“20 Minutes of Successful Niche Secrets – EPISODE 29”,
Where I talk to Jason Weinberger about Disrupting Your Market Using Online Leverage
“20 Minutes of Successful Niche Secrets – EPISODE 29,”
Where I talk to Jason Weinberger about Disrupting Your Market Using Online Leverage
Glenn: Hi! It’s Glenn McQueenie, and welcome to another edition of the 25-Minute Success Podcast. Today we have a really great guy who’s going to be joining us, and his name is Jason Weinberger, and I believe he’s on the line now. How are you doing, Jason?
Jason: I’m great, Glenn, how are you?
Glenn: I’m great! I’m pretty excited to have this conversation with you. So Jason Weinberger is one of the top agents, actually, at Keller Williams Referred Urban Realty on King St. in Toronto. Jason, why don’t you just give us a little bit of your background? And then we’ll just get right into the call and see where you are now, where you want to go, and how we can help you get there.
Jason: Sure. Sounds great. So I’ve been licensed for 10 years now. February 2007 is when I got into the business, and prior to that I had done various sales jobs – door-to-door sales, telemarketing, I worked for a window and door company, I worked for ADT Security Systems, just as a summer gig, and then graduated from York University and got a degree in Sociology (still not really sure what that means). Eventually after I graduated, I was working at a non-profit for Sick Kids Foundation, and it didn’t take me long to realize that I was not suited to be a 9-5 guy, and I really missed selling. I missed the entrepreneurial spirit. So a couple of years into that job, I got licensed, and for about a year, I was doing double duty. I was working 9-5, coming home, showering, changing, having dinner, and then out to show properties during the week, and then running Open Houses on the weekend. It was about a year of doing two jobs that I eventually transitioned into real estate full time, and I haven’t looked back. It’s been a great journey since then.
Glenn: That’s awesome. So what were your early years in real estate? Where’d you start, and where’d you get to right now?
Jason: So, when I started out, I saw the value in Open Houses, and I hooked up with a team. I wasn’t officially on the team, but I was doing their Open Houses. They had a bunch of listings at any given time in high-traffic neighbourhoods, so I would just volunteer to sit at their Open Houses and just meet as many people as I possibly could. And really the backbone of my business, even to this day, has been Open Houses. Then obviously I branched out into repeat and referral from building a strong database. I’ve since gotten very interested in the online space, so Internet marketing and online lead-generating has become another pillar in my business. So I’d say it’s door-knocking, repeat and referral, and online right now.
Glenn: So where do you want to go right now? Where do you want to go in your business now? Imagine it’s 12 months from now. You’ve had the best 12 months ever. What would that look like for you?
Jason: I’m really fascinated with the idea of leverage, and using the right tools and systems to really have a life, and not just trade time for money. So Internet marketing is something that’s really opened my mind, and I’m really pursuing that as a pillar in my business that’s allowing me to really leverage myself. I’ve been working with a couple of teams on the lead-generating side, and that allows me to really expand beyond just myself. So that’s something I’m really excited about and just pursuing.
Glenn: It’s so interesting. We’re an industry that from the outside, looks so easy, right? So many people go and get their license, and everyone can calculate what 2.5% is of any purchase price. But once you get in, people don’t realize how tough this is, and how much schlepping around you have to do until you get a really good business and a business worth owning. And I love how you’ve stayed in your Unique Ability of “I just love meeting people.” You’re a tall, good-looking guy who’s very social, you’ve got great emotional intelligence, and so it’s good that people can connect with you. You know how to connect with people and talk to people, which is certainly an amazing thing. It still amazes me when some people come into this business and they’re like, “Nah, I don’t really like people.” I’m like, “Ah, great.”
Jason: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more, Glenn. As much as the online space really excites me and it’s something I’m really passionate about, what really has worked for me more than anything is just connecting with like-minded people. And not just professionally, but in my personal life as well – with friends, with colleagues (such as yourself) and everyone at Keller Williams, and with clients. I find that my standard has raised, and I’ve just become more selective about who I work with, because I feel like it’s such a massive transaction. There’s so much at stake. There’s so much money involved. If I can’t share a meal with someone, I can’t represent them. And a lot of agents don’t believe me when I tell them that, but it’s absolutely true. If I can’t connect with you on a human level, then I’m not going to be able to work with you, because I feel like it’s all about energy and it’s all about resonating and working with people that you’re aligned with. So that’s been the biggest, I’d say, contributor to the success that I’ve been lucky to have, and a difference-maker for me.
