Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing Weekly: Real Estate Corporation

Jay McHugh, the owner of Laer Realty Partners in Littleton, MA with his wife Stacey Alcorn, has over 430 agents in 23 office in the North East. Jay teaches his agents the art of relationship marketing, and his focus is to help his agents do more business in less time while enjoying the real estate space.

Let’s get the details on how Jay’s attracting new agents and retaining his current agents by teaching skills and strategies that work in today’s marketplace. You’ll love hearing his secret sauce.

Kody Bateman: Hey everybody. This is Kody Bateman here live from Salt Lake City, Utah. Welcome to our Relationship Marketing Weekly show. I got to tell you, I’m really excited for the guests that we have on the show today. I’m going to get to his introduction in just a second. As you’re coming on here, just tell us hello, where you’re coming in from.

What I love about this show too is we have people that are coming in from all over the world. We have people all over the United States, all over Canada. We have people logging in from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, a couple of people from the UK. We have people coming in from everywhere to listen to this show on a weekly basis and we’re very, very excited to share with you what we have here today.

I’ve got a super star on the call today. I would like to welcome from LAER Realty out of Littleton, Massachusetts, Mr. Jay McHugh. Jay, welcome to the show today.

Jay McHugh: Thank you Kody. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Kody: I hope everybody has got their seatbelt on with this guy because what I love about Jay is his passion for life, his passion for his business. He’s a get-out-there-and-get-it-done kind of guy and it’s reflected in his results. LAER Realty has 23 offices, 430 agents over a billion dollars in annual sales in the realty market.

So those are pretty impressive numbers Jay and I really want to get out of this show – I really want to drill your mind on this show as what separates that kind of activity from the average kind of activity. Most people live average. You don’t live average. I noticed on – you do these little videos. You golf at the best golf courses. You smoke the best cigars. You live above the line for sure. What separates you from just a regular businessperson?

Jay: I appreciate those compliments and I appreciate you having me on. It’s a pleasure to be on this call and this Zoom video, wherever you’re watching it. I have to give you kudos, you and your staff. I became immersed in your business, your vision 10 years ago. I’ve been reading the books, Jordan and others, and what it has helped me, it has given me an appetite to become better than the average and what really has transcended out in life, my wife and I, we own the business together, is that if you focus on people and you mirror their results, you cannot not become successful.

Oftentimes people try to yield away from it, et cetera, and success leaves clues, Tony Robbins, et cetera. What I’ve done is I’ve just made sure to be committed habitual of what you have shared, what others have shared and it becomes a very, very simple process. It becomes a very, very simple system.

Now without going too long into that question, we put in great systems and those systems take care of ourselves. So we’re on a 10, 15, 30 percent growth year after year regardless if a recession hits or not and it’s because of the view in your mindset that it has helped changed my mindset into putting into action good, better and different and I’m blessed with – I got to know you so well and again I’m blessed to be on this call.

Kody: Well, thank you Jay. I appreciate it. You know, one of the things I noticed that you talk a lot about is the “10 times philosophy”. Can you share with us what that means and how you implement it in your business?

Jay: Absolutely. Just like yourself, I mean if you look at Kody Bateman and Jordan Adler, you look at those books on Amazon, you’re going to find out they’re like-minded leaders and I found this gentleman Grant Cardone, 10X, and he talks about second place is the same as 16th place. You know, if you aren’t first, you’re last.

In a real estate competitive business, I see so many [0:04:19] [Indiscernible]. That they do a good job. They try and they come up short. What I have learned from you and others and from Grant Cardone is that if you just systematize it and you just put in these systems that can help you raise that bar, raise that opportunity, raise that percentage, you will be successful. Therefore with your help, I’ve implemented a system not only for me personally but for the company that we say thank you more and more often than our competition.

Therefore we have a high retention rate than the average in our business place, in the real estate space. We have a higher recruiting percentage than our competition and then we have a greater let’s say testimonial rate than our competition. Why is that? We’re saying thank you more and more often. We’re 10X-ing our business. We’re doing more cards, more gifts, more thank-yous, et cetera. Frankly, it is pretty simple and I just – frankly I don’t understand why people don’t see what I see and I thank you for having me on this call and hopefully we get that message out to others.

Kody: Well, that’s part of the purpose of this show is to try to get that message out, that it’s really not that hard to go to 10 times and to have success at a much higher level. As you mentioned, you just put some basic systems in place. I love that you mentioned the thank-you card and hopefully that kind of – people can really digest what you said there. Ten times your thank-yous. Just 10 times your thank-yous.

