Building a Super, Strong, Successful Team with #1 Agent in Nebraska, Jeff Cohn

Jeff Cohn Bio
Jeff Cohn – Owner
Realtor 8+ Years
Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group
Omaha, NE

Jeff works as the owner and team leader of the #1 real estate team in Nebraska. He lead his group to over 70 million dollars in real estate sales volume and 400+ unit sales in 2014! Jeff has helped revolutionize the way traditional real estate teams are structured and operate through the implementation of virtual assistants, showing assistants, administrative assistants, accountability coaches, team prospecting, team training and team culture.

He believes in saving client’s time and money by implementing the most advanced marketing techniques available while applying the latest negotiating strategies.

Jeffrey is fluent in Portuguese and adept at conversational Spanish. He enjoys volunteering as a children’s Sunday School Teacher at his church and within the Boy Scouts of America scouting organization. Jeffrey enjoys spending his free time with his wife and three children, as well as, working out, playing golf or squash, and planning his next vacation.

Maureen: I am super excited to have our featured guest today Jeff Cohn, Jeff works as the owner and team leader of the number one real estate team in Nebraska. He led his group to over 70 million dollars in real estate sales volume and 400 plus units in sales in 2014. Jeff as helped revolutionize the way traditional real estate teams have structured and operate, through the implementation of virtual assistance, showing assistance, administrative assistance, accountability coaches, team prospecting, team training and team culture. Wow Jeff that is really impressive, 70 million in sales in 2014, that’s really awesome.

Jeff: Thanks Maureen.

Maureen: Yeah let’s welcome you and dive right in and certainly tell us a little bit about yourself and expand upon your business.

Jeff: Absolutely thank- you first off for allowing me this opportunity. I love getting to talk with people all over the country and I found that in doing so I have fostered some really valuable relationships. So I do appreciate this chance to you know be able to talk to you openly and candidly and I hope you are okay with me been open and candid.

Maureen: Yes, yes I certainly am, I am certainly honored to have you on the show today. Yes great.

Jeff: Awesome, awesome, so yeah just a little bit of history for me. I got licensed 8 years ago. I got into real estate knowing that I wanted to start a team which was a little different than a lot of people that choose to go into real estate. It was a choice to sell real estate and then I wanted to learn as much as I could and eventually put a team together. It was quicker that I expected, I was the rooky of the year in my city of Omaha, Nebraska back in 2007 and then the very next year I started a team with myself and about 3 other agents called the Cohn team going after my last name and quickly discovered you know the things I needed to do to make that successful and we are now Omaha’s elite real estate group.

Maureen: Oh that’s awesome, that’s great. I’m sure our audience would love to know how your day flows, what makes you so successful. Can you describe a typical day in your business life?

Jeff: Absolutely you know for me, one of the things that’s going to make me really unique and I hope that a lot of people listening will find some value in this. I quit selling in 2013 so I worked solely now on my business and building my business versus working in the business and it really was quite a mind shift going from you know being the hunter and going after the leads. And that was my world for 7 years. Waking up each day, not knowing when is my next deal going to come around the corner. Shifting from that to now owning a business, where I’m teaching others to do the same and helping managers over see the agents. It really has changed how I spend my time. So trying to keep my answer somewhat short, I would typically you know get up in the morning. I work out every morning, either at my house or at the gym. I get in the office usually around 10 o’clock in the morning, which is always been a goal of mine to be able to not have to be in an office at 8 o’clock you know. So I get in around 10 o’clock. I usually spend 2 or 3 hours meeting with my management team or spending some time with some of the agents coaching. I’m talking about their day or a particular transaction. I’m always staying on top of my email, my voice mail and my text messages, for things that are pertinent for me to be in charge of. So anything that I felt was something I shouldn’t have been doing or you know, if there is ever any communication that’s coming to me that I have hired positions to take care of. I always will transfer that work load off to the hired person that’s in charge of any particular job. So I really have worked hard and teaching others to do all the things I used to do. So that I could literally not have to be working on my business at all if I chose not to. So every position that I once did is now been handled by someone that I’ve appointed to that position that I feel, couldn’t do as good, if not a better job than I did when I was in that position.

Maureen: Oh that’s great! So, it’s like you’ve got a well-oiled machine that can just take over and then you could go on vacation right Jeff

Jeff: Well you know I just got back from Hawaii; I was there for 3 weeks.

