concepts that give sellers a major marketing advantage in selling their home. 


Today, Todd is a partner for The Crockett Team at Howard Hannah.  He is also the Chief Encouragement Officer for TrainLaunch, a video presentation training technology. Currently, he’s into using video to revolutionize marketing.


In this episode, we talked about:


01:52 Why the leads you got during the pandemic, are the leads you’re going to keep

04:30 How Todd got into video advertising online 

06:01 How Facebook allowed Todd to connect with talented videographers

10:42 Why sharing solutions for prepping a property enhances your client’s experience. 

12:54 Why Todd does property prep at his own expense

16:03 What does “entertrainment” mean?

18:02 The importance of creating a memorable experience for the client and capture it in video

19:06 How making things fun and convenient can drive a referral business

20:05 How to create videos that make a difference

21:11 What are the key things that are going to take your business to the next level in 2021

24:04 The value of providing a fluid performance

24 42 Why it’s not always about transferring the title




Episode Transcript:



Brian Charlesworth  0:35  

Todd's gonna be talking to us about video today. And isn't it great, but Todd runs a team at Howard Hanna has been extremely successful, we're grateful to have him as a Sisu customer. Anyway, Todd, you've also developed a video company of your own software technology company. So anyway, I'm excited to hear what you have to say today. The key thing here you're saying how we're using video to target marketing. And it's important that you're targeting who you want, right, you know who it is you want to bring in. So anyway, I'm gonna let you just kick things off. I'll be here to ask questions along the way.


Todd Crockett  1:10  

Well, in listening to your session with Grier, earlier, you referenced Lauren young, the chief economist of NPR. And I also recall hearing Laura and John on stage. All right, before we had that great recession, I was right in the midst of it. And at that time, going forward said never waste a crisis. And so for us at that time, we really had to then see what additional costs we could cut, we were overstaffed. And so we really had to be to that mode of never wasted crisis, because sometimes you have to have tough conversations. And part ways that people will part ways with programs or vendors or advertising. And that now I think it's really to the point of view pivot on a pandemic. I know one of the things that you mentioned, the leads that you get now are the leads you can keep. Because I think if you're ever having a transaction with somebody in 2020, I mean of all the time here 2020 vision, who saw this coming, right? That's a whole different vision. But the other people, it's an experience, they're going to remember, they're going to remember moving in that epic year. And we're so blessed to be in the housing industry, where we have the elimination of distractions, because we're having a lot of virtual seminars is not, we're not traveling as much not traveling really too much at all, our clients aren't traveling, they're not going to concerts, they're not going to baseball games, so they're really focusing on their housing. And maybe you look for ways to look for houses with his in her closet, not in his in her offices, or the workout space. So you're seeing that and I think it's also an opportunity for us to really capture some higher-end clients. And that's what we specifically did to do is target clients that would be looking for that type of property, where they could have a countertop really have a compound effect, because they want more, more privacy, they want the home gym, they want all of these items. And a lot of times you've got, you may want to have your own pool. I know in this subdivision, my folks live in over nap club, when they had to pull their head in you have to like register Do you want you're at the country club pool? Do you want a certain date? Like a month-out book? So like it's June and they're like, Okay, do you want August 12, the morning or the afternoon? I mean, I'm like, I'm hot. I'm gonna pull in five minutes. I'm not thinking five weeks in advance. So I think that really opened up the opportunity. Then I saw on our local newspaper on Cleveland cleveland.com, which is combined with over with online advertising what's called advantage, one that they have a little promo that if you spend 50 there, here's a great promotion, they say you know what? It's like a grant if you go ahead and apply for it. And then you spend 1500 a month they'll match it. So I got approved to spend a month right? They Yes, they approved me. But then it's they missed but you've got to do it for three consecutive months. And I was fine with that. So we did some really good math with our team kind of branding, videos with masks, and how to how we would show properties and sell properties safely. So that just made good client awareness and kind of educated in a fun, entertaining way. Yeah, we partnered up with some really upper-end properties and actually used to do videos that would go property videos about a minute maybe because you know, video these Okay, two minutes or less, 90 seconds. So last minute or less. And then I agreed to do this because I thought it's good videos ready to go. And they're like, okay, 30 seconds or less, and you're like, Oh, good. Now you got to really make it more impactful. So we worked on a series of videos for our properties that would just be upgrading properties, pretty punchy, fun videos, and we got him done with 30 seconds or less. And so it also made me realize, okay, let me hit a different target audience. So I went over to cranes.com and a lot of people, a lot of people get crazy He's in our area of Crain's Cleveland, maybe in your area as well. There are a lot of different cities that have trades in it is just all the business insights of what's going on commercial real estate, anything in the area-specific going on to just particular city. And most people really enjoy reading the cranes. I like anytime I visit an office in downtown Cleveland, always grab a copy of this. So much of the point I subscribe to it. But guess what, people aren't going to the office as much. So where are they reading cranes? They're reading and I'm like, so we went over and spoke at the rapid cranes said, Okay, here's what I'm going to be doing over at Clifton calm. Can you pop in some 32nd spots on cranes? So we did that. And then to our delight, he quickly responded back after the first month, he's like, okay, you're getting eight times the engagement and open rates than we've ever seen on any cranes videos, and then tell my videographer, okay, we got a 10x. Now we gotta step up a little bit.


