Jack’s Agent Sister Ann Portner Interview (JJ 676)

Jack’s Agent Sister Ann Portner Interview (JJ 676)


Jack Butala:                         Jack Butala here. Welcome to the Jack Jill show. Jill is on a short vacation, having fun with her family in Seattle, and I chose to take advantage of a special situation today and interview my little sister [Anne 00:00:16] Porter from northern Michigan, who we’ve talked about constantly on the show over the last couple years and touted her as a successful real estate agent. I’d like to find out if she really is.

                                                This is entertaining real estate investment talk. I’m Jack Butala with my little sister Anne from sunny southern California, and today we’re gonna be talking about being a successful real estate agent.

                                                What does it take, Anne, and welcome.

Anne Porter:                      Hi. Thanks for having me.

Jack Butala:                         What’s it take to be a real estate agent, a good one? More importantly, why do so many suck?

Anne Porter:                      Two big questions there.

Jack Butala:                         You don’t get to do this twice. I know I’m putting you on the spot.

Anne Porter:                      Communication. That’s the key to-

Jack Butala:                         Communication?

Anne Porter:                      Communication.

Jack Butala:                         Give us an example.

Anne Porter:                      Well, people like to hear what’s going on. If you got their house listed, you want to know what’s going on.

Jack Butala:                         Communication. Answer your phone. That’s what we’ve been saying for years, Jill and I.

Anne Porter:                      That’s a huge gig.

Jack Butala:                         Why don’t real estate agents answer their phones?

Anne Porter:                      They’re afraid. They’re afraid of communication.

Jack Butala:                         They’re afraid of what.

Anne Porter:                      Of the communication. I’m not doing enough-

Jack Butala:                         So, they think they’re not good at it?

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Maybe that’s it. Maybe their confidence is not there. Maybe they’re not doing enough.

Jack Butala:                         All right. So, is the system broken? We talk about how the system’s just broken all the time.

Anne Porter:                      I think the people that are involved in the system are broken. That’s what I think. I think if you’re good at what you do, then the system’s not broken. It can be used appropriately.

Jack Butala:                         [crosstalk 00:01:51]. Just like anything, you gotta use the tools that you have.

Anne Porter:                      That’s right. You use them to the best advantage. We got a boatload of tools out there that can be used.

Jack Butala:                         Like what?

Anne Porter:                      But nobody takes advantage of them.

Jack Butala:                         Oh, this is great stuff. So, like what? What kind of tools do you have that people are under utilizing, you know? Like a cell phone?

Anne Porter:                      Like a cell phone. Used to communication. Texting, email, ways to communicate, ways to show that you’re actually doing something, ways to enhance what your value is to a seller or a buyer.

Jack Butala:                         So, what is the value that you bring? I know you’re super successful. I think you said earlier in the vacation you’re top 5%, right, in the country?

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         So, what is it? That’s [crosstalk 00:02:30].

Anne Porter:                      In Coldwell Banker.

Jack Butala:                         Every listening wants to know, why? What is it about you? Could you teach a class on it?

Anne Porter:                      I could teach a class on it, sure.

Jack Butala:                         What would the class be?

Anne Porter:                      The class would be to show what your value is to your clients, and people have no idea what’s involved in a real estate transaction. So, I bring that to them. I bring-

Jack Butala:                         Oh, really? You educate them.

Anne Porter:                      I educate them. I go through the process with them so they don’t ever have to do it again if they don’t want to. They don’t have to learn. They don’t have to do anything. I’m there to do it for them. I solve the problem, before they even know they have a problem.

Jack Butala:                         We said earlier that you and I are in the same business, exactly the same business, we just go about it completely differently.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         We educate people, too.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         We educate our sellers a lot, too. When we buy a house or a piece of property from somebody, they have no idea. I never transferred into my head, for some reason. I figured that somebody calls a real estate agent. They want to sell their house for whatever reason. They’re kind of knew, they know what they’re getting into. They know the process, because they bought the house.

Anne Porter:                      Sure. People don’t remember. It’s like having a baby. You do it, you’re done, you move on. You don’t remember.

Jack Butala:                         My sister’s nickname is Hula, so I’m gonna call her that. Like having a baby?

