Letting Technology Help You, Not Replace You with Rick Gonzales

Letting Technology Help You, Not Replace You with Rick Gonzales

Posted on September 9, 2020 by

Get ready to be F.I.R.E.D U.P! Because today we have Rick Gonzales, the host of Modern Agent Podcast. He is also the Founder of Freeport INsider. We will discuss how technology should not replace you instead just to help you. We will also tackle how videos can be a great help you market your services. Always remember, consistency is the key to success! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Check out my “F.I.R.E.D Up” playlist with more interviews!

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Click here to listen to this interview

Krista:

Hey everyone. Are you fired up? Because I sure am. We’ve got Ricky G here. He is an agent with Modern Agent and super excited to have him. And how you doing Ricky?

Ricky:

I’m doing great, Krista. Thanks so much for having me on.

Krista:

Thanks for being here. So tell me a little bit about yourself and why these listeners should listen.

Ricky:

Okay. So about me, I am an Air Force brat. I’m a Navy veteran.

Krista:

You for serving for our country. I have to say, I love it. I admire veterans and people who serve our country more than you know, thank you.

Ricky:

Well, thank you for the support. I appreciate it. So I got out of the Navy and I came back home where my dad retired, which is here in the panhandle, Northwest Florida. And about 10 years ago, you guys remember when the BP oil spill hit the coast over here? I got laid off and BP gave me a nice big check. And so I took that and got my real estate license. And so I’ve been doing real estate here ever since, slow starter. So again, I’m nine and a half years in, and I still feel like a rookie sometimes. So just last year, I started a podcast myself to help new agents. And I’m kind of on this kick of just helping people. Anything I’ve learned along the way, anything I learned today, I just like to share it with everyone, because I know when I started, it seems like there wasn’t a whole lot of help out there. So just trying to maybe change things.

Krista:

Tell me a little bit about… First of all, I want to say, I love that you’re just… I asked him, “Why are you doing the podcast?” He goes, “I just want to help people.” And there’s so many agents that really live in this kind of lack, limited, non abundant mindset, because they’re afraid to help each other. They don’t want anyone stealing their ideas. And the more that they are like that, the less likely they’re going to be to succeed. So I love that you have just the opposite mindset. So tell us about what the name of your podcast is.

Ricky:

So the podcast is called the Modern Agent Podcast, and I can’t really give you a legit reason why I called it the Modern Agent Podcast, other than it seems like we’re in this time where everyone thinks that everything is so different. I know the old school, if there’s any old heads out there, you’re like, “Oh, we used to carry a book that had all those…” I know things have changed, but have they really? We’re using technology, but real estate is still a relationship business. And so I think I’m just trying to educate the newer agents and I’m still… You’re a Gary V fan. Right?

Krista:

I know Gary V, yeah.

Ricky:

Okay. So I call myself a Gary V disciple, I’ve read all of his stuff, listen to all of his stuff. And I guess I’m trying to take new agents on this journey with me, of me really trying to get my own business to where I want it to be.

Ricky:

So as I talk to people like you and everyone else that I’ve had on my show, I’m learning myself and sharing that with the newer agents. And maybe I have a little bit of a different perspective because I’ve been in the business for almost 10 years, that maybe we can help them avoid some potholes, and really change that stat that says that the attrition rate in real estate is just ridiculous. So, that’s kind of what’s about, it’s just me talking to people like you and other professionals and trying to get some nuggets and share it with new agents and help out.

Krista:

Give me some nuggets. So you meet with a lot of people. Give our listeners some nuggets and tell them-

Ricky:

Okay.

Krista:

Help them out.

Ricky:

All right. So nuggets. So just recently I did an episode where I kind of went back through and I listened, I haven’t been on a tear like you, I’ve only done 26 episodes. But I went back through and I listened to all of my interviews with… and I’ve had coaches like Neil Mathweg and Dustin Brohm, who’s got the Massive Agent Podcast, and I’ve had some good people on there. And one of the things that I did was I looked at all of the consistencies. A lot of times when you’re talking to people, you hear the same things. They might say it a little bit different. So I took those things and we just… We were talking about a little bit before, relationships. I’m not a fan of buying leads or anything like that.

Ricky:

I really think that to change the industry and to help new agents, that we have to start focusing on deepening and strengthening the relationships with our clients and customers. And that starts way before the sale. And it should continue way after the sale. A friend of mine did a post today and they were saying how a closing gift is like the end of the relationship for so many agents. They get to close and get the check you give them a closing gift. “Okay, bye.” And that’s it, when it really should not be. So the relationships is just key. And then one of the other nuggets I think, is just using technology to do that rather than relying on technology to try to do it for us.

Krista:

Very good. So that’s a very good point I want to make. Technology is wonderful, but it can’t replace you as a human, right?

Ricky:

Mm-mm (negative). Definitely not.

