Jon David Kirk Interviewed By The Legend, Joshua Smith, of GSD MODE. Listen In Or Read the Breakdown what it takes to create freedom and fortune while living the highest quality lives possible in Real Estate Sales.
Joshua Smith (00:56):
All right. You ready to rock, dude?
Jonathan Kirk (00:57):
Yes sir. Let’s rock.
Joshua Smith (00:59):
All right, here we go. All right, Jon, my man, welcome to the GSD Mode podcast, my friend.
Jonathan Kirk (01:05):
Thanks for having me, man. Grateful to be here with you, my brother. Thank you so much.
Joshua Smith (01:09):
Yeah. Now I’m stoked, dude. I mean, you’re a dude that has and continues to just absolutely kick ass in this industry, man, in the real estate industry. You’ve had so much success with yourself and your real estate team, and then some other ventures that I know that we will get into in this interview, to new ventures that you’re really dominating in, and so forth.
Joshua Smith (01:30):
And before we get into all the amazing things that you’re up to now, today, I’m always intriguing our guest’s journeys that led him here in the first place, that led them into real estate.
Joshua Smith (01:39):
So, if we run the clocks, man, I mean, how did this begin? Because if I remember correctly, you were doing something totally uncorrelated. I think you started off in music. How did this journey begin in first place, dude?
Jonathan Kirk (01:54):
Yeah, man, thanks again for having me. So, it all started, I was a record engineer out west working in the studios and have a master’s degree in analog and digital recording, and was working with artists, centric artists, some of them that were tough to get to perform, and just very fickle individuals, national-signed acts, and was not making that much money out west. And I have an innate ability to connect with people, I believe and have sales skills.
Jonathan Kirk (02:23):
So, in 2010, I called my mom and dad I said, “Guys, I’m coming home.” So, I packed my bags in California. My dad flew cross country, drove home from California to Maryland, with my cat and my dad, and still have the cat by the way, it’s at my mom’s house. And, yeah, and then I got into the Baltimore Business Journal. I’m selling newspapers for eight months, nine months.
Jonathan Kirk (02:46):
And my brother, he was flipping houses and I was miserable. I remember calling him going to work every day and I’m like, “Dude, I hate this. I’m selling newspapers. I’m suited up going downtown to make minimal money.” He’s like, “Why don’t you get your real estate license?” Michael, his agent was making like 85,000 a year just off my brother’s flips at the time.
Jonathan Kirk (03:06):
So, I was like, okay, I called Michael Schiff, who is one of my mentors to this day, Schiff Home Team, shout out to Keller Homes Legacy, Schiff Home Team. Still a great friend, great mentor and amazingly successful real estate agent and team.
Jonathan Kirk (03:17):
He gave me my first shot. He gave me my job at KW and taught me a lot of what I know today and just showed me how to be a professional, the right type of agent, how to do the right thing, the right types of habits and just kind of scaled and built off of that and that’s how I got into it.
Joshua Smith (03:33):
Yeah, love it, awesome stuff, dude. So, all right, man, so you decide to go this path, you meet your mentor, but this industry is tough dude. I mean, it’s not just this, all business is tough. When we look at all the failure rates kind of across the board, real estate just fits in alignment with it, but entrepreneurship is difficult.
Joshua Smith (03:55):
In our industry, we see about 90% of agents drop out in the first three years. And again, it can be a challenge to not become a statistic. So, right out of the gate, what were some of the things that you started doing let’s just say in that first year or so that allowed you to create the momentum where you didn’t become a statistic?
Jonathan Kirk (04:17):
Awesome question, dude. Yeah, that’s getting hyper specific. I remember exactly what I did is I did open houses, like it was no tomorrow.
Jonathan Kirk (04:24):
And I sold 18, 19 houses my very first year when a team through me just posting up, “Hey, guys, how are you days?” Sellers request a little bit of information, if you don’t mind signing in. I get their name their email, and then I follow up with them after they left. I was just very impressionable when they were with me. Didn’t hog them down or bog them down and just ask them questions. If any questions, let me know. My name’s Jonathan, have a good tour.
Jonathan Kirk (04:49):
And through that just sold a ton of houses and built up a little bit of a basic clientele. And that’s how I got the majority of my business through calling my team leaders, Zillow leads, and you doing open houses in his listings that were so highly renovated that a lot of them were sold by the time I did the open house.
Jonathan Kirk (05:07):
So, they’re coming in, I’m like, “Hey, guys, I’m so sorry.” I’m like, “This one’s sold, but if you take my card, I can get you access to like three or four or five of them that haven’t even hit yet.” Meanwhile, their agents letting them down, they can’t find a property. So, that’s how I kind of cut my teeth and got started.
Joshua Smith (05:22):
Yeah, love it. So, speaking to that, man, because I mean, 18 or so closings your first year, which sounds like some of them may have potentially come from the Zillow leads that your team leader had that you called. But when it comes specifically to open houses, how frequently were you doing them? Was that something that you were just doing religiously every single week?
Jonathan Kirk (05:43):
Joshua Smith (05:44):
Just to give our listeners a kind of an expectation.
Jonathan Kirk (05:47):
Yeah. My first year, I probably held open houses every single weekend. There’s only 52 weeks in the year. So, I probably held at least like 30, 35 open houses.
Jonathan Kirk (05:57):
Through that, all the people that are coming in, you get to work your magic because there’s no better way to get that to belly to belly with buyers. And there’s no better way, in my opinion, to start off as an agent start feeling comfortable working with clients buying and selling real estate because I remember the feelings I had towards listings as a buyer’s agent, as a newbie, it just feels like very unfamiliar territory.
Jonathan Kirk (06:16):
So, getting out there every single weekend that you can, look, it’s two hours, dude. You know what I mean? I was single at that time. I remember I’m like two hours and I go back to the bar and I hang out, watch the rest of the Ravens game. You know what I mean? Hang out my friends. Now, it’s like two hours when I do an open house and I come back to my family. I go to the store, I pick up like a brisket, have it in the slow cooker before I’m out. And then by the time I come home from my open house, which I still do to this day, for my clients.