Anne Porter:                      It’s like having a baby. You do it once and you move on, and you don’t want to think about it anymore. That’s where I come in. You don’t have to think about it anymore. I will do it for you.

Jack Butala:                         You know, you’re right. I don’t want to think about having a baby anymore ever. You’re right.

Anne Porter:                      You didn’t even actually physically have the baby.

Jack Butala:                         I know. I know. So, we all bought a first house. We all bought that first piece of real estate. Did you always know you wanted to do this?

Anne Porter:                      No.

Jack Butala:                         What happened?

Anne Porter:                      I was in a job that I hated.

Jack Butala:                         Good, because that’s our listening audience. So, walk us through the process.

Anne Porter:                      Well, in Michigan, the process is a 40 hour class, and then you pass a test, and then you’re licensed.

Jack Butala:                         No, walk us through your personal story of the job you hated-

Anne Porter:                      Oh. That I was recruiting engineers for a company that wasn’t good at it, that I didn’t believe in, that I felt was not doing what they could do, and-

Jack Butala:                         Like a headhunter.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Well, kind of. But I was on the sales end.

Jack Butala:                         [crosstalk 00:04:43] whole world avoids, avoids talking to engineers at all anyway.

Anne Porter:                      Right.

Jack Butala:                         They have screws loose.

Anne Porter:                      They’re detailed people. Not screws loose.

Jack Butala:                         That’s what I mean. Anyway, go ahead.

Anne Porter:                      So, I didn’t like this job. I wanted out, and I was the sales end. I was the person that went to the company and said, “What do you need?” They said, “We need an engineer that has these skills,” so I went back and somebody else found the engineer. I did the sales. Why we get them to use my company, but I didn’t like the way the company was run, so I didn’t believe in it.

Jack Butala:                         So, that’s what I find, too. It’s not so much that you didn’t like the job or what the job involved, it’s just the other people that worked there, specifically the person above you.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, that makes a big difference. That’s for sure. If you don’t have the same philosophy or the same views, then it makes it really difficult.

Jack Butala:                         Or were they dishonest?

Anne Porter:                      No, I don’t feel like they were dishonest.

Jack Butala:                         Just incompetent?

Anne Porter:                      Just poorly run. That’s all. It’s just poorly run.

Jack Butala:                         Right.

Anne Porter:                      So-

Jack Butala:                         People say that about where they work for us, too.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, you want to get out. And this was, this offered me a way to get out and I could work as hard or as not as hard as I want, and make the success as best as I could, or sleep in. Whatever. It was my choice, and I liked having the ability to make my own way.

Jack Butala:                         That’s exactly why, I did the first land real estate deal in 1999, and I was hooked immediately. I knew that I said whatever it takes.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         I’m gonna do this because if I can do it once or twice like I did and I doubled my money, I said, then I can do this tens of thousands of times, which is where we are now.

Anne Porter:                      Sure.

Jack Butala:                         I don’t care what it takes.

Anne Porter:                      Right.

Jack Butala:                         I’m gonna do it.

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         And it’s not so much the money and all that stuff, that’s all good. I just didn’t want to work for anybody else anymore.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         I would be happy to work for myself and make two or three thousand bucks a month and forget it.

Anne Porter:                      Right. Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         Over making millions of dollars a month and just working for somebody where it just sucks to get up.

Anne Porter:                      That’s the key right there. Being content is the key, and if you’re willing to put the work in to make yourself content, sooner or later, it’s so worth it.

Jack Butala:                         All right. So, communication is obviously incredibly important.

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         Then follow-up and follow through and so, you mentioned-

Anne Porter:                      Well, and do what you say.

Jack Butala:                         Right. So, it’s just grassroots basic stuff.

Anne Porter:                      Under promise, over deliver.

Jack Butala:                         Somebody sent me a T-shirt recently called “Captain Obvious.” They call me Captain Obvious, and you’re being Mrs. Obvious, First Mate Obvious here.

Anne Porter:                      But people don’t do it. That’s why they have stupid real estate agents.

Jack Butala:                         When I was younger, people would say stuff like that. “Really, you gotta answer your phone.” I would just roll my eyes and say, “Really? That’s your advice? Answer your phone?” Then you get a little older, and you find out nobody’s answering their phone at all.

Anne Porter:                      Nope. Total avoidance. Can’t do business avoiding it.

