Gabe Cardova is an expert in residential real estate with 16 years of sales success and famously sold over 800 homes in his last year as a real estate agent. After transitioning into Firepoint as President, Gabe quickly became the voice and visionary of the company where he consistently strives to help agents with team building, training, systems implementation, and ultimately shows them how to grow and scale their businesses.
In this episode, Brian and Gabe discuss what it will take for agents to be successful in the near future and how the growth of Firepoint’s platform will change the real estate industry for the better.
In this episode, we talk about…
- 2:30 – How did Gabe get started in the real estate world?
- 7:52 – Firepoint, the development and how the business has scaled over the years.
- 11:11 – What follow-up systems should you be using as an agent and how to not forget the service aspect of your business.
- 26:17 – The most important things agents can do to thrive in today’s real estate market.
- 36:12 – Within 5 years these are the top changes Gabe see’s coming in the real estate industry.
Brian Charlesworth 0:35
Welcome back to the GRIT podcast. I’m Brian Charlesworth. I’m the founder of Sisu and I’m the host of the show. And today I’m here with Gabe Cordova. Gabe is the president of Firepoint who just merged with another company. We will talk about that today. He is the voice and visionary of the company. Firepoint for those of you who don’t know is a real estate-focused CRM and Gabe also has over 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and also owns or co-owns a team in Boise, Idaho. I think you have about how many agents do you have there?
Gabe Cordova 1:18
Right around 10 right now, we’re actually getting in transition on that but yeah.
Brian Charlesworth 1:23
Okay with 10 agents. So Gabe, I think it’s super, super interesting that you spent 16 years in the industry, you know, building a business being a sales professional and moving from that to being the president or CEO. I don’t know for sure which fire point so why don’t you give us a little bit more of your background on the real estate side I’d like everybody to know our listeners to know what your experiences there because I know just the few you know, I was in the real estate industry for about two years before I started Sisu. And just those few years of experience are what led me to start Sisu but it also gives me You know, I think a leg up when I want to meet with real estate teams and companies and knowing what’s going on there. So share some of that with us.
Gabe Cordova 2:15
Yeah, good because you know, you’re like 16 years, it’s not like man, you’re gonna make me sound old. Yeah, no, you’re right I started in ’03 so actually more like 17. I started quite like a lot of people that you know, are joining us I you know, I had this is interest, this passion for real estate and I got in not really knowing what I was getting into. And I was new to the Boise area, didn’t have anybody handing me a book of business or anything. So I got in and was just scared to death didn’t know where my next deal was coming from. I did have one friend that was wanting to buy so I think a lot of agents we get in and usually have that one spare deal that gets us going. But then it was like what the heck what’s next and fears a great motivator for me. And I instantly started realizing that you know that there are deals out there a lot of opportunities. And just really started making sure that I was available, whether it was open houses are floor time, or just asking a lot of the big agents of the year I started the realtor of the Year for Idaho was in my office and I remember just hearing her complain about not getting, you know, to her phone and all her voicemails and just Jamie just saying like, Hey, you have overflow, I’m more than happy to send you a referral and we started getting some of her overflow and then started asking agents if I could advertise their listings on Craigslist. So in my area in ’03-’04 nobody was advertising on Craigslist.
Brian Charlesworth 3:51
And now you were you said you were 14 at the time or how old were you? (Jokingly)
Gabe Cordova 3:56
I wish I wish. Literally I just took over Craigslist, I got the permission of about 30 different agents or brokers in the valley to advertise their listings. And without knowing it, I kind of became a lead generation, team, company, agent on sticky notes, which was terrible. And just kind of my passion really, when to this lead gen and then lead conversion all of a sudden I started seeing all these opportunities come about and sort of forming a team without realizing us forming a team. And, you know, just boundless passion for generating leads and then converting them figure out what we were doing differently and, and this has really progressed over my career to where, you know, it’s got we got it going here in Boise, we actually went independent, or a brokerage with some friends. And then we started doing some satellite teams that I would manage in other cities. So at one point, we had a team here in Boise and Twin Falls Las Vegas. Reno, one in Salt Lake for a little while. We were just doing the lead gen and the follow up and handing The warm leads and hand-raisers off to other agents and, and you know, just crazy how things happen. And that’s what like you said, you know, your real estate experience led you to see so that’s really what really led me and the other founders to fire point was just, you know the lack of tools and systems at the time that were available that really, really worked like an agent’s brain like either a Top Producing agent or as a team, how we work day today. And that’s really what got us to start up, you know, fire point and get it to where it is today as a system, so very much Cleveland ball exit. My partner runs our team here in Boise and then can help a couple other agents work in run their teams and other areas as well. So still very much involved running the teams but definitely more from the bird’s eye view of making sure we’re getting systems in place and not just chasing new leads and spending more money but actually converting.
Brian Charlesworth 5:58
Okay, so you’ve been on lead-gen machine since you got in the industry, therefore you were attracting a lot of people. And then at some point, you’re saying to yourself, you know what we can put a better system together for all of these agents than anything that I have the ability to access.