Jonathan Kirk (06:44):
Because it’s a great time for reflection as well and it’s a great time to get out of the house, especially when you got kids, you can’t think straight, you’re like, “Let me just get out, do an open house, get a couple hours of work done.” That’s one of the best tools for real estate agents and it’s free.
Joshua Smith (06:57):
Yup, couldn’t agree more, man. So, then when it comes to the open houses, I mean, obviously, you’re doing them consistently, you’re getting their information and you’re able to follow up with them. You also had more strategic about creating a value add that maybe other open houses that they’re visiting didn’t have, meaning you have these other off market deals that they could go see that like they can only go through you to find those. They go meet somebody else at another open house, they may only be able to show them the [inaudible 00:07:32].
Joshua Smith (07:32):
So, you kind of have a value add that’s exclusive or different that you can offer them. In addition to that, I mean, is there any key pieces of advice that you would tell people that you found for them to have success with open houses specifically?
Jonathan Kirk (07:50):
Yeah. So, I read a lot of books. You know what I mean? I’ve been well studied. And I like artists and authors like Vishen Lakhiani, who wrote The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, Chris Voss Never, Split the Difference. I mean, his ability to teach and just, you learn how to communicate with people.
Jonathan Kirk (08:09):
And me and you were high energy, so we’re up here. But normally when I’m speaking to clients for the first time, I’m in my lower late night DJ FM temperament. “Hey guys, Jonathan, here. If you guys have any questions, feel free to pull me up.” Just like, at the highest quality hotel they could ever be at, I’m a bellhop, it’s got to be soothing for them. Otherwise, they’ll like, “Get me another bellhop.” You know what I mean? “Get me somebody else other than that guy with that voice that’s all the way up here in his head.”
Jonathan Kirk (08:37):
So, coming from record engineering, as a musician, I learned how to manipulate my energy and stuff like that. So, that’s really what I focused on. Because I’m so excited all the time, I’m just a big ball of energy, but it’s like I’m too much for people when they don’t know me. My people that know me, if I’m not like that, they’re like, “Dude, something’s wrong with you. What’s going on?”
Jonathan Kirk (08:58):
But for people that don’t know me yet, I got to like try as hard as I can to restrain my energy, my excitement and just compel them to come closer to me first rather than repelling them to go away with being up here in my head and staying controlled and in this range.
Jonathan Kirk (09:15):
So, managing my body language, managing my timbre and the way that I communicate was huge for me. Starting off, especially when I got into calling expired, which is when I left the team after the first year, I had to fend for myself. And that’s when I really started to work on my skills and my scripts, my expertise and my communication, my listening to really be successful and grow my own business.
Joshua Smith (09:37):
Yup, love that dude, powerful stuff, man. And that’s where I wanted to transition next.
Joshua Smith (09:41):
So, you’ve been doing these open houses, did them consistently your first year and still to this day, as you talked about for your clients. Maybe you’re not doing the same volume that you did back then, but it’s still a leg in your business.
Joshua Smith (09:55):
But then, correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you, between 2014 and 2017, got really intentional with expires as well and to the point where 75 to 85% I think in that range of your business was coming from expired and you just started slaying it with expired.
Joshua Smith (10:13):
So, you kind of walk us through what led while you just I think you just said that, have left the team, now you need-
Jonathan Kirk (10:20):
Yeah. I’ll bring you through the timeline. So, it was 2012, my team leader asked me to leave. I wasn’t compliant with the team meetings, the cash talks, and putting my numbers. I just wanted to be let go. I wanted to be let free and just go produce.
Jonathan Kirk (10:36):
So, 2013, 2012, 2013, early 2013, Kirk Home Group was born. Keller Williams Legacy Metro down in Baltimore City, enjoyed being a bachelor for about a year, year and a half, benefiting off of investors because as I left the team, remember I came from my brother. So, his investment business came with me so that kind of smokescreen my inefficiencies as a realtor for a while because I was living without really working that hard. I was getting a couple deals per month, week in, week out, no problem. People just giving me listings, because I did a really good job my first year on social media getting the word out.
Jonathan Kirk (11:12):
Once I found that I was going to be a father, everything became real. As October 2014, I looked at my books, I had no listings, I had no money. I was going to be a father. I’m like, wow, things are real. So, now I guess I’ll get on the phones.
Jonathan Kirk (11:24):
And that’s when I found Andrew Scherer my coach at Pillar 9 Coaching, shout out to Andrew. He’s got an amazing coaching platform. And Andrew with his team at Lead Gen Scripts and Objections, I’ve seen you in his interviews before. Yeah, we just kind of came together. I hired Andy as my coach. I paid him $500 a month. I was his very first coaching client.
Jonathan Kirk (11:42):
So, I like to kind of take credit for that because he was responsible for kind of getting him on that path. He was already going that path but this guy is unbelievable. He just nurtured me when I needed the nurturing the most of 2014.
Jonathan Kirk (11:55):
I’d wake up at 6:15, 6:30 get ready for a 7:05 script call with him, so I can get on the phones by 7:55 and he would kick my ass, dude. My heart would pound when I would get on the phone with my coach and we would script roleplay and I really took this seriously.
Jonathan Kirk (12:12):
And what happened was I found a bulletproof listing presentation through Ben Kinney, list 500 houses at Keller Williams family reunion I’ll never forget it. So, it was February 2015. I started calling them for sale by owners, lost couple of listings, had no listing presentation. I was going in there talking and I wasn’t showing them stuff.
Jonathan Kirk (12:29):
And of course, I wasn’t getting listings. Literally was getting prospects, closing gifts, begging them to give me their listing and they’re like, “I’m so sorry, call somebody else.”
Jonathan Kirk (12:38):
Finally, I’m in Keller Williams family reunion and I had one mission to have a bulletproof listing presentation so I went down to Orange County Convention Center in Florida. Never forget it, [inaudible 00:12:48] Ben Kinney’s list 500 houses, saw the listing presentation. I was like, “That’s it. That’s what I need. Track that thing down.”
