EP 673 – The Ultimate Equation For Success And Growth To Drive Results With Dan Rochon

NCS 673 | Driving Results

NCS 673 | Driving Results

 

Never be embarrassed to learn from someone, a mentor or coach, that can guide you through the first part of your journey. Join your host Scott Carson as he talks with real estate investor and realtor Dan Rochon about the three keys to driving results in your business, team, and life. Dan Rochon is the Head Coach and Visionary at the Greetings Virginia Sales Network. He is also the author of Real Estate Evolution: The Ten Step Guide to CPI for Real Estate Agents. In this episode, he shares how focus and game planning one thing at a time is the key to consistent, predictable income.

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The Ultimate Equation For Success And Growth To Drive Results With Dan Rochon

This is Dan Rochon. I am with the Consistent and Predictable Income Community and the author of Real Estate Evolution. We’re going to talk about the three most important things that you could do in your business to be able to drive results.

I’m excited to have a very special guest joining us on here. This guy is a rockstar. He is kicking ass and taking names. The most important thing that I love about him is he’s got a huge heart in wanting to help take as many people along on the path to success as he possibly can. He is the Head Coach and Visionary at Greetings Virginia Sales Network. He is also the author of Real Estate Evolution: The Ten Step Guide to CPI for Real Estate Agents. We’ll discuss what CPI is and hopefully, know what it is.

He is the host of the CPI Community Podcast. He has seen hundreds of agents and offers fail in business. He is passionate about helping people not only stay in the business but thrive in it. He’s an investor and realtor with over twenty years of experience. We’re honored to have our buddy Dan Rochon joining us here from the wonderful world of Virginia. How’s it going?

Scott, it’s fantastic. Thank you for hosting me.

You have a huge passion. I say that because I always like to listen to people on other people’s podcasts and what they’re saying. It keeps it fresh for everybody. Let’s start off first with how did you get the idea to launch the CPI Community and share it with those that don’t know what CPI means. Let’s talk a little about how important it is, especially with what’s going on in the world now.

CPI is Consistent and Predictable Income for salespeople. I started that community at the beginning of 2019, end of 2018. I got my real estate license in 2007. I’ve been investing for maybe a decade-plus before then. When I got my license in 2007, the first six months of my career were tough. I had zero closings, and then came up with a plan with my broker at the time to implement and had some success.

The next twelve months of my career had some success. I was able to buy the brokerage that I worked for, eighteen months after I got my license. I owned that for ten years until 2018. In 2018, I sold that and as I sold it, I was looking at the real estate sales business. The real estate investing business has been so kind to me and I knew I was ready for the next part of my journey.

I didn’t quite know what that was so I met with a mentor. He had challenged me to write Real Estate Evolution, documenting the journey and steps along the way and I did so. It took me thirteen months to write that book at a pace of three hours a day. I didn’t take a single day off when I was writing. Through the evolution of writing the book and taking what I’ve learned, lots of bumps and bruises, a few successes, I started the CPI Community.

You’ve got a passion for helping people get through that journey. How despairing is it sometimes when you look at the numbers and the percentage of people that give up on their dreams before they ever get rock and rolling? They give up after that first hiccup.

I was talking to a group of salespeople I was coaching over. We were talking about a specific tactic on how to approach for sale by owners. It’s unique to my business and industry but for the purpose of the readers, consider whatever you are doing, it was a tactic in the business. There was an agent that I was coaching and she has been implementing this for four months. She’s a new agent and just took her sixth listing. I was acknowledging her because she was doing the strategy day after day and it produces results.

Whatever it is in business that somebody is seeking to do, I look at what is it that you enjoy doing. That is the first piece. If you like doing it, let’s do a strategy where we’re going to do that and only that. That is going to be your lead generation strategy and we are going to put that on steroids. She’s rather new on this but I wouldn’t be surprised. She will be over 50 listings in twelve months period. That will be before she gets eighteen months.

NCS 673 | Driving Results

Driving Results: If you have to give things time, you’ve got to measure results and then refocus your efforts.