If you did that alone, you just – I’m going to do 10 times the amount of thanking people than I’ve ever done before in my life, in personal life, in business and just do that. Nothing else. Just do that. What difference would that make in your business?

Jay: Well, I echo those sentiments because that’s what I teach every single day because at the end of the day, we’ve heard this from Bill Belichick and seems to be such a common phrase. But at the end of the day, we can do more. We have these things called Facebook that we see somebody getting some kind of accomplishment, getting into Harvard University, having a birthday, et cetera.

Why can’t you reach out and just say thank you, congratulations, et cetera? You have the ability. You might not have known 10 years ago. Now you and I are doing that. My staff is doing that and when you can then foster that to your preferred vendors, my ancillary partners, that’s when it really 10X-es it.

We can get into that later. You’re the director of this show. But I’m so excited to share these systems and tips because it is very duplicable as Jordan would say and yet many people struggle with the execution of it. They overthink it.

Kody: Yeah. Well Jay, why don’t we do that? Let’s jump into some of the key things that you do and I – the way I would like to tee this up is – you talked about Facebook and digital, social media and stuff, ways for us to naturally reach out and thank and congratulate people.

But you’re a master at doing that not only on social media but you’re a master at doing it tangibly like with tangible touches that show up, that people can feel it, touch it, smell it, read it, see it. Like you’re a master at that and you’ve got unbelievable examples. Just walk us through some of the things as a realtor that you do to 10X the thank-you and to make it tangible? I’m just going to give you free reign. Rock it out. Do it.

Jay: OK. So for the broker owners out there, for the agents out there, et cetera, we’re all in competition from one another meaning the broker owner has 130 agents and the broker owner has one agent. Well the 130 agents has many brokers who are chasing his or her agents. The broker owner that has one agent only has one agent that he has to worry about.

Regardless of those numbers, we all know that if you retain that agent, it’s 16 times more profitable than if you tried to go get a new agent.

Therefore we even put in the system to say thank you and we appreciate our agents on their birthday. Now in addition to that, when they first come onboard, we ask them for a simple sheet of information, hobbies, et cetera, spouse name, children’s name, some birthdays.

What we do is we input that information into a system called SOC, SendOutCards, and we get a reminder that it’s not just the agent’s birthday. It’s the spouse’s birthday. We send them a card and a box of brownies.

We not only do that. We get an email reminding us of their children’s birthdays. We send them a card and a box of brownies. Dude, can I tell you the retention rate that we have, that people do not go to other companies? Because we’re thanking them throughout the year. Because of that, I find it fascinating that people just don’t steal my idea and continue to use it. Yet we do.

Kody: Yeah.

Jay: Continue to use that and that is not very difficult for anybody to employ whether you have 10 agents, 200 agents or 2000 agents. You allow us to do that and I appreciate that.

Kody: So what do you think the blockage is? Why is it that people don’t grasp this simple concept that’s – by the way, we’re doing some studies and we’re seeing the – I mean the results that you get from what you just mentioned. It’s staggering how much more effective that type of communication touch is not only for retention but for prospects getting new business, for getting referral business. Like it’s staggering how much more effective that type of communication is. Why is it that so many people don’t embrace it? What are your thoughts about that? Because I like – like this, going, “What?”

Jay: I do have the answer for it and here’s the answer for it. Because it’s not sexy, because it’s not difficult, because it’s not challenging, folks don’t think it’s worthwhile. Yet as you may have heard me say this on your stage and my attorneys want me to quote this and protect it. People count. Numbers don’t.

When you focus on people, you will have an infinite amount of business. When you focus on numbers, you create something called “cement shoes” and you will fall into proverbial bankruptcy. The challenge is, you know, what’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular.

Most people are trying to reinvent the next Kody Bateman, the next Jeff Bezos, the next Mark Zuckerberg. Instead we have a trail where we can say, “Hey guys, just think people more and more often and your business will blossom.” That’s what we’ve done here at LAER Realty Partners and that’s with the individual agents who have embraced us.

It doesn’t matter if they’re LAER or if they’re at EXP or Keller Williams. I have friends all over the country that are embracing it with your help, et cetera. I love watching the stories. In fact I get excited when I see a great story from Bryan Perez or Gary Allen, Gayle or Jim McCord. I say to my own agents, well, guys, you’re not watching these superlative superstars. In other areas of the country, it works.

