Jason Gelios of Its All About The RealEstate: Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry

An Interview With Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman
Authority Magazine

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Work on building your own brand from day one — Too many times I see real estate agents pushing their office brand and not focusing on their own offering. Potential clients convert to actual clients because they choose to hire the agent-not the office. This effort can be as simple as creating a one page website that highlights the benefits of working with the agent, testimonials and helpful resources or even videos covering popular real estate topics.

As a part of my series about the ‘Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.

Jason Gelios is an award winning top producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book ‘Think Like a REALTOR®: A little book about buying and selling residential real estate through the eyes of a REALTOR®, creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show, and an Expert Media Contributor of real estate expertise to outlets such as Money, Yahoo, Realtor.com, Bankrate and more.

Jason educates aspiring home buyers, sellers and existing home owner’s tips and real world knowledge to help achieve their real estate goals. Jason is also a local speaker educating home buyers on the process of purchasing a home. He is known for his transparent and honest way of representing buyers and sellers so that they have a deeper understanding of the process and walk away feeling valued.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?

Thank you for having me! I had spent years in the mortgage industry prior to becoming a Realtor with many achievements in that space. After the recession of 2008 I decided it was time for a change. I had some great memories offering mortgages, but I had a strong desire to be outside in the trenches and not behind a desk all day. I had circled around the idea of changing my sales role until finally the recession of 2008 pushed that goal into overdrive. I decided to become a licensed Realtor after spending some years in general sales positions. I had a passion for real estate and what home ownership can do for people. After looking into different offices, I decided to start with a well known broker to better learn the real estate agent side of the business. Spending time at this broker helped me realize that a big brand office was not for me. I was building my business and gaining success through my own sweat equity, yet giving away most of my pay to the office. Having this realization led me to transition to a smaller office that was a better fit for my business.

My decision to become a Realtor was based on the piece of advice I obtained years prior, that you must love what you sell or you’ll end up being that pushy salesperson that people find annoying. I love working with home buyers and seeing the different types of properties and how other people live-so to speak. On the selling side, I enjoy helping home sellers accomplish their goal of selling their property with most leaving the closing table with a healthy amount of proceeds. For me, there is no other industry that can be as satisfying as real estate.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

I will never forget the time I was showing a home in the country on a decent amount of land without a light in sight. For some reason I had forgotten to grab my flashlight that day. My clients and I were walking through the dark of night in what felt like the middle of nowhere, which it was, in an attempt to reach the front door. As we progressed through the home to determine if this was the one for my client, we had approached a door which appeared to lead to an upstairs area. As we opened the door, we had been greeted, actually assaulted, by a swarm of cats escaping the room in frenzy! We were already edgy due to the creepiness of this home, and this was the icing on the cake. Needless to say after that experience we had a good laugh. The lesson we learned is to be expectant of anything because you never know what could happen.

Do you have a favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share a story or example of how that was relevant to you in your life?

The late Zig Ziglar wrote my favorite quote that I live by daily — “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough people get what they want.” This quote stuck with me because it aligns with my philosophy of going out into the world and providing as much value as I can to others. Some people will say that reading a quote isn’t enough. I say, if you apply reading a quote or something inspirational to taking the necessary action, then reading the quote worked. Inspirational content should be a driver to push you in the right direction to take steps towards success. We should also focus on solving as many problems as we can through our personal or professional life-or both. One of the reasons I succeed in real estate is because I locate problems to solve while people benefit from the service I provide.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am currently working on a passion project of mine which will be my second book. I am taking what I have learned about achieving success over the years and sharing it with others who are looking to become successful. This book will offer advice on topics such as changing your mindset for the better, overcoming imposter syndrome and how to take that first step to create a life you truly want to live. My goal with this book is to inspire others who are not where they want to be in life to take the necessary steps to change their life for the better. Many people settle for average and feel that they can’t make the change or lack the real world advice needed to change their trajectory. I know how this is because I was feeling stuck where I was at in a dead end job. If just one person benefits from the advice in this book and makes a positive change in their life, then I have succeeded.

