Julie Kinnear: Come up with an idea and make sure it is repeatable

Glenn McQueenie is an expert in insider secrets on dominating your target market. From his 20 Minutes of Insider Secrets of Successful Niches podcast listeners can learn how to work with high-margin super happy clients and how to build a tribe of loyal raving fans. In his most recent podcast Glenn talked with Julie about her dream team, referral client base and hustling her way up the real estate business ladder. Listen to the full version or read the whole interview below.

    23:13
      
    Hi, this is Glenn McQueenie and welcome to 20 Minutes of Insider Secrets of Successful Niches. This is where you learn the insider secrets to dominate your target market, you’ll

    learn to work with high-margin super happy clients and build a tribe of loyal raving


    fans for your business. So excited to have you join me today, so sit back and enjoy 20


    Minutes of Insider Secrets of Successful Niches. Hello, it’s Glenn McQueenie and thank you


    so much for joining me today on my success series podcast. I’m so honoured and thrilled


    to have Julie Kinnear from Keller Williams Neighbourhood Realty Brokerage with us today.


    Hi Julie how are you? I’m great, thanks for having me!
    Well you know Julie, I’ve been a big fan of yours, I think you do such great stuff all the time and I’m just thrilled that you’ve taken the time to join me for this podcast series. I’ve known Julie for probably about 20 years

    and what I’ve really respected about Julie is that her business has grown mostly by referral


    and repeat, and the only way that really happens is if you just deliver such a world class
    experience every single time, and build big models and systems, so that everyone who comes

    into their team system gets treated as if they’re the only one, and you know they


    just become big raving fans. Julie and her team, they use very unique strategies
    to stay ahead of the market, they just really focus on making sure that their clients get maximum value when selling their property and also, you know, really great negotiators when they’re buying. And because they are a team they don’t really miss a lot of the really great plot properties. And I think just the amount of volume you do and the wisdom

    that you have on your team, I think most people are in great hands when they’re working
    with you. That’s my little bio about you Julie, but I’d love to just ask you to tell me just a little bit about your journey into building this just like a really cool real estate business. Well I think my most memorable, sort of history,

    is that I was a sponge for information and sponge for education, which I still am and


    believe completely in, you know, learning new ways of doing things based on some other
    people on other models. But when I first started in real estate I did had to do the whole you know cold calling thing and that was one of the courses that I took. and there was Floyd Wickman, or Jim whatever his name was. Anyway. And I did that

    and swear to god I was gonna quit the business. So what happened was I ended up taking a course


    by Joe Stumpf, called By Referral Only and it was like I found home. All of the sudden,


    it all made sense to me, and basically it’s my strength, which is my relationships with
    my friends and family have always been sort of key in my life and it became a natural sort of progression into the business. So that’s how I got sort of so happily involved

    in sort of a repeat and referral way of running a business. The other sort of historical facts
    for me or my bio is I did run a College Pro franchise, way back when, and before I did

    a real estate for a few years, and I learn a lot about actually running a business and
    that’s where the systems comes in. I’m extremely system oriented which means that the clients, even if they are one client at a time and relationships are key key key,

    I can also repeat that experience for another client, so when a client is telling another


    one about their great experience with The Julie Kinnear Team, it’s not going to be


    like, "Oh, they didn’t do that for me, oh, they didn’t do that for me" so it’s a
    referable sort of a experience that they can all sort of go together, "yeah wasn’t that amazing we got that too, yeah, wasn’t that amazing." So I definitely sort of keep that in mind whenever I’m designing a system and whenever I’m working with a client. It really seems to me what you’ve developed is just like a whole series of unique processes

    and models and systems to really deliver at a very high level and consistent level unique


    experience to every single one of your clients that comes through. And, it’s so interesting


    because so many agents, well just kinda try to be everything to everybody, don’t have
    many models or systems and are just frankly surprised sometimes why they’re not busy.

    And I love what you’ve done, is that you’ve build this massive referable business, that,


    what’s your referral rate, what percentage will be repeat and referral?


