Jonathan Hawkins is the epitome of hard work and recognized early in his career that nothing comes easy.
He began his career in real estate with an intention to put Service, Integrity and Success at the forefront and quickly transformed himself into the top 1% of real estate brokers in the world.
His company Amavi Group is comprised of Amavi Properties and his media and marketing company, Amavi Media.
Jonathan specializes in connecting with his clients at the highest levels, he accomplishes this by making it his mission is to create an unforgettable experience that leads to a lifelong relationship.
He has been quoted in Inman, Wall Street Journal, Realtor.com, The Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Real Estate Agent Magazine, Who’s Who in Real Estate and Tom Ferry International.
Stefan: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show, Respect the Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who have achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anyone who has achieved mastery and examined what it took to get there.
Today on the show we have Jonathan Hawkins. He’s a former military officer, real estate broker, and real estate sales person. Now, Jonathan, welcome to the show Respect the Grind. Thanks so much for joining me.
Jonathan: I’m glad to be here. Thank you.
Stefan: Awesome. So, we have so many people on the show, Jonathan. We have entrepreneurs. We have athletes, artists, entrepreneurs. Out of all the things that you could do in the world, you know, why be in real estate?
Jonathan: It just allowed me to help people, to connect people, to grow with people. I think that unfortunately in the real estate industry there’s a lot of cliches and whatnot about who the actual realtor is, but I think the realtor is a plethora of different types of personalities, characteristics, and for me it was being in front of people, connecting with people, learning their stories, and being able to enhance that with something that grew on me very fast.
Stefan: Okay. Okay. Cool. So, you started out … we were talking a little bit before the show. You started out in the military. Tell me a bit about your time in the military.
Jonathan: So, when I was graduating high school I put all my eggs in one basket and I applied to the Naval Academy. I was accepted to the Naval Academy and a week before going to the Naval Academy my nomination was pulled. There’s tons of different things that kind of happened, but essentially that kind of left me up in the air on exactly what I was going to do. So, I had the distinct opportunity to reach out to somebody from West Point and unfortunately since we were a week from school starting, all of their spots had been taken. I was thrown into an immersive program so that way I could get my commission a little bit differently. Actually, a lot differently. So, the military branches, one percent of officers make up the military. I was one percent of one percent that went through a different type of program to earn my commission in two years rather than four. That was something that started just leading me into different paths. Essentially I was going into the Navel Academy with the assumption that I was going to be somebody who I actually didn’t turn out to be. And things kinds of happened for the right reasons and when people push back and whatnot, that led me into where I commissioned at, which was an intel officer. The reason that I liked the intel field itself was it allowed me to explore and to do things that normally, you know, things just didn’t happen. You kind of had to make things happen. That’s always been my creative side and just trying to do things differently and just see what’s out there I guess.
Stefan: Awesome. So, you said you’re the one percent of one percent. Tell me a bit about that. How do you know you’re the one percent of one percent?
Jonathan: It’s based off of the actual commissioning. So, for a commissioned officer, again, there’s only one percent of officers make up the branches of the military service. Those pare a normally going through a four year commissioning program. There’s only one percent of people that get commissioned in two years rather than four. That’s what we did.
Stefan: So you’re a quick study. You went through it quicker than anybody else.
Jonathan: Quicker than anybody else, but double the days. Double the nights.
Stefan: Awesome. So, you fast tracked. Now, tell me about what’s it like being an intelligence officer that’s in the U.S. military. That’s like half the world’s military right there. What’s it like being an intelligence officer?
Jonathan: It’s not as glamorous as some people might think. And it’s not as cool as some others might think. For the most part every day is different, but for me it really wasn’t about the field I was in, it was the opportunity as a 19 year old to lead soldiers that were in the Army for over 30 years and being able to do that in a way where age didn’t matter. So, I had to quickly earn their trust and respect and everything that that entails, but it obviously taught me a lot of things at an early age that I took into my real estate practice and it set me up on a new trajectory.
Stefan: Uh-huh. (affirmative). Tell me about the trust and the respect. I think the military’s endlessly fascinating, because there’s so much discipline there. I mean, you’re firing live bullets at some point in the military and at some point it’s life and death and people are living or people are dying. Tell me about how do you come in being a 19 year old guy and start earning the trust and respect of people who maybe are even ten years older, maybe even double your age?
Jonathan: There’s quite a few things. I think it comes down to not telling somebody to do something … or excuse me … telling something to do something that you don’t know how to do or you don’t know how to do it very well. Or expecting or demanding something that you couldn’t do yourself. I think it’s leadership by example. Leading from the front. You know, being willing to get down and get dirty, for the sake of better words, with everybody else around you and not taking what they call the brass for granted. Not taking the bar for granted and really connecting with people not just in a large group setting, but individually, one on one and showing them that if there’s something that I can do to help you, that’s what we’re here for.
So, acknowledging their accomplishments, making sure that they’re families are taken care of, tons of different things that just really revolve around just treating the people the way you would want to be treated.