Glenn: So you go and you start your own business, you build a big sphere, and you continue to build a big real estate practice. But then there’s a certain point where, I think once you’ve done X amount of transactions, I think for a lot of agents, it becomes fairly repetitive. It’s the same aim, the same kind of objections most of the time. Buyers say, “We’re not in a rush to buy a house.” You’re like, “No way! I’ve never heard that before.” Or sellers are like, “We’re not giving our house away.” We’re like, “Get out!” So what fascinates me about you, too, is how you’ve really been migrating more to online lead-generation. I know, in fact, now you actually do classes and I think run courses on targeted Facebook advertising. I want you to go into that a little bit deeper there, but my understanding is what you’re really doing this for is to get more freedom of time and money and relationships. You want to spend time with the people you really like, too, and also legacy. So just tell me about that.
Jason: Absolutely. I mean, I really see everything going online. I’ve just been watching it from a distance for awhile. I think that in order to really have balance, and to have a full life, you need to have systems and you need to have leverage set up, and I’ve just become really fascinated with Internet marketing. I’ve always been interested in design and aesthetics. I’m a very creative person. I played music for 15 years, and that’s been a big part of who I am. I’ve sort of coupled that with my fascination for Internet marketing, and I recognized this new opportunity where, if I could figure this space out, and if I could really learn it, then I can really capitalize on the opportunity and collaborating with the right people, and also really be able to enjoy what I love most, which is travelling. Travelling’s my biggest passion. As you know, I travel quite a bit, and that is something where I can combine my Unique Ability that you’ve really helped me isolate and figure out, with the life I want to live and the legacy I want to build, which is to help the most number of people possible, beyond what I’m able to do as a single manpower, and really leverage my creative ability and skillsets in a broader way to reach a massive amount of people while having a life that I love living, while having freedom of time and location, and being able to work with who I want, when I want. I mean, online is 24/7 – it’s location-less, right? So it doesn’t matter where you are. That’s something that really excited me. So what happened was, originally, I hired an online marketing company to help me with my own business, and through my conversations with them, I just started to really connect the dots, and I started to learn it and figure it out. And then I thought to myself, “You know what? This is something that I can actually teach myself to the point where I can do it even better. I can really harness that skillset to create a bigger life for myself and a bigger business.” And that’s what’s been happening. So I’ve learned it to the point where I’m able to share it with other agents, which I’ve been doing successfully. I’ve done four paid seminars teaching agents about online lead-generating, Facebook sponsored ads, Google AdWords, email marketing, how to build a proper landing page, etc., and I’ve also explored other areas outside of real estate. I’m looking at e-commerce pretty closely right now. I’m looking at online training, actually helping agents, training them on how to do this stuff themselves. So on the one side of the coin, it’s agents that don’t want to learn it. They just want to have the lead. They want to work with the customer, so I’m working with specialist teams. And then the other side of the coin is agents that actually want to learn this stuff themselves like me – people that are hands-on. I’m very hands-on. I’m more of a detail-oriented guy. So it’s sort of two sides of the same coin, and I just see endless opportunity. I see abundance. And it’s something that is really a life skill, I think, with the way the world is shaping up, and how every industry is now online. It’s all about connecting. You look at the biggest companies in the world – I mean, Uber, the biggest transportation company in the world, owns no vehicles. Alibaba, the biggest online retailer – they own no products, right? You look at Airbnb, the biggest hospitality company – they own no real estate. So that got me thinking, “What are these people doing?” Well, they’re connecting. They’re connecting a service with a buyer, right? They’re middlemen. So that’s the space that I’ve really been exploring, and really fascinated with.