Jonathan Kirk (12:55):
When I came back within a week or two, I’ll never forget it, bro. I had my wife sitting on the couch. She’s blowing up, getting ready to give birth. I got my headphones on. I got the blank listing presentation PowerPoint. I got Ben Kinney’s YouTube PowerPoint. And I’m just listening to him and typing it into my presentation and just burning it into my brain.
Jonathan Kirk (13:12):
So, when I go over slide one, I’m like, this is the first thing that will directly affect whether or not your house … Burning his listing presentation into my brain and I went nuts. I went on a listing spree. I took 35 listings that year, simply because I was so nasty at this listing presentation that I took two weeks to kind of consume.
Jonathan Kirk (13:31):
Again, being an artist, being a musician, I’m the type of person that is not going to consume something you can play out to an audience unless I know all the music. I want to know all the lyrics. I want to know all the parts. So, that’s what I realized is the genius behind when I did that worked as I studied it as if I was joining a band, and I was learning the material and I was getting ready to go perform in front of an audience. So, I had to know every slide perfectly, at least as best as I could. It’s diminished over the years because I had best my first year.
Jonathan Kirk (14:01):
It was 2016 is when I really started dominating. I had a $300,000 GCI year. And that’s what I like blew my wad as they say. I was like, I will never be able to do that again. I went on 75 appointments. I took 55 of them, sold 35, 40 of the expired.
Jonathan Kirk (14:19):
And so, that’s really what changed the game is getting that listing presentation and I mastered it. I even got on interviews because of my listing presentation. And that’s really the name of the game. If you want to go take listings, master your listing presentation because that will change the way that you communicate over the phone with your prospects because you’re dropping all sorts of third party information and stuff like that. You’re saying, “I’ll go over that when we meet together.”
Jonathan Kirk (14:42):
And my game is a little rusty now on the phone, but I could probably still take some expired listings if I wanted to and even coach in that realm for those that are looking to compete. But I’m not active anymore in that realm.
Joshua Smith (14:53):
Yup, yup, love it, dude. And I love that you brought the presentation aspect and this is something that I see miss so much in this industry, but even with my own teammates on my team, that they just don’t.
Joshua Smith (15:06):
And I’m like, “Look,” this is what I tell my teammates, like, “it’s not just about mastering the presentation and memorizing what’s on every slide and so forth,” which I mean, that’s important because you don’t want to be reading slides when you get in there. They’re more visuals for them. And they also keep you on task and on point.
Joshua Smith (15:28):
But the kind of thing that I don’t think a lot of people realize is the confidence that it gives you, that confidence of going through those reps, try to push all my agents on my team in your first 12 months, read through your buyer presentation and your listing presentation a thousand times, just practice, practice, practice to get it down because again, it gives you that confidence.
Joshua Smith (15:49):
Because you get to the table, man, you got to be able to convert. You got to convince them that you’re the best person for the job. And ta lot of that’s exuded by the confidence that you exude that they have confidence that you’re the right professional.
Joshua Smith (16:01):
But then you still got to get to the table. So, when it comes to the calls itself, what were some from your daily schedule, how many dials you were having to do, to any kind of key takeaways? I know that you pivoted away from that because you found a better way to grow your business, which we’ll get into next. For those that want to go down this path, what kind of those key things?
Jonathan Kirk (16:28):
Yeah, Landvoice, I would subscribe to Landvoice. So, they would send me my expired every single day. And I would literally download an Excel spreadsheet for a month at a time.
Jonathan Kirk (16:38):
So, like March 1st to March 30th, because those are the big expired days. And I would export that into my triple line Mojo Dialer, which I don’t even know if they allow that anymore, but I was doing it and I was just slaying for about an hour and a half, an hour, 45 minutes, I would make 20 contacts and I would stop.
Jonathan Kirk (16:52):
Once I had 20 one-on-one contacts, I mean, dude, if I could show you my … I can actually show you right here, check this out. I don’t know if it’ll show you. But I got all my bold stuff, you know what I mean? I got goodies in my office that helped me stay focused when I’m making all these calls that are still in here, and they’re never going to go away because it helps me remember where I come from, which is a cold calling and it’s embedded in me, somebody that works for everything that I have.
Jonathan Kirk (17:19):
So, that’s why I have that to help me break through all the toughness that you’re going to face inevitably when you’re cold calling.
Jonathan Kirk (17:28):
And then I hated following up, but I spent a good 25, 35 minutes every time after I did my calls just to follow up on the stuff before because 20% I would get right away, the other 80% would come from my follow through.
Jonathan Kirk (17:41):
As you know, the fortune is in the follow-through. So, yeah, I mean, and then studying people like you, Derek Lipski. I got scripts from people like that and really just digested it on my own and just went to work and just stayed very, very regimented with making the calls every single day, Monday through Friday, doing my follow up every day. I mean, that in itself is a full-time job. But look, guys, if you’re looking to be successful in this real estate business, it’s a $300,000 a year GCI position to ride this spaceship.
Jonathan Kirk (18:13):
This desk right here can create $300,000 in GCI just from spending two, three hours a day on the phone. That’s it, with our scripts in our dialogue. So, it’s just a matter of doing it and staying consistent with it. And if you want it, you will get it.
Jonathan Kirk (18:27):
And then like I said, the listing presentation, once you get your foot in the door, you’ll be able to have something visual with third party information to reference versus you just telling them everything, very important as well.
Jonathan Kirk (18:38):
Because again, it’s like going back to Marco Polo. It’s like that game in the pool, Marco Polo. It’s like, “Where are you?” It’s like, “I can hear you, but I can’t see you.” So, once you show them something, they’re like, “Oh, I can see you now. I mean, I know where you are. Now, I can make my decision.”
Jonathan Kirk (18:52):
So, the expireds are always a telltale way to build your business in this business. I don’t care how much saturation is out there, if you want it bad enough, you make those phone calls, you send the client your client testimonials, you have them compare and contrast, and say, “Let me know if you think it might be worth it for us to chat further after you take a look at my reviews. I think you’ll be impressed, Mr. Josh. Take care. I’ll talk to you soon.”