Stefan: I like that. I think leadership is one of the most important things in business and I had a mentor once and he said that the difference between a billionaire and a millionaire is just the size of their organization. So, if you want to be richer, you have to become a better leader and be able to leadership and train people. Right now, you mention to me Jonathan, you know the real estate business, you’re a real estate broker, real estate’s awesome. You said you’re building a team and you said you manage I guess other people on your team. Is that what you’re doing right now?
Jonathan: That’s correct. So, I am in the process of reshuffling the organization, which is great for me. So, when I first started out my conception of how to run a team and how to run an office is drastically different than what it is now two years later. So, I’ve essentially started to change the framework and the makeup. The reason that I did that was because I realized I needed more time in other different avenues. What I mean by that is I’ve started to work with individuals when it comes to digital marketing and using artificial intelligence and other things in their marketing systems. That has quickly grown on and people are gravitating towards that. I realize there’s no way that I can do this and do this unless I had a team that could function and function with or without me there.
So, that’s why kind of the framework and whatnot has changed and I’m excited to where it’s going to go.
Stefan: Okay. Now, tell me this Jonathan. So, you’re in an interesting spot, because there’s a lot of people out there who are solodolo, solopreneurs, they are maybe solo real estate guys, solo … some sort of entrepreneur, right? Solo entrepreneur. And you’re building a team, so how do you lead and attract the right talent?
Jonathan: I think you have to be clear what that looks for you. You have to have a clear description and role and guideline and whatnot before you go in search for people, because you’re going to find tons of phenomenal people that are going to come in front of you, but if they don’t fit that position, it’s not gonna be good for you nor them and unfortunately that talent is not going to come through the individual. But if you can find somebody that meets what it is that you’re looking for and matches the responsibilities that you need, then I think that’s a much easier way for the talent to find you. You know, I always tell people that interview with us, that sometimes don’t get hired, it’s not you. It’s this position. We’re hiring for this position that needs x, y, z. You want to do a, b, c, and although you think this might be a good fit for you, in six months you’re gonna hate me.
Jonathan: That’s just not going to work out. So, I think finding the talent, it starts from visioning and having a clear picture of what that ideal candidate is and I think that naturally the talent will come.
Stefan: Yeah. I had a business coach last year when I was recruiting a bunch of people. I have about 13 people in my company now. So, that’s a lot from going from solo guy to 13 people. What my coach said to me is, “Recruiting is a function of your brand. If you got a great brand, you attract great people. If your brand is not so hot, you’re going to get not so hot people.” What do you think of that statement?
Jonathan: I think it’s definitely true. And sometimes you’re going to hurt some feelings, and unfortunately, you’re gonna have to realize that there’s a different between the business side of things and the friend side of things. It think that’s why it comes back to having a clear set of expectations up front, because if you have a clear set of expectations that’s something that you can hold somebody accountable to. If you kind of have things that are kind of all over the place or just a general concept of a specific role, that’s going to lead to some points in the relationship where it’s not going to be well. That’s kind of where the friction starts. So, as long as the expectations are set up front, I do definitely believe that one, the talent is going to naturally find its way to you and two, it’s going to be a worthwhile relationship, because that individual is doing the things that he or she was hired to do which was something that they wanted to do in the first place.
Stefan: Now, let me ask you think Jonathan, so we’ve got recruiting. We’ve got managing. Now, in your company and you can just speak this from a military perspective or from a real estate perspective, how important is training for that team?
Jonathan: It’s part of the foundation. You have to have phenomenal training, but I would say as far as the training is concerned it’s not about being an expert in 20 different things, it’s about being an expert in the fields that we’re good at and where our business is coming from. I think too many times that there’s a lot of people that are running after the shiny penny that goes in front of them. You can train, train, train on all of the different systems and programs out there, but if they’re not bringing your business, then there’s not point in continuing to train down those paths when you should and could be training on the things that are already working for you to make those better.
Stefan: Right. So, let’s switch gears a little bit. So, making money. You’re talking about some things make you money. Some things don’t. What are some things right now, some of those systems, some of those processes, some of those trainings that are making you money?
Jonathan: Well, as the leader of the team the things that make me money are things that get me either in front of a person or get me talking to somebody. Everything else is what I consider a non-money making activity.
Stefan: Hold on. I gotta give you a gong for that. So, just so you know, Jonathan, on the show if you get a gong it means you said something really awesome. Some shows are one gong shows. We’ve had some shows with like 11 gongs. Sometimes you get a multi-gong, like … we even knocked the gong over today. So, I just wanted to let you know. So, say that again. Instant replay for the people at home.
Jonathan: What I was saying was that there’s … I was trying to figure what exactly did I say that was gong worthy. I was just saying that there’s things that are money making activities which are direct with the client and there’s things that are non-money making activities. If you’re doing the things that are non-money making, then you’re not going to make money.
Stefan: You know what, that’s the biggest thing. There are so many people out there at home listening to this who are solopreneurs, single guys, single girl, doing their thing. They’re out there keeping the books, and they’re licking stamps, and putting envelopes in the mailbox, and they’re doing emails, and they’re ironing their own shirts, and they’re picking up their own laundry, and cooking their own dinner, and all these things. At the end of the year they’re making 30 grand ’cause they did 15 dollar an hour jobs all year long. So, what Jonathan just said there for the people at home is the stuff that makes you money you gotta do more of that and less of the things that don’t make you money. So, Jonathan, what are some of the things that don’t make you money that maybe people at home, maybe they’re in five figures and they want to move to six figures. Or maybe heir six figures and they want to move to seven figures. What are some of those non-money making things that you had to get rid of to level up?
