Secrets of A Billion Dollar Real Estate Agent with Dan Lesniak

Secrets of A Billion Dollar Real Estate Agent with Dan Lesniak

Posted on June 24, 2020 by

Get ready to be F.I.R.E.D U.P because today we have a very special guest. A Billion Dollar Real Estate agent, coach, author, and entrepreneur Dan Lesniak.  He will share his secret with us on how to be successful. Hear it from the best of the best, one of the nation’s top 1% realtor and a billion-dollar real estate agent.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show, be ready to learn and motivated!

P.S If you like this interview, check out my “F.I.R.E.D Up” playlist with more interviews! Just visit —> http://bit.ly/3bmkm0o!

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Secrets of A Billion Dollar Real Estate Agent with Dan Lesniak

Krista Mashore:

Hi everyone, are you as fired up as I am? Today we’ve got Dan Lesniak. He is a billion dollar agent. He’s an author, trainer and coach of HyperFast Agent. He is here today to share all of his success secrets with you. If you are ready to rock it and learn, sit back and let’s get into it. Hi, Dan. How are you doing?

Dan Lesniak:

Thanks, Krista. Thank you. Thank you so much for that nice introduction. I’m excited to be on this show and to get in front of all your listeners and hopefully offer a ton of value.

Krista Mashore:

Yeah, we’re so happy to have you. You and your wife have both done over a billion dollars, sold a billion dollars of real estate.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. We’ve done a couple billion now, actually. Last year alone, our team did just under 400 million, so we were excited about that. Wish we’d actually crossed that mark, but next year, 2020, we’ve got our sights on hitting half a billion or more.

Krista Mashore:

Great. Tell me a little bit about your team. We’ll just get right into it. How many people do you have on your team?

Dan Lesniak:

Sure. We’ve got 56 agents right now. Seven inside sales agents, so those are the people that book all of the incoming leads and make all of the follow-up phone calls. And then, we’ve got close to 30 people on staff, so listing support, transaction coordinators, marketing support, social media, videographers. We’ve got it all. We’ve got about just under 90 people total.

Krista Mashore:

Wow. So do me a favor, how many transactions is that? Put that … because sometimes it’s easier to kind of-

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. So for us, that was just under 700 last year. Our average price point is around 600,000, plus or minus.

Krista Mashore:

Man, that’s amazing. Where are you located?

Dan Lesniak:

We’re in Arlington, Virginia. We’re right outside of DC and we’re pretty big all over that area. Arlington’s our biggest market, but we cover Maryland, DC, most of Northern Virginia.

Krista Mashore:

Wow. That is incredible to be doing that kind of business. I am just so honored to have you here. We’re going to be able to learn so much. A lot of people … ISAs are amazing. What have you found, are they your own inside sales ISAs? You guys have trained them and hired them?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah, there are … We’ve tested VA’s and outsourced people, and I know people that have tremendous success with that. So I know it works for some people and in our market and our team, we’ve just gotten the best results with having them on staff. So they’re primarily in the office calling six, seven, eight hours a day. Most of it is calling people on our database though. So, calling people that have responded to Facebook ads, Zillow, open houses, all sorts … sign calls, of course. So all sorts of different methods. They do, do some outbound cold calling, but probably 90% or more of it is calling people that have raised their hand first.

Krista Mashore:

And interactive, gotcha. And you’re a member of … Are you a member of Ylopo or no?

Dan Lesniak:

We used them a little bit, about a year ago. It wasn’t working quite as well as some of the other things we’re doing, but again, I know it works well for some, for a lot of people in different markets. So like every … and that’s kind of what I would say in general, is that, there’s a lot of great concepts that you teach and other people teach, and you have to kind of adapt it though for your individual market, I think. And Ylopo is one that didn’t get the results that we’ve gotten in other lead sources, but I know for some people it’s their best lead source.

Krista Mashore:

You’re a big Zillow user, correct? You guys-

Dan Lesniak:

Yes.

Krista Mashore:

Pay Zillow.

Dan Lesniak:

We do. And it work … We closed the four and a half million dollar buyer lead in December off of Zillow. That was like, a wham bam, they saw a couple of houses and wrote an offer for four and a half million.

Krista Mashore:

Four and a half million dollars. Oh, people hate Zillow because you have to pay. I personally think Zillow’s great, it’s just a matter of … I mean, of course, I don’t like having to buy my leads, but it is what it is. But if you actually work those leads, we get some great, we get great leads off of Zillow too, a lot of closings from Zillow, we track everything. So, as far as calling, and your ISAs and I just want to get into this, because I know a lot of people have a lot of questions on it. You’re having them call, people are raising their hand and you’re … how many calls are they usually making a day?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. So they … Well, we rotate and there’s always someone’s always on the money phone, that’s like an incoming new lead. And our goal is to respond to every new lead within five minutes.

Krista Mashore:

Yes.

Dan Lesniak:

That’s like an MIT study that we always cite that says, “Five minutes and under means the difference in the world.” We always try to have that initial response be extremely quick. And then outside of that, they’re going through and calling different buckets and we kind of rotate. There could be an expired bucket. There could be a circle prospecting bucket. But for the most part, they’re calling calling leads more intensively and frequent during the first 14 to 30 days. But then still, they still keep in touch after that. And in general, they’re making two to 300 dials a day, I would say. And they’re probably getting 20 to 30 live conversations out of that. And anywhere from five to 10 appointments a day per ISA. So as a team, they’re booking anywhere from 70 to 100 appointments in a week.

Krista Mashore:

Wow, that’s incredible. How many ISAs do you have?

Dan Lesniak:

We have, I believe seven right now. One of them is about to make the jump into OSA, though. So, we’ll be back down to six. So we’ll probably hire another one soon, if we haven’t already.

Krista Mashore:

Dan’s hiring, if you’re in the area, you want to be a [inaudible 00:06:17]. Okay. So you’ve got … you’re making a ton of appointments. So tell us, what are some of your secrets? What are the kinds of things, I know that everybody wants to know your secrets. I know there isn’t really any, one main secret, so what would you attribute to your success? If there’s an agent listing right now, or lender, because I believe that these strategies work for both, and a lot of these strategies actually work for any sales professional. What would you say … What would your advice be, what would you tell them to do?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah, I think consistency and following up. And it sounds so basic, but I think if you are consistent with whatever you’re doing, marketing prospecting, and you’re following up, there’s just … It’s really hard to get great service in a lot of different parts of the real estate business right now. And I think this is one of the few industries and the same would be true for lender or realtor, where there’s just not really any barrier to entry. You can get licensed overnight and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to start. And within a year, with no college degree, no experience, if you’re just consistent and following up and, and really trying to help people, you can almost guaranteed be at six figures and definitely within two years, be it the 250K level, and that’s like the top 1% of all earners. And I think real estate is one of the only fields I know of, where it’s just so certain that, that kind of success can happen if you’re consistent and follow up. I think that’s the easiest thing for people to not do though.

Krista Mashore:

It is. And also, the consistency part of it’s huge. What many agents do is they have this cycle, they get busy and then they stop doing what they needed to do that got them busy in the first place. So having a team and having people do specific things is really, really obviously working for you. And you haven’t been an agent for that long. How long have you been in the business?

Dan Lesniak:

I got my license in 2011. I was part-time that first few months, and it was something I kind of fell into accidentally. I thought I would go get a big strategy consulting job after getting my MBA, and no one hired me. They didn’t think I’d be good in the sales part of the job. So-

Krista Mashore:

They were wrong.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. I got my real estate license and have been off and running really ever since.

Krista Mashore:

Wow, that’s incredible, that you’ve done this amount of business and now you are pretty much a multi multimillionaire from it and you couldn’t get hired in the corporate world, look at you now. That was a big mistake that they made, that’s for sure.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah.

