The Neighborhood Realtor

Is Real Estate Your Business or Your Side Hustle? — Antonio Cousin, LA

June 06, 2023 Matt Muscat
The Neighborhood Realtor
Is Real Estate Your Business or Your Side Hustle? — Antonio Cousin, LA
Show Notes Transcript

Do you treat your real estate like a side hustle or like a business? There is a big difference between those who passively take clients as they come in and then sit around when there arent people to sell houses to VS those who are regimented and have a plan that they follow, know their numbers etc. In this episode we talk to Louisiana broker Antonio Cousin about his journey to becoming a top performing agent/broker. We discuss everything from how to leverage closed Facebook groups to keep clients engaged to marketing the concept of house hacks to convert more renters to buyers.

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The Neighborhood Realtor is proudly sponsored by Treadstone Funding and Neighborhood Loans. For more tangible tips in real estate marketing, check out Matt's book, The Tangible Action Guide for Real Estate Marketing available on Amazon.

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Antionio C. | 00:00:02:23 | The more knowledge you have, the more valuable you become. You know, you can read, you can go to all the courses you know, you can do all these things. But if you're not implementing, then it's always the atomic energy.
Matt M. | 00:00:19:14 | Hey, everybody. Thank you for tuning in to the show again today. I am super stoked. We are interviewing an agent who goes so above and beyond for his clients that we all have a lot that we can work for him. So, Antonio cousin, welcome to the show today.
Antionio C. | 00:00:33:14 | Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Matt M. | 00:00:35:25 | So Antonio and I got connected by a mutual friend who's actually been on the podcast before, Jim, and he said you were the guy I needed to talk to because not only have you built a business that's repeatable, but you offer a lot of extra value to your clients, your agents, the people around you in your life and your community when it comes to kind of like sound financial advice, is this something that you've always been doing or is this is this new for you?
Matt M. | 00:01:03:24 | Like what? Tell us all about it. What you do differently financially wise for your clients. And I want to hear kind of the back story behind it.
Antionio C. | 00:01:09:26 | Okay. So when it comes to personal finance, like that's my jam. That's something that I absolutely love. I spend hours each day researching and just studying different topics. And so I guess from a perspective of the real estate transaction, I always come from it as even though they're buying a home, it's still an investment because you have to have an exit strategy going into the property.
Antionio C. | 00:01:30:28 | You don't know how long, well, you'll want to know how long you're going to live there. At least have an idea so that we think about exit. So let me get your example. I said easy this way. So like when I bought my first house in 2010, I knew that there was a bunch of land around me. I figured something was probably going to happen to that land that's going to, you know, make my property value go up.
Antionio C. | 00:01:50:04 | It just so happened Warren Buffett bought 420 acres about a year or so after I bought my home and my property values skyrocketed. So my wife and I, we were able to live there for six years and sell our home for six figures. More than we paid for it and pay no capital gains on it.
Matt M. | 00:02:06:21 | So is the moral of the story to buy a house where Warren is buying a neighborhood?
Antionio C. | 00:02:11:06 | I wish it was that easy, man. I would be wealthy, really wealthy right now. But no, I guess the moral story is you always have to have an exit strategy, like don't just buy the property just to buy buy with a goal in mind. Like, what is your goal for this property? Are you going to turn it into a rental property?
Antionio C. | 00:02:26:13 | Are you planning on hoping that it goes up in value so that you can take it and take those proceeds into the next property and so, so forth? So always lead from that standpoint when it goes into any transaction or any of my buyer clients.
Matt M. | 00:02:37:24 | So what do you mean? What do you do though, if your client sounds like, Hey, I just need a place to live and I don't want to I don't want to rent anymore, Like, how do you how do you get there? Mine? Because not everybody thinks about real estate from the financial side, right? They kind of they think of it from the stability side of it.
Matt M. | 00:02:53:24 | And I know you're really good at educating your clients on what the options to be like. So walk me through how you were with those clients initially.
Antionio C. | 00:03:00:14 | So what I've learned is that when it comes from that standpoint of that client, that particular type of client, all they care about is the payment. So if I'm going to show them on people how to either get their payment to be close to what they're paying in rent or less, then they'll for it is just a point of like when it comes to realtors, it's on us to educate them and I feel like that's a problem in our profession.
Antionio C. | 00:03:21:25 | We have a lot of realtors that just get their license, but don't take the time to educate the client. And that's what a client is lacking. That's what I've learned, that the clients just need the education. So that's why I like to teach.