Jonathan: Those non-money making things are the distractions that distract you from prospecting. The distractions, social media distractions that keep you going down one group to the next group to the next group. The distractions are searching for the next best product or trying to created a product that’s not out there, because you think all of a sudden it’s going to instantly boost you up when you already have people who are paying you and giving you money for the things that you’re already doing.
Stefan: I’m giving you a gong for that. Damn, bro. Damn.
Jonathan: Two gongs. We’re going good now.
Stefan: We’re heating up. This show’s heating up. I want you to say that again, ’cause that’s another big insight for people trying to do their own business. Say that one again.
Jonathan: The distractions of just doing things and trying to create something because you believe it’s going to make you more money when there’s already avenues of money coming in that you just need to focus more on in that and do those things and do more of them. You know, if you’re phenomenal at making phone calls, then you shouldn’t have to worry about all the things on the internet that are telling you all these different products. If you know phone calls make you money and if you can track your numbers, which is super huge, we have to track everything. We track how many numbers, how many times. You know, whether it’s an iPhone, whether it’s an Android. Does this person text? Does this person call? What are the best times? What is our call to appointment ratio? What is our appointment to list ratio? What is our list to close ratio? And once you see those numbers, then you just know. Okay, these are the avenues that work for us and these are the ones that don’t. They’re going to be alarming when you figure out that holy crap I’ve been focusing all this time and attention on these expired listings, but I’ve never gotten an expired listing before.
Too many people just continue to throw money. They hop from group to group, from coach to coach thinking, “Hey. What am I gonna do to get this to work for me.” When at the end of the day is, you’re probably doing something you don’t want to do. So, you’re not gonna do it that well. You’re doing things that you don’t want to do. You’re not going to do them good. If there’s things that you like to do, you’re going to do them good. You’re going to do them better than most. That’s going to attract the money to you. Too many times there’s people that are just sitting there and they’re reading whatever they’re reading and they’re watching whatever they’re watching and they just go back into drafting different plans. Oh, if I just create this plan, that’s going to be great. Oh, actually let me add this to the plan. Let me add this to the plan, but there’s not a lot of people that actually make a plan and then stick to the plan, because if they did, they would make money.
Stefan: Right. I coach real estate investors who are wanting to raise capital and flip houses. So, they’re not realtors. They’re people with jobs. Maybe they don’t have a job, maybe they’re pro, but they want to raise capital, flip houses, raise capital, do blind holds, whatever. I always think there’s this interesting character I talk to every now and then. There’s a certain type of character and that certain type of character says, “Oh, I just want to find the most efficient way to do this. I gotta find the most -” and I’m like, “No, bro. You gotta pick up the phone and make your 50 calls. Make your 50 calls.” “Oh, but I gotta find an efficient way.” “No, no. Dude, just pick up the phone and just start dialing.” “Oh, but I got to find an efficient way.” And I say, “No, no, no. You gotta do the 50 calls and then when you have the data you can make it efficient.” What do you think about that? Pick up the phone and start dialing?
Jonathan: Yeah. That’s huge especially if you know that talking with people is something that brings you money. Going back into the hiring thing, I think what happens for a lot of people is the money making activities they are trying to hire out, like prospecting –
Stefan: Oh … wow. That was a big gong right there, man. Yeah. You can’t hire out your money making activities. Tell me more about that.
Jonathan: Yeah. I mean, if you have a robo dialer making your phone calls for you, you’re going to be seen as the guy that is making the robo calls, the spam calls –
Stefan: That doesn’t give a shit. He just doesn’t care.
Jonathan: Yeah. He doesn’t care about me. You know, if you’re just sending out the same letter every single time to people and just changing the name, that’s not personal. That’s gonna be seen. If you’re just sitting there trying to develop the best drip email campaign, probably not going to do that well, because the drip emails don’t do that well.
Jonathan: You don’t know that they don’t do that well until you start tracking them. Once you track them, you’re going to realize, wow, my conversion rate is x, you know? My open rate is this. My clipped rate is thing. You’re gonna realize that kind of stuff, you know, all of the different automation to get your away from the client is not helping you.
Stefan: Right. Right. Well, that stuff, it’s funny, it’s always flavor of the week. We do thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of emails every months, but you know, do emails sell? Nah. What really sells is when people are face to face talking. I love what you said about caring about the customer. You gotta care about him, because that’s one thing you can never automate. You know, one day we’re gonna have AIs, artificial intelligence calling people and as soon as they know it’s a robot, they’re gonna hang up. Why do you think that caring factor is so priceless, Jonathan?