Glenn: Well, you know what? I love what you’re doing. A lot of us, as realtors, look outside of our industry for tech solutions. And then you bring the tech people in, who don’t really have the real estate background. I love how you’ve been able to marry, “I was actually out there selling a lot, and I still am selling and have a very active business” with the technology, but even more importantly is that you see the trends that are emerging. I think there are two big trends. One is the era of the generalist agent: “I’m going to do everything. I’m going to do my feature sheets. I’ll have to do my own lead-generation, my own lead conversion. I have to do my own follow-up with my customers. I have to do my visits after they close.” The agent really feels like they have to do all of those key roles, and what most agents don’t realize is they’re only good in a couple of key roles. Most agents are terrible at lead-generating, but they’re very good once they’ve got a really good buyer that they can work with, or a really motivated seller to sell with. So why not just offload your lead generation completely? Why are you even bothered doing it? You can listen to our industry and they keep telling you – it’s just stupid – “two hours of cold calling and door-knocking,” and I’m like, “Yeah, who does that? What is this? 1970?” Or they’ll be like, “You’ve got to send flyers to your farm.” “Okay, what is this? 1980?” No one reads the crap, no one answers the phone, and most people aren’t coming to the door. The world’s digital. That’s where people spend their time. I was just recently up at my cottage last week, and every problem I had up there, I went on YouTube, and YouTube solved it for me. Power washer doesn’t work: that was solved. Boat thing wasn’t working: that was solved. Anything. It resolved it. So I think the second thing that I love about the trend that you’re on is – I think Peter Diamandis and Dan Sullivan were talking about this recently when I was at Strategic Coach last week – and they were saying, “Listen. The world is really the Six D’s now, and the first ‘D’ is you’ve just got to digitize everything. Secondly, you’ve got to be super deceptive with it, so you’ve got to build your product while the marketplace doesn’t actually see what’s going on, and then create that product that’s truly disruptive into the marketplace, which is the third ‘D.’ And then demonetize it in a way, and dematerialize it. People used to carry those big Boogie Boxes in the ‘80s, and the computers were big, and now everything you need is in your hand, right? It’s all been dematerialized.
Jason: It fits in your pocket on your cell phone.
Glenn: And their final ‘D’ was democratize, which is how you really make everything disruptive. I think Apple’s a perfect example, right? Steve Jobs couldn’t figure out the music industry, and said we’re going to go there, and we’re going to digitize it. Then we’re going to go very low, and we’re going to create a product that’s going to hold all these things. And he absolutely disrupted the market, demonetized it, dematerialized it – who needs an Apple collection now? – and really democratized music. So I think you’re absolutely on the right path here now. So what can I help you with? Is there something that you’re missing on the connection piece? Or is it more the bigger vision you want to talk about? What would be perfect so that when we finish this call, you’re like, “That was amazing. I got this out of it.”
Jason: Well I think one of the challenges I’m having right now is, frankly, where to focus my energy, because as much progress as I’m making, I feel like a mad scientist sometimes, where it’s like, “Okay. I’ve got this opportunity. I’ve got that opportunity.” I’m growing everything. Everything is taking shape, but at some point, I ask myself, “Should I just focus on one? Should I have a couple of different endeavours and opportunities that I’m pursuing?” And I know a lot of people fall into that trap as entrepreneurs. It’s like, at what point do you just go all in? Or is it better to diversify and spread the risk, if you will? So I guess that’s the one thing that I’ve been challenged with at times, because all I see is opportunity. But you only have so many hours in the day. You have to pick a couple of them, and just, I think, go all in.
Glenn: I love what you just said there: “All I see is opportunity,” because you know what? It’s really interesting. Successful people get more opportunities thrown at them all the time, and then it’s like, “Okay, they all sound great. They all sound really good. They’re all pretty fascinating. Which one am I going to do?” So I would say this. I would say number one is: don’t forget what brought you here. You’ve got to keep your main business going, right? And the beautiful thing in real estate is, we really have two big humps in the year. From probably February 1st until the end of June – lots of volume. It slows down a little bit in the summer, and picks back up September, October, November. So I would, obviously, in those months, probably 90% of the time, you’re just focused on doing as many sales as you can, because that gives you the capital that you’re going to have to go and invest in your other businesses, right?
Glenn: Number two is: 90 days from now, what’s the one product you want to launch, or the one difference-maker you want to have? And what would be five basic things that if you just got them done in the next 90 days, it would at least give you enough momentum (but that you’re still only committing maybe 10% or 20% of your time to?)
Jason: Love that. That’s great. I feel like the best is yet to come. I mean, I’m fortunate to have had an amazing ride in 35 years, and I feel like the best is ahead of me. I’m now just thinking constantly about return on investment – and not just in terms of time and money, but also happiness, right? Where do I see the best return on my happiness investment in terms of what I’m building, the direction I’m heading, and also contribution. I mean, I don’t want that to evade the conversation. That’s something that I’m really more in tune with as well – using technology, and using my Unique Ability to really make an impact. You mentioned Peter Diamandis, and a lot of the people in the Genius Network I’ve really been admiring in terms of thinking beyond themselves, looking at the greater good, and looking at how to touch as many lives as possible. So I think that combining something that provides a great life for me is nice, and I feel like in order to help others, you need to help yourself first to have the capacity. I feel like the next evolution of that would be finding a way to give back and contribute to as many people as possible, and ultimately marrying everything under one roof.