Maureen: Awesome there you go.

Jeff: Precisely I mean that was my goal and you know I’m not really the type of person that just wants to sit back and hang out somewhere for months. I am very motivated and constantly want to be better. So I do work on my business constantly and I have multiple businesses I own and operate. So my residential business is my heart, my passion, it’s what has made me pretty successful and that’s where I continue to push today.

Maureen: Okay and you’re having good luck with virtual assistance.

Jeff: You know we are, I associate with I am their personal consultant and essentially what we do, is we provide virtual assistance solutions to agents and teams across the country. And what that means, instead of just getting a VA appointed to you by a local or international company that you then have to manage and train and hold accountable on a daily basis, 1000 calls a day does that for you. And so you pay them an additional fee to what it would cost to just hire a VA. You pay them a management’s fee to provide over a site and we’ve now been doing that for over two years. We sold 425 houses in 2014 and over 20% of those transactions at some point had been touched by our virtual assistant. So we accredit about 20% of our sales by 80 deals to our virtual assistant team. So they do a heck of a job.

Maureen: Oh that’s great, yeah saves time and I’m sure it saves you money as well hiring virtually, you don’t have to pay for any desk cost or anything like that.

Jeff: I rely on our virtual assistants was over a thousand percent. So the cost versus the other rewards are amazing and a lot of people don’t understand, a virtual assistant can do anything. So I always say to people, if you lie down at night and there is something you probably feel guilty about, it’s that you’re not prospecting enough. Any agent thinking about getting into the business and any seasoned agent that’s in the business should know that they need to be spending a least 75% of their time prospecting. Now that can be on the phone, that can be at a networking event, that could be at a family birthday party but they need to be talking about the business that they do and the service that they can provide and try to get new opportunities. A virtual assistant is essentially an extension of that. So they can make you know, all the different types of calls, just listed, just sold, open house calls expired, for sale by owner. They can call through a data base that you already have of past clients and just wish them a happy new year if it might be that. But have then on and my team just loves that, every agent on my team as a personal virtual assistant that works for them on a weekly basis.

Maureen: Wow that’s great! I’m sure that certainly helped your business to grow and you are so successful. We’ve talked about some of these, but what skill strategies have you employed that are responsible for your success and how specifically did these skill impact positive business results?

Jeff: Absolutely, great question! I like that one, you know as far as strategy is concerned. I feel like one of the things I did that really separated me from a lot of the other agents in my local market and I would say on a national level, is I took multiple probably 3 or 4 different weeks my first year and went out and traveled the country and met with top teams I used the Boomtown platform to connect with those people because my brokerage where I work is actually a local brand. And so there really wasn’t a huge national network that I could network within. And so I started reaching out to the top teams across the country that had a Boomtown platform. And everyone accepted us with open arms. There were so many teams out there that helped us to grow and we literally went to their brick and mortars and they would spend the whole day with us for free, not charge me a dime for it. And they would show me their systems, their recruiting process, their tools, how they convert. How they generate leads and it really opened our eyes. You know when you’re doing 50- 60 deals a year and these teams are doing 4 or 500 deals a year, it really changes the way your mind works. And then the expectations you then might create for yourself. So I would say the number one strategy we implemented was discovery. You know learning what other people out there were doing and then bringing it back and applying those techniques here.

Maureen: Oh that’s very impressive! Do you think success that you have achieved is attainable for anyone

Jeff: Yeah anybody that has the ability to you know graduate high school or get a GED, as the ability to accomplish anything in life. And the hardest thing for people is to believe it within their heart and I think once they believe, that they can do, they can do anything.

Maureen: Right, yeah you got to get that belief and that confidence and once you have that then the sky is the limit.

Jeff: A lot of successful people I have been told Maureen from a very young age always believe that they would be successful. Now I know these are some questions you’ll probably ask me here in a little bit but success comes in a lot of different forms. A lot of us think success means money and it does not. As you know a lot of the most successful people I know don’t have a lot of money. To me success is a state of being and a lot of people I knew that thought they would be successful within the wealth category became successful. And they became successful because that was what they wanted and so they focused their life, any activity that they had, they wanted to accomplish it a certain way. And they were constantly working towards an end goal. Too often when we don’t find success in our lives it’s because we didn’t have a focus, we didn’t have a goal. We might have said I want to be rich but that’s where we ended, we never talked about how we were going to get there. And we are such an instinct gratification nation, everyone wants the results right away and that’s not how success works. To be truly successful the results never come right away. It’s usually a lot of sweat and tears to get to where we want to be.