Krista:

Great systems and great processes and great automation, but it should never be the replacement for us. And I think people really need to hear that. When you take yourself out of the equation… And especially with real estate, I mean, people, it’s a scary thing. It’s probably the most important and most expensive financial investment anybody will ever make. So you’ve got to develop relationships and people are much more likely to work with someone that they know and like, and trust and like, and like, and like and like and like, than they are over someone that they… That might even be more well qualified.

Ricky:

Well, and it’s… And I’m sure you hear it a lot too, but in the real estate industry, we hear everyone is, “Oh, we’re afraid of Zillow. Zillow’s in the real estate business.” But so if you go to Zillow’s page, the first thing you see is a search box. And it says, “Where do you want to live? How many beds, how many baths and how much do you want to spend?” So when I hear agents and you get a new… Say, you call me, “Hey, Rick, I’m looking to buy a house.” If all I ask you is, “Hey, Krista, where do you want to live? How many beds, how many baths and how much can you spend?” How am I any better than Zillow? I’m just being a meat bag that’s asking you the same questions.

Ricky:

Instead, why don’t I ask you, “Well, Krista, what’s important to you? What kind of lifestyle do you like? Do you have to be close to a park? Do you have dogs?” Find out the lifestyle and ask questions that Zillow doesn’t ask.

Krista:

Absolutely.

Ricky:

I mean, it seems like we’re playing right into Zillow’s hands and it could be anyone. And I mean, Zillow may die next year and it could be somebody else, but we’re playing into technology replacing us by playing their game. We need to differentiate ourselves. And like you said, we do that by being human, not trying to beat the algorithm.

Krista:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And the thing is, the more human you are and the more of a connection that you make, the more likely that you’re going to convert. So, because you’re making a connection with people. Connection, people want to feel connection, and people won’t remember what you said. They won’t remember what you did. But they’ll remember how you made them feel. Right?

Ricky:

Exactly.

Krista:

And so make them feel good, make them feel special, develop a relationship. Don’t just be so automated that you stop doing that.

Ricky:

Absolutely.

Krista:

Basically the number one thing that you had said was to…

Ricky:

Relationships. Just build deeper, stronger relationships.

Krista:

Relationships, relationships, relationships.

Ricky:

Yeah.

Krista:

Okay. Don’t take automations here, but don’t take the relationship out of it. Okay.

Ricky:

Yeah. Use the automation to help you. Don’t replace you.

Krista:

Yes. Perfect. Sometimes too much automation can be a hindrance because people just delete. It’s the first thing that you-

Ricky:

Yeah.

Krista:

If it looks automated, you just delete it.

Ricky:

Absolutely. Well, I think people were just relying on it too much, and it’s a great starter, it’s great to reach out. Some people are just way more comfortable on Facebook Messenger or text message. And that’s a great starter, but at some point you have to take the relationship offline, go meet them, hang out with them, have coffee. Do whatever you’re going to do face to face and build a real relationship. It can’t all be online.

Krista:

Gotcha. Great. So what other tips and tricks have you learned from kind of this common thread of interviewing agents that are successful?

Ricky:

Well, obviously video. We’re on video right now and you know, we’ve never met each other in person, but getting to see you and hear you, and your face and your expression. It’s easier for me to connect with you this way than it is a picture or just the written or spoken word. So there’s a friend of mine who I had on my show, Karin Carr. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her.

Krista:

Yeah.

Ricky:

She’s an agent out of Savannah, Georgia. And I did a class with her on how to do YouTube for real estate. And so that is going to be one of the big things that I push next year is just be much more intentional on my videos because in my market we get a lot of people moving in from out of state, get a lot of military coming in here. And I need to build a presence where they can see me and meet me online before they get here. Because sometimes they’re a station over in Japan or wherever, and we don’t have a chance to sit down and have coffee. So video is not going anywhere. Video is super powerful. And so that’s-

Krista:

It’s huge. Using video is huge. I mean, it breaks down barriers. It establishes you as the authority figure. Know, like, trust. People are much more willing to do business with someone that they know like and trust, right?

Ricky:

Absolutely.

Krista:

Positions you as the authority is one of the most important things, so that when you walk in, you’ve already established yourself as the authority figure. I was doing a podcast, I was telling them about a really kind of a neat stat, which basically it’s called the… Not a stat but, something called the Paris social relationship. And that’s basically how, when we are young, we watch TV and we’ve been programmed to think that to kind of develop a relationship with somebody on the other side, we’ve also been programmed to think that the person on the other side of that TV or that iPad or that video is somebody that we should be listening to. That there’s somebody who’s in authority and kind of like a little celebrity status. And so when you use video more, your people are programmed to see you as someone that they should take note of.

Ricky:

Absolutely. Yeah. I couldn’t agree more because there’s so many times that I am humbled at how little I know about what I’m doing, but because I get on video, I do Facebook Live and I do YouTube. Because they see me on video, they think I’m the expert on everything. And I’m like, “Eh, no. Not yet. I know a little bit.”

Krista:

What’s the name of your real estate company so that people can follow you?