Whether you’re from Yale or from jail, whether you’re from Manhattan or you’re from Louisiana, people count, numbers don’t. I think that’s the problem. That’s the challenge. That’s what this motion is for you and I is to help people understand that just because it’s not as sexy as one wants it to be – I get text and emails and phone calls every other day from someone who gets an unexpected card saying, “Wow Jay, thanks very much. We appreciate you.” I’m sending it out as you said to give, not to get. Eventually I get.

Kody: Yeah. Yeah. Well, let’s talk about that. We teach – in our system, there are three different card types. You just mentioned one of them, the heartfelt card. That’s acting on the prompting and just reaching out, somebody in kindness. We call that the heartfelt, individual heartfelt card message to somebody. We have the group card send and then we have the scheduled card send. You do all three different card types.

I want to talk about the heartfelt cards and in fact you mentioned before the show the concept of acting on a prompting. You told me a story about you acting on a prompting just the other day. It involved me and I want you to share that because I – hopefully we can portray in there the importance of what is a prompting and how does that trigger that heartfelt card. Why is that so important?

Jay: Not a problem. So I love your book by the way. I send it out all the time, Promptings. Everybody should buy it. Everybody should read it. Everybody should get the audio book. But I’m driving down the Southwest Expressway in Boston, which is probably the third most busiest roadway in America. And what’s behind me? Something called an eagle.

So I take a picture. I store it in my phone. I come home and I send a message to my group and I challenge them to act on their promptings, when they have a prompting during the day and they’re getting it Kody. They’re seeing the people who may have a bereavement. They’re seeing their kids’ spouses, neighborhood kids that have wonderful – you know, thing that they’ve done and they’re acting on their promptings.

If more and more people could do that and not overthink it and we have these things kind of – I put my iPhone away. So it wouldn’t be interrupting us. But we have these things called iPhones where we have an app on the phone. We have unbelievable opportunity to take great pictures and come home and then whether you’re on your Mac, Pro or your PC, create a card and edit it and send it off and then two, three, five days later or two, three, four, five months later, someone might reach out to you and say, “Thank you very much, Jay. We would like to do business with you.”

Again, we’re acting to give, not to get. But the universe sees that. The universe sees that and it’s the benefit for the people that get it.

Kody: So you started using this relationship marketing system back in 2008 I believe it was. You’ve been using it for close to 10 years now. Tell us a little bit about the – because you’re on a billion dollar – I don’t know if people understand how much a billion is. You’re running a billion dollar annual revenue organization in real estate. You’re in the top one percentile of successful people in your profession. In fact, you’re probably in the top percent of the one percent. Since you started using this system 10 years ago, how much growth did your company receive as a result of using this system?

Jay: Well, without a question Kody and just for all purposes, my wife is a huge part of this. She’s the brains behind all of this. She’s the analytical. I’m the emotional and together we work well off with one another.

When we first met, that’s how it became. She was running a great real estate office and I was running a good office and we shared our ideas and so forth. Ultimately, by working together and understanding how to put the pieces in place, you create these systems and these systems are very again duplicable and I don’t understand why folks can’t understand what you’re providing us and were sharing with us.

Some people would say, you know, “Don’t share it Jay. You’re competitive. We will use it against you,” and I embrace it. I say our true competitors – frankly speaking, I can say this. Our true competitors are Google, Zillow and Trulia, the interlopers that are trying to take away our professional fee. Others would use the word “commissions”.

What I tell them, I say, “Hey guys, if you appreciate people more and more often, commissions and professional fees are only negotiated in the absence of value. Therefore show more value than ever before.”

So people will say, “Well, I don’t understand Jay. I do this. I do that and I’m great. I’m wonderful.” I say, “Well, here’s the deal.” Love telling this story. Here is the deal.

If someone has a $10,000 commission and they send out a $500 gift card from Home Depot, Lowe’s at the end of the closing, et cetera, and I look at them and they say, “What’s the problem Jay?” I say, well, if you give me kudos, I will tell you the problem. I say you’re promoting a billion dollar company. You’re not promoting yourself. They’re going to forget about the lawnmower or the snow blower two weeks later or two months later.

But if you had put that $500 into an appreciation campaign throughout the process, which means at the beginning of the first initial meeting, you send them a box of brownies, thank you very much. I look forward to meeting with you under agreement. Congratulations. One step closer. Home inspection, congratulations. We got through this difficult time. You’ve been a treat to work with. Enjoy these treats during the movie night. Congratulations. You got your mortgage commitment. We’re very close to the celebration.

