Episode 022: Jennifer Blanchard and Hannah Hakim, Keller Williams Realty

Joel Epstein:
(music)

Joel Epstein:
Hi, welcome to a new addition of The bigJOEL Show. The bigJOEL Podcast. Very exciting today, I've got Jennifer Blanchard and Hannah Hakim of Keller Williams, New Orleans, Louisiana. Those of you that know me know I'm a Tulane graduate, so of course I'm very found of New Orleans and the whole state of Louisiana of course. We're filming this one in February and we're really close to Marti Gras, so I might tell my really funny King Cake story towards the end if we have time because they will get a kick out of it.

Joel Epstein:
Jennifer and Hannah are partners and again, they work for Keller Williams in New Orleans and they sell a lot of real estate. So, this is going to be a great podcast and you're going to have a ton of takeaways from listening to this. 2016, 84 units sold. 2017, 90 units sold. And 2018, 80 units sold. Those of you that know me know I really don't ever care about what the volume is. I care about the units because not everyone can control where they are, whether you're selling $800,000 houses or $400,000 houses. The bottom line is you can control your units. The more units you sell, the more happy clients you have and the bigger your business grows.

Joel Epstein:
So, I can tell you the volume but honestly, I don't even care what the volume is. It's healthy. But they sell a lot of houses. Also, they don't have a massive team. There's just three of them. You're seeing two of them right now and the third one is in the Salt Mines slaving away, right? Doing something. You're just seeing the two grinders here today.

Joel Epstein:
So, I want to start, and I'd like Jennifer, Jennifer give me a little background because you've been in the business since 2006 and you got displaced by Katrina and came back. And just tell everyone a little bit about that before we start talking about your business.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, moved to Baton Rouge after Katrina. [crosstalk 00:02:18]-

Joel Epstein:
When was that? What, Katrina was-

Jennifer Blanchard:
2006.

Joel Epstein:
2006.

Jennifer Blanchard:
September 2006.

Joel Epstein:
September 2006, right?

Jennifer Blanchard:
2005, it was September... It was August of 2005 but I started selling real estate the year after that. So, it would have been 2006. So, it was the August of 2006 that I started selling. So, since then I was selling real estate. Don't ask me how I even got into real estate. I can't even really remember because I was in grad school at that time. But I didn't finish. So, here I am, selling real estate. Fast forward, was married, had a really big team, got divorced and here I am. So, now it's just a smaller team and we realize that smaller is better when you're really focused. Sometimes you can have that lag and we don't have that lag here.

Joel Epstein:
When did you come back? So just explain to people that don't really understand. You said it really fast, I want to make sure everyone understand. So Katrina-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Sorry.

Joel Epstein:
No, no, no, no, no. I just want you to... To you, it's normal. To most people it's not. I mean, everyone knows the term Katrina. Everyone saw it on the news, but Katrina whacked out the city of New Orleans and basically half the place either went to Houston or went some place else just because it was not live able for a while. So, Jennifer went to Baton Rouge, which is what? 50 miles up the road or whatever, up the [crosstalk 00:03:35]-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, about an hour an a half. Yeah, about an hour and a half.

Joel Epstein:
But it's a completely different market, okay? And then, when did you come back to New Orleans and start selling houses back in New Orleans?

Jennifer Blanchard:
I came back in 2014 but the team dynamic was different because I was married at that time. So, we had a bigger team. And I really didn't sell too much back then. I was kind of in operations mode, recruiting and retaining training. And now I'm back in the trenches. So, [crosstalk 00:04:06]-

Joel Epstein:
Just to give everyone, so you understand, these people have been selling real estate... And Hannah, 2004, when did you start selling real estate Hannah, in New Orleans?

Hannah Hakim:
I started selling real estate, I believe, it was 2014.

Joel Epstein:
So, these are two people that really started five years ago. Meaning in New Orleans, which is good. I want people to understand because you guys are selling a lot of real estate. It's not the old... I hate when people watch these podcast with, "Oh, they're selling a lot because they've been in the market for 20 years. That's why they sell many houses." No, no, no, no. That's not what's going on.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, we started, Hannah and I stared all over again about two and a half years ago. I want to honestly say I think it was two and a half years ago because I was pregnant from my son and he's going on three. So, it was about two and a half, three years ago where we really scaled everyone back and Hannah and I just started just...

Joel Epstein:
So, Hannah, what's your background? When did you... From your, if you went to college, or when did you... Did you start selling real estate right away?

Hannah Hakim:
Pretty much, yeah. So, I graduated in 2013 and I was kind of figuring out what I wanted to do, and I realized why would I prolong this? This is ultimately something that I want to do. I might as well just hit the ground running. So, I moved from Monroe to New Orleans. I had no sphere here. I had no, very limited family, limited friends here, with the exception of a few people in Baton Rouge because I went to LSU. So, I really just started-

Joel Epstein:
Hey wait, Hannah, Hannah can I say because I'm a Tulane grad? LS-who? Sorry, I had to throw it out there. Keep going.

Hannah Hakim:
Oh come on!

Joel Epstein:
Ah, keep going. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry, so LSU and then, came to New Orleans really cold, really...

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, absolutely.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Very cold.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, so and I was actually with another company prior. I was with another company for about a year and I'll be honest, I was not hitting my goals. I was not focusing on the right things. I just did not have a whole lot of guidance. So, I joined Keller Williams and I joined the team. And...

Jennifer Blanchard:
Here we are.

Hannah Hakim:
Here we are, yeah. Five years later.

Joel Epstein:
So, Jennifer tell me, you can guide and start. I like to kind of go through sort of buyer experience, seller experience. I love to get into sort of the details because those are the great takeaways that people get that are listening that are maybe selling five houses a year. You know? So, talk about, we'll start with the buyer experience. Just Jennifer, 80 units in 2018. What's your break up list versus buy side ball park? You don't have to be exact.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Ballpark, I want to say we were... Last year we were still a little buyer focused. And then, towards the end of the year we kind of switched to a better seller focus-

Joel Epstein:
So, it's 50/50?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, more, it was probably 60/40.

Joel Epstein:
60 buy? 60 buy, 40?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
Okay, all right.

Jennifer Blanchard:
60 sell, 40 buy.

Joel Epstein:
Okay. Oh, 60 sell, 40 buy.

Jennifer Blanchard:
60/40, that's what I mean, like the 60/40, 60% sellers.

Joel Epstein:
Got it.

Jennifer Blanchard:
So, yeah.

Joel Epstein:
Okay, so [crosstalk 00:07:11] tell me about the buyer experience. What's different about your buyer experience? What do you do? The phone rings, the phone rings and the call comes in, and they say, "Hi Jennifer or Hannah. Hi, I was referred by so and so. I need to buy a house." What do you do?

Jennifer Blanchard:
That would be Hannah's specialty.

Joel Epstein:
What do you guys do? Okay, Hannah, go. What do you do?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Go ahead, that'd be Hannah.

Joel Epstein:
What do you do? Tell everyone. What do you do? Do you meet with everyone? What do you do?

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, absolutely. So, I think one way that's really crucial to build repose with a person and have them trust that you're not some voice over the phone is you need to get them in front of you as soon as possible. You need to create kind of some urgency. So, you want to set an appointment with them if they're looking to purchase. And then, get them over to a lender. You want to... I frame it in a way of I can better help you if I know criteria that we're looking at realistically. I don't want to start talking about different areas and areas that financially may not work out right now. I want to be realistic when we're chatting. So, I like to get them over to a lender. And they're usually very-

Joel Epstein:
Do you have them, I just want to step, before we get... Do you push for them to meet you in your office even before that?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Absolutely.

Hannah Hakim:
Yes. And a lot of times you frame it of I do this every day, you don't. I would never just throw you in a house. It's going to overwhelm you. You're not going to know what you're doing, and you really need to put your best foot forward. So, come to the office. I would like to meet with you, really hone in on what you're looking for. And go over some of the out of pocket expenses that the lender is not going to tell you about because it's optional. Inspections, appraisals sometimes are mentioned but not always, but I think people are a lot of times surprised at the fact of how much inspections do cost, and they're surprised by how much closing fees cost and they want a break down. And it's really just meeting with them and-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Educating them.

Hannah Hakim:
Educating them. Yeah. They don't know what closing cost are most of the time. They don't realize that it can be the amount of a down payment. And it may not be something that they have right now but if they're a few months out it's something that makes it easy for them to prepare for.

Joel Epstein:
[inaudible 00:09:18].

Hannah Hakim:
And it's also managing their expectations. If they have a certain price point and they want to be in a certain area, if there's just no realistic way that that would ever happen, I like to address that up front. And then, bring up solutions for that. Other areas that would work for them that maybe they didn't consider before. So, it's just a good way to kind of build repose with them, and we've had great success with that. Once we meet with them it's-

Jennifer Blanchard:
It.

Hannah Hakim:
It's it, yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
99% of the people who meet with us buy through us. We don't lose them. They realize that we're not just door openers.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
And-

Hannah Hakim:
You have to care.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Hannah Hakim:
You really have to-

Joel Epstein:
Well because the world we're in right now, it's funny. I talked to a group of realtors, Hannah you might actually heard me talk about this before. When everyone's all scared about technology and this, that and the other. And I'm like, "Look, if you own the brain cells of the buyer, they can be up for four hours in slippers, slamming Chardonnay all night online looking at stuff. But they're going to call you to go..." They're going to get done and have their list and still call you, "Hannah, okay. I'm ready to go." So, there's no, technology is not going to replace you if you own those brain cells. And it's funny because all top producing agents, I've never interviewed an agent that has said anything different than, "Oh yeah, I'm going to do everything in my power to get them to come to my office. I want to be in front of them. And even if they push back on me I'm going to push back a little bit. I'm not going to fold on that." I'm going to be able to explain to them how important this is, what to the whole process because honestly, you can't serve them correctly if you don't know that stuff, right?

Jennifer Blanchard:
You're not and it's been the standard.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, it's one of the most... It's probably one of the biggest financial decisions that they're going to make, at least right now. Why would you not want to consult with someone? It's just a responsible thing to do in my opinion, and also too, to kind of spin it on a different angle, from just a standard that we've set for ourself in our business, it's a safety standard. I don't just go meet anyone in a vacant home. I mean, from a safety standpoint, I need you to meet. If you're serious about buying, you will-

Jennifer Blanchard:
You'll come into an office.

Hannah Hakim:
You will come into the office and you will meet with me, if you're serious. If not, if you're a [crosstalk 00:11:33]-

Jennifer Blanchard:
If you're not, we hang up the phone.

Hannah Hakim:
... then it's probably not going to be a good fit anyway. So, it's just setting standards for your business and staying true to that. And we've had great success with it.

Joel Epstein:
Okay, so we get them to come in and do you have an actual... Do you have a form? Do you collect certain information?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yes.

Joel Epstein:
Do you put that in a CRM? I'm getting super tactical now, but this is why. I get feedback all the time on my podcast like, "Joel, Joel your podcast was so good." I'm like, "Why?" They're like, "It was really detail oriented. You..." They gave us info. So, do you actually almost have like an intake sheet where you're taking notes and then just going to a CRM?

Hannah Hakim:
Absolutely, so, we have a folder. We have a packet of information that we give them. And it will have questions in there, and it'll have... I spend the first part of the consult just saying, you know the fun part, tell me what you're looking for. What are your... What's your ideal home? In a perfect scenario, tell me what the perfect house is. So, we just kind of go over some of their wants and needs. And then, I go over some of the things that out of pocket expenses, maybe they didn't realize. Flood insurance in New Orleans, as you can imagine, is-

Jennifer Blanchard:
High.

Hannah Hakim:
... is high in certain areas and a lot of people don't factor that into their monthly note. So, it's important to kind of touch on those topics because to me, what they're approved for is important, sure, but the more important question for them is where od you want to be per month? You can waste a lot of time with the buyer focusing on where they're pre approved versus where they want to spend their monthly note. Because they may be approved for $250, but when you break it down, insurance is included. They're not going to... They need to be more around $200. So, you're showing them homes in the wrong price point. You really got to break it down to where they want to be per month and that's really more important.

Hannah Hakim:
So, from there I kind of take it into going over a transaction from start to close. What to expect, the timeline and the timeframe so they have a good idea and an understanding of how the process is going to look once they find a home.

Joel Epstein:
So, how long do you typically spend? Is it an hour? Is it a...

Jennifer Blanchard:
About an hour.

Hannah Hakim:
It can be an hour. If they have more questions or sometimes you are building repose and if you're having good conversation you don't really want to break that up. But I would say the longest I've had was maybe an hour and 45 minutes-

Joel Epstein:
But that's... The reason I ask the question is Jennifer boldly leaned forward and said, "They come in here. They're buying a house from us." Which I love, of course.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, yeah.

Joel Epstein:
But that's [crosstalk 00:14:11] why [crosstalk 00:14:12]... I wanted everyone to hear that, that's why I asked how long. Everyone that's listening or watching, that's why they're close ratio is 100% because it's not like, "Okay, we do this for 12 minutes. Now we go look at five houses." No, no, no, no, no. You do it for as long as it takes.

Jennifer Blanchard:
We don't even look at houses that day.

Hannah Hakim:
No. We schedule... Because honestly, they need to be approved but I like to get it approved and meet with them first before we schedule homes to see. And a lot of times they'll have a list of some that they want and I'll pull it up on my computer and we'll kind of go through it with them. And it helps me get a feel for things that they like. And look, an hour and a half, set out, you don't want to zip through it in 30 minutes. You really can't. That's not enough time, one, to know what they're looking for and go over everything. And you don't want it to feel rushed. You actually genuinely need to care. Spend at least an hour but it's usually an hour to an hour and 30 minutes.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Put the time in up front so you don't lose them in the backend. If you put that time upfront, people don't understand, it's like the more people see that you care the more they trust you. So, it's about building repose, that's it. And if sometimes it takes an hour and 45 minutes, two hours, that's what it takes.

Hannah Hakim:
set aside the time just in case.

Joel Epstein:
So, we could end the podcast right now based on what they just said, based on what Jennifer just said. Spend the time upfront so you don't lose them later. And that, Jennifer, is such a huge concept for people. They don't get it. I fight with real estate agents and loan officers all the time that I'm coaching or whatever, on, "No, no, no, no. That's no, no, no, no. I delegate that. No, no, no. I'm too busy to spend..." And I'm like you are totally missing the boat. You're delegating the stuff. You're [crosstalk 00:15:51]-

Jennifer Blanchard:
It's a relationship business.

Joel Epstein:
Yeah, you're saying you're too busy, this is really what your job is. That's your job. I mean, that hour and a half, that's really our job right there.

Hannah Hakim:
That's one of the most important times that you can spend with them-

Joel Epstein:
That's going to get you 20 referrals from that person. After they close.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, absolutely.

Joel Epstein:
Okay, so buyer consultation, insist on them coming in. Checklist, there's no real time limit, and then that information is going into a CRM, correct?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
It's going into a CRM-

Hannah Hakim:
[crosstalk 00:16:24] and then you put them on a search instantly. So, even if they're three months out or even sometimes a little bit longer, I still like to meet with them. Still meet with them and build repose, if you know that they're going to purchase, you need to meet with them as soon as you can-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Immediately.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah. Because you want to start building that repose and then, you can put them on a search. It doesn't have to be as soon as something comes on the market. But I always frame it in a way of if you're looking in a certain area, I'm going to put you on a search that fits your criteria so you can start getting a sense of the market [crosstalk 00:16:53]-

Joel Epstein:
Even if they're six months out, it doesn't matter.

Hannah Hakim:
Even if they're six months out that's even better because they really do, they like looking at them and you know what?

Jennifer Blanchard:
They'll come back to you.

Hannah Hakim:
But a lot of times that six months turns into three months. When you start sending them home, a lot of times they see something they like and it creates urgency and they want to finish the pre approval process and they want to go see it.

Joel Epstein:
And I think a lot of the sales people in general are like now, now, now people, like it's got to happen right now.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Patience.

Joel Epstein:
I always say all the time, look real estate is a long tail business. I mean, you could meet someone and list their house seven years later. You have to understand that part of the process and when you build your business that way you build a very robust business. I mean, our mutual friend, Yung and I talk about this all the time. It's a slow build. It's a slow build-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Slow and steady wins the race.

Hannah Hakim:
I followed up with people for two years. I have a handful of people where it's been at least a two year process and we laugh about it at the end. But you don't have to put too much time in after that, it's just following up. Make the followup calls [crosstalk 00:18:01]-

Joel Epstein:
Stay in front.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, and they remember you, they come back to you.

Joel Epstein:
So Jennifer, let's talk about listings. Let's talk about selling people's houses. You get a phone call to, "Hey, can you come list my house?" Tell me what you do. Tell everyone what you do. How you handle that. I'm assuming that's your... You do more listings and Hannah does more of the buyers, is that-

Jennifer Blanchard:
They only kind of switch because our business is started to get really listed based, and it's nothing against buyers. We'll be honest with you. It's buyers are time consuming. I think in 2017 Hannah really killed herself and she's like, "Oh my gosh. This is really hard." And basically we realized listings are life. Listings are your life line. If you have a store and you have no inventory, so we've just been really seller focused.

Hannah Hakim:
And honestly, we don't even really prospect for buyers anymore-

Jennifer Blanchard:
[crosstalk 00:18:52] no they come to us-

Joel Epstein:
No, but if you have the listings you always get the buyers.

Jennifer Blanchard:
The buyers come. Yeah. Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
So, [crosstalk 00:18:56] tell me about how you guys handle a new listing, how you... What you do, how you prepare, what you do when you go to their house. Tell everyone how you do, the secret sauce of getting that listing. Walk through it with me. Either one of you, or Jennifer you go.

Jennifer Blanchard:
It takes time. It's the same exact thing with the buyer consult. It's building repose because people, you know we're in Keller Williams and we take bold. So, they'll tell you, "Oh, you should be in and out in 30 minutes."

Joel Epstein:
Eh! Bad.

Jennifer Blanchard:
It's really-

Hannah Hakim:
They do, they say 45 minutes I think. Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Or meet them in the office. I said, well that's just... I don't know what their home looks like so I can't even... And here in New Orleans it's different. It's block by block, street by street, house by house. So, we couldn't even go into... They couldn't even come into the office. But some people-

Joel Epstein:
So if someone calls you Jennifer and says, "Hi Jennifer, this is Joel. I was referred to you by Hannah and I really, I need to list my house. And they said your the person to list it." What do you do?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Sure. Kind of tell me a little bit about your house. Rate your house on a scale of one to 10. They'll tell me it's an eight or a nine. What would make it a 10? I take those notes down. Realistically, what do you think your home's worth?

Joel Epstein:
So, you're doing all of this over the phone before you go, right?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, and it's just giving us an idea of what we're getting into. Because if I know that their house is worth $250,000 and they're like, "Well, my house is worth $325,000." I already know I have to go in there prepared with my numbers. If they tell me-

Joel Epstein:
Okay, so wait. Stop just for one second. I'm sorry. So, not all agents do it like this. A lot of agents just go, "Okay, Monday at 1:00." Okay?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
They just go. So, you're prepping, you're getting in their head over the phone immediately. You're not waiting until you're in front of them, right? You want to know as much as what they're thinking [crosstalk 00:20:42]-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, I want to know upfront.

Joel Epstein:
Okay.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, I need to know upfront so I can be prepared for objections that's going to come.

Joel Epstein:
Okay.

Jennifer Blanchard:
So, if they tell me... If I know their house is worth $250 and they're telling me... If I know it's worth $250 and they tell me, it's worth $325. I know I have to go in there and prepare with my numbers. I'm going [crosstalk 00:20:58]-

Joel Epstein:
But you don't address it over the phone, you're just logging it and knowing where you're going.

Jennifer Blanchard:
No, never talk pricing over the phone. We never ever. That's like a nail in the coffin. They'll just decide right then and there because you haven't built that repose and you haven't shown them the numbers. So, we get everything prepared and we ask them on a scale of one to 10. And we usually schedule all of our appointments after 11:30 because we're on the phones from 9:00 to 11:30 every day. We do our followups between 11:00 to 11:30 and we're on the phones from 9:00 to 11:00. So, all of our appointments fall after that.

Jennifer Blanchard:
We set up our appointments. We go in there and we just basically [crosstalk 00:21:31]-

Joel Epstein:
What do you take with you? What do you have? What's in your hands when you walk in?

Jennifer Blanchard:
My iPad because before I was keeping all of my listings in a notebook and Hannah needs to get herself an iPad. But now I have an iPad and I keep all my listings appointment and it schedules it, it breaks it all down. Every listing that I go on, and I take all my notes so I'm not flipping back. Because some people like, "Okay, we're not ready to list today. We have some work to do." And then I can go back to those notes as opposed to flipping through a notebook. It's like it's so easy. An iPad keeps me so streamlined now. It's amazing.

Joel Epstein:
So, you walk in. What about all your CMAs? You've already-

Jennifer Blanchard:
We do not go... No, we don't go through that first.

Joel Epstein:
Okay, so tell me-

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, but we have it with us.

Joel Epstein:
So, tell me [crosstalk 00:22:10], tell me. So, it's in a briefcase on the floor or whatever?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
It's not in your hands.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, we're like, "Can we put our stuff down?" So, we put all of our stuff down and we walk through the house. And of course, they want to walk with you. I know Keller Williams is big on, oh no, you walk through the house yourself. They all want to walk through it with you. Fine. We cater to that. We feed into that. Show us it's awesome.

Joel Epstein:
Right.

Jennifer Blanchard:
So, we go through, we take notes of the house. We go through every room. Oh, they'll tell us this is great, this is great. So, we sit back down and then we go over our listing price-

Joel Epstein:
How much time do you take doing that? As much time as it takes?

Jennifer Blanchard:
As much [crosstalk 00:22:45] time as it takes. We were on a listing appointment the other day for two and a half hours. And he interviewed like seven agents and he's like, "Y'all are in the top two. I'll get back with you." A week before that we went on a listing appointment and we went against seven of the top people in the area and we got the listings. So, just spending time. It was taking the time because people don't care how much you know. They want to see how much you care, and that's it.

Joel Epstein:
Let me just repeat that. People don't care how much you know. They want to know how much you care.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Care, that's it.

Joel Epstein:
Great, that's awesome by the way. Okay, so you walk it and now you're back at the kitchen table. Now you're back at the table.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, we go over the listing presentation. We go over all the stuff that we do. We go over our stats because that's important [crosstalk 00:23:28]-

Joel Epstein:
Now you know, because they told you Jennifer, $350. Your numbers say $295, maybe. Right?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Maybe. Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
And that's if the house is in pristine condition when you get there and you don't even know until you get there, right?

Jennifer Blanchard:
And I don't know until I get there.

Joel Epstein:
Right, but you're still, in your mind, you're at $295, you know they said $350. Or let's be more realistic, they said-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yep, happens every day.

Joel Epstein:
Let's say they said $320, we'll be more realistic. Say it's $20,000, $35,000 off or $25,000 off. And you know that, so walk through your process. You're at the table, where do you start?

Jennifer Blanchard:
So, first we start with we go over our stats. We sold this many homes. Our list to sell price is 97.6 so we're netting you 97.6% list to sales price, our average days on the market is 33 days. Been in the business for 13 years [crosstalk 00:24:17]-

Joel Epstein:
You're doing your resume.

Jennifer Blanchard:
I'm giving them my resume. Like this is the experience we have, so when we go to these numbers they're going to know that we're experienced and that we know what we're talking about. It's not just like, oh this is just some yahoo telling me. I mean, so we're hitting them with this is everything we do to earn our money. They do professional photography. We will keep in touch with you weekly. Sometimes it's going to be more than one time a week you hear from us. Communication is key agents, if y'all are listening to this, please call your clients. Call your sellers. They want to hear from you. Stop dodging their phone calls. Call them. Pick up the phone. The biggest complaint we hear.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
We take a lot of expired listings and they're like, "I never heard from my agent."

Hannah Hakim:
They don't know what the feedback is. They never talk to their agent.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah, so they don't know. So, after we go through all of this of everything we do, and from start to finish we build that repose with them. And then, they're like, "Okay, well let's go over the numbers." And we'll look at them. And we bring... So, when we know that they're off on their numbers, we bring a lot of information with them to the point where they get it.

Hannah Hakim:
They'll come up... so, when you go through every single home that sold in the last, I don't know, six months and let's say there's 20 pages there of comparables [crosstalk 00:25:34]. Right. It's funny to see that change. It really is because you ask them, "So, we reviewed everything. What do you think?" And nine times out of the 10 they'll say, "I think my number is not $320. I think my number maybe it's what I thought it was." And they-

Jennifer Blanchard:
And we'll ask them, "What do you think it is?"

Hannah Hakim:
Because you try to get them to come to that realization themselves before you tell them-

Joel Epstein:
What if they... Hannah, what if they... What do you all do if they won't? If they want to list at $320 and you know $295 is a stretch, what do you do?

Jennifer Blanchard:
It depends on-

Hannah Hakim:
It depends. Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
It depends, sometimes we say, "Well look, we'll let you try your number."

Hannah Hakim:
If it's within reason.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Hannah Hakim:
[crosstalk 00:26:15] if we're in like a $20,000 swing, that's within reason.

Joel Epstein:
And how long, I mean, how long... If you let them try, is it a downward escalator? Is it seven days? I mean, how... Some agents, they'll look people in the eyes [crosstalk 00:26:29] and it'll be, they'll kind of make a joke, "Okay, I'll give you your price for 24 hours." You know what I mean? Like this thing is dropping immediately if we don't get any action.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Two weeks.

Joel Epstein:
Two weeks.

Hannah Hakim:
And a lot of times too, if they are adamant on their price, they're adamant, but it's within reason, we're not 30 plus off from our suggestive price. We say, "Look, you want to try your number but we want everyone on the same page. This is your number. This is our suggested price. This is where we know you'll get an offer, this is where the comparables are dictating this and from an appraisal standpoint, this is where the price needs to be." So, in two weeks, when you call them for a price adjustment because you know it's going to happen-

Jennifer Blanchard:
And we get feedback, so we know that-

Hannah Hakim:
And we get feedback so when you call them to have that difficult conversation-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Not to difficult.

Hannah Hakim:
It's not difficult because they're anticipating it and they already know we did not suggest $320, that was our price. You're right, the price does need to be under $300. So, it's not a difficult conversation. It's a very easy conversation to have when you have the difficult conversation up front.

Joel Epstein:
And if they're way out, you guys walk, right? I mean, if they're way out you walk?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Hannah Hakim:
Oh yeah. There's no point in take the listing. We would be wasting everyone's time. We would be doing them a disservice and we're not the best people for the job [crosstalk 00:27:45].

Jennifer Blanchard:
We gently turned down three listings-

Joel Epstein:
But yet, agents do it all the time.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Oh God yeah. We turned down three listings. Hannah told one lady, she was like, "I'm sorry." She was like, "So you really mean to tell me you're not going to take my listing?" She said, "Mrs. Seller, if I take your listing I'm going to do you a disservice and it's not going to sell and you're going to be angry with me in the end. I can't do it to you." "I really just can't believe you're not going to take my listing. All agents would take a listing." Well, you're-

Hannah Hakim:
We could take a listing, but we don't list to list. We list to sell.

Jennifer Blanchard:
List to sell, and that's what we tell our sellers. We list to sell, we don't list to sit. It's to sell.

Joel Epstein:
Okay. Okay, so once they are listed with you, what type of things do you do during that sort of in between process before they get an offer? What things do you do with your sellers? I know communication is big for you all.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Communication.

Joel Epstein:
How often do you touch them? How do you touch them? Is it text, is it email, is it a phone call?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Phone calls.

Joel Epstein:
What do you all do?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Phone calls. Some of our sellers duck our phone calls because they know. They know what we're calling for. Some sellers, they duck us. They know, they'll duck our phone calls, and so I'll tell them. And when they finally do call back I'm like, "You been ducking my phone calls, huh?" They'll tell us. "No, no, no, no. That's not what I was doing." Yeah, that is what they were doing. We know, we're not seasoned with this.

Jennifer Blanchard:
So, they know we're calling them with market updates. "Hey the feedback keeps coming back and says that your house smells like cat. You may want to adjust this. That's not us, it's the buyer-"

Joel Epstein:
Your house smells like cat. That's classic-

Jennifer Blanchard:
No, I'm just giving an example.

Joel Epstein:
No, no. It's a good one though. Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Tell them, like this isn't us, this is the agent. Always blame it on the agent and the buyer. The agent and the buyer said it, I didn't say that. They did. And this is what they're saying, so you're going to have to address it.

Hannah Hakim:
Or if it's a neighborhood, sometimes we get that a lot. If it's a neighborhood that's just, it's indicative of price. Everything rises and falls on price, you know? Everything is manageable but the feedback is crucial. So the system that we have, it sends them the feedback as soon as it comes in and we are aggressive when it comes to getting the feedback-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Oh yeah.

Hannah Hakim:
Because that is-

Joel Epstein:
So, Hannah, you said the system that we have. Let's talk about that. You also said we are aggressive about getting them the feedback.

Hannah Hakim:
Yes.

Joel Epstein:
There are a lot of agents, it's funny, the agents that take high listings that'll never sell. Agents that take listings and never talk to their people because they're scared to engage, or they're scared to tell the people, "Hey by the way, got to lock up the dog." You know what I mean? Or you need to do this or you need to do... You can't trash the house when people are coming. Whatever the feedback is. When you said you have a system, what is the feedback system? What do you guys do exactly?

Jennifer Blanchard:
So basically, we use Showing Times. Showing Times sends out an email, and most of the times the agents don't fill out the feedback. So, we have to hound them and find them and we do. We get them on the phone and we get their feedback. And we-

Hannah Hakim:
Call them on a different number. Call them on a different number. We have a few different numbers that we can trick them up and get that feedback and we're pretty good at getting feedback-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Your buyer, and your sellers need to hear that and I hear some agents say, "Well, it's not my... I can't give out my information about my buyer." You're not giving out anything. You're just telling us what did your clients think about the floor plan? What did they think about this? And most of the time, they're very cooperative with us, they give us the feedback and it's sent to the seller.

Joel Epstein:
How many agents do you think are as aggressive as you all at doing that?

Jennifer Blanchard:
The appointments are going on, no one gets feedback.

Joel Epstein:
So, it's interesting. If you all are listening or you're watching and you're thinking, "Oh, this is normal." By the way, this is abnormal. Meaning you're hearing two professional, high producing agents, talking about chasing other agents, even-

Hannah Hakim:
We'll stalk you.

Joel Epstein:
Even with a fake phone number to get the feedback. So, think about this. If these two, Jennifer and Hannah, Hannah and Jennifer are listing your house. I mean, if I'm a potential person, potential listing and I'm listening to this podcast, I want to hire you immediately. Just because you're tweaking the whole way through. I mean, now I see why you're getting those houses sold so quickly because you're able to pivot. You're able to make adjustments. You're able to, hey, everyone said that you can't... This room has crappy access because it's a shotgun. Move the couch.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
I mean, something stupid like that. By the way, for those of you who don't know what that is, a shotgun is a long skinny house, by the way.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
You could have a piece of furniture somewhere and the feedback could be, "My God, that armoire makes the house look tiny." Right? So move it, right? I mean, I know that sounds stupid but it's right on. Right?

Hannah Hakim:
It's crucial. The feedback is crucial.

Jennifer Blanchard:
It's so crucial. We have a client now. Her house is on the market for three years, Hannah? Three years? Three years. We were like the sixth real estate agent and she was not confident that we can sell it. We told her, we were like, "Look, we're here to sell it. It's not going to sit. It's going to sell." We got an offer on it within a month, and it's a shot gun style house. She tells me the other day, "Y'all didn't think y'all were going to sell my house." I said, "No, you're lying." I said, "When we met with you, we told you we were going to sell your house. And that's what we did."

Joel Epstein:
So-

Jennifer Blanchard:
And this lady is sharp as a whip [crosstalk 00:33:00]-

Joel Epstein:
So, everyone, this is a big takeaway for you for listing agents. The feedback piece, and Jennifer the reason I asked the question how many agents do you think actually followup like that, you very quickly were like pretty much no one. I mean, I already knew that. That was a lay up. I mean, I knew that. I'm listening to you guys going, wow, that's awesome.

Jennifer Blanchard:
We know. We hear the consumer. We list a lot of expired and withdrawn houses and the biggest complaint is, "I never got feedback. I didn't know who was coming in my house." I said, "Wait a second. You had your house listed. And your most valuable possessions are in this house and you have no idea who's going in your house?" Nope. "So, you didn't know when your appointments were?" Nope. They just texted me and said somebody... I was like, "Okay, so that's all going to change. That's all going to change."

Jennifer Blanchard:
I mean, this is crazy that agents, number one, don't [inaudible 00:33:50] that do this. Number two, you're not getting feedback for your client. How is your buyer, or how is your seller, I'm sorry. How is your seller going to know what to fix if they don't know what's broken? They live in the house. They don't know that a shot gun house is not favorable. They don't know that.

Hannah Hakim:
And a lot of times we can tell them until we're blue in the face if certain things about the home that we think might deter buyers. We can [crosstalk 00:34:13] tell them, yeah hinder a sell. We can tell them all day long. But if they hear it from 10 people, it clicks. So, that's why it's so important.

Joel Epstein:
This is going to be a really cool segment you guys are going to get. You're going to get really good feedback on this by the way. This is going to be a cool segment. So, let's talk before we run out of time because we could be talking forever.

Hannah Hakim:
Yes.

Joel Epstein:
A long time. And so, let's talk about social media just a little bit because that's a thing. Question, Hannah I'll go to you on this. Okay? Hannah, do you Facebook friend all of your clients? Is that automatic?

Hannah Hakim:
That's so funny that you should said that because we just, we have a client party this evening. So, I was going through and making sure everyone that we closed with in the last two weeks, I friended them. [crosstalk 00:35:01] Yeah, and I friend them after we close. It's just...

Jennifer Blanchard:
Don't friend them before you close.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, don't friend them before. Just don't.

Joel Epstein:
Well, friend them when you're friends.

Hannah Hakim:
[crosstalk 00:35:10] Friend them when you're friends, yeah. And that's what we tell people-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Exactly.

Hannah Hakim:
We don't go away. We force you to be friends with us.

Joel Epstein:
Yeah, what about... So, you guys use Instagram. Do you use Facebook? LinkedIn? Do you use LinkedIn or minimal-

Jennifer Blanchard:
We don't use LinkedIn. We don't utilize LinkedIn. We do Instagram and Facebook but LinkedIn we have not tapped into.

Joel Epstein:
LinkedIn is more of a... Well, LinkedIn is more of a resume, Jennifer. What I find is that clients will, say you have a husband and wife, husband and husband, wife and wife, it doesn't matter. You have a couple and usually one couple is maybe more social and the other one is more anal, more business-y. That person will go look at your LinkedIn almost as your resume. Like okay, who is this person? How long have they been selling real estate? What's their deal? And the other one's looking at Facebook. You know? Who are they? Oh, Hannah just got engaged! Oh, cool pictures. I mean, I'm saying this because I've been looking at the pictures. Oh, Hannah just... Oh! Look at those pictures, those are great pictures. Or whatever it is.

Joel Epstein:
So, do you guys use Twitter at all? Any Twitter or not really?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Not really.

Hannah Hakim:
Not really.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Not really. It's just not part of our business plan. It's just not. It's just [crosstalk 00:36:20]-

Joel Epstein:
Okay, so Facebook-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Facebook and Instagram.

Joel Epstein:
And Instagram. And do you start, Hannah, if you're making a post. Do you put it on Instagram and then click the Facebook button? Or tell me what you're doing. Give them a little... People always ask about this. It's a thing.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, and I know that a lot of people have had success doing that. But personally, I think I mainly focus on Facebook versus Instagram.

Jennifer Blanchard:
And I do Instagram and Facebook.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, she does Instagram and Facebook, but I should, I probably should link them. Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
I do. I link them so if I post to our Facebook page, our business Facebook, our Instagram page, I link it to our Facebook. So, it's on both of them.

Joel Epstein:
Okay. I mean, I think, I personally think a lot of agents use social media wrong. They're not using it right. I'm all about being social-

Jennifer Blanchard:
I agree.

Joel Epstein:
... on social media. I mean, Jennifer I don't know if we're connected. I know Hannah and I are. Hannah, you know what's in my feed, right?

Hannah Hakim:
Yes.

Joel Epstein:
You know when I'm coming. Oh, here he comes.

Hannah Hakim:
Food.

Joel Epstein:
Here he comes and there's a rib eye right behind him.

Jennifer Blanchard:
I just [inaudible 00:37:20] as a friend.

Joel Epstein:
Yeah.

Jennifer Blanchard:
I think I added you as a friend two weeks ago. So, I see what you're doing now.

Joel Epstein:
Yeah, but some people use, Hannah I'll ask you just because I see you posting. Do you use any kind of rules where it's like, okay, one business-y thing and four personal post? Do you use any rules like that that you would share-

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah. Make sure you find a healthy balance with it. You want to engage, so when you have a new listing do pre listing marketing. Do pictures are coming soon, if you have a builder that you're working with. So, I would say do a healthy mix. Don't just do keep it straight business. You're a person. People want to feel like they know you. It's more just business, all she posts is business-

Jennifer Blanchard:
We want them to see you as a friend. But if it's all just sitting there and you posting, "Checking out this home that you can buy with no money down." I mean, people are going to delete that [crosstalk 00:38:08].

Joel Epstein:
Well, you know what they do Jennifer, and Facebook set it up like this, is they just unfollow you. So, you see [crosstalk 00:38:15] them as a friend but they are no longer seeing anything in your feed because it's pretty much a fact that, I mean I think it's one to five, maybe even one to six Hannah, like six personal, one business. If you have too mch business they click the unfollow button because they want to see what Hannah was wearing in her engagement pictures more than they want to see your listing. I mean, it's true.

Jennifer Blanchard:
What they really want to see is ooh, let me see when she's getting married.

Joel Epstein:
Yes.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Let me see her engagement photos.

Joel Epstein:
Yes.

Hannah Hakim:
Yeah, it's a way to follow up with them. And you know what to spin it around, do the same for them. If you have a past client and they're posting things. We have a lot of clients that when they've moved they've gotten pregnant. Or they redid a bathroom-

Jennifer Blanchard:
Reach out to them.

Hannah Hakim:
It's a good opening to kind of, "Oh yeah, I need to... I'm going to follow up with them and I'm going to comment on it and I'm going to follow up with a phone call next week."

Jennifer Blanchard:
And a note card.

Hannah Hakim:
And a note card. It seems like they have a lot of exciting things going on, call them.

Jennifer Blanchard:
If you see their pregnant, that's one of the things we'll do. Congratulations on your pregnancy. So, we'll come back in the office the next morning, write a handwritten note. Hey, congratulations on your pregnancy.

Hannah Hakim:
We're so excited.

Jennifer Blanchard:
We're so excited-

Joel Epstein:
Now you're opening doors Jennifer, where this is going to become like a nine hour podcast now. Now you're opening all kinds of doors. And I'm looking at the clock and I really appreciate you all.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Sorry.

Joel Epstein:
No, no, no, no. It's great. I mean, any person I'm on here with, it's a battle. You can do a really long podcast and there's certain people that like long ones but we like to try to keep them 35, 40 minutes so people stay [crosstalk 00:39:53] engaged.

Jennifer Blanchard:
Yeah. Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
Yeah, exactly. But I really appreciate you all taking some time and coming on. And I know it's festival time. Just on a personal, either of y'all going to be on a float?

Hannah Hakim:
I usually ride Iris but because I'm getting married on March 9th, I decided this year I'm going to take a backseat so I don't have too much going on.

Joel Epstein:
I will never forget bartending at Fat Harry's my senior year of college.

Hannah Hakim:
Oh my gosh.

Joel Epstein:
For a Marti Gras because you know how many parades go up Napoleon-

Hannah Hakim:
It's insane!

Joel Epstein:
... and down Saint Charles.

Hannah Hakim:
It's crazy [crosstalk 00:40:30].

Joel Epstein:
And it was like, whoa, what is happening here? It was like [crosstalk 00:40:33] an 18 hour shift of full on action. It never stopped.

Hannah Hakim:
It does not stop.

Jennifer Blanchard:
It doesn't stop from like 7:00 AM until...

Hannah Hakim:
12:00 [crosstalk 00:40:42] or past that.

Jennifer Blanchard:
24 hours. The bars are open 24 hours here.

Joel Epstein:
Nothing like going directly from Tippa Tina's over to the parade route on Saint Charles at 8:00 AM on Tuesday morning, right?

Hannah Hakim:
Yep.

Joel Epstein:
Game on. Game on.

Hannah Hakim:
New Orleans is weird.

Joel Epstein:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. So, have a good, safe Marti Gras seasons for those of you. We're tapping this in February but you probably won't see it until May or June. Jennifer Blanchard and Hannah Hakim, top producing team. Not the number one team, but the number one small team at Keller Williams in New Orleans. And thank you so much for your time. There's a lot of great, great stuff in here. So, again, if you like this podcast, please let us know you like it on YouTube or on iTunes or wherever you consume your podcast, or my Facebook page. You can leave questions. We can get them to Hannah and Jennifer I'm sure. You all will be glad to answer anything right?

Jennifer Blanchard:
Absolutely.

Joel Epstein:
About anyone? Those of you Keller Williams agents listening, I'll apologize for Jennifer saying Keller Williams says do this but we don't do it! Which was-

Jennifer Blanchard:
It's just... Yeah.

Joel Epstein:
[crosstalk 00:41:44] no, no, no. It was great. It was awesome and I think a lot of people will nod, will nod along with that. So, again, have an awesome Marti Gras season, and I will talk to you all soon.

Jennifer Blanchard:
[crosstalk 00:41:55].

Joel Epstein:
See you guys later. Bye, bye. Thank you. Bye, bye.

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