Maureen: Yes definitely, there has got to be some competition in your area. How do you deal with your competition and what gives you your competitive edge?

Jeff: You know I’m going to steal a quote from the CEO of Amazon, He said he doesn’t pay attention to his competition, I’m going to slotter the exact quote, he said he focuses on providing the best service he can in the industry and then all the competition’s focus is on him. So we do the exact same thing. You know we focus on giving our clients the best service that Omaha Real estate market can offer and everybody else focuses on what my team is offering our clients.

Maureen: So they’re following you.

Jeff: Exactly, so as long as I can be a trend setter in every aspect of a real estate transaction then I don’t need to worry about what my competition is doing. And that was my mentality my year one, when I got into the business. I knew I needed to offer more than anyone else and I did and I’ve continued doing so. I went from 80 deals you know in 3 years to 425 deals in 2014. So we’ve grown really quick.

Maureen: Wow that’s incredible, you have such a hectic schedule I’m sure. What strategies do you use for time management and how do you distress?

Jeff: Good question, you know time management, time blocking you know, you had Steven Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. You have Gary Keller’s book, that just came out a couple of year or so ago with The One Thing and it talks about time blocking. And time blocking is best done in my opinion using some type of electronic device based off of maybe your smart phone. I use Google calendar, some people might use outlook, and some people might use the apple counter. Whatever it may be but you need to have the expectations you have for yourself each and every day have to be written down. You have to be able to look at it and have it easily available to you. So I have my entire day everyday for the next couple of weeks planned. Even time where there’s not necessarily a meeting I have a distress time or family time or the day I’m going to take my wife on a date or a lunch with my Dad. Anything you want to accomplish in life can be accomplished, just write it down and then do it. As far as distressing I really enjoy working out, playing sports, travelling, eating, movies and recently I’ve been getting addicted to all these stupid TV series that like eat up hundreds of hours of my time. It will be like 4 hours of my life, then I’ll realize it’s like 6 seasons that I haven’t seen before So I find you know that is the way I like to distress at the end of a long day. My family goes to bed early and I’m still kind of in the mode to do something, I’ll do some of those different activities.

Maureen: That’s great, yes if you don’t write everything down and don’t block it out, your time just seems to get away from you. I like to focus on one thing at a time and just get that done and then move on to the next thing rather than trying to do too many things at once, just doesn’t work. What are the approaches you use to optimize your performance and why are these strategies so successful.

Jeff: Sure great question, you know one of the approaches is what I talk about previously where you’re actually going to find the activities. You’re getting into the activities that you can hire someone else to do, so that you can leverage your time, which is your most valuable commodity. We all have the same amount of it. And so if you can put people in charge of activities that you once did, that work not below. But there’s always going to be something better that you could have probably been doing with your time. I’m definitely looking for opportunities to refocus my time on more important things and hiring people to offset my time that can take care of different tasks. A lot of people out there that live in a reactive world. So when a problem approaches them or someone has a question all these messages are coming into them and they are reacting to it. To be successful you have to learn to put yourself into a proactive world, instead of just reacting to the world around you you’re proactively accomplishing the things that you’ve set out to accomplish each and every day. And so of course there are rectory events, you know that you have to take care of through the day, issues come up, you get text, and you get calls and those types of things. But every person listening to this should be setting up a time or multiple times throughout the day that add up to at least 2 or 3 hours where you’re literally proactively doing something and focusing on something. In Gary’s book The One Thing I believe he talked about setting 3 or 4 hours, or maybe I was actually spending some time with him about a year ago, he did a few days of a workshop. I think he said when he wrote The One

Thing he allotted 3 hours a day for X amount of months to write the book but he was focused on that one thing and he protected that time each and every day to accomplish it. Obviously that’s in a proactive mindset, so I would encourage the listeners to think more proactively versus reactively.

Maureen: Yes that’s great, yes your day can certainly get away from you with everything that goes on through the day.