A couple of days beforehand, I’m so excited that you’re coming to the end of the process. You’ve been a pleasure to work with. I tell folks. Guys, you just spent less than $500. You’ve gotten a plethora, voluminous referrals and they would be talking about you to everybody during that intense tense time of buying a house yet most people take the soft way. They take the easy way. They go to Home Depot, Lowe’s and they buy a gift card and they send it to them and they expect referrals.

So when I teach these little modules, I say people do not refer average. If I had an average steakhouse for you and Jodi to go to for your anniversary, I would say, “Hey, come to the 99 in Littleton, Massachusetts. Average steak, average price, average expectation.” I would say Kody, I have no place to refer you to.

Yet if I have a friend who owns the Great Road Kitchen here in Littleton, Massachusetts, I’m going to say, “Kody, you’re going to love this place. I’m going to set you up, oysters, shrimps, steak and I’m going to pick up the tab.” You’re going to say, “Thank you Jay,” because I’m putting my neck out.

Kody: Right.

Jay: For you to have a wonderful experience and therefore when I’m teaching my agents or other agents, I say people don’t refer average. You need to be above average for them to want to refer you business. Well, it’s the real estate space, mortgage space, ancillary spaces in our businesses and if you’re playing average, expect average results.

Kody: Yeah.

Jay: And that’s how we’ve grown our business.

Kody: You know, I was recently in a meeting with another great thought guy that’s out there. He owns a company called “You Will Change the World” and he helps authors and other people make a difference in the world. You Will Change the World. His name is Peter Anthony and he said something that really struck with me and I think it relates with what you just shared. He says – he talks to gentlemen. He talks to guys and says, “Hey look, most guys will send their girlfriend or their spouse a dozen flowers.”

He says, “Do you want to know what will impress them a lot more? You will get so much more mileage out of than sending your wife or your spouse or significant other the dozen flowers. So rather than send them a dozen flowers all at once, send them one red rose a week for 12 weeks and see what kind of difference that makes.”

When you hear that, it’s like duh. I mean that does make sense, doesn’t it? It’s like your wife is reminded every week for 12 straight weeks with this beautiful red rose that you really care about her and that you love her versus doing it all at once and then the roses die and they’re gone a week later.

I think that’s what you’re saying. You’re saying invest in a relationship system that allows you basically to do that and you’re a master at that.

Jay: I appreciate that and echo that and more importantly, I do that. I don’t want to be a hypocrite to any one of these viewers and listeners on this call and I think that’s what can happen with folks is you probably can see – I spend a lot of money on SendOutCards and I love doing it. I echo what others have said and then I 10X it. When I see and I hear a prompting and I echo again, when you have a client that is good, better and different, you know that you need to fix it somehow and you work very hard.

Well, you have the tool that can allow that to happen to get that gift out, that card out, that appreciation, that emotional hot button to put and simmer things down because in our business, the real estate business, it can be very challenging.

I’ve had my best year in years simply because of the practice that I just shared with you. So I can show up at a closing in golf shorts. I don’t have to go to the closing or they don’t expect me at a home inspection. All these things that I used to do Kody and then I share with others when – you know, if it’s OK, I will segue into the business aspect for some people.

If you’re in the real estate space and you have these professionals that you’re referring business to and they’re not using Kody and SendOutCards’ system, either mandate that they do or find somebody that will.

Kody: Wow.

Jay: Here’s the reason why and I will share this one. I know we’re running out of some time but I could talk for hours with you. I love you man.

It’s that I had an occasion in my BNI group where I referred this woman five different individuals. Four got the business and I study NLP and I love NLP and I had sent her cards and gifts and so forth and I said, “Hey folks, what card did you see I sent Irina?” The loan officer, the attorney, the electrician and the painter all said none. See I didn’t say, “Did you send a card?” I said, “What card?” and when they said none, I said, “Well, that’s what I asked you to do,” because if you had sent them a card, it would have helped me because I dropped this business in your lap.

Because you didn’t, I had to cut you loose because you’re not doing what I asked you to do and I found four other professionals to do that, that are doing it now and my business is growing. Guess what, their business is growing. Now the simple part about it, Irina called me back this week. Four years ago, I sold a house. We’re putting our house on the market. She’s not calling back those other four people that didn’t send them.

Kody: Yeah.