Jonathan Kirk (19:14):
And then I just put the ball in their court. I follow up, “Hey, Josh, did you ever get a chance to look at my reviews?” “Oh, yeah, I’ve been busy,” and then just the follow-up. So, that’s really what it takes if you’re going to go down that road.
Joshua Smith (19:24):
Yeah. And the cool thing about the world that we live in, in the air that we all … With all the technology like you mentioned, Derek Lipski, so, you can just go onto YouTube, type in his name and be able to see every script everything he says, he’s out there doing live calls, you can watch him live. There’s no shortage of that. It’s easier today than ever before to figure out and identify, what do I say, how do I craft these, all of that.
Joshua Smith (19:53):
So, I’m curious, dude. I mean, you pivoted your business, even though you were kind of at this high on expireds man, I mean, it was proven, it was bringing a lot of money, you’re getting damn good at it. And then you totally changed gears. Was that due to one of the hard things about when you’re chasing business, it can be hard to scale and so forth, versus when you’re attracting business having people come to you, it eliminates that time, if you will. Was it something to do to that or what kind of inspired the change to how you do business now today?
Jonathan Kirk (20:34):
Thank you. Yeah, it was a couple of things, Josh. I was getting tired of the same old thing, of having to always do what I’ve always done. Every month, I’m starting over from scratch. I’m like, oh, my god, I took 10 listings last month.
Jonathan Kirk (20:45):
The energy it took, the follow-through it took, the missed nights with my wife and my kids, I was just like, dude, can’t sustain this long term. I’m all about doing something that’s going to go towards building a long-term valuable asset.
Jonathan Kirk (20:57):
And that coupled with the fact that I saw the disruption happening in our industry. If you look at wholesale on one side of the spectrum and retail and the other side, in the middle, we’ve got all this disruption with iBuyers, Opendoor, Offerpad, Purplebricks, Zillow, HomeLight you name it, all these online technology companies that are disrupting our industry and just creating all this content devouring up all these leads and then selling them back to us.
Jonathan Kirk (21:23):
I just knew that because I was getting so much business in 2019 from homelight.com, I knew that I could do something better than they could. They’re in Silicon Valley. I’m here in Baltimore. They don’t work, they don’t live, they don’t play in these communities and give back like I do. So, they could never create the content that I create as long as I just try to beat them at their own game.
Jonathan Kirk (21:44):
So, that’s what kind of segued me into being aware of like, wow, I figured out how the internet works. I downloaded … By the way, this is a free giveaway for anybody that wants to download Keywords Everywhere into your Chrome browser. It’s a plugin. This way, you can see how many times a month somebody is searching a keyword term.
Jonathan Kirk (22:02):
So, if you’re in Arizona and people were typing in Arizona realtors 1500 times a month, don’t you think it’d be beneficial to show up on page one for the keyword term, Arizona realtors? Absolutely, especially if you have the content to support.
Jonathan Kirk (22:15):
So, that’s what I did, is I started to reverse engineer working with companies like Carrot and my coaches and mentors, how I showed up on page one of Google for keyword terms like Baltimore realtors, where I outranked Zillow, I outranked Redfin, I outranked homelight.com, and I’m getting the exposure and getting the leads to start coming in.
Jonathan Kirk (22:33):
That changed the game for me because then it goes towards creating a lifestyle freedom, flexibility, predictability, more consistency and fortune within your business without being on that hamster wheel of having to make those phone calls in order to get those leads or have to have that income coming in.
Jonathan Kirk (22:48):
Now, off that hamster wheel, and I have evergreen content that’s on Google that’s on my website. So, my Google, my Business profile, my YouTube channel that are just working for me over and over again because I’ve tagged them with targeted keywords that my desired end consumers are typing into Google to solve their home sell problems, to solve their home sell needs, or answer their questions or on YouTube, whatever the platform is they’re searching on.
Jonathan Kirk (23:09):
So, it’s just reverse engineering the way that we find our clients because disruption is here. We’re already becoming more and more of a commodity as realtors and mortgage brokers, I can take this quarter, throw it down the street, probably hit 15 realtors.
Jonathan Kirk (23:24):
What differentiates us is how we show up as an authority online in the eyes of the biggest search engines on the planet, as well as our local communities when they Google cash buyers in Brooklyn Park, Maryland, or sell my house fast Baltimore or realtors near me. This is what’s going to change the game.
Jonathan Kirk (23:40):
So, we need to focus on going online right now, now, while we have the opportunity because we can beat technology at their own game. They didn’t think that we’d ever come into this space as quickly as we are. But the one thing that COVID is teaching us, Josh, is that we have to evolve. There are no more weekly meetups or networking events. We’re all being secluded and isolated and locked down. So, everybody’s going to their phone looking for the answers to the questions with solutions to their problems.
Joshua Smith (24:06):
Yup, yup. Love that, dude. And what’s so cool about this, man, is because you’re speaking to organic traffic finding you, finding value in your content and so forth, and then reaching out to you. So, they’re raising their hand, man So, we’re not talking about paid leads. A lot of people think of when they think of online, doing business online and so forth, buying leads from zillowrealtor.com or paid Facebook ads or pay Google pay per click and so forth. So, I mean, number one, you’re driving people to you without having to pay for those leads, per se.
Joshua Smith (24:50):
But the other thing that I love about this, man, is I can’t tell you how many times over the last and probably the last five years that comments have been made to me by those in this industry that SEO is just kind of a dead game, if you will because it’s so difficult. We can never compete with the Zillow is in a world. They’re going to buy everything out. And it’s just impossible.
Jonathan Kirk (25:11):
Joshua Smith (25:11):
Yeah, yeah. I mean, you’re proving that wrong and also in the era that we’re in. This isn’t something that you did 10 years ago, this is something that you started what, 2018, but just continued to grow and expand and crush it even more as we’re in 2020 and going into 2021, and so forth.
