Born and raised in Georgia, Nicole Solari has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. After leaving a successful career in Silicon Valley, Nicole pursued her life-long passion and immersed herself in the real estate space. Through hard work, dedication, determination, and resilience, she now owns a brokerage and maintains a team. On today’s show, Nicole joins Jen Du Plessis to talk about her real estate investing journey and how she became wildly successful in real estate one open house at a time.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
We have Nicole Solari. She is the Managing Broker of Level Up Realty in Napa, California. She is an entrepreneur and has been in the business since 2013. I know you aren’t new anymore, but I’m going to say as a new real estate agent in the marketplace, she has been wildly successful. We want to find out how she did it and what we can do to help our real estate agents get more business and be wildly successful as well. Welcome to the show, Nicole. We are happy to have you.
Thank you. I’m glad to be here.
Let’s talk about Napa. I want to talk about Napa for a minute. Are you born and raised in California? How did you get there?
I’m not. My husband was born and raised in Napa. They call themselves Napkins, which is funny. I’m from Georgia originally. I was born and raised in Georgia. I went to the University of Georgia. I came out here for my first career, which was not real estate. It was in the tech industry. My husband and I fell in love with the weather, so I’ve got some roots here now.
Thanks for sharing that. What a beautiful place to have a great business. If you’re reading, if you haven’t been to Napa, you’d definitely need to go. It’s one of those bucket lists items. I wanted to get that out of the way and find out where you were. Tell us about how you got into real estate. If you came from tech, who planted that seed with you about being a real estate agent?
I can thank my husband for that. He moved up to Napa Valley for anyone that knows that geography. With no traffic, it’s about an hour away but with traffic it can be three-plus hours. I continued my job in the tech world there and I was commuting and commute times gave me about 5 to 6 hours on the road a day. It’s exhausting being in the car that long. I was grumpy when I got home and it took too much of a toll on the family. I told my husband I wanted to do a career change because what I did in Silicon Valley is not available in Napa. I said, “I want to be a teacher.” He point-blank said, “No.” He grew up with teachers. His sisters and parents were teachers. He’s like, “I can’t take any more teachers.” He’s like, “What about real estate? Everything that you’ve done in your life and the business savvy that you have, why don’t you go into real estate?” I said, “Why not?” I looked up how to become a real estate agent. At the time I was pregnant so I quit my job. I just walked in and quit.
You would take the class while you’re with the baby.
I took my real estate license exam on my due date. Here in California, it’s all electronic. They have these monitors inside of the class where you take the test. I had to get special permission to take the test standing up because my belly was so big. It was a long-standing period while taking that test. I had a baby, joined a big brand, and became successful. I attributed that to knowing I was going into the business. I had a six-month planning period and I treated my planning to get into real estate like a job. I’d wake up every day, I’d have my coffee, I’d get dressed and go into the dining room table. I would plan how I’m going to be successful in real estate. I did that for six months while studying for my exam. I painted the path and laid the pavers down to get to where I wanted to be. I blew my goals out of the water. I never imagined that I would be where I am now. My goals were a portion of what I’m producing at now. Once the momentum started, I had the plan in place and treated it like a business. It exploded.