Jay: And if she does need help getting her house for sale, I’m not calling back those four that didn’t send her a card. I know some people on this call, business-wise, might say, “Oh, that’s not very nice Jay.” It is nice. It’s business to business and the business to business that are not looking out for me and my family, Stacy and Ocean and my brothers and family members, I look at it and I say, hey, 30 years in the business. I’ve seen what’s right. I’ve seen what’s wrong. I’ve seen what Kody and others have shared with me.

Frankly speaking, I love what you’ve taught me because not only has my business grown. I have more time to enjoy my business. I love our friend Jordan. I read the book 10 years ago. Just bought the book again, bought the Audible. Beach money. Well, Jordan, I’m creating golf money.

Kody: That’s great. That’s great. Well, Jay, you will be happy to hear that just today – actually it was yesterday July 17th. My new book The Power of Human Connection went up for a pre-order on Amazon. So you can actually go pre-order the book right now and we’re actually asking people to go to Amazon and do the pre-order. The official launch date will be August 28th.

The Power of Human Connection: How Relationship Marketing is Transforming the Way People Succeed. Incredible. Over 40 featured stories in there like the ones you’re sharing today and all kinds of information about how to 10 times your business, how to better your business, how to prospect, present and follow up the relationship way.

So we’re real excited about that. We’re actually doing a 10-city pre-launch tour that you will be able to go on my Facebook page and see that as well. The one closest to you I think is going to be in Toronto and so we’ve got one of our stops in Toronto. But we’re really going to get the message out there.

The purpose of the new book is just to get the message out there to businesspeople that there is a better way. There’s a better way to do business. There’s a better way to get results in your business and there’s a better way to treat people. That’s what this book is about. It’s what you’re about.

Power of human connection, that’s what I love about you is you make genuine connections with other human beings personally and in your business and I just feel that the world needs so much more of that especially right now and I think that’s the great – a great way to close this meeting today, close this show today. Just have you touch on that. To you, what is the importance of making genuine human connection with other human beings?

Jay: Yeah, I love it. I would be remised if I didn’t share this story, if it’s OK, because I think this goes to what Bart had asked me yesterday and what really supplemented why I’m here on these calls. I got an email from my golf club that a prominent member was taking residence with his daughter and I looked over to my wife and I said, “Stacy, this is what Kody calls a prompting,” and she said, “What’s that? A new app?”

Yeah, this is 2012. It’s back in the app dates, right? I said no big deal and I went on this thing called SOT. No, that’s my hair tonic. I went on this thing called SOC and I sent Mr. Mel a card saying, “I wish you a wonderful 2012. I heard that you’re taking residence with your daughter. I wish you a happy new year,” and I got an email a week later and it said, “You’re the Jay McHugh that sent my dad a box of brownies and a card. If so or not, do you let us know?” and I was a little awkward about it and I looked at my wife Stacy and she said, “You’re overreacting Jay. Just email him back.” I said, “Yes, this is Jay. I’m a member of a golf club with your dad and I hear that he’s taking residence with you. I just want to wish him a happy New Year.”

She wrote back, “Jay, my dad has all the time. He won’t be coming back to Dedham. We were hoping you could help us sell his home for us.” I won’t get into the rest of it because I know we’re short on time. But I will tell you, that right there, I did sell the house and I made five times that from selling a house in 2012. I know that happened early for me. But when you have that one wow, you will never forget SendOutCards and I just try to tell people, “Folks, don’t expect the card going out tomorrow and getting a result a week later. Yet when it does happen, you will be a believer in SendOutCards,” and I love you man.

Kody: Jay, thank you so much. Master storyteller. Appreciate you closing the show with that great story and for all of you, if you want to find out how Jay does what he does, get with the person who shared this show with you today. I’m sure they can share with you the system and I know you’re a super busy guy Jay. So we appreciate the time that you’ve spent to be with us today. I know that – it’s funny because I’m interviewing you and I want to be sitting here taking notes. You do another nugget and I’m like, “Wait, wait. I need to take notes.” I got to remember I’m actually interviewing you.

So appreciate you so much and thanks everybody for tuning in today. We will see you next week on another great edition of our Relationship Marketing Weekly show. Take care everybody now.

Jay: Thanks Kody.


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If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate a Relationship Marketing Strategy in your business, feel free to call or text me at {LEAD_OWNER_PHONE|}I will answer all your questions and help you build relationships, increase referrals, and make an amazing impression on all your clients, friends and family!

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