Jeff: I actually wanted to go sit in my office and put my feet up and open the door. I could stay busy all day long absolutely, all of us could. But I wouldn’t accomplish the things I set out to accomplish that day because I obviously am setting up, I’m goals for myself each and every day of things I want to accomplish. And those can’t be accomplished reactively, they’re all proactive goals.

Maureen: Certainly that’s a great answer, shifting gears a little bit. Can you bring us back to a time when you have had a failure, dive in and tell us what it was and how did you deal with it and do  you think failure can be transformed into success and if so?

Jeff: Sure absolutely you know it’s funny with these questions, you know I’ve been involved in a lot of different podcast interviews. And so I’m always looking for new answers, so no one hears the same answers if they listen to different interviews. And so this one took me a and I was thinking about it and it brought me back to a time I was literally in line getting ready to receive my undergraduate degree or I don’t know what they call that, diploma from collage. it’s an exciting day. My wife was there and I had a one year old at the time. I had applied for an amazing job. And I had just recently found out about a week previous that I did not get. I had done multiple internships through collage and it was, my dream job was to sell medical supplies. Super motivated, I thought I’m going to make a lot of money in commissions and I just thought it would be a great opportunity. So I spent about a month going through the interviewing process for this job, for a particular medical supply company. Ended up about a week or two before graduation finding out that, that wasn’t going to pan out for me. You know I was really close to getting the offer. So while in line literally, I was probably like 15th or 20 seconds from going up and shaking the hand of the dean and receiving you know a congratulations for graduating. The guy next to me in line got a phone call from a head hunter and was told that he had just got the job that was my dream job. He got the medical sales job. The exact one I was going for in the same region but he had pretty much been offered the same position I was dreaming about getting. So it was very bitter sweet, I was happy for him but it was just really interesting to be at that spot in my life and I wanted it so bad and then right in front of me I watched someone else get what I had wanted. And so using that an example I could have felt bad for myself and gone home and just sat around for a couple of months you know wishing the world had given me a different opportunity. And I thought to myself, I didn’t get the offer because there is something else that I don’t know.

Maureen: Something better.

Jeff: Is out there, there is something better and people say that and its’ always the cliché. I truly believed it; I knew there was going to be something better. A year later I made over a hundred thousand dollars selling real estate. So it’s amazing how sometimes your bad thing might happen but it’s all about the way you deal with them.

Maureen: Yes sometimes it can just propel you onto better things.

Jeff: Oh yeah it fired me up, it did, it was the fuel that, you know I think it was part of the reason I had so much success I did in my first year selling.

Maureen: On a lighter note can you think of something else throughout your career that has happened that was very funny or maybe a little bizarre?

Jeff: Sure you know this is such, you have sent me some questions before I had to prepare for, and this was one that I kind thought was funny. I love that you included the bizarre part. When I read the word bizarre it triggered a memory. I like to get on to face book maybe about once a week. I’m not on very often. I use it more for business and I was getting on face book and I kept noticing pictures of a gentleman that used to work with our team. He’s no longer with us and he was one of our internal sales agents, so essentially calling assistant that worked on the team. And I kept seeing picture of him in front of his mirror at home flexing. And he was like getting to working out and stuff; he was about 50 years old. But I kept seeing him posting during the day and I finally noticed, like two months went by and I looked at 7 or 8 different post of him flexing the mirror. And I realized he had been taking the pictures in the office bathroom. So during his shift he’d go to the bathroom and kind do his little pose and then post it to face book and I just, I died, obviously I showed everybody. And we gave him a hard time about it like what are you doing posting pictures from the office bathroom. So I’m sure there is a lot of more inappropriate stories out there but I thought that one was pretty funny.

Maureen: Yeah that is bizarre, oh goodness wow.

Jeff: It’s bizarre.

Maureen: Yes, what is exciting that happening in your business right now?

Jeff: You know the thing that right now is been the most exciting for me is consistent meetings with our entire group. So we have 22 full time agents and probably about 8 additional admin, that include our showing assistants and our assign runner and then my listing operation manager. So we have about 30 people, we come together every Monday for an accountability meeting, every Wednesday for dialog training and every Friday for team training, where we train on 12 different topics over a 2 and a half month period. And to me, to have a business with 30 people that are all sub contractors none of them have to go to any of these meetings. And they all consistently we have 97% attendance and we’ve been doing this now for over a year. I think it’s the most exciting thing that we’re doing. I have never seen the culture across the country with any team that I’ve never seen with what we’ve built here. And it makes me happy that the agents actually believe in the things that we’re teaching and they are applying those things to their everyday lives and we are changing people’s lives through the system that we’ve created.