I think that’s important too because there are five stages of growth in any business. There is formulation, concentration, momentum, stability and then breakthrough. You mentioned that your goals used to be your ceiling and now they’re a couple of floors down. That’s important that you took the proper path to get there. I see that many people that are getting into real estate and loan officers as well, and even entrepreneurs, don’t take the time to go through those stages that are important to laying that perfect foundation and groundwork. You spent six months putting the path together and things that you’ve done. I imagine there are other people that have done that too. What about your path? What about the way that you laid it out and treated it like a business made a difference for you that you were able to get such great results in such a short time, given that there are statistically realtors that don’t do very well?Many real estate agents are looking at their business through dollar signs and not through their hearts. Click To Tweet
I’ve been asked that many times on many interviews. I always say, “It’s hard work, dedication, and determination.” I was talking to a good friend who you may know, Jeremy Forcier. He asked me the same question for another interview and I told him that. He said, “No, that’s not it. Your answer is wrong. Let me give you the right answer.” When he said it, it totally resonated with me. He told me the number one thing that he sees in me, because he’s seen a ton of real estate agents. He knows me very well. We’re friends. We golf and we hang out, so he knows me on a personal and professional level. He told me, it’s my resilience. He’s like, “You’re the most resilient person that I know. You don’t let anything get you down. You don’t let anything stand in your way, but you’re not a bulldozer and you’re not a bulldog. You just keep going. You’ve got this momentum and this resilience. That’s what contributed to your success.” Thank you, Jeremy, for articulating that for me.
Resilience definitely has that but it’s also the continuity and consistency that you have. When you come across those people and those sellers who tell you no, and naysayers who say you’re crazy to do what you’re doing in this business because you shouldn’t be successful. All of those people that say that, you continue to do the things that aren’t very sexy. They’re grinding activities to ensure that you get to where you want to go. What did you start out doing? What was the first thing that you did? Did you do the friends and family phone calls? Did you do mailers? What did you start doing?
My family is in Georgia and I didn’t know anybody up here. My sphere of influence was back in Silicon Valley. I wasn’t going to be selling real estate in Silicon Valley. The whole working the sphere of friends and family calls was not an option for me. It’s a good practice though. I did call and say, “I’m making this career change.” I started interviewing top agents and I was trying to find out what do they do. Every single successful agent told me, “Past and current client referrals.” It was so frustrating because everyone said the exact same thing. I had to think, “If I were buying a home, where would I meet my agent if I wasn’t going on Zillow and picking them?” I decided to start doing open houses because that’s where you meet a lot of people. You can meet a ton of people in a concentrated amount of time.
I started doing 5, 6, 7, sometimes 8 open houses and it took off. Part of the reason why is I didn’t aimlessly do open houses. I was very strategic about my open houses. I knew the neighborhoods that I wanted to farm. I knew the price point that was going to get the most momentum. I wasn’t trying to be the super sexy luxury agent right out of the gate and sell the $2 million homes. I knew my bread and butter was your Freddie, Fannie and first-time home buyers. I focused on that because you can get more experienced. It’s probably a little bit harder, which is what you need. You learn by experience. I pre-planned by learning everything I could about the neighborhood, everything I could about the schools, not even knowing how to pronounce some of the cities.
I don’t either when I’m there.
It’s California and I grew up in Georgia where we pronounce Buenavista with a Southern accent and people looked at me crazy. I wasn’t even pronouncing the city names right but I could definitely tell you what are all of the schools in the area, what the taxes were, what the supplemental taxes were, why there were supplemental taxes when the bonds expire. Anything and everything that I could learn, I soaked up all that information and became an expert for some home buyers who love information. It’s planning, executing, and being consistent with it even when I got busy. I remember in my first year, I had seven escrows. At a time, I was still doing my own transaction coordination work. My husband was like, “Where are you going?” I said, “I have an open house.” He’s like, “Don’t you have enough business right now?” I said, “I want to keep it that way.”
That’s what happens with a lot of people. They get their transactions in and they covered them, then they look around and say, “I don’t have any more transactions.” They go back out and do it again. That is that resilience and that consistency. I also want to point out something else that you said too. It’s that you knew that you would be better served at your particular niche. This gets back to formulation, concentration, and momentum. You’re formulating and you were doing the necessary research and recon in a very specific niche as opposed to what everybody does, which is “If you know anybody who’s buying or selling a home, I’d like to be your realtor.” That ends up selling to nobody. If you’re trying to sell to everybody, you end up selling to no one. I love that you created that niche for yourself. You knew at some point maybe that would be your niche in the future or not, but this was the place you needed to start. I credit you with that and I hope that you realize how important that was because most people start out with, “Give me anybody who’s breathing.”