Jonathan: Just like for the reason you said, it’s that one thing that can never be taken over by technology. It’s the one difference maker that you’re doing and if you’re doing it in the right way, it comes across. If you’re just calling people … for instance, you said, make your 50 phone calls. Well, you know, maybe that person goes and makes the 50 phone calls, but if they’re just reading the exact same script with no intention of helping the individual, no intention of helping that person realize their plan … that’s what we do, and I’m huge on it. We don’t force anybody to do anything. We listen to what their goals are and if their goals lead them down a specific path, we’re going to take them. If there goals lead them to another path, that’s where we’re gonna go. Too many people say, especially in the real estate industry and realtors, they’ll go into a listing presentation and they’ll be told, “We have to think about it.” A lot of agents will go, “Okay. That’s great. Why don’t you think about it. We’ll give you a call in a few weeks or whatnot.” But for me, I say, “Hey, look. Your plan was you needed to move to x by this date and I’ve set forth a plan in front of your that gets you there by that date. Is there something that didn’t make sense?”
Stefan: The challenger. Tell me more.
Jonathan: They’ll kind of push back and say, “No. It makes sense. We just want to talk to other people.” And I said, “There’s no need to talk to other people if your plan was to get from x to y by this specific date. Do you foresee yourself there working with us?” And that gets them to realize that, “Man, should we do it? Do we need to talk to other people? He’s showing us exactly what we’re looking for.” I go into a presentation with maybe 50 things, we’ll call them “in my bag”, you know, 50 different things, but that doesn’t mean that I throw all 50 out on the table. The things that go out on the table are the things that are going to resonate with their goals. If they want to know about the end dollar amount, we talk about the end dollar amount. If they want to talk about the marketing, we talk about the marketing. If they don’t want to talk, we go straight to the contract. You know? There’s no point to do things and to lead yourself down paths that they don’t care about.
So, we just really focus on the goals and when it comes back to caring for the person and why we do these things is we show people that hey, we can get your goal accomplished and whatever their goal is we try to do even more for them or show them other avenues that they didn’t even know was possible.
Stefan: So, what’s more important, Jonathan, you know, I love asking this question to a lot of the guests. Robert Greene, he wrote 48 Laws of Power. He wrote Mastery. He wrote 33 Strategies of War. He wrote Seduction. He’s a really big author. He says that mastery is a blend of creativity and discipline. Do you think creativity’s more important in business or do you think discipline is more important?
Jonathan: Discipline, by far.
Stefan: Yeah. Expand on that.
Jonathan: I think that if you don’t have discipline, don’t even try doing this on your own. Don’t try working for yourself. It’s never gonna work. Discipline is not just discipline as far as behavior. Discipline is your schedule. Discipline is the things that you’re going to have to give up. Discipline is being held accountable and allowing people to hold you accountable. Discipline is huge. For me, it’s the foundation. That starts waking up at the exact time, doing the same morning routine, to prep my mind for the day, and get me ready in that peak mindset to perform the tasks that I need to perform. And I walk in to my office and I have a checklist and there’s only seven things on that checklist and anything else that pops up gets delegated elsewhere and there’s tons and tons of things that get popped up, but I know those things are not going to make me money and those things are not going to help.
You know, discipline and … there’s tons of things as far as discipline is concerned, but I think it all comes back to what is working for you. What do you like to do, and expand on that. There’s hundreds of different lead sources out there. But that doesn’t mean that you have to do a hundred different lead sources. You don’t have to do every single thing. You just have to do the things that are working for you and continue to do that and continue to make those things better, not continue to chase the penny.
Stefan: You know what, I think that’s such a huge thing. I love what you said, there’s a hundred lead sources out there and I’m in the investor game and investor game’s mostly distressed properties and messed up properties, so in my program we have 17 ways to get leads, but 17 might as well be a hundred. One of the things that I always encourage people to do is I say pick one or two maximum two ways that you get your leads and be a master. Just pick that one way, dump all your money in that one thing. I have a student. He was 21 years old and he would go with a handwritten letter, black Sharpie on a yellow piece of paper, photocopy it times ten thousand. Door to door with one little simple letter. He did 42 wholesale deals in a year and he got so famous for doing that that the Securities Commission came after him and like the newspapers and he was famous, infamous actually, because he was so good at that one little thing. How important, Jonathan is it to just pick one thing and just double down on it.
Jonathan: It’s huge. Actually, one of our pillars of our business comes back from the investing and the distressed demographic, the divorcee, the foreclosure, the short sell, the non-owner occupied, those types of scenarios are huge for us and we’ve realized that they’re huge because we just look at the numbers. If 60% of that demographic is going to sell their house, then we feel it’s our duty to let them know that hey, we can do it better than that next guy. And so, yeah. I think it’s imperative to know what your sources are and J. Abraham talks about the Parthenon of Marketing. There’s four pillars. And you can relate those back into the real estate industry, which he does and he talks about four pillars and sticking to four pillars and growing your business on those four pillars. Once you can do that, then sure, you can add something into it. But if you’re not generating a sustainable amount of business from those core four pillars, then it doesn’t matter what program or what anything else that’s out there, it’s not going to work.
Stefan: So, what are the four core pillars?
Jonathan: In real estate the core four are your sphere, your open houses, your past clients, and expireds.
Stefan: Wow. So, those are all things that, like those are all pretty much free or cheap as free to get all that business without having to spend 50 or 100 thousand a month in marketing. Those are all things anybody can do.