Gabe Cordova 6:19
Sort of, I mean, I don’t know, the three ring binder system was pretty amazing. I’m not even kidding, man. When we started posting all these listings on Craigslist, we had three ring binders, and we put the listings we were posting and then we had like sticky notes and things. And as people were calling in, that was our system, it would admit it, but I mean, it was full marine non stop. So yeah, we didn’t have systems and early on, there wasn’t a lot out there, at least in my mind that did what we needed to do. So systems are key and they’re changing nonstop. But without ease, I still hear people saying that this is their CRM.
Brian Charlesworth 6:56
And some people say Sicu is a CRM and I’m like, No, it’s not. So, yesterday actually had like a two hour meeting with an individual who found it insidesales.com, which is now, you know, they’re a billion dollar company, they changed their name, but he shared something very interesting. And he was talking about systems. And he said, if you have all the right systems, and he called them checklists, right, you have a checklist for every role in your company, then you can hire 10 to $15 an hour employees, and they can complete those checklists, right. So you don’t need to always hire the, you know, the most expensive, most experienced person out there. Anyway, that just the value of systems as you’re saying, Gabe, so. So, you guys start Firepoint. How long ago was that?
Gabe Cordova 7:53
Yeah, technically before it was really available to public ’14. We really, you know, the first couple of users might say And another agent over on the East Coast he’ll always say he was the first user I say I was but you know, whatever. um you know that was really in early 15 getting it going and we were kind of our own beta testers but you know what it is today versus then is completely different is you know, has helped product everything evolves. But you know, one thing we’ve really stayed true to since then is really the agents the teams are really shaping in and creating this product, right we have the devs building it and all that but you know, we really rely on agents the team leads to really tell us what they’re needing how it should work, so that when they get it, you know, it’s there and keep it scalable. That’s the other thing I think, you know, before we go too deep into this, people feel like they have to spend you know, thousands of dollars a month right off the bat you don’t have to right technology systems should scale and grow with you. And this isn’t, you know, fire point pitch by any means. I I just think the industry We can level up as a whole, and own their data and their systems. And whether it’s fire point or somebody else, you know, it’s just it’s it’s critical. It’s 2020. Folks, we’ve got to have systems in place. And it’s not all about just hiring a 10 $12 an hour. employee, it’s, it’s protecting what is ours, right as agents, we our, our database or book of business, and we need to have it readily available, you know, backed up, automated in certain areas, and the ability to take it with us, right. So yeah, we just we can’t be relying on you know, the brokerage free or this or that, like, I mean, I don’t know what the average sales price is in Salt Lake right now. But even in Boise, you know, we’re well over $300,000 in the surrounding area. Now, that’s over a $9,000 Commission. Right? We are at the point even if you’re only selling, you know, eight to 10 homes a year I mean, you are making well above the median income in most markets, especially where we live. Right, it’s time to be professionals. And let’s get systems and tools in place to protect that book of business, protect our clients to make sure we’re not dropping the ball on missing deadlines on missing things while we’re working on converting. But then just even having that bounce, right, if your agent watching this or a team lead, it gets stressful. And if we, if we don’t have systems and technology or we have the wrong systems and technology, we’re always worrying, waiting for something to break or fall apart. It just there’s too many great companies out there right now to be living like that. And most of these companies offer the hand holding even get it set up and implemented in your business to where you are working more efficiently, you know, and professionally.
Brian Charlesworth 10:42
Okay, so you talk about systems and honestly, you know, some listeners out there going okay, I have all the systems drilled in and some listeners are going systems and they’re glazing over going water systems, actually, so you just mentioned follow up, maybe you could give us a few seconds. Examples of what you’re referring to when you say you’ve got to have systems in place just so that we can dumb it down so that everybody out there is like okay, I get that I understand why I need that.
Gabe Cordova 11:11
So yeah and I think some do and then maybe they don’t really understand it so so even just if we’re even just going to talk follow up I mean, follow up all starts at the beginning. So how are you know, I’m trying really hard to break myself a bad habit where I’m seeing leads a really wise lady that I met through my local Livia told me they’re not leads are people, right? And so all these people that we’re we’re getting the opportunity to, to provide our service to right. Whether they’re coming we’re meeting them at open house, whether we’re doing lead gen on Facebook or Google or buying them through, you know, Zillow or realtor, however, they’re coming into us, right? We all have these opportunities, referrals, it doesn’t matter. It almost always starts with that opportunity of this person who we might get to work with coming into our Systems Now that might just mean that you got a phone call or a text. But it goes deeper right again we’re talking let’s just say nine grand commission. What’s happening in that follow up that’s automated when it comes in your systems should be able to identify Hey, did it come from? Did it come from Zillow? Do they come from realtor did it come from Facebook so that if you want an automatic text message or a video could go out from you saying, Hey, thanks for reaching out to me from Zillow, my name is Gabe with core group, eXp here in Boise. I’ll be reaching out to you short, whatever it is something that’s automated going out, recognizing they’re a real person, how they got to write I always like to talk about focusing on their journey, not ours as agents, we’re so worried about when a person comes to us a new opportunity, picking up the phone and setting an appointment, you know, just have a conversation, find out what’s going on in their journey, and your systems will help you right so if it’s somebody relocating from out of state, it’s a long ways out your systems, you know, you can put In this long term nurture where there’s a ton