Maureen: I bet! I can tell with your enthusiasm that you know you must have some really great meetings and I’m sure that you know you’re really inspiring your team to move them on to you know how successful they are. And you do have a very powerful brand out there. How important do you think it is for a real estate agent to have their own brand these days and how would one get started?

 Jeff: Yeah that’s a really good one. You know I believe brand is everything, you know when I first got into the business a lot of people talk about the agent’s last name and if you were to start a team or brokerage, always use your last name because that’s what everybody knows. I kind of moved away from that. I didn’t believe that. My team has a real estate group I wanted the name of the company to tell the public exactly what we did and what were and what we stood for. And agent, I know you have some new agents on this call today listening and you know. For a newer agent I think work with a company that is well known in the industry. Don’t go to a start up brokerage where nobody has ever heard of before and I don’t think you have to be with a national company. I’ve chosen to be with one of the local company’s here in Nebraska, yeah and we’ve done very well for ourselves but in addition to the broker’s name. You know taking about the broker is helping the broker build their brand is just building their business. You want to build your own business. So while you do it online, you with a broker that has a good reputation and you bring up the brokers name when you’re prospecting. You also want to start making a name for yourself, so people are talking about your brokerage and they are also talking about you and or your real estate team. So brand is everything.

Maureen: Right most definitely, people often believe popular myths about successful people. What are the myths and what are the facts relating to having such a successful career and how do you define success?

Jeff: So myth, I think myths would be the successful people who are given in their situation that it wasn’t earned or that they got lucky and they didn’t really do anything to deserve the success. In fact most successful people that I know, that I know a lot of them they’ve sacrificed more than anyone within their sphere of competition. So you know if you take an athlete or you take a business man, a financial planner, a real estate agent whatever it might be. The ones that are at the top typically in my opinion have worked harder, more hours, they’ve worked smarter, they’ve done more research, and they’ve gotten more accreditation, more education than everybody else. So it’s easy to sit back and say they got luck. But it’s like my grandpa always used to say, the hardest workers always seem to be the ones that get, you know have the most luck. The harder I work, the luckier I get, I actually believe that to be the case.

Maureen: Yes, the harder I work, the luckier I get.

Jeff: That’s right so you asked about success, you know what success is. You know I believe I’ve told my kids it’s not about their grades. And I have young children 9, 7 and 5, I’ve told them it’s about being the best that they can be and you know The Millionaire Real Estate Agent book which is one I recommend for the listeners to read. In that book it says at the top of the book. It’s not about the money; it’s about being the best that I can be. And so all we can expect of anyone is that they do their best. They don’t need to hit X Y Z goal. They’ll set goals for themselves and you want to encourage people to hit their goals. But all I can expect is that someone gives it everything they can in everything they do. So it might be in their family life or church life, there work life, within sports, working out whatever it might be. But true success to me is when someone actually has self actualization they know that they’ve done everything that they can within reason. You know you don’t want to sacrifice so much that you lose a limb or have to get divorced to your wife or whatever it may be. So within reason you know people do everything that they can to be successful within every different facet of their lives and I believe that’s a true, true success is when you have a balanced life.

Maureen: Most definitely yeah, one of my favorite quotes by Jim Rohn, Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.

Jeff: Oh that’s great

Maureen: Yeah real estate can be such an up and down business. What things can a professional predict and plan for and what types of things are difficult to predict. And how do you plan for the unpredictable?

Jeff: Good question it is up and down absolutely. You know you ask what types of things are difficult to predict and how do you plan for unpredictable. I honestly would argue that the real estate business is predictable because we know it’s unpredictable. So when you know that I would always tell you and this is sound financial advice. Always have a year’s worth of savings ready just in case, I would always tell agents, newer agents to go on teams, have savings that if you didn’t sell a house for a year, you would be okay. You’re going to be able to make your mortgage payment, you’re going to be able to go grocery shopping, you’re going to be able to meet all of your responsibilities. So that would be one way to help almost everyone I think that’s listening, plan for the future is. You know you will have years where there’s a couple months where you don’t have a sale you know expect that, plan for that. The book Shift talks a lot about how the real estate market is like a 10 year cycle. You’re going to see good years, few great years, one really bad year and so we know that. I would say though if you are the best in your business, you’re the best in your industry, even in tough markets within residential real estate, you can always be successful because people are still buying and selling houses even when you’re, when you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market or a natural market you’re still going to have families moving and they’re still going to be buying and they’re still going to be selling. Those prices might change so your commissions are going to go up or down. But if you’re the best of the best I don’t think anything to worry about. So focus more on the things we can control which is been better at offer better service than worrying about (unclear) factors, interest rates. People always are taking about rates. I don’t even bring it up, I don’t care what the rates are cause if someone needs to buy a house today. Most people aren’t going to wait 6 months because they think the rates are going to go one way or another. They’re just going to go buy a house; they’re going to get whatever they can afford.

Maureen: That is so true.

Jeff: Too often people you know the excuse today I always hear people talk about the economy. You know someone is down and out they say oh it’s so hard, it’s a tough economy out there. That’s just an excuse to not be successful. So let’s forget about the economy, let’s control how our own world and you know the world in which we live and be successful, chose to be successful and quit making excuses.

Maureen: Oh that’s perfect, that’s a great answer. What role does personal professional education and growth play in your success? And I think you’ve mentioned a couple of books, if you do have any more favorites. And also what are your favorite real estate technologies?

Jeff: Great question, there is a lot in that question. So let’s start with the role, what does personal professional education and growth play? I continue, I told you when I first got into business I started visiting teams. I continue doing that; I have been traveling to brick and mortars. I also am part of several different networking groups with high producing teams. Constantly trading ideas, always staying you know at the fore front of technology, so that I can help my customers and my agents to have the latest and greatest that the real estate industry as to offer. Also I continue to read I’m an avid reader, I enjoy you know getting up early in the morning or falling asleep essentially with a book in my hand. I take turns with, I do a self help book or real estate book and then I do something like, I’ve read unbroken, American Sniper, 127 hours. And I’ll go and do like a personal book versus something that’s going to be like helping me, which with both of those genres they’re still helping me become a better person, getting other people’s you know. I like what do they call, auto biography or biography’s. You know to actually see what famous people have through to get where they are. So book wise, you know I mentioned the one thing, that’s a great one, if you have a red dale (unclear) how to win friends and influence people. This book was written like 80 years ago and it still holds through today. It’s one of the best books. I remember when I read it. I read it about 5 years ago and I remember thinking wow, if I just read that book when I was like 13 or 14 years old, it would have changed my life. It changed my life at 24 years old and it talks a lot about listening rather than thinking we need to speak, the best conversational is don’t talk, the best conversation is to listen so focusing on the person you’re speaking to rather than worrying about what you are speaking. And so I think that’s a great one if you haven’t read that one. Anything Gary Keller, you know a millionaire real estate agent, if you’re thinking about building a team, is a really good one. Seven levels of communication, you know I’m looking up right now.

Maureen: Looking at your bookshelf?

Jeff: I have like books, setting here but those would be some good ones I’ve read and for anybody to read.

Maureen: Great, alright and what about favorite real estate technologies?

Jeff: Technology wise you know I think there are some really great CRM’s out there right now. We’ve chosen to use boom town, Boomtown provides a front end website and a back end contact management system, filled with technology that helps you stay in contact with your clients, you know from reverse prospecting to drip email. They just added drip texting, it as e alert built into it. It as an opportunity wall that tells you who the best leads are to call based on their interaction on a site. So I’m a huge fan of boom town, that’s what I have, that’s what I’ve been doing for several years now. So if any one listening you know would decide they wanted to sign up. I know at one time it was really hard to get into Boom town because they only sold a certain amount of licenses per market. They have now opened that up to pretty much having as many licenses as you want in any market. So if you were one seller on the waiting list there shouldn’t be any waiting list anymore it’s opened up and a lot of the top teams that I associate with are with Boomtown and there has been a lot success with this. So all that I’d ask is be it that I did bring it up today that you’d please you know recommend or use my name as a reference. That you’ve heard about them through Jeff Cohn. And they do end up giving me a little incentive gift because of that.

Maureen: Oh nice alright okay, what is the single most important skill that an individual needs to become successful?

Jeff: I think that was the best question you had on your list, I love that question Maureen. And in thinking about it I’m going to steal Nike’s quote or slogan, Just do it! You know we can talk and talk and talk and so many people do and you know guys I’m part of ore real estate association group that meets every month and I ‘m part of all these different groups of people. And I would say 90% of the people in the groups I go to talk about doing things in their dreams and all their aspirations and what they want to accomplish in their life. But they don’t take a step they just stand there on the fence saying they want to do and waiting for the best time and you know I knew this at an early age. My first flip I did my first year in the business. I did it because I didn’t want to try to tell someone how to flip a house before I flipped a house. And I didn’t want to tell someone how to invest in a rental property till I did it or I didn’t want to sell a short sale till I did it. So quit waiting to do something it’s okay to fail, everyone has the fear to fail.

Jeff: I look at failure as a step to move forward, the more times you fail you will have steps that go forward and if you think of prospecting. We know statistically we did 60 000 prospecting calls last year as a team and we knew it took 5 calls to get a contact on average, it took. It was about 20% call to contact ratio. And we knew that if we made 5 calls and one person answered and we knew that if we talked to ten people one person agree to meet in person. And if we got 2 people to meet in person one of those people would end up buying with us. So my team knows on average based on last year’s numbers in Omaha Nebraska that they need to make 125 calls to close a deal. How many times did they have to fail, 124 times, 124 failures for one success?

Maureen: Yeah just keep at it; just keep going.

Jeff: So that’s a long answer but it pushed my point through, do it.

Maureen: Yes instead of talking about it and thinking about it and writing it down.

Jeff: Let’s go that’s what I tell my agents, I’m like let’s go, do it.

Maureen: Well we’re winding down a little bit, could you address those new agents out there that are just starting out. What words of wisdom would you have for a new agent?

Jeff: You know everybody as different reasons of been in the business. So I guess, if I were a new agent starting out, my number one goal would be to align myself with the team, within my market. That most identify my culture, my personality. First I wanted to just say go find the top team in your market. Don’t go off on your own even if someone trying to hire you says don’t you know a lot  of people say don’t join a team, you don’t want to join a team. You’ll have to give up some of your commission. They’re just telling you that because they could charge you more of a commission split. They’re going to make more money off of you if you’re not part of a team. So first off if you’re just getting into it join a team pick the best team and that’s the best team for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean the team that produces the most. However I would assume in most markets that is going to be the best team. Why you’re going to do that, is now you’re learning from the best. If they are selling more than anybody else, they have the best tools, they have the best systems, they understand the real estate more than anybody else. They know how to serve the customers better than anybody else. And once you feel like you’ve taken as much information as you can which should probably take you about 18 months to 24 months, you know 1 and a half to 2 years. Then you can make the decision if you want to go start your own team or just continue working on that team. And a lot of the agents that have joined my team, when they reach that pivotal point where they decide you know, maybe this is the right time to go out on my own. They have decided those agents that have reached that point have seen the value that my team provides and they have chosen to stay. We haven’t lost an agent in over 18 months because our team, we give some much to our agents to help them to be more successful and I truly for those team leaders out there. I care about my agents been successful, not just from my pocket book. I want to see them break through all their goals and dreams and reach their full potential. And so that’s where I put my time and my energy, is helping them accomplish.

Maureen: Well that’s great, so a lot of agencies have such a high turnover rates. So that’s great that you know how to retain your agents and I can certainly see why. Is there something that would like our audience out there to know about you?

Jeff: The thing that I would like to leave with everyone listening is don’t sacrifice, think about the things in your life that are most important to you and it could be your family, it could be your dog, it could be your children, it could be your spouse, your significant other. Don’t sacrifice the relationship you have with those people to be successful at anything. And I think too often this was one thing that really frustrated me or bothered me. When I was visiting teams across the country, a lot of them have broken marriages and I know they weren’t just because of you know them become successful that their marriages were broken. But when I asked the majority of them they did a tribute that if when they became the top of their industry, it hurt their family life, it hurt the relationship that they had with their significant other. And so it’s been you know to become number one in Omaha, number one in Nebraska. You know it’s been a trail to try to keep that relationship with my significant other where I believe it needed to be. I was not willing to sacrifice that to be at the top in the residential real estate, that wasn’t worth it to me. And so I had to work very hard and to say my marriage is perfect, it’s far from it but I have worked very hard to try to foster a healthy relationship. And one thing that my wife and I chose to do 11 years ago was to go on a date night every week. And we haven’t missed a night. So we go out 5 hours once a week it’s usually Friday or Saturday. And we just spend that time together getting dinner, going to movie whatever it might be. And that’s done wonders but you know you look at people that have been successful and you know in the last 10 years or the last hundred years wherever in history. If they are not successful in those other buckets I’m not really that impressed. I really don’t care what you’re accomplishments are if your accomplishment in your home isn’t your number one accomplishment. And so I would like to leave that with anyone listening so they may be think about that.

Maureen: Wow that is so true, I remember when I first got into real estate and I was in my 20’s and my Dad said well your single so that’s good. You will have a lot of time to go out there and prospect.

Jeff: Right that is true.

Maureen: Yes, could you provide a parting piece of guidance for our seasoned agents out there?

Jeff: Absolutely you know I’ve met a lot of seasoned agents and you know they see what I’m doing with the technology and the virtual assistants we have, showing assistants. We have a lot of extra things that most seasoned agents aren’t used to seeing. And the sentence I continue hearing is like nails on a chalk board for me, is well I’m only going to be in the business for 5 or 10 more years. I don’t need to worry about that. A lot of agents that are younger newer agents in the industry are looking up to those older agents, those older agents are their mentors. And so when they don’t see the older agent using the Google calendar, using electronic listing presentation on their iPad, using a virtual assistant, using a showing assistant, using all of the technologies that would help those younger agents. Those older agents are now literally having a direct affect negatively on all these new agents that are joining the industry. So it’s a very selfish decision and I believe it’s because of fear, you know fear of adopting new technology. Fear of not been able to conform to change within their industry nut it’s no excuse. So I would recommend anyone in the business that kind of thinking to themselves right now, yeah that’s kind of been my position. I just (unclear) one of the mess with it, chose to mess with it. I would propose that if you chose to mess with it, you might decide to stay in the business another 5 to 10 years. And you might make 2 to 3 tons of that, 5 times more money than you would have otherwise made had you continued doing things the way you chose to do things today.

Maureen: The old way, yeah it was a lot different when people started out in real estate than it is now. And yes you definitely have to adapt to the new technologies out there to sharpen your skills.

Jeff: Well guess what Maureen I would be willing to be that over the next 10 to 15 years things will be even crazier than the changes we saw in the last 10 to 15 years. So you know strap up, buck up get ready, it’s going to be a wild ride and I’m excited for it. I adopt to change, I love change and I think that would be one way I’ll feel to continually stay in front of my competition as, I embrace it, I bring it. I want it to change; I want things to get shaken up a little bit. What is does is it illuminates the bottom feeders, the people that you know aren’t really truly committed to the industry so I’m all about it, I love it.

Maureen: Change, that’s great, yes I’m sure you’re right there is going to be a lot of change coming up in the next few years with real estate. Well I guess we are just about done. I do want to thank you Jeff for your time, wisdom and inspiration today. What is the best way that our audience could reach you and we’ll say goodbye.

Jeff: Sure you know what on a lot of the past interviews I just shared my face book page, its Jeff Cohn or I always tell people Jeff Cohn, people find me. So just go to Jeff Cohn that’s C O H N.

Jeff: Yeah you can shoot me a face book message if you enjoyed the interview, if it changed your life, if it gave you a new idea just shoot me a message and say thank you and that you appreciated me on this interview. Also if ever need recommendations for additional books, coaching, if you want to know more information about those 1000 calls a I have a lot of great resources feel free to reach out to me and I’ve had a lot of people pay if forward to me, I’m happy to pay it forward to anybody listening today. So don’t hesitate to reach out to me via face book. Just shoot me a face book message and I will reply.

Maureen: Okay great, we’ll have all this information and the show notes so people can go ahead and take a look at it and I certainly do appreciate you been our featured guest today.

Jeff:  Maureen those are great questions, you did an awesome job I appreciate the time I spent with you as well.

Maureen: Oh thank you, appreciate it, you are an awesome guest too, great you have a lot of information.

Jeff: Well talk to you later bye bye.

Maureen: Okay bye bye

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