Jonathan: Anybody can do them and the problem is that the mindset is drastically off for most people. They’ll instantly say open houses, open houses don’t make money. People walk in, you never talk to them. They sign in, they give you the wrong information, they leave. We have a saying that we use every day. This is going to be a gong. This is “to do common things, uncommonly.”
Stefan: There you go. I think that’s Jim Rome. That might be a Jim Rome.
Jonathan: That is and we have it right up on our wall to make sure that the thing that most people see as common, like an open house for instance, do that uncommonly. Most open houses are for this amount of time, we do them for a different amount of time. If most open houses have a paper sign in strategy, we’ll do the iPad sign in strategy. If most open houses, you know, somebody’s going through a script or whatnot, we hand you a taco and a beer. And people walk into our and they’re like, “Wait. What? We saw the marketing, but oh, you really got a taco truck and whatnot.” So, we use the term mega open house and we just do things differently and for somebody to tell me that an open house is a waste of time is again, they just have that in their mind that this is a waste of time. So, they’re usually at the open house, they’re standing there. They’re on their phone. They’re on Facebook while somebody else walks around the open house. They say hi. They say bye. And that person goes off.
They go to an open house like mine next where it’s drastically different. I start talking about the other open houses in the area for them to quickly realize, “Wow. This is a lot different than that last house we were at.” I give them what they want rather than them opening their phone and pulling up a third party real estate app to find the open houses, I will print them all out and say, “Hey, here they all are. They’re not just mine. They’re everybody’s. I just wanted to make it easier for you so that way you’re not going back and forth to your phone. Here you go.” Then what I do is when I give them, just give, give, give, give, give, when they go to the next property and they next a pen and a cookie and the agent was sitting down on his phone the entire time –
Stefan: Doesn’t even say hello or look at him.
Jonathan: Doesn’t say hello. It’s not gonna work. Then maybe a few hours later, now they’re getting a video message from me, and they’re like, “Wow. This guy is everywhere.” That’s the point in time when they get a phone call the next morning, which goes something along the lines of, “I promised I was going to call you. I’m calling you like I promised.” Then start talking and they go, “Wow. Okay. This guy does this. Somehow he was sending me videos. Next thing you knew he was all over the internet in front of us. He’s calling me like he said he would. Like, this guy’s good.” It’s just doing those basic things and tweaking them.
Stefan: You’re a better boyfriend than the other boyfriend. I love what you’re doing there, Jonathan. I think it’s like you said, common things in an uncommon way. I have a student and she flips luxury million dollar homes. So, we’re in Winnipeg in Canada. You’re average home’s about 300 thousand and he does million dollar, one and a half million dollar, two million dollar homes. So, he’s doing the top of the market. It doesn’t go past two million in this market. And what I love about what Dan does, and I don’t know if he came up with this or if one of his very smart realtors came up with it, but he makes the home spectacular. So, he gets spectacular designs. Spectacular staging. Best piece of land in the city, on an exclusive street that everybody wants with the best school zone. So, he’s picking the cream of the cream.
Then one of my favorite things is Dan will sell these houses in like one day on market ’cause what he does is, he doesn’t do an open house … I like what you say about mega open house. That’s cool. He does a VIP Party. And he sends like wedding invitations in the mail. So, you get this wedding invitation to the 300 influential people or 200 influential people, all the influential brokers, all the influential everybody. He’s got some models at the doors serving champagne. He’s got some hot catering. He’s got a cheese board and a DJ and he’s got flags outside with his brand and he’s got a sign with lights on it. He’s got a like a Batman kind of thing with his logo like shining the light on the house with the bat signal. You go to this VIP open house and he’s got the yoga room set up and he’s got the wine cellar with 200 bottles of wine.
And you go into this thing and there’s beautiful girls in little dresses and there’s guys in suits and you feel like somebody. You go, “Wow. This could be me. This is an experience.” It’s a party. He creates a party out of it rather than just a plain old open house. When he does one of those, boom. The last one I think he sold in a matter od days. I think it was within a week or two weeks from his VIP Party to one of the Winnipeg Jets. So, immediately, boom. The biggest fish. The hottest fish comes in there. He sees the lifestyle. He sees what it could be, and they’re throwing down money. Why do you think that works so well over and over again whereas other people are just wasting their time not even doing it?
Jonathan: I think it just comes back to one word that you said, which was experience. It’s an experience. It’s a lot different than what they’ve seen elsewhere and it gets their mind going in different places and it gets them visualizing what this could be like 24/7 or what this could be like for the future. They don’t get that when they go to 99% of other properties that are doing the exact same thing. So, when you differentiate yourself form the market, good things are gonna happen.
Stefan: I love that. You know the word experience I think is so big. I’m writing a book on branding right now and I fancy myself as a brand printer and the brand experience is something that nobody can ever take away. You know, like Amazon right now has the one button shopping experience and like no matter how hard you try, WalMart can’t do that. You know, McDonald’s they’ve got an experience. In and Out Burger, they’ve got an experience. Every company has that little experience and then if that experience isn’t there, usually I say this: you either live as a brand or you die a commodity. You know, like at Toys R Us, they just shut down. Sears, shutting down. You got the retail apocalypse right now happening in the United States where the malls are shutting down. They’re trying to figure out what to do with these malls, because the experience … you really can’t beat the naked, in bed, watching Netflix, covered in pizza one button shopping experience where you got to put your pants on, go down to Sears, talk to somebody you don’t want to talk to. The experience really is king, isn’t it?