Krista Mashore:

Lucky for you Dan.

Dan Lesniak:

I’m happy though about it. Yeah.

Krista Mashore:

Luckily for you. Okay. So, follow up and consistency is really, really important. It seems really basic, but we hear this over and over again, you just got to be top of mind and if you’re not taking care of your clients, somebody else will. What else? What else would you say, when you see agents that are coming in that are newer and you see success right away? What are they doing, besides just following up and being consistent?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. So the ones that have the quickest and fastest and biggest success, I think, are the people that can get tunnel vision. They come in, and they focus on one part of the market or one method of marketing or prospecting and they get really, really, really good at it. So, I sold 22 million, a little over 22 million my first year, and it’s really because I started off just focused on 200 condos. This was back in 2012, so I focused on the one building and I just was determined that I’m going to get as much business out of these 200 homes, that I can travel in one elevator, as possible. And I got over 50% of the sales in that one building, and then everybody moving in and out of there, it was kind of close by. So, I was just able to do a lot of business that I could walk to.

But, I know another person that had a really, really super fast start in my area, a few years later. And they did it by focusing just on expireds and withdrawns, every day they call expireds and withdrawns. And so, I think, there’s a lot of different ways to do it, but you just, you have to pick a method or an area and really focus on it. And again, going back to being consistent, be consistent and don’t do what a lot of other agents do that don’t have success. They try something for a month or two and then say it doesn’t work, and they just haven’t done it long enough.

Krista Mashore:

Niching is so important. We teach that like crazy. And every time agents will say the exact same thing, and tell me if this sounds familiar. “Well, I’m afraid that if I niche, that I’m going to be missing out all the other opportunities.” That’s what people think, and quite frankly, it’s just the opposite. Those other opportunities are still going to show up, you’re still going to get referred, you’re still going to run into people. But when you really niche and hone-in on the marketing aspect and dominating online on that aspect and really being top of mind awareness and really showing up as that authority figure in that niche, then when people are searching, you’re always going to show up. So you’re just ensuring that whatever that niche is, or that neighborhood, or that type of buyer, that type of seller, maybe it’s move up, move down, FHA, a certain condo, the condo king, like what you did, or a certain subdivision. And you’re just ensuring that going to actually be seen, and then when people in that area are thinking about buying or selling, you’re always going to be top of mind.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah, I agree completely. I like to use this analogy of picking up a handful of pebbles and throwing it into the side of a glass building. That’s not going to do anything, right? But if I pick up a big rock and I throw it into a small window pane, it’s going to go crashing through it. And, you have to focus the most amount of energy, in the smallest amount of area, that is big enough to give you some business.

Krista Mashore:

Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more. Okay, that’s excellent advice. And I’m sure it’s something that you teach your students and as well as your agents that come into your office. And it’s something that I speak about all the time. I mean, does everyone tell you the same thing? Like, “Oh, I’m afraid if I do that, this is going to happen.” I hear it every time I tell people to do it.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. I mean, it’s … they either say that or they say, “Well that, there’s not enough business there,” or “That won’t work in my market.” It’s usually something like that, but finding a niche can work in every market. There’s just, I’ve no doubt about it.

Krista Mashore:

And just honing-in on it. You want to be the content/marketing/ be there everywhere person regarding that niche, that neighborhood, that subdivision, whatever you decide to do, Dan that’s great advice. What else would you recommend? What are some of the mistakes that you’ve made in the industry and the business, that you could share with us, so we watch out for? And then, what are some things that you maybe could say, “Hey, this was a really good idea or strategy that worked.” Kind of took you from zero to hero.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. I mean, one of the things I would have done differently, was I would have hired sooner. So, I think too many agents wait too long or never hire. And if you fall into that trap, you can never grow the business beyond yourself. And you really don’t have a business, you just have a highly compensated and probably highly stressful job, right? And we always talk about the stat, that like 87% of agents don’t make it, or only 10% get above 100K. But the other interesting thing I see is, I’ve only been in the industry for seven/eight years now, I guess, yeah, eight years. But I can look back about eight years ago and the same people that were making like 150, 200 plus or minus, that range, they’re still making that same amount, and a lot of them are still very hectically running around. And to me, it’s mind baffling if you’re making 150/200, why not go out and spend 40 grand/50 grand on a really good assistant transaction coordinator and create an opportunity for someone else, be able to deliver better service to your clients and you’ll deliver a better life for yourself because you’re able to scale beyond you.

So I think, I would have hired sooner. I waited till the end of my first year. And I was well beyond doing three deals a month at that point. I probably would have hired at when I got to two deals a month. And that would have helped me have grown a lot faster. Another thing I think that Carrie and I probably would have done differently looking back, is when we got to above 300 deals a year, we sort of stalled there for a while and tried to, I guess, just be consistent, maybe work on our systems more, but we quit kind of pushing, the top line growth. And it didn’t really hurt us financially, but I think it caused us to not grow as fast, and it’s more about the personal challenge of it. So right now, we’re busier than when I was solo agent, doing 30 some odd deals a year. And it’s just crazy, but if you really want to be operating at the highest levels and push yourself, you got to keep raising the bar and raising the challenge, so that you can grow and expand into the situation.

So I think I would have pushed a little bit harder, set the goals a little bit higher, during those one or two years where we kind of pulled back a little.

Krista Mashore:

Yeah, no, that makes sense. Hiring people, I could not agree with you more. In my first year I sold 69 houses, I didn’t even have an assistant and I was going crazy, I remember. And it was all buyers too. It was like-

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah, wow.

Krista Mashore:

All buyers, and so had I been smarter, I would’ve hired sooner. But I learned that really quickly. And so, now my kind of … my analogy is I always hire people before I need them to help push me to the next level. And the reason being, is there’s so many things that you just can’t do. You can’t do everything by yourself. You can’t be an amazing marketer, you can’t run social media, you can’t be your own videographer. You can’t be your own editor, you can’t be your own photographer, you can’t create your own flyers and just do all of it and do it well, right?

You need to do … Be out there being face-to-face with people and actually conversating and developing relationships, and being in front of buyers and sellers. And the more you’re behind the desk, the least that you can do that. So outsourcing, going to places like freelancer.com or MyOutDesk or fiverr.com and getting some people to help you with those kinds of things is always really highly recommended, I couldn’t agree more. Or, once you’re making $100,000, hire help. If you want to make 200,000, you’re not going to get there by continuing to rely on yourself. And Dan, there’s not a lot of people that make that much money, especially like you said, so early-on with such an easy barrier to entry. They should be hiring help all day long.

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. And, I’ll give like one analogy on it. Because I think the … A lot of people go out and hire the buyer’s agent first, which then, now you’re the admin for yourself and that buyer’s agent, so I think that’s a tough route to go down. And maybe for some of us, it’s the right thing, but I think by and large, you should either get an admin or an ISA first. And we get the most pushback on the ISA, and it’s real interesting when you think of like how much money you spend on marketing or time you spend on doing it. And then if you’re by yourself or maybe you just have a buyer’s agent because you went that route. And you’re in an appointment, you’re sick, you’re whatever and these leads are coming in. We know it’s like a thousand more times effective to call them back in five minutes than an hour. How much money are you losing by not having that ISA?

And the way we pay our ISAs, we give them a base salary and the base will be different depending on your market. We’re in the two to 3K per month range. And we pay them 5% commission on the deals as they close. So, at our price point, 600K price point, and again, this will be different for everyone, but if they get us one extra deal, that’s $18,000 of revenue to the team. So, it only takes one deal in their first six months to make it worth it, which you’re going to know within a couple of weeks of them being on staff, whether they’re good or not. And if you made the wrong decision, you can correct it quickly, hopefully. But it’s just something that it’s so easy, that the hurdle rates to get the ROI on it is so low because people are so resistant.