I can’t wait to share this book with everyone!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I would say my approach to how I do business is what helps me stand out from the competition. Many real estate agents tend to follow the same formula that other agents do without looking at how they can differentiate themselves in the marketplace; causing them to get tuned out. My differentiating approach to what I do is simple; I find ways to build my brand while providing the information and solutions that others need to accomplish their goals. It’s this mindset that helps me stand out and gain success along the way.

One of my past clients had a friend who posted on social media a need for a real estate agent to sell their home. As you can imagine they were thrown a ton of names in the comments. I was among the list of many real estate agents referred to this friend. Not only did my past client share my name, but also a link to one of my real estate shows. The home seller watched my video and decided I was the best fit for their real estate needs. After receiving the call, I had scheduled a date and time to meet to discuss how I could effectively sell their home. While I thought that I would have to present my offering and services to this seller, come to find out they had already decided to hire me due to feeling comfortable with me before we even met. This is the power of branding and providing value to others first. In this scenario, my videos did the selling for me.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have to give much of my credit to my wife Erica who has played a huge part in where I’m at in life today. In our early days before my successes, she had inspired me through her own goal setting efforts to make a change for the better in my own life. I watched as she worked towards her degree in Nursing and the dedication she applied to making that happen. Once I had gained that inspiration, I took in the necessary skills to get into the real estate industry-starting as a mortgage representative. Eventually I made the switch to become a Realtor and loving every moment. Oftentimes real estate can be demanding, yet my wife has been there supporting me the whole way. It’s important to have a support system in place to help you make leaps and bounds in your career.

Another huge factor in my success is the countless educators and successful people who share their knowledge on and offline through books, videos and articles. I seek out a multitude of experts whom I have never met to get the education I need to tackle obstacles that get in my way. Without such experts, I would not be as knowledgeable as I am today.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry? If you can please share a story or example.

To narrow it down to three is tough, but here they are:

One: I love what I sell
One of my favorite things about real estate is the product I sell. It’s amazing how much impact a home has on someone. I have toured homes with clients and watched as they assign each room to their needs describing in detail how they will use that space. It’s inspiring and a blessing to be a part of that experience. I can’t think of any other product I could sell that would have this effect on someone. Having a love for what you sell will get you through the tough times and keep you driven.

Two: I love connecting with others who have big goals
It’s important to be around like minded people when you are chasing success. The real estate industry has allowed me to meet so many great people who have big goals for themselves. Through learning opportunities and in general conversation, I come in contact with professionals going after their goals whether it’s in their business or personal life. I also had the pleasure of meeting many great people over the years, from clients to other business partners in other areas of real estate. The benefits of being in real estate allow you to reach bigger goals than many other careers, provided you put in the work.

Third: No day is the same
The landscape of real estate is ever-changing with no day being the same. From the housing market to new regulations many different situations can happen in real estate. I’ve spoken to people who have been in the business for decades who still come across something that amazed them. The challenges that real estate puts in my path drives me to stay on my toes and motivates me to keep learning new things because you never can know absolutely everything about this field.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? Please share stories or examples if possible.

One of my biggest concerns in real estate is the lack of proper training for new real estate agents entering the industry. Many offices will train the agent how to handle the forms and work with clients, but often fail when it comes to training agents on how to get new business or build their own brand. Every new real estate agent is told to follow the same formula that every other agent follows when they get recruited by an office. They aren’t taught how to be a business in themselves, which is what real estate agents are. This is why so many agents end up leaving the field after the first year because they struggle with making good money due to improper training and expectations.

My second concern is the lack of interest by real estate agents about getting the additional training that would make them a superstar. Real estate is heavily regulated and one mistake could cost a home buyer, seller or home owner thousands of dollars. I would like to see local real estate associations or the government require additional continuing education hours a real estate agent should have. Too many times agents pass the licensing exam and do the bare minimum to stay in the field.

My third concern is how states govern the marketing practices of real estate agents. In my state of Michigan, it is mandatory for our real estate signs to reflect equal information between the agent and the broker. This means my phone number or information can’t take up more of my sign in relation to my brokers information. This may sound trivial, but if I pay for all my own yard signs, then I should be able to design them however I please. I would love to see this area change to represent the agent better.