 

It’s the same thing that I did many years ago as an agent to be able to create enough profit and revenue to purchase a rather large organization. From there, I learned so much. It’s about doing 1 or 2 strategies consistently day after day. Do whatever it is that you like and then everything else, no. That’s the answer to it.

Saying no to all the other things, the shiny objects syndrome, is seeing success. We see that when people go to these real estate expos or investing expos. They are chasing subject-to deals, foreclosures, notes, or they want to be an apartment investor. They are watering down their success because they are not giving things time to grow and not measuring what’s working. “The grass is greener over there. Let me go over there.” It’s not always the case. You got to give things time and measure results, then refocus your efforts.

It all works. Every single strategy works when you gave it enough time to be able to produce results, which goes back to what strategy are you going to employ. Am I going to look for multifamily, if I’m an investor or notes or whatever the case may be? If I’m in a different type of business, am I going to do this or that? Whatever that is, make sure that you enjoy it. It goes back to every single time that you do say yes to something, there’s one yes which equals an infinite amount of noes.

When you recognize that, you start to value that one yes. Scott, you and I are having this conversation but guess what I’m not doing? I’m not eating barbecue, skydiving, running, jogging or spending time with my daughter or wife. What I’m doing is I’m having fun with you, Scott, because this is what I said yes to. Every single other possibility with infinity, I said no to. When you recognize that, you get very careful with what you say yes to.

It’s a huge thing how important is it to time block your schedule. I know you’re a fan of following other successful people and mentors, whether you’ve met them or haven’t. You’ve seen their success habits, what they do down to what type of water do they drink and what their habits are. Success is a repeatable thing. It’s not having to reinvent the wheel.

It’s about habits through time. That’s the other piece. When you have a goal and you start to do something, if you don’t give it enough time, it won’t produce results. That is what many people do. What many entrepreneurs do is they say, “I will do this and do it for three weeks,” then there’s not enough success. It took me six months to get my first closing. By my third year in business, I was doing more than 100 transactions a year. If I would have gauged my third month in business as a predictor of my third year in business, I would have missed the mark big time. I would probably be doing exactly what I did before I got into the business, which is waiting tables. It’s cool whatever you want to do in your life. Personally, waiting tables is not something that’s calling to me. I’m not so interested.

The fact that you’ve done that in your past, I was in the service industry and waiting tables for college. When the downturn hit a few years back, I hit financial difficulties. I went back to that for a few months to make ends meet. You learn some things like multitasking, which is a bad thing. You can’t multitask and be effective in a lot of things, but be organized. You don’t want to get in the weeds that you don’t know how to get the heck out of it.

You also respect the service industry professionals a lot more in what they’re doing. I hate to say that they get to get down and dirty aspects of things. Sometimes we’ve all got to get down dirty, pre-bus our business and clean up the shit that we stack up on our desks so that we have a clean path towards where we want to go.

I’d be waiting tables in a second if I needed to but that’s not my passion. I would be doing that while I’m looking for the opportunity of what does inspire me. It doesn’t matter what it is. I full-heartedly believe that God gave us each a talent and gift. I believe that we should seek what that gift within us is and then position ourselves to be able to do that in life.

If for some reason, circumstance gets in the way, maybe you get sick, there’s a pandemic or something gets in the way of you fulfilling your destiny, no sweat. Keep your eye on that so it’s like, “I will go wait tables for six months while I sit there and figure out how can I do my next deal.” Position yourself so that you could go back to being passionate about what you intend to do.

I know you’re a fan of The ONE Thing. I’m a huge fan of that.

NCS 673 | Driving Results

Driving Results: God gave us each a talent and gift. We should seek what that gift within us is and then position ourselves to do that in life.

 

I was going to comment on it when you mentioned multitasking. You’re reading page 47 of the book when you said that. I was going to leave it alone but since you brought it up, go on. Ever since you said that I was like, “That’s The One Thing.”