They’re casting the net far and wide. It doesn’t do justice to the realtor and it doesn’t do justice to clients either because you’re really not an expert at everything, especially right out of the gates.
You started doing open houses. I know a ton of realtors who do open houses. I know a ton of loan officers who do open houses and they don’t get much business from it, or they get a lot of lookie-loos. They spend a lot of time chasing down people who can’t qualify, don’t want to be talked to and don’t have a job, etc. What makes the way that you do open houses different from anybody else?
There are a lot of intention with my open houses. I go in there with the intention of meeting new people and helping them. My intention is not to get business. It’s great that I get business but my mindset is, “How can I help you? What can I do to help you?” Brian Buffini has a saying that I love, “What you give away in slices, you get back in loaves.” There’s a NAR statistic that says that the average home buyer starts looking for home six months prior to getting serious and getting pre-approved. Those lookie-loos that are coming in January are the people that I’m going to be helping buy a home in April, May, June, July and I realized that.
I covet them, but very rarely does someone come in and say, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I don’t have a real estate agent. Can we get pre-approval letter with a local reputable lender? Can we go look at some more houses?” It’s happened, don’t get me wrong, but you have to work for it. You have to have the intention. You have to follow up. You have to give information to get the business. That differentiates me from a lot of the competitors. Prior to getting into real estate with that six-month study period, I did some field study and I went to open houses. I went to local open houses and I asked questions. I was always cognizant of the way that the real estate agent treated me and made me feel. They don’t give off the warm and fuzzies.
It’s looking at their business through dollar signs and not through their heart. That’s big and I’m a Buffiniet as well, so I get that. I learned that many years ago from him. The key is nurturing these prospective people rather than neglecting them. If they’re not ready to buy now then it’s, “Okay, next.” The nurturing shows that you’re willing to put the time and effort in.
I’ve had many clients come to me even a year later after giving them so much information that they’re finally ready to buy. I don’t even look at it as, “I’m going to keep giving you this information so that you come back to me when you’re ready to buy it.” It’s that mindset of giving and you know inevitably that it’s going to be given back to you.
When you first started you didn’t have the listings to sit at these open houses. How did that work for you? I know a lot of listing agents that have been around for a while love other people to sit at their listings. Tell me how that worked out? How did you approach everyone to be able to fulfill? Who knows if someone wants to do eight a month, but to be able to do something every single week to have at least some type of revenue coming in or at least a stream?
I was very intentional with where I wanted to do my open houses. I was consistent with the price point. I tried to be consistent with the neighborhood. I tried to be consistent with the agents that allow me to do open houses. I was very grateful and so I followed up with them. I made sure that they wanted me to do open houses for them over and over again, or be able to be their go-to agent for the brand-new listing that’s hot, that’s going to get a lot of traffic. I would call independent brokerages because they’re usually more likely to allow other agents to hold their open houses.
A lot of the big brands have company policies that other brokerages and other agents can’t hold their open houses. At that time, I was with a big brand and that big brand happened to have a lot of market share, so that helped me out a lot. I could go to the office agents and say, “Connect me with your new listing open,” and I did it. I pulled in our MLS a list of all of the top listing agents and I called them. I didn’t right off the bat go, “Can I hold your open houses?” I give them huge compliments. I said, “Pam, I admire you. I’ve been watching you for a year. I got my license two months ago, but I want to be you when I grow up. By the way, I saw your listing at 123 Main Street. Do you need any help with that with holding it open or even door knocking with your flyers? Is there anything I can do to help you?” That approach versus calling and say, “It’s Nicole. I have a listing. Can I hold it open for you?” It’s a little bit of a different approach.
It has a big impact. Sometimes it’s these little insignificant things that make the biggest impact in our businesses and I love that approach. I love that you went out to other companies as well, because the other side of that is you were creating that relationship that would help you, whether you knew it or not at that time. That would help you in the future in your negotiations because now you already had a relationship with them.