Brian Charlesworth  5:54  

Now do you have in house videographer or that's outsourced.


Todd Crockett  5:58  

We have basic in house because it is well, here's the beautiful thing about Facebook and Facebook reminders as well. There's a great Cleveland event photographer named Orville and he does a lot of major events, photography, some video, and I'd always try and say, Hey, Orville, can you work on this? Can you be like Todd, I can shoot it, I got down and have to shoot it. I can't I don't have time to edit it. So about March, Facebook pops up. And it's like, Yeah, you did this with Orville, and I'm like, Orville event photographer, there are no events or well, so at that point, we ended up working in a partnership on a video production company. So I can utilize his expertise. And then with anybody, it's just a matter of trying to scale things because we've got Orville overbooked, it is now bringing on other videographers in here in this compound that can house six of them could live here plus have the ability of an extra 20 in the area could actually come here and have a creative compound for content creators, whether it's writers or video producers or cameraman talent, so we can really scale it up that way. So different things that we did. So one of the cool things, and this is a property that I did the same things I mentioned with cranes. At that point, we just spend 1500 a month. And so it helped with I actually got this listing because over in the huncle, my parents lived out with video with property with the drone. Orville was and I get a text message is that your drone flying next to a house? Yes. And this will my dad needs to sell the house that he has over Kirkland hills, it's going to be the 1.3 million range. And I'm so great. So we go ahead, listed that one. And it had a really long driveway. And so when I was in there, I was like, You know what, if you list with me today, I'll have my guys pressure wash the whole driveway. What did think how long it was actually to bring seven hoses over to pressure wash the whole driveway. But then when we did the video, we brought in a girl that goes on rollerblades and swivels around. And so she would hold up the sign that says pond or fountain indoor so it's not just going into the property itself to its making it how do you captivate it and make it look more entertaining for people. So we did that which created a lot of interest with it. And this is a really good ideal property to entertain it. It's gonna, you know, phenomenal pavilion overlooking the pool. So we decided, you know what, let's do a pop-up party because one thing I learned I really, really liked to do, Brian is throw parties at other people's houses, just like some really nice house. So I did this and I didn't really look in 48 hours or less. I called up had live music. And I saw this other group on Facebook that explained and does fire spinning and I'm Oh, you're perfect. You're on the team. So invited in and then we had a pop up video party there and you capture that as well. And that had really good feedback. And then I had a buyer that actually happened to meet over in. It was actually over at lifetime when I was working out in the sauna. He does a lot of real estate people who may know him as Mark Evans, Mark dm, but he calls me on that property. He's like, hey, Tom, this is Mark Evans. I'm like wait a minute. I'm like I can fix your face and I'm like I can pick your hat because he always wears his hat his stylish hat. So it's funny because I pull them up on it now people you say how you look on Instagram or hi look at an Instagram he's sitting so he's sitting there he's got the head on cigar in his mouth he's got like Bentley beating up three phenomenal cars Rolls Royce spectacular you know when he comes up in the Mercedes SUV saying look but then he pulls out the baby carries and I'm like even volleys carry baby so that he carried the baby in there and then sure enough, I was able to sell that property myself directly. And then have a really cool pop up party video. So you'll have to see that sometimes you want to see what so then we put that on Craigs.com as well. I had another you unique property.