Krista Mashore:

You’ve mentioned ISAs now twice. And so, what would your tips be on … Calling within five minutes is great and any other advice you can give on an ISA?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah, I think it’s as resistant as people are to higher one, I think it’s a really good idea to hire two, because it’s at the same time. Because then it gives them more opportunities to role play, push each other, and chances are one of them probably won’t work out and you just have to be okay with that. I always make sure in the interview that we’re screening for financial motivations. Same thing with our buyer or listing agents, but I want to make sure early-on in the process, that they’re motivated by money. Yes, I want them to be a great cultural fit and care about our clients, care about our team members, but if they’re talking how they have a passion for real estate and they like HGTV or Bravo … whatever real estate rally shows there are. But I don’t hear them talking about like their financial goals, I’m starting to get scared.

Because it’s … Getting on the phone and talking to 20/30 people to book four or five appointments a day, and it can be a little bit of a grind and a little bit of something that a passion for real estate might not get you through. But if you’re financially driven, you’re going to push through that, especially that first month or two that it takes to start booking appointments consistently. And then, now they’re reliant on you or your buyer’s agents, taking that person out, showing them homes, closing them. They’re not going to get their commission, they’re bigger commission checks right away. So, you need to make sure that they’re financially driven enough to get through that and be really good. Now, we’ve got several ISAs on the team, that are going to net six figures or more this year, which I’m really proud of. They’re just an amazing group of people and they’re crushing it, but I don’t think you get to that point, unless you’re really, really financially motivated.

Krista Mashore:

And do you give them a DISC profile, probably like a high DI personality type, I would assume?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah, we give them a DISC profile. And typically in that role, high D and I is going to be good. High D and C can be good as well. I used to test pretty high for D and C when I first started, and now I have more I in there now, but so I think either combination of DI or DC.

Krista Mashore:

DC, yeah. Definitely we’re organized with the C part, they have to be more organized and you definitely need that for an IC. Okay well, this has been great, I really appreciate your time and everything, you’re just sharing all your secrets. I know that … Is there anything that you want to promote to our audience?

Dan Lesniak:

Yeah. If you want to download a 100 tips from my book, you can go to hyperfasttips.com, and you’ll get those downloaded to you. And there’s also an offer, that if you do that or we’ll offer to give you my book for free, you just pay the shipping. So if you go to hyperfasttips, you can check that out. If you want to check out our website, it’s hyperfastagent.com.

Krista Mashore:

I so appreciate that. Go and download. Remember, learning is great, but if you don’t implement, nothing happens. Let’s just go over some core things he talked about. Hire somebody sooner than later, right? You need help. Make sure that you’re consistent and follow up. We heard that a lot, we hear it all the time. And so, get yourself on a path. And lastly, niching, pick that specific niche that you want to go after hone-in on it. You can throw a rock through the window, but when you throw pebbles, they just spread everywhere. Dan, thank you so much for your time, I appreciate it more than you know, you’ve given us great value. Make sure you go to hyperfasttips.com. And I always tell … I always ask every question at the end, and the question is this: If you can give us just one tip, just one thing that you wanted us to do or score that would help the people listening, what would that be?

Dan Lesniak:

Whatever you thought was the most valuable thing that we talked about today, just go out and do it. Don’t analyze, don’t sit around and worry about it or overthink it. Just commit to doing it, schedule it right now, on your calendar that you’re going to go do whatever you thought was the most valuable thing, we went over.

Krista Mashore:

So he said, “Take action.” Okay everyone, thanks so much for listening, we appreciate it. I appreciate you spending this little bit of your time with me today. And as always, make it a great day and I will see you on the next podcast or video. Thank you.

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

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