You sent me a copy of the book. The least I could do is read it. The thing is that we get so bogged down as entrepreneurs, whether you’re a real estate agent or a real estate investor. A lot of times, we run around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to do all these little things. I hate checklists. I am a big fan of the big rock. Get rid of the to-do lists. They will all fill themselves out. Picking 1, 2 or 3 things that you need to focus on each day and make that the priority in your schedule to get those things done. You’ll be a lot further along. Those little things will fit in around everything in life.

I went on a fishing trip with my dad and we met this guy from Colorado. He was a real estate agent. He had this $250,000 RV bus type of thing. He would drive around the country through Canada, all the way through Mexico and everywhere. He’d go hunting and fishing eight months out of the year. Four months out of the year, he would do an open house every afternoon at a $5 million listing from 2:00 PM until whenever. He would get these high-end wines, take the pheasants and salmon that he caught, and host it, big spread.

He does that 6 days a week 4 months out of the year. That is his job description. My job description is I’m going to do an open house for three hours every single day and then go skiing with the people I did the open house with. Eight months out of the year, I’m going to drive around the country and these wealthy individuals that I meet, I’m going to go visit them and bring them a gift of some game that I just got.

If you think about the simplicity of what I shared with you and also the focus of it, that’s a pretty cool business strategy. It doesn’t have to be hard. This guy hit his truck. For me, that wouldn’t work because I have different priorities in my life. My family is a priority in my life but if I was a single man, let’s go for it. That seems like a good gig for the right person. For him, it was a good gig.

After I got divorced back in 2008, I did that. I sold everything I owned and traveled the country. What I thought would be 30 weeks of travel turned into three and a half years of traveling the country, speaking and sharing. That was such a huge marketing advantage because I was single and didn’t have any strings. I was able to identify different markets and launched the note business where we are at. We are across the country versus in my backyard here in Austin. Seeing the opportunity to do that and how crystal clear your focus is. Identifying that crystal clear focus is often difficult. Do you have any tips for people out there to help them identify that or their superpower?

Business is going to be driven by certain fulcrums and pinpoints. You say, “What is that pinpoint?” There are three major components of the business. The first is going to be lead generation. If you are chasing notes, this is true to you. If you are looking for multifamily investment properties, fix and flip or buy and hold, it doesn’t matter who you are and what you’re doing, these concepts are true if you want to build a business.

The first part is to lead generate. On top of that lead generation is building an organization. On top of building that organization would be leadership. Those are the three pillars of business. Within that lead generation piece, which is the answer to your question, “What is the advice?” It goes back to what I said, which is almost anything works.

There are thousands of ways that you could get business and lead generation. Find what it is that you enjoy to do and then you do that every single day. That is your job description, and make it simple. You want to sit there and say, “No more than two lead generation strategies for short-term business.” You add on to that one long-term lead generation strategy.

The reason for that is because that long-term lead generation strategy is going to be more durable. It protects against threats to your business such as commoditization, technology, artificial intelligence or big data. That long-term strategy is going to be something around a geographic market, a psychographic market, or a sphere of influence. It’s something along those lines. It takes around eighteen months to get that long-term lead-generation strategy up and running significantly, which is why you need that 1 or 2 short-term lead generation strategies because that feeds you.

The challenge with the short-term lead generation strategy is they’re at risk of a change in the marketplace. Suddenly, the marketplace is delivering groceries to your doorstep. Do you think that the grocery store owners anticipated that years ago? If you need ice cream, you go to the store. Maybe you go to 7-Eleven or whatever the store is in Texas.

Wherever it is and wherever you go, what you didn’t do was wait for a freaking drone to come in and drop the banana chocolate chip tub on top of your house. That didn’t exist and it quite doesn’t exist but it’s almost there. It’s pretty close. What I mean by that is that the things that threatened our business now are the things that will threaten that short-term strategy. The long-term strategy will protect you.

Let’s talk a little bit about change. People are talking about these online and AI programs. Are realtors going to be a big need in the future? What are your thoughts on that?