What advice would you give to other real estate leaders to help their teams to thrive and to create a really fantastic work culture?

I can’t tell you how many times I get recruiting calls and emails telling me that I should change offices because they may be more financially impressive to me. Real estate leaders should focus on areas that benefit the agent such as personal branding and lead generation. Offering training in these areas would make a huge difference in how many people stay in the field and whether or not they find success. I don’t think real estate leaders focus on these topics because they are afraid the office will lose or that the agent will become great at what they do and leave their company. This is why you see many leaders and agents focus too much on the office brand without building their own brand of whom they are and what they offer. A real estate leader that focuses on creating better real estate agent rock stars will win in the real estate industry because this effort will spawn a great work culture that agents will want to be a part of long term.

Real estate leaders should also be aware that clients rarely become clients because of what office an agent works out of. Some may argue this debate, but I happen to know that potential clients become actual clients because they chose the professional and what they can do over what office they work out of. This makes it even more important for real estate leaders to become that coach in the corner letting the agent win in the field.

Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

This is a great question. I would advice these five things as absolute musts for real estate agents.

One: Work on building your own brand from day one
Too many times I see real estate agents pushing their office brand and not focusing on their own offering. Potential clients convert to actual clients because they choose to hire the agent-not the office. This effort can be as simple as creating a one page website that highlights the benefits of working with the agent, testimonials and helpful resources or even videos covering popular real estate topics.

Two: Start creating videos that provide value to others
Video is one of the best ways to reach out and connect with people in any industry. By taking various topics and industry updates and creating short videos, a real estate agent can build trust and gain a likeability that could turn into clients. Applying video to your marketing efforts could position any agent as an expert in their field. The only caveat with video is that it takes time and should be done in conjunction with other prospecting efforts.

Three: Pay attention to your sphere of influence
It’s been said that over 80% of real estate agents are forgotten by their past clients. Agents need to not only have systems in place for keeping in touch with their past clients, but also their sphere of influence. People who should be in an agents sphere include those who they interact with on a regular to semi-regular basis. This could be your doctor, dentist, relatives, friends and anyone else who fits the bill. It’s easier now than ever to keep in touch with others with social media. Build up a permission based email program for those who aren’t.

Four: Develop a thick skin
Real estate is really a dog eat dog industry with many nipping at your heels. Having a thick skin will help you get through those hard days where things don’t go your way. If you manifest the failures or misteps that come along, it will eat you alive in real estate. By not taking things personally and realizing that some people won’t do what they say they will do, you will progress through the tough times faster than those who dwell on things.

Five: Know how to work effectively with your time
I would avoid being the water cooler agent. In almost every office their seems to be a consistent presence of a handful of agents who wander around the water cooler or coffee machine hoping someone calls in like it’s 1984. Being successful in real estate means getting out there and getting the business by scheduling tasks that get them in front of the people who are looking to buy or sell what they offer. If they don’t go out and get the business, failure is inevitable. I make it a ritual to schedule my days down to 15 minute increments to ensure that my time is not wasted or consumed by non-productive duties that can derail me. Keeping an eye on my calendar also keeps me laser focused.

Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I am a fan of the pay it forward concept where someone does something nice for another and they pay it forward to someone else. This simple task can be profound in someone else’s life. Someone could be standing in line waiting on their favorite coffee hoping it will make their day brighter when they learn that someone ahead of them paid for their drink. It doesn’t take much to make the world a better place.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I invite everyone to connect with me by visiting my websites:
www.ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate.com and www.JasonGelios.com

Connect with me on social media here:

On Linkedin- https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasongelios/

On Twitter- https://twitter.com/jasongelios

On YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/c/ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate

On FB- https://www.facebook.com/jasongeliosrealtor/

On Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/jasongeliosrealtor/

On Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/jasongelios/_saved/

Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

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Jason Hartman
Authority Magazine

Author | Speaker | Financial Guru | Podcast Rockstar