Joshua Smith (25:33):
And I mean, so what are some of the … You know that there’s so much to this and it probably be a 40-hour course, you got to walk everybody-
Jonathan Kirk (25:44):
You want to talk about that later, for sure.
Joshua Smith (25:48):
Yeah. But what are some of the big important things? If somebody wants to start going down this journey in their own business, what are those key important things that like, look, you got to get this right. Otherwise, you’re going to have a very difficult time and experience a lot of resistance.
Joshua Smith (26:04):
But then also, I probably should have led with this question, just to set the right expectations, because I’m sure that this isn’t just … It could be, maybe it’s an overnight thing. But it could be something that you’re doing your weekly blogs and it may take X amount of months, so it can build up the momentum and so forth to really start popping.
Joshua Smith (26:22):
And so, how long did it take for you to start seeing business from this just to set the right expectations for everybody? And then again, what are kind of key main things that people need to get right?
Jonathan Kirk (26:33):
Yeah. So, I mean, within the first six months, you start to see a return. It does take sometimes six to nine months to start seeing yourself ranking, depending on how competitive the keywords are. So, it can take a little bit of time. But in the interim, you’re creating evergreen content that never loses its relevancy.
Jonathan Kirk (26:50):
So, you’ll be able to share those links to your social profiles, getting traction, getting more attention, not only on the content that you’re sharing, but taking attention from social media over to your actual website, which Google is watching all that stuff. And then determining and evaluating the backlinks and the keywords that are in your website.
Jonathan Kirk (27:08):
Then something that you can do is to do your keyword research before you create some content. I mean, for lord’s sake, I see so many people creating such amazing content.
Jonathan Kirk (27:20):
My consulting clients now, when they create their content, they just send me their videos to sometimes optimize for them if they don’t want to deal with it, or they do their keyword research first. They know what those hot words are, whether it’s realtors in the city or sell my house fast in the city or if you’re an investor, we buy houses the city you’re in, homes for sale in the city you’re in. These are the buzzwords that you got to do your keyword research.
Jonathan Kirk (27:43):
Again, you can go to Keywords Everywhere, it’s a free plugin. I think it costs 10 bucks to have 100,000 credits. I still have like 90,000 credits left, and I’ve been using it for over a year. So, it’s like a lifetime worth of credits.
Jonathan Kirk (27:55):
You can also use the Google Keyword Planner. You can use that to evaluate keywords. And another gem, basically it does exactly what it sounds like, it’s keywordshitter.com. You just plug in a couple keywords in the keywordshitter.com, it’ll shit out a bunch of keywords for you, take that group of keywords into your Google Keyword Planner, copy and paste that into the forecast and volume analyzer. And then it’ll tell you which keywords, how many times a month they’re searched.
Jonathan Kirk (28:22):
And what you’re going to be looking for is the ones that are from 100 to 1000 searches per month because anything over 1000 are going to be a little bit more competitive, harder to rank for those keywords. And then just Google those actual keywords. After you log them on a sheet for you, check them on Google, check them on YouTube, see if there’s videos that are ranking with titles that have that exact keyword.
Jonathan Kirk (28:41):
I mean, this is the stuff that we consult on. And it sounds kind of like redundant and boring, but it is the most important steps when creating content to do your keyword research prior to creating the content.
Jonathan Kirk (28:54):
Create the content around the keywords that you want to dominate for, not just say, “Hey, I got amazing content. Let’s go create it and then name it, whatever the content is about.” You have to name it whatever the keyword is that you want to rank for, then do a dash whatever the content is about in the title.
Jonathan Kirk (29:08):
And then make sure you transcribe your videos on www.rev.com. And then get your captions in your videos and make sure you’re optimizing your content to go out there and do work because Google has crawlers. It doesn’t have eyes or ears. It can’t listen. It can’t see your content. It has to crawl and read it through the content. You’re transcribing what you say into the description of your YouTube video, and that way you’ll actually get ranked on Google a lot faster.
Joshua Smith (29:33):
Yup, love it. And then I’m guessing, okay, so you’ve got the title, you got the YouTube video up now, all the things that you said. Then are you taking that YouTube video, embedding that into the blog, then you have the write-up, then plus all your keywords, tags, whatever that looks like.
Jonathan Kirk (29:51):
That’s right, yeah. It’s almost like a flowchart. You know what I mean? So, it’s like first, we take the video, we upload it into YouTube. We optimize it with the video title with a description, with the tags, make sure the transcription is in the description.
Jonathan Kirk (30:04):
Once that video is optimized, I’m going to copy and paste and embed that link into a brand new blog post or a new blog page or a brand new blog post or a page on my website, publish that, make sure the transcription again is in the text of the blog posts. So, we’re going to pour gasoline fluid on the fire. And then we publish that.
Jonathan Kirk (30:23):
Then we copy and paste that link from your blog. Take that to Facebook, take that to the LinkedIn, create a new GMB, Google My Business posts and then backlink that website link in the bottom of that GMB post. And then just rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, do it once or twice per week.
Jonathan Kirk (30:39):
And then within your chosen keywords, Google will start to analyze you and rank you. As long as your content is original, current and relevant, you’re going to do very well for yourself, especially if you get in front of the camera and press record.
Joshua Smith (30:52):
Now, you can have amazing content out there. And this may be an assumption. I found this to hold true at least for the stuff that I do on YouTube. But I don’t really know, the differences between YouTube versus Google, if it’s all the same, or if there’s differences and so forth.
Joshua Smith (31:14):
But still putting in I guess call to actions, if you will, and prompts and readings to reach out to you. So, when it comes to that, man, I mean, are there any specifics that you found that are really there? So, as they’re reading that the great content, getting answers, your kind of also planting those seeds of, “Hey, look, I’m a realtor in X, Y, Z area. I can help you with needs. Here’s how to get a hold of me.”
Jonathan Kirk (31:42):
Yes, absolutely. Yeah, they’re embedded. I mean, the websites have their own forums. After every YouTube video, I’m saying, “Hey, guys for more information, feel free to reach out to me.” I give them my number, or visit kirkhomegroup.com for more information. Same thing with this, now it’s jondavidkirk.com for working with realtors or sales professionals or business owners, if they want to reach out to me.
Jonathan Kirk (32:02):
So, yeah, absolutely call to actions, and on the websites, they were optimize with forms, with capture forms to make sure that you’re capturing your sellers, capturing your buyers, when they’re searching the IDX and looking at all the houses that are for sale, or if they typed in a keyword term, like sell my house Baltimore and they landed on my website, they watch a video and then they’re like, okay, there’s a form right there that’s requesting information. That’s how they’ve been contacting me.
Jonathan Kirk (32:25):
You have to be easy to contact nowadays. You have to be able to get contacted electronically. There’s not me messaging you and saying, “Hey, Josh. Can you hit me back? Let me know what your availabilities are.” It’s like, “Hey, dude, here, go to my website, click on this link, it has a Calendly link to my schedule. Go ahead and book time, whatever’s convenient for you. And I will be there. I live and die by my calendar.”
Jonathan Kirk (32:46):
So, that’s the same way that I’m working it with my real estate clients as well. I’m setting appointments with them, but for those that are coming to me online, they can literally book time through Calendly to meet with me to sell their house now.
Joshua Smith (32:59):
Yeah, that’s awesome. I love it. So, what is the difference? Because, I mean, I just have to imagine, so this is just an assumption, but the quality of a client. And what I mean by the quality of a client that comes in from this method that you’ve been talking about versus an expired is kind of night and day.
Joshua Smith (33:22):
And I mean, they both lead to a commission and so forth. But these people are, we already know, they like you, they trust you, they’ve been getting value your content, so I got to imagine these are a lot more like almost a referral, versus an expired where you’re having to really sell yourself.
Jonathan Kirk (33:38):
Totally, man. It’s night and day, dude. On a scale of one to 10, this being one this being 10, expired leads are probably like a three or four, this is at like eight or nine.
Jonathan Kirk (33:47):
I mean, it’s almost as high as somebody referring it to me, but it’s not quite there. I just took a listing and pended it with multiple offers. There’s $125,000 listing, came in through my investor website. She Googled cash buyers in Brooklyn Park, Maryland.
Jonathan Kirk (34:01):
It was a location page that I had built specifically for that keyword term under another bigger location page in Anne Arundel County that captured her. She had nine interviews, bro. You know what I mean? A bunch of investors coming through, giving her lowball offers. I come through, I’m like, “What would you like to sell this house for?” she’s like, “Well, I’ve been getting really low offers at like 50 and 60 and 70.” I’m like, “I could list this and sell it for you at 125.” Her eyes lit up. She couldn’t believe it because she was dealing with mostly investors.
Jonathan Kirk (34:26):
Again, having an investor website capture or cash buyer terms. Sometimes they think they want a cash buyer, but once they talk to a realtor and they see what they can sell it for in this COVID market where there’s a lack of inventory, they end up listing and selling it with a realtor 99.9% of the time, especially if they’re confident that it can get so quickly.
Jonathan Kirk (34:44):
So, I took that listing. It was like taking candy from a baby, pended it, multiple offers. It wasn’t a house that was already tried to get listed and was unsuccessful in getting sold. This is a brand new property you’re coming to the market with. So, very different dynamic, quality lead, very different dynamic quality listing.
Jonathan Kirk (35:02):
So, all the leads that I get on my website, I mean, I’ve closed. Literally, very few of them I’ve not closed. And we’ve had a lot of leads come through.
Jonathan Kirk (35:12):
My closing ratio was very good with expired. It’s probably like a 70, 80% on the appointments that I would go on. I mean, I was the kind of guy, Josh, after I qualified you, and I said other than prices or anything that you’d like to discuss before thoughts and paperwork, they tell me, “Okay, well there’s other interviews.”
Jonathan Kirk (35:28):
And then I would isolate that right then and there. And I’d say, “Perfect. Aside from interviewing with the other agents, is there any reason why we wouldn’t get together and we wouldn’t work together?” “No, Jonathan, you’ve been great.” I’m like, “Okay, so you’re comfortable and confident that I can get the job done?” They’re like, “Yeah, absolutely.”
Jonathan Kirk (35:43):
And then I’d be like, “Okay. So, being that you are comfortable and confident with me, I’d like to tell you that normally when you have other interviews and yet you’re comfortable and confident with me to get the job done, normally, it’s because you feel obligated these other people are coming out of their busy schedules, in essence to come and help you sell your houses. You know what it’ll do?”
Jonathan Kirk (36:00):
I’ll say, “I’ll go ahead and I’ll call those agents and I’ll let them know that you’re really looking forward to meeting with them, yet we decided to work together. This way we don’t really keep you away from your business or family or them really away from their businesses or family, considering that you and I are already comfortable and confident that we can get the job done together. Is there any other reason for us not to move forward?” And usually they’ll say, “Okay, you call the agent.”
Jonathan Kirk (36:20):
So, I was so aggressive that if I have multiple interviews, I’m calling you at that house, I’m walking out with that listing. This is very different where if she’s meeting with other people, it’s not cold callers. It’s people that she found online and they’re not savage like I am. So, that’s why I think the online mixed with dudes that have cold call thick skin, it’s a deadly combination.
Jonathan Kirk (36:44):
Because once you walk in that door, you’re like, oh, hell, yeah, this listing is mine. There’s nobody else that’s taking it from me, versus me going up against the five best cold callers in my market. Sometimes I’d lose, you know what I mean? So, especially if you’re going up somebody like you, or Derrick Lipski, it’s like sometimes you’re going to lose some. So, very different dynamic to answer that question for the quality of the lead.
Joshua Smith (37:04):
Love it, man.
Jonathan Kirk (37:05):
By the way, that close, I haven’t recanted that close. That was like the Superman close in over a year and a half. I haven’t had to use that in a long time.
Joshua Smith (37:13):
That’s awesome, dude. And what’s cool about this is this dude, 100% replaced, even though expireds did extremely well for you. This is replaced and really even scaled since then, I mean, this lead into a 15 million a year of consistent real estate sales for you.
Joshua Smith (37:32):
So, it’s not like this is just a small thing. I mean, this style of marketing, I mean, really, content marketing can really scale and really explode and improve in that, man. It’s awesome, dude.
Joshua Smith (37:45):
So, then from there, man, I am curious. I know that you’re doing some coaching and consulting on this now as well. And my guess is that others just kind of how it naturally progresses a lot of time for others to see the success that you have, they want to do the same thing. This is a lot of realtors or sales people, not necessarily tech savvy people.
Joshua Smith (38:07):
So, learning this process can be kind of overwhelming. And I’m sure that it was just some demand there. But what led to why did you decide to say yes and go down the path of coaching and working with other agents on helping them do this in their own business?
Jonathan Kirk (38:26):
Great question. I was naturally always like a giver. And when my coach [inaudible 00:38:32] coaching, I actually started coaching for him a little bit, but really couldn’t find my traction. I wasn’t him. And I was trying to be him and teach his material.
Jonathan Kirk (38:41):
So, over the next three, four years, I cut my teeth and built my own process. And once I started www.minutepages.com in March of 2020 when the pandemic hit, that software technology is taking a while to come out. It’s websites that are lead sites and minutes for the realtor or real estate investor.
Jonathan Kirk (38:59):
During that time, I had a lot of professionals that knew I was coming out with websites just like carrot.com and they were tired of waiting. So, they were asking me information on who they should go with. And undoubtedly, I recommended Carrot. I’m working with probably 13 to 15 different, probably 20 different Carrot accounts right now, where I’m an affiliate and I’m building people’s Carrot sites for them the same way that I built mine.
Jonathan Kirk (39:23):
Until Minute Pages comes out. I have nothing else that I’ve proven myself successful on, so I can’t consult on a process that I haven’t already perfected and proven successful. So, that’s why it kind of came to be where I’m like, look, this consulting was born out of necessity out of other agents reaching out to me saying, hey, help me accomplish what you’ve accomplished because it can be done in any market. Any city you drop me off anywhere in this country, I will f
Jonathan Kirk (39:48):
I’ll be on page one of Google and I’ll be cash flowing, like really high successful real estate transactions as a result of me ranking one of those search engines through creating evergreen content, which never loses its relevancy by doing keyword research and finding out what are the hot words that my desired consumers are typing in to solve their problems or answer their home sale questions.
Jonathan Kirk (40:09):
So, it’s a simple process that I figured out was being hoarded because software people will not give this away. They’ve come in to disrupt their industry, like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, realtor.com. They know this. That’s why they have websites as big as Godzilla, with all these different keywords to gobble up all the leads and resell it back to us.
Jonathan Kirk (40:28):
So, this is disruptive to them. This is disruptive to big technology. It works no matter how you slice it. If you do your keyword research and you create current, relevant and original content around those keywords, and you tag it properly, you’ll dominate your search engines because the technology doesn’t live here, you do. It’s just a matter of you actually telling your story online when you’re currently not telling it. So, the only story that’s being told is the one that’s up there right now, which is big technology and national brokers.
Jonathan Kirk (40:59):
So, it’s time for us as agents to kind of take the game back as investors. Take the game back and start building our websites, creating evergreen content, doing our keyword research and start to give competition to the big technology people that are just selling our leads back to us and now creating their own brokerages.
Jonathan Kirk (41:16):
I mean, look at Google, they’re their own brokerage. Realtor.com, they just created a realtor-less system that doesn’t involve realtors. Picture that, realtor.com not using realtors.
Jonathan Kirk (41:25):
So, it’s like the writing has been on the wall. So, we can either choose to become an authority and start to take the game back and create our own content, build our own websites not broke our own websites or just become more of a commodity because big tech is going to continue to squeeze us out and take all the leads.
Joshua Smith (41:42):
Yeah. Man, I couldn’t agree more. I used to be so deep do with Zillow and Trulia. I mean this was years and years and years and years ago, dude. But to the point where I think we were about 16 grand a month deep in ad spend, but it was when they charged per click and one day they decided all right, man, we’re going to start charging per impression versus per click.
Joshua Smith (42:11):
Now, I contracts with investing all this money with them, I didn’t have a say in the process and all of a sudden my cost per average lead went from like 17 to 42. And that was just such a massive eye opener, man. I can never be reliant on third party sources to be able to grow and scale and expand my business, man. I got to figure out how to do all of this on my own and become my own Zillow, become my own Trulia. All the things that you’re talking-
Jonathan Kirk (42:34):
Joshua Smith (42:35):
So important, so important. I know that takes work and so forth. But otherwise, I mean, your business will be disrupted, no choice that you will have in the matter. And you can become extinct, dude, if we don’t take this stuff into our own hands.
Joshua Smith (42:50):
So, I’m curious, dude, with the coaching/consulting that you do with your clients, just in case somebody is watching this, do you want to go down this path but are looking to learn how to do it right and have somebody help them with this?
Joshua Smith (43:07):
What does that look like? Is that something where you’re helping them each week come up with maybe the content and the right keywords and the instruction and just really walking them through and helping them have success with each piece of content posting, or what does that look like?
Jonathan Kirk (43:23):
Yeah. So, there are one-on-ones for 12 weeks, they’re about an hour per week and we just do a Zoom screenshares.
Jonathan Kirk (43:30):
So, I’ll basically build their website with and for them. I’ll share my screen, walk them through, doing the research keyword wise to find the right domain.
Jonathan Kirk (43:38):
If it’s a highly keyword search term, we’re going to use that as the domain like realtors in PA, one of my clients just got that the other day, realtorsinpa.com searched 6600 times a month. So, we nailed that as his domain. And then we just build the website together. And I automate the blogging library. I choose the library, I choose the content.
Jonathan Kirk (43:58):
And we create the different niches because it’s basically a triangle. The first bottom is the foundational piece, which is your mission and values. One of my clients just recorded an amazing mission and values video that I just shared in my inner circle. It made me swell with emotion. It was that good. It makes me want to actually quit real estate because that’s how good it was. I just want to sell all my real estate with this team. That’s how good this first video was. He took the direction perfectly from our consulting sessions and executed with an amazing videographer. That’s the first foundation.
Jonathan Kirk (44:30):
And then we’ll get into your niches. You’ll have three niches where you’re doing keyword research to find out like let’s say you sell expired homes and I want to specialize in houses that didn’t sell well. Well, the title of my video is not going to be, House Didn’t Sell. I have to do my keyword research and figure out, well, it’s why isn’t my house selling, question mark, searched 290 times per month. So, that’s going to be one of the videos that I create within my niche of selling expired homes is why isn’t my house selling.
Jonathan Kirk (44:55):
So, I’m going to create three to five different videos per each niche, which is going to be uploaded to your YouTube channel, optimized keywords, transcribed, captioned, then taken into your website, creating a blog post, teaching you how to rinse and repeat that. And then take those links and share them to your Facebook, share them to your LinkedIn and to your Google My Business profile.
Jonathan Kirk (45:14):
And then really to rank your keywords, to find out when you’re going up the rankings so you can turn the gas on and just create more content around that keywords, and just watching it from a diagnostic perspective, bird’s eye view your business online, where you’ve never seen it before. And just empowering, enlightening, and educating people to take the power back in their own hands and not rely on SEO companies and digital media companies that will charge you 10 to $15,000 just to build your website.
Jonathan Kirk (45:42):
I mean, like they just know that we can’t do it on our own. So, they charge those crazy costs. This is disruptive to their model. A lot of my clients come to me, they’re like, “Dude, this is amazing. I’ve been quoted 15, 20 grand. You’re able to build everything for me out for $1,000 a month for three months, or $3500 to just do a build and then consult me on how to use it and educate me and train me on how to use it and understand that all,” they’re like, “I’m in.” You know what I mean? Because this is training that hasn’t existed in our industry before.
Jonathan Kirk (46:09):
So, it’s client led. One of the questions in my questionnaire on jondavidkirk.com is, do you like everything done for you or do you kind of want to roll up your sleeves and figure out how to tackle new ventures on your own? And then I know how to service you and train you at the highest level because some clients, they want the back end stuff done for them and they just want to create the videos. I’m like, “Cool, perfect. I’ll give you the content ideas. I’ll tell you what to record. You just send me the videos, I’ll do everything for you.”
Jonathan Kirk (46:37):
And then there’s another program where it’s more hands-on consulting, where I’m kind of teaching you how to do it yourself. So, by the time the 12 weeks is done, you could take the reins from me and just you’re not going to need me really anymore, except for if you do need anything.
Jonathan Kirk (46:49):
So, we have different hands-on approaches to kind of service the different types of profiles and behavior profiles that we work with.
Joshua Smith (46:57):
Yeah, so awesome, dude. So, kind of switching gears here as we wrap up this interview. If knowing everything that you know now today, if Jon today could go back and have a conversation with your younger self when you first entered this industry and give yourself two pieces of advice that you feel would have really just change the game for you. Again, knowing everything you know right now, what were those two pieces of advice look like?
Jonathan Kirk (47:27):
Dude, get on camera. You know what I mean? Get on camera. I wasted seven years of not getting on camera my real estate sales business because I was worried about how I looked or how I came across or my confidence or self-esteem.
Jonathan Kirk (47:40):
So, get on camera, get over yourself. You know what I mean? You are the way you are when you’re with people in person, just get on camera, okay? That would be my first recommendation.
Jonathan Kirk (47:50):
Second recommendation would be to get online. You know what I mean? And do your research on how to become an authority online in the eyes of the search engines in this planet, your local communities, because referral business is great, that’s always going to come. But go towards building the lifestyle in the long-term valuable asset that you want to live and experience, which is not being on that hamster wheel all day long.
Jonathan Kirk (48:11):
So, don’t spend time doing something if it’s not what you want to do forever. Spend time doing stuff that’s going to focus on taking you to where you want to go, not stuff that’s going to serve as the short-term tactic versus the long-term momentum building that long-term valuable asset.
Joshua Smith (48:27):
Yeah, powerful stuff. And just one time, man, I mean, for those that are watching, listening, if they want to reach out, if they want to talk to you about your consulting services, and so forth, or I mean, we’re all realtors here, maybe they have a referral for the Baltimore market that you service, where are the best place to do to get in touch with you to do all that?
Jonathan Kirk (48:49):
Appreciate that. Yeah, man. So, if anybody has any houses to buy or sell in the Baltimore, Maryland or surrounding areas, kirkhomegroup.com, K-I-R-K Home Group dot com for more information.
Jonathan Kirk (48:59):
And if you’re interested in the consulting or just having a chat, visit jondavidkirk.com, J-O-N David Kirk, K-I-R-K dot com. For more information, you could take our business special assessment as well as just click a spot on my calendar so we can chat. You could just book time. I’m happy to provide value without any expectation of what I receive in return. So, here to just deliver value without my hands out and return of what I received, just to have a high level conversation. I’m looking to mastermind with high level individuals. So, feel free to reach out. I’d be looking forward to hear from you.
Joshua Smith (49:31):
Awesome stuff. And again, Jon, man, truly appreciate taking time to be here, dude. This has been absolutely amazing. And you dropped so much great info on all of us. So, again, man, we greatly, greatly appreciate you being here.
Jonathan Kirk (49:43):
Dude, the feeling is mutual. I am such a huge fan of you, dude. And I’m so grateful for the opportunity. You’re such an amazing podcaster, interviewer, top producer and just an entrepreneur, bro, that I study vigorously, man.
Jonathan Kirk (49:56):
So, thank you for blazing these trails, man, because none of us could be where we are without you doing what you do. So, I appreciate you, my brother.
Joshua Smith (50:03):
Yeah, truly means a lot, dude. Truly appreciate your kind words and all the support. And those watching and listening, as always, thank you for being here, thank you for listening, thank all your support. Keep up the amazing work. Keep kicking ass and we will see you next time. Peace.
Jonathan Kirk (50:16):