Ricky:

So I’m with EXP Realty, but I have a team here locally, it’s called the Freeport Insider Home Team. I live in a very small town here in Northwest Florida. There’s only about 10,000 people live here total, but we’re growing fast. So I think I’ve put myself in a good spot.

Krista:

Great. Great. And you’re using video and using Facebook Live and social media and all that stuff.

Ricky:

Yeah. I took a page, again right out of Gary V’s book. I did the whole digital mirror thing. So about three years ago, I started a Facebook page called the Freeport Insider. I was brand new to the city, didn’t know anybody, nobody knew me. And I know sometimes small towns, especially down in the South can be pretty close knit. And I didn’t want to be the guy that just rolled up and say, “Hey, I’m new, I’m a realtor. You want to buy or sell a house?” I just didn’t think that would get me very far.

Ricky:

So I started a page called the Freeport Insider and again, using Gary V’s approach, I just went out and I started interviewing the mayor and the local coffee shop owner and the local barber. And I interviewed everybody as a way to, one, educate myself on what was available in town and get to meet people, but also have a presence. So new people who are coming like me could find the coffee shop and the barber and know what was going on. So it’s taken awhile. It’s a slow… It’s a marathon. It’s not a quick turnaround as far as ROI, but it’s relatively free. I mean, you get your phone and you got Facebook, so it doesn’t cost anything but some time. And I’ve built a good following at almost 3000 people following again out of 10,000. That’s pretty good.

Krista:

That’s great. You’re getting a third of people.

Ricky:

Yeah. So I mean, it’s pretty solid. And so now I’ve branded Freeport inside are pretty heavily local, which is why my team is the Freeport Insider Home Team, kind of play off of the brand I’ve already built and so things are going well.

Krista:

Good. Okay. So I love it. Use video, make connections with people, right.

Ricky:

Yup.

Krista:

But yourself back into it. What else?

Ricky:

What else? I mean, those are my big three things that I’m doing. So for me going forward, as a new agent, a lot of times there’s… I mean, I’m sure your phone blows up just as much as mine does with everyone trying to sell you every new shiny object out there, and you can go broke chasing the squirrels and the shiny object. So I’m really trying to kind of pull the reins back a little bit and simplify my process. So I’m really focusing on doing more video, being consistent with it because the consistency is key. As you know, because you’re crushing it on the podcast.

Ricky:

And so doing the videos, being more consistent with my follow up on my relationships and really digging deep on my database rather than spending thousands of dollars trying to get new leads. And then the Freeport Insider, just really get involved with the community. I’m on some committees, I’m in some different groups in the community, and that’s my three tiered approach for next year. And I think that new agents, if they can simplify things and go deep rather than wide, I think there’s more success there.

Krista:

I absolutely agree with you that there’s more success there.

Ricky:

The riches are in the niches.

Krista:

I teach that like crazy. The riches are in the niches. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ricky:

Nice.

Krista:

Okay. So awesome. So I like to ask people, if they can give me… I know he just told us three. But if you could give any advice to any agent lender or professional that’s listening, what would that advice be?

Ricky:

Don’t be afraid, you mentioned this earlier, of collaborating. A good friend of mine, Dustin Brohm, just did a video on this today. And I keep hearing it from people like you and me and Dustin, but at the ground level, it still feels like everyone is afraid to work together. They’re afraid that “Oh he’s going to steal my business,” and they have this scarcity mindset that is just, I think, choking the life out of our industry. And I just think that people need to start collaborating and putting the focus back on providing better service to the consumer, and changing the reputation that we have as being no better than used car salesman and attorneys. And I think we will all win.

Krista:

And remember, the more you give, the more you get, it’s just true in life.

Ricky:

Absolutely.

Krista:

And the more that you’re so worried about everything, you’re just creating this lack and limiting mindset and belief. There is enough business for everyone and who… You can’t work with everyone. You can attract everyone. You want to attract the right people. I really appreciate you saying that because I absolutely believe in that too. Okay. So your podcast, in case they want to follow you, again, is called The Modern Agent.

Ricky:

Modern Agent Podcast. Yeah. It’s everywhere. You can search for it, iTunes, everything. We have a Facebook group, there’s a website. So pretty easy to find.

Krista:

So listen up. And I just want to thank you so much, Rick, for being here and being on this. I mean, it’s been awesome. I appreciate your time and I can’t wait to be on your podcast. I’m excited.

Ricky:

Awesome. Yeah, no, it’s been a lot of fun, Krista. I thank you so much for inviting me on and yeah, you have an open invitation. Anytime you want to come on the podcast, you got something to share. Just hit me up. We’ll make space for you.

Krista:

Everyone listen, today’s been a great day and he gave you some awesome ideas. Ideas are wonderful, learning is wonderful. But if you don’t implement, nothing happens. You’ve got to take action. Change comes from action. Make it a great day. When you do what you love, people love what you do. Hope you’re just as fired up as I am, and I will see you next time. Thank you so much for giving me a small piece of your time.

For more of my interviews just visit https://kristamashore.com/category/interviews/

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