of automation, right? Where it’s, it’s sending them properties from your system, not from MLS, because that’s outside your ecosystem work in one place. So properties are going out to them, you can see what properties they’re looking at which ones are they looking at more than once or saving at favorites so that you can make adjustments to that so that your systems can make those adjustments for you. Your system can send update text messages, saying, hey, Brian, I know that we spoke and you’re looking at relocating and another 12 to 18 months, just want to make sure your timelines on your systems can handle all of these touchpoints, that if we’re honest with ourselves as agents, and as team leads, we’re dropping the ball on, right so the follow up a lot of your systems, a lot of this can be automated. It’s just having a conversation with someone identifying where they are in their journey. And our systems can do a lot of the touchpoints that don’t look automated. I never want anything to look automated and lose sight of the service aspect of this industry because No, man you know me I get going I go my soapbox and I’m like all over the place. So none of us got into this industry because we want to be ruthless salespeople hammering the phone non stop. Because we know dials are important. And they are. We got to this industry because we’re typically fun loving people, and we want to provide great service, right? We’re like, man, I enjoy doing this. I want to make sure you know, I understand this is people’s biggest investment of their lives. Probably I want to make it smooth and enjoyable. We get in for the service aspect. So when you’re setting up your systems, and this follow up cuz I know people cringe sometimes I talk about automation and things like that. When you’re setting these systems up, always focus on the service, not the sale. So even if it’s that initial call coming in, people are man, I dread making that initial phone call because even though the lead came in saying it was you know, Brian, I don’t want Brian to yell at me when I call right away, even though Brian you know, give us his phone. But I think it’s because we’re picking this up thing and I have to have a conversation right off the bat or in my subsequent follow up calls to set an appointment before I’ve ever got to know you when you focus on the service. middles calls get calls get a lot easier. Hey, just wanna see how I can be of service? Or were there any homes that you saw that might be of interest that I can dig deeper on or neighborhoods, whatever it is. When we’re sending
Brian Charlesworth 15:11
Do you guys at Firepoint automate that – you automate the texting so that when somebody comes in you’re automatically sending them a text says “hey what about this” and then you’re sending it follow up.
Gabe Cordova 15:26
Yeah, there are different ways you can do it. So we can set it up to where it you know if it comes in and it’s from Zillow, for example, just stick with that example. I can tell the system Hey, if it comes in, and it’s from Zillow. Once it gets once the lead comes into the system, wait one minute and 14 seconds and send this text message or send this text message with this video in it whatever you want, right? Or because if I if I speak to you and I know you’re a year and a half out. First of all, I know when you tell me that you’re a year and a half out, you’re probably only a year out, you know, maybe Even nine months I was cut in half and how agents hear that. And then they set a follow up for a year and four months because it’s a year and a half out. And well, it’s too late. You’ve already built a relationship with somebody over that time and you’re using them. Right so I can set a long term drip campaign that you know what in three days, send this text message again, it could be a video I have my long term buyer Hey, Gabe, here again, I know you’re not moving to the area for a while. So like, give an out of area drip. Hey, I know you’re not moving for a while but just want to touch base. Again, make sure you’re finding the tools on my website core home search. com useful there any tips I can give you please let me know how I can be of service. I always focus on the service.
Brian Charlesworth 16:37
So those are the campaigns. Are those set up by you guys or are those set up by your customers.
Gabe Cordova 16:43
Both, so we have built in campaigns and everything you can do in there but guys, everybody’s business is different. And here’s where I really want you to tweak things and make it yourself. You’re going to get out whatever you put in. We all want the easy button, right? We all want it. We’re going to give You have the tools, we offer additional tools to help you set them up. But man, when when you really want to find the sweet spot of growing and scaling and getting, you know, automation and systems working for you put a little bit of time into them upfront, right, so we can do that. But Brian, the way you would want a long term buyer campaign to go is different than somebody in Las Vegas versus somebody in Florida versus somebody in New York, right, because they’re seasonality, there’s different things, you know, take these, they really don’t take much time at all, right? Anything that’s worth having is worth working for. Right? And if you really look at top agents and teams, you know, everybody’s like, Oh, these must work so much harder. So much harder. I don’t think it’s so much harder, but they did put more work in than the average agents typically willing to do. And your system should be easy. So there’s a long answer your question, but we have them but man, you need to get in and tweak them. Once you create one. It’s really easy to then adjust it right so you have your long term buyer out State. Well, now let’s do a long term in state, right? They a little bit different messaging, it’s really easy to adjust, but it’s still probably the same time frames. And people are in the thought of building a year and a half or two year. You don’t have to say something different all the time. When you’re focusing on Florida. What do people want? Why are they going to your website? Where are they going to Zillow or realtor.com are pretty pictures of pretty homes. They’re wanting to find something that fits their needs right? long as you’re always focusing on, it’s easy to just have one or two things and ideas just staying in front of them and providing a service and being ready. So when they raise their hand that you call them, and that’s where the systems come in. It takes a lot of that busy work out for you.
Brian Charlesworth 18:37
Okay, so, Gabe, when I look at the CRM space in real estate, I mean, there are a lot of great CRMs out there in real estate. So what’s like your big differentiator at fire point, what really sets you guys apart and why should somebody use PowerPoint over somebody else?
Gabe Cordova 18:57
Great question and there are a lot in In the field, I think though, the big thing that makes us different, there’s a couple of scalability for sure. I shouldn’t have to spend, you know, $1,000 1500, or near that if I’m a one to three-person team, I just shouldn’t have to do that we need to scale. And I shouldn’t get something that’s super stripped down. Right. So so we’re very scalable. So whether you’re single agent team for a team of five, you get everything. And you know,
Brian Charlesworth 19:25
What about the large side? You talked about team of 14, single agents. What about on the upper hand? What’s kind of like the max that that is that you guys ideally support?
Gabe Cordova 19:34
Yeah, I mean, we have teams up that are a couple of hundred people. I mean, we really have everything from a single agent. And it’s because it’s scalable, right, you can kind of toggle on and off what you need. And just understanding teams work like that. And, you know, so the benefit of that scalable really helps, you know, the smaller teams, and then the larger teams, what we’ve really built-in is we want to create an ecosystem and this even goes back into why we just merged with real balls and becoming, you know, One company is, is it’s so hard already to get in and out of one system, let alone to let alone three. Right? And for me to say, hey, fire points are perfect all in one doesn’t make sense. And honestly, it’d be a lie, right what you need is an all in one for your team is different than what you know, this gal over here needs versus it’s all different. And I think really your your your real estate CRM website solution is really your foundation, it needs to have key components. And then it needs to work well and play well with others to let you toggle on and toggle off the pieces that you need to do to really create your perfect all in one. Right. Like I’m not going to go build gamification and the advanced reporting that Sisu has, because we can just integrate, right and now people that want that can toggle it on. Or you don’t want to go build a full-on CRM where people like oh, Brian, you already CRM, well, you’re not right there. We just know that we do really, really well, that we’re going to build and give them functionality. Then we want to be able to them to say you know what I’m going to bring in Sisu and I want to bring in, you know, why local, whatever it is to create their perfect all in one for them. And guess what, it’s going to be a little bit different in another year, right? Especially if you’re growing or scaling. So we really want to focus on, let’s give you very easy to use tools that are created by agents. So it makes sense, right, and keep you in one spot. So that means when the leads come in, that means they want to work with Sisu. They don’t have to leave to go log their calls, log their conversations doing that it’s automatically going into it. You know, they want to record their phone calls or do mass emailing or video emailing, it’s all built in and they just toggle on and off what they want. So they’re not leading places agents to need to be more efficient, right? We’re all over the places and as the norm and we need to get more focused, and our technology needs to be, you know, the platform, the base of that tech stack, right so you can add on I want to add on is a services. I can Do that. So I can just have my agents focusing on talking to real people showing property negotiating contracts and closing.
Brian Charlesworth 22:07
So it sounds like you’re really focused on really enhancing your integration hub, if you will. Yeah, it was a true statement.
Gabe Cordova 22:17
It is. Yeah. So huge focus of ours. You know, there are certain core things that we’re wanting to build up that are included, you know, one area where I felt, you know, we were working really was kind of the automated workflows different than drip campaigns, but workflows really that appointment forward. And that’s really, you know, we just merged with the real ball. They do this better than I think anybody in the industry. And it was just, they didn’t do what we did. We don’t do what they do, even though we’re both CRS in the field. And it’s a lot of people that were using real ball we’re using us and or someone else and again, piecing it together, but having to log in and out that just none of us enjoy that. Let’s face it. It’s okay.
Brian Charlesworth 22:58
It’s no real vault. One more time, that’s going to be some work on your end to get that integration built. So that it’s one platform instead of two platforms. Correct. Congratulations on your merger, by the way, tell us what does that mean to the user? If I come to fire point, and probably not now, but in the future, when you guys get this all synced up and embedded together, these two platforms, what does that mean to me as a user at that point?
Gabe Cordova 23:27
It’s more tools at your fingertips again, right? It’s just it’s a more robust foundation. So when you come in, again, it’s having that scalable product, that if you just want to, if you come in and you’re really, you know, bought a book at your business, or most of your business is repeat past clients and you just rocking and rolling with it. You don’t want a lot of lead gen. It’s the ease of the use of the fire point system and back end UX that you’re used to with the powerful workflows and the automation that real ball comes in, or do you want that and lead gen you can package you can turn it all on. It’s really allowing you Even at a deeper level to now come in and create your perfect all in one system. So whether it’s all the tools that we offer, where you can, you know, pick and choose what it is, too many systems are our one size fits all right, it’s, here’s everything we do that must work for the masses. And that’s not how it works, right and so we’re we understand that we really want to create this ecosystem, this tech stackability. So each and everybody, whether you’re a Top Producing single agent, or a team or a brokerage really creates us all in one system with what we have and or with our partners. And I don’t even like saying integrations and I don’t work, we’re integrated and, you know, we work together but it really needs to be, you know, partnerships. I remember you and I sitting down in Las Vegas at Inman last fall. And, you know, some of the reporting stuff that we can report on that, that you guys aren’t doing and how do we work together to send out data back and forth but then all the gamification you guys have the tracking and how you stack it up and display it is better than us? Like how do we really partner with the These disruptors in game changers in the industry like season to really allow agents and teams to build and create their perfect all?
Brian Charlesworth 25:10
If you’ve been enjoying grift, please help us continue to grow the channel by leaving a five-star review and sharing it with a friend. Now back to GRIT. Obviously, it’s something we’re focused on as well. So we love that and the closer we can get with you guys on that the
Gabe Cordova 25:27
better for both of us has been easy to use, right? I mean, you’ve seen that and you’re you actually have a beautiful UX it has to be easy to use.
Brian Charlesworth 25:34
So with your experience in real estate, and really running a technology company now Gabe, what are the most important things for a team owner to be doing in today’s real estate market? I mean, the market has changed drastically and right now I mean, interest rates dropped again today, right. I’m seeing that agents are having a harder and harder time. I’m just competing to try to get a house, it’s hard to go out there and win when you’re writing an offer. So anyway, what are the most important things first the team owners can do and then the agents can do to really thrive in today’s real estate market. Yeah.
Gabe Cordova 26:19
Well, I think you’d stay educated. First of all right, the markets changing. You’ve been doing this for a long time. I mean, what I’ve seen and what I would go back and do and, you know, 2003 2004 is different from today. So, I mean, first of all, the the the single agent, the Top Producing agent, we see that having a harder time competing, I truly believe teams are taking over this industry. I really believe you’re either going to be running a team or on a team for the most part, you know, within three to five years, and there’s not a bad..
Brian Charlesworth 26:48
And why? Let’s talk about why. I mean, what disadvantages does a solo agent have?
Gabe Cordova 26:56
Agents either feel like I’m a one-man or one-woman operation, I can’t, I don’t have time to create your SMS drip systems. I don’t have time to create them and implement them and be out doing what I need to do to survive as a solo agent, right? I don’t. They’re more versus I think to risks sometimes because you know, they’re on their own and teams are leveraging, you know, responsibilities or certain, you know, mindsets that are better at building out their campaigns and make sure they’re being applied then the mindset that’s out working with clients negotiating deals, right, teams are just able to leverage time, money and technology so much faster, better, nothing. There are no solo agents out there that are doing it’s just it’s not the norm. Like will there be zero solo agents out there? No, that’s not true. But I still believe that the solo agents that are surviving and are still top agents have helped you can be a team and not have buyer’s agents and listing partners right you can have you know, assistants, transaction coordinators, That’s a team, right? You’re running it as a business. You know, and when you’re operating as a team, there’s always closings coming in, there’s always something happening, it’s allowing you to also have more risk, right? What you look at risk and reward on a scale. Those teams and agents that see the biggest rewards probably took more risk, right. And when you’re a team and there’s more deals coming in, you’re you’re usually willing to take on more risk, you’re more willing to have the ability of having vendor partners who are working with you, because they see you as a bigger opportunity to help their business help you pay for, you know, taking on risks. So whether that’s dialing systems or new lead gen sources, or lead follow up sources or reporting sources, right. They all cost money. And when you’re on your own, you just typically aren’t willing to take it on a lot. And I think when people embrace the idea of a team and again, being a team leader on a team, I do think that’s going to be majority of this industry in three to five years, which Not a bad one. Somebody, if somebody asked me when I got off stage, once they’re like, you know, I liked a lot of what you had to say. But I kind of feel like you spoke to it’s better to be the team lead than to be the agent on the team. And, and I really had to stop and think about what I was saying, because that’s not what I believe. Right? I just, I think there are people who are willing to take risks and enjoy, you know, being the Rainmaker and the visionary of something. And then and then having people you know, profit from that. There are people who don’t want the risk, man, you know, there is nothing wrong with being a buyer’s agent or a listing agent and letting somebody else deal with the stress and write the checks and take all the risk knowing they’re constantly feeding your pipeline. There is no thing wrong with that at all.
Brian Charlesworth 29:43
Right? Now you are able to take advantage of the pipeline, the systems, all of the transaction coordinator, all of the stuff you don’t have to worry about, which is I guess your point is why people are going to be on a team.
Gabe Cordova 29:57
Yeah, I mean, it’s there’s incredible You’re out there, there are incredible technology and tools and, and you know, what we’re wanting to do is create this platform where people can build that perfect tech stack. And all in one system, it does take money to do that, right? And teams are gonna be the ones that take advantage of that most that mean they have the autoresponders when they’re coming in, that are hitting these leads the, the tools to stay in front of them, the remarketing the retarget. Like, there’s so much that we can do to really convert these people into clients from just prospects and then it trickles down from there. So then when you’re doing these things you get noticed in your communities, by builders, by investors, and that’s why they’re coming to you, right? It’s just the industry’s leading towards teams more and more. And you know, some people think it’s good or bad, whatever it is, I do think it’s the future of real estate. And I do think it’s going to allow us to step our game up I mean, there you know, there are people out there wanting you know, that don’t think real estate agents should exist. overpaying and all that and it couldn’t disagree more. Right, you should have somebody in your corner. And teams are allowing the average agent to compete. You know, I see a lot of teams now that have their own eye buyer programs and things like that. I think it’s fantastic. If the industry is saying the consumers are saying, Hey, we want more options to sell our house versus 6% we want cash offers, we’re willing to walk away from some equity for certainty. We don’t want people coming through, we want to know what’s done because we’re relocating, we’re nervous with what’s going on in the market, then let’s offer that and it’s typically teams that can move faster to offer the guaranteed by programs or the I buyer programs and stuff like that. So they just have advantages just in sheer numbers and, and the, you know, the the deals coming in that make them comfortable taking more risk.
Brian Charlesworth 31:48
So I’ve seen a lot of, you know, solo agents, obviously there are those that have been in the business forever, who are doing really well and hired people like you’re saying, to do their transaction coordinating and things like Like that, but newer agents coming into the market? I mean, usually they’re lucky to do three to five transactions their first year unless they’re on a team. And when they’re on a team, I mean, I’m seeing them do somewhere between 20 and 30 transactions oftentimes. Why is that? And what type of as a team owner, what type of agent do you look for? I mean, I see teams that want to have experienced agents and I see others that say, you know what, I don’t want to, I don’t want to bring those habits into my team. Yeah, I want to bring in new agents and teach them how So what do you guys look for there? I mean, that’s going on.
Gabe Cordova 32:40
I think people are like, oh, here’s, here’s what he’s been licensed for five years. So they have terrible habits, because they’re never selling over four or five homes a year. Or I don’t want to hire the brand new agent because that’s more training I got I actually have to teach him how to write a contract and what this terminology means, right? We all know watching the real estate school, the test did not prepare us for actually being great agents and making money. It’s keeping us out of jail. So I’m in the middle, I think that there are great agents and people out there that want to provide great service, but they were risk-averse, we were just talking about it, they just didn’t. Whether you’re a single mom or you know, college grad, right out of the school, or, you know, had made a bad investment somewhere, he’s just not willing to take that risk. You know, that could be why they’re not closing the deals, not because they’re not great agents at what they do. Right. So I’m very much a believer in if you come in, you hire to your culture, right? A good energy and a belief. And we want people who want to do this full time. I don’t think I’m going to hire a rockstar every time it’s going to sell 50 6070 homes. I know those people aren’t gonna stick around long and that’s okay. That’s a whole different topic. But really, it’s coming. He’s gonna believe into the culture and come in and not try to reinvent the wheel right. So whether you’re new or you’ve been doing this for a while and not hitting the numbers you want We’ve created the systems we know what it takes. And I’m gonna steal this from Damon get here, you know, those that will and those that don’t right so those that will follow your systems your process will and those that don’t want you are never going to and sometimes you just don’t know that until you get somebody into your culture and working so I don’t have I can build you a case or where a new agent versus an experienced agent versus somebody young and or versus older or they’re all successful. I think it’s a mindset and what you’re doing it’s really hard to see that in the interview process, at least for me, you can do disc assessments or do any of those. If you’re hiring to you feel is a good culture fit, then that’s great. The one thing I kind of sidetracked on their top ages when you recruit people and they start crushing it, I used to take it really personal and people would leave my team that come in and just really was are crushing it and it felt like you know, okay, now I want to kind of go do this. I’m now ready to take on the rest And do this and I used to really take it personal and it really it’s okay. And we’ve really changed really our environment to really almost foster that if you’ve got somebody that wants to become that Rainmaker do that. Show them the way right they’re gonna do it with or without you figure out a way to show them and help them build their systems and tools because it’s going to happen either way. And you either have them retained within your brokerage or, or whatever it is or not. And I just think that’s a natural path and it ups our game and as an industry, if we all I think just understand and how to promote excellence and growth, we all benefit from that, right? It’s gonna happen either way. So I just think it’s a great mindset to have if you’re looking at a team you’re going to have people leave you know, right not whether you ask them to leave where they choose to leave because it’s just not for them or they now want to do their own. That’s okay. It’s gonna happen either way, just be part of that positive experience versus fighting.
Brian Charlesworth 35:53
Great. So you mentioned a few minutes ago, being being pro agent, right. So many people trying to eliminate Agent, I saw the fire in your eyes as you talked about that. So what’s what’s your vision for, you know, five years from now? What’s going to change in the real estate industry?
Gabe Cordova 36:12
It really is going to go back to the teams, I just we’re going to see a much bigger shift to teams. And as you know, and there’s various, right you have teams that operate people like Well, that’s not a team, it’s a brokerage. Whatever it is, I think you’re going to start seeing where people are linking arms. And they’re, they’re sharing systems tools, but they’re, they’re following these systems and technology are leveraging it, not fighting it. And whether it’s a brokerage with multiple teams within it, or teams, individual or operators, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to start seeing fewer and fewer people acting independently. They just can’t compete and we’re all seeing it. Right. And I think, you know, if you’re a brand new agent and you’re watching this or newer or if you’ve been in the business for a while you’re just not seeing the numbers and get on a team Find a team that matches your culture the same thing, right? As a team lead, I want to hire to my culture. You’re an agent joining a team. Everybody operates different some have daily huddle, some don’t have daily huddle summer, you know, treat you as an employer, have you signed up as an employee? Some are independent contractors, find the one that matches what you want. But, you know, also, you know, see what their vision is and where they’re going. Because that’s where you’re gonna start learning is when you start learning do I want to be a team lead? Do I want to be an agent on a team? pros and cons on both sides? Let me tell you now there are a lot of nights, you know, starting up new teams or bringing on new lead sources or systems or tools where I’m like, man, I just, I just committed myself to another thousand or 2000 or $5,000 a month, whatever it is, you know, knowing that I’m going to trust and believe in my team members that as as we generate more opportunities and bring more people into the system, that they’re going to convert them right so there there, there is risk and reward on both sides. But if you’re newer into it, you know, get on a team because in 3d Five years, most everybody I think is going to be associated with a team. And that’s how they’re going to be competing and have the tools to be able to compete with those that are trying to eliminate the agent position.