Brian Charlesworth  9:53  

I have a question for you around this. So you with the pandemic really started focusing on high-end videos and targeting the high-end market. What I know you know your average price point because you have Sisu so last year, your average price point was what? And what is it this year


Todd Crockett  10:11  

If you're in the team, you know, our team's only about 227,000. Me personally, you know, I pushed it well over 400,000. And sales just recently started going higher than as it's coming in right now to pull it by should know that exact number. It's crazy to pull that out. But we have now just increasing that price. So I do twofold because number one on those properties, you're going all in giving them a complete media package that's going to attract more people because like as you said, the leads you get now the leads you keep. And you also make an experience that they want to share for others have a video so cool that they want to share it. So I'm on that along with sharing solutions. So I also, I've got the team of five guys right now, not not the burger place, but it sounds like the burger place. And I joked about that on Saturday morning, because I had a previous client that wanted to buy a house. And I'm showing it to them. And both of their in laws are there, they liked the house. And then you get the text message from the agent. There's an offer on the house right now. And you're like, Okay, how do you say this, you know, to the giveaway. And I just kind of want you to see this text. And so they decided to buy that property without the sale of theirs. But they still, you know, one of the sellers pretty quickly. And it's a painting of things to do. And so on Saturday, eight o'clock, I had five guys there, painted the entire basement, painted all of the trim. I said it's complimentary. I mean, and then I had an open house that night. That day, let me see that I had an open house on Sunday. Monday, we had six offers on the property sold that well over list price got him 30 days rent free, so they can actually not close on their current property before heading out to the next one. So I think it's a lot of times, it's how you can simplify things. People want to make a move. I deal with a lot of estate sales properties where you may have three siblings, and they need to sell the family house. And what happens if you ever get that name, like, they try and clear it out. What happens is they'll go there on Saturday, like 10 or 11. They'll start looking at some photo albums, they'll cry and they'll leave and they really don't get anything done. And I'm like, Okay, what you really just need to do is just take anything that you want. If there's anything you want me to donate, just market donate, we just stickers to do that. Martha, if there's things that you want to put in storage, let me know that. And then we've got guys and trucks that will literally dispose things, get a dumpster, we take things over to Lake County furniture bank, so we will clear the property out, paying it pulling the wallpaper, pulling a carpet, we do hardwood floors, just so they can literally do things and I got guys that will do it very efficiently. So I normally will lose a little bit of money on property prep.


Brian Charlesworth  12:58  

But do you actually do that at your own expense.