    Basically we have around of the 80 percent repeat and referral business and that’s


    pretty good considering, you know, I have a fairly successful team, there’s not just


    me who’s on the team, I have three other realtors and two other admins , so as I say,


    and then of course we get business from open houses and signage and web and all that kind
    of stuff, but definitely the raving fans and then the clients telling clients about us

    is sort of what we focus on. 80 percent is high when you do such a high
    volume, but here’s some people will say "Oh, I do a 100 percent" and I’m like you always wanna leave that 20 percent for getting new clients all the time, because you’ll find that a lot of your younger clients move really frequently and keep the team going and then a lot of people will get into their 40s and 50s and kinda stay put so if you don’t keep that front door open and keep bringing new people from open houses and listings and just finding those people it’s really hard to build a long term high volume sustainable

    business. Right.
    So what’s been a big payoff for you over the last few years, going from like a single agent who used to kind of like actively door knock and cold call prospects to building

    this big referral business, what’s the biggest payoff?
    For me, it’s a real joy to have a relationship with the client even before I actually have

    met them so, to know you, like you, trust you before we’ve even met is sort of the


    big payoff for me, which means that when I walk into a home or whatever or I meet a new


    perspective client, we can have a really honest conversation, we can talk about sort of deep


    things, we’ve already build the trust because one of their friends or family or colleagues
    or whoever has spoken about us, they’ve given their stamp of approval, so you definitely

    get on a much deeper conversation and then you’re able to get them a lot sort of more


    truthful guidance, more like you treat them like family and friends than sort of a stranger


    and you can sort of get to the heart of matter really quickly and it’s extremely rewarding
    working with wonderful people, that’s another major benefit, is that, you know, you go to work everyday and you love your job and you love your clients and they love you and it’s a bit of a love, love, love fest which sounds kinda weird in business, but it’s a major

    payoff obviously. It increases your conversion rate so you have to do less appointments and


    less consultations and all that kind of stuff because it’s higher up in sort of the process


    so you’re not working with a whole bunch of people who just want sort of lower commission


    and they’re just "wham bam thank you ma’am", we’re not like that and we don’t attract
    that and certainly the way we market our services and the way we just explain our business model

    to other clients and how we can help them is, definitely we’re looking to attract
    people who are relationship based and who do wanna speak in a truthful way.

    It sounds to me like you just build this great almost high margin friction-free business


    because everyone you’re working with has been referred to you, and so there’s a certain,


    okay well if they’re friend of so and so then they must be okay, and I think you get


    like the speed of trust too like people will trust you, like you and I’m sure that just


    must speed up the transaction in many ways because you’ve just gone that much further
    down the line, it’s like now really, all I really work with it seems like it’s all of my friends. Right, it does feel like that, sometimes. It’s a nice feeling to have. And I have to say, one of the other things. When I was

    building the team, when we’re all sort of working together, our team acts in a same
    way. So this is what you would consider sort of a value of you know, of our core values,

    is really high trust and that goes along with the way we treat our clients, but certainly
    the way we treat each other on our team and the people that we are so certainly it’s

    the same kinda thing so when you’re working with me it’s great, but also when you’re
    working with any other team member on the Julie Kinnear team, it’s the same exact

    sort of a experience, that you’re getting. This is not... we all sort of have that same
    core value. It’s almost like you’re in a core value

    mind set attracting business right? And everyone in your team is people of high integrity and


    high trust and so you just tend to attract more and the standard just maintains the same,
    you never have to worry that someones gonna be you know doing a bad deal, because everyone acts with such a high level of trust and integrity on your team. Exactly. That’s it. And I can tell you a million stories, but like I’m thinking about

    a father whom I’ve know for a long while, and then he referred his daughter who’s
    buying her first place, and stuff and he was so impressed with the a a way we sort of take

    care of her, he was so nervous, in a big Toronto market, and everything so expensive and stuff
    like that so, and he’s gone on tape on video, like most of our other clients talking about

    how he was able to hand over the reins to us and know that she was gonna be treated


    the way he would want her to be treated. It’s amazing how many people are watching


    you on that transaction. Why do you think the conventional wisdom of two hours of random


    lead generation like door knocking or cold calling to people who we don’t know and


    they don’t even like or trust you yet, why do you think it’s so prevalent right now
    in our industry, instead of your more focused niche target market, my past clients who have

    influence approach? I think there’s a lot of people who are
    maybe new in the business and they’re desperate to trying get business, and trying whatever