Jonathan: It’s super king and when it comes back to … when everything revolves around an experience, that’s when things happened and our time … we’re in that Amazon experience. How can we make things quicker, faster, easier? How can we create that level of concierge support so that way things can be done and happen and you don’t necessarily know why or how, but that’s okay, because it’s easier, it’s quicker, and it allows you to do things that you want to do. You know, people don’t like the home buying process because it takes long.
So, how can we mitigate that? How can we make things quicker? How can we get our message across to people? How can we make it easier for them? How can we do specific things for them? That’s essentially what the goal is and when it comes back to branding, you were talking about branding, you know, we always talk about how if the brand is not what we say we are, our brand is what the consumers think we are. And if they think that we are quicker, faster, better, that offer an experience, they’re gonna come with us over somebody else. If they think … too many people think their brand is just a logo that they put up and they try to hire all these people to create the best logo. The logo is not going to get you the money. It’s what that logo represents. When somebody sees that logo, they think of what? And whatever that is, that’s your brand.
Stefan: Let me ask you this, Jonathan. And this is something that I have banged my head against the wall for many, many nights thinking about this and you know, real estate is a very inefficient market. Like, to buy a house or sell a house, there’s a million factors. There’s construction. There’s vintage of the property. There’s the state of the seller, mental state. Your mental state. There’s financing. All these different things. Very complicated to be able to buy or sell a house. Do you think that realtors one day will be replaced by an app like Tinder? Where there’s the tinder of real estate? Or do you think that process one day will be efficient and people will just go on their app on their phone and just push “buy the house”? Do you think that’s ever gonna happen? Or do you think that there’s always going to be someone handling the experience ’cause it’s so complicated and it’s so scary?
Jonathan: I do think that there will be a drastic change; however, I don’t think that it’ll ultimately take the human element out of it. But what I do think will happen, which already does happen, the turnover rate in the real estate industry is, I don’t know exactly where it’s at as far as where it ranks, but I know it’s one of the highest as far … 80% of agents are in and out within five years.
Jonathan: So, what does that mean? That only the 20% survive. How do they survive? They do things better. They stay consistent at doing those specific things. So, I do think that it’ll be harder for people to jump in and just rely on things to happen when that’s not going to necessarily help that specific person. So, I don’t think that it’s going to ultimately take the agent out of the picture, but I do think that the elite will become more elite.
Stefan: I like what you say there. I think that you’re bang on. The elite will become more elite especially with technology. You know? As the funnels get better and the online marketing gets better and the targeting gets better –
Jonathan: As the team gets better.
Stefan: As the team gets better. Exactly. The top guys are usually teams. They can corner the market more. And I think it’s so interesting. I draw this on the board for my sales guys all the time. I say, “Look guys. One percent are making 350 grand. Top four percent, 100 grand. Top five percent, 80 grand. Everybody else, poverty line.” And it’s so, so, so skewed unfortunately and as the better technology gets there, the better training, the better teams, it is truly a disparity of rich and poor. It’s interesting when I do my classes I always say the people … when I do training seminars I always say, “The people who don’t need training show up for training. The people who need it the most, never show up.” What do you think of that statement?
Jonathan: Yeah. That happens all the time. Or it’s the people that go to too much training. They’re just hopping from seminar to seminar hoping that something will click when pretty much they don’t realize that’s their issue is they’re the seminar groupie and that is not making them money.
Stefan: Right. They gotta pick up the phone and start dialing.
Jonathan: Yeah, and they can … what’s super … I don’t get it is somebody can go to a seminar or whatnot and they think that their business is shut down for a week. I didn’t know that somebody turns off our cell phones if we go to a seminar. I didn’t know that the things that are making us money we have to stop, because we go on some place that takes us away. You know? And if that’s the case, then you’re probably not doing it as good as somebody else. Because I personally go to a lot of seminars. I personally go on a lot of vacation. Why does it not impact my clients? Because my clients are set up from the beginning what the expectations of me are and what I expect of them. They know that at the end of the day Jonathan has three whys. That’s his family. That’s people and charity. And that’s travel. And he’s going to do those three things. Real estate is an avenue for me to do those three things.
I always tell the person that I’m sitting with, “If I am just a realtor in 30 years, I’ve failed you. That’s not what I want to be.” Too many people go in there and create this false story, a narrative about who they are and what they want to be. That comes across the wrong way eventually. You know, the way you dress, the way you talk, all of that has to be the exact same everywhere. That’s your voice. The moment that it’s different you lose the trust. We always tell people to just embrace their story. It may not be a great story, but who cares. Most great stories now happened from a bad story.