Todd Crockett  13:13  

It most of the time to do it at my expense. Sometimes if it's a if it's minor, I'm going to do it at my expense. If it's a property, one of them I said, Okay, here's what we've done to the property. I'm like, it's gonna get on the carpet. Some things I'm like, it would you know, my guys can do all of this. And it would be 30 $500, I probably spent over five. But again, didn't make a difference. I got that listing, I'm going to get both the listings on either side of them. But nowadays, if you can provide that solution, whatever it may be, so any property prep slows people down. And right now we're in the timeframe where it's an active market. The leaves are changing, you know, it's changing right now you're starting to see him, they're going to start falling. And then you also come over. Once you hit November, we lose an hour of daylight. So all of a sudden, you're trying to show house, you show it during the week. It's gonna be dark, probably November show to get on the weekend. So when you have it, it's how quickly can you get it on the market. When I leave here today, I'll be bringing the drone over. They called me up and it was called New promise church. So if you ever want to over deliver, you do that for the new promise church. So they've got a property here, two homes on it past you used to live in the back one, they had a property upfront, they could use a rental. And at that point, that was part of the compensation if you work for the church you to housing, but they want to sell that property now. Put some improvements in the church. So interviewing three realtors, and I walked through the first ranch and I looked in this, you know, in the basement, I see some trim missing basement needs to be painted. And I'm like, you know I can have guys do that. I can have guys do that. So I said we'll do all that. So we're doing I did things that I you know, didn't even tell them about should wash the driveway, refinish the deck. This is funny when you get a call. And somebody normally if you get a call, but any contractors, they're normally saying, okay, you know, where are your guys? things? Yeah, when's it going to be done, I get a call from Pastor Roy yesterday, he's like, you didn't tell me you're putting in a hardwood floor. And he was slightly concerned. So they thought I was going to charge you. But in the back main house, did a big garage with two entrances, one in the laundry room. One is really nice office, when I saw it, it all have boxes in it. Now they've been password moved out. Now it just says it's got no flooring, I bought flooring from my neighbor of wild actually extra flooring, I knew it would cover that. So it wasn't very expensive for me to get. So then I just said, my guys lay the hardwood floor on there. But it's nice when you actually surprise somebody with a hardwood floor in there. And so that one will hit the market, I'll take pictures today, I'll actually then attend their service that they have 1030 on Sunday, and then have it held open right afterwards. But you just get that type of when you overwhelm people and just create, I know, you've talked about user experience or customer experience, you know, we really kind of look for, we call it entertainment, if you can have a visitor or guests entertainment, where you literally entertain them, at the same time that you train them on the process of what's going on, and just make it so it's excitable for them that they really, you know, you know, our job is to help them transfer title. In the meantime, with transferring energy, here's what we're gonna do, here's what my guys can do. And then you still do more than you ever said. And then it just you get compound with referrals. So that was that's a base of you know, that's the base of a market and Cleveland. But that allows me to get things done service a lot of clients, but then also adapts and carve out the market where you can afford the investment it takes to get to higher-end properties. Because that's you're investing some dollars in the videos and technology, the drone. So I got the new drone I've got when I was little concerned, I'm looking horrible. And I thought it was like his screen was cracked on his phone because I see like, yellow stripes on this thing. And I'm like, what's wrong with the drone? He's like, no, that's a tracking device. So when the girls scanning on the driveway, it's literally following their tracking. And so then I said okay is collect that another property called Africa acres used to be 1100 acre retreat for like three elite families that were involved at homes over a million is from Cleveland. So am I horrible? For this one, I'm going to get a mechanical bird, and I want to fly it and I want you to feel trapped in this thing. And somebody said to me do not fly the burden, I said the burden is really cheap. I really don't care if the bird crashes. But they're like, isn't the drone tracking the birds, bird crashes. I said Good point, orvil pull off the bird, I don't really know how to fly the bird. And I can prove that because then he later took a video of me getting the bird off the roof of the house because I did land it there. But I think if you can go all over, you know, settle anything for your clients and whatever it takes the type of attitude day. They appreciate that because when he went to drone that property, I see the branches all up on the roof. So pull that around, we'll get the branches off. But I think with those, those clients, you know, their business owners, this gentleman or that property happens to own a business that man is manufactures everything for display cases for loans and everything that holds up for like faucet items and things of that nature. So he's got a large clientele but, you create experiences like Wow, I can't believe everything that you did. And then you just get more referrals that way. But what you have to then do is captured on video. So first we've captured the properties, then we'll double back and capture all the testimonials, but really quick, punchy with a good edit. I'm gonna take a drink closes through Drew, we're supposed to have participation and I don't participate enough. So I'm hoping product placement counts as participation. 


Brian Charlesworth  19:04  

Todd, It seems to me that you go out of your way to make things fun, and to make things convenient for whomever you're working with. And in doing that, what's happening is you're driving a referral business. Is that a fair description?


Todd Crockett  19:23  

Definitely. Yeah. It's funny when the pastor tells me Listen, you know, it was pretty close. between three of you know, three realtors, we interviewed, and then I met him last night. So my goal is to make sure it wasn't even close. I mean, he thought it was close going in. But what you see what we've done, just prepping the property, it will start marketing it today. It's a clear decision. And then again, create that experience. You know, then you want to just get the video sort of text version so that you get a video done. You can text it to your seller at work, where they're showing other people this. They're saying I can't believe they did this item. So it's just a matter of How quick and punchy and fun you can make a 32nd video.


Brian Charlesworth  20:04  

So if I'm not doing a lot of videos today in my business, how do I quickly get into that? What kind of equipment or record is required? How are you creating videos that are making a difference?