Jack Butala:                         So, people aren’t answering their phone when their clients call after they get a listing because they haven’t really been doing anything.

Anne Porter:                      Right. They can’t justify their fee, they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, they promised something that they haven’t done …

Jack Butala:                         So, the system’s broken.

Anne Porter:                      No. The agent’s broken.

Jack Butala:                         Okay. Well, the-

Anne Porter:                      The bad agent is broken.

Jack Butala:                         Should the agent get more training? What’s the answer for a regular person who wants to be a real estate agent?

Anne Porter:                      Training would help, but I think either you have it or you don’t.

Jack Butala:                         That’s what I think, Hula. You get into this thing and you’re passionate about it, you have to have in real estate, this is just my opinion, it’s also my show, so my opinion matters, you have to come at it from some angle. I’ve dealt with real estate agents who do really, really well at foreclosures/short sales with banks.

Anne Porter:                      Sure.

Jack Butala:                         They can talk to a bank for some reason, right?

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         I’ve never been able to do it.

Anne Porter:                      They know the process.

Jack Butala:                         We purchase a lot of property like that. During the downstream, we bought houses and land from banks, but I had one agent, her name was Anita, in Arizona, and she did great for us.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         She earned her fee.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Hands down, probably more than earned her fee on the buy side, and the banks were paying her, so it was great. But she was always more than negotiated a deal that made up for her fee, because she knew that was important to me.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Well, she had probably had fun doing it, too.

Jack Butala:                         Yeah.

Anne Porter:                      She probably enjoyed it. She had fun doing it. She had the lingo. She knew what she was doing. She knew who to talk to-

Jack Butala:                         And she had to contacts.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         That’s the whole thing about, that’s where I think real estate agents have gone sideways. Not agents, but the business has gone sideways because we talk about this on the show. I’m sure you don’t listen to our show.

Anne Porter:                      I don’t listen to your show.

Jack Butala:                         Good. Thank you. This is easier now. I think that a long time ago, long before there was probably even a licensing process required, somebody would sit in a tavern somewhere and say, “You know, I’m thinking about selling my property,” and the guy that they’re sitting next to knows everybody in town, knows how to get stuff done, maybe knows a lender, somebody, “Oh, you know, John over here was thinking about buying a piece of property.”

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         That’s the value.

Anne Porter:                      Networking.

Jack Butala:                         That’s huge value.

Anne Porter:                      All networking.

Jack Butala:                         Pay for that all day.

Anne Porter:                      Yup. Yup.

Jack Butala:                         What I won’t pay for is somebody that’s got too much makeup on, driving a BMW that doesn’t really run right, and putting my stuff in the MLS and just waiting to see what’s gonna happen for 6% of the deal.

Anne Porter:                      And not answering their phone.

Jack Butala:                         So, that’s where I’m coming from on the whole thing.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative). Totally agree with you, and there are plenty of those people out there that get their license because all they want to do is see houses.

Jack Butala:                         See houses?

Anne Porter:                      See houses. That’s all they want to do. “I like people, and I like to look at houses. That’s why I want to become a real estate agent.”

Jack Butala:                         What does that mean, “I like to look at houses?” I like to look at the wallpaper in houses?

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, well-

Jack Butala:                         That’s what I think.

Anne Porter:                      Wallpaper’s out, so don’t wallpaper your house.

Jack Butala:                         I think HGTV is not doing anybody any favors.

Anne Porter:                      Nope. Not at all.

Jack Butala:                         It’s total malarkey.

Anne Porter:                      Totally.

Jack Butala:                         And fiction.

Anne Porter:                      Yup. It is 100%.

Jack Butala:                         Do you notice how they stop running the numbers on HGTV? They used to in the beginning, like, “Hey, we bought this house for $622,000, and we put $89,000 into it, and we sold it for $990,000.” I bet some lawyers got ahold of that and said, “It’s pretty easy to look this up and see you guys didn’t do this.” Or, “Stop that. You guys are entertaining and you look good, but don’t do any more math.”

Anne Porter:                      No more math.

Jack Butala:                         So, earlier you referred to these tools. These tools that are underutilized and that no one knows about. What are these tools?