There is an evolution in every industry in the world, including real estate agents. If you believe that it won’t change, then you’re putting yourself at risk. I may even clean that statement up. If you believe that it hasn’t already changed, then you may be at risk. The pandemic put on an acceleration of what was already happening. It accelerated it by about five years. Before the pandemic, could we do this? Could we have a conversation on Zoom in this manner? Yes. Were people doing it? Yes. Were people doing it as frequently as they are? No. Were people delivering stuff to your doorstep? It was there but not like it is now.

NCS 673 | Driving Results

Driving Results: If you want to be the lowest price guy or gal, then don’t create value. But if you want to be profitable, you have to add value to what you offer.

 

You take the real estate, for example. Zillow has Zillow Flex. Do you know what Zillow Flex looks a whole heck of a lot like to me? It looks a lot like Redfin years ago when Redfin had partner agents and was in about 4 to 6 markets across the country. Instead of saying, “We’re going to set up a brokerage in Washington, DC and align ourselves with an agent. We will give you an exclusive, ‘You take all of our referrals,’ and keep doing that until we can build enough of a revenue and market share that we no longer need you. We now have our own brokerage in the same marketplace.”

I respect all businesses so I’m not talking negatively about anything. It’s just business. That’s what they did during that time period. Zillow becomes a brokerage and they’re doing Zillow Flex, but I don’t think that the real estate agent recognizes that for what it is. They’re putting their foot into the marketplace until they can develop themselves to be their own brokerage.

There are brokerages where you go up to the door, put in a code, give them your driver’s license, scan that in and go into the property without an agent. That’s existing. All that being said, what do you need to do for your business? You have to protect it through that long-term lead generation strategy, which is going to be about adding value, contributing, and being a local market expert in whatever it is that you do.

What do technology and Google can’t compete with? Google gave you the information but what Google cannot do is they cannot easily allow for a consumer to interpret that data. What I could do is take the data of the marketplace, share it with a consumer, and allow them to understand what does that mean to them.

I got off the phone with a guy. He says, “Dan, we talked to seven agents. The reason why we’re going to hire you is because you were pragmatic in your approach. You had knowledge. You shared the information with us in a respectful way. Five other agents said they could sell my house for more money than you, but you gave us the data and let us know what that means. Because of that, we’re going to hire you.” When you develop that expertise, it’s hard for technology to be able to compete against that boots on the ground.

I would advise anybody, no matter what your business is, to study your craft. Become an expert in whatever it is that you do and be able to create relationships so that you’re the go-to guy or gal. When somebody has a question, instead of going to Google and getting an incomplete answer, they will give you a call, send you a text or an email you and say, “Dan, I was thinking about this. What are your thoughts?” That’s the way you position yourself to be able to compete against those threats.

We see that same thing as note investors where we will get lists of assets and make offers on them but my offers will come in with some asterisk to the sellers like, “This is the reason I’m offering this because of this and this,” versus a blanket offer like some people. The more you can show the knowledge, share that, and be honest with people. It may show Zillow values and estimates. It says it’s worth $220 but it’s really worth $140 because of the condition that it’s in, what’s going on in the market and the neighborhood, or your comp is way off because it’s not even a similar thing. Knowing your craft and market is so huge versus an online thing that is going to run that route without any knowledge.

That ties into commoditization when you’re looking at business. The word commodity means that in the absence of a perceived value, the consumer goes to the lowest priced vendor. The key phrase in that statement is perceived value because if you lack a perceived value in business, the only value you have is price. If you want to be the lowest price guy or gal, then don’t create value. If you want to be profitable, then you have to add value to what it is that you offer.

All you’re doing is competing on price. You have no place to go. It’s not a long-term business model at all. You’ve got to add that value no matter what you’re doing.

Not only is it not long-term but it is a losing proposition because there are other companies that have investors that will lose money to put you out of business. They have investors until they put everybody else out of business and then they jack their prices up. Amazon and Zillow lost money for years. There are real estate brokerages publicly traded that are losing money hand over fist, but they’re publicly traded and have investors so they’re more interested in market share than profit with the mindset, “As we gain market share, then when we become the only brand. We can jack prices up and then become profitable.”