Glenn: Okay. So we have about three minutes left, Jason. So you’ve got to build your base camp first, which you’ve got in your real estate business. Then you build the second base camp, because what you’re really doing is building base camps to generate a whole bunch of money, and then you can go and give back at a really high level, or be giving back. So what one product (we’ll call it your happiness project for the next 90 days) could you focus on, that 90 days from now, you could actually make strides in? What one thing would you want to focus on? One product?
Jason: Okay. I love that.
Glenn: What would it be?
Jason: Right now, it would be the training business, because I think there’s a real demand for it. There’s a real need in the market, so focusing on building out the training business. I’ve already started to take the first steps to actually help real estate agents, teaching them about digital marketing. So it’s an online, video-based platform as opposed to the seminars I’ve been doing, because doing video, you can reach the most number of people. So that would definitely be, I think, the first step in the next three months.
Glenn: I think you’re totally on plan, because live events are almost impossible to get people to come to. Even universities have figured this out, and they’re way behind us. They know most of their education’s online now already. So what are five steps? So I would say, decide on the platform. Have you already got the platform?
Jason: I’ve got that one.
Glenn: Is it going to be a webinar? Okay, so what would be five things that if you got them done in 90 days, would multiply this out?
Jason: It’s really about building up an email database – so focusing on building a list, having a newsletter that consistently goes out. So I’ve got the foundation laid. I’ve got the software, the platform. I’ve already written my first few emails, and just building a network – building a base of raving fans, if you will, and just having that dialogue continue to be built out. Building the actual product, which is basically an extension of the seminars I’ve already been doing, but just hitting “record” with some screen-sharing software. So the product itself, I already have; it’s just in a seminar format. So recording that, building out the database, driving the Internet marketing to grow the foundation, and then basically just introducing people to the product and launching. I attended Jeff Walker’s program in Phoenix a few months ago, where he talks about building an online business, and actually scaling it and being able to launch it effectively to the right audience. So really building the roadmap, sharpening my toolkit along the way and making sure that I’m up to date with everything and cutting edge, as technologies always change and evolve. I don’t want to spend a year building something, and then when I launch it, it’s obsolete. I think that’s one of the interesting ironies about being in technology: it takes time to build something, but by the time you’re done, things have changed so much.
Glenn: That’s right.
Jason: It’s a constant process. You have to reiterate and adapt along with the trends. But yeah, I think that’s definitely something that would be my starting point.
Glenn: So, we’ve got a minute left. So I think that in 90 days, if you could digitize your content, which is doing all your recordings – recording your webinars, and then splitting that up, your Facebook targeted ads (which I think you’ve already mastered).
Jason: I’ve already got that down.
Glenn: It’s just about building your list now, because what we’re really trying to do is in the next 90 days, how many more people can we get on your lists before we actually (which is number five), go to launch? Number three is laying out the whole architecture of the program.
Jason: That’s right.
Glenn: Just laying out how the modules work: Is there some webinar? Is there going to be some conference calls? Is there going to be podcasts in it? Is it going to be an online course? Or is it more really the platform? Is that what you’re trying to figure out – the final platform?
Jason: Yeah – the logistics, the platform.
Glenn: Okay. So if you have all that done in the next 90 days, what I’d love to do is another return podcast on this in 90 days, and say, “Okay, where were you? How far did it come?” Now that’s ready to go into your niche really deeply right now, and just absolutely build another massive pillar of your business so that you get to travel a lot more with your lovely wife. I think that’d be really cool.
Glenn: Girlfriend! Oh! Jeeze.
Jason: I mean, what’s the difference at this point, right? We’re together for 8 years.
Glenn: Yeah, you’re Common-law. We’ll call this your Common-law. My apologies. Okay, well Jason, thank you so much for joining me on this podcast.
Jason: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Glenn: I think it’s going to be really interesting for the people listening for them to go, “Oh, I just don’t have to sell real estate? Maybe there are some other businesses I can build.” But the key thing is, just keep your big business running, and kicking off the money, so you have that capital to invest in your next pillar of business. Alright. Thank you, Jason! You’re the best!
Jason: Thank you so much, Glenn. Appreciate it.
Glenn: Okay. Bye!