That’s so true because Pam and I have had several situations where there are multiple offers scenarios where my buyer was not the best offer. Pam would call me and said, “Nicole, you’re not the best offer but I’m going to tell my client that you’re the best agent and here is what the offer is. Do you think that your buyers would be willing to meet this?” That’s the difference between an escrow and a disappointment to a buyer.Sometimes it's the little insignificant things that make the biggest impact in our businesses. Click To Tweet
There is no question with that especially now with inventory. It’s so hard to get out. I understand that. When you were doing the open houses, were you doing them by yourself? Did you pull in lenders for open house spreadsheets? Did you have the lender in the office? Did you give the lender the list afterwards and say, “Call these people and help me get better opportunities?” Tell us about the logistics of putting that together. You show up at the house and this is not the sellers, not someone you know, and you get to meet them or not. What did you logistically do in the actual open house, aside from getting it and then being diligent at the follow-up to the lookie-loos? What happened during the open house?
I’m not going to tell you what I did in the beginning because it was a lot of trial and error. I’ll tell you what works. You don’t know what you don’t know and I didn’t have a mentor. I didn’t have anybody to tell me what not. I didn’t even know lenders would sit with you at open houses. That was like a new concept a year in. I was like, “You can get people onboard? You’ll pre-qualify on the spot?” Fast forward a few months in, a couple of slow open houses, a couple of sticky situations. I then decided to have a lender partner with me or a vendor partner. You can have a home warranty rep with you. You can have a natural hazard disclosure rep with you. Someone else that can add value for safety reasons and manage the crowd.
I don’t know what it is with open houses but anybody reading that’s done an open house. We have this thing where it’s like first two hours are dead and then you’re turning off the lights to leave and you’ve got six cars pulling up. People come in waves. It’s always nice to have top prop management so that you never miss out on a lead. We also do giveaways. A lot of people don’t want to sign in and if they do, “It’s Mickey Mouse. My phone number is 123456.” We’ve got some tricks now to be able to get people to sign in, but also get actual verifiable information. For example, we are now paperless. When people come in, the first thing that they want is, “Do you have a flyer?” They never even going to look at the flyer. I say, “Yes, I do. Can I get you to sign in? As soon as you sign in, we’re going to text you your paperless flyer. You’ll have it there on your phone so you can reference it later.”
What system do you use for collecting their information and being able to send them something immediately via text?
We now use a CRM, which is Commissions Inc. It costs an arm and a leg. It’s got the hoo-ha bells and whistles and galore. Before that though, I was using an open house app. It’s $4.99. It’s called Open Houses. You can get this thing for $5 and it’s yours forever. It preloads on your iPad information on the house and then as soon as they sign in, it texts them the paperless flyer. I was using a different CRM at that time. I used an app where it talked to the Open Houses app and automatically parsed it into my CRM. They immediately find an open house trip for me. Later that day, they had an open house email from me, “It’s nice to meet you. Joe and I speak with you. Let me know if you have any other questions was about 123 Main Street. We’re here to help.”
That’s part of that follow-up that most people are saying, “I have the list, I’m carrying it around with me. I’ll call them when I’m in the car. I’ll call them when I have a few minutes in between.” There’s not a strategy behind it. I think that’s crucial. I love that you have a campaign in it. It’s one of the things that I coach on so much is having systems because you can’t scale without having systems in place. You can’t do one thing for one person and something else for someone else. You’re having these open houses. You’re getting these new potential buyers, maybe some listings because the sellers are snooping in the neighborhood. This listing belongs to another agent. What are you doing in the neighborhood in the form of the 10-10-20 Rule? What are you doing with that when you’re doing the open house and it’s not your listing?
We have custom door knockers depending on the intent. If it’s a heavy investment neighborhood where there will be first time home buyers, there will be more buyer geared. If it’s in move up neighborhood, we have some more seller geared door knockers. We door knock prior to the open house. In fact, I see out in my office people getting ready to go door knock. We door knock usually the ten houses in front, five to the left, five to the right, and then five behind. It’s strategically right around that house. If you are intentional and this is your farm area and you know the inventory there, and you know that there’s a desirable floor plan, because we have mostly semi-custom homes here and a lot of people look for specific floor plans.
You can door knock that specific floor plan and say you have a hot commodity right now. We even take it a step further with preparing and being intentional. I have my iPad with me when we door knock. I use the Fidelity123 app. For whoever is not familiar with that, you can download the Fidelity app. You get the username and password from your Fidelity rep. All title companies have it. When you’re standing in front of the house, the app lets you take a picture of the house and it pulls up the house information. When did they bought it? Do they have a note on it? How much is the note? Do they have a second? What is their ARV? What is their estimated ABM? How much they think it’s worth, their name, and whether its owner occupied or not.
You can literally knock on the door and say, “Suzanne, how are you?” It’s much warmer than knocking on the door saying, “Have you thought about selling your house? Don’t be weirded out by me knowing your name. It’s public record and I’m a real estate agent so I happen to have access to it.” It takes their guard down. I’ve had many people be impressed with the fact that at my fingertips I can pull up that information. They say, “We weren’t even thinking about selling, but when we do, you’re going to be our agent because I can’t believe how prepared you are.”
That’s their forever home. The question is, are you in your forever home? They might not be at that time, but it’s a great opportunity for you to be able to now start nurturing them. We know statistically, buyers and sellers say that they will use their same realtor 86% of the time or 86% of the clients said that they would use their previous realtor, but they can’t remember who they are. If they can remember the name, they sure would use them, but they can’t. It’s a great opportunity for you to now start managing their real estate so that when the buying window comes along, you’re the person they call. What I know is the 10-10-20, but you’re saying is 10-5-5. Have mailers worked or knocking is always better or does it depend on the neighborhood for you?
It depends on the neighborhood. I I’m big on statistics too. If you know the demographic that you’re targeting, you’ll know what strategy to use. If I want to pick up more buyers, I’m going to go to a non-owner occupied, highly dense rental neighborhood to door knock and try to get buyers. It’s easier to qualify for a loan than you think. If I’m looking sellers, I’m going to go to a more owner-occupied neighborhood. I would say know where you’re going and figure out where you’re going. All this information is at your fingertips. We have many systems through our local MLS and through our local real estate board. Lenders can buy programs as well. The CoreLogic information is scary accurate. I pull reports there myself all the time when I buy a new product to see exactly how accurate it is. It’s always scary how much information is out there.
Thank you so much for sharing. Is there anything else that you learned in the process at this point or something that you’re trying now that’s different that you’d like to share?
I honestly did not think real estate was this hard, but if you’re doing it right, it shouldn’t be hard. It should be a little painful. It should be a little tough because we should always be learning and we should always be trying to get better and learn by making mistakes. I was hard on myself about how personal I took things. I took rejection hard in the beginning. I took mistakes that I made hard in the beginning. You have to understand that they’re learning. I find Kendra Cook, you might have noticed her. She’s in your neck of the woods. She always says, “You can’t get a black eye from someone rejecting. You can’t get a black eye on the phone. You can’t get a black eye at the open house. What people say and the way that they reject you is all about them and not you.” I’ve learned to be a little bit more resilient.
Thank you for sharing how you got started. All of this started manifesting and magnifying for you. You got to the point where, “I can’t do all the open houses anymore. I’ve got to get a team going. I have to build this team.” What is your role now and what are you doing? As we get into what I’m calling the soaring twenties. What’s happening for you in this new yea and new decade?
Years later, I now own my own brokerage. I’m the broker of record. We’ve got some fantastic top producing agents as part of the brokerage. People who’ve been in the industry, even twice as long or three times as long as me. I also maintain a team within the brokerage. I have a team of five buyer’s agents that specifically work with my circle of influence, my past clients, my leads, and lifting heavies. My role with the organization is to provide leads and feed the buyer’s agents through having listings.