    way they can. Certainly we all need to keep in touch with our potential clients and past


    clients and future clients, and all that kind of stuff, so it’s not like we don’t lead
    generate in that way, this is a purposeful business, right, this is a business, so I don’t want anybody on the call cannot realize that you know, it doesn’t come without working

    at it, but we’re working in a different way. We’re not stabbing in the dark here,


    every sort of system and every sort of decision that we make along the way and everything,


    from a Facebook post to a newsletter to a past client letter or any in touches at all,


    it’s all meant to be in a same way again, it’s meant to attract and remind people


    about how we can help them and if they’re looking for a high trust relationship, and
    a high trust transaction, where their money is being taking care of and their emotions,

    and all that kind of stuff, the psychological part, the stress part of the transaction is
    also being taking care of. So what advice would you get to someone who’s

    listening to this podcast right now about how to get out of being a generalist agent,


    trying to be everything to everybody and really picking one single niche market or target
    market to go after? What would be the first steps that you would encourage them to take?

    Well, you’re sort of the expert on niche market thing, but definitely you know if you’re


    doing sort of location market, you wanna be out there I’m talking about the location
    the neighbourhood, the agents, the open houses and stuff like that. For us when we’re targeting, when we are designing any of our sort of communications and any of .. and a way we speak to a client

    and a way we sort of follow the client and all that kind of stuff, we look at our vision
    statement, our mission statement, we have a vision statement by the way, most agents probably don’t, so we’d written it out, we repeat it every week in our team meetings.

    Every decision is made looking at that. And as I said from the very beginning, the first


    step for us was taking a great course 10 year course, or another like i love the BRO course,


    the By Referral Only, when I was doing that all the time, so I think taking a system and


    sticking to it. Whatever system that is. You know if cold calling is your system, pick
    a neighbourhood and do that. It’s not my system. It’s really about, just be you almost, whatever works for you, like if you love to door knock

    and cold call and you can’t wait to get our of bed every morning then go and do it,
    right? If you wanna build a niche of building wells for women in Bloor West Village between

    30 and 40 go find where those women are and almost kind of reverse engineer what’s their


    biggest fear what’s keeping them awake at night and almost look that way. Because I


    think there’s niche for everybody, and I really believe that if more agents would just


    be themselves, like they’re perfect the way they are and if they could just line up
    who they are and their values, and their believes to a tribe of people who will have that same

    kind of mindset, I think this business, well they get to kinda have your business where
    it’s just gets a lot more fun, it’s funner, it’s more enjoyable.

    And back to the basics of course... I mean your database is the most important sort of


    asset that you have in your business so it’s just a reminder of how crucial it is, certainly


    when you’re running a referral based business that we are, is to just have as much information


    as you can and really protect that database, and make sure that you’re sort of collecting
    as much as you can to help them, and know who your client is and know what they’re

    needs are and so you can anticipate them sort of ahead of time, so when you’re designing
    new ways to keep in touch and lead generate you’re keeping that sort of protection of

    a database and the informations and the database helps a lot.
    And your database is you’re business, isn’t it, after all, without it it would have been gone. That’s it. One of the things we did, of course, you know one of my sort of attitudes also is that it’s not necessarily me who

    they need, so it’s not like i’m like the greatest that ever hit, it’s more, will


    they be taken care of. So that’s sort of much more the way that we sort of handle things.


    And so not of our marketing pieces or in touch pieces or relationship based pieces are about


    me being the greatest, it’s more like, how we can help them, but also it could be Tyler


    helping them or Jen or Holly or Claire, or anybody on our team helping them, so they
    know that all of us are sort of there for them. It’s not just about the big ego here.

    What’s the biggest benefit when you have that big team of people? Because I think that
    the industry seems to be going more towards you know you’re either building a big team because they’re getting more and more market share, or you might be maybe thinking about going onto a team, or you gonna get into your niche market. But what’s your, but what’s

    is some of the freedom, that you’re getting now that you have a pretty leverage real estate
    team? Building the team was meant specifically for

    a bit of quality of life, because real estate can be a bit insane, and you do need a mental


    break as much as anything else. So for all of us, so when you’re joining the JKT you


    know that’s high value for all of us is that our family and friends and our personal


    goals, and our life vision is more important than the business vision, so and that also
    translate to our clients. If their life vision is the most important thing in the whole relationship

    in the whole experience. So one of the things would be that we need to get time off and


    we support each other in that and certainly the other that whole thing of being able to


    be covered, that whole thing, you don’t need me as a person you need the team, and
    so anybody on the team can help a client, not just a one sort of agent. Other things

    that happened is that you’re working with higher quality clients, and that’s sort
    of that benefit and definitely that you’re not spending millions of dollars on advertising

    that’s maybe not working, or what have you. So a little more profitable that way.