I graduated from UCLA and as an alumni we have the opportunity to review applications and UCLA is the most applied to school in the entire nation. Actually, it’s the most applied to in the entire world. They accept the Guinness World Record for the last I think four or five years in a row now. The number one thing we were taught when reviewing applications, mind you, we’re looking at them for about ten to 15 seconds before they can get to the next round, is look for a hardship. Look for a hardship. Look for a hardship. Why are we looking for the hardship? Those are the people that went through something and they overcame adversity. Those are the people that are going to get thrown coursework that they’ve never gotten before and they’re gonna figure it out. Those are the people that know that it doesn’t have to be perfect, but I gotta make a way for me to get where I want to be and so we will look for hardships and it’s unfortunate that a lot of people go through unfortunate things. I’m not wishing anything bad on anybody, but you have to embrace it and you have to realize that that’s happened, whatever it may be and sopping up and crying and doing all these different things is not gonna help you. You have to make a plan, get out of the funk, and achieve your goals.
So, those hardships are what really take people, I believe, to the next level.
Stefan: That’s what respecting the grind is about, man. I mean, you go out there, you hit it. The grind hits you. You gotta hit it back. I love what you’re saying about hardship. I think that’s where all the great stories come from. That’s where the great motivation comes from. It’s always what did you have to overcome. And that’s fantastic. Now, Jonathan, if you could go back to the beginning. You know, young Jonathan, what’s a piece of advice you give yourself?
Jonathan: Piece of advice I would give myself?
Stefan: Yah. Fifteen year old Jonathan. You know, young, young, young. What would you say?
Jonathan: You can start planning your future at whatever age. Your plan doesn’t have to be what others want it to be. Your plan is what you want it to be, and if you plan for it to happen, it will happen. If you believe that it can happen, it can. Too many people that want to jump … you’re talking about the different levels of income. The way that you’re gonna get to the next level of income is planning to get there. You know, just thinking that you’re gonna do this or wanting to do that is not gonna get you there. All you have to do is just take the large goal, break it down into steps and get there. For us in the real estate industry, whatever our GCI, our gross commission income dollar is, we take that and we divide that. Okay, how many clients am I gonna need? Okay. If that’s 40 clients, okay. Forty clients. If it takes me eight appointments to get a client, then I know I need 320 appointments. If I know that it takes me seven calls to get that many appointments, okay. I need seven calls. How many hours does it take me to do that? There’s your plan.
That’s probably the one thing that for me has drastically changed. It’s just the mindset and achieving bigger and better things and believing that they’re gonna happen and when others say, “How the heck do you think that that’s gonna happen?” It’s just, “I know it will.” Things will align if I put that out there. I sent an email out last year to my sphere that talked about making a million dollars in one year, and I had one individual come up to me. He goes, “Do you think that that kind of comes off bad?” And I said, “Why would it come off bad?” He goes, “Well, you know, not a lot of people make a million dollars in a year. So, you know, it kind of comes off that you’re taking advantage of people.” And I go, “That’s not the way that I look at it. If my goals are to make a million dollars and I have a reason for why I want that. What it’s gonna do for me, then why don’t you send out an email like that as well?” And that individual has digressed and gone down a different way. There was tons of clients that reach out to me, “Hey, Jonathan. Here’s a referral. Blah, blah, blah. You wanna do this? You wanna do that? You wanna do this?” And things just align, but that person that thinks, “Why would you do that? What are others gonna think about you?”
Who cares? If there’s a specific goal that you have, then put it out there. And if they don’t like the goal, they’re not gonna do business with you anyways. So, why are you focusing and wasting your time and attention on them?
Stefan: That’s huge, man. There’s some subtext there about limiting beliefs too and when you don’t believe that a million dollars is good for you, you’re never gonna have it. And when you believe that making money is bad … I know myself, I grew up in a home with a socialist father and a teacher mother, and I always felt that making money was bad. I felt that sales was bad. That was the message, but really sales is all the good things in life. You know, we’re on a computer. Someone had to sell that. We’re on Zoom today. Someone had to sell that. I got a microphone here. Someone had to sell that. We’re both wearing clothes. Someone had to sell that. All the good things come from selling, but you can look at it in a negative way and you won’t amount to much if you’re just negative, right?
Jonathan: And everybody likes to use the goals that are just floating out there. You know, if you’re making 50 thousand dollars, your goal is usually a hundred thousand dollars. Why a hundred thousand dollars? “Well you know, that’s a lot of money.” Well, that’s what I thought as well, but once you pass that, then you just go to the echelon where in the very beginning you should just start yourself off high. Who cares if other people think it’s too high. There’s a plan and if other people have done it, then you can definitely do it as well. It may take longer or may, hopefully, happen quicker. But it can happen. A lot of people that fall into that few hundred thousand dollar range, their goal is always one million dollars. If I make a million dollars, then what?
So, you know, why don’t they set their goal at ten million dollars, a hundred million dollars? ‘Cause then those things will align and they waste too much time focusing on a million, million, million when the bigger opportunity past them by ’cause they were focused on the mission dollars. So, you don’t have to use the goals that everybody else has. You don’t have to use the same numbers. You don’t have to do the same exact things. You can do it differently and that’s okay.