Matt M. | 00:03:32:06 | And it's fascinating because I think most of you just said, like a lot of people get into the industry, they don't have the knowledge to teach clients yet, but they also they don't have the knowledge for themselves yet. And it takes it takes a lot of practice like, you know, we were all new at one point and I'm sure my first year in your first year, we weren't that educated, we weren't that great.
Matt M. | 00:03:49:06 | But through hundreds of transactions, thousands of transactions, all of a sudden now we know something. We can share that with other people. But what I what I think you said, oh, it's really fascinating. And I think from a marketing perspective, kind of where my brain goes is there's different marketing messages that are going to get through to different types of clients, right?
Matt M. | 00:04:09:10 | So you mentioned the analogy of like, what's your payment right now for rent? I'm going to show you what you could get for that price. It's fascinating to me because if a client knows what they're paying rent, they don't necessarily know that they can afford a house. You get them thinking about that and you show them what they could get, what they could have for the same price.
Matt M. | 00:04:31:06 | All of a sudden, everybody wants to move it really important to market the financial side and not just the pretty house I've been to. Many realtors focus on marketing the pretty house and the beautiful kitchen. They don't market the financial side. I think it's a huge it's a huge mistake, especially in this market.
Antionio C. | 00:04:46:20 | I think it's beneficial to do like the actual showcase studies, like here. Here's an example of a client name. You know, Joe, for instance, that I had and show them the way. This is what their payment was. This is what I was able to do to get them into this house and saved them some flights. Or we could take the House back.
Antionio C. | 00:05:02:06 | And strategy, which I love. I have a lot of clients right now that's doing that because it offers a way to either reduce your payments significantly or all together. So it's just.
Matt M. | 00:05:11:20 | Let's go let's go deeper on that. So, you know, we've all heard of House Hack and every realtor knows what it is. But how do you know you have a big audience on social media, You're a big person in your community. How do you get people that weren't thinking about calling you to buy real estate to understand what house hacking is and how it could be attainable for them?
Matt M. | 00:05:32:24 | Like walk me through what them what that messaging and educational looks like to first to get the word out there about that.
Antionio C. | 00:05:38:23 | Okay. So it comes back to the education. And so most people never heard of it or they've heard of it, but don't know how to get into it.
Matt M. | 00:05:45:18 | So let's just do it just in case there's anyone listening and it's their first. Tell us the basic definition of house hacking.
Antionio C. | 00:05:52:14 | Okay, so house hacking is where you buy a property. If it's a single family property, you will buy it and rent out rooms. If it's a multifamily property, you will buy them rental units. And the goal here is just to be able to rent out the other rooms or units and significantly lower your monthly housing payment because taxes and housing is traditionally going to be your biggest expenses each month.
Antionio C. | 00:06:13:15 | But that's the goal. And the reason you want to go house the house acting way is because as opposed to an investor, when investors are buying a property, you have to put more down when your house hack and you can put anywhere from 0 to 5% down just depending on the loan product that you qualify for.
Matt M. | 00:06:28:01 | So what I love about it is it's just an alternative way to get people thinking about real estate. I mean, you know, I think of like my brother, right? Like it wasn't all that interested in buying a house. It just sounded like a lot of work to him. But when he when we started talking about house hacking in rental properties and he said, Hey, man, you can buy this house, you'll live in it for 3% down.
Matt M. | 00:06:47:22 | You can live in it for a year or live in it for forever. If you rent the other rooms and it covers all your bills, the property is going to grow in value every year. And then at least you have the choice afterwards, right? At least now he has the choice to sell it, take his equity out, buy something better that he actually likes, or he can keep it as a rental property.
Matt M. | 00:07:06:07 | Buy another property for himself. I mean, you have so many so many options, but people just don't know it. So it can be a really good angle. So markets to community. So now also from the marketing side, so how do you get that message out there Once you have all this education and all this knowledge, how do you how do you reach people with it?
Antionio C. | 00:07:22:06 | So I, I haven't missed a day on social media since November 28th of 2022. And my goal with this year is to not miss any day. So I post every single day. So I'm always trying to strategize around content. I think I sit down on Sundays and come out with a plan for the week and I write it out.
Antionio C. | 00:07:39:18 | What if I was doing the House hacking strategy, first of all? First off, I would do like maybe what's the definition of it on a first day, second day, maybe I top myths three three things you didn't know and you could do it. House hacking are pros and cons of house hacking. I would just do that kind of thing just to educate the people.