    So, if you were coaching an agent right now listening on the call and they have a few


    minutes of your time and they’ve said Julie, love what you do, you’re awesome, I wanna


    be you, I wanna build a team like you, or I wanna find a niche like you have, what would


    be their next two steps that they can make in the 24 hours or 36 hours if you were coaching
    them correctly? Number one is going back to that database,

    and so we sort of covered that little bit so make sure you have a strong database and
    you have all the information in there. And you’re keeping in touch and you’re putting in notes and all that kind of stuff. And then the other thing would be, take a system, take an idea that you can repeat for a long time. So for example, I’ve had my newsletter,

    I mean I’ve been in the business long time now, I think my newsletters are year 24 or
    something like that. Every single, like it’s consistent all the time and I would say that’s

    probably one of our biggest strength, is it works dreamily consistent with our in touches.


    So if you’re gonna start a newsletter, it’s not an idea that you’re just gonna do once
    and then try and then throw it away, or you’re gonna do a Facebook post and you do it once and then you try something new, do it, and you do it consistently. So one of the thing that we’ve done consistently for example is that we have lots and lots and lots video testimonials from our clients, we used to have written, print, now we do video. It’s

    basically, take an idea and make sure you can repeat it over and over and over, because


    that gives a lot of confidence to the clients that you’re not sort of random, and you’re


    not throwing darts at the dartboard. That’s amazing Julie. Thank you for spending


    the time, before we wrap up is there anything else you’d like to add or any question I
    didn’t ask you that you’d like to share, just tell agent to make more money in less time by focusing on key activities. Anything else you’d like to share?

    I guess I will sort of reiterate a little bit which is, you know, none of this is easy


    and we all do need sort of a mental break as well, so make sure that you’re taking
    care of yourself. You know, habits are really key to our business as far as being healthy,

    so I start my morning with a Miracle Morning, and I do my journaling, and I do my meditation
    I do my exercising and stuff like that. You don’t have to be Superman or anything like that, just make sure if you’re taking care of yourself you can take care of your clients, the crazier you are then the less they get, and then the other thing is, it’s not magic,

    you still have to hustle, you still have to be sharp, you have to be on top of the market,
    you have to do your work, and the work pays off.

    Julie you are the best honestly. Thank you so much for your time and just your wisdom
    and your openness and your sharing. I’m just siting here listening to you going like

    oh my god she’s just awesome, so I’m sure the listeners will be saying the same thing
    so. Julie thank you so much for your time, you’re just the best. Thanks Glen, good luck to everybody out there!

    I’ve known Julie for probably about 20 years and what I’ve really respected is that her business has grown mostly by referral and repeat. And the only way that really happens is if you just deliver such a world class experience every single time, and build big models and systems, so that everyone who comes into their team system gets treated as if they’re the only one.

    Julie and her team use very unique strategies to stay ahead of the market and they really focus on making sure that their clients get maximum value when selling their property, and they also get really great negotiators when they’re buying.

    That’s my little bio about you Julie, but I’d love to just ask you to tell me just a little bit about your journey into building this really cool real estate business.

    Well I think my most memorable history is that I was a sponge for information and sponge for education, which I still am and believe completely in learning new ways of doing things, based on some other people or other models.

    But when I first started in real estate I had to do the whole cold calling thing and, swear to god, I was gonna quit the business. So what happened was I ended up taking a course by Joe Stumpf, called By Referral Only, and it was like I found home. All of the sudden, it all made sense to me. My relationships with my friends and family have always been sort of key in my life, and it became a natural progression into the business. That’s how I got happily involved in a repeat and referral way of running a business.