Stefan: You know, I think it’s so interesting what you said there about setting the much larger goal. I set it up for myself years ago. I said I want to be a millionaire by 30, ten millionaire by 40, hundred million by 50 and billionaire by 60. And what’s so interesting about doing something like that, we were just gonna add an extra zero every ten years is the way you get from zero to a million looks way different than a million to ten. Ten million to a hundred million totally different game than a hundred million to a billion and what I love about you thinking about those much bigger goals is our have to think geometrically different, you know?
Your flipping houses is cool for a couple hundred grand, but if you want to start making ten million dollars or getting to ten million. Well, I don’t know if flipping houses is gonna do that for you anymore and when you start getting into the hundred million, that’s like a software game or something, right? You need something that can scale. It’s gotta be something totally different. So, really, really great way of thinking Jonathan. I appreciate that. Now we gotta wrap up here. What are top three books that changed your life?
Jonathan: Top three books that changed my life. I like the Miracle Morning. I like Mindsets. If I only have … man, I have so many books that have changed my life. I think that’s huge just to say that reading can change your life. Listening to podcasts can change your life. If there’s somebody that’s successful, that is telling you how they became successful, that can change your life if you listen and if you apply the concepts that they’re giving, but what you don’t want to do is hop from one person to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next without actually implementing those specific things. So, yeah. I mean, just reading in general is huge.
Our team, we have a book of the month that we get a new book based off of what other people are saying and we read it and we talk about it weekly. If things stick, they stick. If it doesn’t, our mind at least grew and we go to the next thing. Maybe six months down the line something might click from the book that we read six months ago. I think taking the time for your own self education is huge whether that be in the morning in reading while things are quiet and whatnot. You know? Sitting in front of the TV 24/7 is probably not going to give you that much knowledge. And if you have that much time on your hands, then either you’ve “made it” where you can have that much time or you’re probably a lazy slum. So, you need to figure it out.
Stefan: Right. Right. I love that. Now, final question today, Jonathan. What’s the one thing that young people need to succeed these days? We’re talking 18 year olds, 19 year olds, 20 year olds, someone who is maybe just entering the workforce who wants to get going.
Jonathan: They need to realize that they’re not going to get there overnight. They’re not going to get there in the ways that they think they are. A lot of people try to join our team thinking that they’re going to make a lot of money and they don’t have to work. I told them, “This is not going to work out for you.” You know? Our social media profile and presence might look good, but there’s tons and tons and tons of work behind that and there’s hours and hours and nights and nights of hard work. There’s too many … pretty much I would say everybody that comes in at that age right now is just, “I heard you don’t have to go to college and you can become a millionaire overnight.” Yeah. That’s definitely true, but that’s not gonna happen to most people.
Now, do you have to go to school? No. Do you have to do this? No. But it all comes down to one thing and you gotta be able to work and you gotta be able to work harder. There’s a famous quote out there that says, “You gotta be willing to knock on doors until your knuckles bleed. The door opens up and slams in your face and you fall down. Get back up and you keep knocking.” Because that’s the biggest problem for that young entrepreneur is they think that it’s just going to happen overnight. It’s not even just overnight, they might go a month of doing something and say this doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. So, they go to the next thing. Then they go to the next thing. It’s years later. If they would’ve just focused on that one thing, things would have clicked for them. But yeah, I think it’s that mindset of you don’t have to work to make money is false. Just because you see somebody that’s not working doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not working. They have a team behind them. They have systems in place. They have all these things that they’ve built. So, then that way, yes, there is automation going on and whatnot, but that doesn’t happen by Googling how to become a millionaire overnight and buying some program that takes your money. That’s not gonna work.
Stefan: Right. You gotta respect the grind, man.
Jonathan: There you go.
Stefan: You can’t get around the work. I always say to my sales guys, I got six sales guys in the office now. I say, “Look guys. When I was doing your job in private equity.” I used to work in private equity raising money. I said, “I worked from ten ’til ten and half a day on Saturday every day and I didn’t leave until I had at least 50 calls every day. I’d get my two meetings set meeting. I’d conduct two meetings.” I said, “Guys, if you want to be good, it’s a commission job. You gotta do the hours. You gotta put it in.” I said, “If you’re coming here you’re making 13 calls, you’re making 30 calls, 20 calls, don’t even come to work. Just don’t even come. Make the space available for someone who will do the dials, because it really comes back to respecting the grind.” Right?
Jonathan: Huge. For the team leader, they have to realize that that person is bad for their culture and it’s going to start spreading. They’re gonna realize, “Oh, if that person gets to leave home early ’cause they only made 13 calls, maybe I don’t need to do 50. Maybe I only need to do 20.” Then that top producer’s going to start dwindling down, dwindling down. That’s up to the team leader to realize that something that is going to affect the culture you have to cut right off the bat.
Stefan: Right. I love it, man. That’s fantastic. Now, Jonathan, great conversation. Hey, man. I really appreciate having you here. How can people get in touch with you if they want to know more?
Jonathan: You can find me on social media. Jonathan Hawkins official Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. If you look for me, you’ll be able to find me. If you can’t find me then something’s wrong.
Stefan: Awesome. Thank you so much for doing the show, Jonathan. It’s been a pleasure. Respect the grind.
Jonathan: Take care. Thank you.
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