Todd Crockett  20:16  

Yeah, I think just to start off with a video, that cell phones that we have nowadays are absolute recording studios that happened to text people and make phone calls as well. So I know my partner Lisa's been just crushing with videos going to different open houses, went to my open house on Sunday, put three shots together three videos of the iPhone, she was able to quickly just edit that she went to the open house at 12 o'clock. I think by 12:15 she posted a video on the house me presenting in the kitchen, address it so you can shoot any video on your phone?


Brian Charlesworth  20:54  

iPhone 11 Plus is what you're using or what are you using?


Todd Crockett  20:59  

It is phenomenal.


Brian Charlesworth  21:01  

Yeah, yeah. Okay. We have five minutes left, Todd, what? Like, what are the key things for next year that maybe you want to summarize that or that you feel are gonna make a difference to really focus and take your business to the next level?


Todd Crockett  21:20  

When it comes down for any agent listening to this right now, it's just a well just start off with entertraining your clients, how well can you train a client, make it enjoyable, make the process so that they can enjoy it, relieve the stress, here's the note, most people are not doing things on their cell phone. So if you're meeting with a client, like I'll be doing, you know, went to the listing agreement, give a client whether it's a seller that you're currently working with, when you meet with them, give them an example of a sales agreement of purchase agreement on their property, you can just write it up and fill it in a dot loop, you can put awesome buyers as the buyers name, but have them look at that. So at the time that they get an offer, they have already seen a printed copy they can digest, if the first time they're seeing a purchase agreement is on their cell phone at 8:30. At night while they're driving, you know, they're not going to be able to process it. So the more you can walk people through the steps is the difference. So you want to go ahead and make it simple. One thing is I saved myself in my own phone as a contact. So when if I need to relay my information to somebody else, I just share my contact information in there, tell them to open up and save it. So you can save the contact information, save their contact information for anybody. So if you're a call me, I'm like, hey, Brian, how can I help you today, people just get a chuckle out of that, that, you know, I'm greeting them by name, when they go ahead and give me a call. So those type of things of educating people on the process, so that they know the next step, I think with technology, which is phenomenal to expedite things, we've gotten away from the explanation of items, we used to walk people through the buying process with the flow chart, and we'd have that, but we don't do it diligently enough every single time to a client on both the home selling and the home buying process. So I think you just need to still interact with your clients, differentiate yourself, and how you can be there in the process. So I'm showing people proper so Friday, if I'm out and I'm showing you homes, I'm gonna say listen by, what we're gonna do is we look at three houses today, if there's any of them that you like, I'm going to call the listing agent, why we're in the house, just want to verify is still available. Just want to make sure it. Hey, but if my people can, it's in the top three. But if they decide to write on it, just want to see, when would you sell like to give up possession? How quickly can you get it presented? And then is there any exclusions? So I tell them the phone call I'm going to make during the day love, I'm making that exact phone call, just like I told, because it's great it is. It's a performance as we know, it is how well you can deliver it. And I think one of the things I've ever you know because people say well, I don't want to sound scripted. Well, what you want to be is fluid if your delivery Is that good? It seems it's effortless and it flows. And the best thing I ever heard. It's just like telling a joke. Give me some people who can tell it really well. Some people just hack the joke up. But the people who tell it well, it's like a story. So you want to basically help little stories that move people along. There are similar stories, just like comedians, if someone's gonna give a similar joke, but make it so it's captivating entertaining. It really. You can help them transfer title but you have to transfer energy, experience, insight, wisdom, passion, and have them enjoy the process and share it with their friends so that they want to work with you and you'll have a good time doing it.


Brian Charlesworth  24:53 

Sorry, I guess I was muted. My phone was ringing. So I muted myself out for a second. So anyway, thank you for joining. I think you've done a great job and really making the experience a great one. For everyone that you work with. I think that's something that every person in real estate could definitely work on and take their business to the next level really shows that you care about your people in the experience, and just a completely different approach that I think a lot of people are not utilizing. So thank you so much for jumping in today and sharing that with us.


Todd Crockett  25:28 

We'll see some swag now. Is this the same color? I'll be working some Sisu swags next time.


Brian Charlesworth  25:34

It's in the mail for you.


Todd Crockett  25:38  

Okay. All right. 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.