Are you teaching them the same things you learned?
They do the same things that I do. They don’t have to work as hard for their leads. They still have to work with their business and earning it but a lot of these are my past clients that come to me. I’m selling their home, but they’re also looking to purchase. My buyer’s agents help them to purchase while I sell their home.
Knowing that you are part of Brian Buffini’s organization, to what extent are you doing pop-bys and to what extent are you doing client events? I have them laying around here. I still do it. I’m not even originating and I still do pop-bys for my referral partners. That’s what I do.You can't scale without systems and consistency. Click To Tweet
I personally do 50 pop-bys a month. I have Buffini’s mailer tags. I was going to a dollar store and then Walmart and put all of these cute things together. I then found this store called ThePopByKit.com.
I know PopByIdeas.com, but I didn’t know the Pop By Kit.
It’s this woman. She’s a stay at home mom. She started her own little business. You can order a minimum of 50, which I think that 50 is good. If you can commit to 50 pop-bys a month, you’re pretty good. She sends me 50 kits per month. My assistant puts them together. She comes up with the idea. She sends the tag that’s branded, the bags, the tissue paper and the present. It takes my assistant about 30 minutes to put them all together.
I even found out that even if you had 50, but this month you can only get to 30 because some realtors don’t have 50 clients, but if they can only get to 30 because of the timing or whatever. I live in Northern Virginia, we have 24-hour gridlock. It’s the worst in the country. You can still use the balance of them when you have a client appreciation party, or when you come across someone or you run into a new client.
I have extra pop-bys in my car for situations like if you come across into someone or even vendors. Give your lenders some love. They’re always showering us. Give your escrow officer some love, give them a pop-by. I also use them for my business-to-business relationships. I get a lot of attorney referrals. I drop them pop-by as well. There’s always a use for them. My assistant has a checklist of things that should always be in my car. One is toilet paper all the time.
I was talking to someone about a realtor survival kit for realtors that work with veterans because when the wife comes in, she only has 48 hours to find a house. You got to be out there hour after hour, you need food, you need wipes and diapers for the kids, all those crazy things.
I have seller and buyer survival kits. I take them on every single listing appointment and I take it on the very first showing. With buyers, we have the buyers survival kit and then the buyer journal, which is our branded journal that is your journey to home ownership, where they write notes about every house that they see, their feelings throughout the process, and then it’s a keepsake that they keep at the end. The survival kits have Band-Aids for the bumps and bruises along the way. We put little Skittles in the box that says, “Emergency prescription when you have a sugar-low.” It’s cute and so we take those on every listing appointment and every buyer consultation and they love it.
I’ve done it for years. That’s why I suggested it. I did realtor open house survival kits for years. I live in an area where it’s cold and a lot of times what happens in winter, survival kits have hot chocolate and things like that in there, and a little a Sudoku, a little book there. You can go there. If you were sitting around doing nothing for a while, you can at least do that. I did it for my CPAs as well. It was tax season survival kit, and I did the very same thing. I had rubber bands so that you can be flexible when dealing with them. I’ve got a whole list of all these cute little phrases and like you, I’ve been in the dollar store and Walmart like crazy finding little things. They’re lifesavers when you need something and it’s cool. I love your idea and I’m sure that the sellers appreciate it as well when you come in. It does differentiate you when you’re doing a listing appointment.
I leave a whole bag behind. It’s amazing how I leave and then an hour later, they got nosy and wonder what was in the bag. It’s a little vinyl grocery bag with our logo on it and it’s got the survival kit. It’s got the marketing packet that we went over. It got the thank you note for the time. They’ll text me an hour later and they’re like, “We want to list with you. Can you come back?’
It’s being different. There’s no question about it. Are you doing client appreciation events? Are you doing client events?