Antionio C. | 00:07:57:07 | And then probably lastly, I would probably do some kind of case study. I just haven't even, you know, what would be really beneficial if I wasn't the person talking about what happened or what if I had my client doing it for me. Yeah, I think that would be really good, actually. Yeah, it would, because it's not just media.
Antionio C. | 00:08:13:19 | Somebody, you know, somebody is actually going through the process and can speak from their firsthand knowledge.
Matt M. | 00:08:18:19 | So you just said two things I think are really impactful that I want to make sure everyone out there heard and digested because I know we like to go fast. Thing number one was that you have a plan on social media, right? Like, do not you know, most realtors have social media, but they have a plan. They're every regimented with it.
Matt M. | 00:08:35:14 | You have a Sunday and Sunday's your content planning day as we're sitting there with your delicious cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, you're coming up with a plan for the type of content and how often and when you're going to post it throughout the week. Then you start creating some stuff and then throughout the week, Monday, this is what I create the post.
Matt M. | 00:08:51:17 | It makes it a lot easier because you actually have a strategy happening and I love that strategies. Without a strategy, social media is just a crapshoot where you can get lucky every now and then to gambling though with the strategy, you know that if you put in the effort, you will get results. Real estate has a lot of contracts.
Matt M. | 00:09:08:14 | I want this podcast to have a social contract as well. Here's what I need from you. If you're listening to the show and you get something valuable out of it or you hear something that you think that's awesome, I want you to send me a demo on Instagram, or if you find my email, send it that way. The more feedback that I get helps me to put together better shows and attract better guests.
Antionio C. | 00:09:27:15 | And I'll tell you this, so I own a brokerage. It's 22 of us, and what I'm learning or what I'm experiencing with the agents is they say, Well, posting is hard to write. It takes too much time. Well, here's what I've done. So like on Mondays I do Monday motivation. So that's some kind of quota, some kind of motivational thing and get you started during the week to get you through the week on Thursdays I have Thursdays thought I wake work, I work out in the morning.
Antionio C. | 00:09:51:23 | So after my workout I walk through the neighborhood and I just come up with some kind of thought and I record it and I post it Friday. I have funny Fridays. So in the summertime before any real estate related posts, but the reason I'm bringing it up is because it becomes easier when you have content days like you already know.
Antionio C. | 00:10:08:14 | What's the strategy around this specific page. So it's easier to develop content for that day.
Matt M. | 00:10:13:07 | So that makes it perfect once. And I always come up with like categories where like every day can have a different category and that way you will get there and you know in general what you should be thinking about, like how to get your wheel spinning on that. The second thing in, Tony, that you said that I thought was really interesting was the idea that hold up.
Antionio C. | 00:10:37:15 | Because I wanted to say something is going back to earlier. I want to bring up something before I forget. Okay. I was going to say like remember, we were talking about just being able to educate the client or educate them. All right. So I always preach this to the agents. Always the more knowledge you have, the more valuable you become, the more knowledge you have, the more value where you come, you come.
Antionio C. | 00:11:00:16 | That's why I spend so much time, like learning, reading books and attending courses. But I always say, you know, you can read, you can go to all the courses, you know, you can do all these things, but if you're not implementing, then it's a waste of time and energy and money. So you have to give them an.
Matt M. | 00:11:16:16 | Execution, like you have to have key and just learn. And I think that's a good message for all the new agents. Others, I think so many times new agents like you get into the business and you get overwhelmed by training really quickly and only go so long without a paycheck. So it's really important to make sure that you have some sales related and implementation related time allotted in your schedule to you those opportunities.
Matt M. | 00:11:41:02 | Because if not, you're learning all the time and there's no opportunity to actually it leads and get sales. I mean, I think that's a fall that a lot of new agents fall into.
Antionio C. | 00:11:50:04 | So I can I tell you this, if I was a new age, I would do I purchased the course on basically this is if you were becoming a loan officer because I feel if if I'm in the mindset of a loan officer and I understand the loan products, I don't have to know all the intricacies. But as long as I know that general information, then I can have that conversation with a potential customer client.
Antionio C. | 00:12:11:21 | You know, I can have that instead of me always having to say, Oh, let me check with the lender. No, I don't need to do that because I understand this. So I feel like if I was new and I was doing it all over from scratch, that would be something I would invest in trying to get that knowledge, because then you come off more confident in the discussions with the clients and then.