    The other historical fact about me is that I did run a College Pro franchise, way back when, and I learned a lot about actually running a business. And that’s where the systems comes in. I’m extremely system oriented which means that when I have a client, even if they are one client at a time and relationships are key-key-key, I can also repeat that experience for another client. So when a clients is telling each other about their great experience with The Julie Kinnear Team, it’s not going to be like, "Oh, they didn’t do that for me". It’s a referable experience and they can all say together, "Yeah, wasn’t that amazing, we got that too." So I definitely keep that in mind whenever I’m designing a system and whenever I’m working with a client.

    What you’ve developed is like a whole series of unique processes and models, and systems to really deliver, at a very high and consistent level, unique experience to every single one of your clients that comes through. And I love that you’ve build this massive repeat and referable business.

    We have around of the 80 percent repeat and referral business. Of course, we get business from open houses and signage and web, but definitely the raving fans and the clients telling clients about us is what we focus on.

    So what’s been a big payoff for you over the last few years, going from like a single agent who used to actively door knock and cold call prospects to building this big referral business?

    For me, it’s a real joy to have a relationship with the client even before I actually have met them. To know you, like you, trust you before we’ve even met is sort of the big payoff for me, which means that when I walk into a home or I meet a new perspective client, we can have a really honest, deep conversation. We’ve already build the trust because one of their friends, or family, or colleagues, or whoever has spoken about us, they’ve given their stamp of approval. So you definitely get on a much deeper conversation and then you’re able to get them a more truthful guidance, when you treat them more like family and friends than strangers, and you can get to the heart of matter really quickly.

    It’s extremely rewarding working with wonderful people, that being another major benefit. You go to work everyday and you love your job and you love your clients and they love you, and it’s a bit of a love, love, love fest, which sounds kind of weird in business, but it’s a major payoff obviously. It increases your conversion rate so you have to do less appointments and less consultations, because it’s higher up in the process, so you’re not working with a whole bunch of people who just want lower commission and they’re just "wham bam thank you ma’am". We’re not like that and we don’t attract that. And certainly the way we market our services and the way we just explain our business model to other clients and how we can help them - we’re looking to attract people who are relationship based and who do want to speak in a truthful way.

    You just built this great almost high margin friction-free business, because everyone you’re working with has been referred to you. I think you get the speed of trust too and I’m sure that just must speed up the transaction in many ways, because you’ve just gone that much further down the line. It’s like "Now all I really work with seems it’s all of my friends.

    Right, it does feel like that, sometimes. It’s a nice feeling to have. And our team acts in a same way. This is what you would consider our core value - really high trust and that goes along with the way we treat our clients. So when you’re working with me it’s great, but also when you’re working with any other team member on the Julie Kinnear Team it’s the same exact experience that you’re getting. We all have that same core value.

    It’s almost like you’re in a core value mind set attracting business, right? And everyone in your team is people of high integrity and high trust and so you just tend to attract more and the standard just maintains the same. You never have to worry that someone's gonna be doing a bad deal, because everyone acts with such a high level of trust and integrity on your team.

    Exactly. That’s it. I can tell you a million stories, but I’m thinking about a father who referred his daughter. She was buying her first place, and he was so impressed with the way we've taken care of her. He was so nervous - big Toronto market, everything's so expensive. And he’s gone on video, like most of our other clients, talking about how he was able to hand over the reins to us and know that she was gonna be treated the way he would want her to be treated.

    Why do you think the conventional wisdom of random lead generation like door knocking or cold calling to people who you don’t know, and they don’t even like or trust you yet, why do you think it’s so prevalent right now in our industry, instead of your more focused niche target market "my past clients who have influence" approach?

    I think there’s a lot of people who are maybe new in the business and they’re trying whatever they can. Certainly we all need to keep in touch with our potential clients and past clients and future clients. It’s not like we don’t lead generate in that way. This is a purposeful business, it doesn’t come without working at it, but we’re working in a different way. We’re not stabbing in the dark here, every system and every decision that we make along the way, from a Facebook post to a newsletter to a past client letter or any in touches at all, they're all meant to be in a same way. They're meant to attract and remind people about how we can help them, if they’re looking for a high trust relationship and a high trust transaction, where their money but also the psychological part, their emotions and stress, are being taken care of.

    What advice would you get to someone about how to get out of being a generalist agent, trying to be everything to everybody and really picking one single niche market or target market to go after? What would be the first steps that you would encourage them to take?