Anne Porter:                      Well, I think tools that make communication easier. How many showings your house has gotten, how many vies it’s gotten, just better ways to communicate. Networking tools. Some of it’s not even an internet based tool. Some of it’s just being out there, talking to other agents, being out there, talking to other people. We’re technically brokers, so we’re supposed to be brokering a deal. That doesn’t mean just throwing in the MLS is brokering something. It means that you gotta push it, put it out there, do the right thing, and help. There’s a whole list of things that I ask sellers to do, and those are the tools.

Jack Butala:                         Give us, share with us, please.

Anne Porter:                      Clean your house.

Jack Butala:                         Okay.

Anne Porter:                      Put away your stuff.

Jack Butala:                         Do some of them think the agent’s supposed to do that?

Anne Porter:                      I think some of them think that the agent stages houses, yeah. And I don’t stage houses. I give recommendations how to stage houses. I give them names of stagers, but I don’t do it.

Jack Butala:                         I’m a big fan of staging.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Staging makes all the difference in the world. Anybody out there that’s thinking about selling their house, follow the staging instructions.

Jack Butala:                         Well, on this regular show, we tell them not to get an agent at all. Just do it yourself.

Anne Porter:                      Oh. Great. So happy to be here.

Jack Butala:                         It’s roast an agent hour, with Jack, not Jill.

Anne Porter:                      I will not be roasted.

Jack Butala:                         No, no. This is not an agent to roast. Plus, your my little sister, because I’ll defend you.

Anne Porter:                      Thanks.

Jack Butala:                         Okay. So, what else do you tell agents to do? Clean your house. Possibly stage it.

Anne Porter:                      Sellers, what I tell-

Jack Butala:                         Sellers.

Anne Porter:                      To do? Yeah. Stage it, clean it. Those HGTV shows actually help in this regard because when you look at a house and it’s all simple and plain, that’s what you want. So, you can use HGTV for that, for the setup and the staging. Yeah.

                                                Leave, pretend there’s no dog there if you have a dog. It’s all visual. All visual.

Jack Butala:                         Jill’s a big fan of taking all the pictures out of the house, because you want the new person walking through to see themselves in there, not the old stinky people.

Anne Porter:                      100% agree. You need to take everything personal out, because otherwise a buyer can’t envision themselves in a house if it’s all you.

Jack Butala:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Anne Porter:                      You need to take it out so they can envision their family there and not your family.

Jack Butala:                         Do they listen?

Anne Porter:                      Most people. Most people.

Jack Butala:                         Do they listen because you know what you’re doing now? Or because you say, “Look,” you sit them down and hold their hand and say, “Listen. I can get this thing done, but you gotta help me.”

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. That’s the communication.

Jack Butala:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Anne Porter:                      That’s the communication right there. You have to say, “This is what needs to get done if you want to sell the house. What’s your goal? If your goal is sell the house, this is how you do it.”

Jack Butala:                         Here’s my big question. How much does price matter to a seller? Are you there to maximize price?

Anne Porter:                      Absolutely. 100%. Price usually matters. It depends. Again, you have to ask what the goal is. Is the goal, I want to sell it by tomorrow? Okay, well, yeah. That price is gonna be a lot lower than if the goal is I want to sell by next year. Totally different way to go about things.

Jack Butala:                         So, do you get the calculator out right at that point and say, “Okay, great. I know you guys want 350 for the house, but”-

Anne Porter:                      No.

Jack Butala:                         “At 320, we can get this thing done next week.”

Anne Porter:                      Oh, you could totally do that, but I never go off of what the seller wants.

Jack Butala:                         You just-

Anne Porter:                      It’s what the market will bear.

Jack Butala:                         So, you-

Anne Porter:                      Doesn’t matter what the seller wants.

Jack Butala:                         “I know you want 350”-

Anne Porter:                      Right.

Jack Butala:                         “And that’s beautiful, but”-

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, but-

Jack Butala:                         “But 327 is how this is gonna go down.”

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, or if you want 350, this is what you need to do to get 350. Get the whole house repainted, you need to put wood floors in-

Jack Butala:                         Nobody wants to do that.

Anne Porter:                      Or whatever it is.

Jack Butala:                         Do they?

Anne Porter:                      Well, yeah. Some people do. Some people don’t. It just depends on their time and what they want to invest in it.

Jack Butala:                         Does it ever totally backfire on you?

Anne Porter:                      Once in a while. Not very often. I have a good idea what the market will bear and what people will pay for.

Jack Butala:                         So, how do you come up with that number? Personally, now I’m asking you because this is all I do. I spend hours and hours every week pricing mailers to send to sellers to, just high enough but just low enough so I can make some money, just high enough so they sign it.

Anne Porter:                      Sure. Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         So, what-

Anne Porter:                      I know what the market will bear. Where it is, what the size of the house is-

Jack Butala:                         So, you could drive around Traverse City, Michigan and you can say, “That house is worth 380. That house is worth 422”-

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         “And that piece of property right on the house is probably worth 1.1 right now.”

Anne Porter:                      100%.

Jack Butala:                         That’s amazing.

Anne Porter:                      Well, you get inside and if it’s trash, you might be a little wrong, but you have a really, really, really, really good idea.

Jack Butala:                         I only look at spreadsheets and data.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, see, that’s so not for me.

Jack Butala:                         I price it that way.

Anne Porter:                      No. That’s what Zillow does, and that’s why Zillow’s wrong. It’s an algorithm.

Jack Butala:                         I agree, Zillow’s wrong. Jill and I truly have a lot of work to do.

Anne Porter:                      Lot of work.

Jack Butala:                         Huge fan of Redfin. Huge fan. They’ve taken it to the next step, but I believe that their algorithm are antiquated and don’t adjust for things that you’re talking about, like market editions and things like that. They only really work at completed sales values and some other stuff.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. They factor in a whole bunch of stuff that isn’t right, that doesn’t take into consideration because if one house is staged and then the other one’s not, that could be the exact same house, but the staged one’s gonna sell quicker and for more money.

Jack Butala:                         Right. We do do the same thing. But I just go approach it completely differently.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         I’m looking for a person that doesn’t, because all our sellers, they don’t ever talk about money. If they do, we just say, “This is the price that we’re offering.”

Anne Porter:                      Right.

Jack Butala:                         “It’s written there, and sign it, please.” Otherwise, it’s just probably not gonna work out.

Anne Porter:                      That’s not your seller. That’s not who you’re looking for, is somebody that’s gonna be negotiating the money.

Jack Butala:                         The sellers that we work with that work really, really, really well are the ones who just say, “Thank you so much for sending this letter. Your timing’s perfect. My Aunt Sue is XYZ, and I’d love to close next week if you can.”

Anne Porter:                      There you go. That’s it.

Jack Butala:                         “Please let me know what to do next.” That’s the biggest question we get.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         So-

Anne Porter:                      Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         So, it’s a different game entirely.

Anne Porter:                      Right. You’re after a different market. You’re after a different seller. There’s nothing wrong with either one of them.

Jack Butala:                         Is there a big season in selling a house? Seasonal, like springtime is good, winter’s bad?

Anne Porter:                      In Michigan there is. Nobody wants to look at a house when it’s six degrees and there’s snow on the roof and you can’t see it, you can’t tell if the driveway’s paved, all that stuff.

Jack Butala:                         Wow.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. So, we-

Jack Butala:                         [crosstalk 00:16:49] frozen. Frozen pipes.

Anne Porter:                      We say Thanksgiving to Super Bowl is the downtime.

Jack Butala:                         Thanksgiving to Super Bowl.

Anne Porter:                      Thanksgiving to Super Bowl. Then people start to-

Jack Butala:                         Which is like-

Anne Porter:                      Then people start to start thinking about it. The sun might shine for a day-

Jack Butala:                         November to February.

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         I’ve been saying that for years. Real estate market stops during the holiday season, and picks up in around February.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative). If you’re looking during the holiday season, you really want to move, or you’ve been relocated or something. There’s a reason, because people have other stuff going on. They’re traveling, there’s Christmas trees in a house which make it look smaller.

Jack Butala:                         Oh. All these tricks.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         I like it. So, is it better to have furniture in there or vacant?

Anne Porter:                      Oh, never sell a vacant house. Nope.

Jack Butala:                         Really?

Anne Porter:                      Nope. People can’t imagine anything. They have no imagination.

Jack Butala:                         I’m in this business and actually I’m doing pretty good, and-

Anne Porter:                      They have no imagination. You gotta show them where the living room gets set up, where the dining room gets set up. They can imagine where their family’s gonna eat dinner. If there’s no furniture in there, they don’t know where to put anything.

Jack Butala:                         When I go look at a house, whenever I do, and it’s not very often, we [inaudible 00:17:54] driving around on Sunday and you pull over-

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         And you just say, “I just want to take a,” actually, we did that this weekend.

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         The first thing I do, the very first thing I do is look at which walls I can take out to make it bigger.

Anne Porter:                      You are the exception. Most people have no imagination. They will not od that. They want it exactly the way that it is.

Jack Butala:                         They just want to turn the key.

Anne Porter:                      They just want to walk in and put their own couch right where the other one was.

Jack Butala:                         Wow.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         That totally makes sense when you think about it. Jill’s not like that at all. Jill’s really got a lot of imagination.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Imagination is good. It can save you a whole lot of money-

Jack Butala:                         Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Anne Porter:                      If you can think about where your own couch goes.

Jack Butala:                         Maybe that’s the difference between a real estate professional and just a real estate consumer, is imagination. I like it.

Anne Porter:                      Oh, definitely. If you can open somebody’s eyes to, “Oh, this is the way this could be. You wanted this. This is how it could happen that way. Look how much money we could save if you did it just this.”

Jack Butala:                         So, everybody loves stories. Tell us a good story and maybe a not so good story. A good story about dealing with a seller, or I would love to hear a really bad, rancid story about an awful real estate agent and how they destroyed someone’s life. That’s my first choice, but you choose.

Anne Porter:                      Wow. I don’t know about destroying life.

Jack Butala:                         Because we were talking about it-

Anne Porter:                      Real estates are their own worst enemy, though. They can kill a deal faster than anybody.

Jack Butala:                         Thank you.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Absolutely.

Jack Butala:                         I’m gonna have you on the show more often. You’re the proof.

Anne Porter:                      My philosophy is, your client doesn’t need to know that there’s a problem until you have a solution for it, and quite often, I think the exact opposite happens out there.

Jack Butala:                         So, give me an example, please.

Anne Porter:                      Somebody has a big issue with a house. An inspection came back bad or something, and then all of a sudden, the real estate agent calls the seller and says, “Oh my gosh, we have this really big problem.”

Jack Butala:                         They’re venting.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. It’s all you need to do is solve the problem before you make the phone call. “Hey, here’s the deal. The inspection came back. This is what’s happening, but here’s how we can solve it. Here’s how we can get through this together. Are you with me?” That’s the thing, and people just love drama. So, what they do is they get all dramatic and they go into this, “We’ve got this big problem,” and instead, all they need to do is solve the problem before you say it. Solve the problem before you tell your client that there’s even a problem.

Jack Butala:                         That’s good marriage advice, too. It should never really get back to your spouse and you haven’t solved it already.

Anne Porter:                      Well, maybe that could be my next career.

Jack Butala:                         I call it emotional flooding. You don’t want, ever want to do that in front of somebody.

Anne Porter:                      No.

Jack Butala:                         However you do that, because everybody’s gotta do that.

Anne Porter:                      Good phrase. Emotional flooding.

Jack Butala:                         Men do it, too. Men do it. They don’t know about it, because they just go do it in a closet somewhere, and then they come back out and they figure it out. Seriously. Women don’t know this.

Anne Porter:                      We’re looking at a lot of secrets today.

Jack Butala:                         So, give us an example of the other side, flip side, of real story where it just worked out. Like, you’re getting a gift basket at the end of it as an agent.

Anne Porter:                      Well, a good story about a gift basket at the end of it.

Jack Butala:                         Well, you really helped somebody out. Helped them out of a jam, and really, really shined as what you do as a real estate pro.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. I had an issue with a house that I sold that in the disclosure stated that the roof had a lifetime warranty, and couldn’t’ produce it. They couldn’t’ produce the lifetime warranty. Just whatever, they said they had it, didn’t know where it was, couldn’t produce it in writing, nothing transferred over, whatever, and I called around, found permits, all this kind of stuff, and it worked out in the end. It didn’t work out great. Worked out in the end, but it was difficult. But those people were somewhat happy at the end that we solved the problem and figured it out, but there’s issues like that that you just have to go out of your way to solve.

Jack Butala:                         Yeah.

Anne Porter:                      That’s the thing. Above and beyond is the key.

Jack Butala:                         So, in this case, was there a warranty?

Anne Porter:                      There was a warranty. We couldn’t find it.

Jack Butala:                         You didn’t find it?

Anne Porter:                      Nope. Nope.

Jack Butala:                         Who puts a lifetime warranty on a roof? Roofs wear out.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. This was a commercial roof on a residential house.

Jack Butala:                         A flat roof?

Anne Porter:                      Yeah, that’s exactly what it was.

Jack Butala:                         With [inaudible 00:21:58]?

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Yup. That’s exactly it. But that’s one of those things where if you don’t have something to back it up, don’t put it there in the first place.

Jack Butala:                         I always thought on that disclosure page, you just say, “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know,” all the way down.

Anne Porter:                      You can do that. You can.

Jack Butala:                         That’s what I do.

Anne Porter:                      Okay. Well, you probably don’t know, though. You can’t say you don’t know if you know.

Jack Butala:                         Oh, I think you can.

Anne Porter:                      Okay. That might come back to bite you.

Jack Butala:                         A long time ago, somebody said, “Just say, ‘I don’t know.'” And it stuck with me.

Anne Porter:                      Okay. Was that an attorney?

Jack Butala:                         No. It was actually a real estate agent, now that I’m thinking about. Just say I don’t know, and then nothing bad will happen.

Anne Porter:                      Well, if you don’t know.

Jack Butala:                         So, how about a really bad story? Not you specifically, as if there is even one, but how a real estate agent is really just making somebody’s life a big mess and getting in the way of closing deals because Jill and I talk about that all the time. A lot of times, real estate agents are the ones who are stopping the deal from getting closed. They’re getting in the way.

Anne Porter:                      Yeah. Sure. They’re getting in the way because they’re, I don’t know, I know I keep going back to this, but because they’re not solving the problem before you even get to the problem. You have to preempt everything. If you preempt stuff, there’s no trouble. If you know this is gonna be a problem, then you just gotta figure out the way to make it not a problem.

Jack Butala:                         So, I know you have an educational psychology background.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Do you think that puts you at an advantage?

Anne Porter:                      100%. Yup. I have an industrial and organizational psychology from good old Michigan State University, and 100%, that helps me all the time. Be patient, figure out people’s personalities and know how to deal with them, because there’s different personalities. If you don’t see what the personality is of your client and match that, and be able to have some communication, then you can’t do it.

Jack Butala:                         What Jill and I talk about all the time is you have to meet people from where they’re coming-

Anne Porter:                      Yup.

Jack Butala:                         And you could be staring at two people in the exact same situation and one’s got a whole different perception about what’s happening versus the other, and you gotta handle it differently.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jack Butala:                         Night and day different.

Anne Porter:                      Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jack Butala:                         So, I think we’re sort of saying the same thing.

Anne Porter:                      100%.

Jack Butala:                         I just put nifty little labels on stuff, like meet people from where they come. That’s the show. My whole family’s so sick of hearing me saying that. Hey, wait, stop, hold on. I gotta write that down. That’s a show. “Great dad.”

Anne Porter:                      It’s true.

Jack Butala:                         “That’s great, Dad. We’ll see you next week.”

Anne Porter:                      Lot of great ideas out there. Keep it up. It’s great.

Jack Butala:                         Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another, I don’t know, 25 minutes or so listening to the Jack and Jill Show without Jill, with my little sister Hula instead.

Anne Porter:                      Woo hoo.

Jack Butala:                         Join us tomorrow where we discuss, would you buy it? Or would you not buy it?

                                                You are not alone in your real estate ambition. This is the part of the show, and we actually air it, where we just talk about what we just talked about, kind of like a blooper thing. So, how’d it go? I know you’re a little nervous. There’s nothing to be nervous about, right? Just two people talking about stupid stuff.

Anne Porter:                      There’s nothing to be nervous. Yeah.

Jack Butala:                         Can’t wait to [crosstalk 00:25:00].

Anne Porter:                      It went fine. It went great.

Jack Butala:                         You just want to go look at some California real estate.

                                                Thanks for being on, and I really appreciate it.

Anne Porter:                      Happy to be here.

Jack Butala:                         We are Jack and Jill. Information and inspiration to buy undervalued property.

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