I saw an article that Amazon lost money for a couple of years, selling diapers below cost to own Diapers.com and run their competition out. They have jacked up the prices now that they beat their competition. Let’s talk a little bit about your local market there. Are you seeing things being crazy overbid and overpriced with people moving in? Are you seeing the market slowing down at different price points?

First of all, my marketplace is a conglomerate of many micro-pockets of markets. This is probably true of most marketplaces. With that being said, in general, the market is slowing down. It seems to plateau. We have some market dynamics in the Northern Virginia area right outside Washington, DC that other areas don’t necessarily have.

Before the pandemic in January 2018, Amazon announced that they’re bringing their second headquarters to our marketplace. Our economy in the Washington DC area is the United States government. I’ve always said, “If our economy goes out of business, we’re all screwed so who cares anyway?” If the United States government goes out of business, the entire world is hurt. I feel pretty good about my local economy. In the last several years, added to the United States government has been a technology corridor that is added to that economy as well.

When you go back to when Amazon announced in 2018 that they were coming to our marketplace, there was about 35% less inventory and less people were selling, which we had anticipated in March of 2020 that that inventory would then hit the marketplace. Nobody predicted the pandemic. In March of 2020, you’ve got three months there. In March, April and May, it’s deer in headlights. Nobody does anything. Nobody buys or sells.

In June of 2020, people start buying and the inventory remains low. In my marketplace, it was a dip from Amazon and another dip from the pandemic. Because of that, you now have an aggressive pricing increase from June of 2020 to June of 2021. Since June of 2021, we’ve had pretty much a flatline. I say that with a little asterisk because there are micro-pockets within there where there are a little bit different scenarios. That, in general, is where we are in my local marketplace.

You’re constantly working on yourself. What’s something that you’re getting coached at or focused on improving?

I’ve been finishing writing a course, The Death of Potential: Why 87% of Real Estate Agents Quit. I’ve been putting a lot of time, energy and effort into the completion of that portal. We offer that particular class for free. It’s at www.FindYourPotential.life. I’ve been putting a lot of time and effort into doing that and learning how to write.

I’ve written a book before and I’m writing my second book. As I’m doing that, I’m listening to Stephen King’s On Writing. I’m listening to a couple of other books as well in regards to what is the craft of being able to communicate in a manner that inspires others to do something that is in their best interest. Ultimately, that is what I want to do.

I feel pretty privileged in business. I’m grateful. I’m at a place in my career and life where I want to help others. Mostly, what I want to help others is to avoid a lot of the challenges. If I was sitting and telling you, “Scott, I’ve done this and that. It has been nothing but easy and success,” that would be the biggest lie in the world. I’ve had more freaking failures than you could imagine, but I’ve had one more success than I’ve had failure so I’m on the good side of that. In my life, it’s about teaching others to be able to avoid those challenges.

NCS 673 | Driving Results

Driving Results: If they achieve whatever you’re attempting to achieve, then all you have to do is do what they did.

 

You mentioned models about people that lived before us. The greatest predictor of the future is the past. If you want to know how to do something, you simply need to find somebody who has already done what you want to do. I recommend to people, whoever that person may be, make them be somebody that if you look in the mirror and they’re looking back, they look physically almost like you. That gets rid of a lot of the, “But he did this because.”

If they achieve whatever it is that you’re attempting to achieve, and they look a lot like you look, and come from the same background or upbringing as you, then all you have to do to be able to achieve whatever is that they’re achieving is do what they did. That’s what I’m focusing on. My learning and growth are about modeling and helping other people to achieve their success.

Is there anything that you learned from what happened through the years? There’s a lot learned but is there anything that stands out for you? We talked about short-term and long-term stuff. We have been around doing things longer than 2 or 3 years and have been through a cycle or two. There are things that we see and start preparing for. What’s one thing that you’ve prepared for from seeing that cycle hit again here? Obviously, it’s different but living through the last one.