We were doing it six years. We scale it back to four. We had more participations. We had a lot more clients showing up. They became like big parties. I remember the one October, we had so many people that we ran out food and drinks. We ran out of activities for the kids. I was like, “It’s time to scale this up and scale that back for the amount for a year.” We also do first responder appreciation for holidays. Everything’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, and Easter, I do a home-cooked meal and I drop it off to every fire station, police station, emergency room. I get a lot of nurses and a lot of the EMTs that come in starving.
Do you make it gluten-free and peanut-free and all that other stuff or do you just make a meal and say, “If you like it, you like it?”
I say, “You’re going to eat what I cook or you’re not going to eat at all.”
That’s funny because I do a Veteran’s Day luncheon. I have a local community bank that is closed on Veteran’s Day. They have a separate little area in their branch. This person was in my BNI and they let them open up that separate portion of the branch on that holiday. We had an open house of big lunch and it was like a brunch, lunch, and early dinner. We did it on Veteran’s Day for all of our veterans because every time I do a loan for a veteran or find out that someone is a veteran, I would make sure that we coded it in our CRM and make sure that we’re saying hello to them at those pertinent times of the year. What’s on the horizon for you coming up this year? You’ve got your whole team together. You got your buying agents. You have your listings. They’re taking care of them. You’re doing your pop-bys and your client appreciation parties. You’re managing this office with these new real estate agents. What’s next for you? Your company is Level Up Realty. What are you going to do to level up yourself?
The goal and the mindset is doing more with less. I want to be able to help more people and streamline the process. I’m huge on systems and you can’t scale without systems and consistency. I want to figure out ways to streamline and be able to help more buyers and sellers. Make it a more comfortable and memorable experience because it is a stressful situation, especially we work in our area a lot with contingent buyers. They’re selling and buying, at the same time you’ve got movers in the driveway and a loan that hasn’t funded on the replacement home and they’re losing sleep. I want to be able to do more for my clients throughout the escrow process and make it more systematic. We started a new program. For example, one of the things is when they sign their escrow papers, at the very end of the escrow is an order form for pizza. They let us know how many people are in their family and what kind of pizza they want. We have the pizza delivered at noon on moving day to their new home so they don’t have to worry about lunch that day. It’s a little extra touch where we’re doing more to take things off of their plate.
This is where everything is going. Customer service is out. No one cares about customer service. It’s all about customer experience because the service is expected. There’s so much competition. You’re expected to have great service. The question now is what’s the experience like? How did they feel after having worked with you so that they are compelled to tell their friends about you? It creates a revolving door. All of this ties into being able to nurture them and not just expect that. The other part too is that your system has to be extremely efficient for you, so that it can be very effective for them so they feel like they’re the only one. I like the idea because “You fill out this form and we’ll order the pizza for you” is very efficient for you and your team.
I used to have delivered a cake for loan approvals to the office of the chattiest person in the transaction of the spouses. Whoever is most chatty was going to be the one who got the cake. It got to the point where it was harder and harder to do because it’s a full cake and it was sliding around, I couldn’t do it, my person couldn’t do it for two more days, and it was losing the oomph and the effectiveness. It was becoming not efficient either. We changed it to something that we could order and it can be overnighted. They could share it with people in their office instead of coveting the cake and no one would know that this approval happened. That’s important because it’s very effective but very efficient for you to execute.
It’s scalable too. My assistant goes online and orders the pizza online and look for it.Don't ever do anything that you wouldn't want your mama seeing you do, and you'll be all right. Click To Tweet
It’s nothing. We had it built into our CRM. We went in and said, “This needs to happen. Go ahead and let it happen.” It sends an email to the company and the company billed me once a month.
Don’t try to over-complicate things. I see a lot of people trying to reinvent the wheels and over-complicating or, “What if we did this?” I’m like, “No, keep it simple.”