Matt M. | 00:12:30:12 | Coming off confidence and confidence is key right? Like your customers chose you to represent them in a, you know, a multiple hundreds of thousands of dollar transaction. And they need to feel confident throughout the way they can say, Oh, I'm not sure. The answer is, hey, I have an answer for that. Let me I'll have my answer to you by topic, something like that.
Matt M. | 00:12:51:12 | Meetings in confidence at all times. And that's really the best way to your referrals. But Antonio, you know, I always like to cover people's numbers a little bit because it gives it it gives the listeners a reason to listen to you and a reason to believe you. So you've been in the business for it since 2010 or so?
Antionio C. | 00:13:06:25 | Yeah, I got my license again.
Matt M. | 00:13:09:00 | I thought when we talked earlier it was fascinating, you of grow your business as a side hustle and then it became your main hustle. Let's talk about where you where you came from and where you are today because your growth trajectory I know you had one year where you made some pivotal changes in your ten year income and that everything is what a lot of people out there, listeners are hoping to do.
Antionio C. | 00:13:30:06 | Okay, so let's go back to 2010. I start I used to live in Dallas, Texas, so I moved there after college for a job. The job was with the federal government as a bank examiner. So that was in 2007. I moved to Dallas. So in 2010 I got engaged. And I know, you know, just being into personal finance, I know that people go into debt of a wedding and I wasn't trying to do that.
Antionio C. | 00:13:51:01 | But I know what.
Matt M. | 00:13:52:28 | You're you're you're you're part of everything you want to know.
Antionio C. | 00:13:55:11 | Exactly. But I definitely wanted to go wedding as well. I wasn't trying to go cheap. So what I did was I got my room, the license, me and my mentor at the time, she was an agent and my wife is always telling me that maybe that should be something I should consider because I had the personality for it and I had a big network of friends.
Antionio C. | 00:14:11:17 | So I got my license in from 2010 to 2019. I never made more than 44,000, and it was because I didn't really I just treat it as a side, a side hustle, like just something that keep the bills, you know, just something extra. I was working as a bank examiner making $120,000 for the federal government. So I didn't really need the real estate income, if that makes sense.
Antionio C. | 00:14:33:04 | But something.
Matt M. | 00:14:33:19 | Changed. What? Capozzi Right there in the paper. Keep your keep your train of thought. This, by the way, is where 99% of realtors are, right? Like when I look at the NAR, the National Association of Realtors data, the majority of agents out there are doing 1 to 5 deals a year. It is not a lot. Most people are treating this as a side hustle.
Matt M. | 00:14:52:02 | And I'm not I'm not chastising them. A lot of our listeners may be doing that, but this is an opportunity for those people listening who do not treat this as a side hustle, who treat this as a full time professional job. Because when you're going into a listing presentation or when you're working with buyers, you know, or thinking about using their agent, you can ask them this question Is the other agent you're thinking about working with, treating this as their career or a side hustle to make some extra money?
Matt M. | 00:15:19:28 | It can be good either way, but I'm full time. I'm in this for you. And when you explain it like that to a customer, why would they not go with you? Keep going. I just had to elaborate on that for a second thought.
Antionio C. | 00:15:31:23 | You so, yes, I just did it as a side hustle just to make some extra money. Right. But what I started enjoying is actually that my clients, their faces are their emotions at the closing table like that started to wear on me where I felt like I had a bigger call. And then the bank examiners job. I didn't really get any fulfillment or I felt like I wasn't really adding value at the bank examiners job.
Antionio C. | 00:15:54:00 | And so that kind of shifted me more toward the real estate sales career. You know, that that started making me think about it as maybe I should do this for a career, maybe I could do this as a career. So in November of 2019, prior to that, I had never made more than 44,000. But in November of 2019, I went ahead and hired a coach, which we know Jim and I went ahead and started treating it like as a business.
Antionio C. | 00:16:17:21 | I got a CRM. Prior to that, I didn't even have a CRM, and I used to write things down on sticky notes and lose them. So I ran into.
Matt M. | 00:16:24:00 | Two incidents because every single out of the 3500 realtor meetings I've done, point number one is always make a list of your customers ice cream and then call them and talk to them. So I love the fact that when you started doing that, your income went up. So to go and I decided I had to put myself in the back there.
Antionio C. | 00:16:42:27 | So I made I decided in November of 2019 that I was going to take a serious and you know what happened in 2020, The market was booming. So in 2020, keep in mind I was running a full time while I'm sorry I was running this job full time as a bank examiner. I was selling real estate and I also opened a brokerage in July of 2020.
Antionio C. | 00:17:01:01 | So in July, I'm sorry, in 2020 I sold 44 homes and brought in 235,000. That's to me that the broker splits and everything with my previous broker, so I never went back. Ever since then, it's been an upward trajectory, trajectory ever since then. But yeah, I went from 44000 to 235000 and gone back since is because I made the decision to treat it as a business.
Antionio C. | 00:17:24:21 | I hired a coach and I got a CRM and I started working the CRM.
Matt M. | 00:17:28:29 | Well, I think that's a really very critical, critical question that everyone out there can ask themselves, like how does your does it does your real estate career resemble a business or does it resemble you're kind of doing your own thing and working when it's convenient for you? If you're treating it like a side hustle, it's going to be side hustle money.
Matt M. | 00:17:48:08 | You know, if you were treating it like a business, you're looking at your numbers. You have a plan every day. You are your own, you know, a whole boss that tells you what you need to do and where you need to be, you know, And that's where you start to see some real growth because there is some consistency there.
Matt M. | 00:18:03:05 | So, Antonio, 2022, how did that look for you in the brokerage account? Only deals did you guys do? What was the success like in 22, a short two years after you went full time?
Antionio C. | 00:18:13:23 | So let me back up real quick that 2021. So in 2021 I decided that the full time job was starting my growth in real estate. So I made the decision that by the end of the year I was going to quit that full time job. And that was a scary everything to do, you know, 100% commission. You got to pay for your own health insurance.
Antionio C. | 00:18:31:20 | When I had this great government job where government benefits, making six figures work from home, it was tough. But I made the decision. And on December 17, 2021, I want to hate and quit. Man, it has been great ever since. The best decision I could. I did. Honestly. But 2021 I sold 44 homes for about 11 million. 2022 it went down to 33 homes, a little bit over 10 million.
Antionio C. | 00:18:54:18 | What The average sales price went up. So that's all I care about. I don't want I don't need to sell a crazy amount of homes. As long as I focus on a sales price, my income growth will be okay. That's how I look at it.
Matt M. | 00:19:04:29 | So to sell $10 million as a solo agent, I mean, I think that's a big thing to realize too. Like we talk to people on the show who sold 500 homes with a team of 30 people, same thing is doing ten homes by yourself. You're you're representing all of your clients in your database. When you're doing $10 million in sales, it's 44 people a year.
Matt M. | 00:19:23:07 | Your database is growing at a pretty good rate. It sets you up for five years from now. Now all of a sudden, you have 500 people in that database on that you can work with. Again, they can refer you. So I can wait to see what kind of numbers you're throwing up in three years when that database gets to that level.
Antionio C. | 00:19:38:21 | Yeah, I'm excited, man. Sky's the limit. I know. I'm not even. I haven't. You scratch my potential, Mark, because I'm doing. I have so many things going on at once right now that if I can just focus on real estate sales, the sky's the limit. And I know this.
Matt M. | 00:19:53:15 | The Neighborhood Realtor podcast is proudly made possible by the support of our sponsors Treadstone Funding and Neighborhood Loans, Two amazing Midwest mortgage companies that now have offices all around the country. You're a realtor and you'd like to learn more about connecting with one of our lenders. Dammit, Matt must be aided and often acting with someone in your market.
Matt M. | 00:20:10:21 | If you're a lender and you want to join the right mortgage company and DME and I'll connect you as well. So, you know, I know you told me before, at this point you have 400 people in your database, and I know that they're not all randomly calling you just because you're a great guy and you're super good looking, obviously.
Matt M. | 00:20:29:08 | What what are you doing? What actions are you putting out there to get these people to call you and work with you?
Antionio C. | 00:20:36:12 | So every month I send out a newsletter, a monthly newsletter on the first of the month, and this is something that I put together myself is usually so. So my philosophy is I don't like to always bother people or real estate related emails because they'll unsubscribe and then it will be treated as just noise. So in my newsletters, I try to come from the personal finance aspect.
Antionio C. | 00:20:57:01 | Like I talk about like last month, I believe it was wills and trust the month before that, like inflation, it has impact in the economy, the traditional IRAs versus Roth IRAs, things like that, like things that I'm familiar with. I talk about that in my newsletters and I have a really good open rate to is anywhere from 65 to 70%.
Antionio C. | 00:21:14:20 | When I know their interest, their average is way less than that.
Matt M. | 00:21:17:17 | So they're lucky to get 13%. Yes, I mean, I think another big point for everyone out there, you're creating the content for your newsletter yourself. Yeah. And so everyone out there probably heard you say newsletter and they groan a little bit. But I think like a huge piece is like we talk a lot about on this show about like sending a quality content.
Matt M. | 00:21:36:23 | It is okay to do a mass email, like a newsletter as long as you're putting the content together yourself and it's something that you believe in you. Antonio's area of expertise is personal finance, which has a great time to real estate, but other people have areas of expertise like landscaping. It might be staging interior design, and I have agents that focus on those things in their newsletter and they also are going to high open, right?
Matt M. | 00:21:58:18 | He is not be generic right? So getting your newsletter content from your corporate corporate company, it's going to be generic for everybody and specific to nobody. So I'm sure there's a lot of great newsletters that your companies are giving you out there, but make sure you're inserting some really great original content. The ties to your community at the beginning in your first of all emails, other people just won't listen.
Antionio C. | 00:22:22:01 | Yep. And so what I started doing with the monthly email newsletters is if we do so, I have a podcast as well. Just released a couple of weeks ago actually. It's called the Financial Flows Podcast. So what I'm starting out with.
Matt M. | 00:22:33:25 | Is the Financial Flows Podcast.
Antionio C. | 00:22:35:21 | The Financial Flows podcast is me and another guy. He used to play for professional football for the Saints, and then he worked in corporate America as well as like an executive at Target. And now he's, you know, entrepreneurship like, just like me. So we have that podcast and what I'm doing is I'm starting to like see for instance, if my topic for the month is actually it is this coming up for next month is going to be a side hustles in a recession.
Antionio C. | 00:23:00:09 | That's going to be my main topic for a newsletter. Well we just recorded episode on it, so I'm going to tie in the newsletter with the podcast, you know, a synergy. So I only make sense.
Matt M. | 00:23:09:12 | Hello. Well, let me repeat, not like reusing content. You make one thing, you can use it as an email, you can do it on social media. You do quite a bit of stuff with it. So I mean, you do some pretty cool stuff with Facebook also. So tell me tell about the closed group that you moderate.
Antionio C. | 00:23:24:00 | Yeah. So every single client that I've ever close with, I put them in a Facebook group. If they on Facebook and in that Facebook group, what I do is I try to get some engagement where I do like quarterly giveaways, like a ring, doorbell, a nest thermostat, Amazon gift cards, things like that. And in order to be included in the drawing, I would ask them to like, share my listing or send me a referral or participate in this poll With my brokerage service versus real estate.
Antionio C. | 00:23:50:08 | Every single quarter, we give away 10% of whatever commissions earn to the brokerage. We give away 10% to a local nonprofit. So I'll get my group to vote like, okay, we have this these three choices for the giveaway this quarter. You know, who would you want to vote for? Or I'll ask them for ideas like if you had a financial blessing to be able to give to someone, who would you give it to and why?
Antionio C. | 00:24:12:22 | Like would nonprofit and why. So that way of getting engagement and my group, they feel like invested in my success because they want to see, you know, the financial blessing given to these nonprofits as well. So I find that is really beneficial as far as referrals and stuff because they see me doing things in the community. They want to help me, me and the brokers.
Matt M. | 00:24:31:22 | When I think it's really big too, because you're giving people between the giveaways and kind of asking them for their opinions. What charities are, where you're giving them a reason to come back and engage. Yeah, you know, it's it's all about giving people a reason to do something, giving them a little bit of that reinforcement, Right? Yeah. And I think it's important cause then when you have other messages to post, you can put it in there that it performs much better than a Facebook page on a group.
Matt M. | 00:24:57:09 | Everybody has the opportunity to see it for free on your Facebook page, your business page. People are only going to see them unless you pay or it's like super viral content. Yeah. So you've creating a closed group for your clients, for the community I think is absolutely huge. So let's just kind of I want to I want to end by talking a little bit more on what you're doing for your past clients and like, what kind of events do you do?
Matt M. | 00:25:23:06 | What are you doing that's a little bit outside of the box?
Antionio C. | 00:25:26:00 | So actually we just did our first event for Christmas. Man, I haven't really been being on those, but I know I need to be. We did a client appreciation parties last Christmas party where the entire brokerage could invite whoever they want any any past clients I see past were quotes because they never passed clients but any clients that they've done business with or that they're currently doing business with, or you got to invite them to the party.
Antionio C. | 00:25:48:17 | It was open bar deejay, free food, free drink. It was just a great time. And it came. It was a lot of pictures being taken, a lot of sharing on the social media. So it helped promote the brand in the brokerage as well as the individual agent, because they got to experience this, you know, great event for nothing.
Antionio C. | 00:26:05:01 | They they have to pay anything, obviously. But so that's one thing I'm probably going to do every single year from, you know, holiday season. But I want to do this upcoming summer. I want to plan like, you know, we in southeast Louisiana and crawfish are big here. So I want to do like a crawfish wild slash barbecue for all of my current and past clients.
Antionio C. | 00:26:22:25 | So that's something to do.
Matt M. | 00:26:24:29 | When it's cool VS It's original, like you're you're doing something that your community in particular is into and you know they're going to come here because it's really cool versus like you'll get what every other realtor is doing. Want to stay away from those things, so be the original, the do things that you were going to work for your community.
Matt M. | 00:26:41:08 | And Antonio if people, if people listening have a client who are moving to the Louisiana area and you're Baton Rouge, like how could they get a hold of you and do you take referrals?
Antionio C. | 00:26:53:03 | I'm absolutely they take referrals and I'm in Baton Rouge and in New Orleans market. We operate boat there. I would drive between the two, but I'm from New Orleans, so most of my business is actually still in New Orleans. But they can reach out to me. Instagram is my platform of choice is Cousin sells Ella. Ella is in Louisiana, Cousin Sales, Ellie is my Instagram handle or they can email me it's on us service first our e-com.
Antionio C. | 00:27:16:10 | But before we go, Matt, I just want to mention something. So we just talked about the decline of appreciation parties and things like that. I want to say this, that when it comes to, you know, as a real estate professional, what you should be doing is having some type of marketing budget and I'm big on profit first. That's a book that every single entrepreneur should read.
Antionio C. | 00:27:35:22 | It talks about how to divvy up your income. So it's like a cash flow management book, actually. But in using that framework, I put aside every single commission check that I earn. I put aside 10% to my marketing budget and then I use that money to be able to give back to my clients the people that already know like and trust me, I don't spend money on Coley's and trying to get business from new people.
Antionio C. | 00:27:56:00 | I just focus on loving on my clients and that's how I get a lot of referral business and a lot of business from my sphere. That's all my business. Honestly.
Matt M. | 00:28:04:04 | Well, it's great. So because you figured out what works for you, right? Like you know that when you love on people that you're already working with, you need to buy those leads. As long as you're doing the right things with your people, you change them, staying on top of them and providing that sound financial advice that brands use.
Matt M. | 00:28:19:06 | The expert Yeah. Tonio, thank you for thank you so much for joining the podcast. I know you have a book coming out soon. 55 Ways to Sell Your House Without a Realtor. Tell us about that really quick before we let you go, because I think there's a lot of people that are going to be interested to hear why you would write a book about not using your realtor, but I think it'll make sense.
Matt M. | 00:28:39:00 | Would you.
Antionio C. | 00:28:39:07 | Explain it? So I actually finished the yesterday man and went off to form it and ground. Thank you. I appreciate having spent the last three months on it. Actually, what my goal with the book is like a lead capture mechanism. What I plan on doing is getting them printed and Senate mailing them so for sale by owners and expired listings.
Antionio C. | 00:28:55:06 | And my goal and my intent is they're going to go to it and be like, Hey, this is way too much stuff. I'm just going to hire him. At least that's my intent. I'm also going to sell it to people that's not in my market. You know, sellers are potential sellers operating, you know, in a different market from mine.
Antionio C. | 00:29:08:05 | But that's actually my second book. This is my first one right here. I'm escaping the rat race. One income stream at a time. I'm big on invest in man. Like you have to invest and you want to, you know, escape the rat race and achieve financial freedom. This is the book for you and you can get it on got income streams econ.
Matt M. | 00:29:24:05 | Got income streams dot com everything to get in two years. But I'll tell you thank you so much for dropping some knowledge with us today Susan.
Antionio C. | 00:29:31:01 | Thank you for but invite.