I was talking to my coach and we had this same conversation. I don’t want to ruin this being evergreen because somebody may be reading this many years from now. We’re doing this in August of 2021. What’s happening is that a lot of the pandemic restrictions are coming back in different areas of the country. We were having this conversation and it was exactly what you’re asking me, which is, “What do we have to do now to be able to prepare for the potential of challenges coming up?”

I’ll bullet point it and it doesn’t matter when you’re reading this because this is good advice no matter when you’re reading this. It’s two things. Reduce your expenses and increase your lead generation. I had a conversation with my Director of Operations. I said, “Jolene, I want you to reduce our expenses by $600 a month.” That may be a big chunk of change cut out to somebody or maybe it’s small. It doesn’t matter what the number is. For me, it’s a small little chunk but I’ll take $600. I said, “Can you do that? She said, “Yes.” I said, “When could you do that?” She said, “I will do that by Sunday.” I know what the question is going to be on Sunday. “Let’s cut out another $600 off expenses.”

It’s holding whatever dollar that you spend accountable for a result. If you’re investing in notes, maybe you’re lead regenerating and approaching a certain person and mailing to them, take a look at, “Do I have enough budget to be able to continue mailing to this person? What are the results?” If you look at that as a marketing effort, you could consider any marketing effort that you do if you have eighteen months in reserves just for that marketing effort before you start whatever it is that you’re doing. It‘ll help you not to quit early.

It’s a balance of, “I’m not going to quit doing something early because I know if I do it long enough, it will work.” In the same sense, I have an assistant. The work that that assistant is doing is helping me create more time and revenue. If you can’t demonstrate that they are, is that a good investment of your money? Probably not. Those are the types of conversations you have to have.

Keep lead generation and marketing. Marketing first mindset is what I always like to say to people. Keep sharing things. I heard somebody say, “I don’t want to keep doing videos.” I’m like, “Why not?” “I’m not seeing any results.” I’m like, “You’ve got to realize that’s a long-term play. It builds. All you need is one person to see it and go from there in that direction.”

Not only that but it’s videos, particularly. A friend of mine had a birthday party. We were at his house and one of the guests there said to me, “Dan, you’re always throwing stuff out there and creating content.” What I realized is that’s not quite true. What is true is I’ve been doing this for many years. It seems like I’m always doing it because I keep doing it.

You do a video or a podcast like this conversation you and I are having. I don’t know when somebody is going to read this or view it. If you do this once a week for a year, that’s 50 pieces of content that stay out there for the rest of the time. The video in and of itself is something that is a special thing to do because it will stay out there forever. That’s something that not only is good to do but it also has legs for longevity.

Dan, what is the best way for people to connect with you, find out more about what you got going on and keep up with you?

You can always find me on social media. I make myself easy to find. There’s the CPI Community on Facebook where salespeople mastermind to be able to help each other develop. There are two groups. There’s a public and a private group that I would invite somebody to apply to join. Also, the website with the online learning portals that we have and the micro-learning is at www.FindYourPotential.life. There’s some free training on there, The Death of Potential: Why 87% of Real Estate Agents Quit, and some great education that I offer to friends of yours, Scott.

I appreciate that, Dan. It’s very valuable information. That’s why we have you on here on the show. I want to thank you for coming on and hanging out with me. Take what Dan said and check out his website. There’s valuable information. Listen to what he was talking about. There are things that he said that you can apply to your business no matter what it is. Stick with it and you will see success if you give it time. Make sure you’re blocking your schedule. Get rid of distractions and shiny objects. Saying no to distractions is saying yes to your short-term and long-term success. Go out and take some action. We will see you at the top.

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About Dan Ronchon

NCS 673 | Driving ResultsDan Rochon is the Head Coach and Visionary at Greetings Virginia Sales Network. He is also the author of Real Estate Evolution: The Ten Step Guide to CPI for Real Estate Agents and host of The CPI Community Podcast. Having seen hundreds of agents fail in this business, Dan is passionate about helping people not only stay in the business but thrive in it.

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