It’s funny you say that because that’s my word for 2020, simplicity. Every year, I come up with a word and it’s simplicity. I’m getting older. I’m retired out of lending and now I just want simplicity in everything that I’m doing. Thank you so much, Nicole, for spending time with us and sharing so much wealth. I know that people that are willing to give like you are the best people in the world because those that don’t want to share those things are people I don’t want to work with. I love working and talking to people like you. Thank you so much for all this wonderful stuff. I feel bad for everybody and I’ll probably talk about it in another episode. Don’t try to do everything she’s doing. Take a few of these things that work for you and put them into action so that you can start seeing changes in your business. If you try to take on everything that Nicole is doing right now, you’ll probably say, “That didn’t work for me.” I know it can, we all know.
It’s like building a house without a foundation.
One of the questions I ask as we close up all of these is what is a favorite quote of yours and/or what is a book that you’re reading right now that’s making an impact in you personally or professionally?
I can answer both of those pretty quickly. I am reading this book right now, which I love books by the way. I could name a bazillion books that everybody should absolutely read, but it’s funny and it lightened my day up. I can’t wait to get in my car and listen to it because I’m an Audible fan and listen to them while I’m driving. It’s called Maybe You Should Talk To Someone. It’s a long one. It’s a thirteen-hour read, but I say read it like an actual read. It’s real, raw and hilarious. It makes you feel okay about not being perfect. It makes you realize like everybody has the same issues. Nobody talks about them. Maybe we should talk about them a little bit more.
Thank you for sharing that. How about the quote?
It’s my own quote. I always tell my staff, my kids, my husband and everybody, “Don’t ever do anything that you wouldn’t want your mama seeing you do and you’ll be all right.”
If someone wants to get ahold of you and wants to bend your ear or listen to you or follow you someplace, what is the best way for them to get in touch with you?
I’m on all social media, @Nicole_Solari for Instagram and Facebook. I’m also on Twitter. You can drop me a line or Google my name. There are three of us. I’m the real estate agent. I’m easy to get in touch with.
Thank you again for gracing us with your presence and sharing this information. I truly appreciate it and I’m very grateful. I wish you the best in 2020 and in your soaring twenties as well, because you’ve only just begun.
Thanks for having me. It’s been fun to chat with you.
Thank you so much, everybody. Please take a few of these items and implement them and then come back here and read this again. Grab a few others when you’re ready to take the next step and reach out to Nicole if you have questions. Do her a favor, follow her, help her get famous on social media and we will talk to you next time.
- Level Up Realty
- Commissions Inc.
- Open Houses
- @Nicole_Solari – Instagram
- Facebook – Nicole Solari
- Twitter – Nicole Solari
About Nicole Solari
Broker Nicole Solari has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and in 2013, she left a successful career in Silicon Valley to pursue her passion full-time. Technical savvy, insatiable drive, and devotion to exceptional client service quickly put on top as the #1 producing agent in Solano County and top 100 agents in the Bay Area. Nicole is also recognized as the top 1% of all agents, nation-wide. But when it became clear that her unique brand of client-centered service required a different business model than the production-driven, big brand agencies, she launched The Solari Group.
A Georgia native and graduate of the University of Georgia, Nicole brings her natural Southern charm to managing a growing roster of agents and clients alike. Clients say that Nicole is a dedicated, attentive, highly-skilled negotiator that has their best interests at heart and the knowledge and connections to make their housing dreams come true. Nicole takes her continuing education seriously and holds many designations including GRI, CRS, SRS, SPRES, CLHMS and is a GUILD member of the Luxury Home Marketing Institute. Nicole runs her business with honestly, integrity and discretion, she prides herself in being a problem solver, highly skilled negotiator and master of contracts. Nicole also owns and operates two property Management companies, and volunteers her time to animal rescues. Outside of her work she is devoted to her family, her husband Neil, who also works with her, son Evan and two rescue dogs, Aubie and Oakley.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Mortgage Lending Mastery Community today: