Our Guest: Debbie Stallings
Join us Wednesday with Debbie Stallings, Fathom – DFW, TX.
Wednesday, June 23 @ 1:30 Central Time.
0:00:00.0 Geoff Stertz: Hello. And thanks again for joining us for another Fathom Live, a live stream show dedicated to giving you new tips and insights from experts in and around the real estate industry. I’m your host, Geoff Stertz. It’s glad to be with you today. Today we have with us, Debbie Stallings from McKinney, Texas. Debbie, glad to have you today.
0:00:20.3 Debbie Stallings: Hi, I’m glad to be here.
0:00:22.0 Geoff: Excited about our conversation? And if you think about today’s episode, it’s kinda like when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And during 2020, Debbie made lemonade. And we’re gonna learn about the lemonade that she made and hopefully that you can take home some nuggets from that as well. We have a contest, drawing every single episode. So get to commenting. All you have to do is put your name on one of the comment feeds, either in YouTube or Facebook. We enter you into a drawing, you can win 200 bucks worth of yard signs, you can win a photo listing package, you can earn 200 bucks of GoSocial lead ads. So a lot of stuff there that you can get. So just give us a shout out. Just like Suzie and Phillip and Randy and Renee and Regina and Amy and others have. Just tell us, hi or where you’re from or whatever. If you comment during the show and we use it in the show to kinda help for the conversation or ask a question that we then feel on the show, then you get entered a few times, and that way you have more chances. And we love the engagement. It is a two-way conversation. So if you have questions for our guest or for me, feel free to ask them and we’ll do our best. Our sponsor, GoSocial Agent will help you with your social media marketing, providing affordable and effective social media marketing to help you grow your business, including getting your account set up.
0:01:43.5 Geoff: They handle posts, they actually craft, curate posts specifically for you so that you can get your name out there. They offer buyer and seller handbooks, Facebook ad campaigns and more. That’s to help you grow your online community and generate leads. Smash that YouTube notification button if you haven’t, if you haven’t subscribed, do that, that’d be great. And if you haven’t seen our previous show, I encourage you to check out last week’s, Will Draper, ton of great information. He’s out North Carolina there in the triangle. Somewhat newer as an agent, but not totally new to the industry, but hearing his journey from just a few transactions to what he’s doing now is fantastic. We also have a gentleman, Doug Spryker form out in Florida. He’s gonna be with us next week. We’ve got our very own, Shawn from Parkmont Lending, aka Encompass. So we’re excited about that. And yeah, great stuff happening here. So let’s jump right into the questions here. Debbie, you did not start in the real estate industry for your career. So what did you do and how did you get to where you are now?
0:02:52.9 Debbie: Yeah. This was a career change for me. So I actually started out, I was a crime scene investigator.
0:03:00.4 Geoff: Wow.
0:03:00.5 Debbie: Yeah. I worked at the Garland Police Department. And loved the job. It was what I actually went to college for, it’s what my degree was in. But what happened was… So I met my husband there. My husband is a police officer at the Garland. And we did the getting married thing, I got pregnant and so I kind of realized it wasn’t a job for a mom.
0:03:22.2 Geoff: Wow. Yeah.
0:03:22.9 Debbie: So I started… Then I actually started teaching at the college, and I was a college professor for a while. But it was while I was doing that, that I started getting interested in real estate. And I then started out as a real estate assistant, a transaction coordinator. But when I did that, it was way back before you needed a license. So that was one advantage I had of over nearly things now.
0:03:44.0 Geoff: You just jumped right into it. Right.
0:03:45.7 Debbie: Yeah. I was able to go into without even having a license. So I did that, the assistant thing for a while and then I decided to get my license. And I did that and joined Fathom right away. I have not regretted it. Me and my husband have been married 22 years. I have a 12-year-old son, Cody, and an almost eight year-old daughter, Claire. And I have an older step-son, Colton. How you’re guys? But yeah. So I love it, this is definitely my thing.
0:04:17.0 Geoff: So any crazy things happen with CSI that you can talk about? By the way, thank you for your work and for your husband’s work for our communities. But, yeah, any crazy stories?
0:04:32.3 Debbie: Oh there is. Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of stuff, I mean, dead bodies. I really think it’s quite a change going from that to real estate. I’ve seen dead bodies and ugly houses to, now I see gorgeous homes. Yeah, it’s funny ’cause every now and then I’ll show a house in Garland or something like that. And I’m like, that looks familiar. I think I’ve seen this property in a crime scene.
0:04:50.8 Geoff: Oh, no, no, no, it’s like, Nothing happened here. This is a perfectly clean house. So…
0:04:57.9 Debbie: Right.
0:04:58.8 Geoff: But did anything translate over from the CSI world into what you’re doing now?
0:05:04.6 Debbie: I don’t know if that translated over.
0:05:04.7 Geoff: Where there used to be like a skills that you learned that you can now put to work?
0:05:15.8 Debbie: I guess people skills, maybe. ‘Cause I know when you’re in the police field, you have to be able to relate to people and talk to people. And in real estate, it’s same thing, you gotta be a people person, you gotta talk to people, know the right things to say and what not to say. And yeah.
0:05:36.9 Geoff: Very cool. So let’s talk about making lemonade. So you, like everybody else went into 2020 with some hiccup there, especially in the beginning. Now I know a lot of people made bank, I mean, they did really, really well. But you set yourself to work and to learn something new. So maybe talk a little bit about that.
0:05:58.3 Debbie: Yeah. 2020. Yeah, what a year, right? So well, a lot of people kind of just… Like you said, some people still did great and had a lot of business. I did okay, but a lot of people just sat around and they decided to use the time to… I don’t know, relax, just sit on their butts, basically, but I was like, You know what, “I’m gonna use this downtime and I’m gonna grow”
0:06:24.8 Geoff: Good for you.
0:06:26.2 Debbie: I went from being an agent… No one even knew who I was. No one knew who I was really… Now, I think… I don’t want to sound over confident, but a lot of people know who I am now, but I decided to take the time and I used the tools that Fathom gives us, like kvCORE, and I learned it. I knew a little bit about kvCORE, before 2020, but during that year, I dived in. I taught myself almost everything there is to learn about it, and I decided not to stop there, but I decided to teach other agents what I know as well. So I became a mentor, and I also started a YouTube channel with little tutorials on how to use kvCORE to do this and how to do that. And also with social media stuff, doing Facebook ads, that kind of stuff, I had taught it to myself and I’m like, I’m not gonna keep this knowledge just to me. Why not share it?
0:07:22.4 Geoff: Yeah, good. I think its kind of natural when you really educate yourself in something, you just can’t wait to help somebody else with it.
0:07:28.8 S?: Yeah. I get so excited a lot like I’m a kid in a candy store. When I know something and I wanna share it, I get so excited. I seriously do. If you watch some of my videos on my YouTube share link, you can hear my excitement, and also does the past teaching background that I have, ’cause I said with a college professor, that kinda helps as well. So yeah, I like teaching what I know. Why keep it.
0:07:54.1 Geoff: If you’re working with a mentee or a new agent or somebody that hasn’t tapped into kvCORE, what should they do first?
0:08:02.3 Debbie: The first thing is dedicate some time to it, which is why 2020 helped me, because I did okay with my business, but I wasn’t super busy, so I have some time, and you gotta… It can be a time sucker, but you gotta dedicate time to it and take the time to learn. I have some good videos on my YouTube channel, and I know Fathom has some good tutorials as well, and even kvCORE itself. There’s a lot of videos out there you can watch and you can search on YouTube for other agents videos. There’s a lot of ways to learn, and I’m someone who learns just by doing it, so I just decided to not just keep saying… I hear a lot of it, a lot of agents call me and they say they wanna do this, they wanna do that, but they don’t do it. So that’s what I did in 2020 was I was like, Oh, I’m not gonna just keep saying I’m gonna do this and that, I’m gonna just do it. And I did, and I grew, and…
0:08:54.2 Debbie: So what would be then your favorite tool on kvCORE that you could use?
0:09:00.3 Debbie: I love the landing pages and the squeeze pages, ’cause that’s lead generation right there. And say, that’s another thing I got great at too, because I have so many leads right now from all the Facebook ads and Instagram ads that I do, and they’re not all just with kvCORE. I do some just through Facebook as well. I love the landing pages, ’cause you can do so much with them, it’s not just about putting an ad up there with a house, you can do so much more with those landing pages and squeeze pages, you can generate interest in this, which is one ad I have going out right now, you can give someone to like a buyer seller guide, there’s so much you can do, so many agents don’t know the potential and how much you can actually do with kvCORE there’s so much… [0:09:44.6] ____.
0:09:45.1 Geoff: So basically you’re creating a landing page within the system that’s connected to your website and your CRM, and you’re putting it up there, putting the link over as an ad or just as a post, how are you getting people to go to that page?
0:10:01.0 Debbie: Well, can I show you one of my ads?
0:10:02.1 Geoff: Yeah absolutely.
0:10:02.4 Debbie: Because I think that’s best to illustrate [0:10:03.6] ____ okay, let me try to share my screen here. Can you see my screen? My Facebook page.
0:10:14.7 Geoff: There it is. Yep.
0:10:15.8 Debbie: Okay, so one example is, so this is a coming soon ad for a listing I have coming up, and usually… So with kvCORE, you cannot make a squeeze page with a coming soon it has to be an active listing, but this is one way that I actually made an ad for my coming soon listing. So it’s a post that I made, and this was made with Canva, that’s another thing that I’m really great at as I love Canva, this was made with Canva. And then when you put your little blurb up here, then when someone clicks on this, it brings this up and they put in their name, and then the question is, would you like to be notified when this listing officially hit the market? They say Yes, and now, of course, I have this question on already working as agent, ’cause I’m not gonna mess with them if they are, but then once they put I their information, you hit next and then there’s another page with some questions, and then when they get to the end and submit, I get their information, and then it redirect to… I think it redirects to my Facebook page, my realtor page. This is one way I do ad, and I’ve gotten quite a bit already from this and see, usually you can’t do an ad for coming soon like this, you can put a picture in a post, but there’s usually no lead generation with it. This is a way to do it.
0:11:31.1 Debbie: So that’s one type of ad, and then, of course, another one is this one, so this one is a squeeze page, this is a listing actually by Sheila Eller. Hi Sheila. So you click on it and it takes you to the squeeze page. Hopefully, you can see this as well. This page.
0:11:53.0 Geoff: Yep.
0:11:54.3 Debbie: And then it doesn’t prompt me because it’s me, but when someone else clicks on it, it prompts them to put their information like their email you can choose to put phone number or not, but this one is done through kvCORE, the other ad, I showed you that coming soon wasn’t… I didn’t use kvCORE for that one, I just used Facebook…
0:12:13.2 Geoff: Just native Facebook lead form.
0:12:13.6 Debbie: Yeah, yeah. It’s a Facebook lead generation form, but they’re still… You can still, when you get the lead, so it goes into your Facebook, but you can still have that put into your kvCORE, but that’s two ways I do ads right there and of course, I do Instagram ones too.
0:12:30.7 Geoff: And are people wanting to see the house when they contact you, are they just wanting to see that landing page and you get their contact information, and say, Hey and I saw that you were checking out this property, are there any properties that I can… Or anything I can help you with?
0:12:41.4 Debbie: It’s a little bit of both. I think you can see me now, right?
0:12:46.9 Geoff: There we go, yep.
0:12:47.9 Debbie: Yeah, it’s a little bit of both. I mean I get different… You get looky-loos too, you get people who aren’t really serious, of course, you do. And you get people who wanna go see it, you get all kinds of people. One thing I want… That I think is really cool. You see a lot of agents don’t like Facebook leads, because they think… One, that they think it’s just buyers, okay? Then they leave them alone, because a lot of agents right now don’t want another buyer, ’cause the market’s crazy for buyers. But the thing is, here’s a little tip I wanna give everybody, you can turn a buyer lead into a seller lead easily, because the thing to think about is there’s a reason why they’re looking at your ad for a house for sale. So, one, either they’re renting, and they just wanna buy a house, or, two, they have a house already, they wanna sell it and they wanna buy another one.
0:13:35.7 Geoff: And they don’t have an agent yet.
0:13:37.4 Debbie: So what I do… Yeah, the way I work a lead when one comes in like that is I get their name, sometimes it’s a bogus name, sometimes it’s not, but I always cross-reference, and I look up the name. And I have a cool website I use, and if that name is tied to a house as the owner, it’s gonna come up, and then you look them up in tax rolls and see if the name matches, if the name matches, well, there you go, you got a seller lead right there.
0:14:00.2 Geoff: You know they’re… Yep.
0:14:01.5 Debbie: Yeah, then you work it, you market that house, send them stuff, knock on their door, if you want to, I’m not a door-knocker, but some agents are. But, yeah, you still send them stuff, market them, and it’s not just a buyer lead anymore, it’s now a seller lead.
0:14:12.9 Geoff: Right. You get both sides of the transaction.
0:14:14.2 Debbie: Yeah, a lot of agents don’t think that way, but you gotta think outside the box.
0:14:17.1 Geoff: Right, that sounds very CSI.
0:14:19.9 Debbie: Yeah, see, there you go, to answer your question from earlier, that’s one way I tie it into some of my real estate.
0:14:23.3 Geoff: You’re looking up tax records.
0:14:25.3 Debbie: Yeah, I kind of, I think outside the box and I don’t just look at things on the surface, I look beneath it.
0:14:30.1 Geoff: There you go. That’s what I was asking earlier, and I just… It’s right throughout your business here that you just CSI everywhere.
0:14:38.5 Debbie: Yeah.
0:14:41.1 Geoff: So then you… Along the way here… Well, actually, before I move on to this, I wanna ask you just as far as just general branding, you said not a lot of people knew me and then I took advantage of 2020, got your name out there. How are you branding yourself on social media, and how are people coming to know your name in your area?
0:15:02.2 Debbie: Yeah, social media branding, that’s big. So some agents don’t even know what branding is. What branding is basically, it’s who you are, it’s how you present yourself to your audience, whether that audience be… Whether that audience is potential clients or other agents or lenders or just average people. It’s the image you portray, and how you present yourself.
0:15:29.8 Debbie: And so many agents, I think, don’t use social media correctly in that respect. But that’s one thing I learned in 2020 was how to do that. And one thing I see a lot of agents do, is whether it be on their Instagram page or their Facebook page, is their post, it’s only, “Just sold. Just sold, Under contract, Under contract,” that’s all that it is on there. And for some people that kinda looks like bragging, but to make that into a branding type thing, what you do is you tie in posts about you and you show you, ’cause the people that are on social media, they want to see you, they don’t wanna just hear about the homes you sold. They think that’s bragging, and a lot of people don’t like bragging. So they wanna relate to you, and if you can put a post out there, brand yourself portraying an image that’s relatable to the general public, that’s how you get leads, that’s how you get people who want to work with you. ‘Cause when you’re in a real estate transaction with somebody, when you’re out showing houses to clients or it’s a listing, that takes a long time, so that client is gonna be working with you for quite a while, they need to like you.
0:16:52.2 Geoff: Yeah, they wanna know that… Yeah, they can enjoy the time…
0:16:52.5 Debbie: They need to see who they’re gonna be working with, that’s how they choose who they wanna work with. Here’s an example, I wanna use one of the agents on my team, I’m gonna show her Instagram page, okay?
0:17:05.8 Geoff: Sure. Yeah.
0:17:06.5 Debbie: ‘Cause I can do that real quick. And actually, I’m gonna show mine, too, to help illustrate this, so let me do share again. Look at this. Oop! Can you see it yet, no?
0:17:25.7 Geoff: There’s a one-second delay. Let’s see here.
0:17:28.0 Debbie: Oh, there we go. Okay, can…
0:17:31.4 Geoff: There we go, yep.
0:17:32.8 Debbie: Okay. Okay, this is Nikki’s page. Hi, Nikki. The thing about Nikki, she’s on my team, okay? In addition to being a real estate agent, she’s like a workout queen, workout mama, okay, like look at this girl here. So she’s showing herself, she’s showing the people out there, “Look, if you hire me as your agent, this is also what I do.” And she’ll use hashtags that are not just real estate, that’s another thing some agents do, ’cause their hashtags, and who they’re getting their post out to, it’s only going to other agents, they have DFW Realtor, Dallas realtor so guess who sees those posts, just other agents. But like what Nikki does, and you know I helped her with this, her posts are going to other people who are workout queens, too, like her, and that’s great, ’cause that gets her out there to people beyond real estate.
0:18:29.2 Debbie: And another thing, here’s Sheila’s page, Sheila Eller. So one thing that Sheila does really well, as you notice, she has these filters on all her posts, like everything is this nice little hue of this peach color, it’s branding, it’s showing that image and see this nice one of her husband and her baby, it’s getting her image out there. And if I can show mine real quick, this is me, so see what I do, I have my under contract, my coming soon, I still put those out there, but I have some little lifestyle images. Branding pictures, showing me at work, like this one right here. This was a staging post, you wanna show yourself out there, ’cause that’s what people wanna see. But people don’t wanna see… This guy, I’m not gonna show his name, but look at this, can you see all this? It’s nothing but under contract, just listed, just sold.
0:19:15.1 Geoff: Yeah, it’s kind of akin to spam in a way, when you just put things up.
0:19:19.3 Debbie: Yeah, that doesn’t help people relate to you, so just my social media tip there is be relatable, and this is one thing I did over the past 2020 year. Like when 2020 started, I had maybe [0:19:31.4] ____ people on my page. See what, I grew it to a 1000 in just less than a year.
0:19:37.1 Geoff: Good for you.
0:19:38.0 Debbie: Just by doing it. Yeah, by putting myself out there, branding myself, putting an image out there, and every post I make, I usually have some kind of life quote or something with it, and I tie it into real estate, ’cause that helps people relate to me.
0:19:53.1 Geoff: Very cool. Yeah.
0:19:53.5 Debbie: And I have gotten a lot of leads this way, like the listing I have going out for tomorrow, guess how I got that listing, from social media…
0:20:00.4 Geoff: Right. Well very good.
0:20:02.0 Geoff: Sorry I can go off on a tangent if I keep talking.
0:20:04.4 Geoff: No, no, no, I think that’s what people need to see. You have numbers there that you grew your following just by following those kind of principles. Now along the way, and we’ll finish with kind of two sides of this coin, you decided to start a team…
0:20:23.1 Debbie: Yes.
0:20:23.7 Geoff: Why did you do that? And how is it going?
0:20:25.6 Debbie: Because I got so busy. [laughter] ‘Cause the past 2020 year, I did a lot more lead generation, a lot more Facebook and Instagram ads, and I was getting those leads, they’re coming in. And so many of them are just sitting there and I know what to do with them, but I don’t have time to do anything with them. So I’m like, then I started becoming a mentor and I love teaching them, and then it just kind of one thing went into another and I was like, You know what, I’m growing, why not grow as a team as well. Build my empire.
0:20:57.8 Geoff: Very cool.
0:20:58.4 S22: So yeah, I started a team, I’m still kind of in the beginning stages of it. But I’m trying to build it out. Yeah.
0:21:05.2 Geoff: Very cool. I wanted to relay a question here that was asked, and if it’s your secret, you don’t have to share it, but Randy asks that, what that website is that you go to to look up people’s names.
0:21:20.6 Debbie: Oh, to turn them into sellers?
0:21:21.9 Geoff: Yeah.
0:21:22.1 Debbie: Fastpeoplesearch.com.
0:21:23.0 Geoff: Fastpeoplesearch.com. Wow, the secret sauce.
0:21:24.7 Debbie: Yeah, it’s a people free website, you put in the name and just any city in the area, and if there’s a house with that name on it, it’s gonna come up, and I have found quite a few. And I’m already marketing to them. So it works, and the thing to tell… That I wanna tell people too is, you gotta be patient, that’s the key here too. A lot of agents when they put an ad out there, they want to convert that lead right now. The thing is, it doesn’t work that way. You have to be patient with it. It takes time sometimes. You know.
0:21:56.7 Geoff: Right, no, that’s great.
0:22:00.5 Debbie: But that’s my secret. Fastpeoplesearch.com.
0:22:01.9 Geoff: Yeah, we used to have phone books where we could look up their last names.
0:22:05.3 Debbie: I know right?
0:22:06.0 Geoff: Now you have to search for…
0:22:08.2 Debbie: You can put the name, also you can put the phone number in there, and if there’s a house tied to that name, you got a seller, your buyer lead is now a seller lead.
0:22:14.6 Geoff1: Alright, I’ll keep that in mind. Not only a team leader, but you’re also a mentor, why did you decide to do that, and how have you been able to help agents get on their feet?
0:22:27.1 Debbie: I’m gonna give props here to actually to Dawn Dove. She is one of my mentees, and she actually convinced me to become one. ‘Cause during the 2020 year, she was a new agent, she got her license, and I was not a mentor yet. But I started helping her a whole lot, and she just kind of… I kind of realized after talking to her a lot how much I loved teaching real estate. And yeah, I have, I think like eight mentees now.
0:22:57.8 Geoff: Wow, good for you.
0:22:58.6 Debbie: And I’m busy. Sometimes I feel bad, I feel like I don’t have time for all of them. But they’ve done great, like I have one of my mentees just a few weeks ago, she has less than a year and she sold a two and a half million dollar property.
0:23:12.6 Geoff: Whoa!
0:23:12.8 Debbie: That’s Shoauna, Shoauna O’Neill. Props to you.
0:23:15.6 Geoff: Good job.
0:23:16.6 Debbie: And Sheila is another one just have her third transaction in less than six months [0:23:20.3] ____.
0:23:20.5 Geoff: Well you just got some love back from Sheila. She says “Debbie is awesome”.[laughter]
0:23:25.2 Debbie: You’re awesome too, Sheila. I love teaching what I know. I know I’m not always right, but I love sharing my knowledge. I just don’t believe in keeping that knowledge. So many agents, I think, don’t wanna share their secret. What they know they keep it, ’cause they feel threatened and there’s no need to feel threatened. We’re here to help each other out.
0:23:46.0 Geoff: Right, yeah. Josh Harley always says, “High tide floats all boats, and the more you can help people, the more business you have”. I mean it’s just really true.
0:23:54.9 Debbie: Right, yeah, yeah.
0:23:56.1 Geoff: Well…
0:23:56.5 Geoff: If I don’t have business of my own, I love helping others build their business, that’s just to me.
0:24:02.5 Geoff: Good, and it sounds like it’s coming back to you, so keep up the good work. We’ve kinda come full circle from how you started 2020 learning and then helping people learn stuff to being a mentor. Any last things you wanna share before we hop off?
0:24:18.4 S22: Just be consistent and patient, like I was saying, a lot of agents don’t wanna do social media ’cause they think there’s no reward in it. There is. Like I said, my listing tomorrow going active, that’s from social media. That is a Facebook lead. I have another listing next week, same thing there, it’s from Facebook. It’s from actually from a friend who found out I was an agent through Facebook. So it does work, you guys just gotta be consistent and be patient and dedicate some time to learning how to do it.
0:24:46.6 Geoff: Awesome. Debbie, thank you so much. Appreciate your insight and inspiration. Just kinda taking your business to the next level within 12 months, and reaping from that, so. Very good. Look forward to hearing more about how you’re growing your team and your empire. So that’s exciting. We’ll let you go, and if you happen to still be watching… Thanks for watching, but head over to Fathomcareers.com. If you don’t know about us, Fathom provides the tools and technology for your success. Including a 100% quit commission, equity ownership, a powerful CRM.
0:25:24.6 Geoff: They are constantly developing new technology and developing their own ecosystem, so that you get more and more tools just by being a Fathom agent. Which is really, really cool. So growing by leaps and bounds, etcetera, etcetera, you can read about it and learn more at Fathomcareers.com. Like I said in our next show, we have a Doug Spryker from Florida, he’s new with Fathom, not a new agent. But you’re gonna learn how he went from trash to cash in his career. So there’s my teaser. Look forward to seeing you all and interacting with you all here in a couple of weeks, we’ll see you then.