Brian Charlesworth 38:13
Okay, great. What, what advice do you have Gabe for for our listeners, just most of them are in real estate, but it doesn’t have to be real estate advice doesn’t have to be business advice in what’s something that you’ve learned in your life that you just want want people to be aware of? That’s a good one.
Gabe Cordova 38:39
You know, this industry is going to keep changing. You know, we’ve seen the shift in teams, we’re talking about the shift. It’s always changing. And, you know, I think you need to get comfortable with change. And when you’re looking for it, and you’re on the forefront. It’s not so scary, right? So so being be willing to adapt and change. Don’t I want to make sure I’m clear that it’s not losing sight of who you are doing something completely different. You never want to lose sight of who you are and you always want to insert you know that that crazy bit of color, whatever it is for you, mine is orange into who you are and what you’re doing. But this industry is changing and man, whether it’s going into teams or you know, agents are not agents. I mean, we’ve got everything going on with the market right now and coronavirus. There’s always change happening be ready for and plan with when you’re not erything you’re more proactive. Right so your systems I know what’s happening you know, I’m gonna I’m not always reinventing the wheel every day. You’re gonna be much more comfortable with the changes coming a nonstop for good or bad, but be ready for it. You know, get out there, you know, attend a couple of events a year. Right you you really need to there We don’t have to reinvent the wheel there. There are many of us, myself included, who have lost 10s and 10s of thousands of dollars, but actually probably the hundreds, you know, on lead jams with this tool or that, listen, learn from them. You don’t have to do what they’re doing, but you can learn from them, right fail forward. So change is happening, embrace it, and just be out there. This is your career. This is this is your job. And it’s not just you know, picking up the phone and calling buyers and sellers but it’s educating yourself. And there’s a ton of coaching conferences, in men, local evencated and aware of the changes coming so that you’re not caught off guard left behind.
Brian Charlesworth 40:41
Yeah, you just said something really interesting. Gabe, and it was that you’ve lost probably hundreds of thousands of dollars doing making mistakes, let’s call it or learning, right? So I just think it’s really important that Geez, if I could go back in time, there’s so many people I would have gone to for advice, thankfully, I’ve learned that now and go to people instead of just doing something and failing at it and learning over the course of five or 10 years, you can go find out from the right people how to do something and you can learn it in, you know, a couple of months versus years and years. So, yeah, I love that lesson. And thanks for sharing that. Just a few other short questions here. Gabe, in wrapping up. What’s your favorite book? Or what’s your favorite source of learning? What do you do personally to grow in your life? So
Gabe Cordova 41:38
I love that you added the favorite source of learning there. So some ability I don’t read as much as I should. I really should. And I, my favorite book, I have to say is Five Dysfunctions Of A Team. I just think that speaks a lot into listening to make sure everybody’s in the right seat. But my favorite source of learning is what is it? I love going to events like if I can go and just sit in an audience and listen to all these events bring in, you know, you know, top agents or coaches or technology guys that are building tools that help. You know, it’s a great way to hear a lot of different perspectives and find what fits you right. And again, when you leave a one day or two day three day event, whatever it is, we got pages and pages of notes. It only takes one thing to implement, right one little thing or one nugget to make it worthwhile. And I love events because there’s just there’s so many different opinions coming in I know that drives some people crazy, but I don’t know how you can get a better source of people who have failed and can help you not lose so much money and then find out what they adjusted what they’re doing right and you’re going to find something that resonates with something they just can’t get that fire going that burn going. So I love getting out there. And to me do one local and do one that’s out of state. Get out right if you can’t shut down for a couple days to go learn from others in the industry and In other parts of the country, clearly you don’t have the right systems in place. So get those going. But man, I love events there are there’s a ton of social groups and everything but man shut down and invest in your time and your business and go and mix it up right there. There’s some fantastic ones out there. If you want more information, you know, you can find me online easily. I’d love to, you know, share some of the great ones that that that I really like. So it would be perfect for you but get out there. There’s just agents are so giving, right? That we’re giving creatures, I don’t care. I have so many teams here in our local market. There’s enough business in every market to go around. So most agents aren’t going to implement and do ask the questions right? We are giving, giving a group of people and there’s so much to learn that you don’t have to just reinvent.
Brian Charlesworth 43:51
I love that you say events. There is this I reflect on my wife whenever people talk about this Because she, I call it investing in yourself. And she invests in herself more than anybody I’ve ever met by going to different things. And she’s taking her whole team to Tony Robbins next week, right? So, just those types of things. My question for you though, with that being your, like, secret sauce, what’s the secret to going to an event and coming back and implementing because I guarantee you 99% of the world goes to events and they come back and then they do nothing. So okay, what’s actually implementing on those things?
Gabe Cordova 44:38
how honest you want me to be?
Brian Charlesworth 44:39
I want this is where I want you to be honest.
Gabe Cordova 44:42
Okay, so I made and I’ve done this right. So I’m first to admit I’ve made more mistakes than everybody else. And I’m all for having cocktails and having a great time. I love dancing. I love hanging out and socializing and you should write but you’re shutting down shop. To go, right, just be present. Like I see so many people that go, I think for just the social aspect, and are at the bar too long. And I’m one of them at the bar and I’ll buy you a drink. I’ll link arms with you and have a drink. But also know you’re there to learn and take something back right. Now, there’s certain events you go for networking. Have at it. But I think what happens is you get wrapped up sometimes, because we’re such a fun loving group of people that you lose sight of that, hey, what was my mission? Right? And to me, that’s getting one thing. One thing that you’re going to come back and implement. Now, if you’re a team and you have staff, you might be able to make it a couple of things because you have departments at that point, right? Well, one thing I would implement on my buy side for my buyer’s agents, maybe one thing for the listing partners, or for my admin, right, but you need to come back, you know, you know, begin with the end in mind. I’m going to go and I’m bringing back one thing that I’m going to change what helps is, man look in the mirror and be honest with yourself, where am I failing in my business? Where am I not maximizing? and go to the event with a list of items that you really know, you have to start from a point of honesty, right? Because you can’t, you’re not going to build a thriving business. So when you show up to these events, show up with a list of items where you know, you need help, right? And so when you’re listening, you’re like, does it fall here? So you can pick that one thing, and, and just make sure that you’re not so hungover the next day that you remember the thing you want to take home with you.
Brian Charlesworth 46:26
This has always been a challenge for me at events, I think it is for most people and a few years about three years ago, I went to a date with destiny. And one of the things I loved his date with destiny is Tony Robbins, one of his events for those of you who don’t know, but one of the things he had us do there was take everything. This is the last day. We took everything that we learned through the whole week. This is a whole one-week event. And we put a blueprint together on a big white poster board. of what we’re going to create based on that week, right? So before we even left, we had a blueprint created. And that’s been a game-changer for me to, to basically anytime I’m in a meeting event, talking to somebody where I’m learning things, if you can put a blueprint together at the end of the day or the next morning that says, okay, based on what I learned, these are my steps of execution. This is what I’m going to do. Right?
Gabe Cordova 47:31
Yeah, I love that. I think that’s my point too, you know, before I get a bunch of hate mail, because I feel like I’ve seen your drinking at the bar. There’s no point in not going too crazy is to write that down and know that it’s going to be the one thing from that day or whatever. It’s that next morning, right? I think you’re gonna need that time to kind of marinate and just self reflect. But it’s not when you get home a day and a half later. I think that’s the mistake and I love that he does an exercise because that’s what I want to make sure the next morning that you really, you know, the morning after that event, really sit down and like What is that one thing or the two of your team but the one to two is dangerous right? What is it and writing it down I think what you said there is key I love the idea of a blueprint because I think once you put it that much effort into it even at least writing it down the little blueprint, you’re much more likely to work towards it and have some sort of next steps action plan for
Brian Charlesworth 48:18
Yeah, yeah, I mean, even if it’s one thing right, it may take a dozen steps to be able to execute on that one thing so let’s put those down. Yeah. All right. Gay moving, moving to a little less formal question. What’s your favorite place? Where do you like to go?
Gabe Cordova 48:33
Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico.
Brian Charlesworth 48:37
All right, how did you how’d you fall in love with that?
Gabe Cordova 48:39
Ah, accident honestly. Some friends just invited us down there once and we were supposed to do something else we ended up going and just kind of fell away. I’m gonna tell you that enjoyed it. And then when I started at REMAX in 2005 I think it was our broker. Had a place down there as well. And we had the privilege of getting to go down two or three times a year with them because they had a place that we could go to. And it’s just it’s the perfect balance of Mexico but being safe and whether it’s, I mean, I love Cancun and all that, but there’s just something about Puerto Vallarta that is just man, it just, it’s incredible. You’ve never been it’s hands down my favorite place to go outside the country.
Brian Charlesworth 49:29
Great. And what’s your favorite thing to do in your personal time? I know you work hard, but you gotta know you play hard as well. So,
Gabe Cordova 49:36
um, Oh, man. That’s a tough one. Getting out. Just get outside. So if it’s summer, I love wake surfing, hiking, just getting outside. If it’s winter, my favorite thing to do is going to Puerto Vallarta.
Brian Charlesworth 49:51
Get away from the winter. Okay, great. And Gabe, what’s the best way to get ahold of you if somebody wants to if they have questions about Firepoint or building a team?
Gabe Cordova 50:02
We have tons of content on firepoint.tnet. Right. So tons of webinars. And again, this isn’t a Firepoint pitches, get systems, I don’t care if it’s PowerPoint or somebody else get systems and get them now, but tons of webinars that we’ve done with coaches and how to and lead follow up. And if you’ve ever seen me speak on stage, it truly is. It’s all about just getting your systems and process regardless of who they are. Just find what works for you. So firepoint.net, has tons of videos, tons of questions. I mean, and I’m easy to find on Facebook, as well. So we’d love to help. In fact, we have a bunch of webinars coming up on just things on lead conversion tactics and team-building and stuff too. And we always post those on the website. So yeah, if I’m on Facebook, shoot me a friend request because I also do a lot of those live on Facebook so you know whenever I can do to help is really what that’s what fills my bucket. I love getting people into PowerPoint. But I can just help you get your systems down, whether it’s PowerPoint or not. And that’s, that’s what I love
Brian Charlesworth 51:06
Gabe, I’ve noticed that from your customers, they love that you truly care about their business. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today. It’s always a pleasure and look forward to catching up with you again soon.
Thanks for having me. Take care.