    If you’re doing sort of location market, you want be out there. I’m talking about the location, the neighbourhood, the agents, the open houses and stuff like that. When we are designing any of our communication and ways of speaking to a client, we look at our vision statement. We have a vision statement by the way, most agents probably don’t. We’d written it out, we repeat it every week in our team meetings and every decision is made looking at that. And as I said in the beginning, the first step for us was taking a great course. So take a system and stick to it. Whatever system that is. If cold calling is your system, pick a neighbourhood and do that.

    It’s really about whatever works for you. I really believe that if more agents would just be themselves, they’re perfect the way they are, and if they could just line up who they are and their values and their believes to a tribe of people who will have that same kind of mindset - well they get to kinda have your business, where it’s just gets a lot more fun.

    And back to the basics of course. I mean, your database is the most important asset that you have in your business. Just a reminder of how crucial it is, certainly when you’re running a referral based business that we are. To just have as much information as you can and really protect that database, and make sure that you’re collecting as much as you can to help them, and know who your client is and know what they’re needs are, so you can anticipate them ahead of time. When you’re designing new ways to keep in touch and lead generate, you’re protecting database, and all that information helps a lot.

    And your database is you’re business, isn’t it? Without it it would have been gone.

    That’s it. One of the other things - it’s not necessarily me who they need, so it’s not like i’m like the greatest that ever hit, it’s more about will they be taken care of? So that is much more the way that we handle things. And none of our marketing pieces or in touch pieces or relationship based pieces are about me being the greatest, it’s more about how we can help them, but also it could be Tyler helping them, or Jen, or Holly, or Claire, or anybody on our team. So that they know that all of us are there for them. It’s not just about the big ego here.

    What’s the biggest benefit when you have that big team of people? Because I think that the industry seems to be going more towards either building a big team because they’re getting more and more market share, or thinking about going onto a team, or getting into your niche market. But what’s some of the freedom that you’re getting now that you have a pretty leverage real estate team?

    Building the team was meant specifically for a bit of quality of life. Real estate can be insane and you do need a mental break as much as anything else. So when you’re joining the JKT you know that the high value for all of us is that our family and friends and our personal goals and our life visions are more important than the business vision. And that also translate to our clients, if their life vision is the most important thing in the whole relationship and in the whole experience.

    One of the things would be that we need to get time off and we support each other in that. And that whole thing of being able to be covered - you don’t need me as a person, you need the team, so anybody on the team can help a client, not just a one of agent.

    Another thing is that you’re working with higher quality clients and you’re not spending millions of dollars on advertising that’s maybe not working.

    So, if you were coaching an agent right now what would be their next two steps that they can make in the 24 hours?

    Number one is going back to that database. Make sure you have a strong database and you have all the information in there. And you’re keeping in touch and you’re putting in notes and all that kind of stuff.

    The other thing would be - take a system, take an idea that you can repeat for a long time. For example, I’ve been in the business long time now, and I think my newsletters are at year 24 or something like that. It's consistent all the time, and I would say that’s probably one of our biggest strengths. It's consistent with our in touches. So if you’re gonna start a newsletter, it’s not an idea that you’re just gonna try once and then throw away, or you’re gonna do a Facebook post and you do it once and then you try something new. Do it and you do it consistently.

    One of the other things that we’ve done consistently is that we have lots and lots video testimonials from our clients. We used to have print, now we do video.

    So basically, take an idea and make sure you can repeat it over and over, because that gives a lot of confidence to the clients, that you’re not random and you’re not throwing darts at the dartboard.

    Before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to add or share?

    I guess I will sort of reiterate a little bit. None of this is easy and we all do need sort of a mental break as well, so make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Habits are really the key to our business as far as being healthy, so I start my morning with a Miracle Morning, I do my journaling, I do my meditation, I do my exercising and stuff like that. You don’t have to be Superman or anything like that, just make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, because that way you can take care of your clients. The crazier you are, the less they get.

    The other thing is, it’s not magic. You still have to hustle, you still have to be sharp, you have to be on top of the market. You have to do your work, and the work pays off. So good luck to everybody out there!

    This interview was originally done by Glenn McQueenie - you can visit his inspirational website here.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *